Ground Invasion of Dromund Kaas


  • Admin

    Prime Minister's Residence
    New Birmingham
    Angleter
    Mar 12, 821
    3:30:41

    Aelir Dehn anxiously waited for final confirmation from his military. The Eastern Grand Army had been sitting in position for a couple weeks now, but 3 star General Ike had the brilliant idea to use up all the obsolete missiles in the Duxburian arsenal vs Dromund Kaas rather than decommission them. After all, why bother spending tons of kaels to decom when they could contribute to the bombardment instead and save some newer missiles? There was nothing wrong with the missiles physically, they were just old. However, this meant another long delay and today was the expected last day of preparations. Dehn was sick and tired of waiting, he itched to pull the the damn trigger already.

    An aide entered the meeting room to inform him that he had a call on a secure line. Dehn excused himself from the 3 way meeting to answer this call, and was greeted by a familiar voice,

    "Aelir Dehn? This is Lamington Central Command, Alec Naddare speaking."

    "Yeah, it's me. Are we ready to go?" Dehn asked, eagerly.

    "It took goddamn 46 minutes just to confirm the status of each individual unit on the front, and that's with the entire office pitching in, but we have it! You HAVE to hear the numbers again, it's
    mind boggling what we've got holding in ready-to-fire position. This will be the largest display of firepower in the history of the Duxburian Union?it's sheer insanity!

    For the missiles, we've got:

    20 DF-4s packing 2,000kg of HE at 7,000 km,
    40 DF-3As packing 2,000kg of HE at 3,000 km,
    75 DF-15s, packing 500 kg of HE at 600 km,
    130 TELs of DF-11s, packing 800 kg of HE at 300 km,
    80 TELs of B-611s, packing 480 kg of HE at 280 km,
    and
    45 TELs of P-12s, packing 300kg of HE at 150 km.

    For the artillery, we've got:

    Fucking 4,770 pieces composed of 122mm howies, 152mm howies, 155m howies, 130mm assault guns, 100mm assault guns, 300mm rockets, and 120mm heavy mortars.

    All this shit has been covered around the clock by some 15 divisions of Immortal Thunder. Not only that, but we have everything that isn't currently in the sky locked in ready-to-fly mode. It will take hours to actually get all the planes in the sky, which is why we've spent the past 8 hours just putting them up. Altogether, those 15 divisions bring:

    150 Fighter squadrons - 4,500 aircraft,
    75 Fighter-Bomber squadrons - 2,250 aircraft,
    30 Attack Helicopter squadrons - 900 aircraft,
    and
    2 AWAC squadrons - 60 aircraft

    to the table. While the enemy does have functional fighters ready to scramble and we will take heavy losses in this assault, the combination of missiles, rockets, shells, mortars, small arms, and air to ground missiles should overwhelm the defenses and punch a gaping hole into the country. Did I mention that all this shit is going to come screaming down in total darkness? The impacts could actually illuminate the front for hours.

    Dehn stood there stunned by the sheer numbers of what would be going off at his command. However, he composed himself to ask the next question,

    "How are we with boots on the ground? I heard that the enemy has a huge army."

    "Actually," Naddare replied, "It turns out that the numbers were badly inflated. According to our Angleteric counterparts, the true strength of the DK army is a fraction of what we were expecting. The Eastern Grand Army alone is larger than that. We've got:

    300 mech infantry - 1,501,667 personnel,
    82 airborne - 410,000 personnel,
    84 armor - 2,520 tanks, 420,000 personnel,
    and
    159 artillery - 4,770 artillery pieces, 795,000 personnel,
    for a total of 3,126,667 personnel.

    Dromund Kaas still has enough to stage a tough defense, but they will be stretched thin when Angleter enters from the southeast, GDR from the west, and GTA from the north. For such a frightening army, I expect them to do some serious running tonight."

    "Right, give me a minute. I almost feel sorry for them. They're going to get absolutely rocked at 4 in the morning. What a thing to wake up to! I'll be ready in a moment."

    "Lamington is ready to open fire at your command."

    Dehn looked around for aides.

    Having planned for this moment, they escorted him outside and handed him a pistol loaded with a blank round.

    Dehn took a long, deep breath as the weight of what he was about to do sunk in.

    ?another deep breath?

    "Officer Naddare, today we make history!"

    Dehn raised the pistol in the air, held the phone up close to the side, and pulled the trigger.

    A loud bang erupted from the barrel, which reverberated eerily off the walls of the residence.

    "Could have just said 'open fire', laughed Naddare.

    Fort Lamington Command Center
    Lamington
    Dominion of Linden
    Mar 12, 821
    4:00:15

    Naddare yelled out to the room,

    "Aelir Dehn has fired the first shot of the ground war! Start firing!"

    A round of cheers was quickly followed by a flurry of radio activity.

    24th Infantry Division
    1 mile from the Dromund Kaas border
    Southern Front, North-Central Sector
    Angleter
    Mar 12, 821
    4:00:26

    "EAR PROTECTION ON!"

    Officers were going up and down the line ensuring that their soldiers were protected from the deafening roar that was sure to start up any second. However, not all the yelling was in Kendrelaatzenian.

    Increasingly panicked sentries on the Dromund Kaas side were screaming so loud that it could be hear d from the short range artillery positions. It was easy to see why.

    The entire Duxburlan line was lit up from the volume of launches going off all at once. A distant hum of plane engines suddenly became a howl.

    "OPEN FIRE!"

    "START FIRING!"

    "POUR IT INTO THEM!"

    Gunfire now erupted up and down the Duxburian line, complete with machine guns, mortars, and rocket-propelled grenades.

    Lights and bangs now started to fill the sky above the Dromund Kass side of the border as missiles came raining down, surface to air batteries fired up, and fighters engaged each other. However, due to it being 4:30 AM, air cover was minimal on the Dromund Kaas side.

    Explosions hammering the defenses created a continuous roar.

    The ground on all sides of the border shook violently as Duxburian artillery continued to fire.

    Chimneys toppled over, windows shattered, car alarms went off, and now air raid sirens started to blare.

    However, one could barely even hear the sirens as they struggled to be heard among the great symphony of death now afflicting the Dromund Kass border.

    [OOC: A single truck launching its shit is scary loud. Imagine that x thousands at night.


  • Admin

    March 12th, 2012 -- Fronteria Province, the border with DK-- 4:01:02

    Lockhart hurries into General Burgess' office.

    "General! Dehn has fired, and war is on!"

    "Excellent. Let's go through our plans. Two million men?"

    "Yes- 1 million mech, 1 million mot."

    "Right. We send the mechs out first, and the mots can secure the territory. We hope to gain most of southwestern DK in the first move, and then we can restore civilian rule to Fronteria. See?"

    user posted image

    "Yes, Sir. Shall I notify the frontlines?"

    "Do."

    _Lockhart sent out the message to all commanders in the field that the attack would take place at 10 minutes past 4. And so it did. Artillery fire and aerial bombardment continued for 20 minutes, so as to harmonise with the Duxburians, with the time compensated for with density of bombardment. The fighting between the two sides began at 4:30am.

    Certainly, there would be many a sleepless night in Fronteria that night._


  • Admin

    Fort Lamington Command Center
    Lamington
    Dominion of Linden
    June 5th, 821
    3:00:01

    Avoldran Dehn had assembled the highest ranking military officers for a briefing. However, the Aelir was not physically present at the Fort. He was in occupied Dromund Kaas territory, at a forward command center, and presenting the briefing through a video link.

    "Gentlemen, you may be wondering why I ordered a sudden halt to our advance in Dromund Kaas, and why we have made virtually no movement since late March. I would like to reassure you that everything is fine, we have plenty of ammunition, funding, public support, etc. I will not be scared away by high casualty figures or our British allies withdrawing.

    What happened is that DIO discovered a few interesting things that required immediate attention.

    Deep underground in Kaas City, enemy technicians had been working to restore functionality to three ICBM silos containing biological payloads. There were 5 silos in total, but 2 were above ground and were located too close to the Angleteric border. These were destroyed in our initial assault. The remaining 3 are in the capital in the same facility where the Grand Moff has been riding out the war. It is comparable to the underground levels of the Federal Office - we couldn't touch that place even with a direct hit from a strategic nuclear warhead.

    DIO indicated that Dromund Kaas intended to use those biological weapons as soon as electronic fire control could be repaired. DIO wanted permission to sabotage these systems with a virus. It would not destroy the hardware, but it would stop the software from functioning and force the enemy to write a new firing program from scratch, setting them back at least 9 months. That would buy us plenty of time to seize the capital.

    The problem was that networks in Dromund Kaas are still in shambles. We had to send a physical team into the Grand Moff's own stronghold, disguised as enemy personnel, to deliver the payload directly to the local systems. You can imagine what that entails - no tracking, no contact. I could not risk losing them to friendly fire, so we stopped operations along our line and they need to return before we resume again. The guise has to be perfect. In order to return, they will actually surrender to our troops along with real Kaasians. Only when prisoners are processed will our personnel discover their true identity and transport them back to DIO.

    MCD Brandon Devoy is personally leading this mission. He is our only Master Cyber Destroyer and I would rather not lose him. He left a sign for us that was picked up by satellite 3 hours ago, 2 miles outside Kaas City. So, the mission is still live and we must hold fire.

    Now, there is another reason for lack of movement. DIO has been secretly trying to locate and track Colonel Kras Soren, wanted in Pax Aurea for war crimes. I could never admit this in public, but yes I do have a heart down there somewhere. The colonel tends to move less when we're not shooting. DIO has been waiting for him to appear with his superior officer, Darth Sidious, so that we can attempt to capture both at once. This way, I can tell the public that we got a dangerous foe and hey, we just happened to snag a war criminal with him! Darth Sidious leads psychological ops in Dromund Kaas. His terror force "disappears" citizens suspected of disloyalty during peacetime. During war, they are like a dangerous terrorist organization, capable of striking in another country. Sidious is a priority target, dead or alive. I would rather get Soren alive, however.

    DIO has informed me that tomorrow, Darth Sidious will be convening several of his subordinates, including Colonel Soren, in the "Missing Link" sector of the country. This is where the left flank of our military presence ends and where GDR's right will link up with us when they enter the country. They are already gathered at a safe house and should be asleep until dawn. It's so close to our line and so easy to penetrate that we can't pass up on this opportunity. He thinks he's being smart hiding out right under our nose.

    Thus, we will be sending a team of elite army personnel under cover of darkness to the safe house. They will enter the compound, eliminate the guards quickly and quietly, take the officers prisoner, and return in a hurry. The mission is only expected to last a few hours and the choppers have been given a special clearance code that will see them safely back to our lines. This mission comes with alpha plus classification and will commence momentarily.

    One more item, you have probably seen a disturbing transmission from Darth Sidious threatening my life and demanding an end to the war. Well, nothing he says can change my mind. The war will continue until we win. Even if it degenerates into guerilla war and insurgency, we have good people who know how to deal with that.

    That is the end of this briefing. If you have any questions, please direct them to the usual people. I will be unavailable to talk until later tomorrow morning.


  • Admin

    Mos Isley Forward Command Center
    Mos Isley
    North Druxmund Zone
    Dromund Kaas
    June 5th, 821
    3:25:16

    The Aelir ended the video connection. He then whispered something to the Lieutenant standing next to him. This man would lead the teams into the Darth Sidious compound. It made the Lieutenant jump in surprise. They left the room and walked out to an escort car. With the door closed, the Lieutenant started arguing with the Aelir.

    "Are you out of your mind? I can't accept that kind of risk!"

    "Lieutenant Damon, you know I was a member of Mallard Team 5 before going into politics. I can handle myself just fine."

    "If anything were to happen to you.."

    "It would not be your fault. This man is a psychological master. I need to send him a message that will tell him what he's up against. When the leader of your enemy personally busts into your house in your territory to take you out, you have no chance on earth of winning your cause. He has to see how committed we are to winning this war."

    Lieutenant Damon was still skeptical.

    "Look, previous Aelirs have done much crazier stuff than go on a covert mission. Acennan Aelir is said to have taunted enemy archers from the top of Dairghazbury Tower, drunk and without a shield. Aelir Halson dug part of the city tunnel system himself, 16 centuries before modern safety equipment. Aelir Mason led suicide charges at enemies behind stone walls in the 40 Years' War. He was shot more times than years served in office, and never gave a f*ck. This kind of thing is part of the job. Duxburians want a hands-on leader."

    "I guess there's no stopping the Commander-in-Chief. Does anyone else know about this?"

    "Only General Reid of the Joint Chiefs and General Kohl of the Army. I will pose as a spotter from another unit. No one else needs to know until we get Sidious. I also do not trust everyone in DIO. Several vital people are currently in vulnerable positions in order to try and draw out a spy. They are doing far more dangerous things than I am. Our targets won't even be awake when we land."


  • Admin

    14 miles northeast of Mos Isley
    North Druxmund Zone
    Dromund Kaas
    June 28th, 821
    4:39:26

    3 weeks had passed since the operations in Dromund Kaas. The initial attempt to capture Darth Sidious and Colonel Soren on the 6th of June had been aborted after the team had received a warning that the compound was a trap. A letter addressed to the Aelir had arrived annonymously at the Forward Command Center, only hours before the mission was to commence:

    It would be...unwise...to go to the beach this early. Try a week after the summer solstace for the best weather..

    The "unwise" part triggered Dehn's suspicions and he postponed the mission. He returned to the capital and spent some time in the office, making sure that the people knew he was alive and well. General Reid passed his trust test, as did the rest of the military leadership. Despite tossing all kinds of temptation at the military, no one had taken the bait. He awarded each of his generals the Civic Star, for loyal, dedicated service to the state.

    Dehn was now back in Dromund Kaas, following the tip off. It was funny, he couldn't trust his intelligence service, but he could trust a random piece of paper. It was about a week after the solstace and as promised, the targets had dropped their guard. Both were now in transit between safe houses and camped out in a vulnerable position.

    Four WZ-10s closed in on the position in the pre-dawn light. Dehn noticed that he possessed no true, elite stealth choppers and made a note to push development of a new class. These things were too noisy. Luckily, North Druxmund was mostly empty, the defenders having pulled back to shore up their strength along the main front. In fact, the military could walk right through here if it wanted to.

    The choppers landed in a grove of trees and Mallard Team 6 quickly deployed. The enemy camp was close. Acting as a spotter, Dehn crawled up to the top of a ridge and observed the camp. There were 5 trucks and several tents, with only three guards. He signaled what he saw to the team. 3 snipers crawled up to the ridge, with the rest of the team standing below the crest, ready to run. Five of them came forward with rocket launchers.

    Lieutenant Damon waited for them to lock-on to the trucks, while the snipers acquired their targets.

    "FIRE!"

    The trucks exploded and the guards dropped dead.

    The team rushed over the crest of the ridge and sprinted toward the camp, assault rifles ready. Confused enemies stumbled out of the tents, many without weapons. A few shots were fired, but with the team rushing in on them, the visible enemies quickly surrendered. Colonel Soren emerged from the 2nd to last tent, groggy, unarmed, and barely dressed. He surrendered to the team.

    Without warning, a grenade flew out of the last tent and those nearby dove away to avoid being blown up. Sidious was not going down without a fight. A gun barrel then emerged from the tent. Lieutenant Damon reflexively gave the order to fire, and Mallard Team 6 lit up the tent with gunfire. Several seconds later, they dismantled the tent cautiously to find a dead Darth Sidious inside, with suicide explosives strapped to his body and his right arm reaching out for a remote control.

    With the explosives safely dearmed, the team mopped up the camp, taking the prisoners in and retrieving as many documents as possible. Minutes later, they were back in the choppers. One of them fired a missile at the campsite to destroy the evidence, and then they were off for the border.


  • Admin

    user posted image

    New Army Command Center
    Fort Lamington Command Center, Floor -17
    Lamington
    Dominion of Linden
    Dec 22nd, 821
    16:00:00

    To say he was nervous was a massive understatement. Brandon Devoy was visibly shaking. He'd expected only a few key observers to join the panel of grandmasters. But, the new command center was packed from wall to wall?

    The news that MCD Brandon Devoy would be defending his terminal GMCD project in AC-NC at 18:00 hours today had spread like wildfire through every office with A level clearance. At 47, he would be the youngest grandmaster in Duxburian history and the first in his field. These presentations were extremely rare, a crowning life achievement if successful.

    The panel consisted of:

    Alain Hallister, Grandmaster Network Engineer
    Daven Kaligann, Grandmaster Software Engineer
    Erik Iarle, Grandmaster Information Technician
    Ingemar Lian, Grandmaster Logistician (MIL)
    William Reid, 5 Star General, Grandmaster Commander (MIL)

    Brandon walked out to cheers and applause. The 4 star generals were present. The Aelir was present. But, his friends, family, and colleagues were there, too - they'd come to support him. Gaining confidence, he reached for the mic.

    "Good evening, Aelir Dehn, esteemed grandmasters, generals, colleagues, and friends,

    My name is Brandon Lir Devoy of the House of Harrison. I currently hold the rank of Master as a Cyber Destroyer in the Office of War, Cyber Warfare Division. Tonight, I will demonstrate to the panel why I should be granted the rank of Grandmaster as a Cyber Destroyer."

    *More cheers and applause*

    With a snap of his fingers, the main screen came on and a slideshow presentation came up.

    *Boring stuff about personal life history, education, qualifications, and past jobs*

    "?I have spent the past eight years building "Valkyrie", an advanced command and control system for coordinating military units on a global scale. With Valkyrie, it is possible to execute mass movements with minimal error and time inefficiency. It is powered by 2 supercomputers for real-time speed and redundancy. In addition to serving as backup, the 2nd supercomputer may also be run in parallel, allowing a commander to red game targets and modify orders on the fly.

    The system degrades gracefully and automatically to alternative communication methods in the event of electricity loss. Its machines do not have USB ports, optical drives, or any other user-accessible, external inputs for that matter. Peripherals must be hard-wired into the motherboards, even the power cables. This will not stop all physical security compromises, but certainly makes it tougher to find physical entry points. The system is hardened against EMP attacks with shielding material built into the building superstructure. The impact of such an attack is not as strong at this depth underground, so it was economical to harden the entire center.

    Valkyrie runs primarily on the "Checkmate" operating system, a custom adaptation of the D4-MIL kernel that I wrote in 815. Checkmate exists entirely for military coordination and simulation, allowing it to be much more lightweight than a conventional SCOS. It utilizes V12 hardware acceleration and RapidSketch 6 graphics acceleration, allowing it to perform faster than a conventional SCOS. Checkmate is maintained by the Cyber Warfare team, allowing it to be more secure than a conventional SCOS written and maintained by a civilian company. The physical hardware was also tailor made for this specific project?"

    *Boring list of internal computer components*

    "?Valkyrie connects to our new "Thunderbolt" military fiber-optic network, achieving peak data transmission speeds in excess of 1 terabit per second at distances over 6,200 miles. In other words, you can send an entire order sheet for an entire army across an ocean faster than a civilian can send a movie file between adjacent computers. This also enables changes to be made to orders and re-sent before the unit has even moved.

    Because of the system's massive power needs and heat output, it is liquid-cooled with water from East Lamington Reservoir, which is piped in using simple gravity. The cooling system itself does not require electricity to function. Being on the -17th level of Fort Lamington, it already has cooling advantages compared to ground level systems. I also thought to get the Federal Engineers in to take a look at the cooling system's potential as a source of electricity. They finished installing a hydropower system two weeks ago. The water that is used to cool the supercomputers now spins turbines in the existing pipes, generating a self-sufficient, fully renewable power supply for the first supercomputer. Now, that's not even the brilliant part of it. The used and hot water needs to be removed, but pumping it back to the surface would require power. Instead, we built a furnace. The water is directed into that, which converts it into steam, which spins more turbines and thus powers the 2nd supercomputer. The furnace can be powered in at least 5 different ways, including manually burning wood if we had to.

    And now the part you've all been waiting for! You are about to see a live demo of Valkyrie at work. This is NOT a test. The system has been verified as ready for use in the field after extensive testing. I would like to thank the Aelir for providing a permission set to issue orders for this demo."

    Devoy pushed an oversized power button and spoke.

    "MCD Brandon Devoy, A1-A-1WCW-9K2"

    The system now spoke, not in a monotone digital voice, but in Avoldran Dehn's voice.

    "Welcome, Master Devoy. Shall we play a game of chess?"

    "Actually, I was in the mood for a bit of global thermonuclear war, but unfortunately, the Aelir did not lend me that permission set," Brandon joked.

    Even General Reid thought the reference was clever.

    Devoy turned off the presentation screen and turned on one of the main screens.

    "Unfortunately, the system does not recognize voice commands at this time. You need to set the mode the old fashioned way, with a keyboard."

    A 3D satellite map now materialized, a map of Dromund Kaas. Devoy zoomed in to the front lines in North Druxmond.

    "This is an army unit guarding the approaches to an airport we captured in North Druxmond."

    user posted image

    Devoy zoomed in further and icons popped up on the map detailing individual components of the unit. This is where it gets fun if you are a commander. You can move our assets around like pieces on a chess board. The moves you place on this map will automatically be converted into readable or audible moves on paper, radio, phone, etc in the field. Of course, you can also issue out orders on paper and feed them into the system.

    Right now, we are just going to relieve the current guard troops on duty with fresh troops, all at once."

    Devoy keyed in the moves and individual dots started to move within seconds.

    "Instant gratification. Obviously, complex orders and maneuvers will require more time and a large staff. That is why we have all these workstations and wall screens. Now, we shall take out some enemy defenses."

    Devoy fired up another screen and zoomed into a different part of the warzone.

    "This is an enemy group of anti-aircraft guns."

    user posted image

    "Let's say that you don't want that nest there. Simple as cake."

    Devoy keyed in orders to a nearby missile battery.

    "The coordinates have been automatically sent to the battery just by designating a position on the map as a target. You no longer have to spell out the X and Y positions manually over the phone. The gunners can now program those coordinates in and in a few minutes, we should start to see some "AAA" icons disappear. This will be displayed in real time because Valkyrie pulls real time GPS data in rapid-fire mode. It updates about once every 2-16 seconds. Most geographic data is cached, because that rarely changes. If you don't see a unit where it should be, you can simply call in to verify its position. You can also turn off real time movement display in which case you will only see the results of orders. And, there goes the enemy AAA batteries?"

    A bunch of icons disappeared off the map.

    "Missed a few. Looks like some missiles were intercepted, too. The joys of war. Send another round into the survivors here, here, here, there."

    New target points were marked and sent.

    Devoy continued to talk until the entire nest was marked as destroyed. He then followed up with verbal confirmation that what happened on screen actually took place in real life.

    "Now, once the ground battery confirms its kills, Valkyrie will automatically generate a battlefield report that can be edited manually before being printed. You no longer need to write a report off of memory days later, in some back office. Some special missions and very complex engagements will still require manual reports.

    Devoy locked the command input board.

    "And that concludes my presentation of Valkyrie! I can now take questions from the panel..."

    * 6.5 hours later *

    "?Thank you, Master Devoy. We shall now convene in private to reach a decision."

    * 2 hours later *

    "Master Devoy, the panel of grandmasters has reached a verdict. Your project demonstrates a level of skill that goes above and beyond the necessary military standards and best practices in network design, redundancy, and security. It demonstrates creativity beyond expectations in self-sufficiency, system performance, and ease of use. You have successfully demonstrated that to be a cyber warrior is to be an expert in many interconnected fields. A true cyber destroyer is also capable of creating things, creating masterpieces. Precious few people on the face of the Earth could have built a system like this.

    Therefore, the panel of grandmasters has agreed to confer upon you the title of Grandmaster Cyber Destroyer. Your new internal code format shall be GMCD Brandon Devoy, A1-A-1WCW-10K2. You are now entitled to use "Grandmaster" as your forename prefix in civilian address, casual or formal alike. Additionally, you may be called upon to serve on grandmaster panels when future candidates in your areas of expertise present their terminal projects. Congratulations, Grandmaster Devoy!"

    The room burst into cheers and applause that went on for what seemed like an eternity.

    Devoy was speechless.

    * TL/DR: *
    Avoldran Dehn was extremely excited about Devoy's new command and control system. He could use it to strike a decisive blow at Dromund Kaas, soon?


  • Admin

    Rapid Response Anti-Aircraft Control Center
    4 Druxmund A
    Dromund Kaas
    March 31st, 822
    21:07

    "Raclir, you'd better take a look at this."

    Adam Kelair, the Raclir for 4 Druxmund A, ran to the control room. Whenever someone uttered those words, it was never good news.

    "What is the situation?"

    The closest radar operator pointed to his screen.

    "Sir, we've just detected an unknown radar signature entering our airspace, flying on a restricted line of travel. This, (pointing at the screen) is its current position."

    Kelair wasn't aware of anything being cleared for his territory at this time.

    "Where's the nearest VM?" he asked, pointing at the VM operator.

    "4 miles from the target's present position, sir."

    "Arm it."

    Kelair couldn't wait to shake the hand of the person who had thought up the VM. It was such an effective, yet simple way of determining the physical identity of an unknown flying object, bypassing electronic countermeasures and not harming the object.

    "VM is armed. Calculating area of effect. Calculating line. Line set. Line locked."

    "Prepare to engage."

    "VM ready."

    "Fire."

    A few tense minutes passed before the data feed came back.

    "Unknown object is identified as a helicopter, military grade, unable to determine class or operator."

    "It couldn't be ours. Coalition forces wouldn't enter uncleared on a restricted LoT."
    Kelair turned to the emergency communications operator.

    "Request a transmission on Line 1, I want to be absolutely sure on this. The computer will tell you what to input."

    "Yes, sir."

    He started typing, ! |$:|

    Next, Kelair called a gunner.

    "Arm SAM 25."

    A response came back on the screen, ! |!|. Lamington was ready to receive the transmission.

    "SAM initiation sequence." The gunner started priming a surface-to-air missile.

    Transmissions to Fort Lamington had to be typed carefully, for errors could not be corrected.

    $:
    ❖ ▽Ȼ⇀▽v: ᐱ┬ ?ᐱȻ⇀

    "SAM 25 is armed."

    v∯ʎ ʆ


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