Tweet of the Day: Grotesque
Los Dragones Training Range, Bekenstein, Boltzmann System, Serpent Nebula
<RED AIR CLEAR>
<ROGER ALPHA ONE, DELTA TWO-NINER ON APPROACH. MUSIC ON>
Rodan Quintus tracked Delta squadron ingress into the target area on the holo table. The movement of the holographic symbols matched their counterparts across the valley. Fighter swept in, amidst a flurry of simulated gun and missile fire. White puffs filled the air. Rodan smiled. White meant a miss, yellow meant a near hit, enough to deplete the fighters kinetic barriers and red meant a direct hit. The guns fired practice rounds, enough to take down kinetic barriers but lacked the punch of live rounds. But this was a life fire exercise and Delta packed the real deal. Explosions rocked the valley as missiles found their target.
<DELTA TWO-NINER TO ECHO FIVE-TWO. ANTI-AIR NEUTRALIZED. LANDING ZONE CLEAR>
Other eyes watched the choreographed maneuvers with keen interest. The observers of today’s exercise were Major Galeena T’iala, military adviser to of Batarian Assembly, Marine Captain Paul Girard, the Alliance observer and a Council Specter, Ashley Williams. Their presence turned a regular exercise into a political theater. At least Galeena was not one to play politics. A pair of Mantis Mk. VIs strafed the landing zone. A flock of rocket drones dropped from the gunship’s under wing pylons. The drone engaged target dummies around the perimeter of the target zone.
<DATALINKS ONLINE. TARGET ZONE CLEAR ECHO FIVE-NINER INBOUND>
Three assault shuttles escorted by two gunships flew in, meters of the ground. The shuttles slowdown. Doors swung open both sides of the shuttles. Troops jumped off and the shuttles flew away.
<DRONE HAND OFF TO TYCHO ONE>
Exercise judges detonated two drones to simulate an attack from the crags on the LZ right flank. The platoon tech direct another pair drones in that direction. The drones suppress the area with missile and gunfire. Once the position appeared on the drones targeting sensors, the platoon leader called in the gunships to destroy position. A short volley of missiles neutralized the threat.
<TYCHO LEAD TO BASE LZ SECURE>
“Excellent work, Mr. Quintus,” said the Specter.
Major Girard spoke before Rodan could answer, “I suppose it should not be surprising. After all batarians are experts at quick raids on lightly defended targets.”
“These men are not slavers, Major,” said Galeena with her best death glare.
It surprised Rodan that Girard responded with hands behind his back straight and chin out, “Perhaps, but my superiors are concerned about what happens after we arm these batarians. Who says they will not turn against us in the future?”
Galeena fist’s balled, “I do.”
While Girard had a point, he also knew that Galeena had a short fuse and a powerful biotic reach.
“Your superiors as well as mine voted to back up the Assembly, Major. The Council prefers the batarians fighting to liberate their world instead of raiding our colonies and I for once, agree,” said the Specter.
This time Girard averted his eyes, “Well that is true, I guess. But these are just a handful of troops, long time Assembly loyalist. It will take more than this to take back a Reaper invested planet.”
“We have plenty of ground troops on the training pipeline, Captain Williams, but we need more pilots and maintenance crews. Unless we delay our time table, we will have to rely on my people to conduct aerospace support,” said Rodan.
“No can do, Mr. Quintus. The Council wants results and we already our first target,” said the Specter.
“Where?” asked Rodan.
“Erzbat. We are talking the fight directly to batarian territory,” said the Specter.
“Ready or not, here we go,” thought Rodan.