USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Retaking Gavara IV

Posted on Wed Jan 25th, 2017 @ 5:41am by Major Storr Garlake & Sergeant Bella Zaltin & Commander Tolan

Mission: S1E3 - Operation Adrestia
Location: Gavara IV
Timeline: Mission Day 18; 16:00

It was time to retake Gavara IV. Preparations had been made and they were now complete - the window of opportunity Tolan's team had managed to create to come in undetected meant that they had the element of surprise. After the pre-mission briefing, it was decided the invasion force would land in a remote part of the city and establish a base there. With the command base established Tolan looked at a holographic map of the city and spoke to Storr.

"Based on communications we've intercepted the city will be without power for another three to four hours...my suggestion is that we wait for Commander Trevett's attack on the base the Valkyries are based at and then use that as a distraction to push into the city. What do you think?" Tolan suggested.

Storr looked over the holographic projection of the city pushing up from the large table between the two while wind whirled in from the blown-open windows of the building they occupied, phaser blast marks scorching the walls behind them.

"If Trevett can attack while there's still no power, that would be better but the fighters would still be able to launch as long as their crews are anywhere close or on alert status. We need to neutralize those fighters," Garlake responded, pointing to the spaceport approximately 3 kilometers from their position, "while they're still on the ground to both reduce casualties and maximize damage. I think that a smaller force would be best. A diversionary advance should wheel around this plaza here," he instructed, using three fingers to sweep through the amorphous map and leaving a blue line of arrows, "to draw away their defensive forces."

Tolan nodded. "The fighters will launch as soon as Vindex is in orbit which should be in about 15 minutes or so. I do feel your plan of action is the best - if you guys want to lead the line we'll bring up the rear and guard in the event they try a pincer movement. I think it's critical we take that command center - if we take that we control the city - but I think that will be extremely difficult. I think if we can push them back that far then maybe organize an air strike to take it out instead?"

The MCO nodded slowly as he looked over the map as Tolan spoke. The command center that the Suliban mentioned was about one and a half clicks past the spaceport; if the diversionary section swept past the spaceport and continued on towards the center, they might be able to split Tolan's section off and conduct a classic hammer-and-anvil maneuver, allowing the strike team that engaged at the spaceport to reinforce whichever element needed it when they arrived.

"Alright," Storr said, confidence in his voice as he pointed to the mission advisor. "You've got lead of the rear element in the diversionary wing, designation Razor-Two. Sergeant Zaltin has lead of Razor-One and I'll take the spaceport strike element, designation Chaos." Checking the chronometer on his watch he pressed a button twice. "We'll be forming up and leaving in fifteen minutes. Be sure to place your communicator in covert mode, perform a quick LACES (Liquids, Ammunition, Communication/Casualties, Equipment, and Socks) check, and triple-check your IFF (Identification Friend-or-Foe) armband emitters...wouldn't want you getting shot in the back, now, Commander," he said with a smirk.

Tolan nodded and adjusted his communicator as Storr spoke as well as ensuring his IFF. He then returned Storr's smirk before setting off to prepare the Starfleet element for the assault on the command base.




Storr and Alpha fireteam leaned against the berm, beyond which were the open pads of the spaceport. Phaser blasts plucked at the air and, though they were flying at a safe distance overhead, the Marines instinctively fanned out and cleared the berm with shoulders hunched, as if walking against a strong wind. A whorl of gray smoke rose from behind one of the alert bunkers, followed immediately by the explosion of an M-79 phase grenade. The shock was both visceral and smile-inducing to the MCO. Suddenly, one of the fighter craft was struck by a "golden BB", instantly rendering it to slag after the explosion rocked the flight pad and sprawled the marines onto their "fifth point of contact".

Quickly rising back to his feet and taking cover behind the now-warm fighter hulk, Storr yelled to Billings and Drex to flank the two Consortium members that were similarly taking cover behind a fighter while he laid down suppressive fire. The plan worked brilliantly as the two marines swept behind while the Consortium had their heads down...the poor bliksem never knew what hit them.

After several more tense moments of clearing the alert building, the spaceport was pacified. Two intelligence crewmen had been skulking behind the original berm, who now came forward and began exploiting what they could find. LCARS access panels, backup systems, schedules, troop dispositions...it was a treasure-trove of information that would give them additional strategic, operational, and even tactical advantage.

=/\=Chaos to Razor-One and Two, status report,=/\= the MCO said, the hint of a smile playing at his lips and curling across the communication.

=/\=Razor-One has nearly completed the encircling maneuver. Light resistance, mostly falling back upon contact. We're wrapping up a lot of territory, boss, but I don't want to run into an envelopment.=/\= Bella replied. Storr nodded at her transmission. He understood her concern and was glad (for the 2,592nd time) that he had made her his First Sergeant...her ability to translate tactical reality to strategic thought was a hard leap for most enlisted ground-pounders and she did it with style. And a punch to the stomach.

=/\=Roger, continue progress until we can link up at Point White. I'll divert to Objective Gold and call in Reaper for overwatch for you until I get there,=/\= Reaper was Commander Trevett and Garlake knew that they would do a great job in keeping the enemy away from his marines at the town center. As the square was a large, open area with a fountain and large blocks in the center (great for cover), the buildings surrounding it allowed for "no man's land" in between and lessened the potential for fratricide.

=/\=Yeah, if you can pull them away from 15 Forward or the Holodeck=/\= Bella retorted...Storr stifled a chuckle as the intel crew gave him a thumbs-up and he nodded in return.

=/\=From your lips to God's ear. We're moving now; see you in 20.=/\=




"How am I supposed to know what the bliksemse ding looks like?!" Storr bellowed. Things were not going well at the clinic. The trip there had been mostly uneventful, as had the forced entrance, though finding what Doctor O'Reilly wanted, however, was another matter. While her list had been very specific and even included pictures, the Gavarans nor Consortium had obviously consulted with standard Starfleet medical storage regulations.

"Don't you have a list?" Lance Sallows asked with a sheila-eating grin on his face, looking away from the window next to the wall he was leaning against. His high-powered rifle and additional battery packs were heavy and Captain Garlake didn't blame him for taking the moment to rest. Combat, though, wasn't the time for rest.

"Of course I have a list. I worry about the list and you worry about keeping your mark-one eyeballs out that window and shoulder off that wall. You keeping it up?"

"Aye, Captain," Sallows said with a mock salute before turning back towards the window. Storr thought for a short moment about taking that phaser rifle and shoving it up the Lance's poepol horizontally but decided that he had better give the good Doctor her supplies rather than yet another patient. Boxes, vials, tubes, and other various storage containers were scattered all throughout the area and the Marine Captain was starting to get peeved. And he only had 10 more minutes.




Tolan and his team - divided into two groups - left the base shortly after the Marines and headed towards the command base they aimed to seize. It was a tough assault but they steadily progressed towards their goal.

=/\="Force Alpha to Force Beta. What's your status?"=/\= Tolan asked.

Moments later the leader of Force Beta responded.

=/\="We're in position Commander - ready when you are"=/\=

Tolan nodded. =/\="Good work. Stand by and I'll give you the signal - Tolan out"=/\=

Tolan encouraged his team to drive forward and they successfully managed to capture the command post on the edge of the city - giving them unprecedented access to the enemy communications. Force Beta was waiting to take the Valkyrie base - although they were waiting for the signal from both Tolan and Trevett before assaulting the base. Tolan's squad was going to attack the command base and seize it - and it appeared that Consortium casualties were becoming heavier by the second.




For a moment the Marine CO philosophized. Was the object you were searching for in the last place you looked simply because you stopped looking or because there were literally no other places TO look? Glancing around the clinic, it appeared that it had been struck directly by a Class IV hurricane named "Garlake" and he had to surmise that the answer to his question was "both".

Placing the last of Cara's requested supplies into the assault pack on his back, Storr's communicator beeped to life.

=/\=Captain Garlake, this is Tolan...err, Razor-Two. We've retaken most of the command structure but we're surrounded by Consortium reinforcements. I'm not sure...=/\= the Suliban's transmission was cut short by an explosion and then went silent. Before Captain Garlake could even attempt to reestablish a comm link, his badge beeped again.

=/\=Chaos, Razor-One. We're pinned down here at Point White. If you're not too busy, I'd appreciate some help here,=/\= the 2/5 First Sergeant asked, the curtness of her request underlying its immediate nature.

Storr froze. He was roughly equidistant from both Tolan and Zaltin but couldn't be in two places at once. Tolan was a small-group tactics neophyte and likely needed his direct help but he also knew that Bella wouldn't ask if she didn't need him, and need him quickly. It also wasn't just the personalities but the objectives: Tolan was at the command center, which was a rich strategic target but nearly at the edge of the town while Bella's centrally located force held a much more vital position in relation to transportation.

"Boss, we've got movement coming from left to right...looks like Starfleet marines headed down the street towards Razor-One," the Trill intoned flatly. Everyone in that clinic knew that those marines were traitors, and not just to Starfleet but the Corp; and the Corp did not take turncoats idly. Drex spit on the ground in contempt and raised his phaser rifle, sighting down the barrel. "I've got a clean shot at what looks like the leader, a First Lieutenant,"

Garlake sighed and moved forward, his hand coming to rest on the barrel and slowly letting his weight move it down. "As much as we'd like to, we can't engage now and hope to reinforce either position. We'll have our revenge soon enough."

"Served cold?" Evan Muzika asked, always playing the clown as he poked Kargon in the ribs with his elbow, eliciting a chuckle from most everyone in the room save the stone-faced (and now snarling) Klingon.

"Alright ladies, enough. We need to double-time it to the command..." he sentence was cut off as his comm badge squawked to life.

=/\=Razor-Two to Chaos, you won't believe it but the natives here were restless and fell upon the Consortium troops with a vengeance. We've completely taken the complex here.=/\=

The MCO slowly nodded and looked out the window as the last of the traitors slipped from view.

"Looks like we'll get our revenge sooner than I thought..."




"Holy...!" Bella wasn't able to finish her sentence as the next round of incoming fire came in, chunks of ferrocrete and melted rebar flying through the air as the phaser blasts created yet more pockets in the retaining wall Bravo and half of Charlie fireteams were taking cover behind.

"Where's that air support?!" she yelled at no one in particular. The Marines were doing their best but for all intents and purposes, completely pinned down by what seemed to be an overwhelming force at the far end of the square.

As if summoned by mere words, the Valkyries (much like their mythological forebearers) of Commander Trevett's flight swept into the sky, several bolts flying from the craft and into the enemy position, eliciting a *whoop* from the marines of the 2/5. While a rivalry existed between the Marines and flyers (heck, between Marines and any non-Marines), when it came down to brass-tacks, the "Devil Dogs" knew that support came in many forms and that they could be just as professional and effective. In this case, the fire that rained from the sky was very professional...at striking their targets.

Suddenly, phaser fire began erupting from a building nearly 90 degrees to Bella's position and the main enemy force. While she was first hopeful that it was Storr coming to the fight, she cursed when the fire came their direction and her dashed her hopes.

=/\=Dammit, Garlake, where are you?!=/\= she yelled into the communicator, he words trying to out-shout that of the fireteams scrambling into newer, less covering positions.

=/\=Right here, Darling,=/\= came the reply. Simultaneously, phaser fire exploded from another building adjacent to the one that began firing just moments ago. The angles, however, were wrong.

=/\=Good timing, but bad position, as always,=/\= Sergeant Zaltin quipped with a grin.

Storr had to admit that she had him there; they couldn't get a good firing solution from the windows and if they fired *through* the walls, they threatened to bring the whole place down on their heads.

=/\=Chaos to Reaper, I need a gun run on the two-story building, adjacent my position bearing...051 mark 4.=/\= The building overlooked the courtyard in such a way that if the Consortium fighters inside maneuvered correctly, they would be able to fire straight down on Bella and the main element on the ground. The building was also adjacent to Storr's force...which meant that hitting it without injuring any Starfleet personnel would be one skuit of a shot.

=/\=Confirm coordinates?=/\= a Reaper pilot answered hesitantly. From the air, it was like trying to draw a laser-thin line between two friendly positions.

=/\=Confirmed,=/\= Storr replied, nodding to Alpha fireteam and motioning for the to take as much cover as they could. =/\=Bella, light 'em up.=/\= Laser designators from Bravo and Charlie fireteams illuminated the building as Reaper-Five banked hard right 60 degrees and rolled out on his strafing run. He took a breath as his finger rested on the firing switch.

=/\=Keep your heads down...=/\=

Reaper-Five's fire was right on the mark. As Bella watched the building be torn apart with a large grin on her face, she turned to Tarra Elderas of Charlie. "Don't try this at home!"




Storr and Bella stood over the holographic projection, much like the one that he had at the beginning of the operation. While the airstrike had helped solidify the marines' position in the town square, it was the eventual joining of the native Gavarans to Starfleet's cause that had broken the back of the Consortium garrison. After several hours of mop-up actions, virtually the entire city was back in Starfleet hands to include the fission plant. Intelligence troops were scouring the area for actionable data, operations troops were busy helping the natives with relief supplies, while engineers were repairing damaged infrastructure all the while Marines and security walked patrols against any remaining stay-behind enemy forces.

"The planet was taken with minimal losses and word is that there's weeks worth of Consortium intel for the spooks to sift through. Overall...a textbook performance," Captain Garlake said, a bittersweet smile on his face. There would be two more names to add to the wall on the Vindex but he knew that their sacrifices were not in vain...many lives were saved by their actions here. He just hoped that it was the beginning of the end of the Consortium here in the Gamma Quadrant, as they all could use some well-deserved sleep.

Eventually, Tolan's team had successfully reached their goal and also held one of the key command posts on the edge of the city - although now The Consortium's control on the planet had been lost he reached the control room of the command base and opened contact with the Vindex. His team had suffered injuries of various degrees but thankfully nobody had been killed.

=/\="Tolan to Vindex. We've taken control of the city"=/\= Tolan said.

Meanwhile with their mission accomplished Commander Trevett's squadron landed at the Valkyrie base on the surface - joining Force Beta and taking stock of what they and the 2/5 had achieved.

 

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