Labor Day Offensive 2011: Siege of Barkon IV
Written by Josh Laury and Brian Mullins
Prelude to Barkon IV
While on a secret mission to locate a suitable secret base for the MFS Exploration to operate out of, we received an urgent message from Major General Rigel McBain. I summoned my Executive Officer, and Marine Detachment Commander, Colonel Robere DesMoulin to my ready room to receive MGen McBain's message. The following order from MGen McBain is designated Code Factor One. Proceed directly to Barkon IV. Upon arrival, an immediate presence of all available personnel is required to secure the Armor and MEKK factories on the outskirts of the city of Gordon. Our orders have been acknowledged, and I've ordered the Exploration to proceed to Barkon IV at best possible speed. Unfortunately, we're twelve hours away. I've ordered the senior staff to the conference room for a briefing.
Captain's Log: Supplemental
The senior staff has been briefed on the current situation; with whatever information we had available. It seems a group called "The Corporation” has hired a large number of mercenaries who have taken control of the planet from its inhabitants and have taken a large number of "political prisoners". Holding true to standard Maquis practices, communication and intelligence has failed. By the time we get to Barkon IV, what little information we have will be more than twelve hours old. We've addressed the orders received and all departments have submitted operational readiness reports, and Colonel DesMoulin is currently planning operations with the Marines Detachment we have onboard. The fear is, with such little intelligence provided, is this an exercise in futility? We'll do the best that we can, but this is one instance where we should hope for the best, but expect the worst. I've ordered Lieutenant Commander Martaya to perform constant sensor sweeps of Barkon IV once we get in range. Until then, I've ordered battle drills for the entire Exploration crew. One excellent piece of intelligence that MGen McBain provided to us was a possible deployment of some orbital weapons platforms in the general area above Gordon. Without confirmation we're assuming they are present and operational. I only pray that this cloaking device of ours will mask our presence. I'm not sure how well Terran Empire technology will hold up against some of our universes technology.
Arrival in the Barkon System (11 hours 30 minutes later)
With the Exploration being 30 minutes away from Barkon IV, I've ordered our shields to be raised and the Terran cloaking device to be activated. Although it completely hides our ship from all known sensor systems, our ship is still visible to the naked eye. Let's just hope no one is employing visual sensors. This is our first real combat operation using this Terran Empire ship. Lt. Commander Martaya has assured me that our transporters can't be detected by any of this universe's sensors. On a personal note, I really need to ask him how the hell he knows that. Assuming the transporters can't be detected, we just don't have the capacity to transport the entire combat force en mass in one or two shots. We're deploying the rest of the troops to the planet surface through the use of the two Terran Shock Troop Transports that were in the belly of this beast when we found her drifting in the Badlands. Thankfully, our two Imperial Fighters will escort them. While ground units perform operations outside of Gordon, the Exploration will remain in orbit of Barkon IV to provide orbital assault support.
Assault on Barkon IV
Marine Commander's Log
Military Intelligence has at least a 500-year history of being a contradiction. This holds true today. While the reports of possible orbital weapons platforms in our area proved to be true, their numbers and operational capabilities were underestimated. While the majority of my unit was able to land via transporters, both personnel and cargo, the Marines assigned to the troop transports weren't so lucky. One transport and the accompanying fighter were both destroyed. I lost 10% of my unit on that mistake. As the 310th landed outside of Gordon, we were immediately pinned down in the tree line south of the MEKK factory. To the east was an impassable rock formation, which left us only the south and west open to attack. I deployed our five companies in the only formation logistically possible, frontal assault with a westward flanking mission.
MEKK Factory Assault.
Col. DesMoulin establishes command post to the south-west. Fire teams deployed to provide covering fire while sniper teams get in position. Alpha and Delta companies begin flanking mission on the west providing mortar fire from behind tree line. Southern sniper teams successfully eliminate mercenary communications operators as Western mortar team’s pound entrenched units occupying outer perimeter. Col. DesMoulin retasks sniper teams to join the Western front in the hopes of eliminating available leadership. Mercenaries begin deploying in the North using MEKKs. Precision attacks from MEKKs destroy 2/3 of sniper and mortar teams. Col. DesMoulin orders a northerly retreat for the survivors while FCapt Laury calls on MFS Exploration to bombard MEKK coordinates. Collateral damage from orbital bombardment destroys North West corner of factory, destroys and disables active MEKKs, but also kills 2 platoons from Bravo company that were the last to reposition north. Southern fire teams begin forward assault, eliminating outside opposition. Charlie and Echo companies begin sweeping MEKK factory successfully killing all enemies within.
ARMOR Factory Assault.
Col. DesMoulin orders Charlie and Echo companies north towards the armor factory, leaving 1 platoon each to defend the MEKK factory. FCapt Laury directs the MFS Exploration to lower the yield of the armaments to cut down on collateral damage. All available units begin converging on Armor factory. Enemy units hole up in the factory, with sniper teams pinning down the 310th from every available window or opening. Col. DesMoulin has company commanders provide unit strength updates. Currently 40% KIA/MIA with additional 12% - 17& wounded. 310th begins regrouping action, but Alpha company gets bogged down from enemy fire and is cut off as survivors of Delta company retreat south. MFS Exploration reports to FCapt Laury that Merc reinforcements are arriving from the North East. Out-gunned and now out-numbered 3 to 1, stuck in an un-defendable position, we need to retreat, regroup, and reevaluate our effectiveness.
Marine Commander's Log
Our combat effectiveness is negligible. We can't hold the position. No indication of any reinforcements. FCapt. Laury and I discuss the ground situation. Then Laury drops the bomb. The Mercs, using Surface-to-Air/Space missile systems, began assaulting the Exploration once they triangulated the flight path of the troop transport ships. They fired blindly, but caused enough damage to bring down the cloak. The orbital platforms made a turkey shoot out of it. We both agree that we need to retreat. We transported all personnel from the MEKK factory. Once the last Marine was out, FCapt. Laury ordered the Exploration to fire upon the factory. If we can't have it, those bloody Mercs can't either. We demolished the factory to deprive the enemy of that resource. Kudos go to FCapt. Laury on the idea to use the explosion and smoke to provide cover while we beamed out. Unfortunately we were not able to get all of our troops out. But it was necessary to be able to escape without losing all hands. My fallen soldiers will not be forgotten and their deaths will not be in vain. The Corporation will pay for this!
Captain’s Personal Log:
We have failed in our operation. The problems began from the beginning. Colonel DesMoulin and I along with a contingency of troops beamed down to the surface and proceeded in setting up a command post and staging area. The only area we could use was a beach we detected to the south of the factories. The Mercenaries had transport inhibitors setup to prevent beaming into that area. As Commander Martaya had said they did not detect our transporters. But when the transports were descending the mercenaries used their surface to air weapons and opened fire on our ships. We lost one of our transports in the process. The remaining ships landed and we began to organize and begin our assault.
Our information on the terrain was partly correct in that fact that we have only one major route to pursue because the other route was blocked by an impassable rock formation. Plus these rock formations had major deposits of Kemosite, which blocked a lot of our sensor readings. So we were blind for the majority of the time. I had the Exploration sensor array connected to our tricorders but it didn’t help increase our range by much. Colonel DesMoulin led the troops while I assisted with the assault and helped co-ordinate the attack with the Exploration. After fighting relentlessly against overwhelming odds we managed to take the Armour factory. Only after I made a fatal mistake. I had the Exploration open fire on the factory with phasers and torpedoes. I had no idea how powerful these Terran weapons actually were. Commander Martaya tried to warn me but I made the order before listening. The barrage succeeded in destroying the defenses but in turn it killed a lot of our own men in the process. After securing the Armor factory we regrouped and began our assault on the MEKK factory. But the mercenaries had regrouped and now outnumbered us greatly. I had the Exploration reduce the power intensity of the phasers & torpedoes by half as to not kill our men but help soften the defenses. That partially succeeded but the mercenaries turned their surface to air weapons on the Exploration. They managed to hit the ship enough to cause issues with the cloaking device.
With a temporary failure in the cloak the Exploration became slightly visible to the Weapon platforms in orbit and they started to attack the ship. I had left my friend and assistant T’hai’la (3PO) in command of the bridge while we were all on the surface. He was having trouble doing evasive maneuvers while trying to keep within transporter range and being able to help assist in the assault. With the ship being attacked and being overrun by the mercenaries we had no choice but to fall back. If the ship were destroyed we would all have been killed. Before we retreated I ordered the Exploration to open fire full force on the MEKK factory to destroy it so it couldn’t be used. That succeeded and we destroyed the Armour factory when we abandoned it. Our retreat wasn’t as orderly as we would have liked because we were partially surrounded being hit from behind. Plus the mercenaries had reinforcements coming in. We didn’t have the time to get the transports back to the surface in time so we had to use the transporters. We began massive beam outs with all the transporters while being fired on from the surface and from orbit. We stayed as long as we could but we had to raise the shields and retreat. We managed to get a final 55 out of 165 that remained. We suffered major damage and had major casualties during the retreat but at least we somewhat succeeded in our mission but we also failed in our mission.
Captain’s Log: Supplemental
We have failed our mission. It was a victory in the aspect that we destroyed both factories so the mercenaries now no longer have them but we didn’t succeed in driving them from the planet. With most of our battle damaged repaired we are almost home and yet I feel uneasy. We lost the majority of our assault force and I cannot help but feel responsible for our failure. It was my own inexperience with this technology and knowing its power I caused the deaths of a lot of our men. The breakdown of communication and the lack of proper intelligence during this assault signaled defeat for us. I have received some partial transmissions from other Maquis ships that survived and it appears that we have failed in the overall objectives. I am not sure of that until I receive official word from General McBain. For now I have ordered Commander Martaya to organize a massive training exercise so we all can be properly trained in this mirror universe technology so we are better prepared for any future assaults. Once we return to Echo Base I am ordering massive repairs to the ship and ordering R&R for the whole crew. Though we may have lost they all worked bravely and gallantly.