Sunday, June 06, 2010

Tarsis Major: Battle of Fort Frontera

After a long period of stalemate the recent gains on Tarsis had been lost to a renewed Imperial offensive. As it began to gather momentum the Tau coalition on Tarsis received fresh re-enforcements. The Ethereals had decreed that whilst the Tau held overall control of Tarsis the continuing low level war was becoming a drain on the Empire's limited resources and that the Greater Good could best be served by bringing the war to a swift and decisive end.

With the material to launch a significant offensive at last at his disposal Commander Shadowstrike devised a plan to turn the Imperium's successful offensive against them. Predictably the humans, with their obsession on claiming territory and locations of political significance were grinding towards the planetary capital, Tarsis Prime. The drive was horribly vulnerable to encirclement but the Tau were prevented from exercising their air power by a newly constructed defence laser silo surrounded by a defensive bunker complex called Fort Frontera.

A contingent of Shadowstrike's own cadres and Commander Moonshine's newly arrived forces were tasked with capturing or eliminating the complex. An initial bombardment of guided seeker missiles destroyed some of the complex and forced its evacuation before the Tau attack commenced. As one of Shadowstrike's Emergent Crisis Cadres made its way through the ruins of the complex, one of Moonshine's more heavily equipped Heavy Blocking Cadres attacked across the planes to the south.

The attack began well as a blizzard of incoming missiles and railgun munitions suppressed the fort's garrison. But then orbital satellites and surveillance drones picked up an incoming wave of Valkyrie and Vendetta gunships scrambled to help the beleaguered garrison. The air caste were unable to intercept the attack whilst the fort was still active leaving Shadowstrike helpless to intervene. The initial blow was heavy as the airborne attack, Imperial commandos hiding within the ruined complex and fire from the heartened Librian's destroyed or incapacitated much of Shadowstrike's tank support. Shadowstrike's Kroot auxiliaries who had been spearheading the attack also suffered heavy casualties and were forced to retreat or face annihilation.

Just as it seemed that the attack would surely fail Moonshine's cadres responded. As they roared towards the bunker complex the Prozan's ran into a virtual wall of railgun and missile fire. Maintaining fire discipline the Tau brought down the Prozan gunships one after another whilst the Librians also began to suffer heavy losses to their tank formations. The fighting within the complex became brutal as Shadowstrike's suites and fire warriors, largely untouched by the Prozan attack, fell upon the confused survivors without mercy as they tried to escape the wreckage of their crashed gunships.

But despite the massive casualties taken by the Prozan cavalry and Librian tank regiments they had succeeded in blunting Shadowstrike's attack, allowing mechanised units of veteran Librian infantry to recapture the bunker housing the defence laser. Although they were trapped within the bunker by the resurgent Tau forces Shadowstrike knew the attack faced failure if the defence laser could not be neutralised. Understanding his duty to the greater good, the commander of one of Shadowstrike's last remaining hammerhead gunships rammed the defence laser itself, damaging it.

It wouldn't take long to repair but the Imperials would never get the chance. Mantas waiting at air bases around Silverbrook took to the skies to deliver their assault cadres to strategic points throughout the region. With the majority of strategic positions around Fort Frontera in Tau hands and the complex itself compromised the Librian's and last remnants of the Prozan cavalry withdrew rather than face encirclement and capture. Soon the Tau had regained the ground they had lost to the Imperial offensive and once more threatened the Grenton mines.

The Voice of Freedom!

In an attempt to bring the war to a swift end and secure support amongst the civilian population and weary guard regiments the Tau water caste have launched “Vox Freedom”. Despite constant attempts by Imperial intelligence to jam the transmissions Vox Freedom continues to broadcast its unique mix of news, current affairs, music and documentaries about the amazing lifestyle enjoyed by the citizen's in Tau occupied territory.

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