Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tarsis Evacuation Begins

Having rescued the greater part of their forces from the orbital docks, the Imperium began the next phase of their evacuation plans. While the Imperial fleet recovered from the mauling given to them by the Tau, the Imperial forces in the remaining loyalist held areas of Tarsis Major began enacting the Emperor's command to deny the remainder of the planet to the Tau.

Imperial forces systematically began destroying the industries of northern Tuva and Sartano, ripping down factories and destroying the production facilities of the north and the far south. Little or no consideration was given to the plight of the population of the region, as General Cunningham's forces' actions ensured that once the Imperium finally withdrew from the planet theirs would be an existence of misery and want. Adeptus Arbites forces just managed to keep local rebellions intact, but hundreds were executed to keep the Pax Imperialis.

The Tau quickly realised what was going on and commander Shadowstrike immediately pulled together his forces for an immediate attack. Time was of the essence and his forces had to grasp as much of the remaining Imperial zones before their infrastructure was irrevocably destroyed.

Shadowstrike mounted a successful invasion of Sartano, taking the small and strategically less important Imperial zone of control, but in the north, Cunningham had expected the Tau reaction. The alien attack quickly came up against stoic Imperial resistance and casualties mounted on both sides. This time however the Tau were prepared to throw themselves at their enemies, headless of the losses. As the Imperial defenders grimly hung on to the northern industrial zones, Shadowstrike threw in his reserves in a last desperate gamble to take them before the last factory was razed to the ground.

For days the offensive hung in the balance. The Imperial Guard, particularly the 101st Librian regiment took horrendous casualties but would not yield. Eventually however, on 1703.011M42 General Cunningham finally allowed the battered remnants of his forces to retreat north into the Calder Peninsular. The now mostly smoking ruins of the Grenton mines and the industrial zones of the region were grudgingly given up to the Tau.

For Shadowstrike the result was disappointing as much of the resources of Tuva had been lost, but now Cunningham had fewer than half a million troops and barely any equipment to mount a last ditch defence of Coldside. His forces needed evacuating soon or face total destruction at the hands of the Tau. Cunningham began to consider whether he would allow his forces to surrender or fight to the death...

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