Challenge #02343-F153: To Fill the Serried RankssteemCreated with Sketch.

in #fiction5 years ago

Duty, Honor, Sacrifice.
I don't know if you have heard of Saragarhi before, but it would be nice to see a story from you over the subject.
Have a nice day. -- Anon Guest

[AN: I've seen the Extra History on the topic. It's a tragedy]

It was a small station. Only meant to relay information from one defensive outpost to another. Most of the staff there were locals, and they had allied with the Galactic Alliance for convenience's sake more than anything else. There, on the border, Relay Station 54R4-G4R81 faced what every border has faced since time immemorial. Raiders coming from outside the border.

There were more of them than the defences could handle. Long range scanners on the defensive outposts said that this raid wasn't merely raiding. They had to be working on an all-out attack, and they were headed straight for 54R4-G4R81, the weak point in the defensive line. The plan had to be to destroy Relay Station 54R4-G4R81, and then, once communication between the two fortifications was weakened and their scanner array broken, pick off the defensive fort stations one by one.

After that, they could go where they liked, and do whatever they liked to whomever they liked without fear of retribution. The distant forces of the Allied Spacefleets were busy quelling other fires on other borders caused by other raiders, they never had enough ships. Therefore, the local fleets were all 54R4-G4R81 had to rely on, and they were too far away to be very useful.

All this, their commanding officer explained to the crew. They each had a choice. Leave their post and warn their host system, friends and family, or stay and offer what resistance they could, right up until the bitter end. Re-enforcements would be arriving from the fort stations, but they would be arriving too late to help anyone in 54R4-G4R81. Right at that moment, they were scrambling the fastest carriers, crews of fighters, the best they could spare, but they could get there no faster than CTL speeds, which meant they would arrive after the raiding parties had overwhelmed 54R4-G4R81's defences and killed the crew.

Not one crewperson left for the evac ships. They gathered together everything they could turn into a weapon - even the evac ships - and spent most of their time making sure that the Raiders would pay dearly for every inch. Piercing weapons coated in peanut oil, booby-trapped airlocks, booby-trapped doors and elevators, and in every hall, people willing to fight with everything they had.

In order to cut off communications between the stations, the Raiders had to physically sabotage the central comms hub of 54R4-G4R81, because if it was rendered inoperable by combat, the alert would go out across all neighbouring systems, there to spread virally across every other comms relay station like this one. They had to get to the hub and shut it down in a way that made the automated safety systems think it was a perfectly reasonable way to shut down.

In order to do that, they merely had to overwhelm the existing defences, make it past the booby-trapped airlocks, survive a crew who was willing to fight to the death, and all their toxic, terrible, and torturous traps. This was, of course, the furthest thing from 'easy peasy' as one could get. The crew of Relay Station 54R4-G4R81 made certain almost a hundred Raiders paid with their lives before they paid with their own. This included rigging their livesuits with 'dead man' switches and explosives in order to knock out as many of the surrounding horde as they could.

Bulwark by bulwark, crewmember by crewmember, the Raiders gained ground. The staff of 54R4-G4R81 knew they would, yet they fought on. They activated bombs that would impair the Raider vessels and create a cloud of razor-sharp chaff that would impede other Raiders from docking. They employed chemical weapons made from ordinary, everyday cleaning products. They used everything they had until they had nothing left, and even then, used their deaths to take down as many Raiders as they could.

Comms Officer Davril kept a constant stream of updates for the fort stations and the approaching ships. Right up until the raiders were at her welded-shut door. After she attained permission to pull the wires and set off the alarm that the Raiders had hoped to prevent, she sent four final words.

It's been an honour.

Securicam footage shows Davril pulling the wires and turning that motion into a rude gesture for the Raiders watching through the combat-rated windows. She then pulled her weapons, armed her switch, and waited calmly for the first of them to burn through. The black box in her livesuit recorded her repeating a mantra from the pre-Shattering era of 2D entertainments. One adjusted slightly for the situation.

"I'm not stupid. I'm not expendable. I'm not going easy," she said. Over and over. "I'm not stupid. I'm not expendable. I'm not going easy..." as she fired lethal energy blasts through the hole in the wall. "I'm not stupid," as she ran out of battery power and switched to her field blade and dagger. "I'm not expendable," as the hundreds overwhelmed her and she still cut into as many of them as she could. "I'm not going easy."

One hour before the local forces arrived, three days before the closest ships in the Alliance Fleet could get there, and two months before the heavy hitters of the Fleet could arrive to permanently discourage the Raiders once and for all... Comms Officer Lavendar Davril exploded, sending shrapnel into three hundred Raiders who had filled the room.

They didn't kill all of them, those in the raiding party who had survived a frankly heinous amount of destructive traps did not show as great a will to fight when the local enforcers surrounded them and demanded surrender. The fight had gone out of them by the time the Alliance Fleet dealt with the last of them. It was understandable. They had picked 54R4-G4R81 because it was under-staffed, under-defended, and an obvious weak point in the Alliance border.

They had found that even the weakest parts of the Alliance were stronger than they thought. They had paid for this knowledge with their lives.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / NASAimages]

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Have a nice day and sincerely yours,

Oof that was a bit of a Shakespearean tragedy. And probably one for the history books/archives/whatever it is they use? :)

It's a textbook entry in strategic battle classes. The horrors that used to happen before technology rendered combat obsolete.

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