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Fiction Archive: Semper Fi (By Ironwatsas)
Prologue: Borderlands

Planet Alsona, Ischar City, Nalthoran republic, a heavily populated industrial and agricultural world with a population of about four billion Hiigarans and Nalthorans, and governed jointly between Hiigara and Nalthor. In another age, it would be an ideal place for family life, with plentiful local employment, state of the art transit systems, large areas of protected wilderness, and a world virtually untouched by war.

However, even a place such as this is yet another front in the ongoing conflict.

A single nondiscript car drove through the pre morning darkness, sharing the highway with only a few tractor trailers and delivery vans. It's two occupants, one Hiigaran, one Nalthoran, while obviously not wanting to be awake at 4 in the morning, went about their duty as professional soldiers.

"So Kaz, what ever happened with that little tropical vacation of yours?" The Hiigaran man driving asked his alien counterpart.

"Ended too soon. Ya know, little fishing here, scuba diving there, almost caught a shark. But it was a bit overrated, better then running around in the desert with people shooting at you, but overrated nonetheless." The Nalthoran, Kaz, replied as he sipped his coffee.
"What about you, Mike? Where have you been for these past two months?"

The Hiigaran driver, Mikal, took a long sip of his own coffee before responding. "I get to spend my free time babysitting Cushan planetary security forces on Konal. That or getting my own war-bonds commercial. 'Be Patriotic, Be absolute, Buy a lisenced war-bond product. Just look for the official war-bond label at your local supermarket or department store' crap."

Kaz made the Nalthoran equivelent of a chuckle before sipping his coffee again. "Well, public affairs does have a bit of free time, doesen't it? Take the next exit."

Mikal changed lanes to exit the highway, turned to drive down a surface street and continued on. Several stoplights, obscene military acronyms, and one gas station later, they arrived at their destination, Joint planetary strategic command center, AKA Fort Reyjhak. The Nalthoran gatekeeper flagged them down and went to verify their I.D.

"Credentials?" The guard requested. Mikal leaned out of the car window and showed his and Kaz's ID cards. "You're clear, General Esrcal is waiting for you in building seven." The Guard waved them forward.

Mikal and Kaz parked their car, and went into the nondiscript brick building. The interior was largely deserted, with only a robotic janitor bot, several guards, and a few interns populated the interior. The two soldiers made their way up several floors and came to a door, one of several dozen identical ones along the hallway, labeled simply 'Briefing Room 4c'.

Kaz leaned his head into the door. Several Hiigaran and Nalthoran officers, plus several others with more ornate, cerimonial looking dress. "Ah, come in, come in." One of the Hiigaran officers asked. "Laidies and gentlemen, this is Commander Mikal Orlan Somtaaw and Keshg Kaz'uluai'nol."

"Hi there." Mikal motioned.

"Mikal, Kaz, these are 'diplomats' from the Ravinder Democratic Republic. Warmaster Iskandar Katazar, and Lady Kolso Oriina. They are why you are here." The Hiigaran colonel announced.

"A pleasure to meet you, I'm sure." Lady Kolso said, obviously forcing a smile.

"Now, to buisness. Warmaster Iskandar and Lady Kolso are here on the part of the Ravinder Democratic republic sub provinence of Iulcha, which is currently in a state of crisis. About three weeks ago..." The officer presiding activated a holographic projector, displaying several Vaygr Frigates and Fighters "...forces loyal to the Armada De Makaan 36th ACR and a significant ground force moved into Iulcha and have been evicting the RDR forces. Iulcha has been invaded and most of the Ravinder army has been routed from this area. There are still milita, police, and mercenary forces actively resisting the Vaygr operation. Ravinder space fleets are still at some fighting strength, but the AdM ounumbers them and has the proverbial 'high ground'."

Lady Kolso now stood up and switched to a strategic map of Iulcha's main continent. "The Vaygr have taken the planet without major damage. Most road and rail systems are intact and operable, there are at least ten full infantry and armored divisions on the surface. They've also secured most of the sea lanes and have captured several old Elyassian underwater bases, from which they are deploying submarines."

The hologram changed to a diagram of several types of Vaygr armored vehicles and aircraft.

"The Vaygr appear to be using a number of Taiidani built vehicles and tanks, and are definately readying for a prolonged stay. They're setting up anti orbital defences, strategic defence shields, and anti-ballistic missile Kinetic Kill munitions." Kolso outlined several defence positions on the strategic map.

The highest ranking Hiigaran General then stood from his chair. "The Ravinder democratic republic has formally requested our aid, and we are fully ready to deploy. Most of the Hiigaran naval forces are deployed in the Far eastern theatre and Operation Fallen Winter, so the Nalthoran fleet will lead the spaceborn portian of the assault. You however will be responsible for leading the Hiigaran Marine corps and Nalthoran Royal army respectively.
The mission objective is simple, Liberate Iulcha. However, due to the proximity to civilians, and potential ecological and infrastructural damage, orbital bombardment will be severely limited. Fortunately, the Vaygr have yet to fully set up proper orbital defences, so if we can dislodge the Vaygr fleet, we can land troops in the more remote part of the planet, IF we can co-ordinate it properly. This will be very dangerous, but nessiscary."

Warmaster Iskandar spoke again. "We wouldn't be asking you this if we could do it ourselves. Myself and Ms. Kolso will be your advisors for this operation. But we must leave now, if the Vaygr can assembal a solid anti orbital defence, your mission will be in jeapordy."

Kaz took another sip of coffee and replied. "Well, why are we sitting around here? I think it's time for a nice little war, don't you Mike?"

Mikal stood up and walked toward the door. "Sure, what are we waiting for. Let's ride."

Kaz and Mikal proceeded to their mission. Each knowing this wouldn't be easy, but there was no turning back. The two of them compiled their Stratplan paperwork, and within 45 minuites were driving toward the spaceport.

The Liberation of Iulcha was about to begin, and Kaz, Mikal, and the troops under their command would be thrust into the fray...

...Wether they liked it or not.
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