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Cadet Cruise- Intro & Chapter 1- Yes It Really Is Happening



When the Alliance Civil War broke out 2549, the giant TranStellar corporations located in the Corporate Sector seceded from the Alliance and formed the Consolidated Federation (commonly called the ConFed).
The ConFed consisted of five huge TransStellar corporations: Nakajima, MilTech, Venture, предприятие (Enterprise) and Gradient plus hundreds of smaller subsidiaries located in the sector. Those five corporations alone accounted for almost thirty percent of the Alliance GNP. In the beginning they had a small edge in technology but that edge was fleeting.
The Corporate War took four long years of hard, bitter fighting. When it started neither side was ready for hostilities. Caught by surprise, both militaries struggled to adjust. The fighting was confused and sporadic. The two fleets fought a series of fierce, sharp inconclusive engagements between cruisers and destroyers.
When the Alliance was able to bring their new battle cruisers and carriers into the fight, the ConFed fleet was thrown back and finally destroyed at the Battle of Pelenor.
Historically the Corporate War was not much to brag about militarily on either side. At first it was a comedy of errors. Then it became a drama of attrition. Finally it became a matter of the weight of metal.
The Corporate War wasn’t all that interesting compared to what happened afterwards. The Alliance liberated millions of genetically engineered slaves. That’s when things got really interesting.








Chapter 1


Operation Downfall

Planet Pelanor
Corporate Sector
Closing days of the Corporate War, 2553


Gunnery Sergeant Kyle Jorgensen and his platoon were in cover behind a few big hills and some trees. Not that it was much cover but, some was always better than none. Their powered armor made them hard to kill, not invincible.


They all knew that the end was in sight. They had been fighting for days but their enemy was finally broken. Organized resistance was collapsing.


Jorgensen said, “McGee, put a drone up, I want to see what’s on the other side of this hill.”


“Launching now Gunny. The feed is on TAC 2.”


Jorgensen tapped into the channel and got a bird’s eye view of three of the enemies Thor type main battle tanks hulled down in revetments on the opposite slope. They weren’t moving and their IR signatures were cold. Had the enemy bugged out? He locked an invisible point of coded infra-red light on the tanks.


“Weapons platoon, I’m lasing three heavily armored targets on the opposite slope. Take them out.”


There was a loud whoosh as three anti-armor missiles took off, locked onto their targets and blew them into scrap.


The little drone continued to circle their part of the battlefield. That alone was unusual. Their battlefield life of a drone was usually measured in seconds. It flew in ever widening circles and no opposition was present. There was nothing between them and the big, mysterious complex that was their objective.


Since nothing had killed the drone, he decided to take it over the objective. What he saw wasn’t a huge surprise. There was a 10 meter concrete block wall that ran around the perimeter of the complex. There were numerous buildings of all sizes inside and what looked like a training area for soldiers.

Jorgensen changed channels to the company net and keyed his mike, “Saber this is Foxtrot.”


“Go for Foxtrot.”


“We’re moving in on objective designated Whiskey-6. I’ve got a drone up with no opposition and I’ve got good overheads on the objective.”


“Patch that feed through Foxtrot.”


Jorgensen patched the drone feed into the company net to give their intelligence officer a chance to get a look at the take.


A different voice came over the company net. Jorgensen immediately recognized Captain Sanchez’s voice: “Foxtrot, be advised you are closing on one of our primary objectives. Gunny, do you have an Ordnance & Demolition specialist attached?”


“That’s affirmative Saber.”


“Good.” There was a stir of activity in the background. An overhead map appeared in Jorgensen’s heads up display with one of the buildings in the complex highlighted. Captain Sanchez continued. “Gunny, I need for you to secure this building.”


Jorgensen said, “What about enemy personnel? It looks like they bugged out.”


Sanchez said, “We caught a whole bunch of the rat bastards and they are singing like canaries to avoid the hangman’s noose. They didn’t want us to take this complex in one piece. It has the evidence we need to nail MilTech’s senior management to the wall. I’m moving up Echo and Golf platoons to support you. I’ve also got air support on call. Get in there and secure that complex. This is the one we’ve been waiting for.”


Another voice came on the channel: “Foxtrot, this is Foil. The big independent complexes all have a fusion power plant. What they have done is to set the reactor to keep feeding deuterium into the reaction chamber and have shut down plasma venting. Eventually the containment bubble will explode and destroy the complex. We need to get into the control center and turn the reactor venting back on. Don’t worry- it takes about twenty hours for the reactor to go critical. You’ve got plenty of time. Just get in there and… keep your people together. You’re about to see some stuff that will probably shake them up.”


Jorgensen said, “Roger that Foil. I’m going to get my people organized and hit the objective in two mikes. Foxtrot out.”


Jorgensen changed the circuit to the platoon net and said, “All right guys. Battalion says that complex is a primary objective and they want it in one piece. Riuz: set up your squad on the hill top. I need your heavy weapons on overwatch. Everybody else, follow me and advance by squads move and cover. We’re going over that cinder block perimeter wall. Once we get inside, we are to secure the control center. Got it?”


His platoon answered as one, “Sir, yes sir.”


Ortega and his heavy weapons squad moved out to take up positions on the hill top. Jorgensen gave his platoon a minute and a half to set up and then he gave the order, “Move out!”


Jorgensen’s squad topped the hill with their battle armor at a full run. The ten Marines spread out quickly covering ground and using the battle armors sensors to look out for enemies. They took cover behind the burning abandoned tanks in their hulled down positions.


Second squad sprinted past their position under the protection of the guns of 1st squads and the heavy weapons squad. Finally 3rd squad passed their position and no fire had been encountered.


Once 2nd and 3rd squads were set, Jorgensen’s squad made the sprint to the cinder block wall. As soon as they were within 100 meters of the wall their suits gave them warning of a tight mine field.


His platoon stopped, fanned out in a ten meter wide line and deployed what appeared to be small rugs that rolled out all the way to the wall. Jorgensen yelled, “Fire in the hole!”


The mats erupted in a flash of dust and concussion. Debris and shrapnel from the mines pinged off their powered armor. They waited a moment to let the dust clear, swept the corridor they had created with their sensors and closed on the wall.


The wall was nothing special—just concrete blocks and cement. They placed a triple ring of det-cord on the wall and in another flash of cordite, they had a gate.


Jorgensen led his squad into the complex. They moved in, and found cover positions as the other three squads followed them in.


While the platoon was moving in he tapped into the Battalion net and said, “Saber this is Foxtrot. My platoon is entering objective Whiskey-6. I am proceeding to secure the complex and safe the reactor.”


“Roger that Foxtrot. Echo and Golf platoons are following you in. You are in tactical command of the site until relieved.”


Jorgensen changed to the platoon net and ordered, “OK, reset your weapons to stun. We need prisoners. Fan out and to your squad objectives. First squad on me- go, go, go!”


The complex was large, at least several square kilometers. The buildings were modular construction of the most modern types but the thing that struck Jorgensen was the huge drill field. It was like any other that Jorgensen had seen on at least a dozen postings. He could easily identify a rifle range, rope towers and a wicked looking obstacle course. That was just what he could see through the clutter of various buildings on the South side of the complex.


Ortega ran alongside Jorgensen, opened a side band and said, “Did we just invade a boot camp Gunny?”


Jorgensen said, “Sure looks like it. Doesn’t that obstacle course look fun?”


Ortega said, “Is this an obstacle course for short people?”


“We’ll figure it out later. Let’s get to the objective.”


Static came over the platoon network and a voice said, “This is squad 2. We have the utility building. The reactor is reading in the green. No contact.”


Jorgensen’s squad approached the Administration building at a full run. It was like all the rest of the buildings in the complex. The only thing that distinguished it from the others was the communication array on the roof and the plaque reading Palatine Hill Complex— Administration Building.


As the platoon closed on the structure, a number of muffled pistol shots were detected by their suits audio pick-ups. The shots were immediately classified by the suit AIs as a 10mm automatic pistol— nothing that their powered armor couldn’t handle with ease.


It took a few minutes to safely negotiate the halls of the building using move and cover techniques. They arrived to find a bloody mess.


Several company executives and uniformed security officers were very clearly dead. A man in a lab coat was bleeding out on the floor but wasn’t dead yet.


Ortega said, “We need a corpsman in here now!”


Jorgensen took a knee beside the man and said, “Take it easy, help is on the way.”


The man looked up at him and said, “I couldn’t let them kill my kids.”


The Gunnery Sergeant asked, “What are you talking about?”


The scientists coughed and blood ran down the corner of his mouth. “They wanted us to make super soldiers. Nothing worked until we tried the Gemini Project.” He coughed and wheezed and then continued, “They’re all just kids but… they’re too human for the Company. I’ve been opposing destroying them for months but, when our forces collapsed, there was nothing more I could do. I had to shoot them. In my pocket is a data crystal with everything you need— passwords, access controls and project information. Try to save my kids…”


The scientists eyes stared blankly and he stopped breathing. Ortega asked, “What the hell was that all about?”


Jorgensen took the data crystal from the scientists pocket and reached over and closed his eyes. “I don’t know but I think our lives just got more complicated. Copy this chip and send the data to HQ. Then we’re going to find a conference room and see what we’ve got.”


He took a moment to look at all of his platoon data feeds and keyed his mike, “Foxtrot lead to pack: we have taken the objective. Spread out, look out for surprises and secure the complex.”

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