Sunday, October 28, 2012

All-Natural Warfare

            General Verde surveyed his petty resources: the B-ranked heavy transport Coronado, swelling with two hundred veteran marines, Niña, a speed-class fighter mounted with a single plasma turret, Pinta, a sluggish bomber, and the light transport Madrid with a load of two nuclear-armed tanks.  The force would surely seem imposing to any of the surviving European factions he had dealt with at home, but here it was like an atheistic David seeking out Goliath.  It was all he was commissioned to capture an entire continent of the newly-terraformed Mars.
            Verde boarded Pinta with a grimace set solidly upon his face.  The interior was spacious enough for the journey.  Sparkling white walls formed a cube set apart from the pilot’s bay at the vessel’s head and the ammunition hold and cabins to its rear.  Half a dozen seats grew out of the far wall, yet only one was occupied.  In it sat the wily Colonel Rodriguez, his tactician.
            “General,” the Colonel stated.  He showed no further sign of deference.
            Verde scoffed under his breath.  “So they’ve finally decided to be rid of me, those blood-thirsty warmongers.  To think that I could besiege seven colonies with barely a city garrison.”
            The Colonel patted the seat beside him and waited for Verde to sit.  “You cannot give up hope so soon.  I have quite a few tricks for them.”
            Verde’s stomach lurched upward.  With the clicking of his restraints, the bomber had launched into the atmosphere without a delay.  Several minutes passed before his organs settled and his lips loosened.  “And what tricks, may I ask, are those?”
            The Colonel laughed.  “There’s a reason we could only fit two tanks on Madrid.  Our ammunition is not limited to simply nuclear warheads.  We have something far more dangerous.”
            “More dangerous?” Verde inquired.  He was almost as angry as confused.
            “A metric ton of static bombs and two of copper projectiles
            “What do you plan to do with that?”
            “Give them a storm they won’t soon forget.”
            Verde’s face dimmed from red to pink.  “You think that it could actually work?  Fire static bombs into the clouds and lightning rods into their colonies?”
            “How do you think I captured Paris with only a battery and two platoons?”  The Colonel was smiling in his twisted, weasel manner.
            “You never told me how you did it, now that I recall.”
            “It’s a hard concept to grasp, but it works.  We’ll still need to take the ground one mini-nuke at a time, as usual, although it’ll be a lot easier.  They can’t deploy their own troops when we’ve cut off all approaches with enough electricity to fry a fish at the bottom of a Pacific trench.”
            “And if that doesn’t work?”
            “Then the Spanish are rid of their old warhorse too stern to retire.”
            “Fair enough,” Verde said with a nod.  He closed his eyes.  “Wake me up when we land.  I’d like to see if you can pull this off.”

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