Eighth Battle of the Keltros Expanse

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Eighth Battle of the Keltros Expanse
Conflict:Hapan Civil War
Date:November 23, 3993
Place:Keltros Expanse, Rifle Worlds
Outcome:Phoenix Movement victory.
Balance of power in the Rifle Worlds tilted.
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Combatants

Phoenix Movement

Draconian Union

Commanders
Strength
Casualties

The Eighth Battle of the Keltros Expanse was the result of an elaborate trap set by the Phoenix Movement in order to lure in and destroy the 5th Draconian Order's flagship, the Tractia Heavy Cruiser Fist of Ci'hani. It was an important battle which tilted the balance of power in the southern part of the Rifle Worlds region.

Contents

Overview

Preparation

The leadership of the Phoenix Movement worried about the Fist of Ci'hani as it was one of the few Tractia Heavy Cruisers used primarily in an offensive role. It had a habit of showing up where it was least expected, turning entire unexpecting fleets to space dust. Therefore the leadership of the Movement laid down an elaborate plan to destroy the ship with a minimal amount of casualties.

Ionic storms had increased in the Keltros Expanse, arguably one of the most dangerous regions of the Hapes Cluster, and the red giant in the area, Eye of Rel'amma, functioned as a natural amplifier for the storms. Remiel Windcloud devised a plan which relied on the Fist of Ci'hani being hit by one of the ionic disturbances. Instead of using capital ships to attack the Tractia Heavy Cruiser, Windcloud advocated the use of starfighters, primarily bombers, which was also supported by Phoenix fighter ace Damar Centii.

Phoenix agents used the remnants of their spy network within the Alsace system, where the Fist of Ci'hani occasionally made port when patrolling in the Irrea Mist, to spread the rumour of a secret Phoenix Movement supply depot within the Keltros Expanse. Holograms of actual Phoenix Movement outposts in other regions of the Hapes Cluster were used to add validity to the forged reports.

Viscountess Qen, Vice Admiral of the 5th Draconian Order and also the commander of the Fist of Ci'hani, got whiff of the outpost rumours in early October of 3993. She met with Lady Shaa of Alsace and her direct superior, Lady Ci'hani of Varn, to discuss the possibility of scouting the region for the outpost. Meanwhile, operatives of the Phoenix Movement planted a homing beacon onboard the cruiser in order to track its movements in search of the base.

Fist of Ci'hani on approach

Path of the Fist of Ci'hani between October 17 and November 23.

With approval from the nobility, Qen took the Fist of Ci'hani out of port in mid October and started an extensive trip along the Nele'serin Arm. It made brief hyperjumps and frequently experienced extensive engine problems due to the density of the Transitory Mists in the area. It circled the Eye of Rel'amma on several occasions as it scouted for the base, unaware of the Phoenix Wing fighters which were carefully stalking it, avoiding detection thanks to the radiation in the region.

On November 17 the Fist of Ci'hani started to venture through the Keltros Expanse, still making brief hyper jumps. It made a turn on November 22, coming back towards the Eye of Rel'amma when it was struck by a powerful ionic storm. Most of the ship's systems experienced a massive overload and it was dead in the water. Vice Admiral Viscountess Qen ordered repairs to begin immediately and had the docking bay blast doors closed in case the magnetic field collapsed.

Ambush

On November 23, Phoenix Wing dropped out of hyperspace in close proximity to the cruiser and began bombarding it with missiles and blaster fire. The Fist of Ci'hani crew had managed to repair a small percentage of the weapon systems, enabling it to fight back, but it was useless. While destroying several enemy fighters, the cruiser was virtually defenseless as it was unable to launch its defensive starfighters.

The Phoenix Druui Assault Bombers launched several RAGoC 170-X warheads which penetrated the hull of the cruiser and destroyed it with all hands.

Aftermath

The destruction of a Draconian flagship cruiser tilted the balance of power within the southern Rifle Worlds region where the Fist of Ci'hani had been the last major threat to the Phoenix Movement's operations. It did, however, have its price for the Phoenix Movement as well.

The ambush earned both Damar Cantii and Remiel Windcloud high priority death warrants within the Draconian Union, something they both liked to boast about. Eager to avenge the ship's destruction, Lady Ci'hani assigned Draconian fighter ace Grand Marshal Trini'qar to capture the culprits. She managed to destroy most of the Phoenix Wing the following year and captured Damar Cantii. He was publically executed by the Draconian Union shortly after.

See Also

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