29 Before the Battle
[Damn it all.]
Those three words repeated themselves within Claire Woods's mind as she rushed on her way towards the War Room of Viridi's Pentagon, her personal secretary and her military escort diligently following behind her as they walked through the pristine white hallways of the building.
Just when she thought that she would finally get a moment of respite after she finally completed all the paperwork, planning and policies in relation to Melanie Menendez's implementation of martial law on the entire planet, another critical development forced Claire to return to the Pentagon when she was on her way home.
On she walked towards the War Room, multiple men and women, soldiers and politicians alike rushed back and forth the hallways in a hurry, much like Claire did.
Once she actually reached the War Room, she was met with an expansive room with multiple computer terminals lined up in neat rows, all of which had at least one person using them.
The military police who donned white full exo-suits stood guard at every entrance, doorway and junction, some even stood guard behind technicians and officials of significant status.
Due to the need for confidentiality, there was no source of natural lighting within the Pentagon's War Room. Instead light was provided artificially from the War Room's ceiling, through a single large 'sheet' that attached itself to the ceiling and provided light to everything below it.
The War Room itself actually consisted of two seperate compartments and levels.
The lower level contained all the lower level staff who worked tirelessly on the computer terminals, reading and analysing data. On the southern side of the lower level, there was a single large screen which took up much of the space on the southern side wall.
The higher level was officially known as the 'Theatre' and it was a single large compartment which lay suspended over the lower level at the northern wall. All of the Theatre's 'walls' consisted of reinforced glass, thus giving it a clear commanding view of the lower level and the large screen on the southern side.
As one would expect, the Theatre was where all the higher ranking executives of the Department for Defence convened to hold meetings and discussions with a single large table being placed in the direct center of the Theatre in order to accommodate these meetings.
When Claire entered the Theatre through the entrance hallway rather than the conjunction that connected the lower level and the Theatre, she was instantly recognised by all personnel within the Theatre and was administered the customary military salute.
"As you were."
After everyone returned to whatever duties they had attend to when Claire gave the order, the first object that drew her attention was the large screen of the War Room that stood opposite to the Theatre.
What she saw was enough to make her subconsciously gulp.
Projected on the screen was a live, real time satellite view of sector 49 of the wastelands.
The brown barren lands of the wasteland was dyed in a green and black colour by the orkkish hordes.
Although they looked like ants from this perspective, their way no denying the kind of threat that these 'ants' posed.
The green colour was provided by the innumerable orkks themselves while the black colour originated from the countless vehicles that they drove.
There were also numerous of scarlet red light in the sky would contrast against the green and black, explosions caused by the orkks for seemingly no reason.
These greens, reds and blacks would mesh together to make a sort of unorganised 'wave' that would undoubtedly crush everything in its path due to its sheer weight alone.
After Claire muttered to herself in disbelief in response to this incredible yet unimaginable sight, she quickly regained her senses before she approached a man who stood near the Theatre's glass wall with both of his hands held behind his back.
Although there were numerous other executive senior commanding officers and executives within the Theatre, since it was not a formal meeting, she was not required to talk with any of them, nor did she want to talk with any of them.
She only wanted to talk to the man who stood near the glass wall.
He wore a dark navy blue pseudo exo-suit, with a host of multiple rectangular badges attached to the left side of his chest while his hair was predominantly grey in colour, with only a sparse few black strands of hair spread out randomly across his head.
When Claire stood directly to his left with her hands also behind her back, he turned his head to face her before he spoke up and began the conversation.
"Quite a shit show isn't it?"
Claire herself continued to face forward and watch the screen when she gave her response.
"I will admit that it this is a different kind of shit show to what I've experienced before."
The man with greying hair sighed for a moment before he replied.
"Damn these greenskins and their bad timing. I was so close to retirement before they had to rear their ugly heads. What a mess."
"Either way, it's our duty to clean up this mess."
While Claire felt her heart rate increase, she still forced herself to maintain her calm and commanding disposition as she went to question the man.
"Will we still be able to conduct the proposed plan with their movements?"
The expression on his face turned grim when he responded.
"On their current route, we have calculated that the proposed plan should still be viable... However, there is a fair chance of the city 'Hache' being overrun by the orkks before the psionic strike team could arrive to lure the orkks."
Claire sensed the animosity within his voice when he mentioned the 'psionic strike team.' Evidently, he was not fond of the foreign psionics and in particular, their leader who has commandeered control over all of Viridi's military forces.
The animosity within his voice would only grow the more he referred to these psionics.
"Although our U.P. military garrison and the P.A.I.N. operatives have cooperated in the fortification of the Dardanelle Ravine in preparation for the ambush, for some reason, they still see it fit that they we are to be kept in the dark about the strike team."
Claire couldn't help shaking her head in disapproval when she heard what he had to say. With a slight sigh, she turned to face the man before she continued.
"I believe that I gave you the clearance to order bomber action from our flightcrafts as well as vanguard droid units to intercept the orkk forces should this situation ever occur?"
"The order is already being carried out. As we speak, around a thousand of our combat droids are already en route via dropship with a few dozen M9 'Valkyries' Gunships accompanying them. We believe that this force should halt their advance for at least a reasonable amount of time while the Valkyries can bleed off their strength."
This time, she heaved a sigh of relief in response to the man's words.
Even if the vanguard forces could only buy them a mere hour or two while the Valkyries could only chip a tiny fraction of the orkks forces away, that would still be enough for Claire.
However, not everyone shared the same sentiments as her.
Suddenly, without warning or introduction, the image of Melanie Menendez, the Silver Sparrow appeared on the bottom left hand side of the large screen of the War Room, taking up around one tenth of the screen.
The indifferent tone of her voice sounded condescending to Claire when Melanie spoke aloud within the War Room.
Apparently, not only did she have the ability to appear on the large screen as she wished, but she also had access to the War Room's speakers.
If Claire had to guess, then the Silver Sparrow would probably have access to the War Room's multiple listening devices as well.
"I have received reports that you sent a small droid vanguard unit along with a bomber squad to intercept the orkks. You are to recall and redeploy these forces at Dardanelle Ravine immediately."
"Wh-what on Earth! How do you have access to this transmission feed?"
The first thing that Claire did after Melanie's sudden intrusion was question how she was even able to appear in the War Room of the Pentagon in the first place, what was supposedly the most secure building within the entirety of Viridi.
"Ever since I declared Martial Law. Now recall those fighter crafts and droid vanguard units. No military action is to be taken against the orkks without my order. We will engage them at the Dardanelle Ravine and the Dardanelle Ravine only."
Melanie only answered their questions in her typical nonchalant manner, much to the annoyance of Claire and pretty much ever other executive military officer within the War Room. Nevertheless, Melanie still spoke in that manner when she continued.
"Any who disregard my orders will be in breech of Confederate Constitution and will be prosecuted by Confederate law enforcement and will be judged under the jurisdiction of Confederate law rather than their respective nation."
She paused for a short moment to make a long sliding glance at all the commanding officers within the War Room before she gave them a single sentence.
"And that includes military executives of high positions."
And the image of her on the screen disappeared just as quickly as she had suddenly appeared.
[That damned bitch... Who the hell does she think she is? This is our planet! Not hers! To think that she is even allowed to do this is inconceivable!]
Although Claire cursed the confederate psionic, she also knew that she was incapable of disobeying the orders of one whose authority superseded all of Viridi's government military executives despite technically being a foreigner who hailed from another end of the galaxy.
Such a system was a clear sign of the Intergalactic Terran Confederation's hegemony over all of its client nations.
But Claire could do nothing about the established constitution that held claim over all of human space.
In the end, she could only comply.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The combined sounds of engines screaming, guns blazing and orkks shouting were all music to Sedral Anuk Suntrida's ears.
As he sat atop his throne which itself sat atop his personal Tankk, Sedral's mouth twisted upwards into a hideous grin, revealing his assortment of sharp yellow teeth, none of which were of the same length or even appeared to adhere to a pattern.
His warband, the 'Sunstridaz' was currently on their way towards the nearest human city, full of skulls to smash and bones to break.
Although they didn't understand why the humans would bother build something as useless as a 'city' which was basically just a fort except not a fort because it was not good at killing things, they did understand that cities always had lots and lots of humans in them.
And lots of humans meant lots of fighting.
And every orkk loved a good fight.
However, on their way towards the nearest city, a pair of fast moving shimmering stars shot over their heads, blue tails following behind these two stars before they hit the earth at a spot not too far away from where the orkks currently were.
Suddenly, Sedral felt another image from his instincts.
They told him that there was a more fun fight to be had at the spot where those to stars landed.
With a large smile plastered across his face, Sedral screamed at the top of his lungs.
"Change uv plans boiz! Go ova 'der where da fly'n fire fingz went! Wwwaaaaaarrrggggg!!!"