Hive Razzix springs into action!
|Part 1: Plan “T”
Spree was standing completely still on the bridge of his Hammerhead frigate. There were lots of problems with his participation in this engagement. His advisors recommended combat, his hippocratic oath demanded peace and health, while his friendship wished to help. He stared at his datapad, fleet information reflecting off his large, compound eyes. His skin was an ashen, complacent blue; his attention was elsewhere.
A caped vratix in a metallic breastplate descending the stairs from the forward viewing deck caught Spree’s eye. It was his trusted advisor and fleet commander Channa Spince Razzix. Spree walked to meet his hive mate for a last-minute discussion of the “battle plans” currently on the table.
“Channa, are *click* you certain this is the best course of *buzz* action? Are you certain there *click* is no other way?”
“We rely on the skill of the *buzz* pale one, Artemis Morbus, to lead our fleet to *buzz* victory. However, your concern is well-*click*-placed. We believe there could be an *click* alternative to an all-out *buzz* assault on the Mandalorian roustabouts. Changing the plan so *buzz* late, while logical, may be interpreted as *buzz* a sign of cowardice or desertion.”
“I understand, but our *click* pilots are not trained for this sort of *click* offensive engagement… and they would do *buzz* little more than shatter small asteroids. Has ‘Strategy Cresh’ been finalized?”
“Negative, High Canir. We abandoned that strategy thirty standard *click* minutes ago. We are now *buzz* operating on ‘Strategy Trill’. It is the one *buzz* involving our third *click* party supporter. Their naval contribution is *buzz* robust, to say the *buzz* least. Their leader is *click* on standby, are *buzz* you prepared to speak with the *buzz* Captain?”
“I *click* am. Let us go to the private *buzz* viewing room.”
The two walk politely to the turbolift down to the private conference room on the lower deck of the bridge. After a short descent, the pair entered the small chamber. Channa took the liberty of switching on the holoscreen. Instantly, the upper half of a scruffy-looking Mon Calamari appeared before them. Its head bore many scars and sported an eyepatch over one of his bulbous eye sockets.
This must be the Captain, Spree thought.
Channa spoke up, its voice was respectful, yet terse, “We welcome *click* Captain Ogo Pry, captain of the Harkonnen and leader of the *click* Pry Ryders.”
Spree gave a shallow bow to the hologram, “It is *buzz* my pleasure to speak with you, Captain.”
“Likewise, doctor.” the Captain said proudly, “We are prepared to jump to hyperspace on your mark.” As he wrapped up his sentence, the Mon Calamari took a deep, almost gasping inhale--no doubt the sound of too much air flowing through the creature’s gills and throat.
“Your help is *buzz* greatly appreciated, and much needed. The situation *buzz* is more complicated now. We have *buzz* expanded our resources; we now possess two shield*click*ships and forty escape pods--all donated with no *click* expectation of safe return.”
The Captain gave a hearty belly laugh, “Ho ho ho! It sounds like you have met someone with a dispensable income! Do you have a plan for those?”
Spree glanced at Channa, who quickly spoke up: “We do, Captain. The shieldships will act as a *buzz* repulsor to any capital ship fire and provide cover for evacuating Morbus *click* ships. Our escape *click* pods will merely act as ‘extra asteroids’ to catch fire from *buzz* enemy snub fighters. Everything is *click* drone controlled through a three-core droid brain aboard a control ship just *buzz* at the edge of the sector.”
The Captain nodded to Channa, taking another slow gasping breath, “It seems you have quite the defensive strategy--very clever. We are more than capable of providing covering fire with our promised MC60 and fighters.” He paused, a strange smug smile forming on his rubbery face. “Shall we jump then? My crew and I are always looking for some naval warfare.”
Channa glanced back at Spree, who nodded. “We are *click* ready. The leader of the Morbus navy in this fight, Artemis Morbus, is our Commander. Once you arrive, we *click* will patch you through to him. Safe *click* travels.”
“See you soon. Pry out.”
The face of Captain Pry flickered and disappeared. The pair returned to the turbolift and began their ascent to the command deck. Their resources were assembled; now it was time to put them into play. Turning towards Channa, Spree patted his friend on the shoulder, “Soon you will *click* have your battle, Shipmaster. Prepare *click* yourself, *click* though, our allies are rumored to be quite enthusiastic *click* in combat.”
“We will *buzz* prove the Razzix Hive is resolute and *buzz* loyal.”
“Two things I *click* never thought I would need to prove.” Spree muttered.
Part 2: Sleight of Ship
Spree walked to the window of the Hammerhead’s command deck and gazed upon the massive asteroid field. Suddenly a trio of ships blinked into existence: two shieldships and a Corona. Spree’s new toys had arrived.
The shieldships were the first to move, leaving the Corona to sit behind them. Like huge umbrellas, the shieldships slowly opened their shield arrays and powered on. A strong yellow glow began to emanate from them--the light slowly crawled up their Corona companion’s hull, turning the ship’s durasteel grey hull into a heavenly gold. Spree turned to see Channa’s shiny compound eyes reflecting the sight. The vratix’s carapace had changed to a satisfied blue-green, and its emotionless face somehow seemed to beam with pride. The ships had been Channa’s idea, and it had earned this moment. Spree’s mandibles wiggled a bit, almost like a smirk, as he saw his companion’s disposition. Happy his Shipmaster was satisfied, Spree turned towards the window again and watched his Medicae Nebulon-b frigate break formation and slowly turn away from the asteroid field. The squad of Skipray blastboats previously escorting it began tucking away into its docking bay. He knew it looked like a retreat, and he was positive it would not be a boost for fleet morale, but those ships were only going to take up space and be destroyed if they remained in combat. He hoped his new acquisitions, battle plan, and allies would be enough. Now the only thing left was to notify Commander Morbus of his changed plans and watch his Hive pilots and engineers take on an asteroid field and a powerful navy.
Hive Razzix was not large. Displaced vratix trickled into the Phu sector as word of the hive’s existence spread around the Galaxy. Most members were not skilled in things other than hard labor. Those who did have skill in piloting, fleet organization, riflery, computers, or the like were hard to find. However, after over a year of “trickling”, Spree had enough specialists in his Hive that he could actually form a functioning military. Most of its members had seen little combat or had received inadequate training. Yes, Spree had bodies to fill ships--but aside from Channa and a handful of soldiers, his fighting force was not up to the standards that the Morbus creche required for this fight. So, instead of deploying his own “troops”, Spree enlisted the services and resources of an old friend. They would more than cover for his withdrawal.
As soon as Spree finished pondering, a rift in space opened and an MC60 cruiser popped into existence. The plans were drawn and the pieces were falling into place. Turning around, he motioned for Channa to follow him back to the holodeck. Once they were situated, Spree approached the communications terminal to contact Artemis. He took a deep, *buzz*ing breath to calm himself, then opened a transmission to the Morbus flagship: Dominus.
Part 3: Orders
Spree stood rigidly in place as the holocam turned on. In moments its lens was pointed directly at his emotionless visage. Once he was acknowledged, he gave his report:
“Greetings, Commander. My forces and *click* fleet are assembling--and we,” Spree motions to Channa, “are prepared to *click* give you a full strategic report. Do you *buzz* copy?”