Soft Targets

Posted: April 22, 2014 by writingsprint in Dubrillion Burning, Science fiction
Tags: , , , , , ,

Air Force female sniperPost #17 in the Dubrillion Burning series

Risha took a breath. She turned back to the map of the planet. “As I see it, once we’re on Dubrillion, these are our priorities.

“First. Help to neutralize the plasma bombs, if there’s any way we can. Until we have intel on where they are I don’t see what we can do.

“Next, hit sensitive targets to hamstring the Loyalist forces. Our best bet for that is these — open file, target one.” The holo of Dubrillion was replaced with imagery of an armored antenna array. Three domes, covering hexagonal plates facing in all directions. They looked like a football inside a football, where the outer layer was two layers of plasteel. “These are command and control nodes for Loyalist forces in the field. They’re Republic military restricted issue, which means they’ve been under trade sanction by Senate order ever since civil war broke out three months ago.” Risha looked at her audience. “They’re expensive, fragile, and the Loyalists won’t be able to replace them.”

Bowdaar said that the Loyalists would just use whatever they had for backup equipment.

“They will. It’s crap and it’s easier to jam and decrypt than the previous-generation comms the Rebels are using.”

“How do you know all this?” Jeana asked.

Raffa smiled. “Imperial tactics. It’s what your troops did in the end game on Corellia. Drove the Republic army bonkers. Lucky for us, the resistance finished the fight before it got worse.”

Vette nudged Jeana. “Steal from the best, I always say.”

Risha said, “Target two.” The image changed to a sensor package. An oval, rotating dish emitted pulses at one-second intervals. “These are the targeting systems for anti-air batteries. The dish could have half of it shot away and it would still function.” Risha tapped the holo. It zoomed in on the antenna to its left. “Take out the primary antenna, and the secondary only has two-thirds the range and half the bandwidth. Not as expensive, not as rare, but it’s an easy target and replacing it means taking the system offline.”

Jeana nodded.

“Target three.” The image changed to a droid, hovering on repulsors, with transmitters on six sides of it. It looked to be about three feet wide. “Relay drone, boosting signals to combat droids on the front line. Take these out and droids in the area lose about 20% of their combat effectiveness.”

Bowdaar rumbled that those could always be replaced, but it was an easy target if they could get close.

Risha said, “That’s what all these targets have in common. The first two can be disabled by a sharpshooter with an anti-materiel rifle. The third, anybody can take out, if you can get to its location. We need to be where the Loyalists will be too busy with the Rebels to look for a small team.”

“Which battlefield?” Jeana asked.

“Glad you asked.” To the holo, Risha said, “City of Cainar, satellite elevation, show troop positions.” A schematic view of a fairly large coastal city appeared, with red and blue blocks surrounding it. Pulsing arrows showed where the blocks were maneuvering and fighting each other. “House Montari is currently in a four-way battle with Houses Da Res, Locke and Widom for control of this city. Cainar has an excellent deep-water port, a good-sized space port, and one could argue the best place to land a military force in all of Montari territory.”

Tech? We’re talking about tech?

This scene is the first evolution of yesterday’s post. I added the special effects on the targets to jazz up the scene and make it more visual. The commentary from Vette, Bowdaar and Raffa is there because some of it’s needed and so that the scene doesn’t come off like a classroom lecture.

This is where knowing your audience and knowing yourself comes into play. There are people out there who like to read about hardware. Also strategy and planning. The story is meant to be a character-driven adventure. I like characters, with the hardware and planning laid on with as light a brush as I can.

I’m starting to worry that the story’s getting too big. Well, it’s a planetary war; what did I expect? Somehow, I need to keep the focus on the characters. Maybe I should read Band of Brothers. I watched the miniseries and it was an amazing way to show a worldwide event through the eyes of a handful of people. I thought Enemy at the Gates was an interesting way to show the Battle of Stalingrad, too. Two elements that the movie has in common with this story: Vasily Zaitsev was a sniper, like Risha is, and most of the action of the movie is the cat-and-mouse style that would fit here.

Ever been in an argument, debate, or presentation, and have someone nail you in your weakest point? Were you ready for it? How did it go?

US Air Force photo, public domain, author Chief Master Sgt. Gary Emery

  1. A.D. Everard says:

    Can’t help you on your question – but then, hey, I’m a hermit. I argue with myself occasionally, but I always win. 🙂 🙂 🙂


    • You may be a “hermit” but you have a crazy-adventurous imagination! I’ve been on teams that were nailed a few times. I’ve seen people lie through their teeth and others who fought the good fight — and I’ve been both succeed and fail. I think the key is to shoot straight. The ones who did always fared better than those who didn’t.


  2. The sad thing is that in a big company — or at least some big companies — many of the higher-ups only care about results. Honor and dignity only matter to the ones who care about honor and dignity. Now, that said, I’ve learned that honor and dignity are the only things that will keep good results going. People who use other people lose their personnel because they either grind them into the ground or the good ones abandon ship as soon as they can. People who work with integrity, who treat their people with dignity, can keep it going forever.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s