Suddenly one of the students whom were watching one of the vid screens on the wall shouted for every one to be quite. Soon everyone in the cafeteria was glued to the broadcast.
CINN NEWS FLASH CINN NEWS FLASH CINN NEWS FLASH
The Frankish navy has made a surprise attack on New Palestine. Initial reports are telling us that the orbital shipyards at New Palestine have been destroyed, along with all orbital defenses and system defense boats. CINN has just received word that the attacking Frankish fleet also dropped thermo-nuclear bombs on several cities on New Palestine. The list we are reading to you now are of the cities that we know have been hit, but it is not to be assumed to be a complete list. Arafat city, New Jericho, Ramallah by the Sea, and Druze Colony. The Confederation military is calling up all reserves and canceling all leaves. You are to report to your unit right away. In planetary news The Hausa world Military High Command is also calling up all reserves and canceling all leaves. If you are in the military you are to report to your unit commander immediately.
Hamza plucked his red tinted glasses off his face and turned to his best friend, since 2nd grade, and stuttered” Omar, cousin I am so sorry, I mean I am sure that he wasn’t there. He was probably in the field. You know how he is always out getting rock samples.”
“Omar isn’t your dad on New Palestine”? Asked Zainab a young co-ed that Omar and Hamza had in their Neo-Quantum Trigonometry class.
“Yeah his dad is on New Palestine, teaching geology at the university at Ramallah by the Sea. Now could you give us a moment.” Replied Hamza who now had taken Omar’s arm in his hand and was directing him out the door. More of their classmates started to offer words of sympathy or encouragement.
Omar’s tall and lanky frame came to a sudden halt. Causing an un-alert Hamza to almost trip over him.
“The time stamp on the pictures show that it was a weekday morning. He is teaching classes mornings during the week. He was there when Ramallah by the sea was hit.” Stated Omar adding “We are at war Hamza, and I am going to go down and to the military recruiter’s office and sign up.”
“We will sign up together” said Hamza with a big smile braking across his face., “because there is no way I am going to let you go off and get all the glory.”
When they got there they found the recruiter’s office was full.
“YOU DID WHAT!!!” yelled Khadija, Omar’s mom a tall thin woman wearing a black and gold outfit, at him.
“Hamza and I went down to the recruiter’s office and signed up.” Replied Omar nervously; this was not going at all as he had seen it in his mind. He had envisioned hi mother crying and grief stricken but proud, not blazing with anger.
“When you say recruiters, you mean you have signed up as dutronic robotic gardening equipment salesmen.” Said his mother with just a hint of sarcasm.
“No mother, Hamza and I went and signed up with “
“I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN BOY, I AM NOT STUPID.”
“Hamza and I …”
“I don’t care what Hamza does, I am not his mother. Now I forbid you to join the military. I have just lost your father, I am going to need help with your sisters,” she said gesturing to the 3 little girls who were sitting quietly on the living room’s old and worn couch.
“Mom, we already signed up. We are to report back to the recruiting station next Thursday to ship out for training.”
Khadija collapsed into the big black leather chair next to the couch, her head in her hands. It seemed that her anger had evaporated away and with it her strength. Her husband of twenty-four years dead and now her only son going off to fight in a war that had taken her by surprise. This was not how her life was supposed to be going, she thought. She had been inquiring about brides for her son and had expected to have him introduced to a few prospective brides when her husband had returned in 6 months. Now all her plans were shattered.
Khadija had Omar home for ten days and she made the most of it. Cooking all his favorite foods and letting him spend his days drinking tea and playing mancala with his sisters and friends. Omar figured he had gained two kilos by the time he reported to the military recruiter’s office, where they were given train tickets.
“Listen up, I am not your friend, I am not your mama, I am not your daddy, I am your training Sgt. I will be training you how to be Confederate Assault troops, the greatest type of soldier there is. I will train you how to use all sorts of different killing devices and in battlefield tactics. But most importantly I will teach who the enemy is, so that when you go into battle you will not hesitate, because if you hesitate you die”, roared training Sgt. Abdulkhareem.
Over the next several months Omar, Hamza and the other recruits learned how to use the G.A.R.-17; gauss assault rifle, as well as the V.R.F gauss gun. They learned to use grenades, mines, and seemingly every confederate infantry weapon in use. Spending hours each day on the firing range, with the hot sun beating down on them.
When it rained, as the military did not want to run the firing range in the downpour, they did physical training and practicing marching in formation. The military did not seem to care how wet they got.
They practiced hand-to-hand combat, knife fighting and use of the garrote until every muscle ached and they could do the movements in their sleep.
“Drop the garrote over his head and around his neck, partial twist of your body and pull. Done correctly the enemy’s head will come off”, barked Training Sgt. Abdulkhareem white teeth gleaming.
Omar and the other recruits could hear training Sgt. Abdulkhareem in their sleep howling at them, “Wrong, now you are dead. Do it again!”
After graduation from the weapons school they went straight to drop school. They did parachute jumps and specialized HALO jumps for 3 weeks, then after a week of classroom instruction they went up the space elevator, they climbed aboard the C.S.S. West Wind, loaded into drop pods and made their first orbital assault insertion. They made one more drop and then had their graduation ceremony.
Omar’s Mom and sisters came with Hamza’s parents and brother. They all remarked how they looked older and seemed more mature. Mostly Omar and Hamza just felt tired, but they also felt confident in their new abilities and skills.
At the age of 63, General Al-Jaber was old enough to be the grandfather of most of the men in the 3rd Assault Division. He still kept his 2.1 meter frame in trim fighting shape by jogging and swimming every day, but even with that age had caught up with him some what and took out the reading glasses, that he hated that he had to have, to read his speech notes.
“Assalam Alaikum” Said General Al-Jaber.
“Alaikum Assalam” replied 20 thousand soldiers.
“Bismillah Rahim Raham, five months ago military vessels belonging to the Frankish Empire attacked the Confederation, but they were not being content with destroying the military sites in the New Palestine star system. Oh no, they also nuked the eight largest cities on the prime planet. Now since that time we have fought two major battles and several smaller skirmishes, with raids going back and forth. The last major battle was a major attack by the Franks on New Kelantan and gentlemen, the Franks were crushed. All of the Frankish capitol ships participating in the raid were destroyed. A complete victory for the Confederation. Now the Franks are still in the fight and they have just finalized an alliance with the Unity of Saints. An Alliance, which we shall nullify with one bold strike. You will leave this assembly gather your gear, for in 6 hours you will be taking the elevator up to a top of the line Crocotta class assault troop transport” the General paused looking up from his notes at the sea of faces and exclaimed “Takbir”
20 thousand voices replied “Allahu Akbar”
“You are dismissed.”
Omar and Hamza crowded on to the elevator car with a thousand of their fellow soldiers, combat armor on and packs on their backs. They would have their G.A.R.-17s issued to them once they got on board the C.S.S. Cairo, The Crocotta class assault ship which would transport them.
Once they and the rest of the assault divisions were loaded onto the transports, each platoon gathered around its Lieutenant who then ripped open their sealed orders and read them to the men. The Confederation High Command was making an attack on Zarahemla prime. The 7th fleet would slide into the Zarahamla Star system first and then they, 250,000 assault troops being escorted by 2 Bahamut class battleships and 4 Quyata class heavy cruisers, would come into after most of the Unity system defense ships had been destroyed or disabled. The assault ships were then to establish a low orbit and the assault troops would go down in drop ships. The soldiers also learned that the assault troops from Hausa world had been chosen to make the assault on Zarahemla Prime for a very special reason. Zarahemla Prime’s air was of a similar composition as Hausa world, 50% Carbon Dioxide. As all of the Hausa had been genetically modified generations ago so that they could breath the air, they would not have to wear any special type of respirators. The Unity defenders would be wearing such devices, as genetic modification of human beings was illegal in the Unity. All the cities and towns on Zarahemla Prime were domed.
86 hours after receiving their orders the lead battleship, the CSS Kuwait led the assault group to their slide point and opened up a worm hole which the group slid through to the Zarahemla star system.
The order was given, Omar and the rest of his company assembled outside of their drop pods with all of their equipment. The captain then ordered them into their drop pods and then added, “Remember your training and you will survive. Remember Allah and you will be victorious regardless of the battle’s out come.”
Omar got into his drop pod and strapped himself in. He read the engraved plate, which was just above the go no-go lights in his drop pod. It was a hadith and read ‘The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once saw the corpse of a woman who had been killed during a battle. He disapproved of it and forbade the killing of women and children.’ It was a final reminder to the assault troops of how they were expected to conduct themselves during combat. The green go light came on and Omar feeling his stomach doing flip-flops recited the basmallah as he pressed the launch button.
The steering rockets fired and he felt the drop pod hit the atmosphere. The pod started to heat up for a short time and then the jerk of the main shoot being deployed, activated automatically by the pod’s altimeter. During this stage Omar knew he was most vulnerable, for even with the pod being invisible to radar and as the heat shield fell away, invisible to infrared the pod could still be seen by the naked eye. The shoot was sky blue but the pod was a dark grey. Attempts at painting them just had the paint burn off during entry.
Moving cautiously through the forest it took him only a few minutes before he came upon the rally point. The Captain was there giving out assignments.
“Omar get over “ordered Captain Khalid, “don’t have a mortar with you?”
“You did not happen to see any of the mortar teams when you were making your way here, did you”
“Alhamdulilah! Where are those mortar teams, listen Omar I want you to grab Hamza, Takir and Hussain and try to get up to the road. Hamza has a Laser spotter and we got Jinn Bombers entering the atmosphere now. They are going to do us a fly over. There is a Unity armored column coming down the road and you guys are going to spot it for the bombers, alright.”
Omar found the other men and they started towards the road. Hamza explained to him that something with the drop pods navigation systems had malfunctioned and they were twenty kilometers south of where they were supposed to be. So, while they had been screaming through the atmosphere hoping their feet did not burn off, the drop ships had unloaded the armor in the right place. The eyes in the sky had discovered that there was a Unity armor unit between them and the confederate armored unit whom they were supposed to be scouting a path towards the capitol. They could hear gunfire erupting south and west of them as Unity Para-military forces engaged the invading confederate army.
It wasn’t long before they saw the enemy tanks moving down the road towards them. Hamza trained the laser spotter on the second tank as Takir made a radio flash signal to the Jinn attack bombers. 10 seconds later the whole road seemed to explode as hundreds of bomblets rained down on the armored column. They never even saw the Jinn bombers.
“Hamza’s hit,” yelled Jakir as he returned fire at the Unity defenders.
“I ‘m alright” shouted Hamza after rolling behind a tree, “Alhamdulilah I’m alright, but the laser spotter is broken.”
Omar fired two grenades from the under slung grenade launcher on his G.A.R-17 and made a mad dash towards Hamza. While Hamza zeroed in on the Unity defenders and started putting 14mm rounds into them, Omar tried to see if he could fix the laser spotter. He quickly came to the irrefutable conclusion that he could not. The laser spotter had been hit by a round meant for Hamza and had broken in to two pieces, electronic components inside were shattered.
Omar looked at Hamza and announced “It looks like the spotter has given its life for the Confederation. We don’t have another one, do we?”
“Didn’t think so. Alright we have to come up with another plan.” Said Omar glancing around the huge tree he and Hamza were using as cover. He had come to realize that in the last few minutes that the Unity return fire had significantly dropped off. “Look I took out the machine gun they had with my grenades, how many do you think you have you gotten?”
“I put down maybe 5 or 6.”
“Alright listen up; I want you to get over there with Jakir. You two will fire all 5 of your grenades in rapid succession and then start firing 3 round bursts. Hussian and I will charge them. If there are as few of them as I think we should be able to over run them and then hit the rocket tubes.”
“And if there isn’t a few of them but a whole company back there guarding the rocket tubes, then what.”
“Then it nice knowing you and I die with wudu”
The plan went off perfectly as there turned out to be only two unity defenders left. They moved up towards where they heard the rockets firing from. They crawled up a small hill which the rocket tubes were set up behind and fired down on the Unity unit killing them all before they could get off even one shot. Eight hours later the Confederate Assault infantry was able to hook up with the armor units that were waiting to press on to the capitol city of Zarahemla Prime and all of the Unity.
The Unity defenders hoped to delay the invading confederate forces long enough for reinforcements to arrive from the southern continent. Unfortunately for the defenders any relief would have to be air-lifted to get to them in time to help and the C.S.S. Musa, a Zaratan class carrier’s Buraq fighters were destroying anything that the Unity tried to put into the air.
After two days of attempting to negotiate surrender, the Confederate assault troops were given their orders and attacked the city blasting the airlocks and simply cutting through the city’s walls. Fierce house to house fighting raged for 5 days and while the Unity troops had the will to fight, they found themselves out of ammunition and low on bottled air and filters. And so they finally surrendered. The leader of the Unity of Saints, who went by the title of prophet, was captured and announced the unity’s surrender.
The surrender was recorded and broadcast all over the planet. Soon confederate ships were being dispatched to all Unity controlled star systems with recordings of the Unity of Saint’s prophet surrender. In one bold remove the Unity of Saints was removed as a military threat.
“Omar can you give me a hand over here? I need and Hamza to bring those welders over to gate station 4, so they can get started on repairing it” said the captain.
“Sir why can’t we just get a bio-lab to create a retro-virus we can give these people so that they can be enhanced and able to breathe the air here? Can’t be that hard, they possibly even have the original retro-virus used on Hausa World that enabled to breathe back home and here on Zarahemla prime still sitting in storage in some lab somewhere.” Asked Hamza.
“The saints have some type of religious beliefs that do not allow them to gene-modify themselves. Their cattle are in the fields around the city so they obviously know how to do it. We cannot enforce our beliefs on them it just isn’t right.” Replied the captain, “Now get those welders over to gate station four, so we can get this city re-pressurized.”