Excerpt from the "Siege of Damriel", from the Memoirs of Fleet Admiral Tronzu Delemethius, ZBS Be'Tak'Lit – Veteran of the first Xeltek War, Overall Battlespace commander of Zokrandi Forces in the Damriel Sector between Stardates 2239.06.02 and 2239.07.09.
This report has been edited for release by the Zokrondi Ministry of Military Information and Recruitment. For more information regarding the Fleet, the War Effort and how YOU can get involved please speak to your local MilCom Recruiter TODAY!
"When I was a child, my grandma told me stories of the Rak'Gol. A terrifying race of arachnoid bugs living in a faraway cluster of stars. They burrowed underground in tunnels, and stowed away in the air ducts and maintenance shafts of freighters. When they came across their prey, they struck like lightning from the shadows, a blaze of teeth and claws. They'd leave you alive though. They'd drag you kicking and screaming into the darkest corner they could find, fill your body with eggs and leave you to rot so you could feed their newly hatched young. Over the years the Rak'Gol spread to all the neighbouring systems, they began infesting developed worlds that surrounded their territory. It was a disaster of calamitous proportions, and the Civilised Cultures of the galaxy fought in vain to control the infestation.
Then one day the attacks simply stopped. The Rak'Gol stopped coming. The hives that were found were in disirder, and easily brought to bare. Somehow the enemy had been routed, and for a while they knew not how. Then the Xeltek Corsair fleet descended.
The Xeltek are a warrior race, who our scientists believe may have been evolutionarily linked to the Rak'Gol from the beginning. Like the Rak'Gol, they possess eight limbs, and amass in great numbers. They too take pleasure in the torture and pointless ritualistic slaughter of their victims. But they are distinct from the Rak'Gol in one way – they are sentient. The Xeltek had spent thousands of years, hidden away in their own undiscovered portion of the Galaxy, hidden by the mass of systems controlled by the Rak'Gol. They stayed in their space, fighting amongst themselves, and occasionally sending out the odd raiding party, which was mistaken as yet another Rak'Gol attack. However one fateful day, the Xeltek united under one leader – The Great Khan Axan Inaxinirkis.
With one punch, the Khan invaded the Rak'Gol's territory, her great fleet driving directly to their homeworld of Rak. With the head of the snake severed, the Rak'Gol with their simple hive mind society, simply withered and failed.
That was the story my grandma used to tell. I used to think it was a simple tale, telling me a story of a distant land to teach me a lesson about expecting the unexpected. Maybe it was a fable to remind me "there's always a bigger fish".
It wasnt until I was a young man that I heard the name "Xeltek" again. I was in the Fleet Academy, in my second year. Like most other boys my age I joined the military – after all, "Service Guarantees Citizenship" and all. I'm lucky, my father's connections helped me secure a place in Fleet – a lot of my friends joined the Infantry – but anyway. That's besides the point.
I was talking to an Uccanan Cadet called Mesor, when we saw a group of Pelisimus first years come marching into the mess hall. At first I barely paid them any attention, until I heard shouting and crashing from the corner of the mess. The four Pelisimus grunts had an Uthonian up against a wall, and even from where I was sat I could see the acid glands on his neck starting to swell. Mesor and I dropped our lunch to go over and break up the fight, and after a tense scuffle we got the two sides separated – and they were hauled off by the MPs.
I sat back down with Mesor, and asked him if he knew what the fight was about, and he explained that the Uthonians and the Pelisimus were bitter enemies- their empires warring against one another for the better part of 40 years. Now, however, both sides had united to defend themselves against the Xeltek, who had all but conquered both staes.
With the Pelisimus and Uthonians being pushed back on all sides, a stream of refugees was being poured into Zokrondi space, and now both sides were coming face to face on Zokrondi worlds.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Why am I rambling on about this? You're waiting for my story about the battle! "The Great Siege of Damriel". What has any of that got to do with my time in the academy?
The point I'm making is that by the time I was 22 years old, serving my last year in the fleet academy as a senior cadet, I had heard the name "Xeltek" only twice in my life. To me, they were a faraway, possibly even fictional threat, the stuff of scary stories from my grandma and propaganda from distant alien empires. But on 2239.03.22 the fleetwide distress went out – the Xeltek were here.
Decades before our analysts had secretly expected them, the Xeltek had discovered a natural wormhole linking to the Veldoon system, and the Khan's mighty fleet had been sighted assaulting a Zoldraki world. Within days the Khan had obliterated all sign of resistance and taken eight systems from us, and she was now followed by two more battle fleets, larger than any we had ever built ourselves.
One thing we have on our side is sheer size, the Zoldraki hold a significant area of space, giving us time to prepare. Every shipyard in existence was brought into action, with modifications being made on existing ships to make them more effective against the Xeltek fleet. Fleet Command ordered a massing of forces in the Dirmius System, and began compiling a fleet capable of defeating the Khan.
It was decided that the Fleet should choose a defensive line, a choke point if you will, to focus our defense and stop them in their tracks. To this end, the Damriel system was selected. Command chose Damriel in part due to the importance of the planet in its orbit – Kalaxika – and in part due to its strategic position – serving as the only access point to the Vha'Zi Maelstrom – home of the L-Gate. Our government has incredible plans for us once we open the L-Gate, and we couldn't afford it to be squandered.
Of course I knew none of this Extraneous detail – I was a final year cadet, looking forward to passing my exams and being placed aboard my first starship. All I knew was that there was a big fight about to go down, and I was excited to see us win.
It wasnt much longer before I got to read an update. On 2239.04.08 the call went out again – Lord Admiral Kull Ma'Ta had engaged the Xeltek at Damriel.
The attack came sooner than expected, and the evacuation of Kalaxika had barely begun. The Fleet had gathered its strength, however the Citadel at the centre of the system was still under construction, leaving the defenses woefully underpowered. Luckily for the Admiral, the Xeltek fleet he engaged was one of their raiding fleets, so he was able to fight them on relatively even footing. The battle stretched out for days, as wave after wave of Xeltek raiding ships assaulted the Zokrondi lines, dealing unimaginable casualties as they struck before streaking away as fast as their engines would take them.
Slowly but surely, however, the massed guns of the fleet started to take their toll, as the enemy fleet began to wither and collapse. Eventually leaving only the flagship. The flagship was a colossal construction, a titanic battleship constructed using fragments of asteroids and broken moons – providing unimaginable armour and mass. As the Admiral and his fleet pounded away at the armour of this colossal beast, his tactical officer reported a mass of targets approaching on long range scans – and revealed that listening posts had detected the Khan's fleet on an intercept course. It was only then that Kull Ma'Ta realised the situation he was in – locked in a death match braul with this titanic flagship, unable to retreat but not enough time to defeat it – with enough enemy ships on the way to crush what remained of his fleet.
They wouldnt have time to retreat and repair, they couldn't complete the construction of the citadel, and they couldn't escape the system until theyd defeated the Titan. So, on 2239.04.29 the Lord Admiral made his final, and most famous general order, instructing all fleet personnel to board their nearest vessel and proceed to the Damriel sector, maximum speed. Every man, woman, alien or fungus serving in the Zokrondi Defense Fleet dropped what they were doing and went to their line officers for instruction. Every cadet, in every academy, was given a posting and a set of orders. Every hand capable of doing so was put to work – and every ship the Zokrondi could spare was put off the line, manned, and sent into space.
I myself was given command of the ZBS Be'Tak'Lit, an old model Zokrondi battleship that had been quickly brought to combat ready status. It may shock you to realise that I was still only a cadet – in command of an entire battleship But you must consider that almost all ranking navy officers were already present in Damriel, or on their way there. On 2239.05.01 I was given my orders, and I left spacedock to proceed immediately with all due haste to the Damriel system. I was given a field commission of Acting Fleet Captain, and an escort force of nine cruisers, twelve destroyers and an assault wing of 40 corvettes. Alongside me were two other Senior Cadets from my year, Lubek and Skreeee, who had also been handed their own refitted battleships. If I hadnt known where we were going I'd have thought this was a lot of fun – but I'd seen the Kill reports coming out of Damriel and they chilled me to the bone. There were tens of thousands dead already, and the Khans own fleet hadnt even made contact yet. It wasnt until 2239.05.16 that I heard another update. The Lord Admiral had believed the battle won, as the Titan's engines began malfunctioning, days before the expected arrival of the Khan and her reinforcements. As the Admiral pressed, his fleet assaulted the Titan in one final assault – only to find the Khan's fleet waiting for them. The Khan's own Titan descended upon the Admiral's already battered fleet, and neutered them at the source – Lord Admiral Kull Ma'Ta's flagship was destroyed in the opening salvo. What followed was a gruelling period of attrition. As the Khan's fleet slowly spready throughout the system, they ground against the collapsing Zokrondi frontline, however slowly but surely the Zokrondi were receiving a steady stream of reinforcements. The late admirals orders had gone out nearly a month ago, and although some, like myself, were stationed in distant sectors of Zokrondi space – many others were a lot closer. Each day, as the Khan obliterated more and more of our ships, we were replenishing our lost numbers.
On 2239.06.02 my task force arrived in the Damriel sector, and we were immediately faced by a wall of fire, as our ships came into contact with the Khan's scouts. We destroyed them with haste, and proceeded to ascertain the situation. Zokrondi forces were scattered around the system fighting minor hit and run skirmishes against the Khan's forces, attempting to weaken them as much as they could. It wasnt long before we realised that even as a Cadet with a fake rank, I was the ranking Naval officer in the system. Assuming the role of Commander of the fleet, I established contact with all elements and ordered an organised retreat back to Kalaxika – dispatching all compliments of marines to the surface to aid in ground defense. Our forces retreated to planetary orbit and positioned ourselves behind the station. Unbelievably, the under-construction starbase was still functional, and firing its powerful guns at long range into the enemy fleet. Angered at our retreat, the weakened enemy titan followed us, before realising too late that it was in danger from the Starbase guns. Massing our firepower, I ordered all elements to engage the titan, quickly overwhelming and destroying him.
From what I understand, this move enraged the Khan. Any intelligent commander would know this was the time to retreat – wed just evened the playing field, and we had more ships coming. But she wanted revenge.
So force the following weeks, we held the line. I ordered all ships to form a final defensive line around the planet, and mass fire on any targets of opportunity. One by one the Xeltek ships burned, as did dozens of our own. But for every ship we lost, three more would arrive in replacement as the great Admiral's order echoed throughout our realm.
On 2239.07.09 the great Khan Axan Inaxinirkis launched her final assault against the planet and our line, and at long last we shattered her fleet. The shields on her titan failed for the final time, her armour was torn from the hull, and the massed firepower of the defense line brought her down. The Khan escaped along with her senior officers in a lifepod, vowing to return and exact vengeance.
Overall, the Siege of Damriel took more than three months, and cost the lives of nearly seven hundred-thousand naval officers and personnel. The Xeltek still occupy a good portion of our space, and they are in no means defeated.
But on this day we did what noone else thought possible – we were the first to defeat the Khan in open battle – and we wont be the last.
When my grandmother told me her stories, she was teaching me to fear the unknown, warning me of what was hidden in the dark. And she was right – the Xeltek must be feared, because not to fear them would be ignorant of the facts.
But now I have my own story, about how even our worst nightmares can be defeated with the correct and timely application of hope, determination and state of the art military ordnance. The only way we can defeat the Xeltek once and for all is to make sure there are enough young men and women to take our places should we need to fight them again, and we will! This story serves as a reminder of our duty, and a warning to those who oppose us- The Zokrondi Military stands ready to defend our borders against any aggressor, any time, anywhere, no matter the cost!
And remember – Service Guarantees Citizenship!"
TL:DR I defeated the fleet of a Great Khan using stalingrad tactics after theyd successfully conquered about half my galaxy. Then I wrote a weird fanfic about it, largely referencing starship troopers as my civilisation is a similar citizen stratocracy
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© Post "Weird Fanfic based on an ingame battle" for game Stellaris.
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