Chapter 57: Set Sail
The Atlantic Cruiser wasn’t a troop transport ship but 12 thousand soldiers were crammed in with an additional 8000 crew members that were already onboard, so it was very crowded. Rooms had not been assigned so everyone was stationed in the hallway with their luggage and equipment.
Most people here were leaving Earth for the first time so everyone was curious to take a look from the port window and see their home planet getting smaller and smaller, eventually becoming a humble black speck in space.
Only by being in space could humans feel their insignificance. The deep sky outside was seemingly endless, so vast and extensive, and triggering mixed feelings for the warriors visiting space for the first time.
To have a home in such a desolate vast universe, it was not an easy thing but could still be counted as a blessing for the humans on Earth. If one day Earth gets colonized by another empire, then I’m afraid that most of the people here today would become homeless, wandering endlessly in the Milky Way.
The beautiful and fertile Earth was the shared home for all of mankind on the planet. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of civilians on Earth that had any combat strength, leaving the burden and tremendous pressure of protecting their homeland to the small group of espers.
The Atlantic opened up a transition channel and a bright circle appeared, lighting up the dark sky like a holy aura.
The Atlantic Cruiser went into the transition channel, and as the channel shuts, the cruiser began to move across the space. Its surroundings are no longer starry sky but only colorful streams of light passing by at the speed of light, the scene was extremely dream-like.
Suddenly, the all-channel broadcasted on the Atlantic, the soldiers head the iconic cough of the 5-star esper Admiral Long Chuan. He cleared his throat, and said in a deep voice, “Atlantic, this is your captain and commander for this operation, Long Chuan.”
“Here’s our tactical layout!” Cheng Zhong was suddenly shocked, and he nudged Han to listen carefully to the announcement. The Atlantic suddenly became unusually quiet.
Long Chuan paused and then said, “As we all know, recently Earth was under constant attack from pirates and raiders. After the enemies took turns to attack, there were a large number of civilian casualties which placed the rest of citizens in panic.”
“According to our intelligence, we know that these attacks were in fact caused by someone who hired the Thorn Birds gang to lead organized crime groups in the hopes of creating chaos. Their goal was likely to cause the civilians to lose hope in Earth’s United Government and military. That way, on the Milky Way Meeting, the enemy can use ‘The Government on Earth cannot maintain normal order on their own grounds’ as a reason to take control of Earth. Ultimately, they wish to colonize Earth, and then raid Earth’s resources and population.
“As a soldier of the United Government, as the strongest esper legion in the United Government Army, we cannot allow that to happen!”
“So the United Government authorized me to gather the United Government’s Air Force, the Atlantic Fleet, the Esper Administration’s 1st Legion and the Special Forces to advance into the lair of the Thorn Bird gang and to launch the final attack!”
“This operation’s code name is Divine Sword! There’s only one goal, and that is the total elimination of all existing Thorn Bird raiders and criminal groups threatening Earth! While they are all gathered on one planet to hold a join assembly, we will seize this opportunity to annihilate them all! Fully eradicating the enemy’s threat to Earth!”
“Since we chose to fight, then we must eliminate the enemies! Cripple them! Stomp them until they no longer dare to even come close to Earth! From now on, the Atlantic Cruiser will enter radio silence during the voyage, with an estimated time of 24 hours before entering the battlefield. May god be with you!”
After Long Chuan’s speech ended, everyone finally realized how crazy of a battle this is. Directly finding the enemy’s gathering spot, and then fight head on against the raiders?!
The advantage of this is obvious, if successful, then we will eliminate all these nasty raiders and pirates in one fell swoop, fully eradicating their threat to Earth. If that fails, Earth will lose most of their elite troops and never be able to recover.
From Long Chuan to normal soldiers, everyone was feeling tremendous pressure. After all, this was the first large-scale war after the establishment of the United Government, and also the first war outside of Earth, so everyone was very nervous.
The head of the Thorn Bird Gang, Lucas, was recently described to be having his best luck. He got an important order from the Sally Empire to cooperate with the nearby notorious criminal organizations to harass Earth, with everything being funded by the empire.
The Sally Empire was located in Centaurus, which was only a few hours of flight beside the solar system where Earth resided. They had long desired Earth’s environment and its untapped B-class domain, and they were not stopping until they got what they want.
The only problem is, above the empire, there was still the Milky Way Alliance. Depriving Earth of its sovereignty and colonizing it was not a tough task for those empires in the Milky Way, as long as they can prove that Earth was too weak to sustain normal operations and couldn’t guarantee the safety of civilians.
But how could they prove that the federal government couldn’t protect themselves nor their citizens?
It was simple, just hire criminals to attack. Then, the evidence of Earth being too weak to defend and retaliate against these attacks will be added to the public documentation at the meeting of the Milky Way Alliance in two months. If this was to happen, then it would make the Sally Empire’s proposition to colonize Earth a lot easier to pass.
Now, the Thorn Birds Gang was regarded as the Sally Empire’s imperial agents to gather everyone. The Thorn Birds had 5000 fighters, placing them as one of the largest among all the nearby criminal groups. Chief Lucas was also an intermediate 5-star soldier with a level approaching quasi-warlord, he had the strongest fighting strength among all the nearby criminals.
Although the plan of having multiple pirate and raider groups attack Earth seemed to be a good plan, it still had its problems. Since outlaws didn’t have rules, many problems would arise. Who contributed more but were not rewarded any money as well as those who hid and didn’t participate but were paid anyways.
After nearly two months of experimental attacks, Lucas also discovered the problem, the existing scale of attacks was not enough to completely embarrass Earth and bring it to its knees.
What the Sally Empire wanted was 24-hours harassment, and it was best to completely cripple Earth. As to how many people died on Earth, it was not their concern at all. After all, the Sally Empire just wanted the territories and extinction domains but not the civilians on Earth. The empire already have enough civilians to care about.
Since the contractor demanded a higher requirement, Lucas and his Thorn Bird raiding group needed to find a way to get it done. The counsellor Di Fu came up with an idea. Instead of assigning groups to individual missions, it was better to just unite all the pirate and raider groups into one, and have Lucas command them all. After the contractor’s satisfied then all groups will be dismissed, and those groups will all be paid based on the percentage contribution in terms of battleships and soldiers.
This idea is obviously wise, because during and after the war, the Thorn Birds could also eliminate a few of those smaller and weaker groups along the way, and take over their people and ships for themselves.
The greedy Lucas felt that Di Fu’s idea was very good so they held the alliance meeting on planet No. N65871 to discuss the team up plan and implementation of strategies in more detail. The other pirate and raider groups all agreed because of the money. After all, the Sally Empire was very generous.
Battleships of various sizes arrived one after another to this dirt yellow barren planet. The outlaws started setting up tents in the desert, and then went on to eating and drinking while discussing matters of how to attack Earth together.
But, they could never have dreamed, a heavy battlecruiser carrying the elite espers of Earth was also heading this way.