Debriefing

SEGMENT TRANSCRIPT:
PROVIDER: HUOXING ANSICAST NEWS
PROGRAM: WAR FONTS
TIMESTAMP: [2654.03.14 03.01.48]
Gunther Frei

 What exactly happened at Artemis III?  We now have as complete a picture as we’re likely to get, and here’s what I can tell you:

Fourth Fleet was deployed near Artemis III to ambush any invader, with numerous contingency plans. All those plans disappeared in an instant, as multiple Shohan battle groups jumped into point blank range of most of the Fourth’s deployments. Apparently, Shohan FTL drives are not limited by grav shores.

Despite the sudden shock, Admiral Perez issued commands for the Fourth Fleet to retreat hoping to escape the sudden trap in which the Shohan had ensnared them. For a heart wrenching period of time, it seemed like we would be able to flee intact, as the Shohan fleet was strangely inert. But, on the cusp of our escape, the dreadnaughts began to open fire. Fourth Fleet fought bravely, but the protection afforded by their ship’s force fields was too great, and their guns too heavy; their hypercannons twisting entire squadrons into twisted wreckage as we sought escape.  Numbers were also against us, as the Shohan fielded far more ships than any estimate thought possible.  Admiral Perez, amongst many others, was lost in the initial wave of fire and Admiral Marikesh, the last surviving squadron commander, was gravely injured in the subsequent fire.

With the fleet in disarray, it fell to Captain Shetley to lead the retreat.  Shetley, since promoted and decorated, not only kept his squadron together but killed one of the enemy’s mightiest dreadnaughts when it made a critical misstep, jumping into close range of his squadron without its escorts. The Shohan may be tough, but they are not invincible. Their ships can be destroyed, their captains can make mistakes. In the aftermath of Artemis III, I'm sure this will come as heartening news to many. Commodore Shetley has been transferred to the strategic office, where he will teach his fellow officers how to slay the mighty dreadnought while he recuperates from his own injuries.  

On a personal note, my replacement leg has grown in nicely.  Many thanks to the medics aboard the Houyi who kept me alive, and the crew of the freighter Clydesdale who got me back to Hawking’s World for medical treatment and recuperation. My recovery has left me with a great deal of time for reflection, and I'm compelled to admit that I was dismissive of the peace efforts in the lead up to the war. Having seen the battle first hand, I was wrong. War might have been inevitable, but if there was a chance such a massacre could have been avoided, it deserved to be taken. I pray that all those escape pods I saw over Artemis III landed safely.