Koban 4: Shattered Worlds

Koban 4: Shattered Worlds by Stephen W. Bennett

Book: Koban 4: Shattered Worlds by Stephen W. Bennett Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stephen W. Bennett
compensation was inefficient! The death of billions of animals was inconsequential in his mind. The humans were going to die anyway. Their more useful deaths were the proper choice to be made.
    Telour arrived perhaps thirty minutes later, not an obvious or unreasonable delay if he had been engaged in discussion with a high status clan leader, but the length of time struck Kanpardi as bordering on disrespectful to his superior.
    “My Tor, the runner claimed you wished to speak with me.”
    Claimed I wanted to speak to him. Kanpardi thought in annoyance.
    “A runner would not appear inside the hall to retrieve you on a pretext. Of course, I sent him to summon you. I have a mission.”
    He was sure now that he wanted to get Telour away from the council members and off this base world, K1, doing something that promoted Kanpardi’s strategy, and block Telour’s lobbying effort for his own agenda.
    “I am ready my Tor. Where will I go?” This was really the only reply open to Telour.
    “You will go to Poldark, to meet with Gatlek Pendor, and order him to press attacks on all fronts against the humans. They are to be pushed back rapidly, so that when we pause to regroup, they are unable to take advantage of the lull. I want this done within a month.
    “Then while we pause, I will send many of our reserve clanships from here, on K1. Half of our warrior forces on Poldark will board them, taking some of our weapons systems with them. I will take one third each of the mini tanks, artillery laser defenses, plasma batteries, heavy armored transports, rocket launchers, and mobile counter battery artillery.”
    Telour knew exactly what the purpose was, but he wanted it stated for clarity, to place the responsibility squarely on Kanpardi, “Gatlek Pendor is of Mordo clan, and the clan leaders will want to know why their highest status war leader is being denied so many warriors and material for the invasion force he leads.”
    Kanpardi turned the tables on his subordinate. “You sat in the Joint Council with me when I outlined my strategy to widen the war, to invade two other human planets. Prove you were alert and listening. What will you tell Pendor when he asks what I will do with the forces I will remove from his control?” This was a rebuke, asking Telour to prove he had been alert, and it forced him to describe his leader’s plans. There would be no room for maneuver and duplicity after this.
    “My Tor, your plan is to remove one third of the war material and one half of the warriors from Poldark, to send them to the world humans call New Dublin, to invade this Rim world, which became a New Colony after our war started. It has nearly the same population as Poldark, but only a small force of a hundred thousand human soldiers for defense. The planet is half way around the volume of human controlled space, on the galactic core side, and you have permitted only a few raids there, to make the invasion less expected.
    “The second part of your plan is to gather clanships and material from here on K1, and from many clan worlds deep in our territory, to mount a second, and larger permanent invasion of New Glasgow. This is one of their Old Colony worlds, with a large population and a well-developed infrastructure. It has been scouted but never raided, and as one of their Hub worlds, it is not considered at risk on an invasion. There are only ten thousand soldiers there, all at a base near the largest compound, or city, on that planet.
    “With little reason to expect us to increase the number of invasions, combined with our increase in offensive actions on Poldark, you expect to draw many of their reserves away. You believe both of the unexpected invasions will have early and rapid success, and achieve a secure talon hold on those worlds.” He paused, struggling to conceal resentment from his words.
    “That is the overall proposal, as I recall it, my Tor. If you wish to test my detailed knowledge, I can report on the specific

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