War of the Fishes

When multiple of their own systems suffered disastrous setbacks, Pisces Corp chose to spend their remaining resources on an attempted takeover over Cetus 47, the headquarters system of their rival Cetus Corp. Had they succeeded in their surprise attack, they could have economically recovered by moving all their mining operations to Cetus 47. Instead, the attempt bankrupted them.   The key part in this defeat was Roya, CEO of Cetus Corp. While she was greatly outnumbered and outgunned, her scorced earth and guerilla tactics made the invaders bleed for every bit of progress they made. By the time the invaders finally received their greatly needed reinforcements, Pisces Corp had already called off the invasion, in part due to bribery by Cetus Corp.  

Background

Pisces Corp was a mining corporation which controlled three of the Pisces Systems. Due to the richness in materials of their claimed systems, they drew many investors. This allowed them to purchase half a dozen Terraforming Seeds on top of building a large army. However, circumstances caused these terraforming attempts to catastrophically fail.   As a result, none of their systems could be considered suitable for long-term civilizations. The best they could do was mining the easy resources before abandoning the planets. Fearing a complete abandonment by its investors, the company board considered alternative options. After lengthy debates, they chose to use their army to take over another system by force.
Date
20 May 2804 CE - 3 July 2804 CE
Location
Cetus 47 System, adjacent Hypersea
Result
  • Withdrawal of Pisces forces
  • Bankruptcy of Pisces Corp
Alternative Names
Fishermen War, Fourty-Day War, Pieces of Silver War
Belligerents
Cetus Corp
Pirates
Pisces Corp
Strength
7,644 Soldiers
3 Dire Wolfpacks
3 Defense Stations
65 Wolf Class Battleships
58,968 Soldiers
4 Roc Class Warships
16 Valkyrie Class Carriers
78 Mule Class Freighters
Casualties
39 dead
1,260 wounded
10,733 dead
26,416 wounded

The War

Cetus Defenses & Preparation
While freshly terraformed, Cetus 47 was poorly defended at the time, depending on 3 Defense Stations to keep it safe from pirate raids. Its own fleet at the time was scouting other systems, leaving the system mostly unguarded. It was this weakness that Pisces Corp decided to exploit.   When Roya discovered the impending invasion, she could have ordered the civilians to join the fight. Instead, she ordered them to assist in constructing traps, as well as preparing shelters for the days to come. During seven days, the entire population prepared. Then they vanished.   Two of the Defense Stations were hidden in orbital shadows. Additionally, drones were sent out to harass local wildlife. The last step taken, just before the enemy fleet finally arrived, was setting the fields on fire.
Bloody Approach
Pisces Corp sent its Rocs to defend the Hypersea access paths leading towards Cetus 47, while sending 16 Valkyrie troop carriers to take over the main planet. The bulk of their troops were located on these carriers. As they approached the system, suddenly half a dozen Hopper class ships entered Hyperspace directly next to the carriers.   These ships proceeded to attach to nearby Valkyries, after which they overloaded their own Hyperdrives. The resulting explosions crippled five Valkyries and inflicted a 63% casualty rate on these ships.   Commander Haris Porter ordered his remaining fleet to continue at half speed, while scanning for more ambushes. Two scouts were discovered and destroyed, though they were only meant to delay the invaders.


Bloody Landing
At Cetus 47, the invading fleet first crippled the one known Defense Station, before sending in troops to take it over and search for intel. They also sent troops after the planet's spaceport. It was then that the other two Defense Stations launched surprise attacks and crippled two more Valkyries, before being destroyed.  
Welcome, invaders, to our humble planet. In case you were wondering: We have poisoned our supplies and wells, burned down our farmlands, drove the local wildlife crazy, oh and we boobytrapped any armouries we had to abandon. Good luck replenishing what you lost. Before you complain about us committing war crimes, we're fairly warning you in advance. If you don't like it, you're all free to leave. Might be the last chance you get.
— Planetary-Wide Broadcasts on Cetus 47


Scorched Earth
After the remaining Defense Station and spaceport were fully secured, global broadcasts suddenly warned the invaders that nothing but misery was waiting for them. The broadcasts weren't lying: All supplies that could be found, had indeed been poisoned or irradiated. By then the farmlands had already stopped burning, leaving nothing but ash and dirt. This meant the fleet had to depend on rations from their ships.   Worse than this, and worse than the aggressive remaining local wildlife, was the boobytraps. Entire buildings that had been considered secure, suddenly revealed hidden weapons and explosives at the most unfortune moments. Even the Defense Station and spaceport turned into deathtraps overnight, leaving some dead and many too wounded to fight.
Guerilla Warfare & Pirate Raids
Not being able to trust existing infrastructure, the invading army constructed their own camps. Just as they finished, guerilla strikes started. Drone warfare, snipers, explosives, all caused heavy casualties while the stealthed attackers went undetected.   Meanwhile, Pisces Corp sent supply fleets with better sensor arrays. On arrival those should allow the invaders to find out where the defenders were. With the Rocs blocking the access to Cetus 47, there was no way for Cetus Corp or allies to strike the supply fleet, or so they assumed. Then three Dire Wolves struck the supply fleets with their respective wolfpacks. These pirates would solely cripple ships before withdrawing without losses, only returning to loot the crippled ships after the fleet had left.


Reinforcements & Withdrawals
Having lost most of his supply fleet, including nearly all their sensor arrays, commander Porter had no way to find the remaining enemy forces. He could not even find civilians, which he did attempt in hopes to force them into submission. This was when he ordered the Rocs to come to the planet and find Roya's hiding place. The Roc captains refused to travel fast, as they feared more ambushes.   Mere hours before the Rocs arrived at Cetus 47, a surprising communication arrived from Pisces Corp. All troops were to withdraw on the Rocs, abandoning the planet. Commander Porter initially refused to obey this command, calling it treason. Then Roya broadcasted a warning what the consequences would be. Realising that Roya had bought off the board, and that continuing risked a mutiny, commander Porter chose to order a full retreat.   In a last act of defiance, commander Porter ordered a full bombardment of the entire planetary infrastructure, as well as the destruction of the remaining Defense Station. However, the Roc captains refused to obey this order. Instead, they ordered his surrender. With his own reinforcements turned against him, the commander laid down his weapons.
By now your Board will have ordered your withdrawal and you have decided to disobey. But remember, the Board controls the treasury, including the bank accounts and pensions of your troops. So you have two options. One, explain to your soldiers why their families will have to beg for scraps for the rest of their miserable lives. Or two, go home like the good little lapdog you are. In other words: Heel.
— Planetary-Wide Broadcasts on Cetus-47


Aftermath

Predation
Having suffered an unrecoverable defeat, Pisces Corp chose to dissolve. The company liquidated all their remaining assets to appease its investors, part of which promptly ended up in the hands of Cetus Corp. Commander Porter ended up retiring and disappearing, his reputation too tainted for him to show his face ever again.   The population of Cetus 47 came out of hiding and started rebuilding the damaged infrastructure. Since all valuable machines had been hidden before the invaders had arrived, only the loss of the Defense Stations was of significant value. And since even those had been partially stripped, the defenses were rebuilt far more quickly than anyone else had expected. Furthermore, the allied Dire Wolfpacks actually stuck around during reconstruction, discouraging any scavengers from dropping by.   In the first three years after the war, Cetus Corp absorbed most that Pisces Corp had left behind. Even two of their three systems were taken over and terraformed successfully. As for the Dire Wolfpacks, their armed strength grew greatly thanks to the Valkyries they had scavenged.
Theories
The astonishing defeat of Pisces Corp caused many other Corps to send out spies in order to find out what had happened. Thanks to that, as well as overly drunk pirates, some details have been found out that explain the results. First of all, Cetus Corp had been preparing stealthed technology. They also had prepared many shelters already on the planet, to help protect against natural disasters.   While Pisces Corp was still debating the invasion, Roya already had found out through her own spies. This allowed her to prepare all the traps that would slow down the invasion. She also reached out to three Dire Wolves and paid them to raid not the invaders, but their supply chain. It is not known how she was affiliated with these pirates.   Lastly, Roya sent out her agents to make deals with both investors of the Pisces Corp and its board of directors. A combination of blackmail and bribery convinced the board to abandon their last straw conflict, calling back their army while stealing all they could. It is this act of betrayal that earned the conflict its nickname "Pieces of Silver War".

Comments

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14 Aug, 2022 16:45

Now that is a clever strategy and leadership. I really like the encyclopedia-style summary of the conflict too. Very good job!

15 Aug, 2022 07:42

Never thought I'd study Wikipedia for how to present an article, yet here we are. ^_^


Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young