Chapter 4: Beachhead

Imperial Palace
Home, Tau Ceti

The place was filled with the sounds of weapons fire from automatic rifles, grenades and other heavy powered weapons. The place was a garden of some sort, it looked a lot like a Japanese rock garden back on Earth, well it would have if it wasn't for all the damage from the fighting and the dead lizard bodies lying on the ground.

"Push forward men" Marcus ordered his twenty four men team as they were pushing back over a hundred heavily armed and fortified defenders.

"Yes, Tetrarch sir." Replied one of his men, who from the looks of it was too young, too inexperienced to be a Praetorian Guard. But of course his looks was different from the way he fought.

"Of course he was good, why else would he be a Praetorian if he wasn't. After all they were the best that the Star empire has to offer, having the best training and equipped with the best weapons." Marcus thought to himself when he first saw the lad.

"Primus and Felix, secure the area while the rest push forward." Marcus ordered as a bullet from one of the defender's ricocheted on his light weight very hard, super expensive composite armor.

This made him and his men react, seeing the shooter taking cover behind the door to go deeper in to the palace, he reoriented his rifle then shot the defender, which instantly killed him.

"Can't wait to see the expression on their emperor's face when we capture him." One of his men smilingly said as they pushed forward into another set of chambers.

"You assume too much, what if they don't have facial expressions." Another man from the squad said.

"Well as for me I'm excited on receiving another medal. Hope we have a "captured an enemy emperor medal". " Another guy replied.

Then as if the universe wanted to be part of their conversation, a burst of fire suddenly spewed out of the chambers, hitting one man in his arm and ricocheted on the others. Sending them to take cover, Marcus and another guy took the beam beside him as cover while others hugged the side of the corridor as if it was their lover.

"Flash" Marcus gestured to the forward most guy.

The guy took a flash grenade from his belt and threw it to the enemy, blinding them. But did nothing to the visor protected eyes of the Praetorian Guards, a second later they rushed forward unleashing a shit load of Roman bullets, while the blinded Race troops did nothing but catch the bullets with their bodies.

"After doing that for the nth time, one might think that they should have learned to counter it by now." Marcus thought.

As if to answer his thought, if mind reading was actually possible, the guy beside him shrugged.
"Foolish lizardmen,."

"Let's mock their lack of adaptability later." Marcus said as he gestured for them to move forward, as he knew them capturing the enemy emperor may end this quickly which may save thousands of his countrymen, not to mention that Rome needs to capture this planet quickly and digest it's resources and industry as fast as possible.

Upon that thought Marcus decided that he should be the one to lead the assault, he then gestured for everyone to follow him.

Then they reached the center most part of the palace he peaked through the door leading to it using the targeting camera of his rifle took a second to peek in the place was huge and judging from the looks of it, it was the place where the lizard emperor may have made audience with his people or their equivalent of the senate.

And sure as he was it was here where the remaining enemy he was chasing made their stand and upon seeing his rifle they shot at it quickly luckily not damaging his expensive rifle or more expensive body.

"Ok, men if their emperor is still here in the palace, chances are he would be hiding here. "

He then took two flash grenades from his side then threw it in the room, which would buy them a couple of seconds, a couple of very crucial seconds.

He then looked to his men then screamed." Glory to the Roman Senate and the People of Rome, glory to the Roman Star Empire!"

He and his men went in the door with weapons blazing trying to kill as much lizards as possible before they recovered.

But the emperor wasn't there, which they found out after the fight and an hour of searching the place later.

Must have been evacuated before we came here, Marcus thought

"Contact HQ, we need evac." He commanded the communications guy, as he knew that this place would be filled with race troops within the hour, lucky they would be far from here when they arrive.

High orbit
Starship Odyssey

On board his flagship Strategos Juluis Lecinuis Tiberius was preparing to submit his bi-monthly report back to Rome, for the senate and the consul to hear. It wouldn't be live as he will just be using one of the probes to relay the message back to the heart of the star empire, chances are the war would be over before they receive the message.

After making the last tweaks in his presentation, he spent a second to catch his breath then motioned to the officer beside him to start the recording.

"Glory to the Roman Senate and the People of Rome, glory to the Roman Star Empire!"

He started the report, as was usually the procedure.

"It has been to two weeks since Rome's finest have set foot in Tau Ceti to bring civilization and the Roman way to this uncivilized dust bowl." He continued with the standard rhetoric.

"Within those two weeks Rome's finest drove the Tau Cetian military further and further back in to their heart lands winning battle after battle." He continued, then paused to press a button in his chair which activated a hologram beside him.

It showed the spinning image of Home, with the Roman ship in Orbit a few were moving in and out of orbit it, however the planet's surface was color schemed. It was covered in the color Orange with specs of blood red of different sizes scattered around the planet.

"As you can see senators, we have already covered a sizable amount of their land, around eighteen percent, and a majority of their industrial capacity, countless cities has been captured. We destroyed all of their orbital satellites, achieving total special superiority and partial air. Plus the majority of their ground forces we have already destroyed with nuclear fire. The majority of their cities have remained mostly intact for our use. Although we failed to capture their emperor, we estimate that the planet would be Roman in less than seven weeks."

He paused, turning the holographic image from the planet to an image of the starship Alexandria.

"However all of this comes at a price, we lost the Alexandria to a suicidal nuclear strike reminiscent of the tactics used by the Empire of Japan in the last Great War, and rest assured that investigations have been put into the matter, increased air cover and the fact that most of their nuclear assets have been neutralized and their means of delivery disabled, would assure us that none of their nukes would ever be detonated within range of our ships and men ever."
He then pressed the buttons to disable the hologram.

"We would request additional engineers and their equipment for the ships of the occupation that would be sent here for there have been more than expected collateral damage to their cities. In-depth reports would also be sent with in this probe. Good day Senators."

He ended the conversation, then tried to motion to the officer beside him.
"Send the probe."

The officer nodded, pressed buttons to launch the probe.

Strategos Juluis Lecinuis Tiberius then stood up and wanted to go to the mess hall as he was already starving, but before he could get out of the room, an officer vied for his attention.

"Strategos sir, look at this." The officer said.

Showing an image of a nuclear explosion in the bridge monitor."

Seeing it Julius became angry, "Who authorized the a nuclear strike!"
He scolded as he gave the order to halt its use a week ago as there is no longer a use for it plus it would only create additional collateral damage when the senate wanted to keep this planet intact for its eventual exploitation.

The officer was taken back at Juluis' reaction, taking him a second more that he ought to respond.

"It's not our sir."