Battle of Vistula

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Battle of Vistula
Dr. Elias Huer presents the only active pilots available for the Battle of Vistula (BR25: "Planet of the Slave Girls").
Dr. Elias Huer presents the only active pilots available for the Battle of Vistula (BR25: "Planet of the Slave Girls").
Summary
Conflict:
Date: 2491 CE
Related Episode(s):
Place: Near Vistula
Result: Successful Earth offensive.
Combatants
Earth Defense Directorate Kaleel's forces
Commanders
Maj. Duke Danton Galen
Strength
9 starfighters: 7 Thunderfighters and 2 Scorpion fighters Approx. 97 Scorpion fighters[1]
Materiel Losses
None Multiple enemy Scorpion fighters
Casualties
None Unknown number of Kaleel's followers, including Galen
Battle Chronology
Previous Next
Defense of Scout Three Battle of Vistula Escape from Sinaloa



I didn't say I need all the pilots you can spare, Dr. Huer. I said I need all the pilots, period.
Major Danton, I just can't do that. I cannot order that Earth be left absolutely defenseless.
And I'm telling you that if the fleet I saw back there lifts off, the Earth is done for anyway.

With a large swath of Earth Defense Directorate's pilots incapacitated by poisoned food discs originating from Vistula, Kaleel launches his attack against the Earth. With knowledge from both Majors Duke Danton and Fields, Dr. Elias Huer organizes a small group of Earth's unaffected pilots for a last-ditch offensive (BR25: "Planet of the Slave Girls").

Background

What will your friend do when he returns to Earth, Captain Rogers? Let's see. You've seen the fleet I've been slowly, patiently building up, and you've no doubt concluded that my plan is to weaken Earth's defense squadrons by poisoning its members, so the planet can be conquered with ease.
Murder seems to be second nature to you. Why didn't you wipe us all out so you can walk into power?
[chuckles] Mass death would've caused much alarm, attracted too much attention. Dr. Huer would have suspected foul play immediately. This way, the gravity of the situation crept up on him. By the time he had an inkling of what was truly happening, it was too late.
That's not the reason. The truth is, you get your kicks out of turning people who should logically hate you into mindless zombies who follow you around shouting your name.

 — Kaleel and William "Buck" Rogers discuss the dastardly nature of Kaleel's plan, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century's "Planet of the Slave Girls"

Following Maj. Duke Danton and Capt. William "Buck" Rogers's discovery of a large force of Scorpion fighters, deployed in the open near Kaleel's mountain fortress in the Sea of Stone, Danton absconds with one of these fighters to warn Earth and mount an offense. Danton hopes that by returning quickly, the Defense Directorate's offensive can wipe out Kaleel's starfighters before they're deployed.

Stella Warden, familiar with Terran thinking, surmises that a person stayed behind as only one of the Scorpion fighters (a one-man craft) had launched, and Julio notes that two pilots survived the crash caused by the power leech. Warden discovers Col. Wilma Deering's contamination detector bracelet, surmises that it is a homing device, and sets a trap that ensnares Rogers.

Rogers is brought before Kaleel, and due to this Kaleel flaunts Earth's greatest military mind, who Kaleel has paid for handsomely: Galen. After divulging his plan to Deering and Rogers, he has them put to death along with Ryma. Using ingenuity, Rogers orchestrates their escape...

Meanwhile, Danton cajoles Huer into mustering up all available pilots: there are only six, including Maj. Fields and his old instructor Brigadier Gordon, who comes out of retirement for the mission. A seventh pilot, in the form of the ambuquad duo of Twiki and Dr. Theopolis, rounds out the offensive squadron (BR25: "Planet of the Slave Girls").

Battle

Leader to squadron, I'm breaking radio silence. You've no doubt seen on your scanners what lies ahead of us. We're too late. The armada on Vistula is in the process of taking off, and before we reach the combat vector, we'll be outnumbered almost 10-to-1. But it's no use turning back. They're on their way to Earth. We either fight them here or we fight them there. So ready your pulsar cannons. We're going to take them on now, and before we're through with them, they will have had one big fight on their hands.

 — Maj. Duke Danton to his squadron as Kaleel's force of Scorpion fighters, lead by Galen, launches from Vistula, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century's "Planet of the Slave Girls"

Maj. Duke Danton's force launches towards the stargate, with the intent on going communications silent after transiting the stargate to Vistula. After transiting through Stargate 4, they discover on their scanners that the force of Scorpion fighters have already begun deployment, and thus they are too late to catch them unawares.

Danton breaks radio silence, informs his squadron that they can either fight Kaleel's force at Vistula, or at Earth, and they engage the fighters at Vistula.

Danton is surprised to learn that two of the enemy Scorpions are piloted by Col. Wilma Deering and Capt. William "Buck" Rogers, and Rogers relays the information he has learned from the overzealous braggart Kaleel. Utilizing 20th century battle strategy, the fighter squadron provides Rogers a hole in the squadron's formation, allowing Rogers to "sack the quarterback." In red-dogging Galen, the entire remaining force falls into disarray, due to the Vistulan pilots' inability to act on their own recognizance (BR25: "Planet of the Slave Girls").

Aftermath

I told you, Kaleel has called for his escape craft. This is our chance--it's our only chance.
Ryma, there are so few of us.
And so few of them--most of them are out in space. This is our chance, while the armada is losing, and Kaleel is uncertain.

 — Ryma and an unnamed Vistula worker discuss striking Kaleel's weakened forces in the Sea of Stone during the ongoing battle up in space, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century's "Planet of the Slave Girls"

Following Galen's death at William "Buck" Rogers's hand, the remaining force of Kaleel's followers is torn asunder, providing a clear path for the force to land on Vistula.

With Ryma and a small handful of anti-Kaleel resistance fighters (armed with stolen weapons and explosives) having rendered the fortress into a state of disarray, Rogers and Deering are able to re-penetrate the fortress. After a terse standoff with Kaleel, who is about to flee Vistula on his star cruiser with Stella Warden, the agitator is rendered powerless and dragged away by those who wronged him.

With Kaleel's manipulations now revealed, Tabor Saroyan offers to resign, but is talked out of it by both his son, Regis Saroyan, and his future daughter-in-law, Ryma. Confident in the belief that Vistula is in good hands, Dr. Elias Huer remains of the belief that Vistula will continue as a food source for the Earth under the auspices of a wisened Food Directorate (BR25: "Planet of the Slave Girls").

Notes

  • For all of his hubris, Galen is easily dispatched after a terse but short starfighter battle with William "Buck" Rogers.
  • The defense shield introduced in "Awakening" would have been able to hold off Galen's fighting force, but would have made excellent work in instead engaging in acts of piracy in the space lanes, disrupting the vital supplies Earth requires from outside sources.

References

  1. One was taken by Maj. Duke Danton for his flight back to Earth, and two were taken by Col. Wilma Deering and Capt. William "Buck" Rogers.