“How many times have we launched an attack with this level of success?” The commander asked looking about the room, his staff squished into relaxation slings stationed about the room. His question was not with spoken words, but signals sent through the viscous fluid that was their environment.
The room filled with a mix of questioning signals and uncertainty, then one signal penetrated the fog of stupidity that was giving the commander an ache. He shifted his focus towards the source. It was a lieutenant from the archive’s division. A recent add to his command staff. The commander studied him for a few seconds, the fog of signals silenced by his own command for silence.
The lieutenant was like so many others sent him from galactic command school located within the Setath system. His youth evident in the blue hue of his membrane. His filaments vibrating with youthful nerves as his superior addresses him directly.
“What was that you said?”
“Sir,” a flash of yellow within the lieutenant’s core showed his fear, “approximately one hundred cycles ago, we managed to kill something like fifty million.”
The commander’s aura told all those around him silences was to be observed until otherwise indicated. “Where are we with the latest attack?”
“Just over two and a half million commander,” another aid, a captain answered.
“Resilient fucks,” the commander shot back.
“Their governments were much more aggressive in battling the invasion commander, and counter measures were quick in development this time.”
“We wiped out the last species we invaded in less than a thousand rotations of their planet about their sun. We have been bombarding these creatures for thousands of rotations.
“Yes sir, the Filpines were a weak species.”
“Why doesn’t the weapons department come up with something more potent?” The commander asked.
“We thought this was,” replied a major from that very department. “We were sure the ability of this weapon to mutate quickly would stay ahead of their more advanced science. We are a bit disappointed with the mortality rate. I believe our researchers underestimated how much the species has weakened over the last twenty or thirty rotations.”
“Major, that is the same poppycock you throw at me after reports come in about the dismal results we get with our annual bombings.”
“Those tactics are meant to weaken them commander.”
“Well, based on the latest reports, this major assault is yielding fewer casualties than the attack a hundred cycles ago. My superiors are getting impatient. This planet was supposed to be free of the native sapient two thousand cycles ago.”
Anger and frustration from the commander drowned out all other signals as he wrestled himself from his sling and with long sweeping motions of his filaments floated angrily about the office. His inner glow a deep red.
“Why are our weapons so ineffective?” The commander said but the underlying signals he sent made it clear the questions was not one he wanted answered. “For as long as I have been commanding this armada, we have easily beaten every sapient species we have encountered.”
The commanders second in command wiggled from his own sling, but floated motionless not far from it, “Your tactics are sound commander, it’s the weapons that are lacking. Everything we throw at them, they seem to suffer some casualties, then develop a resistance.”
The commander whirled to face his science officer, “Can’t we nab a few…study them?”
“They are too large to fit in our landing craft. Hell, they are too large for our frigates. Even our biggest battle cruisers measure only a few parcs longer than a shorter version of their species.”
“Yes, of course, I knew that.” The commander let his inner light show the color of humility.
“Even after we win this war commander, the planet will be a hostile place until we get rid of the other larger species.”
The commander once again glowed with frustration, “Can’t we step up the attacks? Find a weapon with broader impact? Something that their immune system won’t just shrug off. Something more like the attack they labeled HIV.”
“They found a defense for HIV; they call them antivirals.”
“I know that captain. My point is, we need to develop a weapon that attacks their immune system and is transmitted like this latest attack. This latest one went global fast, but the lethality rate was dismal. Why can’t the weapons department combine what they are calling COVID with something as lethal as HIV? We could take this system in three or four more rotations.”
The major that represented the weapons department was now floating free, he drifted over to the commander and his second, sent a signal that asked for everyone’s attention, then said,
“What we need are weapons like theirs. If we learned nothing in the last one hundred cycles, they are far better at killing each other, than we are at killing them.”