Baltic Strike is a short story included as part of TSFIA.


-56 Baltic Strike

#56 Baltic Strike

1983 march 8th. 0800 Former Poland borders, Gulf of Gdańsk.

TSF landing assault ship Peenemünde Hangar launch deck.
Within the dark and cramped cockpit block resided the feeling of both calmness and excitement of anticipation.
The projected retinal HUD fed the ever changing tactical situation of the assault to his view and his ears listened to the endless open channel radio chatters.
“Laser class kill ratio at 75%. Naval artillery is going to keep up its fire. All TSF units take care to deconflict your flight paths with the friendly artillery. “
“Sealine Squadron has reached the shore. Securing the Beachhead now!”
“Additional inbound BETA Group detected! At least 2000 or more!”
“TSF assault forces are 120 seconds to launch point. All Assault ships do not slow down! Fear not the Lasers!”
(so this is what it is like to be on an beach head assault….)

Taking deep and slow breaths, Theodore’s managed to maintain his normal facade of a calm individual.
The radio chatters, the view gained from the Peenemunde’s external cameras showed him an image of a truly epic large scale warfare. From the number of artillery fire, missiles and tracers from the guns of the assault force to the countless lasers still coming from inland have truly humbled Theodore on his views of what a large scale operation really is.
(Indeed a battle of such a scale can never be mounted by the East German forces alone. …… this is on a whole other level. )
His distrust for the West German while still there, has been much lessened since the opening of this campaign. The amount of guts and valor it takes to make the sacrifices by the West German to have made this assault possible is something that Theodore will forever respect.
Weeks ago when UN surveillance satellites confirmed the formation of a new BETA attack wave within Polish borders. To crush this BETA battle group before they gain momentum and size to threaten the already strained European defense lines, an emergency culling operation codenamed ”Neptune” was ordered to be carried out by the UN Atlantic eastern expeditionary forces. Spearheading the advance of this operation was an emergency taskforce formed of units from both east and west Germany, and at the tip of this spear was none other than the infamous 666th TSF Squadron Schwarzesmarken of the NVA(People's National Army).

As per SOP the navy has shelled the Beachhead with Heavy metal anti laser shells for hours in conjunction with high explosive shells to thin and suppress the Laser classes around the coastal areas. But even then it is still virtually impossible to suppress every single laser class. And now as the assault Ships closed in on the beachhead, they have garnered more and more attention of the still surviving laser classes.
“Supply ship Fuhlendorf is hit. I say again Fuhlendorf is hit. He is going down……………..!”
Hearing that on the radio, Theodore can see Katia’s expression go pale and her body stiffened noticeably on his com window. Fear of their assault ship being hit with a direct laser exposure no doubt plagued her mind at that moment.
“The majority of the lasers are suppressed and occupied, only the unlucky ships are being hit right now.”
“ah..ok..i guess.”
Seeing as Katia still tightening her grip on her control stick, Theodore kicked himself for trying to cheer her up with his old habit of using cold logic to calm himself down in the heat of battle. Clearly it doesn’t work so well on someone like Katia.
“Everyone, have you heard this one before?”
The squadron CO Irisdina’s smiling face appeared on the com window and her voice ever so calm and soothing.
“when a grandfather reads a bed time story to his grandson, the child asks his grandpa…”
The squadron net remained quiet as everyone’s attention is focused on Irisdina.
“Granpa, which children’s fairytale did you have to listen to the most?. ‘The Bible of course.’”

Anett was trying hard to suppress her laughter. Katia is laughing too. But being the relatively new girl, Lyz is kind of speechless at the moment, no doubt she never expected someone like Irisdina to be cracking jokes at times like these, much less a bible joke.
He should have known, in the time he served with Irisdina she always tries to say something that would incite laughter among her troops during moments of tension and danger.
Once again Theodore smiled sarcastically at himself for realizing how much more he have to go before he can get anywhere near Irisdina’s level of mental maturity.
“60 seconds till assault force launch point. All TSFs and carrier transport units perform final launch and pre take off checks now.”
As Theodore quickly runs his final system checks he can feel the deck beneath him rumble as the elevator began lifting his TSF to the surface deck. Finally, he can use his own metaphorical “eyes” to view the battlefield.
All around him he could see other assault boats also raising their load of TSF to their top deck and further off in to the distance, amidst the explosions that seem to be everywhere he could make out ships being hit by lasers and ships which are heavily mauled and on fire.
(so it begins….)
At this distance, due to metal cloud interference he could not get a clear read on the status of the A-6 Units currently establishing a beachhead on the shores. Every once in a while he could make out a particularly large series of explosion on the beach and from what he could make out on the radio the A-6s are still knee deep in the shit but still pushing on despite losses.

“All 666th TSF Units. Ready yourselves. It’s time to start our Hunt.”
Irisdina’s voice was loud and full of unquestionable authority.
“Our mission is to expand the beachhead alongside the A-6 units already fighting there and to push past them once the rear assault forces have made it to the shoreline. Update from higher shows an additional 30000 BETA have joined the fight on the beachhead. Prepare yourself for the most chaotic close quarter battle you can imagine.”
30000 more Beta would be similar to what we had to deal with on the Oder Neisse with at least brigade supporting us. Its going to be tough, there is no doudt about that, but with naval fire support all we have to do is to hold the beach head until the rest of the landing assault force gets here and we are good to go.
“ Just like what we did in our work up training for this op. We are going to skim the sea. Follow my lead! All units takeoff now!”
Lt. Gretel using a voice no less strong than Irisdina’s, voiced her own orders.
“You heard her! All rearguard flight Take off and follow!”
Theodore, Katia and lyz responded and ignited their own jump units. Taking off from the deck they could see ahead of them the members of the main flight—Irisdina, Walter, Sylvia and Anett taking off as well.
(lets see what we can do as a squadron with this roster setup.)
Under the g-force shock of his jumpjet and feeling the uneasiness in his gut Theodore once again felt the new found weight of leadership and the responsibility that came with it. For indeed Irisdina have entrusted the command of the rear flight to Theodore and it is up to him to watch and utilize the lives of the 3 other pilots of the rear flight to carry out the orders of Captain Irisdina and to keep them alive through the upcoming trip through hell .

(for the me right now, this is my limit. I can only imagine how people like Irisdina can bear their responsibility of command for so many lives.)
His eyes naturally shifted to Irisdina’s unit and felt that his desire to live up to the expectations ---of she who saved his life and soul ,and given him new found purpose in life- have never been so strong.
(not just Anett, but Lyz too)
It’s typical and expected for Anett to give her war cry before charging into the fray but, hearing Lyz’s unmistakable voice doing her own battle cry was something of a surprise for Theodore. And it reminded him again that this would be the first time he has fought alongside his step-sister on a real battlefield.
Spearheading the charge. The 8 Mig 21 of the 666th TSF squadron cut across the Baltic sea at full thrust to meet their destiny.

TSFIA Summaries
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