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Kita looked up at the ceiling of the conference room. It had a scene of galaxies and stars painted on the faux wood finish. She wished she was that far away right now. They group had been arguing for six hours and no idea had proven to give them a chance.

The first hour was taken up arguing over who was in charge. She had to give it Commander Wang. He had the courage to stand up for himself. The two Ruby generals had also staked their claim. After reviewing each group's tactics, logistics, and remaining men, Kita offered to walk out and take her armies with her.

The chain of command established, Kita brought a model of the terrain they'd be fighting in. The main terrain feature was the pass in the mountains called the Window. Almost half a mile wide it was the main trade route into The Orient. The Window connected The Orient with Germania up a very long sustained grade on both sides. The climb up from Germania followed a costal route. On The Orient side, the path wound down the mountainside into Ruby City.

Kita was thankful for the terrain of The Orient. A fertile delta plan surrounded on four sides by mountains, it only had four overland routes in and out. The fifth route came through a narrow sea lane connecting the large inner bay with the greater sea trade. Ruby City sat under the Window and if it fell the region would fall within hours.

The loss of the trade route was already taking its toll on the Region. Using the ships computers Nina calculated fifty seven percent of the region's trade passed through the Window. Kita muttered to Nina how such a remote place could be so technologically advanced. Nina replied they didn't have to waste energy fighting or on defense and food was plentiful.

Returning her attention back to the current bad idea, she pulled up a smaller map of a larger section of the region. It showed the giant mountain that sat on the seaside of the Window. Next she brought up the enemy overlay. Studying they're positions, she looked for weaknesses farther down the mountain. The enemy was coming from inland by passing the lower part of the coast. Only a light guard watched the area. Up the coastal route, units were bunched up ready to take their turn to push forward, while supply lines marched up to the front. The coastal plain narrowed as it reached the Window. It was almost twenty miles wide down by the sea and narrowed to half a mile, a lot of units moving into an ever narrowing space. She counted twenty-nine divisions parked along the thirty mile length of the coastal plain, more than seven times the number she had.

She had to figure out how to multiple her side and minimize the other. The terrain was technically at her advantage. The Window gave excellent visibility down the coastal plane. Useful if she had long range weapons, which she didn't. Her tanks had a range of almost two miles. After that it was pretty much close in, less than a thousand yards. It made for a bigger kill zone and at she believed her side had a longer range, countered of course by the Red Legion numbers. The unknown was the unit types her side hadn't seen in a long time, exosoldiers, warbots, gunships and helicopters. And she was without the one person who could counter these threats easily. Of course, even he had limits.

Kita closed the map, tired of looking at an impossible situation. Looking up she groaned. The brainstorming session had collapsed into nothing but an argument.

"Enough!" Kita yelled. "Sit down." She ordered to the entire group. "So far all I've seen is thirty different ways to end up like Colonel Custer. I want to win, not slow them down or bring home twenty thousand dead irreplaceable troops. Everyone take a break. Get something to eat, drink, get some air, and we'll come back and try again. I haven't picked you because you all follow orders without question. I've picked you because you're all brilliant and creative commanders. When we come back I want some ideas outside of this narrow military mindset we're stuck in. Dismissed."

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