In ancient mythology, long-lost to the tides of history, there is a war-god, a deity of thunder and lightning; whose name was bestowed upon one of the earliest orbital bombardment systems. The formal term is a ‘Long-rod kinetic energy impactor’. They are a specialty of the Caldari armed forces. Simple enough in concept, really: take a metal bar, put some fins on one end and a rudimentary guidance system on the other. Gravity does the hard work, it doesn’t even need that much of a propulsion kick. Depending on the size, they can turn a ground combat vehicle into a flattened beer-can or cause a planetary extinction event.
I chose something in the middle.


The atmosphere of the gas-giant world simply couldn’t get out of the way fast enough. Compressed to the point of incandescence and beyond, each of the Kinetic Energy Weapons was enveloped by a teardrop of atmospheric plasma that blocked even my ability to communicate with the on-board guidance packages as they left a fiery trail through the hydrogen sky. Man-made lightning bolts from the new gods of the heavens, reaching down to smite a helpless world below.
The target structures were, by any planetary definition, huge. Massive floating gas extractors, processing and storage facilities. The first flight of ‘rods from god’ targeted the primary extraction sites. Civilian structures, unarmored and undefended. Also unmanned; there were none to watch as the first of the targeted meteors struck home. Guided by the nihilistically suicidal programing of the flight computer, the KEW was moving at speeds normally reserved for orbital bodies. Thankfully, perhaps, the weapon flashed through the facility faster than any bolt of lightning; expending only a tiny fraction of its energy into the structure before continuing on its path to the metallic hydrogen core of the world. To actually stop a weapon such as this took a backstop significantly more substantial. Such as a continent.
Unfortunately though; even a percentage of that sort of impact is still significant. The hole punched clean through the automated factory included quite a bit of structural and mechanical materials; and while more resistant to getting shoved aside than the atmosphere through which it passed, it must be stated again that even a little bit of KEW impact is a lot. Structural materials and processing equipment blew outwards from the newly-punched tunnel in shrapnel ranging in size from a person to a small ground-car, spreading the destruction. Volatiles detonated from the heat of the plasma-wave accompanying the missile. Belching fire and debris, the gas processing facility groaned, canted, and fell from the sky into the crushing depths below. Four more structures, one each for the rounds in the first volley, followed it into oblivion.
Less than seven seconds after the first, my launchers cycled another quintet of KEW torpedoes into the void and sent them hurtling towards the world below. A second after that I was back under cloak, monitoring the meteoric strikes on the automated manufacturing facilities I had paid for and seeded from orbit not a month before. Another series of flashes amidst the clouds below as I closed on the terminator. This was the last of four worlds to receive my attention in this system; and aside from some new craters on the rocky inner worlds, there was no trace I’d ever been in this region of the galaxy.
Spacetime barely rippled as my covert jumpdrive spun up and I lept clear of the constellation.

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