"Anatomy of a War" - Alt-Trekverse Fic

UF: Stories written by users, both fanfics and original.

Moderator: LadyTevar

Post Reply
User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

"Anatomy of a War" - Alt-Trekverse Fic

Post by Steve »

This is like "The Road to Hell", in that it's based off material from The Great Game SD that we had been doing on SB, just that it's for the history of my PC as opposed to the history of the central universe in that SD.

I was encouraged to post it here, and I hope everyone enjoys it. This, after all, is what happens when you introduce a society with a competent, well-armed military to the Trek universe. :twisted:

Mwinyiburg, Henderson, ADN Colonial Zone
Universe ST-3
20 November 2153 AST
11:45 GST
Approx. UFP Stardate: 44890

In the backyard of a small suburban home, Hawa Small was kneeling by her five year-old son Farid to clean the boy up after he'd gotten muddy from going into the dirt after playing in their small swimming pool. As she wiped the towel over the boy's face, clearing the lighter brown mixture from her son's dark ebony skin, Farid asked, "Mama, what's a Texan?"
"Texans are people from Texas."
"Ms. Jenny at school says she's Texan. Where is it?" More questions from the always curious Farid.
"Texas is a country in North America, Farid. Well, from our Earth's North America. It's a State in the United States on the other Earths."
"What's the United States?"
"You'll learn what that is, was, when you get older and have history class," Hawa finished wiping away her son's face and looked him straight in the eye. "Now, you have to promise me you won't be jumping into the dirty after swimming. The dirt here becomes mud very easily." She was going to have to speak to her husband about getting an artificial lawn. "And it makes you very...."
Everything around them got terribly white for a moment. Farid brought his hands up to his eyes and screamed. Panicking, Hawa grabbed his hands and pulled them away. "Mama, I can't see!" he cried.
Hawa turned to see what had blinded her son, and the sight she saw caused her draw to stop. "Oh my God...."
In the distance, a mushroom cloud was growing on the horizon.

In Orbit

The Xepolite freighter Deyteliz pulled out of orbit a few moments after the vessel's sensors detected the atomic detonation directly below them, in the Bajoran settlement of Gytep. They had just finished transporting their load of unique consumer goods to a warehouse in Mwinyiburg. As the vessel powered it's warp drive, the Hetman who commmanded the vessel looked to his special "passenger". "The package was received."
"Very good," the dark-clothed Cardassian replied. "If you excuse me, I'll be in my quarters."
The Hetman nodded and watched the Cardassian leave. Like a handful of other Xepolite merchants, he'd done jobs for the Cardassian government, but this one left him feeling uneasy and frightened.
Though not enough that he didn't mind being paid.

12:50 GST

Seated in the back of one of the trucks rumbling out toward Gytep from Mwinyiburg, Father Joseph Diagana - a priest of the Roman Catholic Church - was riding with Father Daniel Haddis of the Ethiopian Coptic Church. The two men were acquaitances and friends, and often talked about issues of Christian doctrine and faith. But now they were silent in their radiation suits, small bibles in their hands and grim expressions on their faces.
The truck rumbled to a stop in what had been home to thousands of Bajorans and aid workers. Many were still alive, though virtually all had radiation burns. As he emerged from the back of the truck and looked out, Father Diagana's mouth started to drop open. "Holy Mother of God..."
There were bodies laid out everywhere. In fact, it appeared that immediately after the nuclear detonation that shattered their new homes, the Bajorans had grimly set to work in dealing with the aftermath even as their bodies grew racked from radiation sickness. A Bajoran priest wearing charred clothes that looked like they'd melted into his body was trying to comfort a weeping young Human aid worker. One of the Bajorans directed Fathers Haddis and Diagana to the place to do their work - the lines of charred corpses wearing the various uniforms of aid workers and others. The two priests went to work giving the Last Rites to the slain while medical workers went to work on sustaining and healing the living.
Another truck had a camera crew from one of the local media TV stations. A frowning, sick-looking young woman looked into the camera from inside her radiation suit and began to speak of the known facts; that a nuclear device had been detonated in the Bajoran refugee settlement of Gytep, that there were over three thousand people living in Gytep, and that the casualty estimates had yet to be determined.
The reporter then brought the camera to a grisly site; a fallen building that had once been the town school. Nearby the rubble, where the irradiated Bajorans were still digging, was a line of small corpses. The reporter and her cameraman were silent as the shot panned over them. A Bajoran woman wearing scorched rags and with prominent radiation burns on her face and body was looking through the line. FInally she seemed to spot the right identifying mark, probably a necklace, and began to wail as she fell to her knees and lifted the charred, blackened body into her arms, some patches of surviving blonde hair on the child's scalp. The woman's crying was hysterical and painracking, drawing sobs from the reporter as her cameraman captured the image for all the world to see.
Nearby, as he gave Last Rites to the scorched remains of the Human schoolteacher, Father Diagana prayed for more than the woman's soul. He prayed for Justice. This was not just a tragedy. This was a grievous sin, an evil committed against innocent people.
And Father Diagana knew that the wicked who committed this sin would be punished.

Paris, Earth, United Federation of Planets
15:45 GST

Inside the spacious Presidential office overlooking the Eiffel Tower in the distance, Gao Hi-Yuan sat in a simple gray jumpsuit. The Commissioner of Starfleet Operations, Kerlo Tobis, was standing to one side. Admiral Garfield Dayton of Starfleet Intelligence was standing to the other. The two men had just informed Gao of the priority report about the atomic detonation at Gytep. "I see," Gao said. "Was it detonated by Bajoran terrorists and was it an intentional act?"
"We can't tell for either," Commissioner Tobis stated.
Gao nodded slowly at that. "Well, we need to get confirmation. The political situation would justify a demand for observers to the cleanup of Gytep, would it not? Our observers could also verify Gytep was a terrorist training camp."
"Yes, Mister President. I'll send out the order for Starfleet to assemble an observation team immediately. As soon as you get approval from the Alliance Government...."
"Do you really think the Alliance will bow to the demand?"
"Of course, Admiral Dayton." Gao smiled slightly. "Otherwise, they would confirm to the entire Alpha Quadrant that they had something to hide."
"Unless they had nothing," Dayton said.
Tobis rolled his eyes. "Admiral, you cannot seriously be questioning the intelligence again?"
"I'm not questioning it's authenticity," Dayton snapped. "I'm questioning how it was interpreted! We did not get any confirmation of the nature of Gytep before we informed the Cardassian Embassy of our find."
"Admiral, please don't insult our intelligence, and I'm not talking about spook crap when I say that!" Tobis slammed an open hand on the table beside the chair he was sitting in. "They were shipping weapons to the nearby city of Mwinyiburg. Heavy infantry weapons, the kind that the Bajoran terrorist fighters have been using to give the Cardassians on Bajor fits! Why would they be shipping arms to Mwinyiburg? The Alliance military has no supply depot there, and their Army and Marine bases are thousands of kilometers away!"
Dayton shook his head. "You have no idea of how dangerous this situation is? And how dangerous it is to make such a critical judgement based on very little hard evidence?"
"I believe Commissioner Tobis is quite aware of the danger, Admiral," Gao said, cutting in. "And I agree with his assessment, just as I did then. The Alliance has been working to destabilize the entire region. First Kelos and now Bajor. They must be brought to heel. This incident will embarrass their government. It will hurt their standing in the Alpha Quadrant and will probably bring down their current Administration. And I believe Rachel MacKenzie will be a far more reasonable leader than the militarist they have now." Gao leaned forward in his chair toward his desk. "I will be dispatching a note through the Alliance Embassy to President Mamatmas, insisting that the Federation be allowed to inspect the Gytep ruins as part of an investigation into how an atomic device was detonated in what was supposed to be a refugee settlement. Gentlemen, you are dismissed."

Washington D.C., Earth, Alliance of Democratic Nations
Universe Designate HE-1
19:50 GST

Inside the Oval Office, President Nicolas Mamatmas faced down his top security advisors with cold brown eyes. "Gentlemen, Lady," he nodded to Omiko Takahara, his Security Advisor. "I want to know what the Hell has happened on Henderson."
From his seat by Takara, Intelligence Director Sir James Bronson was the first to speak. "The investigation is still underway, Mister President. However, we have assembled enough data to rule out Bajoran involvement in the nuclear detonation."
"In what way?"
"The analysis of the blast pattern," Bronson answered. "Ground Zero was a public pavilion. Not the best place to hide a nuclear weapon. And our analysis of the residual elements and traces tell us it was a very crude device."
"Could it have been a suitcase nuke?"
"No. It was probably a tritium boosted device. Very low tech."
"The kind of device that Bajoran fighters would be able to put together using commnet data," Takahara stated. "This was a clear attempt to make the Bajoran liberation movement the primary suspect."
"How? Was it active in Gytep?"
"Not very."
Mamatmas nodded. "Anything else?"
"At the moment of detonation, a Xepolite-crewed freighter, the Deyteliz, was in orbit delivering cargo to a supplier in Mwinyiburg." Bronson leaned forward and handed Mamatmas a manila-colored folder. Within were documents and reports, including a picture of an alien warp-capable spacecraft. "Our sources have identified the Deyteliz as belonging to a Xepolite trading company with known ties to Cardassian military intelligence."
Mamatmas looked up from the folder with a scowl. "The Cardassians did this?"
Bronson exchanged a look with Takahara. "It is very possible."
Mamatmas turned his eyes from Takahara and Bronson to his Defense Minister, Gregory Rathbone. "Minister Rathbone, what do you think?"
"Given the information at hand, Mister President..." Rathbone shrugged. "It does look like the Cardassians could be respon...."
Bronson's phone rang at that moment. He took it out, noticing Mamatmas' scowl, and said, "I set it to only accept priority calls." After explaining himself, Bronson took the call. He gave Mamatmas a concerned look and said, "Really? Fax them to my portable immediately." Bronson took out his portable computer system and fed a few sheets of paper into it's printer. As he did so, they printed out text, which Bronson took and read.
"Sir, our analysts just received the latest decrypted Cardassian comm intercepts from our one of our code-breaking teams." Bronson handed one of the sheets to Mamatmas. "You'd better look at this, sir."
"This is the same Mossad team that broke the Cardassians' administrative codes?"
"Yes, Mister President."
Mamatmas began reading the sheet. As he did so, his face began to pale. "This talk of a package, do we know who sent it?"
"The Mossad team's decoders checked his identification codes versus the ones MI6 acquired in August." Bronson's jaw was clenched. "His name is Ortem Jorcet. He's an Obsidian Order agent, former military. And according to his Cardassian service record, he used to be a naval engineer."
"Meaning he'd know how to build a tritium boosted atomic weapon." Mamatmas placed the paper down. "Can we link him to the Deyteliz?"
"Not yet, Sir. But we've sent out an order to monitor the Deyteliz's movements. If we're lucky, one of our agents in Cardassia might spot Jorcet disembarking."
"Okay, do we have any more evidence?" Mamatmas looked at the assembled. "I want to make sure I've got a strong case before we put forward a military response."
"The local traffic controllers noted that Deyteliz left far orbit within two minutes of the atomic detonation," Takahara replied. "And they said there was a power spike from Deyteliz during it's transport operation, corresponding closely to the time of detonation."
"Power spike?"
"The East African Space Traffic Control Bureau had their systems on Henderson upgraded four months ago with state-of-the-art sensor gear," Bronson said. "It's the best sensor gear available in the Alliance, Mister President. I''ve told my people to go through the records closely to see if we can find anything more to use."
"I'm still unsure, gentlemen. I..." Mamatmas' comm device on his desk buzzed. He pressed it and snapped, "Ms. Henley, I told you I was not to be disturbed."
"I'm sorry, Mister President, but I have a courier from the Foreign Ministry here with a priority dispatch from the Federation. It's supposed to be directly from President Gao."
Mamatmas bit into his lip. "Find, send it in!" He looked at the others as a smartly-dressed young African woman walked in, likely a minor Foreign Ministry bureaucrat. She apologized to the President for the interruption, handed him the slip of paper, and excused herself. Mamatmas sat back in his chair and read the paper. When he was finished he angrily tossed it aside. "Damn that pretentious....!"
"Mister President?"
Responding to Rathbone's gentle prod, Mamatmas thumped a hand on the table. "Word of this got damned fast to Paris in ST-3," he said. "The Federation is demanding that we allow them to send observers to Gytep for the investigation into what happened."
"What?" Rathbone's expression was one of confusion. "They've got nothing to do with this. And aren't they supposed to have that damned Prime Directive of non-interference?"
"Gao must have found out awfully fast about the attack. I wonder why he was so interested in Gytep?" Bronson shook his head. "Mister President, I do not like coincidences."
Mamatmas rubbed at his forehead. "I don't see why we shouldn't. Let his observers see all those little bodies." Again there was a call on Mamatmas' system. "Yes, Ms. Henley?"
"Sir, the Federation Embassy has announced that President Gao will be going live on IUNS in ten minutes. The Embassy sent a personal memo informing you that you needed to watch."
"You can tell Ambassador Merryweather that...." Mamatmas stopped himself from losing his temper. "Ms. Henley, I'd like to be left alone from now on. Do not worry about informing me of anything short of a declaration of war until I say otherwise."
"Yes, Mister President."
For the next ten minutes, the discussion was centered on the facts of the investigation, the kind of press statement that should be drawn up. At the appropriate time, Mamatmas turned his chair to the wall and activated the monitor. The locale of Paris and the Federation President's office was clear. Gao sat in his usual suit, staring at the screen. Then he began to give his live address.
"As many already know," Gao began, "eight hours ago an atomic device was detonated in a Bajoran-occupied camp in Alliance territory, on the planet Henderson. The use of atomic weaponry is a horror,.and rightfully so. But it comes to no surprise to this government. While working with the Cardassian Union to deal with the dangers of Bajoran terrorism, Federation sources uncovered arms shipments to Gytep by sources in Alliance government. This could only lead to one conclusion; that Gytep was not a refugee camp as often claimed, but was in fact a terrorist training camp established and supported by the Alliance Government for the purposes of destabilizing the Cardassian Union and it's authority. We had informed the Cardassian government of this discovery in the hopes that Cardassia might have a chance to protect itself. Now we see that it was unneeded. The fanaticism of these Bajoran terrorists is seemingly so great that they were developing nuclear weapons to use against Cardassian forces, perhaps civilians, and it is a great fortune that they accidentally destroyed themselves with it instead of slaughtering innocent Cardassians. But even if the terrorists are gone, their backers remain. The Federation demands that the Alliance Government cease it's support for Bajoran terrorism immediately, that they turn over to Cardassia agents of terror for trial, and that they pay reparations...."
Mamatmas shut off the TV and tossed the remote onto the table. "Those self-righteous sons of bitches," he said, somewhat shocked. "They uncover some piddly ass evidence and like damned taddle-telling children they go off to the fucking Cardassians and claim we're supporting terrorists?!" The others remained silent. Though Mamatmas did not curse often, it was never a surprise when he did; it was the grizzled old Master Chief showing through the refined statesman. "Can someone please tell me where Gao and those idiots got it in their heads that Gytep was a terrorist camp?!"
"We'll look into it immediately, Mister President."
"I'd better go start preparing a press statement. And get the media to show as much from Gytep as you can. It'll be damned hard for them to claim they were all terrorists when people are facing dead children." Mamatmas thumped a hand on the table. "I don't suppose the Cardassians did this because of what the Federation told them?!"
"Always a possibility, Mister President," answered Takahara. "It would explain why they used a nuclear weapon. It'd destroy what they assumed to be a resistance training camp and, at the same time, discredit the liberation movement and us when an investigation proved it as a training camp and not a refugee settlement."
"But it was a refugee settlement, and now the Cardassians have killed hundreds, maybe thousands of Bajorans immigrants in the Alliance and aid workers, including Alliance citizenis!" Mamatmas shook his head and tapped the button on his desk. "The press is going to whip the public up again."
A voice came over the intercom. "Yes, Mister President?"
"Ms. Henley, get me the Service Chiefs."

Gregson Aerospace Force Base, New Norwich, ADN Colonial Zone
Universe Designate ST-3
20:25 GST

Gregson AFB was the home base for the 34th Strategic Bomber Group, a force of three bomber squadrons with 20 bombers each, thus consisting overall of sixty warp-capable aerospace bombers; British-built Harris bombers all. It was well-placed, about twenty kilometers outside the city limits of Fredrecton on the Earth-like planet New Norwich.
Inside the base's main building and the officers' rec room, Flying Officers Sheila O'Malley and Jenny Gomez were having a very unladylike arm-wrestling competition, much to the enjoyment of their fellows. However, it was soon to be interrupted.
As assembled officers of the 34th, 98th, and 112th Squadrons looked on, one of the Squadron Leaders turned the TV over to IUNS. It was replaying the Federation President's press conference and claim that Gytep was a Bajoran terrorist camp. A chorus of boos came from the assembled. Afterwards all eyes were fixed on IUNS giving footage from the aftermath of Gytep. Several broke into tears at the rows of dead children, the sight of Red Cross workers' burned corpses laid out, and the grim-faced Ethiopians from Mwinyiburg working on helping the survivors. The editor made sure to show the footage of what was widely becoming a signature photo of the event; a burned Bajoran woman cradling a blackened little corpse in her arm, crying. A few Catholics among the group crossed themselves out of habit for such a scene. It was heat-wrenching and enraging at the same time.

Two floors up, in the Base Command Center, Group Captain Amelia Fubuki was standing amongst the glowing lights and instruments of the command center, linked as it was to planetary traffic control and the Planetary Defense Command dug deep under the capitol city Lewisburg that was sixty kilometers away. Granted, Gregson AFB had no fighters - the aerospace fighter jets of the 54th Planetary Defense Group were stationed at McCarter AFB thirty kilometers from Lewisburg - but they all had to be aware of impending attack so that she could get her bombers in the air, if necessary.
The man at communications called out to her. "Captain, ma'am, we're getting a priority message from Sector Command."
This immediately brought Fubuki's attention. Sector Command on New Liberty would only be sending a priority message if.... She walked up and took the printout as it came out of the printing system. After reading it carefully, she asked the tech officer, "Are it's codes good?"
"Yes ma'am, the system has authenticated the codes."
"Then put me on the base PA."

The officers were still watching TV when an alert whistle came over the base PA system. "Attention all personnel, this is Base Commander Fubuki speaking. We have just received a command priority message from Sector Command, coming straight from Washington. At 20:19 GST, our Commander-in-Chief the President ordered all Alliance military forces in Universe Designate ST-3 to change alert level to DefCon 2. Repeat, we are now at DefCon 2. In compliance with the change in alert level, the base is under lockdown. Repeat, Gregson AFB is being locked down now. No one can leave or enter without authorization. All bomber crews are ordered to be ready to report for duty in thirty minutes. All officers will report to briefing at that time. That is all."
Thirty minutes later, all of the officers in the Group were assembled at briefing. Captain Fubuki and her subordinate, Wing Commander Lenny Tasker, greeted them and informed them that each squadron would rotate 8 hour shifts - in accordance with their new alert status, there would be one squadron in the air or space at any given time. Squadron Leader Fred Storms volunteered his 98th Squadron to go first.
Not half an hour later, Flying Officer Jenny Gomez was pushing the throttle in the cockpit of her Harris bomber, dubbed the Death Blossom, as it lifted off from Runway 4 of Gregson AFB. The bomber climbed in accordance with flight regs until it reached optimum high atmosphere altitude. At that point, Flying Officer Gomez switched to the belly thrusters to push the bomber into sub-orbit, from which she engaged the impulse drives and waited for her flight. The five flights of the 98th Squadron assembled into loose formation and moved away from New Norwich. Squadron Leader Storms gave each Flight an individual flight path. Gomez lined her Harris up with her Flight Lieutenant's craft and followed him into warp.

Trier, Earth, United Federation of Planets
23:18 GST

The Central Committee for the Idealogue Party was holding an evening session at Gao's request so that he could brief them to the developments in the Alliance Colonial Zone. The Committee was large, with over thirty members. They were in some ways the true power of the Federation - Party policy was dicated by the Committee, and all Party members generally had to be in line with policy lest they lose their patronage. And at the moment, the Idealogues controlled the government.
The door to the room opened and an aide walked up to Gao, who was listening to Committee Clerk Rathgol Torskani speaking. He whispered something into Gao's ear and handed him a PADD. Gao read it and his jaw dropped slightly. The Centauran Torskani looked at Gao with an expression of interest and stopped speaking. "President, is there something you need to share?"
Gao seemed to recollect himself for the moment, as if judging whether to share this new information with the Committee. Finally, trapped by Torskani, he nodded slowly. "Yes, Comrade Torskani," he replied. "Starfleet just forwarded a report from their stations on the Alliance border. The Alliance military just went on high alert."
There were blank looks across the room. "Mamatmas is going to escalate," an Andorian, Dortavkh My'Toaro, said aloud. "He's going to accuse someone of attacking Gytep. Comrade Gao, shouldn't we put Starfleet on alert? What if Mamatmas blames us?"
"That will be unnecessary," Gao said confidentally. Having recovered from the immediate shock of Mamatmas' escalation, he was now thinking his way through. "Mamatmas is rattling the saber and hoping to divert attention from the fact that his government was aiding Bajoran terrorists. But the Alliance press is uncontrollable. They will prove us right."
"Are you so certain?" Torskani folded his hands together at his seat. "How do we know for certain that this is, was, a terrorist camp?"
"Our intelligence found the Alliance shipping weapons there. Why else would they be sending heavy ordinance to Gytep but to train Bajoran terrorists?"
"Did you investigate the matter further?"
Gao scowled. Torskani was ambitious and now Gao feared that Torskani was going to use this incident against him. "We did all we could. And our agreement with Cardassia required us to share the information."
Torskani didn't reply to that externally, but Gao knew he was thinking on it. "Well, Comrade Gao, perhaps you should go attend to this new development?"
Gao nodded slowly before answering, "Yes, I will." He stood from his chair. "As Chairman of the Committee, I turn the meeting over to the Clerk. I shall see you again tomorrow." At that point, Gao left.
Torskani waited until he was gone before continuing the meeting. "Comrades, I fear that the Party Chairman and President has miscalculated in his recent decisions. There is growing evidence from footage from sources on Henderson that Gytep was not a terrorist camp. We should prepare a contingency should..."

Gao stepped off the transporter at Starfleet Command in San Francisco and stormed into the Command Center to meet with Tobis and Starfleet C-in-C Matthews. "What's going on?!", he demanded. "Has Mamatmas really put his forces on a war alert?"
"No, but he's gotten damned close," Matthews replied. "According to the information being released, Alliance military forces in ST-3 are at DefCon 2. That is the highest non-war alert level that the Alliance military has. The next step, DefCon 1, is essentially a war warning and indicates that war is imminent."
"He's insane!" Gao looked at the map screen, showing the Alliance Colonial Zone and markers for Alliance naval units deploying toward Cardassia and the Federation. "He's given himself no more room for escalation!"
"Or he knows something we don't," Matthews said.
"Order our local starbases and starships to increase sensor scans." Gao found himself sweating. "For all we know, he intends to attack us for the announcement we've made!"
"Sir, we have a small reserve we can deploy," Matthews said. "We could bring border strength up to 50 starships within 36 hours. And I can have the Enterprise on location in 72 hours."
"Fifty starships? Fifty-one including the Enterprise? How many ships does the Alliance have on sight?"
"Counting the ships monitoring space in Kelos? Roughly four hundred," was Tobis' response. "More if you count the border security forces like their cutters."
"Get me the Cardassian Embassy, then. If it comes down to it, the Alliance will be crushed between our forces and the Cardassians."
"The Cardassians, sir?" Matthews was taken aback. "Sir, I don't think we can trust them..."
"We have to now!" Gao stabbed a finger at the map. "These extra-universals... they're mad! They get caught supporting terrorists and their choice is to escalate tensions to war?!"
The door opened and Admiral Dayton entered. "Mister President, Admiral, Commissioner..." Dayton brought up an isolinear chip. "We just got this feed from one of our agents in the Alliance. It's from the private Internet site of one of the cleanup people in Gytep." He slipped the chip into a data port on the main screen controls and brought up the video.
The video was clear enough. The person carrying the video recording device was walking about in rubble, showing burned Bajorans and Humans being treated by emergency personnel in radiation suits. The agent continued to walk about, showing the diggers preparing what would be mass graves for the unidentifiable bodies. And then the bodies themselves - some tragically small, all burned beyond recognition. Most of the faces in the room turned white. Matthews' jaw fell. "Mister President, if this is released to the press...."
"It won't be. The State Press cannot be allowed to circulate this," Gao said. "We'll let Miller's people suppress it. They were always useful idiots."
"And what will we do in terms of the border sectors, Mister President? They're in range of Alliance subspace transmitters. They can pick up Alliance news sources. Can you imagine what this will rile up in the Muscovite Worlds? New Minnesota? Vertola?"
"Jam them, if you have to." Gao's mind was racing. This had to be fake, it had to be! If it wasn't..... The realization that dawned on him was horrible. If there were no terrorists in Gytep, then who set off the nuke? The Cardassians were obvious suspects. And the Cardassians suspected Gytep because Gao's people had told them to.
"This has to be fake!" Tobis' expression was one of bewilderment. "Our intel was good!"
"It was obviously incorrectly analyzed," Dayton said, trying not to give off an "I told you so" attitude lest he lose his job.
"Who cares about the intel?!" Gao's shout filled the room. "Gentlemen, do you realize that the Federation could be drawn into a conflict because of this?! The Committee will have my head on a platter, and even if they don't want it, the Council will deliver it to them anyway!"
"Then what can we do, Mister President?"
"The only thing we can. Get ready for the worst and wait." Gao leaned against the table, suddenly feeling older and tired. "We'll let Mamatmas play the hand he's holding, and see where it leaves us."

Washington D.C., Earth, Alliance of Democratic Nations
Universe Designate HE-1
01:53 GST
21 November 2153 AST

Seated behind his deskin the Oval Office, Mamatmas was straightening his tie, now wearing a full suit with a black tie. Cameras were being set up for Mamatmas' imminent public address, to be held at exactly 0200 GST. Before him was a quick speech, effectively a public statement that was going to refute Gao's claims.
The door opened and Director Bronson entered. He walked right up to Mamatmas and handed him a folder. "Here, Mister President."
Mamatmas opened the folder and saw a picture of a Cardassian male on the inside. "This is Jorcet?"
"The Deyteliz arrived at Bajor two hours ago. This was taken by one of our sources in the Bajoran Resistance currently living on the orbital refining station Terok Nor."
"And Jorcet couldn't have boarded anywhere else?"
"The only other planet they stopped at was a brief, thirty minute stop at Gormel III. We have a man there who watched their airlock. He didn't enter."
"Then we can link Jorcet to the Deyteliz, and the Deyteliz, can we prove it transported the bomb in?"
"Not yet, Mister President."
"Keep your people working. Prove it."
Bronson nodded and stepped away from the desk. Mamatmas placed the folder inside a drawer in his desk and started to look over his statement again.
Finally he was given the signal that the feed was about to begin. When the countdown finished, Mamatmas looked sternly at the cameras and began reading from the teleprompter.
"Good evening, fellow Citizens," he began. "Over fourteen hours ago, a nuclear device was detonated on the planet Henderson in Universe Designate ST-3. It completely destroyed the Bajoran refugee settlement of Gytep. The final casualty toll is still being assessed, but currently it stands at one thousand dead all of the settlement's 3,000 occupants wounded." Mamatmas began to deliberately make his voice stronger and harsher in tone. "This was not merely terrorism, but a deliberate act of murder against innocent and defenseless civilians and the dedicated men and women who worked selflessly to improve their lives."
"Our investigation into this attack is still proceeding," Mamatmas continued, "but we have already uncovered evidence that the Cardassian Union is responsible for this evil act. This evidence is convincing enough that six hours ago, I ordered all Alliance military forces in Universe Designate ST-3 to DefCon 2." And now for you, Gao, Mamatmas thought angrily as he gave a dramatic pause of a couple moments. "I will also state that I am personally appalled and angered by the behavior of the Federation President. While innocent Bajorans weep for the slaughter of their children, President Gao has the audacity, the sheer nerve, to claim that they are terrorists who deserved to be slaughtered and that this Government supports terrorism against civilians! As President of the Alliance Government, I have lodged the strongest diplomatic protest possible over this callous disregard for the suffering of innocents. And as an individual, I am enraged that President Gao seeks to use this tragedy, this despicable event, to attack the Alliance and the innocent Bajorans that we are protecting. The Federation has no only decided to abandon innocents to Cardassian brutality, but now they attack others for not doing the same. But this Government is not the Federation, and so long as I am President, the Alliance will never choose the path of appeasement."
"The investigation into the attack is continuing, but I can insure everyone that the following will happen. We will find out the truth. We will find those responsible for this act of terrorism. We will strike back and we will punish the guilty in full accordance with all that is right and just. And we will not allow the saber-rattling of Cardassia, the rulers of what I can justly call an Evil Empire, to divert us from our goal. That is all."
The feed cut. Mamatmas leaned back in his seat and put a hand to his chin. Now to wait and see what would happen. But in his heart, Mamatmas knew how this would end. It was the only way it could end.

Capital City, Cardassia, Cardassian Union
Universe Designate ST-3
03:36 GST
21 November 2153 AST

The Capital City of Cardassia, founded and built after the military takeover of the government, was a sprawling technological metropolis with over ten million people living within a fifty kilometer radius of the center. It was in the center that the Command Complex was located. A massive network of offices, conference rooms, and even a barracks and a jail, the Command Complex was the heart of Cardassian power.
Deep inside that beating heart was a rather non-descript conference room kept for the use of the Central Command's Political Advisory Board. The Political Advisors were in effect the executive rulers of Cardassia, though their power was not absolute. It was they that "advised" the Detepa Council on what measures to take in government. In the Byzantine world of Cardassian internal politics, the Political Advisors were among the big players, since it took enormous influence and prestige to get appointed to the Board.
At the head of the Political Advisors was the Legate, Aamin Kelataza. The Legate - Legata in the original Cardassian - was the de facto ruler of Cardassia. Leader of the Central Command, head of the Political Advisory Board, and commander of the Home Guard Force, the Legate was the most powerful individual in the Union, though even his power was assailable by the right combination of foes. Legates had indeed been forcibly removed three times before in the history of Cardassian military rule, and nearly a dozen more times had seen Cardassian Legates retiring to avoid a similar fate. The ease in which entire leadership could change meant that the struggle for power in Cardassia never ended even as the State itself continued onward, as relentless as ever. Cardassians were often fond of saying that there was no greater power than the State, and that the State was a being in of itself.
Currently, the Legate was with the other five senior members of the Advisory Board. They were all older men - only the youngest still had black in his whitening hair - and all had served in the military bureaucracy for decades, working their way up in the usual fashion of alternating between backstabbing and bootlicking (leading to another favored Cardassian saying, "Even the shoe shiner has a knife to plunge into your back when you trip"). The one true military veteran on the board was 1st Rank Gul Relim Torcet, head of the Military Strategy Staff, a long standing veteran of Cardassia's wars of expansion and internal struggles.
"The images the Alliance is releasing from Gytep are very disturbing," 1st Rank Gul Yatar Hergata - the Board Vice-Chief - remarked. "It is beginning to appear that Gytep was an innocent settlement after all."
"The damned Obsidians should have known better," was Relim's remark in reply. "Refimo, why didn't you confirm Gytep's status before sending the package?"
The white-haired, cold-blooded woman - Administrator Refimo Tapal, the Obsidian Order's representative to the Board - replied to that with narrowed eyes. "The Order has it's ways. We did not think we could get an agent close nough to Gytep to confirm it's status without tipping the Alliance off as to our interest in the settlement. Certainly, if it had been a terrorist camp, such activity would have tipped them off as to our interest."
"The Obsidian Order, admitting itself incapable of something? Ha!" Yatar's laugh filled the room. "You slipped up with this incompetent blunder, and now we look like fools!"
"Oh really?" Refimo grinned, which she did rarely and always with the impression of a predator appraising it's next meal. "There are a thousand less Bajorans to plague us, and now we have shattered their sense of security by killing them in Alliance territory."
"I take it from your words that you are assuming the Alliance will not go to war over this?"
"If they do, Legate, they will not win. The Alliance's form of government makes them susceptible to the pressures of the electorate. Like in the Federation, once we bleed them white in border fights, their own people will demand peace and their politicians will have to find a way to give it to them." Refimo grinned cruelly. "We, on the other hand, have no such weakness. We will wage war with them until we decide otherwise, instead of letting the people compel us to an unfavorable peace."
"That is an unsafe assumption." Relim shook his head and tapped the table. "I do not think we should rush to war. We need time to rebuild...."
"Have you been keeping up with what Old Man Feril has been doing, Torcet?"
Looking at Yatar, Relim shook his head. "I have not."
"He's living in an industrial apartment with some other old soldier. He lost his pension after backing down following the fight in August." Yatar scowled. "Now is not the time for this talk. We came to power because we promised to never again back down to the Alliance. We will not do so this time. If it means war, then there shall be war."
Relim shook his head. "You could be leading us right into disaster. We have already lost the high ground with the attack on Gytep. If the Alliance defeats us, our entire Empire could be placed at jeopardy."
"I am well aware of that," the Legate replied. "But I am afraid that we have run out of options. We cannot back down, otherwise we risk our Empire anyway. Either the Alliance shall back down, or we will go to war with them." The Legate looked to 1st Rank Gul Ziyal Loskal. "Gul Loskat, inform our commanders along the Federation frontier that they will be receiving redeployment orders soon. If it comes to war, I want as much as our fleet as possible to be in position to overwhelm the Alliance's forces before they can bring more to bear."
"It shall be a very short and victorious war, Legate," Loskal promised.

That night, Yatar Hergata's aide, 6th Rank Gul Celrim Famcet, returned to his decently-sized suite in the living section of the Complex, carrying with him papers he was to properly file away in the morning pertaining as to the day's Political Advisory Board meetings. Celrim was Yatar's son-in-law, married to Yatar's second-eldest daughter who was currently staying in Yatar's private mansion on Jel Ikar with their children.
After doing some work on the papers, Celrim put them away and looked to the person he shared the suite with. Young and pretty, with light reddish hair, Jorma Gedys was a Bajoran girl Celrim had picked up four years before while stationed on Bajor. She was rather cute, adhering to Celrim's ideal figure of a woman with her flat stomach and slight curves. He had spared her from the wrath of his troops, who had been looking to brutalize her in anger after a Resistance bombing had claimed the lives of the unit's favored Senior Trooper and a number of other troopers. After ensuring she was fed and clothed, Celrim had convinced her to come live with him as his mistress, promising to arrange for her parents and younger brother to be moved to a safe zone on the planet. Of course, he hadn't yet told her that her younger brother had just been put to death as a Resistance agent and that her parents had been sent to Gallitep as punishment for his treason. No need to tell her that and find her digging a knife into his back while he slept.
Gedys was wearing a silken night gown that flowed over her body quite losely. Celrim was feeling more wound up than exhausted, full of tension over the possibility of war and thus all the paperwork that a war would entail. He ordered Gedys to get him some kanar, and she did so obediently. He noticed she was still sulking. "It's about the abortion, isn't it?" he asked after taking his first drinks.
"I've always wanted a child," was her meek answer.
Celrim took another drink. The kanar was already starting to make him drunk. Finally, he reached out and smacked Gedys hard across the cheek. She fell back into a chair. "Stupid bitch," he muttered. "If I let you have a child, it'd ruin both of us. They'd ship you back to Bajor to be a troopers' whore and my father-in-law would have me and the child killed to spare my wife the embarrassment."
"I understand, Celrim," Gedys said, rubbing her cheek. "I was just saying...."
"Don't say anything. Just don't. This is Cardassia, saying things will get you into trouble." He swigged at his kanar again. "No matter how high your rank is."
Gedys nodded obediently.
"Go to the bedroom, I'll be there in a bit."
Celrim finished the bottle of kanar alone and went to the bedroom. Gedys had removed her clothes and laid upon the bed. Celrim went right to work, having his way with her while Gedys tried to avoid his stinking breath.
In a strange way, Gedys was fortunate that Celrim was so drunk and intent upon sex. There was no telling what he'd do to her if he saw the tears of shame in her eyes.

Sotomura Aerospace Force Base, Henderson, ADN Colonial Zone
Universe Designate ST-3
06:12 GST
21 November 2153 AST

Senior Airwoman Gwang Myung Sun strode into the locker rooms for the bomber crews of the 52nd Strategic Bomber Group with a particular objective in mind; find the Squadron Leader for the 66th Bomber Squadron and bring him to see the Base Commander, Group Captain Monica Sandhurst.
The Locker Rooms were generally co-ed, though the showers and changing rooms were not, so Gwang didn't feel out of place. Finding a crew member with the 66th Bomber Squadron's patch on, Gwang asked where she could find the Squadron Leader. "New here, aren't you?" the young man asked in a Southern twang.
"Yes," was Gwang's response, in slightly broken English.
"Figures. He's over there, tokin' up."
Gwang followed the Junior Technician's direction and went toward the end. A man was seated there, getting into a non-flight duty uniform with the officer rank insignia of a Squadron Leader - the equivalent of a Major in other services. He was dark-haired and well-built, but the most noticable thing about him was the cigar between his fingers, which he was in the process of lighting. By the time Gwang got to him, he was taking a puff from the burning cigar. He let out a puff of smoke when Gwang stood before him and saluted. "Sir, I am Senior Airwoman Gwang Myung Sun. I have been instructed to bring you to Captain Sandhurst's office."
The Squadron Leader calmly finished tying his shoes and stood up, puffing at his cigar before returning her salute, allowing the young woman to release her own. "Well, Airwoman Gwang, lead the way."

"Squadron Leader Ryan Sheppard." A sharp, bossy-sounding English accent echoed in the Base Commander's office. Standing at five feet eight inches, Monica Sandhurst still managed to seem imposing with her tone of voice, what one would expect from an aristocrat born to command. Her dirty blonde hair was not cut to regulation, so she kept it in a bun at the back of her head. Cold blue eyes stared at Sheppard as he settled into a seat opposite her desk. "Formerly Major, United States Air Force Universe Designate SE-1. Distinguished bomber pilot and officer, including a squadron command against the Agresskan and action against the Neo-Nazi Revolt."
Puffing at his cigar, Sheppard didn't show any immediate reaction. "That's me."
A thin smile came over Sandhurst's face. "That's not synthetic, is it?"
"I don't smoke synthetic."
"Then put that damned thing out." Sandhurst's tone was caustic. She kept a folder balanced between her arms. "I read your service jacket on the flight here. It's quite remarkable. Survivor of the Big One, numerous commendations, and high academic marks at the Academy in your chosen field." Her thin smile disappeared. "You also had several conduct demerits at Colorado Springs and you must have thirty reprimands for violation of regulations due to your habit of smoking in flight."
"Thirty-four, actually" Sheppard corrected.
Sandhurst snapped the folder close. "It was enough to keep your ass at Major, wasn't it? No Group Commands for you. It got you forcibly retired. If your war record wasn't so damned good, I doubt the Aerospace Force would've done so much as given it a glance. They certainly wouldn't have invited you into the service."
"Didn't want to be a Group Commander anyway. I hate paperwork and I prefer flying with my airmen." He smirked at her. "And airwomen too."
After a short pause, Sandhurst put her hands together on her desk and leaned forward. "You know, I've served with many an American before. Most Americans, I've found, are rather good, professional officers. But there seems to be a small percentage of them who are determined to live up to their national stereotype as brash, undisciplined, loud-mouthed cowboys and would-be badasses. You strike me as the second type, Squad Leader Sheppard. And I don't like that type of officer. So long as you are under my command I expect you to behave properly."
"Of course, Sir. Or would you prefer 'Ma'am'?"
"'Sir' will do." Sandhurst smiled again, though this smile wasn't a very reassuring one. "And you're thinking the right thing. I fit my national stereotype rather closely too. I'm the tightest cunt or arse you'll ever serve under. And while I will allow for some eccentricity in our line of work, I expect it to remain within the regs. Break the regs and I'll have your arse shipped out to a staff job somewhere. Am. I. Clear?"
"Crystal clear, Sir."
"Good. Now we understand each other. You are dismissed."
Sheppard saluted at her, and Sandhurst returned it. He got up to leave, but as he approached the door, he stopped and turned. She looked up at him. "What is it?"
"You do realize, Captain, that within the week, we're going to be at war?"
Sandhurst nodded. "Probably so."
"And when we're at war, you're going to let me do my damned job, right?"
"I'll give you the targets and it'll be up to you to make sure they're nuked, Squadron Leader."
"Good. So we understand each other. Good day, Captain." Sheppard opened the door and slipped out, leaving Sandhurst to chuckle quietly before returning to her paperwork.

Near Zurich, Earth, United Federation of Planets
Universe Designate ST-3
14:20 GST
21 November 2153 AST

".....as of last evening, the casualty count for Gytep is now at eighteen hundred and twenty two dead. Authorities say that a number of the new dead are those who developed complications from radiation sickness before they sought medical help." The petite, smiling Caucasian girl on the video monitor paused a moment. "Planetary authorities have stated that the site cleanup will not be complete for a week. In addition to other measures, Henderson colonists as far east of Gytep as halfway around the globe have been asked to report to government buildings and local medical facilities for anti-radiation treatment due to suspected fallout from the Gytep blast. Planetary Governor Iskinder Tewase has urged all residents to remain calm and promises that sufficient doses of anti-radiation medication will be available."
"In other news, the Pittsburgh Pirates clinched their fourth straight World Series appearance in a Game 5 victory last night over the Boone City Pathfinders. We now go live to sports reporter Jamie...."
A finger tapped down on a remote that flipped off the video monitor. Sitting at his desk with hands together, Torskani was looking at two leaders on the Party Central Committee; Femi Dytai of Betazed and Patrick Wahlburg of Earth. "As you can see, gentlemen, President Gao has miscalculated gravely." Torskani tapped a second button that activated the shutters in his private study. They rose, revealing the beauty of the Swiss countryside for his guests to see. It was the estate of the Party's Clerk and had been since Jeytas Gathali had been Clerk for the infamous Jirvshk two decades before. "Gytep was certainly not a terrorist camp. Gao, in his eagerness to solidify his position and to undermine the Alliance, has now embarrassed the Federation."
"If he had been right, we wouldn't be having this discussion," Dytai pointed out.
"But he was not, so we are." Torskani poured himself a bottle of Centauran helda-ale and took a sip. "I have not worked my way to the position of Party Clerk to see the Party embarrassed by it's chosen leader miscalculating so foolishly. Gao had little evidence, but he acted on it anyway to appear bold. Now it has blown up in his face."
"It seems to me, Torskani, that you want to replace Gao," Wahlburg stated, a bottle of schnapps in his hand. They had all needed a drink after seeing some of the scenes from Gytep. "I'm not convinced I want to see you as our new leader."
"I have no desire to be President," Torskani remarked with a slim smile. "How many Presidents have we had since Miller? Five in twelve years, gentlemen. It has become clear to me that the Presidency is not an enviable position."
"But it does guarantee you the Chair of the Central Committee." Dytai sipped at some bourbon. "Leadership of the Party is a very valuable position."
"The Chair is not the sole power of the Party, though. As Clerk, I wield nearly as much influence as Gao does." Torskani's grin turned sly. "Perhaps more."
Wahlburg ran a hand through his wolf-gray hair to scratch at his head. "Given the situation, are you certain we should upset the stability of the government now?"
"Given the situation, we have little choice. Gao, through his foolishness, has dragged us into this affair. His removal could restore our neutrality."
"But if you will not replace him, who will?"
Torskani returned to his seat. "That is my primary concern. There are many in the Party who want Miller back. With Miller all they would have to do is echo her pacifism and she would let them do as they please. But returning Miller to power is a danger in of itself."
"The woman is deluded," Dytai said. "Nobody has forgotten how she reacted to being removed from leadership the last time."
"No, they have not. But right now, allowing Miller to become President would guarantee us a leader that would keep us out of this growing enmity between Cardassia and the Alliance."
"And what about the Klingons? She nearly destroyed our alliance with them."
"The troubles with the Klingons will soon be over, as soon as Picard does his duty and gives Gowron the Chancellory of their High Council. But if you are concerned, we could delay Miller's election until after the Klingon situation sorts itself out. An interim leader is possible." Torskani finished sipping before continuing. "Either way, I need your support. The two of you have the ears of the majority of the Committee."
"And why should we support this?"
Torskani's grin turned sinister. "Comrade Wahlburg," he said after another sip, "How are your grandchildren? Not the ones from your son's wife, but rather, from that Romulan slave girl he bought during his trip to the Triangle ten years ago?" He noticed the color drain out of Wahlburg's face. "The one who's borne him two children and is currently living in a private rural home outside Cancun? I believe she's officially listed on the planetary immigration roll as a Vulcan."
"How did you...."
"I'm the Clerk of the Party's Central Committee. It's my business to find these things." Torskani sipped again. "I can't help but feel how disasterous it'd be to your son if this was found out. Bringing a Romulan woman to Earth, a potential spy to the minds of many, and fathering children with her? He may even be kicked out of the Party for this. He'd certainly lose that lush position he's got in the BLN Distribution Ministry." Torskani shook his head. "And his wife would probably divorce him on top of that. I mean, cheating on her with a Romulan whore..."
Dytai's face turned red. "You can blackmail him, Comrade Torskani, but my family has no such...."
"Don't be so quick to think so, Comrade Dytai." Torskani turned his attention to her. "Do you know what they call your son on Nova Venetia? 'The Don'. It seems he's been using his position in the BNA Enforcement Bureau to extort money from Venetian businesses. They have to pay him money or he has them nationalized." Torskani noticed Dytai frowning. "As you know, Comrade Dytai, the Party is usually lenient about certain... abuses of power by those who operate the BLN and DEM. After all, it guarantees their loyalty to the Party. But that doesn't mean that such a flagrant abuse of power will be overlooked if publicly revealed. Your son could very well end up in New Zealand after the courts are through with him, and it would probably lead to his being banned from the Party. Imagine the damage this would do to your own prestige as well."
Wahlburg leapt from his seat. "You bastard! How dare you do this!"
"You would give me no choice!", Torskani retorted. "You have too much influence on the Committee and the Council. I must either win your support or destroy that influence. The choice is your's. Support me, or I will release all of my relevant information to the State Press, and they will destroy you!"
The two had lost most of the color in their faces by now. Finally, Wahlburg nodded. "Fine, you have my support. When you are ready, I will vote to remove Gao."
Dytai glared at him, but all Wahlburg could do was lean forward and put his head on his hands, clearly defeated. Finally Dytai swallowed and nodded. "You also have my support."
"Excellent, Comrades. I intend to push for the vote in two days, depending upon what happens in that time period. Now, onto lighter matters...."
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

Dolan, Bajor, Cardassian Union
Universe Designate ST-3
14:43 GST

The mountain city's old Cardassian military HQ still bore the signs of battle from the Bajoran uprising that had taken control of the city and had now spent three months defying Cardassian attempts to retake it. A large portion of the city's 200,000 inhabitants had joined in the revolt, in retaliation for Cardassian troops defiling the temple after a Resistance bomb blew up one of their aircraft.
Walking carefully amongst the leftover rubble, accompanied only by a single temple acolyte in simple robes, Kai Opaka stepped into the building and was confronted with an expected sight; scores of people in ragged, torn clothing holding weapons of various sorts. A large number of the guns were Cardassian rifles, but there as also the ubiquitious AK-90; a chemical-propellant automatic rifle from the other universes that the Alliance had introduced to the Alpha Quadrant. The black-colored assault rifles were slung over the shoulders of many a Bajoran rebel these days, firing rounds that could pierce Cardassian infantry armor.
A gray-haired man walked out from amidst the rabble, who had turned to face their spiritual leader. Wearing torn clothing that stank and had a number of blood stains, he bowed to her. "Kai, it is an honor."
"Gobens Drayo." The Kai kept her eyes straight and free of emotion from the pitiful sight of so many of her people in this condition. "I have come bearing news. The Cardassian commander has withdrawn the offer of allowing the non-combatants to leave for the Alliance in exchange for the city's surrender. Instead he offers to allow them to leave the city peacefully and settle down in one of the valleys."
Gobens was frowning. "Why was the offer withdrawn? Does it have anything to do with this morning's surprise attack?"
"I have not been told. The Cardassians are never forthcoming with information."
"Then there is no point in surrender, Kai," Gobens replied.
"If you do not surrender, the Cardassians will execute everyone found in the city." The Kai's voice remained strong despite her emotions. "Please, think of the children in this city."
"I am." Gobens turned away. The Kai watched him intently while her acolyte stared at one of the 200mm mortars - another weapon foreign to their universe - being towed by rope and muscle to a new firing point. "Tell me, Kai, what do the children of Dolan have to hope for the future? What kind of future is there in slavery?"
"Not all Bajorans on this planet are slaves, Gobens."
"That is a lie! A sweet lie to believe, but still a lie!" Gobens stabbed a finger to the distance. "The Cardassians see us only as slaves to draw their water! They break their oathes to us at will! Just this morning, Kai, they launched an attack on the southern residential district despite their promise of truce! Four hundred of my people died in the attack, Kai. I see no reason why we must keep up this charade of negotiation."
Kai walked up to him as Gobens turned back. Her hand reached up and touched his ear. "Your pagh is cold and weak. You have lost hope, my child."
"There is no hope, Kai. There is only resistance, which means death, or submission, which means slavery." Gobens closed his weary eyes for a moment. "I have seen too much of either to ever have hope again."
"There is always hope. Though it can be hard to see sometimes. You have to look past the darkness and see Hope's light, as if it were amongst the stars." The Kai brought her hand down. "Please, Gobens, for the good of these people, reconsider."
"I'm sorry, Kai, but we have already decided. We cannot trust the Cardassians to do as they promise, so there is no point in surrender."
The Kai looked at his comrades. Each looked as determined and rugged as he. She finally bowed. "I will inform the Cardassians of their decision." She wanted to add a blessing, but knew she could not; the Cardassians had her under strict orders to not give them any support. She still thought the blessing, however, and hoped the Prophets would grant it given the situation. "Goodbye, Gobens Drayo."

After the Kai left, Gobens went to the command center of the old HQ. Most of the displays were offline, as power was scarce and only provided by batteries. Nevertheless, he found a few of his fellows huddling around the comm display as one triggered in a frequency. "We're getting through the jamming!" The Bajoran quickly began tapping keys. "Get everyone together around our radios! The signal will be coming in soon."
Gobens grinned as the others waited eagerly for the broadcast to come. He had been sure the Kai could not speak freely - the Cardassians had probably forced her to wear a listening device - but she was able to use his emotional state to speak in code. A light amidst darkness, amongst stars, Gobens thought. The Alliance's flag has a torch flame of four colors set in a circle of stars on a black field. The Cardassians have done something to anger them again. That is why they refuse to send our non-combatants to the Alliance. This had been the Kai's way of informing him of what was happening, and, perhaps, trying to talk him into continued resistance in the hopes of the Alliance sending forces to liberate Bajor.
Over the speakers in the HQ, and radios across the city, a strong, cheerful military march began to play. Afterward a voice spoke in High Bajoran. "Good evening, people of Bajor. You are listening to the Voice of Freedom, your source for the truth of the Cardassian Occupation."
Gobens' fighters were happy. The Cardassians usually jammed the transmissions from the Alliance, but this military equipment allowed them to break through it.
"Our top story is the continued cleanup at Gytep. The death toll for the atomic explosion is now at two thousand Bajorans and aid workers. The Alliance Government has already begun work on confirming the brutal hand of Cardassia in this act of terror. President Mamatmas has promised that the butchers of Gytep will face justice!"
Everyone's attention was now on the transmission. Gytep has been attacked?! Gobens knew of the settlement, a small one in the ADN Colonial Zone. He couldn't fathom why the Cardassians would try to attack refugees, unless it was to terrorize the others - always a possibility.
"The Cardassian state press continues to insist Gytep was a terrorist camp, despite the overwhelming evidence of it's peaceful nature." The announcer went on for a bit about Gytep, and Gobens noticed how startled everyone was. The Cardassians never used nukes on cities on Bajor for fear of the response they'd provoke. They'd tried it before on another world and ended up having to nearly wipe out the indigenious race from the uprising that the attack had triggered, destroying the planet's value to their Empire.
"On Bajor, the cities of Dolan, Salmio, and Verta continue to resist the Cardassian Occupation despite their conditions. The sieges have broken the cities off from electricity, water, and heating services, and hundreds of thousands of civilians are under threat. We have received confirmation that the Cardassian army attacked Dolan despite a standing truce with the Bajoran defenders, more proof of the treachery that is endemic to the tyrannical Cardassian Occupation. The valiant Bajoran fighters in these cities are giving their all to protect their families from the brutality of the Cardassian military. The thoughts and prayers of the peoples of the Allied Nations go out to these brave men and women...."
Gobens noticed everyone was celebrating the news that Salmio and Verta were still holding out. He smirked at the last line; his people could use less thoughts and prayers and more food, medicine, and guns.
Though given the situation, maybe they'd be getting those things soon enough....

Paris, Earth, United Federation of Planets
16:11 GST

The tensions were thick in Gao's office, and he felt completely powerless to end them. Seated on opposite sides of the room were the Ambassadors of the Alliance and Cardassia; Iason Parmika and Dorim Kercet. The two men stared at each other across the room, Kercet in traditional Cardassian military uniform and the dark-haired, tanned Parmika in business attire.
"President Gao, the Federation cannot remain neutral forever." Kercet's voice was low and threatening. "The Alliance has jeopardized Cardassian control over our territory. It has armed Bajoran terrorists against us, trained them, and is even now seeking to further destabilize our government with propaganda broadcasts aimed at inciting further revolt!"
Gao didn't bother looking to Parmika, already knowing how he would respond. "The Alliance Government does not arm terrorists," Parmika declared. "Nor has the Government sought to destabilize anything! The Voice of Freedom is a privately owned organization which broadcasts news to Bajoran civilians living in the Alliance, and while some of it's opinions can be extreme, it is still a private station and it's right to free speech is constitutionally protected."
"Cardassia will not tolerate this insolent behavior! If you do not stop supporting these Bajoran anarchists, we will force you to!"
"If Cardassia continues it's course, Mister Ambassador, it will mean war!"
"A war we are willing to fight to secure our territory!"
"And a war that the Alliance will wage to the utmost to defeat Cardassia!" Parmika looked to Gao. "Mister President, you told me this meeting was for negotiation, not to listen to the Cardassian Union thump it's chest and issue threats!"
"We are not here to negotiate our sovereignty, Ambassador Parmika." Kercet pointed to the PADD device he had handed Parmika. "Those are the demands of the Cardassian government on this matter. You will obey them or the Alliance will pay the penalty for it's actions against us."
"Your people are still insisting Gytep was a terrorist camp? Despite all the evidence to the contrary?!"
"What evidence?" Kercet smirked. "You show the bodies of children and expect that to prove Gytep as innocent? That means nothing. The children could easily have been hostages or human shields, or even trainees. The Bajoran terrorist groups are fanatical and will even use children to accomplish their goals."
Parmika looked to Gao. "And do you accept this line of argument, Mister President?"
"I am forced to concur with Ambassador Kercet, Mister Ambassador," Gao replied. "The Bajorans have a reputation for this kind of behavior. Until stronger proof is offered, I see no reason to ignore the proof we have of Gytep's true nature."
"What proof, Mister President?! What proof do you have?! What are these mysterious arms shipments you have raved about?!"
"We are not yet willing to divulge that data," Gao stated.
"Then I have no choice but to believe it was bad intel. Hope that my government assumes incompetence on your part instead of malice, or the Cardassians won't be the only ones paying for this crime." Parmika stood up. "I no longer see any reason to stay here. This was not a negotiation. This was an attempt to bully my government into obedience. I'll forward your demands, but it's safe to say that the Alliance Government will not accept them. Good day to both of you."
Parmika stormed out. Kercet watched him go before turning to Gao. "President Gao, what will the Federation do?"
"For now, stay neutral."
"Why?" Kercet leaned toward him. "Mister President, the Alliance's position is tenuous. Between our fleet and your's, we could crush them and drive them out of our universe."
Gao nodded. "I know. But getting the Council to agree...."
"Make them see that this is the only way, Mister President." Kercet's voice turned threatening. "You can rest assured that if the Federation does not do it's part to deal with this menace, once we have done so ourselves, we will not look kindly upon you. Good day." Kercet got out of his chair and stalked off, leaving Gao to sigh as the entire quadrant seemed to go mad.

Capital City, Cardassia, Cardassian Union
19:49 GST

The blocky military aircar pulled up to one of the homes in the Executive Area, where Cardassia's leaders stayed while in the capital. Inside of it, Gul Relim Torcet looked at the young soldier in the driver's seat. "I won't be long," the Gul promised.
"Take as long as you need, Sir."
Relim grinned at that. "You're a good soldier, 5th Ranker. But even a 1st Rank Gul should be courteous to his subordinates. I won't keep you waiting very long." Relim slipped out of the aircar and walked to the front door.
The door opened within moments of him arriving at it. A middle-aged Bajoran woman, Samia, answered it. "Gul, welcome home," she said in excellent Base Cardassian.
Relim nodded to his long time housekeeper. "Thank you, Samia," he replied. Stepping in, he only got a few steps before his seven year old granddaughter came out of a room and ran up to him, her hair down to her shoulders. "Ah, Laria!"
"Grandpa! Grandpa!" Another voice came from the room, the family's sitting room, and his five year old grandson Jorim raced out. "Grandpa, look!"
Relim took the slip of paper in Jorim's hand and read it. "You received the highest mark in your class for Mental Discipline? Well done, Jorim!" He knelt down and hugged both of his grandchildren. His recent schedule had kept him from seeing them as often as he liked.
Looking up, Relim saw their mother Vertal - his daughter-in-law - walk out of the same room wearing a simple modest cloth suit. "Mother Kerma is still making dinner," she told Relim, referring to his wife. "We didn't expect you home, given what the news has been saying."
"I took a short break to come home and see you all. I'd been informed that Harak will be calling in a short while, so I wanted to be here."
Hearing that her husband was calling made Vertal smile. Relim felt for her, and knew that his son's military career caused her as much heartache as his own had caused Kerma. At least she was more fortunate than his own poor wife. Aside from Harak, they had never managed to have a child, while Vertal and Harak now had four children after only ten years of marriage. Four grandchildren that Relim and Kerma went out of their way to spoil, as much as they would dare to spoil anyway. The life of a Cardassian citizen was hard, and even at an early age they were subjected to intense mental and physical training to prepare them for adulthood. "Before I forget..." Relim turned to Samia and handed her a data rod. "That came just before this mess began. It's from your brother on New Liberty. You can go and watch it in my office."
"Thank you Gul." Samia took the rod and left to watch it.
Relim watched her go, seeing his white-haired wife emerge from the kitchen branching off from the main hall. "Relim, you're home?"
"Only for a short while, my dear Kerma." Relim gave his wife a small kiss after she embraced him. "Where are Yera and Tarak?"
"Yera is asleep and Tarak is still at school. They called a last minute country march." Kerma shook her head disapprovingly. "They're only nine year olds, Relim. Why does the Education Ministry feel it necessary to send them out for hours at a time marching through wasteland? In our day we didn't start doing country marches until we were fifteen!"
"Yes, well my dear, our day is long past. Cardassia has newer rivals, more threats. We must adapt and improve ourselves. Train harder."
"Now you sound like some spokesman for the Public Information Ministry," Kerma teased.
Vertal held back a giggle with her hand. Relim had to grin; Kerma was always sharp-tongued, which was one of the reasons he loved her. He had always warned her it would get her in trouble. At least until the day that she drove out an Obsidian Order interrogator that had come to take Samia for questioning; she had so badly badgered the poor man that the Order had protested to the Central Command about her being disrespectful. Relim had put a quick end to that nonsense, of course. He wasn't about to let the Order harm Samia or Kerma to appease their paranoid impulses.
After Relim assented to Kerma's insistance that he grab some fresh jerat to eat, he brought them to the sitting room to await Harak's call. Samia entered shortly afterward, very happy. "My neice just gave birth to a son," she proudly told them. Kerma and Vertal congratulated Samia and Relim proclaimed he would hold a celebration with her as soon as he could.
Within minutes of this, the computer for the home informed them of an incoming call on the public network. Relim accepted it and they found themselves face to face with his son. Harak had Relim's strong jaw and thin face, though he also had his mother's ridgelines and eyes. "Hello everyone."
"Hello Harak." Relim smiled at him. "You're doing well, I see."
"I was just promoted to Executive Officer of the Yavar," Harak proudly announced. "Gul Akel said he asked for me personally."
"Congratulations, beloved," Vertal said happily.
Harak nodded. "Father, I've heard that we will be deploying to Kemar Naval Post. I take it things are not going well with the Alliance?"
"No, they are not. I can't say much more than that."
"I know, Father." Harak nodded. "I promise you, if it comes to it, I will do you proud in battle."
"I know you will, son." Noticing how upset the subject was making his wife and daughter-in-law, Relim decided to change the subject. "Jorim made first mark on his Mental Discipline exercises today."
"Really? That is very good, Jorim. I'm proud of you." After a moment of looking at them, Harak asked, "Where is Tarak?"
"Out on a country march," Vertal answered.
"Ah, that's right. They start at nine now. I should have remembered. Well, tell him that I am proud of him and that I hope to see him when I return." Harak looked toward Samia. "Samia, you look like you're doing well."
She nodded and smiled at him. "I am, Harak. I'm happy to see you."
"Samia's neice has just had a son," Kerma said.
"Well, congratulations Samia. I'll make sure to send you something."
Noticing the look on Vertal's face, Relim nodded to Kerma and put his hands on his grandchildren. "Come along, everyone, there are some things between a husband and wife that should not be overheard by others."
Leading them all out of the room so that Harak and Vertal could speak privately before he ran out of time, Relim looked at the time and knew he had to get back to the Command Complex. "I'm afraid I have to be going too." He kissed his wife on the cheek and looked at Laria and Jorim. "You children be good and next time I go to the market I'll bring you some dried mektil berries." Taking a moment to give Samia a congratulatory hug, he went toward the door.
Relim turned to face Lariia, who was standing between Samia and Kerma. "Grandpa, is Dad going to have to fight the Alliance?"
Looking down for a moment, Relim said, "Probably, Laria." He walked back to her, knelt so that he could look her straight in the eye, and put his hands on her shoulders. "But your father will come back. Just as I did."
"I hope so," Laria said, worry still on her face.
Standing up again, Relim looked one final time at his wife's face, knowing how afraid she was for Harak, and went out the door with a final goodbye. Returning to the aircar, he found the young 5th Ranker waiting obediently in the driver's seat. "Back to the Complex," he ordered after securing himself.
"Yes sir."
Relim looked back to his family's home as they pulled away.

20:05 GST

Wearing heavier clothing than was comfortable in the heat, Gedys walked through the streets of the Capital City's Alien Quarter. She again cursed that Celrim didn't allow her to wear lighter things, but he could be insanely jealous and was afraid she'd seduce someone if her clothing wasn't modest.
It was rare that Celrim even let her out of his apartment, which left Gedys spending each day brooding alone and bored. But Celrim had a weakness; he loved Rihannsu kheia. Kheia was a very hard food to acquire here, so far from ch'Rihan - the world the Humans called Romulus - but Celrim had found a crusty old Romulan smuggler who was willing to bring in kheia with his loads of illicit Romulan ale. Because of his work, he usually sent Gedys to fetch his kheia, placing just enough funds in her financial account to buy a good supply without giving her enough money to spend friviously.
Gedys made her way to the place where the smuggler - a man by the name of H'daen - usually stayed when he was on Cardassia. Tralam Peker was not a respected establishment in the Alien Quarter. It was a club where women danced nude and rented out to patrons for sex. It's location in the Alien Quarter was due to the way the Cardassians arranged their laws; the law stated that anyone with Cardassian blood could not hold jobs that were "immoral and demeaning". Which merely meant that Cardassians had to get aliens to be their prostitutes and dancers.
Walking in, Gedys saw the place was rather empty, though not so empty that it's proprieter was not having his women perform. The brown-haired girl on the stage was a fellow Bajoran, a cute looking girl who was only wearing a necklace. Bajorans weren't the only race conquered by Cardassia of course, and on top of that, establishments like Tralam Peker often bought slaves from the Orions. One such Orion girl walked out on stage while Gedys walked toward the rear of the establishment, removing a thin silk bodice to the delight of the handful of Cardassian men in the crowd.
Seated in a corner table, sipping at kanar, was H'daen. The wolf-haired Romulan saw her and smiled at her. "Come to get more kheia for that weasel Celrim?"
"Yes. The usual amount."
"I only have three-quarters the usual stuff. Had to ship some extra goodies this time." H'daen moved to the side and allowed Gedys to sit. "I'll shave some off the usual bill, of course."
"Of course." Gedys handed H'daen a PADD. He inserted the cost of the kheia and she took it back to authorize the financial transfer. Afterward, H'daen smiled lecherously and asked Gedys, "Why don't you go up there and dance? I always figured you'd be good at that."
"I don't have a death wish," was Gedys' reply. She stormed off.
H'daen nodded as she left and moved his hand to his pocket. To anyone watching, it seemed to be the usual semi-illicit transaction that was done.
Which was a good thing, since nobody had seen Gedys hand H'daen a data chip along with the PADD, nor had they seen H'daen palm it and then slip it into his pocket.
H'daen watched her go and shook his head. He'd approached Gedys just a few months ago, during a transaction, to tell her what his own contact had told him; her brother had been executed as a Resistance agent and her parents were in Gallitep. Her parents were dead now too, though H'daen couldn't tell Gedys that. Nevertheless, the news had turned Gedys against Celrim, and H'daen had convinced her to give him things of interest that Celrim might be working on.
He thought of the data chip in his pocket, and wondered what might be on it. He hoped she wouldn't get in trouble. But now was the time to finish his business and head on to the Federation to meet his contact. It was up to the Elements to preserve Gedys from whatever dangers she faced.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5001
Joined: 2004-12-21 10:06pm
Location: Berkeley, California (USA)

Post by Junghalli »

Wait, universe designates? :? I have to admit I'm really confused here, can you explain to me what's going on?
User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

Junghalli wrote:Wait, universe designates? :? I have to admit I'm really confused here, can you explain to me what's going on?
I really should post the relevant, uncompleted timeline.

That's coming up.
User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

2028 AST - Within five months of each other, the British Commonwealth of SE-1 (circa 2450) and the United Nation-States of Earth of PA-6 (circa 2508) come across remnants of an ancient race called Dargsla; included in the ruins are schematics and models for Inter-Universal Jump Gates and Interuniversal Radio Transmission and Reception equipment. In universe SE-1, the British share their finds with the United States in exchange for American second generation nuclear phase-disruption weapons (called "phasers" by whimsical engineers recalling old 20th century science fiction).

2033 AST - The United States successfully tests their first interuniversal radio set; the British follow suit. The British and American governments share the radio set with the Oceanic Confederacy as part of the Brisbane Treaty and the restoration of the Anglo-American Treaty Alliance.

2034 AST - While testing their first interuniversal radio, the UNSE of PA-6 picks up American test IU radio signals. Both sides are hesitant at first but begin replying to each other's messages.

2036 AST - The first known interuniversal agreement is negotiated by interuniversal radio; the UNSE and the nations of the AATA sign a "treaty of friendship" and exchange critical technological data that permits both to begin research into the construction of interuniversal jump gates.

2041 AST - The first Interuniversal Jump Gates are finished at New Anglia in SE-1 and New Virginia in PA-6. Direct physical contact between the two universes is established.

2043 AST - The Third Anglo-Russian Space War is declared after Russian naval forces assault the British Royal Fleet Base at New Ceylon.

2044 AST - The UNSE begins the first known "extrauniversal" military expedition in history when it declares war on the Russian Federation to aid the AATA.

2045 AST - The Third Anglo-Russian Space War ends with a negotiated truce and a peace, in which the Russians cede territorial claims to the British and Australians in exchange for commercial guarantees and technological aid.

2047 AST - The United States, Russian Federation, Oceanic Confederacy, Republic of Brazil, and British Commonwealth of SE-1 and the UNSE sign the Treaty of New Brasilia and establish the first Interuniversal Commerce and Exploration Commission to facilitate the construction of more interuniversal jump gates and exploration efforts into other universes.

2049 AST - The HMS Sir Francis Drake is launched from the New Strathclyde Royal Spaceyards in SE-1. The 1.2 kilometer long extrauniversal explorer ship is the largest non-commercial starship commissioned and the first with it's own interuniversal jump drive assembly. The extrauniversal explorers USS Daniel Boone and UNSS Zhang He are commissioned within ten months of the Drake.

2050-2080 AST - Twenty-four new universes are explored and twenty are settled in sector-sized blocks by the interuniversal powers. During this period China, Japan, Turkey, France, Poland, Germany, and Scandanavia have begun investigating the secret of interuniversal technology themselves.

The period is marked in both universes by an increasing restlessness and "adventuring spirit" in the societies on the forefront of the "Multiversal Expansion". In SE-1, it is the first time there has been global peace for such a long period since the rise of Armand Giuseppe's fascist EU-led United Nations in the mid-21st century. The expansion of the Interuniversal Jump Gate Network, utilizing bigger and greater gate assembly structures, means that nations of both universes are capable of expansive trade links and transport.

Due to popular concerns about the dark side of unbound exploration, laws are also passed amongst nations forbidding contact with "pre-stellar" societies, Human or Non-Human; nations that have not yet managed interplanetary flight.

2080 AST - A Neo-Nazi sect from Germany SE-1 uses collected capital to found it's own colony world on the fringes of the European and American frontier. Though by interstellar and German law they are forbidden from having military equipment, the sect covertly buys several aerospace cruisers and fighters as well as early cloning technology - it will spent fifteen years buying more advanced cloning tech from black market and covert sources elsewhere in the known Megaverse.

2087 AST - In Universe Designate HM-1 (circa 1980), Robert Allen Dale is born to Michael Jeffrey and Leigh Anne Dale on the family's farm in Southeast Kansas.

2090 AST - A privately-owned explorer ship from the UNSE, Surveyor, crashlands on Earth HM-1. Following the disaster, the UNSE cites the "Accidental Contact" clause of the anti-contact aspects of international/interuniversal law and introduces the late 20th Century Earth into the interuniversal community. Within a few short years, the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact are no more and Communist governments across the planet are dismantled by popular revolts backed by the advanced weaponry and equipment of the UNSE and other anti-Communist states in the known megaverse. Various nations of the world politically unite with their star-faring counterparts in other universes, particularly SE-1 and AR-12.

2097 AST - Contact with Human Civilization in Universe Designate DN-9 (circa 2304) leads to confusion when it is revealed that DN-9's bloodiest historical event - an attempted alien attack on Earth at the turn of the 20th to 21st Century - resembles, above all things, the plot of a science fiction movie made in several USAs in the late 1990s called "Independence Day" or "ID4", down to the key figures in the alien invasion (American President Thomas Whitmore, for instance).

The confusion caused by this discovery becomes the focus for a new school of thought in counterfactual history and related fields - Infinity Theory. The theory that the Megaverse enables anything to exist, so long as it plausibly can. As the theory gains popularity, legislative bodies and private organizations across explored space begin to question the wisdom of further universal exploration for fear of running into some of the more powerful societies found in fictional works. From 2100 to 2115, only two more universes are explored, and in both cases only after massive protests.

2106 AST - Robert Allen Dale joins HM-1 USA's fledging Star Navy and attends the SE-1 USA's Star Navy Officer's Academy at New Annapolis Station. He will graduate in 2110 first amongst the cadets from his universe, and in the top ten overall in the school.

2115 AST - Nearly 20 years after the Infinity Theory was created and the anti-exploration movement began, it has begun to fizzle out as the leaders of the movement can no longer sustain it against public apathy and pressure to resume exploration. After a popular holovid series about extrauniversal exploration begins in the UNSE and sweeps into the rest of known space, popular culture becomes enamored with the "Great Expansion" from 2050-2100 AST and the half-century becomes the focus point for a number of popular works of fiction and art. By 2117, expansion reaches 21st Century AST levels once again.

2117 AST - HMS Swordfish, a British cutter operating with Her Majesty's Space Cutter Force SE-1, detects a warp flight from Earth's solar system while conducting standard patrols out of Sheffield GRY-23. Contact is made with an early 22nd Century Earth (their calendar was adopted as AST) that has just achieved FTL capability with a Cochrane Drive. Contact is opened with the United Earth Government, an entity that came about after ruinous wars in the 21st Century between nations caused by massive megacorporation "conglomerates" seizing power in various nations.

2119 AST - Contact is made with Human Civilization in Universe Designate FHI-8. Pundits cynically refer to FHI-8 as the "Dark Universe" for the depressing state of affairs (the USA has fallen apart and is now a part of the reborn British Empire, a Conservative semi-authoritarian state with a powerful monarchy - the European Union is viciously fascist and has virtually annihilated the Arabic race - the most democratic "liberal" state still on Earth is the beleaguered League of East Africa). The interstellar Republic of New Israel signs several treaties with various nations from SE-1 and the UNSE and is considered as probably the nicest place to live in the entire universe.

2125 AST - After forty-five years of preparation, the neo-Nazi clone society of Aryania begins it's initial campaign of conquest, seizing several colonies in it's region and defeating a Franco-German naval expedition sent to put down their "rebellion".

2126 AST - While operating with SE-1 American squadrons dealing with Nazi pirates, Captain Robert Dale of the USS Minneapolis is highly decorated for "daring tactics and extraordinary service" in thwarting a pirate assault on food convoys heading to regional asteroid mining colonies.

As a result of Aryan aggressions, the United States SE-1 and the United States HM-1 declare war later in the year. The Aryans immediately begin punitive raids and strikes on American colonies in the area.

2127 AST - After destroying the SKM Heinrich Himmler in a naval skirmish at Gerald's World, Captain Dale is promoted to command of the battleship USS Texas and all HM-1 American ships facing Aryania; he is given a brevet rank of Rear Admiral "for the duration of the conflict".

At Neu Sachsen, a Franco-Italian defeat becomes an Allied victory after the arrival of Brevet Rear Admiral Dale's naval squadron, and the Aryans are forced to the defensive from losing so many of their lead warships.

An Aryan raid on Merritsville leads to the death of Dale's fianceè Rebecca Harverson - his newborn daughter Susanna and Rebecca's sister April are among the survivors.

2128 AST - The New Year's Offensive destroys the last Aryan defensive lines. By order of the Allied Governments, the children and women of Aryania are evacuated by METter (Matter-Energy Transportation) and Aryania is subjected to atomic bombardment from orbit, destroying all human life on the planet.

In honor of his outstanding service in wartime, Robert Dale's brevet commission as Rear Admiral becomes an official promotion. But with the loss of his wife-to-be and a newborn daughter to raise, Dale requests de-activation and is allowed to go into the Naval Reserve. He returns home to the Dale Farm in Kansas HM-1 with his daughter and April Harverson.

In this same year, the UNSE makes contact with the Revallan Republic and Jeaxian Kingdom in UD HM-1.

2128-2136 AST - In the aftermath of the "Nazi War" or "Aryan Rebellion" and with much of the Megaverse at peace with no noticable signs of problems, most nations begin a slow reduction of their arms in anticipation of peace. The only exception remains in Universe FHI-8, where the democratic-minded nations (New Israel, Britain, East Africa, India) remain heavily militarized to counter their fascist enemies.

Colonization proceeds apace. Close ties between the Revallan Republic and several human nations are forged, aided by the Revallans' humanoid appearance and their ideological/cultural similarities.

2136 AST - A disasterous first contact with the Agresskan Empire in GRY-23 leads to the destruction of the UES Heather O'Neal and the HMS Sir George Wolseley.

2137 AST - The Agresskan War begins in May with an Agresskan assault on the Royal Fleet Base at Alpha Hydroxa 31. Within 72 hours of the attack, multiple governments from across the known Megaverse, particularly in SE-1, DN-9, AR-12, and FHI-8, declare war on the Agresskan Empire and begin hasty preparations to re-arm.

Robert Dale is among the first reserves to be activated by the USSN HM-1 for the war. He is once again given command of the USS Texas and of the flottila of cruisers and destroyers attached to it for deployment to the front.

October - With the Agresskan near Sheffield and Alpha Centauri, Dale assembles an ad hoc squadron of ships from multiple Allied nations and drives off the vanguard of the Agresskan offensive fleet at Gamma Icara. The Agresskan offensive halts to restore it's strength, buying time for the Allies to move more ships and troops to the area. Among decoratons given for the battle, Dale is promoted to a 2-star Rear Admiral and a multinational task force is assigned to his command.

The war settles into temporary stalemate as the Agresskan begin wiping out the populations of human colony worlds they have seized (humans and Agresskan have incompatible atmospheric needs), further enflaming the fires of war on the part of the Human Powers.

November - New Israel lays down the first modern "superdreadnought", IDS Tikvah, at their major shipyard facility in orbit around New Israel's moon of Solomon.

2138 AST - With the Agresskan Empire's offensive launched again and other Allied nations still scrambling to mobilize and build new ships,

February - The Agresskan fleet is defeated at Alpha Centauri by a task force led by Admiral Dale. Immediately after the Agresskan retreat, Dale orders his squadrons to enter enemy territory and strike Agresskan mobile yards, supply depots, and troop stations. The damage that the strategic strikes do to the Agresskan supply line is enough to put them on the defensive.

March - The Allies launch a larger offensive out of Earth and Sheffield, capitalizing on Dale's earlier strikes to retake territory. A final burst of anger fills the human sphere as, for the first time, pictures of the slaughtered human cities and colonies come to public attention. Several more nations, of varying power, declare war or otherwise promise aid to the "Pan-Human Alliance".

May - The first large scale replicator goes into operations at the Royal Spaceyards in orbit over New Anglia SE-1. It represents twenty years of development in the field of advanced industrial fabrication - the replicator is unlike earlier models, capable of acting as a machine tool as well as a material fabricator.

The Revallan Republic in HM-1 becomes the only alien nation-state to provide financial and moral aid to the Pan-Human Alliance, which it will do for the remainder of the war.

June - After a year of war, several nations have finished full mobilization and an entire new generation of destroyers and cruisers are coming off the slipways and spaceyards of the Allied nations.

Preparations begin for an offensive to drive the Agresskan out of Human Space completely and enter their empire.

To replace the damaged USS Texas, Dale transfers his flag to the newly commissioned USS Missouri. His task force is reinforced to 100 warships from 15 different nations. Through media reports of his successes in battle and in turning his subordinate ships into a highly-disciplined attack fleet, Dale gets a reputation as a "uniter", capable of bringing together disparate nationalities, naval mindsets, and personalities into one cohesive force.

2139 AST - The final campaigns against the Agresskan are waged, ending with the fall of the Agresskan Homeworld in November, after thirty months of war. Millions of Humans have died, and half of the Agresskan race itself was either dead by their own hand or killed during Human attacks on their inner worlds. The Agresskan surrender results in the annihilation of their government, all executed or imprisoned for roles in various war crimes, and the complete demilitarization and near de-industrialization of Agresskan society to ensure that they can never be a threat again. The Agresskan eventually consider this a punishment from their war gods and begin fighting amongst themselves again.

At war's end, Robert Dale is hailed as the war's great hero for his brilliant leadership and statemanship and becomes a known figure outside of his own home universe. His own government awards him high honors (including the Congressional Medal of Honor) and he is promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral and given command of the multi-national force in charge of occupying the former Agresskan Empire. He remains on station for ten months before a civilian authority is decided upon by the allied nations - afterward he announces he is retiring from the Navy and returning home to be with his daughter.

In the same year, a former US Senator from SE-1, Jennifer Verdes, writes a book - "The Next Course of Action" - about the future possibilities of the Pan-Human Alliance. She notes that the governments in that alliance were notably liberal democracies, dedicated to similar principles and willing to work with one another to overcome differences and maintain peace and prosperity amongst themselves; she then says that this could be used to create a "permanent state of alliance and friendship" that could be used to maintain peace and promote liberal democratic values. As it had nearly been a century since the Third Anglo-Russian Space War, the last major interstellar conflict between nations in the Pan-Human Alliance, Verdes' argument becomes very popular. Among national leaders who take to heart her ideas are President Nicolas Mamatmas, leader of the United Earth Government in GRY-23, Queen Victoria III and her son Edward (Windsors of SE-1), Kevin Maxwell-Fyfe (the SE-1 British PM at the time), and New Israeli Prime Minister Elisabeth Harpaz. Admiral Dale also becomes a fan of the book, though he resists what he calls the "dangerous impulse" of trying to translate his military-won popular fame into political power, even if it would be to support the ideals in Verdes' book that he agrees with.

2141 AST - As post-war demobilization continues, economic prosperity grows to unexpected heights. The ideals of the "Alliance Party" - a party dedicated to taking Verdes' ideals to their logical extension and forming a new "Alliance" government - has grown to multi-national popularity. New elections in several states bring into power candidates representing this party. Finally, in November, Nicolas Mamatmas senses that the movement has gained enough steam and that something must be done now using it's momentum. He calls for a multi-national "convention", backed by the attending governments and with leading delegations from each to represent them, that would explore the Alliance Party's ideas and see about forming the "permanent alliance" that the "Verdists" espouse.

2142 AST - As the Interuniversal Constitutional Convention begins - hosted by Nicolas Mamatmas in the city of Washington DC on Earth GRY-23 - it becomes clear that the Verdists, which came to be the center of a "Centrist" faction, are not the only ones with ideas. Jean-Pierre Chirac from France SE-1 leads what came to be called the Democratic Progress Front in English (known by the acronym LFPD for it's French title - La Front Progrès Démocratique). The LFPD had ideals similar to Verdes, but with a decidedly Democratic-Socialist tone to it. Part of their intention was to use the new government to deal with "multiversal conglomerates" and to fund social programs across the new alliance's nations.

Similarly, Rodislav Plotinikov - a former Duma member and Prime Minister of Russa SE-1 - became the leader of several delegations who believed such an alliance should be limited strictly to technology exchange and common defense. Plotinikov clashed viciously with fellow Russians Fyodor Ivanov and Boris Umachov (Ivanov was a part of Plotinikov's Russian delegation and Umachov was from Russia HM-1). It would only be years later that letters from Plotinikov would reveal the full purpose of his presense; he had attended in an attempt to prevent the Verdists and other pro-alliance factions from getting what they wanted. He had intended to inflame nationalist spirit in other delegates and break apart the conference.

2143 AST - After ten months of grueling negotiation, the Interuniversal Constitutional Convention successfully promulgates a Constitution for a body to be called the "Alliance of Democratic Nations", but only after twenty-five delegates out of sixty walk out of the conference over issues, primarily the libertarian nature of the constitution's "Bill of Rights". The compromises took on a generally libertarian nature; it included protection for homosexuals and other sex-related rights (including an age of consent of 16), the right to organize and operate labor unions, the right to bear arms, protection from government seizure of property "without due process in the courts and generous compensation", along with a variety of other expected provisos. The new Constitution had a clear secular pronouncement of seperation of church and state but included protections that stated the relevant article could not be used to deny office to citizens.

Among the thirty-five governments that debated the new Constitution, fifteen refused to ratify it. This left twenty - the minimum agreed upon for the new Constitution to go into effect. However, these twenty nations were among the most powerful in the Human sphere, and made up for sixty percent of the efforts against the Agresskan.

Later in the year, Nicolas Mamatmas' final term as UEG President ended, making him eligible for Alliance office. He chose to seek the position of Chancellor in the new government while Fyodor Ivanov sought the Presidency.

2144 AST - As the official signing of the new Alliance's Declaration of Sovereignty came closer, the twenty founder nations' governments went to work voting for the new President and Chancellor and their Council Representative. Despite not having a popular standing, Plotinikov's National Powers Party gained an impressive six seats and Plotinikov was elected President for the 2144-2150 term. His lieutenant Jochiro Nagumi only received the votes of 3 governments, though - Nicolas Mamatmas was elected Chancellor of the Alliance Council with 17 governments supporting him. The entire government is sworn in by the Chairman of the Interuniversal Judicial Board on the Fourth of July, 2144 AST in the new capital of Washington (long reduced in importance since the movement of the American capital to Buffalo during the 21st Century's Corporation Wars).

The initial fiscal year, 2145, includes receiving 5% of the GDPs of all the member nations, an initial amount meant to finance the government's establishment and the raising of the new military. Immediately Plotinikov shortchanges the naval forces, naming them "Space Forces" and giving them Army-orientated ranks and new uniforms that many proclaimed gaudy and badly designed. The Army is better financed, but the newly appointed generals tend to be Russian or in favor of buying quantities of Russian equipment. This clear corruption is noted and protested but does not effect the government's decision making at first, since Plotinikov is in most cases able to hold other matters important to the Alliance Party hostage unless they support his military policies. A complacent, unknowing populace aids in Plotinikov's work and despite his naval cutbacks, most nations both in the ADN or tightly aligned to it's components institute naval disarmament to varying scales, believing the new Alliance Space Force will be sufficient.

Universe GRY-23 is re-designated HE-1, the first and currently only time in history a universe's designation has been specifically changed.

2145 AST - New intelligence indicates that the Jeaxian Kingdom has completed a military buildup, began during the Agresskan War. A push in the Alliance Council to pursue increased naval construction is defeated by Plotinikov, who insists there is no threat.

2146 AST - Susanna Leigh Dale is admitted into the new Alliance Space Force Officer's Academy at Annapolis HE-1. Her father escorts her to Annapolis, where he is faced for the first time with the mistreatment the ADN's fledgling navy has been given. After returning to Earth, Dale goes into seclusion, spending many long hours alone in his private study.

August - The Jeaxian Kingdom launches an invasion of the Revallan Republic and threatens to attack and destroy Human worlds if the ADN interferes or gives any aid to Revalla. Again the Council tries to vote to aid to Revalla, but Plotinikov is again able to prevent the Council from mustering the necessary votes to overturn his opposition. Protests break out across the ADN as pundits and anti-Plotinikov politicians remind the citizenry of Revallan aid to Humanity during the Agresskan War. Despite Plotinikov's decision, many non-ADN members and private organizations send aid of various kinds to Revalla, and a number of humans sign up to fight the Jeaxians in the Revallan military.

October - Essays by Robert Dale, calling for the public to oppose Plotinikov's "criminal neglect" of the navy, begin to circulate into the media via the Internet and conventional publications. The Admiral's work combines analysis of historical situations relating to naval strength and a great deal of naval theories from various sources to create a cohesive "basic theory": that star-faring nations must have powerful, capable naval forces to protect trade routes between planets and to deny the enemy the same. "Interstellar commerce and transport is the lifeblood of an interstellar nation-state," Dale states. "The trade routes between planets are the veins and arteries of the interstellar body. Navies are the blood cells responsible for protecting this body." Released one after the other, the essays are then compiled and published by the Naval Institute Press under the umbrella title "The Importance of Naval Power for Star-Faring Nations" and is hailed critically and publicly as a "complete text, complex but easily-understood, making everyone contemplate the issue".

2147 AST - After nearly reaching Revalla, the Jeaxians are unable to maintain their offensive against fanatical Revallan resistance. Further attempts to exploit the Jeaxian weakness fail in the Alliance Council. As the year progresses, Dale's writings grow into greater popularity and become more wide-spread. Compiled in book form, it makes the New York Times' Bestsellers List. Other writers soon begin writing opinion-editorials on the issue. Media debate springs up about the state of the Alliance's naval power and inspires further political debate.

May - The Alliance Council formally ratifies the admission of five new member nations over Plotinikov's objection.

August - The first Alliance Council and Chancellory election campaigns begin. Plotinikov's National Powers Party has lost much popularity between the Revallan-Jeaxian War and the release of Dale's book.

November - The first Alliance public elections are conducted. Nicolas Mamatmas handily wins re-election and the National Powers Party loses all but two of it's seats. The Verdist-led Centrist Coalition gains a super-majority of seventeen seats, effectively enabling them to push legislation through over Plotinikov's objection.

2148 AST - In the last week of January, the new Council members and Chancellor Mamatmas are sworn in. Within their first week they push through a budget bill that reduces the dues on member nations to 2.2% and orders the investment of at least 10% of all budget surpluses to form a "government reserve". Because of the enormity of their excess budget funds, the Council sets aside 300 trillion credits for the '49 Fiscal Year to be used for "naval purposes". Asked to produce testimony to the Council on the best course of action, Chancellor Mamatmas "calls in a favor" and persuades Vice Admiral Dale to testify to the Council as to what should be done. Dale's recommendation is to set aside the fund for the moment and form a commission of industry and technology experts, naval strategists, and accountants to investigate the matter and decide upon a course of action for the "restoration of naval power". Dale also recommends that the Alliance Space Force be reformed as the Alliance Stellar Navy, with better-designed uniforms and other changes to operation to improve morale. Over Plotinikov's objections, both actions are done.

Immediately after the vote, the Council asks Dale to take the chair of the new Commission on Naval Strategy, which comes to be known as the Dale Commission. After some contemplation Dale agrees, and to facilitate his access to sensitive materials he comes out of retirement and accepts the rank of four-star Admiral in the new Stellar Navy.

July - A private surveyor ship from New Andalusia MWB-32, the Santa Maria, finds human civilization about 500 years Spinward of the colonial Hillsdale Sector. Within three months of the contact, initial diplomatic relations are established with the Federated Commonwealth and the other nation-states of the Inner Sphere and Near Periphery.

September - The carrier D.N.S. Enterprise is laid at Vickers Shipbuilding Ltd.'s New Hartlepool Spaceyard Facility in UD PA-6. It is the first megaton-rated warship laid by the Alliance Government.

2149 AST - In February, the Dale Commission releases it's final report. Much to the surprise of several of Dale's sponsors in the Council and Alliance political establishment, Dale does not recommend immediate naval re-armament. The Commission recommends, instead, that the fund be used primarily for improving industrial and logistical infrastructure to facilitate large-scale mobilization of the Alliance's naval resources - such as helping to fund the construction of new shipyards and the upgrading of older ones with new replicator technology, as well as R&D projects to implement and improve new technologies and innovations that have been created since the Agresskan War.

Buildup of naval forces is initially limited to the fielding of new capital units to replace the early century-era ships fielded by the Stellar Navy. The report recommends the new D.N.S. Enterprise be the first of an entire fleet of large carriers to be built and commissioned to prelude the new "Strategic Carrier" concept, as well as the adaption of the New Israeli Tikvah-class ship to a new design, what would become the Freedom-class superdreadnought. In terms of raw numbers, the Commission reports that it's assessment of the strategic situation implies that the Alliance will not need to fight a major interstellar conflict until 2160 at the earliest, giving ten years to research and test new designs and equipment, with large-scale rearmament to begin in 2158 so that, by the 2162 Fiscal Year, the Alliance Stellar Navy will increase it's 4,200 ship fleet as of the '49 Fiscal Year to 25,000, mostly of newer and more capable designs. The Commission's "Immediate Defense" plans allow for a limited re-armament to a 5,000 ship fleet by FY2151, 7,000 by FY2154, and 10,000 by FY2157, a re-armament that could be increased by up to 50% upon an emergency.

Despite some opposition by right-centrist members of the Council that desired immediate re-armament, the Council agrees to the Dale Commission's recommendations with the Naval Restoration Act.

February - The Estates General of the Federated Commonwealth agree to the Technology Acquisition Act proposed by Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner. A large portion of the 3049 Fiscal Year budget is devoted to the purchase of new technology from extrauniversal sources and other measures necessary to completely renovate the Federated Commonwealth's technological capabilities to bring it up to speed with the Alliance, a process that will take 10-15 years.

In response, the Free Worlds League Parliament ratifies a similar act proposed by Thomas Marik within three weeks of the announcement.

April - The first IU Jump Gate Assembly in the Inner Sphere is completed at Rasalhague. Construction begins on another Assembly at Canopus.

At Sheffield, the new one-seat FA-27B StarViper aerospace fighter undergoes initial successful test flights. Orders are filed that will result in the first squadrons of 27Bs being delivered to the Stellar Navy the next January.

July - The Stellar Navy approves the design for the Freedom-class superdreadnought. D.N.S. Freedom is ordered to be laid on 23 September 2149 AST at the New Israeli Shipyard Complex at Solomon.

The Alliance Council approves the first large-scale multi-trillion credit aid package to the Outworlds Alliance.

August - An Alliance naval base is established at Mitchella in the Outworlds Alliance in exchange for the Alliance Government authorizing defense contractors to build plants for aerospace fighters in the Outworlds Alliance and to give the Avellar government rights to a percentage of the factory output.

October - Plotinikov asks the Alliance Council to sign a law permitting him to shut down "unnecessary" branches of the Alliance Government. The measure barely passes, mostly due to the support of right-centrist members of the ruling Centrist Coalition. Within days, Plotinikov orders the dissolution of the Dale Commission on the grounds that the Stellar Navy's Strategic Operations Command was performing the same duty. It is a masterful political play that further divides the Centrist Coalition and leads to it's split as the public opinion of the incident comes to be that the politicians were getting back at Dale for not fulfilling the desires of their military-industrial supporters.

November - The Stellar Navy gives Dale the post of Supreme Commander of Alliance Forces in his home universe, under the acronym SCAFHM1, with it command of 8th Fleet (on station to observe the Jeaxians) and the first Alliance Army divisions trained under the command of the Alliance Army itself and not the national armies.

2150 - The Centrist Coalition's split is made final. Out of the old Alliance Party comes two parties. The Democratic Alliance Party represents the left-centrist elements of the old coalition and claims the membership of Jennifer Verdes and Nicolas Mamatmas. The Federal Alliance Party represents right-centrists and claims Fyodor Ivanov and Kevin Maxwell-Fyfe, as well as several former NPP politicians and figures.

With Alliance-backed sanctions crippling their economy and causing domestic strife, the Jeaxians sue for peace and agree to various Revallan terms.

The first modern naval designs begin approval procedures. Plotinikov's Defense Ministry continues to drag it's feet on construction contracts and other initiatives in relation to the Naval Restoration Act, leading to opening court battles between the Council and the Presidency.

February - The first class of the Stellar Navy Officers' Academy in Annapolis is graduated, with head of the class honors belonging to Susanna Dale.

April - Alliance advisors begin training the Outworld Alliance's ground militias. The Alliance Council, after nearly 2 years of on-off deliberation, decides to recognize the independence of the Saint Ives Compact, leading to angry denouncements from Chancellor Romano Liao's Capellan Government.

May - The Alliance and the Free Worlds League sign a non-aggression pact. Alliance troops from the Hillsdale Sector Army begin occupying and pacifying the Tortuga Dominions.

July - On the 6th, Capellan-backed Thugee cultists launch coordinated car bomb attacks on the Alliance embassies on New Avalon, Canopus, and Saint Ives, killing and wounding dozens. With clear evidence of Capellan involvement, the Alliance Council ratifies a mutual-defense treaty with the Saint Ives Compact later in the month. Per the terms of the treaty, ten Alliance Army divisions - including the 1st Armored Division - and two Marine Corps divisions are sent into the Compact. The Stellar Navy begins establishing a base at Milos. In light of the agreement, the Alliance Strategic Planning Staff begins heightened war planning for a conflict with the Capellan Confederation.

August - The 2150 Alliance election campaign begins, with the Presidency up for grabs between Fyodor Ivanov and Jennifer Verdes.

D.N.S. Enterprise finishes final delivery trials. After a one month shakedown cruise, the Enterprise is assigned to 8th Fleet and is made Admiral Dale's flagship.

September - The Capellan Warrior House Ijori is wiped out to the last man by a brigade of the Alliance's 2nd Calvary Division during a raid on Denbar in the Saint Ives Compact. This small skirmish is the first occasion when Inner Sphere BattleMech forces oppose frontline Alliance mechanized and armored troops. The experience is a sobering one for BattleMech enthusiasts in the Inner Sphere's armies; 'Mechs proved too big, too unstable, and too short-ranged to safely engage the Alliance's tanks and mechanized infantry troops.

October - The Clans of Kerensky begin their invasion of the Inner Sphere, launching successful attacks on the Periphery frontiers of the Federated Commonwealth's Tamar Pact, the Free Rasalhague Republic, and the Draconis Combine. Although the Alliance Government maintains neutrality in light of the ongoing election campaign, the Alliance Council authorizes financial aid and trade credits to the Federated Commonwealth and Rasalhague to oppose the new enemy. Line Admiral Toshiro Hamato, commander of Stellar Navy forces in MWB-32, begins deploying his destroyers along the Coreward Periphery to try and find the origin of the Clans in preparation for the expected military effort to defeat them.

November - Jennifer Verdes wins the Presidency by a comfortable margin. Though the former Centrist Coalition maintains it's dominance in the Council, winning 23 of 34 available seats, 15 of those seats are won by the DAP opposed to only 8 by the FAP and ensuring the dominance of the left-centrists in the Alliance Government.

Before adjourning for the final time, the outgoing 2nd Alliance Council agrees to funding the construction and establishment of more military supply outposts and bases along the "northeastern" region of the Periphery past the Draconis Combine, to prepare for a possible war effort against the Clans.

December - The Hillsdale Sector Army is reinforced by an additional twenty-five divisions under the designations 3rd and 8th Armies. Later in the month, an additional task force of cruisers and destroyers is sent to Hillsdale - the regional fleet is given the command designation of 11th Fleet.

Clan forces move to within one jump of Rasalhague. Alliance Defense Ministry officials request permission from the Interuniversal Jump Gate Committee to destroy the Gate to prevent the Clans from seizing it.

January 2151 - The D.N.S. Missouri, the first ship of the wall built by the Alliance Government, is deployed to 11th Fleet after her successful delivery trials and shakedown cruise.

The Smoke Jaguars use orbital bombardment to slaughter the citizens of the city Edo on the planet Turtle Bay in the Draconis Combine, killing over a million people. Widespread demonstrations demand military action to thwart the Clans.

February - Jennifer Verdes and the 3rd Council are sworn into office. The first day of the new government sees widespread orders to undo Plotinikov's stalling efforts on Naval Restoration and an order to the Clans to cease their invasion of the Inner Sphere or face war with the Alliance. An envoy is dispatched to negotiate with the Clan leaders meeting at New Bergen, but ilKhan Leo Showers refuses to halt the invasion. However, much to the ilKhan's surprise, Wolf Khan Ulric Kerensky voluntarily withdraws from bidding on the right to assault Rasalhague and gives the first attempt on the system to the Bears.

On 15 February 2151 AST, Clan Ghost Bear ships invade the Rasalhague system. The Stellar Navy orders 8th Fleet to Rasalhague and Admiral Dale is transferred to the position of SCAF-Hillsdale, making him the commander of all Alliance military forces in MWB-32.

When the Bears are still four days out from Rasalhague, 8th Fleet transits the Jump Gate at Rasalhague. One final ultimatum is issued to the Bear Khan by Admiral Dale; upon the refusal, the Alliance Council votes to declare war for the first time in it's sixty-seven month history. The Battle of Rasalhague is a brutal rout: Dale's fleet engages the Bear invasion fleet far out of Clan weapons range and virtually annihilates the Bear fleet within the first two minutes of phaser fire. Hundreds of surviving Bear naval personnel are taken prisoner.

Dale does not wait for Marine and Army divisions to arrive from the Gate and Hillsdale. With 8th Fleet having completed it's transit of the Gate, Dale splits them division by division and sends them throughout the invaded regions of the FedCom and Rasalhague (the Draconis Combine had not yet given permission for Alliance forces to operate in it's territory). The "broom sweep" operation has catastrophic results for the Clan war effort; the entire Clan fleet in the patroled regions is destroyed or captured within two weeks, stranding individual Clusters and Galaxies of troops on different worlds without hope of supply or rescue.

During the broom sweep operation, four days after the Battle of Rasalhague, the Enterprise under Dale's command and with four escorts, plus a battalion worth of Star Marines and new Nova Force special forces, intercepts the Wolf Clan flagship Dire Wolf at New Bergen and successfully cripples and seizes it. Khan Ulric Kerensky and hundreds of his best troops and naval crew are taken as POWs. Pirates amongst the bondsmen cadres are also placed into custody pending extradition to Rasalhague and the Commonwealth; Rasalhaguan citizens, plus one Phelan Kell (presumed dead), are debriefed and repatriated. Also repatriated is Anastasius Focht, Precentor-Martial of ComStar, whose presence with the Clan force adds to suspicions that Primus Waterly's ComStar has been aiding the Clan invasion. In light of the new relevation, the Alliance Council votes in the following month to place sanctions on ComStar and forbid it from buying extrauniversal technology. This, eventually, triggers a shadow war between ComStar's ROM and Alliance Intelligence as ComStar turns to covert means to try and gain the technology necessary to compete with Alliance corporations and to stop the spread of that same technology outside of their hands.

At the very end of the month, a destroyer division returns from a 2,000 light year journey into the Deep Coreward Periphery with confirmation of Clan activity in a region of territory about 1,300 light years from the Near Coreward Periphery.

March - The ADN 8th Army, divided into two Corps, is deployed to forward bases at Rasalhague and Sudeten to support the liberation of Inner Sphere worlds taken by the Clans.

With ADN naval units moving out into the Deep Periphery to establish a supply line to the region of the Clan Homeworlds, Dale returns to Rasalhague to begin planning for the campaign against the Clans' home. In an act of bravado meant to raise morale to even higher levels, Dale orders a broom tied to the Enterprise's comm antennae when the ship arrives in orbit at Rasalhague.

April - The explorer ship Amerigo Vespucci jumps into Universe EM-5 for the first time and makes contact with the human political entity called the Earth Alliance, circa 2271. After some months, relations are opened with Earth and with the greater political body known as the InterStellar Alliance.

The Last Stop Outpost, the nickname for Naval Supply and Operations Post 20-MWB-32, is finished about fifty light years from the Pentagon worlds. 8th Fleet and 3rd Army depart Rasalhague to set up base for the campaign against the Clan homeworlds.

On 14th April, Operation: Damocles is launched by the Alliance, FedCom, and Rasalhague. Twelve Alliance Army Divisions lead an assault by crack allied units against the Clan forces stranded on Inner Sphere worlds.

As the offensive winds down with the final retaking of Periphery frontier worlds, Smoke Jaguar forces launch an attempted counter-stroke against the right flank of the advance. The stroke is defeated by the action of 11th Fleet, which wipes out two Galaxies of elite Jaguar troops and all of their warships. The Alliance delivers notice to the Draconis Combine that due to their inability to pin down Jaguar forces, Alliance troops will move onto Combine planets to destroy them. The Combine protests to no avail and begins stepping up preparations to move their own troops in to ensure the Alliance does not try to keep the planets they hit.

May-August - Splitting into three strike groups, ADN forces circle the Kerensky Cluster and Pentagon, wiping out Clan naval units and landing troops to pacify Clan worlds. By the end of May the Clans are in disarray and panic from the ADN showing no distinction between Invading Clan and Home Clan; several begin backdoor negotiations with Admiral Dale for conditional surrenders in which their specific Clan would agree to forswear future invasions of the Inner Sphere.

However, Council Representative Elijah Weisbaum of the newly-christened Freedom Party spearheads Council hearings on Clan society itself, and several sociologists and other prominent experts testify that Clan society, given what was known of it, could never maintain peace; by it's very nature it requires conflict for it's warriors' advancement. With this in hand, Weisbaum manages to convince the Council that nothing less than the annihilation of Clan society must be accepted, over the protest of President Verdes. The Morgenthau Option is enacted, an obscure law formed decades ago amongst nations that would recognize the legal and moral legitimacy of annihilating or emasculating cultures too violent to be left alone.

What could have been a quick war now becomes a bloodbath as the Clans unite, Warden and Crusader alike, to defend their very way of life. Despite heroic and suicidal resistance, the Alliance's technological advantage and naval supremacy are insurmountable obstacles; their numbers are further swollen by the so-called "bandit caste" colonies, many of which being democratic or otherwise civilized in nature, and by the liberation of the Tanite worlds. One by one the worlds of the Pentagon and Kerensky Cluster, and the capitols of the various Clans, are isolated navally and then taken by assaults in which the Clan warrior caste fights to the death, with only 1 out of every 10 Clan warriors being taken alive. The arrival of forces from the Inner Sphere, following the successful completion of Operation: Damocles, comes in time for the final assault on Strana Mechty, set for September.

As the Clans await the final blow on Strana Mechty, a quick vote is taken amongst the depleted Clan Councils to find new Khans to replace those that fell in battle; this new Grand Council breaks the Clan age taboo and elects septugenarian Khan Cyrilla Ward of the Wolf Clan as the new ilKhan. The elderly leader of the House of Ward, a staunch Warden and sibkin to Natasha Kerensky of the Wolf Dragoons, prepares the Clan Capitol World itself for the final onslaught.

In the Inner Sphere itself, the Richmond Incident is waged in early August. Richmond, a frontier world of the Draconis Combine and one of the first to fall to the Smoke Jaguars, is a world populated by colonists from North America, the US state of Virginia mostly, and their culture was still very much American despite centuries of Combine repression (embodied in a feared re-education center that Kuritan ISF operated on-planet). It was local resistance that maintained the fight against the invading Jaguars even after Kuritan loyalist resistance ended, and when Alliance troops liberate the planet from the Jaguars, local leadership seize their chance and declare independence and the establishment of their planet as a Republic, with Hanse Davion immediately recognizing their independence. In two weeks of diplomatic confusion, the ADN is deadlocked between sympathizers for Richmond, led by Chancellor Mamatmas, and those who feel the ADN must remain stoically neutral from all local disputes, led by President Verdes. In the end, however, the Combine's hardliners make the decision for the ADN by attacking the Brigade of ADN troops positioned on planet (and ironically only a couple of days from departure) using a Pirate Jump Point to get the troops landed before ADN naval forces can react; though out-numbered 4 to 1, the ADN Brigade manages to destroy the invasion force, which fights to the last man.

The embarrassment of the Combine's defeat, and the prospect of war with the ADN, brings the Combine to the negotiating table and Theodore Kurita is forced to accept Richmond's independence; he will be assassinated before the year is out, permanently ending the Combine's half-hearted attempts at modernization.

September - Operation: Jupiter commences; the ADN launches a full-scale offensive against Strana Mechty, using General Sergei Molotov's 3rd Army with attached Tanite, Rasalhaguan, and FedCom forces, including the 10th Lyran Guard RCT (with FedCom heir Victor Steiner-Davion as the CO of a 'Mech Battalion of the Guard). 8th Fleet annihilates the final line of Clan naval defenders near the planet itself, including the destruction of Aleksandr Kerensky's flagship McKenna's Pride. The landings result in a vicious battle across the planet as the last Clan warriors choose death over surrender. IlKhan Cyrilla Ward is killed by airstrikes called in by the 2nd Marine Division against her Command Star; in a legendary last stand, Hell's Horses Khan James Cobb and the multi-Clan Ebon Keshik of Elementals fight to protect the Grand Council Chambers from the Royal New Caledonian Regiment, a British Army unit made primarily of hardy Scots settlers of the planet New Caledonia in Universe SE-1; after taking many losses in close-quarters combat with the Elementals, the New Caledonians wipe the Keshik out to the last man. Cobb is killed personally leading a final charge of the ten surviving Elementals against a line of Scots in the Council Chamber itself. The Clans of Kerensky cease to exist as a cultural and political entity.

October - The victorious Allies begin negotiations for a final settlement of the Clan War. An occupation force for the former Clan worlds, now referred to as the Kerensky Territories, is agreed upon, made up of Alliance, Federated Commonwealth, Rasalhaguan, and Saint Ives troops.

The Alliance Council awards Admiral Robert Dale and General Sergei Molotov the Diamond Star of Victory for their parts in the campaign against the Clans. Numerous lower officers are awarded lesser Stars of Victory. Dale is also named as a recipient of the Diamond Sunburst by First Prince Hanse Davion, to be awarded in December at a victory parade in Tharkad City; Molotov is given the Golden Sunburst. Both the Federated Commonwealth and Free Rasalhague Republic grant cash prizes to Dale and Molotov, but primarily to Dale, who's campaign has awakened the Inner Sphere to the need for and glories of a powerful star navy.

November - With the full support of Elected Prince Magnusson, First Prince Davion, and Archon Steiner, President Verdes appoints Admiral Robert Dale to the post of Military Governor of the Kerensky Territories; Admiral and now Governor Dale is given the mandate of "establishing the foundations for a lasting, peaceful and democratic society amongst the former peoples of the Clans".

In the same month, Ronald McMillan, CEO of AT&T Interstellar, is assassinated by unknown assailants. Though local police are unable to turn up leads, Alliance Intelligence links the killing to ROM, which it also suspects of masterminding several other attacks on non-ComStar communications stations, satellites, and technial personnel in the Inner Sphere in the previous month. It becomes clear that ROM has given up attempts to merely steal technology and is actively trying to remove competition from the Inner Sphere through terrorism.

2152: The ADN establishes itself in the Euphrates Sector of Universe EM-5 with colonies in four systems. Initial trade agreements are finalized with the races/nations of the InterStellar Alliance. However, with rampant anti-alien xenophobia amongst the Centauri population encouraged by the government, relations with the Centauri Republic remain non-existant, and mostly hostile.

In June, the Daniel Boone makes a jump into an unexplored universe and makes contact with the United Federation of Planets.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

User avatar
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4151
Joined: 2004-09-23 04:42pm

Post by dragon »

Hum just a slightly complicated timeline grant the UFP should have fun.
Edit might have missed it what time frame is it for the UFP.
User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

The first part's heading included the approx. stardate: 44890. That is, late 4th season TNG, just before the Klingon Civil War, not quite a year after Wolf 359.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

Karlsburg, New Styria, United Federation of Planets
00:19 GST

Karlsburg was a well-sized ocean-sized city of about half a million on the Northern Continent of New Styria, founded by settlers from Europe in 2314 ST-3 Calendar time. Only fifty light years from the Cardassian border, Karlsburg had avoided attack during the war, though there were a few memorials on the planet to commemorate Styrians who died fighting with the planetary militia and FSF during the war.
Karlsburg hosted a spaceport for liners and transports capable of planetary landing. Within walking distance was the Emerson Hotel, a three story hotel located near the beach. Cheaper than the more expensive hotels that catered to the planet's citizens and visitors, the Emerson still made suites available. And it's owner was sufficiently greedy that it was easy to give him a few extra bars of GPL - or a few extra Alliance dollars these days - and ensure that the authorities wouldn't be too much of an annoyance.
Currently, a third of the hotel's rooms were taken up by Bajorans. They stayed to themselves, their occupancy paid for by the renters of a group of rooms on the top floor. Inside the best room - an efficiency with a kitchen, two bedrooms and bathrooms, and a foldout couch - ARAL (Anti-Racist Action League) co-founder Asako t'Prinn was seated at the table in a khaki T-shirt and pants. Her skin was a light yellow, with pointed Vulcanoid ears from her Romulan father and the Oriental facial features she received from her Japanese mother. Her dark hair wasn't very long, kept in a pony tail that went down a few inches below her shoulderblades. She was small and athletically fit due to her personal training, which considering their group's more questionable activities was a necessity. On her desk was a pile of GPL bars that they had "liberated" from a government ground convoy moving them from the government treasury to a Federation supply warehouse outside Karlsburg. The local police were still investigating, of course, but there was little love for the Federation central government amongst Styrians and the police had pretty much decided the robbers weren't going to get caught.
They were going to take the GPL with them and cash them in to a Ferengi broker with an office on New Norwich for Alliance dollars, which could then go into their front group Equality Without Race's accounts and fund their more legitimate activities, like anti-racist propaganda and the funds they used to move "hybrids" to more accepting locales. The Alliance was now becoming a popular spot - though there were racists in the ADN as well, most Alliance colonists tended to be open-minded types, and viewed the compatibility of the Alpha Quadrant races with interest more than suspicion.
Seated in a chair in their underwear and watching a sitcom from the Alliance were Asako's comm officer and sensor officer, to use the term loosely. Her communications specialist was Rachel McTaggert, the product of an Orion father and Human mother. Rachel was a beautiful woman with light green skin and long black hair, in her late twenties and having learned her way around comm gear since she was thirteen. She'd never known her father, as her mother was a brothel slave in one of the Eastern nations of Orion. Because of the way the Eastern Orions arranged their laws, Rachel's mother was a slave but she was not, though it mattered little as her mother's freedom was bought by an abolitionist group so they could return to the Federation when Rachel was eleven.
Seated next to her was Larrisa Hortul Josica, a beautiful blond-haired girl from Rubicun IV. Rubicun IV - the homeworld of a human-like race called Edo - had been declared off-limits due to the strange entity in orbit over the world. But the data on the Edo gathered by the USS Enterprise was an enticement to the wrong type of people, and within a year of the contact a corrupt Federation bureaucrat had sold the files on the Edo to a group of slavers in the Orion Syndicate. They had pulled off a daring abduction, warping to just within transporter range and beaming nearly two dozen Edo off their homeworld before warping away again. Larrisa had been one of those unfortunate Edo, who were all sold into Orion sex slavery due to their physical attributes, such as their greater physical stamina and great attractiveness. Larrisa had been lucky enough to be sold to an owner who tried to take Asako and some of her comrades as slaves - in the resulting carnage, they freed her and brought Larrisa into ARAL.
Asako looked at the clock, seeing they had still a few hours before they would have to begin boarding the Denmark Vesey. The Vesey was a nice ship she had bought cheap in the Triangle. Decently-sized, capable of planetary landing, and she could sprint in a pinch. Best of all, Asako had recently transferred her registry to New Liberty, so she was officially a ship from the Alliance and subject to Stellar Navy protection. Given the Cardies' attempts to forcefully inspect and even seize ships with Bajorans, Asako was happy that her ship would be getting official escort from the Alliance.
She heard Rachel and Larrisa giggling and looked up to see the sitcom finish a comedy scene and go to commercial break. As the commercial began advertising a new toy of some kind, the two women turned to each other and began kissing playfully. "I would have thought you two wore each other out last night," she commented wryfully. Having Vulcanoid hearing wasn't always a blessing.
"Larrisa never wears out," Rachel said.
Asako shook her head and continued to work on some last minute paperwork while Rachel and Larrisa made out on the couch. After looking over the paperwork for the launch, Asako got exasperated and grumbled, "Just where the hell is Sophia? She was supposed to come back to the suite an hour ago."
"She's probably got her wrists tied to bed posts right now," Rachel giggled.
Asako sighed. She'd thought Sophia's most recent attempt at romance had exploded spectacularly enough that she wouldn't try again for a while. Much like my own, Asako sighed to herself. Even if they were intimately-close friends (without the physical intimacy, of course), there were some things Asako and Sophia were simply different on. Early on, it'd been their attitudes about themselves. Asako had been fiercely proud of her Rihannsu and Human heritage, believing herself the mixture of two of the most dynamic and influential races in the entire quadrant. Sophia, on the other hand, was the product of a brutal rape by her Bendii-stricken Vulcan blood father against her mother and so she hated her Vulcan half. It had been made worse because her grandparents had first sent her and her mother Mitra off into one of the underground railroad networks to keep Sophia's Vulcan blood relatives from claiming custody. It had engendered great self-loathing for Sophia - her right ear still had a scar from her attempt as a seven year old to cut off the points of her ears - and she had been rather unstable when the two met for the first time.

That had been nearly twenty years ago. The two found they were completely reliant on each other for friendship. Asako had restored Sophia's pride in herself as an individual, encouraging her to think of herself as such and not merely as a person torn between her Human and Vulcan halves. Sophia, in turn, had not only gotten Asako to "lighten up" a bit, but she had inspired Asako to begin actively working for others like them, born of two races and subjected to severe racism in many societies inside and outside the Federation. And hence came ARAL and Equality Without Race; a bold idea supported by questionable means and created because a hard young woman born of a Human prostitute and a one-time Romulan client had a chance encounter with a fugitive dancing topless in a slum dive on Nimbus III, one step away from the life Asako's mother had been forced into.

But yes, the differences! Asako had always been something of a quiet woman, though she always confided in Sophia, the closest thing she'd ever have for a soulmate. Sophia felt the same way toward her, but she was far from quiet. Rambunctious, impulsive, stubborn, and prone to fits of debauchery, Sophia was loud and opinionated. She loved Asako as a soulmate and she loved men for sex. And she was never satisfied with normal sex. She loved getting kinky, and she loved getting tied up. For all her aggressiveness and stubborness, Sophia enjoyed being helpless to the men she had sex with. She had herself tied up, tied down, chained, and a great many other things. Asako had a number of embarrassing memories from their early years of barging into sex clubs to find her and having to carry Sophia out because the men had exhausted her. And then there were the close calls, the times back in the Triangle when one Orion slaver or another had an eye on either of them, the times when Sophia's mouth had gotten them in trouble... it was almost impossible to thing they were here and not dead or worse. Of course, Sophia had finally started to mellow after she hit the big Three-Oh (and Asako could remember her lament and bitchfest about "getting old" on that birthday quite well, thank you very much!), but sometimes she still looked for trouble. Old habits died hard, after all.
The door opened and Sophia entered, wearing a black halter top that emphasized the size of her bosom because it was one size too small and knee-length gray shorts. Her mother's old heart-shaped locket was hanging in her cleavage, which the top was cut low enough to show part of. Asako didn't say anything at first. This was Sophia being sexy. She'd gotten laid, and she must have really enjoyed it. "Glad to see you came to join us," Asako called out. "Care to help with this?"
"I'm sorry, Asako. But Yevem and I got a little wound up after breakfast."
Asako hid a smirk. Yevem Raelim was another "hybrid"; his Rigelian mother had been a prostitute like Asako's and his father one of her Klingon clients. Yevem was the ship's engineer and one of their point men for their robberies, and often surprised people because, despite his Klingon heritage, he never acted in the stereotype (which was really the point for Asako and her comrades). Of course, this wasn't the first time Yevem and Sophia had been together. They'd had an on-again off-again relationship for years. And Asako supposed that it made sense that she'd rebound with Yevem after the complete disaster that had been Sophia's romance with that handsome Risan during their four month stay on Hermal VI Of course, Asako would have to tease her later.

Sophia looked at Larrisa and Rachel as they continued to make out on the couch, Larrisa's bra now discarded onto the floor. "Looks like I'm not the only one getting wound up," Sophia said before taking a seat opposite Asako to work on the departure paperwork. Like she usually did, Sophia easily picked up what was left to do and started working on it. "Think this fuel requisition will go through?"
"Yes. I had a little talk with the orbital supplier while you were tied up." Asako cackled in unison with Sophia, who appreciated the joke and even rubbed at her wrists to go along with it. "He didn't like it at first. Thought the grade was too rich for our old core. I had to explain that we had a pretty good engineer. One that wasn't trained by Starfleet or by one of the FSDB schools."
"Well, you're saving us a bit by getting this stuff. High efficiency and all." Sophia put the paper away and brought up another. "Don't you wish we had a PADD for this?"
"These Styrians like doing things the old-fashioned way." Asako finished signing the flight plan. "I have to send this first and have a copy transmitted to the Alliance Navy. They already know we're coming, but I didn't decide on a final flight plan until this morning."
"Going a bit further out of our way, I see?"
"Reduces the chance that the Cardies will intercept us."
"Yeah." Sophia looked over a form verifying their manifest and scribbled her name on it with a pen. "I'm used to stencils."
"So am I. Though if we decide to stay in the Alliance after dropping the Bajorans off, well, I hear they like keeping hard copies of paperwork. We'll be doing this for quite a while."
"Still thinking of staying on New Liberty for a while?"
"Yes." Asako nodded and sighed. "Listen, if not for the Bajorans helping out, we might not've gotten the GPL this time. And Hermal VI was too damned close a call. Things are getting hot, and I've spoken with the Magnussons. They think we need to lay low for a while. Just take the money we've got now, store it, and spend it wisely for a bit. And, the Magnussons think we have a real chance of attracting some financial aid from sources in the Alliance. But we won't get it if we keep shooting up government convoys and banks."
Sophia sighed and rubbed at her shoulder, which she'd partially injured while diving for cover in the recent robbery. "I'd like some quiet. But I have to ask, did we really get enough that we can live for a while? Investment accounts might get interest, but will it get enough for us to pay our berth fees, pay upkeep, and to get rooms to stay in?"

"Well, we might have to take up jobs," Asako said. "At least until we can get some groups in the Alliance to help our cause."
"Oh, that sounds so good. I go from being a revolutionary fighting racist and economic oppression to... what? A factory worker? A waitress? Maybe I should go back to dancing with my clothes off?" Sophia smirked. "Though I hear that nude dancers in the Alliance get paid top dollar."
Asako shook her head. "I'd never ask you to do that, Sophia. I wouldn't want you to. It's demeaning."
"Yeah, it is." Sophia stopped what she was doing for a moment and broke out laughing. "I fell for that one, didn't I?"
Looking up from a paper, Asako showed a rare mischievous grin. "What do you mean by that?"
"I just admitted to having demeaned myself. Hanging out at clubs, getting naked and tied up so that a bunch of strangers can fuck me. Haven't done it in a while, but it's no better than stripping, isn't it? In fact, it's probably worse." Sophia continued to cackle and kept signing. "Okay, fine, I find a good position and I'll go back to dancing."
Asako gave her an "I'm not amused" look. "Sophia, I just wanted you to admit that you've done some pretty dumb things. Like I said, I wouldn't want you to do that kind of thing. I wouldn't ask any of us to."
"Oh, I understand. But the money could be pretty good." Sophia picked up the pen and pointed it toward the couch. "Who knows how much we'd earn if we convinced Larrisa and Rachel to do that in front of a camera?"
"Sophia, you're incorrigible."
"Thank you." Sophia went back to work. As they worked, both heard Larrisa and Rachel get up and looked up in time to see Larrisa pulling Rachel into one of the suite's bedrooms, the door slamming behind them. Sophia frowned. "That's my room, isn't it?"
"Yes it is."
Sophia shook her head, slowly griinning again and cackling before going back to work.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

Bowie, Earth, Alliance of Democratic Nations
Universe Designate HE-1
01:11 GST

The sun had long descended, but Jerry Polawski and Herb Walters were still hard at work in the Alliance Intelligence Department's new Complex, built in Old Bowie near US 301. The two were technology experts hired as consultants to Alliance Intelligence, and now they were hard at work looking over the records from Henderson's sensor net during the timeframe of the freighter Deyteliz's stay in orbit.
They had put the sensor data through several instruments so far, looking for the proverbial smoking gun. So far, all they had was the power spike a few moments before detonation. A power spike consistant with additional transporter activity, but nothing they had was indicating a second METter (Matter-Energy Transportation) beam. "This damned equipment simply isn't precise enough," Polawski finally growled after putting the data through another system.
"Yeah." Herb was jotting down notes on the results. "Gytep's simply too close to Mwinyiburg."
Polawski looked back to the single cylinder on his screen. The problem was that none of their equipment could see anything beyond the recorded subspace "ripple" of the single METter beam to Mwinyiburg. The ripple had the effect of hiding any other beams that might have been triggered within a radius that, unfortunately, included Gytep. "This is impossible. The damned Xepolites' METter tech needs serious upgrading. We haven't had this kind of ripple problem in a century."
"Though it's rather helpful in hiding the incriminating evidence." Walters stopped for a moment. "You know, I've thought of something silly. We're going about this all wrong."
"We're taking the usual approach. Looking for the subspace disturbance of METting. But why do that? It's Matter-Energy conversion. We should look for the energy of the transport itself!"
"Against all that background radiation from the planet's Van Allen belt, the thermal radiation from the sun?"
"Some time ago, I read this article in Popular Mechanics. Some group of researchers from the University of New Israel has been studying the exact nature of the energy used in METting. They had to build their own scanning unit, something called the MET Energy Detector, to do their work" Walters went over to a phone unit. "Let me call the boss and see if he can get this data sent over to them to see what they can find."
Polawski nodded and turned back to his controls to run the data through another new system he'd drawn up, seeing if there was some other way to find what they were looking for.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

SS Denmark Vesey, 12 Light Years from ADN-UFP Border
Universe Designate ST-3
11:12 GST

Asako took a drink from a mug of thick, rich Turkish coffee and rubbed at her eyes to keep the montonous starfield on the Vesey's viewer from figuratively burning into her retinas. Everyone was dressed in thicker jackets and trousers now that they were in space. The Vesey's hold was filled with their GPL haul and Bajoran refugees to be dropped off on New Liberty. Best of all, the Vesey was being protected by a flight of four F/A-32 Thunderbolt fighter-bombers from the carrier DNS Intrepid.
So here they were, cruising along at about six light years per hour toward the Alliance border, which was still about two hours away at their present speed. Sophia and Rachel were not in their usual bridge spots and were in bed, the former for rest and the latter because, apparently, Larrisa had worn her out first. Larrisa was at the ship's sensor station. Thadoc - a man who was half-Romulan and half-Bolian - was seated at the helm. Defense was taken up by another man, Dennis Kalter, who mostly Human with a Betazoid grandparent. Rachel's usual post was occupied by one of the "purebloods", as Asako teasingly called them; T'Pek Rogers, a Vulcan woman who was raised by a human family, her adopted father having been her biological father's bunkmate in Starfleet.

Asako took a look at the chronometer and counted the hours until Sophia would come to relieve her. Even after crossing the border, it was still another twenty-five light years to New Liberty. And Yevem wanted to slow down once they got over the border, so it could be another half-day before they were actually planetside again. She hated the thought of being asleep while landing, but certainly a few hours' sleep would be helpful.
Asako's attention turned to Larrisa. The young woman's eyes were intent upon her screens. "What is it, Larrisa?"
"Picking up contacts on an intercept course. Reading seven." Larrisa turned back, panic on her face. "Asako, they're Cardassian!"
So much for a quiet run to the border. Asako straightened in her seat. "Dennis, sound general quarters! T'Pek, alert our escorts!"
Both nodded. T'Pek brought the receiver up to her ear and spoke into a microphone. "Shield Flight, this is Denmark Vesey. We are detecting Cardassians on an intercept vector. We can't determine what kind of contacts they are. Please advise."
T'Pek's finger slipped on the control to put the fighters' response on speakers. A female voice with an Australian accent came over the radio. "Denmark Vesey, this is Shield Leader. Maintain course and make no hostile action. Allow us to handle the situation."
"Roger that, Shield Leader," T'Pek responded. She looked to Asako. "Well?"
"We do as they say," Asako said. "They're the professionals."
At that moment the door opened and Sophia appeared on the bridge, wearing a cotton long-sleeved shirt and sweat pants. "What's going on?"
"Cardies on intercept, Sophia." Asako kept her hands on the arms of the chair. "Remember, everyone, save the last shot for yourselves."
There were silent nods across the bridge.

Seated in the cockpit of her F/A-32, Lieutenant Camille Burelli's hands remained stable on the warp-flight controls. The flight stick was offline for warp flight - as was SOP - and the fighter's onboard computers did much of the work of flying the craft at warp. "Jimmy, anything yet?"
Her Sensor Officer, Ensign Jimmy Kell, replied, "Nothing. But their sensors are probably longer-ranged than our's."
"Get me Hawkeye."

At a leisurely warp pace about three light years away, the E-106 Watchman "Hawkeye" was busy scanning away and directing the actions of all active in-warp flights. Seated at one of it's sensor control panels, Petty Officer 2nd Class Adrian Michaels was monitoring the situation when the call came in over his headset. "Hawkeye, this is Shield Leader. Vesey has spotted seven incoming Cardassian contacts. Verification and identification requested."

Michaels went right to work. "Seven contacts, they will intercept in fifteen minutes. Mass readings indicate that five are light attack craft and two are vessels of cruiser tonnage."
"Roger that, Hawkeye."

Camille drew in a breath. Before she could respond, Jimmy said, "Picking up broadcast from direction of Cardassian contacts. Placing on speakers."
"This is Gul Merak of the Strovarak to civilian craft. You are carrying Bajorans suspected of terrorism against the Cardassian Oversight Authority of Bajor. You will come out of warp immediately and prepare to be boarded for inspection. Refuse to do so and you will be fired upon."
"Put me on, Jimmy." Camille waited for the beep in her headset that told her she was broadcasting on a wide channel. "Strovarak, this is Lieutenant Camille Burelli of the Alliance Stellar Navy. The Denmark Vesey is a vessel registered in the Alliance. We do not recognize Cardassia's proclaimed right to inspect neutral vessels in Federation space. Please break off immediately."
There was a response. "This is Strovarak. You will not interfere with this inspection. We demand that you disable all of your crafts' weapons and standby for completed inspection. Fail to comply and you will be fired upon."
"Well, looks like the Cardies aren't taking 'no' for an answer this time," Jimmy muttered.
"Patch me to Intrepid, Jimmy."

In the Combat Information Center (CIC) of Intrepid, Line Captain Sebastian Gill was looking over the developing situation that Hawkeye had informed the ship of. "Time to intercept?"

"Cardassians have picked up speed, sir. They'll be in torpedo range in five minutes."

"Radio, patch me to the Cardie ships." Gill cleared his throat while the Lieutenant at the station verified the signal was being received. When he nodded, Gill spoke. "Strovarak, this is Line Captain Gill of the Intrepid. My orders are to prevent the harrassment and seizure of Alliance shipping in this region of space, with deadly force if necessary. If you continue to adopt a hostile stance I will be forced to take action. Break off immediately." After the receiver was off, Gill turned to Fighter Command. "Which warp-capable squadron do we have on ready-five?"
"78th, sir. FB-34s."
"Avengers. Excellent. Have 78th launch immediately! Put all sublight bomber squadrons on ready-five!" Gill turned back to Radio. "Alert the other ships. Be prepared for warp as soon as necessary. And tell Shield they are not to fire unless they are being targeted."

"Vesey, get ready to drop out of warp at my mark," Camille said. "We can protect you better at sublight."
"Roger that, Shield Leader."
Now with one hand on the button to disengage warp flight and her eyes on her own targeting display, she listened to Jimmy as he ticked off the seconds to weapons range. "Cardassians are entering weapons range in thirty seconds!"
The Cardassian commander's voice came back on the radio. "This is Strovarak to civilian craft. You have twenty seconds to drop out of warp and prepare for inspection. Afterward, we will consider you and your escorts as hostile targets and open fire."
Camille felt sweat on her face as the Cardies drew closer. When they reached weapons range, Jimmy suddenly shoulted, "Cardie targeting systems locking on!"
"Drop out of warp now!" Camille's hand slammed on the key and her fighter came out of warp with the others. Vesey remained still ahead of them.
"The Cardies overshot us! They're coming back around..... dropping out of warp! Their weapons are armed and locking on!"
"Evasives! Break and attack!"

Back on the Intrepid, Gill watched the display screen as Vesey and her escorts came out of warp. The Cardassians overshot, came back around, and dropped out of warp as well.
"Their weapons are armed and locking on!" was the cry over the speakers in the CIC. Immediately after hearing that, Gill lifted himself to his full height and began barking orders. "Launch 78th and give them orders to fire at will!" He hit the button to establish a direct intercom to the bridge. "Go to Code Red and sound General Quarters!"
Formerly blue lights turned to red as the ship's running status changed to it's highest alert. Across the vessel, klaxons blared, disturbing the sleep and other activities of off-duty and even on-duty crewmen as the ship's XO shouted on the intercom. "All hands, report to battle stations! This is not a drill! Repeat, all hands to battle stations!"
At that order, every single man assigned to stations outside of the ship's armored "keel" ran to the nearest equipment locker and pulled on vac-suits. Off-duty pilots scrambled out of their squadron ready rooms or out of their quarters to suit up and prepare for launch, while on the hanger deck, organized chaos reigned as the bombers of the 78th Squadron were raised to the launch deck and as other squadrons were prepped for launch. On the launch deck, the 78th was launching, eight craft at a time. The bombers cleared the Intrepid and initiated their small, short-range Cochrane drives.
Back on the CIC, Gill punched the button on the wall to patch through to the command bridge. "Bridge, this is the Captain. As soon as 78th is at warp, set intercept course and engage." Gill looked to the comm officer. "Radio, signal the Radetsky, the Emerald, and the Gao Yu Ling. They are to leave escort formation and intercept the Cardassian vessels at flank speed."
"Aye sir!"

"Shield 2, you and your wingman are to keep with the Vesey. Shield 3, you're with me." Camille activated her Thunderbolt's passive ECM and assumed control with her flight stick and accelerator pedals. The starfighter's engines roared - or would have roared if sound was possible in space - and it broke formation with another craft behind it. On Camille's targeting display, she saw her targets coming in weapons hot. A phaser blast, then another, swept by, missing completely. A third grazed her fighter's defense field.

Her systems locked one of her AFM-10 Starbolt missiles onto an attack craft. "Fox One!" Camille's finger hit the thumb trigger for the missile and sent it rocketing through space. It's fusion warhead exploded as it impacted the attack craft's shields. The resulting detonation obliterated the small craft. "One kill!"
Shield 3 had also fired and now a second attack craft disappeared from their screens. They broke away, having reduced their targets to three, and headed toward the Strovarak and her sister to get in a shot with their anti-ship missiles and torpedoes. Both ships began firing with their weapons, having trouble targeting the smaller starfighters. Camille did have to restrain a yelp when one particularly large bolt grazed her shields enough to reduce them to thirty percent efficiency.
At optimum range, they each released their anti-matter torpedoes. The devices had no point-defense to oppose them and slammed into the Strovarak's sister ship, damaging her shields severely with their 160MT warheads. Camille locked on with her ASM-4 Mavericks and prepared to sling those 100MT missiles as well when Shield 3 disappeared in a bright ball of fire. "Dammit!"
"They're using anti-ship weapons on us, Lieutenant!" Jimmy's voice was restrained but somewhat panicky.
Camille ignored him and fired two Mavericks before breaking away to get some distance. The two missiles closed the distance rapidly. The first impacted and brought down the Cardassian ship's deflectors long enough for the second to hit hull. The missile's AP warhead ripped right through the hull plate and detonated the plasma charge inside the hull, tearing apart the entire belly of the Cardassian ship.
Turning away, Camille heard Lt. Daniel Roth - Shield 2 - calling out a shot. The Cardassian pilot of his target evaded with a hard turn and change of bearing. Camille saw her weapons lock and pulled the finger triggers. Triple bursts of particle fire erupted from the three 20mm particle cannons in the F/A-32's chin. The stream of particle fire crossed the flight path of the attack craft and struck it's shields. A few bursts broke through and hit the craft's hull, piercing through it and exposing it's inside to space.
Camille banked hard, having guessed that the craft's wingman was moving to get into her rear. Moving proved to be a life-saving maneuver for yet another reason; the Strovarak's main compressor beam went right through where she had been and struck the Vesey.

The Vesey shook as Asako had never felt it shake before. The entire bridge crew lurched against their safety harnesses. Dennis' shout echoed over the bridge. "Shields down to sixty-five percent!"
Thaloc pulled the ship away from the Strovarak. As he did so, it's injured sister ship fired one of it's wing-mounted compressors at them. The beam struck their shields and rocked the ship again. "Shields at forty percent! We've got some minor hull damage!"
The paragon of calm in the situation, Asako looked to Dennis. "Dennis, do you have that special treat loaded?"
Dennis looked back at her. "It's as ready as it's ever going to be, even if Yevem isn't going to like it."
"Use it."
Dennis nodded and looked to his right, where a jury-rigged display and control were. He brought it up and punched a button to open the covering for the "treat", used the ship's sensors to focus the display on the damaged cruiser, and hit a trigger button.
A bright pulse of green erupted from the jury-rigged Romulan disruptor installed into Vesey's bow. The energy slammed into the cruiser's depleted bow shield and ripped into one of it's wings, blowing away armor and destroying the compressor beam emitter installed there.
"Shit!" Larrisa's scream filled the bridge. "Torpedoes!"
"You don't need to tell me, Asako." With calm precision, Thaloc maneuvered the Vesey hard enough to cause the Cardassian torpedoes to miss.
"Dennis, fire again!"
"I can't, not for another few moments." Dennis pointed to his display. "The disruptor has to fully recharge to be effective!"
"Torpedoes again!"
Thaloc maneuvered the Vesey in another direction, but it didn't quite work this time. Two torpedoes detonated off their dorsal shields. The Vesey rocked even harder. Sophia turned her eyes toward the ship's operation screen. "Hull breaches on Deck 1! We've got people moving to seal them!"
"Get the emergency fields up!"
"Picking up Cherenkov radiation spike! More craft incoming!"

Seated as comfortably as possible in the cockpit of his FB-34 Avenger, Lt. Cmdr. Gerald "Gerry" Thompkins secured from warp flight and took direct control over his fighter. The rest of the 78th Squadron came out of warp behind him. "Okay everyone, keep formation and stay on target. Bravo and Charlie Flights, go after the damaged one, Cardie 2. We'll take Cardie 1."
The FB-34s turned toward the Cardassian cruisers just as they reacted to their arrival. Energy fire came toward them and Thompkins made note. "Be careful, the Cardies don't have PD so they have to use anti-ship weapons. If one of those hits, you're vapor." Thompkins turned off the comm. "Target still at 600 kilo-klicks?"
His SO, Ensign Pat Lake, replied, "Yes sir. We're almost to within optimum torpedo range."
"And the Cardie fire?"
"Very inaccurate, sir."
"Good." Thompkins kept his eye on the targeting display while keying his anti-ship weapons. The Mk. XIV Anti-Matter Torpedo was the best around, and in addition to the two fixed to the underbelly of his Avenger he had six ASM-5 Javelins, which together packed even more firepower than the torpedoes, even if it was spread out amongst the long-range missiles' warheads. Thompkins moved the fighter to the left a bit and, after a moment, noticed a compressor beam flashing in that direction.
"500 kilo-klicks!"
Thompkins triggered the torpedoes. "Fox One!" The other 11 bombers he'd set upon the Strovarak did so as well. The Cardassian cruiser maneuvered sharply to avoid the incoming weapons. But without effective ECM, it couldn't quite do so, and out of twenty-four torpedoes, fourteen made impact. Which was about ten more than necessary. Strovarak's shields buckled under the fifth torpedo's hit; every torpedo afterward slammed into unprotected and insufficiently-armored hull. Within moments, Strovarak and it's crew had been reduced to bits and pieces of free-floating debris and vapor.
The other cruiser turned away too late. The eight bombers after it split into their component fflights of four. The lead flight launched the first wave of torpedoes, just four, and broke away. The cruiser's previous battle damage ensured that it's screens did not survive the second impact; the third and fourth tore apart the ship and detached it's "tail" from the main winged body of the vessel.

Asako was the only person on the bridge of the Vesey who didn't cheer when the second cruiser went up. After all, there was still two attack craft out there.
It was only one a moment later, as another Starbolt made impact against a target and blew up. Shield Leader's craft turned toward the other one, which was tailing Shield 4 with Shield 2 also moving to protect his wingman. The pilot chose discretion over valor and broke off his attack on Shield 4. Maneuvering barely out of the way of a line of particle bursts from Shield Leader, the craft accelerated away and jumped to warp a moment later.
The Shield Flight seemed to be turning to follow, but broke away. They were going to let him get away. The battle was over. Asako nodded to Sophia, who canceled the alert. "That was a close one. Closest we've had in space for years."
"Half of the bridge people weren't here last time," Sophia reminded her with a grin. "In fact, I think I used to be at the helm in those days."
"I can see why it was a close call," Thaloc said with an amused smirk.
Sophia gave him a glare. Asako had to hide a chuckle. "What's the ship's status?"
"Matilda and Dryor have their work teams bringing up patches for the hull breaches. They're not too severe."
"And Kerla?"
Sophia tapped a couple of keys. For a moment, what she saw made her stay silent. "Asako, Kerla's team isn't showing."
The bridge became deathly quiet. "Sophia, are their communicators not working?"
"I'm looking through the system now, but it can't find them." Sophia brought a hand up to her mouth and gasped at another piece of data. "Oh no...." She turned again. "Asako, their last reported position was in Section 10 when the Cardassian beam hit the hull. That's where the beam hit the ship strongest. The entire Section was flooded with compressor energy. They.... they were vaporized instantly."
Everyone on the bridge sombered up quickly. The only thing that didn't change was Asako's expression. It remained cold and emotionless, as she always was in these kinds of situations.
A beeping noise stole their attention. T'Rel looked to her station. "We're being hailed."
Asako immediately pulled some of her dark hair down to obscure her pointed ears. She also forced herself to smile and appear friendly. "By?"
"The Intrepid. She'll be coming out of warp in a few minutes."
"Put them on." Asako looked to the screen and saw a young-looking man with a narrow face appear on the screen. She had to remind herself that though he looked to be in his 20s, Alliance aging-delay gene treatments meant he could very well be up to his 60s or even 70s. "Sir, this is Yumiko Ogawa of the Denmark Vesey. We thank you very much for your fighters' help. They saved our lives."
"It's what we do, ma'am," the man answered in a base North American accent. "I'm Line Captain Sebastian Gill, commander of the Intrepid and her task force. Do you need any further assitance?"
"We are repairing hull damage and will be warp capable soon enough. So long as you're here protecting us, we shouldn't need anything else."
"That's fine, though I'll have my cruisers escort you into Alliance space. The Cardies will think twice about attacking two Alliance light cruisers with their usual raiding groups."
"We appreciate the escort, Intrepid."
"One more thing. If I might ask.... according to our records," Gill looked down, "your ship is unarmed. But my pilots said you have what looks to be a Romulan-built disruptor cannon in your bow."
Asako swallowed. This was the risk she'd taken by opening fire. Still, she kept on as pleasant a face as she could. "Yes. We bought the cannon from a weapons dealer who trades in surplus military equipment from other powers. I knew we'd be making a run in this area and that we'd be picking up Bajorans, so I figured it might be best to have some defense should the Cardassians attack. I thought I'd sent an update to my ship's specifications to the Registry office in Wexford. I apologize if it didn't get done, and I'll do so immediately."
Gill nodded. He wasn't going to make an issue of it. "Very well. When you're ready, continue on. The cruisers Emerald and Scranton will accompany you. Intrepid out."
He disappeared from the screen. Asako didn't say anything at first, though her expression returned to it's usual cold exterior. "Okay, Sophia, mind the bridge." She slipped out of the command chair. "Let me know when we're ready to go."
"Where are you going, Asako?"
"To help fix my ship," she replied. "And... I'd better tell Delilah that Lorim is gone."
"I can do that," Sophia said.
"It's not necessary. I'll do it."
"But Asako..."
"I said I'd do it!" Asako's voice thundered over the bridge and silenced Sophia immediately. Without waiting any further, Asako walked out of the bridge.
At this point, Larrisa broke out crying. T'Rel and Dennis had tears in their eyes. Thaloc was the only one not visibly hurting, and even he seemed to have slouched over. It was understandable. They were one big extended family. No matter if they were "purebloods", "hybrids", or "culturally confused" (a euphemism by the genetic determinist groups for someone of one race raised in the cultural tradition of another race), every member of the Vesey crew shared the common dream of a galaxy where they would be judged by who they were, not what they were. They'd lost friends before, to random violence, to sickness, but to lose six comrades in one quick flash like that was a loss they'd never felt before.
Sophia got into the command chair with the memories of her slain friends in her heart. She began to weep.

Washington D.C., Earth, Alliance of Democratic Nations
Universe Designate HE-1
12:29 GST

In a rather unassuming corner of the library in Raymond Elementary School, a class of five and six year olds were listening to one of the most powerful men alive read them a story book. As a few cameras and several Presidential Bodyguards looked on, President Mamatmas read from the thin book, an edition of "The Tortoise and the Hare", much like he'd done privately with his children and his grandchildren through the years.

His decision to make this public appearance, scheduled back when he'd first assumed the Presidency following Jennifer Verdes' resignation in January, came after some thought. Mamatmas had learned early in politics that everything was a Catch 22. No matter what action you took you would be criticized and attacked for it by your political rivals, no matter what they would have done either. By fulfilling this scheduled appearance, a few hours at a local elementary school to read to kindergarten age children, he was going to be attacked by some for neglecting his duties by not focusing on the growing crisis with the Cardassians. Had he decided to cancel to do just that, he would have been attacked for not honoring the commitment and would have been accused of trying to micro-manage - and hog the spotlight - in this delicate moment. And of course, they'd have attacked him since all of those poor little kids had so wanted to see the President and he would have ignored that wish.
So he decided to go with making the appearance, deciding that actions would speak louder than words if things started to fly. And so here he was at nine-thirty in the morning, reading to schoolchildren while Alliance soldiers in another universe were preparing for war. In a positive light, it was a sign of his confidence in his Cabinent and in the people in the field that he wasn't there to look over there every action. Which is how Mamatmas would have preferred it anyway.
As he passed the half-way mark of the book, a dark-skinned man in a stereotypical black suit and with sunglasses walked into the room. He walked up to the President as he read and whispered into Mamatmas' ear. "Sir, they need you at the Pentagon. The Cardassians have attacked an Alliance civilian ship."
Mamatmas nodded slightly and continue to read. The security man stood up and walked to the door. With absolute calm, as if nothing had happened, as if he'd been told nothing, Mamatmas finished reading the book to the children. He put it down onto a nearby desk. "Now, children, if you liked that book, I have brought many, many more just like it." He pointed to a nearby return cart that was loaded with books that a charity he contributed to had donated to the school. "Ms. Nichols will help you pick out the books you'll like. I want you to read them often. Read as many books as you can. Because reading is very important for your future. If you can read, you can do anything and be anything you want to be when you grow up."
A boy in the crowd raised his hand. "Can I be President when I grow up?"
Mamatmas grinned at him. "Of course you can. Just make sure you read. That goes for all of you."
The children responded enthusiastically and went over to the cart to pick out books. Ms. Nichols, dressed far more formally than an elementary school teacher should have been, walked up to him. "Thank you, Mister President. I can't tell you how happy we are that you chose to come today despite everything's that happening. These children really needed this."
"It's the least I could do, ma'am. The rest is up to you."
Nichols nodded at that. "You have to go now, don't you? That man came and talked to you because something's happened."
"Yes. I hate to sneak out like this, but I have to. Please, apologize to the children for me."
"Of course, Mister President."
Mamatmas shook her hand one final time and walked to the door. "Mister Jones, let's go."
"Right away, Mister President," the agent said. He motioned to the others and they silently filtered out of the library.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

Dervek Military Station, Dervek, Cardassian Union
Universe Designate ST-3
12:38 GST

1st Rank Glin Horvem of the Military Interrogation Division walked briskly through the bland, curved gray corridors of Dervek station, in orbit over the Cardassian colony world Dervek IV. Horvem heard a scream in the distance, something he was pleased to hear given the purpose of the wing he was in.
He came up to the door he had been meaning to enter and allowed it to slide open. Interrogation Room 3 was active, with two of his 3rd Rank Glins conducting the interrogation of the subject. The subject, a nude Human girl of about 23 years of age, was locked into the vertical restraint frame in the middle of the room, the device keeping her arms tightly over her head to limit her ability to move down to the slightest squirmimg. Her tan-skinned body was heaving and sweating and her head slumped down. Her hair, an exotic (to a Cardassian) red, was disheveled and tattered looking. "How is the interrogation progressing, Glin Jevil?"
The one Cardassian woman in the room walked up in her gray coat and standard uniform. Horvem suppressed a smile at the thought of how vicious this Human had found a female Cardassian military interrogator, often boasted as the most terrifying thing in the entire Cardassian Union. She handed him a PADD with several names, displayed with human lettering beside the Cardassian. "Five names. Well, four, but in her babbling she mentioned a classmate who called Cardassians 'murderous butchers' and wanted to see us kicked out of Bajor. We'll leave it up to the Justice Ministry to decide if that's enough evidence for charges."
Horvem returned the PADD and looked back to the girl, who was crying. "Christine Bennington, I've returned with the formal judgement of the military court on your sentence." Horvem grinned at her, seeing he only barely had her attention. "The court has decided to be merciful and has not sentenced you to death or to hard labor for life. They've decided to grant you a special sentence of allowing the military to place you where we deem fit, to fully repay to Cardassia the damages of your crimes."
"But I haven't done anything," Christine wept. Her voice was accented, though Horvem didn't know the type of accent.
"Your confession of guilt is a matter of public record."
The response was a loud wail. "I only confessed to that because you tortured me! I'm innocent!"
"So you're recanting your confession?" Horvem shrugged. "It does you no good. You've already been convicted, so the recant is worthless. Of course, that's fortunate for you, as I would have been required to re-interrogate you to get the truth." Horvem took Jevil's PADD again to check some names. "I see you haven't yet named George Danvers as one of your co-conspirators. That's very disappointing."
"I don't even know who he is!"
Horvem shrugged again. "That's immaterial. We have told you he is a co-conspriator. We expect you to agree."
"I don't know him!"
Horvem nodded to Jevil. Her finger pressed a few keys on her control and activated the neuro-shock contacts in the restraint frame. The energy they generated traveled through Christine's nervous system, inflicting excruciating agony. Horvem gave no obvious response to her screams. "George Danvers. He has aided terrorists. You will name him for doing so." He nodded to Jevil again and she turned off the machine.
"George.... George...." Christine kept panting, trying to catch her breath.
Without Horvem's order, Jevil turned the machine back on for a couple seconds. Horvem wondered if she'd done so just to hear the scream come out of Christine's laboring lungs. He held up a hand to Jevil to order her to stop and looked back to Christine. "George Danvers is a fellow terrorist, isn't he? He is helping the Bajoran terrorist movement."
Sucking in air, Christine managed a "Yeessss...".
"Good. And what about Daphne Kelly?"
"I don't know who she is."
"That's a shame. Jevil?"
The torture device activated again. Christine's screaming echoed in the room. Horvem waited patiently until about ten seconds had passed and motioned to Jevil to stop. While Christine panted for breath, Horvem continued as if nothing had happened. "Daphne Kelly. She's from Cook VI. I'm sure you remember that world, and the so-called refugee camp you worked in. She's the chairwoman of the Cook Defense Committee. She's been using her position to help Bajoran terrorists, hasn't she?"
Jevil's finger moved over the controls again. After another eight seconds, she was told to turn it off. Horvem shook his head. "There are others who can identify Daphne Kelly as a terrorist, you know. Don't think you'll be sparing her by taking this for her."
"I've never met her!", Christine screamed. "Why are you doing this to me?!"
"Because we want you to identify Daphne Kelly as a terrorist agent so that we can have the Federation arrest her and extradite her to Cardassia for interrogation and trial."
"Why?!" Tears streamed down Christine's face. "You can't do this!"
"Of course we can." Horvem chuckled. He walked up to Christine to look her straight in the eyes. "This is Cardassia. The State can do anything it wants."
She retorted, "I'm a Federation citizen! I have rights!" Her arms pulled against the locked metal restraints holding her arms toward the ceiling.
At that, Horvem promptly laughed in her face. "There are no such things as rights. Jevil!"
Horvem was close enough to the restraint frame that now he could almost feel it hum with power. He might have even heard it if not for Christine's screaming. When Jevil turned the device off, Christine began to pant again. "This.... this is...... wrong....." She breathed hard for a moment before continuing. "What.... what did I do wrong? What... did we do.... wrong? Why are you..."
"Because I can." He watched Christine begin to shake her head, but before she could say anything he continued. "You Federation people. You claim to be enlightened, but you've forgotten the basic rule of nature!" Horvem began cackling as he moved away from her. "The basic truth of the universe, Human, is that there are no such things as personal rights. In this universe, there are the strong and there are the weak. The strong do whatever they want and all that the weak can do is suffer what they must. Of course, there are different... levels, if you will. Those who are stronger than some but weaker than others. Then there are the strong at the very top - the State - and the weak at the very bottom." Horvem went back to her and pressed a finger to Christine's visible sternum. "That would be you. Which, I admit, is not an enviable place to be. I may go to the mess hall today and force your guards to clean the waste disposal system simply because I feel like it, and as they are the weaker, they will have to do it. But you are weaker than they, so they will inevitably take it out on you by going into your cell and having their way with you. And that, Human, is how the universe works. The strong oppress the weak because they can. Which is why one day, Cardassian troops will be lounging about on your race's homeworld."
"Why? What have we done to you?"
"Not very much, actually." Horvem nodded. "But it does not matter. We are the strong, so we will do what we want. We didn't create the rules of the universe. We are as defenseless against them as you are. But we have embraced them while your race, and the Federation, have rejected them. Which is why the day will come when Humans will join Bajorans and all the other races as slaves to Cardassia. And now, if you'll excuse me, I must be going." Horvem walked away from Christine and toward the door. As he got to the door, he suddenly remembered something and turned. "Oh, by the way, I've been informed of how you will serve your sentence, Christine Bennington. Later today, you will be beamed to Madred Village 23 to live out the remainder of your natural life." Horvem turned to Jevil. "Make sure we get every name on that list, the Gul has insisted. Do whatever you have to. Just.... don't be too rough. Human women are like durba flowers. Very beautiful, but so fragile that they are easily crushed."
"Of course, sir." Jevil turned to look at Christine while Horvem left the room. As he rounded the corner, he began to hear Christine screaming as the door swished close.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

Pathetic Attention Whore
Posts: 5470
Joined: 2003-02-17 12:04pm
Location: Bat Country!

Post by darthdavid »

I really like what you've written so far.
User avatar
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4151
Joined: 2004-09-23 04:42pm

Post by dragon »

Very nice keep up the good work. I like the fighter scene.
User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

Washington D.C., Earth, Alliance of Democratic Nations
Universe Designate HE-1
13:45 GST

"Honored Chancellor, fellow Representatives of the Allied Nations, we stand now on the brink of a crisis."
Standing in the pit of what was once the US Senate, now the Alliance Members' Council, Representative Elijah Weisbaum (known to his political rivals and enemies as "Bloody Elijah") continued speaking. "The crisis I speak of is not just the military crisis brewing in Universe ST-3. It is a moral crisis, a crisis of spirit and of strength, that is festering here in the heart of the Alliance capital." Weisbaum glanced quickly at his PDA to read the next bits of his statement. "The facts speak for themselves. The Alliance of Democratic Nations has been wronged. Our space has been violated, a planet belonging to a member of this Alliance has been subjected to nuclear attack, and over two thousand innocent civilians - Alliance citizens or prospective citizens all - have been butchered. And we all know who the murderers are. The military autocrats that reside in Cardassia have no respect for the basic dignity of sentient life. They have no respect for peaceful or honorable intent. They only respect force, the laws of the wilds, and they act in that fashion. They are a pack of murdering barbarians, an unrighteous scourge that has used violence and oppression and atrocity to carve out an Evil Empire, as our President rightfully called it."
"But that same President has not done his duty! He should be here, now, asking this Council for a declaration of war on Cardassia. He should be here, telling us the facts, informing us of our duty, so that we can release him and our valiant soldiers to do their's! But where is he? Where was the President when the Cardassians were attacking our forces this morning? He was at an elementary school reading 'The Tortoise and the Hare' to kindergarteners! Well, the President's choice of a book was interesting, but I will remind you that slow and steady does not always win the race. This Council must insist that the President stop dawdling, stop waiting for a diplomatic opening, and start doing his job!"
Weisbaum slammed his fist on the podium. "This Council has already heard the testimony of Bajroans who have been abused, who have been violated, by Cardassia. We have already seen for ourselves the arrogant, spineless weakness of the Federation and the ravenous appetite of Cardassia. This Alliance is now the last bastion of freedom for the Alpha Quadrant of Universe ST-3. We have already acted there, with our restoration to Kelos of a democratic and stable government earlie this year. Now we must act again to defend the sovereign rights of people who ought be free, but who have been brutally enslaved by their neighbors. It would be against protocol for me to ask you for a declaration of war - that is the President's duty, even if he has neglected it - so I instead ask you to pass Council Resolution 203-2153, which I have already submitted to the judgement of the Council. This CR will proclaim Alliance support for a free and independent Bajor, no matter what the cowards in the Federation or the autocrats of Cardassia say."
"Are we moving toward war with this? Yes. The Alliance will be at war with Cardassia very soon, I feel, and I want the entire multiverse to know that our cause is the proper one. We are the ones who are waging war in defense of ourselves, our families, our values, and of innocent people who have been wronged greatly by Cardassian brutality."
As Weisbaum continued on, Chancellor Montesque was approached at his place by an aide who mentioned something to him. He nodded in reply and then waited for Weisbaum to finish his statement. He did so three seconds over the time limit, which was impressive given that Weisbaum was quite capable of continuing on past his limit to hammer a point home. Montesque waited for Weisbaum to return to his seat before speaking. "I have just been informed that President Mamatmas wishes to address the Council in closed session."

Taking up a place at the center podium, Mamatmas straightened his tie and looked down at the prepared statement on his flat PDA. Security had already carefully screened the room and de-activated recording devices for the closed session. Putting his hands onto the podium, Mamatmas looked out at the Council and began to speak. "Chancellor, Honored Representatives of the Allied Nations, I am now prepared to give you a full update on the events of this crisis and the Government's plans for it." Mamatmas took a short pause before continuing.
"The events of the past 48 hours have made one thing clear. War with the Cardassian Union is imminent. Certainly, my presence here is even now creating speculation that I have come to ask for a declaration of war. But I have not." Mamatmas allowed some stirrings from the Council, which Montesque silenced with his gavel. "I am not asking for a declaration of war because it would be detrimental to the Government's war plans. I will ask for a declaration at a later time, when our military is ready to strike, and not before."
Mamatmas returned Weisbaum's glare before continuing. "Many of you who have spoken out are right. We cannot allow these acts to stand unchallenged. Cardassia must be punished for it's crimes and Bajor must be freed if any peace is to be permanent. I cannot see any way to accomplish this save for war."
"But it is our obligation as policy-makers to do our best to ensure that in the event of war we pursue our policies so that as many of our uniformed men and women survive as possible. It is also our duty to ensure that our citizens are protected instead of being put in harm's way due to rashness. And so I ask you to be patient, to wait, to allow our military time to enact a plan that will, we believe, make the war to come quicker, less bloody, and which will ensure that our civilian populations are less likely to come under attack."
Mamatmas paused for another moment before giving his final notes. "As soon as I leave here, I will be signing an order authorizing our military forces in ST-3 to raise their alert level to DefCon 1. Furthermore, the Alliance military as a whole will be ordered to DefCon 4 so as to prepare them to reinforce the Colonial Zone, if necessary. These actions will ensure that our forces are ready to wage the war that is about to come upon us. Finally, I would like to throw my official support behind CR 203-2153. The time has come to end the travesty of Cardassian rule over Bajor. We will give our official support to a free and sovereign Bajor, and when this war comes, our soldiers will do their duty in driving the Cardassians off the sovereign worlds of the Bajoran race. The Cardassians have chosen to make Bajor an issue. We will decide it for them."
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

SS Denmark Vesey, 23 Light Years from New Liberty
Universe Designate ST-3
14:01 GST

Now completely patched up, the Vesey was cruising along at a low warp speed, going barely four light years an hour. Their escorts had left them at the border to return to the Intrepid, leaving their safety to the Alliance fleet units that had sortied from their bases after the military went to DefCon 2. They were home free.
Nevertheless, the bridge had been silent in the thirty-four minutes since they'd come over the border. Everyone was simply working at their stations, save for Asako, who was staring into space, while Sophia occasionally turned to keep an eye on her. Finally she decided to break the ice. "Asako, why don't we start watching the media networks? Maybe we'll find something about the attack?"
"Looking over the open feeds." Larrisa started scanning through various subspace frequencies. "I've got something called the 'BBC'. Want to see?"
"Put it on."
The viewscreen turned on, showing a large image of the Washington Mall. A blonde-haired Caucasian woman wearing heavy winter clothing was on the screen with the caption "Mary Tucker" on the screen, with a small symbol in the corner for the station's name. ".....been informed that the President has finished his meeting with the Council and returned to the White House nearby," the woman said in a Londoner accent. "Mamatmas is expected to hold a press conference in moments."
"Thank you, Mary."
The image switched to a news room, where a dark-haired Englishman was seated. The screen bore a caption below him reading "Brian Wilford". "It would appear that developments in Washington are proceeding rapidly," the anchorman stated. "Though there is some question as to the details, we do know that not three hours ago, Alliance naval forces were forced to thwart an armed Cardassian attempt to seize or otherwise board a civilian transport registered in the Alliance. The attack failed and losses were incurred on both sides. The Stellar Navy has refused to divulge anything other than confirmation that there were deaths on the transport itself and that there were military fatalities on both sides. Our correspondents in Wexford are continuing their efforts to get more...." The man pressed his finger to his right ear, as if listening to something. "And now we will switching to a live feed from the White House Press Room."
The screen changed again to show a room, with the heads of journalists visible at the bottom of the screen and a podium in the center of the screen. Behind the podium was a large seal, with the Alliance torch insignia on it, bearing the words "Seal of the President of the Allied Nations" in it's outer border. First up was a tan-skinned woman in a blue business suit with short-cut hair. The caption revealed her as White House Press Secretary Rosaria Nunez. "The President will be coming shortly," she said. "He will give his statement and answer questions afterward."
She left, and about fifteen seconds later Mamatmas walked up to the podium. "Good morning, members of the press and fellow Citizens. As you are no doubt aware by now, there was an incident this morning close to the border between the Alliance and the Federation. Several Cardassian craft opened fire on a civilian vessel registered in the Alliance and under escort from the Navy. Our forces resisted this attack and repulsed the Cardassians. Two Cardassian vessels were destroyed, as well as four of their light attack craft. Alliance losses were light and limited to the fighter contingent that took place in the battle. And we have confirmed that there were deaths on the civilian craft, which was carrying about two hundred Bajoran refugees fleeing to safety in the Alliance. We do not know yet the identifies of the deceased and if they were citizens or emigres."

Mamatmas looked down to the podium again to double-check what he was to say next. "Now, I have spoken with the Alliance Council on the proper method of responding to this attack. First off, in light of this latest act of aggression by Cardassia, I am hereby raising the alert level of Alliance forces in Universe ST-3 to DefCon 1. I am also ordering the Alliance Armed Services as a whole to DefCon 4 in preparation for what the Government considers to be an imminent outbreak of interstellar war."
"Secondly, today, the Alliance Council approved in closed session Council Resolution 203-2153, proposed by the Honored Representative of New Israel, Elijah Weisbaum. This resolution, now called the Bajoran Freedom Act, officially declares that Cardassia's continued control of Bajoran worlds constitutes an illegal occupation and that the Bajoran race and it's traditional worlds should be free and independent. As of now, the Alliance of Democratic Nations formally demands that the Cardassian Union withdraw from Bajoran lands. Furthermore, the Bajoran Freedom Act permits this Government to declare that any attempt to use a weapon of mass destruction on Bajor - be it nuclear, biological, chemical, or other forms of attack capable of annihilating cities or fulfilling the extermination of life - will not merely be taken as an act of war, but an act worthy of a full-scale retaliation against Cardassian targets. In accordance with this provision, I have ordered the deployment of high-powered fusion warheads to Alliance strategic forces in Universe ST-3. If Cardassia attempts to annihilate the Bajoran population or to destroy Bajoran cities with mass destruction weapons, the Alliance will launch a retaliatory strike against Cardassian population centers, including targets on Cardassia Prime itself."
Mamatmas paused. Asako could see that he had let the genie out of the bottle now. The Alliance had done the one thing that Cardassia most feared. Furthermore, he'd made it clear that if the Cardassians tried to exterminate the Bajorans in their control, their days were numbered. And he meant it - if necessary, he would flatten every Cardassian-occupied world to avenge such a crime. And he could do it. Even now, Aerospace Force transports were probably moving Thor strategic bomber-launched missiles to bases in the Colonial Zone. The Thors carried fusion explosives rated with a yield of about ten gigatons. Nearly a million times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. With that much firepower, it was possible to completely annihilate many metropolitan areas. Only the largest "supercities" could survive just a single one. Highly-populated colony worlds could be effectively removed from the enemy's industrial and manpower capacity by just a squadron of bombers. Maybe even a flight, as a bomber could carry a handful of these missiles.

"The choice for peace is now up to the Cardassian government. It must choose to take the necessary steps to peace. They must begin withdrawing their forces from Bajor. They must begin to make amends for the Gytep attack, to compensate the families of those killed, and to cease their violations of innocent passage of civilian ships. That is all." A chorus of voices arose from the assembled journalists. Mamatmas pointed to one and said, "Yes?"

"Mister President, has more evidence been found in the Gytep attack to strength your accusation of Cardassian responsibility?"
"I can only say that some evidence has been found. The investigation is continuing."

"Sir, what about the civilian ship that was attacked? Can we get a name for it?"

"Not a name, but I can confirm that the vessel is privately owned by a small transport company that recently transferred it's registration into the Alliance. This, of course, means that many of it's crew were probably citizens of other national bodies, such as the Federation. And we are currently unsure as to how many, if any, of the dead on the ship were Alliance citizens or immigrants to the Colonial Zone."
At Asako's throat-cut gesture, Larrisa turned off the signal. Asako drew in a sigh. "It seems the war is about to come. Larrisa, please, put me on the ship's PA." When Larrisa hit the necessary key, Asako breathed in and started speaking. "Greetings, my dear friends and comrades. As you've probably realized, we're now as safe as we can get in this region of space, moving deeper into Alliance space with every passing moment. We have lived through this battle, as we have overcome all other obstacles. But we have paid a price in the loss of six of our beloved comrades. Kerla, Lorim, Stephanie, Otoro, Freddie, and Meskil will all be missed. My heart aches even now for them, as they can never be replaced."

"You may now wonder why we took on this job. We did so because aiding these Bajorans was a moral thing to do, the right thing to do, and in line with our principles. They, like we, have been victims of vicious racism and bigotry. They deserve our friendship and the aid of our cause, for it is their's as well. Rest assured that our friends did not die in vain."

"I will speak more upon our friends when we get to New Liberty and we can hold a proper memorial service. For now, I ask all of you to continue to do you duties in honor of our fallen comrades. Asako out."
Now finished, Asako nodded to Sophia. "Sophia, I'm very tired. I think I'll be going to my room to rest."
"Of course. I'll take the bridge."

Ten minutes later, Sophia left the bridge to the care of Thaloc and went to Asako's room, just a bit down the main corridor. She knocked on the door. "Asako, it's me," she said, after which the door's lock retracted and she was able to pull it open.
Asako was sitting on the couch. She had managed to pull off her clothes and get into her sleeping garments before she had finally been unable to hold her grief any longer. She was crying quietly, with barely a sob, but Sophia knew her well enough to know that this was a great outpouring of emotion for her. Sophia sat down on the couch beside her. "It's my fault," Asako said quietly, tears streaming down her face. "I'm their leader. The responsibility for their deaths is mine."
"They knew the risks. We all do." Sophia put an arm behind Asako's neck. Asako embraced Sophia and moved closer. "It's okay to cry, Asako. You have to let the grief out. Just cry until the pain is bearable." Sophia pulled Asako into her arms, allowing Asako to cry into her shoulder. Sophia held her tightly and felt tears well into her eyes. She began to sob too, thinking of their dead comrades, but also remembering other times like this. When someone one of them held dear had died, and the other had been there to comfort them. Asako had been there for Sophia so often. When Sophia's mother Mitra had been brutally murdered by the Orions, Sophia had spent days in her room grieving, and Asako had never left her side.
This was made their friendship so strong. Alone, they had been incomplete. Together, they were unbreakable, no matter how much they hurt or how hard they cried. Their differences made their friendship richer. They were yin and yang. Opposing forces that complimented one another instead of countering each other.
And they continued to cry.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

Pathetic Attention Whore
Posts: 5470
Joined: 2003-02-17 12:04pm
Location: Bat Country!

Post by darthdavid »

This story is very awsome.
User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

Paris, Earth, United Federation of Planets
14:24 GST

Seated in his office, Gao was listening to Tobis and Matthews debate as he considered his options. The war seemed inevitable now and he had to decide on what to do now that his gamble had failed. He could release the information that had justified their claim about Gytep, but how could that compete with the images of dead Bajoran children?
His secretary said that Torskani and Dayton had arrived. Scowling at Torskani's presence, he nevertheless had them come in.
Torskani entered first, followed by Dayton. But all Torskani did was stand to the side while Dayton walked up and handed Gao a PADD. "We just got that report in from an agent who got to Henderson, sir." Dayton's expression was grim. "He found those weapons."
"What do you mean he found them?"
"He found the weapons that we thought were being delivered to Gytep. They're in a storage warhouse in Mwinyiburg being rented out to the Mwinyiburg Militia."
Gao was reading the PADD intently, seeming very distracted. Tobis shook his head slowly. "That doesn't make sense. Those weapons, all those missiles and rockets and heavy infantry weapons, to a militia?!"
"Yes, Commissioner. To the militia." Dayton turned to glare at Tobis. "I told you that you had not correctly analyzed the intel. Had you bothered to do any research before jumping, you would have found out that by the laws of the League of East Africa, the Alliance member nation that colonized Henderson and Mwinyiburg, all cities must be provided with a certain amount of defensive weapons for their militias. Including what we consider 'heavy' weapons."
Gao began to shake his head slowly. Tobis' face lost it's color. "Then Gytep really was a refugee settlement." Matthews' jaw clenched as he looked toward Dayton and continued, "The Cardassians murdered over two thousand people because we told them Gytep was a terrorist camp."
"And now they're on the verge of war with the Alliance," Dayton said. "Maybe we will be too. After all, we're responsible."
"The Alliance wouldn't dare. They'd be crushed easily."
"How do we know? Starfleet Intelligence has mostly been focusing on monitoring the Bajorans in the Alliance. We haven't begun to look at their military capabilities." Dayton shook his head. "Let's face it, Mister President. We're going to be in a lot of trouble."
Gao turned from them to Torskani, who was examining the view from the window. "And what does the Clerk of the Committee desire from me?" A fake, diplomatic smile came across Gao's face. "You knew, didn't you?"
"I had my suspicions," Torskani admitted. "But even I didn't think the Cardassians would be so brazen as to use a nuclear weapon on the place."
"And let me guess. The Party wants my resignation?"
"That is a very good guess, President Gao." Torskani turned from the window. "Your resignation would allow us to guarantee neutrality. After all, you, the responsible party, would no longer be in government."
Gao jumped from his chair. "I did not rise through the levels of government to be pushed around by a glorified bureaucrat!"
"Oh yes, I'm well aware that you got to where you are from old fashioned foot work. Local government, planetary government, the Federation Council, then the Committee. You're a risk-taker, Gao. You always have been. And now it's blown up in your face." Torskani kept his hands behind his back. "The Party cannot let the Federation's moral authority be brought down with you. You will either resign voluntarily, or we will remove you. And then, you will find it very hard to collect your pension or to hold work. You'll just be an average citizen, living in a small block house with basic replicator rations. Now, if you resign, we can ensure that you are given a comfortable job running a national company, perhaps a power plant somewhere or a factory, with a generous pension and the continued favor of the Party."
Gao slumped back into his chair, defeated. Torskani drew closer. "Your immediate replacement will be Commissioner Tobis. But the Party has recognized his private part in this fiasco, and he will be removed at a time the Party feels is opportune."
"When does the Party expect my resignation to be turned in?"
"In two hours. Though you may write your own statement so long as you accept total responsibility for this fiasco. You may make the usual calls for peace, of course. If you miss the deadline, the Central Committee will officially remove you from the Chair and will instruct the Council to hold a vote of no confidence. Good day." Torskani nodded to those present and left.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

User avatar
Posts: 33
Joined: 2004-01-15 10:51pm
Location: Just around the corner.

Post by Myrmidon »

I like the style, but the players are a little confusing.
myrmidon \MUR-muh-don; -dun\, noun:
1. [Capitalized] A member of a warlike Thessalian people who followed Achilles on the expedition against Troy.
2. A loyal follower, especially one who executes orders without question, protest, or pity.
User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

Capital City, Cardassia, Cardassian Union
14:36 GST

The office of Legate Kelataza was spartan, and understandably so given the man's attitude toward life. Yatar and Relim were there together to inform him of the Alliance's most recent actions. "So it comes to this, then." Kelataza looked up from his desk. "Gul Torcet, how are the redeployments going?"
"Proceeding as scheduled, Legate. First Fleet will be in position in approximately 24 hours and ready to strike at the Alliance Colonial Zone shortly afterward."
"Gul Hergata, any news from Bajor?"
"Salmio, Verta, and Dolan are still in open defiance. Attacks against Salmio and Verta have proven hard due to the local terrain, but Dolan will fall within the week. It's already been decided by the officer in command, Gul Odar, to have the city's population killed."
"Very well. Have the local commanders raise alert level and increase patrols. The Alliance will undoubtedly begin trying to supply Dolan upon the outbreak of war. I want to make sure that doesn't happen." Kelataza went back to reading whatever was on his desk. "Meanwhile, I am having the Ministry of External Affairs publicly reject the Alliance demand. They will be issuing a counter-demand and an accompanying deadline."
Yatar stepped forward. "Legate, what shall we do about the Federation and the other extrauniversals?"
"The Federation has already said it will remain neutral, so I am not concerned with them. We will honor the neutrality of other extrauniversal governments as well so long as they do not support the Alliance or harbor Bajorans. We may very well need their support to keep the Alliance from destroying it's Gate at New Liberty if we have the ability to seize it." Kelataza waved them off. "Now go do your duties. We have a short time remaining to us."

Dakhur Province, Bajor, Cardassian Union
15:22 GST

Hidden away in the wilds and mountains of Dakhur, the Resistance cell of Shakaar Edon was huddled away in a cave. Several dozen Bajoran men and women were amongst the unit, each of them generally hungry and worn from their time living in the wilds while running from Cardassians.
Leaning against one wall in the cave, Kira Nerys looked down at the bloodied tatters of her pants leg and growled. "Can't you work any faster?"
"No." The man who was kneeling in front of her was not Bajoran. Corporal Pedro Nimenez, Alliance Marine Corps - Platoon B, 3rd Company, 1st STAR (Special Tactics Regiment) - continued to clean the wound on Kira's right calf. "You should be more careful. Lot of sharp rocks around here."
Kira's response was a particularly vulgar Bajoran curse, the kind that would have made a Bajoran priest's blood curdle.
A short distance away, Lieutenant Gennedy Korolev was huddled beside a subspace radio set with Shakaar himself and the platoon's senior radio operator, Corporal Jake Fitzhugh. "Any updates yet, Corporal?" Korolev asked in slightly broken accent - the ex-Spetsnaz trooper had learned to speak excellent English over the years.
"Yes. Command says we're at DefCon 1 now."
Korolev looked to Shakaar, who seemed puzzled. "What is DefCon 1?"
"Our highest military alert," Korolev explained. "It's effectively a war warning, Shakaar. It means our Government expects to be at war in a matter of days, maybe even hours."
"With Cardassia, I hope?"
Korolev looked to Fitzhugh, who nodded. "Yes. Command wants us to get ready to aid an invasion of Bajor by any means we can."
The expression on Shakaar's face betrayed his feelings. After years of seemingly futile resistance, there was now a real hope that the Cardassians would be removed from Bajor. "Well, what shall we do?"
Korolev pulled a map out of a sack and laid it out. It was marked with pencil in many places, showing various positions, hideaways, and the known extent of Cardassian patrols. "If we begin marching by tonight, in two weeks we could be within range to sneak into the Cardassian communications base near Ithol."
Shakaar looked at the map and then to one of his compatriots, Furel. "What do you think?"
"It's risky, Shakaar. The Cardassians have hundreds of men patrolling the roads between here and Ithol. And the instant we're discovered, we'll have their quick-response units on top of us."
Korolev traced a line on the map. "If we stick to the mountains, we could avoid most of the patrols."
"That's very rough going. And we're low on supplies."
Korolev grinned. "I once spent three months in Kamchatskiy going through winter training in the Spetsnaz. The Siberian winter is colder than anything here in Dakhur. And we were given a daily food ration that even you would consider meager. Do not worry. My men can handle it. The question is if you can."
Shakaar and Furel exchanged looks. "There's good hunting in the forests of the Gorlin Mountains," Furel said. "And shalkar meat can get stringy, but it's still meat."
"Yes, you're right about that." Shakaar looked to Korolev and nodded. "I'll send back our youngest member. She's only 12, she'd never survive the trip. She can tell the villagers at the mountain base that we're no longer in the area. Maybe the Cardassians will leave them alone then."
"Just hope the Prophets don't let the Cardassians catch her."
Korolev nodded in agreement. "Indeed."
"Okay everyone!" Shakaar stood to his full height. "Let's get ready to move. We've got a long march ahead of us."
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

User avatar
Zed Snardbody
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2449
Joined: 2002-07-11 11:41pm

Post by Zed Snardbody »

There is not nearly enough story here!


I demand that this situation be rectified! Immediatly!

In other words its good.
The Zen of Not Fucking Up.
Pathetic Attention Whore
Posts: 5470
Joined: 2003-02-17 12:04pm
Location: Bat Country!

Post by darthdavid »

We're not woooorthy.
User avatar
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 9553
Joined: 2002-07-03 01:09pm
Location: Florida USA

Post by Steve »

VKFS Pobeda, 75 Light Years from Cardassia-ADN Border, Cardassian Union
16:19 GST

Under cloak, the small vessel Pobeda silently made her way through the stars. She was nigh-invisible to detection at the moment, which was a good thing since she was nearly eight hours from the border at her flank speed.
The Pobeda was considered an "attack vessel". The size of a corvette, she was nevertheless an entirely different type of vessel, the equivalent of an attack submarine in the 20th Century. Currently she was tracking a squadron of forty Cardassian warships. Spread out and consolidating, they were among the forces redeploying toward the Alliance Colonial Zone for the impending war.
When the order came, Pobeda would engage such targets as she was able. But for now she merely watched and waited, occasionally using narrow-beam transmission to transmit data back to a listening post at the edge of the Badlands. Seated in the watch chair in the ship's conn, in the very belly of the vessel, Captain Yefim Galkine was sipping on a nice cup of "Sailor's tea" and occasionally glancing into his personal viewer. The viewer hung from the ceiling within arm's reach, not unlike a periscope would on an old submarine.

The conn, as it was called, held the ship's main controls arranged in a circle around the watch chair. Weapons, Sensors, Communications (Radio), Navigation, Helm, and a station for engineering. At the weapons station was the ship's only female, Lt. Orina Skobelova. Being the only woman on the crew might have been difficult, if the young dark-haired woman hadn't put such effort into terrorizing her subordinates and intimidating even Yefim himself on occasion. In addition, she really wasn't that pretty anyway. She wasn't ugly, but there were far more beautiful women around who were often persued vigorously by the men of the Pobeda whenever she put into port. In fact, the men of the Pobeda put so much importance in the pursuit of real women that it was considered a horribly unmasculine thing to make use of a holo-brothel. Indeed, once an enlisted man in one of the torpedo rooms had been accused of this and heckled so badly that he finally made a half-drunken attempt at suicide by trying to fire himself out of the torpedo tube, just to remember, after he'd closed the door, that he couldn't trigger the launcher from inside the tube. After being freed, he was restricted to real tea and made to work with maintainance in the ship's waste processors. Of course, he was also vindicated when they returned to port and found out he'd been going to an apartment beside the brothel to meet with his lover, so it worked out in the end.
Yefim took another sip of his tea, which was actually two-thirds tea and one third bootleg vodka brewed in the Pobeda's washing machines, and glanced at his scope again. The Cardassians were cruising along peacefully, not suspecting that they were being watched. Yefim grinned as he thought of how fun it'd be to put some torpedoes up right up their scaly asses.
But there was no war. Not yet...

CDS Yavar, 79 Light Years from Cardassia-ADN Border, Cardassian Union

With deliberate, proud steps, 1st Rank Glin Harak Torcet stepped onto the bridge of the Yavar and saluted to Gul Akel. Round-faced and with a cold eye, Akel returned the salute. "Vice-Commander Torcet, you are settled in?"
"Yes, Gul." Harak slipped into the operations chair, from which he could monitor ship status and give reports as his commander requested.
"Excellent news." Akel returned his focus to a PADD he was reading. After some time passed, he looked to Harak and said, "Do you know, I heard the most interesting thing the other day."
"The Alliance's navy is so primitive, they still use actual paper."
"Yes! They don't even have PADDs. They lug about paper and use writing leads and inks." Akel shook his head. "They have no idea what they are getting themselves into."
Harak looked back at his commander. "Sir, if I may speak openly..."
"Go ahead, Vice-Commander."
"I do not think it's wise to judge an enemy by the way they do their paperwork."
Akel shrugged. "Why not? Their approach to the mundane can be an insight into their manner of thinking."
"If so, Gul, then their use of primitive writing materials might merely be due to conservatism or a desire not to use something sophisticated when something primitive will do."

For a moment, Akel seemed to consider that. "You are quite right, Torcet. Good man. Yes, we can't judge the Alliance purely by their use of paper. But it matters little. The Alliance is like the Federation, a pack of mewling self-righteous populists who have no stomach for protracted war. Yes, they will act great and bold so long as they don't need to sacrifice. But call upon them to sacrifice and they will betray you. Let their loved ones come home in bags, if at all, and they will lose their hearts. We, on the other hand, are willing to suffer greatly for the betterment of Cardassia." Akel placed his hands together in his lap. "That is why Cardassia will prevail. Because we are willing to take any measure necessary to attain our goals, while they are faint of heart and prone to the same whims of any other undisciplined people."
"I agree with you completely, Gul," Harak lied. In truth.... his father had always told him never to underestimate an enemy based on your prejudices of him. What you think and what is real are always seperate, Harak. When preparing to fight an enemy, prepare using facts of his strengths and weaknesses, not what you think are his strengths and weaknesses.

Even as Harak continued to do his work and consider the circumstances, Akel continued speaking. "We are still twenty-three hours from Kemar," Akel said. "And then, Vice-Commander, you will go to war. And it will be glorious."
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

User avatar
Carvin' Marvin
Posts: 14557
Joined: 2002-07-03 11:51pm
Location: Land of the Mountain Fascists

Post by fgalkin »

Me like.

And me being in it has nothing to do with me liking it, I swear! :D

Have a very nice day.
User avatar
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2926
Joined: 2002-07-11 06:36pm
Location: K.P.E.V. 1

Post by CJvR »

A bit overcomplicated way of introducing a competent military into Trekverse but a real intresting story. Needless to say the Cardies are just a snack, the Feds have to be the main course.
I thought Roman candles meant they were imported. - Kelly Bundy
12 yards long, two lanes wide it's 65 tons of American pride, Canyonero! - Simpsons
Support the KKK environmental program - keep the Arctic white!
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5001
Joined: 2004-12-21 10:06pm
Location: Berkeley, California (USA)

Post by Junghalli »

Actually, the Cardassian had a point about paper. In a spacecraft (except maybe a very big one) space is likely to be at something of a premium, and computers store information at a much, much higher density than paper.
Post Reply