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Beyond Alpha Centauri :::

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  • #46
    Cabinat Room, The Palace, New San Antonio

    "Sir, Captain Jono Griffin reporting as ordered." The Square-jaw man said stiffly.

    Ian chuckled and waved at Jono to sit down. "Relax, Captain, I'm not the Pope."

    Confusion passed over Jono's face. Seeing this, Ian said "Nevermind. Captain, I'll like you to meet Foreign Minister Grant. You'll be couriering him on the very first mission of the Matewan."

    Grant nodded at Griffin, and Griffin nodded back. He turned back to the Lord Protector. "Sir...where will I be...escorting Minister Grant? The Dosi FreeHold?"

    "You are far too capable a Captain to be assigned to such a duty, especially with your ship having just been finished fitting out at the New Europa yards. No, you'll be escorting the Minister to the Vega System."

    Griffin opened his mouth as if he was about to say something, then closed it. "A reconissance mission, Sir?"

    "Not at all. We are opening relations with the Drones. We chose your shipt because of two reasons; (1) The Name Matewan is famous in organized labor circles, and (2) Your actions during the Daltron Campaign. You won't even have to worry about installing the Cloak, which means your vessel will be able to leave, well, immediatly."

    "No cloak...?" Jono echoed. Minister Grant spoke for the first time.

    "We are the only Human Nation to use Nanotech Hulls, ours are the strongest that there are. In addition, no Human sensors can penetrate the hulls, so while they'll know we're there, they won't know what the Matewan is capable of."

    "We're going for the cryptic here captain. Do you suppose you can be ready to leave by, say, tomorrow?"

    Griffin's eyes flashed. "Yes sir! Most of our crew and the Starfury personnel are already berthed on board."

    "Excellant! Minister Grant will brief you on the rest."

    The Matewan leaves the New Europa Yards for the Vega system.
    Today, you are the waves of the Pacific, pushing ever eastward. You are the sequoias rising from the Sierra Nevada, defiant and enduring.


    • #47
      Location: Saturn Kingdom Command Nexus

      Oberon scanned through the scanner reports – intruder scout-ships have usurped into Saturnian space. The massive ships of the Earth Coalition also registered in the data-stream. He instantly arranged SAM and AAA defences on Rhea, the non-atmospheric moon. The bio-ships were ordered routing exercise and battle training along with the Belter ships that were upgraded with the latest weapon systems that Saturnian credits would buy. The three battle cruisers were still under command to remain hidden until the enemy decided to initiate the offensive. The Orbital Cannon was taken off-line for a while to further enhance its combat capacities. In short, although the enemy had the number advantage, they were equipped to show fierce resistance.

      He turned around his console and looked at the new emblem of his forces – a crowned swan-like bird with claws that held two sabres, it’s feathers like flames of white fire, with an eight-petal flower imprinted on its body and the handles of the weapons. On Oberon’s own uniform was the purple eight-petal flower, which was soon replacing the dragon-like symbol of Nova Saturna to the new sign of the Saturn Kingdom.


      Location: Terran Alliance Conference Room

      The hall was filled with reporters and officials of all factions within the Terran Alliance. Peter Jovovic held many speeches before this, many of them provoking much more than a couple of raised eyebrows. He felt slightly uneasy about this one as he stepped onto the platform and the cameras started rolling. Mars felt more welcoming to him than this Earth, deep in political turmoil it, in his opinion, created by its corrupt politicians and wannabe-martyrs of the age. He wondered whom else will it drag in as he spoke for the Terran Alliance Commissioner.

      “Ladies and gentlemen, humanity. Today I speak not only for the detained commissioner of the Terran Alliance, but also for the future of Sol diplomacy. Yesterday we were presented with a plea for membership within the Terran Alliance and today we will announce the decision of the high command,” he paused and looked around the audience for a second – all quiet and focused, as if inaudibly saying ‘Go on! Say it already!’ He continued: “The Terran Alliance recognises the Kingdom of Saturn as a sovereign member and will now act to stop a coming conflict between its members – the Earth Coalition and the Saturn Kingdom. The TAF will be dispatched promptly to carry out our will,” there was an uproar from the Earth Coalition officials but other members seemed to be pleased at the decision. “The following proceedings will take place immediately – the Saturn Kingdom will receive all rights and responsibilities of being a member of the Terran Alliance which will include open diplomatic and economic contacts and recognition from the outside worlds…” and he continued for a minute or two. The reporters assaulted with their sole weapon – questions, and the EC argued with the will TA for a while but backed down soon as it was going nowhere.

      Peter left the stage, all too happy to go back to his home – Mars. His only wish at the moment was that Nicholas doesn’t drag anyone into more political squabbles.


      FROM: Queen Maria Sanchez
      TO: CEO Nwabudike Morgan

      Dear CEO Nwabudike Morgan,

      We are forever glad that you are one of the first to recognise the sovereignty of the Saturn Kingdom, like the rest of the universe will now. Our economy on all other worlds except Titan will soon switch to a Free Market economy and we wouldn’t be more pleased if we could open up and establish more firm economic and diplomatic relations with you. Titan itself must remain Green but we are willing the rest of our holdings to follow Free Market, making you our best trading partner in these troubled times.

      I would personally suggest, on the behalf of both our peoples, to start improving our relations with a Treaty of Friendship, to cement good relations.

      Yours Sincerely,

      Queen Maria Sanchez
      ... This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality...
      ... Pain is an illusion...


      • #48
        H.P.S. Matewan, Vega System

        "There are over a dozen warships 1 km and up within known weapons range. Lead ship is still hailing us. Heavy sensor radiation output. They are *not* reading inside the hull, but not from lack of trying."

        Captain Griffin nodded to the OOD, and turned to Foriegn Minister Odysseus Grant. He had been stunned on the trip to find out he was a Teep, even if only a P5. But after further consideration, it made sense. No Drone Teeps ("Empaths" they called them) would be able to read him.

        "All yours, sir."

        Grant nodded. "Transmit"

        Drone Diplomatic frequency "a"
        From: Foriegn Minister Odysseus Grant, H.P.S. Matewan, the Protectorate.
        To: President Kristy Adams, Avalon,

        Madame President, my name is Odysseus Grant, and I bring greetings from the Protectorate. Undoubtably, your Joint Chiefs are panicing right now, to see such a unknown ship apperent arrive from the Altair system. I can assure you, there is no need.

        We do indeed hail from the Altair system, and have been there for over 500 years. We have known of your existance for over 150. Our nation was the "pirates" you fought in skirmishes, both in the Altair and in Betelgeuse. It took some doing, but you never encountered our main Starfleet, nor got close enough to Home to do a worthwhile Survey.

        We were also the ones who destroyed Space Station Insider. While most of the survivors were resettled in the Polar region of Altair 4, they were few in number. We will be more than willing to discuss compensation for your loss.

        Our Policy has been to remain unknown among Human Nations while knowing the others. It has only been within the past few years, when ships other than Drone vessels aprroached the Protectorate have we seriously considered making ourselves known. The Lord Protector has decided that this section of the Galaxy has grown too crowded to remain completely hidden, and offers friendship and trade to the Drone Republic.

        Note, I said Friendship and Trade. We do not intend to become involved in your wars and affairs. We seek no alliances. And, all trade will have to go through the Port at RE123-B. Do not attempt to contact us, we will speak to you. If you send ships into Protectorate Space, they will be destroyed. Do these things, and our relationship shall be satisfactory.

        I have been authorized by the Lord Protector to make a personal visit to Avalon, in order to hammer out the finer details of the friendship treaty. I eagerly await your response.
        Last edited by Lonestar; February 4, 2002, 00:12.
        Today, you are the waves of the Pacific, pushing ever eastward. You are the sequoias rising from the Sierra Nevada, defiant and enduring.


        • #49
          The Capitol Building, Avalon

          The audio message finished and silence settled over the conference room. On one wall was a vast computer readout screen, displaying all sensor data on the intruding vessel - surprisingly little. Next to that was a panel showing the statistics of Vega Prime's Firebrand satellites, twenty-six free orbiters bristling with weapons.

          Kristy Adams turned to face the cabinet. Brushing a strand of hair away from her face, she asked, "Comments?"

          "They're a little too hostile for my liking." General Alan Armstrong, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wore a gray Space Marine uniform festooned with medals. Sometimes Adams thought he was trying to overbear people with sheer volume of silver and platinum. "How do we know that ship isn't a giant flying planet buster?"

          Economic Secretary Sally de la Cruz was a Thinker, and wore a headset phone and high-necked, long sleeved clothes to cover most of her implants. "But they have not made any demands of us," she said. "And you can never have too many trading partners," the Secretary added.

          "True, they have not made any threatening moves since entering the system," said Adams. "Like you said, a little economic stimulus is always a good thing. I would, however, like to know why they attacked our station."

          "My guess, Madame President," said Secretary of State Michael Aldridge, "is that they are ultra-isolationist. Recall the restrictions they placed on us, that we must send no ships into their territory and all trade must be conducted through one port and only that port. Perhaps the station-dwellers were getting too close to discovering them."

          Adams sighed. "Well, I too have known the impulse to withdraw into a shell." She adjusted her jacket. "Summon them to Vega Prime," the President said at last. "Mr. Aldridge, you and I will figure out the agenda for negotiations. The rest of you get ready for visitors, and speaking of which we should activate Capital Security. I'm ordering level 2 precautions. General Armstrong, have your fleet escort them all the way to the spaceport. I don't want any funny business."
          Last edited by Mr. President; August 6, 2002, 18:42.
          Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.


          • #50
            Protectorate Ranging Ship Glorfindel

            The ship shook mightily, as the unknown vessel came about and fired again. Captain Jackson shook his head and turned to the tactical officer.

            "Any matches yet?"

            "'s in the Dosi records, the Hferhin, a Thrall race to the Usurpers." The ship took another hit and the lights dimmed.

            "Alright Mr. Christian, take us out of here."

            The Glorfindel activating her Star Drive.

            "Sir, our drive is failing....we're going to have to land somewhere...."

            "Nearest system?"

            "LP 658-2."

            "There should be a Mars-type world there... take us down!"

            The Glorfindel deactivated it's Star Drive, and a Planet of reddish tint filled the screen. Off in the upper right hand corner, a Spacestation was in the distance.

            "Lt. Harrision, broadcast our situation to the nearest Protectorate vessel, I believe the Cold Harbor isn't too far from here..."

            "Aye-aye, sir."

            The ship shuddered and groaned as she went down over the unknown planet. The Glorfindel flew over a massive valley, and came crashing down on a group of rocks.

            As everyone stood up (and unbuckled their seatbelts), Jackson looked at the viewscreen.

            "Alright...we're just going to sit tight...."

            "Sir," Lt. Harrision interrupted. "Someone's jamming our transmissions. It just now started."

            "What? Who..."

            There were several loud sonic booms, the sound Atmospheric shuttles made as they came in for a landing.

            There was a long silence, finally Captain Jackson muttered "Oh, Hell."
            Today, you are the waves of the Pacific, pushing ever eastward. You are the sequoias rising from the Sierra Nevada, defiant and enduring.


            • #51
              Dreams of Empire

              Morgan Interstellar, 3rd Tracking Station

              “Officer Stagg? There is something I think you should see here.” As he spoke, Ferdinand Delbar crumpled up the Styrofoam cup that had previously contained his ‘coffee’ (if it really could be classified as coffee), and chucked it into the robotic disposal bin, which then said in flat, metallic tones, “Thank you for preserving the environment”. Tracking Officer Delbar really hated that trashcan, and he hated it passionately. He’d once dreamt of incinerating it with his shredder pistol, but he knew he’d simply have to pay for the bloody thing. Well, it certainly wasn’t artificial intelligence, that trashcan.

              “What is it, Mr. Delbar?” asked Officer Stagg, emerging from the darkness of the literally giant (but dimly lit) tracking room. She was tall, in her early thirties like Delbar; she had short blonde hair, large brown eyes, and was dressed in the black uniform of a Tracking Officer. Over her hair she wore the triangular felt cap customarily worn by a higher ranking tracking officer. Luckily for Delbar, the cap didn’t hide the view of her face. Delbar always felt he rather fancied her in some ways.

              “A large group of vessels approaching the docks fast, Officer Stagg. I suppose it’s just a routine convoy or something, but the ships, they are shaped in a way I’ve never seen before. Don’t match any known Morganite ship designs or anything…” And good old Delbar had seen a lot of ship designs, but this didn’t look much like any others he’d seen.

              “Don’t worry, Mr. Delbar, it’s simply that Soldier of God convoy arriving. I was told to expect it.”

              “Soldier of God convoy?” asked Delbar. “What in heaven’s name are Soldiers of God?”

              “Our new mercenaries, you know. Bought control of them from the Believer government a few days back.”

              “Why do we need those…foreigners? Isn’t our army accomplishing great things on their own at Callisto? Are we not even reinforcing the garrison now as we speak?” Ferdinand Delbar was always very defensive of the Morganite army, even when he knew it was small and fairly overextended as it was.

              “Heavens, don’t you know that we have few enough troops as it is? The so-called Soldier of God is also one of the finest fighting men in the known universe! And they hold one great advantage over any other soldier anywhere, and that is that they believe that anyone who dies in battle doing the Lord’s duty shall immediately be forgiven of all his sins and given a place in heaven. In other words, they don’t fear death, as death is, in their opinion, the only way to advancement.”

              “Yes, um, quite,” sometimes darling Stagg acted just a bit odd, especially when she droned on like that. Delbar was a man of few words, and he usually didn’t enjoy being around people who weren’t of few words, even when they were as attractive as Officer Stagg was. “Well, they’re landing now. Seems as if our glorious CEO has some more fellows to chuck at Terran planets.” Though he sounded distasteful of the invasion and capture of Callisto, Delbar most certainly was not. Every Morganite was proud of his government and people, and proud that it was their blood spilled in the fight against the (moderately) despotic governments of Earth. Ah well, Delbar simply decided to keep his eyes on his scanner, and take occasional glances at Officer Stagg’s figure every once in a while until his watch was over.

              CEO Nwabudike Morgan’s Office, Half an hour later.

              Imran Siddiqui walked into the CEO’s office, passing the floor to ceiling window, noting the steady rain coming down and the lateness of the hour. As he popped through the door, he saw Colonel Jerome Motyer, Morgan’s military aide, bending over the desk and speaking to the CEO himself. “The Soldiers of God, sir, all of them have arrived. One Corps of Infantry, three Armored Cavalry Divisions, two Artillery Divisions, one Carrier, two Heavy Cruisers, one Squadron of approximately eight Light Cruisers, and one Squadron of eight Destroyers and Destroyer Escorts. All docked up sir.”

              “I am glad to hear of it, Jerome,” responded Morgan, “They shall most definitely prove useful.” Imran knocked on the half-opened door. Morgan bade him enter, adding, “And how is your arm today, my friend?”

              “It is much better, I believe,” responded Imran, revealing the arm in it’s sling, “Though still not perfect, regretfully, which means my poor secretary shall have to do all my work forever.” He allowed himself a little laugh.

              “Ah good, well my friend it seems as if our Soldiers of God have arrived, and we’ve also received a little note from this Queen Maria Sanchez and her new government. Says she is eternally grateful that we were among the first governments ever to recognize her. In fact I believe (so Ku's intelligence blokes tell me anyway) we were the very first.”

              “Ah, good, it seems we have some new allies then, and these in the enemy’s own lands. They may well prove useful to us in the future.”

              “So Colonel Motyer has been telling me. And Temple believes that they are preparing to become a free market government, most of them anyway. Most of our people would be happy with some deals done, of course, expect perhaps not the ultra-Liberals like Senator Wilde. Actually, this may prove to suit us very well. They’ll be sending down an ambassador, and we’ll send to them Mrs. Rabinowitch to make the deals, and that fellow Sym will be sent down as well, until we’ve appointed our own ambassador.”

              “Sym? Who is Mr. Sym?”

              “A newer fellow. Trade analyst, yet apparently he is good at diplomatic relations. He was suggested by Walker, though there is simply something about him that I do not trust.”


              “I don’t know exactly what it is, but I don’t truly like him. Ah well.”

              “What are we planning to do with the Soldiers of God, Nwabudike?” asked Siddiqui, trying to change the subject.

              “The question is a good one. I have considered sending them also to Callisto, but we have a good number of men heading there already. The Terrans have a large fleet, and so I think I shall send in the cruisers and destroyers to break them up a bit. You know, just to clear them away. As for the one corps of infantry, I have decided to keep them home for a while, just in case…” the CEO paused here.

              “Just in case?”

              “Just in case the Terrans on Capella prove to be dangerous to us.”

              FROM: CEO Nwabudike Morgan
              TO: Queen Maria Sanchez

              My Dear Queen,

              We thank you for your kind message. I must make this response a short one, regrettably, though I am sure we shall speak many times in the near future. I would be most pleased if we indeed arranged to sign a treaty, if not even a pact. We should be most interested in pursuing this, as well as pursuing the prospect of trade between our two great peoples. We shall appoint a permanent ambassador to your kingdom, and trust you shall send an ambassador to our people also. Thank you.

              All my best,
              Last edited by History Guy; April 11, 2002, 11:23.
              Empire growing,
              Pleasures flowing,
              Fortune smiles and so should you.


              • #52
                Ironholm System: Spartan Federation

                To: Hive Ambassador Telhai M'rock
                From: Admiral Aaron Hans: Commander, Spartan Taskforce Maya

                This system is now under Spartan jurisdiction and a lawful part of the Spartan Federation. This is a legal colonization of an unclaimed star system to be designated from now on as Ironholm. There are not plans for any invasion of Hive Space at this time. But any attempt to cross the clearly marked border of the Spartan Federation will result in immediate destruction and commencing of all out vendetta. Colonel Marcus Kessel asks that in order to prevent future mistakes, that you transmit the exact extent of Hive space so future Spartan vessels and colonization efforts do not violate Hive territory. We wish to maintain friendly relations with the Greater Hive Empire, but will not hesitate to defend our inherit rights as a sovereign government. Colonel Kessel further informs you that any further negotiations be directed to Sparta Command. Any messages to Sparta Command can be forwarded through myself. Once again, any vessels that enter the Ironholm system or surrounding space on the Spartan side of the new border markings will be destroyed.

                Admiral Hans ….
                Which side are we on? We're on the side of the demons, Chief. We are evil men in the gardens of paradise, sent by the forces of death to spread devastation and destruction wherever we go. I'm surprised you didn't know that. --Saul Tigh


                • #53
                  Hive ship in Transit: Cloak and Dagger
                  En Route to planet Great Collective

                  The Cloak and Dagger sailed toward it's destination in the Hive homesystem. Spymaster Shirlak and Minister Ehud's new base of operations, the planet Great Collective, would be their base of operations for the Morganite campaign and contact with the Terrans. On board, Shirlak wasn't too happy...

                  "You ordered what?! Shirlak shouted at Abdullah Ehud. Since learning about Ehud's order to send a direct transmission to the Terrans, Spymaster Shirlak's temper almost raged out of control.

                  "Do you even realize what you've done? Our whole involvement with the Terrans was supposed to be a secret...but obviously you don't care. Empeor Yang will be furious at us! What the hell happened? How did they find out the transmission was from us?" Shirlak said while pacing the cabin.

                  Abdullah, sitting while Shirlak fumed, spoke calmly.

                  "Reports from our spies indicated that the body with our datadisk was disposed before they could find our message. The direct transmission, unfortunately, was done rather sloppily. They left our signature on it when the sent it. I think they figured we were opening official channels with the Terrans."

                  The Spymaster stopped pacing and put his hands on his hips.

                  "This is totally unacceptable. The Terran government is sending a broadband response, meaning anyone who has half a brain can hear whay they're saying. It's only a matter of time before the Spartans get wind of this."

                  "I agree," Ehud replied. "We have to contact the Emperor. He must know about this."

                  Shirlak pointed at Minister Ehud with his right hand.

                  "Have the agents responsible for this mess arrested and executed. Crimes of incompetence sounds fitting. Send a status report to homeworld as well."

                  Communications officer Itak Rabon watched his terminal screen with half-interest. Since sending that Hive transmission to the Terrans, there wasn't much to do. As he shifted in his seat, he couldn't shake this nagging feeling he had. There's something I forgot to do...But what?

                  Suddenly, an explosion blew open the door to his work-room. Shards of metal and earth flew in the air. Hive security agents poured in, wearing black helmets and their dark blue uniforms. Itak noticed that they also carried shredder rifles...all pointed at him.

                  Immediately, Rabon raised his hands in compliance. Not questioning these types of events was commonplace in the empire.

                  As security encircled Itak, a uniformed officer walked through
                  the doorway and stopped when he saw Rabon. The look of disgust on his face was readily apparent as he eyed Itak Rabon from head to toe.

                  "Itak Rabon, you are charged with incompetence of duty by the will of the Emperor. You failed in your sworn duty to protect the Greater Hive Empire by allowing the Terran government to find out our existence..." The officer barked.

                  The Hive signature on the Terran transmission. That's what I forgot.

                  The officer continued, "You and your fellow colleagues involved in this treason are sentenced to death. You will follow us."

                  Without questioning, Itak Rabon stood up and did as he was told. As he was being escorted out, he began to weep.
                  * * *

                  Hive Ship: Bringer of Peace
                  Spartan Border

                  Ambassador Telhai M'rock sat in the cabin, reading a Hive novel while sipping tea he prepared. The novel, a story about a Hive citizen defending the empire against Peacekeepers, was making Telhai drowsy.

                  Just as he was drifting off to sleep, the pilots voice flooded the cabin.

                  "Ambassador, we are receiving a message from Spartan space. Shall I send it through?"

                  M'rock, feeling groggish, reached for the comm.

                  "Yes, pilot. Pass it through."

                  The next few minutes, Telhai M'rock listened as the Spartan's jabbered on about their "needs" and their "wants". The way the message seemed to order him around was disconcerting.

                  The blatant lie that the Spartans were not planning an invasion of Hive space was appalling. That, and the fact they wanted to know just how large Hive space encompassed was clearly absurd. However, the fact that Ambassador M'rock would have direct contact with Sparta Command was intriguing.

                  "Pilot, get ready to send our response."

                  The pilot responded, "Whenever you're ready, sir."

                  M'rock hestiated, then punched the comm button again.

                  "And after you transmit our reply, send everything to Homeworld so they know what's happening over here."

                  To: Admiral Hans of Spartan Task Force
                  From: Hive Ambassador Telhai M'rock

                  Your message has been received. On behalf of the Greater Hive Empire, I think it wise if a representative of yours and myself met face to face to discuss these events. The data you are asking for is highly classified and we would need to discuss terms so our two empire's do not become embroiled in war. I will wait for you response.
                  Despot-(1a) : a ruler with absolute power and authority (1b) : a person exercising power tyrannically
                  Beyond Alpha Centauri-Witness the glory of Sheng-ji Yang
                  *****Citizen of the Hive****
                  "...but what sane person would move from Hawaii to Indiana?" -Dis


                  • #54

                    System: LP 658-2
                    Spacestation: Listening post Dragon

                    The GHE spacestation revolved around the un-named planet. A potential world for colonization, Hive forces were stationed to observe the planet before a final decision was made.

                    Listening post Dragon recorded the planet's weather patterns, geothemal data, and tectonic movements when suddenly an unknown ship exploded from FTL space into real space. The commander watched as the ship, obviously damaged, careened into the planet's atmosphere...

                    "Commander Wilcox, unknown ship has just entered the atmosphere. It looks like a total engine failure."

                    Commander Wilcox, Dragon's commanding officer, watched as the ship decended onto the planets surface.

                    Wilcox tapped one of his finger's on his cheek, lost in thought.

                    That ship might have something the Emperor may want...

                    "Begin jamming procedure's, I want Hive soldiers down there for a salvage operation. If our soldiers encounter any survivors, tell them to defend themselves. I want whoever those people are ALIVE."


                    Planet Surface

                    Hive troop shuttles entered the atmosphere, breaking the sound barrier as they descended toward the surface. As each shuttle touched down, ramps fell down from their sides and grey-fatigued Hive soldiers sprinted from the ships. Dozens of soldiers, armed with shredder rifles and heavy weaons converged on the downed ships location.

                    In charge of the ground operation was Bulwark Major Largos K'rintak.

                    "All Hive soldiers, the commander has ordered us to take all survivors alive. If they fire on us, we are able to defend ourselves," K'rintak said through his comm-helmet.

                    Numerous Hive soldiers jogged toward the ships position, all running in unison. The Bulwark patched into the comm again.

                    "Squads Bravo, Delta, and Gamma. Flank toward's the right of the ship. Squads Alpha, Echo, Charlie. You will flank towards the left. Squads Foxtrot and Zeta will converge head on."

                    Immediately, Hive soldiers broke from the mass of men into numerous groups.

                    "Bravo, Delta and Gamma. You are designated H2. Alpha, Echo, and Charlie, H1. Foxtrot and Zeta are H3."

                    As the three main groups of Hive soldiers approached the downed ship, K'rintak ordered the men to slow down. Not speaking a word, they all slowed from a jog to a walk.

                    "Alright. I want H2 to climb that small hill. Your job will be to fire on anyone who fires at us. H1, we'll take the other side and do the same thing. H3, your job will be to investigate that ship."

                    Each group of soldiers began climbing the small hill's flanking the ship. Strangely silent, they began taking up positions overlooking the ship. Major K'rintak looked down at the ship, impressed.

                    The ship's configuration was nothing like anything known by Hive intelligence. It looked advanced, but something was familiar about the design. Something not quite right.

                    "Unit H3, begin investigation. All other units, keep your eye's open. Remember, this is a salvage operation."
                    Last edited by Frankychan; February 5, 2002, 04:12.
                    Despot-(1a) : a ruler with absolute power and authority (1b) : a person exercising power tyrannically
                    Beyond Alpha Centauri-Witness the glory of Sheng-ji Yang
                    *****Citizen of the Hive****
                    "...but what sane person would move from Hawaii to Indiana?" -Dis


                    • #55
                      Protectorate Ship Cold Harbor

                      The Large, 2km long vessel drifted in open space. It had a greenish tint, and except for the forward section, looked decidedly not Human.

                      Which fit in pretty damn fine with Protectorate Policy.

                      The Cold Harbor was a Goliath class Battleship, less than a year old. Right now, she was on "starlane" duty, watching the probable starlanes that led toward Beta Hydri.

                      "Captain, we're getting a's the Ranging Ship Glorfindel. It's...hold sounds like the transmission is being jammed."

                      Captain Bradley turned toward the comm officer. "You got a lock Lt.?"

                      "Yes sir...LP 658-2"

                      Bradley clicked his tongue. That was dangerously close to Hive Space. He hoped no one, Ranger or otherwise, woke up stupid today. He nodded to the helm officer and said "Activate Star Drive, set course for source of transmission."

                      We should get there in an hour, he thought. He prayed it wouldn't be too late.


                      The Haze receded, and a M-Type planet appeared on the screen. The Tactical overlay traced the source of the transmission to the southern continent.

                      But in orbit of the planet...

                      "Damn! Damn! His Excellancy is going to staple my hide to the wall!" He turned and pointed to the comm officer. "Begining jamming transmissions! I do not want them calling for help!"
                      It would be a pain as it is to destroy that thing.

                      The tactical overlay indicated that the station was indeed of Hive design...of which the Protectorate knew next to nothing.

                      "Captain, we're being hailed by the Station. It's in a dialect of Anglo-Mandarin."

                      "Let's see him."

                      The viewscreen rippled as the Hive officer appeared. His name tag said WILCOX.

                      "You are in the territory of the Greater Hive Empire. Leave or be destroyed."

                      Bradley mouthed audio only to the Comm Officer, then spoke.

                      "Commander, we are only here to pick up our ship. We were unaware the Hive had laid claim to this system, and all we want to do is to pick it up, and go."

                      Wilcox snorted. "Too scared to face me, man-to-man? Under Hive Law, we can salvage any ship that goes down in our territory. In fact, we are already in the process. Now, cease your jamming of our transmissions and go."

                      The Tactical Officer, Lt.Cmdr Sanchez put a telescopic view of the crashsite in the lower left hand corner. There were indeed Hive Men surrounding the vessel, but 16 glowing red dots indicated there were that many survivors.

                      "Commander, all we want to do is pick up our ship and go. Let's not have any trouble." As he said these words, he was faintly aware that he had heard other humans say the same, right before Protectorate vessels destroyed them.

                      "Leave, unknown vessel."

                      Bradley walked up to the Tactical station and whispered to Sanchez "Inform Col. Winters to get his men ready, it looks like we're going to need the whole MEU to dislodge those fellows down there."

                      Sanchez nodded and his hands began to bang on the control panel. Turning back to the viewscreen, he said outloud, "Commander Wilcox, I am going to give you ten standard minutes to pull your men away from the ship. If you have not done so, I will be forced to take one of two options, or perhaps a combination. It would be very unfortunate if I would have to Vape your station."

                      "Is that a threat, unknown vessel?"

                      "No, just the most likely option. 9:30 minutes."
                      Today, you are the waves of the Pacific, pushing ever eastward. You are the sequoias rising from the Sierra Nevada, defiant and enduring.


                      • #56
                        MI-35, the Bree Fringe

                        Simon Allison strafed the enemy bunker with fast-moving particles. Over his head flew grenades and shards of white-hot plasma. The Bree position was engulfed in flames. Several minutes elapsed before the Republican shooting stopped. Somewhere in the distance the deep reports of explosions rumbled. Three gravships flew overhead, their engines humming like vengeful angels.

                        The Marines crept towards the bunker. An eerie silence descended over the battlefield, broken only by the crackle of burning fortifications. The frontmost soldier peered cautiously through the flames, then waved the others forward.

                        Three men took the bunker's entrance. Allison stood directly in front of the tall metallic door, impact rifle armed and pointing directly forward. The other two soldiers kicked the door in and bounded into the room. Drilled out of living rock, it was completely devastated. Several boxes that seemed to contain ammunition had exploded under Republican fire, but the Bree inhabitants had been dead before that. A couple were still intact, but others had lost appendages; Allison even kicked a still-helmeted and masked head out of his way as he entered the bunker. It struck him that there were perhaps only five warriors here; the parts that remained were sheathed in shiny armor decorated with black lightning bolts.

                        "Death Knights," one of Simon's colleagues said, completing his thought for him The elite soldiers of the Bree, Death Knights were worth at least two of their lesser brethren in combat. Allison did some swift calculations; with only fifteen men in his squad, it was fortunate that the Marines had not given the Death Knights a chance to counter-attack.

                        Across the open channel the sergeant's voice was heard. "Zone 5 is secure." Another man said, 'Zone 7 is secure." A third voice that Allison recognized as belonging to the ground force commander said, "Air recon reports that the Bree dropships have evacuated. The combat is secured."

                        Several soldiers whooped. Allison could only shake his head in wonderment. Peering out of the bunker's gun port, he saw the devastation wreaked during the brief battle. The burned-out hulks of a few Bree war machines littered MI-35's desolate landscape. Cracks ran through the land where enemy groundbreakers had done their terrifying work. Fiery man-traps burned blue-hot. And yet this was only a skirmish, a test of the Republic's resolve. They had acquitted themselves, but Simon could only imagine what a real war with the Bree must look like.

                        * * *

                        The Republic Building lobby, Avalon, Vega Prime

                        "I'm sorry, the President cannot see you now. She is in an important conference."

                        Derek Sorensen folded his arms. If they thought he was impressed by being rebuffed by the Vice-President of the Drone Republic, they were wrong. "This is an extremely important scientific matter -" he started.

                        "I am very sorry," the Vice-President cut him off. "You will have to come back." The Secret Service guards behind him stepped forward for punctuation.

                        "Maybe you can help us, Mr. Vice-President," Gary said. The Thinker spoke quickly, determined to try subtlety where Sorensen's heavy-handed appeals to intellectual integrity had failed. Briefly he outlined their discovery of the alien computer mainframe near Caledon, and of the abortive attempt to hack it. "We need assistance, Mr. Vice-President, and to know where to get that assistance," he concluded.

                        The Vice-President nodded slowly. "Your research has long been of interest to me," he said. "I'll give you the name of a xeno-technology expert at the University. Sounds like you might be dealing with an empathic problem, too. The Gaian Empath Guild is very interested in studies such as yours. Come with me."

                        The two scientists followed the Vice-President away towards the secure elevator. Sorensen whispered to the Thinker, "Way to go, Gary!"

                        Gary shrugged. "What's the point in thinking twice as fast as you, if it can't get me what I want?"
                        Last edited by Mr. President; February 17, 2007, 02:12.
                        Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.


                        • #57
                          The Palace, New San Antonio, Beta Hydri 4

                          Suave as a Frenchman, Foriegn Minister Odysseus Grant held Drone President Kristy Adams' hand, and kissed it. "Madame Preisdent, it is a pleasure to meet you at last..."

                          Lord Protector Ian I chuckled as he watched the Holonet broadcast. Damn, the old Bastard was really turning on the charm!

                          There was a knock at his office doors, and War Minister Kolasklar came rushing in.

                          "What is it, Nishant?"

                          "Sorry Sir, we just recieved too disturbing reports. The Ranging ship Glorfindel has gone down on a planet in the LP658-2 system, and the Cold Harbor is in the process of recovering the ship and the surviviors, except..." He paused, which was unlike him " Apperently there was a previously unknown Hive listening post in the system. As of 2 min ago, there was a stand off in orbit, with Captain Bradley threatening to Vape the station if they don't hand over the Glorfindel immediatly."

                          Ian sighed and rubbed his eyes. "Any other ships in the area?"

                          "The Ranging ships Boromir and Moria are en route, both are equilivant to a Destroyer in the regular fleet. Unknown when or if the GHE will send a ship to check it out."

                          Nodding, Ian said "Fine, I leave it up to Captain Bradley's judgement. What was the otherthing?"

                          Kolasklar licked his lips before he spoke. "The reason why the Glorfindel went down is because it was attacked. We've finally found the Hferhin."
                          Last edited by Lonestar; February 6, 2002, 12:24.
                          Today, you are the waves of the Pacific, pushing ever eastward. You are the sequoias rising from the Sierra Nevada, defiant and enduring.


                          • #58
                            System LP 658-2
                            On Board Spacestation Dragon
                            9 minutes, 30 seconds and counting...

                            Commander Wilcox couldn't believe the sheer brashness these unknown people had. Where did they come off ordering Hive officers around? Wilcox ran a hand through his blond hair, then turned to the command staff.

                            "Any suggestions?"

                            No one stood to answer. Everyone was either too busy trying to break the jamming, or was too scared to say anything.

                            Commander Wilcox suddenly turned to his aide.

                            "Transmit a visual message."

                            The comm officer waved his hand, signalling that the visual message was being transmitted.

                            Wilcox turned to the blank viewscreen.

                            "Unknown vessel,

                            I have a better plan. How about I order my men down there to blow your grounded ship up, kill the survivors, and then take cover. You apparently have no idea who we are. If you destroy this station, Hive ships will swarm this area, investigating what happened. When they find your ships wreckage on the planet, and believe me they will, our military wont stop until they find out who you are."

                            Wilcox turned to look at his staff, then continued.

                            "And since you have started jamming, they probably have ships being sent here as we speak...but just to make sure you understand us..."

                            The commander gestured to three staff members to stand up and step in front of him. Wilcox pulled his shredder pistol from his holster and looked at the screen.

                            "I'm going to execute these Hive soldiers to show you our willingness to sacrifice ourselves."

                            Wilcox pointed his pistol at the first soldiers head.

                            The man muttered, "For the Emperor" and was shot at point blank range.

                            Wilcox pointed to the second and third soldiers and shot each of them in the head, blood splattering all over the command room.

                            The commander looked back at the viewscreen, "The Hive Empire would like to know who they are dealing with," Wilcox said, reholstering his pistol.

                            "And now you have 7 minutes to respond."
                            Last edited by Frankychan; February 6, 2002, 02:22.
                            Despot-(1a) : a ruler with absolute power and authority (1b) : a person exercising power tyrannically
                            Beyond Alpha Centauri-Witness the glory of Sheng-ji Yang
                            *****Citizen of the Hive****
                            "...but what sane person would move from Hawaii to Indiana?" -Dis


                            • #59
                              The Protectorate ship Cold Harbor
                              7:00 min remaining.

                              There was a silence in the command center after the Hive man slumped down, the slug going through his head.

                              Captain Bradley paced around his command chair and said. “‘Kay, so, we’ve found out that ‘Mind bend’ mumbo-jumbo is true.” He sat back down in his chair and picked up the squaw. “Colonel Winters, your men ready?”

                              The harsh voice of the aged vet filled his ears. “You bet Skipper, both of my Skydropper companies are in their pods, and the rest are loaded up in the landing craft. What’s the opposition?”

                              The Tactical officer leaned forward and whispered “Looks like several company-size units digging in around the Glorfindel sir.”

                              “Several company-size units. We’ll make sure you get air support. You know the drill. Bradley out.” Turning to the Ops officer, he barked “Begin landing drop pods. Order the 181st Valkrye wing to deploy over the crash site. Then begin landing of the rest of the troops.” He winced as he said that. Once the Hive saw Atmospheric capable Starfuries, there would be a lot of information for the Hive. Maybe they would think they were EC…

                              On the underside of the Cold Harbor dozens of bullet shaped craft began to fire down toward the crash site. As Bradley watched them leave on the Tactical overlay, he remembered a quote the Lord Protector gave about them several hundred years ago when the tech was first introduced. “This is how God and Heinlein intended soldiers to fight.”

                              Out of the main launch bay, 70 fighters came pouring out, their engines glowing red. After them came the larger landing shuttles.

                              “The Hive Station is hailing us again sir. He’s demanding we leave ASAP, and recall our men.”

                              “Ignore him.” Bradley leaned forward and eyed the main view screen, which had the tactical overlay superimposed on the planet below. “It’s time he learns there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”
                              Today, you are the waves of the Pacific, pushing ever eastward. You are the sequoias rising from the Sierra Nevada, defiant and enduring.


                              • #60
                                *******Encryption Coded Transmission*******
                                To: NEW ISRAEL GOVERNMENT
                                From: Colonel Marcus Kessel, Supreme Commander of the Spartan Federation

                                I found you offer of soldiers very intriguing. I would suggest caution as to who you do business with. The Spartan Federation does not have any arguments with how you run your internal matters, but human space is a volatile place right now. Choose what causes you take up wisely because the Spartans have long memories. We are very loyal to our allies but equally vindictive towards our enemies. We have borders with many hostile neighbors, many of them being alien races. So you will have to forgive us if we are a little concerned that you offered services to anyone. As long as your soldiers are not used to fight the Spartan Federation or our allies, then we will not have a problem. That is your business. But if your soldiers are used against Sparta or our allies, then it becomes our business.

                                Respectfully, Colonel Marcus Kessel

                                *******Encryption Coded Transmission*******
                                To: The Government of the Earth Coalition
                                Copy Transmitted to Terran Alliance HQ
                                From: Colonel Marcus Kessel, Supreme Commander of the Spartan Federation

                                The Sol system has become a matter of great concern for the Spartan Federation. Our allies, Morgan Interstellar, was deliberately attacked by InEn. In response, they undertook their rights of self defense. I am contacting you in order to avoid an escalation of the conflict. We are out here standing guard against the alien threats imposed by the Bree, Progenitors, and possibly the Gorn. But we will not sit by and allow our human allies to be attacked. What goes on within the confines of the Sol system is not of Spartan concern. If we may be of assistance in bringing about a peaceful resolution then our cooperation will be forth coming. But if the conflict moves outside the Sol system, attacks on Morgan territory, then Sparta will come to the aid of our ally. We do not wish to be apart of this conflict, but we cannot allow any incursions into Morgan, Drone or Spartan territories.

                                On a personal note. There are many different visions for humanity. We have our own and are content with the status quo. But there are those out there that are not content. I believe that you may have already met such people. Be careful about who you enter into relations with. Be very sure about their true motives, and also pay attention to those that they associate with. Sparta will stand by our allies to the end, just like we will fight those that wish to take our liberties until there are no Spartans left.

                                Respectfully, Colonel Marcus Kessel
                                Which side are we on? We're on the side of the demons, Chief. We are evil men in the gardens of paradise, sent by the forces of death to spread devastation and destruction wherever we go. I'm surprised you didn't know that. --Saul Tigh