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  • #61
    A Little Press Conference

    Press Conference, Morgan Interstellar, The City, Central Plaza

    “This is Matthew Kiernan reporting from the City, the center of Morgan Interstellar for MorganLink3DNews. In just one minute we will be hearing from Mr. Sicut, official media spokesman for Morgan Interstellar on the war against the terrorist company Interplanetary Enterprises and the government of Earth that shields them. And here is Mr. Rodney Sicut, official media spokesman of Morgan Interstellar…”

    “OK, well, my name as you know is Rodney Sicut, I’m instructed to answer any questions to the media regarding the present actions in the Sol System against InEn…”

    “Mr. Sicut? Matt Kiernan, MorganLink3DNews, can you tell us what the agenda for our men in arms is to be?”

    “Well, now that we are in complete control of the moon of Callisto, I can say that the agenda is simply to hold it against any attack from the Earth Coalition or Interplanetary Enterprises. If needs be, the men there are instructed to leave via transport, and abandon the moon of Callisto.”

    “Lynne Arbelia, MorganLink3DGovernment. But Mr. Sicut, would that not mean that those who have died will have died in vain?”

    “Certainly not, Miss Arbelia, the primary objective of the attack on Callisto was to destroy the InEn holdings on Callisto, as most of that company’s holdings were on that moon. This was accomplished, and if needs be we can recall our troops on Callisto.”

    “Who is commanding the Callisto force?”

    “Uh, 1st Corps Commander Marmion, Mr. Kiernan.”

    “Nephew of General Marchand?”

    “Uh, yes.”

    “Do you think that the Earth Coalition will counterattack?”

    “There is a very high chance of that, of course. I hope they have the right sense not to do so, of course. We are defending our private rights.”

    “How so?”

    “Um, you are with the University Media, right?”


    “OK. What I mean is that in this war we are not the aggressors, we are the defenders. The company Interplanetary Economics attacked us not once but twice, murdering about one hundred and fifty men and women on the supply ship Namibian Queen and then killing our diplomat and attempting to shoot down our diplomatic ship. This is against the Geneva Code that the Terran Alliance itself holds so dear, and so if they do fight us they will be betraying it. They will in effect become, ladies and gentlemen, hypocrites.”

    “But then your forces attacked Callisto…”

    “We had every right in the case, we were responding to their attacks and defending our people by attacking, as we effectively put a large part of their company out of action, perhaps for good.”

    “Can you defend the fact that your forces aimed for civilian targets.”

    “That is a lie, or perhaps I should say a misconception. Never in the history of war has there been a war in which civilians have not been killed. Unfortunately in an environment such as Callisto there was a very very high chance of accidentally killing civilians. They were under no circumstance targets however. May I also remind you, ladies and gentlemen, that the majority of civilians killed after the conquest were suicides, who would rather die than surrender to us…and finally let me say that InEn itself was the only government in this little war that has chosen to target civilians. The moon affair proves that. Not only did one of their functionaries murder Mr. O’Loughlin, but then InEn ships were directly ordered to destroy our fleeing diplomatic vessel.”

    “Thank you, Mr. Sicut.”

    “Mr. Sicut, is it true that yesterday afternoon Morgan Interstellar intercepted a message from the Greater Hive Empire to the Terran Alliance suggesting that they were arranging a deal of some sort?”

    “I am not authorized to affirm or deny that.”

    “Is it true that we have signed a deal with the Believer Government over this war?”

    “I think I am authorized to say that we have signed some sort of deal on it.”

    “Does it have to do with the Soldier of God bill that government passed several weeks ago?”

    “I am authorized to say so.”

    “Mr. Sicut, I no that you have only a few minutes left to speak to us, but is it true that we are seeking a treaty with the secessionist kingdom of Saturn?”

    “I am only authorized to say that we were the very first foreign government to acknowledge the Saturn Kingdom as a separate entity from the Earth Coalition, though several other governments now acknowledge it as well. I’m afraid I must go now, I hope I have answered most questions satisfactorily.”

    “This is Matthew Kiernan for MorganLink3DNews signing off from the City, Central Plaza.”
    Last edited by History Guy; April 11, 2002, 19:18.
    Empire growing,
    Pleasures flowing,
    Fortune smiles and so should you.


    • #62
      To: Colonel Marcus Kessel, Supreme Commander of the Spartan Federation

      From: Underminister of Foriegn Affairs, Sammantha Carter

      Dear Colonel Kessel, the Conclave of Believers is not one to be threatened with. Doubtless your miltary weapons are far supieror to our own, but we at the Ministry are doubtfull that you could surive fighting against all of your hostile enemies and us at the same time. We too have long memories but we have put all that behind his, considered the recent denete with our former arch enemies the Univeristy.

      In short, the Conclave does not take any diplomatic respoblity for the Soliders of God while under command of their rightfull employers. We seek no conflict with anyone and the offer to buy services from us still stands.

      May God Bless you.

      Samantha Carter
      "I do think that it is important to realize that wars are ugly and vile and that there better be a damned good reason for getting involved in one. Because the price for somebody is going to be very, very high."

      David Weber


      • #63
        On board CNS Galaxy, Titan regional space

        Commodore Craston kept on executing various commands with his datapad as his CO, Admiral Kamalakara, stared through the window. A small hurring started, and the Admiral was forced to leave the somewhat mesmerising sight of the moon bathing in light reflected from it's host planet as the blast shields closed over it. As the two layers of ablative armour had settled down, the room was lit yellow for a fraction of a second.

        "Yellow alert", the Admiral muttered.

        "Excuse me, sir?" Craston asked, glancing up from his pad. He looked at the dark window and noted: "Oh yes. Since the scenery room is of no use, I suggest we move to the Command Nexus."

        "Acceptable, Commodore", Kamalakara said, still captivated in his thoughts. He and Craston walked quietly and without hurry to a lift that transported them near the central axis of the ship, where behind hundreds of metres of hallways and other rooms was the Command Nexus every Command Ship or Dreadnaught of the Coalition Space Navy was equipped with.

        An elaborate holodisplay was active. The central circle, where the Admiral's seat was placed, was surrounded with a paronamic vision of the surrounding space, delivered by a vast array of sensory devices and cameras. Craston quietly shifted to the side to establish a personal hololink with the ship's bridge, while Kamalakara himself sat down and sighed deeply.

        Craston had been in contact with Kamalakara's personal assistant and second-in-command for many years, and knew that this absent-mindness of the Admiral was not a thing to worry about. Always, whether it was a punishment trip to the Belt or a simple military exercise, Kamalakara acted in the last minutes before the insuing battle like this.

        The Commodore set up a small circle for the holo receivers and cleared his throat. The familiar face of Captain Fiona Leigh appeared on the screen before him.

        "Commodore", Leigh responded quickly and greeted the Executive Officer.

        "Captain. The Admiral is ready. I have established a direct voicelink for you and him to interact. He is currently patching up a link with the rest of the Battleships. You have, as usual, direct control over the ship, but you must follow the orders issued from the Admiral's control devices."

        "Confirmed. Link is established and operational, Sir."

        "Secure links to other Battleships, Captain."

        "Confirmed." Leigh's face turned away as she checked her senior officers that everything was ready. "Commodore, the Galaxy is all set."

        "Roger that." A short pause as Craston took a quick look at the screen left of him. The all clear was coming from the other Battle Squadrons. Craston turned back to Cpt. Leigh.

        "Good luck, Captain."

        "Thank you, Sir." The image of the captain dispersed and became a status display.

        Terran Alliance Headquarters

        The two Coalition Council representatives sat in their chairs in the communications room, both wearing an impression of simultanious amazement and disappointment. Fifteen minutes ago Secretary General Daniel Stormhill had ended the meeting, which had granted Titan and Rhea membership of the Terran Alliance.

        "We all know what this means", the male representative murmured. The female rep nodded and closed her eyes and rubbed her temples forcefully.

        "Do we really have to contact the Prime Minister? I'd rather not. The press obviously have already gotten the information of it all the way to Saturn by now."

        "As true as that is, it is our job to inform the Prime Minister of Council decisions. If we fail to do so, we could be held responsible for a number of things", the woman reminded him.

        The male representative sighed deep and turned to the viewscreen. His colleague took a remote control device, and the screen flickered for a second as the link was established. In other situations, the two would of simply walked the three hundred metres needed to reach the Prime Minister, but in this case they felt that staying within the TA building would be a better idea.

        Elise Drecaille was prompted by a quick alarm that the Alliance representatives were online. She turned towards her respective viewscreen and said: "Good day."

        "Good day to you too, Mrs. Drecaille. You obviously know already, but - "

        "Uhm, I am aware of the protocol."

        "Of course, madame. However, it is my duty to inform you that the Terran Council has agreed, by resolution 2433/GD, that the moons of Saturn, Titan and Rhea, are now independent factions and members of the Alliance. The Combine, the Venutians and the Scions have already acknowlegded their independence, and our acknowlegment is expected. Also, the Council has ordered us to withdraw all our forces from the vicinity of the two moons, and remain in a distance of over seven hundred thousand kilometres from the colonies until the borders of our space have been remodified accordingly."

        "Thank you, representative. Now, I urge you to disconnect, as I am very busy at this time."

        "Understood", the disappearing image of the representative responded.

        CNS Galaxy, in Titan space

        "Activate level two communication silence", Commodore Craston ordered the fleet. "Only messages from other Squadron vessels and the Galaxy are to be received. Accept orders only from the Galaxy." Of course, this "silence" could be penetrated with a certain code attached to the message carrier wave - this was a simple precaution to avoid a scenario where an Admiral would flip out and commandeer a large portion of the Navy to himself. But, Craston had been informed that no such message would be sent, not for some while.

        The Commodore turned to see the Admiral. He was rotating the display so that he could comfortably see straight ahead and some tens of degrees down, and gearing up in the cybernetic interface gauntlets. They were of a rather simple design - they had movement and location sensors that would indicate the central tactical computer of the gestures the Admiral would do with his hands. There were, of course, sophisticated translator programs that could determine his hands' movements from holographic footage, but the system was several times more expensive and prone to misunderstandings.

        A light in the mouthpiece of the headset Craston was now wearing blinked. He opened up the visor communicator and could see the Science Officer of the Dreadnaught.

        "Commander, I assume this is the detailed scanner report I asked for earlier", Craston immediately began.

        "Correct, Sir. I am downloading accurate details to the tactical computer as we speak. There is however something I want to discuss with you personally."

        "Do go on."

        "There are 34 ships in the defence force. 24 of them are of various Belter junk designs, which we are checking for matches in different Belter sect ship types. But the remaining 10 are of a most interesting design."

        Craston felt a sharp feeling of worry in his spine. It commonly was a bad omen when a Science Officer called something "interesting". "Interesting" usually equalled "dangerous", "lethal" or "destructive".

        "They seem to have biological armour", the Science Officer continued.

        "Biological?" Craston was slightly taken aback. "What do you mean, 'biological'?"

        "We have detected phenomenal levels of biological residue in the space around Titan. The long distance probes, which of course were shot at sight, detected chemicals usually applied in large greenhouses on Titan. It may well be that this armour has grown around the superstructure of the ships."

        "That is amazing. What properties would you speculate this armour has?"

        "Numerous. The Titan research facilities have specialized for biotechnology. This armour probably can assist in the ships life support system, and what is more important is the fact that it can probably regenerate. At which rate, I can not tell, but I hope for our sake that it isn't fast.
        It can also be resistant to Rail Gun fire, but I am certain that torpedos can do the trick. If you accept, I could ask the Weapon technicians to remodify the torpedos so that they detonate just before contact with the ships hull instead of immediate contact detonation. The blast can probably damage the armour."

        "Make it so, Commander. I will verify the order as soon as possible. Have you tried to find any clues of the armour from the Naval Intelligence?"

        "There are only a handful of reports available, and unfortunately none of them deals with this kind of research."

        "Okay. I will confirm the order to remodify the torpedos."

        "Roger that, Science Officer out."

        The ship trembled slightly as the Dreadnaught's Helmsmen made an acceleration thrust with the sublight drive. The orange world of Titan started to close in on the fleet as it started it's final approach.

        Craston sat down and started looking carefully at the status displays. He was to keep an eye on the closer details of the Admiral's ship and the general performance of the fleet. Little aspects, trivial matters that were to cause no constant stress to the Admiral. Kamalakara could concentrate on directing the two Battle Squadrons into battle.

        The holographic panorama around Kamalakara was suddenly lit with several lights as the markers of different squadrons and ship groups showed up. He started pointing franticly at the figures, giving movement orders to the fleet via the tactical computer. He quickly barked a verbal command, and the neutral synthetized voice of the computer said: "Spearhead ships within firing range in three minutes." Adniral Kamalakara motioned the fleet to enter full readiness. Rail Guns were loaded and charged, torpedos were transferred to launchers.

        Earth Coalition Headquarters, Conference Room 5

        With the help of a FTL communications device, the Cabinet could monitor the battle in practically real-time, with a delay of some minute or two.

        "Has the order to step down been sent?" Drecaille confirmed from the Minister of Defence for the third time.

        "Yes it has been. And it appears that Kamalakara has followed our orders as it was. He has hopefully also ordered the Science Officers to fabricate an interstellar phenomena of some sort, or perhaps a jammer wave sent from Callisto."

        "Prime Minister, may I ask", the Minister of Colonial Affairs' voice from one of the speakers asked. The Minister of Colonial Affairs' office was in the Moon, and so he had to attend Cabinet meetings via a commlink. "What are you going to gain with this?"

        "We are going to land and take custody of Maria Sanchez. If possible, she could be eliminated for good. That is, if we can have time. The Alliance ought to pass it by with some minor economical penalties, since the fleet was coincidentally out of our reach. The penalties will be issued since the fleet engaged even after contact to Headquarters was severed."

        "If this plan works", the President said, "it will cause some suspection in the political arena. The other members might not like this, even though Stormhill will probably let it pass."

        "Well what else can we do? It is probably our best shot at getting Titan and Rhea back without much trouble. If this fails, we will have to do it the hard way."

        CNS Galaxy, Command Nexus

        Now Commodore Craston was consulting General Lagerfeld, who was in command of the Marine force packed up in the Barge carriers following the fleet.

        "We are in one hell of a hurry", Craston stated. "The orbital insertion of the barges will have to commence as soon as we have nominal control of the space above Horizon Aida."

        "That would mean putting my men directly on the line, Commodore. A thorough sweep of the orbital space -"

        "Is impossible within this time frame!" Craston interrupted him. "We need the ground troops in Horizon Aida as soon as possible."

        "Very well", Lagerfeld replied.

        "Then, there is a limited time to apprehend Queen Maria. If the Marine teams have not eliminated her in fifteen minutes after landing, we will initiate precision bombardment on the city."

        "Eliminated? I thought this was all about apprehending the Queen."

        "Then there has been misinformation abound. The Marine team is to eliminate the target, not apprehend her. Use lethal force if necessary, but try to avoid civilian victims."

        "Understood. I will issue the new orders as soon as possible. Tell me, Commodore, why is there a Communications silence?"

        Craston sighed. Where had this General been in the briefing of the Senior Officers? Asleep?

        "I can not discuss it on an open channel like this. Craston out."

        Immediately after closing the commlink, Craston heard a rapid series of beeps in the large circular room full of different specialists working on consoles. He took a quick look at Kamalakara, who was at present directing a group of frigates to advance.

        "What was that?" he asked, and went to an empty console to bring up an overview of the fleet. One of the Nexus specialists ran to him.

        "Commodore, Sir, the Flame of Odin has been destroyed!"

        "One of the Battleships? How?"

        "It and a squadron of Destroyers proceeded on an unidentified orbital platform. Once they reached weapons range, well, this is from a Science Officer of one of the escorting Destroyers, a bright streak left from the platform and immediately breached the Battleship's engine core."

        "How is that possible?"

        "The analysts are not yet certain. The Destroyers pulled out immediately after firing a volley of torpedos on the platform. It is still in place. The Admiral is informed and is now avoiding the platform as much as possible."

        "Any footage on it?"

        "Yes." The specialist showed Craston a blurry picture of a round shape with three barrel-like structures protruding from it. Then there was another picture, with three white lines flying from the barrels.

        "We are not sure of it, but apparently the Captain of the Battleship assumed that it was a torpedo or Rail Gun station, and had turned the ship sideways of it. But still, it was a strike of luck."

        "I am certain that -"

        Another series of beeps.

        "Now what?" Craston yelped and looked at the console. Twelve unidentified ships were closing in on the fleet.

        "ID on those ships?" Craston said out loud and quickly accessed the scanner array. But he did not have time to do so, as a voice from somewhere in the room said:

        "They are transmitting an authentic Alliance identification code!"

        Press Conference, Coalition Headquarters, Geneva, Earth

        "Apparently a disrupting phenomena in the solar wind caused the communications devices on the 21st and 28th Battle Squadrons to malfunction. Because of this, the message was not received until a Terran Alliance task force moved in on the battle and took control of the situation."

        "Minister Koch, there are rumors that the ships were deliberately set on communications silence, and that the fleet was to eliminate Queen Maria of Titan?"

        "Absolutely not. We were proceeding to detain Maria Sanchez as we had warned in our ultimatum to us. The fleet was not aware of the Council decision. All this was an unfortunate coincidence, which caused the death of six hundred men serving their country on board the CNS Flame of Odin."

        "Who will be held responsible for the mishap?"

        "There has been a call for Admiral Kamalakara to resign. The ones responsible for the death of the men of Flame of Odin were Titanian crew operating the orbital cannon, and since this was an attack conducted by us, Kamalakara is guilty only of a dire error in evaluating the abilities of the orbiting weapons. He is however a great tactician, and the Coalition Space Navy has seen no reason for him to resign."

        "So no-one will be held responsible?"

        "The Cabinet will stand for a voluntary vote of non-confidence in the Parliament tomorrow following this action. If the Parliament deems the Cabinet unable to continue in it's work, it will resign and a new one will be formed."
        Last edited by Kassiopeia; February 7, 2002, 17:26.
        Cake and grief counseling will be available at the conclusion of the test. Thank you for helping us help you help us all!


        • #64
          The Palace. New San Antonio

          The Holo-chamber came to life, with a huge Starchart surrounding LP Ian and Minister Kolasklar. A section of space was highlighted and zoomed in. Finally, images from the last transmissions of the Glorfindel appeared.

          It was a dark, greenish-brown vessel. Very ugly, really. The Glorfindel had come across it while it was attacking another vessel (Dosi records indicated it was a Pre-war Bree transport).

          The vessel stopped firing, and turned to the Glorfindel. It began to fire.

          "This," Kolasklar said, indicating the numbers running along the side "Indicates they did a sensor focus on the Glorfindel's location. Apperently, cloaking devices are only moderatly effective on their sensors."

          As the Image ended, Ian nodded to Kolasklar. "Bring up the Dosi data on the Hferhin."

          The Data was depressingly little. What was known was the the Hferhin were a race who had thrown in their lot with the Usurpers, using their ecological engineering skills to help cracked the secrets of the ancient Manifolds. A Holo-pic of a Hferi appeared, and Ian winced. They were ugly mo-fo's.

          Tall, humanoid, they had craggy features and two almost horn-like extensions in the back. They had pure black eyes, like the kind that Teeps had when they went into Telepathic trances. A number on the side indicated that the average height was 2.3 meters tall, dispite evidence suggesting that their Homeworlds gravity was sufficiently higher than Earth's.

          "They attack us just because they're *******s, or do you think the Usurpers gave them a bit of information on our ships?"

          "Any information on us was probaly just gravy. They did what we would have done with a unknown, and apprently weaker ship would have. Sieze it and study it." The Glorfindel was twenty standard years old, before the Dosi had given the Nanotech hulls to the Protectorate. It had a standard Ceramic/Metal alloy hull.

          "They were pretty close to Hive Space...think they cut a deal with the Hive?"

          "Our Intel on the Hive is sketchy at best. Almost everything we have is from download histories about the Chiron Civil War, and long range optical shots from outside of their territory. No way to tell, though personally I doubt it."

          "Hmmm..." Ian scratched his chin. "Go ahead and put me through the Ansible, I want a realtime view of what's going on in LP658-2"
          Today, you are the waves of the Pacific, pushing ever eastward. You are the sequoias rising from the Sierra Nevada, defiant and enduring.


          • #65
            CNSS Bright Light of God

            Commodore Gregor Kincaid was in the former captain’s flagroom doing his ritual prayers before battle. He was reciting the Hymn of the Templar (which legend claimed that Sister Miriam herself wrote). The room was all dark except for the single candle glowing on the table. Gregor recited the familiar words over and over again, moving his brain up into the speed he felt that it needed to be to oversee a combat mission. He had fought several times against the Hammer of God, and he always followed the advice of his patron when he first was accepted into the navy of praying and fasting before battle. He felt that it gave
            him a much needed break from the stress and allowed himself to focus. He closed his eyes and mental review the formation of the fleet. It was going to come out FTL in a loose formation and to follow the old military axiom "On deadly ground, fight". Initial
            data had showed that the EC had stationed about 54 ships over the targeted system. Gregor got up as the room chrono beeped and remember reading the orders that came with the Morgan heavy cruiser that was sent to come along side the force. Test the waters around Callisto, do as much damage and then pull back , the nebulous order had said. As Gregor was putting on his uniform, all across the fleet, damage control crews and marines and sailors got ready for action.


            The Soldiers of God task force came screaming out of FTL weapons hot. The patrolling couple of frigates the EC had were taken out in a hailstorm of chaos beams and secondary weapons that hulled them within a minute. But their death had not gone unnotice. Sensors began to pick up several incoming drive signatures, their masses approaching from small fighters to the large dreadnoughts that the EC inexplicably called battlecruisers.
            Commodore Kincaid, snapped as the information from the brief exchanged of weapons fire confirmed what the Morgans had told them. The chaos beam armed vessels had a longer range advantage then the pulse cannons and plasma cannons, and the Gauss armed ship were the only threat to them at this long range. not really an consideration due to the EC were using, however the damage from both weapons appear to be the same once the ranges were near point blank. Gregor saw the main view and the hordes of smaller fighter craft detach from their motherships and began to accelerate towards the Soldiers of God
            task force.

            He hit the communication button and said, "Flag to Lance 3 and 4 move to screen the cruisers, 1 and 2 stay and watch our flanks."

            The destroyer escorts lances move relatively (since they were all moving) to position themselves between the oncoming mass of fighters and the capital ships. . The SoG (Soldiers of God) task force had came out on a extreme angle and where bearing in towards the polar region of Callisto with the EC task force being in opportune place to change their vectors and then accelerate towards the SoG. With them doing that, Kincaid's ship would be able to make use of the range advantage while the ships chased them. Already the main batteries on board the Bright Light of God , Truth of the Lord and the Morgan heavy cruiser Invisible Hand were firing at the oncoming EC fleet. Several direct hits had been taken on the EC forces leaving a frigate gutted, and a light cruiser spinning out of control. However the EC fighters were now hitting the screen. It was all going to plan
            when then the sensors officer screamed out "Inbound hostile, are burning their way towards us, ETA 30 minutes, number of them in the excess of the hundreds. Sir its a TAF task force, its en route to Callisto and its blocking our way!"

            Gregor felt sick inside, he had to change course, and there was only way to go then that would possibly allow him to fulfill his mission.

            "Mr. Malmstead, inform the fleet that we are to swivel on this axis and reverse course, we are here to do as most damage as we can, and we shall fulfill this role. We are Soliders of God and we do not fear our deaths, but we are going to make sure that we can take as many of these foes along with us to the afterlife." The destroyer escort Salamis was hulled in the reactor and blew into pieces. Like an angry buzz of hornets the EC fighters
            were picking at the screen elements. Gregor looked at the approaching TAF fleet who was just launching their fighters as he would do. They were going to try to catch them in a rock and a hard place. Back to the EC squadron, they were were just getting in range of the light crusiers that he had left in the vanguard near the screening elements. The EC fleet was a bit less numerous then they were before the battle started, losing 6 ships already and twice the number had taken some deep hits. Then as the ranges clear the targeting sensors on both sides began to get a more accurate info on the other side did the
            real butchers bill started to accumulate.

            Pulse and plasma cannon fire with some gauss rounds mixed with the various degrees of chaos naval riffles and shard torpedoes launched from the destroyers. Several of the high velocity rounds broke through the defenses of one of the light cruisers and burst out of the other side causing the SoG ship to spin out of control. The 3 heavy cruisers were fighting a battle with the battlecruisers that came in range. It was a pounding match and the Morgan cruiser took a plasma round right through the dorsal side and a string of secondary explosions gutted the dorsal side weapons array, but Gregor Kincaid was proud of the cruiser’s master as it flipped and used its undamaged side to fight the larger ship.
            The torpedo destroyers began to make their runs supported by the light cruisers that only had torpedo launcher. 3 of the DD's were hit but they still kept on coming launching at the last possible minute, within seconds the launch the battlecruiser’s point defenses were in overtime trying to knock out the weapons. But several of them got through and 2 battlecruisers went up in a puff of smoke. The heavy cruiser Truth of the Lord took a damning hit to its FTL drive, and with Kincaid's approval throw itself at the other EC battlecruisers that were now entering range without a care. Several ships of the screen
            were down and the others all had damage and were taking more fighting the numerically superior EC fleet. 5 minutes more the battle went on and the SoG ships began to jump into FTL. Leaving only the Truth of the Lord and the Perfect Grace a light cruiser. Within moments the Perfect Grace began to charge a enemy carrier that was moving to recover its fighters and was the subject of the entire EC task force beating and
            quickly became pieces of debris and gas floating through the system. The Truth of the Lord was playing dead. It was that hard for the crew and the acting captain to do so since half the ships critical systems were down. They were in a slight gyration and were waiting for the time to pass when the angle would be just right. As one of the massive battlecruisers move to launch a shuttle to see for survivors, the drives on the cruiser flared for the last time and launched the ship towards the unsuspecting capital ship. Within seconds of the drive being turned on, the entire cruiser was turned to Swiss chess as
            beams and gauss shots ripped through it. Then it connected with the battlecruiser. Finally the Second Battle of Callisto was over, leaving the crews of the TAF taskforce when they finally arrived at the battle scene to wonder about where the Morgans had found such suicidal people.

            Butchers bill
            Morgan/Soldier’s of God Task force
            Heavy Cruiser Bright Light of God heavily damaged, listing on port side
            Heavy Cruiser Invisible Hand dorsal damage, multiple hits on sensors and navigation, radiation leak
            Heavy Cruiser Truth of the Lord destroyed
            5 Light cruisers out of 8 destroyed, 2 of them severe damage
            4 destroyers out of 8 destroyed, all damage,
            3 destroyer escorts destroyed, 4 of them damaged

            Earth Coalition Navy
            3 Confirmed Battlecruisers destroyed, 2 damaged
            3 heavy cruisers destroyed
            10 light cruisers destroyed
            12 destroyers destroyed
            1 carrier heavily damage
            Last edited by Silence; February 9, 2002, 00:09.
            "I do think that it is important to realize that wars are ugly and vile and that there better be a damned good reason for getting involved in one. Because the price for somebody is going to be very, very high."

            David Weber


            • #66
              Hive Prime
              Emperor Yang's Private Office

              Yang read the datapad sent by Shirlak and Ehud. The smile on his face belied the anger swelling inside him. Moments before, he learned of his agent's failure to keep the Hive Empire a secret in Terran affairs. Yang continued to read information pouring in from all over his empire. His peaceful trip to the surface was all for nothing now.

              Not only was it bad that the Terrans knew about the Hive, but the fools were broadcasting in a wide spectrum. Anyone could hear what they were saying.

              Yang continued to read the progress reports.

              The agents responsible for the message mishap were executed for incompetence. Good, but not good enough.

              Emperor Yang walked toward the window, reading more of the reports.

              In addition to the Terran mess, the Believer's were asking for 900 thousand B-Bills, Believer currency. Hive economists figured that out to 1 ton of precious minerals in the imperial treasury. Price is too high.

              The door chimed, signalling that someone wanted to see him.

              "Enter." Yang said, not turning around to look who it was.

              A Hive security officer entered along with Warmaster Kang, who both bowed to the Emperor.

              Sheng-ji Yang unfurled his robes and faced the two men.

              "Security officer, I've comprised a list of names. These families are related to those agents who were executed not too long ago. I want these families all executed for incompetence and treason against the empire. I want every man, woman, and child relating to those men killed."

              Yang handed the officer a datapad with the list of family names, then motioned the man to leave.

              After the man left, Sheng-ji turned to Kang.

              "Our economist's have calculated that the price the Believers are asking is worth 1 ton of our minerals. Send them another message. I want two carrier's with accompanying fighters and 3 cruisers instead."

              Kang nodded while Yang turned toward his desk. Not turning around, he continued talking.

              "This 'Soldier of God' program the Believers have is starting to become expensive. Also, the Terran government is broadcasting a wide-ban signal trying to contact us. Shirlak and Ehud are composing a reply now. You are going to put the military on medium alert."

              "Yes, my lord." Kang replied behind the Emperor's back.

              "Our third fleet that was going to invade the Spartans I want back here. I think Admiral Brakus and the second fleet can handle them for now. I believe we are going to encounter trouble soon and we may need the third fleet to stand by."

              The Emperor turned around to face the Warmaster one last time.

              "Order the third fleet to cancel their order's. After you do that, send the Believer's our revised request."

              Encrypted message to Believer Government
              From: Warmaster Kang, Supreme Commander of the G.H.E. Military

              Believer Government, we have calculated the price for hiring out your forces for our last order and according to our estimates, it would take 1 ton of our precious minerals to pay. We, instead would like to hire out the service's of two carrier's with accompanying fighters and 3 cruiser's instead.

              Send us the price to hire these forces that we have asked and we will calculate the exchange rate.
              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


              • #67
                Ten Kilometers from the Glorfindel Crash site.

                The Valkrye Atmospheric Starfuries roared ahead, blasting at the unseen position. Major Jennings worked his Combat suit, and hefted his 25mm Canister Rifle. A spat of rifle fire erupted in the distance, as the Skydroppers continued to fight the Hive men on this dry, dusty, cold planet.

                Two "Goliath" Infantry-support walkers were marching along with his battalion. The Point ISW suddenly stop-ed, and even in the thin atmosphere, the whirl of it's gatlings could be heard. A voice spoke in his helmet.

                "Grid area 32 is hostile, repeat, hostile. Request air sup-"

                The ISW burst into flames, and gunfire from a foxhole tore apart it's right leg.

                "Get down, Dammit!" Jennings and the Batt HQ company dropped to the rust-colored ground. Several loud sonic-booms signaled the arrival of the heavier landing craft. Off in the dust, streaks of light lifted from the ground, and there was at least one explosion in the sky.

                Jennings suspected him and the rest of the skydroppers would not be able to clear a landing area close enough to the Glorfindel.

                A Staff sergeant who hadn't seen combat crawled up to him.
                "Where's our air support???"

                Jennings grinned toward the sky. He had felt the sudden change in airpressure just moments before.

                The Cold Harbor was over the crashsite, it's massive bulk was now fully blocking the sun. Spotlights were on, and gatling lasers were firing down.


                "What the Hell?" Jennings murmered. "It's leaving!"

                The Cold Harbor

                Providing direct support to ground operations was something every Protectorate driver hated to do. But as word of the loss of two heavy landing shuttles-two!-came up, Captain Bradley ordered the [i]Cold Harbor[/]i to fire it's thrusters and put it over the battlefield.

                This class of battleship could land and take off with ease on any planet up to .4 G. This planet was only at .3 or so.

                "Captain...the Hive station is firing it's manuervering thusters.. it's using our direct involvement in the battle to get out of our jamming range."

                "What? Get... take us back into orbit, ASAP deploy the 23rd Starfighter wing." Bradley looked down at the frantic fighting on ground. "Sorry boys, you're on your own."
                Today, you are the waves of the Pacific, pushing ever eastward. You are the sequoias rising from the Sierra Nevada, defiant and enduring.


                • #68
                  System LP 658-2
                  Spacestation Dragon
                  Time remaining: 3 minutes, 45 seconds...

                  The command center was booming with activity. The recently executed officers were replaced with fresh new faces, unfazed about their predecessor's fates. Commander Wilcox was also busy, issuing orders everywhere.

                  "How are our soldiers doing?" Wilcox asked, walking to the tactical display.

                  "Sir, they're reporting enemy fire. They also report that all positions are secure. Apparently enemy forces were trying to establish a landing area near the downed vessel but were unsuccessful."

                  Wilcox smiled, "Good. What about the larger vessel?"

                  A tactical technician spoke from down in the pit station.

                  "Second vessel hovered over the battlefield briefly, then changed it's direction. Its on an intercept course with us."

                  Wilcox grimaced, all he needed to do was break out of the jamming area so he could send an emergency transmission. If it was sent, Hive ships would arrive shortly from a neighboring system.

                  "Deploy our fighter and bomber squadron's, screen formation." Wilcox ordered. "Get this stations weapons hot and ready to fire. We may not be a combat station, but we'll show them the power of the Hive."

                  Just a little further and then we'll see how well they fare...

                  Meanwhile, numerous Hive fighter's and bomber's deployed in space, swarming like angry hornets from their nest.


                  Unknown ship crash site

                  The enemy ground troops were caught in full surprise. One of the vehicles, a walker, was destroyed by an ambush.

                  Squads Foxtrot and Zeta didn't even get close to the ship when rearguard soldiers alerted everyone that enemy forces were converging on their position.

                  Major K'rintak directed the battle through his helmet-comm.

                  "Use heavy weapons to destroy those walker vehicles, I want hit-and-run tactics. No retreating, no surrendering."

                  K'rintak watched as he saw one enemy soldier running up to get a better position. The Bulwark aimed his shredder rifle and pulled the trigger. Through his scope, he saw the soldiers head explode like an overripe watermelon.

                  The heavy-weapon shredder stationed next to him was letting fly with its deadly bolts. One enemy position was erupting with the heavy shredder, kicking up clots of dirt and rock. K'rintak didn't know if any of the bolts were hitting anyone, but just pinning the enemy down was satisfactory.

                  The Bulwark saw another enemy, exposing his chest. Taking aim, K'rintak fired another round.
                  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


                  • #69
                    To: Warmaster Kang, Supreme Commander of the G.H.E. Military
                    From: Jorgen Fjolks Minister of War

                    We can send you, 2 carriers and 3 heavy crusiers for a price of 600k B-Bills. This will also include the escorts destroyers and a 4 light crusiers.


                    Jorgen Fjolks,
                    Minister of War
                    Conclave of Believers
                    "I do think that it is important to realize that wars are ugly and vile and that there better be a damned good reason for getting involved in one. Because the price for somebody is going to be very, very high."

                    David Weber


                    • #70
                      Location: Somewhere on Titan surface

                      Officer Kain opened the pod door with a hiss of the dense Titan atmosphere rushing in. He and a dozen others, ensigned to the Flame of Odin, had survived the destruction of the ship, loading the escape pod, just seconds after the bright streak blasted away the ship’s hull. It was a miracle thirteen of them survived. ‘Lucky?’ he wondered as he stepped outside the pod and looked around.

                      In the purple skies above, few remains of Flame of Odin still burned upon entry into the thick atmosphere, which was over 50% denser than that of Earth. Bellow lay brown lands of Titan, the wreckage of the EC ship littered across, the pieces that penetrated through the orange clouds. It was getting dark and there was no sign of any human settlement or activity nearby. They would most probably freeze or starve to death, since their body armour was in bad condition. ‘What a lovely way to die,’ Kain thought as all thirteen unloaded the pod.

                      Endless time passed, and then there was a sudden electrical interference in their communication devices – a nearby sensor has detected them. The thirteen huddled together, like penguins in the Antarctic, in an effort to warm up – skies were deep purple and it was getting late. Wind rustled nearby and then mechanical humming was approaching. Two hovertanks, armed and poised, appeared and a message was broadcast to them: “Surrender peacefully and you may be returned to your families. Show resistance and you will be dealt with.”

                      One of the hovertanks unloaded Saturnian marines that approached the thirteen survivors and took them with not much resistance. Once the tanks were uploaded, they hovered off into the direction of Voyna Zora, the major military installation of the Saturn Kingdom, which was near Horizon Aida.

                      Kain studied the purple eight-petal symbol of his captors and thought to himself – ‘We are now prisoners of war.’


                      Location: Horizon Aida, Constitutional Council Meeting

                      Maria looked across the circular table where all of her ministers sat – Economy, Research, Psych, Military, Diplomacy and Industries. This was an emergency meeting. Above their heads, in the last half-day, the battle for independence took place, even though their membership within the Terran Alliance should have stopped the member-member conflict, apparently an unexpected solar event made communications between Earth Coalition Command and their forces ‘hard’ and the result was that the Orbital Cannon was used and Flame of Odin was blasted away, carrying its victims. Maria always hoped for a peaceful way to end conflicts, but reality of life had taught her all too many times that sacrifices are necessary if a goal was to be achieved.

                      The meeting started with normal reports of the battle. “The enemy forces appear to have disengaged, our Queen,” Myodin spoke. “Our casualties are minimal – Theseus design of ships proved highly successful and enemy was left surprised. Belters suffered most casualties on our side. The Flame of Odin was destroyed almost completely by our orbital defences – a single escape pod penetrated to the surface, with thirteen survivors in total. They have been taken to Voyna Zora installations until a decision is reached about their future,” and he sat down. Next came the Diplomacy Minister, Mikael Petrov, a plump Russian with short white hair and blue eyes.

                      “The Belters seem distressed at the outcome of the battle – they fear that Earthers might attack their clans’ holdings in the Asteroid Belt. They seem keen on our new ships and their admirable performance in battle, and would like to purchase some for their own defences. Other news – our sovereignty has been acknowledges throughout the universe, we’ll need to send diplomatic teams as soon as possible, especially to Morgan Interstellar – they have a high chance of being our main trade partner in the future,” he paused. “The independence of the Saturn Kingdom should be followed by a peace deal with the EC, in my opinion. After all, they might try to retake the colony again, in the future,” and he sat down. Next stood Nicholas.

                      “Our Queen, the people of Titan have rejoiced that we are now independent but the spirit of revolution never lasts long. With our shift of Values from Wealth to Knowledge however, some businesses and various social centres are asking for more budget to be directed to Psych. Otherwise we could fall apart, from the inside. The second problem reported is the overcrowding of colonies on Titan, caused by the disastrous Planned economy, run by EC on our worlds. Now, with our carefully regulated Green initiatives on Titan, the problem could be overcome but I would personally suggest the council to consider future colonisation of other moons of Saturn – Dione, Iapetus, Tethys and Encelatus are all suitable for Rhean-style of human colonies. Speaking of them, now that it switched to Free Market, drone control by the Self-Aware Colonial AI has been disabled so proper psych enhancing facilities are needed. Overall more energy allocation to the Psych sector is necessary in the coming days,” and he finished. Samato Tanaka went next.

                      “The success of our researchers has been staggering, our Queen. You have been surely convinced of that by the latest innovation in space warfare technology. Our switch to Knowledge has further enhanced our research capacities and my department is most pleased. We will be even content if you reduced our budget and directed energy to Psych, as my colleague says. In the near future, the most beneficial field of research for us would be in the ‘Build’ classification, since we need to rebuild the infrastructure on these worlds. Considering our latest military developments, we could further enhance that field by opening up relations with the Scions,” these were sounds of protest and shock in the room but they ended as Maria raised her hand. “They have been successfully replicating biometal but seem incapable of creating it from scratch. I know the stories about their Dark Planet and all the phobias humans have about them. But really it was all CPP propaganda. They themselves fear us, we should really show them a good side of humanity,” and then he sat. Anita Delitz stood.

                      “Our Energy Banks are somewhat damaged by the war. But in the near future, our trade income should help very much. I would consider opening trade routes to Mars Combine, Morgan Interstellar and possibly other Chironian factions, eventually, but the deal with the CEO is the most important of all. This is why I think that our representatives there should have a degree of economic knowledge. Rhean’s Free Market would be an ideal incubator for our currently fragile economy. Most of business holdings should be moved off Titan, to extract most benefits of Free Market,” and she sat. Industries Minister, Darren Williams was last but not least.

                      “The industries had been heavily geared towards war production in recent times. Industrial development has been steadily increasing on Rhea while Green Titan could miss out on this Market boom. Also, unit production should be changed in the future to facility production to enhance the previous sectors my fellow Ministers mentioned. No other comments, our Queen,” and that was all. Maria thought for a moment and then spoke.

                      “Well, I am pleased at the outcome of this council meeting. We will detain the thirteen survivors in Voyna Zora until Terran Alliance or the Earth Coalition pleads otherwise. I will shift some energy allocation from Labs to Psych for the people’s benefit. Otherwise council is dismissed.”

                      The room emptied slowly until only Maria Sanchez was left in her chair, thinking. She stood up and walked up to one of the glass panels that gave her a view of the outside. It was nighttime and the giant image Saturn shone just above the horizon. The events of today and the thirteen ‘lucky’ enemy survivors stuck out in her mind. The EC would love to make a scandal out of this to add to their propaganda against the Saturn Kingdom.

                      Maria walked away and sat back down. With a click of her finger, the computer started recording a message to the Morganities. Just a few days ago she was only dreaming of today. But dreams have weird ways of catching up with reality.


                      Encrypted Diplomatic Transmittion
                      From: Queen Maria Sanchez
                      To: CEO Nwabudike Morgan

                      Dear CEO,

                      We will be sending two small FTL ships, one transport carrying our diplomatic team and a lightly armed escort, in case the Earth Coalition decides to strike upon us again. These ships will also provide transport for your diplomats and we will make sure no harm comes to them from outside forces.

                      I am sure that you are aware of today’s events in Saturnian space. Our new Theseus C-5 organic ships have proven most effective in combat against the EC ships. Perhaps we could engage in some tech trading after our Treaty of Friendship is formalised?

                      Best Regards,

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


                      • #71
                        God Bless You, Soldiers of God

                        Morgan Interstellar, Ship Pad, Soldier of God Fleet

                        CEO Nwabudike Morgan was very enthusiastic. Imran Siddiqui had just informed him that the Terran blockade had been badly beaten up near Callisto by the elite Soldier of God fleet. Of course this was quite an astounding victory, especially when one considers the size of the average Terran fleet. Terra’s great strength was her navy, and with two nasty defeats for the Terran fleet, it seemed as if everything could be whipped. Not only had his raid taken down a large part of the Terran blockade, but the Saturn Kingdom had managed to take down a battleship as well. Of course, CEO Morgan knew that this string of outstanding success could not last forever. He’d said to Siddiqui earlier, “We have twice now, if you’ll excuse the term, caught the Terrans with their pants down, but it can’t last forever. It brings to mind what I read in the book that you lent me on the Roman War Machine. After a great victory, the conqueror would be given a triumph parade. He would ride around the streets of Rome in a golden chariot, and a slave would hold a laurel crown above his head, and whisper to him, ‘Remember, Conqueror, that all glory is fleeting.’ I am not wholly sure that the Earth Coalition can be defeated. InEn certainly, but the Earthers will take so much longer to take down, that is if we can even do so. But I do think that we alone cannot hope to defeat the Earthers. Yes, we have taken Callisto, and nearly destroyed the Earther’s blockade around it, but all glory is fleeting, as the slave would tell the conqueror, eventually all must be defeated. I shan’t tell the Soldiers of God that, though!”

                        Morgan had also sent a message to the Believers asking for as many of the largest and best ships they could send, as he was extremely pleased with the other ships’ performance. He was so pleased, in fact, that he was about to give a speech in their honor, not a long one, of course, but one of congratulation. He was also going to decorate the fleet commodore, Kincaid, with one of the highest medals of bravery. As he strutted out onto the platform at the ship pad, he looked out over the landing field. There were several thousand soldiers, some sitting, and others standing, all in a line on the tarmac; their eyes fixed on the CEO. Most had large red crosses emblazoned on the backs and fronts of their battle-armor. These men were the Soldiers of God.

                        “Soldiers of the Almighty God,” cried a high-ranking officer, “stand to attention. CEO Morgan is to deliver a speech in honor of yesterday’s victory.” Everyone in the ranks stood to attention. A Chaplain gave a short prayer, and the CEO began.

                        “My friends, when I sent you out yesterday evening, I did not fully know what results to expect. Let me tell you though, you fought against the best fleet known to man, and you won. A more complete victory over the Earth Coalition fleet has never been won. It was at a high price, of course, but are not all-great victories? Rest assured, your broken and wounded ships are at this moment in the shops of our finest engineers receiving the necessary repair work, and they shall soon be once again serviceable. The most important part of your victory is this, we know now that we can beat the Earthers, and we can avenge those murdered by InEn,” a cheer arose in the ranks.

                        “And my boys,” continued Morgan, preparing to put in some of their beliefs, “remember the fallen in your ranks in yesterday’s great battle. The great dead, who died serving all that is right, who died surviving the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Christian God, the Holy Trinity. It was for this God that those who died did die, and all who died, as your doctrine states, were immediately taken to God when they fell. They have become Holy Martyrs, and have died in the name of God. They have joined their God, the greatest thing they could hope for. It was the Will of God…” a second cheer burst from the crowd.

                        “I will now proceed to decorate the brave commodore, and remember as I pin the decoration onto him that I am rewarding you all this medal.” The commodore stepped up onto the platform, and Morgan pinned the medal to his coat. The commodore turned about, displaying the medal. A third cheer arose from the Soldiers of God below.

                        FROM: CEO Nwabudike Morgan
                        TO: Queen Maria Sanchez

                        My Dear Queen Maria,

                        This modus operandi of travelling to Morgan Interstellar and then ferrying our diplomatic team to the Saturn Kingdom sounds like a good idea to me. I see nothing wrong with it at all. If the Earth Coalition does take a shot at these transports in any one of it’s trips to and from Morgan Interstellar, I shall activate some alliances, and bring this war to an even quicker end.

                        I did hear of yesterday’s victory, and I trust by now you have heard of our own victory over a fleet of Terran ships by our Soldiers of God. Now that our trade route is more open, we could most definetly make all sorts of trading deals, I am sure.

                        All my best,
                        Last edited by History Guy; April 11, 2002, 21:07.
                        Empire growing,
                        Pleasures flowing,
                        Fortune smiles and so should you.


                        • #72
                          The Greater Hive Empire...and a lowly electro-trashcan

                          Morgan Interstellar, CEO Morgan’s Office, 4 Hours Later

                          “Again, I must say to you that we are all in your debt, Tracking Officer Delbar, and I’m sure we can find some pleasing way to repay you in the future…” said Morgan, watching Tracking Officer Ferdinand Delbar stretch out on the large black and gold colored couch, placed to one side of Morgan’s incredibly spacious office.

                          “Well, sir, to start with, if I could have a light for this obviously most excellent cigar,” responded Delbar, chewing on the edge of the unlit cigar that he had just been handed by the good CEO himself. Morgan nodded to Lieutenant Mowangi, who took out his lighter and ignited the tip of Delbar’s cigar. “Thanks.” As he puffed, he ran a finger along the blue marble that made up the walls of the room. “Ooooh.”

                          “How about a glass of wine, Tracking Officer Delbar?” asked Morgan.

                          “Ah, OK, I don’t usually touch anything stronger than the brew concocted by the Station Coffee Machine.”

                          “You’ll like this,” said Morgan, popping open the bottle from his own personal wine rack, “It’s fresh from Chiron. I got a case shipped in yesterday.” Poor Lieutenant Mowangi filled the three glasses, one for the CEO, another for Mr. Temple, and the third for that lowly Tracking Officer. Bloody wonder that he should get this sort of treatment, thought Mowangi, after all, all he did was find that piece of correspondence between the Terrans and the Greater Hive Empire. Delbar took a sip, and licked his lips. “It’s good isn’t it? Made of xenofungus…” said Morgan. Delbar suddenly appeared as if he was close to spitting the stuff back into his glass, but he managed to control himself.

                          “Errr, I was sort of hoping, sort of, that you’d be able to tell us exactly how you retrieved the message,” asked Temple, sitting down on the couch and downing his wine.

                          “Ah, quite easily actually. It was like fishing. I simply tracked the message as it went by and I intercepted it. I’ll dare say the others were pleased with me, though, nearly all of them missed it themselves.” Boy were they pleased, too. Officer Stagg herself had even given him a little osculation. All he could say was thank God that he’d managed to tactfully stuff into his face a little breath mint the moment he intercepted the message.

                          “Ah, OK,” responded Temple.

                          “You know, Mr. Delbar…” began Morgan.

                          “Ferdy, call me Ferdy, all me friends do,” said Delbar.

                          “Uh, ok, know that message you intercepted was quite valuable, in fact it may have changed the course of this war entirely. You, my friend, are a national hero!”

                          “A national hero? I?” Delbar was astounded. Officer Stagg would fall for him now for sure. Heavens, he might even be able to permanently silence that bloody trashcan!

                          “Yes, Mr. Del…errr…Ferdy. You see, it seems the Terrans were responding to the Greater Hive Empire. They may well have been planning to make some deals, against us in fact. You see, without you finding and retrieving that message we may still be in the dark about it,” said Temple. But Delbar’s mind was elsewhere.

                          “It’s been great mates, but I must be off now, I have things to do, my shift’s not up, and all. Thanks, mates,” he said, before popping out the door. Morgan wasn’t really too sure what to think.

                          “What a brisk fellow,” he said.

                          It was true, though. Delbar’s actions had very much assisted Morgan Interstellar. An Earth-Hive alliance was the last thing Morgan wanted. The implications of that would bring were endless. Certainly, Morgan Interstellar could not survive against such an alliance. He’d fought the Hive before, and luckily it was at a time when they were down, a time on Chiron, when the Hive was worn down by war. He was there when combined armies nearly destroyed the Hive itself, but had mercy. He knew they should have destroyed Yang when they had the chance. That chance might never come again. The Hive, as he knew, was almost unbeatable on Chiron, and now it must be even more so. The rumors were that he’d subjected many smaller alien races and was breeding for himself a super army. It had truly been a great surprise when Morgan learned Yang was even still alive, but it was confirmed when a spy captured an image of the man himself. Morgan remembered recoiling slightly when he saw Yang’s face. The man had changed slightly, only physically, he was still mentally the same. His body was smaller now than Morgan recalled, but that was understandable. The man was ancient. His face was still the same of course, but the skin had thinned out more. His face was like a hideous skull.

                          Morgan Interstellar, 3rd Tracking Station

                          Tracking Officer Fred Gaughin was tired of this coffee. It was bad stuff, he knew, the very idea of calling it coffee made him ill. For a start, the stuff was too thick to be coffee. Good coffee isn’t this thick, this stuff was as thick as porridge. How he managed to stomach it for the last three years was beyond him. The look was somewhat repulsive too. The color was off. This artificial sweetener was awful, it must have been the deadliest poison in the whole of all the Morgan Interstellar holdings. The creamer was bad too. One simply couldn't take black coffee though, as the stuff was so bad plain. One couldn’t even call it black coffee even when it was black, the stuff would be better called ‘brownish-gray’ coffee. Lastly, he knew it was keeping him up so long that he was beginning to see things that simply weren’t there. Proof of this came about one minute after he chucked the coffee in the talking trashcan.

                          In burst the hero of the hour, Ferdinand Delbar, the man who found the message. In his hand was his shredder pistol. “Oh, hello Fred,” he said.

                          “Hey there, Ferdy,” responded Gaughin, “What are you doing?”

                          “Just watch,” responded Delbar. He aimed at the hated trashcan and fired. “Thank you for preserving the Environment,” it said. A second shot tore the top off the bloody thing. “Thank you for…” The last shot killed it all together.

                          “Thaaaaaouuuuurrrrrreeeeeesssssviiiiiii,” it said, before the thing collapsed inward. It was as dead as an electronic trashcan could be. For the very first time in his life, Ferdinand Delbar was pleased.

                          “You’ve just destroyed company property, Ferdy!”

                          “Don’t worry, Fred, the CEO owes me,” said Ferdy, smiling. He then re-holstered the shredder pistol and left the room. Staring blankly at the charred trashcan, Fred Gaughin returned to his work, determined to swear off that ‘coffee’ for good.

                          All the News A Morganite Needs
                          Weekend Edition, Pg. 1

                          SOLDIER OF GOD TRIUMPH- Yesterday evening, the mercenary fleet of the Soldiers of God, based at Morgan Interstellar, attacked the Earth Coalition’s fleet blockade around Callisto. According to Mr. Sicut, the Morgan Interstellar media spokesman, the attack was a total success, clearing about half of the blockade from their positions around Callisto. It is also reported that many large Earth ships were destroyed in the fight. Soldier of God losses were apparently minimal compared to those of the Earthers. READ FULL STORY

                          TERRAN-HIVE MESSAGE- It has also been confirmed today by Morgan Interstellar that last week a Tracking Officer did indeed intercept a message from the Terran Government to the Greater Hive Empire. It appears to have been sent in response to a Hive message asking if possible negotiations could be made. It is rumored that the Hive also sent some valuable information on our own government’s foreign holdings to the Terrans.READ FULL STORY

                          SATURN KINGDOM TREATY?- A treaty is to be made between the governments of Morgan Interstellar and the Saturn Kingdom effective the first of next month. Queen Maria Sanchez of the Saturn Kingdom is apparently quite pleased by Morgan Interstellar, as our government was the very first to recognize her kingdom as a separate entity from the Earth Coalition since their secession last month. Analysts suggest this is the start of lucrative trading deals. READ FULL STORY
                          WHERE DO YOU WANT YOUR NODE TODAY?
                          Last edited by History Guy; April 12, 2002, 14:56.
                          Empire growing,
                          Pleasures flowing,
                          Fortune smiles and so should you.


                          • #73
                            Location: Saturnian Space

                            The residues of the battle were being collected by the left over bacterium that was used to produce the organic ships Saturnians fought with. Earth was still angry at the outcome the two battles that were fought by her navies. They never expected this, nor did they know about the Queen's reactivation of the Orbital Cannon. In short, it was the element of surprise that won the day.

                            One small ship left the Titanian atmosphere, bearing the swan-like image of the new Saturnian symbol. It was an ordinary conventional ship, with no visible trace of organic technology used on other ships. It was carrying the Queen's representatives to Morgan Interstellar, to open up much needed good relations in this sector. The ship ascended upwards, into high orbit, to be accompanied by an organic ship, lightly armed, about the same size. It was there, just in case the Earthers decided to strike upon the diplomats. The two ships synchronised movement and moved in the direction of Morgan's primary system, and carefully accelerated until they entered FTL space. They were on their way to deal business.


                            From: Queen Maria Sanchez
                            To: CEO Nwabudike Morgan

                            Dear CEO,

                            The diplomatic ship is on its way to Morgan Interstellar. Our ambassador to you, Vera Sofia, and her diplomatic staff are in the ship, which should arrive soon.

                            Best Regards,

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


                            • #74
                              The Palace, New San Antonio, BH4

                              "Oh hell."

                              Ian watched the telescopic view of the ground battle, as the heavier armored units finally left the landing barges and joined the Skydroppers in fighting the Hive. Now that the Mjolnir Main Battle Tanks were on the ground, the destruction of the Hive force was assured.

                              The same could be said of Hive station in orbit of the nameless planet, although it was spewing forth a number of vessels to get outside of the Cold Harbor's jamming bubble. It would be only a matter of time before Hive vessels would arrive, although the Boromir and Moria probaly arrive before them....

                              "Sh!t!" He added, and stared at the display uplinked through the ansible. I wish Grant was here, and not talking to the Drones. Outloud he said "Do we have any idea where the Hive Throneworld is?"

                              War Minister Kolasklar gave him a dour look. "No. Yes, our agents in the Gaians have pinpointed one of three systems."

                              "Prepare to send a message through the ansible to the Cold Harbor, from there to the three systems. Computer, encounter gram "2""

                              A Dark Tall shroud covered Ian, rendering his face not visible. Where his hands were there were now armored, clawed fingers.

                              "Computer" A voice from where Ian stood hissed. "Begin transmission."
                              Cold Harbor, LP658-2

                              "They're trying to send smaller vessels outside of our jamming range."

                              Bradley watched the tactical overlay with interest. The Protectorate and Hive starfighters were going at each over, and the last of the heavy armor had been unloaded from the landing barges.

                              Unfortunatly, the Hive would probaly fight to the last man. Oh well.

                              "Tactical, fire forward Particle Cannons at the spacestation's launch bay."

                              "Sir! Incoming transmission from New San Antonio, we are to pass the Vid file attached to the three accompanying coordinates, ASAP!"

                              Bradley was stunned. Surely His Excellancy was going to do what he thought he did?


                              "We also got a text mesage just for you."

                              "Put it through to my Padd."

                              In small lettering it said:
                              Capture as many Hive soldiers, human and other, as possible for mindbend study, reagardless of outcome of confrontation. -War Minister Kolasklar.
                              Today, you are the waves of the Pacific, pushing ever eastward. You are the sequoias rising from the Sierra Nevada, defiant and enduring.


                              • #75
                                To: Emperor Yang of the Greater Hive Empire
                                From: The Lord Protector of the Protectorate.

                                Emperor Yang, I bring you greetings from the Protectorate.

                                A deep space exploration vessel of ours went down in the LP658-2 system, near the edge of your space. Our knowledge of the extent of the GHE is limited, and we assumed the system remained unclaimed by the major Human powers. One of our Battleships arrived to recover the vessel and leave, only to be informed by your listening post that under Hive salvage laws, it is theirs.

                                As I speak, my forces are battling yours on the Planet, and your Listening post is in immient danger of being destroyed. I am, however, willing to in this conflict now, if you retrun custody of the ship and crew to my Battleship.

                                Of course, We will not be opposed to rendering compensation to you for loses incured thus far. We have recently aquired a Starchart of several Usurper affliated worlds, and would be willing to share it with you.

                                That is the extent of my offer, at this time. For the sake of your spacestation, and your men on the planet, I recommend you beam a standdown order to them immediatly. My Battleship will temporally lower it's jamming bubble so your Outpost can recieve it.

                                The Lord Protector.
                                Today, you are the waves of the Pacific, pushing ever eastward. You are the sequoias rising from the Sierra Nevada, defiant and enduring.