Year: 2718, April 26th
Sector Newland Territories-32-85.071
Terran Earth Protectorate Light Cruiser Behemoth
Admiral Jim Flannigan saw how the shuttle of the Scavenger delegation approached his Rusher class Light Cruisers hangar bay. He frowned and rubbed his short dark brown hair. A minute ago the Flotilla from the Terran Mining Consortium arrived in system. They had A Dreadnought with two Heavy Cruisers, six Destroyers and ten Frigates as support. Most of the members bought significant warships as a show of force, apart from the Terran Earth Protectorate. Jim had a Light Cruiser and four Corvettes. The Klloorr Hierarchy had brought a smaller force of a Diplomacy class Cruiser and nothing else. As the name suggest, the Diplomacy class Light Cruiser had little to no weaponry and was only used for diplomatic missions.
Jim had no doubt that the Twin Moon Empire would send Dauntless with Commodore Ada Dravograd with whatever dignitary they decided to send. He could imagine that Ambassador Dorian Hale might be the right man to send. Empress Mona usually sent him to important meetings to defuse tensions. He was the ambassador to the Duross Empire for ten years before he was transferred home. Jim would be negotiating for the TEP during the conference.
“Sir, we received a transmission from the Twin Moon Super Dreadnought Dauntless,” a young female officer alerted. “They will soon arrive.”
“Hmm. Speak of the devil,” Jim muttered. “Very well lieutenant. Thank you.” He hoped this meeting would work. It would be the first step towards the Earth Protectorate Presidents plan to unify the major powers in a type of council or conclave. A unit that could bring an everlasting peace to the galaxy. War would bring everyone in on the defenders side. Jim personally didn’t think he would live long enough to see the vision finished. It would surely take decades at best. After all, a conclave would meddle in internal affairs and would prevent the-for example-Vaan’jorch Dominion from expanding and conquering smaller worlds and species whenever they wanted to. They would need the conclaves permission or face war or at least a cut off of trade relations. Depending on how brave the current conclave would be. But that would probably never worry the Vaan’jorch. Their territory was so immense that they would never need trade to survive. They could just shake it off.
Jim shook his thoughts away and started thinking about the conference. One point would be that the Jorchae Duchy had attacked and annexed a nearby inhabited system. The locals-the Haven Clan-had been a friend of the United Colonial Directorate and the Grand Sano Imperium. At the same time the Jorchae had colonized five worlds in other systems so it looked like they needed to expand because of their high population rate. Jorchae breed children faster than most species. Although they won’t live very long-in human terms-they are high in numbers. They could also be seeking new resources to combat a future war with the Vaan’jorch Dominion. Billions of Jorchae live within the empire and serve the Vaan’jorch goddesses. The Jorchae’s high birthrate-for Jim-made all the sense in the universe why the Vaan’jorch needed them to be a part of their empire. They would never allow trillions of Jorchae to leave for a stronger Jorchae Duchy.
Another point was how to deal with the Unborn Marauders. They had attacked Duross, Klloorr and Vaan’jorch colonies, outposts and starship, killing tens of thousands of civilians. A solution had to be reached in deciding on how to deal with them. To defeat them. In the last year, they had massacred almost two-hundred-thousand civilians from the Vaan’jorch Dominion to the Terran Earth Protectorate.
“Admiral, the Vaan’jorch Heavy Carrier Flower of Peace just dropped out of hyperspace,” he was alerted.
Jim looked out the front viewer. The Carrier was surrounded by a Battlecruiser, two Light Carriers and ten Destroyers. They didn’t hold back at all. He wasn’t surprised that the Dominion brought a heavy presence. Jim scratched his clean shaved chin. Given that the Vaan’jorch Dominion had the largest territory in known space, the idea of a unified government of all races meant that they needed the Vaan’jorch support in the end to make it work. If he was a Vaan’jorch Holy Empress, he had trouble convincing himself that it was a good idea.
“Send them a welcome,” Jim ordered. “Tell them Admiral Flannigan of the Terran Earth Protectorate navy welcomes them onboard.”
He returned to sit down in the grey metallic chair. He wore a white dress uniform with gold and silver colored medals on his chest. The medal he was most proud of was “the Golden Cross”. A medal given to anyone who would win an important battle without the loss of any life. Seventeen years ago he met when he was a Lt. Commander he faced a Terran Holy Alliance fleet and managed to secure victory without losing any life. He also avoided a war between the two sides and saved tens or hundreds-of-thousands of lives in the process of preventing war. He was more proud of “the Golden Cross” than any of his “Purple Heart” medals.
Year: 2718, April 26th/6272 Vaan’jorch calendar
Sector Newland Territories-32-85.071
Vaan’jorch Heavy Carrier Flower of Peace
Alydia reached out her long white arms to make it easier for her aides to put on her gold plated armored chestplate. She wore a beautiful long skirt that went down to her ankles and the edges sparkled in the light. A dark blue cloak was hung over her shoulders. Her glowing lilac eyes looked into the mirror in front of her on the wall and she put a lock of ebony black hair back behind her right ear. Her tail slapped the floor gently in rhythm with the music playing. Her horns was visible through her black hair and she tugged at her left horn for a moment.
The blue skirt parted way in the front and created a rift from her knees and down. The golden chestplate covered her breast and left her stomach and lower back visible.
She really didn’t want to partake in this negotiation. She didn’t want to play diplomat at all. She rather fought or governed any planet. She dreamed back to her luxurious chambers on Quebix Prime and Fort Sylvia. She lived the dream there. Usually doing very little but get all the attention.
She heard a beep from the door of the white walled chamber.
“Let them in,” she said.
One of her aides flied over and pressed the panel, opening the door. Her loyal bodyguard chief, Captain Jin-sun’thar stepped inside. The tall Serphoro bowed his head. He held his gas-based projectile rifle in hand.
“My goddess, forgive the intrusion,” he apologized-seeing that she was changing.
“Did you want something?” Alydia simply asked.
He straightened his back.
“My goddess. We have arrived in the system and a shuttle is prepared to take us to the Terran Light Cruiser,” he explained.
“How many bodyguards were you planning to send with me?”
“Four will be enough. Including yourself.”
Sun wanted to protest but held himself high.
“Yes goddess. I will take the best of your bodyguards for this honorable task.”
She merely nodded.
Sun’s eyes stared at the beautiful goddesses curved body for a moment. The dark blue skirt was made out of a silk-like fabric. When the last part of her clothing was finished she turned around. He stood to attention and stepped out of the doorframe he stood in. She walked out with an aide-Din-following her. Her wings flapped in the air as she kept up paces with Alydia. Sun gestured for the two guards outside to follow. Sun followed after them.
As they approached the hangar he spotted three Magog. One was an economy minister. The Magog male had pale-almost white-skin, his large grey eyes had a sparkle in them. He had a lower body with a ball shape and four legs. Every foot had three toes and his two arms had five fingers on each hand. He wore a white and blue formal dress uniform. His mouth opened vertically instead of horizontally like most species.
He bowed his head when Alydia approached. Sun glared at him from behind his mask. He didn’t like the Magog. Although they were the economical backbone of the Dominion, their loyalty was very questionable.
Sun’s glanced at a pair of slow moving Kurhkzan crew members.
The Kurhkzan had dark blue or dark green hardened skin. Their skin were slimy and had a toothless mouth and no eyes. They-unlike most-saw by echo location. Their heads were long and snaillike. They had long legs and long arms and no bones in their bodies. Their hands were tendrils and they wore black armor with orange shoulder pads. The armors were exposed below knees, their whole arms and around their necks.
Unlike the Magog, the Kurhkzan were unquestionably loyal to the Vaan’jorch.
Sun recognized the Kurhkzan Elder Ji-lo-fa-el-the Flower of Peace’s commanding officer. He exchanged a few monotone words with goddess Alydia. He bowed his head and she smiled with a nod. Her smile faded when she was addressed by the Magog’s.
“Goddess,” The Magog male-Taa said politely. He held a holopad in his pale hands.
“I assume you’re ready, minister?”
“Almost excellency. If you would just mind to wait until the last data sent to me arrives, yes?” Taa suggested.
Sun flinched and narrowed his eyes on the Magog minister. He dared to ask that the goddess would wait for him? How dared he insult her in that manner? Sun was insulted by the very idea of it.¨
Alydia stopped and looked at Taa. He was clearly testing his ground. To see what play room he could get. She didn’t like it. No other subjects than the Magog did that. Everyone else was just happy to aide and serve. But not them.
“No,” she said firmly.
“But excellency, if you would just-”
“Don’t question me decision,” she sneered.
Taa looked to the bodyguards following her. Three Serphoro, one of them was a captain-probably in charge on her security. He looked back to Alydia. He considered pushing or leaving it. She seemed strong willed. The question was just how strong willed.
“Excellency, I would prefer if you-”
“Captain Sun,” Alydia interrupted him.
“Kill his assistants.”
One step to far indeed.
Within two seconds his two assistants were shot in the head by Alydia’s bodyguards and collapsed to the floor. Taa stared in horror and Alydia stared intimidatingly at him.
“Do. Not. Question. Me. Minister,” she warned harshly. “I will kill you. Understand?”
He nodded tremblingly.
“Clean that up.” Alydia started walking towards the shuttle.
Sun gestured to a Colossal to deal with the two bodies.
Taa clenched his fists and glared daggers after her. He received a punch to the stomach by a Serphoro soldier. It was one of Alydia’s bodyguards that passed him by. He straightened his back with a pained grunt. He stared at Sun. He stood a meter from him.
“Fall in minister,” he warned with a demanding tone. “I will be watching you.”
Taa glared at him as he followed a few paces behind.
With everyone onboard the red shuttle made its way to an airlock of the Light Cruiser.
Sun stood in the doorway as the retractable door started opening. Two more guards were behind him, ready in case something happened or the Terran’s were tricking them. On the other side of the door he spotted two fully armored and armed Terran’s in dark green armor. One of them was a woman while the other were male.
A black haired young man in a white Earth Protectorate officer’s uniform stood between them with his hands behind his back, fiddling with his fingers. He had light grey eyes and tanned skin.
Sun stepped aside and Alydia stepped out. The officer stepped forward and met her.
“I am Lieutenant Miles Kerrigan,” he introduced himself with a Cuban accent. “General Alydia, I presume?”
She nodded and smiled.
“Yes lieutenant. Now, where’s this conference room?”
“This way general,” Kerrigan gestured with his right hand. “We are only waiting for the Twin Moon delegation before we get started.”
“Lead the way.”
He nodded politely and looked at those following her. Four of them were Serphoro with their regular blue armor and the last was a Magog. He looked less than happy presently. It was well known they had questionable loyalty to their Vaan’jorch overlords.
He headed down the corridor with Alydia and her people following him with the two marines in the far back of the group.
Alydia looked around her. The human starships inside was just as grey and boring as she had presumed. The metallic grey bulky starships of the humans were far from interesting to look at. Unlike the Vaan’jorch smooth red shells surfaces and white clean interior. A few Terran’s walked from the other direction. The intercommunications was calling for a Lieutenant Jensen to report to engineering. Alydia noticed a Vaan’jorch coming down the corridor. The tall and slender female had her dark brown hair curled into a ball. She stopped in her tracks and stared with her blue glowing eyes at Alydia. Alydia glared at the female, whom turned around and quickly walked in the other direction. Alydia glared at the back of the traitor that had left the Dominion to serve here. It could have been the young female’s parents but it didn’t matter.
Alydia walked into the room used for the conference. She saw representatives of all human factions apart from the Holy Alliance. Representatives from the Jorchae Duchy was present, they stared stoically at her. She ignored them. Beside the three green skinned Jorchae sat a large orange skinned Drakken male.
A representative from the Klloorr Hierarchy sat a few meters from her. The grey skinned 1.9 meter high male looked at her with large blue sparkling eyes. There was hatred in his eyes. The thought of a female wielding such power would be incomprehensible for a Klloorr. Especially a male in the government. For a species that push females to the bottom of the chain, they could handle-although some badly-that other species did not press females down as they did.
The last race present was the representatives from the Sano. Their large pitch black eyes studied the people around the room. Their white wrinkly skinned hands were firmly placed in their knees. They were a meter and a half in height and dressed in grey dress-like clothes.
Alydia sat down with Economy Minister Taa to her left and Sun standing with the three bodyguards behind her. She waited for a few minutes until the doors retracted again and the Twin Moon delegation entered. The male ambassador was followed by Commodore Ada Dravograd and Lt. Commander Lizzy Morgan. Admiral Jim Flannigan came in behind them. Morgan was wearing the black colored armored suit of the Twin Moon Marine Corps.
As Jim had thought earlier, the Twin Moon’s did send Ambassador Dorian Hale.
“We have finally all arrived. Everyone that accepted,” Jim said as he sat down. “The issues before us is important for all of us. All of our governments isn’t the best of friends or even trust each other much in some cases. But we are gathered here for the same reasons.”
“Well said admiral,” one of the Jorchae representatives complimented. The male added a smile.
Jim gazed around at the different representatives for a moment.
“Lieutenant Kerrigan,” he glanced at the lieutenant sitting beside him. The tanned man turned his head to him. “Let’s get started with the first point of the agreed upon points of interest.”
Kerrigan nodded and brought out a datapad.
“Yes, sir,” he affirmed.
“Admiral,” the representative from the Terran Mining Consortium spoke up. “Sense the Holy Alliances isn’t present, I assume they declined to partake in the conference?”
“Yes ambassador. They refused to partake in any negotiation that might end the war or negotiate with…as they said, and I quote-lesser species. I doubt we’ll waist tears on them.”
“Got that right,” the Drakken Warmaster snorted amused. The large reptilian grinned. “The wars gonna be over soon enough.” There was a hint in his voice that it would soon happen something that would break the stalemate and Alliance military advance.
“The first point on the agenda will be the Unborn Marauders,” Kerrigan read from the datapad. “A menace that threatens everyone.”
Alydia was the first to speak up.
“They attacked a colony of Jorchae last month,” she said. She straightened herself in her uncomfortable seat. “They killed twenty-four civilians in a bombardment before our naval forces in the system countered and defeated them.”
Jim leaned over the table.
“Did you destroy any of their ships, general?” He asked pointedly.
“Two Corvettes and a Destroyer Escort class starship. Two Corvettes was damaged.”
Jim leaned back again.
“Hmm,” he scratched his chin. “No grave losses in starships. If the Marauders take too heavy losses they can’t rebuild their ships. Carriers and larger support vessels especially.”
“Excuse me, admiral,” Ambassador Dorian Hale said in a polite voice. “-but Commodore Dravograd fought the Marauders over our Petrograd colony several weeks ago. With great success.”
Jim shifted in his seat and turned to focus on the young woman.
She wore a black dress uniform with medals on her chest. She had her ebony black hair fixed into a ponytail and her light grey eyes kindly looked at Jim.
“The Dauntless and our battlegroup fought a small fleet of a dozen Corvettes, two Destroyers and two Escort Carriers,” she explained. “Only one of the Destroyers and one Escort Carrier plus two Corvettes escaped the system.”
The Drakken Warmaster laughed.
“Excellent! Show the scum!”
Ada smiled at him.
“Don’t get too thrilled over a few victories,” the Klloorr Junior Imperator interjected. “The Marauders can rebuild starships, although barely. And, they buy ships from several governments.” He looked around the conference room. “Our intelligence agency believes that the Terran Holy Alliance is responsible.”
A few representatives mumbled quietly amongst their fellow delegates.
“Shocking,” the Warmaster said sarcastically.
“Our intelligence have suggested it to our government recently,” the United Colonial Directorate representative said.
“We know that the Lycyrian’s has made business with the Marauders,” the Grand Sano Imperium representative said. “They may not have traded in warships but in resources and food supplies. We provided all your governments with this evidence hours before this meeting started.”
“I have read the files,” Jim said. “You can all find them on your desks amongst the flies provided to you. I believe our first action should be to decide a course of action in order to respond to anyone working with the Marauders.”
“If I may speak,” Alydia said. “Diplomatic actions from our respective governing bodies would be enough for the Lycyrian’s and any other smaller species that trade with the terrorist filth.”
“Not the Alliance,” the Warmaster snapped. He growled. “They won’t do anything if we simply demand it. If anyone sells warships, it is them!”
“Cutting trade relations,” the Jorchae representative suggested. “Blockading their trade routes and forcing everyone that trade with them with our combined diplomatic power to cease. With enough pressure, we can isolate the Alliance. Cutting the trade lines of the Marauders will be the first step in defeating them. Next is finding their bases.”
“Most of their bases is in neutral space. At least one is beyond the Dark Rift,” Jim muttered. “Three damn lightyears beyond it at least. Our spy network planted a spy there in January. Unfortunately we lost contact with her a few days ago. She’s probably dead by now.”
“How did they found out she was a spy? Do you have any idea?” Ada asked.
Jim shook his head. “No.”
“Other than sending in a thousand starships, it would be next to impossible to locate them,” the UCD ambassador spoke up. She had been quiet until now. Sitting and listening to what was said and taking in the others positions on the matter.
“Agreed,” Jim said. “Without concrete information, we’d been blind and surely take heavy losses.”
“Not worse than the civilian lives lost,” the Drakken Warmaster sardonically stated. “How many more has to die. My people have enough problems with the damned Alliance burning their homes down.” He snorted. “Now more Terran’s wanna slaughter them!”
“What my rough college is trying to say-” Alydia interjected with a gentle voice. “-is that the Unborn Marauders and Alliance is giving Terran’s everywhere a bad reputation.” She raised a hand defensively before Jim could protest the issue. “We know for a fact that they have slaughtered more Terran’s than alien races, but all the same. You understand my and the Warmaster’s point, yes?”
Ambassador Hale nodded slowly.
“Yes,” Jim replied begrudgingly. “We get where you’re coming from general.” He tilted his head and leaned over the table. “Which is a reason why we won’t stop until the Marauders are dead,” he assured them all. “The terrorists will die. No matter what.” Jim was insulted of the accusation made towards his species, but understood it. There was a lot of bad humans out there slaughtering innocents. The Holy Alliance was a government so their actions was not interpreted as a Terran action. But the Marauders were pirates and mercenaries from all over Terran faction’s space. From the United Colonial Directorate to the Earth Protectorate itself. Unlike the Scavengers, they had no government and was not recognized by anyone. The Scavengers were pirates and mercenaries but they were a legitimate government and recognized by almost all interstellar governments.
Ada whispered something to Morgan and she shifted in her seat before nodding.
“In our engagement with the Marauders at Petrograd-” she started. Everyone turned to listen to the blonde Terran female in the thick black armored suit. “-We captured a total of four of the Marauders when boarding a Corvette-Hunter class-and we have been interrogating them ever sense.”
Jim shined up.
“Have they revealed anything?” he asked immediately with high hopes.
“With the right interrogation technic, we have already confirmed that Ivan Ivanovsky is still the Ultimate Spector and head of the Unborn Marauders,” Morgan continued to explain. No one needed to ask or wanted to ask just what-the right technic-meant. They probably didn’t want to know anyway. “Before three of them were transferred to another starship to take them to a prison facility on a core world, they revealed that the Marauders are indeed being supplies with ships from the Holy Alliance and through the Dini they bought ships from the Jorchae Duchy.” Everyone turned to stare at the Jorchae representatives, but Morgan continued swiftly before anyone could snap at them or they defended themselves. “As I said, the Dini acted as mediators and the Jorchae representatives nor their government would know that they sold to the Marauders. They bought four Corvettes from the Twin Moon Empire with the same technic two years ago. The Dini is the real problem.”
She glanced around, sighing, thankful that she lessened the volatile situation she built at first.
“Why happened to the fourth?” The Warmaster inquired. “You said only three was transferred.”
Morgan hesitated, thinking of a way to put in nicely.
“She…died before that I’m afraid.”
The Warmaster snorted amused and let out a laugh.
“Nicely done,” he complimented them.
It was perfectly clear that the Marauder had died because of a harsh interrogation by the Dauntless crew and whomever led the interrogation. But no one would cry for a Marauder. They weren’t worth it. No one saw them as people worth any rights. They were terrorists and terrorists had no rights.
Alydia personally thought it was appropriate for the Twin Moon’s to torture and execute them all if necessary. Given how many of their civilians that had died. A Hundreds-of-thousand, if not more.
“Hopefully the others will provide more information,” Morgan finished.
“If we could track down even one of their bases, destroy one of their shipyards. We could deal them a heavy blow,” the Klloorr representative-Junior Imperator Naal-raa said.
“I suggest-” the UCD ambassador started. “-that we establish a line of communications and exchange of information with each other to keep track of Marauders and cooperate against them.”
“Cutting off their supply lines is our first step,” Jim said. “Isolating the Alliance and using diplomacy to prevent smaller planets from cooperating and trading with the Marauders.” He cleared his throat. “Anyway, let us continue with the next point on our agenda. The Jorchae Duchy’s annexation of a small planet friendly to the UCD and the Sano and colonization of several further systems.”
“Our people need to expand,” the Jorchae representative explained in irritation. “Our growing population needs more colonies. And concerning the planet annexed. It was liberated, not annexed. We freed them from a brutal and dictatorial government.” The male stood up from his seat. “You cannot limit our colonies. We can expand and colonies however many systems we want. You cannot halt our advance while you yourselves build vast empires with countless colonies. The Terran Mining Consortium started colonizing nine planets in the last two months and you dare confront us alone?” He glared at the room of delegates as he sat down slowly again.
The Consortium representative glared daggers at him.
The Jorchae representative glared back at him. How dared these people condemn them while allowing others to perform the same actions? As always Terran’s tried to stick together. The United Colonial Directorate, the Earth Protectorate and the Mining Consortium did tend to have each other’s backs against other species. The Twin Moon Empire would probably be part in that if they weren’t ruled by an Empress that was Vaan’jorch in origins. Although she had no loyalties to the Vaan’jorch Dominion, she ruled with an iron fists and kept a watchful eye on the other Terran factions.
“We aren’t here to discuss that,” The UCD rep. stated.
“And why not?” The Sano representative demanded to know. “Just because you dislike the Jorchae, you point them out while you’re doing the same. Everyone knows the Protectorate, the Consortium and the Directorate hold each other’s backs.”
“The Consortium is simply expanding our reach to find resources for trade and defensive purposes,” the TMC representative assured.
Alydia snorted. She crossed her arms.
“And the Jorchae isn’t?” She glared at the rep. She couldn’t believe she was about to defend the Jorchae Duchy. “The Jorchae is searching for resources in case of a Dominion attack in the future. Just like you want to defend yourself against a Drakken or Holy Alliance assault. Or maybe even us. Not to mention, the Drakken Empire recently expanding and grabbed two new systems to create an extended first line of defense in a possible war against our Dominion.” She leaned over the table. “You are only trying to keep the power balance unchanged in known space. You’re trying to push the Jorchae into the ground.” The leaned back into her seat. “We will stand up for the Jorchae’s independence and to make sure they can do what the major powers is already doing.”
Everyone were surprised that the Dominion was standing by the Jorchae Duchy. They had once been a part of the Dominion but gained freedom-albeit peacefully-and had ever sense tried to free the rest of the Jorchae under Dominion rule in secret and by force-if they wanted freedom was another question entirely.
“The peace has to remain unbroken,” Consortium rep. explained.
Jim remained quiet. He knew that the others were right to condemn the Terran’s actions against the Jorchae. It was wrong to try and limit the Jorchae’s expansions while expanding themselves. He knew this argument would turn into a shit-fest. He had told his superiors that point was a bad idea but they overruled him.
Alydia snorted amused.
“You speak of peace while a war rage between the UCD, Drakken and the Holy Alliance. And you speak of keeping the peace?” She let out a mocking laugh.
“Maybe we should leave this point open and move on to the next?” Jim asked, hoping to avoid a yelling match that would turn the conference upside-down. “Let us move onto the situation of the food crisis in a Drakken colony system.” He turned to Kerrigan to continue.ns184.108.40.206da2