The General and The President-memoirs of a Navy War Hero

By on September 16, 2008 6:35:45 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

mambaman

Join Date 03/2006
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By General 'Stormin' Mike Mormon SMTADF, TADC, PSC, PH, DSO, GSM, KBE

Background:

I have lived a good life.  I was born in the dog days of the year 2183-five years after humans used the technologies we stole from the Arceans and joined what has since been termed the Great Space Race.  In my life I have seen the growth of humanity as a star people and presided over the birth of a mighty stellar Navy. Me from my humble beginnings on a lowly council estate in South West London.  I who's drive and ambition took me from that grim place in the burnt out inner city to Private School through sheer force of will and then from there to the Royal Stellar Naval College.  Quick promotion as an EU Defence Officer in the global war of protection against the Xendar that wracked our planet at the turn of the 23rd Century found me battle-hardened and war-experienced: at it's close in 2215 and with our forces victorious I found myself the youngest Officer to be promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and was sent to the United Earth Seat of power in Tokyo to act as military attache for the Navy to the Office of the President. 

I have made many friends in many races from all over our mighty galaxy-and I have made some enemies too.  I have sent countless servicemen and women to their deaths in the cold fastnesses of space and I have not flinched-I did what I had to do.  I regret none of it.  But I am not writing to tell you of all of that-what I want to chronicle is the remarkable friendship that I formed with a remarkable man.  He was much more-a titan of his age and many to come. He was the President of the Terran Alliance when we finally made our leap into greatness in 2226 and he is the President now many years later. I have the privilege to have served with one of the finest political and humanitarian minds to have ever graced the Azure House and to have been his Chief of the Star Navy.

His name was Dr Ben Amponsah and this is our story..........

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October 21, 2008 7:37:48 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

August 2232

 

That spring and summer of 2232 had been all about development, the Terran Alliance was developing its infrastructure, I was developing the Star Navy and the President and I were further developing our friendship.  We met formally at least once a week, informally whenever I was in town.  Yes people resented the fact that I, above all people, had the President’s ear, but we were at one on almost all things and I was the figurehead for the sword and shield that the Alliance would soon need.

 

‘You realise that there are those in the Party who think that we should drawdown all military production Mike?’ the President told me one afternoon as we both sat on Space Force 1 headed to the inauguration of the newly built Starport on the Korath world of Kora II: a place that still frankly gave me the creeps in spite of the Presidents continued efforts to culturally assimilate this vicious race.

 

‘Ridiculous!’ I had spat. The truth was that we needed more Starports and more military ships: the war with the Drengin had proved that most eloquently.

 

‘Exactly what I said General. Listen we are making moves to loosen the bonds of the rather autocratic form of Government that we have over the Colonies-we will give them a measure of autonomy in a form of Interstellar Government like the Federal Government we have here. I fear it wont last, however: they will come looking for greater and greater representation until…..’

 

And he had broken off-his attention and thoughts elsewhere.  I had peered out of one of the viewing ports at our Hornet escort flying on both wings: Colonel De Franc and one of his best Fliers, Lieutenant Angela Mason, were guarding us-two of the best for sure.  The fact was that we needed bigger and better spacecraft: the President knew it, I knew it-everyone knew it.  I broached a subject that had injected an unusual tension into our relationship in the last few weeks:

 

‘Mr President if I may once again turn to the matter of the Torian menace…..’

 

‘Not this again General-‘

 

‘Please hear me out Sir.’ I was bold.  I had to be ‘We must use the new technologies that the Science Guild have discovered and start the Capitol Ship project-you know this Sir!’

 

I had been impassioned-I needed to be. The President was under immense pressure both from within his party and from without to cut military funding and divert the precious resources to ‘peaceful’ social and research projects-we were at peace, after all, had been the endless refrain from various sources headed by certain luminaries of the Pacifist Party.  But having seen the research guild focus on Medium sized ship hulls that would give me the light capitol ships that my Navy so sorely needed I was not about to be gainsaid when it came to funding the actual production of the damned things! 

 

‘General you know how much political capitol I had to expend getting the research done for that Medium Hull project-Goddamit Mike!  We have 5 Trillion Credits: it may seem a lot but a general war with a great power like the Torians would bankrupt us and it’s not a war that we could win.’

 

I remember that I had calmly persisted-this was, I felt, literally a matter of our race’s survival.

 

‘Mr President I am not asking for a war but I must prepare for the worst-Intel tells me that the Torians have had Capitol ships for a year or so now-they are ahead of us in all the key military dials.  Sir all I am asking for are the ships-state of the art weapons can come later’

 

The President was vexed-I know he was-all my talk of the menace of the Torians went against the grain for him-at heart he was a pacifist and an integrationist-he disliked talk of war and of ‘Greenskins’ and he resented the way that I kept bringing it up both on a political level and on a personal level.

 

The steady hum of the ships engines was interrupted by an announcement:

 

‘Mr President, ladies and Gentlemen this is the Captain-we will shortly be commencing our descent into Kora II: please take to your assigned stations and ensure that you are firmly belted in. Cabin Crew will be coming round to ensure that this ship is correctly configured for EVA’

 

I locked the President’s gaze with my own-he was my friend-I would get through to him

 

‘Alright Mike-you have your ships-this will kill me in the Parliament you know’ and he had smiled thinly-he was already calculating the cost to him politically of this capitulation to his pushiest General.  But he was smiling?

 

‘You know there is something that I want from you General….’  So this was the reason for the smile I had thought

 

‘Yes sir’

 

‘You will speak to your partner and get him into N’Gong and his people-do what you have to do General-we will need an Alliance with the Altarians if war is to come-do you understand me?’

 

It was a situation that I had been hoping to avoid-asking my beloved to intercede on our behalf was something that we had promised ourselves we would never get involved with-ours was not a marriage of convenience it was one of love and one which we had tried to keep above the petty inter-racial rivalries and politicking.  Yes he was the Ambassador and I was the General but…..

 

‘I will do what I can Mr President’ I had said weakly but at this the President’s mien altered,

 

‘You will do it General-when I hear that we have that Alliance you will have your ships-and not until-do I make myself clear?’

 

It was not unexpected

 

‘Crystal Sir.’

 

‘Ok you may go. See you planet-side’

 

And with that I left his office suite to take my crew station and contemplate the rather bittersweet victory that I had just won.  My beloved husband and partner had always said that he would not endure in a relationship with me if our political masters became embroiled in it-issa malagi tor bruin (‘there was room enough in it for the 2 of us’ roughly translated) he would always say. No matter it was a chance that I was prepared to take for when comparing the future of the human race against the future of our relationship I knew which one history would judge me better for choosing……….

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November 15, 2008 12:38:19 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Right I'm going to have to ask if anyone is actually still reading this because I almost had a situation where I lost my saved games due to switching to V2.0 (I got round it by system restoring my comp)

I have plenty of back-story and new posts but not really much point if people have stopped reading: if I am being honest I am not sure about this story

I will post the next Chapter anyway...read on

12th December 2232

 

Earth Spaceyards

 

I was visiting the Spaceyards in Uganda, which were co-located at the Kampala Spaceport not far from my home: massive, imposing and covering many miles, here was the most advanced and the largest of the TADF’s spacecraft builders. I remember having distinctly mixed feelings as the Hovercar whisked me the 30 odd miles to The General Abuja Spaceyards (General Milton Abuja was the African Leader, born in Uganda, who had led the Pan-African forces in WWIII). The reason for my malaise was twofold: first I had not seen the President since we had parted on such bad terms a few months previously: he was always off-planet, I was told and whilst I had no reason to disbelieve the President’s Office surely it wasn’t beyond the wit of man for me to commandeer one of my own Hornets and go join him-I was, after all, always travelling too and would think nothing of spending a week getting to one of the Frontier Worlds.

 

The second rather more depressing reason was the absence of my darling lover, Mirathro. When I had told him what I required he had calmly contemplated the matter-his hands steepled in that serene Altarian way of his and looked at me intently. He had then returned to our bedroom and shut the door behind him. I had not dared go and disturb him (Altarians did not like to be interrupted) but had instead gone and cuddled our son, tears flowing from my eyes. Starla just hugged me back: he had inherited the natural empathy that all Altarians had and knew well what was going on. My lover had finally emerged, all packed and ready to go-there were more hovercases around him than he would usually have for a quick trip back to Altaria-was he going for good? Our son had rushed to hug him whilst I had blubbered like a child. Through my sobs, I had felt a warm and tender kiss on the back of my neck, two smooth, slim arms wrapped around my shoulders and then he was gone out into the warm African night.

 

And that was that, not even a sala-to? I was bereft. A few weeks later my grief and despair were interrupted by an announcement to the Interstellar Relations Ministry that the Altarians wanted to sue for an alliance with their oldest galactic friends. Needless to say, we had jumped at this offer but of Mirathro, there was no word at all. Roughly the same time as we received the Alliance offer, a new Altarian Ambassador had arrived on Earth dealing a deathblow to my slim hopes of reconciliation. All my attempts to gain an audience with this Ambassador Samsara had failed. My darling husband, soul mate, lover, and confidante-my ever-beautiful Mirathro had gone from our lives forever.

 

And then In mid September we had forged two more alliances, the first with the Arceans, a medium-sized warrior race many parsecs to our North-yeah, those same Arceans who tried to con us into building a stargate in the 22nd Century so that they could invade us! The second was with the Iconian Refuge-oldest of the Star Races and descendants of the Precursor races it was said. The Torians were now isolated and so were the Krynn, who, whilst professing to be our friends, were nonetheless building one Influence Starbase after another off our eastward worlds. The President was not a liker of organised religion and had made it clear to our easterly neighbours, the arch-devout, Krynn that the ‘Jihadi’ Starbases it was building to spread their brand of worship into our systems was simply unacceptable. There had been no response and as if to underline his point the Head of an associated order on Earth had started to denounce the President’s benign leadership. The loathsome rumours were beginning to find purchase in some parts of Earth but were stopped dead in their tracks by a cleverly planted scandal that had the preacher caught in flagrente delicto with a 13-year-old whore. How this information had become known was a mystery but it was definitely the agents of Junichi Makata’s shadowy MIA Intelligence Agency who had planted the little girl on the preacher and then had a secret camera on her chemise to film the whole thing. I was amazed that our President, my friend, could respond in such a cold, calculated way but we were all learning that there was plenty of steel behind that velvet countenance of his.  

 

I had received an Extra-Orbital Directive from the President at that time which had read like this:

 

General-Torians and Krynn now isolated…STOP…forget about the Thalans-too insignificant and too far away to threaten or ally with….STOP….you may now start to build your Frigates…..STOP…..suggest concentrate on the Krynn…..they are looking to subvert us…….STOP…..with them conquered we will then have the worlds and the money to finally take on the Torians……STOP.....plenty in the Treasury now standing at 17TrC with taxes low and full production….STOP….will shortly ask Parliament to change our Government again to Star Democracy....this will bring in even more cash….STOP….no limit to ships for now…..STOP…..go for it….STOP

 

I had felt excited and sad at the same time-was my relationship worth all this? But the answer had come back to me almost immediately: this was what I had been born for-all my working life I had striven for this, the chance at last to create a formidable Star Navy and one which would be famous not just on Terra Firma but throughout the Galaxy. The Directive had ended Come back Mike-all is forgiven…STOP….That had given me some cheer.

 

The next two months had been a whirlwind, however, of short trips to Nova Barcelona to see Professor Sharpe and help work on his latest design (I couldn’t leave my son for very long at any time: he was struggling with the absence of his Patak): the Harrier Class Frigate: it was a marvel of science, which utilised all the latest technologies: 299m long, 161m wide and displacing 798 Metric tonnes, the first of our Capitol ships sported a General Propulsion P-150 Impulse Drive engine that propelled it at a top speed of 3 parsecs/week. It had a crew of 30 souls: 1 Commander, 4 Bridge Officers, 10 Engineers, 5 Technicians, 6 Gunners, 1 Cook, and 3 Marines. It was armed with three Westinghouse AEGIS Mk III Heavy Pulse Cannons and was heavily protected by Tri-Strontium armour as both the Torians and the Krynn mainly equipped their ships with Mass Drivers. It was sleek, beautiful, and deadly and would be a war-winner and now I was on my way from my home with my son to inaugurate the first of them: the TAS England, named after the country of my birth-a signal honour.

 

I had ruffled Starla’s hair as we had stood atop the gantry that would lower the mighty craft down towards us and marvelled at the vast expanse of the construction site. All was heavy industry for as the first craft was completed, another one was being built: there were shipyards on all but two of the Terran Alliance’s worlds but none could turn out ships as fast and as efficiently as the General Abuja. I was truly proud. 

 

And there on the Gantry three men coming towards with us with smiles wide, my ADC, Professor Sharp, and the President. But the President stepped aside as I snapped up the sharpest of salutes, still grinning as the platform’s turbo lift ascended to our level and all watched me dissolve into tears of untold joy and wonderment as Mirathro appeared. I did not know how, (only later would the President tell me how he had been on a personal mission to Altaria to plead my case) and cared not one whit all I could see through my tears and the tears of my son and lover was our wonderful whole complete again…………

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November 15, 2008 12:57:05 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

 

THE WAR WINNING HARRIER FRIGATE

 

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November 15, 2008 10:18:37 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

At least one still here. Keep up the good work.

 

That is all.

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November 17, 2008 5:25:36 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Ah good-thanks Splitski: I guess one is better than none eh?

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November 17, 2008 6:09:58 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I think I've read most of your AARs mambaman and this one's of the same high quality as the rest.

 

Thanks for sharing!

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November 18, 2008 4:10:10 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Ah thanks Glideslope-much appreciated

Will try and post new installment in next few days-2 readers is good enough for me

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November 20, 2008 5:23:48 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

April 8th 2234

Aboard the TASS England, part of Terran Fleet Designate 237 in the disputed Krynn/Terran system of Thielbahr

 

War is the extension of politics by other means wrote the ancient German Military man, Von Clausewitz, once and the War with the Krynn was the embodiment of this principle.  The tense situation that the President had allowed to develop since his terse instruction to the Krynn to reverse their Starbase building programme had now brought us to this pass and it was a place that I relished.  So much, in fact, that I was now aboard the lead Frigate in the 237 Fleet; three sleek ships racing on an intercept course to take on the pride of the Krynn Navy: three flights of five Heavy Fighters.  As the ranking Officer, I should have been technically in charge but I had ceded this command to the actual Ship’s Captain, Darcey De Franc, now a proud Force Brigadier (the ‘Force’ being Fleet 237 and Fleet 262 trained to operate under De Franc’s unified command or independently as 2 Battlegroups).  I remember watching Darcey as he proudly surveyed his Bridge Officers and helm going about their business: quick, efficient and deadly-rather like the ship in which they served.

 

The cramped Bridge quarters were more tight than usual with me occupying the Exo's seat and I had waved The Comms Officer to Darcey, as they still tended to defer to me even after being told on more than one occasion.

 

‘Sir-flash holo-message from The Azure House Situation Room-it has the President’s Authentication signature!’

 

‘Patch it through Lieutenant’ Darcey had replied smoothly-if the lack of protocol his radio officer had just displayed rankled with him it did not show.

 

The Holo-message activated and the smooth features of the President took on the familiar shimmering Dimensions:

 

‘Generals, good evening from New Tokyo.  The eyes of the world are upon you. We have had our latest and last diplomatic mission to the Krynn repudiated and so, having consulted with the Star Commonwealth, I have advised the UP that a state of war now exists between our 2 Star Races.’  The President paused to let this sink in.  Not one of the officers or technicians aboard the Bridge flinched (it was what we had been waiting for after all).

 

‘Your mission is clear and your cause just gentlemen-the madness of religion will not infect our race ever again.  Good luck.  Out.’

 

And the President was gone-that was it.  The moment we had been building up for over the last year and half was now here. I had built a fleet that now numbered 12 Frigates (not including the 4 protecting our Korath systems far to the North West) that were to operate in 3 Groups initially-more would be on the way as all Starports were now in full production mode and all had been ordered by my Quartermaster, Brigadier Leonard De Ville, to build the Frigates.  My orders had been to strike at the Krynn Fighter Fleets clustered around their three Starbases in the Thielbahr System and then strike at the planet itself.  Work had recently started on the swift new Condor Transport-a ship that could travel at twice the speed of our Frigates whist carrying 2 billion Tir-Quan trained Stellar Marines.  Given that there were only 3 billion inhabitants on the Krynn world one Condor would be sufficient-it would be complete in 4 months.  This was phase 1 of what I had called ‘Operation Sinking Fervour’.  Phase 2 required our fleet of Medium Scouts to throw up a screen to our East to give advance warning of the inevitable Krynn counter-attacks (Military Intelligence had the Krynn Navy numbering over 80 of their Heavy Fighters). Phase 3 would be complete when at least five Fleets of Harriers had formed behind the scouts to start the push eastwards.  Phase 4 was the attack on the Krynn main systems and Kryseth itself 20 or so parsecs to the East of our current position.  I expected all phases of the operation to last no more than 12 months.

 

A tension had crept into the Bridge as we closed on our prey: would the ships Superior Tri-Strontium Armour hold against the enemies mass driver attacks?  How would three Frigates fare against the massed fighter attacks we knew would be coming?  Would our Pulse Cannons tear their thinly armoured fighters apart as predicted?  It would be a cakewalk according to my Chief Weapons and defence Engineers back on Earth-we would see…

 

 

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November 20, 2008 5:32:06 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

TASS England in action (as taken from TASS Belgium). Battle of Thielbahr Straits April 8th 2234

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November 20, 2008 5:33:38 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

April 8th 2234 

Battle of the Thielbahr Straits-the opening shots of the Terran-Krynn War

 

Looking back, I am not sure that I would even classify this as a battle: a battle would seem to imply some sort of contest and though there were only three of us and fifteen of them we were utterly dominant.  The Krynn Heavy fighter is a good craft and well-suited to swarming operations against similar sized ships or unarmed transports-it is fast and well armed….for a fighter. The problem was it was coming up against capitol class ships that had been specifically designed to repel its’ threat. I had much to thank N’gong and his people at the IRM for since their tireless diplomacy had bought from the Lendlantzians our Superior Tri-Strontium Armour.  Further trades with other minor races had gifted us the powerful pulse cannons.  Put simply we were the best of all worlds from a military perspective: Well armed, well armoured, and above all well-crewed: I reckoned our ships hands to be the best in the known galaxy (but I would).

 

Of course we knew none of this as our intercept course brought us on a smooth interdiction of the Krynn fighters at the stellar phenomenon known as the Thielbahr Straits: a place where the red hot gasses from a nearby Quantum Nebula and a massive asteroid field concentrated any ships on their approach to the planet itself into a narrow field only a few hundred kilometres wide.

 

‘Steady as she goes helm’ Darcey had ordered calmly-I remember thinking that you could have cut the air on the Bridge with a knife such was the tension but not being in command gave me the opportunity to take in all the sights and the sounds; the steady humming of multiple computer systems-the tick-tock of the life support apparatus, the pulsing red glow of the current alert state-it was joy to me-this is what I lived for: ecstasy that was only matched when I was with my Mirathro.

 

‘Send to Scotland and Belgium to adopt weapons free-choose targets at will!’

 

‘Aye sir’ from Comms.

 

‘Time to target?’

 

‘Sir, 30 seconds!’ the voice of the young midshipman who was the tactical Under-Officer had quavered ever so slightly as he said this.

 

‘Steady Ensign-we are in good hands’ I had uttered to calm the lad.

 

‘Bridge, Weapons-we are ready to fire’

 

‘Sir, enemy cluster 10 degrees port and 7 degrees south of our position-move to intercept?’

 

‘Helm make it so’ from Darcey-this crew knew its stuff-they were like a well-oiled machine

 

And so we had arrowed in on the much smaller Krynn Fighters-they were no slouches though these pilots and they came at us with all the Jihadi savagery that we had been told to expect.  Concerting in perfect formations, weaving and twisting our three Frigates had sown the seeds of their destruction-firing at a much slower rate but with far more accuracy and devastation.  Whereas every five of their shots that hit us were simply absorbed by our armour, each one of ours caused catastrophic damage to them.  We took out the first five of their craft without any serious problems-it might have been a training exercise.  Because Darcey had ordered weapons free the other two frigates, TASS Scotland and Belgium had entered the battle independently and though Belgium had fared well we noticed that Scotland was struggling.  Peering at the viewscreen I noticed that there was something other than mass drivers being fired by their craft…..they had lasers!

 

‘General-they are using beam weapons against Scotland!’ I had shouted.

 

‘Got it!’ from Darcey ‘Helm take us in-order Belgium to follow-we’ll draw their fire!’

 

‘Tactical how many of them are using lasers?’ I had asked urgently-if we could target them and take them out the danger would be averted: the truth is we had no protection against beam weapons other than the strength of our hulls.

 

‘Sir I’m getting feedback from the tac-comp-sir only three of them and the Scotland has taken out the other two!’

 

‘Grand!’ said Darcey-‘zero us in Helm-we have enough Hull integrity to take what they got-target the lead two fighters order Belgium in on the third!’

 

We had swooped in, moving with an agility that belied the size of our ship.  The two fighters we targeted were pulverised in a matter of moments though not before unleashing a volley of laser bolts that lanced into our armour like a hot knife to butter-we had thick armour though and it did not breach.  The following Belgium sorted the last fighter out: the battle was over...the war, however, had only just begun.

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November 21, 2008 3:59:25 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Three readers, mambaman... Keep it up!

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November 24, 2008 4:44:33 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Hehe excellent-thanks Eidolon-seems a few are still reading then

On with the war

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December 18, 2008 4:57:40 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

January 1st 2235, New Tokyo at the Inauguration of the Terran Star Federation

 

 

My strongest memory from this occasion, that should have been a joyful one for both myself and the President, was a deep and abiding sense of frustration.

 

Only a few hours before I had briefed Dr Amponsah on the latest twists and turns of a war that had not been nearly as one sided as I had hoped.  In truth the Krynn, for all their suicidal bravery, had proved crafty opponents and their tactics of throwing flight after flight of heavy fighters into the fray had necessitated a complete rethink on the part of our High Command (i.e. myself).  The fact was that I had, after the initial euphoria of our stunning victory at Thielbahr, entrusted the day to day operational command on our Eastern flank to my man ‘on the ground’ there, Brigadier Darcey De Franc.  It had been a mistake. Within only a few months marauding Squadrons of Krynn Heavy Fighters had penetrated the inadequate defensive screens of Terran Frigates and were both destroying our precious Economy Starbases and terrorising our merchant shipping.

 

‘What the hell am I paying you for Brigadier?’ I had raged at the poor man in his crew ready room aboard the England irritated that I had been forced to travel out to his fleet in order to upbraid him in person.

 

‘General it’s-it’s just not as easy trying to control the whole Eastern Fleet’ Darcey had replied looking at once proud and at the same time miserable.  He had been an excellent Flight Captain and an even better Group Colonel-hell he had even done a passably good job of Force Brigadier. Combined-Fleet Brigadier, however, seemed one promotion beyond him.

 

‘General’ I had growled ‘how many Fleets are you commanding at present?’

 

The question seemed to surprise the younger man and he hesitated to answer

 

‘Exactly-you don’t even know.  Shall I tell you Darcey?’ I had virtually spat the last sentence out-attention to detail was a commodity that I valued extremely highly in myself and by extension my subordinates. ‘Jesus Darcey-you have 6 Fleets and the problem that you have is not their number but their positioning.’

 

I had ushered him to his cabin mini holo-jector and activated it so that it displayed the part of the galaxy that we were in.

 

‘See here are your fleets and the Krynn incursions here, here and here’ I felt like a schoolmaster delivering a lesson to an errant child.

 

Darcey was nodding obediently-I could see no spark of defiance in his eyes, however and that worried me.

 

‘The issue has been that you have tried to push eastwards towards Krynn space without having the correct defensive screen in place.  Think of it like a game of Talsball.  You must assign your defensive screen before you push your offence forward-do you get me?’

 

‘I just don’t have enough Scouts Sir-‘

 

‘IT’S NOT ABOUT THE F*****G SCOUTS!’ I exploded my patience finally at an end ‘IT’S ABOUT POSITIONING YOUR DEFENCE BEFORE YOU ATTACK! Christ Brigadier-have they taught you nothing at Staff College?’

 

But even the flinching response to my outburst told me all I wanted to know and had made up my mind-in truth I was only wanting to see if De Franc would prove me wrong before making my move.

 

I remember straightening up and delivering my judgement in a cold tone that brooked no challenge or dissent:

 

‘Brigadier De Franc I am relieving you of your duties as CFB with immediate effect-you will remain in command of Fleet designate 264 and 262 but the operational command of the Combined Eastern Fleet will be taken over by Sheila Unsworth, who I will be promoting in the field later today.’

It was a stunning reversal of fortune for a man who many had felt would succeed me when I moved on but it was as necessary as it was painful. The fact was that this was the end of the line for Brigadier General Darcey De Franc-this sort of event usually resulted in backroom jobs and then pensioning out.  But such was the pressure of command: I had a whole star race and the President to answer to.  The fact that he was my friend and close to my family was besides the point: I had exposed him to real pressure and real command and he had been found wanting.

 

And it was in that spirit that I had briefed the luminaries of the Situation Room, the morning before the inauguration, on the conduct of the war and with our Combined Eastern Fleet now pushing into Krynn-held space and beginning the assaults on the fleets defending the Krynn worlds themselves and with no more of our economic interests being attacked, things looked much more rosy.  I had been forced to defend the amount of time it was taking by none other than Jonas Johansson, the Finnish Finance Minister, who had declared in strident tones that the war had now cost the Treasury no less than 10TrC-a staggering sum of money and one that would only partially be lessened by the move to a Star Federation-the man was nothing short of hysterical which irritated me.  If the President was moved by this display, however, he did not show it, instead calmly asking me to provide an assessment of how much longer the war would take.

 

‘Sir these things are always hard to predict but the conduct of the war has moved a lot faster since I assigned Brigadier Unsworth command of the Eastern Fleet.  The only thing that will now slow us down is the production of the Transports we need to take the Krynn worlds.’

 

Amponsah eyed me evenly ‘Pray General that it is no more than a few months for whilst I am rather more sanguine about our economy than Jonas here I am also disturbed by the sheer cost of this war to us.’

 

What could I say?  The cost to our coffers had been immense but ultimately conquering the Krynn would set us up most advantageously for the inevitable war with the Torians whenever it came to us.

 

‘Sir I only need five more months, maximum, to bring the Krynn to their knees-after their surrender the whole Galaxy will sit up and take notice-even the Torians.’

 

‘Yes the Torians…..’ The President was surveying me again-we had never quite regained that closeness that we had once had before the thing with Mirathro-why was he looking at me like that? 

 

‘You are becoming somewhat over-concerned with our Western neighbours General’ put in General Transa Mooto, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and no friend of mine.  I could swear that he coveted my post.

 

‘My concerns, General, are no business of yours!’ I snapped-I could not bear this preening, talentless man.

 

‘Gentlemen! Remember where you are and whom you serve!’  This last was urgently interjected by a fuming Marc Beaton, ‘You will comport yourselves or you will leave!’

 

We sat in stony silence as the tension washed over the room-the atmosphere had changed from a certain airy optimism based around the forthcoming inauguration, to a stunned and sullen glumness which was only punctuated finally by the President himself.

 

‘The Chief of Staff is correct Generals-this is no way to conduct yourselves is it?’ the President smiled at us but something was wrong; his smile was completely devoid of any humour or warmth.

 

‘You would both learn to live with each other especially as you will be working so closely together from now on…..’

 

I froze-had I just heard the President correctly-working with Mooto?  How?

 

As if reading the look of incredulity on my face the President continued: ‘Am I not right in saying that you still have not appointed a General to lead the Marines?’

 

‘Er-that’s right Mr President but I was hoping to discuss candidates with you later today.’

 

The Presidents gaze was icy ‘No need General-you are looking at him. General Mooto congratulations on your new post-I am sure that you will get on with General Mormon famously. And now ladies and gentlemen if you will excuse me I have an inauguration speech to deliver.’ And with that Dr Amponsah swept from the room.

 

Everyone stood as the President left, as protocol dictated. All but me-I sat, open-mouthed in my seat, too stunned to move, and all I could see was the look of naked triumph on my rival General’s face………….

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December 21, 2008 1:49:43 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

GENERAL TRANSA MOOTO KCB, IFC, DC

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December 23, 2008 8:55:24 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

January 1st 2235 The Azure House Oval Office

 

Beaton’s supercilious mien was about as much as I could stomach but for the sake of my career I held myself in check-I felt like a spring that had been wound up too tight and was about to snap.

 

‘The President will see you now General’ and I was ushered in.  I stood firmly at attention my face a whirl of conflicting emotion the strongest of which I remember being an overpowering sense of betrayal.

 

The President was seated behind his huge Obsidian desk, watching me warily, not wanting to disturb the tension that prowled the room like some shadowy predator. 

 

At last I could hold myself back no longer-‘how could you Mr President-how could you?’

 

The President gestured impatiently with his hand motioning for me to sit down ‘for once General you will sit down and shut up and you will hear me out-I am not one of your ratings Sir I am the PRESIDENT!’  This last with a banged fist onto the table.  Chastened I sat-this had better be good.

 

‘Now I know that I blindsided you with the appointment of Mooto-I know that’  and he had arisen from his rather defensive desk-bound position and had come to join me on the sofa-it was a touching gesture I had thought at the time.

 

‘I cannot work with that man Mr President-I just can’t’ I had uttered miserably. It wasn’t just our professional rivalries that had driven a wedge between us nor my relentless baiting of him and his staff since taking up office as Chief of the Star Navy-no all these were par for the course amongst senior ranks who had their pride and a fierce territorialism to uphold.  It was the things that he was reputed to have done when he was the Commander of the American Defence Forces in the war against the Xendar-tales of sadistic torture and mutilation of Xendar prisoners and a wall of silence amongst his Troops thereafter.

 

‘Mike Mike-I know of the accusations and I know that were we in the UP now the War Crimes Tribunal at llux II would probably have issued a warrant for his arrest but that is now water under the bridge and desperate times….’  The President left the well-known phrase unfinished as if almost by apology.

 

‘Mr President the man is a war criminal, a sadist and possibly worse and you want me to work with him?’ I was incredulous-was this the man that I had grown to know and love so well-who was advising him?

 

Dr Amponsah cut into my thoughts with a thumping invective:  ‘he’s the best man we got General and you know it!  You tell me-who else is there that could put together a sizeable Marine force of many billions and get those transports built in short order so that this costly war doesn’t bankrupt us-tell me!

 

I remember wracking my brains-I had been about to recommend some candidates that morning but in truth they were all weak ones-none with the organisational and logistical abilities that I needed.

 

‘No I thought not.  You will just have to trust my judgement on this General-Mooto is who you have to work with-he’s what we got. Call it a political decision and one out of your hands-frankly it’s born from expedience.’

 

And that was the end of that-Beaton appeared at the door-my cue to rise, salute and prepare to leave.  Before departing I decided it was time to be frank

 

‘Mr President-we are-we’re ok aren’t we you and I?  Things have just been strained recently’

 

The President smiled at me-a smile that recalled all its previous warmth.

 

‘We’re good Mike-just difficult days and difficult decisions-just go with me eh? We’re good General-and now walk with me-we have the inauguration of our new Federation to attend-hell I might even give a speech!’

 

And once again there was laughter and lightness in our relationship-it was a good feeling indeed but behind our levity my doubts continued to grow like the gathering storm……..

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December 24, 2008 5:54:33 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Absolutely amazing, Mambaman! I love the way you're mixing the gameplay with your narrative inventions! (is it the right word? Inventions? Oh, well...  You know what I mean )

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December 28, 2008 2:33:06 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Hey thanks Eidolon-this sort of feedback always appreciated and gives me impetus to crack on-whilst there is one appreciative reader I will continue writing lol

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December 29, 2008 1:04:45 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I started reading recently and am checking back for updates.  Good stuff, and thanks for the effort and support on my AARs. 

 

 

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December 29, 2008 1:36:40 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Ah you're more than welcome Tolmekian-really loving your AAR-it seems to capture the best of both worlds (fictional narrative vs account of the game itself) so well done and KUTGW

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January 9, 2009 9:05:39 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Mar 15th 2235

Kampala Star Navy HQ

Being a student of history I had always been fascinated by the footage of the 43rd President of the United States being told of the planes hitting the Twin Towers-it was a look of fear, bewilderment, frozen incapacity and one which was about as far removed from the status and power of the office that he held as it was possible to be.  I had even written a thesis on the paradox of power whilst at Staff College using this film clip as my opening salvo and had done very well-a distinction, as I had often recalled, with smug satisfaction.

So why was it that I was getting a disturbing sense of déjà vu as I stood in my main HQ Ops room assessing how the final phase of the war was going?  After all Mooto (against all my expectations) had finally got the Transports rolling and after the debacle of the failed invasion of Kryseth II (during which we had lost 4 billion Space Marines) had formed several formidable Transport Fleets, three of which were headed for the Krynn home worlds and another towards their North Western outpost at  Wardell IV (near Altarian space).  Kryseth II was quickly taken and I was beginning to have to reassess my new colleague Mooto-there was no doubt that his energy and drive was getting results even if I was chafing at the fact that the President had appointed him at the same rank as myself thus creating a twin powerbase within my own Navy!

So why was I gazing at the massive holo screen in the centre of Ops with such trepidation as I watched Beaton whisper something in the President’s ear, interrupting a photo call that he was holding with some Argentinean school kids in Buenos Aires.  Was it because there was the same stunned look of dawning comprehension on his face-as if saying ‘no this cannot be!’

Moments later, my own Chief of Naval Intelligence had approached.

‘Go on get it over with!’ I had growled-this was obviously not going to be good news.  Colonel Hans Von Staffen straightened his back in that Prussian way of his and gave me the news that I had dreaded for so long but had never thought would come to pass (at least not this soon).

‘Sir-the IRM reports that, as at 0200 this morning, the Krynn have surrendered all their worlds to our allies the Iconian Refuge-the war is over.’

And that was it. All the efforts of the last two years, all the money, and the lives of the billions who had fought to conquer the Krynn worlds-wasted....

I had felt physically sick and had had to excuse myself from my staff lest they see what effect this news was having on me.  All I could think about, as I gripped the toilet bowl in my private office down the corridor and emptied my guts, was what a waste!  Why had I  not seen it coming?  And they had surrendered to one of our allies which meant that going to war with them was impossible-oh so clever!  The image of my friend, The President’s face was haunting me-it had visibly crumpled just as my plans were crumbling all around me.

One week later I had been summoned to New Tokyo.  I had taken my leave of the Staff at Kampala fully expecting not to return as their leader and General.  After all, we had failed dismally in our aims: without the Krynn worlds, we would never be in a position to challenge the hegemony of the Torian Confederation-we simply did not have enough planets to compete with them either militarily or economically.

But when I was ushered into see Dr Amponsah he was curiously upbeat greeting me with a broad smile and an outstretched hand.

‘Mike sit, sit-you are well met General’ his eyes twinkled in that way that had enthused so many before and would do in the future. He appraised my serious mien quickly and set about explaining his lightness of mood:

‘General it is simple-now we truly have a pretext to provoke our Torian neighbours whilst remaining whiter than white and as pure as the driven snow’

I was still confused ‘what do you mean Mr President?  I don’t get you Sir’

‘Mike it’s simple-I  have ordered the cessation of your Fleet programme-wait-hear me out.  I think that you have enough of your Cruisers for the moment and the treasury is almost spent.’

‘Ok sir’

He gripped my arm ‘What I want instead is a mighty fleet of constructors-the word has gone out-Influence is our new crusade-we will be like the Krynn.  If we can’t beat the Torians through military means we will trap them into attacking us by trying to subvert them culturally!’

Then I began to see it.  A massive programme of Starbase building around the Torian worlds using our natural cultural advantages.  It could work.

‘I  see sir-plant Starbases all around their worlds and start to try and convert them-this will provoke them into declaring war, which will bring our allies in on our side-clever Sir-it may just work’ I  had grinned: it was hard not to be affected by the President’s enthusiasm for this new political direction-it was realpolitik at its best.

The President had stopped smiling then and the grip on my arm had tightened ‘Yes Mike but you must be ready with your fleets when this happens whether it’s in a year or 5 years-you must be ready to defend our worlds-you understand?’

‘I understand very well Sir-you can count on me’

And so the new phase in our plan to remove the last obstacle to our domination of the galaxy had been born-the Torians had been very foolish indeed to underestimate the humans and even more reckless to take lightly the President of the Terran Alliance......

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Mar 22nd 2236

A year passed when everything went according to plan.  The IRM appointed an Overseer of Cultural Expansion (The OCE), a tireless Brit, Sir Alan Stannyforth, who’s indefatigable energy and boundless enthusiasm created the most ambitious cultural expansion program the galaxy had ever seen-even the Krynn would have been hard pressed to match it. At its height, 12 months after the end of the Terran-Krynn war, we were pushing out 4 to 5 constructors a week and we had not only massively expanded the existing Influence Starbases protecting our own interests deep in Torian territory to our West but we were also building in Arcean and Iconian space.  Stannyforth had been greatly abetted by a Presidential order switching from militaristic to cultural research and soon the head boffins were producing one cultural research innovation after another for the IRM to add to the Starbase modules. By spring 2236, the two Torian planets close to our Korath worlds in the far north and the Iconians mingled in with our systems in the middle of the galaxy were growing discontented with their own governments: how could they not when daily assaulted by an ever-growing litany of Terran Television, fashion and style?

I liked Stannyforth and I was beginning to like Mooto and things were very harmonious for me at home: my husband had taken to his role of primary care-giver for our son very well-Starla was thriving too.  It was all, frankly, going too well and looking back, I should have realised that this sort of calm usually precedes some darker passage.

It came from out of a clear blue sky: for many years, there had been talk of some sort of super race that had arrived in the Galaxy-the Dread Lords, they were called-an organic race of unimaginable power whose deeds had only existed in legend.  Well we had seen no evidence of them and to most humans (including myself) they were creatures and stuff of legend.

Until one awful afternoon in March that is...the first I knew of it was when I was summonsed back to HQ by an urgent flash message.  At the time I had been in Nova Barcelona discussing new ship designs with Professor Sharp and so had to use one of the nearest Holocom booths at the nearby Civic Hall.  The Holocom booth was an ingenious invention that put the caller into the area, room or situation, that they wanted to be in via a revolutionary Metasimulator. In short once in the booth it was almost as though I  was actually in my Situation Room in Kampala though all the people and the room itself had an eerie white shimmer and were not actually real-it was the nearest thing.

‘General we have an-uh situation unfolding’ it was my Chief of Staff, the up and coming Brigadier Munities-always calm in a storm I  noted that even her voice had a tremulous edge to it.

‘Go on Carla-what have you got?’

‘Well Sir-at 0400 Zulu time our Mining Starbase Designate 15027 reported an unidentified fleet approaching-it was only able to get off a brief description before it was vaporised in an instant.’  Carla gave me time to analyse that news: this was an armed Starbase and though not armoured its massive hull would make it more than a match for any conventional Fleet sent against it.

‘That’s just to the South East of our Embor system isn’t it?  And the guarding Fleet of Cruisers?’  I asked knowing what the answer would be.

‘Sir the guarding fleet approached with extreme caution having seen what happened to the Starbase.  Destroyed Sir-just as quickly.’

Again a pause.

‘Sir I should say that Fleet Commander Colonel Belinda Mansworth was able to send a detailed description of the assailants using her ships more sophisticated analysis equipment-shall I  send it through?’

‘Do it!’

 

My mind was in a whirl as I assessed the Starship Intel Report, calculating madly. Was it a craft or a creature or both? The SIR revealed that they were not as quick as our Cruisers giving us some advantage but they were insanely powerful incorporating what the simanalysis comp quaintly calculated as the equivalent of no less than 12 Doom Rays, each of which packed more firepower than any single one of our Capitol ships.

‘General order the immediate re-routing of Brigadier Unsworth’s Force-tell them to engage the Dread Lords frigates with all haste.’

I knew it was a death warrant and the grim faces around the situation room echoed what I was feeling.

‘Sir you know that there will be no comebacks from such a mission?’

‘General you have your orders and so do they-we have to stop them running amok-there are 2 of them and they are completely unarmoured-they might be able to do some damage.’  It was unconvincing but it was going to have to do.

‘Aye Sir-I will get it done.’

‘That’s not all Carla-get the rest of the Eastern Fleet back to our central systems. Leave only one fleet at Kryseth II-mass what we have around Thielbahr.  At least I am in the right place-I  need to talk to Sharpe about a new design and get the President to reassign our research to Shield defences.’

Colonel Van Staffen stepped forward,

‘Sir bad news on that front-I have been onto M’bossa N’gong: no one else has researched shields to our level-we are the Galaxy leaders’

Grim, grim, grim but not desperate-not yet anyway. I felt strangely calm and in control.

‘Ok people let’s work this-all problems have their solutions-we are the best there is and the only thing that stands between those monstrosities out there calling themselves the Dread Lords and the destruction of all we hold dear. Carla order Unsworth’s force retrofitted with the Shield Mark IIs that we have and send them in-I’ll get back to you once I have spoken to Sharp and the President.  Oh and order our scouts to find out where they have come from and what else is out there-do it now.  Mormon out.’

And that was that-I remember hurrying out from the Civic Hall my thoughts ablaze-the Dread Lords had arrived and it was up to me and my Navy to try to stop them........

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January 10, 2009 7:45:11 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

The bad guys have arrived... give 'em hell, admiral!

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January 11, 2009 1:31:18 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Yeah the game's deffo hotted up-one of the things that I love about it the most-just as you thik you're on top of things something else crops up

Stay tuned mr

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January 11, 2009 3:17:59 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

OMG Dreadlords!  Good stuff.  Always nice to mix things up a bit.  I find myself half  hoping for something like this to pop up in my game.

Are you writing as you play, or is this truly an AAR story?

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January 11, 2009 6:23:42 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Hey Tolmekian-no I am writing as I play so this is all hot off the press as it were-makes it more exciting for me writing I have to say

KUTGW with yours btw am loving it! (as you may have guessed from my numerous comments )

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