The Alexanderov Federation
Book 1 The Grendarl War
Part Six - Plans and Preperations
The Bumblebee entered the debris field from
the 'accident' to search for salvage worth collecting. Though
most Rrk'g'kreglin technology wasn't worth collecting, sometimes
the raw material was useful. As he studied the radiation effects
on his scopes, it finally hit Turley what had been bugging
him for the past hour. "Sir! I think there was a sensor
platform here after all!"
"What! Why did you not detect it earlier, Lieutenant?
And does it see us?"
"I highly doubt it, sir. I didn't recognize it earlier
because A) it's Silicoid, and I was looking for Grendarl technology,
B) it's heavily damaged and was almost certainly inactive
earlier, and C) it's right in the middle of the slodding debris
field, so I couldn't pick it up with active scans at a distance."
"Silicoid, you say? So the Rrk'g'kreglin have reestablished
contact with Satrag, then?"
"That is a likely scenario, though not guaranteed."
"We know little about the Silicoid's technology level.
Can we disable the platform and take it home with us?"
"It would be difficult, sir, but doable. Now that I
know what I'm looking at I can figure out a lot more from
the same scans. I see a primary power node that's detached
from the main system and leaking enough radiation to make
it useless even if it was reattached. The backup node appears
to have recently activated, probably after we finished scanning
the system. The only problem is now that it's fully active
again, it would surely detect weapon activation and self-destruct."
Morse spoke up. "Sir, if we can detach the backup power
node, I believe it would be rendered inoperable again. This
would make it safe to bring aboard. But as it is still active,
it would probably note the field effect of launching a mine
through the air shield. Somebody needs to go EVA to plant
the mines, and I volunteer for that task."
Goodman frowned. "Mines, plural, Morse? Won't that be
Commander Tannert, who had come to the bridge to oversee
the salvage operation that was now abandoned, spoke up. "Sir,
no it wouldn't. Silicoid technology often reflects their racial
structure, a base section with crystal node-like extrusions
off of it at odd angles for the various functions. This causes
the device to have an odd shape, which would prevent fitting
it through our cargo door. The platform appears to have two
sensor nodes still attached in addition to the backup power.
One mine should be sufficient for each."
"Very well, Morse. Call your relief and suit up, you
hit space as soon as we can get in range."
"One more thing, Captain," Tannert continued. "Now
that I'm looking for Silicoid technology as well, I see a
message buoy launch signature that I originally mistook for
a tachyon surge from a quasar. The device launched a buoy
less than five seconds after we launched ours, but it's slower
and had farther to go. Ours will make it home in another three
days, but theirs won't even reach the jump point to Rrk'g'kreg
for another three hours. Unfortunately, it's way too far away
to attempt to intercept now."
"And they may have ships standing by in hyperspace at
the end of the jump lane. Maximum speed and efficiency all,
I want to be out of the system before that buoy reaches their
Four days and two hours later, on Starbase 49 in orbit of
M'gewen IV, Admiral Padre Mulkahey was reviewing the messages
from the Bumblebee, which was still a few days away. Goodman's
plan to ambush the Grendarl transports had been brilliant,
and then flawlessly carried out by his crew. The recovery
of a Silicoid sensor platform would provide valuable intelligence
as well. But best of all was the discovery of three valuable
worlds in a strategically valuable system. A very valuable
find. Goodman was proving that his rapid promotions were not
a mistake at all. Perhaps another was in order? Mulkahey shuffled
around some paperwork on his desk. Ah, yes, the missile frigate
Sharktooth was just out of spacedock and in need of an experienced
officer corps. Perhaps Goodman and crew could be transferred
there? He might have to hustle a bit to clear that through
his fellow admirals, but he felt it worth the effort. He summoned
his secretary and asked her to start on the paperwork immediately
after placing a purple channel transmission to Senator Michelle
Zollner, who held the chair of the Senate subcommittees on
colonization and fleet administration.
A purple channel transmission never takes long to obtain
a response. Only used in time of war or extreme urgency, it
was barely five minutes before Senator Zollner's face appeared
on his screen. "I do hope you have a good reason for
yanking me out of an important meeting. I was arguing for
additional defensive deployments to your sector, I do hope
they are not lost now with my absence from the discussion."
"I appreciate your efforts on our behalf, as always,
Senator, but I feel they may soon no longer be necessary.
This system will hopefully no longer be the border soon. As
you know, we recently managed to get the restrictions on access
to the Tamarian system removed from our peace treaty with
the Grendarl. We sent a scout vessel to map it more thoroughly,
and the report I have here says it's a virtual diamond mine.
Valuable beyond easy belief, we would be insane to not colonize
and develop it as quickly as possible into an impregnable
fortress system. It will surely be a huge boon for the Federation."
"I see. Your recommendation?"
"Every ship we can spare should assemble here to go
and defend our new colony. We should colonize all three planets
and send massive numbers of civilian transports to populate
them quickly. For the Grendarl will probably attack quickly,
and we should be ready to meet it."
"This could be the opening we have been waiting for
these past four years as we built up our forces well beyond
what we felt we'd truly need to take them down."
"And even if it isn't, it will have the effect of splitting
their empire, dividing them from a fledgling colony that would
one day be quite valuable to them, but if we move now will
wither and die."
"I agree. Transmit the details on a subchannel. I'll
bring this to Alexandrov himself. You may begin logistical
preparations, I expect approval will come within the hour."
"Thank you, Ma'am. One last thing, however, a favor,
if you will. I need your personal commendation for the captain
responsible for bringing us this windfall. With your commendation
I can better push through an appropriate promotion for him
and his crew."
"Hmm. That will make five you owe me, Mulkahey, but
you've never yet steered me wrong. Consider it done, I'll
have my secretary type up the paperwork immediately and send
it to you. Zollner out."
Meanwhile, on Rrk'g'kreg III, the unnamed Grendarl emperor
conferred with his prime advisor, Y'th'S'kaz, about the situation
their message drone reported.
"Has that piece of troz diplomat been executed yet?"
"He gave out early this morning, sire. Only took four
hours of torture. A complete weakling."
"I wish we could execute him twice! Grek that graktoz
traitorous piece of troz! Trading away our claim on the Tamarian
system for a minor bribe and a worthless technology we have
no use for!" He paused momentarily. "Execute the
rest of his family. Make a statement that will not be forgotten."
"It shall be done, sire!"
"Those graktoz humans surely now know the secret of
the Tamarian system. They will surely move to claim it now,
and glibly convince the Senate it was open territory, free
for the taking."
"Begging your pardon, sire, but you know the humans
feel it is we who are graktoz. Of course, they are mistaken,
but I must remind you of their opinion."
"They knew we had claimed M'gewen. They settled it anyway!
We had a RIGHT to reclaim it!"
"Of course, sire! But you know they don't see it that
"You are correct as usual, Y'th'S'kaz. But we must move
to prevent them from taking Tamarian I, II, and III. Gather
the entire fleet here. This time we strike with everything
we have, and we don't stop until we have erased their kind
from the galaxy!"
"It shall be done, my liege."
Slod is actually not Grendarl in origin. An profanity
that made its way into the English language in the dark ages
of Antaran oppression, it is believed it was originally an
Antaran rank or term that was borrowed by the bitter humans
and turned into an epithet to hurl at the untouchable Antaran
opressors. No actual meaning is known or required, but any
human old enough to speak understands.