Space

All journeys end

Space Campaign Finale

Space Campaign Finale (3-17-11)

A holoscreen flickers to life illuminating a dark room. A man’s hand is illuminated as he reaches forward from the dark and taps the small holocontrol display causing the display to shift to a live Stellar Com news broadcast. The man’s hand retracts from view as the broadcast audio swells up on the expensive holo-system.  A woman’s image is in the display in almost real life clarity while behind her can be seen a large viewport from a star ship’s bridge. Appearing on the view screen can be the destroyed hulks of various star craft floating in a vast field of debris.

“Greetings to all our viewers throughout the Alliance, this is Yera Allon reporting from Korris system. As you can see behind me salvage operations continue throughout the system, two standard weeks later, in the wake of a fleet sized battle the like of which has not been seen since the Kaa invasion. To update our viewers that may only now be getting Stellar Com network connection again after various relays were sabotaged; the Korris system was recently the battleground for Alliance, Kaa and Kronin mercenary forces.

It is now a matter of record that many of the ships involved, while of the same design and markings of regular Alliance naval vessel were in fact forces loyal to the former Alliance councilor from Tellamatrix, Baron Rolf von Toerbach. The CEO of the multistellar corporation, Tallamatrix Transportation, Baron Toerbach has been building ships and training forces at a secret installation on a moon in the Velpare system. Utilizing these forces in cooperation with what has now been revealed to be various pirate factions and harvested Verm, the Baron planned to stage emergencies to use for his own advantage as a way to take control of the Alliance. The total depth of this plot has yet to be completely revealed according to sources close to the Alliance special investigative committee. This recently formed investigative body has been tasked with determining the full extent of the Baron’s machinations. Alliance Patrol personnel have been put on detached service to be utilized by the committee to assist in its efforts.

Facts that ARE clear at this time mostly concern the attempted coup by military leaders on the first Unification Day. This has been proven to be an utter fabrication perpetrated by the Baron and as of yet unnamed accomplices within the Alliance ruling body. The announcements of this, first made one standard week ago, have shaken the Alliance to its very foundations. It has been through efforts of corporations, outspoken Alliance councilors and the public addresses of Donald Blagovich, former Grand Admiral of Alliance naval forces that have been credited with holding the governmental structure together.  Admiral Blagovich, a victim himself of the manufactured military coup conspiracy, made an impassioned speech on the steps of the Alliance Citadel on his homeworld of Caractacalla.”

<The image displayed in the corner of the holo swells to fill the entire display. It shows an older man in civilian clothing speaking to a massive crowd that has shifting holo signs and seems at times to have been quite ugly in disposition.>  

“Now that the truth has been revealed we can once again move forward. Yes, you were misled by those that you empowered to lead you. They have abused that trust and done things in our names that we do not condone nor can we stomach. Your outrage is understandable and frankly I am happy to see it. It lets me know that the spirit of the brave beings that first came together to form the Alliance out of separate battling factions is still alive and well! But, I ask you to think on this; if your anger and outrage is directed at this institution <he motions behind him at the citadel>, then those that did this to you win. You will give them EXACTLY what they were seeking accomplish. My vision for the Alliance has never wavered; it is a governing body that serves its MEMBERS not the reverse. The combination of our individual strength’s is for our security, not to be used or abused to become aggressors like the ones that first caused this Alliance to form. “

<The image shrinks as the gathered crowd cheers and Yera Allon’s image returns>

“Civil unrest has been at manageable levels across known space according to the Patrol as most citizens now understand the scope of the duplicity that was put upon them. In the fallout of these revelations it has become clear that the forces that did battle over Von Berg in the Korris system were there to eliminate the legitimate Alliance naval forces. It was only thru the actions of the Admiral’s independent forces, who were actively trying to dismantle the Baron’s plans that the Alliance forces were made aware of the threat and saved from a complete ambush. It appears that Kaa forces and what are now referred to as “Shadow Alliance” forces combined in effort to overwhelm the legitimate naval ships. Intervention by various Kronin mercenary forces on the side of the legitimate Alliance forces enabled them to counter and finally to the take the day. Reports of ‘stealth’ vessels used in this conflict continue to circulate as there appears to be evidence that cloaked mines were placed near Kaa and Shadow Alliance vessels causing untold destruction and confusion.

Included in the forces that fought on that day in the Korris system were the nephews of the admiral, former GHOST operatives Eli and Jano Blagovich. Both of the men had been be victims of the same conspiracy that befall their uncle and were sentenced to life terms on Al-Jebel at the maximum security prison. These two with their uncle’s help were liberated from that facility and apparently died in the attempt. Using manufactured identities they joined the admiral’s campaign to stop Baron Toerbach’s plans. In the wake of these revelations, both brothers have been pardoned and reinstated into the Alliance military. In a prepared statement the brothers gratefully declined the reinstatement citing they had retired to the private sector and now manage a mercenary company called Phoenix Rising. Also Rand Brightlighter, formerly of the Alliance Navy is seen appearing publically here with Admiral Blagovich, still suffering from injuries during the conflict evidently. <Image of Jand and Admiral appears at a press conference. Jand has a black eye and swollen lip> Former captain Brightlighter apparently helped the admiral’s efforts acting as a liaison with the various corporations that were involved. Captain Brighlighter had been out of the public eye as another victim of the military coup conspiracy. In a prepared statement he said only that he was grateful to have been where he could do the most good and that he had always believed that the admiral’s vision of the Alliance would be realized. Mr. Brightlighter has recently gone into the private sector announcing the creation of his own corporation which will specialize in defensive systems for starships. Rumors circulate that the Alliance defense council has already awarded contracts to the fledgling corporation.

The final elements to this story are as follows; it has been confirmed that 7 standard days ago at 23:58 Alliance Standard Time, Baron Rolf von Toerbach took his own life in the installation that was discovered orbiting Velpare III. There has been no release of any final statements or any further details on the death of the man that seemed to be responsible for so much tragedy. The Velpare III  installation is being dismantled by Alliance personnel. Tallamatrix Transportation, the corporation that the Baron controlled, has had its assists seized by the Patrol and is currently censored by the Interstellar Trade Commission unable to conduct any commercial transactions.

As for the planet of Von Berg, the Alliance navy has ordered a Quarantine of the system with only a newly established Survey team allowed to the journey to the service. No Alliance personnel will comment on what occurred on the surface of the Von Berg or the status of the enigmatic lifeforms discovered there 10 years ago in the form of sentient crystals. “

“End” the voice of the man speaks to the Holodisplay and it flickers obediently out of existence. “Lights half illumination” the voice says as the automated system responds immediately rising the light level in the room moderately. “Most recent updates on individuals of interest… “ the man says issuing a command to the monitoring computer system. A perfectly modulated voice responds with corresponding holo imagery when appropriate “Subject: Katina Parker. Status: Affiliated with Parker girl syndicate and officer in their operational cooperation. Location: Center. Subject: Jarvis Brightlighter. Status: In cooperation with Parker syndicate, depth of affiliation unknown.  Location: Center. Subject: Donald Blagovich. Status: Consultant to Alliance Council.  Location: Caractacalla. No further information available.”

The man peers at the images of the people before him floating in the holodisplay. Blue eyes, which are beautiful but hold nothing that resembles compassion or emotion of any kind, sweep over the various informational displays before him. Monitoring systems set up around the asteroid field that he is in currently, secure in the depths of a hollowed out floating mountain. No contact is shown throughout the area. He’d know well in advance if there was any because he had the best equipment credits could buy. He sighs slightly reaching over and picking up a thin wine glass raising it to his lips. The ambrosia was the best there was, of course, but he didn’t taste it. He let the glass hang from his finger tips as he stared at the displays and the opulent room surrounding him not really seeing any of it. The man was attractive, longish blonde hair spilled down to his shoulders. His facial features delicate with a hard quality. Not that many had ever gotten to see his face, he took great lengths to keep that hidden expect to those he trusted and had proven themselves as believers in the way he thought the way things should be. His jaw tightens, almost imperceptibly, he had been so close. So much so in fact that the he had seen the beginnings of nihilism he had imagined for years. But, then, once again, ‘He’ intervened.  He might as well change his name to ‘Order’, the man thought wryly, or at least ‘admiral Order’. The man drank the ambrosia again this time catching the tantalizing bouquet of it and his lips curled slowly in a smile. The admiral could have his day, be welcomed back into the fold that was all fine. When the plan that was in motion was finished, he would be found dead. Apparently from a self- inflicted wound with a rambling clumsy apology of a suicide note and enough intoxicants to prove that he had always been a propped up sham. The thought made him feel better. It might appear as a hollow victory after having lost so much, but it served to satisfy him for now. The man turned in his chair to see the floating holo display that showed the whole of the Alliance stellar cartography and spoke to the air “Tok, this is Lucifer, prep the ship for departure in 2 hours. There’s work to do… “.

Silence

“Tok..” he began again as the door cycled opened. The door that HE had the only codes for raced thru his mind as he turned in the chair and reached for the weapon on the console. There was an electric crack and then he was falling to the floor his hand never getting to the weapon.

Confusion.

Voices.

He feels something being placed on his neck.

His eyes flash open and he stares up into… HIS face.

Former grand admiral Donald Blagovich stared down at the man lying on his back on the floor before him. The electo-laser mark on his face blossomed in a bright angry mark and the blonde hair had small wisps of smoke rising from it. “Hi there… “ the admiral says to him “You can’t get up, the thing on your neck is a neural inhibitor. Keeps you from feeling pain from the neck down and from moving.” He informs him in a matter of fact tone. The man from the floor attempts to speak “Ho..w.d…” he garbles out the sounds barely intelligible “Oh yeah, and it makes it hard to talk.. because I REALLY don’t want to hear you talk anymore.. “ he says with a slight smile “How? Oh, how did I find you and get in undetected?… Well, you know when I found out that I had one in my midst I started to think that they might have infiltrated other organizations. In fact they’d have to keep up their success rate. So, after that it was pretty easy. You know it’s no bullshit, no man escapes the manhunters”. He hooks a thumb over his shoulder never looking away from the prone man “Tok, yeah… he was a manhunter” he says plainly as the other hand keeps the electro-laser leveled at his face.

The face of the admiral goes flat “You know it takes an encounter or two before you can gauge the tactics of your opponent. But once you can get into his head, see from his side of things, it starts to fall into place pretty clearly.” He shakes his head “I never believed for a second that after all your games and working behind the scenes that it was you on Von Berg. It didn’t fit with your tactics, not even a little. Since you’d had a clone of me made I figured you’d do one for yourself as well and after that well… I had to find the original. My friends in the other room have a telepathic talent for getting information including things like codes for doors and apparently now, they have cloaking technology for their ships.” He says with a touch of irritation in his tone. “So, there’s the recap Lucy. Not sorry that you were on this whole trip because of what I did to all the pirates. That’s a cop out anyway, every man is accountable for his own decisions.” The admiral’s thumb flips the setting of the electro-laser from stun to kill

“A fact I happen to know… very well.” He says quietly and pulls the trigger.

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PaulMcNeil

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