Clan Confederation

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Clan Confederation

Postby PracticalM on Sun 26 Jul 2009 20:28

The Birth of the Clan Confederation
By Jeffrey Kessler
Copyright 1998

Note: Many characters don’t have names yet, because I haven’t been able to sit down and organize my characters. Eventually I will fill in the names of the characters who are just titles now. But I wanted to get the basic story down before I got too far into the 4th edition playtest to remember the beginning.
Also coming is more detail on the internal conflict of the Clan Council and a background on each clan.
There isn’t much here because I haven’t had too much trouble. I invented my own internal trouble to keep the story more interesting. I will eventually expand this area a bit. However, I suspect that I will get more external trouble than I know what to do with in a few turns.
The last proved to be very true. Also I ended up taking over as Space Master for the GSF playtest campaign.

Year 0 Month 0 (Month 0)

The clan leaders in room fell silent when Fleet Commander Tricet entered the room.
The orders were sent, Clan Councilors,” said the Fleet Commander. “In a few days we should know what lies beyond the Warp Points.”
“If anything,” said the Shark Clan Leader. “We have spent billions to build a fleet of starships and for what? To throw them all into the abyss.”
“The equations are quite clear that these Warp Points are the only hope for interstellar travel within months, said the Dragon Clan Leader. “There is some chance that a Warp Point could lead into a stellar mass or into a black hole, but the chance is small and the possible gain quite large.
“And really we are at most risking our smallest ships. When they return, the fleet will start looking for more Warp Points in each new star system. Soon each major clan will have their own star system to control.”
“So for the sake of the Dragon Clan, all the lessor clans would be shipped off to other worlds, while the Dragon Clan reigns over our native planet?”
“No clan will be forced to leave and the ownership of new systems will be subject to Council vote,” said the Tiger Clan Leader. “The Council vote was clear, the Dragon Clan will lead us into this new age. Do you wish to call for a new vote?”
“No vote is necessary,” said the Shark Clan Leader, “we submit to the will of the Council. If you forgive me, I have an appointment.” The Shark Clan Leader gestured to his aids and left the room trailed by his two aides.
Those fools think that they have beaten us, thought the Shark Clan Leader. They know our clan no longer has the resources to call for a new vote. The Shark Clan and their allies had ruled for almost two decades, but the scientists of the Dragon Clan had developed a new type of starship engine allowing them to mine the asteroids and gas giant moons for riches. These riches allowed them to build an alliance to unseat the Shark Clan and get the Council to agree to this foolish venture of exploring the gravic anomalies, which they called Warp Points. We will bide our time and make peace with our enemies. Our time will come.

The Bear Clan Leader turned to the Dragon Clan Leader and said, “You know that the Shark Clan will never stop trying to regain control of the Council.”
“Of course, but they will never be able to stop the reform programs. The Shark Clan will find it hard to come to power with as many clans that will own the Dragon Clan a favor or two.”
“You are not gaining friends by allowing the Clans of One to increase in number. The other Leaders see only their power weaken, and the power of the Dragon Clan growing,” said the Bear Clan Leader.
“What I do, I do for the sake of all the people, not just one clan or another, said the Dragon Clan Leader. “Increasing the Clans of One will help make us one race instead of each clan distrusting the others.
“It may be as you say, but some clans will not see that,” said the Bear Clan Leader. They only see their power ebbing away. If they panic, we could be faced with Clan Wars that make our past seem like a pleasant picnic.”

Year 0 Month 1 Day 1 Hour 9:01 (Month 1)

Fleet command had debated two possible strategies for first transit through a Warp Point. If the Warp Point was only one way or for some reason the ship was unable to return, the more crew and resources the ship had the more likely they would survive. However if the Warp Point did lead to death, the best case would be to send the fewest number of crew possible. Different officers took different views, until one bright officer calculated that unless the crew was over 50,000 individuals, it was unlikely to successfully survive on its own. So the smallest ships were chosen to lead the Je’Phiryl out to the great unknown.
The fact that Commander C’klin of Messenger #1 was expendable did not really bother him or his crew. Assuming that they actually survived, they would be the first Je’Phiryl to travel to a different star. Assuming that they could return and tell anyone about it.
“Engineer, are the engines at full power?” asked the Commander.
“Just reaching full power now, commander,” the engineer replied.
“Navigator, plot course,” directed the Commander.
“Contact with the gravic fields in 5 time periods,” announced the navigator.
And in one brief instant, the Drive Field containing the Messenger #1 and its crew were moved across 13 Light Years to a binary star system. Fifteen crewmembers reported ill effects similar to extensive consumption of alcoholic beverages, but it was later discovered that 12 of these cases were actually caused by the over consumption of smuggled liquor. The remaining three seemed to have been affected by the instant of time that the ship was moved across the vastness of space.

Year 0 Month 1 Day 1 Hour 9:02 (Month 1)

Two stars, one yellow, the other orange, slowly moved about each other in a stellar dance through the galactic ballroom. A small discordant note pinged approximately 22 LM from the orange star. Unless you happened to know what you were looking for, the small disturbance would have been unnoticeable in the background noise of the cosmos. A new race had discovered how to use the gravitational links between stars and started build an empire to place its mark on the uncaring universe.
Commander C’klin struggled to come up with some pithy saying that would be recorded in the history books at the first words spoken in the light of an entirely different star.
“Well, we live,” said the commander. “Navigator, turn us 180 degrees and return to Je’Phiryl.” I’ll make something up for my log later, he thought; I honestly didn’t expect us to live.
“Commander, there is a barely habitable planet in this system!” shouted the sensor tech on the crowded bridge.
“Is it inhabited? Any chance they could detect us?” asked the commander.
“No signs of life, but our sensors are too weak to give us enough information at this distance. The planet orbits the companion star, so unless their sensors are much more advanced then ours, they cannot have detected us.”
“Good, we return to Je’Phiryl, and inform the Fleet of our discovery,” decided the Commander. “No need to go looking for trouble.”

Year 0 Month 2 (Month 2)

“The Council of Clans is now in session.”
The Dragon Clan Leader stood up from his position at the head of the table. “I am pleased to report that each of the Warp Points has led to a new star system. Additionally, three habitable worlds have been found. And one of these worlds has intelligent life.”
“Will they make good slaves?” asked the Cobra Clan Leader, “Our clan would consider it a honor to enslave or eradicate them.”
“No communications have been established. They are technologically primitive and do not yet have any space travel. The Wolf Clan will continue to establish communications. Once communications are established then we will decide what to do with them.”
“Insufferable!” shouted the Cobra Clan Leader. “A planet lies fallow with technological primitives loose on it and you refuse to allow one of the Clans access to develop its resources!
“I demand an immediate vote on awarding that system so a Clan can develop it properly.”
“I second that nomination for a vote on which clan will receive the new system,” said the Shark Clan Leader.
“A vote has been called for, all those in favor?” said the Council Leader.
“The results of the voting show approval for an immediate vote,” said the Council Leader. “Each Clan Leader will vote for the clan that will be charge with developing this system.”
After a quick flurry of hasty alliance building the vote quickly became a contest between the Cobra Clan and the Wolf Clan. At the end of vote the Wolf Clan won development rights to the system by a slim margin.

Year 0 Month 6 (Month 6)

“The last item for your consideration honored Clan Leader, is the lack of communication with the natives in the system we have been awarded,” said Verpon.
“What has gone wrong this time, Verpon?” spoke the Clan Leader.
“Honored Clan Leader, the natives are refusing to continue good faith communication efforts. And they are ignoring our attempts to improve communications. Considering we have been attempting communication for six months, the lack of success seems to be an indication that they are refusing to communicate.”
“I have been following the reports and it seems that we have no choice but send in ground forces to establish a new order, an order friendlier to our people.
“Get me the War Leader,” said the Clan Leader. “We have an invasion to plan.”

Year 0 Month 8 (Month 8)

Five ungainly freighters moved into orbit over their target. The population on the planet was so primitive they could not even detect these massive ships. At the pre-arranged signal, they broke from orbit and dove for the planet’s surface. No evasion action was taken, as there was absolutely nothing on the planet that could harm a starship.

Year 0 Month 8 Day 15 (Month 8)

“What a day to be alive! Right Kunpil? I mean these aliens don’t have anything to harm us. This is just like hunting gnars except that you can eat gnars. Hmm.”
“They are sentients, Hrun. Just because they can't make a drive field or a laser cannon, or even a cup of cha’kila doesn’t mean we should treat them as animals or food.”
“Well, until they stop trying to kill me with their little pop guns, I’ll drill them all just like the pests they are.”
“But we need to keep trying to talk to them, so we can make friends.”
“Make friends with these gnarlings? Are you serious? These people have only one good use and that is as slaves for our empire.
“Any way quit jabbering and let’s move out. We need to secure this sector by local midday. There are supposed to be a group of renegades in these hills. If we get them, there might even be a promotion in it for us.”
The two Je’Phiryl trudged over a primitive stone bridge, without bothering to check for any chemical residue. Right as they got to the center of the bridge, the local band of renegades triggered the explosive charge and it was just like shooting gnars in a barrel.

Year 0 Month 9 (Month 9)

The Wolf Clan War Leader looked over the reports and sighed. Why did it have to come to this? These aliens had to know we were much more advanced then they were.
The loss reports showed that the enemy was not doing any serious damage. Just a few lost troopers here and there. And many of those losses could have been avoided if we would stop underestimating the enemy. In fact many troopers had started to fight without their armor and some even without their laser rifles. Some Je’Phiryl had to learn the hard way that primitive doesn’t mean stupid.
Fortunately, very few civilians have been killed, there may be a way to reach an agreement with these aliens after all the fighting is over. It didn’t help that the aliens looked like a larger version of a small reptile that was considered stupid and an acceptable dinner.

Year 0 Month 9 Day 4 Hour 11:43 (Month 9)

Commander C’klin looked around his small scout ship and was proud. Again we will be the first Je’Phiryl to enter a new system. Over the last nine months six star systems had been discovered along with four habitable planets. The fact that C’klin’s ship had found one of these planets gave him renewed hope that he would be promoted to a warship berth.
“Sensors coming online now, Commander,” said the sensor tech. “It looks like a habitable planet. A real habitable planet, not a miniature like the last one.”
“Lay in a course for the planet, and make sure our shadow is ready,” said the Commander.
Smart idea to have two ships approach all unexplored planets. Accidents happen and it is nice to have some backup.
“Commander, I am picking up some unusual power readings from an area of space ahead of us.”
“Is it a ship?”
“Unknown, but the power levels have risen in the last few time parts.”
“Get our shadow on the line. Tell them something strange is …”

Year 0 Month 9 Day 4 Hour 12:20 (Month 9)

“Sir, Commander C’klin has not reported in,” said the young officer. “His ship has missed the deadline for communication by hundreds of time parts.”
“Did he indicate any problems in his last message?”
“Negative. What do we do?”
“Reverse course. Return to the Savannah system. This is a job for the fleet, not an unarmed scout.”

Year 0 Month 10 Day 2 (Month 10)

“Order! The Council will come to order!” said Dragon Clan Leader.
Silence fell across the chamber as the Clan Leaders followed the orders of their leader.
“Nothing will be accomplished by acting like a pack of wuaht and stampeding at the slightest sound. We have repositioned our fleets so that the Warp Point leading to the new system is heavily defended.”
“At the expense of defending our colonies!” yelled the Tiger Clan Leader.
“Yes, our current deployments have removed the defending fleets from our newest colonies. This situation is only temporary and we will have the defending fleets back before the winter solstice.
“That’s almost three months away! How do you expect the colonies to defend themselves?”
“Honestly, if our race is attacked by another enemy, I don’t expect any of us to live. The current race that attacked did so without even attempting communication from beyond our sensor range. If the galaxy is filled with such hostile beings, we are doomed.”
“Exactly as we foretold!” the Shark Clan Leader gleefully cackled. “Going to the stars by using these warp points has been a disaster. We have gained nothing but grief.
“The first race we contacted, refused to open communications. We had to force them to talk to us, by conquering their world.
“This second race decided to attack us before we even knew they existed, from beyond our sensor range, and without warning. The Dragon Clan has led our race to its death, and we demand a new vote for leadership of the council!”

Year 0 Month 10 Day 3 (Month 10)

“To maintain leadership of the Council we were forced to accept some of the demands of the neutral clans, explained the Dragon Council Leader. “The next habitable planet is going to go to the Otter Clan, and the Eagle Clan has requested one of their War Leaders to be assigned to the assault. Without their help, we would have lost leadership of the Council.”
“Have the Shark Clan and their allies accepted the vote?” asked the Clan War Leader. “They continue to seek personal revenge against us. I fear they might start a Clan War and we cannot afford to deal with them and these new enemies.”
“My agents tell me they are still planning to rebel against the Council, but their time table has changed after they tried to gain control of the Council.
“Are the fleet elements going to be ready to attack before the year ends? It would be a grand symbolism to have attacked and won the war before the anniversary of our first warp transit.”
“I think we can arrange that. The construction complexes have completely restored the Sling class destroyers, Spear class frigates, and the Squire class destroyers to operational status. They will be heading for the enemy next week.”
“Good, but what about new construction?”
“We have some new ships coming out next month and our design department is toying with plans for a ship 50% bigger than the destroyer sized ships. The ships appear to be too slow strategically so we are planning on using commercial engines. It reduces their armor and weapons, but they are just as fast as if we used military engines and they can maintain that speed indefinitely. (Author’s Note: These ships used early rules that are different than the EC rules presented in the peek at the 4th edition. They are not likely to be legal under the real 4th edition rules.)

Year 0 Month 12 (Month 12)

Fleet Commander Tricet looked over his order of battle and cursed again. Bad enough that I have to figure out how I’m supposed to fight a battle through these godforsaken holes in space against an enemy that refused to talk to an unarmed speck of a ship, but now I get orders from the Council that would be death to follow. Although, if I recall my detached units, I should have enough Laser strength to punch through the WP. The Council will have my hide for removing the pickets from the home system, but I will have guaranteed enough strength to enter the system. After all if an enemy attacks they must have the forces to conduct war readily available. Who knows what they have hiding on the other side of the warp point?

Year 0 Month 14 Day 2 (Month 14)

“Admiral M'tengu, the freighter from Ravenhold reports that the picket on that warp point has disappeared.”
M’tengu snapped awake and yelled back at the intercom, “Alert all ships and get this complex battle ready. I’ll be on the bridge in 10 minutes.”
What could have happened, and why didn’t whatever destroyed the picket allow the freighter to escape. And will we be able to stop it from destroying our planet? These thoughts continued to haunt the admiral all the way to the bridge.
The first thing to do was to check the other pickets. This took hours and waiting on pins and needles did not make the time pass any quicker. After the pairs of ship reached the other two warp points in this system and returned, Admiral M’tengu was even more perplexed.
“All the pickets are gone? But that means the enemy was able to attack three widely separated points of space.”
“Perhaps they mean to blockade us and destroy our colonies first,” said one of the sensor operators.
“Ridiculous. Otherwise they would have never let that freighter through,” said the engineering officer.
The chirp of the communications array interrupted the bridge commander as he was about to remind the crew to do their job and leave the worrying to the Admiral.
“Admiral, Commander? I have a message from Admiral Tricet that was sent on a delay,” said the communications officer.
“I’ll take it in my office,” said M’tengu as he strode toward the bridge exit.
After about ten time parts, Admiral M’tengu came back into the bridge with a strange smile on his face. “All ships stand down, I know what happened. We are in no danger.” And strolled out of the bridge with a wry look on his face. Now, how am I going to get Tricet back for his little joke?

Year 0 Month 14 Day 22 (Month 14)

Fleet Commander Tricet had more problems than worrying about what Admiral M’tengu was going to pull on him for taking the home system warp point pickets with him to the Savannah system. As the first Je’Phiryl to command a fight through a warp point, he was unsure of just how many ships to commit. If he committed too few, he might not be able to defeat the enemy. But if he committed too many ships and lost, he would be vulnerable to counter attack.
The Council had decided to fall on the commit too few side of the equation. They wanted to ensure the Savannah system did not fall to the enemy. Even if this system had nothing of value or importance. Tricet decided to alter the order of battle to ensure that he had enough ships to destroy the enemy on the other side. He would just have to fall back to Wolfhold if he couldn’t win this first battle.
At last the time came for the attack and five Squire class destroyers, a Flare class corvette and a lowly Torch class escort dove at the warp point intent on killing whatever was on the other side.
The enemy did not disappoint them. They had stationed 15 corvette class ships on the warp point and 4 destroyers and 2 light cruisers from 1 to 2 Light Seconds from the warp point to defend there side of the warp point from the Je’Phiryl invaders.
Rather than leave the warp point, the laser-armed ships stay right there and fire into the waiting enemy corvettes. Three corvettes are instantly destroyed as the Je’Phiryl lasers burn through the hull and strike vital systems. One corvette is struck, but manages to limp away from the invaders.
One lone enemy destroyer is able to fire at the destroyer Worthy, first ship through the warp point. However, the shots go wild as crews were unable to compensate for the short time the Worthy had been in the system.
The enemy corvettes accelerate away from the certain death on the warp point. The five Squire destroyers turn and follow as best they can but they are a bit slower than their prey. The enemy destroyers and light cruisers turn away from the attack and prepare to open the range. Eight new ships emerge from the warp point, four missile destroyers, two corvettes, and two escorts.
One of the enemy corvettes fires a type of particle energy at a second destroyer, Faith. The Faith’s shields go down as the charge of particles short out circuits all over the ship. An enemy destroyer targets two Je’Phiryl destroyers. The missile destroyer Calabar receives damage on the armor from the laser assault but shrugs it off, and destroyer Hope is targeted with a large missile that seems to convert to some kind of plasma energy just before it impacts the ship and the shields go down and armor buckles.
The Je’Phiryl return fire and two more corvettes join the glowing wreckage of their fellows as lasers strafe over them. With no more corvettes in range, the laser destroyers target an enemy destroyer that got too close for its own good. The ship is slowed and streaming atmosphere. The newly transited missile ships open fire on another enemy destroyer and a cloud of debris and expelled gasses trail the ship like a death shroud.
Eleven more Je’Phiryl ships exit the warp point, the LeaderOne, command destroyer with Admiral Tricet, one missile corvette and nine missile-armed escorts. Five enemy corvettes turn into the blind spot of the just transited ships, but other ships turn to cover them. The laser-armed ships strike out after the running enemy corvettes and the Je’Phiryl missile ships follow behind.
One of the enemy light cruisers targets the escort Carra and it is left crippled from three laser strikes, the light cruiser also hits the destroyer Hope with another plasma missile. The Carra takes more damage from enemy corvettes and becomes a drifting hulk. The laser corvette Hermes is targeted by fleeing enemy corvettes and severely damaged.
The destruction of these ships pales beside the destruction unleashed by the Je’Phiryl. Lasers strike three more corvettes and they are vaporized. One enemy corvette loses its last engine and the drive field goes down. Missiles strike an enemy destroyer and it slowly breaks apart.
Two minutes after the battle started six more Je’Phiryl ships enter the battle. The enemy now knows that they will die and this causes them to focus on the remaining damaged ships. The missile destroyer Abaya takes laser damage, and the corvettes fire their unknown particle weapon at the Hermes, killing it. And the destroyer Calabar continues to be pounded by plasma missiles.
The Je’Phiryl get their revenge as they maneuver towards the remaining corvettes. Three more enemy corvettes are targeted by lasers and turned into glowing wreckage. Missiles strike at the enemy destroyers, destroying one and crippling another. One more corvette loses its last engine and its drive field.
The last of the Je’Phiryl ships transit and the laser ships have finally caught up to the enemy corvettes. The enemy destroyers and light cruisers have rendezvous with each other but they are facing different directions and will be unable to support each other well. The Je’Phiryl missile destroyers and escorts are lined up to chase the heavier ships back to their home planet.
The enemy corvettes target the destroyer Hope and their particle weapons leave little behind. One of the corvettes strikes the Je’Phiryl corvette Ares and 3 engines are destroyed. But this was the last gasp of a dying fleet.
Je’Phiryl return fire destroys all but the two enemy light cruisers. In just seconds, four corvettes and three destroyers explode right after each other clearing the space around the warp point.
After that brilliant explosion dies down, both enemy light cruisers shut down their drives and open airlocks allowing themselves to be boarded and captured. The battle has been won at the cost of one destroyer and two corvettes and some damage to two destroyers and one corvette. The enemy lost 15 corvettes and four destroyers in less than three minutes of heavy fighting.

Year 1 Month 1 (Month 15)

Captain Quon of the Freighter Ompint (regular service between Ravenhold-Tigerhold and the homeworld) passed the time as he traveled the space between the warp point and the homeworld. At least there was a picket there this time, by god. Freight runs are supposed to be safe and boring. All I want to do is move stuff from one place to another and listen to the latest ball scores. At least in the home system you get decent radio broadcasts. The colonies still have a lot to do before they get all the comforts of home.
“We interrupt our regular broadcast feed to bring you the most recent declaration by the Clan Council.”
“The Council has voted to censure Fleet Commander Tricet for ordering the ships that had been detached from the Dragon Fleet to abandon their posts and join the warp point attack. The fleet commander also violated orders and transited more ships than the Council approved in the course of the attack. While his successes in the field mitigate his actions, he will be given less discretion in future war plans. The Council has spoken.
“The newly conquered alien planet will be the responsibility of the Bear Clan and they expect to have the traitorous cowardly aliens under the rule of the Council before the summer solstice.
“And now for latest news from the sporting fields. . .”
Good, perhaps next time the fleet will think twice before pulling pickets out and scaring us poor freighter captains.

Year 1 Month 2 (Month 16)

“Yes, Clan Leader?” asked the aide to the Dragon Clan Leader.
“What is the status report on the conquest of the traitorous alien planet?” asked the Dragon Clan Leader.
“Bear Clan reports that the initial resistance was very light but without being able to speak or read their language cooperation is still going to be a problem. After their base stations were destroyed, some of the more radical groups damaged the orbital constructions facilities, but we expect to have that converted to our use very shortly.”
“Our research scientists seemed excited about some captured technology.
What technology did we capture?”
“Well there are two main items that we were able to capture intact. The first was the plasma missile or torpedo. Basically it is a large missile that converts to plasma when it gets close to the ship. The scientists believe that our anti-missile technology should be able to disrupt the field containment, but until we conduct tests we have no hard data. The second item was advanced sensors. This was the most critical technology as it allowed the enemy to detect us at 45 light seconds, six times further than our standard sensor package.
“We also think there was a type of particle weapon, but none of the ships armed with that weapon survived the battle. The Bear Clan’s ground troops have attempted to take as many research centers as possible, but the enemy has destroyed the records at many of them.”
“Thank you for the update, you may go,” said the Dragon Clan Leader. Well we survived this crisis. Now I have try to plan for the next one.

Year 1 Month 3 (Month 18)

“We have a problem, Dragon Leader,” said the Bear Clan Leader.
“Just one, that would be a novel experience,” replied the Dragon Clan Leader.
“This is not a joking matter. The survey data for all the systems have been processed and we have no new warp points to explore,” explained the Bear Clan Leader.
“I suspected as much, I had hoped that the newly conquered race would provide some additional warp points, but the only one turned out to lead to yet another race. And since they are the first peaceful race with starships we have encountered, I am loath to attack them just yet.”
“Well if you don’t do something our carefully arranged alliance will fall apart. Because it depends on our fleets finding enough planets to pay off the favors we owe to the other clans.”
“We still have some hope, there is a research team working on a system to detect the type of concealed warp points we found in Ravenhold.”
“The matter may not wait, the Shark Clan is organizing again.”
“I’ve got people watching the Shark Clan, they are having trouble paying off their debt this year. Their yintol harvest was damaged by frost this year. Of course they are blaming us for not maintaining the weather sats, but it was completely unpredictable.”
“Very clever, how did you manage it?”
“Sometimes you just get lucky, our clan had nothing to do with it.”

Year 1 Month 4 (Month 19)

The Council has announced today that a new class of survey ships is being built, with a new type of technology that will allow them to detect more warp points than before. The old ships have been sold as scrap although some components could be incorporated into the new hulls.
Also announced was that every explored system now contains at least one permanent outpost.

Year 1 Month 8 (Month 23)

“It’s hard to decide if I should be relieved or disappointed that we haven’t found many new systems,” said the Bear Clan Leader.
“Definitely disappointed. The Otter Clan is growing restless for a planet of their own,” said the Dragon Clan Leader.
“At least our negotiation team was able to communicate with the Plutoinans. We’ll have to keep them out of Bearhold until we consolidate, but we should be able to reach a trade agreement without any problems.”
“Have you reviewed the plans for the new orbital construction yards in Tigerhold and Ravenhold?”
“I didn’t see a reason to. You know I object to giving colonies too much power. If those colonies fall under the dominion of the Shark Clan, we could have a Clan War in space.”
“We need to ensure that our people on other planets have enough to survive if the homeworld is attacked. Building construction complexes is the best way to build bases to protect our colonies.
“By the way how is the Eagle Clan Admiral doing in Bearhold? Notosh is his name right?”
“He seems to be performing adequately. He has a few strange ideas, but nothing bad so far. I plan on placing him in charge of the garrison fleet once we have finished our conquest.”

Year 1 Month 10 (Month 25)

Excerpt from a message to the people of Bearhold on the eve of their capitulation to the Je’Phiryl forces.
We are not vindictive. Our unarmed ship was brutally ambushed by your fleet and we have taken our due. Your people will not be allowed to endanger any other life forms until you have shown that you are ready to put aside your violent ways. We will share the fruits of our technology with you and we expect that your scientists will cooperate to integrate your technologies into the Je’Phiryl Confederation. We of the Bear Clan, reward loyal service. If you assist us in integrating this world into our empire, you may find yourself with a clan of your own or even inducted into one of the current clans. However if you oppose us, you will punished based on the laws of our people.

Year 1 Month 11 (Month 26)

“I don’t see a report from Admiral Notosh,” said Bear War Leader.
“He didn’t send one. His executive officer said it would arrive later, Admiral,” said the duty officer.
“I wonder if the data on this one will be as faulty as the first.”
“It is likely. I have a cousin stationed on the Gabes in the Guard Fleet and he says that moral and performance have fallen at least two grades.”
“I’ve never thought the Eagle Clan were particularly bad warriors, but this Notosh is determined to set a new record for poor performance.”
“I’ve heard rumors that he was sent to the Bear Fleet because the Eagle Clan knew that he was so bad. They want us to fail, or to have such poor ships that the aliens revolt and capture the ships.”
“The truth is that the Eagle Clan didn’t actually know how bad Notosh was. He is academy trained, but apparently he didn’t learn much. The Council cannot replace him because the Eagle Clan has too much prestige riding on his promotion. Until the Eagle Clan gets their own colony, the Council can’t risk making the Eagle Clan look bad.”

Year 1 Month 14 (Month 28)

“We have disturbing news to bring to the Council. The Plutoinans appear to be engaged in a war with another empire. This empire has defeated one of their fleets and the Plutoinans are requesting our assistance and have offered a military alliance.”
“The Shark Clan objects most strenuously to this proposed alliance. We would be vulnerable to attack by yet another hostile race.”
“We of the Otter Clan, second that objection. If we prepare for war, our system surveying will be curtailed and we must find more planets.”
“The Bear Clan wishes to be heard,” said the Bear Clan Leader.
“You may speak. All remain silent until the Bear Clan completes their say,” said the Dragon Clan Leader.
“Our teams have studied the data from the Plutoinans. They are much more advanced technologically than we are. Their ships are higher quality and better prepared for war. We have the opportunity of learning from them, covertly or openly. We could pay for assistance on some of their technology. Their largest ship is almost twice the size of our largest. We need only send a few of our ships and our obligation would be fulfilled.”
Debate on the virtues and dangers of the military alliance raged on, but eventually enough votes were gained to pass the resolution and a message accepting the offer of a military alliance was sent to the government of the Plutoinans.
Plans were made to restore seven light cruisers to operation and send them to the Plutoinans home system for its defense. The commander of this fleet was to be Admiral Notosh.

Year 2 Month 4 (Month 32)

Additional warp points have been found in Sapphire and Ravenhold. These systems have been the focus of the survey fleets in recent weeks. The Sapphire system had two links. One leading to a Red Dwarf system with little usable planets and a Yellow star system with yet another high tech empire, but at least this one seemed more like the Plutoinans and willing to talk.
The Ravenhold links appeared to be nothing valuable, a system with useless airless worlds and asteroids and a Binary Blue Giant system. When a new warp point was found in Bearhold, there was much anticipation over this one. Surely the Je’Phiryl were going to find a paradise. When in fact, this warp point lead to just another hostile star empire.
Much like the first high tech race the Je’Phiryl encountered, they shot before talking, although the probing ship at least got to see the enemy this time. The fleet begins the preparations to conquer yet another upstart traitorous race.

More to come.
--
Jeffrey Kessler
PracticalM
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