Sierra Two Two: Chapter 3 [Updated: 19 JUL 2010]

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Sierra Two Two: Chapter 3 [Updated: 19 JUL 2010]

Postby Cralis on Sun 17 Jan 2010 06:39

21 AUG 2086 ~1000 (local): Ambassador’s Quarters, SUN Pendleton

Ambassador Kusari was furious. He couldn’t send a communiqué because the survey and intelligence analysis teams were uploading data to courier drones, and with the Intelligence weenie taking sides with the Captain he couldn’t trust the couple guys he knew in the intel group to help him.

This was the very reason I argued to the sub-committee that an ambassador needs to command diplomatic missions. I’m practically a prisoner until I can send a courier drone back to Epsilon Eridani Command. He continued to pace around the conference room waiting for Lieutenant Commander Andrey to inform him, as instructed, that communications was available for him to use.

Jun Kusari wasn’t used to this kind of treatment. His family was held in high honor on Earth, being a generations old family of Senators and Cabinet members. Original from Old Japan, his family had spent many decades dedicating their lives and efforts towards the establishment of the world government. It was an accident that caused him to be disgraced and sent spiraling out into space for this mission. It was an important mission, however, and it could restore his honor to his family and restore his goal to someday become a Senator like his grandfather. But for that to happen he had to make certain things go according to his plan.

21 AUG 2086 ~1030 (local): Briefing Room 4, SUN Pendleton

Captain Harding was also very busy. He knew it was a dangerous game he was playing. Without permission or any conference with command, he unilaterally took over the diplomatic mission and subverted the Ambassador’s diplomatic efforts. He knew he was going to take hell for it, but he also knew that the Ambassador was going to get the Soffran exterminated. The problem he had was that he didn’t have a solid plan. Being a negotiator was not something he had been trained in or had experience.

But he knew that he would personally feel responsible if he did not give the Soffran a chance to avoid the catastrophe that was heading towards them. Perhaps if he laid it all out on the table they would compromise for the sake of survival and come to an agreement that the TSU could stand behind. He had Lt. Commander Andrey’s and her team updating SUN Survey Command, and if his actions blew up in his face at least the Solar Union would have the most current information with which to make decisions.

Captain Harding, Colonel Eir, Lt. Commander Andrey, Major Nessur, and a several other personnel were in a converted briefing room that was to be used for negotiations among the Soffran Preco. There were four sailors posted as security around the corners of the room, armed with stunners and body armor. Most of the human delegation followed Captain Harding’s example and sat rigid and stone-faced, waiting for the first Soffran to arrive. Lt. Commander Andrey was discussing some details with a Petty Officer from intel, both of them hovering over a datapad. All discussion ended and eyes turned as Precin Sonarus was brought in. She was silent and almost pleasant, while being led by one of her escorting guards to a chair across from Colonel Eir. Silent, at least, until Precent Keelus was brought in.

“What is he doing here? I demand an answer!” Precin Sonarus screeched as she leapt to her feet.

The guard who brought her into the room was standing behind her and kept her from leaving her chair. She continued to demand answers as Precent Keelus was taken to his chair. Precent Keelus was muttering something imperceptible to the rest of the delegation and glared at Precin Sonarus. Moments later Precent He’lason came in through the hatchway and he stopped in his tracks.

“What is this?” he demanded, refusing to move from the space just in front of the hatch. This was truly a feat considering he had both arm and leg shackles.

Now both of the other Preco were on their feet being restrained by their escorts. After a few moments of waiting for the translation, Captain Harding understood the confusion. “Precent He’lason, if you would give us a few minutes of your time, I think you may find it worthwhile. Certainly you don’t have any pressing plans at the moment?”

“I have nation to run, unless you are killing my people” Precin Sonarus shouted. “You Solars have no right to interfere with my gover…”

“Silence Le’loia.” Everyone glared at Lercana Murchan, who was entering through the other corridor hatch. The whole room fell silent, leaving Captain Harding’s delegation confused about what just happened.

“I…” stammered Sonarus.

“Sit down Vero. All you.”

Lercana Murchan walked over to a seat across from Captain Harding, seemingly oblivious to the sailor escorting him. He sat down before the Preco noticed he was not wearing any shackles. Sonarus, Keelus, and He’lason all continued glaring at the Lercana, leaving Captain Harding to wonder what was happening.

The Lercana broke him out of his confusion. “I think you own all of this.”

Captain Harding sat a little uneasy at the prospect of owning the SUN Pendleton. Lieutenant Commander Andrey had briefed him on her interrogation with the Lercana, who felt he was the true monarch over the planet. It was this reason, and a promise of cooperation by the Lercana, that was the reason Captain Harding gave the order to give him quarters and not keep him shackled in the brig.

The Lercana acted like a monarch. Despite the war between the other three nations, after previous incidents where Muurtan had defeated attackers and taken the entire archipelago region of the planet, the other nations left Muurtan alone. Captain Harding could not decide if this was some form of respect or something else. He glanced at Colonel Eir, who very slightly nodded affirmatively.

“I,” he started, “I command this fleet. Yes.”

“But you do not own it? Are you merely a warrior?” The Lercana slightly tilted his head back and forth while asking the questions.

Very perceptive, Harding thought. He was not going to have to choose his words carefully. Ambassador Kusari would be angry if he heard this. He is the assigned representative of the Solar Union. “I am more than a warrior, I am a representative of our leader. Everything you see here is my responsibility, mine to do with as I please, at least until I return to account for my command.”

Murchan nodded. “I see. You are Preco.”

“And I refuse to let pompous iirchi conduct negotiations for the world he does not truly own!” Precin Sonarus had stood to interrupt the Lercana, and in response the other two leaped to their feet. This time both added their voices to the rising noise level.

“Josalan will not be forgotten either…”

“You all pay for this…”

“SILENCE kurkina!” Lercana Murchan pounded his fists simultaneously with his outburst, his long arms allowing him to hit the table at both ends. Once again the Preco stopped and gaped, almost as if they didn’t believe what he just said. Every member of the delegation was confused. Captain Harding looked left to Colonel Eir, who seemed to be intently concentrating on the reactions of the Preco. Lt Commander Andrey was next to him looking up over everyone’s heads. Looking right he could see that Major Nessur was staring right at Precent He’lason, almost as if he wasn’t paying attention to what was going on.

Without missing a beat, Lercana Murchan slowly stood, turning to face each of the Preco, and continued. “The Lercana have for generations planned this day. Having known this day would come. A mere ye’en of time passed after your capture before the monarchy was rightfully asserted across Soffra.”

Sonarus slowly sat, muttering in a low tone and shaking her head. Precent He’lason leaned forward and bowed his head, whispering some sort of chant. Precent Keelus had the look of popped balloon, the color draining from his face, and his head jerked several times before he quietly murmured the same word. “Kurkina…”

Captain Harding looked at Colonel Eir with a questioning look. Colonel Eir shook his head no. He seemed a little surprised. Lieutenant Commander Andrey was obviously shocked and confused, and almost missed Captain Harding’s questioning nod. She also shook her head no and mouthed “I have no idea.”

Lercanan Murchan sat down and leaned forward. He was again calm and in control. “You see Captain, my ancestors are the rightful heirs to the throne of Soffora. These were once my brothers and sisters, but their ancestor’s betrayal of the people and the following betrayal of the throne could not be permitted. But since they have been removed, my heir should have quickly seized the throne and seized each of the wayward territories through plants we have had in place for generations. They were once family, became enemies, and now outcasts.”

“Soffora. Is that your planet’s real name?” asked Captain Harding.

“No Captain, the planet is named after our historical empire, Soffora.”

Captain Harding suddenly realized what had happened, and realized that his actions had made it possible. Colonel Eir had obviously realized the same for a small smile crept over the right side of his lips, and he turned away to look at the bulkhead. Captain Harding had to think fast. Do I accept this and recognize his government as I am sure he will expect? I don’t dare try and fight for the other Preco and demand to put them back in power, for the war will continue. That would probably be Kusari’s position because it preserves the status quo and we didn’t want to change these people that much. Perhaps, however, this is the break we need to keep these people alive.

“Captain?” the Lercana asked again.

Captain Harding looked back, directly into the Lercana’s eyes. “Yes, I am Preco. I speak for the Solar Union and I command this delegation.”

“Very good.” Lercana Murchan looked pleased.

Colonel Eir leaned over and quietly whispered into Captain Harding’s ear. “Captain, perhaps we should negotiate with the Lercana and find out if this has actually transpired. They may believe he is dead and he may not be able to help us.”

“You have nothing to worry. My son will accept me back. Perhaps not to the throne, but I can be of use here. I am already old, and kurkina is near.”

“Very well,” said Harding, “Colonel, escort Lercana Murchan to his guest quarters. Lieutenant Commander, fetch Ambassador Kusari to my cabin immediately. If you agree Lercana, we will have an Earth delicacy for a short dinner and then we will continue our negotiations.”

Lercana Murchan seemed to wait a moment, perhaps for the translator to catch up with Captain Harding’s suddenly quickened speech.

“It is agreed.”

Captain Harding rose, followed by his delegation, and motioned for Colonel Eir to take the Lercana out. Lieutenant Commander Andrey and the intelligence personnel were first out of the door, and then Lercana Murchan followed Colonel Eir. The Colonel selected a few sailors outside of the door on security to help escort the Lercana. Before Captain Harding left, the Preco were escorted out.

Captain Harding realized that Major Nessur had already left, but he had not seen him leave. It then occurred to him that Major Nessur had not said a word or moved during the entire meeting. He had concentrated on something the entire time. I need to ask him what he saw. Needing to get to his cabin and prepare for a meeting with Ambassador Kusari, he started to leave and found Gunny Morris standing outside the hatch with the security detail.

“Gunny?”

“Yes sir?”

“I need to inform Major Nessur to prepare a team to take the Lercana back to the planet. I was going to comm him, but I’m going to ask you to take care of it for me.”

Captain Harding glanced back into the room. After a moment he said “Gunny, has the Major ever been quiet and non-participatory in meetings before?”

Gunnery Sergeant Morris’s eyes narrowed slightly and he subconsciously rubbed the fore grip of his carbine.
“No sir, I don’t think I’ve seen the Major quiet before. He is a thinker, but he readily offers his opinion. You need to ask him what is wrong, not me.”

Continue to Chapter 4
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Cralis
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