A Goa'uld Miracle

Discussion in 'Finished Timelines and Scenarios' started by skarosianlifeform, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Human Yet Alien

    21st July 2245 - Geneva

    Geneva had, seemingly, always been a beehive of activity, at least since the 20th century. After all, the city became the host of numerous international institutions thanks to the neutrality of Switzerland, until it became the seat of the Earth Alliance.

    But today, there were more reporters than usual besieging Earthgov. Many more. After all, news just got out that a trigger-happy captain caused an interstellar incident with a mysterious and almost unknown race.

    There were a lot of rumors, saying that the man had become captain thanks to pulling favors or being the stepson of an influential senator, and had already been involved in a similar incident with the Dilgar. Before the Dilgar War, when Earth was still (trying to be) neutral.

    The history books, later, would confirm that Michael Jankowski was guilty on all these counts, and that the first time, Earthforce turned a blind eye because they needed as much trained officers as possible, fast, to fight the Dilgar War. And then, he revealed himself brillant on frontlines against the Kitties. That, and his wife being the daughter of the Senator Brogan, protected him from any sanction.

    But this time, nobody would forget, and Jankowski would be demonized by generations of humans, Minbari and their neighbors alike.

    On the EarthDome plaza, everyone interrupted their activities, to watch the newsflash from Vega. There was a video showing pillars of fire coming from the sky, cries of panicked people, and then, the video was abruptly cut.

    Everyone also remembered very fast that the fleet led by Jankowski had come from... Vega. It was at this moment every human from Earth Alliance realized how screwed they were.

    Three days later

    Deep underground, in the basement of the Earth Intelligence Agency headquarters, two people, human yet alien, were detained. A man, and a woman.

    The man wore a leather jacked and had long black air. He also had a regal air. He clearly was used to be obeyed and served in every of his whims, but if you looked enough, you could see the gears turning in his head, seeking a solution to survive this. After all, Seth had managed to remain under the radar of humans and System Lords alike, since that day Ra put a bounty on his head, it was not to end up stupidly killed by some spies. Seth was a survivor.

    In the next cell, the woman also had a regal air, but her body language and her smile were those of a seductress. And her beauty was rather stunning, indeed. Or rather, the beauty of her host. Hathor was wearing the body of Andromeda, the princess that gave her name to a constellation and a galaxy, since Andromeda's mother, the Queen of Bithynia, defied the goddess of love.

    In the same city, above, Elizabeth Levy had been taking a sleep, under the orders of her Secret Service bodyguard, Anna, who realized she was simply falling.

    She was trying to be everywhere, coordinating the Hypnos Project activation and the start of R&D war projects, coordinating the defence and evacuation efforts against the Minbari, trying to talk the League of Non-Aligned Worlds and the Centauri Republic into sending help, trying to get a diplomatic line to the Minbari (through the Abbai, the Hyach and every other available race). All of this, while managing the shift to total war economy and having to talk to hordes of politicians and businesspeople.

    Emeregency or not, she still had to sleep at least a little, like everyone. She was not an android.

    It was Anna that put President Levy to sleep. And despite all the bad dreams, she did sleep. It was also Anna that woke her up, because Henri Moreau, the director of the EIA, was calling.

    Levy wasn't thrilled to be woken up only to hear silly stories about ancient gods and pyramids in Egypt.

    She was, however, thrilled when he told her that the two wannabe gods were actually snakes living in human bodies (who probably did that for millenia, managing somehow to stay under the radar), and that they had a "Sarcophagus" able to resurrect or rejuvenate people, personal shields and blast emitters, transportation rings, weird electric guns able to stun or disintegrate people, another device that instantly made people into incubators for baby snakes, an unknown gas used to brainwash people into obey them, AND that all those gizmos worked (again, apparently for centuries at least) without any known powersource and were made in unknown metals.

    Not only that, but the two gods had tried to sneak into a secret base where the Earth Force stored hardware of unknown functions and origins. After all, the military tended to find a lot of ancient (or not so ancient, sometimes) junk, which could reveal itself useful someday. Like, today.

    The object was a ring with engraved constellations on it, made in the same metal as the electric guns. It had been found floating in space near Omelos, by the EAS Sun Yat-Sen in 2231.

    The ring was (according to the two Goa'uld) a portal allowing people to go to another world, through a wormhole. It was supposed to work with a pedestal, acting like a dialing computer, and also serving as a power source. But... there was no pedestal.

    Levy was so interested that she wanted to come herself to talk to the two aliens, but the Secret Service refused, no important people would be allowed near them, they clearly were able to brainwash humans, and could have explosive or other dangerous devices on them.
     
  2. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Gods and Spies

    Mark Stevens was a young agent of the EIA. When he entered the interrogation room (clad in a NRBC suit, because of the risk of brainwashing, of course), Seth raised an eyebrow, wondering why they would send the young one to interrogate him. Both hands, and both feet of Seth were cuffed to his seat, almost preventing him to move.

    Stevens started, looking nervously at his folders. "Mr Seth, we're here to offer you a deal." Seth decided to push his luck. "Easy, I want my servants back, including the eunuchs and nubile girls. I want a palace. And maybe I'll make a miracle for you. After all, I'm a god, and you need a miracle, right ?". Seth started to laugh at his own line.

    The seemingly affable agent sighed. Instead of replying, he opened a small box and took out a syringe, which he planted in Seth's arm. Seth suddenly felt like his body was on fire. Out of Goa'uld pride, he tried to not scream for a microsecond, and then screamed for a long minute.

    Seth was no stranger to torture, both on giving and receiving hand. He had been an Ash'rak, who risen to underlord and then System Lord, all this years ago, and finally he narrowly escaped death at Ra's hands. But it had happened more than five thousand years ago.

    "Wrong answer, snake. So, now, you can decide to cooperate, and we'll be nice. And please, drop the god act, it's amusing at first but it will get old fast." Stevens paused. "OR, you can be stubborn, and we'll torture you for long hours. If we end up killing you, we will resurrect you in the Sarcophagus of your good-looking friend, over there". Stevens motioned to the next cell, by a small nod.

    "And, if you two, mighty gods, don't help us enough, you'll be stuck on Earth until the Minbari come. And until then, we will have tortured you night and day. Maybe your godness will protect you when they glass Earth ? Rhetorical question, we both know it's not the case. Otherwise, you wouldn't have suddenly decided to flee after hearing the last news, right ?".

    Seth had, wrongly, assumed that the humans sent a young agent to coax him, by being nice to him. Except young as he was, he also had more than enough steel. He simply used his appaearance to make people overconfident.

    Most Goa'uld would have resisted out of pride, not wanting to capitulate to mere humans. Seth was different. He never considered humans essentially inferior (which was a reason why he disagreed with Ra and betrayed him). Moreover, he put his survival and physical well-being above his pride. So, when the god pretence didn't work, he dropped it and changed his negociation tactic.
    "What can you offer me, humans ? ".
    "Life, for now. We won't kill you for good, you're too valuable, and we can maybe save you from the Minbari. If you help us pull a miracle, maybe we'll survive and you too. If you are a nice boy, maybe some rewards.
    Of course, this part depends on the quality of your work. And Hathor's work. Don't forget that if one of you try to stall or is not totally forthcoming, we'll only have to talk to the other to see it. Of course, you won't be in contact with her anymore.
    "
    "Well, what do you want ? ".
    "For starters, who are you ? ".
     
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  3. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    The Tau'ri rebellion

    In the next cell, Agent Lyudmila Tcherina was having an interesting day with Hathor. The goddess had just explained the history of the Goa'uld Empire, from the waters of their ancestral planet and the Unas era, to the point where Ra left Earth.

    Lyudmila asked. "So, this "Tau'ri rebellion" alone was able to force out the Goa'uld ? How did the rebels communicate and coordinate between, let's say, Athens and Lagos, without any radio ? Also, why didn't your Jaffa simply put them down with their ma'tok staffs ? ".

    Hathor smiled. "You see, the Tau'ri Rebellion was not really Tau'ri to begin with." Hathor started her story.

    "It's a long story. But basically, a few years before the Rebellion, a Goa'uld underlord, Belus, had tried to conquer Oannes, a planet inhabited by an amphibian humanoid race. The Ohnes didn't have hyperdrive -yet. But they had weapons powerful enough to fight off the assault. As usual in such cases, the System Lords sent a common fleet to crush those upstarts, but the Ohnes' orbital defence grid and their in-system fleet stopped our fleet, again. In retaliation, the Ohnes started to send freedom fighters through the Empire, where they assassinated small lords and administrators, sabotaged mines, refineries, hangars and shipyards, and spread the idea of rebellion through our subjects, of all species."

    "I believed the Goa'uld only ruled on human slaves, and Jaffa of course ? ".
    "No, there are also the Unas. Sure, there are not much of them now, and but in my era at least, some Goa'uld still used them. There are also the Sekhmet, who are humanoid but slightly cat-like. They are mostly used by Bastet, she was the one to discover their planet in the first place. And there are the Ilempri, a race which looks human but isn't. Strangely enough, they were discovered on a planet near Earth. That said, we mostly used the Ilempri as... special forces, as you would say, and the Sekhmet as shock troopers. We mostly preferred the humans, who we could use as, well... everything."

    Tcherina had her suspiscions about who were the Sekhmet and the Ilempri now. She used her pad, to show the image of a Dilgar to Hathor.
    "And they are the Sekhmet, right ? ".
    Hathor nodded. It was logical. The gate had been found near Omelos, and the Dilgar had a mythology (known to Earth scholars through the war prisoners) that showed Goa'uld-like gods roaming Omelos in the long past. They even named their ace ships Sekhmet.
    So, there were still Dilgar in the galaxy. No, Tcherina corrected herself, there were Sekhmet. They had nothing to do with their twisted cousins.

    "So, the Ohnes started to spread rebellion, and ? ".
    "And they sent Omoroca, their best agent, to Earth. At that time, the Ohnes had just developed hyperdrive, and they sent submarine ships to Earth. Some of their ships were conceived to both go in space and remain in the oceans for centuries if needed, even unshielded, and if deep enough, to hide themselves to our sensors. So, there could be Ohnes arriving at any moment, especially on coasts. For decades, Ohnes submarine ships were constantly sent to Earth. We destroyed most of them in orbit or atmosphere, but there were still a lot that passed through.

    A few years later, they also started to send bombers, similar to our Al'keshes, but with hyperdrive. Those Al'keshes, however, used a particle cannon instead of plasma charges, which allowed them to bomb Goa'uld infrastructure from orbit. So, every week, we lost Jaffa armies, training camps, dockyards and even palaces to either orbital bombings or Ohnes commando attacks, everywhere on the planets. More and more humans, with Ohnes-supplied weapons or with ma'tok staffs (stolen from dead Jaffa), started a rebellion. The Ohnes helped them to coordinate worldwide.

    A small Goa'uld, Ishkur, managed to get Omoroca thanks to his elite force, the Sodan. But of course, he wanted to gloat to the System Lords and to his subjects. He showed Omoroca off as a trophy, and so, she had time to convince the talk with Ishkur's prima and his subordinates, who already doubted our divinity. So, the day Omoroca was to be excuted, in public, his Sodan warriors suddently turned on Ishkur and executed him instead.
    Bad luck continued, for just at that time, the Alterans -or Ancients- decided to come back from Atlantis.
    "

    "But Atlantis is... ".
    "A myth ? Yes, just like me and Seth, right ? ". This time, Hathor had a know-it all smile. "And no, I don't know where is Atlantis. In fact, all we knew, at the time, was that the Ancients were the mysterious race that had created the stargate network, and left ruins everywhere in the galaxy. We developed our technology by copying what we found of theirs. But we thought they were dead or had totally left. In fact, they had moved to another galaxy, we never knew why.
    And then, 5,000 years ago, they decided to go back to Earth. Of course, Ra panicked, even if he tried to not show it.
    "
    Hathor laughed. It was always good to mock this old prick. She was remembering that day when all the System Lords reunited, and Ra told them that the Ancients had sent delegates to Earth.

    "Ra decided to meet himself the Ancient delegates, and to tell them that he was, basically, the King of Earth. He passed himself as human, or he tried at least. We were all scared that they would discover the truth. That were were not the legitimate sovereigns of mankind but alien occupiers. ".
    "Why would be the Ancients so upset about this ? They were fervently anti-slavery ? ". At this question, Hathor realized she forgot a detail.
    "No, my dear. The Ancients were human. Or rather, they were the "first" humanity, and they created you in their image. You are their children."

    Lyudmila was shocked. She thought for a few seconds of how Darwin and the Bible would probably be proven both wrong, but focused herself.
    "Tell me more."
    "Even we, the Goa'uld, ignored this, until this day when their delegates arrived. Ra tried to stall them and milk them for intelligence, and they pretended to believe our story. Their diplomats could have been poker champions, they really seemed to believe us. However, Ra still prepared for the worst, just in case, and so did I.

    I went back to my palace in Mayan lands, to prepare to evacuate my Jaffa and slaves to my secret planet, if necessary.
    But we had no time. Only one day after the Ancient delegation met Ra, our gate in Giza was shut off remotely, and we detected a gate activation in Antarctica (we hadn't known there was a gate there). Ra sent a squadron of Tel'tak to scout this new gate, which remained open. But strangely, we saw nothing passing through. Which was even more disturbing.

    And then, all of our Cheops (there were 300) guarding Earth were destroyed at once. We never knew what happened exactly, but we immediately suspected the Ancients were attacking us.

    The next day, squid-shaped plasma... "missiles" appeared out of thin air and destroyed all our ground infrastructures. In a few hours, most of the Goa'uld underlords had been killed with their personal guard, while hangars, shipyards, training camps, factories, ground-to-space defences and orbital satellites were destroyed. We then understood that the Ancients had invisible ships, small enough to fit in a gate.

    Taking advantage of the situation, the Ohnes sumbarines all emerged at once, and their soldiers attacked our Jaffa armies on ground. Without a central command, the Jaffa started to lose battles everywhere, and many deserted or joined the Sodan rebels. Human rebel groups, who almost all had Ohnes commandos among them, also joined the general attack.

    One day after that, the Ancients had probably made contact with the Ohnes and the Sodan. Ancient soldiers appeared among all Ohnes and human armies, and they were telepaths and telekinetics. They also had a personal shield (much better than our own version) and air support from the invisible ships. Even if there were not many Ancients, even a small handful of them was enough to turn a battle.

    Many Goa'uld were killed, trying to resist. The others tried to survive. Those with personal ships fled in space, the others tried to hide, or to go to the gate in Egypt, but either they were intercepted or they found the gate guarded by human rebels.

    I know this because I was listening on subspace radio. Myself, I was hidden in the countryside, in a small temple among my priestesses, in Mayan lands. My territory was mostly spared by human rebellions, and the Ohnes freedom fighters had stopped attacking me, because my subjects were faitful. I hoped the Ancients and Ohnes would think me dead and overlook my domain, and they mostly did (after destroying all my infrastructure)".

    Hathor was clearly proud of that. She had (mostly) managed to keep the loyalty of her subjects through decades of simmering rebellion, and the final Tau'ri Rebellion. She was simply that much better than the other Goa'uld. She continued her story.

    "Our last hope was the reinforcement fleet, which arrived two months later. I thought we stood a real chance, since the Ancients didn't have capital ships with them, and didn't seem very numerous. Personnally, I watched the battle with my telescope while listening to the radio. Luckily, the battle occurred right above my location. I saw that the System Lords had brought 750 Cheops warships, and half of them were quickly slaughtered, I still don't know how for sure.
    "

    "But, you have an idea. "
    "Yes. I had millenia to think about what happened after all. I know the Ancients had developed the original transport rings, so I think they managed to hijack our own rings, and send explosive charges through. That, or they used their gate jumpers. Their jumpers had hyperdrives, so, they could emerge right next to the Cheops, just where the plasma batteries couldn't reach tem, and drop their plasma squids. They could even emerge inside the Cheops and drop a bomb. I'm not sure what they did but surely it was one of these three solutions.

    But, as I said, they destroyed half of the Goa'uld fleet this day. At the same time, dozens of vortexes opened in space. Yes, they were jump points. And a fleet of flower-shaped ships, that I recognized as Vorlon ships, appeared and slaughered the remaining Cheops. At that moment, I decided to hide in a cave, near an active volcano. I took my sarcophagus and every other useful object with me. Yes, it was risky, almost suicidal, even with my personal shield to protect me. I barely escaped lava. But it paid off, the Vorlons didn't have the idea of searching there.

    When I came out, I found only silence on the subspace radio. There was, apparently, no remaining Goa'uld on Earth. The Vorlons had overlooked my transportation rings, because I had shut them off, but that also meant I had to reactivate them on both ends. So, the first time, I had to take a boat (specifically constructed by my followers) from America to Europe, and Bithynia especially. I found out that the Vorlons had cleaned up all traces of our presence. There were no Jaffa, no Jaffa bodies, no Goa'uld bodies, no weapons even. Even our satellites, dead in space after the Ancient attack, were cleaned up according to my telescopes. That's why you never found anything. The only good news was that the Ancient, Ohnes and Sodan fighters had left, too.

    Worse, there were no gates. The one in Egypt had been unearthed and taken away by a flower ship, and the one in Antarctica had probably been taken too, since I was not able to find its scent. It was only fifteen years ago that I found the scent of a gate.
    "

    Hathor, then, finished her story quickly. She continued to be a goddess in Mayan lands, Greece, Anatolia and Near-East, becoming known as Aphrodite and Ishtar there. She, notably, meddled in the Trojan War. Actually, she took on her usual persona of Aphrodite, but she also took on the persona of fellow Goa'uld like Athena, Ares, Poseidon and Hera, and she helped both sides.

    When she had been a System Lord, she had always organized a lot of games. Not only that made her loved (panem et circenses, as the Romans would say later), but that was her personal fun. Many Goa'uld lords liked to come and watch Jaffa armies fighting each other (to death) for fun. Stuck on Earth and bored, Hathor hadn't resisted transforming a small and local war into an epic struggle.
    Since she was really bored, she then played for ten further years with Odysseus and his crew.

    Hathor also learnt that the Queen of Bithynia had pretended she could beat Aphrodite with her soldiers. Hathor proven her wrong, and got the daughter of that Queen, Andromeda, as a new host.

    That said, Hathor mostly ruled through her priestesses, and sometimes through the kings and queens (when they were devout enough), and remained elusive. She preferred to be a legend and the power behind the power, because she was slightly paranoid about Ancients and Vorlons catching her. Especially as there were Ancients active througout the world, kick-starting civilizations(for example, in Italy, where their language inspired Latin). Hathor also constated that stories about Atlantis were, slowly, spreading.

    Hathor created a network of followers with telescopes in the whole world. If one of them spotted Ancient, Vorlon or Goa'uld ships, they had to warn her through light signals. They were positioned on mountain cliffs or on boats in the ocean. Each outpost would carry the signal to the next, giving almost instant warning. When the Vorlons did visit in 1637 BC, Hathor was in Greece, on the island of Santorin. She again shut off her transportation rings, decided to sacrifice her (useless anyway) subspace communicator, which were made in naqadah, and created a makeshift bomb, using the naqadah/potassium explosive effect. Then, she threw this bomb in the volcano, programming it to explode at a chosen time. Finally, she fled on a boat, hoping she would be far enough to survive.

    Amazingly, the Vorlon ship, which was alone, had started by scanning Far East and China, giving her time. So, when the ship got close, she started the explosion of the volcano (and again hid herself close to it), which then became legendary. She was almost killed in the tsunami, even with her personal shield, and she then managed to swim to the ground.

    Once again, the Vorlons did not seek anything in the era around Santorin, presuming everyone there was dead. Once again, they left, happy that the Goa'uld weren't trespassing. Hathor, then, managed once again to get a boat freely, thanks to Nish'ta, and then, she managed to join up with one of her ocean-going boats and got back to Central America.

    Centuries after that, Hathor, who was still mostly ruling through her priestesses, made a fatal error. She underestimated the greed and the cunning of humans. So, when Ixtab, her priestess, came to her, saying that there had been a Vorlon ship spotted, she followed Ixtab and the other priestesses to their secret deep cave. This cave was 15 kilometers deep, and they hoped the Vorlons would not find her there.

    Except that it was a trap. And once Hathor was in her cave, the priestesses closed the doors behind her, and waited for her to pass out, lacking food and water. Then, they put her in her Sarcophagus, and sealed her.

    Hearing that, Lyudmila Tcherina laughed so hard that she almost fell off her chair. "You mean that you, a "goddess", were trapped by your own priestesses, and that they continued to rule in your name, but without you ? ".

    Hathor just wanted to use her hara kesh on that impudent woman, except that she was the prisoner there. So, she only growled, and her face reddened with fury. Which made the Agent Tcherina laugh even harder.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  4. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    A Very Old Acquaintance

    Flashback
    2232 - Seattle


    Well, Seth perfectly knew that he was no god. But he liked to play god, it allowed him to be served and live like a pacha. Many of his fellow Goa'uld tended to forgot that they weren't really gods.

    In fact, that was, indirectly, why Seth betrayed the System Lords. He understood that, since humans weren't inferior to the Goa'uld by nature, his kind shouldn't uplift them, even just by teaching them agriculture or primitive industry (or war), and just use them as hosts. So, he opposed the policy of transplanting humans all around the galaxy and leaving them abandoned when the "gods" didn't need them anymore. Seth knew that they would then develop and become a threat, while his fellows saw them as mere cattle and thought that as gods, they would always dominate them. Of course, remaining trapped on Earth and seeing the Tau'ri reach the stars proved him he was right.

    Seth had nowhere else to go if he wanted to live a sweet life, because Ash'rak likely tracked him in the wider galaxy. Of course, he could have tried to find Sokar or Anubis, and propose one of them to serve him, against protection, but in his book, they were far worse than the others.

    That said, now remaining on Earth was becoming dangerous as well. The Earther's technology level was dangerously rising, and so did the risk of discovery. Moreover, the Earthers had gathered the attention of many, many alien races, especially in the Dilgar War. They were bound to run into the Goa'uld or someone else just as dangerous, sooner or later, and then Seth would be screwed.

    But he didn't know what to do. He could try to hide in plain sight, becoming a renowned scientist, or CEO, or politician (or rather, taking over someone in this position), but there was still the problem of his body : he needed to change it quietly, and each time, he would have to start all over again. Moreover, a public life would lead to all kind of attentions. People would remark he was not aging much, and that he was weird.

    He was not used to respect laws and democracy, which was required to command people. Even in the military, he would not be allowed to kill, torture or rape anyone he wanted. Moreover, Seth got simply lazy, and lost his cunning for poltical intrigues (he hadn't practiced since the Tau'ri Rebellion), preferring a simpler life (for Goa'uld standards of course).

    He could hide by simply living a normal life, but Seth didn't want to simply go to work in morning and back in evening, not after so long living as a "god". Besides, it would not allow him to flee Earth easily if he needed. And finally, he hadn't many competences and would not find easily a job, except perhaps unpleasant and tiring jobs.

    He could flee, but to where ? Goa'uld space was a no-no.

    In local space, there were no more good options. Emigrating to any alien nation in the vicinity was impossible, since the Goa'uld symbiotes were biologically unable to take on the local aliens (even the Centauri). Founding a small independent or autonomous colony would have been possible, and going pirate would also have been. But those ventures were very, VERY risky. Most of the pirates ended up dead, and people who tried new colonies often died of local sicknesses, or were killed by others wanting to stake a claim on their planet.

    Then, there was the option of using the Al'kesh to found a colony on a planet not accessible through jumpspace. However, Seth remembered what happened in 1463, when Lord Aziel visited Earth in his Ha'tak... and was quickly driven off by the Vorlons. Using hyperdrive in the region might very well bring the attention of the Vorlons, and their lethal flower ships.

    At least, on Earth, Seth enjoyed the relative protection of EarthForce, which was better than being out in the open against raiders and other dangers.

    Moreover, the Earthers had apparently just found a gate (or something else in Naqadah with a similar mass), he scented that. It likely happened during the Dilgar War. That meant higher risk of discovery.

    So, with no good option, Seth decided to procrastinate until this body (now more than four centuries old) died, and take advantage of his time as god, since that time may very well be counted. Seth refused to really believe this, repeating himself he was a god, but a nagging doubt crept, and to chase away bad mood, Seth called Giorgio, his best eunuch, who offered his body, while followers chanted "Seth is Life ! Seth is Happiness ! Seth is God !" in unison.

    Once Seth had offered the divine semen to Giorgio, he came back to his senses, happy. But soon, something else was nagging him. Not the familiar doubt, but a presence. The sent of Naqadah, indicating there was a Goa'uld (or Jaffa, but there weren't any on Earth of course) close by. Very close. Seth feared that it was Osiris or Isis, and was about to start the defence protocols, when the intruder entered.

    Seth's jaw dropped, in total surprise. He knew Osiris and Isis were still on Earth, but thought she had gone with Ra. And then, he wondered how did she manage to keep the same body for so many centuries, while he had to change every four or five. The answer was obvious : she had access to a Sarcophagus.

    "HATHOR !?".

    July 2245 - Earth Intelligence Agency

    Seth finished this story. "We had both scented your gate. Hathor seduced some officers, and learnt that you had indeed a gate but weren't using it and didn't know what it was. So, we knew that at least you wouldn't bring the attention of the System Lords this way, and decided to wait and see."

    The rest was history. Once the Minbari War started, Hathor and Seth decided to try to flee through the gate, to Eskal, and failed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  5. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    The Hypnos Project

    The Year of Despair, by Professor Amelia Dooney, New Cambridge University Press, 2350

    When the Minbari War started, in the first days, public opinion expressed its disquiet, and blamed (rightly) EarthForce. ISN almost immediately spread the story, mostly accurate, of how Michael Jankowski had created an interstellar incident. The bombing of Vega spread a wave of fear.

    People still thought it would be settled diplomatically, and worst case scenario, had faith in their military. Sure, they had beaten us at Vega, but it was a small colony, not very well defended, and they had surprise on their side.

    After all, nobody except for scholars, diplomats and a few military officers even knew the name "Minbari".
    Of course, nobody knew that Dukhat had been killed and what that meant.
    Most of all, Earth Alliance was the rising power of the time, we were the main economical partner of the Centauri Republic and the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, we were founding new colonies (in local sector and Deneb sector) every year.

    Earth Alliance never had to fight a war of survival before. We only knew of small wars against Koulani and Ch'lona, which were easy, the skirmishes against the Narn fleet and the raiders, and of course, the Dilgar War, which was a resounding win despite the fact the Dilgar were older and technologically superior. Honestly, the Alliance had a case of victory disease. Sadly, the Minbari War would be the first, but not the last time, the Terrans (or as the wider galaxy calls us, the Tau'ri) would be threatened in their very existence.

    Of course, even when the people had delusions of victory and diplomatic settlement, the government and its alien partners knew better. The Centauri had watched the Garmak Empire being slaughtered all the way to Garmak itself by the Minbari, in the 17th century.

    This was why the Centauri themselves hadn't been conquered and had been able to conquer dozens of their neighbors (who were weakened by the prior Garmak conquest), including Garmak itself (which had been sent back to stone age by the Minbari). The Centauri then watched the Streib making the same error as the Garmak and paying it too. And of course, during the Centauri-Orieni War, both sides had violated the Minbari neutrality and paid it dearly.

    The Yolu, who were older in space than even the Minbari, knew of them from the start, and the Markab fought alongside them in the last Shadow War.

    Elizabeth Levy, the very day of Dukhat's death, asked all the Alliance's partners for a diplomatic channel to the Minbari. The Centauri refused outright, and cut all ties with the Alliance right away. The Yolu refused too. The Abbai, Hyach and Markab sent three diplomatic ships together to the Minbari border, to ask for a settlement.

    The Minbari Warriors shot the Hyach and Abbai ships out of the sky, and only spared the Markab one because of their old alliance, but with a warning that even they would be shot if they tried again to interfere.
    When the Minbari attacked and took Sinzar, everyone fully realized the truth. The Minbari outclassed the Alliance both in quantity and quality of ships, and didn't merely want to punish humanity. They wanted to exterminate us.

    From this point, Earth Alliance prepared to fight to the last ship and the last man, while continuously proposing an unconditional surrender to the Minbari. The Minbari (and especially, the Warrior Caste) refused to even reply.

    So, EarthDome activated a project that had been started in 2167, the Hypnos Project. 2167 was the year the EA made contact with the Ch'lona and Koulani, who attacked her ships on sight and tried to conquer her border colonies. It was also around this time the Alliance realized the Centauri were actually conquerors, that still had dozens of alien planets under their thumbs, and had only spared Earth because they liked her culture and other circumstances. Circumstances that could change.

    The Hypnos Project consisted of a secret fleet of sleeper ships, able to accomodate dozens of thousands of people each, to start new colonies on worlds not accessible by jumpspace. The Alliance secretly built those ships constantly from 2167 to 2245.

    Of course, the discovery (by IPX and EarthForce) of dead worlds, either from the Centauri-Orieni War, the Garmak-Minbari War, the last Shadow War, or even older wars, hammered home the risks of space in the mind of EarthDome. That was why the project was continued even though the risk of a Centauri-Earth War faded away.

    In 2212, when the CSS and the EFNI shared their intelligence about the Dilgar, and realized they were preparing themselves for a war of conquest, EarthDome started the "4000 ships" program, which gave birth to the modern EarthForce and allowed Earth to win in the Dilgar War.
    EarthDome also ordered to build three times more Hypnos ships, just in case the Dilgar proved an existential threat. This policy continued even after the victory, for several reasons.

    ⦁ During the Dilgar War, the Centauri discovered the resurgence of the Orieni Empire, and it scared them enough to not participate in the Dilgar War.
    ⦁ During the Dilgar War, Jha'dhur sent a plague ship to Earth, which almost managed to contaminate humanity. It was kept secret under orders from President Hauser, but EarthDome knew it had been really close and Earth maybe wouldn't be lucky next time.
    ⦁ EFNI discovered that the Dilgar had mysterious backers, even though they never were identified. So, there was still a potential threat. Only after the Minbari War, we would discover that they were the same species that duped the Orieni and led them to their defeat in 2008 : the Drakh.
    ⦁ Omelos was destroyed by a supernova, which was clearly unnatural. In other words, there was at least one race which had the power and the will to destroy stars and planets around.

    All those reasons convinced EarthDome to keep funding the Hypnos Project, and the result was that, when the Minbari War started, there were 144 Hypnos motherships, able to accomodate around 4 millions of people.
    Of course, EarthDome increased the building rate to 30 motherships per year.

    The codename of the project came from the fact that colonists would be in stasis during their travel, but also that they would "play dead" to the galaxy then, by not using tachyon communications, not even radio communications in fact. Earth retained the lesson of her meeting with the Vree and the Brakiri, who knew almost everything on the humans (including where Earth was) thanks to TV broadcasts.

    Then, the Hypnos colonies had the order to always maintain a fleet able to evacuate everyone (and everything important) at a moment notice, and a network of passive sensors in their systems, to move quickly if the Minbari (or some other enemy) still came.

    The sleeper ships would be sent to the systems of Alpha Draconis and Mintaka (and other still undisclosed systems), which were far enough from Earth, off the grid and had semi-inhabitable planets. Of course, the ships were ferried by jump-capable ships close enough, and then finish their journey in normal space.

    The sleeper ships had repositories of human knowledge, not only in science but in every other field. Ironically, we emulated the Alterans without knowing it, on this. The sleeper ships also had the latest in every technological field, especially artificial intelligence, robotics, life support, hydroponics, medicine, surgery, and were all equipied with an automated factory.

    Last but not least, they had artificial uteruses. The technology dated back from the 21th century and had been refined a lot. It was used to mass-produce animals for consumption on newly founded colonies, and it was also used, after the Dilgar War, to save the Alacan, Mitoc and Krish species (who were all mammals) from the brink of extinction. But it had never (officially) been used to produce human babies before, for various reasons, such as the overpopulation, the ethic concerns and the hostility of major religions.

    The Hypnos Project had also, since its foundation, established (and always updated) a list of candidates, selected for their skills, their age, their health and their psychological profile, and of course, balanced between men and women. Their mission would be to restart humanity on new worlds, and each couple or celibate people would have the (legal) obligation to raise 7 children (or more).

    Of course, all Hypnos Project members would have to practice the REM sleep, so as to sleep only 2 hours per day. If they had to build a new world while raising so many children, it would be a requirement.

    EarthDome didn't trust Psi Corp, which wasn't included in the project. But Elizabeth Levy had the foresight to see that telepathy was an evolutionary advantage, and every advantage would be needed. So, she gave the order that every children born from the artificial womb had to be telepath.

    The conscription allowed EarthDome to move millions of people around on Earth and other planets, without too much questions asked.

    The secret of the Hypnos Project was always maintained, ISN was censored if necessary. EarthDome didn't want poor people rioting by millions to get a ticket on the ships, and rich people trying to pull favors for the same result.
    But since many people were aware of it, social networks soon carried rumors on this topic. Those rumors were not censored, because it gave people hope, and it was desperately needed.

    All the gossip about Hypnos also made a nice diversion for the true secret : the Hermes Project, in other words, the evacution through the Stargate.

    AN : The EFNI is the Earth Force Naval Intelligence (basically, the EIA is counter-espionage while the EFNI spies abroad, but both areas can overlap). The CSS is the Centauri counterpart of EFNI.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  6. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Terra Nova

    The Return of the Ancient Gods
    , by Doctor Jackson, 2275

    The Eskal colony was established in July 2245, right after the capture of Hathor and Seth.

    The Stargate had been found near Omelos, drifting in space, in August 2231, after the Dilgar had capitulated, by the EAS Sun Yat-Sen. The military tried to find out what was the purpose of this strange ring, and how to use it. However, the project was leading nowhere, and it was cancelled as soon as November 2232 and forgotten about. The gate remained in Creek Mountain base until July 2245, when Hathor and Seth took over the base, almost managed to activate the gate and got caught.

    The two Goa'uld accepted to make the gate work for the EIA. The gate was powered by a fusion reactor, while a supercomputer (programmed with the help of the two prisoners) acted like a DHD. Hathor entered the adress of her secret world, Eskal.

    The EIA dialed Eskal, hoping that Hathor hadn't lied and that nobody had discovered the planet in the meantime. Both hopes were quickly confirmed. EIA quickly sent Exploration UAVs, solar-powered drones that could remain indefinitely in the air. This kind of UAV had been developed by the US Air Force in 2014 first. Some UAVs were modified, to be able to land and put MALPs on the ground or ocean througout the planet.

    The UAVs and MALPs allowed the EIA to quickly study the climatology, meteorology and biology of Eskal, especially ensuring there were no biological hazards, and also, of course, to make sure there was no foreign presence.

    After a few days of survey, the EIA immediately started to send workers, robots and equipment on the planet. While workers were building housing, water supply and hydroponics stations, mines (especially of Naqadah and Trinium), railways, roads, hospitals, schools, and of course factories for the war, and installing optical telescopes, radiotelescopes and tachyoreceptors througout the planet.

    EA immediately started to transport the components of ten jumpspace probes through the gate, to be assembled on Eskal. Two weeks after the arrival, the probes were launched, and one month later, it was confirmed that there was no one inhabiting the nearby systems or using local jumpspace. The probes were still left as sensor probes, around the Eskal system.

    EA also started to build Seeker probes, able to see the "footprint" of ships in hyperspace, the goal being to spread them in the systems 50 light-years around Eskal. EA didn't have hyperdrive yet, but they would be carried by a jump-capable ship.

    Finally, a satellite grid was progressively installed on Eskal, containing meteorological satellites, but also space telescopes (including radiotelescopes), sensor satellites and defence satellites.

    On the ground, the environment remained largely untouched. The colonists would be forced into a vegan lifestyle, because creating intensive farming was very costly in energy and labor, and was a luxury in a total war economy. Even the vegetal food was produced through hydroponics, since there hadn't been studies about the impact of local veggies on human health. Plus, it would be reassuring to people (who left their planet) to keep eating the same things.

    The houses were made using straw and wood, which allowed them to build them by hundreds each day, without resorting to the 3D-printers, which would have been even quicker but were all used for the war effort. Of course, there was no time to build individual houses, so everyone (or every couple) had to live in a room in collective houses, where duties were shared.

    Near the gate, Hathor had left a pyramid, which contained a palace for her, housing for her Jaffa and servants and a training center just in case she had to flee. Under the pyramid, there was a ground shield generator, which the EIA activated. There were also five parked Tel'tak. Along with the Tel'tak of Osiris and Seth found on Earth, those ships would be the first Earthforce hyperspace-capable ships.

    The people who set up the Eskal Colony in the first month were mostly penal workers and homeless people drafted. In August 2245, EA started to bring colonists massively. The colonists were mostly scientists (the war R&D was relocated to Eskal quickly), industrial workers, miners, technicians and engineers. If possible, everyone would be evacuated but those people got priority, along with their families.

    That said, there were also less qualified people to do the more mundane tasks, from administration to childcare, cooking, house-building (the "penals" quickly became insufficient for that) and many others. If possible, the menial tasks were given to children and elderly people who came as families of selected colonists.

    All people who received enough scientific education (for example, the traders) were also drafted to Eskal, to work as scientists (at least auxiliary). Even scholars of "soft sciences" (linguists, historians and so on) were brought along, to keep alive the human knowledge. They would be very useful when the Alliance would be in direct contact with the wider galaxy.

    In the meantime, they were mostly assigned to menial tasks.
    EarthDome hesitated to bring these people, it was a kind of priviledge to spare them from the frontlines, but most of them would have been, honestly, useless with a rifle in their hands.

    There was a last (small but important) group : religious officials. All the important religions were represented, such as Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism, Shintoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Wicca and yet others.
    Even in the 23rd century, faith was still alive. More than half of Alliance citizens were atheists or agnosticists, and among the believers, only a few were strong believers. However, with the Minbari War came the revival of hope.

    Religious officials, on Eskal, also acted as unofficial community leaders (even many atheists came to trust them) and as unofficial psychologists, helping to soothe all kinds of traumas.

    Bringing the families was not only more humane, but also avoided people seeking the truth about what happened to their beloved ones and threatening the secret.

    The secret was well-kept, because people were routinely asked to go to one military base or another, and many people either died on the frontlines or were "off somewhere". Everyone was either sent to the frontlines, to factories or anywhere they were needed. So, the "disappearance" of people going to Eskal and the Hypnos Project was almost unnoticed. There were rumors about Hypnos, because the project was decades old and there were many people (at least in part) aware.

    But there were less than 50 people actually knowing about Eskal and the gate on Earth, apart from the President, the head of the EIA, the people manning the trains and the gate station. Basically, passengers arrived, boarded their train (supposedly to a military base), crossed the gate and emerged on a new planet.

    Had rumors emerged, nobody would have believed them. Everyone knew that jump points could only be opened in space (there are problems both with the atmosphere and the gravity wells), and that wormhole drive (or any kind of instantaneous FTL) was science-fiction.

    The colonists of Eskal were selected mostly on the skills. People who had committed important crimes (such as rape and murder), or who were clearly unstable, were not selected, but there were no other selection. It was very different from the Hypnos Project in that regard.

    But then, people selected for Hypnos had to restart civilization in small numbers on isolated and harsh planets, and to fare well in stasis, which demanded a very good fitness (both mental and physical). They would also have to handle at least 7 telepathic children per couple or person. That meant people either telepaths themselves (each colony needed enough adult telepaths to teach the children) or at least not prejudiced towards telepathy.

    People selected for Eskal would simply go to live on an Earth-like planet. Plus, there were very few places on Hypnos motherships, while millions of people would be sent to Eskal, so of course there was no time to throughly select them.

    The EIA had also brought artificial uteruses to Eskal, with a requirement of bearing at least 2 children per couple or person, for those who didn't have children already. People in group marriage or polygamy had higher requirements, depending on their numbers. The uteruses allowed celibate people, sterile people, and those in homosexual or asexual relationships to meet the requirement regardless.

    To be precise, a Stargate can be dialed 37 times per day, and for a maximum time of 38 minutes. If you don't cut on safety measures, you can send a train through every one and a half minute. Each train can carry 4,000 people at best.

    Counting that the EIA used 18 gate connections to bring shipments of Naqadah and Trinium to Earth, there were 19 available connections per day, that meant 776,7 millions of people "disappearing" to Eskal per year.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
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  7. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    The Awakening

    July 2245 - Space station Cydonia, Proxima system

    As soon as the state of war with the Minbari became clear, Elizabeth Levy ordered to wake up the 8,899,520 elite soldiers and pilots stored on Cydonia, and on her sister stations Marsec, Reach and Numenor. They had one day to get back in form after years of stasis, and digest the news. After that, harsh training would begin anew.

    One of these soldiers was not happy. "They're sending grunts on the front, they're even sending conscripts for fuck's sake, but they keep us behind." Her comrades laughed at her frustration.

    "Nava, you're 270 years old now, shouldn't you be more... wise, and less impatient ? You're an old woman, after all." Technically, Nava was that old.
    "Yes, but you should know old people are the most dangerous, kid." She replied with a wink. The said "kid" laughed. He was born on Beta Nine, and had joined the Department after serving in the Dilgar War with flying colors.
    It was only in the Department that people born in the 20th century would meet people who were young during the Dilgar War.

    A third man (who looked like a playboy), who knew Nava for... well, centuries, now, interjected.
    "They'll probably send us soon. You should be happy, Nava. They almost sent us to exile on those Hypnos ships. I wonder why they didn't, but we'll probably know after we win".

    The original plan was to spread the Department soldiers on Hypnos motherships, to give the new colonies the best military. It was a sound plan, and would've been originally used in the Minbari War, since even them would not have been enough to win the war, so better to use them on new colonies than to waste them. But then, a miracle happened, that gave a real fighting chance to Earth. A Goa'uld Miracle, to be precise. So, Elizabeth Levy changed the plan.

    Nava wondered, "Do you think they'll let us meet our great-great-great-grandchildren ? ", and had a small laugh. "Well, it would not do for us to meet them, and then die. Better survive, first, and do it next.".
    The playboy thought of his old family. They were (very) rich businessmen. They never understood his choice to join the air force instead of following their path.

    "Hello, this is Earth calling". Nava brought him back to reality. "Yeah, I was just thinking about my family". Nobody said anything. Almost all of them either had lost their family, never had one to begin with, or had cut ties with it for various reasons.

    The playboy was lost in thought, picturing his father and his brother using their millions of dollars and their connections to try to learn where he disappeared. They thought money solved everything, but this time, they would have failed. The Department was impossible to corrupt. He was feeling nostalgia, and then, he started to laugh. Nava and the others looked at him eyebrows raised, and he explained.

    "Well, my family wanted me to become a businessman, and when I refused and entered the Air Force, they disowned me. And now, I'll be richer than even them all combined, after we beat the boneheads."

    The kid's eyes widened. He just realized how much money they would have. Not only, when in active service, all Department soldiers made more than the President herself. But, even more importantly, the Department managed their money for the best while they were in stasis. In other words, they would have decades (or centuries, in the case of the oldies) of bank interests.
    "We'll be richer than even the Edgars family." While he thought about what he could buy with all this money, Nava, ever the practical one, added her two cents. "More importantly, we'll all get laid so easily."
    "Yeah, that too."

    Changing the subject, the playboy turned to Nava. "Do you think there are still people who listen to Johnny Cash ? ".
    "Who ?", asked the kid. All the oldies in the room burst out of laughing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
  8. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Divided they Fall

    An History of Diplomacy in the Galactic cluster from the Dilgar War to the Goa'uld Interregnum
    , by Master Krel'nor of Chulak

    When the Minbari War started, in July 2245, the Earth Alliance was immediately seen as a dead man walking by everyone, especially the Centauri and the older League races that had seen the Minbari waging war, be it in the Valen War, the Garmak War (in the 17th c.) or the Streib War (in the 21st c.).

    So, basically, everyone turned their noses away. Everyone also reacted according to their own agendas. Let's begin with the League of Non-Aligned Worlds.

    A ) An overview of the LonAW :

    First of all, let's remind ourselves that the League was not a federation or even a confederation, merely an alliance of sovereign states. This alliance was focused on economy, trade and cultural exchanges. The best known example is the mutai, the Yolu martial art, that spread througout the League and beyond. The League was also a diplomatic forum, and in this aspect was rather successful. Sure, there were a lot of skirmishes, but never a full-scale war between members.

    The League powers helped each other when they could without much risk. For example, they immediately all took in refugees from each other during the Dilgar War (except the Hurr and Grome), even though they also all remained neutral until attacked themselves, and then, they didn't coordinate in the war until the Earthers came and put themselves in overall command. Of course, the Brakiri took advantage of the refugees, as their culture commends them to do.

    The League never became a military alliance for numerous reasons. The first was that the Drazi were members, and since they were always looking for a fight, nobody wanted to be dragged in when they started a full-scale war.

    The second reason was that the Brakiri, Balosians, Hurr, Grome, Llort and Abbai feared the Centauri more (all had been colonized by them except the Abbai, who barely escaped an invasion in 2003), while the Gaim and Descari had a territorial conflict with the (aggressive) Narn, and the Drazi and Corillani had problems with both. Finally, the Ipsha, Yolu, Vree, Kor-Lyans and Torata weren't threatened directly by either and didn't want to be draggen in wars against either of them. Basically, diverging priorities.

    The third reason was the myriad of conflicts between members. On Tiras, between Narn, Drazi, Gaim and Descari settlers (this conflict was intertwined with the low-level conflicts between Narn and Drazi, and between Narn, Descari and Gaim).

    On Latig, between Hurr and Drazi. The Hurr moved in to take Latig during the Dilgar War, hoping the Drazi were distracted enough. The Drazi and Hurr navies were ready to fight, and ironically had to cooperate when the Dilgar swooped in. They were still destroyed. Hurr and Drazi historians are still arguing today who was responsible of the defeat.

    The Gaim and Descari hated each other since the day of their first contact, which led to a war over a misunderstanding, and almost led to the Gaim exterminating the Descari.

    The Kor-Lyans and Torata hated each other, and both hated the Yolu who acted pusillanimous during the Dilgar War, preferring to evacuate colonies and deny a fight, rather than actually fighting, despite their superior technology. The Torata and Kor-Lyans had hoped that the Yolu would act as a shield for them, and resented them for their "abandonment". So, the Torata and Kor-Lyans constantly raided each other, and raided the Yolu (ironically, they even cooperated sometimes against the hated Yolu).

    For similar reasons, the Drazi resolved to make the Brakiri (who had, selfishly, refused to help against the Dilgar at first) pay for their perceived cowardice.
    The Ipsha baronies and the Kor-Lyan kingdoms were almost always at war with each other, and their wars tended often to involve their neighbors. It also made diplomacy and trade with those two races very confusing.

    The pirates, corsairs and other raiders were a crippling problem for the League economy. There were the outsiders, mostly humans, Narn and Centauri.

    For the Tau'ri, it was simply a matter of widespread poverty in the colonies (and even on Earth). The Earth Alliance always clamped down hard on pirates, but it was not enough.

    For the Centauri and the Narn, it was more a cultural and political matter. The Centauri pirates were mostly youngest sons of noble families who wanted to make a name for themselves, and who recuited commoners (looking to be rich) or even escaped slaves in their crews. There were also Centauri women who sought to escape their rigid patriarchal society, and usually made their own crews or worked in non-Centauri crews.

    The Narn piracy tradition comes back to the days when Narn was still under Centauri occupation. The first Narn pirates were Narn slave-soldiers in the Centauri house navies, or in Centauri pirate crews, who mutinied and slowly formed a pirate fleet. This fleet was instrumental in the Narn Liberation War.

    The Centauri and Narn government, until the Treaty of Ardun, tolerated (or even encouraged) the pirates as long as they targeted each other's legitimate trade, or other rival governments' (such as the Drazi) trade. There was even a low-level conflict between Narn corsairs and Vree trading guilds, because of the Vree-Centauri trade.
    The Centauri noble houses even used pirates to target each other trade, but only in foreign territory, where the Royal Navy wouldn't catch them. Both preferred the pirates away than creating problems on their own planets.

    There was also a lot of intra-League piracy. Drazi pirates were (and are still) common, because of their culture, that values fighting and glory-seeking. Before the Minbari War, the Drazi government tolerated this piracy against everyone but the Abbai (who rose with them against the Dilgar at the first hour), the Balosians (for the same reason) and the Earth Alliance (who saved them in 2231).

    Moreover, the Drazi government encouraged piracy against its enemies. Namely, the Narn, the Centauri, the Brakiri (who had refused to help the Drazi-Abbai alliance in 2230 against the Dilgar, until attacked themselves), the Hurr and the Merla.

    Finally, there are the Ipsha and Kor-Lyans, whose feudal culture pushed them to piracy for similar reasons as the Centauri (for example, cripple a rival kingdom or barony, or a young prince wanting glory). There are the Torata, who practiced it more like a weapon to keep their neighbors weak, the Brakiri and the Llort.

    The Brakiri piracy was caused by the deep social inequalities in the Syndicacy, the value put on personal enrichment, and oddly enough, by the human movies. Since 2021, the Brakiri started to receive Earth movies, for the few (under Centauri occupation) that had televisions. They often misunderstood the shows and movies, but still, seeing Tau'ri characters living joyful and rich, or adventurous lives, gave them hope. The Centauri tolerated it, thinking it made the Brakiri work better.

    When, in 2179, the Centauri pulled out of Brakos, Tau'ri popular culture was legendary on the whole planet. There were Brakiri who fashioned themselves as gangsters from 1920s New York, CIA agents, Irish Republican terrorists, Illuminati, vampires, vampire hunters, vampire slayers, witches, Marvel and DC super heroes, goths and other human-based tropes, and there were the Brakiri pirates, who imitated the movies. In the first decades, the Brakiri (wannabe) pirates tended to be recruited by human captains, because they obeyed them perfectly. After all, they hero-worshipped human pirates. Of course, it became less and less true as generations of Brakiri pirates gained their own experience.

    The Llort piracy is purely a cultural matter, because it's piracy only from the point of view of others. For them, it's all right to take something when you give back something else, even if the other hadn't consented to the exchange. At least, the Llort never were violent (unless fired upon first).
    Ironically, piracy was the area where League species cooperated the most.

    Many pirates weren't prejudiced, and would work with anyone with the needed skills. Of course, Drazi were hard to work with because of their temper, and Narn and Centauri almost never worked together, but for example, Brakiri and humans worked with everyone without problems. There were often Dilgar in mixed crews, before the famous war of course.

    Piracy was not the only problem. There was also the unsavory treatment of pre-Space Age planets (like Enphili, Fendamir and Mipas) that the Drazi "protected" (whether they wanted or not). To justify this protection, they used corsairs to raid them (the Drazi government hid this part to its own people, who genuinely believed they were protectors), and exaggerated or made up stories about Centauri, Narn and human boogeymen. The Drazi also practiced outright colonialism on Shambash, but at least, treated the natives with relative respect.

    We now know that the Hyach, the Drazi and the Earth Alliance knew everything about this, but turned a blind eye. The Hyach didn't want the Drazi to spill their own secrets (regarding the Hyach-Do genocide), and the Abbai didn't want to soil their (unlikely) war-based comradeship with the Drazi. The EA, as said before, needed the Drazi because, militarily, they checked the Narn.

    Many Drazi also created problems as individuals, since they tended to start brawls (or even firefights, including in space) at every perceived insult.

    The Yolu were natural isolationists, and had to be dragged in by the Abbai, but were always reluctant to open up. The Hyach and the Vree were more helpful, but the Hyach reluctance to change and the Vree constant pranks caused problems too. Finally, nobody wanted anything to do with the Pak'ma'ra, who were seen as too alien and overlooked, as slow, lazy and stupid, among other (wrong) stereotypes.

    All those reasons explain why the League wasn't working for defence, and failed spectacularly in the Dilgar War. Nobody moved to help the Alacans and Balosians in 2228, their neighbors pretended to believe the Dilgar lies.
    Then, when the Abbai and Drazi were attacked too, the other members (chiefly the Brakiri) refused to help, arguing that the two "could defend themselves" (the Brakiri were also jealous of the Abbai technology) and that the Dilgar wouldn't attack the others, which was soon proven wrong.

    As we can guess, the League reply to the Minbari War was, at first, even worse.

    B ) The Earth Alliance and the League :

    Reactions were mixed in the League in July 2245. Most members were sad for what was coming to the Tau'ri humans. They believed the humans would end up as a Minbari protectorate (like the Klathu and Norsai), or blasted back to stone age (like the Garmak). But they also feared (rightly) the Minbari wrath.

    a ) The military capabilities of the League

    The few races that had a technology sufficient to make the Minbari think twice before attacking, namely the Hyach, Yolu, Vree and Abbai, lacked the military mindset, the tactical and strategical sense, the industry and the numbers (both because of the Dilgar bombings, and of the Hyach genetic problem).

    The Drazi didn't lack numbers, industry or military mindset (that's an understatement), but tended to charge without thinking of the risks or the losses. They also didn't really respect anyone but the Abbai and the Tau'ri, seeing the others as too soft or cowards. It's no coincidence that we, Jaffa, became fast friends with the Drazi.

    Finally, the other members lacked everything, be it technology, numbers, industry or military mindset, at least when it came to a war with the Minbari. Moreover, all feared that their neigbors (other League members and more importantly, Centauri and Narn) would take advantage of a war against the Minbari.

    Not only the League powers were cowed, but some actually didn't care (chiefly the Torata, who saw the war as opportunity to expand in EA territory, and the Hurr). At the beginning, an opinion rather spread in the League was that the Tau'ri had brought this on themselves, with their arrogance. After all, the alien governments had warned repeatedly the humans to not approach the Minbari border or seek a first contact, and the Earthers hadn't listened.

    League governments and opinions were also annoyed at the Alliance "first of class" behavior in the last decades. At least, the Minbari would take them down a few pegs.

    b ) The Earther imperialism and the League, Centauri and Narn annoyance

    The Tau'ri tended to see themselves as a vibrant, expanding culture, and saw the League cultures in a patronizing way, full of exotism, even those that were centuries (or millenia, in the Yolu case) older than them. They also thought that they had won the Dilgar War single-handedly, which annoyed a lot the League powers.

    Earth Alliance had supported the League during the war (even when it was still neutral) through lend-lease, of weapons, ship, and even food and water. After the war, the Alliance had launched the Lula Plan, that mirrored the Marshall Plan of the United States of America in 1946.

    Of course, the price of the Lula Plan was steep, with the Treaty of Tirrith in 2232. The League members had to open to free trade with the Alliance, to repay the debt and to accept Alliance anti-piracy patrols (some were happy with that, some were not). The League currencies were now tied to the Earth currency.

    Through the Lula Plan, the EA had reserved most of the rebuilding contracts to her own businesses. As a political gesture, President Hauser let the "trade faction" Centauri houses (Tavari, Mollari and Jaddo among others), who were long time partners, take up contracts too, but the best part of the cake went to Earth.

    The other Centauri houses (especially the expansionist faction, that had always wanted to conquer the League and Alliance) and the Narn were completely locked out of this juicy market.

    Moreover, the Treaty of Tirrith meant that while Earth businesses were able to sell their products to the League at a good price, their Centauri and Narn rivals couldn't (since they didn't benefit from the free trade clause). The Narn and the Centauri expansionist houses reacted by sending more pirates and corsairs. Which lead us to the next point.

    The Alliance also took upon herself to protect the League against outside attacks and to patrol the League space against pirates. It was needed, since the League fleets and defence grids had been devastated by the Dilgar. The Narn and the Centauri expansionist houses were tempted to take advantage. The pirates (of all species) also started to take advantage of the situation, not only to capture trade ships in space, but to raid League planets on the ground.

    In 2239, Corillan and Orillan rebelled against the Narn protectorate. The Narn had, unilaterally, decided to use those planets as naval bases, because of their position near the Centauri and Drazi borders, even though they never interfered in the internal affairs of the Corillanis.
    At the same time, the Drazi and the Narn were engaged in a small-scale border conflict. The Drazi intervened to help the Corillanis, leading to an open war with the Narn, that was cut short by EarthForce's intervention. The Alliance "mediated" the conflict mostly in favor of the Drazi (who got the disputed colonies) and the Corillanis (who got full independence and joined the League).

    In 2240, the Centauri expansionist houses (led by the Refa) massed a fleet to expand in Hyach, Abbai and Drazi territory. They had to cancel their plans, though, because EarthForce sent reinforcements, while EarthDome contacted the Emperor Turhan and the Centaurum, and got them to stop their wayward houses.

    The Alliance, by sending a "peace fleet", offered safety to the League, allowing her own industries to rebuild what had been destroyed and trade to flow (and money to fill Alliance's coffers, of course).

    But the peace fleet also stopped the intra-League piracy and usually killed pirates that didn't immediately surrender. The Alliance didn't understand the cultural and social importance of piracy in some societies (especially the Llort, the Kor-Lyans, the Ipsha and the Brakiri). Often, minor Kor-Lyan and Ipsha corsair princes were killed by the Earthers. Finally, the peace fleet, by its very presence, interfered with many intra-League small-scale conflicts. Many nations viewed this as imperialism and unwanted interference.

    What made things worse was that EarthForce turned a blind eye on the Drazi piracy (in return, the Drazi never attacked human interests), because the Drazi were a key ally of Earth, useful to check the Narn in the region.

    Finally, the Treaty of Tirrith created a High Court of Trade, to arbitrate every trade differend between League members and/or Earth Alliance. The treaty was almost a copy-paste of the Alliance trade laws, and went against some centuries-old customs in the League.

    The war debt crippled the League economies, and the free trade disadvantaged them too, since the Alliance had a far larger industry than any League member. Soon, Earther cultural products, foods, raw materials and finished goods flooded the League markets.

    In fact, the only races that didn't suffer too much of the free trade were the Abbai, Brakiri, Hyach, Yolu, Vree, Drazi and Cascor, who were more advanced (only slightly for the Cascor) than the Tau'ri, and could at least sell high-technology products, maintaining some trade balance. On those worlds, some sectors of the economy suffered, others thrived.

    c ) The League immigration and brain drain

    Those advanced races had also a lot of qualified workers that could find work in the EA, like the Cascor engineers. A lot of them came to work (until 2245) on Earth in California, in the aerospace industries.

    Even that was a double-edged sword. On one hand, those expatriates got high wages, and were able to send money back to their homeworlds. On the other hand, that meant a brain drain, that further impacted those races' economies.

    The other races (for example the Hurr, Balosians, Descari or Kor-Lyans), however, suffered in almost all domains, because they hadn't high-technology products that would interest Earth, leading to a massive trade imbalance.

    Many people from those poorer races tried to emigrate to Earth Alliance, legally or not. Those who came illegally had to pay hefty sums to immigrant smugglers, who took them to Beta Durani.

    Beta Durani was close to League space, especially Vree and Torata. And the planet itself was the "Planet of the poor, the criminals and the desperate". Pharmaceutical, mining and shipbuilding (civilian and military) legal business thrived side by side with drug and weapons cartels. All needed a lot of workers. Human workers already worked and lived in squalid conditions.

    So, the League illegal immigrants were sure to find work there, but of course they would be treated even worse than their human counterparts. The majority of those aliens worked on Beta Durani, but a lot were bought (as slaves in all but name) to work elsewhere. Many went to the mines of Cyrus, Vega, New Siberia, Kandhi, Cooke and Myoto (especially Cyrus), where they got the less paid and most dangerous jobs. Many more ended up as farm hands, factory workers, prostitutes, porn actors, or personal sex slaves for rich people. And a lot ended up as domestic slave workers.

    Basically, dozens of millions of League people became slaves througout the Earth Alliance. And the majority of them died early from sickness, starvation, dangerous working conditions, suicide or murder. They had to fear not only their masters, but police and human gangs.

    Especially the Earth First gangs, made up of xenophobic humans. After all, all those cheap alien workers made it even harder for the poorest humans to survive and get correct wages. The human miners, farm hands, factory workers and sex workers were hit hard by the new concurrence.

    Of course, all this was for the immigrants who actually arrived on Beta Durani first. Many more died even before that. Smugglers often took the money and killed the immigrants instead of taking them, or spaced them to avoid being caught red-handed by Earthforce patrols. Then, there were trigger-happy Alliance captains who shot any forbidden ship without warning, since those ships were either immigrant smugglers, arms or drug dealers, or pirates. Finally, there were Torata raiders who lurked near Beta Durani, and other alien pirates on the way.

    During the Reconstruction years (between 2232 and 2240), people on the poorest planets of the League (Balos, Androma, Bestine, Kor-Lya, Vartas and their colonies) were desperate enough to try to immigrate, en masse, to Earth Alliance territory.

    Of course, the first to emigrate were the most educated and qualified (even if they still often ended up as slaves). Those planets had lost many people to the Dilgar War, and lost many more to this population drain, including their intellectual elites.

    It was only in 2240 that they started to really recover, and that the drain, slowly, stopped. The help from human charity organizations (mostly religious), Alliance and Abbai state humanitarian programs allowed those planets to reconstitute their education (including higher education) systems.

    Those programs also helped many trapped immigrants to go back home with qualifications and the means to survive. In July 2245, the poor planets were still poor, because of the Treaty of Tirrith, but were out of the post-war hell.

    However, a lot of people still hated the humans for what happened to the immigrants.

    d ) The human tourism

    Tau'ri tourists also flooded the League planets, and soon a (rather justified) stereotype appeared around their arrogance and bad behavior. A not-liked brand was the tourists that came for "religious" reasons.

    Since Earth had met her alien neighbors, there had been many new religions, sometimes oddly mixing up old Earth religions (like Christianism, Wicca, Judaism...), mythologies dating from the Classical (and Goa'uld) Era, and elements from alien cultures and religions. Usually, those people didn't understand how alien cultures worked, and didn't make the effort to either. They simply wanted to take what looked cool everywhere.

    A short-lived cult (Omnus) ended up worshipping together the Centauri Great Maker, as the "masculine creator" on one hand and the Abbai "Great Mother" (who they actually made up from different Abbai religious figures) as the "feminine" creator. They, also conflated the angels from Earth religions with the Centauri pantheon of (secundary) gods (1). Finally, the Omnus cultists integrated religious or cultural important figures from Earth (Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, Buddha, Raël (2)...), Centauri Prime (Tuscano), Narn (G'Quon), Brakos (Brakir) and other planets in their lore.

    The Omnus didn't create too much problems, because they were pacifists at heart, and most of them came to live in the Abbai Matriarchate. The Abbai didn't mind, after all, the sixteen Abbai religions had always coexisted in perfect peace, so one more wasn't a problem.

    But the increased Tau'ri tourism in the League led to dozens of similar cults popping up, and they often tried to (clumsily) proselityze League masses with distorted versions of their own religions, while shamelessly appropriating League cultures.

    The more traditional Earth religions (Christianity, Islam and Buddhism especially) also illustrated themselves with their proselytism, with more success. After all, they had much more experience and maturity. The Vatican was the most active in sending misionaries.

    Moreover, the Vatican, the Orthodox, Protestant and Mormon Churches, the Muslim and Buddhist organizations were bringing a lot of humanitarian help, which made their misionary work a success.

    While some sectors of League societies viewed that with sympathy, others didn't like foreign religions doing misionary work on their own planets. Moreover, the Brakiri Syndicacy, the Ipsha Baronies, the Kor-Lyan Kingdoms, the Grome Cooperative and the Hurr Empire didn't appreciate those new religions, which carried potentially dangerous ideas like peace and social equality, and might have given ideas to their oppressed masses. So, they covertly funded gangsters and pirates to attack the misionaries, and xenophobic groups to make anti-Earth propaganda.

    There were also the sexual tourists (of all genders and sexual orientations), who came here because of the interspecies porn. They came to League planets to sleep with locals, and often slept with prostitutes or committed rapes.

    An even worse kind of tourist was the dealers, that came to sell drugs, specifically tailored to each species. They took advantage of the Alliance's prestige, often passing themselves a Dilgar War veterans, to impress young people and offered them drugs as "free gifts", making them addicts. There were already a drug market (with local, Centauri and Tau'ri dealers) before the Dilgar War, but after the war, the influx and prestige of humans made it grow to a critical problem.

    To sum up the situation, the Alliance still got love and gratefulness because she saved the League, but her "first-of-class" behavior and the many problems she created soon annoyed ordinary people and governments alike in League space, while also annoying Centauri expansionist houses and the Narn Regime.

    Even this gratefulness was limited by the fact the humans moved in only when their ally and direct neighbor, the Markab Confederacy, was attacked, and almost completely ignored the plight of the League before that (only giving the barest humanitarian aid).

    Of course, people tend to forget that the Alliance wasn't ready in 2228 or even 2229, and would have lost at that time, and that the Alliance prepared itself since 2212 (frantically since 2220) for a conflict with the Dilgar. Senator Santiago had lobbied since 2228 for a military intervention, to help Alaca and Balos, but EarthDome was forced to refuse.

    This grudge was completed by another. When the Alliance finally entered the war, the Earthers refused to split their fleet and help everyone at once. So, while Balos had to wait until the end, and Alaca, Mitoc and Krish were utterly sacrificed, Earth Force saved the Brakiri first, followed by the Abbai, Ipsha and Vree, and only then the others. These choices were both strategical and economical (the Brakiri, Abbai and Vree were important trade partners, while Balos or Alaca were economically irrelevant).
    Once again, should Earth have split her fleet, she would have lost.

    Moreover, after the war, the Earthers saved the Alacans, Mitoc and Krish from their near-extinction with their artificial uteruses, and helped them to rebuild. Paradoxically, people from Balos, Alaca, Mitoc and Krish were still the most grateful (after all, Earth had helped them, even if it was very, very late, while everyone else had forsaken them), but in other nations, there were people resenting Earth.

    All those bad feelings, of course, didn't help the Alliance's case when the Minbari War started.

    C ) The fear of the Minbari :

    The Drazi, thanks to their warrior culture and their debt of honor, immediately sent a fleet of 1,000 warships to help Earth, when it was confirmed that the Minbari wouldn't stop with diplomacy.

    However, the Drazi fleet was destroyed in jumpspace, but not by the Minbari. We know it's not them, because the Minbari almost never lie, and besides, Minbari Warriors would have gloated about this. We still don't know for sure who did this.

    At the same time, the Abbai, Hyach and Markab sent three diplomatic ships to the Minbari outpost of Sorpigal, to ask about a diplomatic settlement. The Abbai and Hyach ships were destroyed immediately by trigger-happy warriors. The Minbari captain stopped his men from destroying the Markab ship, because he remembered the old Alliance of Valen. But he also gave the Markab a stern warning about interfering further.

    The League worlds, despite this, accepted human refugees at first. But in September 2245, the Grey Council sent fleets to threaten the League homeworlds and the Tirrith space station (which hosted the League Council itself), asking the League to cut all trade with the humans and to stop taking in refugees.

    The Warrior caste had actually wanted to strike at the League worlds, but Delenn and Branmer managed to calm them down, and had to accept this gunboat diplomacy act as a compromise.

    It worked, at least initially, with the League worlds cutting ties with the Alliance. Of course, the League also repelled the Treaty of Tirrith (which was moot since there was no trade anymore) and cesed her war debt payments.

    (1) Today, we know for sure that the Centauri pantheon of gods, like the Dilgar, Roman, Greek... pantheon, was actually made up of Goa'uld. I can only recommend you to read "The Religious Revolution in the post-Minbari War galaxy", by Professor Andros Valk of Pangar.
    (2) The Omnus cultists considered Raël, or Claude Vorilhon, founder of an extraterrestrial-based cult in the 20th century, as their father, even though the Raelian movement disappeared in the 21st century.
     
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  9. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Meanwhile, Upstairs
    October 2245 - Astral plane

    As the lower plane was (once again) ablaze with war, life continued normally in the higher plaine. A few ascended people were watching with sorrow, but the majority was mostly indifferent. People were still drinking coffee, Bourbon or Brivari, while reading the Ascended Times with their friends in the Astral Dinner.

    The majority of the ascended were Ancients, also named Alterans or, as they named themselves since their ascension, the Others. They had lost their own civilization, millions of years ago, to a war of titans, and then, they lost it again, in Pegasus, to the Wraith War. They had also watched countless civilizations, human and alien alike, rise and fall. The threat of extermination of the Earth Alliance didn't move them that much, at least, this time the species itself wasn't threatened. The galactic cluster, after all, was full of humans (not to mention the Celestis galaxy).

    The majority of the Ancients (and not a few ascended people from other races) tended to think of themselves as the apex of evolution, and mere mortal beings as little more than animals. Still, there were a lot of non-Ancients, and a few Ancients too, that cared.

    Next to the Astral Dinner, there was the Infinite Gardens, where people from all races had fun together. Most Ancients tended to snob this garden, of course, but there were people saved in the the Valen War, the Garmak-Minbari War, the Anubis Final War, the Centauri-Orieni War, the Narn Liberation War, the Dilgar War, the fall of Ikarra and a lot of other cataclysmic events.

    In one of the gardens, there were mostly Usuuth, Rogolons, Orieni, Alacans, Mitoc and Krish. The Mitoc and Krish, as always, got very well together. There were even a few "old-form" Asgard (who looked much like Vree or Streib). They came from the time the Asgard still could ascend.

    There were thousands of Dilgar children just here, since the legendary Oma Desala took upon herself to ascend them, all at once, just before the supernova that destroyed Omelos. The Nox had wanted to save the Dilgar adult civilians too, but almost everyone else rose against the idea. Finally, Oma managed to only ascend the Dilgar political prisoners (who were mostly pacifists) that had been abandoned on penal colonies of Rohric and Wahant. All these saved people, however, were only half-ascended

    One of these Dilgar children (well, teen now), Anshal, was hit hard by the Minbari atrocities. Anshal was in the garden, along with his sister Shada, and their mentors, Augustus (an Ancient) and Lysis (a Nox).

    The four played a game of go, from Earth. Anshal played with Lysis, and Shada with Augustus. Suddenly, Anshal looked at Augustus, and asked. "What if we save humans right before the Minbari bomb their colonies, like Mother Oma did with us ? And those in ships ? Ships that probably nobody will ever find.". Augustus sighed. He had hoped to avoid this discussion today, but of course, the teen kept coming back to this.
    "Well, it could work for a few, but not many humans. It's simple : if the humans, or the Minbari later find that corpses have disappeared, that will affect history. And you know we can't affect history. And for the ships, it's the same thing : probably no one will find them. But if someone does find drifting ships without any corpse, it will affect history too."
    "We could create illusions of corpses, right ? I know we can. Or at least, you, the snobs, I mean, the true Ascended", he added playfully, "you can. Us, the newbies, I'm not sure."
    "Actually, you could do that too. Technically. But that would be direct interference too, since you would affect living mortal people. So, that's forbidden too. And I know what you're thinking, so no, we can't push the Minbari leaders to accept peace through dreams."

    What Augustus didn't add was that the situation was, in reality, even more complicated this time, given how much the Minbari War was linked to the Shadow-Vorlon situation. False steps should be avoided at any cost, there.

    Lysis was clearly thinking about the same lines, given the look they shared.
    Shada entered the discussion there. "And what would happen if someone put all Minbari ships out of commission, and then, descended ? The Others can't punish someone if that person has become mortal, right ? ". The other three could see she was serious. Augustus thought of the Velonans. They were mortals but the Others still exterminated them (children included) when they used Ascended science to start wars of conquest. He wasn't sure what the Others would do against Lysis, but he wouldn't bet on their inaction.

    Lysis was sad to hear that. "Shada, surely you realize that doing that would kill all Minbari inside ?". Shada was unbothered by that. "And so what ? They would deserve their fate. Like... like our...". She couldn't finish her sentence.
    Lysis understood. Shada had grown up surrounded by people who kept talking about how her native race was the scum of the creation, and of course, she ended up hating them. Lysis and Augustus were worried for those two children. Both carried survivor guilt, and guilt for the Dilgar crimes. At least, Augustus channelled it in a desire to help and save people, but Shada, rather, wanted to punish people.

    "Like your parents, right ? No, Shada. I know that almost every adult thinks that here, but this isn't true. Not all the adult Dilgar deserved their fate. I know what the Dilgar Imperium did, but it was the decisions of the Warmasters. Sure, there were a lot of people who followed them willingly, but there were also a lot of civilians -or conscripted soldiers- who simply obeyed to survive and save their families, or who were manipulated by their leaders. Don't forget, the Imperium deported anyone who resisted (and the opponents' families), and lied all the time."
    Augustus had something to add. "And you shouldn't see things in black and white. Things are always more complicated that they seem. For example, you think that Minbari are monsters. But think. Why are they acting this way ? " Shada wanted to reply that they were simply monsters, but then, she understood the point.
    "Because they think that humans attacked them with no reason, even if it was a misunderstanding. And because they lost Dukhat, and he was like a father to his people."

    Lysis saw her realizing, and hammered the point, while keeping her Nox smile.
    "You see, the Minbari shouldn't hate or kill all humans. And it's the same for the Minbari, or every other race, there's no such thing as collectively guilty. Besides, if you look close enough, you will see that many Minbari are not bloodthirsty and will advocate peace -if they aren't already. "

    Seeing Shada troubled by those words, her brother decided to find a lighter topic of conversation. He found it, by looking at Lysis. Lysis, who like all Nox, looked like a Dilgar, but with natural dreadlocks, probably because they lived in the forest most of the time. Lysis, who of course, spoke always softly.
    "Lysis, there's something I want to ask to you. How can you, the Nox I mean, look Dilgar if you aren't ? Isn't there an astronomical chance of this happening ? I know that the Minbari, the Onteen, the humans and the Centauri look almost all the same, and well... we all know why. But the Nox come from another galaxy, so surely it can't the same reason ? ".

    Augusutus burst out of laughing at this question (he had asked it himself millenia ago, when he was a teen himself), while Lysis kept her usual smile. Augustus replied to Anshal, before Lysis could. "Anshal, take my hand. You'll see what I see, from my point of view." Seeing Shada puzzled, he added, "Shada, take my other hand. You two, close your eyes, and when I say it, open them." The two children closed their eyes. Well, nobody had really eyes, or a physical body for that matter in the garden, this was like a virtual reality, but with perfect realism. Augustus, once had linked to the two teens, told them to open their eyes.

    They saw the garden, which was still the same. They saw Lysis, who was still... No, she was human-looking. But apart from that, she still had the same expression. Shada and Anshal's jaws dropped.

    Augustus, then, went to a neighboring group, and talked to an Usuuth male. They didn't understand what they said, except that the Usuuth (also) burst out of laughing. Then, the Usuuth came to the group, and sat down between Anshal and Shada. "Want to take my hands, and try with me ?". The two children understood. They repeated the experience, but neither really believe that it would work again. They opened their eyes, and it had worked.

    Lysis still had her smile... but she looked Usuuth. She had a brown fur and was small like the Usuuth. Her facial traits were Usuuth. But she still had the same look and facial expression. The only thing that didn't changed was that she had the same hair as ever. And voice, as they heard. "You see, things aren't always as they look."

    Anshal wondered what they did really look (they probably had those wild hair in their true form, though). And Shada wondered how Shadows and Goa'uld would see them.

    AN : The Orieni are an old enemy of the Centauri, who were in cold war with them the whole 20th century, and fought them between 2001 and 2008. The Phanop are a member-species of the Orieni Empire. The Usuuth and Rogolons were two species living right between the Centauri and Orieni empires, and who were caught in the crossfire. The Alacans, Mitoc and Krish were victims of the Dilgar genocide, who were driven to near-extinction, but then saved by the Terran artificial uteruses. Those species come from Wars of the Centauri Republic and The Galactic Guide.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
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  10. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Death and Dishonor

    November 2245 - Deep space


    Alyt Sernal was going to attack the human colony of Kandhi. He had reviewed, one last time, the Battle of Maui. The humans had innovated (they always did), they had placed 6,000 nuclear missiles in geostationary orbit, above each city Maui, with the 700 Artemis rail-frigates and the 22,000 Starfuries within the nukefields. There were also 3,000 defence platforms, deep within the nukefield.

    They had hoped that the Minbari would send the capital ships to glass the cities, and then, they would have detonated the missiles by waves. The goal of the humans was not to take out the ships directly with fixed nukes (the Minbari would never go close enough to the nukes for that), but to illuminate the region of space.

    Even if the capital ships fired on the cities (or the frigates) at extreme range, they would have been forced to enter the illuminated zone, and then, the Artemis would have located them easily and targeted them with their cursed rail-guns.

    The Minbari commander at Maui, Alyt Mirenn, had decided to, instead, send a third of her Nials in atmosphere to bomb the cities themselves, and not risk the capital ships in the illuminated zones. The 10,000 remaining Nials would charge in the illuminated zone, and target the Artemis themselves.

    However, the humans had sent 200 nukes in the higher atmosphere, creating a majestic firestorm, that destroyed all the 5,000 Nials sent there, while 2,000 in six waves, degrading the Nials' sensors to nothing for a few minutes, and illuminating six times the local space.

    The main Nial force was within the nukefield, and was fully illuminated and blinded, allowing the defence plaforms (with their pulse cannons and missiles), the Starfuries, and the Artemis (with their rail-guns and missiles) to destroy them all in less than a minute.

    Mirenn had lost all her Nials, and only managed to destroy 17 Artemis. She still had 120 Sharlin and 300 Tinashi, however, while the Earthers still had 683 Artemis, 22,000 Starfuries, 3,000 defence platforms and a nukefield of 3,800 nukes.

    Furious about the loss of her Nials, Mirenn ordered her force to charge into the nukefield. Immediately, the fusion cannons of her ships started to take out nukes, Starfuries and defence platforms, while her neutron cannons targeted the Artemis.

    The humans reacted immediately. They detonated the remainder of the nukes in three waves, and sent the Artemis by packs of five (there were 126 groups of Artemis), each surrounded by 145 Starfuries (give or take). The 126 groups micro-jumped as close as possible to the Sharlins, whose general area had been pinpointed thanks to the nukefield detonation's light.

    Out of 120 Sharlin, only 39 survived the onslaught, but they destroyed all the Artemis and Starfuries. At the same time, the Tinashi pushed forward, and destroyed methodically the defence platforms from extreme range.

    Then, the Tinashi and surviving Sharlin glassed the colony, and moved away. The Minbari had managed to destroy the colony of Maui and its defending fleet, but had lost 81 Sharlin and 15,000 Nial fighters.

    The Grey Council had presented this battle as victory. It was not a lie. Firstly, Minbari do not lie. Secondly, it was technically a victory. However, Sernal knew better. It was a strategical defeat. Sernal didn't doubt the Minbari would win at the end, but resolved to do better than Mirenn and obtain a true strategical victory at Kandhi.

    Kandhi

    According to the Anla'shok reconnaissance team, the Earthers had put the same nukefields on Kandhi and Maui, but with an extra-ingredient on Kandhi. The geostationary nukes were now strapped to Starfury reactors. Also, there was only one main city on Kandhi, so everything was concentrated there.

    The Earthers had 1200 Artemis rail-frigates, 122,000 Starfuries and 1750 defence platforms, again deep within the nuke fields and above the cities. Sernal expected them to have at least one trap ready. He, himself, had 430 Sharlin, 600 Tinashi and 33,500 Nials.

    Sernal quickly decided his tactic. He would send an Alpha force, made up of 10,000 Nials, to harry the Artemis frigates, destroying them if possible but more importantly, distracting them. A Beta force, made up of 2,000 Nials, would deal with the unmanned platforms at the same time. A Delta force, made up of 21,500 Nials, would deal with the Starfuries.

    The Beta force would go first, and come through the atmosphere, striking the plaforms from behind them. The platforms were, of course, turned to space and not to the megacity they protected. If everything went well, the Nials would destroy all the platforms at once, removing an important hazard to the Alpha and Delta forces.

    As soon as the platforms would be down, the Beta force Nials would place themselves between the megacity and the fleet, and attack the Artemis at extreme range, picking them up from behind, where they didn't expect an attack. Moreover, to fight the Delta Nials, the Earthers would have to risk to fire on their own city.

    At the same time, the Alpha and Delta forces would enter the illuminated zones in space, targeting respectively the Artemis and Starfuries. Still at the same time, the Tinashis would jump. A minute later, they would open jump-points near the Artemis, destroying at best 600 of them. The Tinashi would not exit jumpspace, but instead continue to open jumppoints on the Artemis. Sernal expected that, after the first time, the Artemis would move at their best speed, and that only the first jump-point attack would be a great success. But even if the next jump-point attacks only destroyed a few dozens of enemy ships, it would still help.

    Finally, after the first jump-point attack, the Sharlin would enter the dance and start destroying (from extreme range) both Starfuries and Artemis with their neutron cannons, while they would provide cover to as much damaged Nials as possible with their (shorter-ranged) fusion cannons. To finish, they would glass the megacity and any other human settlement on the planet.

    Sernal, after reviewing one last time his plan, gave the order to the Beta force to go. What he hadn't expected was that dozens of thousands of human civilians, evacuated to the countryside, were watching the sky with binoculars and optical telescopes (the Minbari sensors overlooked them since they didn't use any electronics). The ground observers detected the Beta Nials 5,000 kilometers away from their targets, and telepaths among them sent the signal.

    This signal helped the fleet to immediately locate (optically) the Beta Nials, which were destroyed by a barrage of nukes when they were above an uninhabited zone. They were all destroyed. Sernal understood that attacking the defence platforms (and the fleet) from below wouldn't work. So, he had to attack, more conventionnally, from space.

    He slightly changed the plan. The Tinashis would make their first jump-point attack on the defence platforms, taking out 600 of them, out of 1,750. Each Tinashi would also deploy, through the jump points, 12,000 Nials from below.

    Then, 2,000 Nials from below would deal with the remaining 1,150 defence platforms, while the other 10,000 Nials from below would target the Starfuries. The Tinashis would make their second jump-point attack on the Artemis, hopefully taking out 600 of them.

    At the same time, the Sharlins would jump to the limits of their extreme range, and snipe (from this position) more Artemis frigates, while deploying, from their own jump-points, the remaining 19,500 Nials, which would target either the Starfuries or the Artemis, as targets of opportunity.

    Once again, Sernal gave the order, and the Tinashi all jumped. The humans saw the jump points, and expected a jump-point attack on the Artemis. So, the Artemis started to move at their best speed, while the defence platforms and Starfuries targeted the Artemis, expecting jump points near them. Instead, 600 defence platforms were instantly destroyed, and 12,000 Nials emerged from below the human fleet.

    To her credit, General Mina Perez didn't panic, and following her intuition, ordered the Starfuries (and defence platforms) to still target the Artemis (or rather, their vicinity). The Nials took advantage of this to slaughter 45,000 Starfuries (out of 122,000), but when the Tinashis launched their second jump-point attack, a volley of 151,500 nuclear missiles (from the Starfuries and the platforms) targeted the jump points, and even with the Nials hastily trying to intercept them, there were around 10 nuclear explosions in each jump-point.

    Out of 600 Tinashis, 562 were instantly destroyed, 14 were heavily damaged, 11 were lost in jumpspace, and only 15 remained functional. The jump-point attack had got only 230 Artemis out of 1,200. The surviving Tinashis managed to destroy, with their fusion cannons, 37 further Artemis before being destroyed themselves by a second barrage of missiles. It is a testament to the accuracy of Minbari targeting systems, that they managed to got any Artemis at all with a jump-point attack, when the Artemis were moving at top speed.

    However, just as the Tinashis were destroyed, the Sharlin opened their own jumppoints from above. One minute ago, the humans had seen the Sharlin jumping, and Perez had given her orders about that.

    As soon as the 430 Sharlin and their 19,500 Nials emerged from their jump points, at the extreme limit of the nukefield zone, half of the nukefield was detonated. The Minbari sensors were blinded, especially those of the Nials, which were picked up easily by the 72,000 remaining Starfuries and the remaining mobile nukes.

    During the detonation, 200 Artemis had opened their own jump points (hidden by the thousands of nuclear detonations), and re-emerged right behind the Sharlin fleet. Each of these Artemis had been followed, in jumpspace, by 50 Starfuries and 100 mobile nukes. Half of these mobile nukes (5,000) detonated right away, illuminating the Sharlin, while the other half went at full speed (with their Starfury reactors) to the Sharlin, hoping to destroy them.

    The 435 Sharlin crews hadn't expected an attack from behind, and were focused on destroying the 737 Artemis in front of them. When the 5,000 nukes exploded behind them and illuminated them, the 737 Artemis in front of them and the 200 Artemis behind them fired their rail-guns as one. 188 Sharlin were instantly destroyed.

    At the same time, the last mobile nukes of the battle reached their targets. Out of 5,000, only 93 got close enough to their targets. In total, 281 Sharlin out of 435 had been destroyed.

    One minute ago, the last Nials had been destroyed after the main detonation, by Starfuries and mobile nukes. They still had managed to down 35,000 Starfuries though. The last 37,000 Starfuries of the battle, now, were closing on the Sharlin fleet and would enter their firing range soon.

    Sernal saw the writing on the wall, and ordered the retreat of his fleet through normal space, each ship following a different direction at top speed. The humans were unable to follow.

    Ten minutes later, Sernal gave his last orders of the battle with an evil smile. Thirty minutes later, the human fleet detected 308 small asteroids (whose length was around 50 meters each) coming to Kandhi at 2c speed.

    Admiral Mina Perez had the worst day of her life, when she ordered her fleet to let the asteroids pass and sacrificed the colony. She knew that her fleet had no chance to stop all the asteroids. If she sent her ships, they would be out of the battle zone, where so many nukes had been detonated that the radioactive gas would break the Minbari jamming. Moreover, her Artemis would all be alone, and the faster Sharlin would form wolfpacks and pick them one by one.

    Sernal would later argue this was a tactical decision, and he expected Perez to send her ships and stop the asteroids (so that he would destroy her fleet), and this was the truth. But the whole truth was that sending those asteroids was, also, simply cathartic for him.

    So, Admiral Perez announced to the colonists that they had been saved (so that they didn't have to know their impending death) and ordered her fleet to go to Cooke. Part of the admiralty wanted to send her to a martial court for her decision, but she took her own life with her pistol as soon as her fleet reached Cooke. Alyt Sernal went back to Minbar with dishonor. Not because he murdered millions of innocents, but because using asteroids instead of fighting in person was not honourable.

    When Perez decided to not stop the asteroids, higher beings decided to take the matter in their own hands. When the asteroids were one minute away from the planet, all the colonists disappeared from the mortal plane in strange flashes of light.

    Thousands of light-years from Kandhi, all those colonists reappeared in a strange sanctuary, where they were welcomed by monks, people looking like hippies from 20th century movies, and Dilgar children and teenagers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  11. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    In the Shadow, In the Light

    November 2245 - Sol system


    A Vorlon ship, that had exited in the interstellar space between Sol and Proxima, entered the Sol system after a few months at light speed. It was better to do it this way, since the Terrans would likely detect a jump-point opening even in the Outer Oort Cloud.

    As the Vorlon ship passed the Kuiper Belt, it detected a Shadow ship on Ganymede, but it was inactive so the Earthers hadn't found it. More importantly, the Vorlon readings were confirmed. There were wormholes coming from and to Earth.

    When the Vorlon ship arrived on Mars orbit, it managed to spy on Earth herself, and saw that there were a lot of shipbuilding (not surprising), and that the Earthers used Naqadah and Trinium. The reading also confirmed there was an active Stargate, in the American Consortium.

    The crew reported to the Vorlon Empire. This situation threatened the Circle. The Vorlons would have to capture Valen, or rather Jeffrey Sinclair, as soon as possible, before an event killed or wounded him, changing the past.

    Within the Vorlon Empire, the Vorlon aspects were already debating what to do about the gate, since it changed massively the power dynamics. The debate was cut short, as a Shadow battlecrab phased out of jumpspace next to the Vorlon visitor, and its crew started to talk. The conversation, of course, was broacasted in real-time to a vast audience both on Zha'dum and in the Vorlon Empire.

    The Shadow captain recognized instantly their Vorlon counterpart, and decided to troll him, like everytime they met.

    "Kardash. Long time, no see."
    Kardash didn't bother to use the name of his counterpart, since the Shadows had ridiculously long names. Which, by the way, proved they were stupid. He bantered back, though.
    "Well, when you're immortal, there have to be a few downsides, like seeing your stupid mantis face over and over again."
    "So, you came to watch too ? I hope you didn't bet on your little boneheads... Oh, probably not, you were probably so sure of their victory that you wouldn't have."
    "Betting is for children."
    "And the Torvalus."
    "Same thing".
    "Well, at least you're not as annoying as those killjoy worms."

    Every Shadow and Vorlon on the ships laughed (or had what was the closest to a laugh for their species). Mocking the Torvalus was basically a First One private joke.

    The Torvalus (who were, basically, sentient worms and the most bizarre lifeform of the galaxy) were known for betting on everything, and for complaining about the Vorlon-Shadow debate, because every time both races moved their pawns, it changed the natural order of things and destroyed Torvalus bets.
    When the Last Great Galactic War erupted thousands of years ago between the Shadows and the other First Ones, the Torvalus joined the Vorlon side because the Shadows had made too many of their bets null.

    The Shadow captain, however, had a to cut the pleasantries with their old frenemy, and to deliver their message.

    "Well, Kardash, as you know, I didn't come all this way just to bathe in your angelic grace." Kardash was one of the Vorlons who never took the angel thing seriously at all, and practiced it like an act. If he had been human, he would have been a Holywood star. So, he didn't mind the snide comment, and nodded. At least, Kardash thought, his frenemy had not compared the Vorlon angel act to the Goa'uld god act.

    Almost all Vorlons hated this comparison, because they were, obviously, superior to the Goa'uld. They were First Ones, the Goa'uld were wannabe upstarts. Kardash hated this comparison too, but for a different reason. The Goa'uld were really lousy actors. And he was much better.

    Kardash's train of thought was interrupted, when his counterpart talked again. "We know that the Astria Porta was an unexpected event, and that it probably shatters all your plans. But, that's silly, WE love unexpected events, and everyone woken up back home to watch this." They couldn't resist this small mockery. "So, unless the match becomes too unbalanced in the humans' favor, or some other First One intervenes, we forbid you to do anything to help the Minbari -and we won't do help the humans either. If you want to intervene in any way, you will have to ask us first."

    Kardash knew that the threat was serious, and if the Vorlons decided to still interfere, either the Shadow fleet would stop them, or the Shadows would send "gifts" to Earth Alliance and make things even worse.

    More importantly, that meant Valen had to be extrictated now, because of the Shadow blockade. Maybe it was even too late. The Vorlon Empire immediately sent a Kaldesh ship on Earth at top speed. The Vorlons had a small fleet, of only a few thousands, of Kaldesh ships for that kind of emeregencies.

    They were transports measuring up to three kilometers long, allowing them to have gravity engines proportionnally as big. Those ships were made to move very quickly in jumpspace. They were hidden in jumpspace folds near each important young race territory, and were able to come anywhere in minutes, if there was an emergency.

    Jeffrey Sinclair had been telepathically tagged long ago, and luckily, he was in his Starfury, training among his squadron. The training was cut short when a jump point opened and the Starfury was caught in it by a powerful tractor beam, and then the point closed itself. It took a few seconds.

    The conversation between Kardash and the Shadow captain continued at the same time. Kardash had decided to negociate and argue as much as possible (mostly to stall until Valen was safe in Vorlon custody). "We can't let the humans operate the porta. We had convened of this in the Treaty of Thenotk".

    The Treaty of Thenotk had concluded the Last Great Galactic War. When the Alterans returned from Pegasus and destroyed the Goa'uld fleet on Earth, the Shadows didn't have any problem with this. When the Vorlons, called by their Alteran old allies, definitely kicked the Goa'uld off Earth, Omelos, Centauri Prime and other local planets, and then cleaned every material trace of the Goa'uld era (like ma'tok staffs or Jaffa bodies), the Shadows strongly objected.

    When the Vorlons prepared a fleet to exterminate the Goa'uld, and started to take away all the Naqadah and Trinium in the local sector (be it on the surface of the planets or in the crusts), the Shadows declared war. If the Vorlons wanted to hoard everything, at least they would have to share.

    The Vorlons (with the help of the Alterans) managed to get the other First Ones on their side, telling only their truth and not the truth. Once the war was finished, their manipulations were exposed and the other First Ones mostly left. The Shadows had been badly beaten, but the Vorlons were exhausted too. So, the war ended with the Treaty of Thenotk. The Shadows had to accept the removal of all the Astria Portas in the sector and that the Goa'uld would be forbidden to enter the sector, and the Vorlons had to renounce to destroy the Goa'uld Empire. The Naqadah and Trinium reserves were shared equally between the two races.

    The Shadow captain countered the treaty argument. "Well, that's true, according to the treaty, YOU, Vorlons, were supposed to remove all the gates back then. But clearly you botched your work. In other words, you renounced to remove the Omelos porta". If Kardash could have been an actor, his opposite number could have been a lawyer.

    And he was right. The Vorlons had botched this. When the Vorlon fleet had come to Omelos to drive off the Goa'uld, Bastet had already fled the planet with her Sekhmet guard, and the gate was carried on another Cheops, which was shot out of the sky by the Vorlons. However, the gate survived the destruction of the ship, and floated in space, where the Vorlons overlooked it. It sat there until the humans found it in 2231.

    Kardash knew he wouldn't win this, so he shifted his demands. "Well, then, the Earthers shall have their gate. If they meet the Goa'uld or anyone else on the other side, it's their problem. However, the Goa'uld are still forbidden to come in our space". The Vorlons and Shadows considered the local space as their space (more precisely, their lab). "And you take your ships out of Ganymede and Mars now."

    The Shadow captain and diplomat agreed with that. Immediately, both Shadow dormant ships extricated themselves from the surface, in full view of EarthForce, and of PsiCorp, which had a base on Syria Planum near one of the ships. They quickly phased out to jumpspace, and left to Zha'dum.

    The negociations being finished, both Kardash and his friend went back to their own planets.

    The EIA and EFNI would scratch their collective heads for years, trying to understand what happened this day. A pilot had been kidnapped in a jump-point, and two spider ships had extricated themselves from Sol system planets and disappeared.

    AN : The "Last Great Galactic War" is the conflict often mentioned in the show, in which the Vorlons and other First Ones battled the Shadows. It happened thousands of year ago, well before the Valen War.

    The Torvalus are a (worm-like) First One race, known for its habit of betting on everything. There are also the Kirishiac, the Mindriders, the Triad, and of course the Walkers, the Vorlons and the Shadows. And the Alterans and Nox, there.
     
  12. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    The Vultures

    November 2245 - Regula

    The Regula colony hadn't any inhabitable (or even terraformable) planet, but still had many purposes for the Earthers. Mining of rare earths (which, well, were not so rare thanks to more than thirty available star systems, but people kept calling them rare anyway) and waters (from comets), astronomical and geological studies, and more importantly, security. The system was the key to Beta Durani (a major colony) and also allowed access to Katepyn (itself a very important outpost).

    On its south, were a route to the Torata Regency, and another that linked to the Ventuki Conglomerate (Vree), the Moradi Kingdom and the Thrakallan Imperium.

    The Torata had a long history of conquest on their own homeworld, and when they went in space, had constantly battled with their neighbors (the EA, the Vree, Kor-Lyans and Thrakallans) to take border systems they coveted.

    They had also learnt to not mess with the Earth Alliance in the 2220s, but now, because of the Minbari War, they made regular probes in Regula, and it was well-known they really coveted Beta Durani, Katepyn and Ross 128 too.

    Two or three times per month, the Torata Border Fleet sent fleets in the system, hoping to see it abandoned. They avoided combat because the Torata Navy was small, and the Torata preferred to wait until the humans were destroyed, or their fleet forced to abandon the border systems.

    The Earthers were getting used to this. This time, ten jump points opened. But instead of the usal small fleets, 34 Golthar cruisers escorted by 68 Atlac corvettes, and 1,870 Tuka fighters entered the system.

    The 20 Hyperion and 30 Olymus frigates defending the system, with their 1,200 Starfuries, were on alert, as they were every time the Torata came, but everyone was still surprised when the Torata actually fired. Instead of dealing with both the human cruisers and fighters, the Torata fired their 408 laser accelerators and 1190 particle accelerators (mounted on the Golthar and Atlac for the particle accelerators, Golthar only for the lasers), and their 3740 light cannon particles (mounted on the Tuka), all at once, targeting the 20 Hyperions only.

    The Torata weapons were not very powerful (that was the price of their light weight and small size), but they were accurate. The first collective shot put the Hyperions out of fight, and the second collective shot pierced the hulls, causing the air to escape and the human crews to die, sometimes slowly. Nobody would be able to assist them in time.

    The Starfuries raced to fight the Torata fleet, but the Torata, when designing their ships, had gambled everything on speed and maneuvrability. So, the ships escaped the wrath of the Stafuries (going all in different directions), except for a few corvettes that were destroyed.

    Then, the Torata put a minefield on the jumpgate, and deployed 7,000 Tolgat unmanned defence platforms. Then, either the Starfury pilots died in space from lack of air, self-destructed, or tried a bonzai charge on the Torata fleet, which was shredded by the Tolgats and the fleet.

    The next day, the Torata repeated this in Katepyn, and then on Ross 128 (which the humans could only access through Katepyn). The Earthers had effectively been cut from the Thrakallans, the Moradi and more importantly, the Vree.

    The Torata were not alone in this. The Ch'lona Cooperatives and the Koulani Directorate had attacked since August 2245. In their first attack, the Ch'lonas even managed to land on Signet, and the Koulani on Delphi, before both were repelled. Then, they made small-scale raids for months.

    In November, the Ch'lonas and Koulani brought overwhelming forces to Signet and Delphi too. The Earthers, as usual, expected mere raids. They lost the two planets.

    It became clear that the three powers had coordinated the thing, lulling the Earthers into a false sense of safety (with only probes or small attacks), and then struck all together.
    The EFNI was surprised at this level of coordination, since the Koulani and Ch'lona (even if they had allied around 2169 against the EA) usually fought each other and the Torata were loners. This failure of intelligence was a black mark for the service, but it would be mostly forgiven, considering the EFNI had to focus on the Minbari threat.

    The three vulture nations were confident that, with the Minbari War, the Earthers would be unable to respond, and that they would be soon dead anyway. They were wrong.


    AN : According to the maps, the Centauri are "north" and "north-west" to the EA, the Narn are "north east", the League is "east" (and continues behind the Narn territory), the Minbari are "west". And there are a lot of species mentioned in the Galactic Guide and the roleplay sourcebooks that like "south", such as the Thrakallans, Tokati, Torata, Ch'lona and Koulani. The three last species were in constant small-scale conflict with the EA, their other neighbors and sometimes each other.
     
  13. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    A Bigger Boom than Expected

    December 2245 - Myoto

    Alyt Lorenn was a promising officer in the Minbari Fleet. And everyone looked at her, expecting her to do better than Alyt Sernal at Kandhi last month. Moreover, Myoto was the closest Earth colony to Minbari space. It was actually closer to Minbar than to Kandhi, and had just been discovered.

    She read the report of the Anla'shok. After the disaster of Kandhi, the Earthers had kept the same pattern of defence, but bettered it. Now, instead of one nukefield over the cities, there were two layers of nukefield, separated by 300 kilometers. So, even if the Minbari fleet emerged at the extreme range of the first nukefield, the second would be at its back, and the Minbari ships would be illuminated and easily targeted regardless.

    Each nukefield counted 6,000 nukes (including 1,000 mobile nukes), and there were also 1,000 "super-nukes", ten times bigger than the others, supposedly to bust any coming asteroid. Each super-nuke was protected by a dedicated squadron of Starfuries.

    There was only one megacity on the ground, meaning two nukefields in orbit. In each nukefield, there were also 300 Nova cruisers, 1,200 Artemis frigates, 50,000 Starfuries and 2,500 defence platforms.

    There were also 20,000 Starfuries covering the rest of the orbit, and 10,000 mobile nukes floating in the upper atmsophere, and an important network of ground-based sensors. If the Minbari again tried to attack the main fleet from below, it would fail spectacularly (or at least, be everything but a surprise).

    The Minbari had decided to deal with Myoto with overwhelming force. This time, they brought 130 Shargoti, 2,000 Sharlin, 3,000 Tinashi and 173,000 Nials to the battle. The Minbari fleet would exit jumpspace in various points of the system, as usual, and rendez-vous near the planet.

    This Minbari fleet had upgraded its sensor packs, including the very new optical sensors, that had been developed around the clock by the workers. Of course, the Minbari had optical sensors since the beginning of their space age, but they had not used them (nor upgraded them) since the Valen War. The Shadow ships, by being totally black and able to cloak themselves, rendered the optical targeting mostly useless. The electronical sensors had been totally sufficient in the Garmak and Streib Wars too. Regardless, this time, even thousands of nukes detonating at once would not blind the Minbari.

    The Minbari had also brought 400 jump-point drones. Among these, 100 drones would first open useless jump points as diversion, to have the Earthers targeting those. And as the Earth fleet would be occupied targeting them, the 300 other drones (five seconds later) would open jump points that would, each, disgorge 288 Nials, as close as possible to the Starfury squadrons.

    At the same time, the other half of the Nials enter, in normal space and in plain sight of the Earthers, both nukefield zones, from all sides. The Nials would use their speed and maneuvrability (courtesy of advanced gravitic technology) to escape any Artemis or Nova fire.

    The moment the Nials entered the battle zone (both through jump-points and normal space), the Tinashi would position themselves at extreme range and lay a hand to the fighters, by sniping (with their fusion cannons) either the Starfuries, their missiles or the mobile nukes that threatened Nial squadrons. Except for 200 Tinashi, that would be tasked with destroying the defence platforms alone.

    The fixed nukes would be overlooked, since their function was to illuminate space and blind Minbari sensors, and not directly to fight, and if things went as planned, this would not be too much of a problem.

    Then, once the Nial squadrons (helped by the Tinashis) would have destroyed all fighters and mobile nukes, the Sharlin and the Tinashi would enter the thick of the battle, and target the Nova and Artemis ships from mid-range. The Shargoti lend a hand from a farther point (while remaining on the move), using their more numerous and longer-ranged cannons. Each Shargoti would be paired with a Tinashi, charged to act as a physical shield if necessary. And each capital ship would have a squadron of drones acting as physical shields against rail-gun projectiles, meaning the Sharlin and Tinashi would be able to go further in the kill zone safely.

    Lorenn had trained her fleet in war games during three weeks for this operation, forcing them to adapt to possible human traps or unexpected problems. Her workers ran dozens of computer simulations, changing small parameters each time. She was moderately confident, her sailors were good, but the humans were good, too. She was sure they would still surprise her.

    At the beginning, everything went as planned (which made Lorenn even more distressed, in fact). The jump-point drones opened their diversion points, which worked well enough, and then, their real jump points, disgorging half of the Nials. The Tinashi had positioned themselves at extreme range, and started to protect the Nials, or for a few, to destroy the defence platforms (which were soon rubble).

    The humans started to detonate their mobile nukes as close as possible to the Nials, but failed to blind the Minbari sensors, and just lost stupidly those nukes. The Nials pressed on, slaughtering the Starfuries and taking moderate losses.

    As planned, the Sharlin and Tinashi started to pursue the Nova and Artemis in the middle of the nuke field, followed by 60,000 Nials (which were only a minute behind and would quickly catch up). Victory seemed close. There had been 34,723 lost Nials, and only 14 Tinashi, while there were already 160 Nova and 412 Artemis destroyed, plus most of the Starfuries, all the mobile nukes and defence platforms.

    And then, while the Sharlin, Tinashi and Nials were deep inside, the whole nuke field exploded. Except that this time, it wasn't nukes with a touch of Naqadah. It was nukes fully made of Naqadah.

    The Minbari instantly lost 1,740 Sharlin (plus 128 heavily damaged), 2,593 Tinashi (plus 117 heavily damaged) and almost all the following Nials. They still had 130 Shargoti, 138 Sharlin and 293 Tinashi, against 140 Novas and 788 Artemis.

    Seconds later, Earther reinforcements arrived from jumpspace. The Naqadah massive explosion had given away the position of even the Shargoti (which had the most powerful jamming and were the most distant). The Earthers had noticed they were there and knew their general area since the Shargoti started to snipe human targets, so they had only positioned their drones in the relevant area in jumpspace.

    The Earthers introduced a new kind of drones, the Tsar Bombas. They were basically supernukes made of Naqadah, with a length of 80 meters and a width of 15 meters, and with a jump-point generator, a missile-launcher and two Starfury reactors.

    For each present Shargoti (and their escorting Tinashi and Nials), there were between four and five of these drones that emerged at a close distance.

    At the same time, 400 Artemis rail-frigates with 8000 Starfuries emerged behind the Sharlin and Tinashi, catching them in a cross-fire. 107 Sharlin and 158 Tinashi were quickly destroyed by the Artemis rail-guns from both sides and by the Nova plasma broadsides, while 38 Sharlins and 122 Tinashi were also quickly destroyed by the first volley of 16,000 Starfury missiles.

    Which, now, were also (but conventional) Naqadah-based nuclear bombs, and so were much more powerful. Worse, those missiles were able to detect (with picoseconds precision) the Minbari coming neutron or fusion beams, to calculate how far they were from the Minbari ship, and if they were close enough, to detonate. The only option for the Minbari was to intercept them far enough.

    The remaining 13 Tinashi tried to run from the battle, but only 9 of them managed to.

    The First Battle of Myoto had been an unmitigated disaster for the Minbari, but had been costly to the humans too. The humans had lost two nukefields, 5000 defence platforms, 100,000 + Starfuries, 173 Novas and 437 Artemis. The Minbari, however, had lost 130 Shargoti, 2,000 Sharlin, 2,991 Tinashi and 173,000 Nials. Earth also still controlled the Myoto system, which was far too close to Minbar for the Minbari taste.

    At the exact same time as the Battle of Myoto, two EarthForce fleets of 200 Artemis rail-frigates and 4000 Starfuries jumped in orbit of Cyrus and Jericho, and targeted the Minbari ground forces with their rail-guns. Of course, the Minbari guard fleets (made up of 35 Sharlin and 1750 Nials) came immediately. The Sharlin sniped the newcomers from long-range, while the Nials charged. The human first volley of missiles was made up of 10,000 conventional nukes.

    The human battle computers managed to pinpoint the area (with a margin of 300 kilometers) where the Sharlin were thanks to their own neutron and fusion beams, and thanks to the slight reflection of the nuclear light. Of course, the jamming (which was basically gravity distorting light waves, plus the polycristalline armor refracting most of the light) and the speed at which the Sharlin moved made the pinpointing not very precise.

    However, even an area was enough when 2 Naqadah Tsar Bombas emerged from jumpspace per Sharlin, and exploded at once, taking out everything on dozens of square kilometers. For the few Sharlin that hadn't been destroyed the first time, they were at least illuminted so much that wolf-packs of four Artemis and 100 Starfuries managed to jump close enough to them (each Artemis emerging on a different side) and destroy them instantly, firing both volleys of nuclear misiles and rail-guns. It was literally impossible to miss this time. However, 13 Artemis were till destroyed during those short fights.

    Once the guarding fleets destroyed, the humans wanted the Minbari to surrender. They knew that the Minbari wouldn't listen to radio, tachyon or telepathic messages from "savage" humans, so they written their message in the sky, in Minbari written language, using space fireworks. Here the Minbari would be forced to see it.

    On Jericho, they only had, then, to demonstrate their rail-guns on forests nearby the Minbari positions. On Cyrus, it was more complicated, the EA had not only to use their rail-guns but to send a Department team to assassinate all Minbari officers because they were too... boneheaded to accept. Then, they got the surrender of most of the Minbari platoons one by one, and buried those who refused in collapsed tunnels.

    In total, the humans got 266,666 Minbari war prisoners from Cyrus and Jericho.
    There were three long-term consequences of Myoto :


    • The Minbari and everyone else learnt that the Earth Alliance had access to an over-powered material that nobody else had. Not only access, but enough to spare like confetti.

    • The myth of the Minbari invicibility was shattered forever at Myoto, since this time, the Minbari hadn't just lost because of enemy tricks and incompetence, but because of an enemy technology. So, Minbari morale took a serious hit, while the Earther citizens started to believe they had a chance, after all.

    • The Minbari prisoners would become an important tool to EarthDome strategies and propaganda.
     
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  14. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    The Vultures (II)

    December 2245 - Beta Durani

    While the Battle of Myoto raged, the Torata, after their conquest (which succeeded more by their ruse than their technology) of Regula, Katepyn and Ross 128, decided to try to take the real prize : Beta Durani. The system was rich in Quantium 40 and other materials, and Beta Durani herself was semi-inhabitable, thanks to 64 years of heavy terraforming by the Earthers. There were now oceans, and you could breathe the atmosphere for minutes before lacking air.

    However, Beta Durani would present an important challenge to the Torata. It was one of the most populated colonies after the ones in the Proxima and Orion system, had thousands of factories on the ground, and hundreds of orbital shipyards (mostly civilian but of course, now they were repurposed to warship production).

    EarthForce had 480 Hyperions, 1,350 Olympus frigates, 44,000 Starfuries and 20,000 defence platforms defending the colony. More modern ships were sent to the Minbari front, and colonies closest to the Minbari got the newest defences (like the nukefield).

    The Torata Navy couldn't afford to fight such a fleet head on. However, the Torata officers had listened to reports of the Minbari-Earth War battles, and taken notes.

    1,273 jump points opened, destroying instantly the 480 Hyperions, and also 793 Olympus. The jump-point drone operators knew that all EarthForce ships would instantly get on the move, so, they instead opened their next jump-points on defence platforms (selecting randomly their targets instead of picking up all platforms in one area). Most of them managed to destroy three or four plaforms, a few managed up to five or six, before being caught by a human nuke (thrown in its jump-point). However, they had destroyed almost all the platforms.

    At the same time, 24 jump-points opened in interplanetary space, and in the same area, four replicas of human civilian ships went at full speed to the direction of the planet, after broadcasting that the Minbari were on their trail. The replicas, then, exploded one after the other. The Torata had managed to simulate their destruction by Minbari ships. The humans got the bait, massing their ships above the cities and starting to fire nukes, to try to illuminate space. Of course, they saw nothing.

    Instead, the Torata opened seven jump points at the limit of the upper atmosphere, and above the oceans. The points disgorged, each, 1,200 Tolgat platforms. Those platforms had been designed with speed and maneuvrability in mind, and even though half of them was destroyed by the human fleets, the other half managed to place itself in high atmosphere, between the fleet and the cities, and continued to move erratically.

    The platforms focused their fire on the Olympus frigates, packs of fifty platforms firing their Pentagon Arrays (made of five particle cannons) on the same Olympus five times per minute.

    At the same time, 140 Torata Heltaka cruisers sat in jumpspace. Instead of opening jump-points themselves and go out, they used jump-point drones to open small jump-points (with a width of 7 meters), just big enough to fire their particle accelerators through, downing 70 Olympus every time. Each Heltaka also fired 4 nuclear missiles through their small points the first time.

    So, the four next times they opened small jump points, a fourth of the nukes exploded, and the human sensors were totally unable to locate those minuscule jump-points (that closed immediately anyway) and fire nukes in them. Moreover, the Heltaka opened their points everywhere (apparently randomly) in mid-range to close range, making them impossible to predict.

    Some Olympus managed to dodge this fire, so, this tactic succeeded to destroy 237 Olympus, while another 219 were destroyed by the Tolgat platform fire. They were almost unable to retaliate against the platforms, because they would risk hitting the cities. Against the Minbari, they wouldn't have hesitated since the Minbari killed everyone anyway. Against the Torata, however, there was no way they would casually sacrifice civilians. The cities couldn't be fully evacuated either, since the bunkers weren't big enough to welcome everyone and there was no countryside (because, almost no breathable air). The Tolgat were also just deep enough in the atmosphere for the Starfuries to have problems fighting them, since the Starfuries weren't made for atmospheric reentry.

    Admiral Goodman, in charge of the defence of Beta Durani, asked for a telepath to contact EarthDome, and exposed his idea. He got a green light.

    One minute later, the Olympus opened jump-points and left, with the Starfuries in their wake, transmitting a warning that if the civilians were mistreated, there would be retaliation.

    The Torata commander laughed (and started to wait for the main fleet). He was an Uala, meaning member of the ruling class, of course. The Uala were only a few millions, ruling on the billions of Orova that lived in underwater cities producing food for the Uala, and they always had treated well the Orova. To be fair, they also passed themselves as messengers from the gods to the Orova.

    That could work with those humans, too, if only they separated the children young enough from their parents and tasked the (already indoctrinated) Orova to raise them. The adults and older children would be either killed (if they resisted) or used as unwilling slaves for one generation. The commander didn't felt any guilt about this plan, after all, the Torata would save those humans from the Minbari.

    Two hours later, the Torata main fleet arrived. It was made of 3,000 Alaka transports, with 500 soldiers each aboard, plus the tanks, supplies and logistical personnel. The 140 Heltaka cruisers emerged around the transports ships and deployed 2,800 Tuka fighters and 1,000 further Tolgat platforms.

    There were six fleets, above the six cities. Those fleets were rather were prepared for landing, and they also felt there was no risk. In the middle of each fleet, 14 Tsar Bombas jumped in, and exploded. They decimated the Torata fleet. At the same time, the Olympus and Starfuries that had fled reemerged from dozens of other jump-points, and assaulting the surviving Torata ships and fighters. The Torata ships that were not slaughtered surrendered soon.

    The Torata fleet at Regula received a databurst from a ship that had survived Beta Durani, and prepared itself from a possible Earther attack at Regula. Their jumpspace probes were in alert, and they called on ships from Katepyn and Ross 128 to reinforce Regula.

    However, instead of attacking directly the occupying fleets, the humans used one of their Tel'tak (Seth's one), EAS Scharzschild to carry 12 Tsar Bombas, two times. The first time, the Scharzschild left its Tsar Bombas in interstellar space near Torat, where they entered jumpspace. The second time, all 24 bombs were sent ahead, devastating the Torata Home Fleet.

    The operation was then repeated on Ch'lon and Koula. The Ch'lona, Koulani and Torata were forced to call their invasion fleets back home, because they needed all ships to replace the lost ones. That, and the Earthers would probably deploy more of their new bombs on the occupying fleet if they didn't live very soon.

    The problem seemed solved, but EarthDome knew that it needed a more permanent solution to the vultures problem. The Earthers couldn't afford to have such minor enemies at their back, waiting for the slightest weakness, when they fought the Minbari. Especially when they had to leave the oldest ships and the least competent officers on those colonies.

    AN : On Torat, the Uala are living in surface (and having access to space). They maintain the Orova, who live in underwater cities, as ignorant slaves who worship them as gods. It's from the sourcebooks.
     
  15. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    The Shield and the Hammer (I)
    Eskal Science Dome - December 2245

    Professor Lauren Carter was very nervous. She was presenting the achievements of her team to the Joint Chiefs and the President themselves. Before the war, she was merely an university professor, and always refused to work elsewhere despite her genius. However, now there was no choice. Everyone needed to do their parts to save mankind.

    Lauren was used to speak in front of hundreds of students. She was also a dancer, who participated in many spectacles since she was a little girl. However, speaking to such big wings... Lauren took a deep breath. "Be natural, behave normally, and it will go well", she muttered to herself.

    Lauren awkwardly started her presentation, forcing a smile. "Ladies, Gentlemen, Madam President. We have a solution to mine and refine Naqadah and Trinium (and any other material, in fact) fast."

    The solution was to use the (reprogrammed) transport rings, to filter matter. For example, if rocks containing naqadah and other elements were beamed through, the other elements could be filtered out.
    This method allowed to mass produce pure naqadah and trinium (or any other element) quickly and cheaply.

    Hathor and Seth had helped the Tau'ri to access to the rings software, translate and understand it. But it was Lauren herself who came up with the idea and implemented it.

    This was not the only gift.

    "As you know, the Goa'uld have personal shields that protect them from anything, but slow projectiles." The big wings nodded, even if they didn't know this detail. "We currently don't have the right tools to make those shields, nor the tools to make the tools. But if we start the processus right now, we can start to mass produce personal shields in eleven months." Lauren paused a few seconds. "We could also produce only ship-wide shields, but only in two years and half, sorrily."

    The big wings looked downcast. They had hoped for a miracle, and just heard that the big shields would come only in one year and half at best. Which could be too late. However, Lauren still had to deliver. "But, we can cover every ship with intertwined personal shields." An image of a ship armor, with dozens of personal shield generators covering it (and force fields crossing each other), appeared in the background. "It would not stop the neutron beams, but it would stop the fusion beams for, at best, one minute. Not much, but still better than nothing."

    And this was not all. An animated image appeared, of a Nova ship, and of an "exo-armor" that was fitted around it. Almost like an exo-skeleton. "This is the Athena armor. It is made of trinium, titanium and carbon nanotubes, like the gate iris. It can be easily produced, right now. And it can be fitted around every ship, and welded to the armor. Without having to modify the ship itself. Meaning it can be done really fast. In a normal combat situation, with both neutron and fusion beams, it would give up to two or three minutes of survival to the ship. Moreover, this armor can survive a full Naqadah nukefield detonating around it, like at Myoto."

    The big wings just realized what Lauren said. Since most Earth Alliance tactics revolved around get close enough to the Minbari ships to destroy them, something that gave extra minutes of survival could change everything. The ships would likely still be destroyed but they could take out more Minbari ships with them.

    Lauren continued her presentation, more confident now. The schematics of a rail-gun, and of rail-gun projectiles, appeared. "This is the Shiva rail-gun. Its design is the same as our current rail-guns, so we can start its mass production fast. But it is fully made of the same material as the Athena armor. Trinium, titanium and carbon together. Trinium is an excellent thermic conductor, meaning the rail-guns will be able to fire faster and not overheat." Lauren let this information sink, and then the image focused on the projectiles. "We have also designed new projectiles. We simply made them in the same material, and put a Naqadah/Potassium bomb at their core.". Seeing the puzzled looks, Lauren explained. "Naqadah and Potassium together react very, very explosively."

    General Hague asked. "So, basically, once the projectile reach the enemy ship, it pierces the armor and THEN makes a big boom ?". Lauren smiled, and nodded. "Yes, sir. It's exactly that. One projectile could be enough to cripple a Minbari ship, but we can't be sure of that without a test. "

    Hague and the others just realized the implications. The Earthers would be able to get closer to the Minbari, and to fire more rail-gun rounds, making their chances of actually hit much higher. And if one round was enough...

    Lauren, then, exposed her last successes. The Earthers could start produce, in a seven months time, small Naqadah generators, which relied on chemical reactions. They would work on the same principle as the zat and hara kesh internal power sources, which were incredibly miniaturized. The Earthers would not be able to miniaturize as much, but enough to fit small generators througout their existing ships.

    Once again, it would be small enough to not need to refit the ships, freeing the shipyards for production. The small Naqadah reactors would be able to supplement the main fusion reactors with more power on the current ships, and provide extra power for the jump drive (which was very important, since short jumps were key to the Earther tactics), the plasma propulsion and, soon, the small shield layer.

    Future ships would be constructed without a fusion reactor, insteead using more small Naqadah reactors. So, more building and less materials used.

    The Earthers hadn't managed yet to develop sensors able to beat the Minbari jamming. Even with the Goa'uld technology, it was very complicated. The Minbari used a gravity based system, which bent the light around their ships, making them hard to pinpoint except from very close. Especially when you add their polycristalline armor, which was able to refract most of the light, and their gravitic drive, which allowed them to move really fast.

    The Goa'uld never had to fight an enemy like that (at least until the Tau'ri Rebellion). So, they had not bothered to create gravity-based sensors. They were theoritically able to, but hadn't.

    At least, the Goa'uld had much more mastery of gravitation theory than the Earthers (enough to have a gravitic drive, artificial gravity and inertial compensators). The Earthers were working on how to produce (as fast as possible) those three items, while using the Goa'uld theoritical science as a basis to develop the gravitic sensors. Nobody knew when it would be ready, though.

    10 People that saved Earth from the Minbari, by Alexander Jenkins

    Professor Lauren Carter

    Lauren Carter was 40 year-old when the War started. She was teaching both Starship Engineering and Particle Physics in the University of Columbia, while doing research in particle physics, about the matter-antimatter symmetry violations.

    She was a genius, and many corporations and government branches had tried to hire her, with no success. Her true love was research and teaching. And her students loved her back.

    However, when the War started, she was drafted to the war effort, and made history. She led the team that developed the Athena armor, the Shiva rail-gun, and fitted ships with small shields and small Naqadah reactors as a stopgap. She also participated in the gravitics and hyperspace research. She was as much important to the Minbari War, as Einstein and Oppenheimer were to the World War II (if not more).

    Lauren Carter's family was famous, since the 21st century. Many Carters had illustrated themselves in either science or music. Lauren, herself, was also an excellent dancer of Minotka dance, which she learnt from her Abbai stepmother. Had she chosen to be a professionnal dancer and do science as a hobby, history would have been very different, but luckily, she chose science.

    Amelia Carter, in 2209, composed The Crowning of Tuscano, and then The Victory of Tuscano, a double opera which was a widespread success both in the Earth Alliance and the Centauri Republic. The first opus was about Tuscano managing to take power from corrupt and incompetent ministers during the Xon War. Originally, Tuscano was a loyal general, who never wanted power for himself and wanted to protect the Republic. But he realized that, if he didn't take power, the Xon would win and exterminate the Centauri. So, with popular support, he turned the Republic into an empire in all but name (but avoided a civil war with the noble houses by not abolishing the Centaurum).

    Once Emperor, Tuscano managed to save the Centauri from the Xon, and was forced to exterminate the Xon (with a massive nuclear strike), even though he sought peace until the end. Decades later, Tuscano again led his people to victory against the alien Shroggen, and was killed in the fighting. According to the legend, a Technomage (whose existence is itself the stuff of legends) came and helped Tuscano when things were desperate.

    Amelia Carter's version was clearly an idolized Tuscano, making him a hero and glossing over his crimes and other darker aspects, which drew heavy criticism on Earth. She was accused of, basically, flattering the Centauri national ego, while telling an epic and heroic story that humans would like.

    But it was a massive success for those very reasons, proving that Amelia was both a musical and business genius.

    Many historians credit her opera in warming up the Centauri-Earth relations. The "human fad" already existed within the Centauri nobility before, but Amelia Carter made it even more massive.

    Earlier, in 2091, Elias Carter finally proved the existence of tachyons, which had been theorized for more than a century. Then, he led the Deep Probe project, which was aimed at getting tachyon emissions from alien civilizations.

    Charlie O'Neill-Carter, inspired by his father's passion for astronomy and his adoptive mom passion for physics, became a famous astronomer and engineer, who discovered that there were actually inhabitable (and not just potentially inhabitable) planets in many systems close to Sol, such as Proxima, Orion and Sh'lassa. He made the first clichés of Proxima III and Proxima IV, showing their biospheres, forests and oceans. His work contributed to the Second Space Race (the first having ended around 1969).

    The first famous Carter is Samantha Carter, one of the greatest cellists in history, along with Pablo Casals and Jacqueline du Pré. She began her career as a US Air Force pilot, serving with distinction in the Gulf War (1991). Then, she entered the Air Force Band of Flight (at Wright Patterson), playing cello in military concerts. It was at this time she became known as a cellist.

    She then left the Air Force to become a full-time cellist, but out of duty, remained a reserve officer. She was called up often between 2001 and 2008, serving in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Her first love was cello, and her second love was physics, which she pursued as a hobby, starting a pattern in the family and transmitting her passion for the universe to her adoptive son, Charlie.


    [​IMG]

    Samantha Carter
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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  16. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Who pulls the strings of the Puppeeters ?

    Exhur (Confederation of Orien) - December 2245

    Hierophant Sarka Rihan was meditating, trying to commune with the Living Gods. Like every Orieni, he hoped that the Gods would forgive their failures.

    More than two centuries ago, the Orieni had tried to conquer the Centauri Republic, and failed. Only one Hierophant, Aaka Hrhia, had opposed the war. He said that, if left alone, the Centauri Republic would crumble into feudal civil wars, because of the rivalries between Houses, and between the Centaurum and Emperor.

    Hrhia had advocated waiting, while quietly supporting rebellion movements within the Republic. There were, of course, the dozens of non-Centauri planets which would have been happy to get rid of their overlords, on one hand. And the Centauri slaves, on the other hand, who were treated back then (and still now, for that matter) like crap.

    Once the Centauri nobility would have exploded into a feudal war, the Drazi would have taken advantage of it to expand. The non-Centauri subjects and the Centauri slaves, with Orieni support, would have rebelled. And the Orieni would only have had to swoop in and liberate the Republic, with support from the people.

    But instead of listening to the wise Hrhia, the other Hierophants (who dreamed of glory and of being rewarded by the Gods) became impatient, and started the war while the Republic was still at peak strength. They let themselves be dominated by their chaotic impulses. The war went on for eight years as mostly a stalemate, slowly ruining the Orieni Empire.

    The Living Gods never once sent a sign (not even a vision) during the war, nor any help. After all, the grief that the Orieni suffered was a punishment for their impatience.

    The Hierophants strayed even further from the Path of Order, at the end of the war. They accepted help from the Drakh, who claimed to be former victims of the Centauri who wanted revenge. The Drakh tricked the Orieni into attacking the Centauri colonies of Vinzin, Golia, Anfra and Cestus, expecting light defences. In fact, those systems were extremely well defended, and the Orieni lost (though those victories were extremely costly for the Centauri too).

    While the Orieni had sent the bulk of their fleet into those ambushes, the Centauri invaded their territory and pushed to Seliffe, which they managed to take at great cost. The Orieni were forced to accept defeat, paying heavy reparations, giving independence to their non-Orieni subjects, abandoning all border colonies and reducing their military.

    Since the Treaty of Seliffe, the Orieni had strived to regain the favor of the Gods. They slowly and steadily rebuilt their colonies, their fleet and their army. They re-established contact with their former subjects (the Phanop, the Arkadans, the Ar-Chaoka, the Dishar, the Otac and the Myttin) as friends and equals. The Phanop immediately rejoined the Orieni Empire willingly. The others, more wary, formed the Pact of Orien for mutual defence (against the Centauri and Drakh, mostly) and trade.

    They even forged new relations with the Usuuth and the Rogolons, former enemies. Those two races had lived right between the Orieni and Centauri between the cold war, and when the cold war became hot, their territory was repeatedly violated. Usuuthir was ruined, and only hundreds of thousands of Usuuth survived the war out of billions. The Orieni now treated them as equals and friends, and managed to convince them to join the Pact of Orien, which was a feat. Especially for the Usuuth, who hated the Orieni with passion after the war.

    After one century of careful rebuilding, the Pact of Orien became the Confederation of Orien. Each nation got to keep its autonomy regarding internal matters, but the Confederation had total authority regarding trade, diplomatic and military matters. The national militaries were merged into the Hand of the Blessed.

    The Confederation was ruled by the Council of Hierophants, who were from every race (with their numbers being proportional to the population of each race). Being the most numerous by a fair margin, the Orieni had of course the most Hierophants.

    The Orieni Hierophants were chosen among the most skilled and experienced telepaths of their race, since the Orieni Blessed (telepaths) as a whole were the ruling class. That meant the non-Orieni Hierophants (on top of being outnumbered) could be subtly controlled. Moreover, the non-Orieni Hierophants, before entering their fonctions, were groomed for years in the Academy of Orien. By Blessed teachers. So, basically, they were groomed into pawns.

    Sarka Rihan took solace in the fact the Orieni had managed to reconstitute their empire (and even include the Usuuth and Rogolons who hated them at first) without firing a single shot and with full consent of the member races. Of course, they may have neglected to tell them some details, but it was for their own good.

    While the Orieni had slowly but steadily reconstituted their empire, the Centauri Republic had slowly declined. It had tried to expand again, conquering Narn (among other planets), but even that proved a poisoned chalice, because the Narn regularly rebelled, until they managed to kick out the Centauri for good. And then, the Republic had a new mortal enemy.

    Sarka Rihan hoped that the Living Gods, by granting the Orieni those successes, were satisfied of their work. But of course, he would never presume of their will. The Gods had mysterious plans, that were revealed with centuries, sometimes with millenia. No mortal could say he knew of them.

    At least, the meditation on the Sanctuary of Exhur always proved very good for the Hierophants. It helped them to order their thoughts and to remain in good health, while pushing away any chaotic thoughts. Through meditation, the Gods granted them mental strength.

    And today, Sarka Rihan was feeling more than this strength. He was feeling an unusual warmth. He opened his eyes. And dropped to his knees immediately. Some Hierophants had seen the Gods in visions. But very, very few had physically seen and met them. It was the greatest honor they could receive.

    The God, in his angel-like form, touched Sarka's forehead. And then, Sarka saw himself in a Centauri shipyard. There were dozens of Primus and Maximus warships constructed there. And then, Sarka felt himself displaced through space, so fast that the stars became like a blur, before stopping in orbit of a planet.

    There were brick-like warships sitting there. They were ugly, but they had an elegance in them. The elegance of well-designed killing machines.

    Jump points opened, and fish-like blue warships exited in normal space. Sarka understood where he was. He was about to witness a battle between the Minbari and their human enemies, an upstart race who had killed Dukhat and who were giving bloody noses to the Minbari (even though the boneheads were, of course, winning). As the battle went on, the Minbari were losing more and more ships to the nukes that the humans used. Sarka wondered for a few seconds how they could make so powerful nukes, especially for a race which was less advanced than the Drazi. The answer was obvious. The humans were serving the Shadows, who had gifted them with those weapons.

    Sarka, then, saw more jump-points opening, with hundreds of warships (clearly of many different races) exiting, in the back of the Minbari fleet. There were Primus and Maximus warships. Sarka also spotted Drazi Sunhawks, Narn Frazi, and... Wait, NARN and CENTAURI warships TOGETHER ? With DRAZI, too ? When the three races (especially the Centauri and Narn) hated each other for decades ?

    Sarka heard the God talk to him. "Yes, the humans are primitive, but they are community builders. Before the war, they had already managed to become friends with the League of Non-Aligned Worlds, the Centauri and the Narn. But you should see more."

    Sarka then saw Minbar and Orien in ruins. Both planets were surrounded by human, League, Centauri and Narn ships together, with Shadow battlecrabs among them.

    "That is what the Shadows want to happen. They want to use the humans to bring all those other, misguided races into their thrall, like themselves. Fortunately, we are offering your people salvation."

    Sarka, who had felt dread at seeing his planet in ruins and Shadow warships, again felt warmth. He saw a planet, which he recognized as Caridan, an Orieni colony. A jump-point opened next to the planet, and he felt himself flung into jump-space. Into a corridor, which led him to another planet. Sarka, then, felt himself descending on the planet through atmosphere, and saw who inhabited the planet. Narn colonists.

    The Orieni had wanted to make Narn their new friends (and ultimately bring them into the fold, of course) for decades, but all the jump routes between them were controlled by the Centauri, which precluded any regular trade or any military alliance. Now, the Gods, in their generosity, offered a solution to this problem.

    In his generosity, the god told Sarka that he could ask him questions, now. Sarka wouldn't have dared to do it without being invited to. Now, though, he would do so.

    "Do the Gods want us to give our friendship to the Narn, so that they won't join the Shadows and the humans, and so that they and the Centauri will focus on each other, and not fight the Minbari ? ".
    "Yes, my child. You are smart. While the Minbari are the Hand of the Light, you will be the Eye."

    The metaphor was based, of course, on the Orieni system. The Hierophants, in their rule, were served by the Hand of the Blessed (the military) and the Eye of the Blessed (the intelligence). Despite its name, the Eye was not just tasked with gathering intel, but also with assassination, sabotage, false flag operations...

    And now, while the Minbari were fighting the Darkness on the battlefields, the Orieni would fight it behind the scenes. They would at last earn their redemption.

    Deep space :

    Kardash was reflecting the past events of the day, alone, in his ship. Truly alone. Almost every Vorlon lived constantly within its aspect, as telepathic collectives.

    Some Vorlons had never abandoned their individuality. The other Vorlons had no problem with this, after all, those Vorlons could serve the Order too. In diplomacy, guidance of the younger races, exploration and other duties outside of the Vorlon Empire. Kardash was one of those Vorlons.

    Kardash smiled at the irony. The Orieni were lying to their subjects for their own good, letting them think they were free and equals in the Confederation. And the Vorlons were doing the same to the Orieni. The Orieni were BOTH excellent puppet masters and excellent servants.

    The Hierophant, of course, had believed without hesitation that the humans were puppets of the Shadows and had attacked the Minbari under their orders.

    And he was proud of himself. He had done, once again, a good performance with the Hierophant.
    Then, he pictured his oldest friend, Ungoliant, mocking him. Ungoliant was the nickname he gave to the Shadow that warned him, one month ago, about Earth. Of course, that Shadow was not named Ungoliant, that was a name from a 20th century human novel, which felt very fitting. But this nickname was more funny than their actual, long, name.

    Kardash could almost hear Ungoliant. "Easy to be such a good actor, with the Orieni. They're puppets and will collectively jump into the sun while smiling and feeling blessed, if you order them. Try that with another public, we'll see if you are really that good."

    Well, whatever, Kardash was satisfied of his own performance. His ship was slightly raising the lights while telepathically radiating approval. Maybe his ship was just flattering him. Regardless, it was nice.

    And he had done just as good on many other races, which were not brainwashed (not as much as the Orieni, at least, to be honest all races of the quadrant except the Gaim had been somehow conditioned).

    Kardash knew it was much more efficient to make as little apparitions as possible to the younger races, and when that happened, to chosen individuals rather than to crowds. A prophet, a miracle, a vision sometimes, but not too much.
    While at the same times, using agents to pull the necessary strings, plan millenia ahead and manipulate genetics.

    Most Vorlons despised the Goa'uld as pathetic wannabes, and saw themselves as true gods. Kardash knew better. The Vorlons, objectively, were no more gods than the Goa'uld. But they were infinitely better actors (especially himself of course). And they were much more savvy.
    The Goa'uld had the subtetly of a hammer, ruling directly by brute force and superior technology that they passed up as magic. The Vorlons carefully manipulated events and induced worship, while letting their subjects think they were free.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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  17. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    A timeline from July to December 2245.

    Most of the events are like OTL war. Or at least, what informations I could pick (on the EFNI site among others) about the OTL war, or made up (like the Minbari invasion of Jericho).

    The changes are in green.


    Timeline - July to December 2245

    July 2245 : Prometheus Incident. Beginning of the Earth-Minbari War.

    The Minbari immediately attack Vega with 75 Sharlins. The 12 Hyperion and 8 Nova cruisers, 10 Olympus and 10 Artemis frigates guarding the colony are destroyed. 3 Sharlins are destroyed by ramming or lucky fire.

    The Drazi Freehold send a fleet of 1,000 ships to help Earth Alliance, which disappears in jumpspace.

    At the same time, the Markab, Abbai and Hyach send three diplomatic ships to the Minbari outpost of Sorpigal. The Minbari destroy the Abbai and Hyach ships, and spare the Markab.

    Hathor and Seth try to flee to Eskal, through the Stargate (at Creek Mountain) and are caught. The EIA start the Hermes Project : the fondation of a new colony and the evacuation of Earth.

    Elizabeth Levy activates the Hypnos Project and awakens the Department. However, she changes the original plan. The Department isn't to join the Hypnos sleeper ships, but to remain in the Alliance to help in its defence.


    August 2245 : The Minbari attack Sinzar and easily destroy the guarding fleet. They then glass the cities, which have already been mostly evacuated. The majority of the inhabitants survive in the countryside, while the Minbari leave the system.

    The Minbari attack Flynn with 50 Sharlins. Overconfident, they scan the planet and its surroundings with their powerful sensors. So powerful, that they give away the location of their fleet.

    The humans guard Flynn with one Ares battlestation (equipied with macro-rail guns), 7 Nova cruisers and 21 Artemis frigates. The human frigates open jump-points and reappared close to the Minbari ships, managing to destroy 12 Sharlin, while the station destroyed 3 Sharlin and damaged one more. The Minbari still won, but took too much losses because of arrogance.

    On Tirrith, the League decides to create the Anti-Piracy Fleet, a multinational force, which replaces the Earth "Peace Fleet" (deployed since 2232).

    The Minbari invade the mining colony of Cyrus, which provides most of the Alliance Quantium 40. Cyrus has no atmosphere, and is mostly made up of Quantium 40 (in deep veins). The Minbari don't want to glass it, because the Quantium 40 might explode, destroying the planet and any ship around. Since the jump-gate is close to Cyrus, it would be destroyed too, which is taboo.

    So, the Minbari have to actually invade Cyrus. Earthforce has deployed 120 Nova, 700 Olympus and 400 Artemis around Cyrus, plus 46350 Starfuries and 4000 defence platforms. All those assets are as close as possible to the surface. On the surface, there are 400 macro-rail guns. The Minbari bring 200 Sharlin, 300 Tinashi and 11,000 Nials The Minbari, this time, can't snipe the human ships from long range (because if they miss they'll hit the planet), and are forced to close the range.

    The Minbari open their jump-points at the other end of the system, and cross the distance in seven hours. However, the humans have prepared their arrival, and start to detonate nukes in the orbit of Cyrus (far enough to not endanger the planet) when the Minbari are due to arrive. The light gives away the general area of the Minbari ships (especially as they fight closer than usual), allowing the humans to destroy 49 Sharlin and 32 Tinashi. The humans still lose all their space assets, of course.

    Then, the Minbari bring an army of 1,2 million of soldiers to root out the humans from the surface of Cyrus and (more importantly) the network of mines and caves.


    September 2245 : The Minbari send a fleet of 80 Sharlin and 200 Tinashi to Jericho. To reach Jericho, the Minbari have to cross a narrow "path" in jumpspace, but they don't know it. The humans take advantage of this to send one underpowered Olympus frigate to watch the path. The Olympus' passive sensors are able to detect the Minbari fleet easily.
    The humans detonate their first Tsar Bomba, which have a 40 meters diamater and was fully made of Naqadah. The entire Minbari fleet is destroyed, and the Grey Council believes it had been lost to "jumpspace disturbances".

    The Minbari, then, took their time to find an alternate route to Jericho, with success. Three weeks later, they came again, and took easily the orbit of the planet. Once it was done, a transport fleet of 147 Sharlin and 220 Tinashi, transporting one million soldiers and all their supplies.

    The planet is technically inhabitable... except that the atmosphere is full of toxic red spores (which are small enough to enter any equipment and jam it). Moreover, the atmosphere is full of radiations. Jericho is an ancient battlefield.

    There are millions of colonists, living in a deep network of bunkers. The Minbari can't detect the bunkers thanks to the radioactive atmosphere, and have to land an army to find and root out the bunkers. The humans take advantage of this, preparing three traps.

    Firstly, 12,000 drone fighters take off immediately from the ground... and kamikaze themselves on the Minbari landing sites or around. With tactical nukes aboard. Those fighters had been made with 21st century technology, which allowed for a quick production. The Minbari sensors (in the orbital sweep) had overlooked them, because they didn't use much energy (for a space-based civilization standards) and were partly masked by the thick, toxic atmosphere.

    Secondly, at the same time, human commandos detonate tactical nukes right under the feet of the Minbari, having arrived there through a network of caves.

    Thirdly, a fleet of 340 Artemis frigates emerge right above the landing sites. Since the Tinashi had remained there to guard their big brothers, the Artemis emerge close enough to see them right away. The Artemis are escorted by 10,200 Starfuries.

    The Tinashi and Artemis immediately target each other. In the first few seconds, the Tinashi manage to destroy 89 Artemis frigates, while the Starfuries deploy a wave of 20,400 nukes that blind the Tinashi sensors and fully illuminated the Minbari. They also get 23 Tinashi.

    In the few seconds that followed, the surviving 246 Artemis fire their rail-guns as one, and destroy 88 Tinashi frigates. One second later, the Starfuries fire a second wave of nukes, destroying 102 Tinashi frigates.

    The last 127 Tinashi surviving crews regain their composure, and spread out, making it harder for the humans to destroy them. They are joined by the 12 Sharlins that had survived the ground death trap.

    The Minbari regain their advantage, since their ships were faster and more maneuvrable, allowing them to go far out of the human sensor and weapon range and spread themselves, while sniping the human ships from far away. The surviving Artemis, knowing they couldn't do more, fled.
    The Minbari take the planet, but lose 213 Tinashi, 135 Sharlin and 827,200 soldiers. They have to scramble another army and another transport fleet.


    October 2245
    : The Minbari destroy the Berlin colony.

    The Minbari attack the Maui colony, under the command of Alyt Mirenn. The humans introduce their illuminating nukefields, above their cities. Kandhi is also defended by 700 Artemis, 22,000 Starfuries and 3,000 defence platforms, deep within the nukefield.

    Mirenn tries to send a third of her Nials to bomb the cities (without risking the capital ships), but the humans destroy all those Nials with a nuclear firestorm in high atmosphere. At the same time, the other Nials, sent to destroy the Artemis, are blinded by the nukefield waves of detonations and picked apart.
    Finally, Mirenn decides to send her fleet within the nukefield. The humans reacted by sending 126 packs of Artemis and Starfuries (through close-range jumps) as close as possible to the Sharlins.

    The Minbari destroy all the human assets, but only 39 Sharlins survived. In total, the Minbari lose 81 Sharlins and 15,000 Nials.


    November 2245
    : Battle of Kandhi, between Alyt Sernal and Admiral Mina Perez. After a long game of cat and mouse, Sernal loses patience and orders his fleet to destroy the colony with dozens of asteroids (flying at relativstic speeds).

    Mina Perez, not wanting to waste her fleet in an hopeless battle, pulls out, and lies to the colony inhabitants, telling them they were safe (so that they could die happy at least). When the colony is about to be destroyed, Oma Desala and her followers ascend the whole colony and sent the inhabitants to the sanctuary of Kheb.
    Mina Perez kills herself, while Sernal loses his honor for his entire life.

    In this battle, the humans lose 82,000 Starfuries and 327 Artemis. The Minbari lose 33,500 Nials, 600 Tinashi and 235 Sharlins.

    The Vorlons and the Shadow negociate a pact of non-interference in the war. The Vorlons abduct Jeffrey Sinclair during his training, while the Shadows pull their battlecrabs away from Mars and Ganymede.

    The Torata, Ch'lona and Koulani take advantage of the Earth Alliance's weakness. After probing the Earther defences for months (and lulling the Earthers into a false sense of security), they attack with overwhelming forces (and surprise effect) the border colonies of Regula, Signet and Delphi, taking them.
    The Torata, then, take Katepyn and Ross 128, which had been cut off from the Alliance (by the loss of Regula).


    December 2245 : The Minbari, under the command of Alyt Lorenn, attack the Myoto colony (which is close to Minbar itself). The humans, for the first time, use a nukefield with only Naqadah nukes, and detonate the whole nukefield when the Minbari ships were engaged in.
    The humans lose more 122,000 Starfuries, 127 Novas and 437 Artemis. The Minbari lose 130 Shargoti, 2,000 Sharlin, 2,991 Tinashi and 173,000 Nials. And they fail to take Myoto.
    At the same time, the humans retake Jericho and Cyrus, which were under Minbari occupation, thanks to their Tsar Bombas and to surprise effect. They lose 12 Artemis, but took out 35 Sharlin and 1750 Nials.

    The humans also capture 266,666 war prisoners on Cyrus and Jericho. The battles of Myoto, Cyrus and Jericho are the first battles fully won by the humans, and not thanks to a cheap trick or a stupid Minbari mistake.

    While the Minbari lost at Myoto, the Torata manage to take control of Beta Durani, and to destroy 446 Olympus frigates, forcing the humans to withdraw. However, when the Torata transport fleet (made up of 3,000 Alaka transports, 140 Heltaka transports and 2,800 Tuka fighters) emerged, it was decimated by Tsar Bombas.

    The Alliance then send one Tel'tak, the EAS Scharzschild, near Torat, bringing 24 Tsar Bombas (which finished the journey by themselves in jump-space). Those nukes decimate the Torata Home Fleet.

    The operation is repeated on Ch'lon and Koula. The Torata, Ch'lona and Koulani are forced to withdraw their ships from human space (and also a little scared).

    Lauren Carter and her team achieve several projects. The use of hundreds of Goa'uld personal shields to cover the hulls of the ships. The Athena exo-armor, made of trinium, titanium and carbon nanotubes. The Shiva rail-gun.
     
    mane, TimM, Astronomo2010 and 4 others like this.
  18. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Shades of Grey (Part One)

    2400 – Starfleet Academy

    Colonel Tasha Dean was a veteran of all wars, one of the oldest living humans (in the galactic cluster) and a living legend. In her youth, she joined the US Special Forces, and was deployed against Al-Quaida, the Taliban, the Iraqi Republican Guard, the Hezbollah, Daesh, narcos and other enemies of her countries. Being among the best, she was recruited in the blackest project of the world : the Department.

    It was how she found herself, centuries later, fighting the Koulani, Ch’lona and Torata incursions in 2167-2171, the Dilgar War, the Minbari War (which became the Galactic War after the Battle of the Line), and the Interregnum Wars. Colonel Dean was present at many legendary (and less known) battles, such as Balos, Jericho, New California, Myoto, Cartago, Kalydon, Malkshur and Saqqara.

    She spent most of those centuries in stasis, until being woken up for good in 2245. After the Interregnum Wars, she decided to enjoy her money and her life (benefiting from augmentation and life-extension treatments thanks to the Goa’uld and Minbari technology). So, Tasha had been in stasis for 231 years, and alive for 189 years.

    Tasha Dean was making her way to the History class (where she would talk to cadets), and took her time, admiring the gardens. There were cadets practicing mutai (the well-known Yolu art), football, pike fighting and a myriad of other sports. Tasha was happy, seeing those people who had grown up in peace and hope, thanks to her comrades and herself.

    Today, she would teach the class herself. Who better to teach History than someone who lived through it ?

    Fifteen minutes later, Tasha had been introducted to the cadets, who were in awe of her. She found it amusing and slightly flattering, to be honest. She also felt slightly nervous. Yes, she, who had fought monsters for decades (litterally), had cold feet before speaking to a bunch of students.

    "Well, I will start by the beginning. It was in 1992. I was among the very first soldiers of the Department." There were a few gasps in the room. "I started out my own career in the US Corps of Marines, fought in the First Gulf War, and then was recruited in the Special Forces. I was sent on various missions in Nicaragua (against narcos), Iraq, Afghanistan (to save hostages), and other countries. This is the boring part." Tasha paused.

    "Then, in December 1992, my old commanding officer from the Gulf, Jack O'Neill, recruited me to a mysterious secret project. I was invited along dozens of men and women (mostly men, at the time) who were visibly from lots of countries. Then, O'Neill started to talk. He explained to us that, in 1947, the US Air Force had recovered an alien spaceship at Roswell, with gray aliens inside. Then, there were UFO sightings and people who claimed aliens abducted them for decades, and they often talked about gray aliens. The US government realized that a small part of those stories was true, that aliens existed and were already here, and some were not friendly.

    In 1965, after the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill, the USA decided to start the Department, as a secret agency to investigate alien activities, study available alien technology, and fight any threat. It was not really a military operation, at the beginning. The USA invited allied countries in the operation.
    "

    Cadets looked at their folders, and read that the USA had invited the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and France. In 1982, the project was expanded, including West Germany, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Brazil. In 1992, it was again expanded, including Russia, Turkey, India, Argentina, South Africa, Spain and Italy.
    The Department was under the control of the IOA (International Oversight Advisory), made of those countries representatives.

    "The Department, through three decades of investigation, had determined there were at least two alien groups. Both were short grey aliens, looking mostly like each other, but they acted very differently and had different ships. One of those two groups (that we now know as the Streib) was clearly malevolent and a threat, with a base on the Moon, used to abduct lots of humans. The Streib never returned their abductees. When they came to abduct, they destroyed satellites (to prevent us from detecting them). We sent fighters, and always asked them politely to leave first, they never acknowledged us and often fired on our fighters. Because of the Streib, the IOA decided to make the Department a full-blown military operation. Hence our recruiting." Tasha paused again. She was careful to let the cadets take notes.

    "Jack O'Neill explained that we had been chosen because we had no ties (either we hadn't a family at all or had broken ties), because we were the best, and because we were crazy. Pilots would have to be crazy to fight and down Streib ships. They had shields. Weak shields compared to the Goa'uld, but at the time, WE didn't have any shields. The Streib had also, of course, much more advanced armor. They used energy weapons for point defence. They had gravitic drives, so they had more speed and maneuvrability.

    We only had Aurora hypersonic fighters, produced secretly at the Area 51. It was the stuff of conspiracy theories worldwide.
    " Tasha laughed, remembering that.

    "Our only chance to down Streib ships was to attack them when they were landing or taking off. Their shields performance would be at 30%, because of the atmosphere. We could overwhelm them through numbers. Most of the time, we simply lost the battles. The Streib were able to one-shot our fighters and to escape. Sometimes, we did down enemy ships. Then, my job would start."

    "I was recruited to fight the Streib on the ground. Our goals were to rescue the abductees, capture the ship and the crew. Once again, most of the time, we failed. Even downed ships could often use their shields and point defence cannons against ground troops. Streib themselves had blasters, personal armor and personal shields. Their entire technology was designed to be hard to reverse-engineer or to study, and there were self-destructs everywhere. So, to be honest, we achieved almost nothing."

    It was a sad admission. Earth had gotten almost no technology from the Streib, except cryogenic stasis. The Streib had lots of stasis chambers aboard their ships, and the Department scientists studied them. Earth had its own research about cryogenics, but this helped immensely. Of course, that would be pivotal during the pre-jump space exploration and the Hypnos Project.

    "But, I don't regret anything. I know none of us do. We couldn't know that fighting the Streib was so useless. And even if we had known... well, we couldn't let those bastards take humans from their lives on Earth. We had to take a stand. The Streib were not only very advanced, they were cunning. They understood our cultures very well. For example, they took advantage of the wars (and genocides) in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Yugoslavia to abduct people who wouldn't be missed. They abducted refugees (for example people who crossed the Mexican border or the Mediterannean Sea illegally). And... there were humans who sold out other humans". This part was the hardest. Fighting malevolent aliens (whose motivations you can't really understand) is one thing. Fighting fellow humans who turned their backs on their own species, though...

    "The Department was often sent to deal with sects set up by Streib collaborators. For example, in 1993, the Department discovered a sect based in Texas, the Davidians, who had become Streib collaborators. The Department collaborated with the DEA and ATF in the Waco Raid. I was there. ".

    Cadets had details about this incident on their files.

    "The Department also had to deal with slavery and sex trafficking rings, that sold people to the Streib. Most often, vulnerable women and children. The Streib actually encouraged their human accomplices to rape and torture their victims, they apparently wanted to experiment on human reactions to trauma and psychology as well. The sick bastards." Tasha almost spat, thinking of the few abductees that had been rescued. Most of them were psychologically broken by how the Streib (and the human slavers) had treated them.

    "I personnally assassinated hundreds of those human traitors scum. Some of them, in their beds, when they were enjoying their luxury."

    There was again a gasp, at this frank admission. Nobody judged what Tasha and the Department had done, but the topic was not easy. In the last centuries, murder had become an absolute taboo. Ironically, the humans had adopted the most important rule of the Minbari as their own. Minbari do not kill Minbari. Not only murder was a taboo, but letting people dying of hunger, sickness (because they were poor), bad working conditions... became a taboo too.

    Several factors contributed to this. The progress of medical technology made people live at least two centuries (if not more), making early death seem even more traumatizing and unfair. The fact millions upon millions of humans had been killed by the Minbari, the Army of Light and the Goa'uld made the survivors appreciate the value of life much more. The discovery of the existence of the human souls (and that, often, Minbari were reincarnated in humans, or the reverse).

    The fact was, in 2400, letting people die of avoidable deaths or killing them was an absolute taboo. Tasha was very happy of this, but it felt weird, given her birth era and her life.

    "The Streib kept coming until 2007. We dreamt of driving them from the Moon. But of course, it was impossible. We were able to launch space vehicles to orbit or the Moon, but it was incredibly costly. More importantly, the Streib would have spotted it immediately, and destroyed our vehicles from orbit easily. Not to mention, in space, they would have been able to fully use their shields. So, we kept fighting, hoping to get more technology and to discourage them from coming.

    In 2007, the Streib suddenly ceased to come. The moonbase was self-destructed. At first, we thought they were playing some game on us. But no, they really disappeared. I can see your quizzical faces, and we were just as puzzled for centuries. We only discovered the truth after the Minbari War. In 2007, the Streib had abducted a religious Minbari ship. The Minbari had gone berzerk on them. So, the Streib quickly forgot about us. We only met them again in 2259, up to their old tricks on pre-FTL planets. We, finally, made them pay.
    "

    "In 2260, we tracked the Streib to their home planet. They had managed to hide their home planet from everyone, even the Minbari, who thought wrongly they had crushed them in 2007.
    In November 2259, we had just captured one Streib prisoner (it was extremely rare to capture Streib prisoners). A telepath hacked its mind, and managed to extract images of their home planet and system, and more importantly, images of the sky of their home planet. Then, we asked the Tok'ra to loan us their Star Locator Device. Using the sky of the Streib planet, we managed to locate where they were in the galaxy. The Tok'ra helped us again, by sending a cloaked Tel'tak there. The Streib were indeed there (far outside our local sector), and were well-defended. In February 2260, Earth Force assaulted Streib Prime. Through our technology and numbers, we prevailed. The Streib tried to use their human and alien prisoners (some they had kept for centuries) as human shields, and then hostages. They fought like snakes, but we won. The Admiralty debated exterminating them, but we decided to deport them massively on Penthos.
    "

    Penthos was the prison-planet of the Alliance, where the most hardcore Minbari (those who refused the peace) were put. The Alliance had decided to put Streib and Minbari together on purpose. Because they hated each other and deserved each other.

    "But let's take a break. After the break, I will tell you stories unrelated to the Streib. Talking about them is depressing." Usually, during a break, cadets chatted happily with each other. This time, there was silence.
     
    Xenophonte and Silver like this.
  19. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Shades of Grey (Part One)

    2400 – Starfleet Academy

    Colonel Tasha Dean was a veteran of all wars, one of the oldest living humans (in the galactic cluster) and a living legend. In her youth, she joined the US Special Forces, and was deployed against Al-Quaida, the Taliban, the Iraqi Republican Guard, the Hezbollah, Daesh, narcos and other enemies of her countries. Being among the best, she was recruited in the blackest project of the world : the Department.

    It was how she found herself, centuries later, fighting the Koulani, Ch’lona and Torata incursions in 2167-2171, the Dilgar War, the Minbari War (which became the Galactic War after the Battle of the Line), and the Interregnum Wars. Colonel Dean was present at many legendary (and less known) battles, such as Balos, Jericho, New California, Myoto, Cartago, Kalydon, Malkshur and Saqqara.

    She spent most of those centuries in stasis, until being woken up for good in 2245. After the Interregnum Wars, she decided to enjoy her money and her life (benefiting from augmentation and life-extension treatments thanks to the Goa’uld and Minbari technology). So, Tasha had been in stasis for 231 years, and alive for 189 years.

    Tasha Dean was making her way to the History class (where she would talk to cadets), and took her time, admiring the gardens. There were cadets practicing mutai (the well-known Yolu art), football, pike fighting and a myriad of other sports. Tasha was happy, seeing those people who had grown up in peace and hope, thanks to her comrades and herself.

    Today, she would teach the class herself. Who better to teach History than someone who lived through it ?

    Fifteen minutes later, Tasha had been introducted to the cadets, who were in awe of her. She found it amusing and slightly flattering, to be honest. She also felt slightly nervous. Yes, she, who had fought monsters for decades (litterally), had cold feet before speaking to a bunch of students.

    "Well, I will start by the beginning. It was in 1992. I was among the very first soldiers of the Department." There were a few gasps in the room. "I started out my own career in the US Corps of Marines, fought in the First Gulf War, and then was recruited in the Special Forces. I was sent on various missions in Nicaragua (against narcos), Iraq, Afghanistan (to save hostages), and other countries. This is the boring part." Tasha paused.

    "Then, in December 1992, my old commanding officer from the Gulf, Jack O'Neill, recruited me to a mysterious secret project. I was invited along dozens of men and women (mostly men, at the time) who were visibly from lots of countries. Then, O'Neill started to talk. He explained to us that, in 1947, the US Air Force had recovered an alien spaceship at Roswell, with gray aliens inside. Then, there were UFO sightings and people who claimed aliens abducted them for decades, and they often talked about gray aliens. The US government realized that a small part of those stories was true, that aliens existed and were already here, and some were not friendly.

    In 1965, after the abduction of Betty and Barney Hill, the USA decided to start the Department, as a secret agency to investigate alien activities, study available alien technology, and fight any threat. It was not really a military operation, at the beginning. The USA invited allied countries in the operation.
    "

    Cadets looked at their folders, and read that the USA had invited the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and France. In 1982, the project was expanded, including West Germany, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Brazil. In 1992, it was again expanded, including Russia, Turkey, India, Argentina, South Africa, Spain and Italy.
    The Department was under the control of the IOA (International Oversight Advisory), made of those countries representatives.

    "The Department, through three decades of investigation, had determined there were at least two alien groups. Both were short grey aliens, looking mostly like each other, but they acted very differently and had different ships. One of those two groups (that we now know as the Streib) was clearly malevolent and a threat, with a base on the Moon, used to abduct lots of humans. The Streib never returned their abductees. When they came to abduct, they destroyed satellites (to prevent us from detecting them). We sent fighters, and always asked them politely to leave first, they never acknowledged us and often fired on our fighters. Because of the Streib, the IOA decided to make the Department a full-blown military operation. Hence our recruiting." Tasha paused again. She was careful to let the cadets take notes.

    "Jack O'Neill explained that we had been chosen because we had no ties (either we hadn't a family at all or had broken ties), because we were the best, and because we were crazy. Pilots would have to be crazy to fight and down Streib ships. They had shields. Weak shields compared to the Goa'uld, but at the time, WE didn't have any shields. The Streib had also, of course, much more advanced armor. They used energy weapons for point defence. They had gravitic drives, so they had more speed and maneuvrability.

    We only had Aurora hypersonic fighters, produced secretly at the Area 51. It was the stuff of conspiracy theories worldwide.
    " Tasha laughed, remembering that.

    "Our only chance to down Streib ships was to attack them when they were landing or taking off. Their shields performance would be at 30%, because of the atmosphere. We could overwhelm them through numbers. Most of the time, we simply lost the battles. The Streib were able to one-shot our fighters and to escape. Sometimes, we did down enemy ships. Then, my job would start."

    "I was recruited to fight the Streib on the ground. Our goals were to rescue the abductees, capture the ship and the crew. Once again, most of the time, we failed. Even downed ships could often use their shields and point defence cannons against ground troops. Streib themselves had blasters, personal armor and personal shields. Their entire technology was designed to be hard to reverse-engineer or to study, and there were self-destructs everywhere. So, to be honest, we achieved almost nothing."

    It was a sad admission. Earth had gotten almost no technology from the Streib, except cryogenic stasis. The Streib had lots of stasis chambers aboard their ships, and the Department scientists studied them. Earth had its own research about cryogenics, but this helped immensely. Of course, that would be pivotal during the pre-jump space exploration and the Hypnos Project.

    "But, I don't regret anything. I know none of us do. We couldn't know that fighting the Streib was so useless. And even if we had known... well, we couldn't let those bastards take humans from their lives on Earth. We had to take a stand. The Streib were not only very advanced, they were cunning. They understood our cultures very well. For example, they took advantage of the wars (and genocides) in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Yugoslavia to abduct people who wouldn't be missed. They abducted refugees (for example people who crossed the Mexican border or the Mediterannean Sea illegally). And... there were humans who sold out other humans". This part was the hardest. Fighting malevolent aliens (whose motivations you can't really understand) is one thing. Fighting fellow humans who turned their backs on their own species, though...

    "The Department was often sent to deal with sects set up by Streib collaborators. For example, in 1993, the Department discovered a sect based in Texas, the Davidians, who had become Streib collaborators. The Department collaborated with the DEA and ATF in the Waco Raid. I was there. ".

    Cadets had details about this incident on their files.

    "The Department also had to deal with slavery and sex trafficking rings, that sold people to the Streib. Most often, vulnerable women and children. The Streib actually encouraged their human accomplices to rape and torture their victims, they apparently wanted to experiment on human reactions to trauma and psychology as well. The sick bastards." Tasha almost spat, thinking of the few abductees that had been rescued. Most of them were psychologically broken by how the Streib (and the human slavers) had treated them.

    "I personnally assassinated hundreds of those human traitors scum. Some of them, in their beds, when they were enjoying their luxury."

    There was again a gasp, at this frank admission. Nobody judged what Tasha and the Department had done, but the topic was not easy. In the last centuries, murder had become an absolute taboo. Ironically, the humans had adopted the most important rule of the Minbari as their own. Minbari do not kill Minbari. Not only murder was a taboo, but letting people dying of hunger, sickness (because they were poor), bad working conditions... became a taboo too.

    Several factors contributed to this. The progress of medical technology made people live at least two centuries (if not more), making early death seem even more traumatizing and unfair. The fact millions upon millions of humans had been killed by the Minbari, the Army of Light and the Goa'uld made the survivors appreciate the value of life much more. Last but not least, the existence of souls (and the fact that often, Minbari were reincarnated in humans, or the reverse) was discovered.

    The fact was, in 2400, letting people die of avoidable deaths or killing them was an absolute taboo. Tasha was very happy of this, but it felt weird, given her birth era and her life.

    "The Streib kept coming until 2007. We dreamt of driving them from the Moon. But of course, it was impossible. We were able to launch space vehicles to orbit or the Moon, but it was incredibly costly. More importantly, the Streib would have spotted it immediately, and destroyed our vehicles from orbit easily. Not to mention, in space, they would have been able to fully use their shields. So, we kept fighting, hoping to get more technology and to discourage them from coming.

    In 2007, the Streib suddenly ceased to come. The moonbase was self-destructed. At first, we thought they were playing some game on us. But no, they really disappeared. I can see your quizzical faces, and we were just as puzzled for centuries. We only discovered the truth after the Minbari War. In 2007, the Streib had abducted a religious Minbari ship. The Minbari had gone berzerk on them. So, the Streib quickly forgot about us. We only met them again in 2259, up to their old tricks on pre-FTL planets. We, finally, made them pay.
    "

    "In 2260, we tracked the Streib to their home planet. They had managed to hide their home planet from everyone, even the Minbari, who thought wrongly they had crushed them in 2007.
    In November 2259, we had just captured one Streib prisoner (it was extremely rare to capture Streib prisoners). A telepath hacked its mind, and managed to extract images of their home planet and system, and more importantly, images of the sky of their home planet. Then, we asked the Tok'ra to loan us their Star Locator Device. Using the sky of the Streib planet, we managed to locate where they were in the galaxy. The Tok'ra helped us again, by sending a cloaked Tel'tak there. The Streib were indeed there (far outside our local sector), and were well-defended. In February 2260, Earth Force assaulted Streib Prime. Through our technology and numbers, we prevailed. The Streib tried to use their human and alien prisoners (some they had kept for centuries) as human shields, and then hostages. They fought like snakes, but we won. The Admiralty debated exterminating them, but we decided to deport them massively on Penthos.
    "

    Penthos was the prison-planet of the Alliance, where the most hardcore Minbari (those who refused the peace) were put. The Alliance had decided to put Streib and Minbari together on purpose. Because they hated each other and deserved each other.

    "But let's take a break. After the break, I will tell you stories unrelated to the Streib. Talking about them is depressing." Usually, during a break, cadets chatted happily with each other. This time, there was silence.
     
  20. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013

    Shades of Grey (Part Two)

    The class started again. Tasha Dean was going to talk about the other aliens that the Department met in its history.

    "The other main group of aliens, during the 20th century, was the Vree, which you all know. They are the ones everyone thinks of when you say "abductions", because they did that on dozens of planets. In the 2260s, there was a human whose ancestor had been abducted by the Vree, who sued the Vree government for compensation. Media followed it, and hundreds of people started to do the same, in every race that had been visited by the Vree. Humans, Cascor, Attarn... Those people hoped to get money and attention, of course. They all arrived before the Interstellar Court of Tirrith, and they all lost, by the way."

    The details were on the files. Basically, the Court had considered that, since everyone involved (abductors and abductees) was long dead, any claim to compensation was void.

    "So, the Vree started to arrive on Earth in the 1940s, after discovering Earth thanks to radio broadcasts in 1937. They were new to interstellar space, back then. They visited Earth for decades, with their saucer-like ships being read as "UFOs". They often landed and met people in "close encounters of the third kind". They were responsable for the so-called "Battle of Los Angeles" in 1942 and the "foo fighters" during World War Two. It was all a massive joke to them." Tasha remembered the Spielberg movie. Of course, nobody would know that movie in 2400, except the geekiest people.

    "The Department never met the Vree ships directly, they were very good at evading us. We spotted their ships through our satellites, and saw pictures of their saucers. Some pictures were clearly true, we ran a spectrum analysis and saw there were not-from-Earth materials. We also met lots of people who had been abducted by the Vree or had met them, in their iconic saucers. And that was the main difference (other than the ships) between them and the Streib. The Vree always returned their abductees unharmed, mentally and physically.
    It was very confusing at the time, because they share the same appearance. The Department thought they were the same aliens who were playing games at first, but had to conclude they were two groups.

    The Department investigated the Vree activities, but it is only after properly meeting them in 2160, that we realized their extent. The Vree had personnally contacted Holywood producers, to convince them to produce movies and shows with grey aliens, like X-Files or Dark Skies. They often actually played in those shows (everyone thinking it was good props or special effects).

    The Vree abductors often struck friendships with their abductees. Some were taken in space (willingly) several times in their life, to see Earth from orbit or visit Mars, the Moon... Some former abductees even participated in Vree pranks (on their own planets or on other planets). For example, the Vree asked blond, blue-eyed, Scandinavian men to pass themselves as "Nordic aliens" to other abductees. The "Nordics" being supposedly the enemies of the "Greys", or spiritual guides to humans.
    "

    "With the stories of aliens spreading, there were of course thousands of people who pretended, falsely, that they had been abducted to gain fame and money. The Vree often pranked those people, who suddenly found themselves abducted for real. Basically, they trolled humans for decades, and they did the same on many other pre-FTL species."

    There was a lot of laughter in the room, everyone imagining the fake abductees suddenly finding themselves strapped, facing grey aliens.

    Tasha easily recognized the Pre-Space Era nerds in the room, because they actually understood her references. And because of their reaction about the Vree playing in shows.

    One cadet raised his hand, and Tasha nodded to him. He asked his question. "Are the Streib and the Vree the same species ? Like, lost cousins ?".
    Tasha answered. "Honestly, I don't know. I suppose EarthDome and our allies know everything. But for the rest of us, their history is a mystery.".

    Before other cadets could ask questions, Tasha started again.
    "There was a third party involved. Yet another grey alien abductor. Loki, a rogue Asgard scientist, who was experimenting on humans to find a solution to the genetic sickness of his species. We don't have proof. But we suspect Loki used social engineering on the Vree and the Streib, to give them the idea of abduct other species, so everyone would think of them and not him as a suspect. And no, don't ask me, I don't know if or how the Asgard are linked to the Vree and Streib either."

    Tasha was not so sure there was a link. After all, Minbari, Centauri, Onteen and humans had massive anatomical differences (the Onteen being oviparous, the Centauri having six gentialia, and the Minbari having their bone crests). On the other hand, the Minbari and humans shared the same souls, and were close in their DNA. Nobody knew exactly the link between all those species. So the three grey races were just another mystery.

    Tasha decided to conclude her speech. "Finally, there was another enemy, on Earth itself. In the 15th century, a Drakh scientist arrived on Earth." Everyone gasped. The Drakh were well-known in the galaxy. Centuries ago, they meddled in the Centauri-Orieni War to make things worse. In the 23rd century, they were behind the Dilgar Warmasters. The Drakh had been involved in dozens of conspiracies, had given technologies to dangerous groups and species, had left behind dangerous artifacts... Last but not least, the Drakh looked like demons (or rather, the demons looked like Drakh, since they had inspired this legend). Bargaining with them (or the Shadows) was like bargaining with the Devil, too.

    "His name was Drakh'ul. Or at least, that was the name he gave himself on Earth. He was stranded for centuries, and took base in Transylvania." Students were wide mouthed, realizing who was exactly this Drakh in history. "Yes, Dracula. His legend was mixed up with Vlad Tepes, a king who lived and fought the Turks in the same area, though. Drakh'ul experimented on humans, and created Vampires through very advanced biotechnology and nanites. He created many different strains of vampires. Some who disintegrated after being staked or exposed to sun. Nothing magical, just nanites and a spectacular visual effect. Drakh'ul made his vampires sterile, but able to turn other humans into vampires, to limit their growth and keep them under control. Vampires were never numerous, but they existed until the 21st century.

    Then, the Department eliminated them. We didn't like doing that. Not all of the vampires were bad people. Some acted under compulsion, others still had free will but were forced to drink blood to survive. Still, their very existence was a threat to mankind. Not only we tracked and eliminated them (it took decades), but we eliminated Drakh'ul by locating and nuking his bunker in Siberia.

    In 2016, with the Streib departed and the Vampires dead, the Department decided to put its soldiers -like me- in stasis, so we would be able to serve in next major crises. Which we did.
    "

    Author Note : Drakh'ul exists in B5 (I saw him on the wikia). I didn't invent his character, only developed it.