The Silent Year: A Talan Brothers Story
Disclaimer: Star Blazers/Yamato 2199/Space Battleship Yamato belong to Voyager Entertainment. This story is written for entertainment purposes only. No infringement on the copyright is intended.
Time-line: Season 1 of SB/Y2199 before, during, and after the Battle of Gamilon
Chapter 1: And So It Begins
Belarus, Gamilon. Desslok's palace
Desslok summoned Ghader and Velte Talan to his office. Velte, the eldest brother, handled political and military matters within Desslok's cabinet whereas Ghader (Masterson) was Desslok's adjutant in charge of overseeing military staff operations and weapons development.
The two generals found the emperor standing over a tactical screen depicting the Gamilon and White Comet Empire fleets at Gamilon's western border.
"Sir!" they both saluted.
"At ease, gentlemen. I have a matter I need to discuss with both of you before I address the Joint Chiefs of Staff this afternoon regarding my plan to bring the Argo to Gamilon."
"Their main concern is with disabling the Wave Motion Gun, sir," added Ghader.
Desslok nodded. "Rightly so. Unlike some of my officers Major Kranshaw is a man who disdains hype and sensationalism. He uses facts to support his concerns. I read the Major's report as I'm sure you have. When he referred to the volcanic and tectonic cataclysm that could occur as a result of the Argo's Wave Motion Gun I knew we would have to make plans to ensure that the families living on Gamilon would be safe from harm."
Ghader looked crestfallen. "I'm sorry we won't have the improved drill missile ready in time, sir. Also, the logistics between the ferrite gas cloud and the circuitry in the Desslok Mines makes them unreliable to use as well. As to the evacuation plan we have several of our high speed cruisers keeping the civilian craft in formation at a distance that will keep all parties safe. Major Bokkan and I are coordinating the effort."
"Good. Do not trouble yourself over the missile and the mines, Ghader. We hardly expected the Star Force to be able to reverse the circuitry. I have every confidence that these setbacks will make our inventions even better."
"Thank you, sir," replied Ghader. "I just wish we had those weapons ready so we would not have to drag the Argo to Gamilon."
"I know," replied Desslok. "But as you can see, we cannot afford to remove additional forces from the front lines without giving the White Comet Empire the opening they're looking for." His face softened and he placed a hand on the general's shoulder. "It saddened me greatly to hear about the loss of the Arashi. She was your first command, yes?"
"Yes, sir. A very fine crew. General Arkadeen told me they died in honor by partially crippling the Cometine's Magna Flame Gun ship, sir. I...will address their families if you wish."
Desslok squeezed his shoulder. "There is no need for that, my friend. I have already contacted them and assured them of any support they may need from us. The Cometines are why I called both of you here actually."
"Sir?" asked Velte.
Desslok folded his arms across his chest. "I received a message from their Prince Zordar requesting an alliance with Gamilon."
"Hmph. If they wanted and alliance with us then why did they pile their forces onto our western border?" asked Ghader.
Velte smirked. "It's not an alliance, brother. Not exactly. Call it political chess. It's more of an alliance-with undertones of-surrender. I think even those fools know better than to demand surrender directly from us!"
"What did you tell them, sir?" asked Ghader. "I can think of a few things I'd like to say, though I'd rather use a tachyon beam as a response."
Desslok placed his hands on each of their shoulders. "I have never known either of you to do or say anything rashly. I suspect that is why there has always been a Talan by the side of a Dessler; to counterbalance our inclination for...rashness."
"Why am I not liking the sound of this, sir?" asked Velte with a worried expression on his face. "Sir? You didn't?"
Desslok removed his hands from their shoulders and smirked. "If I didn't have an empire and Iscandar to consider, Velte, then I might be inclined to follow your brother's advice. However, if it comes between saving my people and Iscandar or watching both being forced into labor camps then I will choose an alliance. Temporarily of course." He looked at both of them and waited for their reaction.
"I'm sorry, sir. If you already made a decision then why did you ask us here?" asked Velte.
"Why to see if you found it too rash, Velte Talan," replied Desslok dryly.
Velte rubbed the bridge of his nose and lowered his head. Ghader pulled a bottle of aspirin out of his pocket and offered it to his brother. "Would you like one, Velte, or the whole bottle?" he quipped.
Velte held up one finger and his brother proffered one to him. Velte chewed on the aspirin. "I don't like this situation, sir. I don't trust the Cometines one bit. Are you sure this Zordar will hold up to his end of the bargain?"
"I believe so," replied Desslok. "If he should prove otherwise then I will put my contingency plan into operation. For all of their might the Cometines rely entirely too much on brute force and not nearly enough on wit. They have yet to encounter a force that has defeated them," Desslok smirked. "Gamilons understand pride. We practically invented the word and we've been able to grow because we learned from our mistakes and adapted. The Cometines have yet to do that. It is something we can exploit. That and their war machine is headed here." He changed the tactical display to show an intercept course.
"Earth?" asked both brothers.
"So if we take the Star Force out of the picture it will make it all the more easier for the Cometines to acquire our new home?" asked Ghader.
"I don't suppose you would be open to negotiating a temporary alliance with the Star Force, would you, sir?" asked Velte.
Desslok shot Velte a fiery look. "And commit political suicide, Velte?" he asked, crossly. "I believe I said something about House Talan not doing things rashly!"
Ghader walked around the tactical display. "I'm loathe to admit it, sir, but Velte does have a strategic point. Velte, you're the political expert, is there anyway we could save his reputation if we went through this?" Ghader stopped when he saw Desslok's icy stare.
"It was just a suggestion, sir. Obviously a rash, one. My apologies, sir," said Ghader as he bowed.
"My apologies as well, sir," bowed Velte. "I just thought a combined effort between Gamilon and the Star Force might send those meddlers back to Andromeda thinking twice before they bother us again. Then we could take care of the Star Force and Earth," added Velte.
"We do not need the help of others, gentlemen, certainly not the Star Force!" retorted Desslok.
Ghader and Velte exchanged a look. They had inadvertently hit one of their emperor's sore spots.
"Of course, sir," replied Velte. "We'll see through this as we always do, sir. If we can't beat the Cometines with wit and strength then we'll confound them with our wits and make them live to regret it!"
"Indeed!" replied Desslok. "I'm pleased to see you haven't forgotten one of our primary tenets, Velte."
Desslok's voice softened. "I despise this situation as much as the two of you do. Once our business with the Star Force comes to an end then we can take care of the empire. In the meantime, Velte will work by my side during our fight with the Star Force. Ghader, in the event that Major Kranshaw's predictions come to fruition you will be in charge of the entire fleet until I contact you."
"Sir, I respect your confidence in my abilities but what about your safety? Velte is indeed agile and strong but..."
"Relax, brother. Have you ever noticed how the strategy room resembles a ship?" asked Velte.
Ghader's eyes widened.
"Another one of Major Kranshaw's contributions," added Desslok. "Given our world's delicate state we thought it wise to have a ship built into the palace." Then he looked directly at Ghader. "You have an excellent rapport with the men. They respect you and look up to you. I've witnessed that first-hand. Should a catastrophe befall Gamilon then I will need you to boost their morale until I can re-establish contact. If Gamilon loses its spirit..."
A determined look came over Ghader's face. "Not to worry, sir. As long as we live and fight then Gamilon lives, sir!"
Desslok's face beamed. "Yes. I quite like that, Ghader Talan. In fact I shall remember it."
"Never figured you out to be a poet, brother," Velte replied, wryly. "The Propaganda Office will make good use of it I assure you!"
"Sir, what are your orders concerning the Cometines if we are forced to regroup?" asked Ghader.
"Your main objective will be to first tend to the survivors on Gamilon and then gather as many forces as you can and await my orders. I don't want to present myself to them with only a handful of ships left!"
"Of course, sir! Lieutenant Commander Gratz has become quite fluent with decoding Cometine communiqués. I will have him monitor their channels to ensure they keep their side of the bargain, sir," replied Ghader.
Desslok nodded. "Very well, gentlemen. You both have your orders. Now, let us go inform the Joint Chiefs of Staff."
End of Chapter 1