"Patrol 3, come in please. Patrol 3, what is your status?" the COM system crackled.
"No troubles so far, patrol 3, out", commander Kurohyou answered. "Just like yesterday, last week, and last year. Patrol duty in this system is so boring", his wingman answered. "But, hey, I haven't seen this fuel pocket yet" The Sigma 13 system was nice quite place to get fuel form. Thousands of pockets of valuable H-fuel created a huge nebula in the system. With 2 stars and no planets, there was absolutely no sight in the system what so ever. The Gas Miners Guild, simply called GMG first arrived into the system at 60 AS, and started mining it shortly after. Now, exactly 540 years later, the GMG was still here, mining it with a detailed plan. The goal of the current mining operation was, aside from profit, to create a suitable spot for a base. It would be the second or third base for the GMG. In another system, sigma 19, a good spot was found also, but since the system was only 50 years ago discovered and the remoteness of the system, not much was known about it. Still, plans were there to create a jumpgate from Honshu to the system, but they were far from ready.
A small dark spot caught Kurohyou's eye: "Kurohyou to patrol, I saw something on the left, follow me to check it out, and keep you eye's open". Slowly they closed in on the target. "It's a spy drone. Looks like a Rheinland design. Shall I shoot it, commander?"
"No, tractor it in, and we will bring it home. The intel guys on the Aomori station will love this gadget. Quite well hidden too. We were lucky to find it."
"Patrol 3 to base, we have found a drone, and we will bring it home. Can you send another patrol to finish our sweep?"

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"A spy drone huh?"
"Yes Emperor, a Rheinland one" the servant replied. "The technicians from GMG were stripping it, but it seems it was booby trapped. It exploded as soon as it came on Aomori station. Luckily there were no injuries"
"Ok, thanks for the report. Let our agents keep an eye on Rheinland's companies, and there traffic to the sigma systems. Make sure the GMG sends all their data they could gather."
"Yes Emperor" the servant replied.
Emperor Yorukaze looked to the holoscreen, as the servant soundlessly moved out of the room. It displayed a view on ancient Tokyo, back on the old earth. No one really knew what it looked like now, but it was presumed to be destroyed. For 595 years, or at least old earth years, this planet was the new capital of the Kusari empire. Here in Sirius, this was the new Japan. 5 ships left the ravages of the sol system, searching for a better life. Upon arrival, the Liberty landed first, marking a new calendar. At 5 AS, the Kusari landed on the planet New Tokyo, marking the beginning of a new empire. It was a comfortable planet, with small islands which, though overcrowded now, were remarkably nice. Much better then the Rheinlanders choice. They saw a planet near some great riches, and landed it there at the same time Kusari was formed. Now, they paid for it. The government was unloyal to its citizens, creating a large gap between poor and rich. It was the result of acquiring wealth before the costs. As the emperor thought over this, another servant came in.
"Lord Emperor, Miss Suzaka requests an audience about the spy drone matter"
Yorukaze frowned. Miss Suzaka was, although just in her twenties, one of the top strategists of the Kusari Naval Force and somehow had an ear in the intelligence network too. Almost no event didn't pass her desk. But for her, to request an audience about a simple spy drone was uncommon. Sigma 13 wasn't Kusari space, and spy drones were found every once and a while.
"Let her enter" the Emperor ordered, and saw the servant leave the room silently, as ever
2 Minutes later, the servant opened the door again, but before he could speak, Suzaka pushed him aside. "Emperor Yorukaze, we..
"Bow before the Emperor, woman", the servant shouted, as his hand moved to his kodachi, a small sword. At the moment he wanted to grasp the sword, he caught nothing but air.
"Don't do it, Suzaka", the Emperor said: "It is hard to find such loyal servants".
The servant now noticed that his kodachi was in the lady's hand, with the tip nearly touching his ear.
"Leave the Lady and me, and take your toy with you. And don't do stupid things to yourself, she could have killed us both before you even thought of reaching the blade."
Suzaka handed the small sword to the servant with a smile, making the servant even more uncomfortable then he already was.
As the servant left the room, the Emperor smiled. "Please Suzaka, keep little formality in front of other people. They are not used to your, hmm, style. My ancestors might have let you killed for your disrespect for protocol."
"Yes, lord Yorukaze.", Suzaka answered, as she bowed before the Emperor.
"Look up child, there are no others here right now, and for now I can at least be human instead of Emperor."
As Suzaka looked up, he smiled. "Not only a great strategist, but also a skilled in combat." He thought. "This, only surpassed by her beauty makes her a great friend, or a deadly enemy." She went through the ranks at a great speed, something that might have killed her. Luckily the Emperor noticed her before the most people, and thus protected her from anyone that might have a problem with her.
"Still, I need the Emperors ear."
"Always the working one, huh. Well, you shall have it. What is on your mind Lady?"
"The drone that the GMG picked up. There are more things then that. I heard that the last 4 days 37 of our agents in Rheinland are not reporting in. We also noted that there military activity has increased. Until now we believed it was to secure the Omega systems. But with the drone, it might be that they aim for something else, Sigma 13. And with their jumpgate access from the Frankfurt an invasion is not unlikely."
"And we can't officially do anything about it. We have never claimed the system, nor did any other house. But it is mainly controlled by the GMG, which supplies us with H-fuel. And we supply the rest of the houses."
"It's a smart plan. And we can't officially do anything about it."
"Not without going into war", Suzaka answered.
"Inform the keiretsu, though they probably already know about most things. And gather try to get more intel on their military movements. That's all for now."
"Yes Emperor, she replied"
Yorukaze saw her moving across the hall to the doors. "Not the gentle step of a woman, but totally perfect movements for combat."
"Suzaka, a moment please. The generals keep you out of the blood dragon war aren't they?"
"Yes, they are afraid of loosing their jobs, Emperor"
"Well, how about another task?"
"Emperor?"
"I will leave you in charge of this matter. I will give word to the GMG that you will come to discuss a few things. They have great pilots, but they have virtually no intelligence agency, and no strategist of importance. Just by sending you their, Rheinland might think twice. It will send a message that we do not just sit and watch."
"Yes, Emperor" she muttered. She moved quickly to the door now, almost running.
As the door closed behind her, the Emperor noticed her last expression. "Hmm, a genuine smile, not a deadly one, like the one that she just gave the servant. I have never seen that before."

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"It a perfect plan, Chancellor Graff. We are dealing with most of their agents at this very moment, and have removed about 71 of them. The storages are full and our military can move out of the Nebula's in the Dresden system at any time."
Chancellor Rudolf Graff looked at his general. General Schwanbeck was a long man. A little over 2 meter, almost dwarfing the Chancellor. "Tall, but brilliant" the Chancellor thought. "His plan to take over the sigma system had been created in 12 years, and will finish in the same number of days. After that Rheinland would have its own fuel source. No longer would they be buying it from the Kusari. And with the victory, the people will love me. Celebrations will be made to honour my name. And it will echo to the centuries that would follow. And all that with this generals plan. But, first there is work to be done."
"How much time until it is done, Schwanbeck. When will all of their spies be removed?"
"We estimate 20 more hours, sir. Then all is set to go."
"Then we will go in 40 hours. Let them get confused first. Are there any signs they know about this?"
"No Chancellor, everything is in order."
"Ok, you can leave then."
Schwanbeck closed the doors behind him. "Everything checks out fine, indeed, except for the missing drone of last week. But only I know that. And you will not know until you are blown to dust by the bomb on your little command ship. And then I will step up in your place, and capture Sigma 13 with the remaining fleet." As he walked to his driver, he noticed a little child on the street. Probably lost his parents in this hard winter. "Well, that is the workers life", he thought. "You know kid, take this coin, and know it is good to be in Rheinland."