Back Home – The 30 Days War

by Warringer

Prologue

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The large hall, easily as large as the Louisiana SuperDome, was silent. It was not really surprising as there was only a single person in the entire room that could have housed many more. Other than the SuperDome however, the large hall was constructed sorely from wood and paper. The other difference to the SuperDome were the large open slides in two sides of the hall, opened fully to allow fresh warm air to enter the hall, and allowing the sole occupant to look outside and over the tops of the numerous trees surrounding the hall.

The sole occupant was sitting on his knees in the center of the room, dressed in ornamental clothes that made him look like he had just stepped out of the movie 'Shogun', through the light blue color and the length of his hair was disturbing the image somewhat. His hands were placed on his knees and the violet eyes of his forty-something looking face were directed at one of the closed walls of the room. He ignored the wooden sword hilt that was placed before his knees as he stared at the wall, or more exactly the large painted image of a young man that was hanging from the wall.

The young man on the painting was looking like a younger version of the man sitting in the center of the room and was dressed in similar clothes, holding the wooden hilt of a sword in his hand. The facial expression of the painted young man showed determination and his pose that he seemed to be ready to strike.

The sole occupant of the hall continued to stare at the painting as is his stared had the power to give the painting life, while his thought were swirling behind the expressionless face.

Shinji Yakumashi, head of the Yakumashi family of Jurai, just stared at the painted image of his now dead first son, Narijo, silently cursing the fact that Narijo hadn't been able to keep his hands from anything female that hadn't been able to get out of his way in time as well as his pride.

Unbidden the memories over his dead pushed themselves to the surface of Shinji's thoughts. Narijo had managed to impregnate one of the families servants, a lowly maid and a Wau at that. As soon as the pregnancy had been known to him and Narijo's mother, Shinji had told his to deal with it, not wanting a bastard halfbreed in their family.

Shinji had thought that the maid would do the sensible thing and abort her pregnancy when presented with some money to sooth her. She hadn't and disappeared from the planet, to go to Earth to give birth to her bastard halfbreed there.

Several veins became visible Shinji's face, while his expression didn't change.

Earth, a third rate colony that had forgotten its roots in the Empire. A third rate colony that was placed in a tactically very useful position in case of a war with the Minbari and their lapdogs. A third rate colony that should have been brought back into the Empire where it belonged.

A third rate colony that dared to defy Jurai.

Whose inhabitants dared to defy their betters. Whose inhabitants dared to think that their laws were above those of the Empire. Whose inhabitants dared to murder his son for following his obligation.

Narijo had been obligated to deal with his 'one-night' stand and the bastard, but the so called law enforcement had dared to try and prevent him doing so.

Any other planet, any other colony, any other law enforcement had done the sensible thing and forgot about what had happened. But the Earthlings hadn't done the sensible thing.

Shinji still didn't know how they had imprisoned Narijo, but they had done it. And they had dared to sentence him to Death.

The 'Judge', the 'Jury' and the 'Prosecutor' had all denied to take the bribes to forget about the whole incident and the Emperor himself had forbidden to interfere with the Earthlings.

And Shinji hadn't even be able to take the bastard.

Shinji breathed in deep to calm himself.

Earth...

It was the perfect staging area for any attack against the Minbari should the War begin. And the sheer number of people living on that planet would make cheep labor for building fortifications, shipyards to repair ships and crew members for the fleet of the subject races.

And yet, the planet wasn't part of the Empire.

The Emperor had allowed his great grand son Tenchi, a bastard grandchild of that fool Yosho, to govern the planet and its people to his leisure.

And what had the bastard done? Given that power to someone who was elected every few years by the people of the planet. It was a wonder why the whole planet wasn't pulling itself apart in an eternal war over the right to govern over it. And even than the man or woman in charge didn't have the kind of power any other governor of a planet had.

To add insult to injury, they were gathering allies. Not only a few here and there, but they had managed to pull the entire League of Free Planets, the Narn and several other races into a close alliance. And more races were following that path. Some even breaking away from the Galactic Union or the Galactic Federation.

And they were exchanging technology with the other races, even going as far as asking them to do the same and building up a combined military.

They shouldn't!

It was going against every common sense as the races could build their own fleets with that technology and stab them in the back.

Oh, how Shinji wanted to see that.

The Earthlings couldn't be trusted with the technology they had. They hadn't any responsibility in that regard. Who in their right minds gave a lowly Quantum 0 civilization Quantum 2 technology?

They should be brought into the Empire at once before this foolishness could spread.

Shinji closed his eyes for a moment, remembering the latest pieces of intelligence his spies in the Galaxy Police had gathered. It seemed that the Earthling were now experimenting with technologies on par with those of this self proclaimed 'Greatest Genius of the Universe', who had build the Soja, the ship had had been stolen by Kagato later.

What would happen if they were to succeed?

They had already one ship that appeared to be build with such technology and some GP scientists were going as far as placing it in Quantum 4.

What would happen if they were to give that technology to other races like they had done with other pieces of technology?

What could happen to the Empire was horrifying. Even more if he thought about what could happen if the Minbari were able to get their hands on such technology.

Shinji closed his eyes for a moment and than breathed in deep before reaching for his Key and standing up.

He would need to call in a few favors and talk to several families who were thinking the same as him. It was time to act and reunite Earth with the Empire.

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Anson Davidson looked over his desk and into the face of his opposite as he leaned back in his seat a little. He tried to read the face of the person on the other side of the table, but even if he had long since learned to read the faces of many races in the galaxy there were some races where he had problems to do just that.

And being the Secretary of State of the Interstellar Commonwealth State Department, he didn't like that he was unable to read the person he was talking to. Especially in this case.

The person opposite to him was the Ambassador of the Quetzal, a high Quantum One civilization that was deep inside the Galactic Union. At the moment they still were independent to the Union, but the Coatl, the head of the small star nation feared that they would loose their independence very fast.

Anson knew that the Quetzal had every right to fear that they would become a subject race of the Jurians. With a good number of other races leaving the Union to become members of the Commonwealth, the Galaxy Police was, overtly, pushing many of the small independent star nations towards the Union.

For people who were used to plan over decades that was akin to an overreaction.

Anson also knew what would happen to the Quetzal one they were to become members of the Union and in that effect subjects to the Jurians. On the paper they would be autonomous, but in reality the Coatl would be replaced with a Jurian Governor who was most likely not going to be very overt in using and abusing the Quetzal.

The Federation wasn't much better in that direction, even less overt as they replaced the entire government with members of the Minbari Castes, essentially forming smaller 'Gray Councils' as the new government of their subject races, resulting in a very unyielding structure that all but prevented the races to advance to a new Quantum Level.

And than there was the Commonwealth. A real alternative to the two big powers. The Quetzal could only win in this situation, just like the Commonwealth would. Having a beachhead deep inside the Union was a good thing, but the Commonwealth would have to help them to get their defenses up to date.

Anson glanced over to a small holographic display only he could see floating over the left side of his desk. The Pentagon was willing to give the Quetzal a good number of new ships and military advisors should they become part of the Commonwealth. He had been surprised to see that the Secretary of Defense was willing to give away a pair of Demeters.

Than he looked back into the reptilian face of the Quetzal ambassador. Never in his life he would have imagined to have to negotiate with a snake like species. He just couldn't shake off the feeling of negotiating with someone who could sell him a ninety year old hunk of scrap as a brand new car.

The Quetzal were very snake like, only the pair of arms was making them different to Earthbound snakes. There were no legs, only their more than thirty feet long and thick body they used to slither around and coiled it up when they were sitting. There were also the very colorful feathers that ran down their spines and formed a halo around their heads.

"What can I do for you, Ambassador?" he asked after a while.

The Quetzal Ambassador had asked for this meeting and Anson was hoping that he would finally follow the proposal he had made to the Coatl, should they chose to become members of the Commonwealth.

The Ambassador bowed his head slightly and slowly reached into one of the numerous small pockets of the crossed leather belts that were the only piece of clothing his race wore aside from environment suits. After a moment he produced a data crystal.

"The Coatl and his ministers had talked about your proposal," the Ambassador said and Anson raised an eyebrow.

Okay, this was new. Normally the Quetzal weren't going to come down to business this fast and make smalltalk for about half an hour or longer.

Anson took pride in his pokerface and in cases like these he was glad that it was close to perfect as he hid his interest.

"And they were approached by a member of the Galaxy Police," the Ambassador continued and placed the crystal on the desk. "He... 'proposed' us to become members of the Galactic Union."

Once again Anson was surprised how well the Quetzal were able to speak any language perfectly after a few tries as he could hear the quotation marks around 'proposed'. He hid his frown and looked at the small display again. It seemed that he would have to hand the new proposal to the Ambassador.

"I gather that that proposal was... interesting," he said after a moment as he took the crystal and looked at it.

"It was," the Ambassador said. "And it allowed to make the Coatl to make his decision."

Anson fought the impulse to grind his teeth. He had had a similar conversation a few times before. And it normally ended with the Ambassador withdrawing and the race in question becoming members, or rather subjects, of the Union or the Federation.

"I am sure that that decision was made for the best of your people."

The Quetzal nodded and Anson was surprised to see something that appeared to be a smile. Not something that looked very nice in the face of a snake.

"The Coatl wonders how fast he can sign the Carta of the Interstellar Commonwealth."

Anson was stunned by the answer of the Ambassador and his eyes once again wandered towards the small display and wondered how much of the Quetzals psychological profile was inaccurate. Something like this didn't seem to be something this race would do.

Anson recovered fast however and smiled.

"I am sure that you can sign the carta inside the next one or two month. But I will contact you once I have been able to talk to my secretaries about this."

The Ambassador nodded slowly and slowly uncurled his body from his sitting position.

"May I ask about this crystal?" Anson wondered as the Ambassador slowly moved towards the door.

The Ambassador stopped and looked back at Anson with a smile.

"I think you will find the Union Proposal interesting," he said and opened the door to leave.

As the Quetzal left Ansons Office, he looked at the crystal.

He would need to talk to a few friends after watching the video on the crystal.