Disclaimers: I do not own Code Geass, Mass Effect or its characters.
Chapter 9: Subterfuge
Planet Rannoch, 21st of August 2157 a.t.b
The red lines in the blue skies were beautiful. They were probably stray rays from the sunset. The trees billowed rhythmically as the wind blowed, giving an impression as if the trees were waving. The fields were vast, more vast than what her gaze could reach. Funny. She thought there would be more buildings. She thought the planet would be heavily industrialised. This was their home world after all. The home planet of the race of sentient machines. Thus, questions come in mind.
Where did they live? True, that the Geth would take up less space since programs live in digital space and their platforms and bodies can be compactly stored. However, there should at least be dozens of buildings for it. The size of an A.I in the the digital world should not be less than a few zetta bytes. Thus massive storage devices should be expected. In addition, where did the Geth have their production? She couldn't see any big factories manufacturing Geth platforms. Producing a mechanical body would require steps of processes. Moulding of metal, shaping them, production of other materials such as carbon fibre and putting everything together. Each processes would require a relatively large production space. Honestly, she had expected to see the land covered with factories. It would not seem so. Moreover, what kind of economy system does the Geth have? Their needs and way of living are tremendously different in comparison to those of humans…
Vanishing such thoughts, Nunnaly vi Britannia focused on the Geth unit in her presence. She was sent to Rannoch to formally meet the Geth and seal their alliance, after they had made first contact in a system at the far end of the Perseus Arm. It was three days ago that the Geth had initiated contact with them. Unfortunately, the contact did not end well, as a third party came into play. The ship from the Turian faction opened fire on the Geth, and the captain in command of the Britannian stealth frigate chose to defend the Geth. The captain was not wrong and his decision was not rash. She could understand the reasoning behind his decision. But whether the decision was wise or not… She would let her brother decide that.
"If I may ask, why is the planet so… unoccupied. I imagined that I would see dense and packed buildings, not wide, lush fields." ask Nunnaly, her curiosity had gotten ahead of herself.
The lens of the Geth unit zoomed in and out, indicating that it was processing Nunnaly's question. The Geth unit was just as tall as Nunnaly. Its head turned to direct its lens to Nunnaly's eyes, as if to make eye contact. "Planet Rannoch was to be kept as appealing as possible to the organics as to be used as the Geth's most valuable bargaining chip. We have taken account the return of our creators as a possibility in the future."
"This unit also would like to make an inquiry. Why did you insist in communicating through the methods of the organics, when you can transmit data to us faster digitally?"
"Communicating through expressive language has clear advantages in many situations. It requires impression to the expression given and assumptions based on our perception to the information given. These two are very important in expressive language. If done wrongly it will give rise to misunderstanding, as wrong impression can be derived from a preconceived notion and having a negative view will affect our perception and consequently assumption negatively." answered Nunnaly.
She continued, "However, if one does it rightly, one will try to change his perception to fit the perception of the speaker. In other words, put himself in the speaker's shoes. This gives rise to a bond of trust and understanding, especially when it is done both ways. That is why I insist on using expressive language."
The Geth unit was quiet. Perhaps it was processing Nunnaly's viewpoint.
Finally, the Geth unit responded, "This information is very new to us. The Geth are always only one Geth. We use neural network to process and analyse our information and make decisions. We share our processing power, which makes individualism irrelevant to us. We have insufficient experience in contact with another individual. Our only experience of communication was with our Creators."
Nunnaly smiled at the Geth unit. The Geth unit detected the gesture shown as Nunnaly spoke, "I am sure you will have ample experience of communication with us in the future."
Yrsak system, Britannian Command Ship, Caerleon-3
Standing at the centre of the command room was Kallen vi Britannia. She was tasked by Lelouch to lead Division 4 in taking hold of this strategic Batarian system. It was located at a fair distance to the Khawali system. If Kallen were able to secure this system, then the Batarians would not be able to reach and retake the Khawali system which will be Britannia's forward base to launch a final push to the Batarian home system. As for the Khawali system, Cornelia is leading the main division to take hold of it.
Looking through the monitors and holograms, Kallen went through her strategy once again. They were facing established planets with independent supply or resources and there were two planets in the system, which made the invasion more difficult. In the previous invasions, they had to face a smaller finite number of defending fleets and ground forces. In this invasion, a planet would be backed up by the other, and Kallen's division was not large enough to simultaneously siege both planets.
There were strengths and weaknesses from both sides. It would be unwise for Britannia to play a game of speed or dragging the invasion too long. Their ships were slow and maneuvered slower. Dragging the invasion too long would give the Batarians the opportunity to use their numerical advantage and would have fully organised their defence.
Kallen's strategy was to disable their strengths and turn their weakness against them. The first stage of her plans would be causing a mass panic that would leave the planets defenceless. A stealth team would disable the biggest energy reactor and block emergency power backup, effectively causing a blackout and incite a temporary state of anarchy. This would then turn their numbers against them. Their forces would be more occupied in stabilising the cities rather that defend on the outside. In this case, their numbers become a weakness. The bigger the population, the harder it is to quell the mass panic. But disabling the energy reactor and making sure that there is minimum civilian casualties was not that easy. Infiltrating would be hard. The Batarians had experience with their use of Einsrosen Gates before. What they didn't know is that it must not only be between vacuum spaces that the Einsrosen Gate can work. As long as the medium at the two ends of the Gates have almost the same composition, they can open the gate anywhere.
Fortunately, there is a sea on a sieged Batarian planet that had the same composition as the sea on one of the two planets in Yrsak system.
Their primary sources of power would be from a nuclear reactor. A Percival would stealthily inject massive amounts of fast moving neutrons into the core. It would destabilise the reactor as the nuclear reactions increases rapidly. There would normally be a huge nuclear explosion, but luckily Nina invented the anti FLEIJA* system, which can also be used in quelling a nuclear meltdown.
Planet Rannoch, 21st of August 2157 a.t.b
"As the prime minister of the Holy Alliance of Britannia, I am here to formally seal the alliance between Britannia and the Geth. The terms of the alliance from us is proposed in this document." said Nunnaly as she transferred an official file written by Emperor Lelouch vi Britannia.
The Geth accepted the file, only to enquire moments after.
"Inquiry: Why has Britannia declined direct military assistance from the Geth? Against the Batarians alone, Britannia has 68% chance of victory and 90% chance of survival. Against the whole citadel council, Britannia has only 13% chance of winning."
"We have our reasons. Britannia's objectives are not only to win the war, but also in the long term to establish our standing in the Galaxy. However, we would really appreciate the Geth's help in supplying us with resources that were listed in the file." answered Nunnaly
"The Geth understands the need of metals and build materials. We are however, still processing the reason behind Britannia's huge request for graphene sheets and nitrogen gases."
"They will be used after the conflict with Batarian ends for some… terraforming." ensured Nunnaly.
"Understood. The Geth will transport them to the Persola system monthly until the agreed quantity is all transported."
New Pendragon, Lelouch's office
"The Geth have accepted our conditions with the alliance. They have been nice enough to provide all the requested materials with half the time we asked. Although I would like to highlight their relations with the Quarians, brother. Their shared history together could have brought them to a higher potential than what they currently are. The Geth are artificial intelligence and thus do not experience many weaknesses of organics, while the Quarians' creativity are unmatched." reported Nunnaly. A communication channel was set up at a hologram booth. The Perseus Veil were very far away from a human colony, thus a huge amount of energy was used the keep the Einsrosen portal open for transmitting data.
"Alright, I'll keep it as a note on the Geth. Anything else to report, Nunnally?" replied Lelouch. He jotted them down in his notes.
"Yes, you're not going to like this." responded Nunnaly, her tone of voice heavy.
Seeing Lelouch motioning her, she continued, "A single sentient vessel had landed a few weeks ago on Planet Rannoch. The Geth informed me that it was the old machines. Based on the Geth's database on the 'old machines', they are also a race of artificial intelligence and have existed even before the Proteans. Every 50 000 years this old machines wipe the galaxy clean of all civilisation except their own. The single vessel, called Nazara offered the Geth exemption from the cycle for their servitude.
Lelouch was quiet. It was something big to take on. This was the answer the mystery of the Proteans that they have been looking for.
"Are you there, big brother?" Nunnaly was worried. She contemplated whether she should give this information to Lelouch after the conflict with the Batarians have ended. However, she decided not to as this information was extremely important.
"This is a terrifying but useful news, Nunnaly. We'll have another meeting for this later on with all the members of the cabinet and generals present." replied Lelouch.
"I'll forward a written report to you this evening." said Nunnaly
"Thank you Nunnaly, come back to New Pendragon safely."
New Pendragon, Lelouch's office
Lelouch vi Britannia put on his outer white robe, getting ready for a press conference in 15 minutes. He called out his personal assistance, "Lilith, show me the notes i've made for the last 5 days."
"Here you go, sir." answered the A.I. as a screen was opened in front of Lelouch. Naturally, Lilith's cyber defences were the best in Britannia, she was after all holding Lelouch's files. Lelouch, for all his ability was still human. No eidetic memory or whatsoever. Although some would mention that Lelouch had chosen her as his personal assistance because she was a clone to Nunnaly vi Britannia. Lilith's avatar was almost the same as Nunnaly's. Only that Nunnaly's hair was wavy, while Lilith's was straight. As his personal assistance, Lilith had quite the responsibility to carry. Although Lelouch had not entrusted everything to her, only files which were already made official, some simple notes and reminders, she would do her best in protecting them.
Closing his file, Lelouch thanked Lilith and walked to the hologram booth.
Royal Press Conference Hall, New Pendragon
The hall was huge, with seats occupied by various parties. In this conference, the Emperor would reveal his plans for the empire and answer questions directed from reporters coming from every corner of the empire. Some were physically present, while others too far away uses hologram to attend the press conference.
"The hologram light is orange. His majesty will be present in any second now!" announce the moderator of the conference.
As soon as the indicator light turned green, Lelouch vi Britannia stood before the reporters in the hologram booth.
The emperor addressed and greeted the reporters present in the hall and proceeded highlighting recent conflicts with the extraterrestrial Batarians. The assault on Shanxi was first mentioned. General Williams's was successful in pushing back the assaulting forces and turn the battle into Britannia's victory. Then after an attempt of peace talk rebuked came the Siege of the 29 systems. Statistics were given and the soldiers who died defending the Empire were honoured. Further assaults were mentioned.
Then the emperor continued, "This conflict has gone on for two months. It will not be allowed to continue on. In 40 days, I will end this conflict with the complete surrender of the Batarian Hegemony." Those words rang thunderously in the huge hall, resonating with reverberating echoes. With a nod, Lelouch vi Britannia was finished with his speech. The moderator opened the question session, as several reporters seemed already excited to ask questions.
"Your majesty, my name is Philipp from the Johimin system. What are your long term plans for the Batarian Hegemony? What comes after their surrender? and what of the other species in the galactic community?"
„Our campaign against the Batarian Hegemony are for the national security of the empire. After we have received their surrender, there will be no need for any conflict and all efforts must be focused on rebuilding the systems and restoring stability. Any batarian citizens under our occupation will be treated the same as any citizen under the Britannian flag. Further actions will be decided after negotiations with the Batarian Hegemony." answered Lelouch.
He continued, answering the other question asked, "As of three hours ago, Britannia has officially made an alliance with the synthetic race Geth and will maintain this alliance even after the war. As for the other races, Britannia will attempt to maintain neutrality with the other races and hope to receive the same treatment."
"Your majesty, my name is Karvosky from the Jotun system. Will this war have an effect on the financial stability of the Britannian people? War is expensive. For the past months, Britannia's factories had worked overtime to meet the demands of the navy. We've also annexed Batarian colonies into our care. Your majesty, Could you give us assurance that Britannia would not suffer from an economic collapse?"
"War costs, yes. In the long run, Britannia would secure strategic locations which stimulates economic growth greatly. In the mean time, I have resorted to use my own assets to fund the war along with donations from almost all the planets. My daughter the Minister of Finance, Euphemia vi Britannia is working hard to make sure that we don't spend too much that we don't have any left in the future.
"Your majesty, I am Ali from the Jamilah system. I would inquire if the mass effect technology would now be researched further and further utilised. The mass effect engines are smaller and more efficiency. Ships using the mass effect core can generate a mass effect field around the ship that alters its mass and distinctively increases the speed, acceleration. The reduction of inertia would also increase manoeuvrability. Is there any plans to integrated those engines into our space ships?"
"Technology has always been an important part of a civilisation. They play a great role in the rise and fall of various civilisations years , the mass effect technology are greatly ahead of us in many terms. However, there is one weakness from this technology that I absolutely cannot tolerate. They have to use the relays for a long distance travel. Until Britannia can design their own relays, we will not use mass effect tech. Nina Rosen and her team have also tried to combine the two engines on a single ship. So far there were no success. Since the engines are completely different, they took a huge amount of space in the ship. That would then cause the Einsrosen engine to fail, since the spaceship weight reached past the maximum limit for the weight to trennon density ratio. Our spaceship would then not be able to withstand the fissuring force of the Einsrosen Space trying to restore the space back to normal state."
Third Batarian Fleet , Command Centre aboard the Flagship
"Repeat that again, captain?" asked a Batarian General.
"We were able to capture a Britannian frigate. We've encountered it while it was on its way to the Khawali system." The captain repeated a second time. He was proud of his crew. Britannian ships were extremely difficult to defeat in a one on one battle.
"This is worrying. They are getting closer and closer to our capital. Khawali system is our closest colony to the capital."
"Yes, but luckily we've capture this ship, it was carrying some sort of super weapon. I have no doubt that they've planned to use it on our colony in the Khawali system."
"What kind of super weapon?" asked the General, relieved that at least they had at least prevented the enemy from using their super weapon.
"We're not sure yet, our engineers are in the process of analysing it."
"Any information from the prisoners?"
"About that sir, we've lost them to a Britannian rescue team several days ago. We were ambushed and their operatives have all escaped."
The General gave a worrying look. "How do we still have the super weapon then? If they could launch a rescue mission, why wouldn't they steal back their super weapon?"
"There was an attempt, sir, but we repelled it." reassured the captain.
The general nodded at dismissed the captain, but he could not shake the feeling that something was amiss.
FLEIJA - Abbreviation for Field Limitary Effective Implosion Armament. A nuclear bomb using Uranium-235 and Sakuradite that was first invented by Nina Rosen when she still was a student. The modified FLEIJA has a blast radius of 120 km. A comparable weapon is the Tsar Bomba.