Episode 2: The Rastaban Conflict
It has barely been two weeks since the announcement and the Alliance is moving around like it’s the end of the galaxy. Though the leaders have downplayed the threat publicly, internally we have been scrambling to gather information and prepare tactical analysis of what is to come. The Rastaban Armada is the name they chose for their military forces. Reports coming in from the planet have revealed that most of the population has been lulled by promises of peace through veritable conquest. Despite the fact that the Alliance had never really gone against the wishes of the government, I suspect there is more to this. I honestly think it’s just a ploy to raise Ohmaaran, the newly appointed Grandmaster, to fulfill his own desires for ruling. Well, no matter the reason the Armada has been on high alert and has moved a number of defense groups to key areas. A blockade has also been gaining traction, but some of the leaders have been reluctant to do it as it would harm the citizens of Rastaban Prime. As things are now we are at a precarious stage, waiting on who makes the first strike.
I’ve been waiting for new orders since my last mission, where I met the elite trio of pilots. Not a few minutes passed when they were issued new orders and deployed in an instant to various points of the system. They were ordered to gather what information they could. Meanwhile I was stuck here going through report after report trying to see if we could find a way to give some diplomatic leverage to our leaders and find a peaceful resolution. Sadly, I think there is nothing to be done here. I took some time to study High Lord Ohmaaran. In his circles he was a strong and proud leader. His ambitions were clear from the start and he continuously opposed the formation of the Alliance. After it happened anyway he seemed to become unhinged. There are rumors that state he even founded an underground movement meant to destabilize the government, get the people to back him up and eventually take over. The thing about these rumors though is that there isn’t any solid proof. It’s all hearsay. Accusing him of treason would’ve only garnered him more followers. In this our leaders were wise, but now we face a big threat.
Rastaban Prime is a powerful commercial hub. A lot of the trade in the system goes through there. They’re also incredibly productive, only rivaled by specialized colonies… wait. Oh no.
I rushed to command, realizing that their first target was likely the colonies of sector Seven Sigma. Why would they take so long to prepare an assault though? Surely their declaration meant that they were prepared for war. Yen Li saw me enter the Command Bridge in a hurry. I stopped for a second to catch my breath. “Are you alright? Did you find something?”, she asked.
“Yes General, I think I know what their first target is…”, before I could continue, someone in the room spoke up to the general. It was the comms officer.
“General! I’m sorry to interrupt, but an urgent message has arrived. It’s from the Armada. They said that the colonies of Sector Seven Sigma are to surrender to them at once.”
“Well? Grand Marshall?”
I looked to the General, “That was what I came here for. I realized that our main production and supplies would be hit, starting with our most productive colonies.”
“Let’s see how the Alliance responds. Stay here Olivia, we’ll know what to do soon enough.”
A few hours passed and communication arrived from Draco Star Command. The ace trio was going to be dispatched to intercept whatever attack force was sent to Sector Seven Sigma.
“I don’t doubt their capabilities, but should the Alliance be relying on them so much?”, I said.
“If the other generals deemed it enough, then it should be enough. Are you worried they can’t do the job? They’ve proven themselves many times over. Look, I know Sector Seven Sigma is part of our jurisdiction and I know your family is from those colonies. Worrying won’t help things, we have to trust in their ability to perform their duty.”
“You’re right. Let me know if anything changes. I’ll be at the mess hall.”
“Alright, don’t linger on thinking about all this. I know you well enough and don’t even think of doing anything on your own. Tell Jaan and Hino to join you, I’m sure they can distract you for a while.”
“For sure, thanks General.”
Mess hall was the prime meeting spot to have some good food and talk to your companions. Like Yen Li suggested, I called Jaan and Hino to join me.
“I heard the news, the aces are going up against one of the first assaults from the Armada.”, said Jaan, placing his plate on the table.
“Urgh, don’t remind me. I think it’s a mistake. They are incredibly talented, but sending them on such a dangerous mission?”
“Livi, you worry too much.”, Hino arrived with her food. They both sat down.
“I know, I know. It’s like when we’re on missions together. I’m always worrying about you two.”
“Hey, we can hold our own. Besides, this is the career we chose. It’ll always be dangerous.”, Jaan was right. I nodded in agreement. Took a deep breath and let out a sigh.
“And you, ma’am didn’t make it to Grand Marshall by worrying alone. I’m sure you could teach the aces a thing or two.”, Hino said.
It was funny, but to them I was as much an ace. “I think my problem with this is not only are they put into a very dangerous position, they’re also one of our biggest tactical advantages. Is using it so early in this conflict wise?”
“We can’t know for sure. All we can do is hope that this will serve as a deterrent. Surely they’ll think twice before sending another attack.”, Jaan said just before taking a bite of his food.
We spent most of the afternoon talking about other things. It helped to ease my mind a bit. Shortly before Jaan left for maintenance duty, General Yen Li arrived and joined us for a few minutes. Things seemed calm for now. All I can do is trust that things will go well.