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Old June 26th, 2002, 02:38 AM

sachmo sachmo is offline
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Default Re: Rise of the Remorhaz Society



“Grand Admiral, Commandant Hunter is on com for you, sir.”
The Grand Admiral hoped that Hunter had good news. The destruction of Lapzooli II had effects that he had not been prepared to deal with.
“Ok, put him thru.”
Commandant of the Marine Corps Shawn Hunter appeared in the com unit.
“Marcus, they’ve finished the design for the assault craft. I can’t wait to show it to you. This baby is going to make the Space Marine Corps the most lethal attack force in history. With a ship full of assault craft, we can land a division of Marines in a matter of hours, and they will be hot and ready to go on landing. When can you come down? Oh yes, an unexpected side effect of the project…the eggheads in the Design Bureau believe that the miniaturization which was done on ship components for the assault craft will also be applicable to the construction of space mines and fighter craft! Can you imagine, Marcus? We could launch a wave of fighters at a Rage fleet before they could even deploy! Entire systems could be blocked off with defense satellites behind huge fields of space mines! This is going to give us the edge we will need to win this war!”
The Grand Admiral had to laugh. Commandant Hunter was still very new to this level of command. He was able to get excited about new things. A few years of the war would squeeze that out of him, but it was a refreshing change.
“Well, Shawn, when were you thinking about holding the test? I’m sure that the Chairman and the Field Marshal would also like to be there.”
Hunter looked off screen and yelled out the question to someone.
“Next week? Damn.” He looked back into the screen. “They say the prototype won’t be able to run the tests until next week.” He frowned. “Actually, they think it will take about five months of testing and design changes before they are ready for mass production.”
“Shawn, you still need to raise an army. We need some brave Space Marines to fill your assault craft” the Grand Admiral kidded.
“Yes, I know. I just want to get out there, you know? I’m ready to show everyone what we can do!”
“I understand, Shawn. We will be at the trial next week. Shall we have dinner soon? Now that you aren’t going to be lording over those poor scientists every minute of the day, maybe you can come and relax with me?”
The Commandant nodded. “Yes, Marcus. I’ve drawn up some preliminary plans for a troop transport design. I know it’s not exactly my jurisdiction, but I’ve figured out how to get the maximum number of assault craft based on the existing transport design…”
Marcus laughed again. “Ok, Shawn! Ok! We can discuss it at dinner tomorrow night.”
Someone off-screen call out to Hunter. Absently, he said, “Good deal. We’ll see you tomorrow night. For dinner.” The connection went dead.
Grand Admiral Urian shook his head. Yes, after the first time his Marines go into combat, he will lose a lot of that enthusiasm. It was sad really, but that was the burden of command.
With a sigh, the Grand Admiral went back to his reports.

As the speeder slowed for a vertical landing on the roof of the Senate in the city Turin, Chairman Sachmo looked out of the window. Crowds of civilians ringed the Senate, carrying signs and placards, and shouting. The Chairman could feel their anger even here, 500 feet above the crowd. This is going to be rough, he thought. All of those people are looking for answers, and the truth might be too much for them. The protests had begun as soon as the news of the destruction of Lapzooli II had been leaked by someone in the government. An “unidentified source” had handed the classified videos of the bombardment to Remorhaz News Network. Rather than checking the accuracy of the vid, they decided to run it. The resulting backlash was incredible. Ordinary citizens weren’t ready to see entire planets being glassed on their vids during dinner hour. Also, the people felt their honor had been besmirched. They thought that this was a cowardly way to fight a war. Lastly, they believed that if we could do that to them, then the Norak had every right to do it to us. The average citizen could easily see himself on the other end of that bombardment dancing across their vid screen.

Senator Harris was waiting for him at the elevator. “Good day, Chairman! How was the flight?”
Sachmo looked at him with a sour face. “Well, the trip from my residence was excellent. It’s amazing how fast a speeder can make a fifteen mile trip.”
If the Senator heard the jibe, he didn’t show it.
He talked as they walked. “Chairman, the citizens are restless, which means the Senate is restless. I know that you will placate them, but it’s important for you to know that your supporters are ready to come to your aid should you need it.” His smile was as big and fake as his hairpiece.
Subtle, Senator. If you think I’m not going to get thru this, you are sorely mistaken, the Chairman thought.
They made the ride down in silence. Well, to the Chairman it was silence, but Senator Harris was babbling about anything and everything.
As they stepped into the cloakroom of the Senate, Harris and his people split off to find their seats.
Yarboro cleared his throat. “Shall I get the disinfectant out now, Chairman?”
Sachmo chuckled. “No, don’t bother, Yarboro. Senator Harris has a few surprises in store today. Actually, I almost pity him.”
“Yes, sir, he probably has no idea.” Yarboro quipped.

The Chairman stepped into the entrance to the rotunda. The Crier nodded to him, and walked down the aisle, tapping his staff fashioned in the shape of a winged serpent, the symbol of the mighty Remorhaz. When he reached the platform he stopped and faced the gathered Senators.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present the Honorable Chairman of the Remorhaz Society, Chairman Sachmo! May God preserve us all!”
The rotunda was filled with applause. At least they aren’t throwing rotten eggs, Sachmo mused.
As he walked briskly down the aisle, he tried to read the mood of the Senators. Some of his supporters looked at him, with genuine smiles on their faces, or so it seemed to him. Many of his detractors were also smiling. Sachmo spied Senator Harris grouped with a knot of his cronies. It would be interesting to see who stood with him at the end of the speech.
He walked over to the flag, touched the hem to his forehead, then to his lips, and Lastly to his heart. The ritual over, he turned and approached the podium. He paused a few seconds before speaking. Ok, you better make this good, he reminded himself.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Senators and citizens, I greet you. I am here before you today not to defend my cabinet, or myself but to bring to light the situation in which we find ourselves today. I also wish to make clear the heroics of our armed forces, and the exceptional job they have been doing protecting us all from Norak and Rage aggression.”
The Senate was on it’s feet, cheering.
Keep it together, Sachmo. As they old saying goes, the truth shall set you free. The Chairman smiled. The applause died down.
“Only six years ago, we of the Remorhaz society launched our first spacecraft. We all had theories as to what was out there, but we did not know exactly what we would find. The wonders that we have beheld since that first step are hard to put into words which would do them justice. We have discovered how to colonize other worlds, and how to navigate wormholes that take us across huge distances in space in an instant. We have witnessed stars being born, and even other races.”
Sachmo looked up. Well, I have their attention, now I have to give them the truth.
“As we all know, the contact with these other races offered us the opportunity of a lifetime. We would learn from the Norak about their ways and religion. From the Rage, we would learn how to view the universe from the eyes of a living machine. They, in turn, would learn of our values and customs, our history and dreams. It was hoped that we would all benefit from this, and each race would be richer for it.”
“This was not to be, however. No sooner had we begun to exchange ideas when both races declared war on us. There was no warning, or no rattling of swords, only a terse communication informing us that we should prepare to meet our doom.”
The crowd outside had fallen silent. Sachmo continued.
“In the early days of the war, some of our people did meet their doom. The crew of RSS Hawk arrived in the Fezzran system just in time to intercept the Last pleading cries of the colony on Cirius as the Rage fleet bLasted them from orbit. Justice met her doom on Tudran V. We hung on, and continued fighting. Eventually, our forces turned the tide on the Norak and Rage. We captured the Tudran and Wurtuy systems from them. We chased them into their home system. The difference between them, and us however, is that the entire time we were attempting to make peace. They chose to refuse. We destroyed many of their people. Still they refused to negotiate. We advanced to within one planet of their homeworld. They would not end the war. Finally, our fleet took up orbit around Lapzooli II, the homeworld of the Norak. They were blockaded. Our ships destroyed some of their key installations, and deflected the attacks that came at them. We tried to make peace, but they refused. The choice then was clear. We cannot continue to wait for the enemy to attack our colonies; our worlds. We cannot continue to hold out hope that they will eventually come to their senses and negotiate peace with us. Citizens, neither I nor anyone in the military wish to wipe out an entire species. We want peace as much as our people do. Everyday, the ships of Gamma and Delta Fleets risked destruction in the space over Lapzooli, trying to bring the Norak to the table. We have lost many people in this war, and will lose more before it is thru. I tell you now, I will do whatever is necessary to preserve our Society and our way of life. The tasks that have been required so far have been horrible. Billions of innocents died on Lapzooli II, and countless others in the engagements we have fought. If this is what it takes to secure peace, then it will be done. The enemy is leaving us without a choice. If they do not come to the table, we will destroy them. As distasteful as it sounds, it is what must be done.”
The Senate was on its feet again. The applause thundered through the rotunda, but even louder were the cheers from the citizens outside. They really understood the price that must be paid. Absently, Sachmo wondered if Senator Harris understood the price, too.
“Ladies and gentlemen, even with this resolve, we must still not abandon our efforts to negotiate peace. I have organized a new mission, lead by Senator Harris, that will approach the Rage once more, but this time from a position of strength. They will try to organize a cease fire.”
Sachmo looked up at Harris. The man had gone white as a ghost. Perfect.
“Will also attempt to get the Norak to end their fight against us. Citizens, we will win this war. It is a war that we did not ask for, but we will not waver in our resolve. If the enemy will not take the olive branch we have offered, we will take up the sword and slay them. Thank you.”
Sachmo stepped down from the podium. The applause and cheering was deafening. He made his way down the main aisle, with senators and staff alike looking at him in awe, and trying to touch him. Senator Harris pushed his way thru the crowd.
“C-Ch-Ch-Chairman, I received no word of this mission! I cannot possib…” Harris shouted. The crowd pressed in all around them.
The Chairman held up his hand, instantly stopping Harris’ stammering. He leaned in and spoke in the senator’s ear, “Harris, the next time you try to discredit me or my administration with a leak, make sure you understand the stakes. I have to thank you , though.. The leak upset our citizens, but my speech has won them back more strongly than it would have had they had been told the entire situation at once. Also, I have always suspected that you were playing against me, and now I know for sure. You see, you were the only one I allowed to learn the information about the destruction of Lapzooli II ahead of time. Now you are exposed. You are finished in the Senate, Harris. I will offer you this Last mission to parley with the Rage, though. At least this way, you will die a hero, right?”
With that, the Chairman released the senator, who stood there, motionless, as the crowd rolled past him, following the Chairman…the protector of the Remorhaz Society.

At the moment when Chairman Sachmo was holding Senator Harris and telling him that he had been undone, someone had snapped a holopic. It was the Last known holopic that showed the senator alive.


The second Glory Class Destroyer, RSS Triumph was launched from the Glory Shipyards. She was sent to join the fleet in Lapzooli.

At Fort Justice, the Xillantha Defense Fleet watched as the Rage fleet turned course and headed to the wormhole leading to the unknown system Eagle was sent to explore before her demise. Rear Admiral Sakazawa had a meeting with the commanders of the fleet. Between them, they decided that after a few more ships bolstered the fleet, they would risk another recon run into the unknown system, unless the Lapzooli Fleet was able to make a run sooner. Fort Sachmo began constructing a Space Port.
The colony ship was originally ordered to colonize Lapzooli VII was rerouted to Lapzooli II, in the ruins of the Norakian homeworld. Since this world had a breathable atmosphere, it would be idea for colonization. The colony ship should arrive in a month. By that time, all of the fires should have stopped burning.

To be continued...
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