Thread: Dawn
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Old April 16th, 2008, 06:17 PM

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Default Re: Dawn - Monster


Nekkar III
Corporate Headquarters…

Three people outside the Drepana system were aware of what happened on board Bulldog. The commander of the transport McKinley was the object of Commander O’Rourke’s actions, as were the troops and colonists now aboard McKinley. The battleship Konigsberg also had data log video and audio of the event, which was viewed by the three people in the room. The frigates North Weald and Portsmouth also knew what happened, but they were fiercely loyal to O’Rourke.

O’Rourke was now on an encrypted live feed with the three people in the headquarters briefing room. Chairman Lomax was present, as was the Intelligence Department Minister Rita Edwards. The Defense Minister was also present. He was in the unenviable position of having his best commander taking actions that made him seem unaware of what was happening around him.

Which he was.

Lomax spoke first.

“Commander, you know why we are meeting. I need to understand why you have ordered the abandonment of the Drepana system. You have not received such an order from anyone here, I presume?”

The Defense Minister blanched, but said nothing.

“Chairman, Ministers; I will not apologize for my actions, but I will explain them.”

O’Rourke’s voice was as calm and as level as before. Rita Edwards now intervened.

“Commander, your record is impressive, and…”

O’Rourke wasn’t going to be interrupted.

“Minister Edwards, forgive me, but I hardly think you are here to review my record. You want to know if I am in full control of my own mind. The Cue Cappa have psychic abilities, and you want to know one of three things: One,” and she started holding up her fingers to emphasize her points, “you want to know if I am sane. I tell you, I am very much so.”

O’Rourke continued.

“Two, you want to know if I have been affected by some mind control by the Cue Cappa. Again, I say I am in control of my own thoughts. And three, have I defected and committed treason.”

Edwards couldn’t help but admire her, as most couldn’t. There was a honesty and directness that some found disarming, but Edwards found refreshing. Someone who was so like herself. Which is why Edwards almost hated asking.

“Well commander – are you a traitor?”

O’Rourke answered.

“No, minister, I am not.”

Lomax then picked up the questioning.

“Then why, commander? Why the retreat when we were so close to victory? The ground troops were almost in control of the plane when you threatened to have Konigsberg destroy McKinley. Why retreat then?”

O’Rourke now chose her words carefully as she continued.

“I say again, I am in control of my own mind, but one of my crew on board is not. My sensor officer, Lieutenant Sam Chase.”

Lomax looked confused, but Edwards leaned over to him.

“The surviving officer from the Leeds incident.”

O’Rourke continued.

“Mr. Chase was at his post during the attack on Drepana I. He witnessed firsthand the power of Konigsberg against the Cue Cappa. He knew the Cue Cappa had no chance against the battleship. He reported to me that during the attack, he was begging the Cue Cappa ships to run – that they had no chance against such a power: but he was doing so in his mind.”

A playback of the battle was shown, and Chase was staring at the display when his lips moved imperceptibly. He was crying as the battle was over.

“Apparently, Chairman, Ministers; Mr. Chase’s emotions and pleas were heard. He was contacted by the Cue Cappa. I spoke with him in my quarters, and have the video of the interview.”

The screen display dissolved and reformed on the commander and the lieutenant. Chase was sitting opposite of the commander, but was speaking to her as if she was far away.

“You have com-pas-sion in your species? You care about those you destroy?”

O’Rourke looked at Chase.

“We did not want war. We do not wish to destroy.”

Chase spoke again.

“Your actions, com-man-der prove your lies. Your ship is like god. Power we do not know. Power that you use to destroy. You destroy us. You on planet. You kill. You destroy. And you say you do not want war, com-man-der. What do you want, if not war?”

O’Rourke spoke again.

“We want peace.”

Chase howled in rage.

“Lies!! You cover our planet. You take our worlds! You take others! You take! You take!! You take!!! You only give destruction. You lie! We know of your others!!!”

O’Rourke was now the one confused.


Chase settled down, but continued.

“Sith-rak. Nor-ak. Ab-bi-don. Ser-get-ti. Eee. Phong. Xi-Chung. Cheth-thod. All you have destroyed, com-man-der. All you have lied to, com-man-der. Our enemies. Our friends. Now we are all friends, com-man-der. We all have only one enemy now, com-man-der. All are friends. All but one, com-man-der. All against one enemy, com-man-der.”

The three at headquarters now began to realize the enormity of what was happening. The entire galaxy was lining up against the Dawn.

The playback continued. Chase was still speaking.

“Yet, com-man-der – this one. This one cried out. This one tried to warn. You destroy and this one cried. Why, com-man-der? Is this one not you?”

O’Rourke was trying to formulate an answer and comprehend what was going on at the same time.

“There are others who live in peace with us. Abbidon, Sergetti. Phong. Even Cue Cappa. Live with us. In peace. This one is like me. But others live with…”

Chase cut her off.

“Then why this one warn us? It is like you. It destroys.”

O’Rourke tried to ply the opening she thought she saw.

“This one, and others, care. We all care. We want peace. Yes, we destroy. But we don’t want to destroy. We want peace.”

Chase was silent, but spoke again after a moment.

“Then go, com-man-der. Go and leave. Live, but go. Show us you want peace. Take what you brought and go.”

O’Rourke thought she knew what was happening.

“Abandon our colony on Drepana III?”

Chase howled again.

“Not yours!!! Not! Take yours and go!!”

O’Rourke pressed on.

“We will go, and there will be peace? All enemies will be friends?”

Again, Chase slumped a bit. It was a full thirty seconds before he spoke again.

“Take and go from Dre-pana. Take and go from Lezz-ari. Take and go from Fezz-ran” Take and go from She-li-ak. Take and go from La-certa. You want peace, com-man-der? Take and go.”

O’Rourke spoke quickly. Too quickly.

“You want us to leave those systems or there will be no peace? How can you…”

Again, Chase interrupted her.

“Com-man-der. We have one enemy. But we cannot defeat you. You would destroy all of us. You have power and you will win. But you will be alone, com-man-der. And who will be left for you to destroy, com-man-der?”

Chase stopped for a moment, and then continued.

“It has started, com-man-der. See your power, com-man-der. Take what you brought and go, com-man-der. Stay, and win. And lose.”

Chase went limp and O’Rourke started up toward him when her intercom intruded.

“I’m sorry, commander, I know you said no interruptions, but we have an attack in progress in the Mentocka system.”

The video switched back to a live feed. O’Rourke addressed the members again.

“You all know about that attack. Fifteen Abbidon destroyers took on four Dawn frigates. They were either destroyed or crippled, and not one of our ships were harmed. What you don’t know about is this attack, in Fezzran. I downloaded it from Konigsberg just thirty minutes ago. Bismarck was in transit in the Fezzran system when this happened.”

Again, the display dissolved and reformed. The view was of space, and then a tactical display of the situation. In the corner of the display was a log of the events and the decisions of the computer in charge of Bismarck. Thirty-seven Norak destroyers and eight supply ships were attacking Bismarck. The log was then displayed, with the tactical overlay in the background.

“Bismarck heading 022, Target One closing...120km...110km...100km...firing point defense activated...eight torpedoes hit...Target One negated...Bismarck ahead slow…Target two closing...110km...100km...firing torpedoes...Bismarck ahead slow...”

The display continued with the same series of events.

“...Target twenty-seven negated...Bismarck ahead slow...Target twenty-eight closing...110km...100km…firing point defense torpedoes hit...Target twenty-eight negated...Bismarck ahead slow...Targets twenty-nine through forty-five turning, new heading 190, speed 13km/s…Bismarck has insufficient speed to pursue…Bismarck returning to course 018...”

The display again switched to Commander O‘Rourke. She continued.

“Chairman, Ministers, we have an update from our Ferret satellites that the Sithrak have a fleet of seventeen ships forming up in Lezzari, and the Xi-Chung have a fleet of seventy-three ships and over 100 fighters just outside Drepana. Our last intelligence had the Cue Cappa and Xi-Chung at war with each other. Now, the Xi-Chung fleet is traveling together with the Cue Cappa towards Drepana.”

The implication was clear. Dawn was a source of fear. Dawn could not be stopped. Lomax now understood why all gifts had been refused by every empire they approached. No one wanted to make a treaty with Dawn. No one wanted to ally with evil. Lomax, to his chagrin realized now that the empire had achieved everything it sought out to do so long ago. Knowledge, at any cost; power, at any cost. They had both, but they were a source of revulsion to the rest of the galaxy. The rest of the galaxy had banded together against the Dawn, and had decided it would be preferable to die than exist with this malignancy that called itself the Dawn Empire...
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