Hephaestus Independence War Part 2
HEPHAESTUS SYSTEM, HEPHAESTUS 1.
The Hephaestus system looked peaceful enough, even today. The orbit was quiet, besides a few smaller frigates patrolling around the area. Small shuttles embarked all around to their destinations. The biggest ship currently was the Gigerdi Mk3-Heavy Cruiser named the Triton, the flagship of the Hephaestus republic Defence forces.
The nearby planets of the system looked quiet as well, but had similar defences in them. Following the liberation war of Hephaestus six months back, the new governmental system led by President Vayne and the Executive council, it seemed that Hephaestus might actually be allowed to live a little longer. For the past few weeks, several GA-sympathizers had been caught, arrested, and sent back to their homes in the GA-space. The Hemmoian civil war was also over, bringing the Hephaestus and DHR to closer relations. Today, however was a new and completely different day, the Hephaestus government had received allies from the DHR to visit.
HEPHAESTUS SYSTEM, HEPHAESTUS 1.
The Capital City, Hephaestus City
The City looked more “Secure” than before, as several worker droids and automated machines were still repairing the smaller damage in the infrastructure caused by the Urban battles as well as the fights in the Orbit, the sun was shining. A small Hemmoian Umlaut-Class shuttle flew past a few roofs, and quietly sat down on the Presidents palaces special landing zone, actually the Presidential building is called the “Administrative building”, but right now it did not matter.
President Vayne and Defence minister Corzeer were standing boldly besides the shuttle, waiting for the hatch to open and the guest to arrive outside. “Interesting, Company’s finally coming”, Corzeer said enthusiastically. Vayne nodded and replied: “Let’s hope that half of his news are good, at least”. A man walked away from the shuttle, he was an older Gigerdian male, and he looked like a man well taken care of. “Good day, you two” the man said happily, Corzeer and Vayne greeted him as well. “Quite a place you have here” the man replied. “Mr.Hadok, its good to see you here” Corzeer replied. “Yes, I’m glad to be here as well, but..” Hadok replied clumsily and turned to speak with Vayne, “So, they made you the President, eh?”, “Yes, they did” Vayne replied with a smirk in his face. “Well, we’ll discuss your professional manner of speaking later, now let’s get down to business” Hadok replied, suddenly changing his tone of approach to a cold manner. “If you’d join us to the conference room, perhaps?” Vayne replied pointing his hand to the nearby staircase that lead to the elevator that would transport the group to the deeper echelons of the Administrative building.
HEPHAESTUS SYSTEM, HEPHAESTUS 1.
The Capital City, Administrative Building, Main conference room
President Vayne, Defence minister Corzeer, and one of the Hephaestus military Generals were sitting around the table, they were looking back to Jul Hadok, the Gigerdian attaché between the Hephaestus and DHR governments. He was the former chairman of the small, independent party in the Gigerdian Alliance senate called “The Democratic party” that had been declared illegal after Hadok had voiced the support of his party to DHR, he had been under house-arrest along with some of his fellow party-members for months. Also, his son had been killed during the first (secret) GA war against the Inter-planetary alliance, which resulted in temporary victory for the GA side. Jul and a couple of his colleagues escaped from house arrest and went to the DHR, Jul was a member of the DHR parliament and the Liaison between the DHR and Hephaestus matters.
“Okay, I’ll tell you what I know” Jul started sternly. “Our friends in the DHR have been able to recover some pieces of Information concerning the GA’s actions against you” Jul explained calmly, Corzeer had the look of anticipation on his face, he knew that the GA would attempt something like this sooner or later, and so did Vayne. “Exactly what information are we talking about?” Vayne replied, “The GA has been moving ships closer to your neighbouring systems, carrier-sized forces, at least a dozen”, Vayne looked grim suddenly. “As you know, you’ve been pretty safe here for the past few months haven’t you?” Jul asked, and it was true. “Yes, the GA’s been quiet, in all fronts” the General replied, Jul nodded. “That’s because they’ve gotten you into a false sense of security” Jul replied the General quickly, “Now you think that maybe the GA has let you go now, not bothering to use their resources to take down something as pointless as you, you think that your saved?” Jul’s words were least comforting to the Trio of Hephaestus leaders, they all looked very unhappy now. “There is still a possibility that the GA might not attack us due to their fear of going to war against the DHR” the General commented, as reading this from an official report paper. “That’s basically it, they plan to take this system on a quick lightning-type raid” Jul replied, sounding even more menacing. “Our Military forces are small, but we can handle even a couple of carrier-groups worth of invaders” Vayne replied. “Yes, but the GA has you still outnumbered, ten to one” Jul replied. “I understand your concerns, but we can get allies here” Corzeer stated professionally. “No, not fast enough if the GA executes its desired plan”, Corzeer had to agree, still. “We think that they are building large fleets to attack this system, in the timeframe of 2-3 weeks, possibly” Jul stated, “But what can we do about it then?” The General replied hesitantly.
“Well, I guess that we’re going to need to request assistance from the DHR government after all, in military terms” Vayne blurted out, Corzeer looked sad for some reason. “Although, I’m affiliated with the DHR, I like to help my own kind once in a while” Jul replied happily, “and what comes to DHR’s assistance, I think that they’re not yet that ready to fight against the GA, for that matter” Jul ended his speech with another possible fact. “As the general stated, just what can we do then, Jul?” Vayne asked sincerely, “I think that we need to build up a close-defence net around this system’s main planets” Jul presented the plan as a professional would. “I agree, but how can we start to make something like that if the GA plans for an attack this soon?” Corzeer asked in return, Jul looked engaged now. “Well, you just start the work on it right now, and I’ll attempt to administer it somehow” Jul replied. “That sounds like a plan, get the Executive council to meeting within a half an hour, we might get busy” Vayne replied. The four gentlemen left the room as quickly as the plan had been called into action.
HEPHAESTUS SYSTEM, HEPHAESTUS 1.
The Capital City, Administrative Building, Executive council meeting chamber
The Council meeting chamber was a large “Mess-hall”-type room with a long round table in the middle. The chairs in the table were black and grey in colour, and the Hephaestus republic’s insignia was painted in the back wall. The ceiling of the room had a large cupola-type window that projected moonlight into the large table. A large holo-projector was standing in the left corner of the room, being able to broadcast images into the centre of the round table, which had an opening in it. At this time, several members of the Council were sitting around the table, conversing about the current state of the union very loudly. Most of the council members were Guerilla-force commanders that had received political rank in the council after the first part of the Hephaestus liberation war. Vayne sat in the right corner of the table along with the other representatives.
“Now, we’re going to start the meeting since we are on a little short of time right now” Mrs. Adis Rain, the Executive council spokesman said sternly. “We are gathered here to plan some sort of an counter-measure against the GA’s possible attack here” Mrs. Rain continued her report briefing the other council members of the situation that Vayne had told Rain. “I suppose that we’re going to have to start the mobilization of our military forces at this moment” Frek Denix, one of the councilmen replied. “That has already been done, now Jul informs us that he has a contact to the Invasion fleet, we have a defector there, apparently” Vayne replied. “I see, can this informant be trusted?” Mrs. Rain asked suspiciously, Jul nodded and replied: “Well, This informant is thinking of joining your cause, actually, so he keeps us informed of the current events” Jul’s words seemed to gain no support from these Guerilla leaders, it seemed more likely that this plan would not gain support at all from these men and women. “Vayne, I’ll give the final decision to you, since you say that we can trust these informants planning to defect?” Rain continued, “Now, firstly, we don’t know that yet, but we hope them to be trustworthy, so I’m taking the risk” Vayne replied, “So we proceed with the plan, then?” Frek Denix asked. “Yes, so we do”.
HEPHAESTUS SYSTEM, HEPHAESTUS 2.
H.R.S. Havanna, High orbit
Commander Luther watched the incoming fighter-wings and small transports move along the frigate’s hulls. Luther’s Frigate, the Havanna had been a late addition to Hephaestus’s fleets, and the model was as old as the weapon systems that it carried. “I just got orders from the Defence department, and they want us to proceed to navigation point 695,03” reported Lieutenant Garis from his chair; the bridge was a small room with seats to five. “ I see, let’s get moving then”.
“Why are we moving so far out from the main planets, there’s only a few patrol craft out so far” Garis asked wondering the necessity of the orders that the ship had received, “I don’t know, perhaps the command wants us to stay in look out for possible GA invasions or something?” Luther replies, “And that’s okay for me” Luther added as Garis was about to ask another thing. The Frigate lit its engines and moved to the designated area, Captain Luther had no problems with the orders, but he just thought that protecting the main planets would be more important. “Sir, We have reached point 695,03” Garis replied. “Alright, launch a couple of fighters to scout the area” Luther ordered. “Sir, It seems that the defence department is moving transports into this area, they’re loaded with mines” Garis reported once again, “That might mean a possible defence perimeter being constructed here” Luther replied. “Yes, the transports should be here within an hour” Garis replied. “I wonder what this all means,” Luther said quietly.
HEPHAESTUS SYSTEM, HEPHAESTUS 1.
The Capital City, Administrative Building, The Presidents Office
Vayne had ordered all of his aides and assistants to start planning the defence of the whole system. Several Anti-ship missile launchers had been moved into position on the northern continent, Air-raid shelters had been prepared, double guards had been directed into the command centres. “I’ve ordered the rest of our Clone infantry divisions to dig in on the west side of the capital” Vayne replied to Corzeer, he nodded. “ That’s good, the fleet is slowly starting to move into their positions” Corzeer replied, “Still, we can’t handle those twelve carrier groups that Mr. Jul was talking about” Corzeer looked serious as he said it, Vayne stopped his calculations and replied in order:” Its just wrong that the GA is keeping us under wraps, half of the GA citizens think that we are some sorts of terrorists wanting to topple down Dalleer and his government”, “Ever since winning the first round against them, they’ve made a bullet-proof blockade against us, spread false propaganda about us, stopped the media travelling here” Vayne reported all the crimes that the GA government had done against them, but it didn’t matter much, since nobody really knew what to believe. “What little we can get here, we try to modify to best suit our interests” Vayne continued his speech, “And besides, dealing with the Black market doesn’t always guarantee prime stuff”. “That’s the truth, but why did the GA want to knock us down now?” Corzeer asked, Vayne looked angry. “ Jul was right, they think that we are not experiencing a threat from the GA, so they want finish us off now”
“But there’s still a problem, the GA can’t attack openly, that would draw the DHR into the war” Corzeer said. “Yeah, so the GA will commit a quick invasion operation, without anybody knowing anything about it”. “Before it’s too late, they’re going to order fleets to attack here without official orders”, Vayne replied. “I’m sure the Section 18 has got its hands on this,” Corzeer concluded lastly. “They’ll be using hardened veterans as commanders of those ships, since they won’t be asking questions much”, “We’ve got to find a way to cut the GA off before they attack” Vayne blurted out. “One thing’s for sure, Vayne. We go down fighting” Corzeer replied.
HEPHAESTUS SYSTEM, HEPHAESTUS 1.
The Capital City, Administrative Building, Conference room
“Our contacts inform us that the GA is now moving fleets around our two neighbouring systems” Jul explained the group of Hephaestus republic Military forces commanders the whole plan. “I was just wondering, why aren’t you DHR people doing something about this?” one of the Female commanders asked. “Well, we don’t want the GA thinking that we’re ready to fight a full war against them” Jul explained.
“But that’s still too weird, why did they sent you here, then?” the same female Commander asked, Jul looked serious once again. “Well, maybe to show a friendly face to you since we are allies, aren’t we?” Jul explained the commander, who had the prepared look on his face. “Okay, but we’d like to get a couple of ships down here too, just in case the friendly face isn’t enough” The female commander responded. “You know the situation here, the risk of another war is just too great”
“Right, well, we have positioned the rest of our fleets to construct the minefields around the main planets” another male Commander responded. “Thinking of calling the IPA next?” a phrase could be heard among the group, “Come, they don’t even know were here, probably” a response came as soon as the first word was said.
“I’m just here to tell you that we’ll going to have to prepare for a possible attack, possible, that is” Jul continued.
“If the GA attacks, we can delay them as much as possible, that’s the plan”, the commanders looked relieved for some reason. “The GA isn’t going negotiate with you, they aren’t going send ambassadors here to discuss this crisis, and they’re going execute you here and now!” Jul yelled to the commanders. “We’re going to have to fight for our freedom!, that’s what the DHR did, and you’re going to do the same!” Jul’s words ended with gigantic cheers from the commanders, the only problem was, and that wasn’t Vayne supposed to say these words?
HEPHAESTUS SYSTEM, HEPHAESTUS 1.
The Capital City, Administrative Building, Press auditorium
Vayne had decided to hold a speech to settle down the wild rumours of a possible GA invasion, they were true of course, but still, the citizens had to be informed. “Okay, you’re on in two minutes” one of the assistants informed Vayne as he was standing on the podium in the room. “Here we go” Vayne said quietly.
“On in 1….2….3…. Action!” “We have to remind ourselves of this at every moment: that we are in a war, a Quiet war as they call it; a war where there is no front line, no continuous bombardment, but where the two adversaries - this tiny champion of the Alpha quadrant and the immense imperialist beast - are face to face and aware that one of them is going to end up dead in the fight. The Gigerdi Alliance is aware, they are well aware, that the victory of the Hephaestus Revolution will not be just a simple defeat for the empire, not just one more link in the long chain of defeats to which its policy of force and oppression against peoples has been dragging it in recent years. The victory of the Hephaestus Revolution will be a tangible demonstration before all the Gigerdians that peoples are capable of rising up that they can rise up by themselves right under the very fangs of the monster. It will mean the beginning of the end of colonial domination in the Alpha quadrant, that is, the definitive beginning of the end for the Gigerdi alliance imperialism. That is why the imperialists do not resign themselves, because this is a struggle to the death. That is why we cannot take one backward step. Because the first time we retreat a step would mean the beginning of a long chain for us too, and would end up the same way as with all the false leaders and all the peoples who at a particular moment of history did not measure up to the task of withstanding the drive of the empire. That is why we must move forward, striking out tirelessly against imperialism. From all over the world we have to learn the lessons, which events afford. Daniel Gigerdi’s murder should be a lesson for all of us. The murder of Daniel Gigerdi is an example of what the empire is capable of when the struggle against it is carried on in a firm and sustained way. Imperialism must be struck on the snout once, and again, and then again, in an infinite succession of blows and counter-blows. That is the only way the people can win their real independence. Never a step backward, never a moment of weakness! And every time circumstances might tempt us to think that the situation might be better if we were not fighting against the empire, let each one of us think of the long chain of tortures and deaths through which the Hephaestus people had to pass to win their independence. Let all of us think of the eviction of peasants, the murder of workers, the strikes broken by the police, of all those kinds of class oppression which have now completely disappeared from Hephaestus . . . And, further, let us understand well how victory is won by preparing the people, by enhancing their revolutionary consciousness in establishing unity, by meeting each and every attempt at aggression with our rifles out in front. That is how it is won . . . . We must remember this and insist again and again upon this fact: The victory of the Hephaestus people can never come solely through outside aid, however adequate and generous, however great and strong the solidarity of all the peoples of the Galaxy with us may be. Because even with the ample and great solidarity of all the people of the world with Karellen and his people, when conditions inside the state were lacking, when the leaders failed to understand how to strike back mercilessly at imperialism, when they took a step back, they lost the struggle. And they lost it not just for a few years, but who knows for how many years! That was a great setback for all peoples. That is what we must be well aware of, that Hephaestus’s victory lies not in Plasma rockets, nor in the solidarity of the socialist world, nor in the solidarity of the whole Galaxy. Hephaestus’s victory lies in the unity, the labour, and the spirit of sacrifice of its people.”
Vayne’s Speech was breathtaking, or so he hoped. The speech had reached all of the planets in the system; all of the ships had heard it too. This had to make an impression, to