Master of Violence
by AJ Marks
Jeff was amazed at the entire ship. Despite so many people on board, the ship had been designed for so many and was working incredibly well.
“Sorry to interrupt,” another Simian said who Jeff was unaware of but he looked at Toncor.
“Yes?” Toncor said.
“There is a message for the senator from the surface, they say its urgent,” he said.
“Very well,” Toncor said.
Jeff felt unsure about heading to their bridge and made his way thought the ship following the two. Upon entering the bridge he remembered to duck going through the doorway. They led him over to the communications and waited.
“Ah, senator,” the person said and Jeff found himself looking at the admiral, Richard Jorkenstein.
“Admiral, what’s up?” Jeff asked unsure why the admiral might be contacting him here at this time and not waiting until he returned.
“You’re needed back on Earth,” Richard said. “There’s been a development on Sierra.”
“There were some explosions and all communications were cut off,” Richard said making Jeff frown but he failed to see why he was needed planetside right away. “There is indications it was attacked.”
That got his attention fast. If they had been attacked then there was only one group they knew of who might do it, this unknown Dark Race Toncor had been talking about.
“How sure are you?” Jeff asked.
“There are images of the ship from the station,” Richard said. “There are already conspiracies going on the net, especially considering the timing of the communications going out do not match up with the first explosions.”
“Not sure I like this either,” Jeff said. “I’ll be right down.”
“Good, we’ll be waiting for you, the president has ordered a special meeting as well,” Richard said. “She also would like a representative of the Simian race to be there.”
“I think I can get one of them to come,” Jeff replied turning to Toncor.
“I can go down, especially if his concerns us,” Toncor said.
“It might,” Jeff said knowing that he had been listening in.
“If the Dark Race had found us, then we are out of time,” Toncor said.
“Yes, we’ll have to decide now, and inform the public of this as well. I fear that their attack will heavily influence our decisions,” Jeff said, thinking about it in ways he knew Toncor would never envision, or perhaps, even this Dark Race. Did they know what they were unleashing?
“It should allow you to build your transports quicker,” Toncor said.
“Actually, I was thinking the opposite, it will make many want to fight,” Jeff said.
“You will want to fight, even after this?” Toncor replied almost amazed at the thought.
“They attacked us, by surprise. Its not something our race takes lightly,” Jeff replied. “In a way they did the very thing to bind us together, to eliminate the debate.”
He noticed Toncor had no idea what Jeff was talking about. He would discover that for himself when he went down to the surface.
“I think we need to head down and get this sorted out,” Jeff finally said.
Jeff walked into the meeting room along with Toncor seeing Admiral Jorkenstein already in there, along with Senator Isa Liam and a few others who were already there. Making his way over to sit down he watched the others, all of whom were quiet, thinking about what happened and what information they had.
Jeff had the feeling he knew the least about what happened. The only thing he really had was there had been an invasion of Sierra, not some explosion as the news reports indicated. Upon reaching the government building he had bene hounded by the press about the communications blackout going on regarding the explosions. Jeff stated he didn’t know much, which wasn’t far from the truth.
The door opened allowing the President and a couple of aides to walk in. She wasted no time sitting down and looking over at Richard. “Well, what do we know?”
“What we have isn’t much,” Richard said causing Jeff to frown. If they didn’t have much why were they assuming anything? “However, we do have some pieces of information.”
The screen came to life behind the Admiral.
“This image was caught by Sierra’s Space Station during the attempted communications with Earth,” Richard said.
The image appeared, and while not really in focus, and pixelated, showed the image of a ship unknown to anything Jeff had seen before.
“How do we know this is some sort of invasion ship?” Isa asked.
“Since getting this image, our communications experts went to work seeing if they could find anything else,” Richard said. “There is something else to go along with this.”
They watched the screen again.
“This came from the freighter Archer,” Richard said.
This time the screen came to life, and instead of a poor quality vid, this one was much higher, showing the approach of at least four of the triangle shaped ships.
“Unknown ships please identify.”
Silence continued on as the ships closed the distance before a bright beam lashed out from one of the ships. The video shook, blurred slightly before Jeff realized the ships were firing upon the freighter. A second later the image disappeared.
“This video has yet to be released, but we have a feeling it won’t be long before hackers will have found this as well. Many conspiracy sites are already looking into this explosion for more things to talk about. Its especially important considering the explosions started after communications was lost, not before indicting it wasn’t the cause of the blackout in information,” Richard said.
“Then we have to head such conspiracies off now,” Natile stated.
Jeff looked on at the others before looking at Toncor.
“This video is interesting, but I cannot conform if this is the Dark Race or not,” he finally said.
“Why not!” Isa said, looking angrily at Toncor.
“Because, I never saw what their ships looked like,” Toncor replied honestly. “We left in a hurry and didn’t take the time to actually figure out what their ships looked like, or what they were capable of. But, I can think of no other race who would do such a thing.”
“So we’re left with an unknown race which has attacked us,” Natile said.
“It appears, that regardless of which race it is, they have attacked us and we are at war with them,” Jeff said.
“War, there hasn’t been a war in over a hundred years,” Isa said, suddenly backtracking on his previous statement.
“Then what would you call this attack upon Sierra? I classify such an action as a declaration of war,” Jeff replied back at him. Everyone waited to see what Isa would say next.
“As much as I don’t want to see war, I must admit, I cannot see why a race would do such a thing,” Isa said before turning to Toncor. “Has anyone actually tried to speak to them?”
They looked back at Toncor who contemplated the question for several seconds.
“I do not know,” he finally said. “As I stated, we left quickly to avoid being fired upon, but it is possible some left behind might have tried to negotiate.”
“Then we might not even know if they are enslaving everyone at all,” Isa said. “They could be expanding an Empire, and conquered races are merely absorbed into their empire.”
Jeff nodded, realizing it was a natural, and logical statement and wondered why he hadn’t considered the possibility as well. However, it still didn’t sit well with him that this race attacked them without warning.
“Then why did they not answer the hail?” Richard questioned back. “If they are only expanding their empire, as you say, would they not be open to also negotiating when the opportunity presented itself? Are there not easier ways to expand ones empire than conquest?”
“Then what do you suggest?” Isa asked.
Jeff watched the two stare each other down.
“You bring up an interesting proposal,” Toncor said speaking up interrupting the stare down. “We assumed they were there to conquer us, and enslave us. We never entertained the possibility of something else.”
“However, we cannot exclude the idea that they are here to conquer us,” Natile said.
“An intelligent race simply conquering another race because they can?” Isa said, sounding doubtful about the situation.
“And what intelligent race wouldn’t give warning before attacking?” Richard said. “This situation has two different sides, both are logical.”
“What do we do?” Jeff said. “The public will demand some course of action over this.”
They sat there considering the situation for several seconds before the president spoke.
“Is there a way we can pursue both avenues until we discover which is the correct and which is wrong?” Natile said. “This was an attack on our sovereignty, and we could negotiate with another empire. Make no mistake, I will defend my people.”
Jeff nodded realizing there was the core of humanity speaking out. They would not rollover and be an easy target. They could do both.
“I have a suggestion, an envoy,” Isa said.
“That’s a very possible solution,” Natile said. “We would want volunteers.”
“Then I would volunteer,” Isa replied.
Jeff felt unsure about the entire thing, but also knew if they wanted to find the truth they needed someone who believed in their cause. Isa believed in his cause, he would work to make it succeed. But it also brought up problems, he would become blind to the possibility of the fact this alien race had come to conquer them.
“Then we have both to work on,” Natile said. “I’ll go to congress and inform them of what happened, and the paths we are going to use.”
Jeff wondered what might happen next and how congress might react to this.
Toncor went over and sat down listening to the congress. He had been invited in case they wanted to ask more questions not that he had many answers when it came to the Dark Race. In fact the last meeting had been quite enlightening to him. he never considered the possibility that they might be expanding an Empire and absorbing other races into their empire. It was a tantalizing thought and one he considered intriguing. If that was true, then he wasted all this time for nothing.
Of course if that thought was wrong then he would be a slave, or dead instead of right here.
The President came out and gave a small speech. She was cautious in her statements, but he also heard her speak hard about what could also be a threat.
As Toncor thought about that part he realized once more this human race was very different than any other race he has so far met. The idea they had been attacked without warning anger them. In fact he had a feeling some of the senators in the room wanted only to fight.
The admiral, Richard, came over and sat down next to Toncor.
“So, what do you think?” Richard whispered to him.
“You’re race is, interesting,” Toncor finally said after some thought. “Early on I considered your race like ours. Then I saw some history, and thought you were more like the Dark Race. Now, its an odd mix you have here.”
“Why thank you,” Richard said surprising Toncor. He didn’t consider it anything to be thankful for. In fact, to be compared to the Dark Race at all was a dangerous thing, to the point of it being an insult.
“I’m afraid I won’t understand you humans,” he finally said to Richard.
“Another compliment,” Richard said causing Toncor to turn and look at the admiral.
The voting came up for the proposal. Toncor wondered how they would vote. The proposal was to send an envoy, but also begin the build-up of defenses around the planet and new warships and for now, they would refrain from openly declaring war against this Dark Race until new information allowed for a more formal proposal of relations between the two races.
The human race, to Toncor, seemed determined to prepare for war.
End part 8