Master of Violence
by AJ Marks
Mark sat at his desk listening in on the call. He was now receiving daily updates from intelligence on the surface of the planet, along with Richard who was also in and the President. Currently they were going over the latest intel they received from Sierra from him.
“To conclude, the O’krad appear to have similar technology to our own, or at least the ground weapons. It’s unknown the penetration power of the bullets but overall weapon is similar to a rifle,” the intel officer said, a man who still wore glasses and had greying hair.
“What do you think the situation might be if they decide to attack?” Richard asked.
“We still don’t know, but we did gather some new intel from the Volors and their computers,” the intelligence officer replied. “Complied with their intelligence we think they have at least three different types of warships. The first is a large ship, probably used for the planetary bombardments as they would require a large amount of space. We also think they have two different types of space combat ships. The larger one, probably similar to our battlecruiser class, while the others are escorts of some sort.”
“Is more than what we had only last week at this time,” the President said to them all. “How’s is the orbital stations coming?”
Mark glanced over at the reports he had on the operational status of the stations. “Station Gamma is almost ready, Alpha is coming along fine as well, the others are going to require a bit more work as many of the weapons were actually dismantled to make room for civilian stations.”
“I see, and the fleet?”
“Thanks to the Volors arrival we had a good practice run, we were able to see where any faults were and hopefully fix them,” Mark answered knowing there really wasn’t much they could do in the event the O’krad did attack.
“I only wish we had more information,” Richard said.
Mark looked up to as Victoria walked in interrupting anything he might say. It was unusual for her to do this and wondered what happened when he noticed his phone.
“This just came in,” she said to him handing him the phone.
He took the phone and read through message seeing who it was from even as the others looked on waiting. He felt his blood run cold at the words on the screen but also knew he now had work to do.
Reaching over he pressed the intercom for the bridge and waited for Hans to answer.
“Order yellow alert for the fleet and all Earth defenses,” Mark said waiting a second before Hans replied.
“Yes, we need to expect company soon,” Mark said.
“What is going on admiral?” the President asked.
Mark waited for Hans to reply that he would take care of it before turning back to those waiting on the screen.
“Received word from Seirra, they were able to make contact with some others on the planet and gain some information,” Mark stated unsure how accurate the information actually was. “We should expect company real soon. The rumors are that the O’krad will be attacking our homeworld within twenty-four hours.”
“That doesn’t leave us much time,” Richard said.
“No, and we have to prepare now,” Mark said.
“We should alert local government leaders, inform them of the situation and quietly prepare the forces for ground combat,” Richard said.
“Is that wise?” the President. “Information like this could leak out and cause a mass panic among everyone. If we do beat them back the damage from riots could be even worse than the attack itself.”
“But those agencies will need time to organize, time we might not have,” Richard said.
They sat in silence for several seconds before anyone spoke up.
“Admiral, if you would send the message to intel, we’ll look it over as well,” the intelligence officer said.
“Sure,” Mark said, quickly sending the text to them. Mark did wonder how they managed to gain such information and how accurate it was. So far it had been accurate but he had no idea with this. Angie didn’t say it was accurate, only a rumor. Also they had spoken to some people who survived the bombardment and were working as slaves. That was where the information came from
Did the O’krad tell their slaves what was going on? He thought it was a strange thing to do.
“You appear deep in thought admiral,” Richard said.
“Oh, just wondering how reliable this information is,” Mark said watching as the intelligence officer looked over the information as well.
“I have to agree, but,” the intelligence officer paused giving it some thought before continuing. “I don’t think we can afford to take any such information lightly. At least not until we know more about the source and how accurate it might be.”
“My niece isn’t one to make up tall tales,” Mark said. “And she was never proud to have me in the military.”
“Yes, the military wasn’t a career choice for many people,” Richard said. “At least not until recently, we’ve had a surge of volunteers.”
Mark knew about the influx of new recruits, but many wouldn’t be ready for another couple of weeks at best. They would be unable to help them with this upcoming battle.
“How are the new destroyers coming?” the President asked.
“The shipyard is working on them twenty-four seven,” Richard replied. “The Fletcher is only about twenty percent complete, the next one is only ten or so.”
“They will be unable to help in this battle,” she said.
“No,” Richard said.
“We only have the six ships of the Earth defense fleet, and two partially operational stations,” Mark said. “We’ll give them our best.”
“I actually have no worries about how well you’ll fight, only that we’ll have enough to beat them back,” the President replied expressing her concerns. “We have no idea how many ships they’ll use to attack us with, or how many they have.”
Mark understood, even if they beat them back their next attack would probably be larger. Could they survive such an onslaught?
“What will you tell Toncor and Yissffer?” Richard asked the President.
“The truth,” she said honestly. “I have no idea how they’ll take it.”
“They will want to run,” Richard said. “The Sirian ship is still undergoing repairs, the Volors ship, they could still run and they might.”
“We can’t make them stay if they don’t to,” she replied back to him.
They all realized everything was riding on their ability to fight back the invaders, or they would fall.
Toncor felt the nervousness coming from the humans all around him. Something happened which put them in such a state. He noticed that Yissffer did not seem to pick up on their body language perhaps that was because Toncor had been around humans longer to learn such things. Entering the room he noticed the admiral, Richard, along with the President, Natile and Jeff, one of their senators.
“I wish to thank you all for coming,” the President said, and Toncor noticed they were all wearing the translators.
“I take is something had happened, otherwise I doubt this meeting would be taking place,” Toncor said, now feeling nervous as well.
“Yes, there is no subtle way to put this,” she said to them. “We have received much intel over the past two days regarding the Dark Race. We have learned their name is the O’krad.”
Toncor blinked wondering how they received that information.
“We have some contact with a few survivors on Sierra, the planet which they attacked,” the President said.
“Are you sure they are not feeding you false information?” Yissffer asked.
“That is debatable, but we also learned some new information this morning,” she said to them. “We have reason to believe that they are on their way here, right now. As we speak our defense forces are preparing to engage them.”
Toncor felt the panic now, they had found them and his ship could do nothing. Its engines were still under repair, and would require another three days according to the humans. He had been glad to hear that bit of news, but now, however it seemed as if time had finally caught up to them. His ship would be sitting defenseless when the attack came.
”Then we must leave as soon as possible,” Yissffer said quickly. They all looked at Toncor.
“I’m afraid we cannot at this time,” he said back to them. Yissffer seemed to not believe what Toncor said.
“The Dark Race isn’t a race you should stand up to, they will enslave you all,” Yissffer said.
“You like your freedom?” Jeff suddenly asked surprising Toncor. He looked over at Yissffer and waited for the answer.
“We do not like being slaves, no,” Yissffer replied.
“Yet you won’t stand up to defend yourself,” Jeff continued on. “You’ll run away but not stand and fight.”
“Fighting is considered barbaric and distasteful. A real intelligent race will not do such things,” Yissffer said.
“And yet, you have a race who is doing that, and won’t talk,” Jeff said. “I know, we have tried to talk to them, live in peace and they attacked our diplomat for peace. We won’t allow ourselves to become slaves as a race, and we will fight back with or without your help.”
“Yes, and if you destroy the Dark Race then you humans will be just as bad, conquering all of known space. We’ll have traded one enslaving race for another,” Yissffer said.
Toncor considered that for a second but felt the words were not true. Humans seemed different, more honorable. He never saw anything which would indicate the humans would enslave anyone. What he saw in them was an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. They asked many questions about everything from what he had discovered.
Now he was presented with a problem, stay with the humans and hope they could actually defeat this Dark Race or become enslaved or die. The choices were hard to make at best.
“I doubt there is anything which I can say which will ease your concerns,” Jeff replied. “Anything I say to deny it you‘ll consider a lie due to how my species acts. You’ve already judged us without even knowing us.”
“It doesn’t take long to know the true motives of a race,” Yissffer said.
“Then what motivates the O’krad?” Jeff asked.
“They want to enslave people,” Yissffer replied confidently. Toncor considered the question as well and before arriving at Earth he would have thought the same thing. Now having been around the humans he understood the question they were asking, something he never bothered to ask.
“No, why do they want to do that,” Toncor said speaking up surprising Jeff by the look on his face. “Like you, I assumed the simple idea of slavery, but for what? Why do they want to enslave people? Do they not have enough slaves?”
Toncor watched as Yissffer seemed to stumble over the questions which he didn’t have answers for. They all waited in silence for several seconds before Yissffer spoke again.
“We cannot take that chance,” he finally said.
“Fair enough, we won’t keep you here,” Natile said to them. “You were always free to leave whenever you wished.”
“Then I must get to my ship and prepare,” Yissffer said standing up and finally leaving the room leaving Toncor there.
“What about you?” Natile asked.
“Our ship is still under repairs, we can’t leave even if we wanted to. We have to put our trust in you for now,” Toncor replied. It was strange feeling to him and he hoped he was doing the right thing, not that he really had a choice.
End part 16