Master of Violence
by AJ Marks
Toncor watched amazed at what was going on around him. The activity on Earth had picked up tremendously since it was announced they would begin preparations to retake Sierra. Of course when Jeff had returned from the rebellion things had become a bit rocky with them. The rebellion seemed to have a different opinion on what to do. They had argued not to attack the O’krad and regain Sierra.
A young woman walked up to him along with a few others. He reasoned she was his contact on board the warship, his first time for being on board such a ship. Everyone walked around with purpose unlike many civilian ships.
“Toncor, welcome aboard the Enterprise,” the woman said. “I’m Lieutenant Victoria Sheffer.”
“Pleasure,” Toncor said shaking her hand, a custom of the humans. He had never been aboard a warship before, even the rebellion’s ships he had never been on board, as most of the meeting with them had been on the planet’s surface.
“If you’ll follow me I’ll show you to your quarters,” she said to him.
“Thank you,” Tonor said, moving along with her with his small bag, not that he had much. “So how are things going?”
“Moving along faster than we expected,” she replied.
Toncor knew that, he had been approached by the leadership and asked if he would go. They felt with the knowledge of other aliens on Sierra he might help when the planet was retaken in getting them settled.
“Operation Tiger will be underway in a few days, or so we hope,” she said to him.
Toncor nodded, having learned that bit from humans. They were big on physical communications as well which seemed very odd to him. A head shake here, hand gestures there, it was something he learned and studied as it added to what was spoken and could give an insight to what the person was thinking. Their body might be at odds with what they said.
“There is so much we still have to do,” she said continuing as they moved further into the ship. One thing he noticed right away was how much taller the ceiling was on human ships compared to what he was used to. Humanity was taller than his race.
“I understand, I believe the reason was to keep the O’krad off balance,” Toncor said.
“That’s the idea, but with so little information about them its hard to determine how they will react,” Victoria said.
“And they are probably doing the same with your race,” Toncor said. “Especially if they are used to races either fleeing from them, or using a certain amount of force to defend themselves.”
“I guess, not used to someone fighting back like we would,” Victoria said.
That was another problem Toncor thought, the response humans expected didn’t match what they expected in war. He had talked with some of the others and realized they fully expected to have been defeated by now. They viewed the O’krad as very dangerous, and should be much more advanced considering how much longer they had been spacefaring.
Now they were preparing to go on the offensive and things were tense as no one had any idea what to really expect when they attacked. Would there be a large defense force, or barely anything. They had some idea on the surface thanks to the spies they had, but in orbit they had almost no idea.
“Do you think this will work?” Toncor asked, as they arrived at his quarters watching as Victoria thought about the answer for several seconds.
“Yes I do,” she finally said.
She said it with a conviction Toncor didn’t feel.
“I’ll see you in a couple of hours so you can speak with the admiral on your role in all of this,” she said.
“Thank you,” Toncor replied, watching as she left allowing him to settle in. Placing his bag down he went over everything, including a conversation with Iccol who had been against his going. The younger Simian expressed doubt over the success of the mission. Toncor had his doubts, but had not allowed them to be expressed, an odd feeling keeping things from others as such things were not common with his race.
Iccol wasn’t wrong in his doubts, yet Toncor had a feeling about this, a feeling he was unable to give a voice to, one which he had a feeling he would see something great happen. That’s why he felt he had to go. For now he prepared for the upcoming meeting with the admiral and seeing where he might be useful.
Jeff looked on at the meeting group, having been summoned to the rebellion’s headquarters. It seemed they were concerned about the upcoming mission the humans had come up with and were now expressing that concern. Jeff had been told by the military the operation was a go, and final preparations were underway.
In front of him were the same group, but this time, along with Lumin and Vislo, there was Tzittif and Belru in the meeting.
“We’ve been hearing some disturbing reports from your people,” Lumin said starting the meeting. “In fact, it appears as if your military is preparing an operation against the Dark Race.”
Jeff listened, and noticed that they still refused to call the race by their proper name, the O’krad even as Lumin continued.
“This is highly problematic for us all,” he continued on saying. “If you go ahead, and fail then it’s a disaster for the entire universe. There is no way to understand how they will react to such an aggressive action.”
“We are barely hanging on with our current military, and such actions might force them to attack us here,” Vislo said.
“Yet you do nothing to upset the status quo,” Jeff said. “Doing the same thing over and over again, for us, it’s a definition of insanity.”
“And what would you have us do?” Vislo said bristling with some anger.
“Fight,” Jeff replied looking them all in the eyes. “You sit here judging us for doing what we consider is our right. Yet you want us to give up, flee, and for what?”
At this point Jeff stood up and paced around the room.
“We are not a race who will sit back and allow someone to just attack us. They will be met with deadly force. We do not lay down for an attacker, its never been our way,” Jeff said to them. “If you wish to keep the status quo then that’s fine with us, stay out of our way.”
“Are you telling us to leave you alone? You realize what you do affects us all,” Lumin said.
“Yes, I am aware, are you aware that what you do also affects us,” Jeff replied back to him.
“Our way keeps people alive,” Lumin said stiffly.
“Does it?” Jeff challenged, moving to stand next to his chair, forcing the alien to look up at him. “When faced with extinction do you fight, or lie down and accept it?”
He watched the all seemed to struggle with the question and he realized none of them every looked at that way. They considered running a perfect excuse for everything.
“You go and run away, but how many species have died out due to that?” Jeff asked.
“And your way, how does that not cause the same thing?” Vislo asked.
“I make no guarantee about it, but if you fight, at least you are doing something about it. You are fighting to survive, a chance, instead of delaying it,” Jeff said to them. “We won’t back down on our intentions.”
Jeff walked back around and sat down waiting to hear what they might say next. He would do nothing to compromise the mission of retaking Sierra. It was the one thing which would really give the people of Earth hope that they could fight, and beat this enemy. So far all they had done was win a few defensive skirmishes, to prove they could go on the offensive would be a much different operation, and one which the rebellion obviously had never considered.
“There is a saying by my people, a good defense is a good offense,” Jeff said to them. “To win any war, you must go on the offense, otherwise you do nothing to change the outcome. A war based on defense is almost always doomed to failure.”
“Are you saying we have failed?” Vislo asked, obviously now ruffled by the statement.
“In a way, yes,” Jeff said seeing them all get upset at that.
“But he is right,” a quiet voice said suddenly speaking up. They all turned to look over at Belru sitting there and looking back at them. Jeff waited to see what might happen next as the others seemed almost stunned by what Belru said.
“What do you mean?” Tzittif asked, who had been quiet all this time as well.
“Well, what have we done? What is our goal? I can’t say I know the answer to that question,” Belru said.
“Its to prevent more deaths,” Vislo said looking over at Belru.
“Is it? I thought that way not long ago, but,” Belru paused looking at the others before continuing, “I can’t say we’ve been successful. He is right, when it doesn’t work you change things up. If you were trying to create a new metal, would you continue the same experiment over and over again?”
“Of course not,” Lumin said. “If you did that you’d get the same result.”
Jeff waited to see what they might do next. He had no way of knowing which way this conversation would go next. It appeared Belru was at least, somewhat, on his side at the moment which he would take. Though, Jeff knew it wouldn’t matter in the long run, humans were locked in on a path which would take something massive to stop.
“So what do we do? Allow this to happen? It goes against everything we believe in,” Lumin said.
“You don’t have to, we are doing this on our own,” Jeff said.
“But you are dragging us in,” Lumin stated. “By your very actions you are causing more trouble for everyone.”
“Then what do you suggest to change things, to stop the O’krad from conquering the entire universe?” Jeff replied back to him.
“I don’t know.”
And that’s what Jeff expected. He also realized something else. “You’re scared of change. But without it, we have no advances.”
Mark looked on seeing the bridge crew working hard. He noticed everyone moving about with purpose, especially considering what was about to happen.
“All ships in position.” A report stated.
“Good,” Mark said, looking down as the communications came to life and Richard’s face appeared on the scanner. “Everything in place?” Mark asked.
“Yep, the last of the rebellion’s ships have arrived,” Richard said.
Mark didn’t ask, but they had been against humanity’s attempt to take back Sierra to the point where the government sent Senator Jeff to talk to them. Ever since then they had been much more cooperative, and were supplying the defense of Earth while the fleet was at Sierra.
Sierra the name rolled around in his mind wondering what they might find upon arrival.
“I just wanted to wish you luck, we have little information about what is really going on down there. Especially considering we lost contact with our group there two weeks ago,” Richard said.
Mark nodded, knowing all about that, having checked his phone almost every hour to see if his niece had texted him.
“T-minus one minute,” the announcement came.
“Well, I better let you get to work, we’ll expect to hear from you shortly,” Richard said.
“We’ll try to make contact the moment we drop out of hyperspace,” Mark said. “And try to make this a short battle, it would be best for us all if that happened.”
“See you on the flip side then,” Richard said, a saying that had been around for a while.
“Yes sir,” Mark said, ending the communications.
The countdown continued on until it reached zero.
“Hyperdirve active, engage.”
The Enterprise leapt into hyperspace heading on the first offensive of humanity against an alien race.
End part 26