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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

crisrko

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Governmental District, City of Nova, Planet Mars

It was the day of the Secretary-General’s speech. The twenty fourth of December, otherwise known as Christmas Eve was now a symbolic memory of the snowy holiday where family members exchanged gifts, sang carols and decorated a Christmas tree. With the relocation of the human race to Mars, this tradition remained only due to how deeply ingrained it was in human society by the 21st century. Should one wish to decorate his home for this festive occasion, he would be hard pressed to find anything remotely authentic. The unforgiving, desert like terrain of Mars did not allow the natural growth of too many plants, forcing humans to focus on the development of hydroponic farms in order to produce food. With a population of over 800,000,000, a fraction of what was once several billion humans, Mars is pressured by the needs and demands of its inhabitants. Even now, in spite of severe investments in hydroponic and nutrient replication technology, the amount of food produced artificially could not sustain a quickly growing population.

Modern human civilization no longer celebrated Christmas like before. While members of todays society acknowledge the history and message behind this tradition, most households do not really partake in the occasion. Over the later half of the 22nd century, the United Nations begun using the 24th of December as an opportunity to try to rally the population behind the exploration of space. Were it not for the volunteering efforts of over ten million people, civilization on Mars would be very much different today, far more rudimentary and far less technologically advanced. Education was a very high placed item on the U.N’s list, but the sheer necessity for intense physical labor forced them to use this occasion in order to rally volunteers for the construction of its Navy and planetary infrastructure.

At this moment, Secretary-General Alphonse Macedo was preparing for his Christmas Day speech. His intention was to officially announce the beginning of Incipium Nova, the exploration and colonization effort meant to expand the territory of the United Nations and to find habitable alien planets that could solve the food and resource issues Mars was currently facing. A desert storm was currently approaching the city of Nova, covering everything it touched in a very thick cloud of dust and sand. As the sirens rang out, the city barriers rose from the ground to surround the outer skirts of the capital. With a loud crash, the walls were placed in position, and the dome of the city slowly begun to close, encasing the city within a gigantic vault of steel.

Within the very center of Nova, the governmental district was bustling with activity. Tens of thousands gathered before the old U.N Headquarters, sitting before the announcement stage. Law enforcement officers were deployed through-out the area to ensure the security of both the civilians and the politicians present at the festivity.


As the beginning of the speech approached, those close to the podium could hear the chatter of the crowd:

“We’re finally going to go beyond the Sol System, aren’t we?”

“I heard that they are going to search for new planets we can settle!”

“I wish I could become a colonist, I hate the sand here.”


Secretary-General Alphonse Macedo finally made his way on the podium, greeting the thousands of civilians that appeared for his Christmas speech. Alphonse was a tall, sturdy man in his late fourties. His neatly trimmed hair was well complemented by gray strands through his beard and a stern demeanor. The Secretary-General oozed the confidence and strength the human race desperately needed ahead of their greatest step forward.

As he waved towards the crowd, the Secretary-General approached his stand and slowly keyed his mic. He cleared his throat and slowly let out his raspy voice.


“Citizens of Mars, brothers, sisters and most beloved children. I greet you all on this most auspicious occasion.” He slightly paused to inspect the crowd from left to right. “It is with my utmost pleasure that I announce the commencement of Project Incipium Nova. We humans wished to travel the stars from the moment our forefathers discovered their existence. Ancient astronomers believed that one day, the human race would be sufficiently advanced in order to explore space and beyond. Allow me to tell you, that this is the day we will finally release the shackles that bind us to the Sol System and depart to distant stars. Alpha Centauri, Barnard, Procyon, Trappist. All of these places, once thought unreachable, are now within our grasp.”

The district was engulfed by the cheers of the crowd as they chanted the name of the United Nations and that of the Secretary-General himself. Slowly, Alphonse motioned the audience to settle down.

“For the past two hundred years we have endured many hardships. We have endured the death of Earth and billions of our kind. We had moved to Mars, adapting ourselves to the many deserts and barren rocks of this planet. And now, we have finally discovered the key to exploring the rest of the galaxy. Many of you have siblings, parents and even children who have volunteered to join the Navy or the Directorate. Be proud, for they are the ones to lead us in this new age.”

Alphonse licked his lips and clenched his fist. Vigorously, he delivered the end to his speech.

“We will explore space. We will struggle, and we will overcome. We will once know the lushness of the planet we personally destroyed. For the United Nations, for humanity!”

The rapturous cheers would echo through-out the capital city of Nova.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations Defence Command were in a meeting aboard the Sol Station, the new official headquarters of the United Nations and the defense platform of the system.

The facility interior, more specifically the U.N wing was designed very much similarly to the old headquarters located on Earth, in New York. It was perhaps a symbolic attempt at reminding the U.N Councilors of the organizations roots, what it stands for. The organization’s ancestry had seen several dark moments through out history, especially during the initial stages of the relocation to Mars. They were very tough times. Humanity had to powerlessly witness the death of Earth.

Just like the speech within the governmental district of Nova, this meeting was related to the exploration effort meant to depart Sol within the next few days. As it had been previously stated, the U.N chose to adopt a defensive policy and not respond aggressively to first contact. Of course, some members of the security council, more specifically members that had ties into the Defence Command, be it as past allegiance or other forms.

The UNDC itself was split on this matter. The Grand Admiral of the Navy, Lana Oldham was one of the supporters of an aggressive first contact policy in order to allow the Admirals, at their discretion, pre-emptively strike any potential threat. However, many officials feared that by taking such an approach, the United Nations would risk war. Should a sapient, space faring civilization be discovered during the exploration project, an unprovoked act of aggression would be equal to a declaration of war. A war that the United Nations would most likely have no chance to win.

Grand Admiral of the Navy, Lana Oldham had been appointed by the Security Council as a result of the split between the Navy and Army. Initially, Oldham had served as part of the personal staff of the old UNDC’s Director-Commander. A decent strategist and commander, Lana Oldham had quickly rose through the ranks of the organization and displayed cunning several times during war exercises. However, many Councilors within the U.N, alongside many officers within the UNDCN believe that her appointment is one of political nature and not merit alone. As she approaches her mid-fifties, the Grand Admiral still has much to learn. Hopefully she will not buckle under the pressure of her position.

Ranier Fulton, Marshal of the UNDCA, was on the other hand, a supporter of the peaceful first contract protocol. He believed that humanity must not commit the mistakes of their forefathers as they explore these new territories. Human civilization is no longer the apex, nor are they conducting any missions to civilize barbarians or tribes. An aggressive approach could very well bring forth the utter destruction of Mars and the final remnants of humanity. He further feared that, in the event the U.N manages to fight back the invaders, the economy and population of Mars would reach the point of no return. Even now, the great domes of Mars struggle with resources and food. The planet’s population is carefully motivated each year as to not lose hope for the future. If they are faced with the prospect of starvation and even death, mass hysteria and anarchy might engulf humanity once again.

A loud bang was heard in the conference room, as one of the members of the security council banged a gavel against the stand. The stand was synthetically made by the Science Directorate, a concoction meant to imitate the wood you could not find anywhere on the surface of Mars.


“We have been debating this issue for this entire day, councilors. Our esteemed guests, Grand Admiral Oldham and Marshal Fulton clearly have differing views.” Said the Speaker for the Council. “We cannot reach a majority, and thus the initial policy will stand. The Navy will adopt a peaceful first contact protocol and will not, under any circumstance, open fire on an alien vessel unless attacked.”

“Speaker, I must once again insist. It is imperious that the Admirals could—” Lana tried to intervene.

“Give it a rest, Grand Admiral. It has already been decided.” Ranier interjected, sighing. “Your conduct is unbecoming. Do not forget you are within the halls of the United Nations.”

Lana glared back at Ranier and remained silent. She acknowledged that her actions were out of order and pressing on this matter could reflect badly on her in the future.

The Speaker rubbed his wrinkly forehead as he stared at the exchange before him.
“This meeting can be adjourned. I thank you all for your presence.” And swiftly, he banged his gavel.

It is a satisfying result for Ranier. Lana’s attempts were very much reckless, and, if one were to take gossip into account, may be politically and financially motivated. This exploration effort opened up several business ventures for industrial companies, especially in the military department. Several mining companies hold a decently sized percentage of asteroid mining facilities through out the Sol System, and they cannot wait to expand into neighboring systems. It is, after all, free real estate.

The increasing influence of these corporations also represented a threat. Ranier was a staunch believer of democracy, and so he thinks that if the corporations increase their wealth due to the exploration and colonization efforts, they will soon seek to stake claims within the United Nations General Assembly. One of the greater industrial companies of the Mars city of Sutten are already suspected of having bribed U.N Councilors in order to obtain several mining permits within the southern side of the Sol asteroid disc.

Exploration and expansion represent salvation. And as they represent salvation, they may as well present the fall and end of the human race. Over two hundred years ago, a war was fought between the two greatest ideologies of man, a war that turned the ancestral home of humanity into a radioactive rock.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Author's note: I wish to say hello to you all again. I've been on a pretty lengthy absence ever since May, with a small attempt at doing another story, although due to circumstances, dissatisfaction and me losing motivation, I discontinued that story too. I am however back, and although I will be posting updates at a slower rate, I hope that you will all enjoy this story.
 

stnylan

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It sounds as if the human politics of this time are getting rather fraught.

Again.
 

Nikolai

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It seems we didnt learn fast enough for Earth to survive. May we become fast learners as we explore space.
 

crisrko

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It seems we didnt learn fast enough for Earth to survive. May we become fast learners as we explore space.
They don't have a choice do they. With the relocation on Mars, there simply aren't enough resources for them to accommodate a growing population.
 

crisrko

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With the end of the second World War, Earth had been locked into an ideological war between capitalism and communism. What should have been a period of peace turned into a technological and arms race between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics who each sought to establish themselves as the supreme power of Terra. This conflict had become known as the Cold War, a period of geopolitical tensions and a series of indirect conflicts between the Western and Eastern Blocs. During these times, a third alliance arose in the Non-Aligned Movement, meant to safeguard and represent all nations outside of the two Blocs.

In 1983, tensions between the United States and the Soviets peaked. Soviet High-Command became obsessed with the idea that the President of the USA, Ronald Reagan would order a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the politically fragile USSR. With the commissioning of Project RYaN, the Soviet KGB and technical specialists were on high alert should such an event occur. As paranoia spread through-out the nation, the Soviet technicians became increasingly prone to mistakes. On the fated day of 26 September, 1983, the Soviet Nuclear Defense systems reported that an intercontinental ballistic missile was fired by the United States of America. Initially dismissed as a malfunction, three additional missiles were detected by the computers. Due to the severely outdated Radar technology, the officer-in-charge could not validate the reports presented by the defense system. Thus, with what was presumed an immediate reality, the order to retaliate was issued.


Several nuclear warheads were fired, targeting mainland Europe beyond the Iron Curtain. As time quickly passed, the Soviet High-Command realized the gravity of the situation. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had just become the aggressor in a nuclear war. In what was an unprecedented act of war, all NATO member states, led by the United States, declared open war upon the USSR. The American retaliation was swift and merciless, firing several Nuclear ICBMs into the Soviet heartland and major Soviet Satellites. Within the span of a few days, mainland Europe alongside the Soviet heartland and Vladivostok had been devastated by the conflict, with casualties approaching a hundred million for either side.

Perhaps the greatest damage caused by this war related to the planet’s atmosphere. As the war waged on, Earth slowly begun to experience a nuclear winter. As radiation levels skyrocketed and temperatures dropped even the nations outside of the conflict begun to incur heavy damages and loses of life. Through the mediation of the Non-Aligned Movement, whatever remained of the Western and Eastern Blocs signed a peace treaty. In 1985, Earth’s geopolitics have once more been shaken to the foundation. As a new iteration of the United Nations rose to prominence, led by members of the Non-Aligned movement, a gigantic humanitarian effort begun to slow down the damages caused by the changes in the planet’s atmosphere. However, this effort was largely unsuccessful as the planet’s fauna withered away due to radiation and harsh climates. By the end of 1987, the United Nations unanimously decided to fund the colonization of the Sol System, or face extinction.


Using remnants of American and Soviet technology, a scientific team composed of the worlds greatest minds developed a chemical thruster capable of traversing from one side of the Sol System to another within little over a month. Members of the United Nations were overjoyed at these news, but there remained one more question, where could they move? It had long been known that the Sol System’s only inhabitable planet has been the Earth. It’s closest neighbour, the planet of Mars could not sustain life due to its lethal storms and temperatures, never mind the fact the planet is completely barren. Once more, if humanity was to survive, then it would need to bend nature to its will on a scale like never before. As a result of their achievements, the United Nations ordered the establishment of a Scientific Directorate in direct subordination to the United Nations Council. This would allow the scientists to operate somewhat independently, but would still be funded by the United Nations and would still need to act upon the needs and demands of the Council.

By the 2000s, theoretical ideas around the terraforming of Mars and Venus had been drafted by the members of the Scientific Directorate, but they would all require immense amounts of resources not possessed at the moment. A prototype exploration ship was being developed, capable of housing a crew of around 100 men, that would allow members of the Directorate to directly explore and study Mars and Venus. At the same time, the radiation and damages were contained to Europe and its immediate vicinity and the North American continent. The surviving, healthy populations were moved to South America, Africa and Asia, causing heavy friction between the local populace and the refugees. Alas, Earth was beyond exhausted by the conflicts of the past century, and tensions never reached a boiling point. Everyone had grown weary of war.

The United Nations slowly took the role of a world government, a solitary body in charge of all planetary wide conflicts, tasked with the preservation and guidance of the remaining Terran nations. As national governments slowly lost the rights to self governance, they were instead tasked with maintaining national order. All economical and educational matters were decided upon by the United Nations Council whom heavily invested in education, in hopes of aiding the Terraforming effort. As the 2030s approached, the first prototype ship capable of actively exploring space had been built. A large group of volunteers were trained on how to operate this prototype and how to conduct maintenance. Initially, the prototype was very much successful, although due to continuous operation, the ship’s engines and electronics began malfunctioning. Most of these issues would be fixed within the coming years, and the first Exploration Group would set out to investigate Mars.

During the investigation of Mars, several traces of previous life were discovered all over the surface of the planet. It had become evident that at one point in its history, Mars was capable of housing and facilitating life. It was a planet very similar to Earth. What caused this extreme change in the planets climate was heavily theorized by the Scientific Directorate for many years, but a consensus was never reached. Several members of the Directorate believed it was a result of the Sun’s radiation, while others believe it was caused through alien means. The later idea was heavily reinforced in 2042 when the crew of ISS Newton discovered a terraforming device deep within a cave found deep within the planet. It was nothing similar to human technology. It was something abstract and very much alien. Once the crew interacted with the equipment, the ground begun to heavily shook as the device begun to emit strong pulses. Scared, the crew made their way back to ISS Newton and departed the planet, awaiting the result of their actions.

There was no immediate effect. The device continued to operate undisturbed as the UN watched over Mars. Over time, several changes could be observed. The atmosphere grew thicker and ice banks deep within the surface of the planet begun to melt. Within a few years, despite being very much a desert-like planet, Mars was now hospitable. Further investigations on the planet discovered several oases spread all over the surface, making them prime locations for settlement. A crew was also dispatched to the previous location of the terraforming device, but upon close inspection it had broken down mid-way through the process.

With the increasingly colder surface of Earth, the United Nations poured all of its resource in a relocation project, several gargantuan ships capable of transporting tens of thousands of individuals from Earth to Mars. The majority of the human population was elated at the news, preparations being made by individual families for this move. As the United Nations sought volunteers to construct the first settlement on Mars, they were flooded with applications, obtaining enough signatures for over a dozen settlements spread through-out Mars. The other part of the humanity was not so happy about these news. Many of them were concerned by the discovery of the Terraforming device, which led to an increasingly xenophobic sentiment. They were scared of the unknown and of what civilizations could lie beyond the Sol System. Others simply refused to abandon their home world of Terra, leading to the creation of a religious cult centered around the restoration and rehabilitation of Earth. This cult gained traction especially around the European and North American survivors whom blamed their lineage and cultural identity for the situation Earth was now in.

The United Nations were now at an impasse. With the current developments, Earth would become an inhospitable rock within the next twenty years. As things currently stood, the relocation of European and North American refugees led to the overcrowding of the remaining territories. Currently, the majority of the human population was located in the South American heartland, Africa and the coasts of South Asia. The violent storms spread the radiation deep within the Chinese and Japanese heartlands, making the colder areas of these territories completely devoid of life. With all funding diverted to the construction of the colony ships, law enforcement experienced heavy budget cuts, leading to an increasingly dangerous piracy threat all over Earth.

This threat culminated in 2054 when a raid was conducted upon the Science Directorate Headquarters in Sydney, resulting in the theft of several exploration ship matrices and an early prototype version of ISS Newton. Despite rigorous investigation by the United Nations Security Council, the perpetrators were never found. It is believed that following the raid, they escaped the surface of Earth through the thick dirt clouds surrounding the planet. This disaster shook the United Nations Council to its very foundation. Should this disaster become public knowledge, the populations faith in the UN could falter, and the Cult of Terra could gain heavy traction. Some figures within the Council even suspected the Cult of being involved in this incident, as they had both the means and motives to commit this act of treason.

Alas, these suspicions never materialized as the investigation proved fruitless. United Nations representative Li Qui proposed the commission of an UN led intelligence department tasked with the observation of all parties that could prove a threat to the colonization of Mars. With an unanimous vote, the United Nations Intelligence Department, shortened UNID was commissioned to see through the transition.

In 2059, the first colony ship departed Earth for Mars, carrying over forty thousand men, women and children of different ethnicities and descent. Deep within the Martian continent, by the largest oasis, named Caspia after its Terran counterpart, the Caspian Sea. The first settlement, named Nova, was built on the eastern side of the lake and was meant to be the capital of the world. Over the span of several months, functional hydroponic farms were erected in the northern side of the settlement, while a scientific laboratory was built in the heart of the city, to serve as the new headquarters of the Scientific Directorate. By the start of the next year, several more colony ships arrived on Mars, erecting the cities of Haven and Sutten. As shown by the name, the United Nations insisted on a policy that would discard the nationalistic sentiment of Earth, promoting a belief that all men and women, irrespective of their heritage are the same. The concept of national identity begun to fade away, as states no longer existed. All inhabitants of Mars were human.

With the rapid development of Mars and relocation of the majority of the remaining human population, the United Nations formally relocated its headquarters to the capital city of Nova, declaring Mars as the capital planet of the United Nations. With the quick urbanization of the planet, new metals were discovered deep within the crust of the planet, which allowed the S.D to develop a new exploration ship capable of withstanding the scorching temperatures of the gas giants of the Sol System. With the production of these ships, the S.D ordered the full survey of Neptune, Jupiter and Saturn and commissioned a project that would allow humanity to use the heat produced by these giants into producing energy.



Map of Mars, cca 2060, total population: 750,000,000
 

Nikolai

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I somehow think those thieves will come back and haunt the UN at a later point...
 

stnylan

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Sailormarsfan1701

First Lieutenant
Apr 8, 2015
229
15
Governmental District, City of Nova, Planet Mars

It was the day of the Secretary-General’s speech. The twenty fourth of December, otherwise known as Christmas Eve was now a symbolic memory of the snowy holiday where family members exchanged gifts, sang carols and decorated a Christmas tree. With the relocation of the human race to Mars, this tradition remained only due to how deeply ingrained it was in human society by the 21st century. Should one wish to decorate his home for this festive occasion, he would be hard pressed to find anything remotely authentic. The unforgiving, desert like terrain of Mars did not allow the natural growth of too many plants, forcing humans to focus on the development of hydroponic farms in order to produce food. With a population of over 800,000,000, a fraction of what was once several billion humans, Mars is pressured by the needs and demands of its inhabitants. Even now, in spite of severe investments in hydroponic and nutrient replication technology, the amount of food produced artificially could not sustain a quickly growing population.

Modern human civilization no longer celebrated Christmas like before. While members of todays society acknowledge the history and message behind this tradition, most households do not really partake in the occasion. Over the later half of the 22nd century, the United Nations begun using the 24th of December as an opportunity to try to rally the population behind the exploration of space. Were it not for the volunteering efforts of over ten million people, civilization on Mars would be very much different today, far more rudimentary and far less technologically advanced. Education was a very high placed item on the U.N’s list, but the sheer necessity for intense physical labor forced them to use this occasion in order to rally volunteers for the construction of its Navy and planetary infrastructure.

At this moment, Secretary-General Alphonse Macedo was preparing for his Christmas Day speech. His intention was to officially announce the beginning of Incipium Nova, the exploration and colonization effort meant to expand the territory of the United Nations and to find habitable alien planets that could solve the food and resource issues Mars was currently facing. A desert storm was currently approaching the city of Nova, covering everything it touched in a very thick cloud of dust and sand. As the sirens rang out, the city barriers rose from the ground to surround the outer skirts of the capital. With a loud crash, the walls were placed in position, and the dome of the city slowly begun to close, encasing the city within a gigantic vault of steel.

Within the very center of Nova, the governmental district was bustling with activity. Tens of thousands gathered before the old U.N Headquarters, sitting before the announcement stage. Law enforcement officers were deployed through-out the area to ensure the security of both the civilians and the politicians present at the festivity.


As the beginning of the speech approached, those close to the podium could hear the chatter of the crowd:

“We’re finally going to go beyond the Sol System, aren’t we?”

“I heard that they are going to search for new planets we can settle!”

“I wish I could become a colonist, I hate the sand here.”


Secretary-General Alphonse Macedo finally made his way on the podium, greeting the thousands of civilians that appeared for his Christmas speech. Alphonse was a tall, sturdy man in his late fourties. His neatly trimmed hair was well complemented by gray strands through his beard and a stern demeanor. The Secretary-General oozed the confidence and strength the human race desperately needed ahead of their greatest step forward.

As he waved towards the crowd, the Secretary-General approached his stand and slowly keyed his mic. He cleared his throat and slowly let out his raspy voice.


“Citizens of Mars, brothers, sisters and most beloved children. I greet you all on this most auspicious occasion.” He slightly paused to inspect the crowd from left to right. “It is with my utmost pleasure that I announce the commencement of Project Incipium Nova. We humans wished to travel the stars from the moment our forefathers discovered their existence. Ancient astronomers believed that one day, the human race would be sufficiently advanced in order to explore space and beyond. Allow me to tell you, that this is the day we will finally release the shackles that bind us to the Sol System and depart to distant stars. Alpha Centauri, Barnard, Procyon, Trappist. All of these places, once thought unreachable, are now within our grasp.”

The district was engulfed by the cheers of the crowd as they chanted the name of the United Nations and that of the Secretary-General himself. Slowly, Alphonse motioned the audience to settle down.

“For the past two hundred years we have endured many hardships. We have endured the death of Earth and billions of our kind. We had moved to Mars, adapting ourselves to the many deserts and barren rocks of this planet. And now, we have finally discovered the key to exploring the rest of the galaxy. Many of you have siblings, parents and even children who have volunteered to join the Navy or the Directorate. Be proud, for they are the ones to lead us in this new age.”

Alphonse licked his lips and clenched his fist. Vigorously, he delivered the end to his speech.

“We will explore space. We will struggle, and we will overcome. We will once know the lushness of the planet we personally destroyed. For the United Nations, for humanity!”

The rapturous cheers would echo through-out the capital city of Nova.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations Defence Command were in a meeting aboard the Sol Station, the new official headquarters of the United Nations and the defense platform of the system.

The facility interior, more specifically the U.N wing was designed very much similarly to the old headquarters located on Earth, in New York. It was perhaps a symbolic attempt at reminding the U.N Councilors of the organizations roots, what it stands for. The organization’s ancestry had seen several dark moments through out history, especially during the initial stages of the relocation to Mars. They were very tough times. Humanity had to powerlessly witness the death of Earth.

Just like the speech within the governmental district of Nova, this meeting was related to the exploration effort meant to depart Sol within the next few days. As it had been previously stated, the U.N chose to adopt a defensive policy and not respond aggressively to first contact. Of course, some members of the security council, more specifically members that had ties into the Defence Command, be it as past allegiance or other forms.

The UNDC itself was split on this matter. The Grand Admiral of the Navy, Lana Oldham was one of the supporters of an aggressive first contact policy in order to allow the Admirals, at their discretion, pre-emptively strike any potential threat. However, many officials feared that by taking such an approach, the United Nations would risk war. Should a sapient, space faring civilization be discovered during the exploration project, an unprovoked act of aggression would be equal to a declaration of war. A war that the United Nations would most likely have no chance to win.

Grand Admiral of the Navy, Lana Oldham had been appointed by the Security Council as a result of the split between the Navy and Army. Initially, Oldham had served as part of the personal staff of the old UNDC’s Director-Commander. A decent strategist and commander, Lana Oldham had quickly rose through the ranks of the organization and displayed cunning several times during war exercises. However, many Councilors within the U.N, alongside many officers within the UNDCN believe that her appointment is one of political nature and not merit alone. As she approaches her mid-fifties, the Grand Admiral still has much to learn. Hopefully she will not buckle under the pressure of her position.

Ranier Fulton, Marshal of the UNDCA, was on the other hand, a supporter of the peaceful first contract protocol. He believed that humanity must not commit the mistakes of their forefathers as they explore these new territories. Human civilization is no longer the apex, nor are they conducting any missions to civilize barbarians or tribes. An aggressive approach could very well bring forth the utter destruction of Mars and the final remnants of humanity. He further feared that, in the event the U.N manages to fight back the invaders, the economy and population of Mars would reach the point of no return. Even now, the great domes of Mars struggle with resources and food. The planet’s population is carefully motivated each year as to not lose hope for the future. If they are faced with the prospect of starvation and even death, mass hysteria and anarchy might engulf humanity once again.

A loud bang was heard in the conference room, as one of the members of the security council banged a gavel against the stand. The stand was synthetically made by the Science Directorate, a concoction meant to imitate the wood you could not find anywhere on the surface of Mars.


“We have been debating this issue for this entire day, councilors. Our esteemed guests, Grand Admiral Oldham and Marshal Fulton clearly have differing views.” Said the Speaker for the Council. “We cannot reach a majority, and thus the initial policy will stand. The Navy will adopt a peaceful first contact protocol and will not, under any circumstance, open fire on an alien vessel unless attacked.”

“Speaker, I must once again insist. It is imperious that the Admirals could—” Lana tried to intervene.

“Give it a rest, Grand Admiral. It has already been decided.” Ranier interjected, sighing. “Your conduct is unbecoming. Do not forget you are within the halls of the United Nations.”

Lana glared back at Ranier and remained silent. She acknowledged that her actions were out of order and pressing on this matter could reflect badly on her in the future.

The Speaker rubbed his wrinkly forehead as he stared at the exchange before him.
“This meeting can be adjourned. I thank you all for your presence.” And swiftly, he banged his gavel.

It is a satisfying result for Ranier. Lana’s attempts were very much reckless, and, if one were to take gossip into account, may be politically and financially motivated. This exploration effort opened up several business ventures for industrial companies, especially in the military department. Several mining companies hold a decently sized percentage of asteroid mining facilities through out the Sol System, and they cannot wait to expand into neighboring systems. It is, after all, free real estate.

The increasing influence of these corporations also represented a threat. Ranier was a staunch believer of democracy, and so he thinks that if the corporations increase their wealth due to the exploration and colonization efforts, they will soon seek to stake claims within the United Nations General Assembly. One of the greater industrial companies of the Mars city of Sutten are already suspected of having bribed U.N Councilors in order to obtain several mining permits within the southern side of the Sol asteroid disc.

Exploration and expansion represent salvation. And as they represent salvation, they may as well present the fall and end of the human race. Over two hundred years ago, a war was fought between the two greatest ideologies of man, a war that turned the ancestral home of humanity into a radioactive rock.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Author's note: I wish to say hello to you all again. I've been on a pretty lengthy absence ever since May, with a small attempt at doing another story, although due to circumstances, dissatisfaction and me losing motivation, I discontinued that story too. I am however back, and although I will be posting updates at a slower rate, I hope that you will all enjoy this story.
subbed
 

crisrko

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As we entered the 22nd century, human civilization as we knew it had been severely impacted by the relocation to the planet of Mars. With the abandonment of Earth, the sense of national identity quickly crumbled as a result of the United Nations initiative in creating a united civilization that no longer lingered on ancient concepts such as ethnic and racial lineage. As a direct result, several physical traits become increasingly rare due to the mix of different earthen ethnicities. As genetics merged, blue and green eyes became an atypical trait, the majority of human newborns possessing black or brown eyes. Similarly, recessive physical traits such as blonde and red hair were uncommon amongst the newer generations of Mars.

Politically, the United Nations became the Supreme Authority in the governance of Mars. Retaining its democratic roots, all members of the Security Council are elected by the General Assembly and led by the Secretary-General who is appointed by the members of the same General Assembly based on the recommendation of the Security Council. Given the abolishment of states and national identity, the United Nations chose a slightly different approach through the appointment of representatives from each major settlement of Mars. Currently, the capital city of Nova retained the largest number of seats at 16. With 51 members and a Secretary-General, the United Nations is the biggest governing body on the planet, twice the size of any city government. Meanwhile, the Security Council was empowered to mobilize the population in the event of war and was given administrative oversight over the intelligence, army and law enforcement departments of the U.N. These members would generally be the most senior members of the General Assembly.

The city governments themselves are governments in name only. Their tasks are merely reduced to the control and development of the infrastructure and maintaining the quality of the education their citizens receive. All matters pertaining to law enforcement are handled by the United Nations Law Enforcement Group, shortened UNLEG. Law would be directly voted and redacted by the United Nations itself, and a quarterly budget would be allocated to the city by the General Assembly. On the other hand, the United Nations Intelligence Department (UNID), had its authority increased with the expansion of the U.N’s space capabilities. Now named the United Nations Alien and Domestic Intelligence Department (UNADID), it is tasked with the investigation of all domestic and alien threats. As the Scientific Directorate ordered the exploration of the rest of the Sol System, agents from the UNADID were sent as attaches to these missions in order to investigate any potential alien devices or tracks.

In 2134, the investigation of Neptune and its moon Triton led to the discovery of an alien ship crashed on the surface of the moon. Initial survey showed no signs of life on board the vessel, while the analysis of the remaining chemical trails indicated that the crash happened several hundred years ago. These news quickly made their way back home on Mars, as UNADID deployed several agents to Triton in order to investigate the ship. At the same time, the United Nations Security Council commissioned the United Nations Defence Command (UNDC) and begun a massive recruitment drive through the UNLEG, UNID and civilian populations in order to create a sizeable military capable of defending the Sol System.

Following the investigation of the crashed ship on the surface of Triton, no bodies were found on board. However, the members of the UNID have found several databanks and logs that confirmed the existence of alien life. Thanks to the efforts of the United Nations finest linguists and researchers, the owners of this vessel were identified as “Gamurans”, a race of large, strong, brutish warriors similar to the orcs in human fiction. While the alien design of the ship was very much rudimentary and somewhat similar to that of the U.N’s, it was equipped with what the Scientific Directorate touted as a “hyperdrive”, a device that allowed the ship to temporarily make use of a hyperlane connecting two systems, attaining faster than light travel. Based on the little remaining data of the ship, several hyperlanes connecting to the Sol System were identified. The scientists current understanding of this design is that the hyperlanes are a construction that predates both humans, and even the Gamurans. The ship was salvaged and the technology was brought back to Mars to be reverse engineered.

The news of this discovery, and more specifically, that of the Gamurans bolstered the recruitment campaign for the UNDC, having over a million recruits by the end of the year. Fueled by the human desire to protect the new home they sacrificed so much for, the UNDC rapidly expanded and was divided between the United Nations Defence Command Navy (UNDCN) and the United Nations Defence Command Army (UNDCA). By the end of the 2140s, the UNDCN was in possession of three Sutten class Corvettes.


Artistic reproduction of a 'Gamuran'
In 2156, the first human-made hyperdrive was outfitted on one of the older Sutten-class prototypes in order to test the efficiency and capability of the device. The results of the experiment were catastrophic as the energy reactor was overloaded once the hyperdrive was engaged. However, valuable knowledge was attained from this failure, and future designs of the hyperdrive would improve this situation. Ultimately, the S.D managed to develop a new hyperdrive that would sacrifice some of the speed of the alien design in exchange for greater reliability. Tests utilizing unmanned drones showed that while the hyperdrive lost 30% of its speed, the failure rate of the device was somewhere around 3%, a complete turn around from the first prototypes 87% failure rate.

In 2180, the United Nations looked into the relocation of its headquarters in a giant facility orbiting the sun. Drafts and prototypes for a suspended space base were created, meant to integrate the U.N Shipyards. This construction would allow the U.N Headquarters to directly oversee the entire Sol System, as opposed to being isolated on the planet of Mars. Several of the corporations located on Mars privately contributed with funds and resources in the hopes of currying favor with the U.N ahead of the voting in of the Space Exploitation Act of 2181. Their efforts were rewarded, as the U.N. decided to allow private organizations to exploit and mine asteroids, alongside the building of space resorts. In exchange, the United Security Council would have the power to seize control and ownership of these facilities during war time for the purpose of funding the war effort.

In 2196, the Secretary-General of the United Nations appointed a new Grand Admiral to the UNDCN ahead of Project Incipium Nova, a gigantic operation tasked with the exploration and control of the systems neighboring Sol. With the cooperation of the Science Directorate, the Sutton-Class Corvettes were outfitted with the most recent Nova Hyperdrives developed by the organization. With strict orders from the upper echelons of the United Nations Defence Command, all Navy Group Admirals were tasked to protect the science ships and not engage with any entity unless it is in self defence. Pre-emptive strikes were strictly forbidden, and should they become a tactical necessity, the Admirals are instructed to retreat into safe territory.

In general agreement, the military doctrine adopted by the United Nations Defence Committee Navy would be defensive in nature, aiming to employ hit and run tactics in order to harass and whittle down the enemy. However, the UNDCN itself and its very doctrines are untested in real-life situations, instead being finetuned through computer calculations and simulations and military exercises. Thus, outside of military exercises, none of the current Admirals, Officers or NCOs possessed real life combat experience. Some experts believe that at their very roots, naval and space combat will be very much similar. In theory, the major difference between them would be the maneuverability of a fleet within the void of space, which would allow the use of tactics that would otherwise be constrained by the two-dimensional nature of naval combat. Thus, thanks to the abundance of historical documents, tactical manuals and other sources of information, it is believed that should war loom above Mars, the men and women of the USDCN would not take long to adapt to the prospect of real void combat.


Concept Art of a Human Marine
The most heated subject of debate however was the existence of the UNDCA. Given the very nature of void warfare, the higher ranking authorities within the UNDCN advocated that the army should be under the direct command of the Navy. The concept of conventional warfare humanity experienced up until now would be radically changed, as armies would no longer be tied to independent, minor states, but instead it would be an organization meant to defend the planetary surfaces of Mars and its future colonies, and, should the need arise, be a ground force that would take control of an enemy planet. What concerned most of the figures within the United Nations was that integrating all the military forces at the disposal of the U.N into the Navy could hamper and neglect the training of terrestrial and planetary-atmosphere air forces, instead choosing to divert most funding and expertise towards the Navy and the Fleet itself. On the other hand, some fear that by dividing the high command of these two military branches any planetary attacks might suffer delay between combined arms operations. Some specialists theorize that precise orbital bombardment may be a feasible support in the conquest of a planet.

In order to satisfy both sides, the United Nations Security Council has decided that in war time, a mobile joint command headquarter will be created to satisfy these needs. An equal number of representatives from both the UNDCN and UNDCA will be appointed into this temporary team in order to coordinate combined arms operations on planetary surfaces. Of course, this extends to both offensive and defensive missions.
 

stnylan

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It almost feels like humanity is taking a possible xenophobic turn here.
 

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Kazanov

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This its an awesome story so far, maybe the human race isnt as united as it seems, but facing extintion we are all brothers and sisters after all.
 

crisrko

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Glad to have you on board!
This its an awesome story so far, maybe the human race isnt as united as it seems, but facing extintion we are all brothers and sisters after all.
Thank you for the kind words; and indeed, nothing brings humanity together like the prospect of wiping themselves out.
 

Werbecks

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Oct 10, 2017
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With the discovery of the Gamurans, I can’t wait till humanity faces its first WAAAGH!, that aughtta be fun, I also can’t wait till y’all find your first colony, there’s usually a couple of habitable platters between Alpha Centauri and Bernard’s.
 

crisrko

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With the discovery of the Gamurans, I can’t wait till humanity faces its first WAAAGH!, that aughtta be fun, I also can’t wait till y’all find your first colony, there’s usually a couple of habitable platters between Alpha Centauri and Bernard’s.
For the Emperor! I mean, what? Secretary-General, that.
 

crisrko

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Sol Station Dockyard

The facility was bustling with activity ahead the beginning of the exploration effort. Volunteers and Ship Crews littered the many levels of the facility. Officials of the Science Directorate were also present, giving out directions to their exploration Captains. The primary purpose of this expedition is the discovery of habitable planets and resource rich asteroids. In its current stage, Mars was not an ideal planet for human settlement. Scarce resources, enormous amounts of dust and a lack of food were among the forerunning issues.

UNDCN Engineers were finalizing the retrofit of the Nova Hyperdrives on the Sutten-Class Corvettes. These vessels, about 150 meters in length, carried about 165 crew members each, including the ship’s Captain. Outfitted with three laser cannons, these ships are capable of shredding to a medium sized asteroid easily. Nimble and light, they support the hit-and-run doctrine adopted by the Admiral’s Office. However, all of these come with a large trade off. The vessels armor is pretty thin and is susceptible to energy based weapons. Based on the testing conducted by the Navy and S.D, a Sutten Class corvette can be disabled by a similarly equipped vessel with only a few shots.

“Attention on deck!”

Grand Admiral Oldham arrived unannounced on platform #3. The crew of UNSS Scimitar scrambled to formation, surprised by the appearance of the Grand Admiral herself. To the surprise of many new recruits, Oldham was a rather short woman with brown hair and brown eyes. Genetically speaking, all of her features were common, plain. She had no rare traits such as blonde hair or blue eyes. Yes, the most fair characterization is plain.

“At ease.” She nodded firmly to the row formed by the ships screw. “Where is your Captain? Captain Stanfield.”

One of the newer recruits spoke up: “Captain Stanfield is not here ma’am.”

“Ho? And where is he then?”

“Captain Stanfield is at the cantina on the lowest level of the station. I believe he’s—”

“He’s drinking again.” Oldham shook her head in disbelief. “Very well, carry on with your duties.”

She immediately turned around, making her way towards the elevator with her escort. A few moments later, an averagely built, blonde man exited the Scimitar. Resting his hand on a nearby crate, he watched the Grand-Admiral heading in the wrong direction.

“I’m actually hurt, you know? She might actually start thinking I’m an alcoholic.” He sighed. “Well, we’re close to launch either way, and I can already figure what she was going to tell me.”

“Are you sure this was a wise choice, Captain?” One of his crew members inquired.

“Well, she will most likely be angry, but not angry enough to recall us, not while the entirety of Mars and United Nations look forward to our results.” Stanfield shrugged his shoulders lightly. “Her request was most likely dismissed by the Sec-Council and is looking to vent.”

“And, as always, you are one of her finest targets.” Lieutenant-General Marlon Davis appeared from the back, smirking.

“Well...” Stanfield laughed. “I was, after all, lucky enough to serve on the same ship as her.” He chuckled under his breath. “Very well. Are we ready to launch, Davis?”

Davis pressed a few buttons on his portable computer. “I believe we are, Captain. The men await your order.”

Stanfield stroke his chin lightly. “Notify the Science vessel we’re attached to that we are ready to depart.” Turning around, he addressed his crew: “Everyone, make your final preparations. I want everyone on deck within the next fifteen minutes!”

Captain Lyonel Stanfield, just as Grand Admiral Oldham served on an earlier prototype of the Sutten-Class Corvette as part of the old UNDC. Given that until now, humanity was bound to the system of Sol, their duty was reduced to that of a patrol vessel within the northern asteroid belt, protecting mining facilities and investigating piracy threats.

For the most part of their stint together, the two got along fairly well, although Oldham quickly made it known that she believed herself to be superior to Stanfield, not only through her bossy attitude, but through her very much taunting demeanor. She one-sidedly considered him her rival and always strived to outdo him. Lyonel on the other hand was very much her opposite, probably reflecting in his current position as a Captain.

Both of them were tactically astute and capable of commanding a crew, though Stanfields ability largely outclassed Oldham in both simulations and military exercises. However, due to lacking the will to assert himself, Stanfield never entered the spotlight and chose to be her advisor during battle. Lana probably observed this herself at one point, as towards the later part of their career together she was visibly irked by his behavior. In a way, she was annoyed by the fact Stanfield chose not to show what he is capable of in order to take a less demanding job.

Lyonel never thought much of his abilities. He was a book worm, and as such preferred the solitude and peace that came with reading, as opposed to more physically demanding or socially challenging activities. By no means were here socially inept. According to several crewmembers he had served with, he had a very natural charm, and was the type of person you could confide in. Ever since a young age, his interest in books lead to him enjoying history. Military history, literary history, poetry, anything that he could come across. Most of his knowledge is based on the historical documentation of battles and tactics, which he skillfully adapted to a battlefield such as space.


“Are all systems operational, L-C?” Lyonel inquired softly, seated on the captain’s chair above the command deck of UNSS Scimitar.

“Yes sir, we’re awaiting your command.” Davis quickly answered.

Lyonel cupped his palms together. “Notify the station’s officials. We’re exiting the facility.” Slowly, the ships thrusters ignited, carefully moving outside of the Sol Station dockyard. All around, Sutten-class Corvettes were leaving their designated yards in order to link up with the S.D Exploration ships.

Lyonel’s breathing slowed down, becoming increasingly heavy. “Engineer, engage the Nova hyperdrive.” “Diverting energy towards the hyperdrive. Fifteen percent...” Lyonel turned to his right, nodding to Davis. “Sixty percent...” Davis replied with a nod himself. “It is a great moment, Captain. It is the moment our ancestors, and even us awaited for so long.”

Lyonel chuckled softly. “That’s far too cheesy for my taste.” He gripped the arms of his chair.

“Engaging Nova Hyperdrive, destination Alpha Centauri.”

Space itself begun to warp outside the Scimitar as the ship itself was lunged forward with a speed far surpassing that of light. To those inside the vessel, it felt as the very fabric of reality was contorted, dazzling blue light surrounding everything. The most basic senses of a human being thrown off as they could not comprehend the phenomena happening around them.

Mere moments later, the ship decelerated on the outer rim of the Alpha Centauri system.

“Hyperdrive disengaged. Diverting energy to main thrusters. What are your orders, Captain?”

Lyonel breathed out and muttered under his breath: “I need to get used to this.” Shortly he pushed himself out of his seat and climbed down the stairs connecting the command deck and the captain’s seat. “Has the exploration crew also entered the system?”

“Affirmative, Captain.”

“In that case, I want us to follow them while they conduct their duties. Keep an eye out on our radars and signal any unusual readings.”

“At once, sir.” With his instructions, the engineer notified the rest of the Scimitar’s crew on their tasks.

Marlon slowly approached from behind, stopping at the Captain’s side. “I never thought I’d experience the day we’d freely sail through the stars.”

“It’s something, isn’t it? It’s a liberating feeling. Unlike anything else, space is the only domain that can never be truly tarnished. Be it now, or be it over a thousand years, it will clear itself and return to a familiar state.”

“That’s a very... interesting way to put it, Captain.”

“Oh? How would you put it then, L-C?” Lyonel crossed his arms, staring at his subordinate.

“I don’t know, sir. I’m not exactly good with words, but I believe that there is a certain beauty to an unexplored, almost mythical terrain. I’ve grown up in Kett, Captain. There’s not exactly much to see there. It’s a small dome city on top of a barren rock. We don’t even have a source of water, it needs to be transported through underwater lines from Little Caspia.” Marlon sighed. “Compared to Mars, I feel that there is endless potential within space.”

“I see.” Lyonel patted him on his shoulder. “Then we may aswell enjoy these times, my friend. Just like the explorers who found the Americas, or the first settlers of Mars, we will explore the uncharted stars of the Milky Way.”

“And you say I’m the cringy one, Captain.” Davis shrugged his shoulders in defeat and sighed.

Over the next few weeks, reports of alien life begun to flood the media back on Mars. On the planet of Alpha Centauri III, the expedition led by S.D Explorer Yusuf Gibanawa discovered plant life of incredible proportions, unlike anything documented by the Directorate, be it on the now-irradiated planet of Earth or the rest of the Sol System. In what was supposed to be a small recon mission, marines serving on the UNSS Scimitar and scientists attached to Gibanawa’s UNSS Nobel were trapped by the native fauna of the planet.

Very much predacious in nature, these plants are capable of luring any non-plantoid organic life forms in order to be consumed by the carnivorous plants local to the eastern continent of the planet. Based on the experience and documentation made by the crew, these plants are capable of trapping and killing an adult sized human. In their report, the members of the exploration crew state that should a colony be established on the planet, any settlements and settlers must stay clear of these areas, else they will most likely meet a painful end.

A continental world, Alpha Centauri III was already on the top of the list for colonization. In spite of the predacious wild life and immense planetary jungles, several members of the U.N General Assembly believe that a sizeable amount of the population of Mars should begin relocation to the planet in order to lessen the burden placed on the small world. In spite of these news however, the economy of Mars was in no position to fund the relocation of several hundred thousand citizens. Following a vote in August, the United Nations allowed the involvement of third parties in colonial endeavors. As such, colonization efforts could now be privately funded by one of Mars’s corporations, in addition to the state funded colonist program.

By the end of the year, in a joint effort between the United Nations and Zeus Enterprises, a megacorporation involved in asteroid mining and luxury resorts through-out the Sol System, an Ark ship capable of housing 100,000 colonists was built for the colonization effort of Alpha Centauri III, now named Horizon.