Authors: Dale C. Musser
SOLBIDYUM WARS SAGA
BOOK 5 – DESOLATION
Cover illustration by Dale Musser
Edited by Charlene Schuster
All rights reserved
Copyright © 2015 by Dale C. Musser
SOLBIDYUM WARS SAGA
Book 5 – DESOLATION
Earth’s famous author, William Shakespeare, once wrote, “
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.
” I disagree with Shakespeare, for without a doubt the stars held and shaped my destiny even if not in the way he meant. Shakespeare also wrote in another of his works, "
Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them
." With this I can agree for certainly greatness was thrust upon me, something I never desired, but it seemed the very stars themselves thrust it on me.
In the years following my arrival in the Federation, I resisted Admiral Regeny’s attempt to enlist me into the military, even though I assisted them in several capacities. All I wanted was to live a quiet and simple life away from the hustle of Federation life. This was difficult to say the least because the Federation named both my bond mate Kalana, and me First Citizens, their highest honor, and because of the immense wealth that the Federation bestowed on me.
All of that was before the revelation of Leader Roritat’s treachery, his exposure as an imposter and that he was the leader of the Brotherhood. He had instituted the attack on the Capitol that resulted in the deaths of thousands of senators. It was after this event that Rear Admiral Regeny approached me and said.
“We need you, not your money but you, your leadership capabilities and your strategic thinking. If the senate restores the War Powers Act, it will mean that it will create a need for the revitalization of fleet admirals to defend sectors of the Federation. In the past solbidyum war we had three fleets each commanded by a fleet admiral, all answering to the Rear Admiral. After the war when things calmed down and the fleet was reduced in size, the need for fleet admirals no longer existed and their position was eliminated from the military rank. Now the need is back and the Senate Defense Committee plans to reinstate the position; they have asked me to ask you to take on the role as one of the fleet admirals.”
This was immediately after Roritat and Ming attacked with the
and destroyed most of my estate, killing and injuring hundreds of my staff, and just moments before their Gravity Wave Message pod arrived taunting me with threats to my family. Until that moment it was the Federation’s war with the Brotherhood. As a citizen of the Federation, I had my concerns about their war; however, I was willing to do my part as a citizen to bring an end to the Brotherhood’s aggression, and the oppression that they forced on those who opposed them. Now the war became personal. No one threatens my family.
“Admiral I accept your offer.” I answered, and so it was that three days later, I found myself in the old Senate hall deep under the Capitol where it was protected from bombardments from above. The hall was built when the first solbidyum wars were being fought 500 years earlier, at a time when the capitol was still under threats of attacks. Two hundred years later when the Senate had grown too large, it was abandoned; however, it was preserved and maintained in the event that it might be needed again. Under normal circumstances, the hall would not have been large enough to hold the entire Senate. However, with a large portion of the Senate dead or injured after the Brotherhood attack, it could hold those still alive or well enough to attend.
With Leader Roritat’s betrayal and attack, revelation of his being the head of the Federation, the assassination of Leader Rieam and the death and injury of the Senate leadership, it fell to Justice Mastoeth to call the assembly to order and officiate the meeting. While he held no voting power in the Senate, he did have right under the War Powers Act to officiate the Senate meeting until they could elect new leadership. The first agenda was for the Senate to elect an Interim Leader, who would stand in until the next official election, at which time the citizens could elect a new leader. Leaders were similar to presidents back on my home world of Earth, but unlike in my birth country of the United States where we had one president, the Federation had three leaders serving at one time. This primarily was because of the vast distances and size of the Federation with its million plus planets. Leaders served 15 year terms rotating to new locations every five years.
I was expecting that the process of finding and voting on an Interim Leader by the Senate would take weeks, or possibly months, while they dickered and bickered about who should assume the role. With nearly a million planets in the Federation, and even with a number of them out of action after the Brotherhood’s attack, I still could not envision a sufficient amount of them agreeing with each other to be able to quickly vote anyone in as a new leader. I was less in doubt when I heard Justice Mastoeth announce that there were barely adequate numbers of surviving senators alive and present, to meet the quorum required for a vote, and it would take a near unanimous vote for the proposal to meet the minimum required votes. If such an election had taken place back on Earth, when I lived there, it would have been hung up for months. Admiral Regeny had told me that Senator Tonclin was being considered as a nominee for the Interim Leader position. I knew Tonclin was well-respected in the Senate, but I doubted that he, or any nominee, would be popular enough to garner the votes to meet the minimum required.
There was an old saying on Earth that
war makes strange bedfellows
; I guess that saying applies to the Federation also because when the ballots were counted, Tonclin was voted in. I was surprised that there wasn’t even another nominee, his name was simply nominated, and a vote was taken, there were three abstentions and only one nay vote. After Tonclin was voted in, Justice Mastoeth administered the oath of office and as soon as Tonclin was sworn in Justice Mastoeth stepped aside, and now Leader Tonclin took over the meeting. The first order of business was to officially declare war against the Brotherhood, while they had been fighting with the Brotherhood for nearly three years, a war officially had never been declared. It was the belief that the Brotherhood was only a small renegade group, but now it had become apparent that the Brotherhood was truly a force to be reckoned with, and that all-out war was necessary to deal with them. Tonclin began speaking; his high-pitched Nibarian voice seemed to be edged with tension.
“Not since the Great Solbidyum War, over 500 years ago, have we faced a threat of the magnitude that is now before us. The imposter Roritat clearly hoped to weaken our military and to break down our ability to provide any resistance against them in their moves to take over the Federation. From information provided to me by Commander Wabussie, it is evident that Roritat was not satisfied to be a Federation Leader for 15 years or to share power with two other leaders. He desired much more and fully intended to rule the galaxy, not as a leader but as a dictator. He saw being a leader in the Federation as a means to weaken the Federation from within and thus make the conquest easier when he was ready. “There can be no doubt, we are at war with the Brotherhood. Their attack here at the Capitol clearly demonstrated that, but we are not their first victims, already planets that were members of the Federation have fallen to the Brotherhood. The precise number is unknown to us at the moment, however, last night after meeting with Commander Wabussie, we learned that at least 87 outlying Federation planets are now under Brotherhood control, and more are threatened and may fall at any moment. Our military is too small and too disbursed out across the Galaxy to be able to deal with the threats at this time. Clearly, the Wars Powers Act needs to be invoked immediately and drastic steps taken to fight the threat. For this reason we must vote on invoking the War Powers Act for our protection and the survival of the Federation.”
Leader Tonclin then called for discussion on the matter, and I suspected it would be much like on Earth, where things would drag out for days; instead the only comments appeared to be concerns about how long it took for the facts of the Brotherhoods activities to come to light. Discussion on the matter lasted less than an hour before there was a call for a vote. Each Senator possessed a voting console at his or her seat in the Senate Hall, after signing in with a personal code and a retinal scan, they cast their vote. For the first time in Federation history, the vote was unanimous and the War Powers Act was officially invoked.
After the vote, Leader Tonclin began speaking again. “Roritat, who we know now was not truly Roritat, but because we do not know his true identity, we will continue to refer to as Roritat, most likely would have gotten away with his takeover if it were not for one person, First Citizen Tibby.
“First Citizen Tibby will tell you that he had nothing to do with stopping the deception of Roritat here at Megelleon, and in a sense that is true. However, First Citizen Tibby has been the catalyst which brought the Brotherhood and their operations to light. Not through any planned or conceived efforts, but simply by using his intuition and his ability to see potential weaknesses in our defenses, and by taking actions to strengthen those areas, was he able to achieve the things he did.
“The honorable First Citizen foresaw the need for training our troopers’ martial-arts skills, and using his own talents and skills as an example; he has improved our forces making them better than they were before. It was First Citizen Tibby who recognized the need for a covert organization to collect intelligence data, so we would know what our enemies are doing.
“It was due to the First Citizens foresight and his generosity, by using his own funds, that the Federation has mirage fighters in the fleet. This came at a time when the Senate, under the influence of Roritat and other Brotherhood infiltrators, were denying funding to the military, and we were looking forward to downsizing our military. Now we find ourselves not only deeply indebted to First Citizen Tibby for his insight and generosity, but in the realization that our need is not to decrease our military, but to expand and reinforce it. The survival of the Federation demands it.
“It is for these reasons, and many others which we need not to discuss at this time, that Admiral Regeny has recommended to the Senate Military Committee that First Citizen Tibby be named Fleet Admiral for the 1
Fleet, and he recommends Tibby also be the senior officer overall the fleets, being second in rank only to Rear Admiral Regeny. After considering all the facts and the current situation, the Senate Military Committee is in unanimous agreement with Rear Admiral Regeny’s recommendation, and we now bring the matter to the Senate for discussion and vote.”
Once again, I was expecting to hear long drawn-out discussions and debates, but there was little of that. One senator wanted to know how long the positions of fleet admirals would be required, and once the war ended if they would remain, or the positions once again dissolved. Leader Tonclin responded that the matter had not been discussed by the Senate Military Committee as it was too early to know how long the war was going to last, but that matter could be brought up at any time and voted on in the future by the Senate. So there should be no need to hold up the vote based on that question. Another senator asked how many admirals already existed within the Federation military and who the other candidates for fleet admirals were. Leader Tonclin replied that there were 27 admirals, including Rear Admiral Regeny and that most of them were scattered light years apart throughout the Federation. The decision as to who the other two fleet admirals would be was up to Admiral Regeny, and the Senate only needed to vote on my being made a Fleet Admiral, because I was not already a member of the military. I would be given a senior rank without having gone through the Federation’s military system, and thus it needed Senate approval. He further explained it was the opinion of both Admiral Regeny, and the Senate Military Committee, that I was the person best suited to the position, and current situations warranted the unusual steps of by-passing protocol. He stated that, as a now Leader in the Federation, he personally endorsed the action as well. After that there were no further questions and a vote was taken.
Life is strange and unpredictable, five years earlier (at least from my perspective) I would never have dreamed that I would find myself living on another planet or even find myself out in space. I could not have dreamed I would become the richest man in the universe. Two years ago, I never would have imagined all life on Earth would end, and that only a few individuals would survive on the Moon and Mars, and that I would be the one to rescue them. Just weeks earlier, I would never have dreamed that I would be brought up on charges of crimes against humanity and against the Federation, and just a few days ago I would never have foreseen that I would find myself in the Federation military in any capacity and certainly not as a Fleet Admiral. The vote in the Senate was overwhelming and the Senate was unanimous in solidarity, and suddenly I found myself as First Citizen as well as Fleet Admiral Thibodaux James Renwalt. No sooner was the vote taken then Leader Tonclin called a recess stating that the assembly would reconvene early in the afternoon for my swearing in as Fleet Admiral. Both Tonclin and Admiral Regeny approached me immediately thereafter in the visitors' box where I was seated and congratulated me. Regeny sported a huge grin and patted me on the shoulder and said, “Welcome aboard, Admiral. It’s official now. You're no longer an honorary Vice Admiral. You're the real thing now.”
“Congratulations Fleet Admiral,” Tonclin said. Even with his high-pitched voice I could detect a sense of pleasure in Tonclin’s voice.