Year 0: Day (-)3
The Base Director situated himself in front of the many screens that lined the room so he could monitor the IntraGalactic News Network (IGNN).
The Second in Command walked in, avoiding hitting the overhead monitors with his head, "Things aren't going well are they?"
The Base Director frowned, "No. The Jupiter Coalition has already attempted one HyperBomb, and the Azeroth Hotel Association is being run ragged," he turned to his Second, "You need to start assembling all of the Zelphi troops… Word just came in from the Bearden System that the Human Colony Corporation will declare War on all species engaged, publicly or not, in the Jupiter Coalition if Azeroth is destroyed."
The Second saluted, "Yes sir," and walked out.
Year 0: Day (-)2
The Director of the Human Colonists silenced the room, the IGNN news people with their cameras rolling. A single cough punctuated the silence before the Director began, "Welcome everyone, I am Gard Belgar, Director of the Human Colonists and I shall begin with a synopsis of Human Forces, plus Allied Species."
"Here are the Bases we have reports for… Bearden System: Ready. Zelphi System: Ready. Kalf System: Ready. No word yet from our last Colony Base in the Monar System. As for our Allied Species… All have reported Ready. We are still outnumbered by members of the Jupiter Coalition however."
"We've received word from the Azeroth Hotel Association that they will not condone any course of action we Humans take if it leads to interspecies warfare. Certain systems, I will not name names, are prepared to… er… physically bankrupt AHA should it become a necessary course of action. The Jupiter Coalition has not communicated with us directly and refuses to answer our calls."
Many hands were raised and Gard pointed to one.
"Phiz Canebar, of the Kalf System, could you give us a rundown of what actions have made us resort to such a drastic measure for those of us outside of IGNN's sphere."
Gard sighed, "Certainly. The Jupiter Coalition was set up after a Conference gone badly on Azeroth itself. The four visiting species decided to set up a resort on the moon Io around the planet Jupiter in Azeroth's system. Soon the competition became too much and the Jupiter Coalition began threatening Azeroth visitors. AHA sent a cease and desist warning. The warning was not followed, so a corporate game of 'Blow up the Enemy' started and buildings on both Io and Azeroth were destroyed, including innocent humans on Azeroth. This was when we sent in a timely notification that we would not have Azerothians killed. This was the final straw to the Jupiter Coalition that then began sending out Bomb threats to both AHA and us. A HyperBomb was attempted yesterday, and we are sure that they will try again."
"I'll take one more question."
Another man was picked, "I'm Jad Clickborn of IGNN News, and will Non-aligned species be killed?"
"Definitely not, it is a priority to us that all non-aligned species not be harmed by our troops. We can't say anything for Jupiter, but we will try to keep all fighting in empty space or near Human/Jupiter worlds."
"That is all, this briefing is over," and with that Gard left the room.
Year 0: Day (-)1
"Phiz, dear, could you pass the potatoes?"
Phiz sighed and offhandedly passed the potatoes.
His wife frowned, "What's the matter dear?"
Phiz frowned, "Its just all this talk about war. This may be the last time you and me have dinner in weeks, months, years, or even, forever."
His wife patted his shoulder, "Promise me that you won't think such thoughts and that you'll come back to me in one piece whether I have to come and drag you out of any such war."
Phiz smiled, "I promise that I will be back in one piece."
Year 0: Day (-)1
The Night Watchman turned to the Assistant Night Watchman, "You know, the thing I hate about Night Watch is that nothing happens at night… at least, not on my watch… You just watch and see; things will be terrifyingly boring… Why, If I was not… Oh Stacx. What is this? You better get the General in here, now!"
The Night Watchman carefully read the notice as the Assistant fetched the General who was probably asleep. When he finished the General walked in and grumbled, "What the jell are you waking me up for?"
The Night Watchman turned to the General; "You better read this. It seems to have gotten lost in hyperspace…"
The General sighed and put his reading glasses on. The General hated having reading glasses, he thought they made him look like a sissy, but being out in the far reaches of Human Colonized space he couldn't easily get the Laser Surgery, or the Bionic upgrades, so he had to get used to reading glasses. The General looked at the message and read it out loud, "Jupiter Coalition threatening Azeroth… HCC declaring war if Azeroth destroyed… Need to be ready for war… Conference… Oh Stackx, Yesterday… Need all forces in the Bearden System by… Tomorrow!"
The General turned to the Watchman, "Wake up the entire base and send messages to all the other Worlds in our System! I don't care if its against protocol, this is an emergency!" he turned to the Assistant, "I need a Coffee, and while you are at it, get my Warship primed."
Both Watchmen saluted, "Yes, sir!"
Year 0: Day 0
Gard paced the room as his Assistant listed the troops ready, "Sir, we've got all of them but Monar. I don't think they want to fight in the war, sir."
Gard frowned, "No, I know General Bearinger, he comes from a tough line indeed, for instance, this System is named after his Grandfather. The General is a good friend of mine, he would never turn down a fight, and if he did he would have his resignation sent in promptly… this worries me."
A courier rushed in, "Sir, a fleet of ships has just arrived… The Commander wants to speak with you."
Gard smiled, "Human?"
The courier thought for a second, "Yes. I think."
Gard's smiled, "Good… Send him in."
The General entered the room of his own accord, "Thanks Courier, that will be all… Gard, my it's good to see you, if only today were not such a horrible day."
The Courier excused himself and left.
"Agreed. So, how are your Monar boys?"
The General smiled, "Very well, a bit tired, but what can you expect, I had to wake them up in the middle of the night."
Gard frowned, "Really? Why?"
"I just received your notice last night thanks to the boys in Night Watch… it seems that it must have gotten lost in Hyperspace… but things are going well now, we're here aren't we?"
Gard smiled, "Yes. Quite so. Lets hope the party doesn't start too soon so that we can catch up on old times."
Year 0: Day 0
The Manager was a Reflader, a species with little humor and a rather ugly Brown coloring that was a strike contrast to their Reptilian background. The Manager smiled a smile that could have frozen a Sun and turned to the rest of the table, "The HCC wantss to play gamess with uss," a flicker of a forked tongue, "we sshall give them a chanss, yess, we sshall."
A HyperBomb rested in the corner, inside a Hyperspacial Distortment Field. A silent Reflader watched the bomb, a hand on the deployment button, and the other four-fingered hand on the trigger.
The Manager laughed, a horrible laugh, "Good bye Azeroth! Good bye stupid Humanss!"
The rest of the species followed suit, laughing their own versions of a laugh and the silent Reflader pushed one button and then the next as the Bomb entered Hyperspace and exploded. This time they did it right, on purpose. Without putting it directly in Azeroth's Hyperspace so as to be detected, but close enough so that the shockwaves could tear Azeroth apart and inside out. Of course, the Jupiter Coalition didn't watch. They knew it would work. They knew that Azeroth was a goner, and they planned to destroy the rest of the humans too. In fact, they knew that their men had probably engaged the human forces and that all was probably going well. They thought of the stupid humans to place all their forces in one location. They figured it should be a killing of two mammals with one stone!
To Be Continued…
Thus begins the Azerothian Crusades, a period of struggle and survival, of the war that brought Humans to the top of the Corporate Food Chain of the Universe. I am not sure as to how far I will take this series yet. I felt like laying down the setting for you first, but most of the battles may have to wait a while to be told because of some ideas I had. Stay tuned to DRAGON and find out what happens next.