Private Council

Castle Stuart: Alchibah - Day 885
Four days after the attack on Liberty City and things had quieted down. We had communications back with the Mayflower and to the best of our knowledge all the Rogon and UNWG forces in the area were accounted for. That is to say we had a couple of dozen prisoners and the rest had left. Some to the southern continent the rest back to their ships.

Except for pickets in the belt and in the near planet space most of us were in Liberty City area at three locations, the caves to the north east of town, at Castle Stuart, or in the med facility under Windmill hill.

Les Reye had put off a town meeting for about as long as he could get away with, pleading the lack of information, and lack of enough council members to make a quorum. Much as he dreaded a general meeting, which might just turn into a gripe session, he knew that he owed these people what their Constitution promised. First though he wanted to talk to all of the Council members in private, he was hoping for some kind of a united front and a measure of hope rather than the litany of disaster that the bare facts seemed to support.

It was impossible to have a private meeting in the caves, too many people, not enough room, so the principals were all at the Stuarts. It had survived petty much unscathed. The attendees aside from Reye himself were, Andy, the Historian, Connor, Kara, Mariana, and Joe Fortson.

Les began, “Histy will be recording everything we say here for the record but I am going to move that we don’t publish the minutes until we can be sure that we won’t ruin morale. It’s fragile enough but we have to be honest, brutally so if required, amongst ourselves. The way I would like to run this thing is for each of us to sum up in as few words as possible what you have done and seen in the last four days. We all know fragments but I want to make sure we aren’t missing anything. I’ll go first.”

“Around midnight four days ago we were attacked without much in the way of warning by UNWG troops under the control of an alien race called the Rogons. A few hours of fighting and we beat them off loosing fifteen colonists and 21 bots in the process. Most of the town was destroyed. We know that there are now Rogon and UN forces down south. We have not heard from the Guardians and we find that very troubling.”

“The people from outlying areas have come to the caves, where we are crowded but have supplies enough for three months anyway. Let’s hope that’s enough. We are short on fuel for the Dora and Cargo bus and our only ground to space defense is here at Andy‘s”

“Who wants to go next?”

“I’ll take it,” Connor started. “I know we probably all know this already, but just for the record we have twenty nine human and six Rogon prisoners - eight of the humans and two Rogons are here and the rest are in space, though two of the humans probably shouldn’t be described as prisoners, per se. Eamon Lyons and Ari al-Yaram are both confirmed members of the resistance. For now Ari is helping us in the Lab and Eamon is still back on the Mayflower with the majority of the prisoners. Eamon also provided quite a bit of information on the Rogons.

“Questioning by Lisa and Mariana indicates that seventeen of the other twenty seven prisoners can safely be integrated into the colony. I’ll let her elaborate. And I guess the last thing I have to say is that no children died in the attack. Not one. And that’s not nothing.”

“How is it going up above Andy?” Reye asked.

“The Military situation is this.” Andy started. “The fight we saw coming we won and won big. A SAR mission is ongoing for Travis and Fallon. We are in the middle of significant upgrades to both our drive systems and weapons. Ash made a ‘Weather Pass’ yesterday so we have a fair picture of the Southern Continent. The Aliens have established a compound and have grounded one their two ships there. From the high orbitals it appears to be tied in as their power source, they still have one active. There is still one more Large Alien Vessel out there; Capt. Monroe on the Mayflower is tracking that from out in the belt.”

“We are ramping up power and fuel production and are refitting the Dora. The second shuttle will be modified to a full System Drive sometime tomorrow. This means we can save all H3 for use on planet. The Nift tankers are making a run, skimming the gas giant low and slow, as we speak. Upon their return they will be upgraded with new Dives and Shields. Mayflower is good for H3 so both tankers will deliver here. All Strike Force Ground personnel have been instructed to report to Joe and if you need anything from the rest of us; you have but to ask.”

“Histy? Kara? What do you have on the combined enemy strength and casualties?”

They looked back and forth at each other and the Historian said. “This is very preliminary, we still have more data to gather and some of this is unconfirmed by multiple sources.”

Then Kara started reading. “Estimated enemy losses: So far we count 3 skull ships destroyed; 1 Skull ship shot down by Bart all aboard, about 60 we think dead; 1 Skull ship destroyed on the ground with 8 captured and about 40 killed and something in the high teens or low twenties rescued; 1 Skull ship destroyed in the Mayflower attack with, again, about 60 killed, including Major Watson who was the regimental commander of the UNWG force. On the Mayflower there were 21 UN troops (including Eamon) and 4 Rogons captured and 39 humans and 26 Rogons killed.”

“In the Liberty City and Sarra Farm raid we estimate Rogon and UN casualties as something over 55 dead and wounded with 8 humans and 2 Rogons captured.”

“How many Rogons and Goonies still out there?” Fortson asked.

“At the low end it could be 500 Goonies, 500 Rogons. At the high end four or even ten times as many. We just don’t know.”

“Thank you all. Histy would you make a summary of what we have said to this point that leaves out anything that could be militarily useful so that the colonists can see it before the general meeting?”

“Censorship? Isn’t that something we are all opposed to?” the Historian said.

“Histy, I am than near 100% certain there are traitors amongst us, at least one and maybe more, not any of us here but in the colony at large. So write up enough so we can have our general meeting. Give it to me first and I’ll do the cutting and take the fallout for it afterwards should that become necessary.”

“So what do we do now? What can we tell our people to give them some hope?”

Andy was quick off the mark, “We can tell them that even after catching us with our pants down we gave as good we got and now it’s our turn.” And with a hint of a rueful smile, “We just leave out the details. Joe you talked to me about a plan for down here so why not spill it now.”

“Ok, Listen Up. Our first priority has to be to beef up the defenses for the people we got left in Liberty City, try to make sure any other landing attempts get stopped cold. But defense ain’t enough so I think we ought to try and help out Brother Dobswell if we can.”

“Hold on, hold on,” he said as a couple of the others started to break in. “I know he’s an asshole and up to no good. Still the enemy of my enemy applies here. The data Ash brought back shows a bunch of the Llamas heading towards the Rogon base down there with humans, and that means Dobswell, in the van. They’re in a damn hurry and armed to the teeth, at least for a bunch of Soessossins. I sure can’t figure out why but it looks like they are going to war. That being the case we need to try and help them.”

“You said it yourself Joe,” Lester said holding up a hand, “Our first duty is to protect Liberty City. I can’t see how we can spare anyone for anything else.”

“We don’t send soldiers Les but we can ship them a bus full of weapons that are a darn sight better than bow and arrows and spears. That and give them all the info we have and can gather about the Rogon and Goonies, locations, movements, that kind of stuff. Andy has quite an arsenal built up. Seems he left the production of things more or less up to the bots and they decided that every man woman and child in the colony needed both a couple of rifles and shotgun of their very own along with enough ammunition to fight a small border war. That’s what we send down to Dobswell, that and a few bots to give them some remote eyes. And by giving them bots to use we can make sure we know what’s going on as well.”

“You’ve almost convinced me. Say again how we get these weapons to them?”

“With the cargo bus, maybe Bart and the Dora as well, Andy and I are still working out details but we can be ready to go before another day is done.”

When Joe was finished Les looked around waiting for objections. When none surfaced he said, “Ok, your plan has the Councils blessing but this is another thing that needs to stay with us. Nobody in town with the exception of those making the delivery hear a word about this. Joe, I’ll have Sabbu, issue you a couple of bots from the labor pool to do the loading and go along.”

“Thanks Les but I think we should keep even Sabbu out of this for now. I’ll send my bot RoDan and try and talk Bart into letting the Jeep tag along. Both of those bots have an extra bit of programming and hardware not built into most of the others.”

“Good enough for now,” Les concluded, “Histy write the meeting up and give it to me when you’re done.”

“Got it already,” the Historian said pushing the send button on his com unit. “Time to get back to the caves and set up the general meeting.”

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
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Copyright (C) 2006 - 2011 by Jeff Soyer. All rights reserved.