Read Rumors of Salvation (System States Rebellion Book 3) Online

Authors: Dietmar Wehr

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #War & Military, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Science Fiction, #Galactic Empire, #Military, #Space Fleet

Rumors of Salvation (System States Rebellion Book 3)

BOOK: Rumors of Salvation (System States Rebellion Book 3)
10.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Rumors of Salvation

By Dietmar Arthur Wehr



2015 by Dietmar Arthur Wehr


wish to thank my editor (and girlfriend) Jill Linkert for once again finding
the time in her busy life to edit my book not only quickly but also professionally.
I don’t know what I’d do without you.




Cast of Characters:

Glossary of Terms:


Chapter One:

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen:

Chapter Fourteen:

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen



Cast of Characters:

States Union:

Roland Drake, missile boat commander

Murphy, former Federation navy officer

Russell, Former Deputy Speaker of Sparta’s Assembly

Dreyfus, Mayor of Sheffield



Molitor, former Empire Navy officer

Yeager, former Federation officer

Crusero, former Federation officer

former Federation officer



of Planetary States:

Sergei Chenko, FED Navy Chief of Staff

Frank Masterson, FED Army Chief of Staff

Jonn Trojan, Head of the Joint Army/Navy Planning Group

Remington, FED Navy officer

Romanov, FED Navy officer

Harry Colt, FED Navy officer

CEO of Midgard



Lieutenant Evanka Nolan, Empire Navy officer

Empire Navy officer

Lieutenant Rolf Schimdt



Director of Shipbuilding Operations on Makassar





Glossary of Terms:

(Army Chief of Staff)

(Navy Chief of Staff)



(Astronomical Unit equal to the average distance between the Earth and its sun)

(Anti-missile missile)

(Kilometers per second)

(slang expression for kilometers)

(Federation of Planetary States)

(System States Union)

(Microwave version of laser)

(Laser equivalent of radar)

(Secretary of Defense)

(Commanding Officer)

(Executive Officer)

(Helm Officer)

(Weapons Officer)

(Logistics Officer)

(Squadron Leader)

(Probability of Collision)

Anties (Missiles designed for anti-ship roles carrying high yield warheads)




the civil war escalates, both sides exploit new technologies including
ultra-sophisticated planning computers that can not only handle the complicated
logistics planning but also the strategic warfighting planning as well. After
coming very close to completing a fleet of powerful battlecruisers, the SSU
suffers a devastating defeat with the loss of its secret base at Midgard. Meanwhile,
future projections by the Federation’s newest planning computer, Majestic,
convinces General Trojan to shift his strategic focus to the creation of the
Empire. His breakthrough in ship design enables his fleet to conquer Sparta,
the SSU capital. With the war effectively lost, Roland Drake is ordered to
evacuate the SSU R&D Brain Trust on Zanzibar to a more secure location for
one last desperate ‘Hail Mary’ project for ultimate salvation. He and Lorelei
Remington manage to find each other at last.



Chapter One:



woke to the sound of an incoming call. A quick check of the chronometer showed
that it was still the middle of the night.
This caller had better have a
damn good reason for waking me up at this ungodly hour
, he thought to
himself as he answered the call.


boy’s gone off the reservation, Frank,” said a voice that Masterson recognized
as belonging to his opposite number in the Federation Navy, Sergei Chenko.
Masterson was momentarily confused about who Chenko was talking about. It
suddenly dawned on him that the Navy Chief of Staff was referring to General


he done now, Sergei?”


nothing much.” Chenko’s voice was deceptively calm. “He just ordered one of his
men to shoot Stevens in the head when he tried to relieve Trojan as CINC1FAF.
His fanatically loyal troops then landed on Sparta and summarily shot the
entire SSU leadership off the top of their Government tower, and oh yes…he’s
declared the Empire and himself as Emperor. Other than that, not a whole lot.”


had known Chenko long enough to realize that he was barely controlling a fury
that was on the verge of exploding. “Holy Mother of God, how did you learn all


You’ll really like this part. Remember the ship that took Stevens to Sparta,
the Trafalgar? Well, it’s back without its CO. She personally witnessed
Stevens’s execution, then was talked by Trojan into disobeying her orders and
helping him transport his fanatic troops to Sparta, where she again personally
saw the SSU Chancellor and his whole cabinet shot by firing squad. After that,
she managed to get wind of a secret Rebel R&D operation on Zanzibar and
decided to head there, disobeying Trojan’s orders in the process. On Zanzibar,
the locals supposedly confirmed the existence of the R&D operation, which by
then had been evacuated somewhere else. Based on hearsay evidence, she took the
ship to Vril and then handed the keys to her XO. He decided that bringing the
ship back here was the wisest course of action. Trafalgar landed at the
spaceport half an hour ago.”


shook his head to sweep away the last vestiges of sleep. “Wait a minute, did I
hear you right? One of your ship COs violated her oath to the Federation by
switching sides and helping Trojan with his Empire, and then she disobeyed his
orders too? What kind of record does this CO have?”


quite a good one. Remington volunteered to pilot an assault shuttle filled with
explosives in an attempt to assassinate the SSU Chancellor back in ’39. She
survived the attempt, was captured, and we got her back in that prisoner
exchange. After that, she distinguished herself in a couple of ship-to-ship
actions. She passed her loyalty test with flying colors. I can’t even begin to
think what might have caused her to act this way, but that’s really beside the
point, don’t you think, Frank? What are we going to do about Emperor Trojan and
his emerging Empire?”


not sure we should give this report a lot of credibility, Sergei. Her XO could
very easily be exaggerating. Maybe he’s just repeating what she told him. If
she’s gone wacko, that would explain her behaviour, and that means she could
have lied to him.”


voice had lost some of its deceptive calmness. “You’re trying to give your
protégé the benefit of the doubt as any good leader would, but how do you
explain the fact that Trojan should have returned here months ago on that very
ship and hasn’t. Nor have we received any courier reports for over three
months. We have no idea what’s happening out there now, and if Trojan really
has declared himself Emperor, that would explain the lack of communication,
wouldn’t it?”


sighed. Chenko was right. It was possible that the information brought back by
Trafalgar was false, but given the circumstances, that explanation wasn’t


would,” said Masterson.


Council’s going to get wind of what Trafalgar brought back sooner or later. I
think we should do ourselves a favor and brief them on it as soon as possible
so that we don’t look like we’re hiding anything. But if we’re going to do
that, we’d better have some recommendations for them too. Since Trojan’s an army
officer, I suspect you’re the one who’s going to be in the hot seat. I’m in the
process of getting dressed and heading over to HQ. Perhaps you’d care to join
me.” The tone was anything but inviting. The wording might have been polite but
the message was clear. Essentially, one senior officer was telling another
senior officer to get his ass down to HQ asap. Normally, Masterson would have
pushed back, but not this time. Under the circumstances, HQ was where he needed
to be right now.


be there as soon as I can.” Without waiting to see if Chenko had a reply,
Masterson hung up and started getting ready.


hours later:

looked up as the guards brought the prisoner into the conference room. It was
obvious from the way he moved that his injuries were still not completely
healed. There was a grimace of pain as he carefully sat down at the opposite
side of the oval table. By prior arrangement, Chenko would do most of the


Murphy, in case you don’t recognize either of us because it’s been over 16
years since you were an officer in the Federation Navy, I’m NCoS Chenko and this
is ACoS Masterson. We brought you here to discuss some items of mutual


it was clear that Chenko was waiting for a response, Murphy shifted his
position in order to give himself some time to collect his thoughts. What
interests could the two highest ranked Federation military officers possibly
have in common with him? He decided to ask them.


items of mutual interest would those be, Admiral?” he said in a carefully
neutral tone of voice.


for one. General, or should I say Emperor Trojan, for another.” Chenko saw
Murphy’s puzzled expression. “Oh, that’s right. I forgot. You haven’t heard the
news. General Trojan has decided that he’s going to bring all of Humanity under
his benevolent administration in an Empire, with himself as Emperor of course.
I hope I don’t have to explain to you that we don’t condone this course of
action and haven’t authorized it. We view Trojan’s Empire the same way we
viewed the SSU’s declaration of secession, and we intend to put a stop to his


looked over at Masterson. After carefully evaluating his expression, he said,
“My God, you’re serious. I wonder if Trojan is following Majestic’s
suggestions.” Both senior officers looked at each other with expressions that
said, ‘how come we didn’t think of that?’


know about Majestic?” asked Masterson.


nodded. “Cate Foster told us all about it. She and her planning group spent a
lot of time and energy trying to outfox the damned thing. That’s how we came up
with the idea of building our answer to your Makassar on Midgard’s moon.”


don’t seem very reluctant to reveal information, Commander,” said Masterson.


shrugged. “When Trojan’s ships destroyed our shipyard on Midgard and the ships
under construction in orbit, I knew the SSU had effectively lost the war. My
guess is that somebody’s troops, either yours or Trojan’s, have landed on
Sparta by now. Am I right?”


looking at Masterson for approval, Chenko said, “That seems to be the case. The
last information we got from Emp…GENERAL Trojan, was that he was sending a
small squadron of ships to Sparta. Given what happened the last time that was
tried with a much larger force, we were convinced that the attempt would fail.
We’ve just found out that it succeeded. Trojan’s engineers on Makassar
developed radar-invisible ships and missiles. His small squadron decimated
Sparta’s orbital defenses, and his troops landed some time later.”


he could go on, Murphy said, “So that’s how they got close enough to the
shipyard complex without triggering the alarm.”


that’s how they did it,” said Chenko. “Everything I’ve just told you was
brought to our attention by one of our ships that pretended to co-operate with
Trojan’s mad schemes. Unfortunately, we only have that one source of
information, which means we haven’t been able to confirm it independently.
General Masterson and I have just spent four very uncomfortable hours in front
of the Federation Council trying to answer questions that right now don’t have
answers. In a moment of rare wisdom, the Council has decided to take these
reports seriously and proceed as if they’re true. That’s where Midgard comes in,
and that’s why you’re here, Commander.”


do you need me for?”


like you to help us build a new shipyard complex on Midgard’s moon so that we
can start building warships quickly and cheaply, just like Trojan is doing on


why should I help the Federation?” Murphy looked at Chenko, but it was
Masterson who replied.


the Council has authorized us to offer you a deal. A personal Pardon for your
activities as a member of the System States Union. That’s for you. For the SSU,
we’re authorized to offer a guarantee that any SSU planet that helps us defeat
the Empire will be allowed to hold a plebiscite on whether or not to stay
within the FPS. And if the majority vote to leave, the Federation will accept
that as long as certain issues such as compensation for confiscated property
can be resolved via negotiation.”


gave both men a long hard look before replying. “A guarantee. Will that
guarantee be in writing?”


you insist on it being in writing, then yes, you can have it in writing.”


smiled as he shook his head. “And what recourse would I or the SSU have if the
Federation didn’t honor that guarantee? It’s a very enticing piece of bait
you’re dangling in front of me, but I’m not naïve enough to believe that the
Council will actually fulfill their obligations under that guarantee. They’re
politicians after all, and you and I know how fickle politicians can be. My answer
has to be no.”


you’re going to let your Union be conquered by Trojan’s Empire?” asked Chenko.


don’t see any way of stopping him from doing that. It’ll take years to get a
fleet built on Midgard’s moon. What I see is the Federation desperately trying
any alternative to build up its own forces before Trojan’s fleet finishes
conquering the SSU and turns its attention to Earth. As far as I’m concerned,
you’re asking me to trade one tyrant for another. For all I know, Trojan’s Empire
just might be more benevolent than the Federation’s been.”


looked over at Chenko and saw his face grow red with anger. Before Chenko could
vent that anger, Masterson said, “Maybe we can offer you something else that
will convince you to co-operate. Our fact finding mission to Midgard, which
brought you back here, filed a very comprehensive report on what happened there
after your tower fell over. They found your emergency shelter, or rather what
was left of it, after Trojan’s ground troops detonated a tactical nuke right
above it. In case you were wondering, we didn’t find any other survivors of
your operation. Everyone in that shelter was killed by the explosion. That
blood is on Trojan’s hands. Here’s your chance for some payback, and it’s the
only chance you’ll get. Are you really going to pass it up?”


silently cursed under his breath and looked away. God damn them for using that
card! He very much wanted to strike back at Trojan’s Empire for what it did on
Midgard. He wondered if Cate was still alive. What would she do if she were in
this kind of situation?


he was still pondering his reply, Masterson continued. “We’d like your help
because we believe it’ll make things go faster, but we’re going to build that
shipyard complex on Midgard’s moon no matter what, and with a little luck,
we’ll build a fleet that can crush the Empire. Without the guarantee I just
offered, the situation will then be back to square one as far as SSU planets’
status is concerned. Do you think the Federation will offer those planets a
better deal without the guarantee that your co-operation would produce? You’re
right about politicians as a group being fickle, but there are a few who would
try to get the Council to follow through. Even if the chances of the guarantee
being honored are only 50/50, isn’t that a gamble worth taking?”

BOOK: Rumors of Salvation (System States Rebellion Book 3)
10.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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