The Republic vs. The Federation
Chapter 1 Launching…
March 3rd , 2057 N.A.R. Shipyards, San Francisco 8:57am…
A shapely form moved across the command bridge, a small hand trailing along the railing behind the captain's and other officers' chairs, on the command decks main level.
"On deck!" barked the Chief of the watch, as the newly minted captain of the Hawk, Hadassah David, pronounced Da-Veed, and her executive officer, and, first officer made their way to their seats.
"Ouch! Glad I got put on this tub. The cap's easier on the eyes that a soft dream." Whispered the tactical op, a fresh, skinny petty officer named Elppes, to his buddy at the communications station, a short stocky fellow named Okia… "Best keep it tucked boy'o," he whispered back; "she's meaner than a wild cat and twice as cruel. And besides that, if The Command even thinks he hears you say anything like that, he'll outright shoot you himself." "You mean the stories are true?" Elppes asked mockingly, "Yep. I once saw the man himself kick a master chief's ass so hard the guy got his head knocked in on the ceiling." Okia was so solemn when he said it that Elppes almost missed the barked order from his captain: "Snap to you bunch o' lazy dogs! The Command is on deck!" the voice that shattered the short silence was loud, but soft and feminine, yet it was permeated with absolute authority… and it was backed up by the large form now walking into the room…
His six foot, nine inch frame was tall enough that he needed to duck to get into the room, the silver streaks in his brown hair glinting in the light, his slight limp showing but one of the effects of battles past, Tomas D. Keeton was in the middle of the room almost at once. Only then did he return the salutes of every person in the room. Commander David spoke first; "The Hawk is on-line, ready and awaiting her orders sir." The Supreme Commander of the North American Republic armed forces, know as "The Command" Tomas Donald Keeton, made a slow three-sixty, looking around the deck, "Very good, captain David, your ship is in order, and your crew is set and standing by. Here are your orders: commence trial runs over the surface of the Pacific then begin under water tests to verify all systems functionality in submerged conditions, then after checking in with fleet control, proceed to standard earth orbit and then on to Bravo Star Base, and meet up with the rest of the new first fleet, where you will get the rest of your orders. Your ETA is 20 hours and counting on my mark. Five… Four… Three… Two… Mark!" with that a countdown timer set next to the forward viewing portal started counting off the remaining time, David acted quickly; "Mr. Thomson!" instantly, her executive officer, a short round man with small frame-less glasses, and a PhD in everything technical and historical snapped ready… "Bring the main engines on-line, and power the maneuvering thrusters."
"Aye mam," Thomson replied "…engineering reports; main engines coming on-line, ready in five minuets and counting, MT's powering up from stand by… ready and waiting!"
"Very good Mr. Thomson, Chief Macy, escort Command Keeton from the bridge and make sure he and his aides get to there shuttle quickly and safely." "Aye!" barked the former linebacker turned military serviceman as he followed the Command out of the door. "Good Luck and God's speed, Hadassah David!" called Keeton just before he disappeared… "And to you as well my dear friend," whispered David, as her officers and the others made the ship ready, "…and to you as well."
Federation Hall, Rome, earlier that day…
"We need to strike now while the Republic is recovering from their war in the Pacific with the Asian Alliance…" Chairman De Alco, of the Mediterranean sector, speaking without notes, as was his custom, was before the Assembly of the European Federation… "We must hit them hard before they can finish that new fleet of advanced star ships! If we don't do it now, then when? We know that by the end of the year they will have a fleet of 25 space based warships with planetary combat abilities, and weapons that are at least two generations newer that anything we can field for the next 5 years." His short bald form paced about the floor of the great Federation hall in, of course, his native Rome.
Senator Herman Webor, a native of Germany in the east sector, stood and extended his hand; "But Chairman De Alco, we have signed a merchant treaty with the President of the South American Congress, a treaty that forbids us from making any such move upon the North American Republic for fear that they might stop buying and selling resources and trading environmental technology for medical technology in the advent of a conflict involving our Federation and their allies the Republic."
The Chairman grew very red then exploded: "And by doing so we have sealed our doom! The Republic grows ever stronger while our beloved Federation struggles to maintain! Why I ask you, do we sit here and grow fat and weak off the South Americans, while the North Americans build the most powerful, armed empire the world has ever seen? Their Martian colonies now constitute over two thirds of the populace on Mars. Two THIRDS!" the sudden out burst from the elder statesman was most unexpected and caused most of the older members of the Senate Committee to shift un-comfortably in their large leather bound chairs… "Never mind the fact that we now have the moon firmly in our control?" the young Webor's reply was most un-expected, and had the Chairman ten shades of purple.
"Perhaps," spoke Senator Winston, of Britain in the North-East sector, "We need to open a dialog with our trade partners in the South American Confederate, and explain to them what we feel is wrong." "Very well…" Chairman De Alco seethed, seeing, that he was making little progress at that moment "We will send our envoy within the week, and we shall see what our dear friends in the South have to say… we are adjourned!"
After everyone had left the room, a sentry came up to De Alco and handed him a small e-pad with a message from one of his high general's…
After reading it, the Chairman was fit to be tied…
Asian Alliance Central Palace, Hong Kong one week before…
"I don't care if we lose half of those brainy useless techno-samurai Japanese halfwits! We are cutting overall food supply by sixty-three percent, and selling the extra food! We need resources, and we need to rebuild and rearm our armed forces as soon as we can!" the tall round Premier of the Asian Alliance, go-Ann Fan, was in one of his moods, and was losing what little weight he had left in the high council court, the ruling body and the law of the lands in the Alliance. It was made up of eight members, two from each sector, and then the Premier. Who at this point, was only a few words away from death, or worse; banishment and eternal shame… "Premier go-Ann," it was the East-lands judge, Joto Numari-san a Tokyo native, and an ex-fighter pilot; "I will not let you go on defaming my brothers, or our fellow countrymen any more. Everyone in our armed forces fought until death or was ordered to stop by the high council. We must remain faithful to our master plan! Therefore, I move that the proposal put forth by our dear leader and his friend the judge, of the West-lands that we wait, and begin building our new army, using the new droid technology we in the East-lands have been perusing, and turn all our remaining men into Special Forces grade strike groups." "I second the move." Answered the Judge of the South-lands, and a native of Java, Ji-roa, the leader next to him nodding his approval, "Then it is settled," the Premier never liked robotics or the droid program, but he did like the fact that in a very short time he would be over the command of the largest army in the world… "…We move on with directive three one two. Do we have a name for the directive?" it was Alliance policy to name directives before making them state orders. "We do, Premier," answered the Leader of the largest and most feared sector; the West lands, formally China and Siberia, "we do. 'Iron Dragons' seems to fit this well do you not agree?" the Premier smiled lightly, "Indeed, it fits well… I think it best that we adjourn for now and then we will meet again at our normal time, and I will inform the high council of my progress in the talks with the Independent Nations Syndicate… Good day gentlemen!"
I.N. Syndicate headquarters number 3, Sydney, two days before launch of R.A.S.S. 'Hawk'
"We're screwing em' over mates and they all know it! You can't keep this up without dragging the at least two of the four major powers on earth into a shooting match! And guess who gets it first? US! Everyone o' us gets a plasma yield missal' or bomb shoved up our rosy red rumps!" the irate man standing before the rest of the "fathers" of the Syndicate was Chaz Cain, one of the five leaders of the Independent Nations Syndicate, comprising the nations of Australia, Iceland, Greenland most of Africa and the "State of Antarctica", Cain was from Australia, and looked like he had been smoking dope again… "We've got to renegotiate our deals with the Republic and, and the Federation… if we don't, we're gonna buy it mates, in a big fireball…" "Mister Cain?" asked an older man, with an eye patch over his left eye, and a trim grey beard, "May I ask what has made you so certain that we are doomed?" Cain gulped then answered, "The Asian Alliance, they want another go at the Republic, and this time the Euro trash Feds will jump in it to… at that point, everyone's pointing guns but us!"
"The Feds are basically going to be fielding a lot of rebuilt hardware, their front line is all current stuff, but backed up by lots older equipment that's been upgraded with the basic goods, bigger engines, better guns, faster fire control systems. The same thing we did about the middle of the United Liberty war, and five years later, raid all your old stuff that's out modeled or mothballed, rebuild it with all the best, yet cheap, goodies you can, then turn it loose." The deep reverberating voice of The North American Republic's Supreme Commander of Military forces echoed lightly in the oblong, dark wood paneled meeting room in the State Administration building, near the High Courts, Congress, and Senate buildings.
Built only a few short miles inland from where the remains of Washington D.C. still stood, the new Capitol, called "New Liberty City" was more about functionality, rather than prestige and history, although the last known surviving copies and records of the old United States of America government where stored here, including the first page of the very first Bill of rights.
"So while they might have a numeric advantage, we will of course have the high ground in hardware?" The second President of the Republic, one John Bishop, asked, his still youthful, twenty seven year old face and hair as of yet untouched by the stress of leadership, this being the end of his first of five years in office.
Since the fall of the United States, the rules of government had changed, to allow more freedom to the people in choosing who they followed, in all three major levels of government, be it local, state, or national.
Command Keeton looked up from his notes and shrugged lightly, his eyebrows arched somewhat at the man almost ten years his younger, and by law his equal.
"Well it won't be much like the Trans-Pacific war, in that we where outnumbered an easy ten to one, and had to fight a mostly air and sea borne war, and island hop much as they did way the hell back during World War Two, we'd be looking at anywhere from near even odds to maybe three to one depending on exactly where we would be fighting. And the quality of equipment would also depend on that as well, as some of their front liners might not be from member nations that are very popular with the powers that be." He paused for a moment then brought it to simplest terms; "The bottom line is sir, if we fight them here, we'd have even terms in numbers, and a likely advantage in hardware, if we fight them across the pond, then we're talking numbers that favor them, and about an even playing field for the hardware."
"So either way it's a slug fest to see who cries uncle first?" the third voice of power in the room at last spoke; the peoples house of congress speaker, moderator, and figure head for both the senate and congress of the Republic (the first in both positions in the Republics short history) Jonathan Arnold was also the oldest man in the room at a stately sixty-two. And he was also the only one in the room to have been of voting age under the old system BEFORE the collapse and the war for unification of North America, and as such, his words and views carried great weight in the new Government's halls of power...