Friday, June 01, 2012

Blue Queen

Seamus Finnigan, star reporter for the New Belfast Times, leaned against the cold dingy red brick wall disappearing into the long shadows cast by the street lights. He had one hand clutching to his tattered leather brief case stuffed full of printouts and the other held an old green bandana against the gun shot wound in his side. His fingers becoming sticky as more blood seeped through the bandana. He knew that no periodical on Nuadh Eire would publish what he had found. They had all been bought out right or compromised in less than civilized ways.

He had been running and bleeding since they had ambushed him at Merchants Quay. Seamus knew it was a minor miracle that he had gotten away, but he had managed to give them the slip on the poorly lit streets of New Dublin and get on a cross town train. He also knew that he was very tired and had lost a lot of blood. It was only two more blocks and then across Clanbassil St. to make it to the Confederate Embassy. From the Confederate Embassy he could get an off-world news agency to publish his story, maybe something on New Caledonia or High Wales. He tried to block out the pain and stumbled down the road, leaving a small pool of blood on the pavement behind.

It was 4am when Seamus collapsed in the middle of Clanbassil Street. His dying gasp for help brought two of the Confederate embassy guards running out into the deserted street, they slung their G.A.R-17s grabbed Seamus and carried him quickly into the embassy grounds, to the embassy’s well equipped infirmary. While they waited Sgt. Hassan military training kicked in and he started looking for intelligence, he looked through the tattered and stained brown leather briefcase and he took Seamus’s flash drive off of his bracelet. That along with Seamus’s PDA he turned over to the embassy’s chief of intelligence, Col. Tarik Mubarak.
While Col. Mubarak started to go through the computer printouts they had found in Seamus’s briefcase, Seamus died on the operating table, leaving a lot of questions behind.

Col. Tarik Mubarak and the rest of his twelve-man intelligence unit went painstakingly over all of the printed material, as well as all of the information on the PDA and in the flash drive. They were all puzzled at first for no one was using Seamus as an informant and none of the documents were Nuadh Eire government documents. All of the information that he had carried seemed to be business memos, business press releases, accounting information for various business, as well as building and star ship designs.

Over the next few days they started to piece together what the information was trying to tell them. It turned out that the Blue Sun Corporation owned all all of the companies that they had information on. They all knew that the Blue Sun Corporation had saved Nuadh Eire 23 years ago, from civil war over the abortion issue, when it had invented the growth tanks and its young president Dr. Karen O’Brien had come up with the fetus transfer procedure, making the entire point moot. The planetary government had wholeheartedly endorsed the procedure and the Blue Sun Corporation had overnight become one of the wealthiest corporations in the Star System.

The Blue Sun Corporation then branched out into running children’s homes and orphanages. The homes and orphanages were paid for through government grants and private donations. Tens of thousands of children were born from the tanks the first several years, in later years the numbers reached into the hundreds of thousands. The more children born meant more and more money for the Blue Sun Corp., which they invested into star ship building, weapons company, textiles and agriculture. The Confederate Intel unit was shocked to realize that the Blue Sun Corp. controlled nearly a third of the wealth of the Nuadh Eire star system.

The Intel unit brought in a forensic accountant who was able to start and find discrepancies in the books. At first they were thinking that it was a simple case of corporate fraud and that they should simply turn everything they had found over to the Garda Siochana, the Nuadh Eire planetary police, but then they came across evidence of acts that could tear Nuadh Eire society apart.

The Number of fetuses transferred into the tanks and the number of births were not matching up. They realized there was a small percentage of babies that did not survive to full term, but even with that factored in the numbers did not add up. They realized in horror as they went through more of the information that fetuses, which did not fall with in certain genetic parameters were being terminated. With the huge numbers of children being born every year from the tanks, the several thousand being terminated fell through the cracks and with most of the orphanages off world no one noticed the fact that none of the children there were suffering from any handicaps.

Lt Zainab Uthman noted as she studied the plans for one of the orphanages that the area marked as a playground looked an awfully a lot like the obstacle course she ran when she was at the advanced combat school on New Malaysia. She also noted the firing range that all the orphanages that the Blue Sun Corp. ran had.

Memo to Confederate Intel Command: Possibility of a private army numbering in the hundred thousands possible millions in the Nuadh Eire star system, Extremely High. Use for such an army could be for a coup attempt in a very similar vein to the clone conspiracy back on the earth in the late 15th century. We will continue to monitor the situation.

The Embassy Intel unit continued to find more and more information that led them to the conclusion that the Blue Sun Corp. was planning on seizing control of the star system. The cost over runs for the building of new warships for the navy seemed to be covering the fact they had actually built several more warships. And the most worrisome evidence was that many top ranking officers in the Garda Siochana and Nuadh Eire defense forces had their spouses on the payroll of the Blue Sun Corp.

An extensive report was written up by the Intel Unit this along with copies of all the information that Seamus had given his life to get them, was sent by diplomatic pouch to Confederate Intelligence headquarters back on New Malaysia. While waiting for a reply to come back, the leader of Nuadh Eire, The Taoiseach was assassinated on his country farm. The Coup had begun.

Ambassador Mansur Al-Zawahri Stood watching troop transports landing at various strategic sites throughout the capitol city from the embassyÂ’s rooftop garden. He wore the new dark blue with gold trim shalwar kameez that his sister had sent him from Kashmir prime. The Kashmir Tiger roses were in bloom, their orange and black flowers the size of dinner plates. Ambassador Al-Zawahri had brought them from his familyÂ’s home back on Kashmir Prime and had planted them himself. He had given several away in pots to the nodeceaseded Taoiseach and to several members of the Oireachtas, the legislative branch of Nuadh EireÂ’s government, he had recently been informed that all members of the Oireachtas had been placed under house arrest.

When the coup had started tintelligencence unit had to inform the Ambassador that the self-proclaimed Blue Sun QueenÂ’s, Dr. Karen OÂ’Brien head of the Blue Sun Corporation, military was much larger than they had ever suspected and while most of the soldiers appeared to be 14 or 16 years old the assault rifles that they carried were quite real and you would be just as dead if they shot you as you would be if shot by an older soldier. Also as they had feared top ranking miliofficersciers had apparently been bought off and many of them had been given various titles, Sir this, Baron that and Duke who ever, and put in charge of various regions of Nuahd Eire. One military base seemed to be a site of fighting but it was brief.officersciers loyal to the republic seemed unable to launch any type of resistance.

The Embassy grounds were jammed with over two thousand Confederate citizens whom had either been studying, Visiting or doing business on Nuadh Eire when the coup had been launched. There were also nearly a hundred locals whom had asked for asylum including two members of the Oireachtas and their families. All of the locals had made it to the embassy before the blue army had parked several armored vehicles around the Confederate embassy. While the embassy guards were on high alert and carrying loaded weapons, they assured the Ambassador that it seemed to them that the new blue army was trying to stop local people from getting to the embassy for sanctuary. They noted that the armored vehicles weapons were all pointed away from the embassy and that all confederate citizens had been stopped and questioned but allowed to continue on to the embassy.

After two days Ambassador Mansur Al-Zawahri and various other ambassadors were invited to an informal dinner and meeting with the Blue Sun Queen. Ambassador Al-Zawahri was told to inform her that the confederation viewed the change in power on Nuadh Eire as an internal matter of the citizens of Nuadh Eire and one that they should resolve on their own.

Rumi, "Mathnawi" [IV, 1640]
If in the darkness of ignorance,
you don’t recognize a person’s true nature,
look to see whom he has chosen for his leader.

-Rumi, "Mathnawi" [IV, 1640]

Fleet Admiral Megan O’Brien of the Blue Navy, at 19 was younger than any of the ship captains left over from the Republican navy. Yet she stood on the bridge of the battleship HMS Slaugh Ron brimming with confidence for she knew that she was a daughter of the Blue Sun Queen and that she was born to lead. She walked across the bridge to the command chair and flipped her long bright red ponytail forward over her shoulder as she sat down. She knew that this was where they rolled the dice. Fleet Admiral Megan O’Brien’s stomach did a flip-flop as she ordered that a wormhole to the New Tibet Star System be opened. She looked about the bridge; every position manned by one of her younger brothers or sisters and said loudly “Victory is our destiny.” The bridge exploded into exploded into cheers as the fleet plunged into the wormhole and slid towards the New Tibet System.

After much pleading the palace guards got the Dalai Lama to flee the capitol as they were rightly convinced that the invading fleet would bomb the temple palace. The inhabitants of New Tibet watched in disbelief as the blue fleet easily destroyed the meager fleet that the New Tibet star system had. A fleet designed to stop smugglers and rescue merchant vessels; it was no match for the heavy cruisers and battleships of the Blue navy.
Muhammed Nasrullah and Bijan Khomeini from the balcony of the teahouse as Nuadh Eire transports bearing the logo of the Blue Sun Queen dislodged large numbers of heavily armed soldiers. They had arrived in the city by a nearly empty train six hours before The Nuadh Eire Assault troops had arrived. The two members of the brotherhood of the golden circle had left the large mountain retreat that their order maintained in the cedars district when the Dalai Lama had arrived. Their assignment a simple one, gather information on the activities and plans of the occupation force.
Everyone was shocked by the invasion as New Tibet and Nuadh Eire had excellent trade and diplomatic relations. The invasion was all the teahouse patrons were talking about. Muhammed and Bijan finished their tea and went to the small cramped apartment that they were staying in. Muhammed brought their clothes down to the small laundry on the first floor of the old red brick building next to their apartment building. Nasrullah got a whiff of their clothes and gagged; their first few hours in the city had been spent in the sewers taping into the communication cables.

Bijan sat down and opened up his laptop and started to check the different cable taps they had installed. Any and all conversations in Gallic would be automatically recorded and sorted by their A.I.
Both Bijan and Muhammed had been chosen for this assignment because the two of them could pass for locals in both appearance and fluency in Tibetan. The two had gone to university together back on New Malaysia. Neither of them could speak Gallic and were trying to studying it as if there were cramming for a final exam. The A.I. had not yet caught any conversations in Gallic yet, Bijan figured the occupation force was still only using their radios.

A knock at the door startled him out of his train of thought and after quickly hiding away his laptop he walked across the small living room and opened up the old worn out wooden door. A small middle-aged Tibetan woman wearing traditional Tibetan clothes stood there smiling it was Mrs. Khangsar Yangchen Dolma, which was how she introduced herself when they moved in followed by a quick but just call me Khangsar, she owned the building and as a widow with two small daughters the rent on the apartments was how she supported her family.
Mr. Khomeini would you and Mr. Nasrullah like to come for dinner tonight? With all this bedlam going on the girls and I would rather have some company” she said.
We would be honored,” replied Bijan“Great come by around eight” she said and with that walked back down the rickety stairs to the first floor apartment she shared with her two small daughters and three large cats.

Reported by Abu Umamah
Once a person asked the Prophet, "What is true faith?"
The Prophet replied, "When your good endeavors bring you pleasure and your transgressions cause you anguish, you know that you are a person of faith."
-Reported by Abu Umamah

Later that evening Muhammed and Bijan sat down at their landlord’s dining room table with her and her daughters for a traditional Tibetan meal. Khangshar, as she insisted on them calling her, served Momos, dumplings stuffed with ground yak meat mixed with chopped onions, cilantro, ginger and garlic these were steamed then eaten with hot sauce. She also put out bowls of Tsampa, roasted barley flour with tea poured over it and just a tad of yak butter added all of which they ate with their hands. They drank butter tea with the meal and as it was summer ate Sikarni, a spiced sweet yogurt-pistachio dessert at the end of the meal.

All during the meal they talked about the events of the last several days. The girls were excited and scared. All of the schools in the city had been closed for the remainder of the week; the girls were please by this but their mother would not let them leave the house so they were feeling trapped. They discussed the fact that the Dalai Lama had fled new Lhasa and gone into hiding that he had called on the people to meet the invaders with non-violent resistance. While at the same time Generals Loten Namling and Tenzin Gonpo ordered the Army into the countryside evacuating all the military bases and had pledged to fight a guerrilla war against the invaders. Everyone at the dinner table expressed shock at how young the Fleet Admiral Megan O’Brien looked. They were sure she could not be older than 19 or 20 years of age. And yet from the video announcements made she seemed to be the person in charge. They were also surprised by how quickly the Blue Sun queen had launched an attack on them as she had only just consolidated power on Nuadh Eire. The evening broke up rather late with Bijan promising to teach the girls how to play Go later in the week. They all went to bed knowing that they had friends in the building.

While they slept several Confederate Abtu class recon ships slid into the New Tibet star System and very rapidly deployed hundreds of the newest version of the Jibra’il spy satellites through out the star system. The confederate ships then just as secretly as they had entered the system exited minus one, which stayed behind to monitor the spy satellites.
"Remain patient in adversity, for surely God's promise is true. And do not let those, who themselves have no certainty of faith, shake your firmness."The Holy Quran, 30:60

For weeks Muhammed and Bijan’s routine was the same, they woke up for fajr and made dhiker until curfew was lifted. Then they went out to have tea and breakfast in attempts to talk with soldiers whom were part of the occupation force in New Lhasa. They pretended to be trying to get help with learning Gallic, which wasn’t too hard as they were still learning the language, and would try to find out anything they could from the soldiers. While some of the soldiers were older men late 20s early thirties most of the soldiers including the officers were in there early and mid teens. Baby faced killers who obeyed orders without every questioning them. They bought them soft drinks and/or breakfast in exchange for Gallic lessons. Then one day at the teahouse nearest the blue army’s barracks Bijan heard two officers practicing phrases in Farsi.

Bijan walked across the brightly colored tile floor of the teahouse and up to the two soldiers. Their table was covered with the remains of their breakfast, several notebooks and two Farsi grammar books.

Excuse me sirs, could I buy you fine gentlemen tea in exchange for speaking with me?” asked Bijan. This was a standard phrase used by young people in the city trying to learn the language of their conquerors.

Sorry boy not today” replied the one who looked as if he was perhaps fifteen.

Over the next few days Bijan observed more and more of the officers practicing with Farsi phrase books.

Are you sure it is Farsi?” asked Muhammed as he poured tea at the small granite top table in their kitchen.

My Grandfather was a Farsi speaker. He was originally from Khorasan mining colony in the Farsistan star system, before he immigrated to New Malaysia.” Answered Bijan shoveling sugar into his tea.

New Persia is the closest star system it would make some sort of sense, but New Persia is a member of the Confederation. The Blue Sun Queen would be mad to go to war with the Confederation.” Said Muhammed.

The woman had her ovaries removed and all her eggs fertilized and had several hundred children born out of growth tanks. Does that sound like the actions of somebody who is sane?”

I’ll get word to the embassy about our suspicions. It will be up to people higher up than us to act on this information.”

The spy satellites deployed through out the new Tibet star system along with spies on Nuadh Eire were able to confirm that the Blue Sun Queen did indeed intend to invade the New Persia star system.
Admiral Hassan Al-Sadr sat in his room on the Bahamut class battleship the C.S.S. Malikal Mawt with the latest best selling murder mystery from New Malaysia on his lap. While the Confederate navy knew where the blue navy was going to attack, they were still not sure of the exact timing of the attack. So Admiral Al-Sadr sat with the fourth and fifth fleet hiding in New Persia’s largest gas giant waiting for the signal to attack. He wondered if he would finish the book before the Blue navy arrived.

Confederate Carriers had ferried over 200 Buraq fighters to New Persia Prime and automated defense satellites had been deployed around both of New Persia Prime’s moons as they had vital mining colonies on them. A second wave of ships sat in the New Kurdistan Star System waiting to slide into the New Persia Star System and trap the blue navy.

The Confederate fleet had been waiting for six days on high alert, Admiral Al-Sadr was worried that the men would lose their edge and that Nuadh Eire intelligence would learn of the ambush that awaited them. He was two thirds through his murder mystery and was rather sure he knew exactly who had done it. He had cancelled the day’s combat drill and was realizing that his cabin was a mess. A half eaten plate of humus, chickpea dip, and pita bread cluttered the small coffee table. An open tin of his wife’s home made Kataifi Ashta, a delicate custard filled pastry, sat on his work desk. He knew he was eating too much because of the stress of waiting.

Why don’t they just attack already?” he asked the empty cabin

Ten minutes later while he was trying to clean up his work desk, there was a buzz on his intercom and the second officer of the C.S.S. Malikul Mawt started talking very excitedly and informed him that the Jabri’l spy satellites scattered through out the star system had detected the simultaneous opening of several worm holes and had identified the ships coming through them as the Blue navy. The navigation officer had plotted the route the blue navy was appeared to be taking and estimated that they would pass be passing by the gas giant that the confederate navy was hiding in, in a little over 12 hours.

Admiral O’Brien we have incoming missiles “shouted the first officer of the battleship Slaugh Ron. She looked at the lidar screen and saw that it did indeed show missiles and Ships emerging from the largest gas giant in the new Persia star system. The blue fleet had positioned themselves so that the gas giant was between them and new Persia prime with the idea that by approaching from behind the gas giant they would be able to approach their objective undetected most of the way. Now it was obvious to Admiral O’Brien and most of the blue fleet officers that the entire operation had been compromised.

The long range sensors officer then informed her that they had detected the simultaneous opening multiple worm holes and that 2 confederate ___ carriers had emerged along with three battleships and several light cruisers. This cut off their and these confederate ships were moving to intercept them. Deciding that if she could not capture the Hyton crystal mines that she would destroy them, Admiral O’Brien ordered the blue fleet forward to New Persia prime at full speed.

Admiral Al-Sadr stood on the battle bridge of the C.S.S. Malikul Mawt listening to the fire control officers repeating the basmallah over and over again as they pressed the firing buttons for the ship’s missiles launchers. The Confederate ships concentrated fire on one Nuadh Eire ship at a time which allowed them to easily overwhelm the anti-missile defenses of the Nuadh Eire ships. In quick order the battleships The Amadaun, the Cuchullain and the Fragarach were destroyed; as the blue fleet made a desperate charge towards New Persia Prime it ran into the hundreds of Buraq fighters that stood waiting. In less than 24 hours from the beginning of the battle the invading blue fleet was destroyed.

The confederate fleet spent the next few days rounding up prisoners from the life pods that had managed to eject from the destroyed enemy fleet. Even though they had been told how young the enemy soldiers and sailors were many of the confederate officers expressed shock as they took in prisoners.

The confederate fleet in the new Persia star system was reinforced by three more battleships, the C.S.S. Issau, the C.S.S. Ayoub and the C.S.S. Musa, several days after the battle and then made 2 slides, the last bringing them into the Nuadh Eire star system to have a show down with the Blue Sun Queen’s forces only to find out that she had fled the star system with several dozen ships and several thousand of her followers. The confederates learned that when word of the defeat at New Persia arrived that it sparked an open rebellion among the population.

The Blue Sun Queen had been in power for less than a full year and yet had caused the deaths of millions on and off Nuadh Eire. With the Republic restored, the Oireachtas confiscated the Blue Sun Corporation’s entire asset and put all of their orphanages under direct government control.