Crossroads Part 2 - The Fork in the Road
[2764.02.01] Alpha Randul Gachuz contemplated the starchart before him. The remainder of the high council, mostly, waited patiently. Governor Karg Okari and Intelligence Chief Wudri Noskiri were in physical attendance for the meeting; while Admiral Repta Ixito, Chief Scientist Randul Shokia, Ambassador Jindrak Woppit, and General Zacha Qytian reported remotely from their various posts.
"The Reunification War was a success," Alpha Gachuz began, "our long lost packmates in the Zenox system were rescued from the systematic extermination at the hands of the Sciibu Sovereignty. The Ascendency was able to reassert our rightful claim to the Tanaab system, and Byss was claimed to cement our borders. With the destruction of their port and defense bases in Sciibu by Admiral Ixito and our Xeno Tech Fleet," the Alpha paused to acknowledge the Admiral, "the Dhayut of Sciibu Sovereignty readily submit to our subjugation. We have ridden this tidal change in territory to new economic heights, but it has also brought us to this crossroads. How shall our glorious Ascendency advance from here, there are several paths before us and I would have your input to aid me in my decisions. The floor is open packmates."
Ambassador Woppit spoke first, diplomatically exposing his throat in deference to Alpha Gachuz. "The Reunification War was a great success militarily, and indeed the new territory has benefited the Ascendency economically, but there is a price yet to be paid." The Ambassador referenced the latest reports generated by his staff.
"Starting with the smaller problem, the Dhayut of the Sciibu Sovereignty chafe under our subjugation, requests to return their independence have been increasing in the past months. Perhaps of more importance is their close ties to the Gizureans of the Tuydarea Conformity."
"The Conformity see our Reunification war as blatant aggression, using every rumor of 'colonization at gunpoint' to tarnish our reputation with other empires. In addition the territorial acquisitions of the war spurn them to covet our economic development. It is reasonable to conclude this is the drive behind their recent expansion, expansion that conceals our colonization targets behind the cloak of their territorial borders. My staff and I are focused on maintaining civil relations with the Conformity, but I see few opportunities to genuinely improve our relations. One cannot hold back a tide forever."
Leaning forward in the plush chair of his day cabin, Admiral Ixito pounced upon the Ambassadors closing remark. "If we cannot stop the steady deterioration in relations with the Conformity then we will have war, and if it is to be war then it is better that war be on our terms instead of theirs. The Conformity was able to colonize the Kolo Asogi system before us, we have increased our efforts to claim the vessels of the nearby debris field but some will still fall into Tuydarean possession."
"Furthermore, the Conformity also has nearly exclusive access to the Desolation Moon Project near the Jomos system to the Galactic North East of their colony at Gizurea. While no one is yet sure of it's capabilities, such a ship would undoubtedly turn the tide of any future war in their favor."
"Alpha, these factors call for swift action on our part. When our acquisitions from the Kolo Asogi debris field are online, they must be added to the mighty Xeno fleet. The fleet will be tasked with destroying any remaining debris field xeno tech ships and any xeno tech ships around the Desolation Moon Project, including the project itself. The Xeno fleet targets are indicated by the Red arrows." Admiral Ixito drew his claw along the lines of attack.
"If the Ambassadors fears are correct this may spark a war, so we should be ready. As part of our constant contingency planning we do have a plan of attack should the Conformity declare war. The Alpha Forward Operating Base is currently on station in the Holtumu system, it is the origination point for the Xeno fleet attack indication arrows. The Nebula Class Resupply ship can be deployed at the gas giant to collect both Caslon and Hydrogen. The current escorts (2 Destroyers and 4 Frigrates) can be detached as a Strike group for raids along the Conformity frontier to our Galactic North, as indicated by the Green arrows. Our current 1st Strike Force will be brought up to fleet strength from the fleet ready reserve on anti-piracy duty within our systems. With 5 Defense fleets and Alpha FOB fleet using 4 Frigates and 2 Destroyers each, there are 30 Frigates and 11 Destroyers in our fleet ready reserve unassigned to any fleet, many will of course require retrofit to ensure our latest technology is being fielded. The augmented 1st Strike Force will then face down the Conformity's 1st Fleet stationed at Tuydarea, as indicated by the Yellow arrows, intercepting it away from fixed defenses or aiding in defense of Ascendency systems as needed. Once space superiority is established, General Qytian and the 1st Marine Expeditionary should have no trouble overrunning the Conformity's developing colonies in the north." Admiral Ixito leaned back again in his char bringing his claws together beneath his chin.
General Qytian barely managed to clear his throat before he was interrupted by the spymaster Noskiri. "Alpha there is something to consider on the home front should there be war with the Conformity. Gizureans are the largest minority in the Ascendency, in fact they are the dominant race on 4 of our 10 colonies. The current diplomatic tension with the Conformity causes tension between the Gizurean population and the colonial authorities. It is estimated that these tensions undo the benefits we usually see from access to Bifurian Silk. It is likely that these tensions would escalate should there be open war with the Conformity. I would also stress that a large population of Gizureans provides ample opportunity to place foreign spies amongst us. The Dhayut are also the dominant race on 2 of our 10 colonies, they present similar tensions with the colonial authorities."
General Qytian jumped in the the breach of Noskiri's conclusion, "Alpha, you must also consider the steps needed to finally bring the Sciibu Sovereignty to an end. The Dhayut homeworld has en esitmated 30 troop battalions defending it. We would need some 120 troops to bring the planet to submission. The required army would also need an expanded Marine fleet, the current 4 troop transports of the 1st Marine Expeditionary would have to be increased to 10 ships providing the transport capacity for 140 troop battalions. Without being in firm control of the Sovereignty's territory we risk attacks from our rear in a war against the Conformity. Furthermore, conquering Sciibu will be excellent training for our troop battalions making any future conquest of Conformity colonies that much easier. Both Zenox and Elci colonies have robotic troop facilities, the BattleBots produced at these colonies would make excellent shock troops preserving the Zenox RoboGuard and Gizuerean WarSwarm units for future battles.
Governor Okari cautiously entered the silence that followed, "Alpha, you are right to note the economic boom our post-war expansion has brought. But, as with everything, there are limits. The state coffers are full to the tune of 137K credits, however our cash flow is merely 12K credits. It is early in the year, and with colony ships still en route to the frontier there is the potential for another wave of merchant ship production orders. I would be remiss if I did not point out that these as yet unfounded colonies would be the first targets in any conflict, and building the customary fleets to defend them would further eat into the state flow of funds. As for a ground troop buildup, our current ground forces number 126 battalions and require 39K in funding each year. Doubling the number of battalions in preparation for invasion of Sciibu would potentially double the maintenance costs, although I'm sure the robotic BattleBots would present noticeable savings over similar numbers of traditional troops. Put simply Alpha, while we may be able to afford a war on any one front a two front war would be very costly. The Bakuras Shipyards at Burlieas, truly a wonder to behold, can produce ships at a tremendous rate and can also eat through the state surplus just as quickly. Given the Ambassidor's notes on how close both the Conformity and Sovereignty are diplomatically, the two front war is a possibility that should not be overlooked."
The wise head scientist Shokia, never as good with words as with mathematics, spoke last. "Alpha, our researchers stand ready to support any path you may lead us. We have several promising projects currently in progress. As we have reach the limitations of our Maxos Blasters new Phasors are in development, while we have completed much of the required basic research we are still a ways off from a prototype or mass production. Meanwhile the basic theory of a new Hydrogen powered reactor is being worked out, theories for an overall improvement to our research protocols and procedures are also being formulated. While the amount of manpower and funding directed to purely military applications is smaller than Energy or HiTech branches, I am confident we could support the military with maintaining technology supremacy over our enemies. It is also possible to advance our colonization knowledge should further peaceful expansion be the Ascendency's goal."
Alpha Gachuz nodded absently, deep in thought. "I thank you all for your input, you have given me much to think on. I'll adjourn this meeting and inform you all when I have reached a decision. Bear in mind that whatever path is chosen it will require as much, if not more, dedication and thoroughness as you have all demonstrated thus far. Prepare yourselves, the Zenox Ascendency must rise ever upward."
[OOC] Any other input or advice is of course welcome.