It was the day before my son’s twelfth birthday and I was lying under four feet of debris, inhaling glass and concrete, while my retinas were bombarded with flashing red spheres. There was a cold trickling coming from my knee and from experience I knew that whatever wound happened down there was severe enough that my nerves didn’t have time to send any messages to my body. My arm, however, felt like it was being pressed with a two-ton block of ice. The extremities of my fingers were numb with blueness, while my head pounded various delirious messages from one side of the brain to another like a mental insurrection.
We all remember the events of the day Adelpha fell. Some of us remember different things. My Aunt Bethesda spent that day at the supermarket in downtown Eve City watching the news from an employee break station. My boss kept by his pho-comm in his office in Benz City. Me . . . well, I was on assignment on Station Adelpha in the Nivallan System.
3,329 people died that afternoon. The Daily Congressional reported that 2,200 of them were victims of depressurization when the hull of Adelpha was breached by projectile missiles. The rest were victims of the structural fallout. That very fallout did a remarkable modern art design of my right leg and left my right arm immobile for seven months.
I was drinking an infusion. There was a boom. I laid in foggy brown musk and remembered my son’s birthday.
The six thousand occupants of Station Adelpha were living a regular day-to-day existence. Many, like myself, were simply en route to Nortem (Nivall II) for business. Others were on their way out of Nivall for business. Even others were sight-seeing, visiting one of the largest megapolises in the civilized galaxy. And yes, Adelpha was a military station. The Congress of Crystaldeep listed 950 active members of the Stellar Corps on the station at the time. Twenty-three of them were killed.
Two hours after the explosion that buried me under the rubble of the once popular "Café Buzz", I asked my rescuer, a middle-aged chap, proudly wearing the Stellar Corps insignia, "Did any of the Arrqs make it on board?"
"Those weren’t Arrqs, mate. They were Rannellans."
I, among others, had only assumed that the only species callous enough to attack a station with civilians was the Arrqs. After all, this was the species that invaded Crystaldeep 140 years ago and has been fighting us ever since we kicked them out. Come to find out, it was our own species that did it. When I heard that, I knew that Kelosians were no longer in a war against just the Arrqs . . . they were in a war with themselves.
It was on that day, I decided to work on my book, The Antheonic Mystery. In memorandum of the innocent lives lost on Adelpha and the millions that have died since, I find it my journalistic duty to candidly explore our civilization and their relations with others. It is time we take a good look at ourselves as a species. Our allies won’t be there to help if we are here just to commit ethnic suicide.
Many events led to the Adelpha attack and most of which were not disclosed until after the fact. The Rannellans targeted Adelpha because, despite the number of civilians, it was a military outpost and the biggest obstacle between them and the Nivallan System, quite notably the most coveted Kelosian star system in the galaxy. Nivall’s continuous dealings with the Congress of Crystaldeep pivoted their position against the Rannellans and it was only a matter of time that their door was knocked on.
TerraNet did a very candid article on Nivall’s role in human politics shortly before the attack, by detailing three summits that took place between Nivall and Kelos regarding their role in the rising conflict. Although TerraNet is the life force of Nivall, it is also notorious for not keeping secrets, so the article exposed both Nivall and Kelos in sometimes unfavorable lighting. TerraNet Online’s article contained top secret information under Congressional Code. The following is an excerpt from the article, written by Terrance Novli, a regular commentator for TerraNet Online.
In the early hours of the [second] summit, representatives of the Congress [of Crystaldeep] wasted no time in telling the executive board of CommPlus exactly what they thought. Tanya Riggs, governor of the Congress, said, "There is no doubt that your services to mankind are invaluable and are needed by all of the civilized galaxy. We must tell you, that we are prepared to find different means for these services if you continue to provide resources to the Rannella System."
This created a debate between the two immediately. It has always been known that the Nivallan System does not discriminate based on political agenda. The system is not under control of a government, but a company who is interested in profit alone. To subscribe to a political agenda would nullify everything they built their economy on. Riggs, and the Congress of Crystaldeep was essentially suggesting a political alliance with a private interest . . . and it was less a suggestion than an ultimatum.
No doubt tensions were high during that summit, and from Novli’s article, the tensions often exploded into all-out verbal abuse. The fact was, without economic relations with the Kelos System the Nivallan System would crumble. Their services in Rannella were only 15% of their revenue and only 10% went to non-Kelosian civilizations. Cutting off the Rannellans would be a tough hit, but not enough to harm the overall system. It was more a matter of policy. The Nivallan System seceded from the Congress of Crystaldeep so that they could be political autonomous and conduct business without regulation or concern for political security. As Novli pointed out, this ultimatum would nullify that.
In the end, money talks louder than ethics and the Nivallan System finally agreed to the trade embargo against the Rannellan System. All hell broke loose in the media and I was put on a spacecraft to the Nivallan System to get the scoop. Three days later, Adelpha was attacked. The Congress of Crystaldeep would try to win Nivall through money, but Rannella would try to win through force.
Fortunately, as per their agreements in the summit, the Nivallan System was outfitted with a single patrol of Stellar Corps. Rannella wasn’t expecting a fight and so attacked unprepared. The Stellar Corps repelled the threat in under two hours, sending the Rannellan Fighters into a retreat. Over the next week, however, the Congress of Crystaldeep sent an entire fleet of Stellar Corps to protect the Nivallan System and as we speak, the outer stations of the system are completely militarized.
It is only a matter of time before Rannella sends an all-out attack against Nivall. They need the system just as bad as Kelos and their imperialistic history has never stopped them from fighting before. The truth about Nivall, however, is that the Congress of Crystaldeep does not have the resources to protect both them and Kelos, while keep the front up against the Arrqs in the outer parts of the sector. If Rannella attacks strong enough, they will win the fight for Nivall.
CommPlus has demanded more troops and the Congress has shuffled their feet. They made a commitment they couldn’t entirely support and it would be no surprise if Nivall complies with Rannella to prevent an all-out invasion. There is a lot of pressure now for Tanya Riggs and other representatives to gain support from the Highlord Alliance to help with this threat. As a cartoon in the Daily Congressional so eloquently depicted, Riggs is slapping a band aid on the Nivallan System while thinking,"“Okay, there’s my mother, Uncle Jerry, Timmy from down the street . . . who else will join the Corps?"
The Crystaldeep Alliance has no intention on sending anyone to Nivall at all. The Imperator for the Order of the Spheres announced after the Adelpha attack, "While the Highlord System mourns the loss of the innocent in the Nivallan System, the resources we give to the alliance are meant for threats from an imperialistic species. We cannot and will not take sides on a civil war. The Kelosians will need to resolve this on their own grounds."
Harsh word for allies of the Congress, but expected. The Helics, involved in their own civil war, haven’t even sent a formal response to the conflict. Rannellans may dig their own grave on this issue, however. The more imperialistic they become the more the Highlord System, and consequently, the Helis System will have to respond. Many from the Boonas System have supported Kelos’s cause, since they’ve seen some of the trauma Rannellans have caused.
It is a dark time to be Kelosian. Our division of ethics, xenophobia, notions of species supremacy, arrogance and intolerance will cause the ultimate demise of our species. The events around the Nivallan System and Adelpha are only symbols of the horror that is to come.