In this book, the Legion finds allies and goes to war against the Kernel. Will Marvin and the Legion bound Kernels fight against their own species?
The work of the commander of a military unit that spans the galaxy is never done. I spend long days at my desk shuffling papers that represent the lives of thousands of the best souls’ humanity has ever produced.
I was in the midst of yet another long day approving plans and arraigning papers when my oldest friend, an old grey Roswell alien from the species known as the Sangren entered my office.
“Commander Aegeus reporting as ordered, Sir” His spindly grey arm was bent in a perfect salute.
I look around the obviously empty room and reply. “Aegeus, how many times have I told you that when it is just the two of us we don’t have to waste time on the formalities?” I do return the salute.
“General Davis, it is that lackadaisical attitude toward the law that almost cost Earth its existence.”
“The operative word is almost, I think it turned out for the best in the end. So I assume you are here report on your discoveries concerning the Centaurus?”
“We made contact with the herd, as you have been briefed, they manage to survive in a few large habitats near the edge of our habituated galaxy. They survive by harvesting mass from an asteroid belt 153 light years from New Aubagne. The Herd Leader welcomes contact with the Republic, and desires to meet with the Warlord that vanquished the Barkun.”
“Aegeus, you know how I feel about the term Warlord. We are an established military force, not a bunch of leather wearing barbarians. However, I do need to meet with the Centaur leadership, What is your evaluation on a partnership with them? What do they bring to the table if we Allie with them?”
“Sir, right now the Centaurus species is impoverished. When the Barkun vanquished them and replaced them as the Confederation Enforcers they were forced into space. They have not been allowed to create enough habitat for their herds out of spite as well as the fear that the Centaurs would regain their former strength. They are proud warriors with a culture that respects strength. With our support and the promise of a home planet they would be a great addition to our forces. However, it would take time and lots of mass. They have no military and the Kernel forbids them to build one. The Confederation enforces a similar status to them as America did with Japan after Earth’s second World War.”
“Yes, but, if my Sangren education is correct, unlike the results of WWII, the Centaurus species was innocent in this case, the Barkun used subterfuge and guile to defeat them. They are the good guys correct?”
“Yes, and as such, I believe you will invite them to join the legion once you see their conditions.”
“Probably, if they can’t build their own army to protect themselves, then they can join the Republic and have the Legion protect them. Do you think they would be interested in joining the Republic? We can always invite President Eastman to send an ambassador.”
“General, I believe that asking them to join the Planetary Republic would be seen as an insult, they are a proud people and until they earn themselves a home planet it would be short-sided to discuss that topic.”
“Great, We offer a solution, but pride prevents them from accepting. Schedule a visit, since we are going we might as well go big. Lets take a strike force. Let them see what we bring to the table. I believe Strike force 7 is nearing completion and needs a shakedown cruise.”
“Yes sir, will that be all?”
“No, Admiral, I have another project to discuss.” I look toward the door to the side of my office and speak out “Commander Marvin, could you join Admiral Aegeus and I in my office?”
The door opens and a 9 foot tall, deep black combat suit enters the room. Unlike the suits the Legionaries wear into combat, this suit is solid and packed with additional technology and power generation capability. It has the room because it does not carry a human. Instead it is inhabited by my second oldest friend, a sapient machine life form that is bonded to serve me though his deepest programming and Confederation law. I named him Marvin.
“Commander, Can you brief the Admiral on the Burrougots mission?”
“Absolutely General, The Burrougots are an advanced species and have a civilization older than all other sentient species in the galaxy. Most believe they are as old as the race that created the Kernel of Sentience. When the Barkun came to be the Enforcers for the Confederation law, the Burrougots used the mass of their home planet to create a massive colony ship and left the known galaxy. The left without any communication and for four thousand years no being has had any contact with them.”
I nod and motion for Marvin to continue.
“Under orders from Commandant Davis, I have been organizing a fleet with a dual purpose. It is to follow the trail of the Burrougots and attempt to find them and persuade them to return. We assume they understood the threat the Kernel posed to biologic life and that is why they left. It is believed they have advanced technology that will help us in the coming fight. Secondly, the fleet is to explore the galaxy and seed planets with colonists to ensure the survival of Humans.”
“Yes, Marvin, but not just humans, any species that is a member of the Planetary republic can send colonists. They may need to, the Confederation has destroyed species and entire planets before, and I don’t think they would mind doing it again.”
“Besides an extremely limited number of Sangren, no other life form has volunteered. We began the fleet with a standard Strike Force. It contains a mother ship with 60 saucer docked fighters, 4 ram boarding ships, 3 Assault ships with 10-drop ships each, and 10 Destroyers. This allows us to carry a battalion of Legion infantry, and a company of Special Operations boarding teams. To that we added 2 additional assault ships holding colonists and 4 more destroyers crewed by colonial militia. It is our intent to colonize two new planets and leave one destroyer in orbit and turn the assault ship into an orbital shipyard.”
Marvin walks to the wall and opens a display
“Because of our replicator technology, shipbuilding was not a problem, it only took time and some mass from the Oort asteroid belt. The Personnel was also not an issue, We have more volunteers from Earth than we can process. The limiting factor was getting Kernels to navigate the Ships. As you know, once a Kernel renounces citizenship in the Kernel of Sentience and joins the Planetary Republic as a citizen, Confederation Law disallows it the ability to replicate. We can only get new Kernels by right of conquest or by ordering the few Kernels we have that are not citizens to replicate.”
“So Commander, how did you solve the problem?”
“Sir, we allowed Barkun to join the fleet as crew, and then had them order their Kernels to make more seeds.” Marvin ran his plan by me before he did it, but I am still hesitant to allow the bullies of the galaxy back into space.
“I hope that all the crews are not Barkun, how do we prevent Barkun Captains from using our boarding trick of sealing the bridge and opening all the doors to flush out the rest of the crew?”
“General, I have learned from our time together, we allowed the Barkun to join the fleet, but not to Captain ships directly, They are stationed in the drop pods on the Assault ships, as such they are well surrounded by Legionnaires. We allow the Kernels to calculate the hyperspace jumps from the pods, but not actively command the ships.”
“This is a work around, surely we don’t have enough Kernels to control the entire fleet. How do you make do?”
“We use the system pioneered by the Late Admiral Johns. We use nanites to grapple the ships together to make larger ships that jump together.”
“And what of the new Seeds from the Barkun crew?” Admiral Aegeus asked
“Sir, those Seeds are sent to Kernel Prime for Purity checks and are then placed into suits and sent to Recruit training with the New Legionaries. We are having excellent success with those Seeds eventually petitioning for citizenship during their service in the Fleet.”
“Great Captain, when will the Colony Fleet be ready to depart?”
“Sir, that question may be better answered by its Commanding Officer. Captain Jones is making final preparations for departure. I don’t wish to speak for him, but after viewing the manifests and work orders, I would calculate it should take no longer than 2 months standard earth time to finish.”
“Well, sounds like everything is in good hands. Admiral, I’d like to leave for the Centaurus station as soon as practicable. Commander, Please invite the Captain and his family to dinner at my residence tonight. Robert Jr would love to love a playdate with Abidemi. If that is all gentlemen, I need to get back to paper this legion floats upon.”