The Alexanderov Federation

#2 - Growing Pains

By Robert Huntingdon

Table of Contents

Chapter One - The Senate
Chapter Two - Tailspin
Chapter Three - Meltdown!
Chapter Four - Storms on the horizon
Chapter Five - The Battle for Rotan Prime, Part I
Chapter Six - The Battle for Rotan Prime, Part II
Chapter Seven - The Battle for Rotan Prime, Part III
Chapter Eight - 007 he is not
Chapter Nine - A time for peace...
Chapter Ten - Revelations
Chapter Eleven - Tachidi Raid

Author's Notes

Chapter One - The Senate

It was a rather warm day on Orion Prime, but then, it was always a rather warm day. With the so-called New Orion's ability to control even the very weather, it was always comfortable for the little devils. Which meant Ambassador Sharon Babcock always wore an outfit that, while retaining the full measure of dignity and prestige due one of her position, would also be comfortable in the hottest jungle climates of Old Earth. She looked forward to entering the Senate Chambers in a few minutes. There, in deference to the myriad temperature desires of the various races, the New Orions kept it a comparatively chilly 84 degrees. Perhaps that explained why they were always in such a dour mood. No, probably not.

She strode briskly up the steps to the Great Senate Hall and gave a respectful nod to the doormen. Her entourage, as always, a precise half step behind her, followed her through the great double doors, and immediately on arrival at their position quickly and efficiently set up her notes and equipment for her. Pity the New Orions wouldn't let them tinker with the translation equipment. She was sure the technological secrets contained within would be of great use to the Human scientists. Hmm, perhaps she could arrange for another diplomat to 'misplace' theirs?

She dismissed her two assistants to wander and explore, as always admonishing them to stay out of trouble. Her aide, Jonathan Sandilands, sat beside her and prepared to take notes as a backup to her own. Just in case. She mentally reviewed the agenda. The galaxy was getting a bit crowded these days, as the Senate members all began to bump into one another in their respective attempts at expansion. As always, Satrag's representative was proposing a bill to condemn Solatrix, the Psilon empire nearest them. Those two would soon drag the Federation into their spats. She'd tried, of course, to get them to play nice, but the rock people would have nothing of it. Adunel, the other Psilon allies of the Federation, had had to withdraw their ships before they even got to Tamarian, because Nissort Rashr, the Sakkra they lived next to, had begun an undeclared war about that time. That war had been an on-again, off-again affair much like the Grendarl Wars, but so far the Adunel emperor had not requested aid. Each time they were weakened a little less by the Sakkran invasions, and soon the Sakkra would sue for peace or be destroyed by the faster developing and far more popular Psilon. That, however, was not her concern. The Tachidi, Trillarians, Nommo, and Evon all lived in abysmally close proximity to one another just upspin of Orion, and with two of those races being Federation allies, she wondered how much longer the unsteady peace there would last. The Evon had been mysteriously quiet of late, but the Tachidi had been quite incensed about being trapped with only three systems, and Chaa Txetokt would be making more noise today. With luck, however, the New Orions would maintain their apathy and she and Lalamara -- the Trillarian ambassador -- would be able to convince the others to vote down their sanctions against the Maetrillin Confederation. She hoped so, at least, for then perhaps the problems could be delayed at least a few more months. The Federation was not ready to fight a three front war.

At least the Raas were not Senate members. They'd begged twice for the Federation to sponsor them, but so far she had been able to beg off, giving as an excuse that they were not in high esteem with the New Orions and couldn't afford to anger them. The Federation needed to keep the Raas out, for if the Raas gained access to the rest of the galaxy through trade their manufacturing abilities would soon make them a real threat to the Federation. Trading Mahktoz now appeared to be a mistake after all, for it had given them their first taste of coreward expansion, and now the Federation's spies reported that the Raas wished to 'liberate' Alpha Omicron. The Federation, of course, was not interested in allowing that to happen. That system was quite valuable, as well as only one jump from their capital on Kitjef II.

The Evon representative, Lord S'tar, quickly entered at the last possible second. She'd always wondered why he chose to arrive each time so late. Was it his way of showing disrespect to the New Orions? Was he busy with plotting some evil scheme and couldn't be torn away until the last second? Or was he just merely forgetful?

Well, no matter. The New Orion President chimed for attention. "Welcome to the 30th anniversary of the first Senate Meetings. This session is now called to order. At the top of our agenda, we have a quick change. I bring two new bills to the floor today. Some of you younger races have been appallingly lax in cleaning up your pollution and have been making a real mess out of your worlds, terreforming them in fashions not appropriate. Thus the New Orion Hegemony proposes a 50 year Natural Preservation Initiative, and a 30 year Orion Recycling Initiative. The floor is now open for discussion."

Three representatives immediately called for the floor, the Psilon, Trillarian, and the Nommo. After a few seconds, the Nommo withdrew their request since they and the Trillarians would have the exact same thing to say anyway.

"The chair recognizes Senator Sephia of the Solatrix Empire."

"Thank you, honored President. I wish to state for the record that while I agree with the recycling initiative being a great idea, and a most generous and noble sentiment by our noble Senate leaders, I must protest the Preservation Initiative. As you all well know, our race has been experimented on through the millennia to the point where we have a very hard time finding a world capable of supporting our people in its natural state. To increase the difficulty of terreforming these worlds to suit our people casts us in an unfair disadvantage among the other races."

"I feel the Preservation Initiative is a great idea. The noble Sakkra have a great history of preserving our worlds in..."

"Oh do come off it, Bssak. You know full well the Sakkra have never taken good care of a world they owned. You only support this because you dislike the Psilon people so," interjected Punaltris, representative of the Adunel Empire.

The President began banging his gavel again. "Order, we shall have order! Bssak, you do not have the floor, neither have you, Punaltris, been recognized. You are both banned from further comments until these bill has been voted on. Senator Lalamara, you are now recognized."

"Honored President, I thank you, and request permission to revise and extend."

"Granted, with restrictions. I will have none of your famous filibustering today."

"I would not dream of wasting your time here. I merely wish to bring out that, as a race dependent on water for our lives, and even our sanity, we find ourselves also in a position similar to the Psilon. Many worlds exist that are worthless to our neighbors, the Noble Evon and the doznab Tachidi --"

The Tachidi Senator immediately stood up on all four of her legs and began gesticulating wildly with her six arms, clicking away at the top of her mandibles. A few other races joined in and soon the bedlam was absolute to the point the translator in front of Babcock completely gave up on trying to sort the mess out and just fell silent, awaiting order to be returned. It took the New Orion a full minute of constant banging on an amplified gavel to finally drown out the noise and restore order.

"Lalamara, you were out of line insulting the Tachidi like that. You are hereby ordered to refrain from repeating such behavior or you will be denied the floor for 20 straight meetings! Chaa Txetokt, you should not have responded as you did either. Any repeat of your behavior and I will call for a vote on extending the current sanctions that expire in another eight months."

"My abject apologies, Honored President, for allowing my temper to get the better of me. If I may continue?"

"Granted, but be brief."

"Very well, to summarize, there are many worlds that are not particularly valuable to other races that are ideal for ours, except for the fact they just don't quite have enough water. To vote in this Preservation Initiative would cause these worlds to become useless, and unused... well unless you yourselves desire to settle them."

"Not at this time, no. Nevertheless, I must call for a vote on this proposal as I do still believe it is in everybody's best interest in the long run. Unless there are any further calls for the floor, I move we proceed."

"I second," said Lord S'tar.

Odd that he is always sucking up to the New Orions like that, thought Babcock. There must be a reason for his behavior, and it behooves me to find it out.

"I call for the vote. On the first, the Preservation Initiative, the New Orions vote yes."

The votes began to tally in. The Federation, the Maetrillin Confederation, the Adunel Empire, the Solatrix Empire, and the Kilora Tribe all voted no almost at the same time. The Evon, Tachidi, and Sakkra all voted yes, and Satrag's representative abstained, as usual. The bill passed, but not by nearly as big a margin as in the past. Perhaps before too much longer we and our allies will have the votes necessary to prevent the New Orions from walking all over us like this, thought Babcock. May the day come swiftly!

"The Preservation Initiative is now passed. It is now law, beware any who would dare to defy the will of this august body! I now move we vote on the Recycling Initiative."

Unsurprisingly, S'tar seconded again immediately.

"The New Orions again vote yes."

This time the vote was almost unanimous. Only Troglaz, Satrag's representative, voted no, though Chaa Txetokt abstained.

"I now turn the floor over to other business. Chat Txetokt, due to your unruly behavior earlier, your scheduled vote on sanctions against Maetrillin is hereby delayed four months. If you behave yourself during the next meeting you may bring your proposal again at that time. That brings us to our final piece of scheduled business. Troglaz, you now have the floor."

Troglaz began to chime in his admittedly harmonious and beautiful manner of speech. Such a pity they cannot be friendly, they are such a unique species and would be of great value to us as allies. Ambassador Babcock turned down her translator and listened to the music, it was much more pleasant to hear his actual voice than to hear his actual words. She smiled as she watched Sephia mime snoring in his hoverchair, then quickly smothered her expression. No point in antagonizing Troglaz just yet if she didn't have too. When Bssak started hissing, she turned up her translator in time to catch "...second the motion."

"The New Orions abstain. We wish you two to work out your differences without interference from us."

The other votes registered quite quickly again, and without the support of the New Orions, unsurprisingly enough Troglaz didn't have nearly enough votes for his bill to pass.

"The vote has been tallied, the motion fails. This concludes the meeting of the 90th Galactic Senate. We stand adjourned," said the President with a quick bang of his gavel. He then quickly fled outside for warmer climes.

Sephia and Punaltris came over to hover by her station while her assistants worked to pack up her equipment for transport back to the embassy. Punaltris spoke first, "We thank you as always for your support and friendship. But we fear soon this may not be enough. Satrag poses a real threat to both of us, and though we and Solatrix perhaps could take him together, with Rashr hounding us we have not the ships to spare at this time. If diplomacy continues to fail, it will soon come to war. Can we count on your support?"

She nodded quickly. "Gentlemen, the Alexanderov Federation's position remains unchanged. We ask, as always, that you seek peace first, but if diplomacy fails despite your best efforts, we are there for you, always and forever."

Sephia bowed as much as his awkward position in his chair would allow. "We thank you again for your support. We shall take no more of your time. Pleasant and cool days to you and yours," he closed, a blessing that quickly became popular after all had a chance to sample the full fury of a Orion Prime noontime heat wave.

Babcock continued to smile until they were out of sight, then quickly changed to a frown. The Federation is not weak. We can handle supporting the Psilon and still take on the Raas if we must. But if a third front opens... She trailed off and then decided not to finish the thought. The alternatives were not worth considering.


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