deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 142

Fiction by Sylvester Wrzesinski

Moderator: Xveers

deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 142

Postby Xveers on Tue 24 Mar 2020 23:39

We will accept nothing less...

Office of the Chief Minister
Chair of the Corporate Council
Lowell City, Fenris
Capital of the deWulf Corporate Democracy

"What do we want?"

"Victory!"

"When do we want it?"

"Now!"

The crowd seethed through the square, a roiling ocean of Fenren and Sintillan citizens that filled the square to bursting and beyond. Banners and placards bobbed like corks, some of them expensive and professional holographic displays, other ones classic cloth and wood signs. It sounded like a single angry beast, baying for blood.

And even a hundred floors up, Chief Minister Rheinbach could clearly make out the words echoing off the towers.

"Damnned Wäalenners..."

Wäalen had been the losers in the short unification war that had been the genesis of the deWulf state, and had suffered under the spasm of strategic nuclear fire that opened the final act of the war. Remediation efforts had helped of course, but for many of them immigration offworld offered them a clean break from their past. At first Weyland proved... beyond their reach. And then it was on the front lines of a new war. When Dave's World was opened for immigration, Wäalenners arrived in droves to settle a harsh world that they made their own. And for a decade, they did exactly that.

Until the Elysians arrived.

The Wäalenner/Davians were used to war. They had left it behind but they had not forgotten. While it had been left behind, the experience had left a weeping scar across their culture. The Elysian conflict soon spiraled beyond even the carnage that was the hallmark of the Heiterkeit, reopening that old wound. What population remained dug in around Finn's Massif and readied themselves to take a few more Elysians with them.

And then the deWulf Navy rolled in and obliterated the Elysian ships in orbit; the associated ground forces landed on the abandoned Elysian army units like the gods of old. As their armed forces crumpled between the deWulf Naval hammer and the Army anvil, a decade of latent shame and cultural frustration unwound itself like a ruptured spring. Here was a battle they could win. And this time, the full weight of every Fenren alive was behind them. The wound in their collective psyche was healed in a matter of weeks, and for the Wäalenners there was no question who to thank.

Which meant that Rollen, whether he chose to admit it or not, had suddenly acquired a significant power base in the deWulf electorate. Not only that, but a power base that was motivated, ready to make sacrifices, and highly militarized. So far he had remained ignorant of it, as best as Rheinbach could tell. Beyond a few restrained exhortations to support the fleet and volunteer for a temporary career in the armed forces, he had left the home theater entirely to the ruling corporate council.

"First he gets his damned navy. Then he started cutting sweetheart deals with some of the corporations. And then he pulled that mess with Article Seventeen. And now this." Rheinbach looked back over at his butler, a bitter scowl on his face. The butler returned an understanding nod, waiting for Rheinbach to turn away before slipping off to follow his unspoken orders.

"The Ibizans will dilute his support in the navy... and as soon as the war is over I can hammer his corporate contacts back into line with the peace dividend to end all peace dividends. But that-" his muzzle gestured out through the window at the milling throng that was now working its way down FlensburgStrasse "will require its own special handling."

A door clicked closed behind him, the soft clatter of fine glassware heralding the arrival of a freshly made pot of artisanal Pfen and light crackers. Another nod dismissed his butler as Rheinbach poured himself a glass, resting a cracker on the rim of the cup.

Hands clasped behind his back, Rheinbach pondered his options. And below him, the ocean surged.
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Re: deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 142

Postby Xveers on Tue 04 Aug 2020 20:40

This great and noble undertaking...

dWS Hans Zollner
Director Mk4-Class Heavy Cruiser
Warp Point to Elysium
Dave's World Star System

Standing in the cramped command suite of the heavy cruiser, Junior PackMaster Markus Phelan cursed softly as he looked at the fleet displayed in the holotank. Not the first time he'd led fleets and thousands of Fenren to their deaths in the black maw of Elysium, but he hoped that perhaps this would be the last. The seven Sieg-Class siege dreadnoughts loomed in center of the formation, making even heavy cruisers like the Hans Zollner look like minnows in comparison. The light cruisers were smaller still, and the flights of small craft that continued to drill and practice were like motes of dust as the holotank struggled to accurately report their location.

"Status?"

"Kashenkov reports that the final gunboat crews have completed certification of their craft. He says another eight hours and then all of his craft will be in the cradles."

Phelan didn't respond to the information, still studying the fleet. Even the Ibizan contingent was riding in tight formation. They didn't have the kind of slackness the last fleet had, though he knew that the crews had been raising all kinds of trouble on Egon Gruzelier Memorial Highport, cashing in every marker they'd earned while their fleet had passed the deWulf task force back in the Cloak Nebula one jump back.

"Send a general signal to all ships in Task Force One, Two-1, Two-2, Six, and the Bombardment Fleet."

"Sir?"

"All ships are to stand down from drilling and training 48 hours. All crew are to be given 24 hours leave."

"Understood Sir."

Phelan felt his teeth grit harder. The breaker had already had more than its due for this one damned system, and it had one more payment to be made. This would be the last.

--------------------------- Three Days Later ---------------------------

In the intervening three days it felt like a continent had been lifted from everyone's shoulders. A chance to decompress, send a message home or catch up on news or simply sleep.

Junior PackMaster Phelan had not planned on giving himself any rest until his adjunct had brought the flagship's medical officer to the flag CIC and forced him off duty for his own 24 hours of leave; even then it had been a near thing. Only the surgeon's direct order to have members of the Hans Zollner's infantry compliment report as a security detachment had forced Phelan to back down.

"I did need the sleep" he would later admit, but he was back at the holotank not 15 minutes past that 24 hour respite, continuing to plot and try to eke out every advantage he could. But time had run out. 'It was' as more than one engineer at Mittellspannung had said 'time to shoot the engineers and put things into production.'

"All ships notice, please."

His adjunct nodded, the communications officer quickly patching Phelan's mic in to the fleet's communications network. A few moments wait brought a nod from the officer back at Phelan.

"All ships, this is Junior PackMaster Phelan. In twenty minutes we will set course Elysium. We will secure low orbit and finish this war. This will be a hard battle, and I will not lie to you. We're not all coming home. The breaker calls to us all, but I promise all of you; come tomorrow, and every day after, there will be NONE who say that we did anything less than our best. And none shall say we fought in vain! I promise that either I will be with you in orbit of Elysium with you all, or I shall stand at the entrance to Sif's Garden to guide you forward!"

The comm system was silent: everyone who knew what he had meant. That for Phelan, either he would return with his ship, or not at all. Some thought that this was a suicidal fatalism, but most understood it for what it was. A promise that he would share in danger that he was asking those under him, and that he would stand and die with them, come what may. The energy that rang out in his voice ebbed away, becoming a cold, resigned tone. No more bravado. No pleasure. Only the cold bitterness of experience.

"All ships." Phelan took another breath, steadying his voice. "All ships. Set course for navigation beacon DW-102. Let us get this great and noble undertaking underway. All ahead cruise."

The deckplates of the Hans Zollner rose in response, and the fleet began to pull out from orbit.
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