Part 10: 2181-2190: The Breaking of the PeaceThe Breaking of the Peace
The Tlaloc Initiative scouting vessel was, unfortunately, lost with all hands in 2181, although the encroaching mindworms near Torrson were hunted down and exterminated in that year. This, however, was hardly a threat compared to what was approaching in the year to come.
The Dominion of New Gaia approached the North Pholus government, seeking first an alliance against the Spartan Federation, then, when that failed, technological data to be transmitted to them with no compensation. When the Republic's government proved unwilling to be extorted, the Dominion of New Gaia issued a statement condemning the people of North Pholus as sinners against Planet who needed to be punished. War was upon the Republic, whether they willed it or no.
Over the following decade, a series of battles, Republic victories, raged south of Torrson, in which a major New Gaian invasion force was beaten back, the remaining forces holding a position on their side of the border. Meanwhile, two New Gaian covert ops teams were wiped out as they approached Bushnell Center, crippling the Dominion's covert capabilities.
Although the Dominion failed to achieve victory in any field battles, they did succeed in setting the forest south of Torrson aflame early in the war, and pulling off one major terror attack against Bushnell Center that crippled its organic reprocessing capability. The Dominion launched its own effort to copy the project at Bushnell Center, although it is essentially certain they cannot beat Bushnell Center to completion.
While the war raged, the Republic behind the frontlines continued to develop, setting up additional reactor capacity and storage facilities for thorium in Morgan, and coming up with major new breakthroughs allowing computers run by optical processors. These new machines were significantly faster than old electronic computers, and might permit new applications requiring more computing power to be developed.
In negotiations in 2185 and 2190, the Spartan Federation revealed that they had opened contact with a colony grown from Pod 7, and sought to recruit the Republic as their allies, then took advantage of the Republic's current war to extort technological data from it, with the Commerce Party government unwilling to commit to a second war on top of the first one. Attempts by the Republic to purchase new weapons technology from the Federation were rebuffed.
Worms coming south from Dry Island were engaged and destroyed by incendiaries in 2185 near Morgan, while Rat Patrol, returning south to join the war effort, engaged a group of worms in the fungus between Talon and Morgan. Disturbingly, evidence was uncovered that as the mindworms passed by the monolith complex on Dry Island, the size and ferocity of the swarm grew. As the decade ended, Alpha Centauri B began to approach perihelion, and xenobiologists reported disturbing evidence of increased activity and aggression by native life.
The Republic of North Pholus as of 2190
The formerly mighty Dominion invasion force near Torrson has been reduced to a company of infantry and a platoon of rovers on their side of the border, south of the scorched wasteland they have left of the forest on the Republic's side of the border. These two companies seem to be the Dominion's best battle-hardened troops, with their reserves in the capital far less disciplined and skilled. A green rover platoon followed by a small swarm of mindworms and their Gaian handlers threatens Bushnell Center, although it seems likely that this attack force will shortly be crushed. Rat Patrol, which has been issued modern armor and laser support weaponry to supplement their assault rifles and incendiaries, is in position to head either south or east as needed. Clearance of fungus has allowed a ring of roads and rails to link Morgan, Torrson, and Tellus, and rail linkage between Morgan and Bushnell Center is likely to happen very soon. Terraformers are working in the fungus near Morgan, clearing it away and preparing for rail links to Talon. A tiny Dominion settlement has been established in the midst of the xenofungus southwest of Torrson, and immediately devoted to their war effort.
Innovation continues at a brisk pace, while increased investment has largely been sunk directly back into a major program of military modernisation and accelerated recruitment in Torrson.
Reduced consumer spending has had some impact on quality of life in Morgan, as elsewhere, but the population's productivity remains very high. The Tlaloc Initiative's colonial venture, supported by various support firms and other colonists, is on schedule to launch next year. The improved reactor capacity, the storage facilities for more thorium, and the growth of financial markets around the added thorium stores have been excellent for investment in Morgan. The garrison here, as is the case everywhere in North Pholus, has had its equipment updated to use plasma steel trauma plates inserted into its body armor.
With the loss of the forest previously being worked by the population here, local industries in Torrson have taken a hit, but the local economy still remains quite strong. Torrson has become a center of military recruitment, helping to fight back the enemy from the Republic's borders. Investment in new forests north of the settlement is expected once terraformers can be pulled loose from fungus clearance duty near Morgan.
Development of increased reactor capacity continues uninterrupted in Tellus. The settlement is secure, and the war, thus far, has largely been going the way of North Pholus.
One of Bushnell Center's two companies of defensive troops has been armed with laser support weaponry, in preparation for a push to drive the New Gaian rover platoon back. Manufacture of servers and computer equipment continues unabated here, even with the war at its doorstep- the project here is far too important to let be interrupted.
Talon has nearly mustered another company of infantry, even as the population continues to grow. The command structure here is eager to get better-situated so they can contribute to the war effort.
The New Gaian ideocracy continues unabated. It has managed to broker a peace with the Spartan Federation, in order to allow them to focus on their crusade against North Pholus. Their intelligence resources have been entirely wiped out, and their advantage in troop numbers over North Pholus has been greatly reduced as they have continued to lose battles. They have made new breakthroughs in genetic engineering of crops, breakthroughs that North Pholus Intelligence is eager to get their hands on once a clear path to Gaia's Landing has been secured.
The military council formerly governing the Spartan Federation has stepped down in favor of a government elected by their citizens, even though most of their politicians are still retired military. Citizenship and the right to vote in the Spartan Federation is only achieved by state service, either through showing a willingness to sacrifice one's life on the front lines in the military, or, for those who apply for citizenship who do not qualify for military service, at least four years of difficult, painful, and ill-paid work to show a similar willingness to sacrifice. All Spartan residents are eligible to apply for citizenship, although only about 40% of the adult population has done so. Strong economic interventions by the government remain the norm, and living conditions in the Federation remain... Spartan.
The Commerce Party does not believe that taking the offensive against the Dominion is wise until better weapons that could allow for swift victory in Gaia's Landing can be developed, but for now the course of a defensive war seems good.