Part 17: Dubious allies
Profile: Sheng-ji Yang
Hive Intelligence Classification: TO BE DELETED
(Extract from full profile at: http://www.firaxis.com/smac/yang.cfm)
Psych Profile: Protectionist
Exceedingly deep and powerful mind; near flawless visual and kinesthetic recall. Somewhat antisocial, security minded to the extreme, with elaborate psychological defense mechanisms against emotional entreaties. High stability and loyalty to mission indicated.
Driven primarily by need for security and control. Powerful will; leadership potential high but strong tendency to control and manipulate followers can result in almost cultlike following. Tolerance for pain exceedingly high; .96 on Atherholt Trauma Function Test.
CAUTION: Earlier psych tests show suspiciously near perfect normals along all axes. Subject may use strong will and extensive knowledge of psychiatric indicators to manipulate test results in his favor.
<Pravin: Yang has murdered crew. He is to be divested of rank and arrested immediately. Use caution.>
-Likely refers to *&$$$@"cident. Lal was *&&&((((*&"@
[REMAINDER OF RECORD CORRUPTED]
Hive security camera recording: SECTOR HIV003:4
Unauthorized access punishable by liquidation! Please report to your division leader if you have read this accidentally.
: Still no word from Aspiration?
: Be patient. The airways are jammed with Believer jihadist bullshit.
: Hell, where is Yang...
: I think by this point we must assume that Hole of Aspiration has fallen. The next target would likely be Socialism Tunnels.
: What do we have there?
: The city is materially insignificant, but strategically allows a rest and refuel spot for a full attack on The Hive itself.
: We only have an artillery battery there, plus a group of wounded infantrymen. Against elite crusaders, they won't last long.
: And now it's just the wounded. Looks like a band of Lal's troops came from behind. The artillery people panicked and fled.
: And what happened?
: They didn't get far. The entire battalion has now been terminated, as per your orders regarding the treatment of cowards.
: Shit... Are they ready to implement Operation: Scorched Earth?
: On the plus side, a band of civilian 'volunteers' will be fitted for the armour they left behind. I am not sure it will be enough for a combined Believer/Peacekeeper assault, however. Incoming transmission.
: Is it from our benefactors?
: I accept.
: I concur.
: What the hell?
: Respectfully, general, Morgan is an irrelevance, while Miriam and Lal are active threats. Nothing we gave him has direct applications against us, while the techs he gave us are essential for improving our economy.
: I'd like to remind you that Yang left me in charge of this war. You two work under me. You have no authority to make deals with foreign governments, especially involving sharing classified data.
: Incoming transmission.
: Wait a minute!
: The Spartans are in no position to abuse this agreement. A whole ocean and East Clapton lies between them and us.
: But they are allied with Miriam!
: That's no concern of ours. Obviously, Santiago believes she is playing some war game from afar, manipulating both sides. In any case, it helps our survival.
: I concur.
: I refuse.
: You are outvoted.
: This is not a democracy! Yang gave me the duty to continue the war against the peacekeepers and the believers while he tends to his private concerns, how dare you...
: What did you just give them?
: Industrial automation, gene splicing, and superstring theory.
: You gave them the design specs for chaos guns?
: The believers already have them. It's only balancing the playing field.
: This is treason, you two. You gave away confidential technology to enemies. Guards, arrest these men!
: Only the chairman has the authority to remove senior council members. And you are lucky he is not here, for your incompetence is fully deserving of execution. It is due to you that we have lost half our territory.
: Bullshit. In any case, the situation is about to change.
: Alter the propaganda ministry's output sufficiently, and the people will adopt the will to power as their core value. Teach them to have faith in victory, faith in the divinity of the State. Once the chaos guns come out of prototype, we will give them to the best trained of our men. At last we will be able to fight the crusaders on even terms, and drive them back!
: You just don't learn, do you? What we need is to use this peace with Lal for a moment's breather. If we switch to knowledge as our core value, and implement the innovations we have just acquired, we can regain the lead we once had.
: My department tells me that we have all the prerequisites ready for several advances which will dramatically turn the tide to our favour. It will be a while before the bulk of Miriam's forces can trek across the upland wastes from what remains of the Hole. Lal should prove a good distraction as well.
: I don't think that's the best strategy.
: Hey, I thought we had agreed that you'll back me up..
: My agents raise another possibility.
: Lal's gift provides us with a dagger against his back. I suggest we use it. If we adopt a wealth based social system, we can send operatives to disrupt Lal's research and economics, and manipulate his diplomatic position. In time, we will be able to do this to other people. Sure, it may slow down our research in the short term...
: It's far too dangerous. Whatever advantages this brings us is less than the potential loss of several cities if we fail. A friendly Lal is temporarily useful to us as a buffer against...
: Enough! Your bickering is irrelevant. Guards! Wai...
: Chairman Yang...! So you are back.
: I have heard everything already. The decision is already made.
: Power values, fundie politics, counterattack
: Knowledge values, tech up to fusion/air power
: Wealth values, probeprobeprobe