Part 5: Operation Inconvenient Truth
War with Sparta
: This is the Gaian News Network Evening News on channel 001. First, the headlines.
: Government officials met with Spartan counterparts in what has already been hailed as a 'breakthrough' in interfactional relations. In a historic agreement, the two leaders agreed to share scientific knowledge 'for the good of all mankind'
: In return for Spartan advances in nonlinear mathematics, Gaian research into sustainable industrial economics was handed over. Spokesmen were hopeful that this would open up new avenues for trade and commerce. However, some experts have urged caution, citing the environmental toll certain aspects of the research may incur.
: Talks faltered, however, when a Spartan offer of a formal treaty was met with an emotional outburst from an unidentified member of the defense staff. Negotiations have adjourned overnight.
: In other news, Lady Deirdre today announced the creation of an elite Gaian special forces battalion - dubbed the 'Gore Corps'. Armed with new weaponry modeled on Spartan designs, the Gore Corps, she declared, 'are the backbone of our defense of the Planet against those who plan to destroy it. While peace is still the desire of any true Gaian, it has become clear that like nature, we must also be red in tooth and claw.'
: The Corps will join patrols on exercise near Planet's Creche.
: Mindworms are much in the zeitgeist these days, especially with the large clumps sighted moving southwards in recent days. There are many explanations being touted for this development. Here, we have Professor Diego, a leading expert, with his perspective.
: To me, the reason cannot be more obvious.
: If we had known what the Spartans would do with out economics research, we'd never have shared it with them. Even as we speak, new Spartan factories, build under the greedy and short sighted 'free market' system, are pumping out tons and tons of toxins into the atmosphere.
: Do you think that this is a response to that then?
: Of course! It is becoming obvious that Spartan excesses represent a threat not just to ecological diversity, but to our very existence. It's only a matter of time before such actions lead to disaster. While puzzlingly, there has not been any direct attacks from mindworms recently, it is only a matter of time before our children pay the horrible price.
: But what can we do about it? Economic sanctions?
: I, for one, feel that economic sanctions may not be enough. It may be an inconvenient truth, but it seems that there is only one language the Spartans understand...
: A child, starving. A woman, starving. A dog, starving. A man, starving. And so on. These are scenes that we thought we had left behind on Earth. But now, as famine strikes Gaia's Deliverance, the question on everyone's mind is: Why?
: The official word from spokesmen of the Environment ministry is that this is likely a natural climactic variation. However, many now point their fingers at a different target: The new chemicals plant at Sparta Command.
: According to a poll on the GNN website, the majority of Gaians would favour military action.
: In breaking news, Lady Skye has announced that an unarmed group of inspectors will be sent to conduct testing of the plant. There has been no response from the Spartans.
: bzzt reporting from bzzt bzzt. We've just crossed over the border. We've been instructed to stop here for the night. Everyone seems nervous. There was a Spartan patrol sighted near here, and we don't know how they would react to us.
: Sorry bzzt for the bad signal. It seems the fungus blocks radio signals somewhat. I, huh, I thought I heard some noises. Wait, hey, they're fzztfZZZZZZZ
: Negotiations have broken down entirely.
: As images of the massacre of unarmed scientists and journalists filtered over the datalinks, Lady Deirdre delivered angry demands to the Spartan leadership.
: Their response was simple.
: Tonight, Gaian military units are on high alert. A strike force has been redirected to form part of Operation Inconvenient Truth, a plan to decisively disable the Spartan defense network. Units are on standby that Gaia's Deliverance to repel any attackers.
: Shortly after the declaration, the first naval platoon began bombarding the Spartan coastline.
: Puzzlingly, sounds of fighting was heard from the fungal fields near Gaia's Deliverance, though no Gaian troops were thought to be in the area.
: Military officials are declaring Operation Inconvenient Truth to be a complete success, and the Gaian flag now flies over the Spartan headquarters.
: Heavily censored images released just this minute from the defense department show Gorp Corps troops firing massive impact cannons on Spartan positions.
: Trees are being planted in tribute to our brave soldiers, and to offset the carbon emissions incurred in the operation.
: Curiously, in the background of many images can be discerned what appear to be worm-like entities. Evidence, according to some anti-war activists, of the use of illegal biological weaponry.
: Anonymous sources have suggested that casualties were lighter than expected, though there was some collateral damage. It is understood, though, that Santiago herself had evacuated the headquarters before hand.
: In breaking news, Spartan officials have delivered a formal ceasefire request, with a pledge to pay substantial compensation to the victims in Gaia's Deliverance.
: Gaian officials are said to be considering their response.
Hmm, the climactic variations thing is a random event that happens from time to time. It was pretty damned lucky for it to have happened for me. Another lucky thing was Sparta's switch to free market - the PLANET penalty hurts them in psi-attack, and a bunch of their bases were in riots for a while. I forgot to capture, but another faction is building the Virtual World now, so an issue you may want to consider is that continuing the war will almost certainly lose us that secret project race (since all our economy is switched to cash output now to let us rush-build troops.) Oh, also, truces last 30 turns, and breaking them has a substantial integrity cost.