Part 34: Setting the StageThe Alliance cannot be trusted.
The definition of a gift requires that you expect nothing in exchange, Kryska. The Alliance wants something from Ongess. Something it can't get anywhere else. Tell me, what is the difference between Ongess and a dark world like Tautenia?
Humor me, lieutenant.
Well ... Ongess is located right on the travel lanes between Far Port and Cera, while Tautenia is a dark world in the distant Nomodorn Corridor. Further, Ongess is rich in natural resources, whereas Tautenia is little more than an icy rock.
All true. But what I was thinking was the fact that the Alliance never dispatched a single aid ship to Tautenia.
Captain, the Alliance has no intention of robbing Ongess. We can establish trade routes with the Ongessians. Exchange food, medicine, technology, for their Ongessite.
And Im saying that the Neutral Rim has never wanted those things. Cera was invited to sit in the Solar Congress countless times, and each time we turned it down. If Cera had been a part of the Alliance, we knew PACT would never dare strike us. But despite that, we chose to remain independent. Can you understand that there are people in the galaxy who value their self-determination more than their overall GDP, Kryska?
No captain, I do not understand. Cera is now under PACT occupation, and without our help, Ongess will become another dark world.
Maybe one day you will, Kryska. Report to the XO. She wishes a very detailed report of what transpired at Ongess. That will be punishment enough for the security lapse.
You are dismissed, lieutenant.
Hello? Whos there?
You killed me.
Just a dream.
(Did I make the right decision?)
I came here as soon as my shift ended. I was so scared when I heard you were taken prisoner!
It's all right. I was hardly even gone for two days.
S-still! Did they hurt you!?
Nah, nothing the Alliance couldn't patch up. Just minor bumps and scratches, that's all.
Captain dont ever do that to me again! I was so worried I thought I was going to faint...
I'm all right ...
What do you want?
Oh? I thought you guys had left us for dead after the ass whooping the Alliance fleet gave you last week.
This is a ... personal mission, shall we say.
Lone wolfing? Such individuality from a red. So? What's in it for us if we help you out?
Only exactly what you've wanted all these years: independence for Ongess once and for all.
Next Time: The Second Battle of Ongess