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Silent enim inter arma Tribunals (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 3[]

Silent enim inter arma: Tribunals[]

Fort Edwards, California, North America
Terra, Sol Star System
Former Word of Blake Protectorate

One node of the SDS still functional-this one, here. 

Very close to a faultline.

As a result, the Fort Edwards site had to be taken by ground forces.

On the positive, the dry lake facility had fallen intact-well, mostly intact.  It had required some softening up, and that softening had essentially cost two Lyran Destroyers before the SDS installation had been knocked out.

"Now that we've got her in custody, we should ask about this."  Victor noted as the ground car pulled to a stop.

"How so?"  General Belle Lee asked.

"She dropped rods on fifteen sites, three near cities, and the fortified bunker under Geneva...but she left this one untouched-and it's the oldest one."  Victor waited while guards checked identicards.

"San Andreas, probably." Belle commented.

"San Andreas, you mean the city-" Victor questioned

"I mean the faultline." Belle corrected him.  "Hits like she delivered to Cairo or Hilton Head would've destabilized the entire western faultline system. There wouldn't be anything standing from Baja to Unity City if she hit the faultline here with even one of them."

"That sounds like admiration, Belle. I thought you were pissed about this." Victor commented.

"I am." Belle said.  "Th' ****** Outies smashed eighty percent of the defense infrastructure. The central node for the HPG network. Along with a city of over ten million people...but what scares me is what pisses me off the most."

"What's that?" he asked.

"It would've been a lot easier for her to wreck the whole planet permanently." Belle stated, "She demonstrated the ability to wreck the whole planet permanently, and the ability to hold back. That's a scary combination right there.  Means Geneva wasn't no error, it was precise and thought out..." she nodded to the gate guard, "What worse, we don't know how she managed to set it up or carry it out."

"A lot of that will come out in the trial." Victor asserted.

"Yeah...Devlin is concerned about that too." Belle said, "Lear's suggested waiting until the conviction's secured."

"Will it be secured though?" Victor asked, "I mean, we're about to tour proof she didn't do it blindly."

"I hear rumors, Victor." Belle said, "Rumor has it, the fix is in.  Devlin tells me this ain't so, but the rumors keep on that the board's going to be stacked to get a conviction."

"You're not on it?" Victor asked.

She shook her head.  "Nope.  At least, I don't think so. 'to present an image of impartiality', the Tribunal will include Federated Suns officers, Clan Ghost Bear's people, a couple of Wolf Clan people, some of our people, and representatives from the Lyrans and the Combine, plus seats for Regulus and Andurien."

"But you don't know who?"

"I don't know who.  The panel hasn't been drawn yet, which is why I'm a little worried that the rumors are true." she told him.

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