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Chapter 45 - The Absolute Zero[]

The Triad
Tharkad Star System
Lyran Commonwealth
May 20th, 3159

Tukayyid day.  Of course it would be Tukayyid day.

"You can not delay longer, Trill." Alaric Ward reminded her.

"I know."  While she didn't have the peace she wanted, the Ghost Bear fleet no longer existed. The Clan was now confined to their worlds.  It was time to finish the job.

Trillian sighed, and signed the executive order authorizing combat operations in the Republic of the Sphere.

She turned to Alaric, "Wait a little longer, Alaric. You'll have an easy march on Terra if that's really what you want."

The order scanned onto the Black box fax machine.

"Of course it is what I want." he said, and the screen blanked off.

"No, you want more."  She stepped out of the communication room in the palace, and onto the deck overlooking the waterfront.  "My god, what have I done?"

In the darkness, beyond her sight. War Plan Maroon kicked off-the destruction of the Republic's fleet and fleet capacity.

The reconnaissance was as good as she could get. They knew where most of Stone's secret shipyards and bases were. They knew what kind of atrocities piloted those secret warships, she knew things she really didn't want to know.  Things kept from the public to prevent a tide of bloodlust from devouring everything she had managed to build up to now.

Trillian glanced at a clock.


It was fifteen minutes to six AM, Terran Standard time. In fifteen minutes, timed leaks would be hitting the media.  The things Sharon cautioned against releasing; the Manei Domini ships, the full reports on the Quarantine Zone attack in 3142 which included the redacted sections they'd tried to keep from her own eyes, the automated shipyards in idle systems, and the exFSS Alexander Davion's true home-port.

Everything.  Part numbers, the presence of Smoke Jaguar DNA, the identity of the Fidelis. Which had been ferreted out by means she shuddered to contemplate.

The attacks on Boojum, and Buena, Duran, all of it.

Casus Belli.  The only thing left unsaid, was who was ultimately responsible for what had happened in the past. The only certainty was who would be responsible for what happens in the present.

"I am responsible." she muttered. 

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