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War Among The Stars

9: 58 Drakan City Time)Married officers'quarters, Navy districtCapital city of Drakan, Ross 128bZar Dd been reduced to a nervous wreck as she had been waiting at thefamily suite for the results of her husband s court-martial Due to strict Navy rulese noise of the entrance door to their suite being opZar jump on her feet andrun to the door She however nearly bounced on a severe-looking Navy security guardwho was preceding her husband Lem, with a second security guard behiat lem was not weariondescript brown coveralland the downcast expressiobrought tears to Zars eyes Going to Lem, she shared with him a desperate hug Himseke in hehey embraced each otherory, Zar: I was found guilty and booted out of the Nahavevacate our family suite and leave the Navy DistricthockedYes, now! A navy cargo platform is waiting outside and will carry our belButdont know yet, Zar

I I hope to find some friend in this city who will acceptreceive us for at least a while, time for me to find a new job and a new residence If not,our relatives back in the Khangar Province to accept us At least I wasose last words finished to break Zars spirits and she started crying openly, her headems chest One of the Navy security guards, while keeping a coldIc expresar as he watched the couple: that officer's wife

CHAPTER 2- DEALING WITH A CRISIS3 (Central Africa Timeovember 23 2320's of the African Union Intelligence DepartmentKinshasa, congo African Uniond by thehe basement madeJohn Markham stop and pause for a moment as he was following the new head of thefricanshuttle was about to land in Kinshasa the selelligence agom theAlliance already realized that the situation in the Congolese capital wasn thechaotic However, that had not come as a surprise to him afterd just yesterday, along with President d Arcy of the North amewho had also been the chairperson of the northern Alliance

Now the forces that hadbeen led by General Odierno and who had thrown oled PresideMakambo were engaged in a struggle to stay in control, facing the remaining military unitsand armed partisans who had been loyal to President Makambo For John Markham, thisa classic africary coup, very few of which ended quietly or quicklye howeveneeded to learn who exactly had sent the small armed team that haddestrovedPresident d'ArePresident Kajeje and generalOdierno were boardAnother long, piercing scream of pain was heard as John Markham's guide wasarriving at a strong steel door Bracing himself, Markham stepped inside a nearly bareconcrete room at the invitation ofding three men in green uniformsurrounding a naked man suspended by his wristsa steel ring eeconcrete cee Northern Alliance agent coucringe when he examined thebruised and bloodied body of the prisoner being tortured: apart from dozens of whip marksprisoner, who was presently unconscious, appeared to be young and fit, being in his early

twenties Nbare approached the prisoner and examined him for a second before lookinge thNo, Colonel! He is still refusing to answer our questions, even thougied about everything alreadyre he spoke againWell, whether he talks or not, I am pretty sure about who sent him and the rest ofhis team: General sele head of the rebel forces had the most reasons to assassinateContinue to question him, until he either talks or dies from the tortures If youaven t used a blowtorch yet

doGood! Mister Markham if youhn markhabare before theortures resumed Once back in the concrete hallway and with the steel door closed hediscretely blew out air in relief, then looked at Bare While he was no beginner atence work and had seen many unsavory things during his career, torture chamberswere still places he loathedThis General Seko, how much military forces isce and a majority of the army have joined our cause, Seko still can count on at leastle Army divisions, mainly located around the Congo borders, inside neighboringare presently fighting hard in the Katanga Province to expel some of Sekos forces, whichhave invaded the province in the hope of seizing the rich mineral deposits therethat fighpresently, Coltell the whole truth to the northern aled that the northern alans toascertain the true situation in and around the Congo and decided to be candid with

ght now, the situation in the Katanga Province is unstable General Seko isthe border ande to hold on to tnt positions Unfortunately, withces attackingon multiple fronts, we are unable to send reinforcements to the Katanga Province at thisme

We definitely could use some help from the Northern AllianceNorthern allianceda of general seko and his allstiflingat President Kaieje and general odierno were reade my govehe new government of the African Union, I am afraid that any help from us will have to bebare lowered his head in discouragement at that answer: while he had hoped for awas correctassessment as what wd to youhat they could give us? If not, they may end up having to face an African Union led bymen even worse than President Makambo, men with little regard for the good of ourcitizens or for peace in the regionly pass on your request to my government, Colonel, along with theeverity and urgency of the situationed markready mentally worrying aboutwhat his superiors were going to say about Nbare's requestancouver l ImWednesday, November 24, 2320Government hangar, Vancouver International AirportVancouver West Coast of canadaNorth American Unionstarted playing the North American Union,'s anthemg the dignitaries present in thehangar eitheraise their right hand toheart Vice-President gerhatStrauss, who was temporarily assuming the charge of President of the Northern Alliance

and who had travelled aboard the shuttle, also stood at attention at the foot of the rampetinue waited for the coffin to be loaded on a hearse before walkito theident of the north American Union Thomas smreeted them withident siadies anddlay You will be welcome to attend President d'Arcy s state funerals, which will take placetwo days, but I believe that we now have some most urgent matters to deve so as well vice-President seplied Strauss whilewith the black man with graying hair I have brought with me a briefing paper concerningle latest information about the situation inside the African Union Unfortunately, thingsessed so, Herr Strauss

If you and your delegation will follow me, we will goake place in waiting air limousines wen bring us to the government's execbuildWe are ready to follow you, Vice-President smithA few minutes later, with their luggage loaded in the trunks of thee northern alliance officials were oay to the local executive building in downtownVancouver A moderate rain and low, dark gray clouds greeted the vehicles the momenthey left the hangar Sthink that thewell reflected todayseneral mood the rideheabout twelve minutes, the limousines finally landing under a large porch covering the maiStrauss and hbuilding, where they entered a windowless conference room and were offered placesaround a large oval tablePlease sit down, ladies and gentlemen: we have some grave business to discussis room is proof against electronic eavesdropping devices, so feel free to talk aboutmas Smith took place at the head of the table, while Strauss sat immediately to hisothern Alliance officials sat facing theiAmerican counterpartsd the table's sides Once everybody was seated, Thomas Smith looked at Strahis expression sombe

on the latest news about the situatde the africanreplied Strauss before taking out a data chip and plugging it to thefacing his seat and was integrcolor map of the African continent bearing symbols and words then appeared on the giantwhat you now see is the rough disposition ofrespective forces and units of the new African Union government and of those of thee old Makambo regime which are led by a general sekoed byAfrican pride and by the refusal to see the African Union allying itself with the northAlliance which for thecenturies Right now, the forces of the new goverGenebnst rebel forces tare atEven though the fmostlySeko and his political advisers are using a highly effective propaganda campaign thatpaintslew government as a puppet kowtowing to the old colonial powers, meaningS

That campaign is succeeding in gaining for Seko many new recruits every day andstarteddefectiof gary advisors have told me that, if thingsy are going now, then GSeko may well be able to eliminate the new government and take its place at the head offrican Union, while we may expect our borders to be taken by assault by a multituderefugees fleeing the rebels At the minimum, we will be obliged to quickly expand andeinforce our defenses, while at the same time having to deal with a new, massive waveAfrica On top of that, if Seko wins, we can then expect the resumptionat last sentence from Strauss made more than one person preserhe room raise aneyebrow: a number of terrorist attacks by African agents during recent years had resultedhousands of deaths had been thwarted in-extremis The attempt to ram and shatter

pieces an asteroid built-up into a space resort, using a hijacked heavy space ore carriered attacksumba, who took over from President Kajeje after hisassination, can we at the least consider him as a worthy partner in peace, or is heonly for his personal power? "asked one of Smith'sters present the head ofthe Northern Alliance's intelligence services, Margaret Hurley, took on her to answer thatDesjardins He was a good personal friend of President Kajeje and supported from thestart General Odierno's coup against President Makambo Furthermore,umba has along-standing reputation as being incorruptible something that is unfortunately too rareg, In my opBut do we want involved in that civil war? "cut in the foreign minister of thehern Alliance Alexander ponomarev who wasagreement with GerhardtStrauss on thatkly supportedby the dster of the

notAmeThat is indeed a pertinent quetary supporthinda,then we would only reinforce Seko's propaganda about Lumumbabeing the puppet of the Northern Alliance, something thatpopularity with the African masses and help his recruitment campaign

I believe that itwhile establishing a securitrevent the infiltration of hostile agents and saboterhould also remember that we recently found a potential threat to the whole of HumanityDratdivert all our means towards africa while we are not sure of the drazt intentions towardsait a second! "objected at once valery Hobbstechnologies of the North American Union Your argument doesnt make sense, Jameshe Drazt are eleven light-years away from us and don 't possess an interstellar drive ywhile Africa is only a continent away Clearly, Africa should be our highest priority rige arguments forgettingAfrican civil war along withhowctan often-heated debate that went on for agood two hours Seeing that lunch hour was now well past, viresident smith the

WARNING TO POTENTIAL READERSS FICTION NOVEL CONTAINS GRAPHIC DESCRWAR AND VIOLENCE AS WELL AS COARSE LANGUAGE ANDCONTROVERSIAL SUBJECTS THAT ARNSUITABCHILDRENABOUIS NOVEis novel is a sequel to LoST AMONG THE STARS and is the fourth novel in the JOVIANUPRISING Scontinues the adventures in space of the giant cargo shipKOSTROMA and of its captain, Tina Forster(Available for free at Free-Ebooks net and at Goodreads





5CHAPTER 1-DISHONOR5: 18( Drakan City Time, Ross 128b)nary Court, Drazt Navy HeadquartersDrakan City(Capital of the Drazte),RossRoss 128 System, 11 light-years from EarthORT THE ACCUSED INwearing the uniform of a shipmaster of the Drazt Navy and closely escorted by two armedguards, entered the courtroom at a lively step then stopped at attention once inside thed dockking Drazt Navy offiature indeedly-built DIdat, Shipmaster lem doz hadgood reasons to be nervous, as the charges against him were most serious

Measuringpairs of long arms bulging withtypical image of an adult Drazt male, with aby short body hairort but powerful pair of legs, a square, strong jaw with two rows ofrge teeth and two black eyes visible under a prominent brow ridge and flanking a largeked at his four assistant judges, getting nods fThis session of the Navys Disciplinary Court is now opened! The prosecutor wielectronic pad in front of him and started reading from it in a strorMURKAN, is charged with grossent perfduties thata large quantity of highly classified and sensitive data at the handsalien spaceship which intruded into Drazt space on the fifth of the month of Rothadeca-rotation Shipmaster Lem Doz is further accusedd

alien spaceship escape after it copied and stole all the classified data stored in theMURKAN' s centother judgesd coldly attoarges, Admirala plea of innocent will thus be recorded into the proceedings of this courtprosecutor may now detail the circumstances in which the alleged offenses wereThank you, Admiral!" said the prosecutor before activating a large viewing screenset to one side of the courtroom, where everybody could watch it A video file showingsome kind of alien spaceship then started playing as the comMURKAN as it closed in on an alien spaceship which had entered Drazt space and wasas the Koorivar, situated some 676 jokten from our star system That ship had appaaveled for many decades at sub-light speed and was under automated control, whilerew and passengersibernating during their long space trip

Wiship neither reacted nor responded to the calls from the MURKAN, Shipmaster Lem Dohen ordered his crew to board that ship and enter it However, before his crew could doso, a second alien ship approached the mUrKan arshow a video recording of that second alien ship which identified itself as a human shipat Human ship was truly enoapproached quite close to the MURKAN before stoppingle Tok Tharn stayed impassive as he looked at the pictures of the Human spaceshipes in the past days and weeks the forey examined the space behemoth One of them theaHow big exactly was this Human ship, ceasured a good 2900 drachs in leAdmiral Komosh While hugeexperts however determined that it usedkind of propus propelled by a type of nuclear rocket rather than by a directed gravity drive

And how could aan ship with such a said inferior propulsion technologyking the prosecutor smirk ind as well some kindunknown star drive that made it disappear in a flash after it attacked the mUrKannh frowng we have been trying to invent such a star drive, right,esulted from the failure of shipmaster Doz to immobilize and capture such a prize wherVery well! Continue presenting your case, CorThank you, Admiral You wilsee the video exchange of communicationstween the murKan andd KosTROMA as a standoff developed The fik with Shipmaster doz wastercepted byefugees trying to findlew home planet after their own star system had been devastated by the passage of aandering brown dwarf

The Koorivar alien then forbade the crewentering the automated ship saying that this could endanger some of the KoorivarsleepWhen Shipmaster Dhe Kostroma then cut in and insulted him justcomputer virusduced aboard the MURKAN during the coof thehrough quick alternance of chaos and normal operations for hours before the aliecomputer virus finally erased itself, returning our cruiser to normal That was when thescience officer of the MURKaN was able to ascertain that all the ships data files had beencopied by the alien virus and then transmitted to thehe five judges watched carefully the lengthy video before Tharn asked another questionle prosecutorAnd what did the human ship do then?Brown dwarf: a gas giant celestial body whose mass was not enough to ignite a spontaneothermonuclear fusion reaction and turnar Such brown dwarveknown to be eithepart of a star system, or can roam space as a wandering, solitary celestial body

was already gone, along with the Koorivar automated ship, Admiraln, like the foor attempted to do to neutralize and capturelat KOsTROMA? How could it infiltrate a computer virus aboard your ship without youg aware of it?lavy career and possibly more now rested on how effectivecomputer virus to the Human ship which he did Then, as we believed that our virus haden able to infect the computers aboard that KOSTROMA, the Human captain, a femaleew an insult at me just before we lost control of our ship apparently, the Humans wereble to detect andcomputerto us thedeductionchnology may well beSuperior to our own? "nearly exploded Vice-Admiral Hanh "Those Humans werena in caveswe were already roaming throughstar system, if we believele intercepted radio andom their Solar System

Hhey bor to us in afrankly dont know, Admiral Maybe those Koorivars helped therleir technologyarn nodded slowly his headThat very well may be the case However, what I don't understand is why youtook so long before trying to neutralize that Human ship That delay only gave time to theKoorivars and Humans to infect your cruiser with their own computer virusew having beads of cold sweat rolling down on his high forehead, Lem Doz spoke in asa voice as he couwasto resolve that dispute without haviresort to hostcts The tone was at least polite until that femalef intole exchange, just before the enemy virus took control of my ships argument unfortunately seemed to leave his judges cold, with Tok Tharn's tone

You were hoping? That hoping of yours resultechnology bied and stolen by that hhose barbaric hund of war, can now use our own technology to attack us, especially now that thenow deliberateprivate about all this Guards, escort the accused out of this courtroom and return withhim only when I will signal yoarn watched the guards leave with Lem doz, theWhat do you think, my friends? Could Lem doz have acted both faster and morHe certainly could have, Admiral! responded vice-Admiral Komosy owneaction to these alien ships especially to that giant KOSTROMA, would have been tohoot first and asknce it became clear that it would not obdirectiveh adiddiately supported by the twoemaining assistant judges While Tharn agreed with them, he still brought forward a pointhat had been worrying him deeply for a few days alreadyWe may be dealing with Doz case today, but this leaves allith a scarythat we have stied to develhose human barbarianis could well translate into a disaster for usm term At the least, we will now have to significantly boost our space defensesThe more reasons to make an example of this Lem Doz, so that our othershipmasters show more vigilance and resolve

" saidalmake thais crisis would do nothing to counter the new threatepresented by the humans of the Solar System While a strict officer, Tharn also believedtreating his subordinates in a fair manner However he knew thatme colmartial and that showing totowards Doz could well cost him his own position as Grand Admiral of the Drazt NavyVery well comrades Let's call back the accusedour verdict