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Imperials Wars: Part 21

Act! Consolidation!

written by Damien Roc



It all starts with the universities.

An attempt to create a perfect learning environment, they are designed
to
make it easy for students to discover and explore the world around
them...
and themselves.

Ideals and morals are strong, and the students often live in a time of
strong
criticism against their parents, peers, and especially the 
established government.

Simply put, the university environment is a political firecracker
waiting to
go off. Light a fire in the right way, and it does.

That was the first step: setting off the universities.

Within a few hours, the lower class citizens of the same age (mostly
gang
members, but some diligent workers as well) joined in the riots. Their
lot
was even worse than that of the students, but they were also harder to
mobilize.

After that, the rest of the lower classes either joined in, or quietly
shut
the doors and windows, waiting for it all to go away.

The end result was that a little more than twenty-four hours after the
universities had begun rioting, nearly 70% of Kesserton had essentially
joined in.

That's when the real work began. Small groups of mercenaries, and larger
groups of organized crime memeber - the Mafia, Yakuza and the like -
began
hitting specific targets across the planet: governmental centers,
political
buildings - especially those with a leaning towards the empire - and
off-
world communication sites.

Most of those communication sites did not matter. At the earliest signs
of
trouble, they close down, and wait it out, joining whoever comes out on
top.

Within forty hours, on the interstellar scale, Kesserton was a black
hole of
information. There were no signals or ships coming out.

A little more than seventy hours after the initial riots, Sparrow Adams
called the members of Richard's Razors to a meeting room.

"What the fuck's going on down there, Sparrow?" Michael Barnebes shouted
in
the diplomat's face.

Sparrow shrugged. "A hope... a dream. A plan, maybe."

"You planned all this, Sparrow?"

"Not all of it, Maddie, but most. And we've got about three hours to get
down
there."

"Why?" Kerri asked.

Calling up a map of the planet, Sparrow pointed to a location. "We've
got to
take out the last piece of the Empire here."

"What is that?" Kevin asked.

Mallory McKinney had been peering at the map. "The Imperial Embassy."

"You bloody fool!" Barnebes shouted. "You mean to kill us all."

"No, not if we do this right." Sparrow shut the map down, and sat in a
chair.

"Even if the rest of the military on the planet is in a really bad
situation,
there's no way we could get through there," Kevin said, "They've got to
have
some hefty defenses. Air support, too."

Sparrow nodded. "Yes, and the reason we haven't seen any of it is that
they
know that they can't turn the tide." He smiled. "They'll wait it all
out, and
hope that they can pick up the pieces."

"Which is exactly what they WILL do," Kerri insisted.

"Nope. Not if we take them out first."

"And how do we get through, Sparrow-san?"

"Easy, Kaneda. We fly down." Sparrow paused dramatically. "There's been
a
slight problem with most of their air support, and they won't be able to
fly
for another three hours."

"Can we trust you, Sparrow?" Kevin wondered after a long silence.

"Have I ever lied?" the diplomat asked, looking the mercenary commander
dead
in the eye.

***

It was anti-climatic, really. Arctic lead the way in his flying-wing
bomber,
and two well placed hydro-thermic bombs took out most of the embassy,
the
servants quarters had been left untouched, and subsequent strikes from
the
rest of the unit left any military support that the Imperals had
extremely
useless.

Flying on, the Razors landed at the Kesserton Governmental Center, on
the
wide front lawn. Sparrow led the way into the building, with a confident
stride of a conquerer, but Kerri, Kaneda, and John followed closely
behind. A
few people tried to resist, but quick fire from the Razors incapacitated
them.

Sparrow walked right to the Governmental Court, and pushed open the
doors.
"Good evening, and thank you for holding my offices for me."

The room was full - about 300 people strong - and there was a hefty
debate
going on. At Sparrow's entry, all conversation stopped, and all eyes
fell on
the man.

"What is the meaning of this!" someone shouted. "There's a crisis going
on,
and we can't have any interruptions."

Sparrow nodded. "Yes, yes. I know. And I'm here to stop them." He took a
step
forward. "Hello, I'm Sparrow Adams, and this is now my planet."

"Like hell it is." A few men got out of their seats and took some
threatening
steps towards the group.

"John," Sparrow murmered just loud enough to be heard. "Incapacitate
those
men."

At the command, the assault mecha went into action. There was a
momentary
pause, then a bleep of target confirmation. With a high-pitched whine,
John's
gatling gun began spinning, then a stream of bullets flew out of the
barrels,
every one of them finding a target among the advancing men.

The men toppled, bowling pins against the onslaught. After a minute, one
of
them sat up, rubbing the bruises on his chest and taking deep breaths;
John's
gun had been packing soft rubber bullets.

"As I was saying," Sparrow stepped forward past the groaning men.
"Kesserton
is now my planet. I'd like your support." He paused and looked back at
the
black mecha. "Next time, I can have John shoot to kill." Sparrow stopped
walking, and turned. "Tell you what. I'll leave for two minutes to think
about it. You can either back me entirely or..." he left the thought in
the
air as he pushed his way past the Razors. They followed him down the
hall.

Inside the Court, there was a lot of conversation, punctuated by some
very
violent outbursts. Among the Razors, it was mostly silent, with a few
words
questioning Sparrow's sanity under the breath.

Two minutes passed, and Sparrow walked into the Court. All conversation
stopped. He looked around and waited.

A woman in her mid-forties stood. "I... ah.. I move that this
Governmental
Court whole-heartedly backs Mr..." she paused and looked at Sparrow
questioningly.

"Adams."

She nodded. "Back Mr. Adams in his future endeavors."

There was a man at the front of the room, presiding over the Court's
actions.
"A movement has been called. Any seconds?" A few hands were raised. "The
move
has been seconded. A vote will be called. All for?" There was a chorus
of
aye's. "And against." Dead silence. "The vote passes."

The man turned towards Sparrow. "Congradulations, Mr. Adams, you now
have a
planet and the support of the Governmental Court." He paused a looked
down.
"I am Chief Presiding Minister Alec Wetherly."

Sparrow nodded. "Nice to meet you. I need to make an announcement to the
people."

***

It didn't stop on Kesserton, a few people had gotten away. They arrived
at
neiboring planets within full of stories of the horrors on the sector's
chief
planet. A few supported the measure, most were against. News travels
extremely fast, and within hours, there were emergency news interviews
on
every one of the sixteen other Kesserton Sector planets.

And the process began anew. A few university students started it all
again.

It was not as controlled, this time, but the effect was the same: the
planets
(most of them anyway) plunged into chaos.

A little less than one-hundred and ten hours after the initial riots on
Kesserton, Sparrow's first address to the public went across the 17
planets.

He stood in the Governmental Court, and with him were Chief Minister
Wetherly, Mallory McKinney, and Kevin Richards.

"People of the Kesserton Sector. I bring the message to you in these
dire
times. I hope they do not last much longer." He paused a moment. "I am
Sparrow Adams, these are," he pointed to each person in turn, "Chief
Presiding Minister of the Governmental Court Alec Wetherly. My second
Mallory
McKinney. And Commander Kevin Richards, in charge of my military.

"I wish to apologize to the people of the sector for the events that
have
taken place these past few days...

***

"So now what?" Kevin asked. He wasn't very comfortable being named
commander
of Sparrow's military, even though that military was still little more
than
the Razors.

"Now?" Sparrow was lying on a couch in the Imperial Governer's office,
now
office of the Princeps Civites. "Now we wait."

"For what?"

Sparrow sighed. "To see if the remaining militaries of the Kesserton
Sector
back us. If they don't, this is going to be one of the least successful
coups
in history."

"And if they do?"

"Then you've got your work cut out for you. I'll bet an Imperial Fleet
is
already on its way."

Mallory burst into the room. "Sparrow! There's an incoming message from
space. They asked for you."

The diplomat groaned as he sat up. The past two weeks had been hell for
him.
"Coming." He and Kevin followed the pilot/historian out of the room.

"Mr. Adams, I am Vice-Admiral Darian Korolov, currently commanding the
Kesserton Battlefleet." He paused, as if deciding something. "It is my
pleasure to announce the Battlefleet's support of your government. The
men
are behind you one-hundred percent."

Sparrow smiled. "You may say that Admiral, but I find it hard to
believe.
Send out a message to all your men. Any that wish to leave, may. Put
them all
on a ship, and send them away."

"But..." Korolov stopped. "Yes, sir. As you say."

"We've got the Kesserton sector, ladies, gentlemen." Sparrow announced.
"The
Empire isn't going to take to this very easily."


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