PART I:

HEPHAESTUS INDEPENDENCE WAR.


HEPHAESTUS SYSTEM, HEPHAESTUS 1.

CAPITAL CITY:

The silent shadows played on the building walls in the afternoon sun, the people walking around the busy streets seemed ignorant of the incoming danger. The Colony seemed silent, calm before the storm. On the main street of the capital city, was a large office building, hundreds of meters tall. It was the Headquarters of the Vekcorp. Inc., a medium sized company of the Gigerdian territories. Most of its employees were from Hertlon, Tydis IV, or Tardan, but the Headquarters were situated in the meaningless colony world of Hephaestus. The corporate heads were rarely on-site, leaving power to the "Small-Bosses".
In one of the huge tower-building's offices, a simple working day had paused, to the most important scene in the whole universe, Coffee break. One of the many Employees in the company, a Gigerdian male called Gren Vayne, enjoyed the break he had from the frustrating and pointless jobs that the Bosses kept ordering him to do, this was the very core of frustration. On the same small room with a few tables, a couch and a pair of chairs were situated six people, all of them co-workers of Vayne. Currently, the Holo-TV was on, and Vayne was listening to the current news broadcast:
"The Person calling himself as "Karellen" has convinced several IHSF carrier groups to join his cause of wide rebellion against the Hemmoian Government, there has been reports of heavy riots in the Hemmoian colony world of Dayglow, President Dalleer has commented these actions against the Hemmoians as a good example of wide-spread terrorism and identified several threats to interplanetary security to the GA senate…"
"Wow, Seems like the Hemmoians will get it this time," one of the employees grunted, "Yeah, Just who is this Karellen?" another replied. Vayne quietly sipped down the Verlian Spice coffee and stared at the TV. "I hope they catch that guy, the Hemmoians should," another one said, all the others agreeing.
Vayne Left work early that day. He decided to go home, and meet some of his friends. The life in Hephaestus was about to change. As Vayne walked trough the main hall, past the security desk and the guard, he spotted Military forces in the streets. It seemed that the GA government decided to re-enforce its assets in the colony worlds, this way. Vayne took a hover-bus to the eastern part of the city.

Hover-Bus 65, Inbound from Sector 9 to Sector 5:

The Bus wasn't full of people at all. Most of them were either working or deciding to stay inside. The Hephaestus's real atmosphere could be seen trough the Bio-dome, it was Yellow, Green even….

As the Hover-Bus's automated computer voice informed: "Now entering Sector 5," Vayne looked up and pulled out a small transmitter from his coat pocket. The Transmitter was a standard one, black little object with red lights glowing in it. Vayne pressed a button on it, and it did a small beeping sound. The Bus kept on going trough small and large houses in Sector 5, very few people seen, even here. As the Bus moved to a small corner stop, Vayne sat up and decided to leave. He pressed the stop-button, and in a few moments the bus did a complete stop. Vayne stepped out and begun to walked in front of a large building looking like an embassy. Vayne looked at it for a while, but turned away instead and continued to walk. Vayne liked to pass-time before a major decision, that's why he walked around looking nervous. Finally, Vayne walked to a small Shop-like house on the opposite street. The walls were covered with posters yelling out revolution and independence of Hephaestus. Vayne walked in, seeing a couple of men reading magazines. He continued past them and walked to another room where a man in a suit was reviewing papers: "Ah, Vayne, you're here," the man begun with his low voice. "Yeah, left work early" Vayne replied. "Oh well, you've heard the news?" The Man asked in awe and Vayne nodded in approval. Three people walked to the same room, all of them were members of the same "Club" as Vayne. "Good, then we can begin," the man approved.
As the three others sat down on benches and chairs scattered around the room, the two men from the other room joined also. The man begun to speak: "It's good that you all are here, we have important news, to you all." "Unfortunately, many of our members have not been able to join the meeting today because of the planetary governor's decision to shut down all traffic in sectors 1 to 6 for now," the People in the back row murmured something quietly, Vayne looked around the desk were he was sitting.
"But, now to the Main news. You must have heard about the Uprising in the Hemmoian colonies, it seems that they are being led by a man named Karellen, and that they are very competent Hackers, they've been able to get whole fleets of ships under their control," the man continued to tell the story. Some of the people from the group continued to speak quietly. "So, If we could contact this Karellen and his forces, we might be able to break away from this corrupted system." "I see, But we don't really have anything concrete to fight against the GA, we might be the biggest political party in this system, but….", one of the men from the back row begun to protest. Vayne thought for a moment, then begun to speak: "I think we could pull this one out, the GA is obviously in a fragile condition due to their allies political upheaval, with the Government shaken up, we could quickly overthrown the governor." There was a small pause in the room, the party chairman in a suit, Geston Lavrek looked at Vayne with a confident smile. One of the men sitting near the window, Becks Noder eyed Vayne in disbelief and asked sarcastically: "Do you realize what kind of fire power would come down on us if they find out that we are holding the Planetary governor as a prisoner?" "I understand that, but if Karellen's force could help, then we might be able to make the GA sue for peace," Vayne continued his speech. "Too much of a risk," replied Becks Noder. "We understand your concern, but the plan has already been set into motion," Lavrek replied to the group. "We have sent several messages to Karellen's forces, they are constantly on the move, and so it might take some time to work." "Well, just tell me one more thing, what makes you think that this attempt is going to work, others have tried it before you know," Becks Noder said grudgingly. "I read about this small group of planets, out on the rim, they tried it and almost succeeded, I believe that they called themselves as the Interplanetary Alliance or something…." Vayne told the story that he had heard from his contacts, but it seemed that the group of planets were taken back eventually. "So what happened to them?" A woman asked from the left side. Vayne rolled his eyes and looked grim. "Well, they were all destroyed in the end, the GA of course covered it all up, but still we might make it, turn out better," Most of the people didn't believe a word that Vayne said, but they decided to go with it, after all, they were on the same side. "We are the only Political Group in this system, and we have wide-spread support on all the provisional government branches, even the GA military forces give us small support," Vayne continued to organize his troops, in a manner of great respect to the party's chairman. "If we can use the small assets on this system to first drive the GA presence away, then we might be able to build defenses to protect our holdings," Vayne continued to tell the few party members about his ideas, he was the man who had put all this resistance activity up with the party chairman and a few others. "We need to organize Protests against the Governor, then attempt to recruit more members to our plan, and finally take control of the systems Garrison fleet," There was a silence in the room once again. The few people that believed in Vayne decided to go with it, and the ones that didn't, backed it up as well. They were now fighting for their independence. "Tomorrow we begin," Lavrek decided.

24 hours later, Hephaestus capital city:

The main street of the colony was now full of GA ground force's soldiers guarding the flank. Most of the people were inside, only a few were minding their own business. Some of the soldiers walked to other checkpoints, some came back to their original formations, but it sure was quiet.
Suddenly, the silent voices of rioting were heard. As a large group of Civilians, waving flags with symbols and slogans in them ran up the street, it had begun.
"What the hell is that?" asked one of the Security troopers, "Seems like they're trying to come trough the defences, better use tranquillizers."
As the first group of citizens walked up the street, waving their flags of revolution, the GA security forces were positioning themselves for attack.
"Free Hephaestus from Dictatorship!" "Hephaestus will remain free. President Dalleer is a Murderer!" the crowd yelled. In a few moments, the first shots of riot gas and baton rounds were fired. Meanwhile, Vayne and few of his comrades watched the first attack reveal itself; "Good, that should keep the Security out of our way for a while," Vayne stated. "Now, over there is a small GA armory, we might be able to secure it now that they have to worry about the Rioters." "Let's go," one of the men ordered the other group. As large parts of the Blocks were now completely without any security; Vayne and his group of men advanced trough the streets to the large steel building with a GA insignia and a flag on the top of it. The riot was still going on in the main street.
The Group reached the building; there were no guards and no security of any kind. "Strange, where's the party?" one of the men wondered, Vayne motioned his men to follow. The rest of the men took cover behind a corner, as Vayne and four others advanced into the gate. As Vayne took out his communicator, the armory door behind the fence suddenly opened. Vayne took action immediately, grabbing his plasma pistol from the holster on his jacket and watched the being that walked from the building.
Out of the door came a GA lieutenant, with a couple of other ensigns. They raised their hands; "Don't shoot, we're here to help!" one of the lieutenants yelled. " Uh, you are?" Vayne asked clumsily. "Yes, we've decided to join up to this revolution," the lieutenant stated, "Alright, hand over your key cards," Vayne ordered. The Officers quickly took small blue card like things out of their pockets and handed them to one of Vayne's men. "Seems like this is our first batch of defectors, excellent," Vayne said and patted the former GA lieutenant on the back, the Lieutenant smiled hastily. "Alright, I need you to help us to transport these weapons out of the storage," One of Vayne's men ordered the lieutenants. " This is Group 1, you are clear to proceed," Vayne gasped to his communicator; all of his men begun to quickly move inside the bunker, time was not an ally. As the elite code-breakers of the Hephaestus forces begun to crack the old codes to the bunker's security systems, a Hover-buss suddenly pulled near the armory. A group of rebels begun to move portable power generators out of the Supply storage, as others carried packs of ammunition to the front yard. Vayne took part in the generator scavenging, carrying a large generator out of a supply closet. The first floor of the Armory was quickly cleaned of almost all useful items; the others then carried the equipment into the Hover-Buss. "I wish we would get those damn transporters back online again," one of the men grunted to Vayne who was sitting near one of the Hackers on the control room. "Let's see… the locking mechanisms on this storage have not been changed for years," the hacker stated, he looked like one of those pesky strangers who just happened to know something about the art of hacking. "Can you break the seals to the second and third floors?" Vayne asked, "No way, we ain't got the time," the Hacker stated. "Pull out then, fast," Vayne ordered. "Sir, it seems that our rioters have been contained, they just had an alarm about a theft in this armory!" one of the rebels yelled to Vayne. Vayne left his seat at once, and ran away from the armory, followed by the rest of the men. The Hover-buss left with haste, taking a few of the rebels inside it. "Alright, let's split!" Vayne yelled and the group disintegrated to all directions, the GA ground patrol vehicles drove trough the streets and into the Armory, but with no luck of catching anyone. The first strike was a success to the rebels.

Twelve hours later, a small outpost in the Northern hemisphere of Hephaestus:

A group of small weather observation stations in the northern continent were now the base complex of the rebels. There had been several small riots in the Hephaestus cities today, the rebels had secured three weapon storages and received a handful of defectors. The governor had responded in kind, he had ordered the free Hephaestus political party members to be arrested and declared the party illegal. Several arrests had been made, but still the Governor knew that the odds would be against him sooner or later. The weather observation stations were now being used for weapon and equipment storage. As the former party headquarters were shutdown, the weather observation stations were to be the new home for the Hephaestus freedom fighters.
Vayne was sitting behind a table in the command "room", where all the stolen communication equipment was stored and was operated by several hackers, communication experts and rebel sub-commanders. "Has there been any word from Karellen yet?" Vayne asked, "No, they might have tried to sent a burst transmission, though," one of the men reported. "Hmm, we can only send short burst transmissions to the other cities in the planet, but not to the orbiting ships or the other planets in the system," Vayne specified what people had told him, this communication equipment was very old and that's why they were using it. "Yes, you are correct, if any other sort of transmissions are used, the GA satellites might pick them up," Den Orindan, one of the comm. officers, said. "Damn, makes waiting a whole new concept now," Vayne replied. It was good to pick the Weather outposts as bases, they were marked as an automated in the GA patrol lists, so no one bothered to check them up anymore. The cities had smaller groups of rebels in them; mostly their job was to report any GA activity in the area, the other planets in the system had rebel groups in them, but they had to act as much alone as they could, since inter-system communication was extremely risky.
"Sir, what's our next operation?" one of the rebel commanders asked, he just entered the room. Vayne was alone at the table, so he guessed that he had to improvise in the objectives, Vayne sighed. "Well, our next operation might be something between the securing of more equipment or an attack to a city." "Yes, sir!" the commander responded.
Few hours passed, Vayne spend his time reading the tactical maps and computer scans of the nearby settlements. As the Tactical officers finished their meeting, all the commanders were called in.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached an agreement on our next plan," Geston Lavrek said, "This time, we're going to secure these small communication outposts that are located 7 kilometers east." "What good is that going to do?" one of the Sub-commanders asked. "Well, as it appears, these outposts are also automated and with them in our hands, we will be able to communicate with our allies on the other planets, the other groups will attack a pair of GA supply depots." "We have notified our allies in the cities and they will also start a series of riots in the cities, this time we won't escape, we'll stay in to fight."
The plan sounded great, perhaps the success of these two missions might be the needed ones so that the rest of the neutral citizens might see the light and understand the meaning of a free Hephaestus. Actually, most of the citizens were with the freedom fighters, so a neutral minority was very rare.

The Eastern Ridge:

A group of six planetary vehicles rolled trough the rocky and sandy ground of Hephaestus. These older vehicles moved slowly, but surely. They were always closer to the complex of communication arrays in the horizon. Vayne sat quietly inside the interior of one of the vehicles, he was wearing pale space-suit armor and so were the eight others who sat opposite of him. Some of them carried small plasma weapons and few had stolen a plasma rifle. If this operation would work, they might be a little closer to victory.
The GA strategic command had not been notified of the "recent civil uprisings" in Hephaestus, the planetary governor thought that he knew better what to do, and besides, the problems had not reached a problematic point, yet.
The group of vehicles reached the small worn hangar at the middle of the complex. The freedom fighters disembarked from the vehicles and walked into the airlock, leading inside the communication complex. The electronic lock was easy to pick, because the rebels had the right codes; all provided by the defectors. The group entered the complex, finding the computer core and plugging their equipment inside it. Vayne ordered his men: "Alright, get those transmitters up and running, then prepare the computers ready for a large download of information." All of the rebels begun to quickly act, all having their own jobs to complete. "Sir, we're receiving information from the Garrison fleet, they're saying that the governor has asked for them to proceed to a new position in the orbit." "Alright, tell them that we have gained access to a comm. station, and that the we are staging several assaults on the GA forces at the same time." "Sending transmission now, sir," the comm. officer reported. Another Officer then replied: "Sir, the fleet is transmitting us a tactical map of all GA infantry and security movements in the planet," Vayne nodded in approval. The other hour was spend on monitoring GA infantry movements and relaying it back to the freedom fighters infantry units. Vayne was now commanding the AI-operated rebel mechas and droid infantry to take the first city.
"Send the second battalion into position six-zero," Vayne ordered, while a hologram tactical map was laid in front of him. "Alright, sir," the Lieutenant assisting him replied. Theholographic "units" moved in the map, making the commanding of infantry seem like a twisted war game of some sort, luckily the units were real, but had no crew in them. Only the few rebel infantry groups were real Gigerdians, before they could secure the clone infantry divisions from their barracks. As the battle raged on, a loud voice of engines roared in the sky, pair of atmospheric bombers was now "affliated" with the freedom fighters. The freedom fighters didn't have many Spave units yet, so these atmospheric fighter-bombers were going to help a lot, especially as the GA anti-space defense guns were disabled around the city. The large bio-dome that was Hephaestus city II was gleaming with small explosions that were bright as the sun. The battle was quickly turning into a rebel victory, as many GA forces had either defected to the rebel side or had been caught off guard at the beginning of the attack. Few random shots were fired, then a complete silence…
Vayne and his staff were overjoyed to hear of their victory, they all were happy that the rebel forces made their first "real" victory. The captured GA equipment was now being painted with the new "flag" of the soon, hopefully, free Hephaestus. All GA flags were torn from their poles in Hephaestus city II, and new flags of green and purple were inserted instead!
The flow of GA Prisoners out of the city was large, as many defected, many decided not to defect or give up the commands of their security battalions and groups. There were smaller holes to the Bio-dome in Hephaestus city II, but the repair bots quickly repaired them. Now, the rebels had the change of seeing the local news channel, they could now know the next moves of the Governor. Vayne was watching local news feed from the captured comm. station: "Good day fellow citizens, we interrupt this program due to terrible news. The group of separatists that have been looting the GA military armories in our capital, have now taken control of Hephaestus city II, they begun their attack early in the morning, it seems that most of the GA units based in the city have defected to the rebel side, their demands are not yet known. The governor has declared the state of martial law in the main planet and ordered the other planets in the system under strict GA military control for now." Vayne seemed confident, the freedom fighters had secured several smaller outposts in the planet too, but they were not mentioned in the news broadcast, by the governors orders, of course.

Hephaestus city II, Ex-GA Military base:

The Hephaestus forces had now secured several clone infantry platoons, and positioned them near the next city, Hephaestus city III. Vayne was busy of leading the rebellion for the next target, it was said that someone from the fleet would come to assess the situation today. The other sub-commanders however, were worried. "So far, we've secured two large cities, seven r outposts, six bases, and five storage areas, the rebels on the other planets have done almost the same" "That's all great, but what are we going to do when the GA gets reinforcements?" "Yeah, the Governor must have asked for help, no way he could handle us by himself now." "Hmm, If we could just take control of the fleet."
The commanders were debating over the pPossibility of a GA counter-attack. Admiral corzeer, the commander of the Hephaestus garrison forces had defected into the Hephaestus freedom fighters, he had been a long time supporter of the cause, so now was time to give concrete help: "Gentlemen, you have the control of the fleet now!" Corzeer yelled from the door, he stepped inside to the briefing room where the Hephaestus commanders were discussing the event. "We do?" one of the commanders asked, "Yes, we had to destroy one of the smaller corvettes, the captain of that vessel still though that the Following of the governor's orders were better," Corzeer nodded with respect to the freedom fighters in his voice. "I see, about these reinforcements…" Vayne said, "I suggest that we find a way to shut down comm. feeds between the capital and the GA strategic command, that way they do not know what are they going to be up against," Vayne suggested to the Group. "Yes, well we should then attack the sub-space relay station in orbit and start to listen the GA comm. feeds coming from the capital," another one of the commanders stated, Corzeer nodded. "Admiral Corzeer, perhaps you could take just one of your ships and use it to either capture or destroy the relay station," Vayne asked with a firm look, Corzeer pondered the idea for a while. "Very well, I'll take my own flagship, a heavy cruiser," Corzeer replied. "Good, try to find a way to take the station intact, we might find a use for it."

G.A.S Triton, Hephaestus Orbit:

The heavy cruiser of Admiral Corzeer was now changing course, the new course was a sure job. Corzeer did not inform the governor of his new position, he decided to give the governor the impression that the fleet was still under his control. As the heavy cruiser slowly changed course and maneuvered slightly with its huge engines, the other ships in the garrison fleet remained in orbit.
"Alright, move us to that subspace relay station," Corzeer commanded his crew on the Bridge. "Yes, sir," the helmsman replied. "Here we go," Corzeer said to himself. "Sir, there is something interesting on the local news feed, perhaps we should listen to it?" Corzeer's second in command, commander Jadel suggested. "Alright, on screen." "Good day citizens, just a few Hours ago a threatening situation erupted on the senate meeting in Gigerdi Prime. Senator Cerel Ulwenius, a member of the Democratic league party held a threatening speech in, which he clearly stated that the GA is a friend to the DHR, and openly invited the DHR forces to seek refuge in the GA territories, President Dalleer condemned this speech to be an act of insurrection and ordered the Section 18 forces to place all Democratic league senators under arrest, the party chairman is currently put into house arrest in his home located in Station Prime, secretary of defense Veduk Marlin has stated that this will not cause problems with our good relations with the Hemmoian federation." "What the hell was that?" Corzeer thought out loud, all of the crewmen in the bridge were quite amazed.
It didn't take long for the cruiser to reach the subspace station, The station seemed to be manned at this time. "Sir, the station control asks us about our business here?" "Tell them that we have a bunch of personnel who want to come aboard, including me." "Yes sir."
This one was a first class trick, Corzeer didn't yet know about the chances of pulling trick up. This might just work. "Tactical, contact the security chief and tell him to prep an away team, fully armed," Corzeer turned to see the tactical officer who nodded in approval, "And I'm going with them." "Sir, just what are you going to do?" cmmander Jadel asked in amazement. "We're going to crash the party, literally," Corzeer replied mystically. "This seems more like a boarding operation to me."

Subspace relay station:

There were only a pair of lieutenants waiting for Corzeer in the small transporter room; they were quite amazed to see a large group of security troopers with the Admiral. "Gentlemen, I think that you should drop all weapons, big or small," Corzeer ordered while the troopers moved in to clear the area. The troopers quickly tied the lieutenants with energy handcuffs, then they walked trough the small corridor and into the "bridge area". Only three officers were inside the room, Corzeer walked inside and said: "I think that it would be wise for you to raise your hands and walk away with these gentlemen." "What is this, admiral?" one of the officers asked. "This, is a rebellion," he replied quickly. As the troopers escorted the officers away, only Corzeer and an older Gigerdian major were left in the bridge, not to mention three security officers dressed in Armor. "Now, We need you to shut down all communications." "Alright, I was thinking about joining already," the major replied grudgingly, Corzeer nodded. "So, I'll use the emergency override so that it'll shut down the whole comm. network." "Well, alright then," Corzeer replied, a bit unsure of the action. "Actually, we thought that you could just shut down the communications between the GA military network and the Hephaestus capital." "Yes well, I could do that but it's too risky, since the satellites might be running on their own power." "Look, just give us a log of all messages that the governor's office has sent within the few days, then shut down the comm. systems." The Major worked quickly, he took the comm. logs and put them on a holo-disk which he handed to Corzeer, "Here's the data," Corzeer took the disk and gave it to one of his troopers who immediately ferried it to the transporter room, there another officer put it into his computer pad, It took three seconds for the officer to find the info, he notified the Hephaestus forces planet side. "Sir, we found a pair of Communication that might be the right one," One of the Troopers then reported, "Let's See it."

From: Hephaestus Governors office
To: GA Strat. Comm. (FU66321199CVB)

Situation is very dangerous, rebels have taken control of Hephaestus city II, request additional reinforcements to be sent A.S.A.P. rebel equipment level is currently very high, garrison fleet still in my hands.

Authorization: (677/GCSSW90)

Governor Fedus K. Roomel

"Seems like we're going to get some company here," Corzeer said sadly, this meant war. An hour later, Corzeer was discussing the current events with Vayne, who had decided along with the other commanders that a final assault to free the capital city would be taken soon. Corzeer was ordered to resolve the matter of defending from an assault from space. The governor now knew that the fleet was at the hands of the enemy. He still controlled the planetary defence grids, though.

G.A.S. Cheyenne, Hyper-space:

Captain Tanner had been ordered on a standard patrol two days ago, now he was on a secret mission. Tanner's battlegroup, consisting of his Merr-Sonn class destroyer, and a troop transport, a Geffron class cruiser.
Orders had come in from the fleet command; Tanner was supposed to meet up with a group of GA transports. As Tanner moved his battle group over, the Transports had immediately begun to transport Ground attack missiles inside the destroyer. These missiles had Neutron warheads; they were usually used in bombing a planets surface clean of enemies.
"Sir, the transport's captain informs us that all warheads have been loaded inside our cargo bay, they're loading up the launchers soon," one of the bridge lieutenants informed the captain, Tanner nodded. "I wonder, where are we headed this time?" "Sir, the transports captain just informed us of a new plan, they're giving a Transport with us, their saying it's full of Clone infantry," the lieutenant reported the latest message, "Why?" Tanner replied. "They said that we are to immediately proceed to Hephaestus colony, sir." "I see, lets get going then." As the Battle group departed from the group of Transports, Tanner thought about these new changes in mission. Hephaestus was in the middle of nowhere, nothing important was located there, he remembered. Was it a rebellion? He wondered.
It would take a few hours to reach Hephaestus with the old jump engines, so Tanner would have plenty of time to think things over. "Sir, we have captain Verlins hailing us?" "Put him on screen." "Captain Tanner, it's good to see you here, now we have a mission up ahead," Captain Verlins begun to talk with his usual manner of hard planning. "Yes, but why Hephaestus, there's nothing there?" Tanner replied, Verlins didn't look happy when somebody decided to questions his instructions, "Captain, The Fleet command gave me the upper rank here, so you'll do what they tell you to do." "Yes captain, but why are we bringing clone infantry divisions with us?" "That is information that I am not allowed to tell you, yet captain." "When will you brief us?" "As soon as we get to Hephaestus."

G.A.S. Triton, Hephaestus Orbit:

Admiral Corzeer had deployed the whole fleet's resources on the defenses. He had small fighter patrols scout the planets for any possible enemy incursions, and moved the capital ships near the possible invasion points.
"Any word from the patrols?" Corzeer asked the tactical officer, "No sir, they reported all clear," the tactical officer replied. The time was short, so Corzeer took all the resources he could to the battle. They used small anti-drone mines to block entrance to the subspace relay station where Hephaestus had been broadcasting signals to Karellen, in case he might be able to help. "Sir, We have a transmission coming from Hephaestus city II," the comm. officer notified, Corzeer stood up and walked to the console. "Alright, put it on." "Corzeer, this is Vayne, we are preparing our forces for the assault now." "Good, Keep us informed of your progress." "I will, but you keep the fleet of our backs, Vayne out." As the transmission ended, so did the waiting. A blue sphere suddenly opened in real space, from the vortex came out three ships. It seemed like the enemy had arrived.
"Sir, we detect three GA warships moving this way, they just jumped in." "Can you detect the signal markings on those vessels?" "Yes sir, one of them is the G.A.S. Cheyenne, they've got a transport with them." "Alright, red alert!" Corzeer yelled as the warning lights and alert sounds begun to haul trough the ship. "Hail the lead vessel," Corzeer ordered.

G.A.S. Cheyenne, Hephaestus Space:

Tanner had been briefed about the situation, several minutes before they jumped in the system. It seemed that the colony had rebelled, but the governor didn't have enough forces to handle the growing riots and mass defections going on, the GA government had enough problems to worry about due to the Hfed civil war going on, they weren't even briefed about the situation correctly. So, the GA strategic command had ordered a strike force of ships to quickly take the colony back. They also hoped, that the system's garrison fleet would still be loyal to the GA, now was the time to strike.
"Captain, reading three vessels near the main planet." "The Command vessel is hailing us." "On screen." The main screen blinked and the worried, but stalwart picture of Admiral Corzeer appeared. Tanner didn't know about the identity of this Officer, he wondered about his first question. "I understand that you have a rebellion going on?" Tanner started, still a bit unsure on what to say. "Well, we call this a simple liberation of the people of Hephaestus, actually," Corzeer replied. "Listen, if you are affiliated with the rebel forces, I ask you to lower your shields and prepare to be boarded, or we'll open fire." "You are in violation of Hephaestus Space, leave now or we'll defend ourselves too!" Corzeer replied, he was getting angry at these GA "Know-it-all" types. "No, You are just a group of damn rebels, we'll handle your kind now!" Captain Verlins cut into the conversation, he seemed angry too. "No way, we have declared ourselves independent from the GA, your leaders are wrong here," Corzeer Said. "You've committed insurrection, a man in a high rank such as you yourself should know the consequences of this." Verlins continued. "This is my last warning, lower your shields and prepare to be boarded!" "Admiral Corzeer, You are clearly outnumbered here, we'll destroy you if we have to," Tanner said with firmness in his voice, Corzeer was more interested on battling it out with Captain Verlins. "You are in violation of the Gigerdi Alliance constitution, rebellion is not permitted!" "Seems like the people you work for are more violators than we are." "I've had enough, Open fire," Verlins ordered, the small transport ship fired a pair of point defense beams at the Triton, they didn't do much damage. The Triton replied with a salvo of three plasma torpedoes, the Transport ships shields wavered.
"Captain Tanner, Open fire!" Verlins yelled at the Screen from his transport, Tanner was hesitating about the motives of the mission. "Sir, We shouldn't fire at them, we should find out about the reason to this Uprising." "What?! , are you disobeying orders too?" Verlins yelled back, "You have got missiles aboard, launch them at the planet!", Tanner hesitated but decided to act anyway. "Tactical, Launch one missile, target the hostile cruiser," he ordered, the large grey object moved away from the ship slowly, the launch sequence was fast. As the red glow of the missile begun to move away from the ship, Tanner hoped not to hit the planet with it. He was very confused, the GA strategic commands suddenly issues a mission with no background, then tell their officers that the garrison fleet is friendly, but instead it's very much hostile. Who knew what the GA had gotten themselves into now, probably trying to cover a scandal or a failed operation of some sort.
"Hail Captain Verlins's ship, now." "Yes what is it?" "Sir, there's something wrong here, those colonists could be telling the truth about this." "What truth? There is no truth for the rebels, they want to destroy the GA and you are ordered to stop them!" "Sir, under the current situation I feel that the intelligence data that the Intel has provided is inadequate and therefore we cannot act, suggest a retreat," Tanner spoke with a low tone, he could see that the transport ship was taking damage fast, it was no match for the heavy cruiser. Verlins made a strange face, composed of anger and simple frustration. "Just launch those missiles or I'll relive you of your duty…" As the final words of Captain Verlins echoed out, the transmission was suddenly cut off. The heavy cruiser must have destroyed the transports sensors and communications. "Alright, Launch two more missile, do not target anyone." "Sir, Captain Verlins gave us specific orders to fire them at the planet!" his second in command reported. "I know, but we don't know about the real situation here, there could be something very bad happening out here." "Captain, Fire those missiles," the commander said slowly but surely, it almost seemed like he would be relieving the captain himself. Another pair of missiles was fired from the Cheyenne; captain Verlins saw it happen in his command screen. "Now you'll bite the dust," he whispered.
The Missiles sped closer to the heavy cruiser, which was intercepting enemy fire as much as possible, for a moment it seemed that the projectiles would hit, but they fleered past. Verlins was furious, it seemed that captain Tanner had changed ship. Another cruiser, a Geffron class had been moving near Tanner's ship, in that ship were a few more groups of Clone infantry. "Contact the captain of that Geffron," Verlins ordered. "Sir, our comms are down," a mistake that Verlins did not plan for just happened.
Captain Tanner Contacted Corzeer, and told him about his idea. Corzeer agreed that Tanner could join in; the Hephaestus forces boarded the transport and captured captain Verlins. It was too late for Tanner to look up on GA anymore, as most of his crew decided to stay with him, the others were given shuttles to leave on. Vayne had taken the capital easily, the small resistance had been destroyed and more defectors joined up. The message from Karellen finally arrived, The message told that the DHR would continue their fight, and that Hephaestus would remain a close ally. The independence war was at an end; the governor had fled in a cargo transport.
A few days later, the constitution of the Free Republic of Hephaestus was signed. The Hephaestus was now an independent state, free from the GA. Although, Vayne knew that this was just the beginning of their battle, they would have time to rally forces. The Hephaestus forces liberated the other planets within the weel and raided several GA outposts in the system, establishing total control over Hephaestus. Vayne was named a President of the new republic, a job he was not quite ready for yet.

Hephaestus Capital city:

The people were celebrating as the rebel forces marched into the city a few days ago; the Hephaestus government was officially established. Vayne was watching the parade from his new office, the former governors office. Most of the political party members had been promoted to administrator duties, the little time they had left would be spend on preparing for a second round with the GA. The reason for GA not to take Hephaestus back now was purely political, due to Hephaestus's alliance with the DHR. The People really needed a revolution, that's what all agreed. The people would be celebrating for days as great parades and fireworks were being done all over the planets.
"They'll be back," Vayne said quietly, Looking out from the offices window. "We won the battle, but not the war, unfortunately," one of his Aides said, Vayne nodded. "The time that we have left, we'll spend wisely." "Yes of course." "Sir, the last batch of GA prisoners are being brought to the shuttles, we're ferrying them off to the closest GA colonies, now," another aide reported. "Good, that's the last of them we'll see around here for a while." "Tomorrow, you'll meet with secretary of defense Corzeer and prime minister Dukin." "Yes, But today we'll celebrate."


The end…

FOR NOW.