"It is no secret that no two galactic governments could be farther apart in how they function or who represents the ultimate authority within them. Still, with Declaration of the Cree'Ar Dominion, their war-machine of peace seems to be gearing up for something big.
Even amid the growing threat of this galactic invasion by a species ready, willing and able to carry out their 'message of peace', the people of this galaxy seem intent on ignoring this in favor of satisfying their own personal vendettas."
The announcer turned to her guest, "With us today is Scipio Arien, premier Ambassador for the Republic at Large and while we appreciate her taking the time to meet with us, we also hope she is not here to waste our time in our efforts to get to the bottom of this highly tragic affair."
"Hi Mesha, I was going to say that I was glad to be here but with that intro, I am beginning to wonder," the Caprician blonde answered rather amused.
"I get that quite a bit from my political guests but they always seem to leave with their skin on," the interviewer replied sweetly before narrowing her eyes and leaning forward intently, "But let us get started by my asking what a lot of people around the Republic are asking, 'What. The. Hell?'"
"Excuse me?" Scipio asked.
"In the face of a galactic threat the likes of which no one has ever faced, we have declared war on the Empire. I have talked to several military analysts and the thought of dividing our forces in the face of an aggressor is madness. Pure madness! I have analyst, Horatus Ponitias Wilkar IV, standing by on the line should you wish to refute the statement I just made!"
The Republic Ambassador's eyebrows rose a fraction at the implied challenge in the interviewer's voice. Apparently she was itching for some sort of fight, the regular type of free-for-all shouting matches that these 'conversations' degenerated into all in the name of increased ratings.
"First off," Scipio started, "Mr. Wilkar IV is absolutely correct. It does seem foolish to fight a war on two fronts, especially if one does not have too."
"Then you agree..." started Mesha with undisguised glee when the Ambassador forged ahead.
"The declaration of war was not an easy decision to make but it is one that reflected the desires of the constituency," Scipio started when the host pointed her finger at the Republic Ambassador.
"So you are blaming the people!" Mesha accused.
"Blaming them for what?" Scipio asked and the interviewer turned to look at the camera with an shocked albeit exaggerated expression on her face.
"For what? For what?" she started when a voice over the line could contain itself no longer and spoke, "For.. For... the fact that the Republic is now fighting a foolish war!"
"That was military analyst Horatus Ponitias Wilkar IV," advised the interviewer for the benefit of the audience.
The Republic Ambassador's head tilted back and she laughed wholeheartedly at the statement.
"You find this...this.. funny?" The voice asked incredulously as Mesha snapped her fingers to someone off-screen until a picture of Horatus appeared.
"I said that it is foolish to fight a war on two fronts, especially if one does not have too," Scipio replied. "I also said that our declaration of war against the Empire was the result of the Republic leadership's representation of their constituency. I have yet to hear who else we have declared war on."
"I beg your pardon?" Mesha asked.
"This program was started on the premise that with the war against the Empire, that we are now fighting a two-front war. Apparently, you have better connections than I do with the government because I have not heard of a second declaration of war."
"The declaration of the Cree'Ar implies a state of war exists--!" sputtered the voice of Horatus.
"Implies," Scipio repeated, as if to herself. "You will hear a lot of implications over the airwaves. The Imperial News Services implies quite a bit when they go on the air. We have never declared war on them as a reult of what they say! We are a society that values free speech as well as honest and open communication. We do not punish people because we do not like what they say." Scipio turned to look at the camera, "As a government, our response to people and to other governments are based on what they do, not on what they say! And in this case, the people felt that the Empire has to answer for what they did!"
"There is a reason the Empire did what they did! When you deny the basic human right of survival to people just because you do not like their government..." Horatus started to shout when Mesha picked up the charge, "We have a copy of the transmission that proves the claims of what our esteemed Analyst Wilkar IV has been saying!"
Scipio smiled, "I thought you might."
Mesha looked at someone off stage, "Can we get that audio clip rolling?"
”This is Captain Boris Calhoun of the Star Destroyer Vengeance, we request the immediate disablement of your ion fields and access beyond your perimeter grids. I repeat, this is Captain Boris-”"That was the Gallinore Tragedy, where over two thousand Imperials and four hundred Republic soldiers lost their lives.." started the interviewer by way of explanation to any listeners just tuning in only to be interrupted by the analyst,
“Captain Calhoun, this is Station 5 of Hapan Space Command,” came the response, “I am unable to authorize that request at this time, copy.”
“Unable to-son, we have Reavers on our tail. This isn’t about politics, good man, its about survival.”
“I see. I understand how frightening this situation must be for you Captain, but I’m afraid my orders are quite clear that ANY Imperial ship of the line is to be turned away from the perimeter grid at this time, copy.”
“Imperial ship-put me in contact with your superior! The Coalition Compact articles state you are under legal obligation to provide us with safe haven from any and all Reaver threats.”
“Well I don’t know about that, sir. All I know are my orders. And I’m the commanding officer of this station, sir.”
“You insolent little-main batteries online! We’ll blast our way through!”
“What was that? Hello?! Captain Calhoun! Sir, if you open fire on this station, we will be forced to-”
"...due to the foolhardy decision of the commander of Station 5!" Horatus' voice quivered
"Now wait just a minute!" Scipio's voice snapped angrily drawing a surprised look from Mesha, her eyes widened.
"Don't you dare blacken the name of one of our brave soldiers who was just defending themselves against an aggressor!"
"He blackened his own name!" Horatus Wilkar IV shouted back, "Listen to the recording of this ..this tragedy! Those poor, poor Imperials!" he lamented.
"Yes," Scipio's eyes darkened, "a tragedy. The Tragedy of Gallinore we are calling it? You know, this is not the first time the Empire has provoked us. Twice, Simon Kaine, entered our space without so much as a 'by our leave'. Twice! Imperial warships came and went and, while we could have responded, we did not. Now, a third time an Imperial warship has entered our space and not only entered it but fired upon one of our installations! There was no disavowal of the warship by the Emperor or his Empire. There was no offer of apologies or compensation to our honored dead!"
"Why should the Emperor or Empire do any of that!?" Horatus barked out. "Our brave commander," the voice sounded sarcastic, "treated the desperate Imperials dishonorably. He deserved to be fired upon by the Imperials for his callousness! I would have fired upon him myself! We know what happened! We have the recording and we know what happened. You cannot defend the man!"
"I will defend our soldiers against all opponents, foreign or domestic," Scipio replied evenly. "But you are correct in two respects. One, we have the recording and two, the Gallinore Tragedy was the result of an Imperial warship firing on a Republic station and the station proceeding to defend itself."
"Because the station callously dismissed them!" cried out Horatus.
"And yet, our good people did not go to war because of what this tragedy was. We did not go to war because of what that recording showed. In fact, we went to war because of what was missing in this tragedy in and around Gallinore. We went to war because of what was missing in that entire recording!"
"Compassion?" muttered Horatus.
"Reavers," answered Scipio quietly.
"Emperor's black bones!" whispered Mesha on air.