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CH 10: SOOHOLL CITY
 
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HURRAN INVASION, CHAPTER 10: SOOHOLL CITY

HI10-0
     Next morning at breakfast time Raika confessed timidly, “Najé, I need three more travel containers. I bought too many things yesterday, and I need some means to pack them.”
     He said, “Why should you, Raika? Leave them here. Take only what you need, and leave the rest. The suite is yours whenever you want it.”
     “How am I going to pay for all those things, Najé?” asked Raika troubled.
     He watched her attentively for a few moments, then said, “I do not know, Raika. I suspect you will have to work very hard.”
     She looked into his eyes with innocent hope, then she said with great eagerness, “I shall work like a slave, Najé!” She paused, then she asked shyly, “May I . . . keep everything?”
     Najé replied in a serious tone of voice, “Sure, but do not think for a moment, My Dear, that I shall spare you the burden of hard work because I love you.”
     “No, Najé, I shall work really hard, I promise!” rushed Raika.
     “Good. As of today, you are my personal Secretary,” announced Najé.
     “Yes, Sir!” replied Raika jokingly.
     He protested, “Noo, I do not want to hear that, Raika—just, Najé.”
     She corrected herself, “Yes, Najé.”
     He explained, “Now, because you are my Secretary, you become, automatically, a citizen of the Free Democratic Republic Xallas—”
     She interrupted him suspiciously, “Wait a minute. What does it mean, exactly?”
     Najé detailed, “It means, you are entitled to a free place to live in Gorkun City, which is the suite you already have. Then, you have the right to buy anything you want in our Republic without having to pay. In addition, you have the right to use, free of charge, any facility in the Republic for transportation, communications, for food, for medical purposes, and for . . . many more.”
     Raika asked timidly, “Am I going to receive an official code with my citizenship?”
     He explained, “Yes, you will receive your citizenship registration code, and an account at the Intersystems Xallas Bank of ten million equ. credits—”
     “Najé Xallas!” exclaimed Raika revolted and looking angrily at him.
     “What?” asked Najé defensively.
     “I cannot accept MONEY from you!” said Raika with irritation.
     He motivated, “I am sorry, My Dear, but you will have to do it. I have already registered you as a citizen, while we were talking, and the bank account comes with your citizenship rights.”
     “Oh! Everybody gets it?” asked Raika perplexed.
     “Everybody,” replied Najé.
     “You mean, everybody around here is a millionaire?” asked Raika with surprise and doubt.
     Najé watched her for a few moments, then he explained in a caring tone, “Yes. You see, My Dear, money means absolutely nothing to us; better said, it is only a social convenience. In time, you will understand that yourself.”

     Raika took some time to think over his words, then she said while watching him suspiciously, “Do not imagine for a moment, Najé Xallas, that you can abuse me if I am you Secretary—”
     He interrupted her greatly amused, “Ha, ha! Aaah! I wouldn’t dare, Miss Madjen. If you remember, it is your dear little soul I am really after.”
     “Raika! Please call me, Raika.”

     During the flight back to Sooholl City Najé gave Raika her citizenship code, then he instructed her how to use it in case of emergency from anywhere in the Allied Worlds.
     They landed on the inside Plaza of the Council Building, then they stepped out the ship. Guards and security people rushed around them and, moments later, even Jeolan came in a great rush. Raika let the men discuss their problems, and she departed to her suite.
HI10-1
     “Najé, you have no idea of what just happened,” said Jeolan when they entered Najé’s suite.
     “What?” asked Najé relaxed.
     Jeolan explained appearing to be very scared, “We have received an Ultimatum from the Hurran Arch-Commissioner!”
     Slightly intrigued, Najé asked, “What’s he saying?”
     “He wants Unconditional Surrender,” said Jeolan, and he watched Najé attentively for any reaction.
     Not much impressed, Najé replied, “Fine. How many days?”
     Jeolan asked perplexed, “Do you really think this is fine, Najé?”
     “Of course it is. How many days?” asked Najé again.
     “Ten equ. days,” answered Jeolan, and he looked very pale.
     “Aah, we have plenty of time,” said Najé smiling with satisfaction.
     Jeolan asked timidly, “Is everything going all right on your side, Najé?”
     He replied, “Sure, do not worry about anything, Jeolan. Listen; when I go to meet with the Arch-Commissioner, to sign the Surrender Act, I shall take Miss Madjen with me in your place.”
     Jeolan asked with doubt, “She wants it?”
     Najé watched him with a displeased facial mimic for a while, then confessed, “She is ready to kill ME, if I do not take her along.”
     “Wow! What a Lady!” exclaimed Jeolan with admiration.
     “Yeaah . . . How are things around here, Jeolan?” asked Najé.
     Jeolan reported promptly, “There is a Martial Law in effect for looting and vandalizing, there are curfews for the night traffic, and we have military patrols everywhere, around the clock.”
     “Good. And the civilians?”
     “They calmed down, but . . . there is a rumor going around, Najé,” said Jeolan timidly.
     “What rumor, Jeolan?” asked Najé intrigued.
     “People talk about going into offensive.”
     “Aah . . . That is coming from the military people . . . What is the military situation?” asked Najé thoughtfully.
     “We work in secret as much as we can but . . . as I said, the rumor is out,” explained Jeolan smiling shyly.
     “That is not good, Jeolan! I do not like that rumor to circulate around. Umm . . . could we spread the rumor that we prepare for resistance?” inquired Najé.
     “We could try—” started Jeolan.
     Najé interrupted him, “How about a rumor that we intend to get a privileged status from the Hurrans when we surrender?”
     “Everybody knows the Ultimatum, Najé: it is unconditional,” explained Jeolan troubled.
     “I see . . . We need to prepare an answer to the Ultimatum, Jeolan; something that would allow us to spread the rumors we want.”
     Najé called Raika on commgate, and asked her to bring along the Hurran Ultimatum message.
     “How is the military mobilization going, Jeolan?” asked Najé.
     “All four Republics on Cotta are working at full power. Mobilization orders have been sent, and there is instruction going on. Now . . . everything depends only on you, Najé.”
     “Look, Jeolan, at this moment all I know is—” He was interrupted by Raika who came in and took a seat nearby. Najé continued, “As I was saying, at this moment I know I shall go with Miss Madjen to sign the Unconditional Surrender Act with the Hurrans. We are going to be away for a few days, and there are two possible scenarios. One is, we shall come back after a period of maximum seven equ. days, and you do nothing until then. The second one is, Miss Madjen and I shall not come back after a period of seven equ. days. In this second instance, Jeolan, you need to contact my people in Gorkun City—any of the Governors.
     Miss Madjen is going to give you a list with their names and contact codes. You have to cooperate with them, Jeolan, and you must listen to them as you listen to me.”
     “Yes, Najé. I shall listen,” promised Jeolan.
     “Together, you will start the Offensive on three fronts. One is here, in the Norghe System: with what forces you have, you will attack the Hurran Fleet. You do not have to worry, because the Hurran Fleet is going to be a lot reduced in size, compared to what it is now.
     The second front will be the Kugh System, and my men will help you open there six or seven pits there—”
     “How?” managed Jeolan to articulate, while making big eyes watching Najé. The Cawa Federation always suspected that Najé Xallas had very advanced technologies, but they never managed to find out specifics.
     Najé replied dryly, “That is not your concern, Jeolan. All you have to do is have the military people, weapons, medicines, and all other provisions ready. Again, you have to listen and do everything my people will tell you to do. Do you understand this, Jeolan?”
     “Yes, Najé. I shall listen and do everything they want me to,” promised Jeolan with the attitude of a diligent teen student.
     Najé continued, “The third front is going to be in the Ancen System, and you shall proceed there the same as in the Kugh System. Now, this is the fighting alternative, in case Miss Madjen and I do not return. It is a bad one, since it means a lot of fights and bloodshed, but you are going to win, Jeolan, because you have my people to help you.”
     “I get it, Najé: we shall win!” said Jeolan with some anemic enthusiasm, trying to appear brave.
     Najé said thoughtfully, “If something goes very wrong . . . my people will tell you what to do . . . However, the best alternative is if Miss Madjen and I shall come back, therefore we need to focus on this one . . . Raika, could you, please, read the Ultimatum?”
HI10-2
     She started, “To the President Delegate of the Allied Worlds Confederation. You have—”
     “Sorry to interrupt you, Raika. Is there a name for the President Delegate?”
     “No. It is addressed to the President Delegate of the Allied Worlds Confederation.”
     “I see . . .” said Najé thoughtfully, then added, “Please continue, Raika.”
     “To the President Delegate of the Allied Worlds Confederation. You have eight Hurran days, from the time you receive the present Ultimatum, to Surrender Unconditionally Norghe System, Ancen System, and Kugh System to the Central Planning Committee of the Hurran System led by the Arch-Commissioner, His Excellency Bagres Kuldema.”

     Both Raika and Jeolan were watching Najé for any reaction. Najé was thinking hard, motionless. For a while, there was a perfect silence inside the room.
     “Yeah . . . There is nothing besides the content in this Ultimatum,” concluded Najé, then he added, “Now, it does not matter what they say, but it matters a lot what we reply. Please, start recording, Raika . . . To His Excellency the Arch-Commissioner of the Hurran System, Bagres Kuldema . . . We want to . . .
     No, do not record this Raika . . . Record now. In response to your Ultimatum, Najé Xallas, the President Delegate of the Allied Worlds Confederation, is ready to comply with the terms of your Ultimatum within the allocated time limit.
     The President Delegate wishes to request an audience to His Excellency the Arch-Commissioner Bagres Kuldema to plead for a privileged treatment of the Norghe System . . . I think this is sufficient to build it appropriately, Raika.” Najé paused for a few moments, then added, “What do you say?”
     She asked, “What if the Arch-Commissioner wants to come here?”
     He replied, “We shall meet with him in open space anyway.”
     “Can we force that, Najé?” inquired Raika.
     “I do not believe we can, My Dear. Everything we say is going to be analyzed and dissected and, of course, they will be very suspicious . . . I think we have to formulate our meeting proposal as vaguely as we can. We need to rely on their natural suspicious character to take its course. Please, finish our response, Raika, then give it to me to read it, and to attach the codes.
     The time for our fight is getting closer, and closer. What we need to do now is to prepare ourselves psychically, and wait for the answer. Everything depends on—” said Najé, and he left his words unfinished while looking at Raika with unfocused looks.
     After a while, Jeolan asked shyly, “How long do you think it would take to receive an answer to our message, Najé?”
     “I GOT IT!” cried Najé, and both Raika and Jeolan looked at him with scared eyes. Highly excited, Najé explained, “I know how to force them to meet with us in space!”
     “How?” asked in unison Raika and Jeolan.
     He smiled happily, then replied, “I cannot tell you anything now, so both of you have to be very patient.”

     Raika worked for sometime on the answer to the Ultimatum. Najé studied it, then he attached his codes. He asked Raika to send it immediately, and she left the room.
     Najé turned towards Jeolan and said, “All right, Jeolan, I shall meet with you later.”
     Jeolan understood that Najé wanted to be left alone, therefore he also left promptly.
HI10-3
     As soon as Jeolan was out, Najé contacted Gebd on his private commgate. He said, “Check this connection, Gebd.”
     “It is all clear, Najé,” reported Gebd.
     Najé explained, “Gebd, I want ten or twelve ships equipped with reverse-mass detectors to go out in space, in order to intercept the Trans-States Drive generators the Hurrans use to form their destination points. They should be many, most likely more than one hundred. Do you understand this, Gebd?”
     “Yes, I understand what you want to do. We need laboratory reverse-mass detectors, because the generators are, most likely, very small,” replied Gebd in a tense attitude.
     Najé continued, “Do not destroy the generators, Gebd, but render them unusable. Make it look like an accidental depolarization or . . . something natural.
     Once our people find the first generator, they can easily fine-tune the reverse-mass detectors and discover the remaining ones fairly fast. I suspect the generators have been sent maximum three equ. days ago, and they should travel up to our System for a minimum of five more. The generators should be somewhere before the mid distance Ancen to Norghe, and they should still be grouped together. Tell the boys to use temporal shields, Gebd. Again: it must look like a natural accident.”
     “I understand,” replied Gebd while watching Najé attentively.
     “Make this one your first priority, Gebd,” advised Najé.
     “The ships will depart within thirty equ. minutes, and I shall personally supervise this operation,” promised Gebd.
     “Please contact me when you are done,” said Najé, then he closed the connection.

     Najé was very happy. If the Hurran Trans-States Drive destination generators were discovered and rendered unusable, the Hurran Fleet was forced to travel via the interstellar Infra-Space Drive all the way from Ancen. The Hurrans would be very scared to travel exposed and vulnerable in the open space for that much time. Therefore, it was an obvious alternative to call Najé to sign the Surrender Act in space, in order to end the hostilities as soon as possible.
     That was a simple and very efficient solution to many problems, and Najé asked himself perplexed why he didn’t see it sooner. He admitted that, until that moment, he never thought of those tactical problems too much.
     “Anyway, the time to force the Hurrans to play as they are told is very close . . . In theory, at least,” thought Najé.

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