The Atlantean Federation - Cover

The Atlantean Federation

Copyright© 2024 by KKindle

Chapter 57

One morning, after a fairly decent sleep, Mark was going through his morning routine, when he noticed something in his daily reports. Virgohn, one of the non-federated planets, had contacted the Federation.

He figured maybe they were complaining about the gate construction in their area of space, but then he remembered Virgohn was one planet that Sebastian had sold some technology to! So he confirmed, “Cricket, did we disable all Federation technology that Sebastian had sold them?”

“Yes, they had purchased few physical things. He had sold them a lot of construx, a mass fabricator and a dozen medibays, and designs for stun guns, laser turrets and pulse cannons. The only stuff we’ve disabled were the mass fabricators and medibays. He didn’t actually sell them physical stun guns, laser turrets or pulse cannons, just the designs, so we don’t know if they’ve actually built anything with those plans.

Hmm, can you display a map of Virgohn and put me in touch with the person who is requesting our help?

Will do! Her name is Governor Ardala.

Cricket popped up a holographic display of the planet Virgohn, which looked just like every other life-bearing planet. A centon later, Cricket connected the call to his office, and he was looking at a beautiful brunette woman, who looked like she was maybe in her early thirties.

Mark started, “Greetings, I’m Mark Phoenix, King of the Atlantean Federation, I’ve received word that you were trying to contact us. What can we do for you?”

As the brunette bowed, “My King, I am Ardala, Governor of Garedon. When King Sebastian visited our planet many years ago, he said that joining the Federation was always an option and that all we had to do was ask. Is that true?”

Cricket rotated the hologram and zoomed in on the country of Garedon, showing dots where the population centres were. Garedon was the largest country on the planet at 15.8 million square kilometres, and it was an island continent. Shaped like Australia, but much larger and with several enormous lakes or inland seas. Like most countries, most of the population was along the coastlines, or rivers that went to the oceans, and around the lakes.

Mark said, “For the record, Sebastian was NEVER a king, but yes, the Federation will always accept those who ask, as long as you follow our laws and transition processes and have the support of the citizens. Just in the past yahren we’ve had six more planets join the Federation, bringing our total to 17 planets, although a couple are just associate planets, which means the entire planet hasn’t joined, just part of it.”

Ardala smiled, “Good, that is how it will be here too! I am the leader of the Pro-Fed Party, whose goal was to join the Atlantean Federation if we were to get elected. We actually won the election a month ago, but the transition of power just happened yesterday ... so I’m asking if we can join the Federation?”

Mark smiled, “Sure! I’ll assemble a team and we’ll head your way to begin talks about the transition.”

Ardala then looked nervous, so Mark asked, “Something tells me that wasn’t your primary reason for contacting us. What’s on your mind?”

Ardala said, “You are very perceptive! Long story short, another country developed a virus, and it got out of their lab. It is very contagious, and it’s now 2 years in and we have more than half a billion people infected around the planet. We still don’t have a working cure and we don’t seem to develop any immunity as the virus keeps mutating ... so far we’ve seen over one hundred million deaths worldwide. Even with a high survival rate, people are afraid to leave their homes or go to work just on the off chance they contract the virus and bring it home to their friends and family. Most people that get the virus don’t even know they’re infected, or just get mildly sick for a few days, but unfortunately if you are elderly, have any underlying health conditions, or it has infected you before, it’s almost a death sentence.

It has shut down our economy, many businesses have closed permanently, unemployment and homelessness are at record highs, and most countries are now so far in debt that it will be generations before anything resembling normalcy returns. Right now we recommend people to keep apart, wear a mask over their mouth and nose and to not group together. This has slowed the spread, but people don’t listen and they still gather in groups.

Sebastian had sold us a dozen medibays, which are in medical centres scattered around the country. When the medibays were working, they seemed to cure almost anything ... until they stopped working, which I’m guessing was when you learned Sebastian had sold them to us?”

Mark nodded in confirmation, as Ardala continued, “There is no current cure for the virus, but we suspect your medibays can cure the sick and eliminate the virus. I’m pleading for the Federation to help save my country and hopefully my entire planet from this disaster. Will you help us?”

Cricket, can you enable the medibays? ... and is the gate at Virgohn operational?

Medibeds enabled, gate is operational!

“We’ll send help! In the meantime, I’ve enabled the medibays, so use them and try to get the sickest people into them. They’re connected into our communications network, so we can study the virus through them. Hopefully, we’ll have a cure by the time we get there, or at least be able to identify infected individuals like we do on other planets. To aid us in preparation, what is the population of Garedon?”

Governor Ardala bowed. “Our population is roughly 565 million. How long do you estimate until you arrive?”

“Give us today to get organized, we’ll head that way tonight to get setup and then we’ll be able to get started there tomorrow morning.”

The Governor seemed surprised, “Wow! I was told it would take you about a month to get here! Thank you, my King! We shall see you tomorrow then.”

Mark then instructed Cricket, “Get one of the Earth Sentinels manufacturing a few drone droppers. We’re going to need them dispensing drones all over the country, and maybe the planet, hopefully they can identify the infected like we can on Earth.”

As that call disconnected, he contacted General Tobias.

The General answered the call, “My King, it is nice to hear from you, how may I be of service?”

“Hi Brad, long time, no talk! I wish it was under better circumstances, but I’ve contacted Governor Ardala of Garedon on Virgohn. They’ve got a viral pandemic happening that has crippled their society, it’s very contagious, but it has a high survival rate—unfortunately if you are elderly or have underlying health conditions, it can be a death sentence. They’re begging for us to help them and I think the planet, or at least the country of Garedon, is looking to join the Federation.”

“Sure, we can help! Did Sebastian sell them any of our medibays?”

“A dozen of them, I’ve turned them back on and I’ve instructed her to get some of the sickest people into them as soon as possible.”

“Good! That way we can collect some information and I’ll get some teams started on analyzing the virus. Who knows? Maybe we can develop some sort of aerosol cure that we can just crop-dust the entire planet with?”

“We can only hope it’s that easy!”

Kaleb then joined in on the call, presumably by Brad’s invitation.

Kaleb said, “I overheard part of the conversation. Something about Virgohn having a virus outbreak and they need our help. Is there anything that security can assist with?”

“Actually Kaleb, I’m glad you joined in, you were my next call. From what I heard from the Governor, their society is on the verge of collapse. Her political party ran on the platform of joining the Federation if they won, and they won by a landslide, apparently. So she’s begging the Federation to come in and take over her country to save it! With that being the case, we will need personnel to set up and staff thousands of outreach centres and we must train security, in her country and possibly other countries.”

Sensing that Mark wanted more information about the planet, Cricket spoke up, “We discovered Virgohn 82 yahren ago, it is much like Earth in every way, they even have a very basic space program, although I think they’ve mostly abandoned it now that they know they can contact another planet easily. Most of the 158 countries on the planet are democratic from what we know. I will admit my records are outdated, as Governor Ardala is not in my database, I had someone named Kane listed as the Governor of Garedon.

Mark asked, “What is the estimated population of Virgohn?

82 yahren ago, we had the population listed at roughly 2 billion, which is pretty much on par with how Earth was 82 yahren ago. So, if they’ve developed like Earth, I would estimate their current population is likely around 7 billion.

“We’re dealing with a global contagion on a planet that is pretty much identical in size, population, and everything to Earth. Fortunately, it’s just one country that has asked for help and they have a population of just over half a billion, but if we can help them, there’s a good likelihood that other countries will ask for our help as well. I’ve got a Sentinel started on manufacturing drone droppers, so hopefully the drones can detect the infected and we can make them glow, that will at least help with the physical distancing and detection.

Then to speed up our response, we’ve got a hyperspace gate at Virgohn, so we can fly shuttles directly there if we have to.

Then, since the Poseidon is no longer my ship, I’m going to take a Sentinel, since there’s the possibility of adding at least another member country and possibly planet to the Federation, so my Earth experience might come in handy, plus having a big ship like that will give us a base of operations.

I’ll call you back after I’ve sat down with the Governor and come up with an action plan, but as of right now I’m going with the Ardent plan.”

“We’re on it! Be safe, my King!” They both said in unison as they ended the call.

Just then Mark’s stomach grumbled, and he realized he should go make some breakfast.

As he got downstairs, he realized he had spent more time than he thought with all the calls, as Luna and Ra’ki had just finished making breakfast and everyone was dishing up.

He grabbed a few slices of French toast, some orange juice and another coffee and sat out on the patio with everyone else.

When he made his appearance, everyone started asking questions, figuring he must’ve been busy with something important if it overrode his instinct to eat.

Mark said he was on a call with one of the Governors on Virgohn and that their party was the Pro-Fed Party, whose goal was to join the Federation if they got elected.

At the very mention of Virgohn, Liyana pointed out that Virgohn was probably the most remote planet they knew about except for the Norn world, now that Cantara is gone. That planet has to be 2 or 3 sectons travel from here.

Mark smiled, “I never want to feel as helpless as I did with Cantara, which is why I built a gate at Virgohn and there will soon be one at Braga also. I didn’t worry about Hytros as they are only a day or two away from the gates at either Neptune or Marnot. Silica is getting its own gate, as we have a good trade and tourism relationship with them and we’ll eventually have one at the Norn home world.”

It saddened everyone at the mention of Cantara, but after a moment of silence, and realizing that they wouldn’t need to spend sectons just travelling there, almost everyone said they wanted to go. Solara, Astra and Gaderius were the only ones that were going to stay at the ranch, mainly because Candy and Dany were going to be moving to the ranch, so Solara said she might need to make some changes for them, Astra just wanted to stay with Solara and Gaderius was just thinking about fucking the fillies.

Mark grinned awkwardly as he told them the rest of the story, “The other reason they called is because they are two years into a global virus pandemic. It’s very contagious and most people either show no symptoms or get mildly sick, but for if you’re elderly, have underlying health conditions or infected before, it’s a death sentence. Their economy and society are pretty much on the verge of collapse, so I’ve re-activated the medibays that Sebastian had sold them. We’ll be taking a Sentinel and since shuttles can fly directly there, the Sentinel will become our base of operations. Do you still want to go to a virus infested planet?”

Everyone still wanted to go.

Mark then said he had questions on his mind, “Unless it was a landslide victory in their election, I’m skeptical of their willingness to join the Federation. They might have got elected because all the other options had no solutions for their virus problem. I’m half expecting a large part of the population to rebel against joining the Federation. I guess a lot of it depends on how desperate they are.

I also question their election process, actually I question all electoral systems until they can prove to me without a doubt that they are secure and they can verify who is voting. That’s why I like the Federation voting system, you get nearly 100% participation and there’s no chance for errors as people can vote from anywhere using their wrist devices, or for those that don’t have wrist devices, you can easily vote at any library terminal.”

Liyana asked, “So what’s the game plan then?”

“Well, let’s go talk with them, review their voting system and see if we can determine if it really was the will of the people or not. Then we do the recruitment spiel and come up with a plan for helping them, I just think we need to consider that unless it was an overwhelming landslide victory, they may want to leave the Federation during the next election. In the meantime, hopefully Brad and his gang will come up a vaccine so we don’t have to get everyone into medibays, also hopefully we can detect the infected and can make them glow.”

Annabelle asked, “So when are we leaving?”

Mark then said, “We’ll leave tonight after supper, then we can deploy the drone droppers and let them do their job overnight, then we can get started tomorrow morning. By the way, you’re all going to like the new Sentinel design!”

Everyone inquired to what had changed, but Mark gave them no further details and just told them they’d see it tonight. With everyone’s curiosity in overdrive, Mark retreated to his office, citing that he had preparations to make.

Mark spent most of the day in his office talking to Cricket and making sure they had everything they needed for a country to join the Federation. The Sentinel was making 10 drone droppers simultaneously in the shipyard, and he also had Cricket transfer five million stun guns from the moon factory.

He also made calls to Brad and Kaleb as he changed the plan, even though it was still basically the Ardent plan. In the end, the plan was still for Mark to tell them what they required after the meeting, but to start the process he asked for a few medivacs and shuttles so they could begin the outreach centre distribution. Once the gate was in position near the planet, the shuttles could start arriving, with all shuttles to report to the Sentinel where they would get their assignments.

During the day, Mark and Cricket also completed the changes to the Sentinel. They would not do these changes for every Sentinel, just this one, which was more or less going to be a test run for Derek Jones’ mission, if he succeeded with his recruitment.

After an incredible supper prepared by Solara and Astra, everyone loaded onto Maren’s shuttle and were soon landing on the Sentinel. Not that she had done it often, but Maren always said it was weird landing on a Sentinel because they didn’t have names.

Mark explained that it was because they were autonomous ships with no crew and could reconfigure themselves for each situation, but he agreed they could probably at least give them numbers to identify them when there’s multiple Sentinels in the same space.

Cricket then replied, “I’m numbering all the Sentinels now! I’m just using the order that we built them. This one is actually Sentinel 7 now.

Mark had been thinking about Derek’s proposal and had discussed some changes to the Sentinels with Cricket. Eventually coming up with a Sentinel that was part Defender and still Sentinel, just no landing pods, a smaller shipyard and smaller landing bays.

The ships were still 5 kilometres long, 500 metres wide and 250 metres tall. The shipyard was still a 1 kilometre gravity and atmosphere-free factory bay down the middle of the bottom of the ship, but it was now only 150 metres tall, which was still tall enough to manufacture or repair a Defender, if needed. They had remodelled the area fore and aft of the former factory area as recreational facilities, medical centres and a large fabrication workshop.

The back of the ship was higher than the central section, the rear section was nearly 1 kilometre long and was 25 metres higher and was where the asteroid harvesters, matter storage and engines were. The front section of the ship was only 100 metres long and rounded, almost like a bullet.

The central section from the top of the front, all the way to the front of the rear section, had a beam that went down the middle of the ship and a beam that went from each corner of the front to the back that lit up the central section like it was daytime. They needed the light when not near a sun as it was simply a large transparent triple layer force field keeping the cold of space out and the atmosphere in.

The central section was an enormous park, with a small lake, fountains, paths, playgrounds, sports fields, mini golf, and other amenities. There were 4 levels on the front section overlooking the 3 kilometre park and there were 5 levels on the rear section.

They built the living quarters along the sides more like apartment complexes. Each complex was 100 metres long and 50 metres wide, with apartments around the perimeter. Each complex had its own communal kitchen with wide hallways on both sides leading out to the central walkway for each level, and the courtyard of each apartment was part cafeteria and small park, with play areas for small kids and a variety of recreational activities. To help give each apartment complex some uniqueness, each was a different colour facing the central section. Inside the complex, each resident could choose their own exterior colours for their abode.

Scattered around the central park were stalls for vendors, workout facilities, libraries, movie theatres, arcades, bowling alleys, bathhouses, daycares and spaces for shops, bars or restaurants. They equipped it to be a complete community in space. Most of the landing bays had moved down below the quarters, wrapping around the mobile shipyard. Each landing bay was the same size as the apartment complex above it, complete with its own shuttle bus, which would make transferring passengers to or from the Sentinel more efficient.

The rear section was the school, with the level beneath the main level being many sports facilities.

They were all family friendly quarters, with a common room with a desk and computer, two bedrooms and a washroom with a shower. Either bedroom could quickly convert into a bunk room, but by default one room had a queen-size bed and the second room had bunk beds. Optionally each room could reconfigure as a nursery, a queen-size bed, a room with two twin beds, a room with two bunk beds, a craft room or an office.

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