Sunday 30 October 2016

Status Quo reversed; an alternate, science-fiction history of the Portuguese Empire

Sandra Malheiro woke up quiet early at 6:30 am. She was still tired but had a lot of thoughts that woke her up. She moved two months ago from Cidade Mars de Salazar to the new city of Conglomerado de Ricardo Almeira. She is in her early 30’s and spent a good amount of her life in the Portuguese military. The sun on the moon of Europa is like a tiny dot, but Jupiter appears really astonishing. It was one of few pros of why she liked to live on Europa. For the rest she didn’t like it. In general, she hated her life.
Yes, she had a good career in the military, she was even member of the interplanetary body of the Partido Regenerador Portugues, but she saw that she was never enough. She was a unique exception among all these men who were part of the military and the party. Usually women didn’t make a career in the military as this was despised by men and women equally. In the doctrine of the Portuguese Empire, it was stated that each sex had their own role to fulfil, ‘in order to guarantee prosperity and equal opportunity for the Portuguese citizen’. In the military, she was schooled in detail for a year about ‘state loyalty’ and ‘History of Portuguese doctrines and principles’ as well as ‘Functioning of the Estado Novo’. Many of the things that were said there were almost against her own self…as woman. It was suggested that women go and take ‘social jobs’ and that men take ‘responsibility jobs’. Men couldn’t take ‘social jobs’ and women were mostly not allowed to take ‘responsibility jobs’ and yet she was part of the military and the PRP. She swallowed all her life things that were said about women being like this and men like that and had enough of it. However, she was unsure how to address it.
When she walked out in the main avenue of the Conglomerado de Ricardo Almeira, she saw how the construction workers erected a huge 200m statue of Salazar and Sidonio Pais next to each other. This were preparations for the celebration of 1500 year Portugal. The hologram TV and ads talked about how magnificent and glorious the Portuguese cities were. Lisbon with 20 million people, Rio de Janeiro with 15 million, São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda with 13 million, Macau with 13 million as well and the moon city Vila Nova de Lua with 12 million. The TV talked about Portuguese master engineering and how the Portuguese Empire’s doctrine promoted human progress. Free drinks were also given on the street while she walked.
‘Here lady, take a free Sagres to our heroes, Portuguese Empire and doctrines’, said the advertiser.
‘Obrigado’, nodded Sandra politely.
‘Oh, you are in the army?’, the man looked at her with sceptical eyes and Sandra just gave a short ‘Sim’ as answer. Unfortunately, she was used at these questions and stares. She didn’t feel respected for what she was and her personality. Nevertheless, she promised to herself, that no matter what she would fight to keep her dream job.  She didn’t like beer much, but thought since it’s free she will just drink it. On the corner she came across ticket sellers. They sold tickets for the solar football match between Benfica and Sporting, the two biggest sports clubs in the Portuguese Empire. They had billions of members, in particular in football.
‘Oiiiiila, here are tickets for you too lady! It was sponsored by our great Empire and is a match also in honour of Ricardo Almeira. Take it and let the Empire make you happy with bola!’, said the guy enthusiastically. Football was a big deal in the Portuguese Empire and the main sports. Even on the moon, Mars and Europa (moon), football knew no boundaries. She sometimes went there, but mostly for representative matches, where high officials had to be present. If you were not present in the match, you’d be seen as traitor to Portuguese values and then again sports were predominantly male… such an irony she always thought to herself.
Sandra continued her walk and enjoyed looking up at the sky seeing Jupiter. Jupiter maybe will make her life one day better? Nah, these thoughts are now nonsense. She was having many inner monologues, as not many people could relate to her. She was very introvert too, but not shy. She could stand her own ground, but within the conditions of the doctrines. She wished for controversial debates about these doctrines and she surely disagreed on the continuous improvement and progress in the Portuguese Empire. Social progress was stuck and even split men and women more than ever apart. Men who took social jobs, did they exist? She wasn’t sure, but hoped to meet one of these men maybe here in the Conglomerado? Before she could continue her thoughts general da Silva came across and greeted her.
‘General Malheiro, I greet you!’, he looked at her with respect and gave her a strong handshake.
‘I greet you back honourable General da Silva, may our glorious day as Portuguese Empire continue’, she said and then she moved in the military office.
When she came there, the receptionist Manuel Ferreira da Cruz informed her that Marshal-Salazarissimo Peixoto ordered the whole division of the city to take part of a drill tomorrow. It was one of a spontaneous nature and ensured that his division was in permanent red alert. She took note of it on her medium.
‘Be sure that nothing goes wrong, as it’s part of the celebration of our Empire. You have my full servitude in case of questions. Have a very prosperous day!’, said the receptionist.
A cold obrigado slipped from her lips and she headed towards the instant transmission machine. She gave her coordinates and went there in one second. Everything seemed very hectic today, because of the celebration. And since the doctrine teaches them to be foremost loyal to Portugal, it was a very logic consequence. Her face went from enthusiastic to even more enthusiastic…not at all. She took a huge breath and thought to herself ‘stay calm’. The more she thought about what the state taught them, the more she found it artificial and constructed from above. She was merely a soldier, because she wanted to protect her loved ones and not because she liked the doctrine. Despite her being a woman and where it was said that she can’t protect people, her uncle helped her to get a position. He was in the second-highest rank within the military and a very important party member as well. He never had kids himself, so treated Sandra as his own daughter instead. When Sandra told him since a little girl, that she wanted to be in the military, contrary to the doctrine, under which he worked for, he made the contrary. After she finished an all-female school, she didn’t go to study social sciences, but she gave her application to become a soldier. Her uncle managed to convince the staff about her abilities and argued that she was the exception and the exception confirms the rule. A minority disagreed and argued with the doctrine, but most generals, marshals etc were actually very satisfied with Sandra. Sandra presented herself as uttermost loyal to the Portuguese cause and had great knowledge of Portuguese history as well as the space expansion program. She wished to be stationed outside the Earth, where she had more opportunities. At that time the army was happy to receive people for posts outside Earth, as there was a general shortage. Immigration was therefore also encouraged by the Portuguese Empire as well, with many financial benefits. Sandra came first to Vila Nova de Lua, twelve years ago and was absolving her formation there. She did exceptionally well and instead of 4 years, was already taken after 3 with an honorary degree. She enjoyed certain privileges, like living in her own place, 8-hours-day and could come and go without much administrative work. People never questioned her and saw her as her uncle’s successor. But this and also the doctrine and mostly the doctrine made her resent her life. She didn’t want to be an exception, she wanted to be normal and treated like everyone else and neither have privileges or be treated less. She didn’t understand these contrary behaviours she experienced. On one hand, she was not enough, she was just a woman, on the other hand, she was treated better than most other soldiers. 'This doctrine...why does it even exist?...Salazar and Pais...did you intent this? Was this your vision of Portugal', she thought to herself.
She then revised the plans of how everything should be followed during the drill, which people are assigned to her and mostly other technical details. She was getting tired of that. She was a soldier to protect her loved ones and not to maintain and propagate the doctrine. Salazarismo-Marshal Peixoto came unannounced at her place.
'Well, well how are we doing General Malheiro?', he asked.
She was caught with intern surprise. Her face stayed normally neutral.
'Honourable Salazarismo-Marshal Peixoto, which pleasure to see you personally in my department. I'm doing well and analysing with greatest attention the plans for tomorrow. Moreover, I am greatly thankful to always serve the imperial Portuguese forces!', she said in almost shouting voice.
She looked petite but she certainly wasn't weak. She was skilled and fast, most importantly very courageous.
'That's fantastic dear general. I hear that you are as good as your uncle. He made himself an eternal name within our forces. Many of my comrades are saying only good things about you and how skilled you are... well I was thinking, we should consider your achievements, your loyalty and your brave attitude dear general. In fact, the high military commission ordered to see you tomorrow! We all think that it's time that you will be declared a Salazarismo-General!,' said Salazarismo-Marshal Peixoto.
Sandra was certainly surprised and was even feeling proud... But then she thought to herself for what? Proud to follow the doctrine by every step? To swallow every letter of it against her own dissatisfaction?
'So?' evoked Salazarismo-General Peixoto.
'Sorry I was just taken apart for a moment as I couldn’t believe my own ears', she replied.
'Hahaha it is okay General! Or should I say Salazarismo-General Malheiro. In fact, though I’m a bit longer then you in service I always stand with great pleasure in front of you. I’m proud of Portugal and proud of the Portuguese people and you contribute to this pride. Billions of Portuguese are proud of you!'
She faked her smile and tried to convince herself just for that moment to be happy. Deep within she felt some pride, but it faded quickly away and was blown like the sand in the Sahara. She shakes hands with Peixoto. She always noticed his moustache and his old-fashioned general hat. She didn’t blame him for the doctrine. He was just filling his role and convinced by all sides to fulfil a role. Who knows maybe he was a man who wanted to do social jobs, but never had the opportunity?
'Oh and by the way...before I forget you are a candidate for a new position within the party. This will allow you to have more mobile hours so you can dedicate as much time needed for your positions. I know I say candidate but it is almost clear you'll be elected. I bet my moustache to that hehe', and the general started to laugh foolishly. 'Really and which position exactly?', asked Sandra.
'To be honest I forgot it now or wait... it was to become member of the upper committee of ALL the party', said Peixoto with a fierce voice. 'In any case be prepared, but I think you know that as you are one of the best Portuguese. The Portuguese Empire can be proud to have you as their citizen!
'Thanks Salazarismo-Marshal Peixoto. I take all your compliments with great pleasure, especially from someone as important and with such a remarkable and gifted leadership as you. The message is equally received with great happiness and pride. Thank you!' said Sandra.
She hates it how artificial these speeches were, but somehow this was usus within the Portuguese Empire.
Peixoto gave his farewells and left the office through the teleporter. Sandra thought whether she should accept the positions or not. She thought of it all day long. She went back home after finishing work several hours later, still thinking on that one issue. Whether to take the positions or not. All this thinking made her feel heavy. On her way back home she sat on a bench thinking and was noticed by a stranger. Without much nervousness this stranger approached her and was certainly surprised by Sandra's military decoration. He first sat next to her and watched her for few seconds. Sandra was too much self-absorbed in her own thoughts, however she could never ever refuse this offer...nobody did so and she would just cause attention towards her. So without further ado she thought she is going to accept the positions but very self-critical of course. It wasn't until then when she finished to worry about that, that the stranger asked her something.
'Are you a member of the Portuguese forces?', he asked.
'Yes a very proud and confident member. My rank is that of a general!'
'Oh wow I'm surprised and sorry I didn’t talk to you with respect.'
'It is okay; I think for today to be honest I have enough of respectful talking.'
'Oh I see, why? If I may ask?'
'Now I want to be myself. I'm Sandra Malheiro. Not just a general or member of the army, I am a person as everyone else.'
'My manners where are they? I am Nuno Delgado and well I work in a social job as you can see on my sign here in my chest.'
Sandra was literally surprised to meet under such circumstances someone as random and almost as her but on the opposite side. How come he made a social job?
‘I see, I am sorry but I am unused to see a man working in a social job? How come?’, she asked.
‘That’s a typical question, but I won’t take it badly, as I was also surprised to see a woman in the army, though our superior and almost godly doctrine says the contrary’, he mocked in front of her.
She was surprised he mocked about the doctrine in front of her. Was he a spy or an agent in disguise? Was he testing waters to see if Sandra was as loyal as her façade always portrayed it? Her gut feeling told her otherwise and she opened up a little more.
‘There are exceptions to the doctrine I suppose, I guess I am one of them somehow. However, I was lucky as my family was involved in the military and I was one of the few children. I always wanted to be part of the military, since I was young, you know. How did you come to take a social job?’, Sandra demanded.
‘Well, my family was one of the first to come to the Conglomerado of Ricardo Almeira, like 100 years ago. My grandfather and father worked on the construction and all, but once it became finalized and less people were needed in construction, they were left with their family. And of course there are children who need to go to school. So about 20 years ago the shortage of teaching staff was countered by ‘special measures’. Yes, I am one of the few men employed as teacher and I am lucky, because I wished for that, since I was small. I just never understood, why as men we must do the other jobs and not social jobs as well,’ he said.
Both talked more and started to appreciate each other in some way and stayed in touch.
A year passed, after Sandra accepted the newly acquired positions and meeting Nuno Delgado. Nuno and her became friends. They regularly talked about what was wrong according to them and consequently formed an underground group of 100 people. They became quickly dynamic and had ambitious plans. The first one was to deactivate or change the doctrine for good. The doctrine was seen as ‘burden to all Portuguese’ and as ‘lie for-shadowing Portuguese master engineering’. The Portuguese society had, according to them finally, to be emancipated from an old doctrine and changes had to be adapted. Otherwise the Portuguese Empire would utterly fail. There was no true head in this group and there was even not really a name, as they just wanted to force a change in the doctrine. They didn’t fight for revolution or saw themselves as such, they were opposed to the doctrine and that kept them together.
Today, for the annual imperial celebration, Sandra and Nuno planned on paralyzing the military and the government as well and force a change in the doctrine or at least a solar referendum. Their plan was straight forward and Sandra would exploit all her knowledge and powers she had. In fact, she had military and political power and could act without much restriction.
Usually, the Portuguese law is like that, that when all high officials leave, the highest one who remains is in charge. Without much suspicion, she asked to be part of the latest division, who would show up in the parade. The parade, on Sandra’s demand, was planned to be held on the exosphere of Europa, so the celebrations on Mars, Lua and Earth could be spotted as well, who were on the exosphere as well. Now, she would remain as the last one Europa, with the highest position. Nuno Delgado, would take with him about 10 men and women, different ships and initiate attacks on Ganymede. Sandra gave them the needed papers, so they could pass the guards. Ganymede, as other moons were strictly restricted to enter and an attack would cause furious reactions from the Portuguese Empire. While, the parade starts, Sandra would then give the orders to her military staff to fly out to Ganymede and take Nuno and his companions, but not kill them. They would entrench themselves for some time and then surrender and destroy every evidence of these papers handed by Sandra.
Sandra on the mean time would take herself control of Europa and ask the other forces to cut communication media and activate Europa’s self-defence program. This would buy them a lot of time, as every ship or person closer than 50km to Europa, would be shot. A forced retreat of the military would be sure. She would then transmit messages to the HQ of the police department of Europa and the ministries, where she declared that she was now in charge, how the self-defence program became manipulated by some intern military staff and that there was a fifth column inside the Portuguese Empire. She would instantly make transmissions to the people of Europa and try to raise as many people as possible as soldiers. An encoded message, which would appear on the HQ of the Portuguese Empire, on Earth, would demand the change of the doctrine or possibly a referendum.
‘Sandra, I hope we can do that…we need to do that for our future, for the children. I am great and thankful of knowing you and in case we will never see us again… I’d like to say it was a great time knowing you and that I love you and trust you…bye Sandra.’ Nuno left with some tears, but also with a smile of trust. Sandra looked down on the floor, where her long hair would hide her face. She couldn’t handle emotions very well, but deep down, she knew Nuno was a good man and that she wanted to be with him. She had now more courage, as she didn’t want to upset Nuno… In the following hours the plan was finally proceeded. Nuno’s message came that he passed the guards and they accepted the documents. Sandra was glad and now hoped, that all the military staff would leave for space. After she came to the headquarters, she confirmed to the highest military ranks her arrival and watched them leave. She saluted them as it was usual for a soldier to do. After waiting half an hour, she received the message of Nuno, who together with his companions launched their fake attack on Ganymede.
‘Soldiers…I have bad news…Ganymede our outpost of space interest is attacked. I order you to go now and take them down. I order you to take them and imprison them and question their motifs. Don’t kill, I repeat, don’t kill them…we need to find out who is behind that! For our Portuguese Empire! Força Portugal!’, she shouted and a força Portugal echoed back from the ranks. The soldiers did as they were told. She also persuaded the generals who were left with her to go with them.
Sandra now prepared the other steps and communicated them to her fellow companions, without much suspicion. They cut the communication with the other planets and moons within seconds and the self-defence program was activated within a matter of minutes. ‘She got a last message before from Salazarismo-Marshal Peixoto’ who told her in the transmission that she was in charge of Europa temporarily. That was unexpected, but strengthened her position now. So far there was no suspicion against her, which delighted her. Sirens were to be heard all over Europa and the streets in the Conglomerado de Ricardo Almeira became full of people, who left their working places or houses. Sandra used all hologram TV and other planetary communication devices and transmitted her speech in there. She asked people to go home, gave the police the command to bring those people safe to their houses and explained that she was now in charge of Europa. She said that a fifth column attacked important military facilities on Ganymede and that she activated the defence system, so that no terrorists could enter Europa:
‘Rest assured, dear Portuguese. We had difficult times and each time we came stronger out of it, but also changed, what we had to change. I declare now myself as the provisional ruler of Europa and I will form a commissioner government. The duration will be unlimited, until we are freed by the Imperial Portuguese forces. Any laws that will be changed, will affect Europa from this day on; for the sake of your own safety and Europa’s stability. Restructuration within the jobs will happen, as we now need to create a good provisional military force, until the Portuguese Empire frees us. This will be my first decree, which will allow also women to join the military forces. Sick men and men with good excuses are to exempt of the military draft. They are, under specific revisions, allowed to join social jobs, for the benefit of our children. The second decree which will be passed, will be the temporary abolishment of the Partido Regenerador Portugues de Europa, until we find out more about the fifth column. Honourable Portuguese citizens, show your courage, I reach my hand to you and together we can dismantle all the dangers. Força Portugal!’ That’s how her speech ended.
She was sure not everyone would respond positively to her proposals and the changes. She would especially have to get rid of loyalists to the doctrine and reactionaries within the ranks. Nuno was in great danger and she had no communication with him. His fate was now uncertain. She walked around her office in circles and ordered the receptionist to come to her.
‘Dear Salazarismo-Gene… I mean, dear provisional ruler Malheiro, how can I assist you?’
‘Manuel, I want you to address this what I am going to dictate to you, to all police buildings of Europa’

She took a breath and Manuel listened.
‘Dear Imperial Police, as provisional ruler and referring myself to the constitutional right of safety as well as rule 144 paragraph B of the police rules, I ask you to close, all offices of the the Partido Regenerador Portugues and to put the highest remaining members under protective custody. This will remain for an unlimited period of time until Europa is freed by the Imperial forces. Search all offices of the Partido Regenerador Portugues for hints of the fifth column and for hints of treason. With best regards, provisional ruler Malheiro.’
Manuel Ferreira de Cruz checked everything on his device and edited a few words or replaced some words.
‘Okay I will send it by now, your order will be received in any moment.’
She gave a nice obrigado to Manuel and ordered him to go back to his place. She hoped, that her companions placed the fake hints of terrorism, within the party offices. Like this, the whole committee of a section could already be imprisoned for a short amount of time and buy her more time internally, to push for her reforms. She had no time to lose and fabricate other fake proofs. Her next plan was to play each party member off against each other and then she also needed to solidify her provisional army. Will she succeed?

Sunday 23 October 2016

Eternal Gothic Empire in threat

The bright days turned black, when the news spread from one corner to the other throughout the Eternal Gothic Empire. Alaric the Supreme Emperor was frowning and in the most miserable state since long. He thought of his Empire…being strong united and never expected terrorist complots in one of his farthest planets. These terrorists tried to make a coup on the planet. They were able to paralyze the military over there and cut most of the communication with the central planet of the Eternal Gothic Empire. The Far Beyond Telling Horizon, the place where that happened, was never considered as important region to Alaric. The further the place, the less he actually cared for it. But he thought of himself as good, kind and strong emperor. He subconsciously used these far regions to let his prestige skyrocket. Commoners never had the glimpse of a chance to go so far…or well they’d spend a huge amount of time travelling there.
Alaric was in his black clothes and his imperial cape waiting for the generals Siegfried and Winfried. They’d probably already be in his gigantic palace. The palace was a huge place. It was grey outside and had a very Roman, yet modern look. It encompassed the size of 100km2. It was a megalomaniac building and it took more than 100 years to build it. Inside the palace there are almost 200’000 people living inside. Only a minority is the imperial staff per se. Others who live there are family members from nearby and far away. Other people are employed by staff or needed by them. It’s like a self-sustaining small economy. The top administration resides in there. You need to get driven through the palace structure. There were gardens, polar, tropical, beach, wooden, hill and mountainous areas. There was EVERYTHING… The palace marked the most prestigious era of the Gothic time and was the peak moment of it. As usual all visitors get impressed by the monstrous sight and the generals had few opportunities to spend time in there. But when they had to spend time, it was for important orders.
When Alaric got the news he had to contact his best generals. They were the two highest generals in the ranks of the Gothic Army. The Emperor Alaric prided himself with their prestige. Obviously he could do so as it was since eternity where the Emperor pf the Goths could do so. It was a tradition dating further back than even the birth of Theodoric the Great. Every emperor could take credit from others, but in return these people were compensated. This system eventually became accepted, spread globally and later was introduced to new planets. And nobody complained so far.
The Supreme Emperor went in circles with his hands behind his back and thought of this situation quiet thoroughly. He looked at one of many portraits of his dynasty; the Amal dynasty which ruled for a legendary and long time. They were true rulers and in times of need he looked up at them.
The generals came and Alaric gave them his order and discussed in detail about the situation. He was a very independent ruler; he tried to make his own picture of the situation, which made him quiet popular. Many people could identify with that, since they never liked emperors who used too many advisors or never showed off at any place. After the discussion was almost over, Alaric made some things very clear.
'Sigh Generals, you have my utter trust.' He smiled at them,' I put my confidence in your hands and if it wasn't for you, the word 'Eternal' would be removed from the Eternal Gothic Empire. So you can assume I have high expectations. Meet them and I’ll reward you and you'll be the prime example of deepest loyalty within my realm. Fail and you will disappoint billions of people.'
'Yes Supreme Emperor, we won't let you down.'
'Show them what it means to insult the empire and show them that the word eternal has its rightful place within my realm'.
The Emperor truly believed in everything he said. For him, his reign was equal to prosperity. The continuous struggle for global dominance since long was the motor that drove Gothic expansion. After the colonization of the Alpha Centauri system by his ancestor Wilgiric the Glorious, the Gothic Empire saw a new age of prosperity never seen and never recorded before! They never suffered from rebellions and the most serious rebellions dates back long ago when the Gothic Empire was divided. Then Alaric got taken back the reality after general Winfried spoke.
'Supreme Emperor! May I allow myself to ask you about the provision, supply and how many divisions and ships will be assigned under our order?', asked Winfried.
'You will order a big fleet of about 5'000 interplanetary ships, about 2'000 interstellar chasers and I will personally hand over to you about one fourth of the imperial elite fortresses. Manpower? I'd say one billion including 10% of our elite warriors.'
'Thanks for your great planning supreme emperor. We won't let you down and destroy the enemy without mercy,' announced Siegfried with fake enthusiasm.
'No, listen...first I want you to infiltrate with some of our men...I already have some spies in the place and once you are on your way you will get further instructions from them...However if you think of them as not good or even as stupid I allow you to act against them. You will be excused for all losses as I prepared a temporary imperial decree.
Oftrehn!,' ordered Alaric.
A fierce yes supreme emperor was shouted and both generals marched off. They were immediately brought to the Imperial Head Quarters where some parts of the forces and ships were prepared.
'Generals, our brothers and sisters from the other systems will meet you halfway to The Far Beyond Telling Horizon. Please notice that there are about 10-12 stony clouds and one nebula also notice that our knowledge from the far beyond telling horizon is not concluded to 100% be cautious.', informed the military leader advisor.
'Hmmm I see we can choose the faster risky way or the other longer less risky way...too bad we don't have teleportation yet...arghhh.' Complained Winfried
'Listen Winfried if my estimation from previous experiences may be right we are there in like one week. Every ship has now the faster than imaginary matter speed module.', argued Siegfried.
'I am aware of it... but remember one day, two days can be quiet long and if the loyalists lose ground over there I don't want to know what could happen. We must save our Gothic brothers and sisters from these terrorists, they already paralyzed parts of the military there and we can’t let them down!'
Winfried became quiet angry and saw his job actually more in a way of taking responsibility of the people. He saw the role as a warrior and general to protect the innocent and weak. It was in tradition to the old legends that the Goths teach at school and still talk about until these days.
After preparations were done Winfried, Siegfried and a big number of Earth forces flew out. After they reached Pluto, which acted as sector station, they took more equipment and made last checks until some minutes later the green light was given and they could maximize their speed. During this travel their boarding computer calculated all possible ways in order to avoid objects or just destroyed them. The magnetic field could also just push or destroy any obstacle. The forces from the Theodoric, Alpha Centauri, New Gothia and Amalsuntha stellar system all met them during their way. So far everything went as planned and both generals had nothing to worry about. However, their concern was, why would the Supreme Emperor send such a huge fleet and so many warriors?
'Hmmmpf I guess he wants to make a show again... God he really likes to show off doesn't he?', asked Winfried.
Siegfried replied that he agreed and he couldn’t understand it but at the end he is the emperor and these terrorists were not to underestimate. Indeed, they have the advantage to be so far away, to have less infrastructure then other planets. The terrorists have their advantage. Communication was very thin and sporadic.
This question was something that kept him awake all these nights. He also went to the simulator room to check where and how the terrorists advanced. Based on several outcomes and discussions with the military staff they agreed on a first plan. The emperor’s ideas, though questioned, were included in the first plan. This first plan saw the split of the forces, first there would be an infiltration attempt for several hours, the other ships would use anti-sensor technology to suppress any trace of them. Later on loyalists would be regrouped, people in need temporarily deported to a safer spot and the rest of the forces would then come in several waves.
However, some parts had to be changed. As stated by supreme Emperor Alaric they got messages from his spies. The imperial spies explained how the faction was very sovereigntist and seeking independence by all means from the Eternal Gothic Empire. The loyalist forces were not only paralyzed but almost completely wiped out. Some deserted, out of opportunism or because they actually believed in these ideas.  The spies gave them some coordination over time, which were still largely controlled by loyalist forces. Nonetheless supply was cut as was communication as well.
‘Warriors! Listen up. As I see it…it will be worthless to send such a huge army. I propose that only the elite as well as some of our staff will go first and then try to annex key points and try to dismantle or block sensors from the planet. Unfortunately, our brothers and sisters report that there are only few places…that are hold by the loyalists. The rest is totally conquered and the forces were wiped out or deserted. Dear warriors…we have a very unique situation here and we can’t just send all our army without knowing for real what’s going on. The spies can’t do more, because they might get caught if they communicate extensively and they are right now in their first stage of undercover process. ANY communication right now with them is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN!’
The words of Siegfried were tough to swallow.
‘Warriors! I require half of the elite troops going with me. Moreover, I order their staff to come with us. We will take the undercover ship and try to land on loyalist ground. For the rest I announce that you will listen to what our brother Fritighern. He will lead you in case we all die, understood?’, shouted Winfried.
A storm of yes sir shouts echoed on all the ship and through the communication devices. Siegfried and Winfried asked all the ships to stay behind two stellar systems, that were covered by the nebula. They took a small percentage of the fleet and the fiercest and strongest warriors with them. As they were more flexible now they reached a last (surprising) message of a spy.
‘Coordination 49 45 N, 6 10 E is safe, land on there…the rest is a disaster… brothers and sisters are…ped or t…rtured or even mu…ered. We have even traitors in our OWN ranks. A fifth column be careful my brave brothers. BOOOOOOOM…ttttrsssshhhhhhhhshshshshshshshsshhshsshshh…’
Though, the elite was the best army of the known universe so far, they learned what the word fear means. They never were truly confronted with such a moment and never thought of having 5th column in their own ranks. It was highly demotivating and building distrust, as well as anger.
The main forces were now two star systems behind and slowly but surely tried to encircle the Far Beyond Telling Horizon. They could be detected or not…at this point nobody really knew what they had to await. After a signal the main forces would then advance. When communication fails for 1 week, they would be required to go on their offensive mode and bomb, ravage and attack ruthlessly as Alaric legalised that for this specific situation.
The ships could land after some time undetected on the location which was given by the spy. The ships had a specific option build which allowed them to be undetected. They became way slower than imaginary matter speed as a consequence, but could land very safely without losses. Remaining planetary loyalist forces gathered around. The spy, who goes by the name Ricimar, was awaiting them.
‘Golein! Golein! Great you are here. I’m so glad our Supreme Emperor gave the command for you to come here. Such a relief to see you here brothers. Our brothers and sisters beyond some hundred kilometres… they are totally overrun by these filthy terrorists! Our enemy was even within our own group…within our own group…it is horrible!’, explained Ricimar.
‘Golein, brother Ricimar. We must stop from being too emotional, it will just weaken us within right now. Please give our elite troops all information you have. Where is the simulation room over here? We absolutely have to neutralize key points…the terrorists spread too fast and we must take them extremely serious’, said Winfried.
‘Alright… this situation is even for me, with all my experiences and my current rank too difficult to understand. I can just say…it took everyone by surprise. Funnily enough, a big amount of the civil population supports it as well, which I never saw before. Many of our planetary elite soldiers joined their cause…I can’t understand.’
‘Right, right, we are not here to understand anything now. We must now neutralize key points and advance as fast as possible with our plans. People are dying there in this chaos caused by these anarchists. We have to save them and never forget the Supreme Emperor and billions of people are putting all their hopes in our hands.’
Everyone went straight to the point to the simulation room. High ranking military leaders were discussing the issue and under constant time pressure. Many messages passed about frontlines falling down, ships being stolen, not working, lack of ammunition etc.

Thereupon a soldier arrived, all devastated and totally exhausted. He was without any permission and screamed he had an important message and had to deliver it fast. When he came he fell with his head on the table, leaving a blood mark on it. The warriors took him and asked him if he was okay.
‘Brothers we have a serious problem. I’m afraid that…this was just the beginning…

Gothia/Amalingian Empire

The first turning point for Gothia was the battle of Vouillé in 507. The Visigoths fought against the Franks. With the help of Burgundy and the Ostrogoth, the war turned into white peace. Alaric II and his son survived. The Ostrogoth launched a surprise attack through the Alps, which forced the Franks to retreat. After the death of Theodoric a regency was formed for his grandson. The mother Amalasuntha and the king of the Visigoths Alaric II were part of the regency. Sine Alaric II was respected and since Theodoric wished Amalasuntha to be part of the regency, there was little to no opposition leaving both Gothic kingdoms stable. First step for the unification was done. The Byzantines, only retook Exarchatus Africa, continued their endless wars with the Sassanid Empire and left Italy alone.
The 530s brought many changes. The pope, as well as the Senate, feared Justinian the Great and saw him as threat. Alaric II understood this and tried to use the pope and the Senate in his favour. Alaric tried to adopt Catholicism step by step to win the pope and the Latin majority in both kingdoms for himself. It was met with opposition by many Arian Gothic nobles. The Goths lost wars and were in intern trouble for some years. Eventually in the 540s they united and the plague was less devastating for the Italian peninsula, as there never was a war with Byzantium to begin with.
Around 550s-570s the unified kingdom of Gothia conquered almost all of Iberia. The new Gothic king would be officially proclaimed Emperor; thus the Gothia/Amalingian Empire (Amal = his dynasty) was born. In the 590s Gothia participated in a war against Byzantium, which made them a dominant power in the Western Mediterranean. Years later they allied themselves with Breton kingdoms and took on the Franks. Through extensive fights and an alliance with Heraclius (who ruled separated from Constantinople’s authority), the Amalingian Empire made considerable improvements in warfare technology. During the Arab invasions (much smaller than in our timeline), they were able to repel them by the use of Greek fire. From the 680’s onwards to 700’s they took more or less indirect control of North Africa. They promised to protect the Exarchate of Africa from the Arabs.
The Vikings in the North didn’t bother the Amalingian Empire too much. The Gothic marine could handle them with ease, as they continuously improved Greek fire methods on sea. But the power grip on the Frankish/Celtic/Slavic borderlands weakened, resulting in powerful local dukes and a feudalism-like system for these regions. The rest stayed very centralized, much as Byzantium. Despite their stable situation, their army was never neglected, as it was the duty of almost every subject to be a good soldier. Cavalry was largely used, which helped them to fend off the Hungarians, Pechengs, spontaneous Arab mercenaries or the Mongols from their Empire. Their core land could evolve continuously and technology advanced in many areas. Intern trade was never interrupted and there were continuous international routes from the British Isles to Sahara.
Due to constant wars between Byzantium and New Persia, trade from Asia was very limited. This lead the Gothia in 1200s and 1300s to expand on the seas. Hearing from ‘Vinland’ and retaining many maps from antiquity, they established a trade system similar to the one of OTL Portugal. They competed with Great Brittany, Jutiea and Norse kingdom for colonies. In the Old World, they were in a permanent Cold War with Byzantium and the Franks, who solidified in the 1500’s, became a strong rival.
Gothic allies were mostly found eastwards, like New Persia or Polska-Rus. The Americas were never totally conquered, comparable to today’s India, but the Goths established Fidusism in there (similar to feudalism). Native countries promised to pay the Goths, while getting protection in return.

There were less wars, then in our world but more devastating ones. The worst wars, were World War 1 and World War 2 mostly initiated by the Franks, who lost. The Amalingian Empire expanded steadily. A multipolar Cold War followed, where Byzantium, Polsko-Rus, New Persia and the Amalingian Empire lead loose alliances. In the 2000’s Gothia saw violent political tensions, between Loyalists, Christian Fanatics, Democrats, Fascists, Imperialists, Republicans, Latin/Germanic/Celtic separatists and technocrats. Afterwards, it became clear that the Fascists, Imperialists and technocrats ‘won’ the tensions, which lead the Amalingian Empire to an unknown path. People predict, that the Amalingian Empire will conquer the world and become an interstellar empire in the far future.