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The Dohani War

by Martin Kerharo

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Chapter 19: Revolution

part 2

Carolyn Greenshire, escorted by two Dohanis, was waiting in a room of the ship. She looked nervous, which was hardly surprising. She was about forty-five and dressed in a sober but elegant fashion. I had the impression she might be an official in the Federation government. As it happened, I was right.

“Are you Lieutenant Zimski?” she asked. “Yes, I recognize you. I’ve seen photos of you.”

She asked me to have the two Dohani guards leave. When they did, she continued. “I’m a secretary in the planning service of the Federation government. But ten years ago I was working in a secret bureau. I know everything about the pirates. I have to warn you: it’s a lot more serious than you think.” She was very nervous and kept pacing back and forth.

“The bureau I was working for was both scientific and military. Its role was to undertake secret studies of anything that might threaten the security of the Federation. In particular, it concentrated on the surveillance of potential centers of rebellion on the frontier planets. The personnel in that bureau weren’t the only ones working on the project. However, they were the only ones interested in the Dohani.”

She paused. “The problem with the Dohani was that we knew absolutely nothing about them. They ignored us, but some of the higher-ups in the bureau thought we would come into conflict with them sooner or later. We would be at a disadvantage if we didn’t first get information about their biology and technology.

“They had the idea of attacking a Dohani base and ransacking it. And destroying it completely, to leave no trace. They decided to pose as pirates so that nobody would suspect the Army.

“And they attacked two bases at the same time, in case one of the attacks failed. They told themselves that once the Dohani had experienced one attack, they would be more watchful. Two attacks had to be carried out at the same time, to maximize the chances of success.”

I was shaken. If all that was true, it was really bad. “Is there evidence?” I asked.

“Yes, it’s well hidden in the archives, but mission orders and material requisitions can be found. Everything is there if you know where to look.”

I was tempted to tell her to go away. How would the Dohani react when they discovered that it was actually the Federation government that had attacked them?

“And why are you telling me this?” I asked.

“I’ve been living with this on my conscience for ten years. At the time, I told my boss it would be dangerous to poke a stick into a hornets’ nest. He told me that all the experts agreed that the Dohani would not react. They wouldn’t know who had attacked them; pirate raids could happen anywhere. They must take place among the Dohani, too. But right after the operation, the Dohani began counterattacking humans all along the border. I immediately realized it was due to this damned operation.”

She sighed. “I’m one of the few people who know the whole truth. And I’m the only one who’ll talk to you. By coming here I’ve signed my death warrant. Ever since the Dohani demanded that the pirates be handed over to them, all the people involved have been terrified. A good many of them hold key positions in the administration or in politics. They’ll never turn themselves in, and they’ll do everything in their power to arrange a cover-up.”

She had to be protected. The Dohani deserved to know. They were civilized; they wanted only what was good for the galaxy. The humans had shown themselves to be brutal, cruel and cynical. The ends justified the means, they said. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. Justifications that all revealed the base hypocrisy of mankind. Suddenly I was ashamed to be a human being.

“We’ll take care of you,” I told her. “Come with me.”

I took her to Jane and Ralph and told them Greenshire’s story.

“This is quite embarrassing,” Ralph observed. “The humans who conspired in this plot against the Dohani are probably a minority.” He stopped, lost in thought. Jane, too, remained silent, concentrating. They were conferring with all the other Dohanis aboard the ship, deciding what steps to take.

“Our conclusion,” Ralph finally said, “is that we should not reconsider our decision about humans.”

I closed my eyes, relieved. This case had not changed anything. The Dohani did not plan to exterminate us.

“Nonetheless,” he added, “we must find these conspirators. They must pay for what they have done.”

* * *

Greenshire now resided safely aboard the battleship. She told us where to find the evidence of the plot hidden in the computer archives. The next day, even Jane helped us look for clues. By evening we had collected all of them, including the names of the officials involved. All the pieces fit together perfectly.

The Dohani called a new press conference, and the reporters started asking for the latest news about Jane.

I firmly brought the subject back to what was most important. “We have proof that the pirate attacks on the Dohani were actually an operation organized by the Federation government.”

The reporters all began to shout at once. It was the scoop of the century. If they only knew that the Dohani had planned to destroy humanity on account of it.

I ignored their questions. “The information is now being disseminated on the Internet. It is also being sent to all press agencies.”

“Dexter, assuming the evidence is true, do you think the Federation will hand over government officials to the Dohani? They’re not just common pirates anymore.”

“No, you’re right,” I quickly responded. “They’re not just common pirates; they’re common criminals.”

“You seem to have taken the Dohani side in the matter,” said another reporter. “Do you think they’re right to act as they do and make such demands simply because they have force on their side?”

“I’ll tell you whose side I’m on,” I replied. “I’m on the side of all — human and Dohani — who have fallen in combat in this war, thinking they were fighting a brutal and bloodthirsty enemy when the real enemy was sitting in the offices of the Federation government. Millions have perished in this war, on both sides. Their blood cries out for justice. And I sincerely hope that Dohani justice will be exemplary.”

* * *

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Copyright © 2012 by Martin Kerharo
translation © 2013 by Donald Webb

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