7. Pirate High Council
In the chambers of the Council of Outworlds. Referred by the Momo Empire as the Pirate Realms. This name, embraced as the unofficial title of the united planets. Originally a hegemony with the first colonized planets, it since evolved into the confederation of kingdoms and constitutional princedoms. Each ran as a small empire of its own. A few republics and some monarchies and all were at peace with one and another.
A tenuous peace existed with the empire. The King of the largest of the Pirate Governments, a hybrid-human that had been childhood friends with the, then, crown prince of the Momo. Initially a hereditary monarchy, the two princes developed an infection from the synthetic virus of the Csu Wars. Bio warfare of the Csu had forced the medical emergencies to use a variety of animals for making the vaccine against the virus.
In the end, the geneticists even used lobsters for their immune systems, a vaccine to which few people received the experimental antigen with unexpected results. A mortality rate of infected who received the antigen was unacceptably high. Those that lived had a unique result.
They stopped aging.
In the years that followed, two princes followed their own paths. In the outworld kingdom the King abdicated and withdrew from administrative life. Some said he had gone to a planet that was fully off the grid and would only accept a very few visitors.
In the years that followed, the free and outlying worlds organized, becoming well-known to trade back and forth with each other. Explorers discovered raw materials and scientists of these new worlds developed technology to extract the needed minerals.
The greatest discovery in the Kingdom of Nebulas, the center of the Pirate Confederacy and the seat of power. They discovered how to stabilize hydrogen into a metal and use the material for structural needs and even, rumors implied, in their ships of the line.
Huge ships that looked like cargo-haulers. But the mass of these ships kept them from being picked up as dreadnoughts of space. Heavy weapons were light in weight and did not trigger sensors immediately, a pirate’s theme from long years past. Sneaking in so close, prey does not time to mount a defense.
Xenon based weapons and rapid charge helical-rail guns. They earned reputations as builders of the best and speediest ships around.
Once upon a time, they cooperated and helped with the Momo Empire design a huge ship, a heavy battleship that could lay waste to a planet with a single broadside of it’s multi-barreled weapons. Carrying more small fighters, it was a capital ship of multi-capable tasks. Part fighter-carrier, part dreadnought. The huge vessel was more ship bow to stern than some countries were long, a hundred gun turrets to a side, the design ship-builders considered it the most complex ever built. Abandoned by the Pirate confederation, the empire continued to build them without the support of the pirate patch wearing scientists.
However the disagreement between the Momo and the Pirate Royals over the safety of the ship caused the pirates to pull out of the development and take much of their designs with them. The Stellar class battleship was second to none.
Expensive in the extreme to build, the Momo scientists and engineers were only able to build four of them.
Plus one in secret, exclusively for the Emperor’s family. Ten engines, able to reach speeds of most of the other cargo ships could not reach.
Over the years, the rift between the Hegemony and the Empire grew. With the threat of annexation of the systems, the loose collection of kingdoms came together and wrote articles of confederation. The communities become cooperative entities. the pirate confederation kept evolving into a society of free thinkers and more closely intertwined.
Rogers was of the Gorgon’s Kingdom. Named by the first King after the defeated creature that he defeated some three-hundred years before.
Gorgon’s Kingdom, among ninety-two others spread over a mapped area seventy-five percent of the size of the Momo Empire. Each with a fleet with combined numbers greater than the Empire.
This was a reason that the Empire had to make the worlds their own, the freedom of the people was an anathema to the worship of the only deity allowed by the ruling theologians. Attempting to sway politics and impose their influence other worlds governments with espionage only caused those the Momo called pirates to unite more tightly for a common defense against the Empire.
Conflicts and disagreements led to the Guild Trade Wars. The United Pirates Confederation in years following showed that despite the size of the Momo Empire, the smaller and, largely unexplored region of space and independent states that were then labeled progressively from “Outworlders”, then “Outlaws”, then Pirates. The last title embraced fully by the largest and oldest kingdom of traders. Free people who lived on twenty-score planets, willing to stand up for each other.
The Great King of the royal pirates, before his abdication — his retirement — Spoke before the high council of fifty-kingdoms.
“Pirates they call us? Pirates we are. From now on, Buccaneer, Pirate, Privateers are welcome to stand with us to a common defense. To freedom everywhere. Stand up and raise a voice against the rape of our resources and raw materials. Of people everywhere who choose to live out from under the boot of the Empire’s enforced religion. For We, The Free People declare in a single voice, WE ARE PIRATES!”
The war continued for years, until the battle of R136, where the combined fleets of the confederation still found themselves outnumbered by the Empire fleet nearly by double.
Still, the tactics around the super massive star negated the superior numbers of the Momo Empire. The future king continued to pace back and forth in the approaching victory.
“To crush the empire would be to risk more than war. The Emperor and I have a friendship.” He pulled at his ear and worried.
With that, the Pirate Prince called for a meeting with the Emperor. Days of meetings resulted, with commanders and leaders, admirals and officers all in the entourage that followed the two leaders. After long hours of speeches and plans for peace, finally the leaders of fleets and warriors went behind closed doors with bottles of wine, cheeses and bread. Coming out days later.
They had slept in their seats. Called each other names, joked about past adventures, gotten drunk with each other, laughed with each other, swore at each other, yelled, slept and wept.
In the end.
For two hundred years, the truce had held, treaties written, becoming a peace with unguarded borders. Trade even began to spring up.
But now after the destruction of so much, in so many places, was successfully averted. Sparing tens of thousands, perhaps millions of lives.
Until this report of the Empire violating the truce and treaty.
Port Aquila, the outpost closest to the border systems, sent an encoded message to the red dwarf system, the seat of the high council of pirates.
In response to the information that the fleet of the Momo Empire, outpost sensors detected in the area, the message received and understood and the High Council sent a task force to counter the threat.
The High King was coming to Port Aquila.