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Old April 7th, 2010, 10:36 PM
david.wendelken david.wendelken is offline
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Chehesti, it was later discovered, had purchased much of Startown for pennies on the Credit from the fleeing population on behalf of the Orphans of Imperial Military Parents charitable organization, for which she was on the Board of Directors. She had, in effect, used Imperial munitions for urban redevelopment. When faced by hostile questions about this by the Internal Affairs subcommittee of the Imperial Moot, Chehesti replied in her usual, hard-hitting, no holds barred style:

General Chehesti
“Honoured Senators, I was under the strictest orders to minimize civilian casualties ever placed upon Imperial military troops. You can hardly complain when only three buildings owned by civilians were destroyed as collateral damage, and no civilians were killed, during the two years I commanded on planet. As for the buildings destroyed in Startown by Imperial fire, I would like to introduce this document as evidence. It is a legal notice published in the Startown Gazette giving the requisite notice that Imperial forces would be conducting military training missions in town that week. Each building that was destroyed was clearly marked as a training range in full accordance with military regulations. Attached is a report showing that this was the least expensive urban warfare training on a per cubic meter of training area basis that the Imperial Army, Navy or Marines has conducted in the history of the Third Imperium.

The fact that orphans of our brave soldiers benefited from these training exercises is a fine example of efficiency and compassion that I recommend this august assembly follow. Revenue from the newly renovated Startown is expected to supply sufficient funds to take care of every military orphan in that sector – including that of rebel forces – thru college if they so desire.”

Senator Zhumacte
“You are treating the orphans of our enemies!”

General Chehesti
“On that note, if the esteemed member had paid attention to my entire lecture at the Imperial Naval Academy some years ago, he would have learned that while the essence of tactics is to kill the other side before they cause trouble, the essence of strategy is to make friends instead of enemies, and to convince enemies they have already lost so they will not fight. Taking care of the orphaned children of the rebel forces means fewer of them will grow up to hate the Imperium and start another rebellion."

"I would further add that the fact that the Orphans of Imperial Military Parents organization needs to exist - because this Moot does not properly provide for the families of our honourable dead soldiers - is unconscionable. Be ashamed, sir!”

Senator hault Tukera
“I am most concerned about the safety of the loyal planetary forces that you disbanded. Were they not put into extreme danger by your actions? There could have been reprisals…”

General Chehesti
“That is a reasonable question, Senator. As their commander, I had a responsibility for their welfare. Although disbanded, they were left under arms and in disciplined formations, with orders to remain in place. Those in urban areas remained in their fortified barracks. I had deployed the majority of local forces on Search and Destroy missions throughout remote areas of the countryside where our Intelligence briefings had indicated there were no rebel forces nearby. Those units bivouacked in place and fortified their position as I temporarily left them without transport to get home. None of these units were believed to be in serious danger as the rebels were sure to converge upon the Imperial positions at the Starport posthaste.”

Senator hault Tukera
“Events proved you to be correct, but how could you be so sure?”

General Chehesti
“For the two years before this maneuver, I made sure that it was obvious that a rebel victory was only a matter of time. This meant that the rebel commanders started to focus on their relative power positions after victory instead of on fighting us. My intelligence activities were devoted to exploiting and increasing those fears. Whoever captured the significant Imperial quality military gear sure to be left behind in a rout would have an unassailable advantage over the other rebel commanders. The bait was irresistible, and any combat with local forces beforehand would only weaken them against their rivals.”

“I would like to add that we were able to identify and arrest a sizable number of informers in the units in the remote areas through signals intelligence. The areas were chosen on three criteria: (1) absence of rebel forces in the area, (2) absence of civilians in the area, and (3) absence of signals traffic in the area. This forced any informer wishing to report on the disbandment into using easily traced electronic signals from inside a confined area. We could not afford to have rebel informers inside our perimeter around the starport or they would have known that we were not routing and therefore evacuating them was an essential part of the plan.”

“On that note, I have here plaques for two members of this committee, thanking them for their superlative assistance in our intelligence activities. Their continued derogatory comments and gloomy assessments about the conduct of the campaign; and about my own total incompetence were extremely helpful in making my plan believable planetside. My intelligence officers said they had never before worked with people so skilled in obfuscating the truth as Senator’s Zhumacte and von Rainhault.” (Laughter from the audience) “If they ever get out of politics, I understand a job in the Intelligence branch is assured.” (More laughter)

Senator hault Tukera
(Laughing) “I’m sure my colleagues are touched by your kind gesture! We all try to do our part.”

“But your plan for the safety of the local planetary forces failed in one instance, did it not?”

General Chehesti
“It did, ma’am. There was a personal vendetta involved. The local planetary unit commander had executed a rebel spy two days earlier, in full accordance with the rules of war. The spy was the younger sister of the local rebel commander. They were apparently very close.”

Senator hault Tukera
“And that is where you earned your sixth Starburst for Extreme Heroism, for rescuing that detachment? Just couldn’t stay out of the action, eh?”

General Chehesti
"Actually, Captain von Arnholt of the 4456th Grav Cavalry Squadron, Imperial Army, planned and executed the rescue mission and is fully responsible for the complete success of the mission. I went along solely as cover.”

Senator hault Tukera
“Cover?”

General Chehesti
“I saw no need to have such an able and loyal officer subjected to political scrutiny for that action, given that the chance of civilian casualties was higher than planned for in the overall campaign. My presence was sufficient for that purpose.”

Senator hault Tukera
“Thank you, General. A ‘High Guard’ of sorts. Very well done! But I have read Captain von Arnholt’s battle report on that engagement and must add for the record that your actions that day were highly commendable. Thank you again.”

Senator von Rainault
“General, I believe your campaign on Byret will be studied in military academies as long as civilization endures. My compliments to you.”

General Chehesti
“Thank you, sir.”

Senator von Rainault
“But I have some concerns about the methods with which you implemented your Strategy, some wider issues that someone with your limited world view would not have understood. So, Chesty,” (a pause from the Senator) “I may call you Chesty?”

General Chehesti
“The last man who did so discovered my knee had moved his left testicle to the vicinity of his larynx, so please do.” (Laughter from the audience.)

Senator von Rainault
“Hmm.Um… General, there was considerable uproar in the Capital and in the Moot over the impending fall of Byret . Why did you fail to advise this body, or your higher headquarters, of your plans?”

General Chehesti
“I do not reveal my battle plans to Almighty God, much less anyone in the Moot.”

Senator Zhumacte
“Then even the Emperor didn’t know this was a feint? That’s mighty irresponsible, General!”

General Chehesti
“On the contrary, Senator, the Emperor knows me. He knows I don’t faint at the sight of danger, I just fight back, in or out of uniform.” (Laughter from the audience and Senator hault Tukera.)

“Seriously, Senator, I gave sufficient information in my report that would make it fully evident to anyone with a lick of professional military skill that this was no disaster.”
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