Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Quern War: An introduction

July 17, 2889

In 2424, the planet Melga was settled by some of the first human explorers. However, in 2463, a mere 39 years later, Melga was attacked by the Duul'Tlak as the first known act of interplanetary war in the galaxy. For the next 70 years, Earth fought a few light skirmishes against the Duul'Tlak. However, in 2533, the Duul'Tlak reached Quern, and immediately set up a blockade. Quern was the only Jump-route connecting the rest of the known galaxy. That attack and blockade began a 160 year cold war, ending only in 2693 when the Kchk'Trrs helped the Earth forces break through the blockade. By 2741, the Duul'Tlak had been beaten back to their homeworld, and the war was over.

It was not, of course, the only war; AlSec's coup, followed by the great battle of 2880 was a terrible war, but removed the subversive AlSec from Earth and the other planets, thanks largely to the crew of the Shifting Horizon. The events that took place before, during, and after that war were released under the watchful eye of Emperor Julian and the crew of the Shifting Horizon, in an effort to maintain transparency. Of course, compared to the 230-year-long war against the Duul'Tlak, the information relating to the uprising of AlSec and the overthrow of the Earth is still fresh in our minds; few remember the final salvos of the Duul'Tlak war, let alone the opening ones.

But the Quern War and the Battle of Melga may not have been all that the history books had written. There are rumors that something else entirely was at play.

Excerpt from presentation on anonymous J-Web message board, 2855:
So the Duul'Tlak discover Jump Drive technology only a few years before declaring war on Earth, right? As far as we could tell, they never left their own system - no Jump tech. However, the seven years they even know about the tech, they managed to not only start replicating the tech, they were able to fully duplicate it! It wasn't perfect, but we're talking about technology that took hundreds of years for humanity to engineer that was rebuilt in under a decade. I think you'll agree that there is no chance of that happening. In aptitude tests, the Duul'Tlak are no engineers - warriors, yes, but not engineers. How did they copy our drives? Stranger still, there is no trace of the original Duul'Tlak technology. Their assault made it as far as Quern, and held there. It wasn't until the Kchk'Trrs helped us assault Quern that we even made it that far. What happened to our superior numbers? Superior tactics? Superior firepower? You've read the same summaries I have. The Duul'Tlok are great warriors and tacticians, but they couldn't stand up to our forces! A bare handful of worlds against all the resources of Earth? Really?
End excerpt

The document fueling these rumors of conspiracy is a single transmission, received during one of the major offensives on Quern. Much of the document is redacted; furthermore, after only one more offensive, Earth forces stopped most major offences, resorting to maintaining the existing battle line, and only devoting a trickle of forces to the war at large.
Scan of a military communication, circa 2538.

Though the redacted portions of the scan have yet to be uncovered, it is believed that General Acetus, aboard the Sturmmund, had perished, leaving his troops under the command of Lieutenant Commander Lars Thawaar. LtCmd Thawaar held out at Quern Military Outpost 7, though they were cut off from the main fighting force. Any further information about Thawaar and the forces at Quern Outpost 7 has been lost to time - or, if the conspiracies are correct, hidden from the public. What really happened at the battle of Quern? The world may never know...

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