Characters: Henry Gloval and Breetai
Rating: General Audiences
Summary: a look at the strategic interplay between these two characters.
Disclaimer: Robotech/Macross belongs to Sunrise, Tatsunoko Studios, and Harmony Gold and its respective creators and producers as do all of the characters who appear here or are mentioned; they are not mine.
Written for Unanon's previously unfilled Yuletide 2008 request.
"The Rules of Engagement" by karen
The bridge of his ship is more than twice as long were one to lay several dozen soccer fields laid end to end one over the other.
The war has been a protracted one, a wearying one for not only the enlisted military forces, but for the thousands of civilians living, working and carrying with their lives as best they could. If he had been so distracted with thoughts of coming up with another viable strategy he thought in his next ship-wide communication he would tip his hat to them; in war-time even the military need the support, good-will and hard work of civilians as much as it need the hard work and tireless dedication of its uniformed men and women.
The significance of that is not lost on the man responsible for all of those souls. He has his own doubts, both as a man and as a general, but he had long since learned to keep those doubts private, deal with them in his own time, the only outward sign of his disquiet is the pacing. "To strive, to seek, and ultimately, not to yield."
Instead Henry Gloval has learned to project the image of a man in command of both the churning emotions of not only himself but those who serve with him; both in his immediate line of sight and those who risk their lives on almost daily basis the various arenas of combat into which they have been thrust, whether they will or no; has long since mastered his emotions.
Commander Lisa Hayes and Lieutenant Commander Claudia Grant were huddled over the situation board lit up with a scattering of red, green, and blue lights that appear from the remove of where he is pacing back and forth wearing an almost imperceptible grove in the metal deck plates,
Those lights are not just meaningless specks of lights; each of those lights represent the movement of both his own forces and those of the enemy, the Zentreadi.
They are a clear and present danger that came out of the vast reaches of space and began a conflict that as time goes on appears more and more likely to become even more untenable and costly than it already was.
However as he stopped to consider the current situation from yet another angle something suddenly struck Henry Gloval with thee impact of being struck with a proverbial blunt instrument.
Despite the difference in size, advanced technology of war, and a cultural ethos that appeared on the surface as nothing more than an entire society breed and born for war and conquest; were humans and Zentreadi really so different? Prior to their arrival on Earth, on the heels of the unprecedented crash landing of the gargantuan alien space ship, the SDF-1 which years later become the flagship and home to thousands of displaced humans, humanity had been fighting a protracted war of their own.
He realized that he was wool-gathering and he needed a workable and viable strategy, one that would not allow them to take the fight to the enemy without leaving his own forces weakened and thus open to a counter attack. Granted he had never seen the face of his counterpart, he only know through his soldiers and by the intelligence they had managed to gather; he had a name, Breetai.
In the course of the conflict and in the lulls of relative calm Gloval had had a lot of time to think, to ponder. A man not given to making hasty moves that one would come to regret later he had been forced to for a society breed for warfare, Breetai was a canny and brilliant strategist.
It was a heady and a possible dangerous possibility to consider, however a glimmering of a possibility of negotiating with the command hierarchy of the enemy seemed to be in the offing.
Lieutenant Max Sterling had even married someone that had once attempted to kill him, and while Gloval was still undecided how he felt about that, however, at the moment that was the least of his concerns.
In the back of his mind Gloval thought,' we've been reacting not acting. What does the supreme commander of the Zentreadi plan to do, and presupposing his next attack, what can I do to either prevent it, or even better take them by surprise?"
Shortly after the startling, unprecedented and demoralizing effect of the Micronian weapon, the pin-point barrier system, overloading their shields, Breetai suddenly realized that up until now he had been greatly underestimating not only the Micronian commander, but also the species as a whole.
The Zenetreadi as a raced perhaps had become so accustomed to conquest, sometimes in direct conflict with various inter-galactic species that fought back with all the tenacity that made them worthy opponent in the eyes of the Zenetreadi, but inevitably would be unutterably crushed beneath the proverbial iron heel of the mighty warrior race.
These Micronians appeared to be nothing more than just another impediment in their inevitable and ultimate victory, and yet, they had displayed a tenacity and a drive that bordered on a frenzy, a passion for defending their lives that Breetai for all of his experience and knowledge and analysis and consultation with his advisor, Exedore; had simply been unable to wrap his head around this reassessment.
A sudden realization struck him, up until this very moment that he had been judging and measuring one's opponent he could no longer rely on years of honed instinct and experience.
However this particular war was different than any other that had come before it and one which he could not afford to lose.
If, in the end, he did in fact lost not only would he be ruined, perhaps everything that he had believed in would be destroyed as well. It was a sobering thought, and one that he found himself extremely uncomfortable in contemplating.
Perhaps he had made mistakes in dealing with the enemy in the past, but now he had learned from them and could move forward with his revised battle strategy.
In the back of his mind another sobering thought crossed his mind," Perhaps that is why the Masters cautioned against us against even the most incidental contact with planets inhabitant by Micronians. Emotions are dangerous, perhaps more dangerous than we had ever believed.' No sooner had that thought crossed his mind Breetai ruthlessly and forcibly forced that disturbing and potentially rebellious thoughts to a back corner of his mind.
As matters now stood could he really afford to make the same mistake again. It was more than a point of personal pride, more than a blow to his rank in jeapodary; it was an almost physical jolt to the ingrained breeding and a lifetime of reacting and acting according to the dictates of everything that he knew to be true.
"This, this changes everything," Breetai muttered under his breath and rocking back on the heels of his heavy boots folded his massive arms across the chest of his long uniform coat, mindful but ignoring the curious glance that Exedore shot in his general direction, "So, I am resolved."