Ambassador's Life Ch. 05bySEVERUSMAX©
The whole business of actually running the Dekerin resistance was naturally best left to the Dekerins themselves, especially Eupas on his off-duty hours. That the Akrosian security detail didn't realize what happened under their noses more than amused Ambassador Kalitz.
What also made him secretly laugh was Lieutenant Aldenar's body language, which gave the lie to his claim that he didn't mind "a season of celibacy". He secretly ogled Prima and Secunda, but only when he thought that no one noticed. This furtive conduct was clearly an ingrained practice, imposed by a lifetime spent under the rule of a cruel and close-minded despotism.
Kalitz strongly suspected that Aldenar had deep personal grievances against his own government, but had chosen to bury his resentments under the surface. After all, dissent was very strongly discouraged by the Empire. "Non-conformist agitation" carried a very stiff sentence: five years of hard labor for the first offense, and ten years for the second time. An officer caught criticizing his own government, especially in the presence of foreigners, would be cashiered and sent to the stockade for an even longer term for "inciting mutiny and subverting morale".
Abel also doubted that Aldenar, in particular, refrained at all times from self-manipulation. He was sure that there were plenty of folk going against the masturbation taboo. He was also quite confident that whatever they did, the Akrosian occupation forces would be quite demoralized and frustrated by this prolonged stay in Dekeris. It was clear that the Empire didn't care much about the welfare of its troops, sexual or otherwise.
"Some government they have, eh, boss? And this is the kind of regime that they want to impose on us? By all of the Spirits, I will use their stupidity to destroy them!" Eupas ranted, though in an excited whisper, when Abel commented on this issue.
"Yes, well, give it time. Remember, your world's space forces are on the way back to the home planet. Odds are that they won't be doing so alone. The Macureans will pursue them, just to make sure that they don't try to recapture any once-disputed territory. That will make it easier to entice them into an alliance against the reckless adventurists now in charge back on Akros.
"Whatever the case, the fact is that the space fleet will not take too kindly to being recalled, especially since they almost certainly know why. I fear, however, that they will be a bit too daring in their assaults on the Akrosians. I doubt that they will retreat an inch, let alone surrender. I just hope that they aren't wiped out before the Macureans and the Vorindun can relieve them," Kalitz reassured his aide.
"My people aren't known for yielding anything, that is clear. We are proud and warlike. I share your worries, however. If the fleet is wiped out, our chance of driving the wretched invaders out is much reduced, I fear. I would like something of a military to survive to defend us after we have been liberated. Besides, it can make things tough for reinforcements of the enemy occupation forces," Eupas agreed with some anxiety, already feeling some responsibility as the leader of a new faction of the Dekerin resistance.
They continued their conspiracy, amid the official work, while Lieutenant Aldenar and his comrades "protected" them for several more weeks. The Akrosian officer learned to respect the Ambassador and his staff, not to mention the mostly Yemeni bodyguard, during this time, not realizing that the increasingly annoying resistance movement had begun to essentially take its cues from Eupas and his boss. He also found himself rather attracted to the native females, even as he knew that he couldn't safely pursue this interest.
This first Akrosian experiment in military aggression and occupation already had a demoralizing impact on the troops. Evidently, the Imperial regime hadn't considered all of the implications of its decision to wage a protracted war of attrition against the indigenous population. Not only did the aloofness necessity imposed on the Imperial garrisons keep the locals from seeing them as people, but a considerable number of troops were lost on the "place of suffering" continent.
The biggest mistake from the Akrosian perspective was trusting the twelve turncoat peers who had collaborated with them. These made no attempt to win over the peasantry. They simply used the chance to act on their own grievances in the struggle with the Magnates. With the top tier of the nobility gone, however, there was only a thin layer of the lower aristocracy exercising all power in Dekerin society, aside from their Akrosian overlords.
In propaganda terms, it was the worst possible situation for the occupation and its small number of fervent Dekerin adherents. The ordinary people had no incentive to back the foreigners who treated them like shit to be scraped off their boots. In fact, they resented this arrogance from the xenophobic tyrants bullying them into submission.
As for the various remaining peers, they were still captives of the Akrosians, having been held until they "saw reason" and complied. Since they refused to accept the Imperial dictates, these nobles would never be released while the Akrosians ruled. By default and a fluke of chance, the only resistance left was composed of groups of commoners such as those led by Eupas, and the fleet-in-exile, of course.
With a mix of inspiration from the example of his boss, not to mention his own charisma and a nucleus of disciples from those of his own persuasion, it wasn't difficult for Eupas to emerge as the head of the top underground organization on Dekeris. It was hard work, especially added to his proper duties as the Ambassador's aide, but he found it to be his consuming passion. His home planet had to be freed from the enemy's rule.
The Akrosians relied more each day on the expertise of the Chinese advisers, but they didn't have any real effect against the insurgency. The Governor/General and Admiral Dopar never even considered that the real mastermind of the Dekerin resistance was a simple bureaucrat on loan from the former oligarchic regime to the embassy of the Federation of West Asia.
Meanwhile, the Dekerin fleet harassed the Imperial space forces without any relief, now with the tacit support of the Macureans. The price was that they had to accept that the disputed territories were now part of the Macurean system.
Things were ready to come to a major climax, and the Ambassador and his aide were determined to make sure that they did.