Unofficial War Warning (CICCONFEDFLT to COM7FLT MCAULIFFE--BASE ALEXDANDRIA) (2634.220)

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FOR YOUR EYES ONLY COPY ONE OF ONE

TO: COM7FLT MCAULIFFE--BASE ALEXANDRIA
FROM: CICCONFEDFLT

This communication is strictly off the record and should be destroyed after reading. I shall retain a copy in my personal files in case, at some future date, questions are raised as to your actions.

Consider this letter to be an official warning of attack directed, and I repeat, directed only from my office. I discussed my concerns this morning with the president, and for reasons of state he refused to make an official statement from the Confederation Government to this effect. I am therefore taking it upon myself to do so personally. Unfortunately, this memo cannot be sent by burst transmission due to security concerns, therefore it must take the slow route of arriving by official courier.

Upon receipt of this memo I am directing you to disperse Seventh Fleet from McAuliffe into the next system inward without delay. Ships will rotate back to McAuliffe and orbital base Alexandria only for essential repairs. This is to be done under the guise of maneuvers and this procedure shall be maintained until you receive orders to the contrary.

All leaves are to be canceled, all ships are to depart from port with full load of armaments and to maintain a class two level of readiness. If any ship of the fleet is approached by an unidentified vessel they are to shoot first and ask questions later. That order is to apply especially to our picket ships guarding the approach from the old demilitarized zone.

I am not operating on any hard evidence. Call it instinct, that I smell a storm on the horizon. More than anything else, I wish we could send a forward picket line deeper into Kilrathi territory, but to even suggest such a provocative action against the Kilrathi, other than in the Facin Sector would mean my dismissal from the service along with the cashiering of any officer who complied with such an order.

I also request that Commander Winston Turner should appear within your area of control, any messages he might have for me should be given the highest priority.

This message should arrive the day before Confederation Day leaves begin. I am sorry to ruin the holiday for you and your personnel, but for the good of the Confederation I deem it to be essential.

Banbridge--CICCONFEDFLT

Behind the Scenes

From Action Stations, by William R. Forstchen, Chapter Nine, 186-188, Baen Books