Trope-a-Day: Space Cold War

Space Cold War: Oh, lots of them, simultaneously.  The Empire vs. the Voniensa Republic over AI rights, proper contact protocol, economics, and No Transhumanism Allowed.  The Silicate Tree versus AI-slaver civilizations, with contributions from the Photonic Tree, Empire, and others.  Random bits of the Rim Free Zone versus whichever states have annoyed it this week. The Leviathan Consciousness versus everyone who doesn’t want to be non-consensually hegemonized and optimized.  And so on and so forth, with many more smaller ones (about which also see Enforced Cold War).

Got to pass the time somehow, I suppose.

Trope-a-Day: Enforced Cold War

Enforced Cold War: A lot of them, in various places in the Worlds.  The Great Powers with seats on the Presidium (see: The Alliance) may not agree on much, but one of the few things they do agree on is the importance of not letting major wars break out and upset their comfortable status quo.  Lesser powers, therefore, must content themselves with relatively minor regional conflicts, brushfire wars and shadow operations.

They’ve Been Doing This Far Too Long

Galch (Vanguard Reaches) a.k.a. K-11/54 (Vonis 36) [DISPUTED]
Demilitarized Border Zone

“Unknown ship, we have you on our screens.  Identify.  Over.”

“Republic vessel at 220 asc 14, nineteen-point-three light-minutes, confirm identity.  Over.”

Imperial vessel, this is our space.  We say again, identify.  Over.”

“Republic vessel of approximate destroyer class, the hell it is, but as a courtesy, this is CMS Gold and Iron, armed merchant of the Centralia Line.  Over.”

Gold and Iron, this is VNS Solidarity.  We read you as a cruiser-class vessel.  You are in violation of treaty.  We order you to heave to and prepare to be boarded.  Over.”

Solidarity, Gold and Iron.  Whether we are or not is irrelevant, since we are a civilian vessel owned by a merchant concern which may legitimately go armed in unsafe border regions.  And in any case, if you check that treaty, we’re fully half a displacement-ton smaller than its definition of the cruiser class.  You, meanwhile, are quite definitely armed with energy weapons larger than the treaty permits.  You heave to and prepare to be boarded.  Over.”

Gold and Iron, Solidarity.  We most certainly are not.  This is an vessel of peaceful exploration.  We are merely equipped for remote geological surveying, including breaking up asteroids and drilling planetoids. All of which is permitted by the treaty.  Your request is denied.  Over.”

The channel is silent for a few seconds.

Solidarity actual, Gold and Iron.  Do you think that’s enough posturing for form’s sake, Holoth?  Over.”

Gold and Iron actual, Solidarity.  Yeah, Galen, I think that should do.  Do you have leave on Ódeln again next month?  Over.”

Solidarity actual, Gold and Iron.  As ever.  Bring some decent booze next time.  Gold and Iron, clear.”