The commencement of hostilities between the United Technocracies and the Coalition was greeted by the military leadership of the Red Army with jubilation. Now that Columbia Prime was fighting two of the superpowers, the Red Army's leaders believed that the Coalition military would inevitably crumble. The diversion of Coalition military units from existing fronts, and the dozens of victories the Red Army achieved because of this reassignment of military forces, reinforced this belief.
However, the divine General-Secretary had other plans. Louise I saw the growing popularity of the United Technocracies among the ranks as proof of dissent within the military, an affirmation of the suspicions which led her to make a deal with the hated counterrevolutionaries in the first place. There were even whispers of some high-ranking officers proposing an official alliance between the Communist International and the United Technocracies! The implication that the Conseil Systems, through the divine guidance of Marx, her ancestors, and, most importantly, herself, could not stand alone as the master of mankind personally offended her. And to offend the General-Secretary is one of the worst heresies one could commit in the Conseil Systems.
Louise I allowed this heresy to continue, for it did serve its purpose: it outed those within the Conseil governmental bureaucracy, and the military especially, who are wanting of faith in the divine teachings of Marx. Although her fanatical acolytes, the various intelligence services which guarded the Conseil Systems from heresy, wanted to purge such unclean thoughts, the General-Secretary ordered them to stay their hand. The time was not yet right for these traitors to be purged, for Louise was certain that not all of them had revealed themselves. The intelligence services will watch and wait for the General-Secretary's blessing.
The time came in 2756. In a public address to the entire Conseil Systems, Louise I directly addressed her people for the first time since her ascension to the throne. Bound to a wheeled life support machine, connected to it tubes and wires running into her back, the General-Secretary revealed three horrifying "truths" to the people. First, that the Conseil Systems' bureaucracy had been infected by the cancer of oligarchal technocracy, as part of a broad conspiracy by the Technocracy to collapse the Conseil Systems from within. Second, that an attempt was made against the life of the General-Secretary herself by these traitorous elements under the direction of the United Technocracies' leadership. And lastly, that as punishment for such counterrevolutionary sacrilege, that the Conseil Systems and the Communist International was now at war with the United Technocracies.
These truths were, of course, lies. While it was true that the United Technocracies had infiltrated the Conseil government, the extent of this infiltration never reached beyond the system level. Louise merely used pro-Technocracy remarks by her opponents as “proof” of a broad conspiracy. Those within Louise’s good graces used this as an advantage to purge personal enemies, even if these individuals made no pro-Technocracy comments.
No attempt was ever made on Louise’s life. Her deteriorating health was a consequence of her vanity. Louise was addicted to rejuvenation drugs, and demanded that even experimental drugs be used on her in order to preserve her “divine, youthful form.” This addiction began in the early 2700s, when Louise grew fearful of old age. By the 2740s, when even the most advanced rejuvination surgery could no longer maintain the appearance Louise had during her late 20s, and she resorted to the use of chemical compounds similar to those used to embalm the corpses of her ancestors. By 2756, many of Louise’s internal organs had failed, and she demanded that these organs be embalmed in order to keep even her insides “natural.” Of course, in order to continue living, the functions of these organs had to be carried out by other means, and so Louise was cursed to remain attached to a life support machine for the rest of her life. As Louise’s actual appearance was unknown to the vast majority of the galaxy, the image of a weak old lady attached to medical machinery made the story of an attempted assassination by poisoning very believable. Of course, any who had the audacity to question the General-Secretary’s version of events was clearly a traitor.
While the Conseil Systems and United Technocracies shared a great common border, and both militaries reserved substantial military strength for war with the other, most of the initial battles between the two superpowers were small in scale. A vast majority of both fleets’ transport capabilities were in fronts challenging the Coalition, both because of the need to match the Coalition Navy’s considerably superior transport capabilities and because the war in those fronts had been raging for much longer. These initial clashes were made between relatively green and underequipped troops, resulting in tremendous losses that could have otherwise been avoided. Because of supply issues, many of the battles were fought with weapons ranging from the latest EMSEL rifles to slings and spears. Radiological, biological and chemical protection was lacking for many soldiers, and many died in agony from the most horrendous diseases known to man. Neither side could progress far.
As the war continued, the stalemate persisted. Neither side could afford to escalate in any great and sudden manner, as this would siphon off troops and supplies from other fronts and weaken them, possibly allowing for unacceptable Coalition gains. Both sides escalated gradually, and neither could gain any advantage for long. The battles continued between the inexperienced, the incompetent, and the untrustworthy of both militaries. Advanced machinery, and the supplies necessary to operate them, were rare gems, and some forces resorted to black market weapons or weapons forged by ad-hoc blacksmiths. It was not uncommon for a Technocracy soldier to be struck down by his Conseili counterpart using a composite bow, or for this death to be avenged by a Technocracy soldier wielding an EMSEL rifle on horseback. Weapons of mass destruction, at least those of a scale intended to wipe out population centers, were uncommon, and many battles were fought with local conscripts armed with everything from military surplus to sharpened sticks. Because of these deplorable conditions, the Conseil-Technocracy front gained the moniker “the Great Stalemate,” and indeed these conditions will continue until the final phases of the war, with the collapse of the Conseil Systems.