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Author Topic: For Valiran: an Elizabeth Ngo short feature, "How do you apologize to THEM?"  (Read 8739 times)

Cannonshop

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Explanation:

By popular demand (okay, not really-someone asked me for details but the scene referenced was never actually a scene in any story of the Ngos, but it probably should've been...)

Our Players:

Duchess Elizabeth Ann Ngo, Duchess of Kowloon, considered to be the Federated Commonwealth's most problematic troubled teen by many in the Federated Commonwealth's ruling class.  She's recently come off of deposing the Regent installed on her homeworld to govern it in place of her (now confirmed dead) father.

It's the fabulous 3050's, Phelan Ward has come home to Connaught, Melissa Steiner-Davion is still alive, and in charge, but Katy is plotting and victor is...doing whatever fumbling Victor does when he isn't misgoverning his realm.

Aunt Nondi Steiner has not yet turned into a senile old bat, and the Jade Falcons have not YET decided that Coventry would be a splendid place to hold a murder-convention.


and awayyy we go!

It's summer in the Triad-which means 'not quite as cold as winter', and the fresh-faces of debutante nobles and recent Nagelring graduates of a certain class,  are shining out for the last big social of the year, before most of them have to put on their uniforms, and go sit in a depot somewhere, forging the connections and contacts an eligible nobleman needs to really put the family fortunes on the map.

Glittering ball-gowns and snappy uniforms as far as the eye can see, traditional 'mechwarrior hairstyles and intricate makeup, gems worth the salaries of a whole factory's worth of workers, imported Sian sashes and glittering brocades.  This is the cream of the top one percent of Lyran society, the sons and daughters of planetary leaders, businessmen, and, of course, the young 'mechwarriors for whom this party is merely the last stop before being sent into the fire.

A gleaming, beautiful garden of-wait, what's this?  a mote of black-and-pale among the gems? an assetive walk and a glowering face, straight, dark hair, wool instead of silk?

Among the glittering, expense of her peers, Elizabeth Ngo stood out like the proverbial fly on the perfect wedding cake.
Even the servants are dressed more ornately, she stood out among the courtesans as blatantly as a man in a cooling vest and shorts might.

and if that man were holding a gun, the subtle parting of the noble crowd would be less obvious, if he were reeking of disease and filthy, the subtle snubbing would be less apparent.

if he were both, and foaming at the mouth, the fear in the eyes of some of them, would be less irrational.

Elizabeth was none of those things.  What she was, was a girl of sixteen, already a Planetary leader in her own right, who'd brought fresh meat to the scandal vids, then got away with it.  Among the virgins facing possible deployments, she was already a veteran of combat-her cherry, in the vernacular, had been popped-she had the blood of an enemy on her hands, seen the life go out of his eyes in person, and recorded it, displayed it with pride...

She had killed, perhaps executed, perhaps murdered, a man, and she'd gotten away with it.

She had done the deed with her own hands-in a society where 'proper' nobles ordered, but did not take part, in such things, she had done the work of killing with her own hands, up close, without the sanitizing elements of a viewscreen, or the ready excuse made in the confusion of combat.

she stopped a Steward, "Ein Bier, Bitte." she said.

"You can speak english if you must." the native of Tharkad said in a somewhat polite tone.

"Beer me, none of that thin piss stuff either." Elizabeth stated, "something substantial instead of the leavings from the kiddy pool, and you forgot to say 'your grace'."

"Of course, Your Grace.  I think I have something here..."  he scrolled through a menu-listing, "Pyramid?"

"I said something substantial." she emphasized, "not a sports-drink barleypop in a fancy can."

the man grimmaced, "Connaught Black then?"

"That works." she stated, "Bring it in the bottle, room temperature, please."

She settled into a seat at an empty table, while the socialites and courtiers drifted and milled past her.

"You know, I hated these things when I was your age too." a cracked and aging voice said, Elizabeth looked up, and Margaret Doons settled into a chair opposite her at the table.

"Hi mags." Elizabeth said, "so, what do you think Penny would say about this shit?"

"She loved this, as you put it, 'shit'." Margaret said, referrring to her late granddaughter, whom had been Elizabeth's roommate at one time.

"Heard you had a new boy-toy." Elizabeth commented, "Don't see him though."

"He is around, no doubt ogling girls not much older than you are." Doons replied, "as long as he doesn't waste it before I take him home..."

"Too much information." the girl said, "Seriously, gross."

Doons laughed, a bitter cackle.  "You asked."

"Regretting it." Liz commented in reply, "you don't have to rub it in.  How are the new sequencers working for you?"

"my plant managers say they're perfect." Doons said, "Your firm does good work."

"Glad to hear that." Liz said, "No more shipping delays?"

"a thing, I think, of the past-do you ever stop talking business?" the old woman-the owner of Nashan Diversified, asked.

"Nope." Liz stated, "everything is business-you taught us that."

"your'e the only one that learned it." Maggie said, "Penelope would have evened you out, I think."

"Penny was my friend, but I'm not drunk enough to talk about what happened to her." Liz stated.

"like you wouldn't talk about what happened with your mother-"

"That's easy. Mom shot me." Elizabeth stated, "I almost bled out in the bathtub before the Post Provost found me-I can deal with that-it only hurts when I laugh now."

"So a generally painless experience." Maggie said, "or are you going to tell me my sources are wrong?"

the girl shrugged. "I wouldn't say they're right." she said quietly.

A small knot of older boys-men, at least officially, in the uniform of the 1st Royal Guards, were drifting toward the table, in conversation.

"and the fops arrive." Elizabeth quipped.  "How long do I have to put up with this shit before I can go home?"

"The rest of the evening-at least until you can be properly presented." Maggie insisted, "it's not legally required, but it is socially-and as a planetary ruler, and a civilian at that, some social requirements must be met."

"I ****** despise this absentee landlord shit." Liz muttered, "I should be back home, working on rebuilding."

Maggie reached out, and took her by the chin, "Look at me, in the eyes...this is necessary. You aren't required to like it, most of the people here don't want to be here either-the young warrior types want to be fighting the Clans, the social officer types want to be making deals and overseeing their offices, or out hunting or riding, or whatever sport catches their fancy, some of them would just as soon be out partying somewhere unchaperoned.  YOU have to be here for this. Nod if you understand my words."

Liz nodded, and Maggie Doons let go.  "Good. I would hate to have to talk to Pietor because I had to cancel my orders with your firm-I had to step out for you with the Advisory council and justify what you did with Stonecipher, Her majesty was fit to be tied when that vid hit the news. Young nobles aren't supposed to shoot their legal guardians in the head, much less after conducting a drumhead, nor is it considered appropriate for a young noble to be seen..doing...what you did to those raiders."

"they had fair trials." Elizabeth said defensively.

"Your punishments jumped over the line of decency and good taste, dear. Half the Triad would gleefully cheer on your own incarceration for that. you MUST make a positive, or at least a neutral, impression, here."

"what about the other half?" Elizabeth asked softly.

"They want to stand you up for the Archonship-you do NOT want to associate with separatists, rebels, or be thought to be linked to them...so you see, you MUST be here-it would have been in your favour and benefit to wear blue tonight as well..."

"too late." Elizabeth said.

"indeed."

--to be continued.--



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gladius

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Always good to see classic Liz in fine form.

Shadow_Wraith

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Awesome!  O0

Nikas_Zekeval

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If Hanse was still around, how would he have view Liz's 'house cleaning'?  Same as the rest?  Private admiration, but public condemnation?  Approval?  Or to quote B5, since the Regent was embezzling from wartime contracts and hindering delivery of the same, "The bitch of the matter is in the end you probably did the right thing.  You just did it in an inconvenient way."

Cannonshop

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If Hanse was still around, how would he have view Liz's 'house cleaning'?  Same as the rest?  Private admiration, but public condemnation?  Approval?  Or to quote B5, since the Regent was embezzling from wartime contracts and hindering delivery of the same, "The bitch of the matter is in the end you probably did the right thing.  You just did it in an inconvenient way."
well...someone has to be pragmatic, and someone had to weild the 'decision stick' that let her get away with it.  Hanse probably would've installed another Regent-this time someone native, and had her placed in psychological treatment-Elizabeth had, after all, very nearly been murdered by her own mother before she'd headed home and 'fired' the regent placed over Kowloon.

In general, though, I think Hanse would see her as being a Lyran version of a Broken Wheel baron.
« Last Edit: 24 January 2016, 17:51:57 by Cannonshop »
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2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Dave Talley

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YIPPEE!!
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Cannonshop

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"I hereby swear."

"To honor and protect the Lyran Commonwealth,"

"To honour and protect the Lyran Commonwealth."

"To abide the Articles of Incorporation,"

"To abide the Articles of Incorporation."

"To preserve, protect, and provide for the common good of the people of the Commonwealth,"

"To preserve, protect, and provide for the common good of the people of the Commonwealth."

"I foreswear all other allegiances, forsake all foreign princes, for myself and my progeny for all time,"

"I Foreswear all other allegiances, forsake all foreign princes, for myself and my progeny for all time."

"For the sake of my people and the good of my world, I vow my loyalty to the Lyran Commonwealth, and accept the judgement of the Commonwealth's leaders, courts, and the Archon as my sovereign Lord."

"For the sake of my people and the good of my world, I vow my loyalty to the Lyran Commonwealth, and accept the judgements of the commonwealth's leaders, courts, and the Archon as my sovereign Lord."  Elizabeth's knees hurt as she knelt on the floor in front of the throne.

"You may rise, Duchess Elizabeth Ngo." Melissa Steiner-Davion told her.  Elizabeth stood up.

"Elizabeth..." Melissa added, "No more crucifixions, no more impalements, and for god's sake, get someone to handle executions-you're a peer of the realm-your father would have been appalled by your actions."

"As you wish, Your Majesty." Elizabeth said with a slight bow, "Would hangings be acceptable, Your Majesty?"

"Find something humane." Melissa insisted, "quick, clean."

"As you wish, Majesty.  Am I finished now?"

"we're done for the moment, go, enjoy the party-but stay close by, I may have work for you."  Melissa told her with a dismissive gesture.

Elizabeth walked past the ranks of uniformed and ball-gown wearing courtiers with the same impatient, busy step and square shoulders she'd walked in with.

"Why do you tolerate her, Mother?" Katherine asked, "Why the forebearance?"

"You've met some of the Broken Wheel dukes?" Melissa asked, "While on New Avalon? in your father's court?"

"Yes. Savages." Katherine sniffed.

"Useful savages." Melissa told her, "Elizabeth is a useful savage, the kind that make pirates nervous, reluctant.  we need that on the periphery border, especially with the Clans putting down enough pressure to keep line units tied up closer to the core."

"Did you not just de-fang her?" the blonde daughter of Hans Davion asked.

"I altered her oath-'abide' is not the same as 'obey'."  Melissa told her daughter, "Elizabeth's profile, background, and actions suggest she understands the difference between the two-she will be more subtle about it, but she will conduct business as 'useful'-at least for buying some peace along the periphery border-she's a mad dog to patrol our vulnerable flank, keeping out the opportunists."

"So..." Katherine leaned close, "what good is she-she's a civilian, not a 'mechwarrior, certainly not a general..."

"She's been paying for weapons, training local levies." Melissa said, "far greater numbers than is usual-or even, on the face of it, legal-I want her to keep doing that, and when the time is right, Victor will be able to take that over-sized army away from her, and use it."  the Archon and Regent of the Federated Commonwealth nodded at the distant figure of Elizabeth, heading back to the ballroom, "never forget, she also makes munitions and tools-both of which, if an army doesn't have enough, can be the difference between defeat, and victory...all I did tonight, was assure her that she is OUR mad dog-and who holds the chain."



The core rules for interacting with me:

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2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

snakespinner

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Mad dogs and Kowloonese out in the midday sun. O0
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gladius

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Sorry, my Davion-fu is weak today: Broken Wheel?

drakensis

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Back end of the Crucis March. Pirates hit them every other week and learning to read is a luxury.

It's not that House Davion don't want a civilized backyard but they simply can't afford them.

Something which bit them badly during the Jihad.
"It's national writing month, not national writing week and a half you jerk" - Consequences, 9th November 2018

Nikas_Zekeval

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"She's been paying for weapons, training local levies." Melissa said, "far greater numbers than is usual-or even, on the face of it, legal-I want her to keep doing that, and when the time is right, Victor will be able to take that over-sized army away from her, and use it."  the Archon and Regent of the Federated Commonwealth nodded at the distant figure of Elizabeth, heading back to the ballroom, "never forget, she also makes munitions and tools-both of which, if an army doesn't have enough, can be the difference between defeat, and victory...all I did tonight, was assure her that she is OUR mad dog-and who holds the chain."

Am I alone in thinking Melissa is, overly optimistic, about the points bolded above?

I'm thinking of a pair of Girl Genius comics, the Right Way, and the Wrong Way.
« Last Edit: 25 January 2016, 14:15:42 by Nikas_Zekeval »

DOC_Agren

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Am I alone in thinking Melissa is, overly optimistic, about the points bolded above?

I'm thinking of a pair of Girl Genius comics, the Right Way, and the Wrong Way.

So it wasn't just me then..  I'm with you
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

Cannonshop

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A few weeks later...

For once, she didn't stand out-everyone was wearing black.  The organizers of the State Funeral, those lovely bureaucrats, stuck Elizabeth with most of the non-ascended nobility-the Heirs and lesser cousins of those Nobles considered 'significant' in their own right in the Federated Commonwealth.

What it meant, was standing in the crisp june air along the parade route as the late Archon-Regent's body was moved through the Triad on it's way to...she didn't even give a shit.

Instead, She watched the royal mourners, and lit a cigarette.

"What?" she snapped when one of the 'chaperones' gave her a dirty look, "it's not like she's going to care, she's dead."

"Don't you have any respect?" the officer demanded.

"I respected Melissa Steiner-Davion when she was alive. we're standing out here in this nice, crisp, open air, because some jackoff wants to parade her empty remains for the public." Elizabeth stated, "She's not coming back, she's not in a position to give a shit how anybody here feels-she's dead, like my parents, and my brothers, and a whole lot of other people." she took a defiant drag, fixing the Hauptmann's eyes with her own.  "Eight hundered fifty million Kroner for this-that's enough to fit out a regiment and get it through collective training out on the border." she took a step toward him, "that's not counting the materiel being paraded here, instead of boarding ship to the Clan border, it's not counting the food those soldiers will eat while they're waiting for their orders to get un-frozen, it's not counting the additional costs in lost productivity while the nation tears at it's clothes and mourns the loss of one, singular, individual...someone who'd probably be agreeing with me that this is a waste of time, money, and manpower-if her security men hadn't demonstrated, once again, the 'competence' of the Tharkad based security teams."

she'd somehow moved up into his face, and the group of young nobility had opened up around them. "Tell me I'm wrong." Elizabeth snarled, "tell me just exactly how this ostentation is protecting the realm? The Legacy?"

the parade wasn't halfway past them, "THIS is wrong."

The Hauptmann stared at her, open mouthed, stunned.

"Alright, 'Your Grace'..what would you have them do-when you die?" a young man behind her asked.

"Burn the corpse and dump the ashes, I don't care where." Elizabeth said, "it's just a body, and I won't be using it after I'm dead-the money from a funeral like this could rebuild a ****** city, or be used to retake a world, or a million other uses that are better than wallowing in grief and...this." she released the Hauptmann's stare, and turned to her heckler, "Why? you offering to expedite the process?"

The young cadet-noble, some kid from the other side of the realm, looked ashamed, "i'm just...people need this."

"no, they don't." Liz said coldly, "this is what people most definitely do not need. There are a whole bunch of worlds-Lyran worlds, under foreign occupation, and this is not helping them.  There are lyran soldiers out there on the front lines, and it's not helping them either." she flicked her ashes.  "This...circus of grief isn't liberating a single world, it's not moving a single round of ammunition or a single heat-sink to the front lines, it's not freeing a single planet, it's not protecting anything, or anyone-it's a ****** ceremony when we are at war."

"You're just a civilian-what do you know about it?" an older man said.

Her eyes swept the man's medals.  "not one combat decoration." she said, quietly, fiercely, "Have you ever killed anyone? Have you even been in a fight?"

"Easy there, Oosten..." another junior officer/senior cadet said, "I wouldn't push it-she's that border lord who crucified those pirates."

"no, don't hold him back...answer the question, Herr Leutnant." Liz said, seizing on it, "ever been in a fight? got some blood on your hands, can't wash it out? what the ****** do YOU know about 'civilian' or 'military'? I put a bullet in a man's brain when I was fourteen for this nation-about as far apart as we are, right now, I watched the life leave his eyes..." She held up her hands, "It never washes off, no matter how long or hard you scrub, and you never, ever, get to forget the feeling, the finality of the act...and they won't even let me enlist. instead, they're letting kids who'd be just like you if they had rich parents, go out and find out the hard way why their daddies don't sleep so well at night."

The leutnant in question backed away, slowly.  Elizabeth took another drag, her eyes searched the crowd.  "what?"

"That's a...pretty grim perspective you've got there, Duchess." an older voice said from behind her. Elizabeth turned.

"Duke Kell." she said, offering a curtsey, "I did not expect to see you here."

"Funeral for a beloved cousin?"

"Arc Royal." Liz countered, "Funerals are for the living."

"So you keep saying." he told her, "The answer to your application query? is still no."

"Well, that's out of the way at least." Liz said, "Half a million people out here, you didn't just find me by accident, and you probably already replied by form-letter, so it wasn't just to tell me I couldn't join your merry band of mercenaries."

"hardly. Have you considered the benefits of mental-health counseling?" he asked, "Your little tirade sounds a lot like you need it."

she smirked a bit, "Tuesdays at five." she said, "When I'm not working-how's deprogramming your son going?"

"walk with me." he said, crooking a finger.

Elizabeth fell in beside the famous mercenary.  "How's business?" he asked her conversationally.

"I've gotten the delivery schedules back on track for the ordinance factory, one of your outfits has five billion Kroner worth of machine tools and we're on schedule for delivery in August-no later." she stated, "The spec on those laminators had some of my engineers pulling out their hair, but we've licked the problem, so your order's on schedule if your payments clear."

"Mm-hmm...and your oversized little militia?" he asked.

"Working on it." Liz said bluntly, "the Regency did a lot of damage, which is both good and bad."

"both?"

"I've been able to do a full-on reconsolidation, adopt some ideas in terms of standard equipment, refining logistics, carving down the training requirements-systemization." she stated, "it wouldn't fly for the rest of the Commonwealth, but for our needs...it should work. Has worked a couple times defensively already."

"and your health?" he asked.

"Same as it was when you rejected my app the first time around." Elizabeth stated, "I'm not getting better, but it's still advancing slowly enough I have a few years before I'll need to eat a load of buckshot."

"you still don't think there's a cure?" he asked.

"Five hundred plus years of research says no." Elizabeth stated, "I'm pretty certain I have my clock figured out-figure dead by forty five, no later...it's a decent enough amount of time before I have to engage in extreme pain-relief."

He stopped her and looked into her eyes.  "What are you on?" he asked.

"Oxycontin." she said, "Four hundred miligrams every twelve hours-why?"

"because you might want to reduce the dosage, you're so baked even I can see it." he told her.

"Maggie tells me NOT to short my scrip, you're telling me I'm taking too much." Elizabeth stated, "You're probably right."

"when do you plan to take it public?" he asked.

"Insofar as the gossips? they can keep thinking I'm a shaky-reformed junkie." Liz told him, "I do not intend to let the public-especially my public, back home, know I've got the syndrome that killed Tranh Truk Ngo, or my grandfather, or his grandfather-let the press think I've just got a problem staying on the wagon-like you would've thought, if you hadn't been able to get my Registration screening from the medical records guys at mount Asgard."

He released her, and they continued to walk, "Have you made preparations for a successor yet?"

"What little girl hasn't got her last will and testament worked out?" Liz asked, "I'm working an angle there, too-hopefully by the time it's time for me to eat the gun, they won't need me anymore."



« Last Edit: 28 January 2016, 13:21:59 by Cannonshop »
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

gladius

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Don't you mean 'deprograming your son', unless this is Duke Patrick Kell, and the Silver Eagle incident went differently?

Cannonshop

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Don't you mean 'deprograming your son', unless this is Duke Patrick Kell, and the Silver Eagle incident went differently?

shows how together I get at 0300. OOPS.  (fixed)
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Nikas_Zekeval

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"hardly. Have you considered the benefits of mental-health counseling?" he asked, "Your little tirade sounds a lot like you need it."

she smirked a bit, "Tuesdays at five." she said, "When I'm not working-how's deprogramming your son going?"

So basically once in a blue moon then?  If that often?  ::)  Or given her mother's example, Liz wants to keep her head screwed on sorta straight and is good about keeping that appointment?

Quote
Elizabeth fell in beside the famous mercenary.  "How's business?" he asked her conversationally.

"I've gotten the delivery schedules back on track for the ordinance factory, one of your outfits has five billion Kroner worth of machine tools and we're on schedule for delivery in August-no later." she stated, "The spec on those laminators had some of my engineers pulling out their hair, but we've licked the problem, so your order's on schedule if your payments clear."

Hmm, did the Duke pass on specs for Clan Spec machine tooling?  Or just Star League era spec gear?

Quote
"you still don't think there's a cure?" he asked.

"Five hundred plus years of research says no." Elizabeth stated, "I'm pretty certain I have my clock figured out-figure dead by forty five, no later...it's a decent enough amount of time before I have to engage in extreme pain-relief."

I thought Cholmans (sp?) was genetic, a botched DNA upgrade?  That means there isn't really a cure, the proper term would be a treatment.  Well not unless you can rewrite Liz's damaged DNA as an adult.

Valiran

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Just found this a few days ago, and I have to say I'm touched you started writing this because I asked about it. :-[

I'm also eagerly awaiting the reaction from the Clan OZ to Liz's speech. >:D

mikecj

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Nice little piece.
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"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
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Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

Cannonshop

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Dining Hall, Archon's Residence, Triad, Tharkad, 2000 hours, three weeks later...

"Your Highnesses." Elizabeth offered blankly, "I seem to be feeling under the weather, may I be dismissed, for some air please?" 

It was a fairly strange greeting, Victor shot Katherine a questioning look.

"Yes, of course. The west balcony is fairly private, Duchess, no one will disturb you there." Katherine Steiner-Davion's tone was both gracious, and commanding.

"Thank you." the young Lady of Kowloon hurried away.

"Okay, Kat, I'm confused, who is that, and why is she here?" Victor asked.

"that is the Duchess of Kowloon-the same one that made a stir a few months ago by nailing four of Hopper Morrison's men to crosses." Katherine told him.

"And she is not-in-prison why?" he asked.

"She's underage." Katherine told him, "At least, that's what Luvon thinks. Mother decided to pardon her...she is the main reason your ammunition shipments have been arriving on-time."

"and why does she need privacy?" he asked.

"Because it is rude to shoot up in the royal bathroom." Katherine told him bluntly, "and certainly worse to do it in the dining hall-she's sick-she has already been rejected by every military academy in both the Federated Suns, and the Lyran Commonwealth, and I do not think anyone will take her now that we are the Federated Commonwealth."

"and she's here why?" he asked, "Why isn't she in a hospital if she's that ill?"

"She won't get better." Katherine told him, "Ever.  She is, however, extremely useful to the realm-she makes supplies MOVE, and she has a gift for getting other industrialists to work for the good of the nation over their own profits.  She has been...remarkably useful to me while you were on the front."

"wait, you put a sick, under-aged-"

"No, She is not in charge of anything, I simply suggest to her that someone is being a problem, and she solves the problem." Katherine told him.

Victor mulled this over.  "HOw?"

"She is very convincing." Katherine told him, "I think it helps that she personally executed two men for embezzlement on her homeworld, including one that was a long-time friend of her father's." Kate mimed a handgun, "bang. Right between the eyes at about one meter. She televised it, I think Curiatis may even have a copy..."

Victor put his drink down, nodded to his bodyguard, "Excuse me, Katherine." he said, and hurried across the floor to the north balcony exit.

In the pale light, he found her sitting on the railing, looking down the hundred fifty meter drop to the street below.

"you're not going to jump, are you?" he asked.

"nope." she answered, "not going to jump-the poor bastard that would have to clean up the mess doesn't deserve that."

"So...Katherine tells me you're 'useful'...how can my rule manage to uphold it's ideals, if you're out there threatening to shoot people?" he demanded.

"I don't." Elizabeth told him, "Instead, I threaten to put their orders on account delays, or threaten not to renew service contracts, or threaten their priority status.  It's what you do, when you're the only option that isn't comstar for factory technologies...I had to threaten to drop Bradford's account entirely if he didn't stop trying to gouge the AFFC...and he still owes me fifteen billion Kroner from the updates to his plants two years ago."

she looked over her shoulder at the First Prince, "I only shoot people when they deserve it, when reason doesn't penetrate, or they let their greed get so out of control that it imperils the whole rest of my business.  They won't let me shoot Clanners, so I make sure the guys they DO let shoot them, have enough ammo and guns to shoot them."

She reached into her jacket pocket, and pulled out a flat metal case and a match. "I'd offer you one, Highness, but you need to be in top form for killing the invaders...and these things will give you cancer."

'I'll take one anyway." He said.

she offered the case, and he took one of the cigarettes out.  she lit hers, and offered him the flame.

"I'll save it." he said, "For later.  How old are you?"

"Sixteen." she said, "yeah, that's supposedly too young, but the Regent Dad left in charge when he went out to fight the invaders was crooked and had to go."

"I've heard the story." victor said, leaning on the railing, "At least, the part where you televised shooting him in the head."

"Two guys." She said, "him, and the local executive who was supposed to be watching the store.  One was stealing from taxpayers, the other was stealing from me." she took a drag.  "Had to make it public so the riots would stop.  I had to show my folks I was serious about not letting that happen again."

"and the pirates?" he asked.

"Green Machine was deployed in dribs and drabs half way across the province, Regulars were tied up fighting on the Clan front..." she shrugged, "so I made us look scary-crucify four of them, send one back to Hopper with his colleagues' heads in a bag, and a note that said 'do not come back'. I even paid his freight to make sure the delivery would get there...also, I only put one on a cross, the other three were rapists-I put them on Elbar Toothpicks and sent a home video of their trial and execution...if I remember right, you were mucking about on Combine worlds when that went down...but I could be wrong."


Victor made a disgusted face, "how did someone like you get in that position?" he demanded.

"Dad died in '50, Both brothers dead by '52, Mom tried to murder-suicide me when the rescue op for Henry failed." she listed off, "that left me as sole heir, my inheritance-which I wasn't ever supposed to be in charge of, was being squandered by appointed Regents and crooked executives, so I took action, threw the bums out, and got to fixing what had been broken.  I don't see why you'd have a problem with that." her tone was level through the entire thing, "It's not like people like me are that important to the grand schemes here in the core...besides, I've got twenty-four years tops before I have to decide whether to eat a bullet, or die screaming."

"Katherine mentioned you were ill." he said, "What is it?"

"Cholmann's Syndrome-it's a nasty combo of recessives, three documented stages, I've been stage one for about four years." she said, "means I can control the pain with prescriptions.  Stage two and it's needing Narcotics and antiseizure meds.  Stage three? nobody's invented a drug that can let you stay rational and sane by stage three, the only thing anyone can do for you, is end it."  she smiled at him, and mimed a pistol shot to her temple, "it's amazing how much you can accomplish, when you don't have to plan to get old, and it's also amazing what you can live with, when you know the pain isn't going to ever stop, or get better. you really find out what is important to you when you have that...and what you can afford to not care about because you'll never have time to regret."

He felt a chill, "What's important to you?" he asked.

"In order of precedence? my People, my business, the Commonwealth. Everything else is unimportant." she said, "Me especially. when I finish what I've set out to do, and when I die, nobody will have to care-MY people will be able to go on without someone like me..."  she cocked her head, took a drag, "can you say the same?"

Victor sighed.  "I don't know what you mean." he told her.

"Right now, while I'm here, I've got the best experts I could hire back home, rebuilding the pre-Amaris constitutional government of Kowloon." she told him, "I've got the best experts I could hire re-building a civil service system so that it works, I imported teachers and historians and Legal experts, Economists and businessmen, to rebuild the economy.  If all that expense is borne out, when I die, nobody will be impacted-life will go on, prosperous, free life...assuming you keep the ****** Clans out, and Tharkad doesn't meddle until we're done...they won't need a liege-lord, a ducal family, none of that-it'll be ceremonial and that's it.  There are other worlds in the Lyran Commonwealth that do just fine without a noble family or dynasty."

"no plans for heirs or successors?" he asked.

"Are you Kidding? look at me-I'm a ****** defect." she shook her head, "There is no way in hell I will ever have time to get pregnant, squirt out a couple of babies, and raise them. I'm dead by forty, and maybe not having kids is what my ancestors should have done.  They didn't, but that just means I have work to be doing, and instead of doing it, I'm stuck here, doing busywork and reading reports that are weeks late, because I can't leave without permission."

He gave her a serious look, then said, "You really believe that."

"Can't lift without clearance, can't ditch the Estates until I'm sworn in and recognized, can't get sworn in and recognized until the government's 'official period of mourning' is concluded and you've been through your coronation." she counted it off on her fingers, "I'm stuck here, Your Highness, but I have a LOT of work to be doing, and not a lot of time to do it-and that time's getting shorter every hour of every day that I'm stuck on Tharkad instead of doing my job."








« Last Edit: 01 February 2016, 06:52:28 by Cannonshop »
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2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

gladius

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Is Victor supposed to come across as an insensitive, judgmental, ignorant ass? Yeah, he's under a lot of stress, and he's hardly a politician, but that's largely because of his lack of training in the field: he's always (well, up until 3058) shown as a pretty decent guy who's easy to get along with (unless you're his traditional enemy with a hot sister, but that'll thaw out pretty well before long).

Here he seems to be purposefully targeting her sore points in order for her to appear overly mature, efficient and dedicated when compared to his childish, dismissive attitude.

Cannonshop

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Is Victor supposed to come across as an insensitive, judgmental, ignorant ass? Yeah, he's under a lot of stress, and he's hardly a politician, but that's largely because of his lack of training in the field: he's always (well, up until 3058) shown as a pretty decent guy who's easy to get along with (unless you're his traditional enemy with a hot sister, but that'll thaw out pretty well before long).

Here he seems to be purposefully targeting her sore points in order for her to appear overly mature, efficient and dedicated when compared to his childish, dismissive attitude.

Then I really ****** up-he's supposed to be being 'really' sensitive as opposed to 'phoney' sensitive-Victor always seemed like someone that 'draws you out' and engages you on YOUR level instead of assuming his own is everyone's.  Lemme do some editing, this scene's not quite over yet.
The core rules for interacting with me:

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Cannonshop

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[continued]

Victor frowned, and looked out at the panorama.  "You can go day-after tomorrow." he said, "if you want, I'll make certain any barriers are removed."

"I owe you then." Elizabeth said, "nice to see someone who finally gets me."

he regarded her, "I know what it's like when politics gets in the way...I'll just...expedite things, I hate this stuff, as much as you're itching to get back to Kowloon and horrify us all, That's what I'm feeling regarding the war with the Clans-we're wasting time when we should be preparing."

she nodded. 

"Just...do me a favor-no more crazy-lady act.  no more 'Elbar Toothpicks'-you're a Lyran, we have standards."

"I'll do what I must." she said.

"yeah...that's what I'm concerned about."

"Um..small favour?" Elizabeth crushed out the smoke, "kinda keep this quiet? the illness, right? people don't need to know, I'd rather they thought I was a half-crazed druggie, than pity me-crazy druggies could do almost anything, but you and I, we've all seen those 'living network' shows with the sick kid who's just loving everybody and a fountain of ****** wisdom-I'm not her."

"pardon?" he asked.

"People are going to celebrate when I bite it." she told him, "I intend to make sure of that."

'I'll keep it quiet." Victor told her.

"I guess we better go inside." she swung her legs back over the railing and landed on the balcony.  Her watch beeped.

"time to look stoned." she said.

"um, what?"

"Gotta look the part." Elizabeth told him, "I know your sister knows I'm taking a lot of drugs.  If I look like I'm straight when I walk in, and you don't look angry and disgusted, they'll draw the wrong conclusions...and that would be bad for me, since it would ****** me in the Estates, and it would be bad for you because they'd think you were following in your old man's footsteps hitting on teenage girls-you got an actual dynasty to think about, better if you scowl."

he flinched, "Politics"

"From the word 'poly' meaning many, and 'Bloodsucking insects'." she said, "yeah."

« Last Edit: 01 February 2016, 07:16:59 by Cannonshop »
The core rules for interacting with me:

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2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Dave Talley

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yep,
Vic gives a damn, especially once he knows you, Kat just had to help him connect the dots from news he had heard to this face and this background story

always did hate the way they did Vic  once his parents were dead, he had been trained in politics his whole life, literally from kindergarten up to Nagelring, he had to live politics all day and night, he got terminally stupified in the novels
Resident Smartass since 1998
“Toe jam in training”

Because while the other Great Houses of the Star League thought they were playing chess, House Cameron was playing Paradox-Billiards-Vostroyan-Roulette-Fourth Dimensional-Hypercube-Chess-Strip Poker the entire time.
JA Baker

mikecj

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They'll make an interesting team if she's funneling his logistics.
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

Cannonshop

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Estates General building, 1 day before Elizabeth Ngo returns to Kowloon...

"...my son, Phelan, re-established contact." Morgan Kell told them. "He wanted asylum for his followers, and I granted it."

"really?" Elizabeth Ngo was the only person present who didn't look impressed, "So are you going to get him a cult-deprogramming then?"

"Elizabeth!" Maggie Doons was openly shocked.

"Duchess Ngo, that was uncalled for." Morgan snapped, "He's coming back."

"He's still with the Clans isn't he?" Liz asked, "His bunch, these 'exiles', they're still Clanners, still Clan Wolf, am I right?"

"well..."

"And he's here, isn't he?" she asked.

"yes." Morgan told her, "He will be a keynote speaker-"

"Fine, I'll stick around for that." she stated, "Right now, I need a smoke.  I'll be on the steps."

Elizabeth walked away with that same, stalking-yet-busy walk she had since her near-death experience at the hands of her mother.

"Why do you put up with that shrew?" Morgan asked, directing his question at Doons.

"one, she keeps my factories running...two, she's not as bad as all that-a little high-strung, that's all." Margaret counted, "Three, she's...she was Penelope's friend, and she stayed a friend...you spent an hour talking with her at the funeral, you're only NOW noticing?"

Morgan looked chastened.  "She is going to make a scene, isn't she?"

"that is inevitable." Margaret said, "Her Oldest brother died on Tamar, her Father was MIA and confirmed dead in what's now the Jade Falcon OZ, her next brother's death drove her mother to try to kill her, then commit suicide.  If there is a noble in this building who has reason to despise the Clans, it's Elizabeth-she lost everyone to the invasion."

Victor spoke up, "Maggie, go get her." he said, "Phelan's supposed to be coming in that entrance, I'd just as soon not have a confrontation on the steps-and I'm certain you don't want to force my hand in disciplining her officially."

Margaret found her, sitting on the ferrocrete outside the door, almost in the street, shivering.

"Elizabeth, this is undignified." she scolded, "I will not have a duchess I've sponsored sulking like a spoiled child."

"yes'm." the Duchess of Kowloon was a girl agian-for a little while. she got to her feet, and smoothed her skirt, brushing off the debris from the sidewalk.

"Did you take your medications?" Doons asked.

"Yes ma'am."  Elizabeth replied, "Half doses. I wanted to be alert."

"well, if you start feeling-"

"I'll go to the bathroom or something." Liz told her, "Jesus it's screwed up-I'm using the same stuff that killed Penny now..."

"There are two differences, Elizabeth-first is that Penny never needed it, she just wanted it, and the second is that you need it." Margaret told her grimly.  "If I'd known, I would have told your mother to get you out of that facility."

"wouldn't have mattered." Liz replied, "You only know me because of Penny, and she only knew me because we were on the same floor....god I miss her."

"For her memory's sake, can you behave yourself today?" Margaret asked.

"I'll do my best." Liz told the older noble.

"that is all I'm asking of you." Margaret told her.

The session called, the elected delegates took their seats, and Elizabeth joined Maggie in the Lords' Gallery overlooking the hall.

Her somber expression and businesslike clothing, she didn't stand out here as much as she had at the reception, or the funeral.

She watched with interest as first Victor, then Morgan Kell, presented the case for the Commonwealth's grant of Asylum to the Wolf Exiles.

She took notes, occasionally acknowledging that Maggie Doons had an eye on her conduct.

She also watched the 'homeless' delegates-now swelled in ranks by members from worlds under Clan occupation.

Finally, Phelan Kell stepped up to the podium, and presented his own case.

Elizabeth took more notes.  One of which, she sent to Bianh Dao, the newly elected replacement for Kowloon's last Estates Delegate-a man who'd been unceremoniously fired by Elizabeth herself after removing the Regency.

The message circulated among the seated delegates as the benefits of letting the Wolves take shelter in the Commonwealth was presented.

A page returned, and handed Liz a chit.

"what's that?" Maggie asked.

"Politics." Elizabeth stated, "I have been asked by the loyal opposition to front their response."

Maggie closed her eyes, "and you accepted."

"And I accepted..I promise, it won't be undignified, I won't shout or scream or curse, and I won't lose control of myself." Elizabeth told her.

The master-at-arms escorted her down to the floor after Phelan spoke and the First Prince had his say.

"Ladies and Gentlemen." She began, "Members and representativs of the Lyran People, I don't know how many of you know who I am-probably not too many, My world isnt' even in the occupation zone, but many of your colleagues whose worlds even now suffer under Clan Occupation, unrelieved and invaded, have asked me to front their objections to this action...and I have accepted."

she stepped around the podium, letting the floating camera and mic follow.  "Phelan Kell was born a Lyran, his father is a national hero, he attended the Nagelring, he was honourably employed by the Lyran State as a mercenary, chasing some of the very bandits that still threaten worlds in my area of the commonwealth.  He is a 'Mechwarrior, and comes from a good family.  He seems a decent enough chap, but look at the company he keeps..."

she flourished her notes, "Clan Wolf-decended from the Star League Defense Forces that abandoned us more than three hundred years ago. they left us all to bleed, and die." She paused, "Think about that.  The Star League was not the Terran Hegemony, it was not the Lyran Commonwealth, the Cappellan Confederation, the Free Worlds, The Draconis Combine-it was all of us.  The SLDF wasn't just the Terrans, it was everone's.  Aleksandr Kerensky was merely a General Officer-a servant of the state, what he took from us, was not his to take, what his leaving did, was his responsibility.  Three hundred years of wars, three hundred years of horror and suffering, three centuries of blood and pointless death.  TRILLIONS of deaths, worlds left barren and lifeless.  That was his legacy to us...now, we are asked to shelter the descendents of the deserters whose theft and dereliction brought centuries of suffering and horror onto us?"

She held out her left hand, palm up.  "Should we forgive this?  They did not come in peace.  They returned on a new carpet of blood, flanked by fire, for conquest...Out on the periphery, we deal with the deserters and descendents of deserters-they are called 'bandit kings', they come for resources, or revenge, but mostly for plunder...I fail to see much difference from those, save that these Clans, the degenerate descendents of deserters who couldn't help but fight one another as soon as their charismatic leader could not hold them together, are much better armed, with all the product of a Star League their ancestors looted when they left."

"Should we forgive them, and welcome them in like wayward relations? all harms excused, shelter them from their own colleagues who even now are preparing to continue their invasion? Let us ask..."

the object in her right hand snapped open, a folding knife. She plunged it through her palm, letting the blood drip.

"Dead.
Dead.
Dead.
Dead.
Dead.
Dead.
Dead.
Dead....you can't apologize for them, they can not forgive, and neither should we." she stood there, bleeding on the stage, showing no sign of pain or discomfort. "Thank you for your time, I yeild the remainder of mine..." and with that, she put the switchblade away, and wrapped her wounded hand in a handkerchief as she walked off the stage.
The core rules for interacting with me:

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2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Paladin1

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Leave it to Liz to get her point across, or in this case through, no matter the cost.  You sure there's not some Scots-Irish in her CS?

mikecj

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And that is the case against the "Great Father"   O0
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

Paladin1

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And that is the case against the "Great Father"   O0
Yeah, it's interesting when you look at some of the characters in the BTU and, after considering them in a real-life context, see how many don't actually make sense, especially those from the FASA days.  Call it a case of fiat or stupid pills or what have you, but there's a sizable portion of the fiction that only has a tenuous grip on reality at best.

Nikas_Zekeval

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"Should we forgive them, and welcome them in like wayward relations? all harms excused, shelter them from their own colleagues who even now are preparing to continue their invasion? Let us ask..."

the object in her right hand snapped open, a folding knife. She plunged it through her palm, letting the blood drip.

"Dead.
Dead.
Dead.
Dead.
Dead.
Dead.
Dead.
Dead....you can't apologize for them, they can not forgive, and neither should we." she stood there, bleeding on the stage, showing no sign of pain or discomfort. "Thank you for your time, I yeild the remainder of mine..." and with that, she put the switchblade away, and wrapped her wounded hand in a handkerchief as she walked off the stage.

Watch the scene that inspired it.  Real Bloody Shirt politics here.

gladius

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Honestly, Morgan is a bit strawmannish, looking grumpy, naive and basically there for Liz to take shots at. His character is focused around dignity, compassion, honour and a deep sense of personal faith. A veteran warrior and political operator, here he's shown as being unable to comprehend why anyone would be irritated about the Wolves, because Phelan's back! It just grates a little.

I would also like to see Morgan and Phelan's speeches: we just hear that they're pro-asylum, but I'd love to see their arguments.

Most of this is just people offering Liz chances to talk about and demonstrate how hardcore she is. Lifting the 'dead, dead, dead' scene directly from B5 is also a bit ... I don't know, a little clumsy.

Don't get me wrong, I greatly enjoy the Ngo-verse, but this one is rubbing me the wrong way. Sorry. :(

Cannonshop

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Honestly, Morgan is a bit strawmannish, looking grumpy, naive and basically there for Liz to take shots at. His character is focused around dignity, compassion, honour and a deep sense of personal faith. A veteran warrior and political operator, here he's shown as being unable to comprehend why anyone would be irritated about the Wolves, because Phelan's back! It just grates a little.

I would also like to see Morgan and Phelan's speeches: we just hear that they're pro-asylum, but I'd love to see their arguments.

Most of this is just people offering Liz chances to talk about and demonstrate how hardcore she is. Lifting the 'dead, dead, dead' scene directly from B5 is also a bit ... I don't know, a little clumsy.

Don't get me wrong, I greatly enjoy the Ngo-verse, but this one is rubbing me the wrong way. Sorry. :(

Just remember the important part-she failed. Teh effort looked clumsy-because it WAS clumsy. Elizabeth completely and utterly misread her audience, and her action came across not as passionate, so much as childish and naive, flavoured with self-destruction.

It isolated her from allies she might have otherwise had, it pushed the fence-sitters away from her position...


She came across as a fanatic in a culture that values moderation in it's leadership.  Her action played well on Kowloon, but in the rest of the Commonwealth, it was exactly the wrong thing to say, at exactly the wrong time, to exactly the wrong people.

« Last Edit: 03 February 2016, 03:22:08 by Cannonshop »
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Cannonshop

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Donegal Broadcasting, "Triad This Week"...

"...topic is the grandstanding in the Estates General by Kowloonese Duchess Elizabeth Ngo.  Marta, what's your take on this?" Michael Corde, the senior editorial analyst for DBS Newsnight's political programming looked as perfect as a news network anchor could be made.  He sat at the head of a rounded oval table, flanked on each side by anchors from DBS and it's parent corporation, DBC.  He directed his question-and the camera, to Marta Heintz, political editor of the Tharkad Morning News-one of hte most prestigious news services in the Lyran side of the Federated Commonwealth.

"Well, Michael, the Opposition certainly stepped in it this time, Duchess Ngo is a political outsider for a reason, if not for provisions in her world's treaty of annexation, she'd be just another angry teenager-and she demonstrated why every effort is made to prevent young nobles from taking on positions of responsibility." Marta stated, "It isn't the first time she's filled my headlines-her personal execution of criminals could be seen as a warning sign of severe mental or emotional illness, and this, I think, clinches that view-her self-mutilation-"

"I disagree!"  Kurt Wagner from Skye News Interstellar interrupted, "Her acts were definitely a sign of Naivete, but it seemed more like a cry for help from someone far, far, out of their depth.  Studies show children and teens who've suffered severe traumas often resort to acting out for attention-"

"Scheiss, Kurt, no, She's clearly being manipulated by reactionary forces in the Estates General!"  Hannah Kolbern from Coventry Press interstellar's "Politics this week" argued, "Forces that oppose the Federated Commonwealth Merger are often allied to forces that are calling for counter-offensives against the Clans, especially those from the former Tamar Pact region.  What she did probably would play well on her homeworld, people close to barbarism thanks to years of isolation-but the motive could NOT have come from the girl in question!"

Lucas Derocher from Tamar News Service spoke up, "Don't blame us! her rhetoric would've fit well with Free Skye's actions...and like those acts, her little stunt on the floor of the Estates had the opposite impact.  Many votes were swayed toward Amnesty for the Wolf refugees.  The vote, if you recall, was over seventy percent in favour, including the displaced representatives from Tamar itself...Nobody likes a Fanatic, and that's what Elizabeth Ngo clearly is-when the resentment dies down on her world, she'll find she's probably not as popular as the men she replaced."

Phil Rennan from the Bolan Information and Commentary magazine 'Views' spoke up.  "It's not a surprise." he said, "didn't her mother commit suicide in 3051, and if my background researchers are right, tried to take the girl with her-her reactions clearly show a pattern of broken home and maybe abuse, this lashing out, the violence and the grandstanding and the attention mongering, is clearly a sign of that background, I hope the Archon Prince does something to stablilize that kid before she does something worse."

"Eh, it was a brilliant move by Duke Kell."  Colonel (ret.) Lara Montjoy spoke up, the show's resident military expert rarely spoke up as clearly.  "Look at the result-after a National Hero, Duke Morgan Kell, endorses the move, with the endorsement of the Archon Prince himself behind it, the opposition voice? is a fanatical child whose past background makes her a candidate for in-patient mental health treatment.  You could not engineer a more one-sided presentation on purpose...unless it was on purpose.  After that little rant, and the act of self-mutilation? the only direction Moderates could go would be toward a vote in favour of sheltering the Wolves.  Any other vote would be an endorsement of the kind of insanity infesting the Cappellans-any vote in opposition, would be supporting something militarily unsupportable, and morally repugnant."

Lara had their collective attention, as she continued, "Removing her from Kowloon? not necessary-she is too far from the front to be a threat, and her people are historically the worst people in the Commonwealth to govern-even Skye has fewer problems, leaving her in place is something that costs the Commonwealth nothing-her fanatical commitment means little out there in the back end of the nation, and after this, she will never have significant political clout in our all-important core sectors.  It was political suicide, and we're just fortunate enough to see her do it early in her career, instead of later, when she might have been able to wield real influence." 

"Interesting you'd say that, what about her hawkish position-won't that play with the military on some level?" Karl asked.

"Not in the slightest." Lara stated, "Elizabeth Ngo is a civilian on a medical exemption.  She isn't allowed to serve.  She is an angry civilian-she's lost more than some, and from a certain perspective her fanatical position is understandable as a voice for the widows, the orphaned, and the grieving, but that's all she really did there-venting raw emotion when considered deliberation and a look to the future was needed.  Wisely, the Estates disregarded her advice.  A few more years of peace, and some allies, and more important, access to the technologies and knowledge OF those allies is far more valuable than the grieving scream for vengeance from those maddened by grief and loss.  My take is, given time and seasoning, she and the people who put her up there will see reason."

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Cannonshop

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Jumpship MS Gloria, 2 jumps from Coventry...

"You're taking a bath in the press, Your Grace."  Miss Whyte noted.

"I'll live." Elizabeth sulked.  "What about the important stuff?"

"Well...it's hurt your position with the Blackwell negotiations-they're balking on points nine, nineteen, and fifty four of the standard contract, Krupp of Terra rooked us on the Defiance Hesperus update contract entirely, and the Alarion Yards are threatening to go with Krupp or one of the Federated Suns contractors for the planned reopening of the Warship production line."

"yup...I ****** up bigtime." Elizabeth sighed, "Is there any way we can wiggle on the Alarion contract?"

"wiggle?"

"Sweeteners we can offer them to keep their business." she rolled over on her bunk, "Alarion's a big customer, we never could get Blackwell to commit, so I'm ready to let that one fail, we already lost DefHes-I can't match Krupp's tech edge, but Alarion could be the breakpoint between making payroll this year, and layoffs."

"They want you to carry their note, and they're asking for zero down." Miss Whyte told her, "basically if they renege, it could break us."

Liz sat up, "and we'll be fronting their upgrade costs out of pocket for the first six quarters, and there's no guarantee that the First Prince will let them have the action Galax is getting with the Fox program...****** that. I won't go lower than six percent, and I won't accept a zero-down deal, we'll find another client if they walk...what's the picture on recent startups?"

"Does the word 'Grim' mean anything? we might catch Norse-Storm, and GDI's made inquiries..."

"I like Carlysle, what are they asking for, and can they afford it?"  Elizabeth asked.

Miss Whyte passed a personal data assistant to her, "See for yourself."

"hmmm...it's all small gear, or set up to produce small components...Has Landry over in our engineering department had a look?"

"Duchess, this is small-scale stuff!" Miss Whyte argued.

"Yeah. Small, like those armored tick-suits the Clanners are using." Elizabeth countered, "If it's what it looks like, they'll need to be able to produce in bulk. That means lots of bread-and-butter machinery instead of a handfull of mega-structure systems.  Can we get the unit price down to something GDI will go for?"

"Mister Landry thinks so...but some of the board of directors have serious objections.  it's a lot of nanoscale equipment, our most expensive components..."

"We've already lost DefHes." Elizabeth stated, "we'll probably lose Alarion.  I want these design studies translated into a proposal for a production line by the time we hit Coventry's Nadir point.  The board can pound sand, the future's in smaller, more efficient systems.  Tell Contracts that we'll accept the GDI order, and have them look into Norse Storm's needs-we might be able to make some kind of deal there."

"I am reluctant to bring it up, but the Arc Royal contract..."

"Is Kell dropping us too?" Liz asked.

"no..."

"Then he gets what he wants, if we can build it." Elizabeth stated, "his son may be swallowed in a cult, but Morgan Kell was one of Patrick's heroes and he's taken on a job nobody else seems qualified to handle, and he's on the front line.  He rings the bell, we answer."

"Even if it means letting his guests tour the facility?" Miss Whyte asked.

"I meant what I said, he rings, we answer." Elizabeth snapped, "I don't have to like it, but that is where the ball lies-tell McSween to negotiate payment back for it though-I want fair exchange and no loose ends if we're going to let Phelan send his technicians into one of our satellite facilities, especially that one."

Miss Whyte relaxed, "After your performance on the floor of the Estates..."

"My side lost." Elizabeth stated, "over seventy percent.  it's a done deal, so we adapt, and we live with the outcomes, there isn't any time to hold grudges."
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Valiran

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Huh, I thought there'd be more people supporting Elizabeth's opinion of the Clanners, if not her behavior on stage.

Oh well, at least hearing the trashborn raging at her will be amusing.

Cannonshop

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Huh, I thought there'd be more people supporting Elizabeth's opinion of the Clanners, if not her behavior on stage.

Oh well, at least hearing the trashborn raging at her will be amusing.

her behaviour on stage was a deal-breaker, even people who might privately (or even publicly) share her views aren't about to admit it in polite society. 

Just consider how the press (and polite society) have reacted to Donald Trump's outspoken views on Immigration-even the most hardcore republican politicians fled from that like a bomb-tech with shaky hands.  For all her apparent cynicism, she's really a dewy eyed idealist and naive as all hell, what she did in front of the Estates might be the kind of politicking that works on Kowloon, but it's exactly the wrong thing to do in polite, Lyran, society.

She cut herself on stage, and real blood doesn't play well with a bunch that prides themselves on their moderate nature and moral superiority.

As for the Clan reaction-once they see that full tape, and the reactions by the local media?

The insult probably will NOT be forgotten...forget forgiven.  But it will probably rest entirely on HER head.  (though I wonder...)


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gladius

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But Trump isn't making noise about the Chinese forces that conquered Alaska, Washington State and California, and are forcibly changing the state language, finances and religious matters to meet Party regulations, imprisoning dissidents in gulags and killing anyone who makes too much noise.

Edit: actually, less PRC and more ISIS ... while the Democratic candidates are talking about changing the colour of the dollar bill as being more important ... and encouraging 'moderate' ISIS renegades to settle in New Mexico because one of their leaders is the son of that state's senator before he was radicalised ...

Edit 2: Do you accept Omakes? I'd love to write a scene of my Baroness von Strang's reaction to the broadcast ... ;)
« Last Edit: 08 February 2016, 07:03:49 by gladius »

DOC_Agren

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Baroness von Strang's reaction to the broadcast  that should be interesting [drool]
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

croaker

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Baroness von Strang's reaction to the broadcast  that should be interesting [drool]

Something along the lines of "FINALLY! Someone who GETS IT!"

gladius

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If Cannonshop gives the okay, I'd be happy to ... I'm also curious about the general Kowloon opinion towards the Legion: They're focused on the Clans and fellow pariahs, misfits who doen't really fit with the Inner Sphere ... but they're also descendants of the Rim Worlds Republic, and led by a descendant of von Strang himself.

Personally I'm thinking cold disdain at best, and homicidal loathing at worst.

Trace Coburn

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If Cannonshop gives the okay, I'd be happy to ... I'm also curious about the general Kowloon opinion towards the Legion: They're focused on the Clans and fellow pariahs, misfits who doen't really fit with the Inner Sphere ... but they're also descendants of the Rim Worlds Republic, and led by a descendant of von Strang himself.

Personally I'm thinking cold disdain at best, and homicidal loathing at worst.
  Something like “Eh, let ’em kill each other off.  It’ll save us the ammo”?

Cannonshop

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If Cannonshop gives the okay, I'd be happy to ... I'm also curious about the general Kowloon opinion towards the Legion: They're focused on the Clans and fellow pariahs, misfits who doen't really fit with the Inner Sphere ... but they're also descendants of the Rim Worlds Republic, and led by a descendant of von Strang himself.

Personally I'm thinking cold disdain at best, and homicidal loathing at worst.

Kowloon in the Ngo'verse has a BAD history with the Rim Worlds Republic, going back to when they lost their autonomy the first time at the outbreak of the Age of War, to the point they threw the RWR off at the kickoff of the Star League Civil war.

It was their third try-the first try was failing to stop the RWR from conquering them during hte age of war, the second try was in 2729 and the Star League orbitally bombarded the original capital to help the Rim Worlds put the uprising down...and the third time was in 2769 to 2771, when they finally threw the yoke off, thanks to most of the RWR's military being focused on the Terran Hegemony and foreign fronts, and the head of state being on Terra itself.  SLDF forces actually landed days after the last Amaris units were defeated, to be begged by Rim Worlds loyalist survivors for help-because the natives were going to kill them.  'Independent' era Kowloon lasted until 2785, and they sent troops to fight for Kerensky-of course it was understood those troops didn't give a fig about the Star League or proper inheritance procedures or dynasty or any of that rot-they wanted to kill Rim Worlders and 'Collabos', and maybe pay back the universe for three centuries of oppressive occupation by foreigners they hated.  The promise the SLDF made, was that they wouldn't be forced to accept Rim Worlds domination again, that they would be allowed to be independent.  Kerensky walked out on that promise, they're not ready to forgive him.

 Their 'conquest' by the Lyran Commonwealth at the end of the SLCW had more to do with a final abandonment by the SLDF-who'd promised that their newly won autonomy would be protected-than anything else.  (the Lyrans won the planet by negotiation instead of force of arms-"Who are you going to trade with?")

During the Amaris war, Kowloon was one of the few worlds that sent entire formations to fight Amaris-in particular the 171st Volunteer Brigade-(Battle Streamers include Elbar and other points), During the war against Amaris (they didn't care that he'd usurped the SL throne so much as Kerensky offered them the chance to kill "Rimjobs", and the Kowloonese were rather keen on vengeance...) the 171st were among the more brutal units in the campaign, including over 200 accusations of war crimes (with nearly that many convictions)...including the impalement of 50-something RWR officers at Elbar after a drumhead 'crimes against humanity' trial.

Kerensky took pains to ensure the 171st were demobilized and sent home before he carried out full planning for Exodus.  Not a single Kowloonese from the 171 went with the SLDF into exile,and not a single scrap of Star League property remained in Kowloonese hands before he departed.

so...that considered...

I really don't think Baroness Von Strang would want to meet with these people-she would most certainly know just how deep and wide that gulf is.
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gladius

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I had a feeling ... :)

The following was tossed together in a hurry. Any errors or misconceptions may be blamed on that, and on the character's own viewpoints and sources of information.

***

Omake: Monsters

"Of all the Lyrans to finally break out into a fit of sanity, why did it have to be a bloody Ngo," muttered Colonel the Baroness Juliete von Strang as she sipped at her drink bulb.

The DropShip Tepes, and the JumpShip it was attached to, lingered in microgravity as the jump sails charged from a nearby star. Regular exercise trips to the Jumper's grav decks helped keep muscle and bone degredation away, but it still made meals a challenge.

Across the table from her superior officer, Major Stephanie Lawler paused, her own meal paste halfway to her lips. "Milady?"

The younger woman shook her head, and gestured at the mess hall's viewscreen. "The kid's almost begging the Estates General to pay attention to the fact that dozens of Lyran planets are still under Tanker occupation, and they're all complaining about how she looked 'histrionic' and 'childish'." She snorted. "Childish. Colonel Kell's speech wasn't bad, mind you," she continued, notably not mentioning the younger Kell's ode to the 'honour of Kerensky', which had drawn snickers and cat calls from the Legionaries, "But she's got fire, and she knows where the danger lies. She knows that accepting the Wolves is only going to kick the Com - I mean, the Alliance in the ass somewhere down the line, like Vortigern, inviting Hengist and Horsa to come live in Britain."

"Oh, I get that," agreed 3rd Batallions' commander, "But ... a Ngo?"

The Baroness sighed. "I did a paper on Kowloon during secondary, back home. It was basically a living example of how not to rule a conquered world. Casual brutality, trying to wipe out the indigenous culture, language laws, and vicious reprisals against civilians ... so of course, the Republic just kept tightening the screws, hoping that if they stamped hard enough, they'd make the locals calm down. They even conned the ****** League into helping put down their most serious rebellion. When Amaris pulled his little coup, Kowloon took the chance to break away, and threw in with Kerensky."

Putting her empty bulb aside, Juliette continued. "Their leader was a man named Tranh Truk Ngo - I'm probably mangling the pronunciation. He basically became Kerensky's hatchet man." At Lawler's raised eyebrow, she expanded. "For all his supposed brilliance, the Kerensky I studied at school was a linear, two dimensional thinker with a serious stubborn streak who hated to be wrong. He never saw a defensive line he didn't want to throw troops at. Still, even he had his limits, and when he ran into a job too brutal and dirty for his precious SLDF to handle, he tossed Ngo at it, as both troubleshooter and deniable asset. He could get the job done, as nasty as you like, and if his troops went overboard and started impaling and crucifying prisoners or what have you, the General could just slap his colonial subordinate on the wrist and move on without tarnishing his own troops. Little bastard didn't fear punishment for himself, since he was dying from some kind of neurological condition anyway. Look up Elbar when you have the time, and the 171st Volunteers.

"Anyway, back to my original point," the COlonel continued. "If it were anyone but a Ngo, I'd say, 'there's a possible ally. There's someone we can find common cause with. There's someone who gets the threat of the Tankers, and understands that they need to be dealt with, not pandered to, that they can, and should, be fought.'" She shook her head. "But she's a Ngo. She's Kowloonese. And she feels about the Rim World's Republic the same way we feel about the Budgies."

"But ... that's centuries ago," offered Lawler, but Juliette wasn't impressed by the passage of time.

"Would you forgive what the Clans have done to our world? Our families? Our cities, our towns?" She didn't need to look at her officer to know the answer. "We won't forgive, we won't forget ... and neither will they." One final time, Juliette looked at the screen, as talking heads discected the Duchess' speech in derisive terms, and unbuckled from her chair, propelling herself towards the hatch.

As she did so, she repeated to herself under her breath, "Why did it have to be a bloody Ngo?"
« Last Edit: 11 February 2016, 08:44:34 by gladius »

Ajax_Wolf

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Quote
As she did so, she repeated to herself under her breath, "Why did it have to be a bloody Ngo?"

so, in this case, the enemy of my enemy doesn't or need to be my friend?
Why does everyone "Fire at Will"? Is he really that bad of a person? And what did he do to make everyone want to shoot him?

If a group of necrophiliacs met a group of zombies, who would do the chasing?

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croaker

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so, in this case, the enemy of my enemy doesn't or need to be my friend?

How did Schlock Mercenary put it....

"The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. Nothing more, nothing less."

Nikas_Zekeval

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How did Schlock Mercenary put it....

"The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. Nothing more, nothing less."

"Sell them munitions, at cost." (or normal mark up?)

DOC_Agren

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"Sell them munitions, at cost." (or normal mark up?)
If they are killing Clanners at cost I beleive is the Ngo way, but Baroness von Strang's might have to pay a extra fee
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

ckosacranoid

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It was stated today that the witch of Tharkard  along with most of the upper command died today from a magor heat attack after it was stated in a press realease about a Ngo and Vampire team up to dead with the clans once and for all.

gladius

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It was stated today that the witch of Tharkard  along with most of the upper command died today from a magor heat attack after it was stated in a press realease about a Ngo and Vampire team up to dead with the clans once and for all.
"In other news, Khan Marthe Pryde of Clan Jade Falcon committed suicide today, after informing her saKhan that if he were worth the amniotic fluid he was gestated in, he would do the same, as it would be marginally quicker and less painful ..."

drakensis

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"In other news, Khan Marthe Pryde of Clan Jade Falcon committed suicide today, after informing her saKhan that if he were worth the amniotic fluid he was gestated in, he would do the same, as it would be marginally quicker and less painful ..."
"On a lighter note, Wiener the Flying Pig wowed the children of Terra with another stunning performance at the Word of Blake's airshow at Farnham on Terra..."
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Cannonshop

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[out of story-new edit based on something in "Her Wings"...because it's logical that Morgan would know.]

Old Connaught, Arc Royal, some months after Elizabeth's speech...

"I did as you asked, Father, I want that answer now." Phelan Kell, Khan of Clan Wolf, stood in front of the fireplace, arms akimbo.

"well...you really want the answer, I'll tell you." Morgan turned and poured two fingers of whiskey for himself, and then, for his son.  "You were with the Wolves when the Falcons took Blackjack, did you hear anything about that?"

"The Academy cadets." Phelan said, "The Falcons were pretty happy with that,  enough that Crichell actually bragged about it, why?"

"Her brother Henry was one of those Cadets." Morgan told him, "When the FedCom sent an extraction team to attempt a rescue, he'd already...he was already one of them." Morgan passed the glass to Phelan, "He was the reason we only got two members of that team back...and I know, from my contact at Mount Asgard, that the only person outside of Loki that was informed before the shooting, was Elizabeth's mother."

Phelan frowned, "what do you mean?"

"Cadet-Leutnant Henry Ngo turned into an ideological convert to the Jade Falcons, he sabotaged the rescue attempt and got men killed." Morgan said, "Elizabeth knows, even though it's technically a highly classified incident. Considering that the news of that was enough to send her mother over the edge and attempt a murder-suicide? do you suppose that might have an influence on her thinking? especially about someone like yourself?"

Phelan sat down.  "Scheiss..." he said, "That puts it all in perspective...how old was she?"

"Thirteen." Morgan told him, "Her mother shot her in the bathtub, then ate the next bullet.  The news arrived about a week after Tukayyiid. it took eighteen months for her to be back on her feet, and she immediately started taking control of the family assets."  Morgan sat down across from his son, "She hates you, but that might still change, but you're right in saying you deserve to know why."

"You could have told me this on Tharkad." Phelan accused.

"not unless I wanted half the newsies on the planet to find out." Morgan told him, "Which would make things complicated for both of us-it's a state secret-the failed rescue attempt, and most especially why it failed."





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Adjudicator

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[out of story-new edit based on something in "Her Wings"...because it's logical that Morgan would know.]

Old Connaught, Arc Royal, some months after Elizabeth's speech...

...

"The Academy cadets." Phelan said, "The Falcons were pretty happy with that,  enough that Crichell actually bragged about it, why?"

"Her brother Henry was one of those Cadets." Morgan told him, "When the FedCom sent an extraction team to attempt a rescue, he'd already...he was already one of them." Morgan passed the glass to Phelan, "He was the reason we only got two members of that team back...and I know, from my contact at Mount Asgard, that the only person outside of Loki that was informed before the shooting, was Elizabeth's mother."

Phelan frowned, "what do you mean?"

"Cadet-Leutnant Henry Ngo turned into an ideological convert to the Jade Falcons, he sabotaged the rescue attempt and got men killed." Morgan said, "Elizabeth knows, even though it's technically a highly classified incident. Considering that the news of that was enough to send her mother over the edge and attempt a murder-suicide? do you suppose that might have an influence on her thinking? especially about someone like yourself?"


What.. a revelation.

Not even in prior iterations of the Ngoverse I followed had such a mention.

The only time I heard of Cadet Henry Ngo was from the 2007 Ngoverse 2.0 - 3.0 short story, The Tools of Ngo.

He was mentioned briefly by his father David Ngo, about how "Henry wants to be like Daddy", which I assume to mean to be a MechWarrior in the Lyran Military system.

Cadet Henry Ngo may be a Ngo by blood, but if he idolised to be a MechWarrior, "fit" into the "normal" Inner Sphere values, I can see why he chose the Clan values (Considering their 'Mech centric focus)

I would also assume that these Jade Falcons  in charge of taking the academy are smart, and deployed significant intelligence assets, included watch psychological warfare specialists, etc. to maximise Bondsmen conversion.

I believe there is also a political motivation by the Jade Falcons to show that their form of governance is "superior" and having "examples" to reinforce their moral and psychological crusade versus the "decadent" Inner Sphere.

 

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