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Author Topic: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)  (Read 7383 times)

Cannonshop

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Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« on: 15 February 2016, 06:07:02 »


Nha Tranh, Kowloon, University of Nha Tranh opening day, August 11, 3058...


Students were already filing into the registration office, because Elizabeth opened it before the ceremonies.  "Ladies and Gentlemen, Lords and Ladies, I present the Duchess of Kowloon, Elizabeth Ngo!" 

Liz managed a smile that she hoped looked genuine.  "We've worked really hard-especially the rest of you, to make this happen.  I am so pleased to be here today, you have no idea-I was half afraid they were going to keep me on Tharkad."

This elicited a few laughs here and there-her father's absentee rule had nearly ruined Kowloon entirely, and most of the people here knew it.

"This is not an academy-no soldiers will be trained here, though some militia officers may be attending classes.  This...is a University, a place for the pursuit and distribution of knowledge, a place to do more than train heavy-weapons operators, because someday, the wars will end."

this drew cheers from much of the crowd, though Liz noted that the LAAF officers attending on behalf of Margrave Bryan weren't quite so enthusiastic.

she really didn't care.

"Like I said, you all have worked so very, very hard to make this place happen, and I'm so very very glad you did.  The statue behind me took quite a bit of money to replace the time it should have taken...It's a statue of an ancestor of mine, the last elected President of the Kowloon Republic, Marjorie Ngo. She saw us through ten years of independence-ten years where her husband and the men of the 171st Volunteers did battle with the Tyrant Amaris and his lackeys, lickspittles, maniacs and murderers.  She made sure that our boys coming home got their pensions-even the ones that the SLDF convicted of so-called 'atrocities' against Rimjobs after Elbar, and she negotiated a hard bargain when we were forced to choose between being overrun by Rimjob remnants, and joining with the Lyran Commonwealth when Kerensky and his followers reneged on their promises and deserted us.  It was, according to her papers, a choice that tore her heart to pieces to make-but we're here now, because she made it."

Elizabeth pulled the cord, and the cover dropped from the statue.  "Ladies and Gentlemen, the University is open!"

She stepped down from the podium, and let the guests and VIP's crowd around her, elbow-to-elbow with local press.

It took most of the rest of the daylight to finish things enough to get free.

In the evening...Suburbs of Nha Tranh, 2000 hours...

Colonel Dietrichs was waiting on the front stoop of the two-story split level house that Elizabeth had constructed to replace the former Governor's palace she'd just turned into a school.

"That was a pretty speech, Duchess." He said, "I especially liked the bit about it not being an Academy."

"That's because the academy the Department of Military education is paying for, is in Ben Hoa province, Colonel." she said, "Not a single scrap of LAAF monies went into the Nha Tranh university-have your accountants check my books if you don't believe it."

he shrugged, "I suppose I do believe that-I think my disappointment, Your Grace, is that some of us simply assumed-I know my commanding officer among them-that the offer of funds for an academy would be turned to making one, larger, facility from the one you were already building, so making it ready faster."

"They wanted me to turn my university into a training camp for cannon-fodder?" Liz asked tartly, "Then I guess your disappointment has grounds. I am not my father, Colonel. I do not have a pavlovian reaction to the sound of the bagpipe-and-gun...speaking of which, I presume your presence today has a purpose other than to let me know you thought you'd take over a civilian school for military purposes?"

"I'm here to evaluate the state of your Militia for possible call-to-arms." He stated, "As well as being here to prep your government-and yourself-for a possible installation of a military government and the stationing of Lyran Alliance Armed Forces on Kowloon-to protect the factories."

she stepped around him, and inserted her key into the door lock.  "I see." she said, "Do come inside, colonel, these shoes are killing my feet, and since this is business, I won't offer you anything alcoholic."

they entered.

Elizabeth indicated the rather ordinary living room, with it's couches, "I'll make some tea, and we can go over the Lyran Alliance's offer." she kept her tone even, polite.

"This isn't what I expected." He said, sitting on the long couch, "Your profile, pardon my saying, indicates a stronger reaction."

"I guess I'm still stunned. Wouldn't those forces be better used on the front line?" she asked, "Against Clan Jade Falcon, or Clan Wolf?" she kept her hand steady as she filled the kettle, and set it on the burner.  "I mean, I know we're above the truce line, but we're also so far off their preferred route to Earth that Kowloon wouldn't be an attractive target anyway."

Colonel Dietrich leaned back on the leather of the sofa, "Four factories producing war materiel, you've also got enough other industries that Kowloon would make an attractive conquest all on it's own if not for...well, your history."

"You're aware of it." She smiled, her back to him, as she opened a sugar jar and drew a syringe from it.  The headaches were almost blinding, but she hoped she was keeping her voice calm as she carefully checked the dosage, "You've read about our history?"

"I like to be prepared for my assignments, Your Grace." He told her.

Liz stepped out of the kitchen doorway, and opened a pantry to block line of sight before she wrapped a bit of tubing around her arm, tied it off, and flicked the vein in her left elbow.  "then, You understand how poorly a Military governor would fare with my populace-especially after the Regency." she called out, as she pressed the steel needle into the vein, and depressed the plunger.  "so I have to wonder who at Mount Asgard lost their minds that badly?"

she gripped the shelf as the momentary high hit her, proving the drugs worked, she managed to suppress the vertigo and nausea until they passed.

"There's a school of thought that with your endorsement, an assigned governor would have a fairly easy time of it." he called to her-through the haze as the drugs did their work.

"I don't think that would wooork." she closed her eyes and fought down another wave of nausea.  dammit, I need to hire a nurse!

The room righted itself in her perceptions as the kettle began to whistle.

She closed the pantry door, collected two cups, and the kettle, with the other ingredients, and stepped into the living room.  "My father soured that when he endorsed the Regent." She told him, "They love me, but they  don't really trust me...not yet." she placed the tea service on the low table, "I wasn't prepared for a guest today." She added apologetically, "So the cookies are store-bought...I do apologize."

"Nonetheless, unless you can get the Archon to override, a garrison will be placed on Kowloon, and the commander of that garrison, as the senior LAAF regular officer, will be installed as a military governor under the present state of national emergency."

"The one that was declared when the Star League self-destructed?" Elizabeth asked.

"yes." he said with a curt nod.

"How big a garrison?" she asked, pouring her own tea second.  He noted she didn't add sugar or milk, but drank it black.

"Possibly up to regimental strength." He told her, "Depending on the real readiness and size of your Militia forces."

"I see." she said tactfully, "I presume they are choosing whomever is sent here with rationality? that they will send someone who's studied the culture, knows the language? is familiar with the customs?"

"I..ahm...Duchess, I don't have an answer for that-I wasn't aware of a language issue."

"Less than ten percent of Kowloonese are fluent in German, Colonel, less than ten percent are fluent in English.  Seventy percent of my people speak Viet, or H'mong dialects, around fifty percent are fluent in Hebrew.  Depending who gets sent, that equates to a huge number of chilling opportunities for miscommunication on a truly colossal scale-one reason I have yet to fully win my people's trust, is that my Viet and Hebrew are both heavily accented by my years growing up going from one Lyran base to another-Mother abhorred it when Patrick and I would converse in the tongue of my homeworld, and she forbade me to speak it in the house, and the only place I could safely practice Hebrew was visits to Post Chapels or off-base Synagogues when Mother was away.  at minimum, whomever is sent, should be able to communicate."

"Mein gott you're taking this well." he said.

"My position, Colonel, does not feed my ego." Elizabeth stated, "and I've already demonstrated I'll rid this world of foreign tyrants if they deserve it.  If the Lyran Alliance must position a garrison here, then it must-and if they feel a Military governor is critical to national interests, then, I suppose I have to accept that...however it doesn't mean I will make it easier by throwing a tantrum and attacking the messenger, thus giving a pretext for my imprisonment."

he sipped his tea, studying her face for a while, "god you've got a good poker face." he said, "I can't read anything off of it."

she tossed her black hair to the side with a shake of her head, "I've had to learn it." She stated, "Keep in mind, Colonel, I will fight this-where it is appropriate, which is most certainly NOT in my living room, or on the streets of my world, but instead, over HPG with Tharkad, and with lawyers...and with Reason and logic.  You brought me a piece of very unwelcome news, but that may be why Sharon Bryan sent you, instead of coming herself."


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Cannonshop

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #1 on: 15 February 2016, 07:51:16 »
Ben Hoa Province, Kowloon, August 22, 3058...

"...no idea who's being assigned here, we know it's not the Jaegers since they ain't formed yet, but LAAF is supposedly sending somebody to take the garrison up."  Chuck Vanh, elected representative of the 33rd district half-listened to the ranting tone of his colleague from the 14th district-the area from Bien Hoa village to Hue.

"So it sounds like you'll be getting some possible cadre, and a local boost in housing revenues, what's the problem?" Charles asked, stepping under a 'mech target, tracing a line along the surface with his remaining, left, arm.

"They plan to install a governor." Clayburne told him, "another ****** governor."

"She's still pretty young." Charles said absently, "Maybe having an adult around will be good." he stopped, and turned to his colleague, "Your letter said it was association business-we'll be discussing the heinies at the next Assembly meeting."

"Chuck, the Association of the 171st is sure as hell going to come up if we've got a Heinie sitting on the Duchess-you know that."

"so?" Charles said, "I seem to recall in the last three centuries, we've had several Lyran military governors-starting with the guy that they put in charge after Marjorie Ngo had her heart attack-they come in, they stay for a while, then things quiet down or get crazy somewhere else and they leave.  The Regency was the first time the Association's had to mobilize in it's history-we beat him, Liz took her office, and we went home."

"I think we need to mobilize...and stay mobilized." Clayburne told him, "the official Miliz didn't cut it and he seemed to 'know' they're just a parade force-Li told me last night he spent almost a day and a half visiting Coast Guard stations on the Lake-hell, you were there when he checked out Vin Drin Lap."

Charles shrugged, "So? it wasn't a big shock to him-hell, they know that Liz relied on the Coasties to flight-test those fighters they're building up at Ia Drang.  I don't see the necessity of rallying the Association for this, and you called me, so I know Li must've already told you no."

"Chuck, you're the vice-president of the Association, and you're the western VP of the Granges, she'll listen to you." Clayburne said, "you can maybe change her mind about letting the Heinies put a base on Kowloon, make her resist letting them put a ****** social-general officer in as a governor."

Vanh snorted, "I don't have mystical powers that can rewrite Lyran legal precedents, Clay-and we both saw her during the fight with the Regency-she's already doing whatever she can do to block this.  Showing up with an ad-hoc unofficial militia army isn't going to dissuade them from putting a force here, neither will rioting-look how well that's worked for those poor micks in Skye." Charles stood, feet spread shoulder width apart, and ran his hand through his short, pepper-gray hair.  "Li probably agrees with me on that-we need to keep things quiet, let Her Grace do her work, and be ready in the event she has to call on us to back her plays...besides, are your magazines recovered from the fight to oust the Regency?"

Clayburne sighed and shook his head.

"thought not. we burned a good hundred years of stockpile in that fight.  making trouble now means burning through the rest of it-and unless you forgot, we all lost a lot of our guys, nobody's up to strength yet, we're also short on leadership-you need to be doing recruitment drills and buying or making weapons and ammo-if she does need us to remove a Lyran tick, we're not prepped sufficient to do that-go through the rolls, find people, recruit them in, and keep away from 'direct actions' that might make things worse."

"Li said the same thing." Clayburne muttered.

"for ******'s sake of course she did. it's the right play-recruit, train, stockpile, be ready, it's right there in the ****** charter." Vanh told him, "We're not a bunch of Free Skye dopehead micks who attack before they even have an enemy to fight, we're Kowloonese."

"See you at the next session of the Assembly?" Clayburne asked.

"you know it." Vanh answered, "this training ground looks pretty good, if we get instructors on the same quality level, we might have something here..."

"I want to ask you one favour." Clayburne told him, "I need to ask if you can spare Mosovich."

"i don't have control of her." Vanh told him, "but I'll pass along a request on your behalf-what do you want from Evvie?"

"I want to see if she'll be willing to apply for an instructor slot here." Clayburne told him, "She's an experienced former AFFC officer, and she's still got a commission-"

"She's patient-status, but it looks like it's permanent-yeah, I'll ask her if she wants to come up here and play instructor." Charles stated.

"Thanks...I'd have done it, but the woman scares the crap out of me."
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.

mikecj

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #2 on: 15 February 2016, 10:37:53 »
Interesting beginning.  And Sharon Bryan continues to malf things up.
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.

croaker

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #3 on: 15 February 2016, 11:39:51 »
Interesting beginning.  And Sharon Bryan continues to malf things up.

I'm not so sure about that, Mike. Given what Cannonshop's already said about Katherine and Sharon's motives here, I'm wondering if she doesn't know exactly what's going through Lizzie's head right now.

I'm hypothesizing, here, that she's not pushing Liz out of any direct motive of greed or nepotism or the usual sort of crony crap we've come to expect. I think it's entirely possible that she recognizes Liz's motivation and is trying to channel it into what she sees as good for the Alliance. Notice that she left plenty of loopholes in what she's been demanding so far - loopholes that Liz has exploited not to wiggle out of her responsibilities, but to get the LAAF what she sees it really needs, rather than the "more assault dakka" that so many of its high-ranking idiots want.

Look at what she's getting out of it.

The Enfield is a pretty darn good little trooper 'mech. And the Kowloonese industries are getting the chance to get to know all the high-tech toys that go into it, like double heat sinks, pulse lasers, XL Fusion engines, and Endo-Steel. They may not be making them all now, but they're on the road to it.

The Slayer is a quite nice heavy ASF. It's not as heavily armed as some but it's tough and it's got endurance, especially in the -15R and eventually the -15K models. It's easy to maintain, its main gun is basically the same as the Enfield's (just a different brand of LB-10X), and massed medium lasers are the perfect ground-support weapon. Plus, it's a cross-border deal, helping to keep the peace with the Dracs and an old enemy off their backs while they deal with the new ones.

The Patton is a classic Lyran tank design, one well familiar to the generals who'll be employing it. It's a LAAF standard, it's rugged, it's tough, and it's got a solid punch.

Last but most certainly not least is the Grey Death battle armor. Another Lyran standard, and at this point the only viable battlesuit produced within the Alliance. Not only useful for the LAAF's infantry, but the chance to start training battlesuit operators for the Kowloon militia - which is classically already some of the best infantry in the BTU.

Sharon Bryan knows that Lizzie is burning herself out, probably knows exactly why, and is bound and determined to make sure that the Lyran Alliance gets the most out of it before she implodes.

mikecj

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #4 on: 15 February 2016, 12:56:17 »
Very logical argument; deeply rooted in the Ngoverse.

I'm reacting more to the Sharon we've seen in the main stream novels & sourcebooks; let's see what happens.
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.

qc mech3

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #5 on: 15 February 2016, 13:02:58 »
I guess she may be less an idiot in this version then what we had before. I approve.

It get tiresome when the antagonists can get away with a lot of crap because of plot.  #P

mikecj

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #6 on: 15 February 2016, 13:19:56 »
I guess she may be less an idiot in this version then what we had before. I approve.

It get tiresome when the antagonists can get away with a lot of crap because of plot.  #P

Much better when they can get away with crap by applying the levers of power provided by the legitimate government of the Alliance  >:D
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.

Grognard

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #7 on: 16 February 2016, 00:25:24 »
wheels within wheels within wheels.

GROGNARD:  An old, grumpy soldier, a long term campaigner (Fr); Someone who enjoys playing tactics and strategy based board wargames;  a game fan who will buy every game released in a certain genre of computer game (RTS, or computer role-playing game, etc.)

Cannonshop

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #8 on: 17 February 2016, 15:59:48 »
Vin Drin Lap Coast Guard Naval Station, August 23...

The sign near the door said "Department of Public Safety, customs, and enforcement", the sign over the gate said (in four languages) roughly the same thing.  Most worlds had equivalent organizations-sometimes multiple, usually underfunded, and focused on what Alicia Li liked to call 'non critical functions'.

Kowloon has a Militia, after all.

The Kowloon Coast Guard was not, under Lyran Law, the Militia for the planet.  They field military grade equipment, have military grade training, and a paramilitary rank structure.  This isn't that unusual.

"Good morning Colonel." Senior Commodore Alicia Li was the Commandant of the Coast Guard, "I wasn't expecting a visit from the Lyran Alliance Armed forces or I'd have arranged a better time-say, after I'd taken a shower."  she was still wearing sweat-soaked exercise uniform after completing formation calisthenics with one of the unassigned Boat Squadrons.

"I assumed you were informed of this inspection." Colonel Dietrich noted, "I am, after all, conducting a military readiness inspection of all present Militia forces."

"Legally, Colonel, we're not a militia, we're a police and firefighting agency with some customs and search and rescue functions." Li noted as he fell in step with her during her cooldown walk.

"and at times, mail delivery, I know." Dietrich said with a half-smirk, "You also maintain the largest professionally trained military on the planet-and don't try to claim you're not-I actually stayed awake during that section of the history classes, and Loki, along with MIIO both agreed that without your support for the Duchess and her loyalists, Jim Condit would've defeated Liz and we'd have had to send in an RCT to dig him out."

Li stopped at a grassy patch near the water, and stretched her arms above her head before responding.  "We didn't have that much to do with it, honestly." she told him, "I think your reports might be...biased."

Overhead a pair of SB-27 Sabers took off from the airfield, hitting mach at less than one hundred meters altitude on their way up to a duration-flight patrol of the upper atmosphere.

"you provided air, and artillery support to Ducal Loyalist forces, Commodore, you also ran their logistics train for the six months before Duchess Ngo actually arrived."

"it was a civil war." Li noted, "He actually had the bulk of the local nobility behind him, along with a small army of offworlders."

"Which, our sources tell me, your organization interdicted their reinforcements and supplies before they could make ground.  I'd call that a military function."

"Health and Welfare inspections, you'd be amazed at how dangerous a poorly maintained dropship can get." Li commented, "We had a lot of...accidents during those inspections.  is this going somewhere?"

"you're part of the Kowloonese military apparatus, Li, and I'm here to do a proper and complete readiness evaluation." Dietrich told her in no uncertain terms, "including evaluation of training and organizational structure.  I can maintain the fiction that your coast guard isn't, and the Theater command will have to send a bigger garrison, or I can tell them the truth, and maybe not tie up more than a short regiment."

"or you could tell them the truth, that we're not the militia, just a department that helps maintain law and order." Li noted, "Condit was stealing from the Commonwealth, the people on this planet, and trading AFFC goods to pirates-that made what he was doing criminal, it also made arresting him difficult."

Dietrich nodded, "I read the case-files you forwarded to Lohengrin." he told her, "Interesting reading, a man might get the impression that you Coasties do so much, you're really the de-facto mechanism of government here."

"it's a false impression. I get my orders from the planetary executive, at the convenience of the elected assembly." Li told him, "I've even got a meeting with a committee this evening over budget expenditures and our manpower and equipment status tonight."

Dietrich chuckled, "Just like any military head anywhere in human history that wasn't calling themselves king or emperor."

Li stopped stretching, and assumed a quasi-hostile pose, "I told you, we don't rule, or govern Colonel, I find the suggestion that we even might deeply offensive-Soldiers do not make good rulers-look at Claudius Steiner-a Soldier fights the enemies of the state, a police officer protects the public, too often in history-"

"-when a soldier is made to police, the public becomes the enemy, I saw that old movie too." Dietrich noted, "Nevertheless, Commodore, I'm not buying the 'just a civil servant' line."

"Suit yourself." Li said, "unlike a military, we don't have anything to hide, so where would you like to begin?"

"I'd like to begin with your jurisdiction and structure." he stated, "the official documentation I've reviewed didn't make a lot of sense."

"We're responsible for all navigable waterways and bodies of water on Kowloon, and we're also responsible for various functions offworld in the Kowloon system." she said, "What's so hard to understand about that?"

"How far off world?" he asked, "that was one that looked fishy for starters."

"Charter doesn't say." Li told him, "but common sense should suggest that it's not too far."

"You have patrols out to the fringes of the system." he reminded her, "long enough that there's time-delay on communications, Coast Guard Station Spider moon being one."

Li shrugged, "That isn't that unusual." she noted, "lots of systems have that-don't they?"

Dietrich shook his head, "You and I know-especially YOU know, most out-system basing is handled by National forces and garrisons in most of the Alliance-and the other successor states.  Kowloon's the only system I have encountered where the local militia-excuse me, native planetary military has basing past the main planet's orbit."

"We have citizens in the belt, and the cloud." Li told him, "It's reasonable that they'd want equivalent services to those enjoyed planetside...and yeah, I know how it usually works-but you must understand, Colonel-when the Fedcom contracted for mercenaries to do border work here, they were a ground unit-like most mercs, and they had to cover not just Kowloon, but most of the systems nearby-pirates don't just hit planetary surfaces."

"How big is the Coast Guard-Honestly?" he asked, "Mind that I will find out if you try to be evasive."

Li looked upward, "Two percent of after-tax GDP for the system." she finally said, "Roughly.  We're probably the most expensive agency on the planet...in perspective, Kowloon Three, this planet, has a population of just a hair over a billion as of last census, with an average income of eighteen thousand Kroner per year.  Belt Colonists make up another two million, six hundered thousand with an average income of around forty per year...estimated."

"Miniscule!" he said, "That's...how do you stay operational?"

Li rolled her eyes, "careful management." she said, "also staying within our allotted funding-which I have to go argue with the Assembly to maintain this afternoon and evening."

"the manpower reports I'm working from, Commodore, you shouldn't even be able to make payroll." he said, "The standard pay for Lyran Militia officers-"

"isn't that much more, and in a lot of cases less. WE make it up with efficiencies and by not importing things." Li told him, "every member of the Coast Guard is provided for, including insurance and benefits packages-we're from a relatively poor world, Colonel, but this is a Lyran world...and it's amazing how much waste you can eliminate when you have control over your supply chain and a constitutional requirement not to exceed your allotted budget for the fiscal year-so we're not trying ot buy this year's gear with overruns from the last ten hanging over our heads, and since we're exempt of zero-balance budgeting methods, the excess gets banked to be drawn on for emergency funds, instead of being compelled to spend an equal or greater amount than the Assembly allots."

Dietrich actually smiled, "You budget like mercenaries." he said.

"Successful mercs budget like we do. we were doing it first." Li corrected him, "The Agency also derives supplementary funding through investments-this helps our organized crime bureau stay sharp on how to conduct audits and gather economic intelligence."

"The 'police function'." He said as they climbed the short stair to the Commodore's office.

"Precisely." Li told him, "I seem to recall Lohengrin runs a similar operation for their uniformed analysts-sweeping for corruption inside the military and in key systems."

"they do, it's very...efficient." Dietrich said with a nod, "That would be how you're able to afford the new fighters then?"

"Duchess Ngo is providing them." Li told him, "those are off the books. it IS how we're able to afford to maintain them and train crews to keep them operational...her Grace also footed the bill for the blue-water shipyard, and the ocean base at Giap Island-those are all off-books from Her Grace's own pocket-big expenditures so all we have to be concerned with, is finding room in the budget to keep them running-a smaller amount amortized over longer periods. Her grandfather was much the same."

He noted the office was spare.  Classy, though-wood paneling with awards and decorations, but not the opulence a typical Militia commander's office would display.  He DID note the unit citations from Li's time in the LCAF as a Dropship officer.

"you don't seem old enough to be retired." He commented.

"I did my five and got out." Li told him, "after my five in training, of course...coffee?"

"Please yes, I would love some."


 
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.

croaker

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #9 on: 17 February 2016, 17:47:49 »
You can tell Dietrich's nowhere near his promotion to General yet. He hasn't had his common sense surgically removed.

mikecj

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #10 on: 17 February 2016, 19:38:37 »
Tactfully probing.  Wait til he finds the old Battle Cruiser impounded for smuggling during the 1st SW
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snakespinner

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #11 on: 18 February 2016, 02:16:10 »
Old Battle Cruiser, I thought it was the whole fleet. ::)
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Cannonshop

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #12 on: 18 February 2016, 03:31:22 »
Kowloon Planetary Miltia Headquarters, Hue, Kowloon, August 30, 3058...

Abe Feinstein still looked like he belonged on a recruitment poster.  Dietrich met the Militia Colonel at the Hue Barracks complex.

"Welcome to Kowloon." Abe extended a hand and gave a manly shake. "I heard you visited Li yesterday in VDL." 

"It was...interesting." Dietrich said, "These are...pretty good facilities."

"Leftovers from many prior tenants, but yeah, we've gotten them back in good shape." Abe told him, "you can hardly see the damage from the fighting here anymore-aside from a few welded patches on the blast screens and some shell-impact scarring to the outer ferrocrete facade."

"You're prior service, right?"

Feinstein nodded, "Eight years in the AFFS, three in the AFFC, they tapped me right out of a recovery wing to take over after Her Grace...removed...my predecessor...a nasty business that...it's taken some time to adapt, but I think I'm making inroads with the men now."

"That was a problem?"

"OH yes." Abe said, as they walked across the tarmac toward the 'mech bays.  "You would not believe how much of a problem.  Stoney gave these people good reason to hate offworld military, It took me six months to even start making inroads with my assigned staff. for a while, it felt like the only reason nobody was trying to assassinate me, was that Her Grace kept showing up and being nice to me in front of witnesses."

"and out of witness view?"

"A few times I thought she'd kill me herself." Feinstein confided, "She's got a temper she must've been born with-her Brother Patrick was like that-show a good face to the men, chew you up one side and down the other when they can't see."

"You were in his unit?" Deitrich asked.

"I saw him die." Abe stated, "I saw the Clanner that killed him...plain as I see you now.  Pat was a hell of a good Company CO, but he didn't like excuses...once I started trying to be like him with these guys, they warmed up...slowly..."

"You had more service time than he did." Dietrich noted.

"Less time as an officer." Abe countered, "I was just a 'mechwarrior for most of my time in the AFFC, enlisted man from a family of enlisted mechwarriors out in the Benjamin area-I got my shot as a junior officer about a week before Tamar went down-I was assigned to the same 'lightning company' that was commanded by His Grace the Heir of Kowloon, Hauptmann Patrick Ulysses Ngo-we covered the retreat when the line broke, and Pat was right there-about...ninety meters? away when he called in the artillery strike that killed him-I wound up spending weeks in the body-and-fender, with a set of injuries that put me right out of the Regulars and into a Reserve slot.  It might've gone differently if the ****** Guards artillery people could read a goddam map-their shot fell short on a danger close mission, instead of bursting on the clanner line, it hit us instead. the only reason I'm not wearing a bondcord, was one of the tank units rushed to plug the gap and pulled us out-and their Hauptmann? she lives down in Golden Lake on permanent Patient status."

Dietrich took notes, "..patient status...who is that?"

"Lady Baroness Evelyn Mosovich, inactive reserve status Kommandant now, well, for the AFFC, anyway.  I don't know your lot even kept her on the books." Feinstein noted, "little secret? she and Pat were kind of having a 'thing' on the side-not quite fraternization, but they did a good job of keeping it discrete."

"WOuld you believe your assignment is due to those connections?" Dietrich asked.

"yes." Feinstein told him, "Which is why I have to be better than I would be commanding a militia somewhere else-there's two ways you handle an assignment that smells like nepotism-the right way, which is to accept you have something to prove to your new subordinates and win their trust, or the wrong way, where you mark time until you can escape and hope you get out with your skin..." He returned a salute from a Militia NCO coming out the personnel door, "I'm doing my damnedest to do it the right way-I'm the first man in my family since the second succession war to make an officer's grade, and this job's probably out of my depth-but I know it, and I'm doing my best to catch up."

Inside the bay, the lighting showed a collection of older 'mechs, most of them lights and light mediums, even a couple of Watchman models.  Further back, Dietrich could see a pair of enfields.  "Which one is yours?" he asked.

Feinstein nodded at a battered looking GRF-1N that had seen better days. "that one." he said.

"Not one of the new machines?"

"New machines go to good pilots." Feinstein underscored, "I'm about average for FedCom standards, and the spinal injuries mean I'll never become good again.  But I know what to look for, and I know how to train, and those two-and the two that are coming in March of next year, are going to the best pilots in the company-and when the company expands, the new models will be issued again, to the best out of what we have."

"Oh, so you see your position as Militia Commander as a training billet?"

"It's the logical choice. Duchess Ngo's fight with Condit and Stoney gutted the 'mech portion of the Militia-when I arriived here to take over, we had maybe a lance of machines and maybe three fourths of that-me included, of pilots-getting what we have today took weeks of interviews, and months of training-and I wouldn't rate our chances in a real fight, right now, based on proficiency?" he shook his head, "Not yet. They'll get there, but not yet.  Infantry and armor are in much, much better shape in terms of readiness."

"how about supporting arms?" Dietrich asked.

"Aviation's in the same boat-we'll be relying on Coastie airpower if we have another big fight." Feinstein told him, "And while I've got our artillery companies training with Coast Guard units, I'd still say the boat guys have better gunners-but even our worst are still better than those idiots on Tamar were."

"So the official Planetary Miliz isn't, in your view, fit to fight?" Dietrich asked.

"Not hardly." Feinstein told him, "It'll change in a couple years, but right now? no.  the Conventional arms are in good shape-they're fit, but the 'strong arm' units are all in about this condition, or a little worse-the last couple times Morrison's people tried a raid, the Coasties did the heavy lifting for a reason. The big help's going to come with getting some professional instructors in with that new Academy they're building at Bien Hoa-real training facilities and real instructors means I can maybe focus on things a branch officer is supposed to focus on, instead of trying to be a teacher and commander at the same time."

"if you could choose-let's say the assignment fairy offered you the option, would you take a billet as an instructor then?" Dietrich asked.

"Hells yes." Feinstein told him, "I would, in a ****** heartbeat, sir-as long as I didn't have to move off-planet."

"How's that?" Dietrich asked.

"I owe these people." Feinstein told him, "I've lived here for a few years now, I'm putting down roots, I owe these people my best...I just need a better replacement and I'll be happier than a grig to sign on as cadre for the new Academy."

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Cannonshop

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #13 on: 19 February 2016, 04:27:38 »
Golden Lake district, east coast region, Assembly district 19, Mosovich Ranch...

Dietrich stepped out of the borrowed Gieneh Landcruiser in the dooryard.  Compared to the "Ducal residence" in Nha Tranh, Evelyn Mosovich's home was a palace.  worked stone walls meeting heavy timber roof, reinforced shutters on the windows, which reflected light with the sullen bluish glare of Ferroglas.

the yard was mostly gravel, with short, dun-yellow native grasses flanking on three sides, overshadowed by the twisted boles of both native trees, and, surprisingly, earthlife fruit trees.

There was a four-door, six wheeled pickup parked along the side, stacked with bales of green-streaked hay, and he could see the end of a dirt runway built for the two-seat 'skeeter' aircraft commonly used here, and (according to his briefing materials) on the Ia Drang plateau by ranchers and other rural businesses.

He climbed the flagstone steps to the covered front porch, and rang the bell.

a few minutes later, the door unlocked, and swung open-revealing a ten centimeter thick sandwich of plate and native hardwood, locked with a hydraulic bolt system and balanced on heavy hinges.

A Young man was hlding the door partly closed, "Yes?" the kid couldn't be more than twelve or thirteen.

"I'm here to see Kommandant Evelyn Mosovich, I'm Colonel Dietrich, from the Lyran Alliance armed Forces."

The boy checked a list, "You'll have to wait." the kid told him, "She's..busy.  I'll let her know you're here."

the kid closed the door,and Dietrich heard the bolts lock with a thud.

The winds shussed softly in the trees, and the reddish light of Kowloon's second sun bathed everything in orange before the door opened again.

"She's not busy now, come in sir." the boy told him, and Dietrich entered.

The home was laid out fairly comfortably-though Dietrich noted a lack of a few amenities-the front room lacked even a basic Trideo setup, with the couches and chairs arranged in a circle.  There were maps on the walls, a few pieces of artwork, but no photos or holos of people.

in the dim light here, someone came walking, and then, she appeared around a corner.

The lack of mirrors suddenly made a lot more sense.  From the scalp up, or the neck down, she looked fine. but what was left of her face-was a mass of medical myomers, prosthetics, and scar tissue.

"Colonel, welcome to my home." Her voice was the sound of a buzzsaw, toneless and almost robotic, issuing from an AFFC issue larynx replacement.

"Kommandant, Thank you..." He found it hard to meet the prosthetics that replaced her eyes-they were less sophisticated than models from the Star League, but currently in use by the AFFC's medical command.

"Have a seat, I still have a bit of business to deal with.  Edward, take my message to your father."

"Aye ma'am." the boy-now he knew was named 'Edward', executed a short bow, and hurried to the heavy door, and from there, out of the house.

Evelyn sat down after Dietrich did, "Is this about my request?" she asked.

"i'm not aware of-I'm here on other business, Kommandant." he told her, "but I can put in a word if I know what it's about."

"I've put in paperwork to secure a medical retirement." Evelynn told him, "It's clear that the Lyran military has no intention of returning me to active duty, and while I'm in limbo, I'm kind of unable to do some of the things I must do here."

Dietrich sighed, and smiled, "I guess I amhere on that business then." He told her, "I can't get you into an Alliance Guards regiment like the one you were in prior to your...maiming...but there may be a place in the Lyran Alliance Armed Forces for you, if you'll accept a commission in the Militia."

"Feinstein's a good officer." Evelynn told him, "Given the shit-sandwich he's had to eat, he's done a good job..."

"he's not happy in his position, and according to your file, you might be better qualified." Dietrich told her, "also, you're senior in grade, so yes, you would probably be taking his slot and bumping him down a notch-if he elects to remain where he is, instead of taking a billet as an instructor pilot with the Academy being constructed in Bien Hoa."

"And what brought on this sudden generosity?" Evelyn asked, leaning forward.

"Let's see..." Dietrich pulled out the file he'd obtained before coming here.  "Coventry Military Academy class of '43,  AFFC Staff Officer's course-you scored in the upper eightieth percentile, You've submitted for publication no less than eleven papers on strategies to counter Clan incursions and Clan tactics via combined arms and asymmetric warfare methods, you were waiting on a slot to open with one of the Loki Field teams...need I go on?"

"lots of good officers can say the same thing." Evelynn told him, "Plenty of younger, undamaged officers, from 'mechwarrior families can make superior claims-why me?"

"Shortage of Competence-Kommandant, I'd take you or someone like you over some of our best Nagelring graduates-but I don't get to make those choices for the Regular units...I have, however, been put in a position to influence some of those decisions here in the Melissia Theater.  You were a rarity-you intended to stay in uniform, but you were forced to come home-I'm offering you a chance to do both."

"And?" she asked.

"And...I'd be making this offer to Alicia Li, but she's already in a position that my superiors would find...suspect." He said, "Her participation in the regency conflict, and her stated alignment with the local government, along with the paramilitary organization she's already in charge of, means needing a counter in place-someone who can counter her."

Evelyn nodded, "I think I understand.  you're concerned that 'ideas' like Kowloon's historical independence might take root if the Coast Guard and the Militia became too intertwined, and the Lyran State's interests might not be served."

"Not me, my superiors." He said, "There are changes coming, two competent officers in second and third lines is better than one incompetent officer-or less competent officer-my General will like having a tested patriot in that slot far more than someone from what is starting to be percieved on Tharkad as a poor background, and you're qualified for command.  Having a tested patriot in that billet makes it easier to get department of resupply to meet requisitions, and I can pretend you're keeping the Coasties on a leash."

Evelyn didn't frown-she no longer had the lips that would make the expression, but he could almost sense the negative response.  "You're not just reviewing, you're going to be assigned, aren't you?" she asked.

"That's questionable, but likely." Dietrich told her, "With regular forces, and whoever they do assign will be, at least formally, serving as a military governor in case of any...problems with the Duchess."

"What sort of problems?" Evelyn asked, her hands folding togehter as she leaned forward in her seat.

"She hasn't got an heir-that makes some people on Tharkad nervous." Dietrich recovered quickly, "Stability in this region is considered somewhat important-especially this far above the Truce Line."

"Dynastic stability." Evelynn said with a buzzing sigh, "Interstellar politics, and you-or whoever they send to run the circus, need someone you think can keep this powder keg planet from going up if Lizzie dies without issue."

"Precisely." Dietrich said, "we're hoping that won't happen, but..."

"Alright, I'll do it-but I have conditions." Evelyn told him.
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gladius

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #14 on: 19 February 2016, 06:32:13 »
Is this ... a competent LAAF officer? In a Ngo-verse story? Is that legal?

Cannonshop

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #15 on: 19 February 2016, 06:50:27 »
Is this ... a competent LAAF officer? In a Ngo-verse story? Is that legal?

Nations in a war zone don't stay nations long if they don't have at least SOME competent military leadership. (one can't always and forever be counting on Jinjiro or Max to go batshit insane at just the right time, or the enemy to turn incompetent JUST when they're about to win, novels aside.)

as always, I at least make an ATTEMPT to have competent antagonists-I don't always succeed, but I do try.  I also tend to believe the idea that, insanity aside, most people think of themselves as pretty decent, and try to BE pretty decent unless they absolutely MUST do something rotten...and then, they get to feel bad about it to varying degrees.

Mostly because raw, four-color-seventies-comicbooks-level incompent evil for the evuls is just boring.
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.

gladius

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #16 on: 19 February 2016, 07:01:35 »
Nations in a war zone don't stay nations long if they don't have at least SOME competent military leadership. (one can't always and forever be counting on Jinjiro or Max to go batshit insane at just the right time, or the enemy to turn incompetent JUST when they're about to win, novels aside.)

as always, I at least make an ATTEMPT to have competent antagonists-I don't always succeed, but I do try.  I also tend to believe the idea that, insanity aside, most people think of themselves as pretty decent, and try to BE pretty decent unless they absolutely MUST do something rotten...and then, they get to feel bad about it to varying degrees.

Mostly because raw, four-color-seventies-comicbooks-level incompent evil for the evuls is just boring.
Heh. I kid because I love ...😀

croaker

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #17 on: 19 February 2016, 11:21:19 »
I like the way you use "antagonists" instead of "villains" there. Dietrich and Bryan aren't doing this out of malice, they're just looking out for the interests of the Lyran State as a whole, and prioritizing them above those of Kowloon.

Dietrich at least is trying to show some empathy and consideration for local values and virtues, and to do his job without having to stomp around in big ugly 'mech-jock-uber-alles boots.

Bryan, at least, clearly thinks that a prosperous, stable Kowloon, wedded to the idea of being a part of the State's security apparatus rather than merely an industrial supplier, is good for the State, and is moving to channel Liz's energies into making it so.

Cannonshop

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #18 on: 20 February 2016, 04:47:12 »
Melissia Theater Military Survey
Kowloon, October, 3058
[/b]

Index: Current Services under Arms

Introduction and overview...i
Cultural Factors...ii
Index...iii


Militia...1
Ground Forces Militia: Battlemech units................................................................................................5
Ground Forces Militia: Armored units and mechanized formations.............................................................17
Ground Forces Militia: Infantry and Support organizations.......................................................................31
LAAF Aerospace Militia (LCN Reserve)...60

Paramilitary and Near-Military organizations...............................................................................................65

Overview: Coast Guard...75
Coast Guard Aerospace capability...90
Coast Guard Wet Naval and Riverine capabilities..........................................................................................125
Coast Guard Service and Support organizations..........................................................................................200

Overview: Youth Programmes...250
Urbcom Sporting Federation...255
Freedom Guides...260
Boy and Girl Scouts of the Lyran Commonwealth...264
Royal Rangers Association...265
Junior Civil Air Patrol {JCAP}...272
Rockjack Youth Club[/b]...275

Veteran's organizations...291
Association of Commonwealth Veterans...292
Elbar Brotherhood...300
171st Association...301

Basing Facilities...315
Production Capabilities...350
Survey of eligibility for conscription...500





Tharkad, Lyran Alliance, October 7, 3058...


"Nearly seven hundred pages...can you give me the summary?" Katherine Steiner-Davion asked, rubbing her temples, "Coventry's report wasn't NEARLY this long."

Nondi Steiner sighed as she closed out the report, "That is because it wasn't nearly this complete." she stated, "When I asked Sharon to send someone to look in on them, she took it seriously and sent a proper Staff Officer."

Her Highness the Archon looked at her Aunt, the Marshall of the Armies.  "AND?"

"According to Colonel Dietrich's research, Kowloon has roughly ten times the number of trained combat effectives available, as we previously believed was even possible for a world that size, and the Ngos have been very cleverly hiding a highly trained military force for generations." Nondi told her, "The numbers on this 'Coast Guard' alone are...remarkable.  I brought this to you, because using a true accounting, Kowloon has a significantly larger effective militia force, than they should, under Lyran and previous FedCom laws, should have."

Katherine looked at Nondi, "are they disloyal?" she asked, "Are they going to be like Free Skye?"

"Not according to our man Dietrich." Nondi stated, "WHich is why you've got the full report here...it's your ball, Katrina."

"This Coast-Guard, can it be deployed?" Katherine asked.

"With difficulty." Nondi answered, "most of it with GREAT difficulty-the bulk of their equipment and materiel really doesn't work very well on a typical dry-surface world..."

"So, it's difficult to move, and if I'm reading the headings right, not organized per LAAF standards, so integration would be a problem." Katherine stated, "However, Dietrich mentions they're very effective as a support to proper, LAAF-sponsored, Militia forces?"

"Yes." Nondi answered.

"Fine, I'll write an exemption order." Katherine told her, "IS there a possibility we can make use of what portable assets they have to beef up defensive forces in nearby worlds?"

"Yes." Nondi answered.

"Then, as a condition of my order of exemption allowing this, and the other paramilitary organizations to continue to exist, inform Duchess Ngo that I want to make use of her assets to improve defenses above the truce line, then have this...Dietrich fellow work with them, to design a rotation and training structure for improvements in neighbouring systems-it frees up more of our proper forces to deal with real problems, and frees up Lohengrin to deal with possible traitors."

"Is that wise?" Nondi asked.

"We'll find out." Katherine told her, "Victor has the best of our forces chasing the Clanners through the Draconis Combine-assuming he succeeds, the Clans will want to push back-and we're vulnerable, I want that changed-preferably before the present Star League falls apart with infighting and mutual jealousies."
« Last Edit: 20 February 2016, 04:55:28 by Cannonshop »
The core rules for interacting with me:

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Cannonshop

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #19 on: 20 February 2016, 10:05:08 »
Nha Tranh,  Kowloon, October 15, 3058...


Kelli Whyte navigated the office annex built into the former support complex of the former football arena that was now the full time meeting place for Kowloon's popular assembly.  Staff got out of her way now, and the reason was the rhythm of government here-the staff knew that when Kelli was coming through with a loaded briefcase, that she was here for the Duchess.

Elizabeth only sent her on one of two sorts of days-days when the Duchess was paralyzed with depression, and days when she was manic to the point of being almost frantic-either state of mind wasn't conducive to the necessary deal-making, compromise, wheedling and persuasion that characterized the kind of government Her Grace wanted for her homeworld.

Liz was manic today, swallowed in a whirlwind of projects and ideas that turned her into a blur of motion and noise.

Presiding over a session of the Assembly where legislation wasn't on the agenda was simply too confining-and frustrating-for Her Grace's 'up times'.

Kelli reached the semiprivate cloakroom-in the days of the Regency, it had been the 'staging room' for the Regent's preferred football team, where they prepared to go out onto the field to kick a white and black ball in athletic stunts that barely pulled a 12% on the local ratings for live tridee.

"I take it Her Grace is indisposed again?" Marta Stromond, the elected rep from Nha Tranh Province's germanic neighbourhoods in district 7 asked.

"She's busy." Kelli said, as she opened a locker and pulled on the somber black robe.

"Figures.  I presume you're taking notes for her again." Marta cracked, as she smoothed her own, dark gold and red trimmed robe of office.

"Yes...look, Marta I know I said she would attend more sessions-"

"it's alright, Kelli." Marta grumbled, "at least she's not haring off in a 'mech like her father, but it would be something nice if she would attend more often than once a fortnight...it sets a poor precedent when the Duchess won't even attend a mandatory seating of the assembled representatives."

"Do you remember why she made it mandatory, Marta?" Kelli asked crossly, "For almost ten years, the Assembly only sat session twice-once to greet the new Regent, and again after Liz sent people out to find them after she removed him."

"I was in Jail." Marta snapped, "He arrested a LOT of us."

"but not a majority, Marta." Kelli said, "Condit kept a quorum of twenty percent of elected reps to rubber stamp him, he only arrested like twenty of you-so where were the literally hundreds of others who were supposed to attend, and were more involved in other concerns? Liz wanted to know, and most of your colleagues never admitted to it, much less explained their chronic absences."

"and this is different how?" Marta asked, "I see you, not Her Grace...explain it to me."

"Elizabeth's long term goal is to make the government capable of functioning without her-the Executive was never supposed to be fully running things by decree-day to day was always supposed to be dominated by the legislature as the will of the people."

"I have read her Grace's pamphlets on governance." Marta said, "Along with her frequent, sometimes obsessive, ranting about the original Constitution as readopted in 2773...and I still say it's poor politics if she herself doesn't attend a majority of Assembly sessions...aside from the poor example, it also means that I can't nag you into standing for election in the 2nd district-Hong's not getting younger, and I think you're fully electable in his place."

Kelli frowned, and muttered something both unladylike, and obscene.  "I wouldn't if Her Grace herself demanded I do." Kelli said, "I'm a bureaucrat, not a legislator-I find ways to make things happen, not come up with new and innovative things that should happen because I said so."

"you're also an Independent at heart, dear." Marta said, closing her locker.  "Someday you'll want to be more than the briefcase and note taker for Her Grace the Duchess, and I'm going to wear through that resistance until you do."

"couldn't get Nghien to run again, huh?" Pol Trak, Royal Commonwealth Party, district 41, asked.

"I'm become transparent." Marta said with a rueful shake of her head, "Nghien's sticking to his promise of only two terms. Goswald and Thurmond are both tied for second choice behind Kornan."

"Kornan...he's the God and Country party, isn't he?" Kelli asked.

"yeah, he's one of those bible-botherers, trying to undo a thousand years of civilization and return us to the twentieth goddam century." Marta spat, "Forming a coalition with that faction is the kind of thought that turns my stomach."

Rab Shienar coughed from the doorway, "What's this about god-botherers?" he asked.  "I'll remind the good Heinie rep that shared a cell across from mine, that better than sixty percent of the Ia Drang plateau are supporters of God and Country-even in my district, there are Synagogues and churches that encourage their congregations to support the party."

"but not yours." Kelli noted.

"Well, it helps that you can't get more fundamentalist than my supporters already-We Jews are a moderate lot, and quite keen to do things that work in the now, instead of six thousand years ago."

Marta led the way to the ramp, and slapped the fat senior rep from Ia Drang on the belly, "You overstate, Rabbi." she told him, "I've debated with you before, you're a broward beast in the shape of an old lawyer."

"Welll...I can't begin to list the ways that's offensive." Rab Shienar said with a chuckle, "especially coming from a dried up lowlander harpy."

"if you weren't married, mister Rabbi, and if you weren't quite so fat, I'd show you just what dried up looks like-in your bed." Marta said saucily, "of course, as you are, you'd be meeting your god personally after the first half hour."

"Perhaps." Shienar said with a nod, "perhaps not...what's the docket?"

"Coast Guard budget appropriations review, a report from Agriculture, and then a break for lunch, followed by committee reports on pending legislation." Kelli spoke up, "Her Grace wanted to underscore the reports from the Education department-with careful attention to both drop-out rates and testing results."

"Lovely." Marta sighed, "No wonder she sent you in her place..."

They filed out into the bleachers, with the other three hundred seated Assembly representatives, while Kelli walked out onto the field to assume the Duke's second's chair, on the now-permanent stage in the middle of the open air coliseum.

silently, she prayed for rain under the beating suns of a clear and sunny Kowloon day.
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.

mikecj

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #20 on: 20 February 2016, 19:58:34 »
 :D
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
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Cannonshop

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #21 on: 21 February 2016, 05:21:18 »
Spider Moon Coastguard Station, Boojum moon system (Kowloon 7), Kowloon Star system.

"you twelve are the largest shareholder coops in the system." Elizabeth Ngo was here-the Duchess was in the largest single 'meeting place' in the outer system, an action unprecedented in nearly ninety years.  "between your twelve coops, is control of literally billions of Kroner worth of mineral resources, and probably no small amount of nullgee manufacturing experience, I aim to tap into that, I just need a price, and what your conditions are."

"You could've done this by radio." Lori Kinner of the Kinner/Seversky coop noted, "You came all the way out here, brought consumables and reaction mass and some parts with you just to arrange this.  I think we all wanna know why you did that, and why you're not going through Li like a normal Noble would."

Liz swept the meeting room with her eyes, "None of you elected me." she said, "None of you probably would have chosen me-but you're still my people and I have an obligation to see you prosperous, protected, and thriving, just like the folks down on Kowloon.  The Rockjack communities are a critical piece of our world, and you've been neglected and marginalized for far, far, too long.  I..I want to help, because I think I'm going to need you."

Pillip Seventy-Five from the Egon collective in the Oort cloud, smirked, "she's honest about it." He cracked, "Duchess, has it occurred to you that we've been thriving because of that neglect? We're in the outies of the outies, the Lyrans, and god help us, the Pirates, both ignore us because they don't see what we do here as significant enough to bother most of the time-hte ones small enough to bother, among the pirates, our guys and the Coasties do short work of."

"I know." Liz said, "I want to know what you need, because Kowloon is growing-and that means more attention to the entire star system...and some of that attention will probably take the form both of larger pirate gangs, and possibly the largest Pirate gangs-the Clans. We're above the truce line-they can attack us and it won't result in all-out warfare...and they know it.  You guys are 'the' spacers, you live out here all the time, you know the system in your blood and your hearts, you know things that could stop them."

"They've got warships." Kalindra-Bell from the Lutonic cooperative out of the rubble pile belt of the inner system said, "I've got a couple cousins in the LCN.  What could we do against those?"

"Kind of what I'm asking." Elizabeth replied, "What could you come up with to stop a warship? and what do you need to build it-very quietly?"

"Nukes work." Philip Seventy-five spoke first, "Historically nuclear ordinance has worked consistently against warships of all sizes.  Problem with nukes would be getting the heavy elements necessary out here, tooling to make them, guidance module designs, and boosters."

Kalindra Bell rubbed the shave-stubble on the side of her head, and lipped a nose-ring thoughtfully before speaking up, "Kowloon Two's a heavy body-I've droppd drones down there and there's trans-uranics on the surface, with enough delta-vee we might be able to pull some off there-shielding at that deep in the system's gonna cost though, Hull temps get ****** obscene."

"are you guys seriously talking about this?" Madelaine Truoc from the Dao Consortium asked, "Nukes, I mean?  That's shit that is so controlled that possession could get Her convicted and sent to Blackgate in the Tharkan system-for life, one of us they'd just show-trial and shoot."

"True, logistics is a problem-even with distance, a test shot-and we'd need a test-shot, would be detectible for five years on RF bands, they'd see it from the early warning telescopes on Arluna only about two or three years after-once they see that, they'll send a NEST team in and find the facilities with Neutrino detectors." Grayboy Kiel from the Origin collective noted, she stopped fiddling with her personal comp, "But we don't really need nukes, we already know where they're likely to emerge. Plotting the poolballs wouldn't be too tough, and absorbent shielding is something we already fabricate-at least four coops I know of do."

"Poolballs?" Philip Seventy-five asked, "You mean beach-balls. still would need to get them up to relativistic speeds to be any good, I can plot the courses, but it's still high-end delta-vee.  means lots of storage tankage, or complex organics for high-performance SRB stages."

Koren Horus from the Horus Partnership cleared her throat, "Mirrors." she said, "low cost, we can spin the mylars right in Boojum or Snark's orbit using Luten processing, assuming we can get the right metallics, there's also something you can do with nukes-which if we do the build in the inner system will be covered by the spew from the suns-even a Neutrino Detector that's properly calibrated would have a hard time finding the labs, and if we have a proper excuse, like maybe shipyard construction, the traffic won't be a blip on Elsie scans."

"Only kind of yard I know of that would need that much heavy element, would be Naval." Gray noted, "If we start building a Naval yard out here, we'll have Heinies crawling out our Hineys, no way to avoid it-and to make it look good, that yard would have to be productive."

"Jobs, contracts." Koren countered, "enough exchange to get some population-expansion going, and enough consumable traffic to support a larger population."

"Oversight, official harassment." Grayboy spat, "Dirtyfeet 'environmental' and legal interference, and the Elsies would have to put a ****** garrison out here, not just on Kowloon."

Madelaine looked at Elizabeth, "Your grace, maybe you need to step outside, this is turning into family biz, and you're, pardon my words, not one of us-you should wait somewhere quiet until we've made a few agreements."

Elizabeth closed her eyes, and bit back an acidic response, "I'll be in the lower tiers." She said, "I always wanted to visit the Memorial, and that was the excuse I used to get out here."

"That'll be perfect." Madelaine said, "This will take a while, don't forget your supplements-you're not Rockjack stock, and the lower grav isn't good for your bones."

Elizabeth rose from her cross-legged sitting position, and navigated through a pressure door to the lift going down into Spider Moon's mined-out interior.

The base predated the liberation, Liz had heard the stories from Li about it.  Sometime shortly after the first ships reached, and were stranded in, hte Kowloon system, a faction of the original settlers had dug into the moon here for light metals, sealing the corridors they made with their machinery.  Sometime after that, the names of the dead-first the early-wave colonists killed by the environment on Kowloon, but later, the dead from the ten year invasion by the Rim Worlds, then the uprisings over three centuries, the ones killed in the Liberation War and the Amaris War, and finally, Kowloonese who didn't come home from fighting the enemies of the Lyrans, were inscribed in the lowest chambers.  A wall of memorial for all of her world's fallen, including both 'dirtyfeet' and 'Rockjacks', maintained by the Coast Guard's blackwater squadrons in trust.

Our shared history.  Liz thought as the lift reached the lowest, most recent levels.  These had been recently cut to account for the losses in the last forty years. Our identity, hidden from outsiders.  Who we are.

Atmosphere here was at full pressure, she stepped carefully off the lift, and looked at the closest wall.

There was no rhyme nor reason to the names, except the dates.  A visitor could spend weeks taking it in.

liz knew exactly which dates she was looking for.

The closest one, was Patrick's-not because he'd died first, but because they'd KNOWN first.  Twenty meters from the lift, halfway up the wall.

she traced the lettering hesitantly.  "I'm doing my best, Pat." she said in a whisper.  She laid the first of three envelopes on the floor below it-there were no shelves or pockets for gifts, and his body had not been returned by the Clans-not even his ashes. Those were somewhere on Tamar.

A little further, she found her father's name.  "I am so angry with you." she said, "I want to forgive, but every day, father, I learn what your ambitions cost us."  she laid the second envelope on the floor here, near his name, which was near the floor itself.  "I'm so angry but I still love you."

Elizabeth had to search for Henry, her other brother's name, it was near the site where the new tunnel was being cut.  "I miss you too...why did you have to die? why did I have to take this burden?" she whispered, then she looked at the implacable letters, "MOM SHOT ME because you Died! Why did you die? why couldn't you come home?"

finally, the tears came.  "Why? why did you side with them? why, big brother? you fought your rescuers and left me all alone!"

she shook as the tears flowed, "You betrayed us and they didn't wanttotellmeandwhy?!?!"

she tore the third envelope in half, and dropped it on the floor, then she began to beat the wall with her fists, "Whydidyoudothistome??"

From the stone, there would never be an answer.

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.

Cannonshop

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #22 on: 21 February 2016, 05:28:47 »
[out of story]

I never wrote what went wrong during the rescue mission, but here's how it struck me as going down.

Henry Ngo was one of those famous Cadets that tried to fight the Falcons-he survived, and was taken bondsman, and being more or less 'normalized' he became a full-blown convert.
then the AFFC sent a spec-ops team to retrieve him...

only he was a convert, so he fought them, and died.  The AFFC wouldn't want that noised about-so only a few people (Elizabeth's mother among them) got the true story.

Liz had to bribe and bully her way to finding it out, and she kept the secret...but it's eaten at her, especially since her own mother, in a fit of depression and grief and frankly madness, tried to make her the 'plus one' in a murder-suicide.

Among other things, it had the impact on her attitudes toward both the Clans, and those that converted to them-she sees them as a dangerous mix of Cult, and Bandit-kingdom, in part because somehow, the Jade Falcons turned her brother into one of them, thus finishing the destruction of her family, her life before, and damning her to be the heiress who must reform things to survive without her.

anyway, that's for this version, anyhow.

[/out of story]
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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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #23 on: 21 February 2016, 05:39:45 »
That's new: the earlier versions seemed to imply he was killed holding off a Falcon assault.

Edit: sorry, my mistake: I got Patrick and Henry confused.  :-[
« Last Edit: 21 February 2016, 05:44:48 by gladius »

Cannonshop

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #24 on: 21 February 2016, 05:57:27 »
That's new: the earlier versions seemed to imply he was killed holding off a Falcon assault.

Edit: sorry, my mistake: I got Patrick and Henry confused.  :-[

Pat was killed on Tamar by the Wolves, (well, not really-he was killed by incompetent fire support direction and Lyran artillerymen who weren't properly trained to deal with stress-the shots fell short.)

Henry was (checking FM; Crusader Clans, dammit, not there, and I don't have the Jade Falcon book anymore) a Cadet at Blackjack, and survived the defeat, then survived being bonded.  (basically became an ideological convert to the Clans, specifically Jade Falcon).  He intentionally blew the rescue mission and helped defeat the extraction team in this continuity.  This was kept a state secret, but Liz's mother was told before someone smart clamed a big ol' classified on it.  A direct result of THAT blunder, was mom shooting Lizzie in the bathtub before taking her own life.

Elizabeth managed to find someone in the command corrupt enough to bribe the truth out of based on what her mother said before trying to kill herself, while Liz was bleeding out in the bathwater. 
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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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #25 on: 21 February 2016, 16:56:26 »
Yeah, that'd be an industrial grade ******.  Particularly if Miss Liz bought whole heartedly into the Kowloon mindset that "Outsiders are at best indifferent, if not outright hostile to our interests and existence".

Actively going to the other side?  If Benedict Arnold had been killed rather than merely wounded at Saratoga he would have been remembered as an American hero.  The shock of him flipping over to the British was so deep his name is still considered an American synonym for betrayal.  At least on the personal level (not sure how it would play on Kowloon as a whole) Liz is having a hard time squaring this particular circle.  And I suspect it is why she wants the actual government to be as displaced from the ruling noble as she can get away with in part because of this.
« Last Edit: 21 February 2016, 18:42:23 by Nikas_Zekeval »

DOC_Agren

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #26 on: 21 February 2016, 18:15:27 »
Is this ... a competent LAAF officer? In a Ngo-verse story? Is that legal?

There have been a # of competent Lyran officers, just most of them end up going to become Merc because they can't deal with the Social Generals!!

But some of them have to stay in service to the throne.   O0
"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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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #27 on: 21 February 2016, 18:25:16 »
[out of story-Rough cut preview of coming attractions!]

Clan Jade Falcon facility 48, Blackjack...January, 3061...

"Insulting."  Deanne wouldn't ever gain a bloodname-not because she wasn't a superb warrior, but because before the Academy battle, she'd been Deanne Sollen-Marsden, and freeborn didn't get the chance to become bloodnamed.  She barely had the opportunity to become a Warrior, and that was solely due to being among a tiny handful of Cadets that fought well-and survived.  "Henry would be horrified."

Her Star Captian shook his head, "I am sure he would be. The two of you were close, did he speak of his...family?"

"He was never close with his sister, and her antics often made him very uncomfortable." Deanne told him, "He called it 'histrionics' and attention-seeking, is that why you allowed me to see this? to gain a better 'read' on them?"

"In part. this dataclip is several years old, the Watch reports indicate that what was a rather poor prospect for conquest, has become a valid target, the Council is discussing when, and with how much force, we should move to take it from the Lyrans."

"Kowloon is above the truce line, but there are several more valuable systems between the present frontier, and that world."  she noted, "Not a lot more valuable, but likely well-protected.  Will I have the opportunity to participate?"

He nodded, "Soon, your performance at Ironhold was superb, you have already earned the right to return to the Inner Sphere as part of the True Star League.  You will see combat, not just garrison duty...now, what can you tell me about 'Elizabeth Ngo'-her biography is woefully short, and you are privy to information that may not be in our files."

"Druggie." Deanna said, "Her brother mentioned it several times-she was in treatment for stimulant abuse and Sona-um, mild depressant medications used as a sleeping aid-it has mild alagesic properties and pain relief qualities-more powerful than typical headache medicines, but only mildly limited.  Henry's frustration with her focused a lot on how she was wasting her potential, I believe he believed her to be unusually intelligent."  she gestured at the image, "She is prone to histrionic behaviors, and the self-injury is consistent with his views."

"Could she be adapted?" He asked.

"difficult to guess-and it would, your pardon, only be a guess-she is an adult now, and has not pursued a military path in spite of her heritage." Deanna shrugged, "There is likely a reason.  I would say lower caste, maybe Merchant.  I doubt she can give the fight she talks."

"Look again, do you know what I see?" he asked.

she stared at the holoimage..."no." she said, "I am blind."

"Anger." he told her, "that girl is very, very, angry. She is also accustomed to physical pain..." He started the playback now at a slower rate.  "Watch-she clenches her hand around the handle of the blade with it still embedded. it isn't reflex, she is making a...point." He smirked, letting the freebirth girl know it was fine to acknowledge the pun.  "She will fight."

"When do we go?" Deanna asked.

"We have to finish reconsolidation of our assets, but I was given the task of planning this as a medium-term tactical and strategic objective-which is why I brought you here.  Kowloon has gained four military factories-a tank factory we have little interest in, a facility for the production of Battle-armor that can likely be converted to produce Elemental suits, an Aeospace factory that can feed into our programs, and a Battlemech production site that, intelligence suggests, could be used to supplement second line forces, or even converted to boost our front-line capabilities, this makes it a valuable prize, once we have contiguous control along that front."

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.

mikecj

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #28 on: 21 February 2016, 18:29:58 »
Sounds like Henry is no longer with us.
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.

Ajax_Wolf

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Re: Her Wings (Ngoverse v. 4.0)
« Reply #29 on: 21 February 2016, 21:02:10 »
Sounds like Henry is no longer with us.

Physically or mentally, he's out that door.
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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