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Author Topic: Lest we drown in the darkness...  (Read 4605 times)

Liam's Ghost

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #30 on: 22 June 2021, 19:39:11 »
Once you have a crack, thermobarics are easy enough to roll in there...

You know, I'd tell you you can't solve all your problems with thermobarics, but you can solve most of them that way...
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

(indirect accessory to the) Slayer of Monitors!

Daryk

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #31 on: 22 June 2021, 19:44:21 »
Indeed you can!  ;D

Especially the kinds of problems the Kowloonese tend to face...  ^-^

Artifex

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #32 on: 22 June 2021, 23:28:01 »
And those supported by the 'loonies, whom are feeling that such things are beneath their honour... As if honour matters in times of war, where getting the job done as clean and quickly as possible?!

Sharpnel

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #33 on: 22 June 2021, 23:29:18 »
Once you have a crack, thermobarics are easy enough to roll in there...
Kills them with fire! Fire makes everything pure.
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Elmoth

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #34 on: 23 June 2021, 03:10:04 »
And those supported by the 'loonies, whom are feeling that such things are beneath their honour... As if honour matters in times of war, where getting the job done as clean and quickly as possible?!

Govern their modus operandi  I amb not sure about t'he "clean" bit, but yeah.

And yay Sabres. I am a fan of these buggers along with the Centurion. It would be fun if Raimei had a plant on Kowloon. I am sure the DC spies would bé mailing back the ISF with messages of "do not come here. Ever!!!"

Cannonshop

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #35 on: 23 June 2021, 08:30:48 »
Eagle's Nest...

The Rimjobs forted up in a selection of bunkers connected by hardened tunnels.

"The basic root of fortress doctrine, is waiting for relief. Tying down the attackers."  Colonel Ngo said casually.  "It's an endurance fight-can the defenders last long enough to be rescued."

"Our experts think six to eight weeks to break the fortress, Colonel, what do you think?"  General DeChevalier asked, his image flickering on the portable screen.

Ngo frowned.  "gun ports." he said, "Gun ports, elevators, air shafts, they've routed water from the aquifers to keep it supplied with fresh H2O for troop sustainment and power generation, they're dumping waste heat into subsurface water bodies or maybe through a pipe into the rivers.  They've got to be using camouflaged sally ports, but no amount of camouflage is going to cover those once they're put in use.  We can break it."

"say again?"

"I said, we can break it." Ngo commented, "The question is what you want to pay for the opening.  They optimized for resisting armored attacks.  specifically for resisting battlemech forces."

"You've got a plan forming?"

"I do.  see, they have a lot more guys in there, than it was designed to hold, which means if they're running closed-loop life support like a ship? it's straining under waste they aren't prepared to process.  The simple solution, is to vent-gate the wastes..."  he pulled up survey images and telescope photos over time, some from civilian and even media passes over the fortified site.

"What are you looking for?"  the SLDF Major he was liaising with asked.

"blooms." Ngo's tone was distracted, "Heat blooms, pollution releases subsurface in waterways.  Base like that, it's still got a sewer, and that sewer's going to have an outflow."

"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Daryk

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #36 on: 23 June 2021, 08:55:36 »
I love the way Ngo thinks... DeChevalier doesn't, but prefers it to the lost time and lives the other way would take.

Cannonshop

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #37 on: 23 June 2021, 09:50:04 »
Profile: Tranh Truk Ngo

Born: February 18, 2744, Public Medical Clinic 18, Ia Drang Plateau

Parents: Mai Trac Ngo (*mother),  Dinh Long Ngo (Father)

Siblings: Chie Van Loring (previously Ngo, sister), Anh Meir-Sithers101 (Sister)

Education:

Nagelring Star League Academy 2764-2767 (*dropout): Majored in Engineering and architecture, MOS training in combat engineering.  Studies terminated upon discovery of disqualifying chronic medical condition (Cholmann's syndrome)

Republic Consolidated technical School 181 (Nha Tranh)(2758-2764)  Primary education in agricultural mechanics and systems, secondary subject focus on civil engineering tasks and construction work.

Mekong County Public Schools (grades 1-8, multiple): noted as a quiet and studious boy with a bit of a mean streak.  Expelled from 8 different schools for fighting.  Psychiatric profile indicates intense dislike of bullying and possible oppositional defiant personality disorder.  Ngo bounced between attending public schools and being educated at home during long periods of suspension or expulsion from various educational sites.

Languages spoken:

Kowloon Viet (Primary)
Star League Standard English (proficient)
Latin (spoken and written, Literate)
Greek (classical, written only)
Hebrew (spoken and written, literate)

Tested IQ: top 99th percentile in terms of information retention and interpretation, sufficient in testing to obtain a waiver to attend the SLDF Academy at Nagelring (Tharkad) for almost four years.

If he had not been discovered by a random DNA sampling looking for security flaws, Tranh Truk Ngo was on the express track to a future career in the SLDF's Department of Mega Engineering, or a position in the SLDF's research and development establishment.  In mandatory tactical and leadership classes, he demonstrated exceptional ability in comparison with his peers, and discussions were had to move him from a support-class track to a command track, (this triggered the 'random' test that uncovered his hidden disability).

If Stephan Amaris had not overthrown the Star League government and triggered a civil war, Ngo would likely have been one of millions of engineers and scientists scattered throughout known space, working on projects for money-at least, until the drugs needed to manage his pain destroyed his ability to reason.

Mentally and intellectually, Ngo is exceptionally gifted with a powerful and curious mind and a minor 'gift of gab'-the ability to interact with others that is usually absent from persons of exceptional intelligence.  His primary asset is the ability to work out solutions, if given enough information, and to extrapolate solution-sets from insufficient information.  This makes him a battlefield multiplier as an officer and organizer.

The ability to both lead, and organize, was put to the test first in the Kowloonese uprising of 2768.  Ngo is very good at selecting subordinates and motivating them, and played a key role in designing and organizing the successful overthrow of Rim Worlds forces on Kowloon.

In a sense, the SLDF can claim some portion of that success, as the Kowloonese movement was short of trained military officers able to grasp the tasks of organizing the logistics, and conducting large-scale planning necessary to make the 2768 revolution a success.  They were also short of personnel capable of negotiating with the SLDF forces that arrived in the system in late '68.  The limited formal education he achieved at the SLDF academy is a large part of his successes both against the forces occupying his world, and the SLDF's forces under General DeChevalier.

DeChevalier's notes: 

I wish I had a thousand of this guy, I'm kind of glad I don't, though.  He's motivated, effective, smart, useful, and dying.  I've convinced Aleks to help keep it quiet.  Colonel Ngo's medical situation is an automatic bar to service with no waivers available, the arrangement with Kowloon is because the little son of a professor is USEFUL in the current conflict, and we need his kind of talent.  In another era, we'd be setting this guy up as a local lord in his own right, but he's not going to live long enough to be useful in that role.  The strategy for the moment, is to use him until he's used up-it's not what Aleksandr would want, but it's what we need until Amaris is taken out of power for good.

Part of me feels like we're defiling this kid's talents, like using the Mona Lisa for a tablecloth, or hiring Mozart to write commercial jingles.  The guy is a once-in-a-century brilliant mind, and we're going to use him to blow things up instead of building a future.

but the rub is, we NEED people like this.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Daryk

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #38 on: 23 June 2021, 10:10:42 »
Spot on!  :thumbsup:

Ramblefire

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #39 on: 23 June 2021, 10:54:04 »
DeChevalier has a good head on his shoulders. He would have done well in the inner sphere.

nerd

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #40 on: 23 June 2021, 11:33:39 »
DeChevalier always struck me a Kerensky's organizer. Less charismatic, but an effective oficer.
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Cannonshop

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #41 on: 23 June 2021, 12:29:36 »
Eagle's Nest...

The butcher's bill was telling.  three fortresses and 72 hours.  House Amaris had invested in defenses with a single contractor.

There's something of a problem, when you let a contract and then don't allow much freedom for the architects.

Three fortresses, 72 hours, and 15,000 men.  That was the cost of having to use meat, instead of metal.

Four thousand were dead, the rest were wounded too badly, or were too traumatized, to be sent out again, but they could be sent home, and the best of them, could be used to help train up replacement companies.

"We knew it was going to be a long war, Sir."  Tranh said, going over the list, hardly looking up at Brigadier General Charles Miller of the 83rd.  "To that end, we had replacement units in training before we jumped out. The One-Seven-One will be at full strength in two weeks time.  Therefore, I decline your kind offer to roll my men into your Terran Hegemony command. among other problems, even your natives from Southeast Asia speak a dialect that, forgive my saying so, sounds like half-remembered gibberish and baby-talk to my people-you don't have enough translation specialists to make the integration work."

"That's going to make civil affairs operations dicey, Colonel, I can't use your infantry for the ongoing mission here."

"Sir, we're not here to do civil affairs.  When my replacements arrive, we're moving to the next target, sir."  Tranh stated, "We're only here to kill rimjobs, that's it.  we're not here to nation-build, we're here to kill the ****** Rim-Worlds-Republic and nothing else.  you want to make nice with them, 'buffer the change of regime' and all that good stuff? you don't want us.  We aren't HERE to add territory, we're here to deny Stephan Amaris resources, we're not fighting to restore the Star League and could care less if you lot ever find a Cameron Heir, because my people hate, General, sir.  this is revenge, and I'm barely keeping a lid on it-there are presently over six hundred thousand volunteers on Kowloon being screened and undergoing basic training, and that's not including the ones who are turning eighteen tomorrow, or the next day."  he put the padd aside and looked up from his hospital bed, "Do you understand why, General?"

"Uhm, no, not really...why?"

"Because for two hundred years the rimjobs tried to cull us, took kids from their families to sell like appliances, sent full-on military forces to burn homes, businesses, churches on any rumor of resistance, they beat children for speaking their native tongue, broke apart families on trumped up charges, taxed and brutalized and raped my people for GENERATIONS."  He sipped water from a straw and adjusted his wounded legs, "so we're here, but we're here because the SLDF has promised to guarantee our independence.  This is more or less fighting for a cause, but that cause isn't leaving the Rim Worlds to recover and try again."

He picked up his documents, and began working in the presence of the 83rd's commander.  "SO, General, we're fighting our war for independence, and it happens to coincide with your war for the honor of the Cameron Dynasty." He looked up, "But that doesn't make my people yours to reassign. the One-Seven-One will continue as it's own command, we have our own pipeline for replacements and basic support, and an agreement for supplementary support on an as-available and as-needed basis through the SLDF's logistics chain...as a separate entity. Integrating MY logistics into YOURS would be a mistake almost as disastrous as trying to get Viet or Hebraic speakers to integrate with your Earthers."

"Two weeks and you're gone then?" Miller asked.

"Two weeks and we're out of your AO, out of your hair, and on to the next target." Ngo confirmed.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

paulobrito

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #42 on: 23 June 2021, 13:00:18 »
Truly, ugly, real war.
Not the sanitized version some people know.

kioras

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #43 on: 23 June 2021, 19:53:51 »
Ugly losses for Battletech.

Very light losses for capturing three major planetary defense forts in less than a week.

The truth of the matter is the type of equipment needed to reduce losses is Star League only and they killed anyone who thought about doing research.

It is just that Battletech does not deploy armies to the size of WW1.

cklammer

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #44 on: 24 June 2021, 01:04:01 »
The number ratios are just different once you have to ship your invading force via interstellar distances first and may have your initial landings contested, too.

Daryk

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #45 on: 24 June 2021, 05:22:08 »
Initial landings are a different tactical problem, and one the SLDF is pretty well built to handle.  Cracking Castles Brian quickly is not, and Kowloon has several centuries of pent up aggression to work out. The 171st is letting them do so in a somewhat constructive fashion.

Ramblefire

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #46 on: 24 June 2021, 10:05:56 »
The number ratios are just different once you have to ship your invading force via interstellar distances first and may have your initial landings contested, too.
Partially. Though the numbers disparity is still there even once you factor in interstellar shipping.

Battletech has ludicrously small armies in general. Given a regiment of mechs per fortress, the loonies could have cracked the doors a little with thermobarics, rushed in, assigned 4-5 platoons to each mech in the fortress, slaughtered the infantry and support staff, and then repeated in each fortress. The losses would be enormous. The morale hit alone would break and rout most armies but the loonies are getting by on sheer rage and hatred.

Euphonium

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #47 on: 24 June 2021, 10:59:49 »
2769, Kowloon System, Rim Worlds Republic...
The Pinto-class moving to provide support in suppressing the riots lit off, as timing and space brought it directly into the path of 700 hydrogen-tons volume of nickel iron in 5 ton lots, accelerated for two weeks at high G from the outer system.

Pass me another WarShip, this one broke  >:D
>>>>[You're only jealous because the voices don't talk to you]<<<<

Daryk

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #48 on: 24 June 2021, 11:03:58 »
And just to be perfectly clear, that should be: "Kowloon System, Rim World Republic occupied territory"...

Grognard

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #49 on: 24 June 2021, 14:35:37 »
"Wrath of the Kowloonese"

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.)

DOC_Agren

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #50 on: 24 June 2021, 20:24:43 »
DeChevalier always struck me a Kerensky's organizer. Less charismatic, but an effective oficer.
he was the effective commander, Kerensky is more of. a Lryan Social General

Cannonshop, glad to see more Kowloon

Hunt for the Pinto.. very nice


"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!"

glitterboy2098

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #51 on: 24 June 2021, 20:27:57 »
i'm surprised the hear the SB-27 Sabre described as old and heritage flight stuff.. given it was in standard use across the inner sphere at the time as an in production frontline fighter. the star league would even build a Royal variant in 2770. it may have been 250 years old as a design, but it was still going strong.

my suggestion would be to replace the mentioned fighters with the two centuries older and by that point obsolete SB-26 Sabre, the primitive version with only two tons of fuel and primitive armor and engine. not only is it a little more reasonable that the Belters could build those in secret with no one knowing, but they get across the intent of "these crazy people are flying museum pieces into a modern warzone and still winning" a little better.

Daryk

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #52 on: 24 June 2021, 21:28:33 »
SB-27s aren't really far fetched at all.  250 years on the market is how you get the "ubiquitous" quirk.

Cannonshop

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #53 on: 25 June 2021, 10:38:15 »
elsewhere...

"...they're your project, Aaron."  Aleksandr Kerensky finished reviewing the After-action reports from Eagle's Nest.  "I'm not impressed."

"They broke three heavily fortified positions in seventy two hours when Gaffney and LaGrave were saying it would take six weeks." General DeChevalier pointed out.

"at the cost of four thousand dead." Kerensky shook his head, "my god, what did they do, run them across the minefields?  I know, I should've had Special Forces available for that operation, but we needed them for Apollo...this...it's..."

"It's dirty, ugly war, sir.  Ngo didn't 'run them across minefields', he used some innovative infiltration tactics, it's just that...well...it happens, sir."  DeChevalier assured his superior, "With better seasoning they wouldn't have taken those casualties, I suspect, but these are insurgents and volunteers going against hardened regulars.  There were going to be high casualties."

"Fifteen thousand out of twenty on the ground wounded or killed." Kerensky noted.

"Saved us half a division of Star League Regulars, sir...and six weeks on the timetable. It's an ugly trade, but they went in aware of it."

"I understand that part, Aaron." Kerensky laid the reports aside, "I also understand that they're running around with garbage equipment and no functional battlemechs, the Fitrep from the 83rd's CO says they don't speak english, and their internal discipline is something out of the damn dark ages."

"What should I do, sir? they're providing their own equipment, their own transportation..."

"Fix the deficiencies in their equipment and get some trainers embedded with the little bastards." Kerensky decided, "They're going to fight on our side, they're going to learn to at least pretend to act like Star League troops."

"Where am I going to find trained 'mechwarriors?" Aaron asked, "especially ones who can communicate?"

"Just do it." Kerensky told him, "I mean, god, these casualties...they'll fight, and it's confirmed they've already got replacements en route?"

"More volunteers than slots, sir."  Aaron confirmed, "Ngo's local training establishment takes about nine months, and they've got a pipeline that can pump bodies in on a two-to-four week basis, and he's rotating most of his wounded home to advise the incoming."

"Get a read on their 'soldier training' and get some of our walking wounded down there to filter for 'mechwarrior candidates and a shake-and-bake course...and maybe some recruiters on the ground for OUR losses.  These guys want to kill Rim-worlds troops, we should help them along...but let Ngo know I want a solution to this casualty problem he's got. rotating the wounded into training billets is a good base move, but he needs better retention, we don't need mass amounts of green infantry no matter HOW motivated."

"Yes Sir."
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Daryk

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #54 on: 25 June 2021, 10:51:03 »
Kerensky clearly hasn't thought ahead to Terra yet.  Mass amounts of green infantry is exactly what he needs at this point in the game.  By the time they get to Terra, they'll be mass amounts of HARDENED infantry...

paulobrito

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #55 on: 25 June 2021, 11:04:08 »
Kerensky is delusional.
Strange, the wars in the Periphery during the 'Vandenberg Insurrection' must have awakened him for the ugly side of the war.

Cannonshop

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #56 on: 25 June 2021, 13:02:35 »
Snark Orbit (Second Gas 'giant' in the Kowloon system...

The 'shipyard' was a series of floating frames forged and extruded from asteroid material, the 'habitats' were inflatable temporaries, and the heavy equipment wasn't anchored to anything solid that Rear Admiral Stanley Throckmorton could discern.

"belters." he sighed.  "Damn if they aren't Belters out here."

SLS Taffey slid through the apparent chaos-really not chaotic at all, to a parking orbit.

In the nearer gantries, were the hull frames of in-system 'ferry' jumpships.  These were low-power jumpers, almost ultra-primitive types with, according to his rec book, about a 1.5 Light Year maximum jump range.

The outer ones, held the works for a few low-end commercial vessels.  Two and three collar workhorses roughly corresponding to the Merchant or Tramp classes.

The repair yard wouldn't have looked strange in the outer rim of any successor state-until you realized that they'd rigged a 'core forge' assembly out here without most of the pressurized components. 

His XO, Igor Yavetz, muttered something.

"What was that?"

"Iron men and wooden derricks."  Igor commented a little louder.  "if the Union reps at Titan saw this setup, they'd be mass-mailing health and welfare officers and filing a ****** library of grievances just on the safety violations.  Luna's management would be having coronaries.  Nobody's built a yard like this since the ****** Pathfinder days.  they must've found a library book or something."

"The General just wants to know if they can do the work." Throckmorton stated, "so...CAN they?"

"Oh, yeah, they can do it...just not while complying with anything rational as far as health and safety regs, there's no installation on the surface, and nothing's spun for gravity, all the pressure habs are belt-miner temporaries linked with mylar tunnels, we're gonna want to be in EVA suits if you decide to meet with their yard bosses inside, and I bet they're wearing 'em too."  Igor was from Ceres, a 'wellwallah' who grew up among Belters only in the sense that he'd had to have adaptation treatments when he joined the Star League Navy to handle standard gravity.

"Should be like home for you then."

"Home, would be a decent sized habitat with micrometeor protection, pull atmo press, and at least a quarter gee." Igor countered, "These guys are working in nullgee, eating, sleeping and shitting in nullgee, with about six mils of Mylar and Kevlar between them and hard vac, like my ancestors did.  We're ******' civilized now...this shit makes the Torries look like the height of modern innovation...but they can do the work, it's right outside the windows.  Problem I see, is do we WANT to let them do the work, or do we arrange a loan and have the 'loonies buy some ****** safe ships?"

"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Artifex

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #57 on: 25 June 2021, 13:22:36 »
When the devil leads the dance, needs must. - Wasn't that the proverb that hits the nail on this?

Daryk

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #58 on: 25 June 2021, 13:56:02 »
That XO would be told he's "no beltah" by anyone working those yards...

Elmoth

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Re: Lest we drown in the darkness...
« Reply #59 on: 25 June 2021, 14:19:27 »
He is clearly a soft earther out of his element