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Author Topic: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)  (Read 25384 times)

idea weenie

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #30 on: 25 November 2022, 16:30:31 »
The costumes alone say "not this time"...  :D

True, Elizabeth prefers to wear black suits, not red X-shaped tops and mini-shorts.  At least the boots will remain black, they will just go a bit higher.

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #31 on: 25 November 2022, 16:39:15 »
It took a month and a half to get...

back to Kowloon.  Whereupon Elizabeth found an invitation sitting in her Comstar account.

"I've got work to do." she muttered, looking at the invite.  "I'm running out of time..."

She sat there in the Kowloon HPG station, and paid for express delivery.

To: Her Majesty, Melissa Arthur Steiner-Davion, Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth, and Regent of the Federated Commonwealth
From: Elizabeth Anne Ngo (Likely last of my name), Duchess of Kowloon, Baroness Spider Moon, Chairman of the board Ngo Industries

RE: Retirement Party

I must apologize, Your Majesty, but my duty to my people and the Realm dictates that I will be unable to attend your planned Reception on the 19th of June of this year (standard Calendar).  I know this is not the best answer I can give, and I pray my declination gives no offense, but I have a powerful lot of work to do, and an equally powerful trust in the Crown to carry on without my presence at your reception.
Because this IS declining a royal summons, even for such an important occasion, I will detail things as follows:

1. I have been experiencing severe medical issues related to transit disorientation recently, and my doctors have insisted that I show some signs of recovery before engaging in jump travel again, the period of my grounding is nine months.  It's gotten bad enough that I have had to remain confined to newtonian speeds in-system, meaning weeks between destinations when travelling to other portions of my system.

2. My duties as Duchess include a number of things that, as yet, I can not delegate, and the work must be done correctly and competently or it's of no value at all to anyone.

3. See Document 884712113 dated March 11, 3055, as filed by your heir and son, Victor Ian Steiner-Davion.  This project demands all of my remaining time outside of my normal duties, and when coupled with my ongoing medical issues, I'm not sure I would survive traveling to Tharkad until I have recovered from the last trip.

I am sorry I will not be there to see you off to a pleasant retirement.

I wish you the best of things in your future endeavors, Your Highness.

Elizabeth Ngo


Finalizing the message, Elizabeth nodded to the Adept, who hit 'send'.

"TDS?" he asked.

"Yeah." she told the man, "I thought you guys were supposed to be Discreet?"

"Mum's the word, Your Grace."

"just as long as it gets to her, I don't care." Liz said, "It's not a state secret that juvenile drug use does bad things, and I was a junkie by the age of eleven...if you ever get offered a bluerock trace? just say 'no'."

"Understood, Your Grace." he said as she got to her feet, and walked out of the station.
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #32 on: 25 November 2022, 17:08:07 »
Ia Drang Cabin, Kowloon...

"...no listening devices, Your Grace."  Captain of the Coast Guard Mai Huyn stated.  "We're secure."

"Thank you." Elizabeth sat down at the table, while her guests took up seats around it.  "The Board will come to order." she said, "alright, first items off the list...Admiral Li?"

"We've got ten slips finished and dried in, six at Boojum and four at Snark."  Li said, "Material processing says the Foundry is up to capacity, and we've got the first squadron of Patrol Cutters laid down, I still want to revisit the organization structure-we should be doubling up the Squadrons, not five ships but ten."

"Manning." Liz said, "Unless you've got a breakthrough on recruiting Jumpship Navigators?"

"We're in talks with one of the Folk Lines." Li said, "they're offering training, but not manning."

"SO we need talent to train." Elizabeth noted.

"Ayeh.  Did the Archon okay your proposal?"  Evelynn Mosovich asked from her side of the table.

"Yeah." Liz nodded, "Miss Whyte?"

"Production of tooling to support the build up is on-calendar for now." Miss Whyte, Elizabeth's majordomo with the firm, stated, "Did you get us places to put this stuff? I'm really nervous about concentrating too much in the System."

"I'm meeting with Jobeth Von Schrakenberg next week." Liz commented, "LaRue laughed at me when I asked about siting a yard at Inarcs."

"So...no Inarcs, maybe on Winter."  Ms. Whyte nodded slowly, "We need more than one extra system."

"keep building units, Ms. Whyte, once we have the first active squadrons, it'll be easier to sell the idea of maintenance yards." Liz said confidently, "The problem I'm running into, is that I'm trying to sell this while being seen by everyone as a sick kid with Kid-sized dreams.  Nobody's willing to take me seriously, and the people we need to impress won't even accept a call from an underling on something this important yet."

"You could've asked the Archon..." Evelynn mused aloud.

"Her Majesty pawned this off on her Heir, and Victor has a war to run." Liz said tiredly, "He got the okay, and he seemed to listen, but it's on us for now.  We're going to need to show tangible positive results before I can get them to move on supporting us."

"So we have to prove it works." Li said.

"yeah..."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Daryk

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #33 on: 25 November 2022, 18:17:17 »
The thing with "vision" is that some people are going to laugh right up until you shove reality in their faces.

Blade4

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #34 on: 25 November 2022, 19:04:25 »
And then people crap themselves literally when backwater Kowloon does suddenly start mass producing jumpships and primitive warships...

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #35 on: 25 November 2022, 20:21:09 »
The thing with "vision" is that some people are going to laugh right up until you shove reality in their faces.

And then insist what they are seeing isn't really there.  As Churchill said "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened."

Ramblefire

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #36 on: 25 November 2022, 21:10:09 »
Ah Lizzie, she didn't "pawn you off" she's running Victor through the gauntlet.

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #37 on: 26 November 2022, 03:44:37 »
Tonight, worlds along the Lyran periphery...

...were being chewed on.  Why? because the forces positioned to protect them, were still coming back in the wake of the Red Corsair's raiding closer to the Falcon border.

For the Pirates, 3054 marked the beginning of rich pickings, and 55 was turning out to be the continuation of a trend of underdefended, rich targets with little ability to control the depredations.

This is the "happy times" for Bandits and Pirates along the Lyran border...
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Daryk

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #38 on: 26 November 2022, 06:04:44 »
Right up until they trip over Kowloon...  8)

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #39 on: 26 November 2022, 09:49:59 »
June 19, 3055...[

A bomb goes off on Tharkad, killing Melissa Arthur Steiner-Davion, and leading to the ascension of her oldest son, Victor to the role of Archon-Prince...but that's not the only thing that happens in June of 3055.

the Marian Hegemony conquers the Lothian League in the deep periphery.

Jeff Calderon is unseating his uncle in the Taurian Concordat.

the first four Sampan II cutters slip the moorings at Boojum shipyards in the Kowloon system, along with a single, refurbished and repaired, Tramp-class jumpship to serve as Tender for Patrol 1, 12th Squadron, 1st Division Kowloon Coast Guard.  Their initial mission and shakedown cruise being to accompany the MS Gloria, outfitted with two mules and a mammoth, to the Winter system to protect the construction of a small, commercial grade, repair and maintenance shipyard in the outer system of that world.

Elizabeth's meeting in May with JoBeth Von Schrakenberg was successful, and it's a start, at least.

Such starts do not come without discomfort.  Hopper Morrison's 2nd Battalion Echo company are ALSO intending to be in the Winter system, to hit one of the Arcologies on that perpetually frozen, yet inhabited, world.

A disagreement is likely...
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #40 on: 26 November 2022, 09:54:31 »
A disagreement is likely...

To quote a movie that fits the season?

"Now I have capital missiles.  Ho Ho Ho."

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #41 on: 26 November 2022, 10:09:39 »
"...range six million Kilometers at one gravity...

...those are definitely not commercial dropships."  Lt. Commander Bianh Vu Dao commands four cutters and a support ship.  Currently her support ship is sitting in the deep outies of the Winter system, and angles being angles, her telescopes have caught the arrival of an invader class jumpship hitting the main planet's L1 point and releasing three combat dropships.

"Flares and thrust profiles say those are probably Union or equivalent, Mum."

She sighed, "Militia didn't say they were doing exercises down there, and that's not a normal arrival.  all hands secure to stations for jump on my mark, all CAG personnel get your pilots to their rides and stand by for immediate post-jump release, gunners mates clear all your weapons and prep for engagement...and secure the ship for combat, helmets on.  RTO, stand by to issue hail-and-challenge on our arrival.  Cutter Two, your objective is the jumpship, have your marines loaded to boarding shuttles before we go.  Cutters three and four, you're with me, we're going for disables on the dropships before they get too far toward the planet, I want them disabled right after turnaround, have your smallcraft ready with tow-cables.  Gunners are to target thrusters and main drives first, fighters, you're there to sweep the ****** escorts off those  guys...Report Readiness!"

Twenty minutes later...

"Mark."

Discontinuity

The Jumpship still had Federated Starlines livery-defaced, but still there.  The Invader's anti-meteor guns were working, but that's cold comfort when a baby warship jumps in close enough to foul your jumpcore and starts returning aimed fire with a naval laser using glancing shots as assault shuttles come out bearing marine platoons trained in space combat to seize your stolen jumpship.

Ship's master Gordon Hebert got to see three more of those baby warships materialize only eighteen thousand kilometers away, and thrust after his colleagues with blue-white burns that any trained spacer could tell, came from engines more suited to pushing multiple Mammoths around,  IOW at least three full gees of thrust coming after the dropships, with fighters streaming ahead even faster.

over the comm frequencies, the shock and surprise was almost as complete as it was for the crew of the stolen FS Fallen Leaves-the Invader-class jumpship wasn't really suited to being invaded by spacers with weapons, tactics, and training.

More of all three, than his scrabbled together crew and their Pirate masters.

He didn't get the chance to shoot Precious, by the time he was drawing his sidearm, the bridge had been depressurized with explosives, and the slave-girl who calculated his jumps made it to the beach-ball before he did, and reacted to his shot to pop that ball, with skilled hands and the emergency patch.

His last sight, was the glove of a Marine,grabbing his face while they wrestled his sidearm away in hard vacuum silence.

In the distance, visible to the trained eye, three cutters made short work of three dropships. 

paradoxically, there would be enough Pirates to bring to Winter to stand trial, and a traumatized witness was in custody.

The Coast Guard's first step toward legitimate recognition had begun.
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Daryk

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #42 on: 26 November 2022, 10:14:27 »
Outstanding first outing for the KCG!  :thumbsup:

One minor quibble with the setting: that should be "..."conquered" the Lothian League..."  8)

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #43 on: 26 November 2022, 10:23:24 »
The news was brought by Cutter 4...

...along with a passenger.

"I don't recall saying you could keep extra." Elizabeth stood in the infirmary at Spider Moon, looking through the observation window at the girl in the recovery room.  "what's the story?"

"We pulled out half a gram of blastex and a-thankfully shoddy, reciever-detonator setup from her neck, mum."

"really." Elizabeth's expression turned stony.  "Which is why you didn't turn her over to the authorities on Winter?"

"See those tats-the faded ones? she's a Belta, mum."  Alicia Li was Elizabeth's boss of the Coast guard now, Commodore.

"And Winter's full of planet born...okay...and?"

"And, we don't know if she's got the Phobia or not, she was hardly able to make grunts and gurgles."  Li explained further.

Liz swore viciously, "How old?? did you run a rape kit?"

"Positive on the rape kit.  we think several times, also enough drugs to keep her obedient, I think the bomb is there as a runaway prevention."

"Was there.  you use the past tense...who had her?"

"Morrison's Extractors, at least, according to the prisoners we recovered from the Jumpship and the dropships-he's got something north of a regiment of advanced 'mechs, been raising hell all along the periphery border."

"Please, please, tell me you have their ****** address." Liz admonished.

"They were smart enough to purge the coordinates from the ship...but there's only one reason someone would take a Belta and do that to them."

"She knows how to find them?"

"I think so."

Elizabeth scowled, "Get her talking, cleaned up, fed, and with a team of shrinks, and when you have gotten her talking, know this, because I'm going to put it in writing...The existence of Morrison's Extractors, offends me, personally, I find their continued absorption of oxygen to be a crime against nature.  They are to be hunted, hunted and found, and when found, exterminated, and with them, any and all colleagues of similar mind for a distance of no less than one hundred twenty light years from the Lyran-Periphery border, see to it, Commodore.  We're not going to give them trials, your mission is to make them extinct.  and by extinct, I mean extinct, use whatever you think will work."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Daryk

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #44 on: 26 November 2022, 10:28:28 »
This is how you get unintential use of nuclear weapons...  ::)

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #45 on: 26 November 2022, 13:08:58 »
the fog lifted...

and Nikki found herself lying on a hospital bed, in a hospital room.

"Hi."  there was a girl here-maybe her age? she wasn't sure.

"I..." the feeling of speaking without the painful intrusion felt weird.  "H...hi? what.."

"relax. you're going to be a bit sore for a while, my surgeons tell me they put a bomb in your neck."  the woman said quietly, "among other violations."

Nikki nodded numbly.  "Where am I?" she asked.

"Spider Moon Coast Guard Medical Center, and don't worry, we're a good three AU from any inhabitable planet with a biosphere.  Everything here, is tightly controlled by experts."  the woman hopped off the service shelf and Nikki realized how short she was.  "before the Commodore gets the shrinks in here, I thought I'd have us a little chat, Beltawallah."

"y-you know?"

"Commodore Li is a Rokkajakkah, you're in family hands here." the woman said, "Safe, you track?"

"your pronunciation is terrible."

"Blame my parents,they made me live at the bottom of the well.  If not for my Grandmother's friends, I wouldn't know Belta-Lang at all, I'd be stuck trying to speak vietnamese or English or something when dealing with a third of the people I represent.  What's your name, Belta?"

"N..nicole."

"No last name?"

"Need keep it private." the girl said.  "Your people..they got me out?"

"Ayeh.  So no fambly, no Gen'rashun? just 'Nicole'?"

"We stopped using Generation more than a century ago." Nicole advised her, "The numbers were getting too high."

"Makes sense I guess.  Hi, I'm Liz Ngo, with ties to Sithers-Deen line on my grandmother's side.  I'm the Duchess out here, Baws for you, and...You're a fifteen year old girl with no desire to be found by your family, am I close? ran off, but not with The Folk, got hooked in?"

"Ayuh." Nicole didn't nod, it hurt.

"Yeah, figured that. Okay, so here's my dilemma. You're a minor, who was rescued from scumbag slavers, but you're a runaway, which isn't a great place to be, since you're a minor who couldn't keep herself from being dragooned by Pirates and Slavers. Over the next few weeks, you're going to be here, you're going to suffer like you think you've never suffered, as your body adjusts to being off the Sezzanine-Neuroin cocktail they used to control you.  When you're done, I'm going to give a three sided choice, and I'm going to let you pick which choice you make."

"What are they?"

"I'll tell you when you're not drying out from forced addiction." Liz Ngo said grimly, "I know what a bitch it is to kick that stuff, and you won't be fully rational until you're clean, and you can't make the choice I'm going to offer you with your thinking-meat compromised...just understand, we don't have the wealth to have the kind of social welfare that the old Hegemony had, or the Sollies still have, but we do have one...and Now, I have to hire private investigators to see if anyone's missing you.  that would go a lot faster, if you give me your ties."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Daryk

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #46 on: 26 November 2022, 13:28:20 »
Well Nikki's not going to give THAT up easily...  ::)

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #47 on: 26 November 2022, 14:54:46 »
It's never good news (June 25, 3055)...

TO: Elizabeth Anne Ngo, Duchess, Kowloon system
FROM: The Desk of his Majesty, Victor Ian Steiner-Davion, First of his name and Archon Prince of the combined Federated Commonwealth

RE: You missed the bombing.

You missed the bombing, claiming health restrictions.  Lohengrin has informed me that within a week of sending your declination, you were tear-assing around your home system using relic one-to-five lightyear capable Ferries.

Obviously your TDS is not sufficiently bad to prevent you from coming to Tharkad, and I'll even make it easy on you by letting you schedule your own travel plans, so long as you get here before August 16, which is the date for the formal Funeral of my late mother.

Bring Reports with you, I want to know what the hell happened in the Winter system, and I don't mean one of your terse little notes by HPG.

I expect you by the sixteenth, no later, and wear something formal.

Victor.


Her Grace swore fluently.

"Your Grace?" Li asked.

"This means I have to show our hand." Liz growled, "Who's ratting out the damn Ferry system??"

"It wouldn't be hard to monitor, Your Grace, it's a public utility with published scheduling.  I take it this means booking multiple passages?"

"Yes.  Get me some bodyguards who know how to hold a barf-bag and don't ask questions, and a Corpsman who can deal with my medications." Liz scowled, "Of all the ****** times for someone to assassinate an Archon, they have to pick now??"

"politics is the distribution of power, Liz, it never comes up when it's convenient, your grandfather said that."

"I know...I know.  to make schedule we're really going to be cutting it close.  Break out the shipping routes and let's see which of ours are where and going in the right direction...and I'm going to have to ask Kelly  to break open the piggy bank for proper Tharkad-side quarters since I'll be stuck with an entourage..."

It would have been ever so much more convenient if the bomber had waited two years or so, for her to have the Phase 2 ships under construction and the infrastructure laid out.  She could've arrived then, on a damn destroyer instead of running a pinnace between commercial transports in a frantic race against scheduling to get to Tharkad in less than 21 days.

but Nooo, we've gotta have someone kill Her Majesty at her damn retirement party!! Elizabeth fumed as she began to pack for the long, brutal, trip to the Capital of the Lyran Commonwealth.

A trip that would necessitate antinausea drugs and vac-assisted barf bags and maybe restraints if her TDS acted up, hallucinations, waking nightmares...

"all for the Nation, all for the People." she muttered it like a mantra.  "Li, remind Chester Deen that we need the larger docks finished by the time I get back!"
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Daryk

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #48 on: 26 November 2022, 15:09:16 »
She'd be in less trouble if she hadn't short-cutted her doc's "orders"...  ::)

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #49 on: 26 November 2022, 16:42:36 »
She'd be in less trouble if she hadn't short-cutted her doc's "orders"...  ::)

Maybe have the doctor send Victor a thank you note?  "Maybe after this Her Grace will listen and follow my medical instructions."

ThePW

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #50 on: 26 November 2022, 22:07:52 »
Crap.... Helm? We're here again.... What the hell, over?
Even my Page posting rate is better than my KPD rate IG...

2Feb2023: The day my main toon on DDO/Cannith, an Artificer typically in the back, TANKED in a LH VoD.

Daryk

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #51 on: 26 November 2022, 22:11:55 »
Hmmm... It just hit me... Where was Maggie when the bomb went off? ???

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #52 on: 27 November 2022, 01:14:19 »
The Journey to Tharkad...

...was brutal.  Elizabeth arrived two days before her deadline thanks to a Consolidated Universal Transport Lines Star Lord that was ready for jump when the ship she was hitching on arrived at Coventry, and a Harmony Lines Merchant class in the same state at the next stop.

Two days is enough time to clean the vomit breath and regain a bit of colour, but Tharkad in the summertime is almost as cold as mild-winter Kowloon near New Saigon by the equator.

The result, was that her black wool suit-dress was adequately warm as she hobbled along on the side of the street.  She'd strained her right knee and damaged tendons during a TDS fit in transit, along with bruises that her outfit, and a thick layer of skin-tone over her face, almost hid.  The veil hanging from her hat helped hide the rest.

For once, her habitual black garb was appropriate as the dignitaries filed into the church yard, even Katherine was wrapped in mourning colors.

"You made it." Maggie Doons greeted her as she took her place with the distinguished witnesses.

"I had no choice." Liz muttered back.  "He made it an order...politely."  she glanced past her mentor, and scowled, upon seeing Daphne Rowe in her Nagelring formal uniform.

"Liz...don't."

"I'm not going to." Elizabeth assured Lady Doons, turning to fix her stare firmly at the place where the coffin would be lowered.

Daphne, for her part, was shedding real tears, compared to Elizabeth's stony stoicism.  "Do we know who did it??" Elizabeth asked.

"That may not be appropriate."

"Someone assassinated my head of state-she was retiring, which just makes it worse." Elizabeth muttered.  "I want to know who."

"So say we all." Daphne demonstrated she heard her former friend.

"and what would you do, Liz?" Maggie muttered, "If you knew?"

"I would make an example of them." Elizabeth growled, fingering her bluewood cane's silver handle.

"but is it your priority?" Maggie asked.

"no." Elizabeth settled back in the folding chair.  "My priority is my own backyard, the projects I'm working on. I can't afford vengeance, especially for someone I only distantly knew.  My time's running out, I don't have that luxury."

"How are those projects coming?"

"Winter bought off on the plan, but Inarcs refused, same for Hood IV and Jessenice, we're hoping the example of benefits to Winter might influence MainStreet or Timbuktu-which will make sourcing raw materials and access to the commodities markets easier."  Elizabeth muttered, "if I get enough partners in the region..."

"I'll have a 'talk' with LaRue on Inarcs, and Diego on Arluna." Maggie commented, "Tanadi LaRue owes me some favors, and Diego owes Daphne's father a considerable sum of money...will you have the ships?"

"We've got yards in production now, and we're building additional yards." Liz noted, "Bottleneck's turning out to be how fast we can get crews trained-it's taking longer than I thought it would.  I can't poach from LCN...er...AFFC naval branch, and I'm having to fend off their recruiters, because we've got a shortage."

"be sure to emphasize that with Victor in your meeting, Elizabeth." Maggie told her, "He may have additional resources that can help you."

"Feddies? ew." Elizabeth made a face, "no thanks.  I want this to function, not be another excess burden."

"You need to overcome your prejudices, young lady." Maggie admonished, "we're all one nation now."

Liz rolled her eyes, but kept silent as the Archon Prince's party advanced up the hill bearing his mother's casket.
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

drakensis

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #53 on: 27 November 2022, 03:11:24 »
So two interesting changes here:
1. Melissa was known to be standing down, so the claims that Victor was behind her death is going to have much less credibility
2. Victor is there for the funeral, and it's implied he wasn't off dealing with the Red Corsair. He's probably been getting training from his mother in rulership he didn't get in canon.
"It's national writing month, not national writing week and a half you jerk" - Consequences, 9th November 2018

Cannonshop

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #54 on: 27 November 2022, 04:16:49 »
Victor took her aside at the reception...

...to an office just off the ballroom, guarded by grim looking men in uniforms.

"okay, Liz...Winter, and what happened there?" he asked.

"I only know what my people tell me." she answered.

"I'm aware, but they tell you things I doubt they would include in official reports."

she tilted her head, curiously, "What makes you say that?" she asked.

"My grandmother warned me about you...or rather, your family." he said.  "So spill."

"may I?" she gestured to the drinks cabinet.

"Yeah serve yourself there." he nodded.

Elizabeth examined the collection of booze, and selected a dusty bottle from the back.  "My grandfather must've given it to your parents...or your Grandmother." she said, holding up the bottle critically, "Ijero Liqueur...and it hasn't been opened."  she crisply drew out two small tumblers and dropped two 'ice moons', one in each, before pouring.  "one for you, and one for me...so...Winter..." she brought the drinks to the desk, and handed one to Victor.

"Yeah."

"Winter was a Rattenfick that we got lucky." she pronounced.  "Half an hour either way and the First Patrol would've had to burn in newtonian, and gotten there in time to see the pirates leave.  The local detection grid missed them, the sole and only reason Vu Dao was even looking the right way, was because she wanted to present a case for additional detection on the main bodies in the system, but that's not what JoBeth contracted Die Kanzlei for, and we don't have enough lines to produce them if she did...but Li and Vu Dao have both been on my ass since for detection grid equipment and licenses-which I'm going to have to pay Maggie Doons a shit-ton of money to get...because they're right."

"Mmm-kay...and the actual combat?"

"Being as I saw their reports before I forwarded them, to the best of my knowledge, you got the combat reports and they're accurate." she pronounced, "One Union unsalvageable, two crippled and brought under tow, and an Invader class Jumpship whose last owner was a Federated Suns military contractor that went under sometime in the forties.  Per Salvage Law, and because it was in Winter's space, we're going to hold the Auction in September with proceeds split between the Von Schrakenbergs and my crews."

"None for you?"

"none for me, I didn't order it, authorize it, or participate." she held up her glass at eye level, meeting his gaze, "So prize law says I don't get a cut."

"change the law and you could."

"Then it's not a law." she stated.  "Duchess complies with the Ducal laws, period, or they're worthless...besides, all of that wasn't the biggest score."

He sat forward.  "What was?"

"The part you're wondering about-what I didn't forward and wouldn't speak of in public.  We recovered prisoners...not Pirates, but the prisoners OF the pirates, and one of them is a navigator, who was working with a bomb in her neck and a needle in her arm to keep her under control-a slave, Victor...one that knows where Morrison keeps his stuff, where he keeps house."

"and you were going to tell me this when?" Victor asked.

"Telling you now." she asserted, "You're right, I'm my grandpapa's girl, and we don't trust Comstar or Terrans or foreigners, not with material like this-there must be a reason why multiple RCT's and Mercenary units have failed to nail down Hopper Morrison's bolthole or catch him firmly enough to keep him from escaping, and the best explanation is that he's got an informant or few dozen, feeding him intel on military movements. Being that the only way that informant could get info to and from him fast enough for his record to match? it's in the phone company, or they have someone who can spoof Comstar's security well enough, or they have a guy in every Ducal and baronial house along the border to inform them-any way you slice it, announcing what we picked up is a dumb damn idea.  I keep it down-low and compartmentalized, and maybe we catch the slaving son of a bitch with his pants around his ankles for a change."

"Presumably not so that you can lead a proper FedCom RCT to his location." Victor said sourly.

"Uh, yeah, that IS the endgame-leading them right to where we found them." she said, "Why wouldn't it be?"

"Your nuclear stockpile." he said, "has not grown in six months, and I know you went ahead and produced them permissions or not."

"training shot and mining shot." she assured him, "Where do you think I'm getting all the exotic elements we need for the foundries? I can't pay Langenecker's prices with the production rate we're pushing."

"Um, 'training shot'?"

"Truce Line." she asserted, "Here on Tharkad, you're safe from the Clanners until sixty-seven, about twelve more years, but they can still show up in MY system with their warships without breaking the truce at any time.  I do not intend to let them leave or live if they do that.  Thus, my people get trained on the single most effective antishipping weapon known to man, because my dinky little cutters up against a Cameron or McKenna? leaves a slightly scorched paint job on the Battlecruiser and a bunch of dead cutters...unless we have an equalizer."

"How many have you got?"

"Nukes you know." she said.

"NO, how many trained operators?"

she sipped her drink, and watched him for a breath.  "Six thousand so far." she said, waiting until he'd swallowed the drink before speaking.

"SIX THOUSAND!??"

"If you can't afford to lose something, you can't afford to use it-my Grandfather was explicit about that, and Tran Truk Ngo's war diary from the destruction of the Rimjobs also touched on the need to have a reserve that doesn't rely on something easily disabled.  I need to have enough nuke-qualified gunner's mates to staff the cutters, because I might lose some.  Ordnance techs also, because again, we might lose some, so make sure we have enough we can afford to lose them."

"Liz, there were only thirty thousand qualified nuclear ordnance techs in the entire AFFC!!"

"now there's thirty six." she shrugged, "If you include ours as reserves which your order set up explicitly is the case. It's not enough, but I have ongoing training going on in the outer belts and oort, so we should be able to handle losses and drafts...where I can't is getting enough talents for the Navigation role.  I'm not in a position to compete with AFFC's recruiting department for candidates, and the testing is kinda high-end for the kind of thinker that can plot manual jumps Folk style."

"this is where you ask me for a favor." he said, "I can see Maggie Doons' fingers in your mouth."

"yeah, but not the one she thinks." Liz said, "I checked court records.  our nation has approximately three hundred convicted Shipjackers, and another thousand or so convicted slicers in long-term incarceration-the Military wouldn't accept them and by the time they're released they won't be worth shit...but I can use those in the now."

"what do you need slicers for?"

"Electronic warfare games." she shot back, "I want them because they're already talented and their future is shit-which means my folks can train them our way, and nobody gets upset if a few of them die in training.  by the time we're done, they'll be reliable enough to use, and indentured to the Service of the Nation, instead of eating resources in Hogfield, Blackgate, and Nelson penitentiaries."

"and to get them out you need me to draft pardons." he said.

"yep." she nodded, "it's a resource the Realm isn't using or likely to WANT to use, which means I get to keep staff when, not if, your Marshall of the Armies decides they need to loot my Coast Guard for transport drivers in the regular navy...and look! it frees up space to house dirty ****** Clanners!"

"I'm going to want someone observing your 'coast guard militia' training methods and sites." he told her, "I don't see expediting hundreds of executions as a bonus."

"Of course. who do you want to send?"

"Someone reliable."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Artifex

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #55 on: 27 November 2022, 04:41:26 »
Mmm  ^-^

I reckon, that's the point where Victor decides to get his best mate out of the frying pan that is Crazy Kat: Galen Cox. ^-^

Blade4

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #56 on: 27 November 2022, 06:08:25 »
As ever Kowloon greatest problem it is attached to a greater feudal state that forever hobbles it... Victor should really be asking what the hell is going on that this one world is smashing the metrics and conventional wisdom of the IS.
So two interesting changes here:
1. Melissa was known to be standing down, so the claims that Victor was behind her death is going to have much less credibility
2. Victor is there for the funeral, and it's implied he wasn't off dealing with the Red Corsair. He's probably been getting training from his mother in rulership he didn't get in canon.
Yeah this is going to really change things and frankly surprised Ryan and Katherine still tried it. It looks like this Victor is actually learning far faster, Or perhaps his mother slapped some sense into him unlike in canon where she was mostly a none entity. If he has accepted he needs to be actually running the state not a cockpit he should be far more effective and if he finds evidence of the murderers perhaps he will be far more ruthless in dealing with them. Though if Victor does send Galen that could get interesting because he certainly deserved far better and frankly Victor needs someone he can trust in Kowloon. On other hand what tipped Victor off that something was wrong with his sister was the fact she tried to sacrifice Galen...

idea weenie

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #57 on: 27 November 2022, 06:09:02 »
Mmm  ^-^

I reckon, that's the point where Victor decides to get his best mate out of the frying pan that is Crazy Kat: Galen Cox. ^-^

And Kat will see this as yet another insult by Victor, of 'stealing' her husband?

Daryk

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #58 on: 27 November 2022, 06:51:14 »
Since when did Victor learn how to drink Ijero without coughing? ???

Euphonium

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Re: "Steal, buy, or Build?" (a Ngoverse piece.)
« Reply #59 on: 27 November 2022, 12:31:42 »
Since when did Victor learn how to drink Ijero without coughing? ???

Maybe he's been practising with ghost pepper juice and battery acid?
>>>>[You're only jealous because the voices don't talk to you]<<<<

 

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