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Author Topic: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)  (Read 9804 times)

glitterboy2098

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #30 on: 14 February 2020, 16:35:38 »
there have always been people who lie about their age to join organizations like the military. usually records checks throw up red flags (either "this person is too young" or "this person has falsified records") but Kowloon's records are still gonna be a mess due to the regent's mismanagement. odds are they won't have them all sorted till around the 3100's.. and that mainly due to attrition by old age removing the people born in the time of bad records. presuming they can avoid something like the Jihad, which while it would accelerate attrition, also would have a bad effect on record keeping.

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #31 on: 14 February 2020, 17:18:35 »
Unity City, Terra...

"To be honest, Victor, we haven't seen much improvement with your new programs."  Sun Tzu Liao spoke softly in the chamber, "When will the Confederation get the kind of considerations you've given to the provisional states?  WE are also members of the Star League."

Victor sighed, "Chancellor, what do you want?"

"The same thing everyone else wants, I guess? Prosperity, Respect?  My people walked into this alliance with hope, Victor-Hope for peace, for prosperity, for respect.  Hope that our grievances would be heard.  I am not seeing much of that, and the cross-border actions of House Marik-"

"We didn't do those."  Thomas Marik insisted.  "Hell, I wish we had, it would let me bring the perpetrators here in front of you for punishment!"

"-and your cousins, the  Hasek-Davions, these must be answered.  we know, everyone knows!"  He stood up, clenching his fist, "My people, Victor.  What will you do for them?  Your own Elizabeth Ngo famously said without justice, there is no peace.  I want these raids to stop, I want the perpetrators brought to justice, I want what every man who has ever been responsible to his people desires.  we need the ability to protect our selves.  I see the Free Worlds building warships, I see new warships coming from yards in the Federated Suns, I even see new warships serving in the Concordat and the Magistracy-our yard..."

"Was raided by someone, recently." Victor filled in.

"Yes. Ten thousand of my people died." Sun Tzu stated, "I can't help thinking we are being kept weak while our neighbours grow stronger."

Victor knew, it was taking a lot for the young Chancellor to speak this way.  to admit weakness, to admit need openly, even in a closed meeting like this one, was a terrible loss of public dignity, of 'face'.

He wouldn't do this if he didn't have a real need. was Victor's first urge, followed by he will never accept an SLDF garrison with foreign troops-it would destroy the Confederation to need that level of outside help...or to be seen needing it.

"Give me everything you have on the attackers." Victor said, "And I need the rest of the council to please clear this room?  Primus Mori, you should stay."

Candace Allard Liao, Sun-Tzu's aunt, remained seated for a moment.  Victor looked her in the eye.  "Sorry, but you as well, Milady Candace."

she rose to her feet and followed everyone else out.

"I'm going to help you, Sun-Tzu." Victor told him, "Because you're right, and because you're smart and because the alternative is dealing with your sister after she's deposed you and Kali is blitz-raging nuts like your mother."

Sun Tzu laughed faintly and nodded.  "She is.  you're well informed."

"I don't have to be THAT well informed, remember Outreach four years ago?"  Victor said easily, "We're going to help you-but you have to do the tough part and take the credit."

Sun Tzu blinked in surprise, "Excuse me?"

"You have to take credit.  I know what kind of precarious position you're in back home-I deal with nobles too, only mine are kind of...dumber than yours,  less effective at killing their way up the ladder.  I need you to be successful and popular in the Confederation, and I kind of need you to have a strong international presence."

"Why?"

"Stability." Victor admitted.  "we can't afford another Succession War-we couldn't really afford the first four, but we really can't now."  Victor turned to the Communications Minister, "Red Phone." he said, "Put it on the big screen and I don't care if we're interrupting her during sex or sleep."

"Red Phone?" Sun Tzu asked

"When it's your turn in the chair, you'll treasure it." Victor told him, as the screen lit behind him.

a little girl's face loomed two meters high, catching both men by surprise.  "Amanda, get your mother please?" Victor said.

"Oh..." the girl stood up, "MOOOM!!!"

Elizabeth Ngo, in spattered overalls and a teeshirt came running from a room just out of view. 

"Oh holy shit, Victor? what??"

"Liz, this is business."  Victor told her, "How are you doing with the financial project?"

"Decent returns. If this is about the tax reform bill Kelli sent you-"

"It isn't...at least, not directly.  I need a financier, and an infrastructure company." Victor told her.

she peered into the screen on her end, and snorted,  "You want me to work with House Liao?"

"as a personal favor." Victor said.

"It's one hell of a favor, Victor, last time some of my people were there, Romano had them shot." she said grimly.

"My mother is...no longer in power." Sun Tzu said.

"You, or Kali?" Liz asked.

"I am the Chancellor."

she rested her chin on a paint-spattered hand, "Hm.  Victor said you're intelligent and sensible...Okay.  What can Ngo Industries help you build, Mister Chancellor? and do you need a catalogue update?"

"that easily?" Sun Tzu asked.

"You have to understand, Mister Chancellor-you're a referral client,  this is a business transaction, and Cappellan money is as good as anyone else's-or it will be, by the time  my people are done, because it means you'll let my people work in your realm without screwing them over, because Victor vouched you as intelligent and sensible.  We're going to put a big old supercharger on your economy, and the bleed off includes a bunch of stuff we don't normally export."

Sun Tzu realized she was reading a secondary screen.  "ANd I do need you to commit to something besides hard cash."

"What?"

"Purchase of a group of warships." Liz told him, "Not big ones, mind, they're pretty cheap to run and we build them here, because your total warship fleet as of this morning is zero, and that won't do.  You'll be getting one division of Cutters, that's one hundred and six vessels, plus support ships.  You provide the fighters and the crews, if you need training options, SLDF has a fine naval academy available right there on Earth, but that's an interim force.  by this time next year, you'll be able to build your own.  I'll let you lease-option the hulls, but you need them and i won't start putting up the infrastructure for shipyards until you've got a navy that's worth a ******, savvy?"



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Shadow_Wraith

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #32 on: 14 February 2020, 17:31:10 »
Whoa, Victor is having Liz help the CC?  Will the chancellor actually control his sister from messing with Ngo industry people working I  the CC?   Who will train his new Navy?  Who attacked the CC if it was not the Cylon, Marik or FC?   WOB?

Daryk

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #33 on: 14 February 2020, 17:32:50 »
My money is on WoB, yeah...

worktroll

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #34 on: 14 February 2020, 17:45:29 »
"Kid wants to fight, kid is old enough to pick up a rifle (or wrench), who am I to say they can't fight?"
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Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #35 on: 14 February 2020, 21:07:33 »
Production Order: Authorized

Down Payments made.

Sampan III/block H: 24 Units
Sampan III/Block CV: 24 Units
Sampan III/Block DD: 24 Units
Sampan III/Block DG: 24 Units
Sampan IV/block B: 24 units

Delivery Order: SLDF Priority Red

Destination: SLDF Base Sian, Cappellan Confederation

Vessels are to be shipped 'bare and clean', Customer to take possession at SLDF Base Sian

Estimated Time for production Run: 937 days total, Facility Boojum, Alarion, Winter, to dedicate 10 slots each in parallel production until vessels are ready to be shipped.

SLDF Liaison Personnel from Cappellan Confederation to conduct acceptance inspections at each major stage of production per customer agreement and SLDF regulations.

Delivery dates:

First 30 vessels to deliver in six months, subsequent vessels to be delivered on a six month rate until january, 3066, after which rate increase to 3 month rate by July of 3066, with a final production increase to 1 month rate until contract completion.
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Daryk

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #36 on: 14 February 2020, 21:09:21 »
The Capellans are going to need more political officers...  ^-^

JA Baker

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #37 on: 14 February 2020, 21:14:01 »
106 Cutters is certainly enough for basic security and interdiction patrols, as well as training up crews for larger ships (so long as they remember to keep a core of experienced officers and NCO's back to do the training).
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Daryk

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #38 on: 14 February 2020, 21:19:45 »
And the political officers will be necessary to keep them all in line...

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #39 on: 14 February 2020, 21:50:28 »
And the political officers will be necessary to keep them all in line...

And those political officers will need their own political officers to watch them...  ::)

Daryk

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #40 on: 14 February 2020, 21:56:47 »
True, true...  ::)

richard3116

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #41 on: 15 February 2020, 00:06:44 »
Production Order: Authorized

Sampan III/block H: 24 Units
Sampan III/Block CV: 24 Units
Sampan III/Block DD: 24 Units
Sampan III/Block DG: 24 Units
Sampan IV/block B: 24 units

What are the differences between the various blocks and what upgrade is planned for the Sampan IV?

PS Really enjoying the story, keep up the great work. :thumbsup:

glitterboy2098

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #42 on: 15 February 2020, 00:32:09 »
well i'd guess that "CV" is configured as a fighter carrier.

croaker

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #43 on: 15 February 2020, 02:55:01 »
Random guessing, "DD" is "dual-drive", and "DG" is probably got a much heavier missile armament than normal.

drakensis

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #44 on: 15 February 2020, 03:02:03 »
Within a week of those cutters going operational, probably with Coast Guard trainers crammed in alongside a Capellan crew, these raiders are going to start having bright and sunny days.
"It's national writing month, not national writing week and a half you jerk" - Consequences, 9th November 2018

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #45 on: 15 February 2020, 07:46:19 »
New Syrtis, Federated Suns

George Hasek had one job: Keep the damned Cappies contained.  That job's just gotten a lot harder, and it got harder for two reasons.

One, because Victor's let this 'first lord' thing go to his head in exactly the wrong way, authorizing technology transfers to House Liao that should have been kept firmly in Federated Commonwealth hands.

The second reason was sitting on his desk this morning.  834 pages of legalese, signed by the Chancellor of the Cappellan Confederation.

a contract for infrastructure, signed with the First Lord's personal psychopath over on the far side of the Inner Sphere.  Ngo Industries was opening a branch office on Sian.

It was enough to make a man question loyalties.  George was more incensed with each page of the contract. The Cappies had survived through the succession wars on the basis of how industrialized they'd been at the start-this was, taken as a whole, an aid package that would reindustrialize them, and put their economy into overdrive.

George had no love for the Lyran Duchess.  She'd murdered a couple of patriots when she took over her world after a show trial, and done the same a bit later, claiming corruption in both cases, employed strike teams to quell dissident forces, and overturned members of the peerage throughout her March (They call 'em Theaters over there. gotta remember that. he corrected himself).  The woman openly consorted with alien robots and married a Clanner...

and he admitted, at least to himself, she was an economic genius who'd turned what was already a profitable business into a corporate empire that even encroached on his own region, bringing jobs and prosperity.

But now she's going to do it for the enemy!

He'd had to move Subtly-giving funds and supplying equipment to groups like Free Cappella, trading intel and equipment to the Tortuga dominions and making deals with Andurien to keep the Liao threat in check.

all of that was going to be for nothing pretty damned soon if something wasn't done.

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Daryk

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #46 on: 15 February 2020, 08:23:00 »
George apparently isn't up on the cylon problem...

JA Baker

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #47 on: 15 February 2020, 09:15:39 »
Wait, when/how did Morgan die?
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #48 on: 15 February 2020, 10:06:23 »
Wait, when/how did Morgan die?

In order to keep his position as Commanding General, SLDF, Morgan had to drop something.  (Focht, bless him, got old and is enjoying semi-retirement)
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JA Baker

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #49 on: 15 February 2020, 10:28:37 »
In order to keep his position as Commanding General, SLDF, Morgan had to drop something.  (Focht, bless him, got old and is enjoying semi-retirement)
Then he needs to take a leave of absence, go home and talk to junior before Liz does
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Daryk

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #50 on: 15 February 2020, 11:11:19 »
That, or he'll have to take leave to go home for a funeral...

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #51 on: 15 February 2020, 11:35:44 »
Star League Defense Force HQ, Luna...

"...medical confirmation, Victor."  Morgan Hasek-Davion looked fatigued,  "There were a number of underage personnel in the New Circe operation.  It's a serious misstep, and I can't find a single reason not to press an investigation."

"Which units again?"

"The Kowloon Brigade." Morgan said, "They've identified forty so far from the armored brigade, kids, Victor, and our records are showing some disturbing trends, bad record keeping maybe, maybe intent-if it's bad record keeping, that's breaking her usual pattern.  This needs to be addressed."

"What's your recommendation, Morgan?"

General of the Armies (Star League) Morgan Hasek-Davion sighed, "She likes audits.  Run an audit on Kowloon's miitary induction and training complex, something independent, with a parallel investigation into the possibility that it's not an error, but intent.  In the meantime, a good twenty seven of those kids who survived the battle on New Circe can be put on suspended duty and we can let the Wolverines handle them their way, there's  no families waiting on those kids back home,and early discharges of people in that situation tend to result in releasing dangerously unstable criminals with high-end deadly skills on an unsuspecting public."

Victor looked troubled, "Who do we send?"

"I'm thinking it should be multinational.  draw from New Circe, the FedCom, and the Free Worlds league for personnel to run the investigations. I would've suggested St. Ives but Sun Tzu seems to be reconciling with Candace and Liz has hooks in there with this latest trade deal."

"Make it so, Morgan, you draft the order and I'll approve it."  Victor agreed.
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Shadow_Wraith

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #52 on: 15 February 2020, 12:08:09 »
Nice story update!  So a multinational team will investigate Kowloon's practice of accepting Volunteers for military service?  That should prove an interesting results.   So George Hasek sounds like he needs to have a trip to New Circe or the other planets assaulted by the Cylon Imperium to see the bigger threat.   Oh can he possibly ever meet Liz and have a one to one talk on his take about the re-industrialization of the CC?

I wonder if the AFFC has done its own audit of its forces for its readiness compared to the Kowloon CG and militia?


Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #53 on: 15 February 2020, 12:10:25 »
New Circe...

most of them were out of bandages, at least.  Private Nghien was playing backgammon with an Arlunan recruit named Livsey Howell while the Falcone brothers, (Eric and Liam) were taking turns trying to flirt with the Gurdebrand sisters.

The Gurdebrand sisters...they were identical once.  it's easy to tell Bianh from Briah now, Bianh's left arm ends at the elbow, and while reconstructive surgery and skin grafts are better here, than nearly anywhere else in human space, Briah's face still has that 'half melted' look from being mid-process on the series of therapies and surgeries she was still facing.

Not that the Falcone brothers, (also twins-from Hue) were any better off.  Eric was waiting on vat-clone eyes and his face had the same off-tone sheen of mid-process replacement skin.  Liam could have been tall, if his legs didn't end at the knees.

The rest of the dayroom was likewise populated, mostly younger, lower-ranked personnel, all from Kowloon, Winter, or Arluna.  Most were from the Army contingent, and every one of them was being kept here due to 'records issues'.

But at least, this isn't Floor Seven.  That's where the real basket-cases are.  The in-patient psych ward with the locked doors and thirty one flavors of mood elevators, where they take your belt and boot-laces away and put you in a paper jumpsuit and a padded room.

Or so the rumors go.

"Dude, we've been here for months. what's going on?"  Jian Robers was a field mechanic with Bravo company before most of Bravo ceased to exist.

"I'm gonna guess...we're not recovered?" Chao suggested, "I mean, shit they found cancer in me, so it's being treated, everyone else is NMC in one way or another, but we're still getting pay vouchers, right? so just relax?"

"Relax?  Look, I don't know about you, but this seems kinda weird, nobody on our floor is over E-3 except the Corpsman, and some of the psych evals are...they're familiar."

"huh?"

"School counselor shit." she said firmly,  "And the tests?"

"They have to make sure we're keeping our marbles or didn't lose any." he suggested, "I don't know about you, but I took a couple hits hard enough to break my helmet."

"Don't be stupid, okay?  Just don't." she said, "I know your secret."

"What secret?"

"Same one everyone else on the floor has...including me." she said, "You're not from Ia Drang, I'm not from Arluna.  you speak with the same dialect I do, we're both out of New Saigon, and I bet your birth certificate is phoney too."

"What?"

"If you're eighteen, why are you still growing?" she asked.

"I could ask you the same question but I though the food was-"

"If you say 'making me fat' I'm gonna hit you." she said, "Yeah, I've gone up half a cup size.  point is, they're onto that.  we're caught, and now the brass are arguing about what to do with a brat-pack of teenagers who lied their way into a uniform...except the Falcone brothers, they had legal exemption thanks to being tinspawns from the Hue Creche."

"what do you think's gonna happen?"

she shrugged, "I don't know, man.  They dig into my records and they'll find my parents pretty easy-Dad's doing life at Blackgate and Mom's kinda cycling from one rehab program to the next between binges...if she ain't OD yet. It's not like they can send me 'home' when there's no home to go back to."

"harsh." He said, "I've got a home to go to...kinda."

"I think we should give 'em what they're asking for.  Tell 'em the truth." she said.

"You gonna do that?"

she nodded, "yeah. Cop to it, the punishment's gonna be lighter than if they find out the dirty details on their own."
« Last Edit: 15 February 2020, 12:12:43 by Cannonshop »
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Daryk

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #54 on: 15 February 2020, 12:37:21 »
Yep... lied their way into uniform.  But that's not going to excuse the lack of checking done by Kowloon...

qc mech3

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #55 on: 15 February 2020, 13:05:08 »
Frankly, that problem was understandable in the original timeline with the Jihad and plague going but it's bad when you're effectively in a cold war (until now) and you're building up your forces. Even the Falcons use Eyrie Clusters for underage cadets and try to keep them out of trouble most of the time.

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #56 on: 15 February 2020, 16:17:28 »
Security Interview Room 213, McEvedy City Medical Center, New Circe...

"State your name for the record please?"

"I was born David Lin Chao, on the second of April, Thirty Forty Seven, in the city of New Saigon on Kowloon."

"That's not what's on your records."

"No sir, it isn't.  I used my older brother's birth certificate to get through induction processing."

"Why?"

"because he doesn't need it anymore, sir."

"Why doesn't he need it?"

"Because he's dead, sir.  Dead people don't need birth certificates, my brother was...born in '41, and he was five, I think, when a Firestarter from the Militia barracks accidentally burned the daycare building outside of my father's workplace."

"So, if we use that name, the David name, what would we find?"

"well, a preteen juvenile record for shoplifting, a couple of arrests for vandalism, and I would guess a truly epic truancy report, sir.  after mom died, Dad kind of stopped noticing what I was doing.  he stopped paying bills, stopped going to work.  He found a Bluerock dealer in Downtown, and I did some lookouts for the dealer to help pay the rent until the Local P.D. broke up the ring and started arresting people.  I got home without being pinched by the lead-heels and found dad in the bathtub.  It kind of gave me a picture of my whole life, my whole future, sir, and I realized I didn't want any part of that.  I wasn't the best student in school, so there was no chance of getting into the Residential program the Coasties run, but I had David's birth certificate, and a little experience slicing console games...so I forged the prints and DNA profile, and went down to the Militia Recruiter.  The Regency era records aren't exactly what you'd call complete, it wasn't hard to get past that since I could pass the aptitude testing and physical stress measurement."

"The Residential Program?"

"Coast Guard Residential Academy at Giap Island, sir.  but it's The Coast Guard-they don't take you if you aren't the best, and I wasn't-I barely made it through Basic Training as it was, sir."

"you didn't even try, did you?"  another voice asked.

"No ma'am.  I'm not good enough, or smart enough. I figured i could ride my Dead Brother's identity into a life that's worth a shit, do my service, get out, get a straight job in the new economy, maybe some school."

"David, we would've taken you.  the lights came up, and he found himself face to face with Captain Nicole Minh, "Li would have been giddy to get you, you were smart enough to slice triple-locked 2 tetrabit data encoding and smooth enough to catch the junk-coding they use for anti-tampering verification, and you went off to be a dumb  grunt tanker?"

"I..I didn't think I was good enough." he said.

"Listen to me, Chao, You committed a couple of felonies here, and it's damned good you confessed to them...but I gotta wonder how many bright kids like you were so stupid that they pulled this kind of idiot stunt, and how badly they missed the mark back home in getting talented kids like you into the Giap Island program-I'm a Graduate of that system, diggit Private?  Here is what's going to happen...first, we're going to ****** your records and get AFFC and SLDF to credit your prior service as Honorable, then, I'm going to personally make sure your ass is on the first transport to the Coast Guard Academy at Spider moon, with your Corrected records and a Judicial Finding, because  you did commit a couple of felonies, but you did them for the right reasons and copped to them on your own instead of needing to be confronted...and all that, is assuming I can get you out of the New Circe social services system-otherwise,  you're going to be put in a residential Creche school here until age eighteen, when they'll either ask you to immigrate, or put you on the bus back to Kowloon as a civilian with a general discharge and maybe prison time."
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.

Daryk

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  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #57 on: 15 February 2020, 16:33:56 »
Heh... Victor has NO idea how he just boosted the Kowloon recruiting program...  ^-^

DOC_Agren

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #58 on: 15 February 2020, 16:34:30 »
1 ping only
"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: Teaser for a proposed...thing (Thread 2)
« Reply #59 on: 15 February 2020, 16:50:44 »
Interview: "Livsey Howell", records age 19, physical age 14...

"Have a seat, Private." at this rate, I may end up being 'mom' to twenty two kids whose parents are either dead or 'gone'.  "State your name for the record?"

"Livseh Howrell, Ma'am."  the girl's drawl checks out.  I spent enough time with Debra to pick up the regional accent of the Rocky Hills region.

"Your record states you're nineteen.  are you sure that's your name?"  the girl looks down-and-away.  caught you.  "Please don't lie or I'll have to use a polygraph and narco-interrogation.  What's your name?"

"Ginnie Livezey." she says.  something about the uniform, I think...

"And you're from..?"

"Hawwl cahnty."  Howell County.  jesus, this kid could be one of Debbie's neighbours.

"And when I run an identity search on 'Virginia Livsey'?"

"mah pa is servin' life s'ntnce et Blackgate." she tells me, "He'us with Free Skye an' got caught."

"And your mother?"

"She dead, Ma'am."

"I see.  Let me speculate...speculation done.  what the ****** major malfunction you gots girl?"  I'm doing my best 'Debbie Mac' impersonation.  I think I have the drawl almost right, but what I'm shooting for is the tone she uses when she's bitching out her hired men for mistakes.

it works, she flinches.  "What's naow?" she asks.

"Now, we're going to have to get your records fixed.  You got some of those burns pulling comrades out of a burning tank, so I think once we've fixed your record, you won't be getting a bad conduct discharge, but you're fourteen years old."

"Almos' fi'teen."

"Yeah, whatever.  what the ****** possessed you to join the army, huh?"

the girl blinks in surprise.  I got the tone right-it's dawning on her she had other choices. other options.  I reach into my briefcase, and pull out a stack of forms.  "This, is another version of the Armed Forces Aptitude and placement battery.  THIS..." I reach into my pocket, and pull out a pen.  "This is a pen, ink, trackball.  You're going to begin this test in two minutes.  when you reach the point in the test that says 'stop' you will stop.  each section is timed."

"What fo'?"

"because I outrank you and told you to take the test, you joined the military, this is something you should understand...begin."  she obeys pretty well.  as she finishes each test, I hand them to CPO Graham to grade.  The kid stumbles in a few sections, but tries guesses where she doesn't know the answers or isn't sure.  I notice she uses long division and handwritten equations to work around some of the pre-academy advanced placement materials, and some of her guesses in the history section are hilariously wrong.

she reaches the end of her stack after four hours.

"Well, Graham?"

"Grade nine equivalency in maths, grade eight in science, collegiate level reading ability." he states, "I'd say she's upper seventy percent when you discount the culturally biased questions." love Chief Graham-not that way, he's married for christ's sake.  I mean I love how he can evaluate logically and how he's a total bureaucrat right down to his shriveled black heart.

"I'm going to offer you a choice, Private.  Behind door number one, is a General discharge followed by transfer to a Residential School until age eighteen, at which point, you will have three years left on your Commonwealth mandated five years of active service, you will have access to your veteran's benefits, but you will be required to serve three years minimum in a non-military public service position, and that General Discharge will follow you like a boat anchor on into the rest of your life.  Door Number two, is you apply for Residency status to the Colonial City State or to New Circe, I have both applications in my bag here, they'll place you with a foster family, you'll still have national service to do, but General McEvedy has assured me your prior service will be accounted for in both assignment, and promotion points in the local reserves.  Behind Door number three, is a ticket to the Giap Island Residential School, followed by a mandatory ten years service in the Coast Guard, under your real name, with access to Coast Guard Judge Advocates to maybe get your poppa out of prison before he dies of old age.  that last one is only a 'maybe', but it is something we can investigate."

"Do ah hefta decide now?" she asks.

"No. You can take your time, the next transport back to the Inner Sphere isn't leaving until April.  there is only one thing you CAN be sure of: You will be discharged, you're not going to be in the army anymore, regardless, and AFFC won't take you because of the felony...but the Coast Guard will. and Giap island clears your record of the black mark, so does joining New Circe.  YOU need to make that choice."

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.