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BattleTech Player Boards => Fan Fiction => Topic started by: Cannonshop on 15 March 2020, 19:43:03

Title: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 15 March 2020, 19:43:03
3142 CE, Kowloon, Coventry Province, Lyran Commonwealth...

"No."  Her Grace and Duchess Sharon Ngo  let the word float in the room. 

"Duchess Ngo, your grace, you are obligated to."  General Ilse Krieger insisted.

"Surprisingly, no, I am not."  the young Duchess, successor to Amanda Ngo, who fell victim to an assassination not ten days ago, shook her head.  "I am obligated only to my world, and the terms of the Annexation Treaty of 2782.  I can quote the relevant passages if you need a refresher, General.  Kowloon has sent Fifty Percent of our standing Militias to the aid of the Lyran Commonwealth over the course of this emergency, including all battlemech forces currently extant.  We have tolerated the garrison of mercenary units on our soil, however, I am not Richard Cameron."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means I will not bleed my people dry and accept foreigners as replacements until we're under the thumb of a foreign appointed governor, General.  Those mercs can find work elsewhere, perhaps on the front lines of the current conflict.  Mercenaries are bought soldiers, they serve under contract, if Brewer can't negotiate a contract to use those bought soldiers on the front, they are worthless, and I will not have worthless soldiers making trouble in my territory, I will also not bleed my people's defenses to the point those soldiers appear more valuable than they are, especially under the command of a man whose chief value as a military commander is the presence of a Y chromosome."

"You do understand, I must place you under arrest." the General told her.

"I understand you must try." she told him, "one of us isn't going to walk out of here, because I am obligated to refuse to allow myself to be arrested by an officer acting on behalf of an illegitimate Archon."

his guards moved, she was faster.

Krieger watched it in slow motion, as Sharon drew her pistol, while rolling to the side, her first shots were placed on his men as if she were standing stationary on a target range.

Blam! a man fell

Blam! another.

Blam! a third, clutching at his throat as his lifeblood flooded into his lungs.

Blam! a fourth, her TK-22 assault rifle spraying the far side of the chamber.

Blam! his aide, Hauptmann Grief's, head opened at the back, spraying blood and brains across the map on the wall.

Two more of the general's bodyguards slumped, knives buried into the backs of their skulls by Her Grace's men.

He barely had his sidearm clear of the holster as a cold, smooth blade lay against his throat.  "Down weapons, herr general."  a man's voice said reasonably as the Duchess got to her feet, and re-filled the cylinder of her primitive looking magnum revolver.

"This is rebellion." Krieger said.

"No, this is rule of law.  a soldier is obligated not to obey any unlawful order.  as the Usurper Brewer is not the legitimate nor legal Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth, I am obligated to refuse to support him-or the cabal that put him in charge, and in such cases, lethal force is permitted when reason fails."  she placed the sidearm back in her cross-draw holster, "You are under arrest, Herr General, bound by law, for crimes against the legitimate government of the Lyran Commonwealth and conspiracy to commit additional crimes.  You have the right to remain silent, you have the right to competent legal counsel, you have the right to a fair and unbiased hearing of tribunal.  do you understand those rights as I have explained them?"
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 15 March 2020, 20:53:17
More Kowloon!  :excited:
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Dave Talley on 16 March 2020, 02:59:22
more Loonies!!!
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sharpnel on 16 March 2020, 03:18:21
Death to the Usurper! Amaris? Brewer? The only thing that matters is the situation. The name matters not.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 16 March 2020, 08:00:29
Kowloon... Kowloon never changes...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 16 March 2020, 11:59:37
Kowloon... Kowloon never changes...

And people keep sticking important bits of themselves into that system thinking "It will be different this time/for me!"
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sir Chaos on 16 March 2020, 12:14:21
And people keep sticking important bits of themselves into that system thinking "It will be different this time/for me!"

I´m pretty sure that at this time anyone who gets killed by a Ngo like that is legally considered a suicide.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 16 March 2020, 12:47:26
I´m pretty sure that at this time anyone who gets killed by a Ngo like that is legally considered a suicide.
I wouldn't be surprised if "Ngo" is one of the tickable boxes on a Lyran death Certificate
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: wolfcannon on 16 March 2020, 13:08:22
lol 😂
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 16 March 2020, 14:33:20
I wouldn't be surprised if "Ngo" is one of the tickable boxes on a Lyran death Certificate

When the Corner fills out the electronic forms, when he selects "Suicide" that is an option listed under the 'method' field.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 16 March 2020, 16:16:17
"Okay, all done. I called Command. They wanted me to pass along condolences at the General's passing."
"What did you tell them?"
"I told them Liz did it. Apparently they already have a shortcut on their keyboard for reporting her team kills."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 16 March 2020, 17:40:46
"Okay, all done. I called Command. They wanted me to pass along condolences at the General's passing."
"What did you tell them?"
"I told them Liz did it. Apparently they already have a shortcut on their keyboard for reporting her team kills."
CTL+ALT+N
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 16 March 2020, 18:50:34
CTL+ALT+N
Pure WIN!  :D
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: DOC_Agren on 16 March 2020, 19:35:49
And people keep sticking important bits of themselves into that system thinking "It will be different this time/for me!"
It will be..    this time I will land and not be jerk and try to take over
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 22 March 2020, 19:38:07
Spider Moon Coast Guard Base, Kowloon system...

"Don't you think we should do something, your Grace?"  Commodore Giao Pham asked.  "The Commonwealth is being overrun."

"We are doing something." Sharon said, "We're keeping the quarantine up." she looked at her Coast Guard commander, "We're keeping the virus from killing the rest of humanity until a cure can be found."

"Do you believe in a cure?" Giao asked, "After decades, you still believe?"

"I have to." Sharon stated.  "How bad are losses in the Guard?"

"This month? we're below recruiting levels.  The psychological treatment programs are helping with force retention, suicide rates are about the lowest I've seen since the Jihad."

"That...that's good, that's real good. is the suspect on station yet?"

"Your mother's assassin is in custody and yes, he's here."  Pham noted.

"and his backup?" Sharon asked.  "Tell me you caught his backup."

"Didn't catch. Killed himself before we could, but OCB has traced the communications line."

"who commissioned it?" Sharon asked.

"Pretty sure the order originated somewhere in the Republic, Your Grace.  The best our analysts can estimate, the Republic found out about the renewed building program at the yards here-we've caught a few sabotuers trying to infiltrate the construction yards with Metis Coalition passports."

"Dirtyfeet?" Sharon asked.

"Yeah, Dirtyfeet with Belter credentials that didn't tie to any of the Belt families, the cred slipped through Loki and Lohengrin pretty easily, but didn't check out when our people took a look."  Pham told her, "What's the play?"

"Disappear the sabotuers, don't rock the boat." Sharon instructed, "The Republic turned turtle and any diplomatic flap's going to be a mess regardless, I'm going to wager that Stone was smarter than to give or leave that order, and same with Victor.  WE don't know who in the Republic actually gave the order, and it was probably compartmentalized so well that whoever's in charge over there now, did not and does not know it was given, so can't countermand it, doubly so with their going armadillo and cutting off external contact."

"How do you want to...'disappear' the saboteurs?"

"I don't care.  find somewhere to dump them where they can't phone home for instructions, kill 'em if you want, whatever." Sharon waved carelessly, "just keep them out of our business and out of the way.  we've got more important issues than starting or continuing a long-range war with people who've gone armadillo."

"The Assassin then?"

"find out everything he knows, and Commandant's discretion what you do with what's left, as long as he's not going to try again." Sharon stated, "I don't see any pressing national priority in escalating things while the Nation is getting its collective ass handed to it by the Clans. we have ONE war, and one front, and that front is spherical, with consequences for the entire human race.  that in mind, I see no reason to start a series of additional, optional wars while we're in an existential war in the now."



Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 22 March 2020, 21:56:28
Sharon has her priorities right, at least...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 23 March 2020, 12:27:31
Nha Tranh...

Sharon closed the commlink to the Spider Moon naval base, and turned to face her visitor.   "What have you brought for me, Benedict?"

her visitor gasped a little under the excessive gravity.  "You'll...love this..." he slid a chip into a reader.

Schematics appeared, along with text.

"Terraforming gear?"  Sharon asked.

"Yes.  systems that haven't been in production since the fall of the Star League-systems they didn't even finish developing before the Amaris Coup, Duchess."

she clasped her hands and bowed to him, "I thank 'ee, Sov Benedict."  she said, "What did you lose to bring this to Kowloon?"

"We've lost much, Duchess." he said, "Stone's suppression of the Metis Coalition, the Republic's conquest of the Belts...we lost much, but not to bring this to you.  This is our revenge.  The Library, use it!"

"I will."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 23 March 2020, 13:11:24
...a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 23 March 2020, 15:46:08
From the diary of Sharon Ngo, January, 3143...

There are other options.  Having examined surveys of the Clan Homeworlds, including the Pentagon cluster, I've come to the conclusion that Kerensky must have looted the prototypes for a whole second generation of terraforming equipment, and used it.

At some point, they must have forgotten they had it, or the fighting in the Pentagon must have destroyed most of it-along with the knowledge of how to repair it.   Seems to me, they took the prototypes and the operations manuals, but didn't bother with the manufacturing plans.

I've chosen a testing site in the 'gap' between Arluna and Kowloon.  a G2V star with rocky bodies, one of which is in the life-zone, but lacks the means to support complex life-a dead rock, in other words, or a proto-earth.  Coast Guard surveys suggest it's ideal for running our test batch.

The files included some advanced information, including genetic templates and designs for nanoscale assemblers needed to construct the necessary DNA for our biome project.  Grandmother would be proud, and Mom would be concerned.  I'm going forward with this with my eyes open, I am determined.   Regardless of how things shake out in this new age of wars, there needs to be some kind of reserve.  We can't maintain the quarantine indefinetly, but we can maintain it long enough to provide some kind of haven for the survivors.

I know why this information was suppressed.  While we intend this project to provide safe worlds, or to restore worlds ravaged to destruction by the endless parade of succession wars and equipment failures, it wouldn't be hard to convert this technology into a devastating weapon.

Mother would be horrified.  I'm not.  The Mongols have proven Grandmother was correct-the Clans, disabused of their false noble notions, are destructive lunatics, their culture a particularly sick form of tyranny, and the divisive nature of our Houses gives them room to fester and breed.  The Clan Occupation Zones were stripped of all useful materials in less than two generations. just as they did with their homeworlds, they are the locusts, and sooner or later, they will come for us again.

when they do, when my grandfather's people come for us, we will have to be prepared to fight to annihilation.

I will be.  My people will be, and we will triumph.

Sharon.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 23 March 2020, 17:11:43
the Clans, disabused of their false noble notions, are destructive lunatics, their culture a particularly sick form of tyranny, and the divisive nature of our Houses gives them room to fester and breed.

**** yeah - that is BattleTech!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 23 March 2020, 18:06:44
Genesis torpedo?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 23 March 2020, 19:03:56
*snip*
I will be.  My people will be, and we will triumph.

Sharon.
I LIKE this Ngo... a LOT...  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 23 March 2020, 21:07:02
Genesis torpedo?

Without the Protomatter, so they aren't doing this in six minutes.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: DOC_Agren on 24 March 2020, 22:01:46
...a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Especially in a Ngo hands
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 March 2020, 02:12:46
KCGS Edward Vanh, uninhabited system, Quarantine Zone, July, 3142...

The cutter was an old, possibly ancient design, resurrected thanks to the peculiar conditions necessary in the Quarantine.  By necessity, the jump drive shared more in common with the Aquila class, or with much later, proper, warship drives capable of a fifteen light year radius by itself.

of course, the clever boys and girls at the Boojum yards had managed to fit an LF battery capacitor to it, allowing for a second, fifteen light year jump. By even the 'modern' standards of the succession wars, the interstellar capabilities were horrifically primitive and deeply limited. 

but that was, as much as anything, an asset for the Coast Guard's mission now...or their missions, really.  The size of the Q-zone around Arluna and Kowloon was large enough to make good men nervous, and enforcement was a one-way trip for outsiders from the rest of the Inner Sphere.

It was even worse for the Clans, should they stray in here.  The Flu was a contagious death sentence, but keeping the vultures and scavengers away and limiting the spread requires a force capable of enforcing the quarantine.

That force, the Kowloon Coast Guard, needed interstellar capability within the zone, that was limited enough to be, if necessary, halted by outside naval forces-a quarantine ship could, in theory, breach deep into the surrounding realms before being caught, but a ship with a 'short legs' could not go far with an infected crew, if they could not exceed a short duration jump on their own.

Thus, while everyone lied to each other about rebuilding naval yards outside the zone, even Devlin Stone and his successors were willing to permit the survivors in the zone to police themselves with ships capable of carrying capital weapons and advanced sensors between star systems.

and the Cutters are small.

Commander Caroline Nghien-562 could muse on this, or she could focus on the mission.

"Survey?"

"No signs of current human habitation, mum."  Chief Petty Officer Jensen-Diehls Smitson-221 reported.  The Weapons System Monitor's position on a Coast Guard vessel often fills the role of Science Officer, when it isn't filled by an RTO or 'Arto' with a four year degree.  "Spectrum looks good, Mission Specialist?"

Mission Specialist is a rating for a senior Warrant officer in actual sciences.  Frank 'Frankenstein' Falcone-Hue 003's ancestors were Deserters-followers of Kerensky, his line ran through the Clans and if he weren't a superb engineer and scientist in his own right, his shipmates would never accept him thanks to that Clan Heritage-Kowloon's Falcons were dirtyfeet, and this crew were mostly Rockjacks.

"Atmosphere is majority Carbon Dioxide and Nitrous Oxide, there's an acidic ocean, concentrated greenhouse gasses, but the cover is thin enough and the planet's distant enough that while the core is active, it's not Venus active, I think this one's going to be a good choice for the test, Mum."

"Finish compiling your reports, this is the fourth probable candidate in as many months"  Caroline said, "Gonna be sad when this work is done though-this has been the best six months in the last ten years, and I don't look forward to Q-pat or Cloud SAR work again."

"Mum, I'm picking up something."  Vien Van Trau was the other dirtyfoot on the command deck, a fisherman's son from New Saigon, he'd worked his way from a River Patrol to Deep Ocean in the Submarine service, out into the Black, an E-6 NCO and thus, Radioman First Class who probably should have been frocked to warrant-and would have been, had he so desired. 

"What have you got?"

"Wireless band pulses, one...three...five....seven...eleven...thirteen...Seventeen...prime numbers, Mum." 

"If there's a transmitter in the system we can't use it!" Falcone insisted.

"I know.  Can you isolate a location? nobody should be here, nobody should even by flying here." Caroline ordered.

"big ears deploying..."  two shuttle craft with tuned recievers-used for triangulating signals during search and rescue, deployed, linking their direction finders to the Cutter's main array in order to seek out the signal and create a 'pyramidal' position fix.

"Got it.  Fourth planet, right behind our candidate."

"What's the read on planet Four?"

"big Mars, mum, there could be an illegal settlement there-"

"reel the boats in, we're going to need to seek this out."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 25 March 2020, 04:17:43
I wonder who that could be...  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 26 March 2020, 03:21:26
Sander-Witherspoon Trung pinnace Evaline, Rockpile belt, Arluna system...

"Haws essays ping return aye?"  Kiel Witherspoon asked.

"Biggun, maybe big as the Sithers strike last century out th' Booh-jam, returnin' plat, sillicah, Ho-two-etch and Gey, spect'ra off'n th' Scale."  Eliza Witherspoon answered.  "Big strike alrighty, could be fortunes here right enough.  Trung, what's you gon' buy with your shares?"

Dean Trung shook his head, "I am not counting my Kroner yet, we still have to bag and crack that rock before we can start talking how rich we're going to get."

"Oh Frowny!"

"Sorry, to vent your party, Eliza, but I'm not sure the capture nets' going to hold, we might need to bring in a partner to handle this one."  He finished adjusting their angle, and watched the scopes.  "If that happens, we might have to fight to keep the claim, and that's assuming the lidar and radar returns actually resemble what we're going to find when we drill into it for the charges."

"Murphyist!"

"Realist.  You two ready make your walk, because I've matched velocity and vector and it's only a hundred meters out."

"Rahjah det. airlock closing now."

the outer door opened, and they got their first in-person look.

"Mierda!! close the hatch!"

the object lit up.

and then, it lit the pinnace up. 

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 26 March 2020, 03:45:18
In the ARLUNA system??  That's not good...  :-\
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 26 March 2020, 15:27:10
anyone else finding it difficult to figure out which continuity this story belongs to? standard loonieverse or huntedtribes?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: qc mech3 on 26 March 2020, 16:59:30
I would say standardwith the Arluna Flu. In this 'Verse, no loonie got to Circe alive.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 26 March 2020, 17:22:18
Concur.  Only Cannonshop can say for sure, of course...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 27 March 2020, 01:45:50
ACGS Sharlane, Sampan block 2 jump vessel, 1st Patrol, Arluna Coast Guard, a...few days later.

"...small prospector's pinnace, registry is to a three man partnership operating from Gordo's second moon." Warrant officer Lisa Monroe's recital was for the crime scene notes.  "We have two bodies in the ventral airlock, cause of death is pretty obvious, but we'll need to run autopsies to be certain.  the crew compartment isn't pressurized, hydraulics on the inner door are down.  Peralta, need a hand here."

"Aye chief."  Crew Apprentice Hector Peralta was from Ciudad Madrid down in the well.  Lisa didn't hold it against him, his superior physique was useful for these jobs, even if his mind was somewhat slower and he didn't have a proper Rockjack upbringing-the boy was learning, at least.

"Set your feet here, and here, and activate your clamps...good man, now, apply the crowbar..." she instructed.

the blast-rated hatch vibrated in his hands as he levered it open, the residual hydraulic fluids in the closure cylinders making the task more difficult.

a stream of bubbles erupted from damaged lines, making a minature constellation in hard vacuum and an increased risk of obscured vision, but the hatch opened.

"Do you think anyone is here?" he asked.

"Don't know, hope so.  These light rigs don't have good data recorders-too much chance someone at a station would rip survey data for an unregistered claim." she said offhandedly, "Given the damage, I don't know if there's even a flight data recorder to recover, but she's sending an all channel emergency signal, so maybe someone was alive to activate the beacon."

Personal effects spun untethered among compartments broken open by the savagery of the attack.  she stopped, and examined an entry and an exit, mentally reconstructing the ballistics that caused it.

"What do you think, Chief?"

"Twenty milimeter armor piercing, maybe twenty five.  Starfighter grade weapons.  given the damage to the hull on the outside...not sure yet."  she led her apprentice down the central corridor to the flight deck.

a check on the monitor mounted to the flight deck door, showed pressure, but it also displayed lethal levels of carbon dioxide.  "well, there's press in the flight deck.  Let's set up a curtain and give it a knock before opening.  if the stick-jockey was smart, he has his hat, and is running his breather on recirculate through a scrubber."

"If he isn't?"

"Then let's hope he's lucky."

she found the panel for the emergency curtain, and drew it across, creating a thin, mylar sealed zone between the flight deck's door, and the rest of the ruined compartment.  "nice gear, this is Sithers-proper out of the Kowloon system." she noted, "good plastics, quality goods..."   that in place, she tried the inquiry port.

no response from inside the flight deck.   she punched in the stock override emergency codes, nothing.  she opened the panel, and found a slot in the chip-board where, like many Rockjacks, these prospectors had removed the override board for fear that a pirate might have the sequence, or hack the sequence.

she jumpered between two pin contacts on the control board, and her guess was rewarded, the flight deck hatch retracted, blowing hot gas that bulged the curtain-seal behind her.

there was a patch on the hull above the pilot's station, and dried spheres-blood, floated in a pattern over the body in the pilot's couch.

"Three for the coroner." she said unhappily.

The pilot's suit had a slap-patch, and the dead man's face was frozen in an open eyed grimace.

the ship's black box was undamaged.  she remembered to remove it, before ordering her apprentice to unstrap the body and bring it with.

She remembered to also grab the pinnace's active data storage chits, and the volatile memory modules from the flight deck computers.

"Petty Officer Mozhvec, send six marines EVA to start prepping this hulk for movement to impound, we'll have to get the crime scene techs on it, but it looks like she's going to be good for maybe alloy recycling."

"Aye Mum!"

If we're lucky, we'll get an eyedent on the bastards that killed these folks.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sharpnel on 27 March 2020, 01:53:18
Cylons or Colonials, if this story is set in that AU
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 27 March 2020, 17:31:18
MacAulliffe Farm...

Sheet tin and solar panels were replaced with carved granite and marble.  That said, the governing seat of Arluna was still called "MacAulliffe Farm", and the chamber for Arluna's elected assembly was still called 'The horse barn' or 'El Granaro de Caballrizas'.  But, there have been changes since Debra MacAulliffe unified forty enclaves of survivors and established a government in the wake of the death of a world.

A few things have changed.  Duke Pol Al Carrera-MacAullife had his mother's red hair and his father's features.  Like all Arlunans, he also had the plague mark-that pattern of darkened flesh around the eyes, nose, mouth, and neck.  It had been a scar on his parents, but that scar turned out to be inherited.

"What's our business for today, Liet?" his aide was from the Grantsville enclave, a half-bred half-clanner named Liet Falcone.  Liet's Arlunan genetics made her immune to the plague, and unlike her father, Jonas, she wasn't a carrier.

"Reports from the Arlunan Coast Guard, a review of reclamation efforts in the New Oxford opportunity zone, and a conversation with Her Grace the Duchess of Kowloon."  Liet said efficiently.  They stopped short of the Horse Barn, and looked at the plaques marking the graves of uncles he would never know-their graves were on the historical registry and the path between the Legislature and the Main House wound around the plague memorial and the graves.

"anything actually interesting?" he asked, his spanish clipped with a slight accent.

"Today is like yesterday." she sighed.

"Well, let us do the people's business while the Legislature is in session..."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 27 March 2020, 20:02:15
Out of curiosity, how much does this version borrow from the FGC?  Ie. did Niops send an expeditionary force to help keep peace, research the plague, run the local HPG, and help enforce the blockade of the system?

(Note, in the FGC, it was a company of Royal BattleMasters, a company of Nighthawk-equipped infantry backed by Cobra VTOLs, and associated research and technical staff, along with a Vincent Mk 39)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 27 March 2020, 23:17:29
Out of curiosity, how much does this version borrow from the FGC?  Ie. did Niops send an expeditionary force to help keep peace, research the plague, run the local HPG, and help enforce the blockade of the system?

(Note, in the FGC, it was a company of Royal BattleMasters, a company of Nighthawk-equipped infantry backed by Cobra VTOLs, and associated research and technical staff, along with a Vincent Mk 39)

Yes.  (Well, the NIOPS contribution yes.)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 28 March 2020, 00:13:37
Coast Guard Station Pol Nguyen...

Chief Bonnie Zeira of the Coast Guard Joint working group's OCB department drifted to the seat of her workstation.  "Let's see what you saw..."

she manipulated a series of relays, and the volatile memory modules went active.

"Run database comparision, known starship and dropship architecture, isolate anomalous returns."

The software was designed by Rockjacks and cousin personnel out by NIOPS for salvage work, then retasked by Coast Guard's Organized Crime Bureau.

results started showing up immediately based on what the slain pinnace's sensors had picked up during the incident.

"Map to visual reconstruction, extrapolate configuration."

a shape took form.

"now...that's interesting.  add suit-cam data in overlay, assemble probable points of commonality."

the shape sharpened.

"Very interesting...freeze simulation..." she enhanced an image from one of the miner's helmets.

she reached over, and tabbed a comm.  "Captain, we need to call a system wide alert."

"What?"

"I said, we need to call a system wide alert, this wasn't a claim-jump and we don't have a lot of time." she said calmly again.  "Protocol Alpha Three one three echo.  Charlie Foxtrot inbound."

"What did you find? why are you calling a war alert?"

"Because an enemy warship is in the system, estimate two hundred thousand tons, with stealth coatings, but she's at least a Corvette, sir, and present with hostile intent."

"Which Clan?"

"I don't know sir, but she's Clan built, her drives are showing their spectra, and she fired unprovoked on civilians."

"you'd better be right about this!"

Thunder ripped through the station modules before she could answer, and for the briefest of moments, she could see stars where the bulkhead had been...and then the superheated shockwave killed her.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: croaker on 28 March 2020, 01:38:35
Whoops.

It's interesting that she immediately assumes it's a Clan ship. It certainly seems to be, and they're the closest non-Lyran party to Kowloon with warships to toss around.... but they don't recognize the model....
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 28 March 2020, 03:33:46
clan built drives, but an unknown class with stealth systems? gotta be Society. especially since warship stealth armor isn't even a thing in canon. who else would be able to develop such tech?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 28 March 2020, 04:01:53
Society looking for a bioweapon? :shudder:
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 28 March 2020, 06:03:32
Spider Moon Coast Guard Station, Boojum 3, Kowloon system...

"...fifteen hours ago, the ACGS Anh Chao and the Guitierrez were able to get imagery of the attack from 4 light minutes out with their telescopic arrays, which they have kindly supplied to us."  Commodore Bianh Vu Dao said crisply.

"Do it.  whatever you're going to ask me, do it." Duchess Sharon Ngo said, "Blank check it, there's a ship loose in the quarantine, they're attacking, do whatever you think you have to do, just keep me informed."

"I want to activate second and third level reserves, Your Grace."  Bianh said carefully.

"what did I say? did I stutter? do whatever you think you need to, I want this bogey found, and I want him destroyed before he leaves the Q-line, if there are more, I want them splashed too, with survivors put in Isolation and interrogated."

"can we activate the mark Fives?" the Commodore asked.

"Yes.  what part of 'blank check' don't you get? these guys just walked in, they're putting the whole human race at risk, they're attacking first-responders and infrastructure necessary to maintain the quarantine.  Find them, kill their ship, and do it before they leave."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 28 March 2020, 06:32:30
Now THAT is the appropriate level of concern...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: epi on 28 March 2020, 06:40:34
Cannon, "the horse barn", in spanish is "las caballerizas".
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: mikecj on 29 March 2020, 15:40:17
Nuke em!
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sharpnel on 29 March 2020, 17:17:07
Nuke em!
till they glow
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 30 March 2020, 06:58:39
till they glow
Then shoot 'em in the dark. It's the Ngo way.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 31 March 2020, 03:01:24
KCGMS Ia Drang, Landmark(Sampan V) class light frigate, Boojum Shipyard...

The ship violated half a dozen treaties.  Not merely by existing-most of the Coast Guard's jump capable cutters violated treaties with the Republic of the Sphere, Free Worlds League, and Federated Suns merely by existing.  No, the 'Landmark' class vessels bent most of the arms limitation treaties signed by the Lyran Commonwealth over a barrel and defiled them without so much as a kiss or lubricant.  Two hundred thousand tons, a standard Compact Core, with decent to exceptional thrust for her mass and a war-load made from the distilled nightmares of post-Jihad military planners.

the 'landmark' or 'continental' class vessels were very nearly a declaration of defiance to Lyran laws and an outright repudiation of both the Militia Act, and the Marsden Statute of 3105...in addition, to being a gross violation of the Republic treaty, and the strategic arms limitation treaties of 3095, 3105, 3115, and 3125.  This was the thing Vedet Brewer wanted from Sharon Ngo.

Warships.

Warships, with experienced and trained crews.  outside of the Quarantine Zone, most of the LCN was once again comprised of dropships and part-time commissioned jumpships.  Some of those being 'pocket' assault dropships, it's true...but aside from two museums, there isn't a compact-core, LF-Battery equipped, highly maneuverable warship in the LCN arsenal, and hadn't been for a generation or more.  Even vessels with SIMILAR profiles aren't really present, and hadn't been for long enough that the last veteran officers who had experience in Lyran service with warships, are either retired, or dead of old age.

This, of course, does not include within the Quarantine.  the Coast Guard's Cutters have powerful maneuvering drives, heavy, even capital scale armament, and somewhat-compact KF cores.  The Coast Guard, thus, has a depth of experience not present in much of the outside universe.

"detaching gantry."  Lt. Lin Duk Sao announced, "engines are reaching operating temperature, fuel rate is steady."

"Pull us out of the gantry, Mister Sao."  Captain Emily Falcone ordered, "bring us to parade stance for flyby, RTO, request permission from the Post for clearance to depart."

"Clearance Granted, Mum.  we have a vector for departure overflight of Spider Moon Control."

"bring us on course and heading, helm, engineering, bring up the lights."

"Aye Mum."

along the flanks, the escorting patrols-Mark IV Sampan Cutters, fell into formation.  visible on screens in the CIC, as they passed the dockyard gantries, were the other four Landmark class vessels, ranging from bare-bones frames around the core, to nearly completed. 

"Let's shake her down."  their inaugural cruise wasn't a typical low-intensity patrol, however.  Ia Drang was on the hunt.  the trial would either prove the type, or show where it was weakest.

straight from the yards, to the front lines.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 31 March 2020, 04:03:52
It brings a tear to my eye...  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 31 March 2020, 23:57:07
Winter system-the Outies...

KCGS Kelli Whyte moved between Burrows.  In between tours on the Quarantine line, the Coast Guard managed emergency services for thousands of non-planetary settlements throughout the Q-zone.  These non-planetary settlements have had a period of explosive growth thanks to the need for materials, resources, jobs, and places for uninfected populations to congregate in safety.

These were also the economic backbone of the worlds they surrounded, providing the bulk of the Q-zone's export capital.  Upkeep for this, fell to the various system Coast Guards, but Kowloon's service was the backbone of the Coast Guard system, providing training resources, organizational support, and a model for administration.

"Incoming flash traffic, MCGS Hulo is reporting a rogue sensor contact at sixteen thousand kilometers from their position.  Could be the Claim jumpers we were looking for."  RTO Sistra Falcone-Hue 211 said.  Sistra had her paternal family's Clan Aeropilot physique and the analytical mind that only comes from surviving the transition training from the Surface Fleet to the Black Fleet as an RTO or 'Radio Telephone Operator' rating-which in the Coast Guard is a role that includes everything from dataslicing to analyzing the results of scientific instrumentation. 

Commander Li Dan Thanh nodded.  "Nav, set coordinates to an intercept course with Hulo, weapons officers prep guns, where's the nearest transition point?"

"Five minutes away along course vector two-seven-zero by negative Z axis three zero degrees at one gravity, mum."

"set course and one-gee burn, warm up the drive."

"Aye Sirrah."

Even with a multi-system hunt on, day to day business had to be carried on.  the bogie that destroyed Nguyen Station in the Arluna belts hadn't been encountered since. The only solid leads, were evidence of six-hundred-milimeter cannon fire in the wreckage, and sensor logs indicating that the early  warning arrays had not been able to penetrate and predict the approach of that bogey.

but everyone was on the watch now.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 01 April 2020, 03:36:24
Winter Coast Guard Ship Hulo, Sampan Mk II...

Leutnant Jorge Osterrand looked a the sensor returns, "attenuate sensors another four megahertz and coordinate with our boats."

"Aye Mein Kapitan."  the enlisted man at the nav-set nodded, complying with the order.

the blank-spot on the screen sharpened into an actual shape, as the cutter's on-board computers processed sensor returns from the four small boats he'd set to a search pattern.

"Ninety meters length, near enough."  he said with satisfaction.  The spotting report had come from one of the rockjack mining groups-they'd picked up the thermal bloom and EM shout of an incoming jump signature and called it in when no drive plume had appeared.

"boat four, ping with active LIDAR, short pulse duration, two seconds, then shut it off and evasive away. on my mark."  he had a theory-They're confident in their stealthing, but if they think they've been seen, they will either fire or maneuver.

"Engineering, Helm, prepare for evasive action." he added.  "Boat Four, Mark!"

Boat Four's two-second burst revealed a squat, armored shape, with enormous engine housings, ninety meters from stem to stern, and thirty meters from dorsal to ventral, an octagonal prism shape studded with weapons blisters and a chisel-nosed shape.

The engines on the bogey fired, as predicted.

"Detecting missile launch!!"

"Torpedoes in the water, two...four...six...twelve...twenty four."

"Evasive manuevers helm!  Guns, bring up our point defense batteries and set a return shot bearings only, no seeker, mark!!"

He turned his head, as the ship accelerated hard, "RTO, send our sensor data to all nearby allied vessels."

"Jump point opening, Port!!"

the point-defense cannons were firing, the vibrations rattling the old cutter's entire length, a sound only heard inside as shells fed the exterior mounts.

"friends?"

"Friends!!"

contacts appeared in quick succession, following a five kilometer rock around the sun nearly ninety thousand kilometers away, transponders sounding across the void.

"Brace for impacts!"


Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 01 April 2020, 03:47:27
KCGS Kelli Whyte...

"I can't get a lock with active guidance, Sirrah!!"

a ****** nightmare.  "Increase gain and launch our fighters.  Gunnery station, can you knock some of those missiles down?"

"Aye, on it!!"

"Switch seekers from Radar homing to dead-launch.  RTO, do you see anything we can lock onto out there?"

"radiation and thermal from the drives.  those are Clan built engines, spectra Six Alpha on the standard scale, probably from the Homeworlds, sir."

"Tinspawns generally don't sneak around greasing people from stealth...Engineering, get a couple techs down to the missile magazine and reconfigure seeker heads to home on that drive plume!"

"Aye sir!"

"The drive plume, sir, those warheads won't survive if he keeps thrusting, and if he stops..."

"I'm aware, but it's something we can lock on to.  RTO, I want a continuous datafeed to Spider Moon's analysis department, as close to live as you can make it using the Black Box."

"Aye sirrah, working on it now."

"detecting high velocity dead contacts bearing on our course sir!"

"that would be naval autocannons, helm, evasion course, keep us closing, make us a difficult target."

"Aye sirrah!"

"Fighters away sir!"

"launch our pinnaces next, we need to triangulate on that big bastard before he goes dark again!"

"Missiles inbound, signature says Barracuda derived!"

"All hands brace, point defense guns at maximum dispersion."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 01 April 2020, 03:57:09
Talk about a cliff hanger!   :o
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 01 April 2020, 04:28:26
[out of story]

Alright Guys, time for another fine "Make your speculation!!"

I am looking for two things, throwing them out there for the designer types.

1)  Design a Clan Warship with Warship Stealth.   you've seen what it looks like from the eyes of Inner Sphere units-they can't get a radar lock on it but they CAN see the drive plume from the fusion engines.  Mass should be between 250K tons, and 450K tons. 
we know it has Missile armament and Naval Autcannons, but haven't seen energy weapons yet.  obviously, given the dirty nasty bastard tactics they're using, these are probably not Warrior Caste, or even mainstream Clanners, but Scientist Caste or Bandit Caste with advanced hardware of the "Clans do everything better than you" nature.

so get goofy with it.

2) Design for the Landmark/Continental class "Cutters" (think: well armed corvette/small destroyer).  These are proper warships with proper warship drives, built quite improperly in violation of a stack of treaties the Lyrans signed with the Republic and the remaining Clans (as well as the FWL and House Davion).  Generally speaking, the landmark class warships are built to patrol a volume of space roughly 60LY across in any given direction (relatively short range) and they're not meant to serve as invasion transports (no docking collar).  they have LF batteries, however, and a large fighter deck, with the Kowloonese tendency to carry a lot of missiles and use point-defense arrays.  Landmarks do not carry Naval Autocannons, but they do have access to Subcap Cannons, which are also used on the Mk IV Sampan cutters.  Assume a maximum thrust of 3 G's (relatively quick for a warship) and no rotating gravity deck.

[/out of story]
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Centurion03 on 01 April 2020, 04:36:16

Are there any nice design tools for Aerospace units akin to Solaris Skunk Works? I'm not a biggest fan of manually designing massive units like WarShips. :P
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sharpnel on 01 April 2020, 07:54:36
Are there any nice design tools for Aerospace units akin to Solaris Skunk Works? I'm not a biggest fan of manually designing massive units like WarShips. :P
I use MegaMek Lab for Aerospace and Warship creation
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 01 April 2020, 12:30:55
Mandaouaaru system, Quarantine Zone, Lyran Commonwealth, MCGS Flynn, Sampan bloc III* class cutter, 0830 hours...

"Merchant class vessel Winstwind This is the Coast Guard vessel Flynn, you will cut your drives and stand down for boarding or you will be fired upon, Respond please, over!"  Lt. Commander Tara Hammersley didn't like the look of the civilian ship.  "RTO, have you run the registration off their transponder through OCB's composite database?"

"Still waiting on a response from OCB, mum."

"I don't like the look of her."  Tara confided, "Something's just...off.  she's not altering her profile?"

"Negative mum, we're picking up increased neutrinos from her fusion plants, and she's reefing sail."  PO1 Koslowecz reported, "I think she's going to try and hot-charge for a runner, mum."

"BUGGAR! Fire a warning shot across her bow, five rounds rapid, illuminating, from the forward gun, let them know we're serious."

"Five rounds rapid Illumination, Aye mum!"

the 'deck gun' on a Mark III Sampan of this vintage, is a light subcapital cannon, which while ammunition dependent, is less taxing on the ship's power grid than the class 45 Naval Lasers of the previous marks.    The 'illumination' rounds are used mainly for warning shots, the detonators in the shells set to a distance and teh shell fillers being an explosive high on the visual and EM spectrum. at close range, they can burn out optical sensors and temporarily flash-blind anyone near a window.

"I repeat, Merchant Vessel Winstwind, heave to, or you will be destroyed, Over!!" 

"This is Merchant vessel Winstwind, don't shoot us! we have women and children aboard!!"

"Ex-Oh, take Corpsman Kelly and a couple of screening kits on boat two, move it."

"Aye Mum."

"Winstwind, this is Coast Guard vessel Flynn, stand by for boarders, do not resist and you will not be harmed, you are in quarantined space and we tracked a dropper from the surface to your position.  Have everyone standing by for health and welfare inspection and plague screening, Over."

"MUM!!! OCB reports back, Winstwind is registered lost to Clan Wolf in Thirty Fifty One!"

"What the hell would they be doing out here?"
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 01 April 2020, 17:18:42
Merchant Vessel Winstwind, Mandaouaaru system, Q-zone, 10:46 hours...

"...it's a false bulkhead, sirrah.  what are you playing at hey?"  Lt. Charlie 'Nigel' Forstner demanded.  The Ship's Master looked properly alarmed at the discovery of the deception in their dropship, Charlie nodded to a Bosun's mate, "Open it up, or my boys here will open it for you."

The concealed bolts were undone quick enough alright.

"Jesus christ."  the space was too crowded for the people packed into it, and even without the Clan jumpsuits and symbols, Charlie knew Kerenskyist civilians on sight.

women, and children.  packed like tuna, scared and somewhat dehydrated.  "Where were you taking them?" He asked casually.

"Safety." the man said.  "It's not safe anymore, anywhere...but there is no war in the Quarantine zone."

"sweet jesus, Flynn are you getting my visual?"

"We're getting it X-ray, Sending contact to Higher, Over."

"roger that..." he turned on the ship's master, "When were you planning on giving these people water? and food, and air??"

an unreasonable anger seized him, and he seized the ship's master, "tell me that, hey??"

His tirade was interrupted by the sound of his commanding officer over the comms.  "XO, we have clearance at Mandoaaru Key Station, you're ordered to bring the vessel in for impound, immigration officers will be on hand, Over."

"Roger that, Mum...you heard the Captain, Lads.  This vessel and her dropships are under Quarantine Impound, we are to proceed to Mandoaaru Key station...Corpsman Kelly,  Bright, Petty Officer Sinclair, start pre-examinations of these civilians, Sween, find where they'er stashing the rations on this tub and begin meal preps, have the crew assist."

"Aye Sirrah!"
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 01 April 2020, 18:23:49
Clanners going INTO the quarantine zone?!  How bug-****** crazy are they??  ???
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 01 April 2020, 18:24:31
No, the question is "Why are they bug-**** crazy?"
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sharpnel on 01 April 2020, 18:29:58
Obviously something worse than the Arluna Flu if they are taking this risk.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 01 April 2020, 18:57:32
Crossover to "And I feel fine ..." FTW! Ia! Ia!
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 01 April 2020, 19:24:05
Clanners going INTO the quarantine zone?!  How bug-****** crazy are they??  ???

No, it is "What's so ****** scary that running into a death plague is the good choice?"  IIRC the Alurla Plague not only leaves Clanner survivors as asymptomatic carriers, in effect permanently confined to the Quarantine Zone, but also has a higher lethality for them.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 01 April 2020, 19:32:54
Worktroll: FYSA, the censortron also apparently changes the number of characters involved, so simply typing "*" for each letter isn't as obscuring as the censortron… Might be worth discussing among the mods...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 01 April 2020, 19:57:07
Noted  :-[
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 01 April 2020, 20:03:59
Sorry to bring you down on this of all days, but I thought it was important to note...  :-\
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: kindalas on 01 April 2020, 21:17:08
[out of story]

Alright Guys, time for another fine "Make your speculation!!"

I am looking for two things, throwing them out there for the designer types.

1)  Design a Clan Warship with Warship Stealth.   you've seen what it looks like from the eyes of Inner Sphere units-they can't get a radar lock on it but they CAN see the drive plume from the fusion engines.  Mass should be between 250K tons, and 450K tons. 
we know it has Missile armament and Naval Autcannons, but haven't seen energy weapons yet.  obviously, given the dirty nasty bastard tactics they're using, these are probably not Warrior Caste, or even mainstream Clanners, but Scientist Caste or Bandit Caste with advanced hardware of the "Clans do everything better than you" nature.

so get goofy with it.

[/out of story]

I posted my idea and some stealth speculation on the design board.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=68771.0
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 01 April 2020, 21:32:50
the description of that ship sounds a lot like the Stealth Frigates (https://expanse.fandom.com/wiki/Amun-Ra-class) from The Expanse. [Video breakdown] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uezHDcGbjlk)

(https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/expanse/images/a/a7/Amun-raclassstealthshipconceptart.jpg)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 02 April 2020, 16:57:02
Places of Note in this 'verse, slang, slanguage notes, and other random bits...

Mandaoaaru Key Station: This is what happens when you freeze the bulk of cross-border traffic for a couple generations.  Mandaoaaru Key is a collection of hollowed out asteroids, salvaged dropships, repurposed satellites, and deliberate, intentional construction done in null gee in mid-system belt of the Mandaoaaru system.  With a population estimated at just under 500,000 permanent residents, "The Key" is possibly the second largest city in the system.

That's right, second largest city.  The largest being the capital of Queensland City on the Dutchman Escarpment on Mandaoaaru planetary proper.

The "Permanent" population of The Key aren't the maximum population-the transient population using "The key" is estimated to be roughly an order of magnitude greater, thanks to the ready access to various Greenhouse hydroponic projects run throughout the system, and rich mineral sources of remarkable purity in the in-system belts.

Mandaoaaru Key physically resembles  kinetic sculpture made of random junk, connected together with a webwork of pipes, girders, trestles, cables, and manic willpower, with a number of spinning structures set at odd angles and positions throughout, all connected to a long docking line to a series of vacuum gantries for ship docking and repair.


Setting-specific Slang

"Sirrah/Mum":  This is a shift that began in the late 3060s and proliferated as the Coast Guard absorbed english-speaking Lyrans in the Quarantine zone to fill continuously draining rosters and staff ships they were rolling out of the Boojum yard faster than they could recruit Kowloonese natives.  In use and common practice, "Sirrah" is an honorific used in the same manner as "Sir" when referring to a senior officer who presents as male, while "Mum" is used with those presenting as Female in a Command position, in both cases this practice only exists within an immediate chain of command, such as a Platoon, Ship, or Patrol.  The Use of "Sir" or "Ma'am" is still applied to Civilians, Senior Military officers of Flag Rank or those officers not in an enlisted or junior officer's immediate chain of command.

For example, a Coastie Marine addressing their Shipboard Division officer or immediate commander will use 'Sirrah' or "Mum", but when addressing an LCAF Colonel or LCN Admiral, will use "Sir" or "Ma'am".  Likewise for addressing civilians of any social class, or even nationality.

(Ex: "Excuse me, sir, but you can't sleep on that ventilation grate, would you like me to help you to a comfortable holding cell?" or "Excuse me, Ma'am, but your competitor down the street only charges five kroner for that act of carnality, and I do not wish to overpay.", or "Your Pardon, sir, but I believe your mother provided a fine oral service to the members of another platoon, last night, for a nickel." or, "Yes, sir, you can find the docking bay you are looking for by following the bright orange line painted on that bulkhead.  Have a pleasant day.")

"Torpedoes": Reference to capital grade missile munitions utilized in an antishipping role.  This comes about due to the sheer number of missile types in use, from shoulder-fired to fighter-scale to subcapital to warship grade.  "Torpedoes in the Water" indicates that capital grade missiles have been fired, either by friendly or enemy forces.

"Guns" (capitalized as a proper noun):  A ship's gunnery officer.

"RTO" or "Artoo": the on-duty Radioman on a Cutter or light Frigate, or the on-duty radioman assigned to a platoon of Marines during boarding actions, surface landings, or garrison patrols.

"Doc": Common parlance for a ship's senior medical personnel-most of the time, an E-5 or above Corpsman. 

"Doctor": Medical personnel of O-1 or higher, or specialist Warrant officers in a scientific field, requires a PhD.

"Gunny": Enlisted Marine of E-7, short for "Gunnery Sergeant" (Not to be confused with "Guns")

"Egghead": Warrant officer subject matter expert (non doctoral degree).

"Pogue" (spelled "POG"): "Person, Other than Grunt"-enlisted or officer rating in a rear-line position.

"Remf" (spelled REMF): Rear Echelon Mother ******.  Officer ranked personnel with no field experience in a rear-line staff position, typically in the planning or public relations departments, and always applied (out of their hearing) when referencing Personnel Command (PERSCOM).

"chit": a favor owed, or a favor offered. (From payment chit, the digital form pay is tracked using.)

"Dirtyfeet": Personnel (not necessarily Guard) born on a planet.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 03 April 2020, 07:44:17
KCGS Ia Drang, Winter System, 6 AU from the system's stellar primary...

Wreckage was spread in tiny, widely spaced glittering fields. 

"Founder..." Captain Emily Falcone watched the plot as ship's boats swept through the debris of the battle, looking for anything large enough to contain a body, any one who might have survived the battle, anything that might have recorded what happened after the Kelli Whyte's black box went offline.

further out in the search area, local singleships from various Rockjack coops, collectives and companies were assisting the search.

Two cutters had fought here less than twelve hours ago.  the destruction was a touch more total than is normal-both of them had been rendered.

"Thorough.  they were thorough this time." she murmured.  "not enough to cripple the ships, or even kill them, they went after the debris..."

not right, they went after anything that might be a witness.

including the witnesses.

bastards.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 03 April 2020, 11:07:11
Remember The Canterbury!
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 03 April 2020, 19:25:50
Spider Moon CGNAS...

"...able to recover sufficient material in the salvage effort to account for the Kelli Whyte and the Hulo, your Grace, we found enough differentiated remains in the debris field to account for all but three personnel."

"So the probabilities of survivors are very small."  Her Grace Sharon Ngo said.  "They didn't take prisoners in any of these incidents so far?"

"Negative, Ma'am."  Commodore Vu Dao studied her sovereign.  "Your orders?"

 "clearly they're doing this for a reason, we don't have the reason, but a ship like that comes from somewhere, and goes to somewhere.  These hits have been almost random, they've also been escalating the amount of violence with every encounter."  sharon looked thoughtful.

"What are you thinking?"  Bianh asked.

"I think we're being used as a live-fire testing ground." the Duchess stated.  "First, it's a mining skiff and her crew, right? then, it's a fueling station and customs depot.  This time, they went after armed vessels directly.  This started in the Arluna system, which means they got there somehow, now they're in Winter's space, expanding their 'range of roving', and targeting military assets with short engagements...this looks like it's a training exercise.  There are only three fleets-in-being in this quarter of the Inner Sphere, two of those, are Clan fleets that until five years ago, had been effectively in mothballs, one of those, is ours, and we've been active for decades."

"because we HAVE to be."

"Yeah, we have to be active, not an option to be inactive, but that means what, Commodore? think like a tinspawn."

"your grandfather would be offended by that."

"I don't care. think like a can-bred Clanner.  How do they elevate in their culture?"

"Picking fights they can win?"

"Picking fights for Reputation.  We've got the Rep now.  After what you and Giao Pham pulled off in the late sixties, or during the Blake War, and the Coast Guard is active while most of the rest of the galaxy's navies can be counted on one hand but only if you go to the mothball yards.  Brewer's man wanted me to send a Coast Guard Division of forty eight cutters to backstop his defense efforts-why?  Pocket Warships are kilo for kilo more powerful combatants, but their crews and captains don't have what?"

"Experience."

"bingo.  Now, why would someone tie up their experimental stealth ship roaming the Quarantine zone and picking fights the Coast Guard can't ignore?"

"I...They're trying to tie you down? Prevent you from sending units to fight the Clan advance?"

"heh, that's good strategic idea, but no..." she folded her arms, "they're using us as a live-fire training exercise that bleeds."




Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 03 April 2020, 19:37:05
Sharon is thinking at least two levels deeper than any of her people... she needs to get them up to speed!  ::)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 03 April 2020, 21:19:39
Boojum Shipyard...

Her Grace the Duchess Sharon Ngo floated untethered, watching the progress on Landmark Class hull number 4. Her mind worked over the information from reports she'd read earlier, cross-referencing ideas and concepts.

This has to be a testing procedure.  to her, it was obvious.  One ship, hitting targets in an escalating manner, altering behaviours, but not enough to conceal the presence of doctrine.

someone was testing doctrine, and using her area of responsibility to do it.

she nudged a joystic, and the puff of compressed gas pushed her along at an altered angle and velocity, drifting toward 'the walk'-a series of catwalks between construction slips.

we're being tested.  she gently evaded a construction exo as it flew to slipway 12. 

After the Blake War, her mother had withdrawn Coast Guard forces back to the Quarantine zone, and began distributing good condition vessels and training to the lords of the other worlds within the zone.  This had been to avoid the reinstituted Militia requirements, but it was also done because Kowloon itself wasn't sufficient-the zone wasn't an empire.  Since then, most of the other worlds in the zone followed Kowloon's lead-at least, mostly, in how they organized their Coast Guard units, depending on available manpower, local needs, and the express desires of the Melissia Theater Margrave.

she activated the mag-clamps in her boots as she got close to the Walk, and briefly felt the negative G's as they pulled her to the service walkway's surface.

we're the most experienced fleet in being in this quarter of the Inner Sphere.  of course they're going to test their new technologies against us...but who's the real target?

she looked up, letting the info-sphere flood her faceplate with navigation data.

somewhere near the Nadir point of the system, a NIOPS flagged freighter was awaiting their dropship, which was burning from the Sithers-Deen processing dome on Snark-a moonlet much like Ganymede.

she dismissed NIOPS.  They had suffered catastrophically during the Blake War, and worse yet against the Marians, and Free Worlds League factions.

Food from Sithers-Deen was keeping NIOPS alive twenty years after their main agrodome had been bombarded.  they're not the target.

she turned and contemplated the storm-wracked, glaring red-orange face of Boojum.  the Gas giant roared on the radio spectrum.

what are they after?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 03 April 2020, 21:38:08
I hope she figures it out before her number is up on their list...  :-\
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 04 April 2020, 03:56:35
Mandaoaaru Key Station, Saturday...

"...no vaccination records on the civilians, we've got some disturbing indicators."  Doctor Shelly Price was the CMO of Mandoaaru Key station.  "we're running genetic testing, but a fair number of the younger children in that group of illegals are traveling without parents."

"give me the bad news."  Clark Wheelwright, the Station's operations manager knew 'bad news' was coming when she demanded a private meeting.

"Trueborns." she said.  "Binetti, Pershaw, Roshak lines, a couple of others are not in our current database.  the bizarre part, is they show none of the deep psychological conditioning one would expect from trueborn Clan warrior caste, and the clans don't bother normally with ex-vitro processes for mere civilians."

"We can't let them migrate to the planet then." He said.  "I can contact some of our Rockjack families, see if any of them have slots for taking on adoptees. what about the adults?"

"few markers from Clan eugenics in any of them, not that there are any with a zero percentage, but none of the usual enhancements are present." she asserted.  "They're mostly Clan civilians, largely Laborer and Artisanal castes."

"I suppose we can see if anyone's hiring then-anybody willing to hire them."  He suggested, "I don't suppose any of those laborers or artisans are plumbers?"

She cracked a smile before answering, "I think there might be one or two."

"Good, when you return to the refugee holding area, have them start logging on the jobnet, we can't afford unproductives this fiscal quarter, and the origin means we can't dump them off on the Planetary Government's welfare net...I'll send Clara down with Immigration applications."

"Will you expedite then?" she asked, interested.

"I think it's the only decent thing to do.  We can't let them go, they were clearly fleeing a life of slavery in the Clans." he stated, "It would be inhumane to send them back to that madness, we can't let them sit on the dole, because we can't afford a dole, immigration and job placement are the only options we've got.  Getting them staked with established Rockjack and Spacer communities is cheaper than trying to wring welfare funds out of the planetary governments."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 04 April 2020, 04:22:59
KCGS "Mary", Sampan IV, callsign "Coast Guard One"...

Sharon anchored herself to her desk, and began going over reports from the rest of the Zone.  While a Steiner was running the Theater, at least in theory, since the Quarantine went up, almost, Kowloon's ducal responsibilities were like an Archonette, only with the added burden of sending reports to whomever the current Margrave happened to be.

Labor unrest on Inarcs was nothing new.  In this case, the unrest was due to LCAF contracts not being paid on time to the arms factories on that world, which in turn was due to the financial chaos of the blackout.  reports from Hood IV and Mandaoaaru showed an uptick in illegal migrations.  Hood IV's problem was a group trying to leave that had to be arrested, Mandaoaaru's..."Illegal immigrants? huh."  she cross-checked. Jessenice and Jerangle were also reporting illegals trying to get in.

Popular influx could destabilize the belt economies if it wasn't managed properly, and many of the refugee groups showed common trends toward a lack of vaccination record, spotty medical records, and questionable origins, mixed with a decided lack of useful trades and skills.

In the belts, unskilled labor was...well, counter-survival.  she pushed those reports to the side for the moment-for the time being, those issues weren't the sort she had authority to deal with, and would have to be dealt with by planetary authorities.

she looked at the screen displaying the shipyard from monitoring devices set real-time.  a new KF spine was in slip eleven.  Her mother had encouraged her interest in Starships and ship-building, recognizing that the future of Kowloon was not found in planet-bound life, Sharon had studied to join the Coast Guard.

she turned her attention back to her reports, the paperwork of the Ducal role.

OCB reported positive identification of the culprits behind the murder of her mother.  A cadre of officers in the LCAF's intelligence division had been behind it, at the urging of a member of the LaRue family currently affiliated with the Brewer faction.

"So nice to see stupidity and feuds can still ****** everything up for all of us." she muttered.  she took a moment, and drafted an executive instruction.  OCB was to sit on the information, but to leak it to Melissa Steiner's supporters by indirect means.

I'm not my grandmother, or my mother. she mused, I will wait to be invited by the Archon to do something about it.

"computer, bring up forensic reconstruction of the Kelli Whyte incident in the Winter system, full text and visual."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 04 April 2020, 05:48:41
Very level headed, this one...  8)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 06 April 2020, 03:03:59
Cosworth 19 Station, outer belts, Winter system...

Cosworth 19 was an ice-mining rig, harnessing comets for water and rare earths.  Periodically, the whole processing station had to be moved, and being valuable to the economy of the Winter Belts, when she moved, she needed protection.

Today, that protection came in the form of 3 Patrol, Squadron 12, 2nd Division Kowloon Coast Guard, supplementing 2 Patrol, 1st Squadron Winter System Division of the Winter Coast Guard. 

Eight jump-capable ships, armed, with a selection of deployable small-craft and an even broader selection of fighters.  Why? because Cosworth 19 was valuable.  one hundred and twelve thousand, six hundred and forty one civilians valuable, since in addition to the water refinery, ore processing, smelting and hydrocarbon production and processing capabilities, it also provided food for millions of Rockjacks, Shippers, and Spacers.

a shadow moved on cold thrusters nearby.  watching, stalking the facility as it ambled slowly toward a new orbit, observing the reflection from civilian vessels, the occasional thrust-light of tug-engines, and the movement of the escorting force.

doors slid open on missile bays, and missiles silently slid outward, firing soft cold-nitrogen thrusters to orient, before the reactors sent the first pulses to the hunter's main drive.

forty one, forty two...forty three..forty four missiles arranged themselves under tight-beam control along a pre-set pattern.

the targets, were the escort forces.  the hunter drifted cold, engines on standby, ready to fire as soon as their prey were in range.

The first, primary wave was meant to sow discord and confusion among the defenders, the second, was intended to further sow that confusion-striking the refinery complex with its greenhouses and storage tanks, civilian facilities and most importantly, communication hub.

sensitive antennae on the hull were meant to serve the stealth systems of this warship-detecting 'opposite' EM and radio patterns in the cosmic noise, while broadcasting a pattern that matched them both in frequency and amplitude on the far side.  This, combined with absorbing materials in the coatings, reduced her RCS to that of a small hummingbird-the small propellor plane commonly used by agro pilots throughout human space, not the member of the avian family.

Thus, it was with some surprise when those sensitive sensors picked up the EM pulse of an emergence wave on the port-side aft.



Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 06 April 2020, 07:10:47
KCGS Nha Tranh, Sampan Bloc III***Cutter...

"General quarters, general quarters contact starboard Four-five degrees by positive Three zero, range 5000 kilometers, multiple contacts Torpedoes sleeping in the water!"  Commodore Nicole "Nikki" Minh recited.  Her tone was dead-even.  at the flanks, the rest of Cutter squadron 12 slid into newtonian space in a flying W search pattern. 

They'd been waiting for this, the debris from the deaths of two cutters, one station, and a mining pinnace suggested that while the unseen enemy had invested heavily into stealth tech for their ship, their missiles, projectiles, and weapons were pretty much standard construction without so much as the use of sensor-dampening coatings.

off-angle pings picked up by the cutters escorting Cosworth 19 showed the basic flaw in the enemy's ECM camouflage;  the missiles they laid out for a textbook stealth attack on a fleet deflected the counter-signals and blocked/reflected them.  On passive sensors, it was like putting up a road sign that someone was placing multiton masses where there shouldn't be any.

"Set all vessels to Battle Condition Bravo, Squadrons one and Three, deploy fighters on missile-interception and link-sync with the detection on the refinery, I don't want one missile to get through."  she closed her faceplate as she spoke, while pumps drew hard vacuum on the decks of her own cutter, a move that reduced the risk of fires and explosive concussion transfer from being hit.

"Neutrino sign ahead, Mum!" Commander Jyestha Godwin announced from the XO's seat.

"triangulate on the scatter, , engage the scatter contacts, patrol two, set fish to home in on thermal and fusion byproduct bloom and ready deck guns.  all vessels, launch fighters, rig for interception and antishipping!!"

"Commodore, all ships in the squadron report ready for combat!"

"She's lighting up mum!" 

at that announcement from Chief Warrant Officer Li, she smiled, and leaned back, to feel the G-force resistance drugs flood her body.

"Let's get this ******, all ships engage."


Kowloon's Coast Guard had pioneered the sort of stealth tactics their enemy was using, by employing small, short-range jumpships armed primarily with missiles and high-yeild warheads against Blakist Warships, jumpships, and pocket-warships.  The black sails of the Coast Guard were black because they were radiation absorbing rather than reflecting sails, designed to provide the minimum sensor reflection.

anyone who's made a business of mastering stealth, knows how to hunt the hunters who might use it against them, and Nicole Minh spent a lifetime in the business of sneaking around in deep space.

pinpricks lit as the enemy's missiles began their acceleration, and a torch of bluewhite fire kilometers long announced their warship was indeed aware of the approach of the Coast Guard squadron.

"Arm physics packages for close proximity detonation on the first wave." she rasped as the cutter pushed beyond the standard rated G-forces.  The new drugs, and new system of secured acceleration couches, meant the Cutters could match vector and speed with many swift moving assault dropships-while retaining the ability to make interstellar jumps.

"initiate fire." she grunted.  "All ships, initiate fire!"

"Torpedoes in the water inbound, Commodore!"

"Point defenses active, mutual screening interlock!"

the sounds of the CIC were strained as they passed three G's.  the hull vibrated silently as point-defense turrets swept, found the incoming, and opened up on carefully preplanned vectors as helmsmen flew variable patterns, alternating hard accelerations with lateral drifts planned to frustrate target locks and draw the incoming missile fire into the pattern of density-enhanced slag and bomblets being churned out by the point defense guns.

"Thermal lock, Torps away!!"

The missiles homed in on the enemy's exhaust trail, and rode the fringe of fusing helium, until emission-seeker heads picked up his jamming and took over.

the first bloom of silver light, a growing bell-ball of nuclear fusion, drew the shape of the enemy ship into stark relief briefly...and the engine exhaust was gone.

but so was the jamming.  Radar contact still showed a small vessel, far smaller than the one revealed by the first successful hit...but LIDAR showed the outline of a ship large enough to be classed as a destroyer in the old SLDF databases.  secondary hits by the missiles fired from the rest of the squadron slowly grew the outline, while smashing the enemy warship again, and again.

on the status, cutters were also vanishing, as the enemy's return fire-naval autocannons of the 600mm range, were lancing out very nearly at random.

"Firing solution!"

"Engage with Deck Guns and salvo-fire another set of Torpedoes." she grunted under the strain of hard manuevering.

as suddenly as it began, it was over.  the enemy ship's spine gave way, and she broke into radioactive, pock-marked halves.

"drop to cruise, all engines reverse.  BDA and SAR crews to your boats." she ordered, "Let's see if any of these clanner mother ****** survived.  if possible, I want the data recorders from that wreck!"

then she turned to Radioman 1st Class Neves.  "Send KCGS Ia Drang, object Phantom has been exorcised."

"Aye mum!"


Note:  Nicole Minh was born a Belter, in the Sol Belts, Metis Coalition.  She's served in the Kowloon Coast Guard Marine since her early 20s-right around 3065 or so.  yes, she's over 100 years old, but the difference is, she's a BELTER, they didn't lose the long lifespans like nearly everyone else in the succession wars.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 06 April 2020, 09:12:01
Spider moon, some weeks later...

"Commodore Minh, I'm pleased that you were able to join me."  Her Grace, the Duchess of Kowloon, stood looking at a rather well done holographic representation of the space outside the base, the surface of the station in real-time photorealism.

"It's an honor." Nicole said.  "why am I here?"

Sharon turned around.  "you've got...carry the one...you've got almost eighty years in active service, Commodore." she said, "most of that time in a manpower crunch.  Your physicals are good, but you're the last one from the Nueva Pueblo..and frankly, you intimidate the hell out of me, so I really hate this meeting."

"You're putting me on the beach?" Nicole asked.

Sharon hesitated, drew in a deep breath, "yeah.  sort of." she crossed her arms, "you're not going to make this easy, are you?"

"Why?"

"because you're over a century old, you're a legend in the service, you're as sharp as you were the day you walked in...because if you can't afford to lose something, you can't afford to use that thing-and I can't afford to lose you.  the CNO is half your age, you've refused promotion, you've also trained most of my serving Captains as your XO, but."

"but they'll never reach their potential with me here, is that it?"

"Yeah.  not with you in the saddle.  I'm making changes to the Service. I need a Secretary of the Coast Guard, a civilian to oversee operations.  That person needs to understand the needs of the service, and its potential.  I want to accept your resignation in order for you to accept a cabinet-level appointment.  It's a lot of bureaucracy, a bit of politicking, shed-loads of aggravation and endless paperwork, and I need someone in that chair who can lead, and delegate, who knows how to play the game at sea, and how to play it in Nha Tranh, can handle budgeting, and can work with the other planets in the Zone...and I hate to say it, but I need that someone more than I need a living legend commanding a cutter division on the Quarantine line."

"that...is very flattering, your grace." Nicole said.  "How long do I have to think about it?"

"The Assembly goes into session in September.  I need your answer by then, so...two weeks?" Sharon mused, "I can give you two weeks to make up your mind about accepting this assignment.  after that, I'll have to decide whether or not to make it a Ducal Order."

"so...not really a choice?"

"I need someone in that chair, you're the only name on my list." Sharon told her bluntly, "because I can't afford to lose you, the Service needs you.  My grandmother had a goal; she wanted to make Nobles obsolete.  we've been unable to fully realize that, in part because of how many positions end up being directly controlled by the Ducal seat due to one emergency or another.  I'm delegating, you can resign and retire, I won't stop you, or you can resign and accept a new assignment in a civilian role that grants you more control over the Service and lets you influence the other Coast Guard forces in the Zone directly, rather than indirectly.  it's your choice, but you're off the ships.  The only position you'll have on a Coast Guard vessel is 'passenger' or 'Very Important Passenger'."

"I...see. where do I sign, Your Grace?"

Sharon slid two single-use PADDs across the desk one-handed.

"Thank you."  the Duchess said.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 06 April 2020, 18:03:32
Level headed AND can handle Nikki like that?!  :o

This one is DEFINITELY a keeper!  8)

The only thing I'm not absolutely loving about these posts is the "G-force resistance drugs".  If there's one thing about the Expanse I hate, it's THAT (full disclosure: it's not the only thing I hate).
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: DOC_Agren on 08 April 2020, 20:44:16
I'm not my grandmother, or my mother. she mused, I will wait to be invited by the Archon to do something about it.

Sharon is a different sort of Ngo, and maybe even more scary
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 09 April 2020, 07:05:49
message sent from Tharkad to Kowloon...

To: Duchess Sharon Ngo, Kowloon
From: Melissa Steiner, Archon, Lyran Commonwealth.

Gott verdammt dich, sende Hilfe!




Spider Moon CGNAS...

"What are you going to do, Sharon?"  Commodore Harmony Falcone-Ngo demanded.  "You told Brewer you weren't willing to sacrifice lives for a pretender!"

"Melissa isn't the pretender, and she appears to be in charge now..." Sharon said, "So, Dear Aunt, Your Cutter Division is up to bat.  Tell Uncle Patrick he can speak to me again, we're coming to the aid of the Commonwealth."

"and the new ships, your pocket-destroyers?" Harmony demanded.

"Ia Drang's fit for service, the other three in the landmark class remain incomplete, I will take it as my flag vessel."  Sharon said, "I'm coming with you, Uncle Pat can sit the Regency.  Commodore Vu Dao, I want a division of Marines, full complement, embarked by next week, with equipment. make sure they're virus-free or clear genetics...and have signals respond to the Archon that Kowloon comes to Tharkad."

"You're certain of this?" the acting CNO asked.

"Yes." Sharon stated, "The Archon has called, we will answer as is our duty as Lyrans.  as of this message, the Quarantine zone is on war footing.  begin breaking out war plans Green and Brown, I want as complete a picture as OCB and LIC can provide.  we march in two weeks."

"Patrick won't like being kept at home, Your Grace."  Harmony began.

"Shut it with the 'your graces'," Sharon said, "the word you're looking for, is Admiral.  You all have your orders, execute them!"

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 09 April 2020, 17:07:53
Just "Admiral" is appropriate for personal address of an Admiral of any rank.

I can only hope the squadron arrives at Tharkad with the message "You rang?"  :D
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 09 April 2020, 21:20:27
Just "Admiral" is appropriate for personal address of an Admiral of any rank.

I can only hope the squadron arrives at Tharkad with the message "You rang?"  :D

corrected.

Keep in mind something: Coast Guard organization.

1 patrol=4 cutters and one support ship
4 Patrols=1 Squadron
4 Squadrons=1 Division.

During the Jihad, the KCGM had only a single division of ships, plus one squadron, and two squadrons left  the Q-zone to fight for the allies.

Sharon's bringing a full Coast Guard division out.  That's 64 cutters and a "Destroyer", plus their support ships.

Effectively it's a light fleet.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: DOC_Agren on 09 April 2020, 23:30:52
Nice fleet coming in
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 10 April 2020, 01:02:54
Inarcs system, November...

"Shut up, Daniel."  Sharon Ngo was sitting in the Ducal chambers, Coast Guard Marines were throughout the palatial complex.  her body-armor had ruined most of the ducal throne,which is what you get with 750 kilograms of powered armor, 'light' when you sit it on leatherette-padded wood.  "While you're shutting up, quit gaping.  I'm here for your ducal guard."

"What?" he finally managed to squeak out.

"I said, I'm here for your army, dipshit."  she bobbled her helmet with one hand, while tracing a pattern on the tapestry.  "All of them, we're marching to the relief of Tharkad.  House LaRue is coming with..." She reached into the satchel bolted to her armor, and tossed a pair of Padds across the floor, "Needs your signature.  Seeing as you supported Brewer, a little security in securing your support seemed reasonable."

she got up, leaving the shattered remains of the throne-a vestige of his great-aunt's time as Archonette and an unfortunate reminder of what defying the Archon's authority leads to, behind.  "I decided I didn't have time to convince you of my sincerity or patriotism, so I'm going to convince you of my violence and nasty temper, along with my having more combat power than you, because we all know cunning political bitches need to be reminded that violence-prone ****** exist.  You feeling me?  Sign the orders, I'm taking the Blackstone Highlanders and the Inarcs Jaegers, you can either sign it while alive, or posthumously."

"You're giving me what I want...and threatening me at the same time?" he scoffed, as he picked up the PADD units and applied his thumb-print.

"common interests only coincide at inconvenient times.  This, for example..." she accepted the PADDs, "almost makes up for your ordering the hit on my mother...almost..." she read the orders, and smiled a bitter smile, then she passed it to his Ducal Guard commanders.  "Have your men ready to board ship in seventy hours, with provisions for a six month sustained campaign."

She turned to him, "Let the Duke go, lads." she said, "Commander Nguyen, order the boys to fall back to the ships, we're done here."

"Admiral! he contracted the murder of-"

"yes, he did, but we need his forces, and it's Melissa's call whether or not he faces a gallows for it." she snapped, "If his men perform well in doing their duty, he might even get pardoned.  Our job, is to get forces to the front, not to judge, or mis-judge, this man's acts."  she lifted her helmet one-handed, and slammed the contact ring down on her suit, "So he lives for now."  she reached out, and placed her armored hand on his shoulder, squeezing VERY gently, he still winced in pain.  "The realm, is at war."  she released him, "And he knows what he did...and that we know what he did."

she left footprints in the tile as she walked out of the ducal court.  "besides, he can clean up the bodies of his courtiers."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 10 April 2020, 01:23:19
Out of Story

Inarcs Jaegers, The Plague Dogs

Affiliation: Lyran Commonwealth
Headquarters: Inarcs, Melissia Theater, Coventry Province, Lyran Commonwealth

Regular/Questionable

unit Type: RCT

Integral transport: Yes.

3 Regiments Battlemech
1 Vehicle Regiment
1 Aerospace Battalion
1 BTN Battlearmor (Fenrir and Fenrir II)

Established: by order of Archon-Princess Katherine Steiner-Davion, 3066

one of the regional 'Jaeger units' created after the partition of the Federated Commonwealth, the Inarcs Jaegers were trapped 'behind the line' in the Quarantine zone after the Arluna outbreak.  The 'Plague Dogs' next deployment was in the counter-attacks of the Jihad.  post-jihad, the Inarcs Jaegers were returned to the Quarantine zone, and participated in the 'removal and retirement' of Tanadi LaRue, Archonette of the region.  kept on their homeworld post-Archonette period as a check on the Ducal house, this unit eventually fell into the political orbit of House LaRue, and their commanding officer aligned with Vedet Brewer's faction during the Coup.  In the wake of the counter-coup in late 3142/early 3143, the Inarcs Jaegers found themselves without a viable political sponsor and on the short end of the Commonwealth's supply department.  Luckily, thanks to being officially a "Quarantine unit" the Jaegers did not lose their integral transport assets, and have several dedicated jumpships with sufficient lift to move the entire RCT at any time, a status that is unusual in the post-Republic Treaty era among 'regular' (Non-Elite) commands.

Equipment Tables: Lyran Alliance A and B tables circa Jihad era should be used with the Inarcs Jaegers 'mech and armor units, while battlearmor is confined to only two designs: Fenrir, and Fenrir II.

Aerospace (Fighter) tables are LCAF standard, leaning toward heavier superiority designs such as the Eisensturm.

Notably, the Inarcs Jaegers have participated in joint exercises with the Kowloon, Winter, Hood IV and Arluna Coast Guards, as well as joint training with the 171st and 172nd Volunteers Regiments.  Partially as a result of this, the Inarcs Jaegers are rated as 'competent' by the Kowloon Coast Guard Marines and they enjoy a fairly good reputation with the Guard.

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 10 April 2020, 03:29:17
The Plan...

Phase 1: Recon

Sqdn 2, 3rd Division Kowloon Coast Guard Marine

Patrol 1: Pirate point to within 33,000,000 kilometers of the Nadir point, proceed to 5 light-seconds, identify and evaluate enemy transportation assets. deploy sigint satellites and smallcraft reconaissance units to evaluate enemy security and identify key infrastructure among enemy forces.

Patrol 2: Nonstandard insertion point 40,000,000 kilometers of Apogee, proceed to 5 light seconds range of apogee point, identify enemy transport assets.

Patrol 3: Nonstandard insertion, 5th planetary body, Tharkad system Lagrange point, locate and identify invading dropship and carrier assets, establish communications tightbeam network with Tharkan belt and extraplanetary communities, deploy recon assets to evaluate enemy control in Tharkad Airspace, contact remnant LCAF aerospace and/or Naval units in the mid-system.

Patrol 4: close approach in the tharkan trojans, operation under EMCON, link to tightbeam network established by Patrol 3.  deploy smallcraft SIGINT units and ecm generating satellites, deploy Marine Force Recon by low-emission-signature smallcraft to the world of Tharkad itself with the mission of contacting hold-outs on the planetary surface in preparation for the main event.

Field Preparation

1st Sqdn, 3rd Division KCGM

Patrol 1: nonstandard entry point, 2nd planetary body, Tharkad system (L2).  Proceed to link with network, position sunward side, stand by while charging.

Patrol 2: Nonstandard entry point deployment, Tharkan Belts.  deploy smallcraft tugs, securing a number of rocks of over 300 tons but below 1000.  install 1G thrust packages and guidance heads and ECM generators.  target only orbiting or steady-transit assets belonging to Clan Wolf or Jade Falcon. Initiate and move to second preliminary position. Transponder masking as commercial vessels is authorized.

Patrol 3: Nonstandard entry L1 position, Tharkad.  Target grounded enemy dropships and drop zones identified in phase 1, engage with extreme prejudice.

Patrol 4: engage Clan transport jumpships at Zenith and Nadir points, engage enemy defensive vessels (Assault dropships and/or Pocket Warships) on picket duty with enhanced physics package weaponry (1MT or larger to guarantee hard kills) Fighters are to open with antishipping and long-range antifighter missiles before engaging in dogfighting. (Commander's discretion).  This is in coordination with previously deployed recon assets. 

Mission Objective: cripple the invaders' ability to resupply or reinforce their ground invasion, cripple or distract their aerospace defenses in preparation for the main assault, sow confusion.

Phase 3: Main Assault

Utilizing Ryan Collective "Group Jump" techniques, squdn. 2 and 3 will escort surface assault forces through Tharkad's L3 lagrange point, engaging enemy naval and aerospace assets as necessary to securely land 4th Marine Division and LCAF units "Inarcs Jaegers RCT", "2nd New Capetown Fusiliers Regiment" on Tharkad itself at points identified and prepared by recon elements.  Objective: Break the back of the invaders on Tharkad itself and the Tharkad system.

Reserve: 1 vessel from each patrol, plus support tenders, will be held back as a strategic reserve and deployed as-needed in support of counter-invasion operations.

Go-Time for phase 3: 16 July, 3143, 02:00 Triad Local time.

 
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 10 April 2020, 04:36:31
That looks like a decent plan.  :thumbsup:

And I don't think anyone thinks of 80+ ships as a "small" fleet!  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sir Chaos on 10 April 2020, 05:35:42
That looks like a decent plan.  :thumbsup:

And I don't think anyone thinks of 80+ ships as a "small" fleet!  ^-^

Aleksandr Kerensky probably did.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 10 April 2020, 16:37:23
Remind me - in this chapter of the multiNgoverse, who is Tharkad fighting?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 10 April 2020, 16:48:08
Remind me - in this chapter of the multiNgoverse, who is Tharkad fighting?

Per Sarna, Clan Wolf and elements of jade falcon.  This is the year/month when Melissa Steiner is assassinated by Wolf Clan Elementals and Trillian becomes the archon.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 10 April 2020, 18:23:54
Or not, since Sharon is riding to the rescue...  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 10 April 2020, 18:44:44
Thankee kindly! Who else is old enough to remember dance cards ...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 10 April 2020, 18:59:59
Never used one, but understood the reference...  8)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 11 April 2020, 00:12:21
Or not, since Sharon is riding to the rescue...  ^-^


It is doubtful she will arrive in time.  I need to dig up more information, as I was studiously AVOIDING Dark Age material after having paid for a copy of Ruins of a Book (I want the week I spent reading that thing back), and I'm largely not as current as I should be to be doing any material in this timeframe.  as such, I'm leaning heavily on Sarna.net entries to stage things, which is part of what is taking so long.  (Notably, the Falcons may have a slight advantage over their Wolf colleagues in that they've at least fought other warships in the last fifty years once in a while, and therefore may actually possess a warship doctrine better than "Drive me closer so I can hit them with my SWORD!!!"  also known as using billions of Kerenskies of warship as an improvised battering ram, aka Federated Suns Naval Doctrine, aka nearly everyone else's...)

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 11 April 2020, 01:00:01
KCGS Ia Drang, Landmark class Destroyer, one jump from Tharkad in an uninhabitable system...

Sharon studied the imagery from the recon missions carefully.  "Make sure all our second and third phase commanders get this." she said quietly after study.

"It doesn't change the objective, does it?"

she shook her head.  "no, it doesn't.  Commodore Falcone, are the modifications to the Ia Drang complete?"

"Yes ma'am.  I'm not sure they're a good idea-it might not even work, and I know it won't work for long."

"it doesn't have to work for long." Sharon paused, "It only has to work for long enough."

"Hell of a way to test a new system." her Flag Captain said.

"Yeah. it is." Sharon shrugged, "Better to find out early than to invest heavily and find out too late.  We'll be heading up the main assault in phase three, up against CWS Jerome Winson, at the Zenith point."

"A battlecruiser."

Sharon shrugged, "Biggest player they brought, those Naval PPC's are going to be more trouble than the Naval Gauss rifles or the lasers.  We've got hull and armor, and if it works, a dirty trick they don't have...and if it doesn't, well, Patrick isn't the worst choice for Duke."

a set of status  lights on the Stratcom panel lit.  "Phase two is in position."  Sharon said, "I believe we have a war to fight."

"Aye Mum."  Emily said, and closed her faceplate, setting her suit mic to 'all' channel.  "Now hear this, now hear this, seal for combat operations, initiate pre-deployment depressurization.  All hands to action stations, DC personnel report to bunkers, and strap down for jump on my order!"

Sharon closed her faceplate, leaned back in her accel couch, and let the webbing strap her in.  the cool current of air, redirected from the vents to support hoses, pressurized her suit as the external readout showed atmospheric drop in the CIC.

This was procedure.  Not for the Old Star League, nor the Rim Worlds Republic, it wasn't even accepted practice in the LCN.  Statistically, depressurizing a hull meant little according to the same concurrent naval doctrine  that insisted that ramming was a good and effective use of a warship.  During the Blake War, Kowloonese spacers gained the understanding that fires didn't spread without oxygen to feed them, and neither did shockwaves propogate. a properly de-pressurized hull could sustain combat 30% longer against superior foes, and took less in terms of resources to repair afterward from comparable hits.

at a price in mild discomfort as the usual 'shirt sleeves' environment was not present nor possible.

The interior lighting shifted to a red-spectrum state, indicating the hull was depressurized, and her own senses were confined to the sound of voices over the Oh-one-cee, idle chatter replaced by clipped voices speaking only relevant information.

"Fleet Status." she muttered, and a series of displays appeared on her faceplate.

"All vessels report condition Red, ready for jump, Admiral."

"So jump." Sharon said, tonguing a switch in her helmet, the small suction vac deploying in front of her mouth for the inevitable result of any KF jump, at least, for a Ngo of Elizabeth's bloodline, the TDS, hallucinations, and vomiting.  a price she'd paid almost weekly just getting here.

Discontinuity
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 11 April 2020, 01:31:10
CWS Jerome Winson, zenith point, Tharkad system...

Star Commodore Sietha Carns felt a mix of impotent boredom and mild rage.  Since defeating the remnants of the Lyran navy here, she had been forced to endure shepherding duty over the transport jumpships of the clusters come to punish the Lyrans for their betrayal.

Stuck.  Here, with no worthy enemies.

waiting.

"Incoming jump contact, off-axis fifteen million kilometers, emergence wave suggests a major vessel, ovkhan!"

Well, maybe they had some fight left in them after all-the Arc Royal had been conspicuously absent, as had the two fox class corvettes they knew about...

"Visual range?" she asked.

"Bringing up telescope data now!"

the ship...no, ships coming through the point.  "Ryan ice-cartel techniques.  fascinating." she muttered, "Action stations."

"Who are they?" one of the bridge officers, a freebirth she barely acknowledged, asked.

"Those are Kowloonese made Sampan class cutters...and I have no idea what that ship in the center of their formation is."  she turned to her crew, "But they are coming to challenge us."

on screen, the larger ship's manuever engines lit, revealing more of the shape.  an irregular octagonal prism planform with echelon rings around the center, blunt ended and under thrust, jumpsail reefed away for combat action.

"That is no cutter, and I find no reference to that particular hull planform in our databases!"

"of course not.  that is a treaty violation." she smiled,  as the resolution on the telescopic image improved.  "Coast Guard...oh my, have they been busy in the quarantine zone? aff, I think they have."

"...four grav decks?"

"Those, are not gravity decks."  she asserted.  "Those are weapons mounts."

"How can you be so sure?"

"Why would Belters use gravity decks, point commander?" she asked rhetorically, "there are no windows, but those 'gravity decks' are not rotating, and they are contiguous to the hull. since there is no reason to have swellings that regular along the length of a warship, they must be weapons mounts.  Estimate their thrust."

"Two gravities."

two gravities fits the size of the engine nacelles...  "Estimate time to weapons range?"

"Thirty one minutes at two gees...their emission is relatively quiet, Ovkhan...perhaps that ship is less dense than it appears."

"or, they are not in overthrust." she snapped back.  "Two gravities is within the upper end of the tactical thrust for those cutters, but look at the planform! that ship has engines significantly larger than is necessary to move a mass of that apparent size at that speed!  what is the neutrino count showing?"

her sensors officer studied the returns.  "this can not be correct..."

"it can, if that ship is as fast as I think it is." she said, "Launch all fighters in the flotilla, combat dropships prepare for fleet engagement, and nonessential personnel are to report to radiation-shielded bunkers aboard!"

"Radiation?"

"They are Kowloonese.  Kowloonese use nuclear weapons the way the rest of us use standard munitions." she snapped, "they will attempt to use thermonuclear antishipping weapons on us!"

"The Lyrans would never allow-"

"Coast guard." she snapped, "if the Lyrans convinced the Ngo to come, the Ngo will bring the Ngukes! I want all point defenses at full ready!!"

"She's launching fighter-scale masses, Ovkhan!"

"Thirty minutes...what is our plan for after this, Star Commodore?"

"Lodge a firm complaint and remind the plagueies that they need to stay inside their quarantine." she said grimly, then turned to her XO, "That assumes we come out of this alive, Quiaff?"

"Aff..."

"then see to your duty that we do come out of this alive.  I will not see our ship destroyed or taken by a jumped up border police."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 11 April 2020, 02:11:01
KCGS Ia Drang...

on Sharon's HUD, a blinking light appeared, showing a hailing in progress from the Clan formation that was shaking itself out in slow-time (seconds of light delay).

she activated it with a glance.

a Woman in Clan Wolf uniform appeared in front of her eyes.  "Hello."  Sharon said.

"This is Star Commodore Sietha Carns to oncoming Coast Guard vessels!"

"Hi, Sietha, I'm Sharon Ngo, Rear Admiral, Kowloon Coast Guard Marines, have you called to tell me you're leaving?"

"Sharon Ngo...the Duchess of Kowloon, come to challenge our right to be here? Lovely. In twenty minutes your tin-cans will be in range of our weapons, I am offering you the unique opportunity to heave to and surrender...why am I only seeing your eyes?"

"Suit cameras." Sharon said, "Personally, I would suggest you get something better than cheap coveralls if you're going to fight us.  Decompression is a bitch for skin tone, Star Commodore Carns.  Maybe you should consider..ya know, heaving to yourself, we've got lots more experience with these kinds of dances than your lot, and I'm fair sure we've got you out-gunned."

"your ship is tiny, mine is large."

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, Star Commodore.  Funniest thing, before you guys decided to attack us, the last word was you were allies.  What the ****** happened? eighteen minutes."

"The last we were told, nobody was building new warships in the Lyran Commonwealth, yet here you are, in a...prototype?"

"First production model.  did you guys send that stealth ship that blew up the Pol Nguyen station, along with a rockjack prospector, two cutters and tried to attack a major water processor in the Winter system? because it was all Clan Tech and a bitch to kill."

"Um, no."

"Well, I don't want to take your word for it, I guess I'll have to ask the Falcons, Seventeen minutes."

"you accept my assertion, quineg?"

"Aff, I accept Clan Wolf didn't sent the mystery ship." Sharon said, "You Clanners are not very good at lying and you answered a direct question with a firm answer.  Until Clan Wolf gets a rep for lying their asses off like everyone else does, I'm going to accept you had nothing to do with it...but I'm still obligated to make you leave Tharkad.  fifteen minutes."

"Our intelligence says you refused to send aid!"

"That was when a usurper tried to coerce it.  I don't like the Archon, but she is the Archon.  Melissa called, we came.  Fourteen minutes."

"and if Melissa Steiner were to die?" Carns asked.

"Then I will follow my last order from her until her lawfully appointed heir changes those orders, Star Commodore Carns." Sharon said, "That is what it means to be a professional.  Thirteen minutes."

"If she ordered you to break off-even if you were winning?"

"I would obey my lawful orders, Star Commodore, and break off, why? do you have information I don't about the state of mind of the Archon?"

"Neg...but there is a headhunter star after her."

"My marines will deal with that." Sharon said, "Ten minutes."

"you will not break off this course, even to save your Archon?"

"Not a damned thing can i do on the ground from here, and there is a chain of command in case the top of the chain is decapitated.  Unlike you guys, my guys won't go home and sulk for year if you get lucky and I die, the command integrity remains without weak links...Eight minutes."

The dig did its job, the Clan officer on the other end, well aware of what happened when a pilot rammed the Dire Wolf during Revival, was momentarily speechless, and better still, looked doubtful.

velocity counters on her helmet's display matched the preplanned meeting velocity, range indicators were good, and the cutters were in position.

thrust cut, gravity became null. 

Sharon motioned to Emily, and the experimental system was deployed, but not activated.

we're entering the range of their improved naval ppc batteries.

"let's see if this works."

the Wolf officer cut the connection, and technicians stabbed controls.

we held a narrow, straight line vector.  They have to have us ranged by now.

she waited.

"Test system active! they've got targeting lock!!"

"stand by for damage control."


Exterior view...

the Wolf warship fired her Naval PPC's. Really the best choice, those don't cost ammunition and have the best damage-to-weight and damage-to-heat ratios.

the impact revealed a blue haze, cut in hexagons, drifting ahead of the Coast guard formation.  beyond it, the remnants of the charged particle beams were distorted, diverted, and diffused, blistering hull coatings and removing fractional tiles from the cutters and the Ia Drang.

"It worked!!"

"For the moment.  initiate attack plan Alpha, that's gotta have them confused!" Sharon barked.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 11 April 2020, 02:47:44
CWS Jerome Winson...[/b]

"that is not enough aspect change, are they really planning to engage us with only the forward guns?"

"I am more concerned at what they just did to our broadside of PPC fire!  Engage the enemy formation with ripple fire from Naval gauss and autocannons!"

"Lock..no lock...lock...no lock..savashri!!"

Star Commodore Carns spun and strode to the weapons station, "use manual controls!"

"Ovkhan! aspect change!!"

"Keep our broadside to them!"

the enemy ship was presenting a narrower profile, almost bow-on and evading.  contacts showed missiles lighting up behind the mysterious distortion,w hich was clearing away...

the Liberator class warship's hull vibrated with the activation of her heavy ballistic armament, and temperature readings showed power draw increasing from her laser batteries.

then the impacts started to register on the cruiser, as the Kowloonese vessels dipped within their fire-cone.

too many hits for a forward battery, and not small hits, either.

for the tonnage, they must be made of guns?  too many capital weapons for a ship that size, especially at such a narrow aspect ratio, and suddenly, the 'wrap around' rings made sense.

Turrets! the sheer technical complexity made such an arrangement something that Clan engineers scoffed at-the chance of mechanical failures was very high, and the complexity of the mechanisms meant that powerful heat-dissipation sinks, known as 'double' heat sinks, were impractical, while the potential benefits of such an arrangment were considered theoretical and marginal at best.  Only someone who didn't understand why it was a bad idea, would invest-and those someones didn't build warships.

Well, they do now.  a little extra fragility, in exchange for being able to apply a broadside from any angle.

Battlecruiser firepower, in a destroyer hull, with no loss of mission range.

"Oh founder...they targeted our point defenses!!"

"bring them up!!" her XO was screaming.

Sietha Carns took one look at the diagram, and a sickened laugh escaped her lips.

the interference field was gone, in its place,w as a wall of missiles coming, in a swarm. 

she didn't need ot see the mass readings, or the thrust ratios to know what kind, either.

"Brace for impact." she ordered.

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 11 April 2020, 03:07:58
out of story

New Technologies.

Capital grade magnetic/particle shielding array 
Type: Limited use.
Rules: follows the vector and velocity it was released and activated at.  Coverage: 2 turns. replace 1 ton of capital missile munitions.  (may also be deployed by screen launchers from dropships.)

duration 2 turns, covers up to 3 hexes along a facing.

effect: Reduces accuracy and acts as an enhancement to warship grade ECM, also reduces PPC and Naval PPC damage by 1/3 per range band.  adds +2 per range band.  (Long +6, Medium +4, Short +2, Point Blank +0)


Warship Turret installations:

well you saw what it looks like.  effectively this DOES limit the amount of weapons a ship can carry, as well as limiting the type and size.  Warship turret installations work with Naval autocannon, Naval Gauss, and naval laser or PPC armament, increases bay tonnage by 25% over fixed bays, increases fire control weight by 15%.  Capital grade missiles are incompatible with this technology. (can't feed them through the complex structures).  turrets must contain not only similar weapon types, but identical weapons. mixed turrets are not technically feasible.  Ships mounting Turret weapons may not mount double heat sinks (even clan double heat sinks).  On a penetrating hit (see: Thresholding) each turret must make a roll of Piloting skill plus 3 or the turret jams, locking it at the facing of the last firing until it can be repaired.

Benefits: Rear mounted turrets may fire forward.  This effectively gives a 360 degree 'broadside' while enabling the use of narrow aspect ratio approaches or retreats. (effectively making the owning ship harder to hit while still delivering broadside firepower for as long as the turrets continue to function.)

Turrets replace Bay locations on the record sheet, and may be employed along side fixed bays.

Tech availability: Inner Sphere.  Period. the Clans investigated it and decided it was too fragile and expensive to pursue this technology, and the cooling/power draw issues were too significant to bother with.  (since compact and double heat sinks are incompatible!)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 11 April 2020, 07:53:45
Brace for impact indeed!  >:D

And I love "the Ngo will bring the Ngukes!"  :D
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 11 April 2020, 09:46:31
Brace for impact indeed!  >:D

And I love "the Ngo will bring the Ngukes!"  :D
Well, someone's been paying attention at least...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 11 April 2020, 14:16:40
KCGS Ia Drang...

"Damage report!"  Sharon asked.

"B turret is locked along the port-forward azimuth, we've lost three guns there."

"Transfer their ammunition feeds to Alpha and Charlie.  what else?"

"Hull penetrations along port forward, we've lost eleven percent structural integrity along that facing, and we're pumping fuel from the port side tanks to starboard lower.  Casualty reports indicate we've lost twenty seven personnel."  Falcone reported.  "On the whole, we're in better shape than we ought to be."

"What is the enemy doing?"

"They're still reacting to the free-fire missile strike, but four of their assault dropships are coming about to pursue."

"and the Jerome Winson?"

"Thermal indicates she's on fire, mum, course appears to be drifting, but the core structure appears to be mostly intact."

indicators on the tactical plot winked out as the pursuing pocket-warships of the Wolf force were jumped by cutters riding in on the wave of free-flight missiles.

"roll to braking thrust, and start laying down covering fire for our escorts." Sharon ordered, "Give our boys and girls a chance to make it back into formation."

"Aye Mum, brace for braking thrust!"

G-forces pulled sharon deep into the command seat, as the warship pulled an end-over-roll and the engines began firing, pulling her toward the deck of the CCIC at nearly three gravities.

"Subcap launch from the pursuing enemy units!"

"Point defenses up."

Antimissile systems kicked on, Sharon imagined tracers falling in patterns outward, submunitions spreading out to intercept antishipping warheads.

"Engage those pocket warships." Sharon said easily.

"Aye mum..."

the ship's hull vibrated with the barking of the main guns in A and C turrets, this was accelerated with the D, E, and F turrets-mounted aft and facing forward, joined in, creating a pattern of hypervelocity shells.  Two more of the Wolf assault ships erupted, creating patterns of high-speed debris as their hulls gave way to detonations.

"How is our fighter escort doing?"  Sharon asked.

"Holding."

somewhere far, far away, nearly a full five light-minutes out, the rest of wave three was bringing assault landing forces to Tharkad's aid on the ground.

the math of the Tharkad invasion, had decidedly changed.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Hairbear541 on 11 April 2020, 14:28:36
always , pay attension to these stories .
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 11 April 2020, 15:28:03


It is doubtful she will arrive in time.  I need to dig up more information, as I was studiously AVOIDING Dark Age material after having paid for a copy of Ruins of a Book (I want the week I spent reading that thing back), and I'm largely not as current as I should be to be doing any material in this timeframe.  as such, I'm leaning heavily on Sarna.net entries to stage things, which is part of what is taking so long.  (Notably, the Falcons may have a slight advantage over their Wolf colleagues in that they've at least fought other warships in the last fifty years once in a while, and therefore may actually possess a warship doctrine better than "Drive me closer so I can hit them with my SWORD!!!"  also known as using billions of Kerenskies of warship as an improvised battering ram, aka Federated Suns Naval Doctrine, aka nearly everyone else's...)
considering that many of those engagements amounted to "declare ramming speed", probably not.  hell, by this point in canon they even did a ramming attack against a planetary target (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Emerald_Talon) in 3135.. largely a petulant tantrum on the part of Malvina Hazen, who had already won the Jade Falcon Civil war at that point.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 11 April 2020, 15:35:50
Out of story

A physical description of Sharon Elizabeth Ngo...

Height: 5'9" tall

Weight: 350 pounds.

Build: Weightlifter/professional wrestler.

Ethnic derivation: Asiatic subtype homo-sapiens.

Hair: Black
Eyes: Blue/green/Hazel

distinguishing marks: Sharon is a 'big' girl.  Not overweight in the strictest sense, but extreme end of muscular, with around 5% body-fat.  Speculations about her include suggestions that her mother had an affair with a construction vehicle or possibly Clan Elemental (or person with elemental breed in their genetics).  this may have some supporting evidence.  The birth was by C-section.

Qualifications:

Certified operator: Powered personal armor and industrial exoskeletons.

Officer qualifications: combat diver, Deck officer (Maritime), Small unit infantry leader (Infantry), Submarine qualification, Aeropilot Qualification:Small Craft and Dropships, Navigation officer (Newtonian), Navigation Officer (Jumpship), Engineering Officer (Compact Core), Tactical Officer (Jumpship/Dropship) Gunnery Rating 4 (Nuclear ordnance certified).

Graduate: Vin Drin Lap Coast Guard Academy, Giap Island Naval Warfare School, Spider Moon Vacuum Operations Advanced Officer Course.

2 tours on the Quarantine Line (3129 and 3131).  Participation in the Quarantine Enforcement mission on Timehri in 3136 (Surface operation.) 

Frocked "Captain" (O-6) 3138, assigned Commodore Division 3 Coast Guard 3140, transferred to reserve status upon the assassination of her mother Amanda 3141, Commission reactivated at rank of Admiral, Coast Guard, 3143 (By order of Archon Melissa Steiner, dated January of that year).

The duchess of Kowloon has spent the bulk of her adult life under the discipline and traditions of the Coast Guard Marines, this makes her the first since her great-grandfather David Ngo to choose a life of military service over a life of civil duty.  Unlike many of her peers in the Commonwealth, her service has been largely very active service, and across several branches and conditions.

Uniform and appearance:  Duchess Sharon Ngo maintains KCGM regulation 'helmet' haircut-with no hair extending below the jaw line, and does not wear civilian attire except when explicitly off-duty.  when off-duty, she favors a 'dressed down' casual attire made of durable materials and athletic or work shoes.  While on Kowloon itself, she tends to live in the summer cabin on the Ia Drang plateau, enjoying such sports as swimming, fishing and long walks in the park-like wildlands.

Marital Status: Single, no children.

Relationship Status: Single/Divorced.  (Ex husband Frederick Howard currently acting as administrator of the Neumann Arcology on Winter.)

Lohengrin Note: Allegations of spousal abuse remain unproven, however Frederick Howard does have an ongoing protective order mandating his ex-wife maintain no less than 2 kilometers distance.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 11 April 2020, 16:22:10
2km?  He's worried about her shooting him with a sniper rifle??  ???  ;D

Now just waiting for the coup de grace on the Winson...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 11 April 2020, 17:26:06
2km?  He's worried about her shooting him with a sniper rifle??  ???  ;D
If not for the fact he lives in an Arcology, I'd be worried about orbital kinetic strikes
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: DOC_Agren on 11 April 2020, 19:15:27
2km?  He's worried about her shooting him with a sniper rifle??  ???  ;D
If not for the fact he lives in an Arcology, I'd be worried about orbital kinetic strikes
remember she a different sort of Ngo  8)
I would have asked for an system minimum given the family history.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 00:59:36
Tharkad System...

Imagine a nice game of chess...or checkers, imagine being an accomplished player of chess, sitting down for a nice game of chess with a lesser player.

Now, imagine that lesser player calling in a ringer to play that nice game of chess instead...only instead of playing chess, the ringer they call in is trying to play forbidden rules rugby (you know, where punching for the giblets is considered fair play and half the players brought knives.)

This is the sensation the Clan naval forces in the Tharkad system are currently experiencing.

another way of looking at it, still retaining the sports metaphor, is attempting to play tennis while your opponent is running offensive Gridiron plays.

and not following excessive roughness rules.

CJF Jade Aeirie is...well, was a  battleship this morning, when she arrived with more than twenty jumpships escorting a Galaxy of forces diverted from the absolute, total and utter reaming of the Lyran Commonwealth, here to let the Wolves finish taking the local defenses apart before taking those victors apart and claiming the capital world of the Commonwealth for themselves.

That was this morning at around 1300 hours, prior to an urgent emergency meeting with the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Cutter Division of the Kowloon Coast Guard Marine.

She gave good account of herself, destroying eight out of the twelve cutters, another dozen shuttles, and twenty fighters.  Her own escorting vessels managed to divert or destroy 5 thermonuclear missiles.

The problem being, that was five missiles, out of 32 launched by the squadron.

in an instant, six billion Star League dollars (rounded up) of Black Lion class Capital warship was converted into 802,000 tons of radioactive razor-blades and assorted exotic gasses.

Technically, this could be seen as a successful heroic sacrifice, as most of the Jade Falcon forces (wisely) turned around and made for the jump points at best possible speed, escaping the Tharkad system with only the loss of a few trinaries whose dropships were intercepted and destroyed en-route to their transports, and one cluster command vessel that was simply chased down and obliterated by 3rd Squadron's 2nd patrol of cutters.

Nobody, apparently, told the Lyrans that they were supposed to not be able to, or willing to, use pirate-point and nonstandard jump point insertions to cross the system, nor did anyone apparently explain to the KCGM that they aren't supposed to use the most effective antishipping weapons available on Dropships, nor, apparently, on heirloom Warships  dating to the halcyon days of Star League.

Presently, a number of Falcon-and-wolf owned Pocket Warships are discovering that they no longer have the tactical manuever advantage, nor the strategic maneuver advantage in the Tharkan system, and the people coming after them don't seem to have the same 'sense of propriety' as they had enjoyed against LCAF forces thus far.

the Nerve on those people!

the Coasties focused not on the fighters, the  'real' combatants, but on their carriers and support ships, hammering and chasing carriers and gunboats, denying omnifighter crews places to land and refuel, forcing them to BURN their fuel.

steadily, the Clan Wolf control of Tharkan airspace began to degrade, as they lost the orbitals.

steadily, the Jade Falcon fighter pilots who hadn't made it to a friendly vessel ran out of fuel and were forced to drift, rendered 'hapless' by their small fuel tanks and large weapons compliments, combined with a lack of available refueling assets (because those were driven off or destroyed.)

a fighter with no fuel, even one as advanced as a Clan omnifighter, is worthless as a combatant, (though it does make a nice range target for calibrating your gunsights.)

In less than 12 hours, the Tharkad System belonged to the Lyran Commonwealth entirely.

and now, it was time to deal with the ground battle on Tharkad itself.





Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 01:40:48
Tharkad, 18 July, 3143...

Sharon stepped off the deck of the Mark VII landing craft in full armor.  The area was supposedly friendly, in friendly hands.

the officer who greeted her wasn't, in her estimation, bad looking.  "General Steiner." she stopped, and looked around, "I'd salute you but I don't feel like marking targets, sir."

"No need, Admiral.  there's a cease-fire with the remaining Wolf units on-planet."  he told her, "They're requesting assistance in leaving. I understand you're to blame for that?"

"They employed insufficient security on their transportation assets, sir." she told him.  "not unusual in these cases of attempted illegal immigration."

"Illegal immigration?" he asked, showing a little amusement.

"Yes sir.  That's what i'm writing it up as. attempted illegal immigration into the Lyran Commonwealth, along with domestic terrorism and anything else I can use to explain why a law enforcement agency  is out playing Navy, Sir. It was a stone bitch finding the necessary legal precedents to operate this far outside our jurisdictional remit.  As an agency of law enforcement, we do have a remit in cases of illegal immigration, and I can show we were invited by legitimate sister agencies.  So it's a joint immigration issue.  I can probably lay charges of piracy and domestic terrorism too."

"So...thoughtful.  why the cover story?" he asked, "It's kind of unnecessary-"

"No sir, it is completely necessary.  the rules of engagement for a vigorous enforcement action are looser than the RUNT allows."

"Victor didn't-"

"Republic Uniform Naval Treaty, sir.  I am given to understand that the Archon's successor has a kindly and friendly view of Devlin Stone's little personality cult.  If we were here as a military force, conducting military operations, our operations would class under that treaty as a war crime...but the RUNT doesn't apply to domestic law enforcement actions. Hence, the Wolves and their Falcon buddies are illegal immigrants and domestic terrorists, and we weren't working with the LCAF, we were working a joint operation with Lohengrin.  Obviously, my people won't have to process the paperwork for pressing charges, since this is Lohengrin's turf and not ours."

"You have an interesting perspective, ahm...Admiral."

"Thank you sir."

"is the armor really necessary?"

"It is comfortable, sir." she said, stepping with him up the stairs to the command post.

"you refused Brewer's requests." he noted.

"Brewer was a ****** usurper, sir." she said, "Mutiny is mutiny.  It's unprofessional and a mutineer is fit only for throwing out the airlock, sir."

she doffed her helmet as they walked into the complex.

"I take it you opposed our nation's ties to the Republic." He said.

"Yes sir." she said, "We caught some of his nasty boys trying to blow up the Boojum yard when I was an ensign, sir. I have neither love, nor respect for the Republic."

"Brewer opposed them as well-"

"Vedet Brewer is a mutineer." she said, "Please don't compare me to that sack of shit. he and his collaborators should be lined up and walked out into the black without suits." her tone dripped vehement contempt.  "Conspiracy to mutiny and high treason, barratry, abuse of office, high crimes under color of law, shall I go on?  My grandmother would have put him on a cross.  my Ancestor, Tranh Truk Ngo, would have put him on a stake. I would do the same and sing about my work...but that's politics.  The officers that collaborated with him deserve no less for dishonoring their nation, oaths, uniforms, and profession."

"And Trillian, that so-called 'stone lover'?" he asked.

"is the archon." Sharon stated.  "If she wasn't, i would not follow her, but she is.  I don't have to like her politics to follow her orders, I don't have to like her, or you, to be loyal to the nation and to know who gives me my orders.  My authority is derived from legitimacy, that legitimacy comes with certain expectations and professional standards.  not one of those standards will accept the idea of mutiny as a legitimate means for transfer of authority."  she stopped at the door to the inner office, and turned to the General of the Armies.  "I am a professional, sir.  if I catch someone plotting, much less attempting what that cabal of scum did with Vedet Brewer? I will kill the ones I can't subdue, and charge, try, convict, and execute the ones I can subdue.  We are not the ****** Clanners."

"The Archon's going to love you." he said.

"hope not.  I prefer a professional relationship based on respect and the chain of command."  she said, "Love is too complicated and has too many exceptions.  I have no use for it."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: kindalas on 12 April 2020, 02:05:22
Tharkad System...

Imagine a nice game of chess...

CJF Jade Aeirie is...well, was a Texas-class battleship ....... six billion Star League dollars (rounded up) of Black Lion class Capital warship was converted into 802,000 tons of radioactive razor-blades and assorted exotic gasses.


Whole bunch of snipping to get to my question.

I take it that the Jade Aeirie is a Black Lion and not a Texas?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 02:18:15
Hearing room, LCAF Field headquarters, ruins of the Triad, Tharkad...

"Have a seat, Admiral Ngo."  Trillian Steiner had read Sharon's Lohengrin file.  "You came as called."

"I was obeying the lawful orders of my superior officer, Highness."  Sharon said, "We were also assisting a fellow agency in the enforcement of Commonwealth Law."

"I overheard.  I have to admit I honestly forgot about that treaty."  Trillian said, "Among other things."

"Highness, you're a head of state, not a god." Sharon said it without emotion, "Your staff should have handled that. it's what they're for highness."

"but you remembered."

"It's part of my job.  Yours is to run the national government, make executive decisions, and not get killed, Highness."

"I intend to repudiate the Republic Uniform Naval Treaty." Trillian stated.  "How do you feel about that?"

"I believe that's called for in this situation." Sharon stated.  "The RUNT relied on enforcement by the Republic and voluntary compliance by the former member states of the Star League.  No Star League, the Republic's gone armadillo? repudiate the treaty-they've already done so.  that is my professional opinion."

"What if I said I wanted to roll the Coast Guard into the Navy?" the Archon asked.

"I would argue against it." Sharon said, "When the army becomes the police, the enemies of the state inevitably become the people they are supposed to protect.  rolling assets into the Navy, certainly is a different bucket of ore, but the Coast Guard's role, especially in the Quarantine zone, is fundamentally at odds with a strong Commonwealth Navy, and compromises national security."

"Assets...such as?" Trillian led.

"Third Cutter Division, KCGM Ia Drang and sufficient replacement units to bring it up to strength, would be a good beginning." Sharon suggested.  "Emily Falcone is a fine officer, and deserves a chance to shine in more formal military service, and you saw what a well-organized division of Cutters can do.  Beyond that, we have five hulls in progress at Boojum, with the next hull, the Landmark class Golden Lake set to leave the docking slip in August, she'll need a shake-down, and some doctrines will have to be rewritten by LCN's brass to account for technologies we used in designing her."

"And you?"

"If I had objections, I would simply tender my resignation. I've already done my five mandatory.  Where do you need me, and what do you need me to do?" Sharon asked.

"No bargaining?"

"Leave the core of the Coast Guard in place, let them continue their core mission, let us maintain our infrastructure without interference." Sharon said, "And you can do with me what you will."

"So, some bargaining." Trillian said with a smile.

"Highness, I do have responsibilities beyond my role as an officer." Sharon said, "I trust my Uncle to maintain order back home for a time, and I trust my ducal subordinates to do their jobs competently or I wouldn't have come here, but I do have those obligations,and among them, is protecting what my people have built."

"Not what I anticipated, Duchess Ngo." Trillian said.  "You're so unlike your mother..."

"thank you, Highness. I would have thought the extra hundred kilos would have been a hint."

It took Trillian a moment to process that.  "you...do have a sense of humour after all!"

Sharon shrugged, "A small one, highness.  Maybe the extra bulk makes me less...witty.  What is the job?"

"I'm not rolling the Coast Guard into the LCN." the Archon stated, "I am, however, taking your offer...with caveats.  The local units in the Quarantine have been building up? I want two Divisions of cutters, and every one of those destroyers you can build, and you."

"Highness?"

"Chief of Naval Operations for the Lyran Commonwealth.  Rebuild our navy, Sharon.  you have my backing, clear out the deadwood, we're losing wars on three fronts right now, you've proven you can muster and employ forces, evaluate subordinates, and recruit talent. I want it."

"By your command, Your Highness...I take it I'll be reporting to the General of the Armies?"

"I said 'chief of naval operations'." Trillian enunciated, "You will be reporting to me...or to Roderick in my absence."

"understood.  I assume I am to begin immediately?"

"Yes, that would be preferred."

Sharon rose to her feet, in a position of attention, "Request permission to attend to my duties, Highness?"

"Permission Granted, dismissed."

Sharon saluted before leaving.


Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 02:19:28

Whole bunch of snipping to get to my question.

I take it that the Jade Aeirie is a Black Lion and not a Texas?

That was an 'oops'

Black Lion class.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 04:05:38
Creary's Club, Tharkad...

Opulence. the finest wood trim, silk wallhangings, expensive chardonnay and beautiful servants (both male, and female).  The Creary club is exclusive, members-only, and a frequent haunt for many of the senior officers in LCAF procurement.

Even during office hours..well, to be more precise, especially during office hours.  Their aides and  staffers being back at Headquarters.  It was in Creary's back rooms that discussions were had, deals were made.

Today, at 10:00 hours Triad time, in the morning, fifteen senior admirals and generals are present in the various opulent chambers of this exclusive retreat, enjoying the finest food, alcohol, and the company of beautiful women and men, many of them paid for by major contractors throughout the Commonwealth.

At 10:01, the front doors are knocked in by explosives, and an entry team dressed in light power armor, with assault shotguns and tear gas proceed.  It's not the only team, another one is coming through the back door, and the loading doors, and the store rooms, and the roof.

The Assault teams have the word "Militärpolizei" stenciled across their shoulders.  Panicked staff and civilians are rounded up, a few of the bouncers and security men wind up with mild injuries from applied fists and stun-batons.

and fifteen senior LCAF officers are dragged from their 'meetings' and forced to stand in the central atrium.

She walks in.  1.75 meters tall, 159 kilograms of solid muscle in her LCN Duty Dress uniform, (which despite the cut, seems entirely too tight around her biceps and thighs...) cap set over short, helmet-cut hair, the ranks of a Fleet Admiral glittering on her shoulders, a braid with three services: black, Blue, and silver indicating service in Infantry, wet-naval, and space.  There are very few ribbons on her uniform, but there is a nametag.

Ngo.

She examines each of these senior officers in turn.

"You may go, General." she said, "And you...and you...and you, Herr Colonel.  get out of here now, before I have to acknowledge seeing you, Herr General Steiner wishes a word with each of you."

she turned to the Naval officers remaining.

"You will not explain yourselves." she said, "You will not do so, because no explanation your feeble minds could concoct, will suffice."  she reached up and took the rank of a Vice Admiral in her hand, and with a single stroke, ripped it off.  "You are a disgrace.  a parasite.  You will sign this resignation letter, and you will clear your desk, or you will be cashiered and publicly humiliated.  You will do this today. Immediately after I have dismissed you."

she shoved teh torn fragment of uniform into his chest, causing a wheezing gasp.  she turned to the next one.  "You will submit your resignation as I have written it, you will clear out your desk, you will do this today, immediately and with no delay or hesitation.  The Commonwealth has no more need of your services."

She did this with each of eight senior LCN officers.  The ninth one, she back-handed, knocking the man to the floor, where he moaned around a broken jaw.

"Take this one into custody for summary courts-martial on the charge of treason.  once he has been found guilty, let him be found in orbit."

"Aye Mum. Orbit."  a pair of Chiefs grab the stricken rear admiral by his arms and haul him to his feet.  "question him?"

"No.  the evidence speaks for itself."

she turned to the others.  "You are dismissed.  Get from my sight."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 04:10:53
"in the beginning...we begin by removing the overtly incompetent.
This is followed, by removal of the criminal.
After the criminal has been removed, we remove the Traitorous.
With the Traitor removed we can examine for the lazy.
Only free of the corrupt, the incompetent and the lazy, do we begin the process of reform."


-Fleet Admiral Sharon Elizabeth Ngo, LCN
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Artifex on 12 April 2020, 04:56:50
Hoo boy,

that escalated quickly. I  like that proverb, sirrah, I like it a lot!
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 12 April 2020, 05:18:14
Sometimes you want a scalpel, and sometimes you want a chainsaw.

Ngo Industries just so happen to make some of the finest gardening equipment in the Commonwealth...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 12 April 2020, 06:01:35
Given the typical state of the lyran officer corps, she's gonna go through them like a chainsaw through butter (https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2005-06-20)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Derain Von Harken on 12 April 2020, 06:20:07
"in the beginning...we begin by removing the overtly incompetent.
This is followed, by removal of the criminal.
After the criminal has been removed, we remove the Traitorous.
With the Traitor removed we can examine for the lazy.
Only free of the corrupt, the incompetent and the lazy, do we begin the process of reform."


-Fleet Admiral Sharon Elizabeth Ngo, LCN
Wow. This one sounds almost like a religious command. Old Testament style. The Book of Ngo.

And verily did Sharon ascend unto Head of the navy and lo the countless multitudes of spacers across the sphere cried out in a great voice oh boy we are really ****** now.

I am following this because it sounds line we are going to see a Ngo style overhaul of the entire LCN. Yes yes. I am a fan of the honor Harrington series and I can imagine that when devlin stone decides to launch whatever his plan he will find the most brutally effective Navy in the inner sphere thwarting him. Who in Lyran fashion believe there is no kill like overkill and start out with the nuclear munitions in space. Can they have berets?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 12 April 2020, 07:25:15
Any headgear that will fit under a helmet should work...  ^-^

And I suppose that incident will go down in LCN history as the Monday Morning Massacre... (yes, I checked... 19JUL3143 is a Monday).  :D
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: cklammer on 12 April 2020, 12:27:33
"Militärpolizei" was almost never used in real-live German military forces throughout history.

"Militärgendarmerie" was used during real-live WW1.

"Feldgendarmerie" and "Geheime Feldpolizei" during 1939-1945; both formations are proven to have participated in Crimes Against Humanity in real-live WW2.

"Feldjäger" for the modern, post-WW2 Bundeswehr. Eastern Germany never had a dedicated military police force.

I suggest you use "Militärgendarmerie".

Apart from my really unnecessary nitpicking this is a tremendous tale.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 12 April 2020, 12:42:42
And 5'9", 350 pounds just registered...  :o

Weightlifter Paul Anderson apparently had those dimensions back in the day, so it's definitely possible. The Triad is going to need heavier free weights...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Lone-Wolf on 12 April 2020, 13:07:58
The more I read about the Ngo and Kowloon, the more I like them.

They dont treat war like it is a game, no they take it seriously, very seriously.

My favourite alternate reality would be where Katrina Steiner is assassinated but before dying making sure that Melissa is raised by the Ngos on Kowloon. And the Ngos rule the LC in her stead.
Ok, Social Generals - gone.
Loosing planets to the DC - stopped cold.
Regaining planets from the DC - you bet.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: DOC_Agren on 12 April 2020, 13:14:40
She such a small thing no wonder she a different sort of Ngo. 

and Yes in Cannonshop AU, Kowloon takes War deadly seriously when a Ngo in charge
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Dave Talley on 12 April 2020, 14:46:39
And 5'9", 350 pounds just registered...  :o

Weightlifter Paul Anderson apparently had those dimensions back in the day, so it's definitely possible. The Triad is going to need heavier free weights...

nah she can lift and throw former admirals and such
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 12 April 2020, 15:09:48
Not if she keeps throwing them out the air lock...  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sir Chaos on 12 April 2020, 15:21:03
Not if she keeps throwing them out the air lock...  ^-^

With that sort of muscle mass, she can probably throw them through the air lock.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 12 April 2020, 15:30:18
True that!  ;D
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 15:41:26
Commonwealth Naval Command, Triad...

The opulent offices were being stripped out, centuries of decoration removed, boxed, and sent to warehouses for transfer to museums and auction-houses.  much of the resulting real-estate was being converted to other purposes.

On a table in the entry foyer, were a pile of electronic devices.

"What are those?" General of the Armies Roderick Steiner asked.

"Bugs, sir.  monitoring and listening devices located by construction crews and security teams."  Captain Emily Falcone's german was heavily accented with asiatic tonal undertones.  "We strip an office, or a hallway, and we find them, the Fleet Admiral has them placed here for examination by LIC on their weekly visits."

"You've found so many...since you started?"

she laughed, "No, this is today's haul.  I think they have a warehouse where they take them, or hope they have a warehouse!"  casually, she reached down and lifted one from the table, "Terran made, very rare, see the delicacy of the electronics? the sensor?  not like today's crude tech.  There are devices from Terran makers, and Luthien, and we think maybe the Free Worlders as well.  this headquarters is a rich strike of surveillance history, not much to wonder, why the Commonwealth has been on the back foot for centuries.  The humorous ones, are the Lyran-made devices.  like layers of deposited sediment, everyone listening to everyone listening."

she sorted them, "Corporate...individual noble houses, internal military...external military, hostile military..." she stopped, "someone knows every move decided in these offices, has tapped every movement order, every supply request, every directive from the highest levels."

"So where is your boss?"

"Shipyard." Emily said, "She has moved all functions from here, to the shipyard until the refit is complete."

He frowned.  "This is why she has the entire naval officer corps on lockdown?"

the Kowloonese born Captain nodded. "Ja.  Everyone is on Quarantine Fleet discipline, not just the officers. Serving officers may no longer live off-post, and may only take three days per month to visit family, anyone wishing to remain a serving officer must cut connection to all non-service associations, clubs, and political parties, and contacts external to the service must be reviewed and approved, all personal items must fit in a one meter by half meter by half meter locker, anything excess must be placed into storage or returned to one's civilian family."

Which explained why the parking structure was being demolished-officers who must live on-post or shipboard do not require Gieneh Roadsters.

"This has to have a negative effect on morale." he said.

"They can resign." she shrugged, "There is no bar to resignations.  The restrictions won't last perpetually.  The Admiral is making...a point.  Removing the 'social' from the 'social officers'.  Those that can tough it through the restrictions will be better officers when they are lifted.  The intent is to get across to the...staff... that we are at war."

"Is she at the yard now?" He asked.

"Yes, general."

"Thank you, Captain. I guess I must go to muhammed."

Emily frowned. as the General of the Armies turned, and strode back to the surface entrance.

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 12 April 2020, 15:49:56
Falcone really should have come over with a star...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 16:10:44
Archon's apartments.

"...new term today." Roderick said.

"What's your new term?" Trillian asked. 

"Quarantine Fleet Discipline." he said, "She's put the whole service on lock-down, and expressed no concern at the number of resignations this has caused."

Trillain Steiner-Davion crossed her arms and looked out at the gardens. "I know." she said, "What's your take, Roddy?"

"A pile of listening devices in LCN headquarters says she might be right.  They're pulling them out of the walls.  She won't use her new offices here on Tharkad-she prefers to run things from a wardroom at the shipyard."

Trillian nodded, "All correct except it's not a wardroom." she turned to her General of the Armies, "She's using a cargo module, and de-authorized non-vacuum rated uniforms. Everyone is to be in skinsuits at all times that they are not in EVA armor, both space, and shore duty."

"You know then."

"ja.  It's almost like she wants them to act like a navy.  I had to convince her not to institute flogging on Commonwealth ships!"  she grinned.

"That had to be a joke."

"Her joke, had me going for half an hour before I realized the woman wasn't seriously considering the use of public whippings as a discipline tool."

"You're inclined to allow this to go on?" Roderick asked.

"Yes.  It took Clan Wolf fifteen minutes to overcome Tharkad's orbital defense and gain superiority in the system. it took her twelve hours to root them out and smash their invasion fleet-the first Lyran Naval victory in generations."  she crossed her arms, and shivered, "It took decades to build the defense net that the Wolves overcame in minutes."

"Not for the first time, either?" Roderick asked.

"No not the first time."  she turned, "How's your mole-hunt in the rest of the LCAF?"

He shrugged, "Not as many resignations, I haven't had to implement as many restrictions...I'm still finding them though, and I'm starting to think the Admiral may have a point regarding where to discuss classified information, and with whom."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 16:15:30
LCN Regulation update 3143/08/11:Operational Security.

No encryption algorithm is secure.  No transmissions go unmonitored.
therefore: no broadcast of uncoded information is to be employed on any medium of communication regardless of encryption hardware used.

Exception: Information you wish the enemy to have and/or act on.

-Ngo, Sharon, Fleet Admiral
Chief of Naval Operations, Lyran Commonwealth Navy
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 12 April 2020, 16:42:03
Just waiting for the forces of reaction to strike back. Or try.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 12 April 2020, 17:58:01
I'm pretty sure any forces of reaction will shortly find themselves on the far side of an airlock.

And with regard to regulations, it's "Operations Security" in US doctrine...

Otherwise, loving the posts!  Can't wait for more!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 18:00:41
The Nagelring, Tharkad...

"Excuse me, Professor, you have it wrong." Admiral Sharon Ngo stood up, which got the attention of every student in the room.  "About Brian castles and SLDF doctrine, you've got it wrong."

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is Fleet Admiral Sharon Ngo, the current Chief of Naval Operations for the Lyran Commonwealth Navy...Admiral, what do you mean I have it wrong?"

"Retreating to a castle is exactly what you do right before you lose.  In maneuever warfare, fortified installations are targets, not safety." she said, striding down the aisle between ranks of students to the center of the room.  "I can provide multiple examples of this, beginning with the Periphery Uprisings of the twenty-eighth century, through each of the succession wars, into the Clan Invasion..." she reached the lectern, "And finally the Jihad.  Castles do not work as a line of defense, and relying on them exclusively, as you were positing to these young people, will lose a war quickly if the attacking force's objective isn't inside that castle."

"The Siege of Tharkad would disagree!"

"Their objective was Melissa Steiner, she was inside Mount Asgard." Sharon said smoothly, "Note what was done prior to that-"  she swept a hand altering the displays.  "First stage of the Wolf assault eliminated bases and control sites in the system, trapping the bulk of the system's defensive assets in port, where they were easily dispatched, or simply trapped and unable to influence the outcome."

she tapped another display, "The Clan landings then bypassed the fixed defenses on the ground, cutting off supply and communication routes and reinforcements.  Ground forces present were defeated in detail.  Remaining undamaged elements were cut off.  This is while LCAF forces and reserves outnumbered the attacking Clan forces by around fifty to one-the problem being, that forty nine out of those fifty were confined..."  she brought up a map representation  "here, in these.  bunkers, bunkers that were easily kept suppressed and closed by a mere fraction of the Wolf forces."

the displays changed.  "The defensive plan for Tharkad resembles most the defenses at New Dallas at the start of the succession wars."  she turned, "Who here has taken succession war history and can tell me the outcome of the seige at New Dallas?"

a young Cadet raised his hand hesitantly. 

"Cadet Schrodinger?" she acknowledged the cadet.

"New Dallas was destroyed by orbital bombardment, Admiral."

"correct.  In spite of having a functional SDS system, New Dallas was reduced and it did not take spectacularly long.  Do you know why?"

another Cadet raised her hand.  "Cadet Bueller?"

"Because they were not relieved?" the young woman asked.

"Also correct.  Castle doctrine is not entirely useless-if you have a mobile relief coming, it can be used to delay an enemy force and pin that enemy for destruction by maneuver units, however, as seen in the Periphery uprising, a sufficiently ruthless opponent, or sufficiently motivated, can render that castle into a death-trap and neutralize its value, as seen in the Siege of Terra in the late 3070s."

She turned to the professor,  "Kommandant, your impressions? what did I get wrong?"

"You're asking me?"

"I'm asking you.  Rank does not equate to omniscience, Kommandant."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 12 April 2020, 18:09:07
Nice... turning it back on the instructor like that (says military faculty at a senior service college)…  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 18:19:14
Nice... turning it back on the instructor like that (says military faculty at a senior service college)…  ^-^

It's generally considered to be a good idea NOT to make an enemy out of the man who's training your replacement.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 12 April 2020, 18:23:56
If the instructor was even remotely professional, he wouldn't have taken that badly anyway.  From a student perspective, it totally looked like a setup anyway...  :)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 18:27:26
If the instructor was even remotely professional, he wouldn't have taken that badly anyway.  From a student perspective, it totally looked like a setup anyway...  :)

It probably was, why else would a sitting Fleet Admiral be auditing a lecture on basic strategy and doctrine?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 12 April 2020, 18:33:31
AND have slides ready to roll...  8)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 April 2020, 20:20:46
"you would think
a naval budget centered on expansion
Would contain less red ink."


-caption from a political cartoon showing CNO Sharon Ngo chasing contractors with an axe.

Budget meeting, Triad, January 3144...

"it's a working budget." Sharon said.  "This is what the navy you requested will cost."

"You've cancelled a dozen major programs." the General of the Armies stated.

"Yes, I have." Sharon said, "most of those projects have been in the works for decades without forward motion.  A few were outdated before they were approved, and I've removed redundant building and technologies programs in favor of a more standardized approach to procurement.  I can get you the navy you told me you wanted, for the budget allocation at the bottom of the document, but only with the cuts I've recommended...notably, I've also canceled contracts with factories that no longer exist in the Lyran Commonwealth.  the penalty clauses on those contracts are still less than the price of continuing to maintain those contracts."

she stood from her chair and strode up to the large display.

"Industrially, it is better to be self-sufficient than to import, when you have to import, it's better to do so from people who aren't actively trying to kill you." she tapped the screen, "This is common sense, people.  Within the existing Commonwealth, we have the raw capacity to make up for the losses of specific factories, if we enforce a standardization."

"that isn't going to make you popular with most of the Estates, Admiral."

Sharon shrugged, "They can discuss my relief with the Archon." she said.  "this is what we need to do to be viable and competitive. the Fiscal Year budget for 3144 through 3149 that I have submitted, is sustainable, will provide the forces for LCAF's projected needs, and gives us a comfortable buffer in case of emergency.  My predecessor's idea of 'budgeting' was asking defense contractors what they would like to be paid for unfilled promises, obsolete equipment, and shoddy workmanship, while arranging for his friends to get kickbacks and comfortable sinecures as 'consultants'."

"You seem to have an inside track on these accusations, Admiral...almost like you're positioning Ngo Industries for a favored position!"

Sharon looked at the senior member of the Estates General's panel on defense.  "Ngo Industries already has that position." she said, "With Terra going Armadillo, the only major competitor in their core business, Krupp, is out of the picture.  I am, if anything, harming my own holdings with this budget outline, since most of the firms that will lose contracts are large-scale customers of my family's firm. I stand to lose money on this deal, and by presenting it at all, I've sabotaged or ended relationships going back decades."

"How much money are you losing??"  Trillian interrupted.

Sharon paused, her perpetual frown deepening, "hmmm...carry the one...about thirty six billion kroner per annum in net worth for the first five years."

a couple of representatives, including the one from Kaumberg, nearly choked on their drinks.  "THIRTY SIX BILLION???"

"Defense contracting has been lucrative, but contractors require equipment-even when they undercapitalize and can't meet deadlines." Sharon explained, "Ngo is the toolmaker for the Commonwealth.  My family is one of the three wealthiest families in the commonwealth.  Every one of your defense industry giants owes us money.  I did not approach this problem lightly.  My recommended course will see defaults from Defiance Hesperus, various firms on Main Street, loss of income from Arc Royal, and so on, to a low-ball estimate of around thirty billion kroner in assets lost in the first year, with subsequent years seeing continued losses...but that is a fraction of what it is costing the Lyran Taxpayers to prop up industries that no longer deliver on time, no longer deliver on specification, or have never actually fulfilled their contracted obligations.  nearly thirty percent of the national budget goes to a defense that isn't worth one percent of that expense." 

she brought up another display, this one a series of graphs.  "By contrast, the domestic budget of Kowloon alone paid for the division of ships we brought to relieve Tharkad in July of 3143.  it wasn't the ENTIRE domestic output of one lyran world, it was two percent of gross domestic product, and the fraction of that two percent, was what I brought.  The waste, fraud and abuse in the LCN budget must be removed, that began with removing non-useful personnel from positions, but it must continue with the procurement and operating budgets."

"You keep referencing the Navy, what about the rest of the budget?"  Trillian asked.

"I concentrate on my own area of responsibility, Highness." Sharon said, "I am no expert on surface warfare, if General Steiner says he needs a thing, I am in no position to argue that it is unnecessary, and I do not pretend to know what unique requirements ground forces may need to fill.  I know what we need to move those ground forces only because he tells me, I know space warfare, I know something of counterinsurgency, but, I will refuse to speculate on what the general forces of the LCAF may or may not be able to toss aside and get along without."

"Yet you have ground forces experience."

"I have experience in killing.  That is not the same as experience in planning, or executing, a ground war.  My recommendations are solely for the Navy because that is something I have full understanding and knowledge of, it is my area of expertise."  she gestured to Roderick Steiner, "For the general management of the entire nation's defense and military, General Steiner has the necessary expertise, and I defer to his judgement and the judgement of the Archon-because it is my role, my position, and my duty to do so."



Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 12 April 2020, 20:56:13
That political cartoonist deserves a raise...  8)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 12 April 2020, 21:07:51
I suspect the Army is just as rife with the same problems. possibly more since it is a bigger branch. but applying her personnel methods to it right away would probably cause too much disruption right off. better that she get the navy shaken down, then address the army. after all, if the enemy can't make planet fall, it won't matter how mismanaged the army is at the time. once the navy has had time to show actual progress, then do the same shakedown approach to clearing dead weight to it.

but the army certainly should apply the same Logistics methods she is using. standardization and clearing out the dead wood contracts and programs certainly would be a good idea in the Dark age era.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 13 April 2020, 00:50:20
Tharkad Naval Shipyard, May, 3144...

The core was technically 'compact'.  At nearly the length of a Cutter, the definition is very technical.  "Are you sure you really want this?" Sharon asked.  "We can still have it broken up and used for smaller ships."

They were hovering in null-gee, just EVA suits, while the shipyard workers assembled the skeleton of a battleship below their feet.

"they have battleships."  Trillian Steiner told her.

"Their battleships lost to our cutters." Sharon suggested.  "I'm not sure this is practical.  I'm also not sure this is a good use of resources, your Highness."

"Neither am I.  It was enough to get the rest of your budget through the Estates General, it satisfies a great number of loyal vassals whom were offended."

"It's political." Sharon said.

"yes...if it's unnecessary, can you still use it?" Trillian asked.

Sharon studied the plans carefully.  "We can use it." she said after a moment's hesitation.  "A ship, is a ship, is a ship.  I'd feel better about this with maybe a mid-size cruiser design, or a frigate class, something we can have multiple slips producing simultaneously, but I can make the concept work, if not the execution."

the Archon bumped her elbow with a fist, rcs thrusters compensating.  "What is your problem, Admiral?"

"If you can't afford to lose it, you can't afford to use it." Sharon recited.  "did you auction naming rights?"

"What? and deny your sense of humor?"

Sharon smiled.  "Boondoggle." she said, "LCS Boondoggle.  lead ship in the boondoggle class.  It'll be up to whoever gets stuck with this turkey to make the name mean something besides a waste of taxpayer money."

"Out of curiosity, with a release of funding, could you have multiple slips working on it?"  Trillian asked.

Sharon did some mental math.  "One, maybe two yards." she said, "The bottleneck isn't materials or funding, it's talent...why?"

"I want four more yards producing these by August." the Archon said firmly.  "Or at least, capable of producing them."

"Why?"

"If you can't afford to lose it, you can't afford to use it...and I need to hide some of Roderick's expenses, having the Naval budget a microfraction of the general budget makes that more difficult.  I need his tactical and strategic acumen, and that becomes more difficult if he's seen by the public as wasting money."

"He's not wasting money."

"but the pundits trot out your budget, and Kowloon's successes, and claim he is.  Public perception, Admiral."

"it sounds like you want me go on a spending spree." Sharon said.

"I do...but I also want tangible improvements off that spending spree."

"So...'look' like I'm wasting money, but don't waste money?"

"I believe you have it, Sharon."  Trillian told her.

"you regular Steiners make my head hurt." Sharon said quietly.  "Let's compromise.  I'll accept yard expansions in secure systems far from the front, we'll build yards and training facilities, and start laying keels for more...boondoggles.  But with emphasis on ships we can staff and have complete in a reasonable amount of time.  more destroyers, more frigates, more carriers-so that when the Boondoggle comes out of the slipway, she's not wallowing on her own as a giant damn target."

"That sounds lovely." Trillian told her, "Do that."

Sharon watched the yard crews working on the KF core 'keel' of the Boondoggle.  "but I'm going to ask to insist on that name for the class." she finally said.  "because it is a waste of money, and time."

"For a good cause." Trillian assured her.  "Besides, I'm willing to let you test some of your conceptual and theoretical equipment on this."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Derain Von Harken on 13 April 2020, 02:18:48
You know boondoggle is a fun word to say. I wonder if  it is pssible to actually infuse it with menace. Boondoggle. Boondoggle. Oh no sir there are three boondoggle class bearing down on us.
Crap It is a lyran boondoggle.
There are always lyran boondoggle.
No sir the ship.

Because lyran boondoggles are so much bigger than anyone else's.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 13 April 2020, 03:54:07
I'm finding that far more amusing than I should at this hour...  :D
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Lone-Wolf on 13 April 2020, 04:03:30
The last episodes: Ok, I was laughing.
Just trying to imagine the engineers removing the stuko etc and then those listening devices  are there by the dozen. I think they must look at this with their mouths open.

I am not sure but I think I once read that the various intelligence services (SAFE, Maskirovka, ISF and the Nekekami) could walk into any office of the Triad without the LIC noticing. I think with Sharon Ngo and her security (standard infantry of Kowloon is trained to Loki/DEST/Rabid Fox/Death Commando standard and enters LIC offices with impunity - said so in the last story) I think they will now have a more difficult time.

And do we have a talented artist among us? I want to see this carton with the axe!
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 13 April 2020, 04:56:26
"it sounds like you want me go on a spending spree." Sharon said.

"I do...but I also want tangible improvements off that spending spree."

"So...'look' like I'm wasting money, but don't waste money?"

“I don’t know, budget casually.” :D
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 13 April 2020, 05:18:20
Nha Tranh, Kowloon...

"What is your niece doing?"  Cecily Vanderberg-Laikes, Assembly rep from Xiao Loc, demanded, slamming an offprint of a Lyran news report.

Ducal Regent Patrick Ngo leaned forward at his desk, and looked at the headline.  "Her duty." He said, looking up, "To the realm, remember that thing we're all members of?"

"She's building warships and weapons of mass destruction!" she vented at him. 

"Yes." He said, "We've been doing that for some time. If you've been paying attention to the budget allocations for the Coast guard-"

"She's building them for Heinies." Cecily spat, "She's violating god knows how many treaties-"

"Four." Patrick stated, "Three of which we've been in violation since before the Arluna outbreak...I don't grasp your problem, Representative.  Nations make and break treaties with great regularity."

"Our Duchess is playing soldier for the Steiners again!"

"Ah...I see."  he folded his fingers together, "You object to national service then?"

Cecily stopped, and sighed, "take a break everyone, take five." 

The recording crew took the hint, and backed off.  "Pat, your delivery needs work.  You're going to be in front of the Speaker tomorrow and in front of the cameras.  You're coming across as callus and uncaring, that won't fly with the targeted demographic...and calling anyone's patriotism out, in public? bad move until they've dug the hole deeper.  This is an election year and the Commonwealth Loyalist party is polling low, okay?  You need to turn it back on them in a different way-spin the news in a different light, there are thirty seven districts in play this election and the secession parties are polling stronger this year than they have since the Thirty-fifties."

He sighed, "Cecily, I'm no good at this stuff.  Hell, Amanda wasn't any good at this stuff.  What do you want??"

"Try emphasizing the economic benefits, remind people of our successes, remind people that it was Kowloonese ships and Kowloonese crews who saved Tharkad, and that our star nationally is on the rise." she explained,  "Point out that the restrictions are being loosened, exports are up, income is up, that the economy is stronger."

The crew waited until one of Cecily's makeup people had finished, and returned.

"Okay, from the top..."

out of story note: "Heinie"-derisive slang term for german-speaking Lyrans, common in non-german-speaking regions of the Commonwealth's periphery, sp Kowloon and worlds within one jump.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 13 April 2020, 05:24:12
Good thing Pat has help!  ;)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 13 April 2020, 10:25:09
Good thing Pat has help!  ;)

Pretty standard political debate prep, including someone to play and make the opposition's arguments.  Well at least if your opponent's stand in has properly figured out what those arguments are, and not your caricature of them, plus is willing and allowed to play hard ball with them in practice.

If a stand in who doesn't figure out the arguments most likely to be used, doesn't understand them as the oppo side does, and/or doesn't seriously advocate the oppo side in a practice is just setting his side up for failure in the real debate.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 13 April 2020, 16:35:09
All good points, but not things Pat seems to need to worry about...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 13 April 2020, 23:22:11
KCGS Edward Vanh...Shore Party, "Big Mars"

They used a lander-a modified Mark VII with a little electric rover to reach the signal source.  "Well, what do you think?"  Vien Van Trau heard over the common suit channel. 

"It's a crash site for certain.  Refined titanium, iridium Aluminides...some of these alloy combinations are a little odd."

The wreck wasn't hard to spot from orbit, it stretched nearly a kilometer across the southern hemisphere, at the end of a couple hundred kilometers of impact skid.

"Well, someone had to have survived, Come on, let's see if we can find them."  The Chief grabbed a salvage pack and Corpsman Berrie grabbed her medical pack.

up close, it wasn't a small ship.  "Is there anything in the databases?"

"Nothing identifiable, no, could be too much was destroyed when she crashed."

Of course not.

The standing bulkhead loomed over them.  "No recognizable markings, could be scorched off when it entered atmo..."

"radio source is very close, repeating prime sequences.  Maybe automated." 

"Who would automate that, humm?"

it took them a while to find a gap large enough for a man to enter, that wasn't blocked by pipes and conduit.

Once inside.

"holy jesus."

glass-or-a-glasslike substance, shaped into cylinders, were arrayed up the interior bulkhead.

inside, were bodies.

"corpsman, are you seeing this?"

"I am.  Stand aside, chief."

the corpses were dessicated, life support and moisture wicked away long ago.

Vien looked closer, as the ship's medical officer opened a cannister.

"They're not..."

"They aren't human."  Corpsman Berrie said, "Definitely not human."

"How can you be certain?"

the Corpsman showed him the image from her portable X-ray.  "Too many joints in the arms, too many vertebrae, layout of the organs is almost right, but see? too many hearts, one stacked atop the other."

"How long do you think they've been here?"

"Hard to say.  We'll need to do isotope scans and radioactive dating, and we don't have much baseline, but given the dessication? Could be a few months, or a few centuries, or a few millenia."

"She sent us to do some science...I think we're going to need a bigger team."

"Too right, that..."



Dreamland, Big Mars crashsite, July, 3144

Secretary of the Kowloon Coast Guard, Nicole Minh, stepped off the ramp and into a black-site.  "What have you got for me, Caroline?"

"Ma'am, we may have decrypted some of their language data, and we've found something in the wreck Her Grace may want to see, but..."

"but she's back at Tharkad and earlobes deep doing the job she tried to strong arm me to do on a smaller scale. I got that.  show me."

Captain Caroline Nghien 562 was, for all intents and purposes, the commander of a full garrison base.  Only instead of a Quarantine team, or regular enforcement and patrols, she had to be the mayor, and sometimes sherriff, of a bunch of academics, scientific specialists, and carefully vetted security personnel.

She led the Secretary into a pressure-hut erected under a fragment of the alien starship's wreckage.

"This."

it was a gold disk, imprinted with textured grooves less than a milimeter apart.

"Solid gold?"

"Yes mum. It was somewhere close to where we think their command was.  The grooves are data-"

"Music.  my god...and I bet there are information and sounds of their homeworld, as well...sent out, with a crew, as explorers from somewhere out there only to end up here?"

"that's the running speculation, Mum.  The core fragments we found are similar in composition to early jump core technology, pre-TAS Pathfinder alloys."

"She'll want to see this." Nicole said, "Sharon will want to see it all."

"Mum, the crash team found one more thing."

"what did they find?"

"Unexploded ordnance, mum, in one of the larger sections, White Shark casing, undetonated warhead, but definitely Star League origin, and the manufacturing marks indicate origin at the White Sands Boeing Facility, circa Twenty-Seven-Oh-Three."

"Someone killed these aliens?"

"I think it's likely, mum.  We don't have SLDF records to search..."

"Means someone knows about this besides us...or knew about it." Nicole sighed, "This is a crime scene then.  process it as a crime scene, we need to know everything that might be evidence leading to the perpetrator, and everything that might be evidence leading to the victims' families...if they even had families."

"Aye Mum."

Nicole sighed, "I need to get back into space, contact the Ducal Regent and Her Grace for instructions."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 April 2020, 00:23:27
Antoinette Greer Station, Duran system...

"It's beautiful."  Fleet Admiral Sharon Ngo stood anchored on the hull of LCS Ia Drang as the squadron approached Semier Data-Tron's corporate headquarters.

In the distance, along a higher orbital path, the ribs of a new shipyard were being assembled by SDT's personnel.  She felt a little bit of national pride seeing the skeletal forms of construction slips being assembled.

"Admiral, we've got approach clearance to dock with the cylinder.  You might want to come inside, ma'am."

She studied the orbital stations and habitats around the O'Neill one more time, and sighed fondly.  "Just a little longer, Em."  she said.  "The view here is beautiful, it's like the Boojum yards, only...the view is lovely. It really is."

She studied the gas giant that the colonized moon of Rhodes itself orbited.  "Who's on helm today, Captain?" she asked.

"Leutnant Schiffer, ma'am.  He's new and I don't think he's docked with an O'Neill before."

"Tell the Leutnant that I'd better not feel even the slightest hull-shock from this docking, Or he'll be cleaning the sewage reclamation system for the next month." Sharon stated, "Have the Bosuns ready for docking and mooring, I'll supervise that from out here."

"Aye Mum..." Emily didn't sound pleased.

They were running a 'green' crew.  Fresh Nagelring graduates and Spacers recruited from the sparse belter enclaves remaining near the core of the Commonwealth.

Most of the 'Experienced' crew and officers were sorting out LCS Golden Lake and clearing up misconceptions that had infected the Navy, the most prominent being the need to beat it into the heads of the LCN's combat commanders that warships are not battering rams.

The massive cylinder habitat loomed before her, lights coming on to guide the destroyer to the docking point.

come on, Leutnant, don't be a sheep ******.  gently...gently... her fingers clenched and moved unconsciously, as if she were guiding the helm of the quarter-million-ton destroyer.

braking thrusters fired, and they slid up to the connection umbilical, while vectoring thrusters matched the rotation of the docking point.

dock, and seal.

The kid didn't disappoint, for a dirtyfoot.

who am I kidding, I wasn't born a Rockjack either.  she sighed, as the mooring crews from the station linked up with the Bosuns, and secured lines to keep the umbilical stable, and place the destroyer's fusion plant at the disposal of the station.

"Admiral, Please come inside now?"  Emily's voice echoed in her helmet.

"On my way, Kapitan."  Sharon walked back to the service lock at the base of the A turret, and entered her flagship.

In the central passage, she floated to the airlock, using lines instead of mag-clamps, to reach the nose-dock.

"airlock green."  the CPO on duty was new, his clipped english a mark of Belter upbringing, coreward spacer habitats, his cranial tats marking him as a member of the Melani Folk. 

"Petty Officer Clark, You're Melani, where from?"

"Ross ma'am." he said, "My folks were out of Ross, before the Republic 'claimed' it."

"Glad to have you here." she said, as the personnel lock opened.

"Welcome to the Antoinette Greer, Admiral, I'm Administrator Stebbins."

"Pleased to meet you, Mister Stebbins...permission to come ashore?"

"granted, of course." he smiled.

"I bring gifts for the Station." she said.

"that's not necessary-"

"it's tradition, who would we be without traditions?" Sharon asked, and a pallet was brought forward, "Whiskey, Beer, and Red Meat." she said, "I didn't have time to bring wood."

"Your gifts are generous, Admiral." he said, "And accepted."

"I apologize for their small quantity." She said, joining him on the station-side, her boots anchoring to the deck.  "It's a small guest-rite."

"you still observe Guest-Rite out Kowloon way?" he asked.

"yes." she said.

"Few enough do this close to the core." he commented.  "Mister McQuinsoton's waiting for you.  He was quite surprised you'd come out this way in person."

"I prefer to meet people I'll be doing business with personally when possible." she said, "Even after letting the contracts...quarter gravity?"

"Yes ma'am."

"outstanding work." she said, as they entered the main cylinder and the vista was revealed.  "The right contractors, I think." she said, gazing at the central lumen-tube, and the open space of the habitat.  "Absolutely out-standing."

"They say it's the largest O'Neill since the Star League-"

"****** the Star league, this your people built, OUR people built. Lyrans." she said, "so ****** the ever-stupid Star League, right in the ear.  YOUR people did this, and it is marvelous!"

her harshness seemed to shock him.  "The rumors are true-you Kowloonese don't admire the Star League?"

"Nasty history." Sharon admitted, "Why pine for the accomplishments of others, when you have the ability to do this?  Remember, Sov Stebbins, the Star League spawned the Clans in their hubris and insanity."  They caught a spiral-tram and rode up the cylinder's length in near-total silence.



Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: kindalas on 14 April 2020, 00:59:11
I feel emotions.

Much joy reading this.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 April 2020, 01:00:05
Semier Data-Tron headquarters, Antoinette Greer Habitat, orbiting Rhodes, Duran system...

Julian Greer saw her step off the tram, and the reports didn't do her justice-Sharon Ngo was a big girl, her skinsuit seemed ready to overstress under the weight her mucles, and at first she almost looked like a Clan Elemental.  her firm steps threw that impression right out the lock-she walked like someone used to using magnetic boots for long periods, and her issue skinsuit was organized like one of the Folk, or a Belter, not like someone born on a habitable world.

She must exercise constantly to keep that physique.  In his eighty one years, he'd seen men and women in LCN uniform who didn't have that step, or that careful body-language.

But in his youth, he'd seen Kowloonese Marines.  Even without the press, or the file, he would pick her out as Kowloonese, possibly even a "Rockjack"-and that's in spite of a physique no one born to space could have achieved.

he turned from the office doors, to pretend to study a point outside his wondow, as she entered the offices.

"Sir, Admiral Ngo is here."  Stebbins said.

"Show her in." he said, timing to turn around as if suddenly interrupted.

"Sov McQuinsoton!" she greeted him with a bottle of amber fluid.  Guestrite.  my god, she's even got their manners.

"Admiral, I trust your journey was safe?"  He accepted the bottle for what it was.

"Clean sailing, Sov McQuinsoton.  Clean sailing, Her Majesty sends her compliments as well." Sharon said.

He chuckled, and looked at the bottle.  "My god, this must have cost a fortune!"

"Worth the reaction mass and tonnage, sir." she said, "and the seals are unbroken.  Straight from the Well to your table."

"Let's break the seals then!" he said, retrieving a pair of glasses.  "I heard a rumor you rode in on the hull.  What did you think of the view?"

"beautiful. You are the right contractors." she said with conviction.  "Lockheed didn't deserve it, I'm glad we didn't go with them."

"but you were concerned." he said, passing her a glass.

"I worried." She conceded, "I'm not polishing alum here, I saw proof Semier is the right contractor for the navy..I just have to make sure those thieves at Lockheed CBM don't worm into the subcontracting work."

"Thieves?"

"They tried to underbid you." She said, "only I have inside knowledge-they don't have the capacity and what they were claiming to be able to charge-it would be yet another incomplete contract rife with cost overruns and delays.  They have yet to deliver another Mjolnir class, and it's been sixty years since the last one."

"Which is why you canceled the contract." he mused.

"yes." she nodded to a model of Semier's proposal.  "YOU can actually build it, and will actually build it, I am now convinced."

he peered over his glass, "yet you opposed the program entirely."

She nodded, "I did."

"You want to call it...boondoggle."

"because a battleship without escorts is a huge waste of money and lives." she stated.  "The Landmark class destroyers fill one gap, but to be a proper fleet, we need more than a battleship, and a destroyer.  it's the same mistake they made in the sixties-right along with giving command to sheep ******."

He raised his eyebrows, "That's...remarkably crude terminology, Admiral.  Please-"

"It's kinder than my actual thoughts." she confessed, "It works like this, a male sheep is called a 'ram'...and that's what those imbeciles did, time and again-thousands of lives and billions of Kroner on futile ramming attacks.  hence, sheep ******, and so, a man orders that, he is obviously a sheep-"

"I caught the reference." he said, "You came up through the Coast Guard."

"Yes sir." she said, "We don't use public property in a vain attempt to be admired by glory-hounding youngsters."

"you will use the Frederick STeiner class better?" he asked, emphasizing the corporation's internal name for the class of battleships.

"I will not see them wasted by ******, Sov McQuisoton.  it would be disrespectful to your people, to the taxpayers, and to the nation." she said it fervently, "If you build it, I will make sure that for as long as I have influence on promotions, doctrine and training, your ships will be used properly in the defense of the nation."

"can I convince you not to name one after a horrific waste of money, then?" he asked.

she examined her drink, watching the faint coriolis forces swirling the amber liquid.  "We will name it...Frederick Steiner." she said.  "lead ship of the class should name the class."  she raised her eyes, "i sometimes forget myself, Sir. thank you for the reminder that not everyone is...as scarred as I am inside."

"how many tours on the Quarantine did you serve, Admiral?" he asked.

"Two in space, one on the ground." she said.

he reached out a hand, grasping her shoulder, "I...I understand how easy it is, to shut off your feelings after seeing such things."  there was genuine sympathy in his eyes.

"To the Frederick Steiner!" she said, shifting gears in an effort to force the memories back down. 

she raised her glass, he raised his, "Skol!"

and they drank.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 April 2020, 01:07:27
I feel emotions.

Much joy reading this.

Hopefully, I got the right feeling with McQuinsoton.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: kindalas on 14 April 2020, 01:20:57
Hopefully, I got the right feeling with McQuinsoton.

You did. I was aiming for a patriot motivated by empathy for his people. 

Also the lead ship of a class should always name the class and it's a huge pet peeve of mine when it doesn't happen in fiction.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 14 April 2020, 04:03:11
I'm amazed he talked her around!

Aliens, though?  ???
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 April 2020, 11:55:34
Triad, Tharkad, October 22, 3144...

"...what if I asked you to provide technical aid to the Federated Suns Navy in support of cousin Julian?"  Trillian asked.  Sharon was on planet.

"I would tender my resignation effective immediately and return home, your Highness." Sharon said it without hesitation.

"They helped us."

"I didn't say they didn't." Sharon said, "I simply said I would resign rather than obey that order.  Julian Davion has plenty of competent officers, Boeing has competent engineers.  getting involved in their internal politics is giving up on our internal reforms, and once again letting New Avalon decide Tharkad's policies and priorities.  You don't need me to be a yes-man, I'm sure any one of the men I personally fired will happily do that job, and they will just as happily let Lockheed-CBM put a ramming prow on the Frederick Steiner class battleships to impress the Feddies while bankrupting the realm."

"He was impressed with you, you know."

"I don't care." Sharon said.  "I care about one thing: My duty to our Nation.  You gave me a job, I am going to do that job.  getting bound up in someone else's internal struggles? is not that job.  Our house is far from in order, even in the Navy...besides, They were spying on us."

"Pretty narrow view." Trillian said.

"You didn't hire me for my open politics." Sharon said, "You hired me to fix a broken navy and help save what is left of our nation.  Pat would go if you asked him."

"He doesn't have your...gifts."

"he's a competent 'mechwarrior, and that would get him respect from the Feds." Sharon observed, "And I would've appointed Kyle Mosovich if I thought my uncle couldn't administrate in the Q-Zone."  Sharon studied her cup, the coffee was getting cold.  "you want to send me."

"you won't go." Trillian said.

"Correct.  do I need to submit my resignation?" Sharon asked.

"no...no, don't do that.  I won't make you make that choice." Trillian said, relenting.  "I will ask that you stop calling their naval officers ******, at least, where the press can hear it.  It reflects poorly on the Commonwealth."

"As you command, Highness."




Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 14 April 2020, 12:58:44
....harsh, but fair  :-[
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 14 April 2020, 14:44:49
I'm amazed he talked her around!

Aliens, though?  ???

Unexpected but, then, we've seen Cthulhuoid entities in other stories.  And let's not forget the hyperspace krakens.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Gooner on 14 April 2020, 15:08:06
You did. I was aiming for a patriot motivated by empathy for his people. 

Also the lead ship of a class should always name the class and it's a huge pet peeve of mine when it doesn't happen in fiction.

Kudos to both of you.  Well done.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 14 April 2020, 17:40:31
It makes me wonder what Trillian's actual priorities are if she was even entertaining the thought of sending Sharon to the Suns.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 14 April 2020, 17:42:18
An amazingly-rated reality holovee show?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 14 April 2020, 18:44:15
Heh... that would mean she wants to see that political cartoon brought to life...  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Dave Talley on 14 April 2020, 19:35:46
It makes me wonder what Trillian's actual priorities are if she was even entertaining the thought of sending Sharon to the Suns.
to "help" an ally and relieve the pressure she is getting thru the nobles
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 14 April 2020, 19:47:51
But the cost... the cost...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 15 April 2020, 03:40:17
LCS Ming Jennings, Sampan IV class Cutter, outer belt, Westerede system...3147/11/18

"you know, sometimes I want to grab creation by the throat, turn it over and shake until sense comes out."  Commander Natalie Stebbins-720 watched the telescope feed.

"What's got you on a twist today, Mum?"  Lt. Levine asked, passing a self-warming bulb of premix carbohydrate and caffeine with a protein puncher to his CO.

"These guys...how in the ****** is it, they have great gear, outstanding training levels an encompassing superiority complex, and some of the worst ship-discipline I've ever seen.  Their fighter pilots are trying to fly like they're in a blipping atmosphere, nobody's watching their six, and the rate they're burning fuel!"

"So they fly like Dirtyfeet.  Why are you surprised?" Levine asked, "I could probably find enough raws out here to ****** retire.  These belts are damn near virgin."

Natalie sipped her bulb, and checked feeds from one of the other satellites.

"Clumsy..." she muttered, "Look at what they're doing-south continent!"

"Huh.  That's an open-pit mine, where's the heavy equipment?"

"See what I mean? they're using hand-labor." she said, "It is ****** inefficient."

"no...not that." Levine said, "I think I know what they're up to down there, and it's not good."

"What?"

Levine turned to her, "Look up 'thamzing' in the files we've got on Clanner culture, and Kerensky's 'ratios' for caste membership.  That's forced-labor for the sake of forced labor down there. it's a technique for 'social re-engineering'.  Fella named Mao pioneered it on Earth in the 20th century, but he was working with sources like Stalin and that austrian painter who didn't like Jews."

"When's our check-in with Fleet again?"

"Nineteen hours, Mum."

"right...nineteen hours.  Keep recording and compiling, I think when she sees this, Her Grace is going to want to kill some folk."  Natalie said, "I know just watching this, I want to."

"Aye mum.  wonder what the units looking at the other three close targets are saying?"

she turned to the Lieutenant.  "Same thing we are.  Count privies, if nothing else, we can count on them staying segregated to their bases off-duty, There's nothing in the Ares Conventions about dropping rocks...and there are a lot of rocks out here.  Target the Clanner bases and barracks with kinetic impactors and land proper ground forces with air-cover. I think we can take these bastards with fewer troops than were here when the planet was lost."

"Off the reservation?" Levine asked.

"If she gives us the green light.  this is monstrous.  Running Quarantine, you have to sometimes kill civilians, but this? this is abuse."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 15 April 2020, 04:06:12
Loonies HATE slavery.  Force labor for force labor's sake?  Yeah, that's going to spin them right up.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 15 April 2020, 04:17:06
LCS Charles Vanh, Pobeda system outer belt...3147/11/18

On Telescope, the domes were blackened craters.  The jade Falcon garrison on the mars-like fourth world still hadn't spotted them.  On the earthlike world, some of the cities were blackened smears on long range, and at high magnification levels, the signs of atrocity were everywhere.

Commander David Tranh watched with silent rage.  The destruction had no military purpose, except to cow the population.  The recon flight was a week using nothing but passives and dropping sensats to observe the star system.

"Mongol doctrine.  enslave everyone they don't press-gang to attack their next target."  Lt. Cavershaw-66 from the Winter system's outers said.  "We were briefed on this, remember?"

"Yeah." Tranh turned to his XO.  "We need to do something about this."

"If we're lucky, we will-She didn't order recon flights for nothing."

"Let's hope it's soon."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 15 April 2020, 07:25:04
LCS David Ngo, Sampan IV class cutter, Horneburg system, inner orbital ring...3147/11/18

She was named for a hero in the Blake war-not that unusual.  Sharing that hero's bloodline isn't either, not for a Rockjack from Kowloon.  She never met the genetic parents-being grown from banked ova and surrogated kind of eliminates directly knowing your parents, but being raised by Nicole Minh meant she had a very good grasp of who the donor of the egg was, and who they might have become.

Commander Linda Sithers-Minh 002 grew up with the values of the Kowloon Coast Guard, and the cognitive dissonance that only comes with an existence centered on protecting humanity from a contagion, while simultaneously trying to uphold the things that make humanity worth saving.  Going to war was a relief from the Quarantine Line.  seeing the humanity she'd been raised to defend?  well...some of it was definitely worth saving, and some needed to be burned.

Dear Mom...
it's our fifteenth day watching the Falcons on Horneburg.  we found the burrows and stations they 'cleansed'.  no survivors in the orbitals, at least, nobody stupid enough to have an active transponder running.

The surface of the planet's if anything worse.  I wonder if this is the kind of thing the Blakists did, that sent the original Giao Pham over the edge?  it seems like it.

the books you made me read as a girl strike home now.  This is what Amaris was doing to Kowloon for two hundred years.  The ethnic cleansing, the forced labor camps, all of it.  I think I begin to understand the 'why' of the Elbar Toothpick, and the promise it contained.

What has happened to the Falcons, the gene-cousins of Hue, is an atrocity, a horror that breeds more horrors.  They have become the Rim Worlds Republic, and they must be stopped.  This contagion has a name;  "Mongol", with sub-names like "ordun", stolen from humanity's darkest past.

I know you tried to raise me as a Christian, as your father tried to raise you...but these people can not wait for a messiah to save them.  So I bend my prayers that we're not just doing this to record an atrocity, but to prepare to take the lives of some of god's wayward children, in order to save many more.  It is vain of me, to take on such airs.  It saddens me to think that in the anger I feel, I am adding to the lord's suffering on the cross.

but there it is.  I pray that when the word comes down, I will have the strength to forgive them-but not until after I have stopped them.

Your loving daughter,

Linda.


"RTO, prep for send in four minutes, thirty seconds, our Recon report, and outgoing mail."

"Box is prepped mum."

"Send."  she leaned back at her station. 

"incoming flash priority message, Mum."

"Read it out loud."

"Stand by for action orders, War Plan Green version Silver, Sixty Three Standard Units."

she nodded.  soon.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 15 April 2020, 10:54:39
Loonies HATE slavery.  Force labor for force labor's sake?  Yeah, that's going to spin them right up.

It is more than busy work.  It is there to reduce "undesirable" and "excess" population.  They are running recon on a death camp.

As Sithers-Minh put it, this hit the kind of cultural buttons that send Loonies past frothing rage and straight into the kind of tranquil fury that not only finds Elbar Toothpicks justified, but a good idea.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 15 April 2020, 12:40:51
I can't think of anything more likely to set off a Loonie than this.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sir Chaos on 15 April 2020, 12:59:45
Couldn´t set them off any faster or harder if you tried.

Well, maybe if they also spray-painted "Liz Ngo was a poopy-head!" everywhere.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 15 April 2020, 13:10:34
Couldn´t set them off any faster or harder if you tried.

Well, maybe if they also spray-painted "Liz Ngo was a poopy-head!" everywhere.

No, that wouldn't set them off nearly as bad.  Might even chuckle like most GIs did to Tokyo Rose's broadcasts, and for the same reason.  Enemy Propaganda that misunderstands their targets and target culture so bad it flies into self-parody. 

Now if the phrase used was Arbeit Macht Frei? :o  Oh yeah, that would make things even worse.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 15 April 2020, 17:05:33
Just realized I missed a couple of date-stamps in the last few posts.  editing them for context so the NEXT part makes some sense.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: mikecj on 15 April 2020, 17:13:12
Can't wait to watch the heavens fall
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 15 April 2020, 17:23:35
Triad, Tharkad, 3147/11/20...

on the table, were intelligence reports and readiness surveys.  "She is going to lose her mind over this."  Roderick Steiner said, "These were what, four days ago?"

"They all are." Trillian corrected the General of the Armies.  "Get in front of it."

"In front of it?"

"you had to be working on plans to retake those worlds, if for no other reason than the threat the Falcons might use them as another staging ground."  Trillian said, "it's why the recon flights were being sent."

"We can't defend against both fronts, Trill." He noted, "If the Wolves even get a sniff that we're pulling back from their new border-"

"These, are death camps.  right in our faces, Roddy.  find a way to get in front of this, I'll deal with the Wolves."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 15 April 2020, 17:31:37
If Roddy's NOT in front of it, he'll have an Elbar Toothpick BEHIND him...  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 15 April 2020, 17:32:59

War Plan Green, Jade Falcons?

Version Silver, ???  Refers to some preset attack plan, but like good codes, zero context unless you read the plan already.

63 Standard Units.  Hours?  Just over five days, and we are two days or so since the messages were sent.

If Roddy's NOT in front of it, he'll have an Elbar Toothpick BEHIND him...  ^-^

Roddy didn't do this shit, but if he doesn't do something substantial very soon, he'll be too late to do anything about, or too, it.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 15 April 2020, 17:41:34
I didn't say it would be aimed at him, just behind him...  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 15 April 2020, 18:03:46
"get ahead of this", when dealing with a Loonie, essentially means "try and stop them before we need to hold war-crimes trials for our side"
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 15 April 2020, 20:21:44
LCS Ia Drang, Landmark class destroyer, Tharkad system...

"Welcome aboard General."  Kapitan Emily Falcone met him on the smallcraft deck, boots anchored to the floor with magnets. 

"Is the Admiral available, Kapitan?" Roderick Steiner asked.

"You mean, is she indoors, in her office, instead of sitting on the hull star-gazing? Yes.  This way please...you're not accustomed to nullgee?"

"Usually on a transit I tend to stick to the gravity deck of the jumpship." he confessed.

"Sorry we don't have one for your sake, sir, just use the crawlway."  she gestured at the ladder rungs built into the corridor, and then kicked off to drift beside him.

"You're from Hue, right? the old Falcon enclave?"

"I'm not just from Hue, sir, I've got enough Pershaw ancestry I could probably challenge for a bloodname, if the ****** Clan hadn't turned into a bunch of...rimjobs." she spat the word.  "I used to be proud of that, now I'm ashamed."

"You've seen the intel report."

"I'm the Admiral's Flag Captain sir.  I saw it before she did."

"How did she react?"

"badly."  Emily admitted.  "She started looking for lumber yards.  It took a while to talk her down."

"Lumber yards?"

"For toothpicks, sir, and postholers.  it took a few hours to get her to relinquish the idea of planting a sever garden.  We're going to space them instead."

"them?"

"Every Mongol we catch, sir."  Emily enunciated, "Capture them, interrogate them, try them, and execute them.  alles in ordnung."

"You pronounced that wrong."

"German isn't my primary language."  they reached the Admiral's cabin, just off the ship's CCIC (consolidated combat information center).  Emily braked with a loop-twist motion and tabbed the hatch's knocker.

"Admiral, General of the Armies Steiner to see you mum."

"send him in."

She anchored her feet, and worked the hatch wheel, opening it.

Roderick crawled awkwardly in the microgravity, and found Admiral Sharon Ngo floating in a lotus position, with displays covering walls, ceiling and floor.  The furnishings otherwise were stowed.

He took it in-comparison imagery of four occupied worlds, displays of geological survey data, demographics, climate statistics, orbital profiles.

"Trillian sent you to talk me down?" Sharon asked.

"No, we're here to discuss strategy and readiness." he told her.  "We're going in."

"Good.  in four days, the Frederick Steiner will be fully stocked and operational." she told him, "I found a good Flag Captain for that ship, Everything is within one jump of the yard." her eyes were empty of feeling, "How do you feel about launching the counterattack from a battleship?"

"You won't be-"

"I came up on cutters." Sharon stated, "It  took forever to find a sensible man to helm the Fred.  The largest enemy concentration's going to be on Horneburg, that's also the strongest ground presence. to retake the planet, will require both naval, and ground forces in large quantity.  The bulk of enemy units in the target zone are from Delta galaxy.  a simultaneous strike and we can prevent them from mutually reinforcing or organizing a ready counter-attack.  First Squadron's confirmed the Falcons don't have a deep defense, their next major fleet base is two jumps further in.  communication with my Uncle has provided me with fleet movements for four out of eight known Jade Falcon warships-they're off-axis and attacking at least three jumps distant."

a display changed at a finger motion from her.  "The battlegroup for the Fred includes the destroyers LCS Golden Lake and LCS Cold Creek, with a cutter squadron and two transported squadrons of indefatiguable class pocket warship type Twos escorting the LCS La Grave, a Vengeance class carrier.  that should be sufficient for landing your RCT's and holding the system."

"You've been thinking this out."

"I've had four years." Sharon said, "of course I've been thinking this out.  I just wish the LCS Hermann Steiner was further along. we could use the firepower of a second battleship on one of the other targeted systems, we'll have to do with four-ship destroyer squadrons backed by sixteen ship cutter squadrons and assault dropships instead.  Give me a timetable and deadlines for loading your ground forces, we'll get them there, and keep the enemy from reinforcing."

"I need twenty four days."

"That's time enough to finish loading the ordnance on the Fred." she said.  "Let me plan the Naval battle, you focus on the ground war."

"Who did you give the Fred to?" he asked.

she told him. 
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 15 April 2020, 21:35:55
She told HIM, but not us!?  Criminal...  ::)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 15 April 2020, 22:49:31
Good news, Sharon picked a Flag Captain who can and will talk her down.  She's still going to be fresh out of mercy when she jumps in, but will settle for flattening the Mongols too fast for them to try to surrender.  Swift and massive overkill is my bet, with nukes for anything outside of an atmosphere.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Adjudicator on 15 April 2020, 23:11:55
Wow. A Lyran response against the Dark Age era Mogol faction Jade Falcons.

Now I am getting vibes from the 2nd version of Ngoverse Civil Affair part 3 and the following story Morning Star's Arisen. Wonder if the Jade Falcons still have their experimental Nuclear Hardened warship and dropship armour...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 April 2020, 00:06:06
Block-chain message by relay from Tharkad to Spider Moon, Kowloon system...

Attention to Orders:

Ducal Order 3147/12/10

War Plan Green, Silver Variant.  Version P.  Contingency Plan Gamma Elizabeth is in effect.  Forward necessary information under Contingency Gamma Elizabeth to all Quarantine Zone Governments.

Execution to begin immediately.

See attachments.

Sharon Elizabeth Ngo
Duchess, Kowloon.

[4 attachments]




Nha Tranh...

Ducal Regent Patrick Ngo opened the de-compressed attachment files, and put them up on display.

"Oh god."  she wants this distributed?  "Call the press,and call forth the Assembly-both houses, and I don't care if they're sleeping, or ******, or fundraising, I want those delegates seated in three hours!"

Mentally, he made a list of which local governments were going to be likely to refuse, even as he opened a file drawer and pulled out the envelopes Sharon had left him in case of emergency.

He stopped himself for a moment, looking at a photograph of his sister.  "It shouldn't be me in here today." he said, "It should be you..."

He opened each envelope in turn, and uploaded the codes to the system-wide Pnet network.  "I should be the one preparing to go...but it's Sharon." he muttered. 

"but she won't be going alone."

Mobilization will take months, but it has to start somewhere.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 April 2020, 00:26:06
The Triad, Tharkad...

How does a nation truly go to war?

it does not begin with the Declaration of hostilities.  It doesn't begin with the initiation of hostilities.

Those can happen before, or AFTEr the preparations.  It begins with understanding that war is not the answer, it is the question.  It truly begins, when the answer to that question...

is yes.

"Release the reports to the press." the Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth had been praying for 'no' to be the answer, even when she hired a Ngo to be her Chief of Naval Operations.  She'd prayed that answer was 'no' when she approved Sharon's naval budget, when she'd pushed Sharon to accept a massive Warship project to soothe the multitude of ruffled feathers caused by that project.

She'd been praying for 'no' when she saw the name 'Boondoggle' crossed out and the name of the illustrious Frederic Steiner replacing the name of that massive warship program.

She'd prayed for time, while encouraging Sharon Ngo to begin paying for new shipyards deep in the less-threatened areas of the realm, and while Sharon had been building the navy off the backs of the Quarantine Zone's largely untouched industries.

God said 'no'.  Trillian recognized this, when the intelligence reports and flybys lined up, showing atrocity and genocide in Clan-held areas of the Commonwealth.  Areas that neither Melissa, nor Brewer, had been able to hold.

God said no to the Archon's prayer for peace, and so the answer had to be 'yes' to the question of war.

Not raids, not conflict.  war.

"make sure every word of those reports, every image, is on every station, network and news-feed in the Lyran Commonwealth.  Unedited except for language translation." she said.

Then she composed a message to a cousin she considered a good friend.

I'm sorry, Julian.   I can not help you.  Enclosed, is why I can not help you.  You can not save us, and paradoxically, we can no longer spare the resources to help you save the Federated Suns.

"One more step before we make the public statement." she said.

"Majesty?"

"I have to inform the Wolves...and pray they understand what we're doing." she said, "We can't win a war on two fronts."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 April 2020, 01:03:15
Clanbuilt network traffic...

"You must be joking, quiaff?"  Khan Alaric Wolf said to the woman on the screen. 

"No, I am not joking. we are preparing for unrestricted war with the Jade Falcons and their Mongol friends."  Trillian Steiner said.  "You are not their friends, right?"

"I am offended at the mere thought!"

"good.  Then do not interfere against us.  I would ask if you wished to contribute, but I understand there are some...bad feelings about the events of July of 3143, and we can not afford distractions.  The intent is to annihilate the Mongols, root and branch.  Your coreward border will, as a result, be your safest border, we will not be engaging rimward, It would be...appreciated...if no cause were given to turn rimward until Malvina Hazen and her psychotic followers have been exterminated."

Alaric leaned out of the camera view for a moment, and mumbled voices-a short conversation, he retuned to the frame.  "You use terms like 'exterminated' and 'annihilate'? what are you planning, Archon Trillian Steiner-Davion?"

"exactly what it says on the box.  Unrestricted war, Khan Alaric Ward.  as Sharon puts it, 'we're going to kill Rimjobs'.  The step of calling in forces from the Quarantine has been taken as well-not just one cutter division and a few destroyers, we're levying ALL the calls.  Interference with our operations will be interpreted as alliance with the enemy and responded to accordingly.  You can take this opportunity to finish conquering the Republic, or subduing the Free Worlds, i don't care, but Wolf raiding across the border against Lyran Targets will be responded to with disproportionate force.  Keep your people focused away from us until this is over."

he consults offscreen.

"I want in." He said upon his return.  "We have long standing grudges against Clan Jade Falcon, and...cousins...on your side of the border.  You will make a place for Clan Wolf in your war, Quiaff?"

she frowned doubtfully, then, "yes.  Be ready."

[connection closed]

CWS Dire Wolf, somewhere near Hesperus II.

"They must be insane." Alaric said after the communication terminated.  "In eighty years, they have never had the forces to take on Jade Falcon, and that was before they let that charlatan Stone disarm them!"

"You allowed them to drive us off of Tharkad, my Khan, maybe they are stronger than you believe?"

"I let them go, because Tharkad was a ploy to stop the Jade Falcons, and that psychotic elemental breed from Kowloon brought nuclear missiles." He said, "in quantity."

"That psychotic is her Chief of Naval Operations and has spent the last three years reforming their naval branch."  Anastasia noted. 

"that suggests they are fielding lots of nukes then..." he agreed.  "We need to be involved if for no other reason than to assure there is something left.  Begin organizing a task-force, Ana. This is not like HAMMERFALL, this time we are dealing with honorable leaders and teh loose-cannon is not in the mold of Vedet Brewer...and as allies, we will have influence and access enough to make the final conquest of the Commonwealth much, much simpler."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 16 April 2020, 01:28:35
Yeah, sure, Alaric ...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 April 2020, 01:41:18
"...it's a numbers game.  Once you accept that losses are inevitable, you then can begin calculating what acceptable losses look like.  For generations, warfare has been the province of the elite-more of a sport than a concentrated conflict of will.  Even in the depths of the Clan Invasion, armies were almost ludicrously small, planetary invasions decided by single regiments, or even battalions, by single Clusters and Trinaries.  The  Death toll among civilians was horrific, as they always are, but...not the participation.  Very few populations have historically been wiling to commit to General Warfare, willing to deal with Wartime economies, able to provide the sheer manpower to fight in a general war..."
-Elizabeth Ngo addressing the Kowloon General Assembly after the Battle of Kowloon, 3067.

Overview: Sharon Ngo's Naval Budget from 3143 to the war declaration of 3147...

Admiral Ngo's budget was twenty percent of her predecessor's budget.  This, well it didn't make sense.  What made less sense, was what that money went to.

fully fifty percent of FY3144's budget went to the construction of additional shipyards, rather than the purchase of new ships, fighters, or transports.  JUST shipyards.  A standard pattern was used, and distribution ranged all the way from the periphery border areas inward.  More than forty systems, including systems with no other industries, recieved pre-fabricated, packaged, and assembled shipyard facilities.  Fueling stations, and so on.  Another twenty percent went to the purchase and construction of supporting industrial facilities built not to produce ships, but to produce more yards, Ten percent went to low-interest loans for startup companies to assemble, and operate those shipyards, mainly focusing on civil infrastructure tasks, but with reinforcements and additional large-frame structures capable of handling warship production.

The remaining percentages went to paying existing personnel, recruitment, and maintenance costs, with one percent applied to the "Battleship 32nd Century" initiative-the design and procurement of full-scale warship production.

In sum total, less than .24 percent of the Lyran Commonwealth GDP was spent on the Frederic Steiner class, and compared to the previous year's expenditure of nearly half the LCN budget on the faltering and perpetually delayed Mjolnir II program, the results were...gratifying.

The FY 3145 budget saw an increase of 900% in registered jumpship transports throughout the Lyran Commonwealth, and saw the addition of the "general commerce enforcement and protection act", creating a reserve fleet loosely based on the Kowloonese Coast Guard model.  This agency was tasked with three things:
1) ensuring jumpship and dropship safety and maintenance, with a thick budget for providing inspection, maintenance and repair to Merchant vessels
2) Low interest loans and extensive buyouts of mortgage obligations for civil shipping companies.  This was largely focused on providing those services to smaller operations and single-ship companies.  A beneficial side effect of this, was a sharp drop in smuggling, contraband, and Piracy as independent operators could be kept out of debt, with additional 'legitimate' work replacing criminal and black-market enterprises.
3)Procurement and training for Reserve crews on Cutter type jump-capable enforcement ships built to a standard control and monitoring scheme identical to that being installed on LCN front line vessels.

Fiscal Year 3146 saw the start of 'shakedown testing' for the LCS Frederic Steiner and the opening of eleven Naval yards throughout the Commonwealth.  Keeping in mind that the FY3146 budget was only 45% of the FY 3143 budget for the LCN, the total number of military hulls in the black had increased radically, reaching levels not seen since the First Succession War.

FY3147 was the first time the LCN budgets matched the expenditures seen in 3143 and 3142 under the prior administration of the Commonwealth Navy.  The fleet itself is radically different from what it was even four years ago.  At .5% of the Commonwealth's total GDP for 3146, the LCN is still 'sucking hind teat' to the rest of the LCAF, which comprises a massive 1.23% of the Commonwealth's GDP and nearly 30% of the national budget.

FY 3148 will see the first increaseto the LCN budget compared to what it was in 3143, with a projected increase of manpower by 900% and expected battlefield losses.  The Shipyards are now building ships, factories are turning from commercial smallcraft, to aerospace fighters and combat-capable smallcraft, and extensive reserves are being tapped to man this radically increased force.

meanwhile, momentum is driving more industries, in more places, to be built to feed this growing juggernaut.  It's not sexy, or at least, not as sexy as building lots of new battlemechs at one or two sites, this is a new (Old) method of war.  Industrialized war, the mobilization of a nation's potential industrial base to fight.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 April 2020, 02:22:04
[out of story]

Sharon's got one of Lizzie's gifts: she's good at logistics.  that is, she's good at figuring out how to set up the flow of supplies, men, material, and crazy necessary to power a massive Naval expansion on a relatively small budget in a realm where corruption in military contracts is, well...standard.

The Frederic Steiner class warship program was a perfect excuse to build up new subcontractors and cut old, connected and corrupt ones out of the loop until they play ball by HER rules.

Semier Datatron were the first ones to fall in line.  Lockheed/CBM took a bit longer.

but, eventually, they too stepped up to play ball by 'Admiral's rules'.

does four years seem unrealistic?  Certainly to the talking heads at DNN it did.  it's not. There are some neat things you can do with efficiencies of scale involved here.  Sharon's programs ramped up the Lyran Shipbuilding and fitting industries to fill a wartime demand.  Not a "traditional, brushfire raiding" wartime, but "All out we fight until we die screaming" wartime.

In the process, hyperstimulating the Lyran Economy out of the doldrums of the post-blackout crash.

by comparison, Roderick's reforms were minor in scale, and far more conservative, leading to a situation rarely seen in the Commonwealth: There are more regiments of Marines, than Ground forces, and more transport-capable ships, than soldiers to fill them.

in simplest terms, the army has some catching up to do.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 April 2020, 03:52:52
December 25, 3147, Westerstede system, 0300 hours local time...

The first warning of the impending attack, came at the planet from sunward at 0300 hours local capital time. 

Gravel.

25 million tons of mining slag released after 30 days of acceleration from the outer system.  fist-sized chunks moving at 2200 meters/second along a plotted course that included a gravity-slingshot around the primary star.

The mining slag is mostly bubbles of silica, nickel, hydrogen, and nitrogen, ranging from fist-sized to the size of a civilian automobile.

Jumping the slag into the oort cloud hadn't been that big a deal.   Trainee crews bringing in pocket warships with drop-tanks and towing adaptors to move it along a course that would pass close to the planet, with a small amount scraping the upper atmosphere, that was just using a stopwatch and a calculator.

Maintaining total radio silence through this phase? that had proven to be the real challenge, second only to assuring that the approach vector for the 'shotgun spread' would keep the sun in the way of any nosy astronomers among the Jade Falcon's 1st Falcon Striker Cluster or 11th Falcon Velites? well, apparently the Mongol movement doesn't put a lot of stock in star-gazing unless something jumps in close enough to trigger their early warning alarms.

For the most part, the relativistic projectiles did two things:

1) obscured deep radar while passing the planet, by providing the Falcon aerospace and naval assets a large, fast-moving target of indeterminate size coming from sunward.
2) shredding or damaging orbiting dropships, and creating a fantastic light show for the population (what was left of them) right about sunrise on Christmas day.

a few 'rocks' were intentionally released to fall (within a margin of error of .001%) on military-only sites planetside.  Sites occupied by barracks, 'mech bays, and fortifications.

these weren't spectacularly large, and the intentionally low density of them meant instead of penetration of the crust, the energies would be released fairly close to ground level.

the most important part, is the disruption of Radio communication, Radar installations, and command-and-control.

the second wave of rocks followed a similar path, blanketing the other hemisphere of the planet in electromagnetic pulses, ionospheric disruption, bright lights in the sky, and a few minor hits to fortified complexes and military installations.  the most important ones, being the mobile HPG systems set up to coordinate with other forces of the Clan.

Jade Falcon pocket-warships and the CJF Chaos Sailor mobilized immediately, and began searching for the source of this attack.

They didn't get to spend much time looking.

Jade Falcon owned transport jumpships were hit almost simultaneously with the 'rockfalls' by Cutters from the LCN, whom had arrived in the system quietly over the last 20 days, using non-standard points, or calculated jumps into the deeper oort cloud-far from the usual detection ranges of even very alert military planners.

The Lyran attack on their transports was not restricted to traditional rules.  No challenge was issued, no mercy and no quarter shown.  instead, missile fire and subcapital cannons tore through transport ships at the zenith and nadir points like a machine gun through single-ply toilet paper.

Aerospace pilots found themselves under attack by fighters and coordinated small craft, while assault dropships or 'pocket Warships' found themselves on the recieving end of being hunted by an enemy who seemed to appear out of nowhere, an enemy that lobbed megaton-scale thermonuclear ordnance instead of the usual, and accepted, half-kiloton warhead most often used during the war against the Word of Blake.

leaving the Chaos Sailor in a position where she had to thrust for a jump point, only to find two warships emerging-not cutters, but full-scale warships.

Denial of Retreat.

The Mongol forces of Delta Galaxy would have to fight.

Confidence, however, was high-while their trothkin might have been spread across four star systems (Pobeda, Horneburg, Westerstede, and Cameron), they were in linked HPG contact, and word could get-

The request from the Fourth Falcon Dragoons on Pobeda arrived around 0345 hours, describing a similar-even identical, in some ways, naval assault on that system.  At 04:30, the request was overlapped by demands from the Fifth Battle Cluster, at Horneburg came in, describing the presence of a full-scale battleship in addition to the carriers and Kowloonese-style Cutters.  the Garrison cluster holding the world of Cameron didn't even bother to call for aid.

There were more active warships in the Westerstede system, than Star Commodore Sithra Buhallin had ever seen in her entire life.

and they all belonged to the Lyran Commonwealth.

On the tactical plot, the destroyers were moving in an echelon formation, two more had appeared, giving nothing away on any monitored channel, but telescope imagery showed a sort of 'barbell' shape with double-coned ends, large engine nacelles...

Landmark Class  "Those are Kowloonese built ships."  the results from the successful defense of Tharkad by one such vessel had been analyzed from the last transmissions of the only Jade Falcon warship there-and the type was impressive-at least, in terms of the damage it dished out.

"I believe, they have grown tired of losing to us..."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 16 April 2020, 04:08:48
So... you want to play Succession War?  THIS is how it's done...  >:D
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 April 2020, 04:19:04
LCAF Command, Tharkad...

as the reports came in, Admiral Sharon Elizabeth Ngo was confined to a ground station.

tracking casualties.

calculating losses.

each phase of the operation had involved risks.  Trillian had explicitly ordered her to remain here, overseeing from a distance, while her crews, her officers, her ships, were dying.

it was a cold calculus.  Fleet Admirals don't fight Fleet Actions from the front line, and the Archon had been quite clear in her insistence that part of the price of being allowed to plan this offensive?

Sharon had to move into an office at the bottom of Tharkad's gravity well, where she would be available at a moment's notice.

Each dropship, or cutter, that died, was tallied thanks to the use of black-box comms.  Each shift in the orbital battles going on, was tracked the same way.

Out there, beyond that awful blue and white, in the comforting black, men and women were dying horrible, agonizing deaths in darkness and silence.

Sharon studied each 'compilation display' in turn.

"is it ready?"  General of the Armies Roderick Steiner asked her, from the hatch-the doorway.

"Almost."  Sharon replied.  "She grounded you, too?"

"Yeah, she did." he said.

"Pobeda and Horneburg are clear for landings." she reported,  "space in those systems is quiet now, Task Force Juno, Gold, and Idaho are ready to move in on the planets whenever you want to send the ground troops.  Space superiority has been secured in Pobeda, Horneburg, and Cameron."

"What about Westerstede?"

"Em's working on it." she said, "They had an Aegis class hanging out that we almost missed.  I'm going to have to talk to the Recon captains about that."

"talk?"

"just talk.  everyone makes a mistake now and then, and you can't always lean on what the intel pukes tell you. OCB misses the damnedest things sometimes, and LIC isn't a whole lot better when it comes to Clanner deployments."

she sipped coffee from a cup, and marked off the LCS Iron Hills.  "gonna miss Chung." she said.

the fax display lit, and the message; Splash One Aegis. Engaging escape pods. appeared.

"There we go.  Path is cleared for your guys, Roderick.  you may begin your landings with confidence. Just...don't ask my people to do what that moron at Palmyra did."

"The geosynch for orbital fire? I wouldn't dream of it." he assured her, "My officers aren't anything close to that stupid."

"Good."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 16 April 2020, 04:36:38
The most chilling line? "Engaging escape pods."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Centurion03 on 16 April 2020, 05:29:40

This is a Trial of Annihilation. And the gloves have come off. Now let's see how the Mongol Doctrine holds up.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 April 2020, 05:36:22
"...sustaining an offense, whether it's  a Naval offense, or a ground war, leans on three things for success:
3. Combat Power.  This is the lowest priority, but still one of the most important.  You can not go on the offensive if you can not kill the enemy.
2. Supply Chain.  If you can not keep bullets in the guns, troops fed, spare parts on hand, if you use up your strength it does not matter how superior your combat power is, you will lose.  This is sustainment.  As my Late Wife reminded me time and again during the war against the Blakists, 'if you can not afford to lose it, you can not afford to use it'.
1. Initiative.  Without the initiative, you do not have the offensive."


-Roshak, Nathan, Ducal Consort of Elizabeth Ngo of Kowloon.  "Lessons from the front lines: from Warrior to Soldier, to Lord.".
Kowloon Press, 3091

Meeting a Khan...

Khan Alaric Wolf arrived with his Command Keshik and his flagship on the date of the new year, 3145.  AS it was the new year, and some traditions must be upheld, a diplomatic ball was scheduled, and Trillian insisted that Sharon hand off some responsibility to Vice Admiral Falcone, and "bloody show up in something besides a skin-suit!"

Sharon chose an LCN Formal Dress uniform-the current pattern, cut wide at the neck for a helmet ring, and polished ships-boots.  this in spite of her being grounded at Headquarters instead of comfortably in a station or ship.

as the Archon had forbidden the skinsuit, the open-collared formal uniform was loose, and whether by accident, or by some perverted design by the committee who decided such things, emphasized her cleavage more than she was comfortable with under normal circumstances.

she chose to bear the indignity of it fully-by not closing that open-necked design.  Instead, she wore a simple pendant as per regulations, along with her LCN issue identity dogtags.

Tharkan Fashion at work.  it was, at least, loose enough to be somewhat comfortable to wear without looking absolutely horribly casual. 

The Wolves, their officers arrived in Clan Wolf formal uniforms-a pattern unchanged since the initial invasion, save the recoloration from red, to gray, of the actual symbol, and the addition of the Wolf Empire's crest.

the other LCN officers present, were in full and proper uniform (by her standards), wearing skinsuits under their formal dress uniforms, helmets clipped to belts, and polished harnesses with emergency gear stowed by regulation-as if they were on a station or ship, rather than on the surface of a world built to sustain life.

an advantage, was that the open neckline highlit something else-her muscle tone, a thing she maintained almost religiously, even while working on planning the next phase of the offensive.  rigorous and constant exercise had begun spreading through the upper ranks of the Lyran Commonwealth Navy, which was a thing she encouraged, because long periods in nullgee without rigorous exercise is horrifically unhealthy.

Sharon stuck to the perimeter of the activity, hugging the wall, or lingering near the band, rather than mingling with glitterati and foreign services.  Despite this, the Federated Suns ambassador managed to find his way to her.

"Ambassador Hasek." Sharon nodded to the man.

"Admiral...so, what do you think of your new allies?"

"I think he brought a battlecruiser to be impressive, but forgot to bring the battle group to be effective." she murmured.  "I also think they're a major logistical problem I have to solve if they're going to be any use at all."

"Harsh...very harsh."  The Fed ambassador observed.  "Reputedly, you threatened to resign if the Archon tried to send aid."

"Well, now you know why." Sharon said, "I don't have anything against your people, Ambassador, except that we're in an existential struggle with an enemy right here at home.  Sending ships to aid the Suns is an Optional war for us."

"The Jade Falcons..yes...I suppose you might see it that way." he said sagely.

"Ambassador, my Grandfather was a Jade Falcon officer." Sharon said, "If they hadn't turned into the ****** Rim-Worlds Republic in all but name and address, I would be reluctant to kill them.  right now, while standing here in this....diplomatic function, I am planning to kill more of them, including relatives I have not yet met."

"How many?" He asked.

"As many as it takes to scrub their 'mongol' movement from existence, sir." she said, "This will involve exterminating some of my closest relatives-and my family is small."  she lifted her tumbler of bourbon, "and if necessary, I will kill them all.  the Jade mongols are the enemy of the human race.  Their crimes are against humanity itself, sir.  by way of comparison, the Draconis Combine are simply not a threat to us."

he looked at her with a troubled frown.  "You've dehumanized your opponents quite efficiently."

"They dehumanized themselves. I simply intend to remove them as a threat to the rest of us.  I have seen their death-camps, mister Ambassador.  I've seen the reports, even interviewed their victims.  I have absolutely one enemy I am concerned with, and that enemy is not in this room.  I'm sorry about your recent losses at Benjamin and I'm sorry about New Syrtis, but those aren't things I have time and resources to control."

she glanced at her glass, "Now if you'll excuse me..." she wiggled it theatrically, "I need to refill my drink at the bar.  Good eve to you sir."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 April 2020, 12:47:15
Meeting a Khan, part two...

Sharon bellied up to the bar, "Two fingers, neat." she said.

"Heard of you."  a voice said from behind her.  she turned.

Alaric Wolf himself.  "Helloo handsome." she said.  "You got the good genes in the breeding program.  I would have to be deaf, blind and sequestered not to know who you are."

"Some would argue not."

"Those somes would be in error.  Scientists did a good job on you, You brought that unaccompanied battlewagon in orbit, but you drive a 'mech." she said, "And reputation says you drive it damned well."

he looked her over, "mechwarrior ancestors but you have the build of an Elemental who spends too much time in the gym.  Roshak height and Roshak eyes, but asian bone-structure and hair-south asian ancestry on at least half your bloodline, and a habit of using nuclear weapons as a first-resort.  You have to be Sharon Ngo."

"And you would be Alaric Wolf, Khan of the Wolf Empire, Khan of Clan Wolf, raised Crusader, last visit to lovely Tharkad, you wanted the Bremen continent and what was left of the capitol.  I lost four cutters and your naval guys still managed to get your dropships out of the system in spite of we had air superiority and turning your warship into radioactive vapor and razor-blades."

"You also did that to a Jade Falcon Black Lion class."

"Yeah...that was fun." Sharon said.  "More fun than trying to run your guys down."

"You did not try particularly hard, Quineg?" He offered, then over her shoulder to the barman, "Two Fusionaires."

"Oh, we did." Sharon countered, "We tried like hell to keep you  all bottled up but the Archon said 'let them go'.  The Jade Falcons just made that a slightly less bitter pill.  I kind of liked Melissa.  She was not the best leader, but..." Sharon downed her drink, "...Trillian is better.  Both were preferable to that prick Brewer."

He laughed.  "Agreed."  the Wolf Khan was being diplomatic, this bothered Sharon.

"why are we talking?" she asked,  "You are Clan, you do not do idle chatter."

"Measuring you up." he said.

"by their fruits you shall know them." Sharon told him, "Not the best quote from the bible, but the measure isn't in a room like this, it's what you do that counts.  You only made the play for Tharkad to put a stumbling block in front of the Mongols.  Good intent, if Melissa hadn't called me and mine in, you would have had it in the bag, except your Naval Star was under equipped."

"Under-equipped?"

"You didn't bring enough ships.  That is why we beat you." She said, "Eighty cutters is eighty cutters.  I lost twenty two up against your ships.  a more reasonably sized naval force would have handed us our asses.  Our good fortune was that you weren't expecting a fleet engagement and didn't bring a fleet to counter ours...and you don't have a fleet to bring today."

the glasses appeared on the counter, and Alaric offered her one.  "and if I did?"

"Oh you would have brought it." Sharon said, "To claim your winnings-you beat Melissa, by Clan rules you won a trial and were forced out by a bunch of cheating, stravag periphery bumpkins driving kludged together machines armed with unfair weapons who showed up late to the party...but you don't have a fleet, and we've just made having one kind of important."

Alaric chuckled.  "I see why she keeps you."

"I do make for a good court jester." Sharon nodded.  "You did not come here just to kill Falcons.  You came to learn."

He paused mid-sip, "What a novel idea.  us, learning from you?"

"No, Learning how to beat the piss out of us." Sharon told him, "because we changed the game, and being Clan, you need to stay one step ahead, being Wolf, you're good at adapting to stay one step ahead.  You brought your flagship, because it's the best maintained, most current warship you have left.  You brought an elite Keshik because winning is your style and you were almost humiliated in '43, which is not your style.  You bought me a drink, because you want a measure of my character, to see what makes me tick.  What you are really interested in, is how I turned a faltering, flagging, perpetually failing branch of the Lyran Military into a game-changing sledgehammer.  you want to know how we're able to afford all those neat toys."

"Hm. maybe. what is the secret?"

"The secret is, there is no secret." Sharon said, "Your Clan could have done the same thing at any time in the old occupation zone-or even the Clan Homeworlds.  Your problem is, your system would never allow it. which is why in the midst of feasts of plenty, the Clans have trouble with resource shortages."

"I think I have heard this one-Elizabeth, your Grandmother, Quiaff?"

Sharon nodded, "Aff." and sipped her drink.  "It is all about the numbers, whether you are calculating an insertion point, or arranging a supply line- THIS can be done, THAT can not, those coordinates require close timing, these can be slacked because gravity's so low as to be a non-factor, or balanced just right, some points can be traversed in six seconds and some ships require six minutes.  it is all numbers.  Whether calculating a transitory entry to get the drop on an enemy patrol, or figuring out how to feed, clothe, and arm six million spacers for a five year campaign across a nine hundred light year front."

"um, you do not have six million spacers." he said.

"Not yet." Sharon agreed.  "I am working on correcting that."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: EAGLE 7 on 16 April 2020, 14:04:14
Someone call the staff, a wolf just made a doo-doo in the bar area.....
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: idea weenie on 16 April 2020, 14:54:49
Alaric is likely running the numbers as to what would be needed to match 6 million spacers.

Assuming Warrior caste to be officers/senior NCOs, that is roughly a 10:1 ratio needed between Warriors and other Castes (technician, scientist, merchant to organize supplies), and that is still 600,000 Warriors needed for a Navy.  Assuming 4:1 advantage due to skill and technology, that is still 150,000 Warriors.

Does the Wolf Clan have enough warriors to dump that many into a Naval program?  Can the Wolf Clan spare the necessary Technicians to handle the ship maintenance and repairs, the necessary scientists to be highly-trained specialists on complex gear (i.e. chief engineer for the main reactor), and the necessary merchants to make sure the ship is supplied with its equipment/ammo/fuel/food?

Can he get the necessary people fast enough to stand up to the Lyran force?  Will he have to lose some battles to the Jade Mongols so they get copies of his intel, so the war drags on longer and he has more time to build up?  What will be the effect of the Lyrans realizing that he is the intel leak?

Can he even get the necessary people without disrupting Clan customs?  Will he crew the ships and win the battles Clan-style, but lose the war due to the cultural changes that will occur?

Those are very interesting questions he is asking himself right now, and he may not be liking the answers.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 16 April 2020, 15:58:24
As soon as the lyrans manage to adopt her logistics and organizational methods across the board, the wolf empire won't be a threat at all. Much like the star league was, the lyran state will end up being one of those entities you can only compete with by copying their methods. Which basically would require getting rid of the clan way entirely. Anything less and they end up rapidly outclassed.
the other successor states could adopt her methods fairly quickly (though probably not always to the same degree of success). but they run counter to clan society's basic tenets.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 April 2020, 16:32:27
LCS David Ngo, Sampan IV class cutter, Krievci system

Commander Linda Sithers-Minh 002  watched screens.

"what's the word?"  Her XO asked.

"No heavies besides the heavy squadron of pocket warships and so far, about a short squadron of fighters." she sighed, "Not a lot of merchie traffic, but plenty of haulers leaving.  Artoo, what's the chatter sound like?"

"Pretty busy on the military bands, mum.  Signals intercept shows some land-line chatter in what's left of the major cities."

"scope?"

"Lots of the farmland's overgrown, looks like they pulled the farmers off or out except right next to the major urban centers.  i've got heavy presence of man-size thermal in the fields outside of town on three continents, southern hemisphere it's definitely harvesting.  the old LCAF base is occupied, looks like mostly Clanner second-line machines, an armored cluster, maybe?"

"See if you can filter out distortion and get a look at the intact urban."

"Aye mum."

She waited and the telesope imagery sharpened.

The only motorized transport in motion were marked with the symbol of the Golden Ordun, the "horde", civilians walked.

"EM spectrum." she had a suspicion.

"Almost nothing." the Gunnery officer said, "artoo? am I reading this right?"

"you mean, is the power out down there? yeah. same reason there's so much smoke on your image, Dinh.  My guess on the filters you're using, that's wood or coal smoke.  the only electrical leakage I'm picking up goes to the garrison forts."

Linda superimposed maps from the last imagery taken before the Falcons took this world in 3141.

"The dams are gone." she said.

"the Dams?"

"It's why most of the old ag land is fallow.  no water, no power."

"Reverting them to peasants." she mused.  "Look for regular distortions outside what used to be major cities."

"mass graves?"

"I think so, make comparisons with demographic and geographic data from before the planet was taken."

"got 'em.  thermal and contour.  jesus."

"Jesus had nothing to do with what happened here." she said quietly.

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 16 April 2020, 17:02:41
Nukin's too good fer 'em!
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 April 2020, 18:42:15
LCAF Headquarters, LCN annex...

"...Hermann Steiner's ready for sea trials, we still haven't found a suitably ranked officer."  Sharon tapped the conference table with a platinum-plated crowbar.  she was back in 'proper' uniform, aka ship's skinsuit, with a duty  overlayer.

Harmony Ngo, her Aunt, and former Commodore for 3rd Cutter Division, KCGM before being 'activated' as a Kapitan in the LCN, spoke up.

"I have a recommendation." she said. 

"I get the feeling I'm not going to like it. speak."  Sharon crossed her arms, leaving the crowbar on the table.

"instead of finding a Heinie with a grain of sense, which is what we did with the Frederic Steiner, I recommend promotion of one of my people to Kapitan/Commodore status.  Linda Sithers-Minh-002.  She's white enough the Heinies will take her, and she's both trained, and experienced."

"She's also on a recon bird seventy five lights away." Sharon said.

"She's due for shore duty, Mum." Harmony said, "I've got a full squadron up there, we can pull the David Ngo off the line for an officer's stand-down."

"Bring her in.  Set up an Officer's Board, but don't tell her why."

"Aye Mum."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: EAGLE 7 on 16 April 2020, 18:44:47
You grab a line
I will find a light pole
Mongol political hacks will swing
Then fill a hole.

NGO will be boogeymen for the clans for centuries.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 16 April 2020, 18:56:19
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Those who fail to learn correctly... Why, they are simply doomed.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 16 April 2020, 19:13:21
Taking a ship out of the yard for sea trials is NOT shore duty... trust me on this...  :P
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Dave Talley on 16 April 2020, 19:17:00
You grab a line
I will find a light pole
Mongol political hacks will swing
Then fill a hole.

NGO will be boogeymen for the clans for centuries.

soon to House Steiner-Ngo
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 16 April 2020, 19:21:16
I don't think Roddy likes her enough for that to be any time soon...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 April 2020, 19:24:43
CWS Dire Wolf, Upano Naval service station, Upano system...

The Lyrans were buiding charging stations.  This was new.  the Clans had sat on the designs for the SLDF's charging station network for generations, had not even put them in during the Invasion along the Exodus Road for security reasons, and hadn't built any in the occupation zones.

nobody had built them since the fall of the Star League.

"nobody, but Sharon Ngo."  Alaric observed, looking out the viewing port at the structure being assembled at Upano's nadir point.  The portions being assembled right now, weren't part of the core purpose of the station.  They were the service gantries meant to handle commercial traffic, specifically maintenance and servicing of commercial jumpships.

The core miitary application-the actual charging and fuelling facilities? those were finished first.

If there was to be a statement about the Lyran commitment to driving the Jade Falcons out, it was logistics and servicing points being assembled to support the needed fleets.  Not just the attacking fleets, but the follow-on fleets, and, he knew, the Civilian trade that would have to follow to stabilize the region in the aftermath.

he sighed, "If you thought I was arrogant, I would have told you to speak with Sharon Ngo."

Star Admiral Josephine Fetladral anchored her feet unconsciously to the deck beside her Khan.  "i will say this, when they go big, they go big.  I have never seen this many active combat vessels in one system in my life, my Khan."

"I have." he said, "not so many Destroyers, but the cutters...aff. Nasty things."

"How are they supplying the consumables we are getting?" he asked.

"Belters." Josephine said, "See?  Those are not just small-craft, those are prospecting rigs.  There are probably four or five small outfits out here.  stubbornly independent in a way that the Blood Spirits might envy, but the Merchants tell me they deal honestly, something about how a reputation for cheating customers leads to freezing to death in the dark."

"We have them in the Empire?" He asked.

"Aff.  and trying to corral them?" she shook her head, "An exercise in futility.  If The Folk think you're about to cage them in, they simply disperse and flee to somewhere else."

"They work for the Lyrans.  what would it take to get them working for us?"

"Spacers, Belters, Rockjacks, The Folk?" she shrugged, "Ovkhan, they are not like planet-bound populations.  When the Founder wrote his regulations, there were none like them among the Exodus-the SLDF never managed to recruit more than a bare handful, and those did not come on the Exodus...in fact..." she reached into her coverall, "They slipped through the usurper's fingers as well.  I suppose you could direct the Merchant Caste to find out what they will take in trade."

"Sharon has 'Rockjacks'." he said.

"She lives as one-for all intents and purposes, the Duchess of Kowloon only comes to a planetary surface if she is commanded to by the Archon.  did you see the pendant she wore at the diplomatic function?"

"Yes...it has meaning?"

"Free Stars, Ovkhan.  Sharon Ngo serving the Lyrans is a voluntary thing-she is a spacer."

"and you know this...how?"

"because as your Naval Reserve's senior officer, I need to know these things. so, i questioned a few Spacers when I found them on patrols, while doing inspections on traffic.  The Folk are an incredible resource-if you know how to approach them.  I have requested members of the Clan's Watch try to infiltrate their ranks...with limited success, however our best sources are the Clan's Merchant Caste.  The Folk will trade with anyone who deals honestly with them-they simply resist being assigned a 'place' in the rest of society."

"She has them supplying these bases."

"Supplying them, probably supplying labor to build them.  There are legends about The Folk, especially in more distant parts of the Inner Sphere...historically, I think this is the closest they have come to choosing a side since the Amaris Coup...no, that is wrong.  since the Metis Coalition joined the crusade to oust the word of Blake."

she turned to her engineering officer, "How long until we're fully fueled?"

"Another ten hours, OvKhan."

Josephine turned her Khan, "Feel like a space-walk?" she asked.

he looked a little ill, "neg."

"I will be on the bow dorsal hull if you need me then." she said.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 16 April 2020, 21:02:42
Trillian insisted that Sharon hand off some responsibility to Vice Admiral Falcone, and "bloody show up in something besides a skin-suit!"

Sharon chose an LCN Formal Dress uniform-the current pattern, cut wide at the neck for a helmet ring, and polished ships-boots.  this in spite of her being grounded at Headquarters instead of comfortably in a station or ship.
*snip*
the other LCN officers present, were in full and proper uniform (by her standards), wearing skinsuits under their formal dress uniforms, helmets clipped to belts, and polished harnesses with emergency gear stowed by regulation-as if they were on a station or ship, rather than on the surface of a world built to sustain life.

Seems the Archon needed to issue what is acceptable naval uniform for formal occasions to more than just her CNO.

And the way they showed up ready for vacuum at a moment's notice?  Sharon isn't just building ships, or even a navy.  She is building a whole military culture, distinct from their ground bound counterparts.

Sharon tapped the conference table with a platinum-plated crowbar.

Is that thing engraved "Complaints Department"? ;D

Josephine turned her Khan, "Feel like a space-walk?" she asked.

he looked a little ill, "neg."

"I will be on the bow dorsal hull if you need me then." she said.


Someone either knows how to get Belter respect, or is going native.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Red Pins on 16 April 2020, 21:25:56
Tagged.

Reminds me of some fiction for a new product I'm still writing.  No PC, polite, matter-of-fact, competent...  And utterly ruthless.

Makes for a nice change from canon stuff.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 17 April 2020, 01:32:45
Tharkad Naval Shipyard...

"...where is she?"  The Archon demanded.

Lt. Chris Keller glanced toward the 'ceiling'.  "outside, Your Majesty."

Trillian fumed, "I need an EVA suit, NOW."

"Your majesty-"

"did i stutter?"

"Right this way, Your Majesty."

He brought her to a room on the base, and a pair of suit technicians quailed at the expression on Trillian's face.

"I want a suit. NOW."

"I'll be outside Lia." the Male tech said.

"What??"

"Highness, Regulations and basic decency, Chief Kleistner is male, you are a ranking female who is not experiencing a medical emergency.  I am sorry, but he is correct to leave the room-unless you want him to see your naughty bits."  the female's hair had just about almost covered the tattoos on her scalp, but the clipped accent was pure spacer.

"A...skinsuit?" Trillian asked.

"You did ask for an EVA suit, Majesty."

Trillian closed her eyes, "Right...Chief, my apologies, you may go."

"Thank You Majesty."  the male suit-tech departed with a somersault in null-gee.

"Disrobe, please.  This will not take long.  You will need to update it if you experience any major physical changes, such as weight loss or gain, pregnancy..."

"Is there a manual? I'll read the manual."

It began with a scan, and a rub-down, followed by a ritual that Trillian had learned to hate on shopping expeditions with cousins...but without either the fawning false adoration, or the hidden sneers of the Triad's shopping districts.

The cool professionalism was relaxing.

"Is it like this for everyone?" Trillian asked.

"No, Highness, most recruits get fitted and have to wait three days downside before they get theirs-it's the volume, you see.  Every suit's personally fitted."

"PERSONALLY FITTED? whatever for?"

"range of motion, remember we spend months in these things, including in depressurized battle conditions.  The Skinsuit has to fit like your skin, see? it's not just some fashionable body-glove with a coolant circuit..though it does have one."

The suit-fitter worked fast, shaping and cutting the material, drawing it against her body, trimming and joining the edges with practiced precision.  "Can you put...the fittings for a cooling vest on this?"

"Those are the standard coolant fittings, Majesty.  Cheaper than designing one specifically for the Navy, you can wear it in a 'mech or powered armor, or in the cockpit of a fighter.  It even works as a flight suit for pilots."

"And everyone in my navy has one of these?"

"Yes Your Majesty...everyone. it's the standard uniform garment, mission-oriented overgarments are available, and of course, the dress uniform overgarment."

Trillian's skin tingled.  "what's-"

"Well, now I need to calibrate the pressure and temperature sensor interfaces, extend your hand?"

Trillian found out a few things with this.  like the sensations of temperature were muted, and she could tell fuzzy from smooth from rough textured thanks to layers of piezoelectric nerve inducers throughout the garment.

and that the catheters weren't any more comfortable in a skinsuit, than they are in a hospital bed.  "All the time?"

"While you're wearing it.  some of the wastes are reprocessed, some have to be dumped, it's in your manual."  The last bit, being the helmet, and having to tie her hair up in a very tight braided bun to clear it.  "THere you are...except...ah. rank tabs and nameplate."

"she wears this all the time?"

"The Admiral? yeah, she does. we all do.  seals are good, let's get you to a safety lock so we can make sure all the seams are proper."

"Has that happened?"

"we check to assure it doesn't, Your Majesty.  Safety First."

The whole procedure took three hours from walking in to the fitting room, to climbing out the ventral airlock.  The view was most unlike what she was used to.  There was a clarity in the vacuum that didn't really seem to translate through the viewports of a ship, and unlike her previous EVA suit experiences-done in 'one size fits all' suits, this felt incredibly exposed, yet safer.

Sharon was anchored to the station with a line, floating in a lotus position  fifteen meters from the deck.

"Admiral."

"Highness. sorry, had my suit comm off, by the time they got ahold of me, you were in the fitter's shack."

"You are here, and not in your office."

"I needed a sanity break." Sharon's tone was distant, neutral, "careful, part of that hull is demagnetized. you'll want to connect your lanyard."

"A...sanity break, so you come out here."  Trillian anchored her lanyard, and gave a careful hop, letting herself drift to the end of the line.

"Yep. where things make sense."  Sharon said.  "Heard a little birdy in Mount Asgard.  Said you want to give the third Frederick Steiner class contract to Lockheed. I decided I needed a walk before asking if it were true."

"I have been approached.  I get the impression this was an attempt to go over your head?"

"Something like that." Sharon said.  "My family's done business with them for centuries.  There is a reason I don't trust them with another major contract."

"Tales out of school, goody." Trillian said acidly.  "What is yours?"

"Deke Haranshire tried to court mom for a while, and he couldn't keep his fat mouth shut about how he was screwing the Commonwealth." Sharon said quietly.  "charging personal travel as business expenses, clocking expensive dinners as time on government programs, most of the contracts I canceled were with Lockheed CBM for a reason-cost overruns and program delays are how the Haranshires pad their pockets, they get away with it by offering cush 'jobs' upon retirement to officers in the Procurement branch-one of the main reasons I sacked most of the senior officers IN LCN Procurement, and put young guys who are nowhere near retirement in their place...but the biggest problem, is that they're accessible on Tharkad.  Six martini lunches at strip clubs. Golf in the afternoon, offers of expensive vacations to family members." 

"The reasons you tried to move operations out here." Trillian was never stupid.  "You weren't just being inaccessible to be a bitch, you're trying to make your reforms stick."

"yup." Sharon said, "the limits on personal time, the uniform changes, establishing a different culture from the rest of LCAF, it's all about making it harder for the contractors and their bought Estates General reps to rip off the nation."

"you can't entirely prevent it."

"don't I know that!" sharon laughed harshly, "but, i can make it expensive and difficult. Expensive to levy  the bribes, difficult to gather blackmail.  everyone does a staff rotation, but then, they go back into the black...everyone but me, apparently."

"Someone has to keep pushing to make it work, Sharon." Trillian stated.

"I know. I also know, now, what it felt like to Nikki Minh when I told her I needed her manning a desk as a civilian instead of helming a cutter...because I'm in the same, damned, job."

"How do you think I feel, or Roderick? we're in the same hole you are-we only get to pilot our 'mechs for parades and carefully monitored practice!"

"Our jobs suck." Sharon said.

"are you ready to come back to work now?" Trillian asked crossly.

"Yeah. let's reel in, we'll take a shuttle down.  I think we can change things up against the Falcons. Throw the bastards off-balance again."

"Can it involve our allies?"

"it's gonna have to, see, I want to send them to Arc Royal with a Destroyer group..."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 17 April 2020, 04:00:10
I think that went differently than Trillian planned... for the better...  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 17 April 2020, 04:34:56
Officer's Promotion Board, LCN naval shipyard Greer, Antoinette Greer Station, Duran System...

Vice Admiral Falcone came in last.  "All rise.  you may be seated.  We have six candidates on the list, In the interest of serving the Public good, we do have to consider each candidate's record, deportment, and answers to interview questions." she shuffled the files and laid them edge-up in a grip-satchel.  "Chief Warrant Vienh, will you shuffle the files?"

"Aye mum."

"interesting way to do this, Admiral.  Is this how it's done in the Guard?"

"In the Guard, we generally don't get six qualified candidates who aren't already slotted for a ship, General Marsden." Emily said, "it's first-come, first served, but then, the Coast Guard's a smaller operation with not as many levels.  we'll randomize the names and call them in, do the interviews, and that way your guy gets a fair hearing.  I'm going to trust everyone here has already read the confidential files on the candidates?"

"there's some nightmare fuel in some of those."  Rear Admiral Peters, a Donegaller who'd been a Commander with no chance of promotion before his superiors-including the ones who put the black ink on his file, suddenly found themselves unemployed and largely unemployable thanks to some targeted raids and a statement of charges for bribery, noted.  "I'm not sure a couple of these people shouldn't be on suicide watch."

"Well, Quarantine duty is hard on everyone.  The CNO herself's done multiple tours...so have I, but I take your meaning, everyone on the List has been vetted by qualified psychiatric examiners...which is why we're down to six names."

"Were they looking for the right kind of crazy?"  Kapitan Iniego Ollivera, another man whose dead career was resurrected by the CNO's housecleaning and reforms, asked.  His Buena spanish accent was a lilting castellano instead of the harsh scots-influenced mehikano spanish of Arluna.

"We'll see.  Chief! who's on first?"

"Kommandant..no, Commander Lukas Hoodman, the XO off the Iron Hills. mum."

"Show him in."

Each interviewer had a series of questions covering everything from a subject's past career, an emphasis on mistakes and errors, followed by a series of questions revolving around Warship operations, tactics, logistics, and then to further psychological and character-based questioning, finishing off with 'what if' questions to determine their decision making ability under stress.

said stress, of course, being the aggressive and negative tone of the interviews.  Questions were blunt, confrontational and disparaging by design, and not one candidate was intended to leave thinking they 'nailed it'.

The idea was to observe how each candidate dealt with pressure.  To that end, each set of questions was completely different, tailored by the best psychological warfare experts in LIC and Coast Guard's OCB, and behind the panel, in a concealed monitoring room, body-language and interrogation experts analyzed each candidate separately, looking for signs of Antisocial Personality Disorder (Psychopathy and sociopathy) as well as 'guilt tells'.

The procedure was grueling.

despite Emily's assurance to her fellow senior officers, the Kowloon Coast Guard does use this method-along with narco-interrogation and physical discomfort, to screen out less than adequate officer candidates at the command level.

it's all about character, in the end.  Honesty and Moral Courage.

Needless to say, four candidates washed out before the end of the first day.

"We've got two left." Emily noted after the last candidate was dismissed.

"you know, Admiral, I've sat on boards of inquiry that weren't that aggressive." Marsden commented, "hell, I've seen Court Martials that were less aggressive."

"there is a purpose, General." Emily stated.  "The biggest, most advanced ships in the fleet need to be helmed by qualified officers of outstanding moral and ethical character, above-cutline command qualities, and so on...you wouldn't want one of those grand battlewagons in the hands of some jackhole who thinks it's a battering ram or a way to get laid, would you?"

"No, you're right...I think we need to pick now.  Candidate one is...not the man for the job.  Hoodman.  Not our guy." Marsden said.

"Agreed." Kapitan Heinrich Freer commented.  "a little seasoning is what he needs."

"Candidate Two, Kommandant Gerhardt Paulus?" Emily read off.

"I liked him...until the third phase.  I don't see him being able to coordinate multiple ships, he froze up twice, too indecisive and he asks the wrong questions."  Kapitan Laura Baker from LCS Riverrun noted.

"His solution was from a textbook."

"yeah, he's not our guy either.  Three looked good."

Kapitan (Commodore) Isaacs from the Frederic Steiner shook his head.  "Looked good? nah, he looked coached.  He also tried to shift blame when confronted about that ex wife of his. If anything we should have the Gendarmerie looking into the case to bring him up on charges.  I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't want a man who uses his wife as a punching bag in the service one minute longer than necessary."

Emily didn't blink, "you think he did it too?"

Isaacs nodded. "Something in his eyes, and how defensive his posture got...or didn't get. an innocent man falsely accused will get angry, not have glib answers."

she made a note. "I'll have our people check in on that, put him on shore duty for the time being and see what he does."

"Four was good...we agree on her?"

"Aside from the god-bothering? yeah, Linda's a good officer." Isaacs said, "I'd say she'll make a fine Kapitan, but I'm biased."

Marsden cleared his throat, "so am I.  She was on-point, humble, did not attempt to conceal or shift blame for errors, credited her crew for successes, showed genuine contrition over errors in her past, and accepted responsibility for mistakes." 

"Alright...Linda Sithers-Minh-002 is one of our final candidates..." Emily made the note.  "Who's our other one?"

"Not five?" Marsden said, "Please not five?"

"Whoo, you really didn't like that one."

"insufficient technical and job knowledge, and insecure about showing it." Marsden said, "I can accept a Kapitan who has to learn their ship, I refuse to accept one who must learn, and refuses to ask!"

"Leaves us with the sixth candidate...Peterson." Emily said.

"We can grab both?" Isaacs suggested.

"both of them? a ship can only have one captain."

"One Captain, one Executive officer."  he shrugged, "it's a new class of ship, it's not like we have a deep supply of officers experienced in them!"

"so which is which?"

"Peterson's younger, far less time in grade, far less space time. he should be in an XO position, acting as the Captain's right-hand." Isaacs said.

"makes sense to me." Marsden said, "We were going to have to go through all of this all over again to fill that slot too-we can skip a round of hearings and endless reading by just assigning the two of them."

"So ordered." Emily said, "These hearings are completed. Let's go drink old man McQuisoton's booze and celebrate."

"When do we let them know?"

"let's have a little 'final' exam." she said, "See how our candidates interact when they think the pressure is off?"





Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 17 April 2020, 07:19:28
LCS Hermann Steiner, PS 002...

"Umbilicals disconnected, Captain, we are floating free." Commander Liam Peterson's Donegaller accent was subdued, almost a rolling musical pronunciation, his German tinged with the deep celtic.

"Helm, thrusters one tenth power, reverse thrust burn six seconds on my mark."  Kapitan (Captain) Linda Sithers-Minh watched the hull cameras from her command station as the gantries opened their jaws. 

"Docking Clamps clear."

"Transmit and flash the undocking signal, and wait fifteen seconds for any yard-workers to be clear." Linda said calmly.

"Yard reports all personnel clear and accounted for."

"Helm, Mark."

"Aye Mum!"

the reverse thrust was on cold-thrusters.

"You know, traditionally these ships-battleships, were commanded by Admirals."  she said.

"good god. Could you imagine someone like Kampfler-Marsden commanding anything like this?" Peterson asked.

"I don't know him." Linda's tone was calm  "Was he one of the guys we swept up on the Brothel raids in '43?"

"We, ma'am?"

"it's 'Mum', you call the Admiral Ma'am." she countered, "besides, I'm only five years short of qualifying, ya punk."

"I think he was.  Were you on the Kaiserslaughtern raid?" he asked.

"I think no.  I hit madame Belroy's.  Two Generals and four admirals, twelve or thirteen nobles a third their age, big pile of Plexers and we ended up calling in the special victims unit of the LIC's domestic branch because of a couple of ten year olds chained to the bed.  Those were some fun prosecutions."

"I think I heard about that one."

"Oh, yeah.  we sent eighteen people who deserved it to Blackgate...and that was how I spent the first month I was in the Tharkad system." she checked her overjacket's cuff. 


"Kowloonese rep, I'm surprised you didn't shoot them."

Linda sighed.  "at the time, we were still Coast Guard, the idea that we were official LCN hadn't quite filtered past the pay-stubs.  In the Guard, you don't execute without trial, it's not done in criminal cases, which is what we were treating that affair as.  After I finish my second Command Tour in a row, I guess it's either Provost, or Judge Advocate again."

"What makes you think they'll stick you in a Staffer?"

"How in hell are you gonna be able to take over for me if I don't?" she asked rhetorically, "Helm, check with the station and make sure we're clear on all sides."

"Aye Mum."

"the joke is you'll go Chaplain." her XO said.

"Heck, I'm not ordained!" she laughed, "besides, we've got a good chappie on board. I like his sermons.  reminds me of my Grandfather on the Martin side."

"martin?"

"Momma Nicole changed her last name legally when she immigrated to Kowloon, her side of the family are Martinside Burrow in the Metis.  Granddad's sermons were something we listened to when she wasn't on the Q-line.  he even made the trip into the Zone to speak at my graduation from Giap Island.  you imagine a hundred year old man making that trip from the Metis?"

"How come he didn't get sick?"

"god was looking out for him?" she shrugged, "I didn't ask Momma Nicole about that-I'm still afraid to hear that answer...we're clear?"

"Clear of the structure and outside the hazard zone, Mum."

"bring us ninety degrees z axis, and give it a nice one-gee burn to start with.  I want at least two thousand kilometers between us and the station before we nose-over and head for the patrol zone."

"Aye Mum."

"Let's see, this is a shakedown tour.  Let's shake this bucket and see what falls out." she said, watching the nav panel from the Captain's station, "helm, on my mark, full stop, when relative velocity equals zero, I want a nose over ninety degrees to Port on X axis heading plus five degrees, and six seconds at maximum burn, let's count the gee-forces and see who passes out."  she smiled as she watched the counter climb.  "Now. MARK!!"
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Ajax_Wolf on 17 April 2020, 13:36:34
Quote
and that the catheters weren't any more comfortable in a skinsuit, than they are in a hospital bed.  "All the time?"

Caths all the time? Even when dirtside? I hope they have improved the caths because constant wear is not good, UTIs and erosion/scarring. Sharon is gonna have more problems than contract padding.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 17 April 2020, 17:36:38
Caths all the time? Even when dirtside? I hope they have improved the caths because constant wear is not good, UTIs and erosion/scarring. Sharon is gonna have more problems than contract padding.

The tech is improved.  (Part of the reason it's not comfortable.) When Trillian reads her manual she'll find out how to retract 'em and run the cleaning cycle. ;)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 17 April 2020, 17:47:24
And see who passes out?!  What, no maneuvering alarm?  ;D
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 17 April 2020, 18:05:15
And see who passes out?!  What, no maneuvering alarm?  ;D

Oh, there will be alarms-that's standard manuevering procedure and if you have to TELL your people (Explicitly order "Sound the manuevering alarm") to do it it's time to visit the Training officer who checked them off on "Proficiency with ship handling" with a platinum-plated crowbar and some sharp, pointy, words.

Some things-like activating an alarm to tell the crew and passengers to buckle up? that's got to be ingrained before you are allowed to sit in a control station on the bridge-space is dangerous.

it isn't automated of course-there are situations where it's a good idea to order the helm to "Kill the manuevering alarm and pinwheel the ship at maximum thrust."

what kind of situations? hostile Boarders that need to be shaken up.

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 17 April 2020, 18:45:25
True, true... I just figured the crew would be well trained enough to brace when the alarm is sounded, so she wouldn't expect anyone to pass out...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 17 April 2020, 22:25:05
Tharkad Naval Yard...

Sharon floated in a lotus position and waited while the General of the Armies went through Suit-fitting four tiers negative-z axis.  This meeting was important enough to have the Wolf Khan, looking slightly ill, attending. 

"Finished reading your manual yet?" Sharon asked.

"yeah." Archon Trillian Steiner nodded carefully, "That fitter was screwing with me."

"It's an institutional trait I'm encouraging." Sharon said.  "It keeps the hazing lower out in the deployed fleet, especially for Dirtyfeet. The best teacher is discomfort followed by discovery."

"Making new personnel uncomfortable until they either figure it out, or ask for help?" Sharon immediately liked Josephine Fetladral.  For a Clanner, she was almost a Spacer herself.

"Precisely." Sharon said, "if you just try to tell people most of them will stop listening after the first sentence or two, but people Remember things they had to find out themselves.  There are a lot of fun and entertaining ways to kill yourself out here.  Stupid people need not apply.  Khan Ward, would you like a fresh puke bag?"

"I...am fine, thank you for asking."  Alaric said in a tone that was obviously not fine.

"i saw a grav-ring on approach, why are we holding this meeting near the core instead of out on the ring?"  Josephine asked.

"Those are for facilities that require gravity to function, I do not think anyone here wants to discuss the next phase of the war while smelling what is cooking in sewage reclamation." sharon said smoothly, "Though the gardens are soothing, and the transition barracks for Marines are relatively nice."

Roderick arrived through the hatch, and reoriented himself to the meeting, anchoring against one of the walls.

"Okay, everyone is here.  For the last few months, the Second and Fourth Coast Guard Cutter divisions have been conducting deep survey into the Falcon occupation zones." Sharon announced, "In the process, they've contacted pockets of The Folk and a few indies in the off-route systems.  Upshot is, we know two targets the Falcons are intent on taking in the next six months."

Screens lit on every wall, creating  a spherical display that had Alaric reaching for the puke bag.

"They're going after Arc Royal in the next three months." Sharon said.  "Those are your Exile cousins, quiaff?"

"Ack..Aff..." Alaric said. 

"Their other major target is Coventry.  Based on what my people have observed and found out, probably for the stockpiled munitions and industrial spares.  If they follow their patterns, they'll destroy whatever they can't use immediately or carry away."

Screens changed format, and certain stars in the field were highlighted.  "These are the industrial centers that Malvina's madmen aren't dismantling-because they're key to keeping her army armed and equipped, and we've confirmed they're still getting supplies through trade with the Diamond sharks."

"Who's holding the Quarantine if you have two cutter divisions playing snoop-and-poop inside the Falcon OZ?"  Roderick asked.

"Reserve forces and 1st cutter division." Sharon said, "we've been building a dozen cutters a year since the sixties.  Hood IV uses a slightly different armament and layout, but most of the others are running Mark Twos and Threes, usually a squadron or two, except Mandaoaaru has a full Division and so does  Winter-they need 'em too, they're both covering adjacent systems that don't have the taxbase to support local units."

the displays vanished and were replaced by graphs and graphical representations of star systems.  Alaric's discomfort visibly eased.

"clan Wolf and two squadrons from LCN Cutter Division Alpha should move to backstop Arc Royal's defenses.  Diplomatic coordination and planning the actual defense should go to the Clan commanding officer or officers-just a mission and support resources from us, I'll put those squadrons under Star Commodore Josephine Fetladral as naval commander if nobody has objections."  sharon made a gesture, and the information centered on the two Clan Wolf officers.

"LCS Hermann Steinerand her destroyer group, along with assigned cutter squadrons is to proceed to Coventry at best speed, along with whatever units you think are appropriate from LCAF ground forces." Sharon continued, "the Naval Command will be handled by Vice Admiral Emily Falcone, and she will be under orders to coordinate with your designated Ground forces commander.  I expect them to be at least a week behind the Falcon forces."

"A week?"

"I said best speed." Sharon said, "if you have ground units ready to go, it'll only be a week...to try and buy time, I've contacted kowloon's Secretary of the Coast Guard, and authorized operation: Jolie Rouge."

"commerce raiding in Falcon territory." Trillian said.

"Commerce raiding?"

"Deep strikes on their supply lines, lines of communication, and spaced-based assets."  Josephine filled in, "Commerce Raiding is an uncertain technique, it can backfire and harden the population's will to resist.  Given how civilians under Mongol rule are faring, i doubt it will, but it remains a possibility."

"the main objective is to disrupt their transportation and buy time, so that LCAF forces heading to aid Coventry don't arrive a week late." Sharon noted,  "Downside being that some of that raiding will probably hit official 'neutrals' like the Diamond Sharks, however, the benefits presently outweigh the risks.  the long-term strategy is to discredit the Mongols and liberate as many Lyran worlds as we possibly can."

"Dealing with the Diamond Sharks is a Diplomatic function." Trillian said, "i've got this, unless..."

"the political problems can be solved." Alaric said firmly.  "Have you considered the long-term consequences of this sudden naval success?"

"One of the reasons we need to move fast." Sharon said with an assertive nod, "Before the Jade Falcons start buying or building a navy of their own."

"I was referring to the other States." he said.  "The Wolf Empire will also require...naval upgrades."

"you guys have the advantage there, Khan Alaric.  you don't have to rediscover how to do the things we've had to rediscover, and you already have proven warship designs." Sharon said it calmly, "We're having to figure out things as they come.  I'll be worrying about you guys long before i worry about Stone's Mothball Fleet coming out of their armadillo status to re-impose the RUNT."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 April 2020, 02:03:14
Exterior Hull Surface, Tharkad Naval Shipyard...

"Measuring for curtains?" Sharon's voice over the suit comms asked.

Star Admiral Josephine Fetladral looked over her shoulder.  "To do that, would require cutting holes for windows." she said, "I can barely see the Dire Wolf from here."

"A grand old vessel." Sharon said, joining her guest on the float above the hull.

"you are showing a remarkable level of trust in us.  Not to sound ungrateful, but assigning thirty six cutters to our support seems...excessive, quiaff?"

"The word you're looking for is practical." Sharon stated, "it's in the listing right next to 'probably not enough'."

"Our cousins have their own warships."

"They are also surprisingly not okay with the political situation." Sharon argued, "I'm not sure you won't have to fight friendlies when you get there, hence, 'not as many as I would like'."

"the Kells and the Exiles are famously loyal to the Commonwealth, Admiral."

"Everyone is famously loyal until they aren't.  Just like everyone has a spotless ethical record until it isn't, or everyone is rigidly honorable until they aren't." Sharon gazed out at the shipyard's gantries.  "Over there, you see it? the LAS Invincible?"

"I see it.  also a grand old ship."

"it was a symbol of the Commonwealth, until it wasn't." Sharon said, "Now it's basically an unused warehouse for storing paperwork, with a hull coated in Lyran blood."

"I admit some surprise you did not choose to restore it."

"outdated, obsolete, structurally compromised, They spent billions of Kroner every year 'repairing' it." Sharon stated, "cutting that restoration was one of the first things I did."

so Josephine did the mental math.  "Every year?"

"For longer than I've been alive." Sharon told her, "The funds allocated to restore that ship could have built a hundred of them-not one pfennig actually went into work on the ship itself after thirty-eighty-nine, but funds were allocated through three administrations to do that."

"Where did the money go?"

"Defiance Hesperus, Krupp Interstellar, Blue Nose Clipperships, and Lockheed/CBM." Sharon enunciated.  "three fourths of it went into the Republic of the Sphere's pockets, the last quarter went to a corporation i'll only do business with at arm's length-with lots of oversight.  I'm going to tell you a secret, Josephine."

"listening..."

"Lean in closer, helmet to helmet."

she did so, and turned off her comms.

"someone has been stealing from all of us."

"Do you know this for a fact?"

"I tested the theory, and it's tested out.  massive amounts of wealth and capital have been funneled, not just from the Commonwealth, but from all of us.  If the HPG network and the financial markets were still intact, nobody would be able to see it."

"I...don't understand."

"I shouldn't have been able to do what I've done in the last four years." Sharon's tone, while dimmed, was still clear.  "My working theory is that it's been levelled at all the major factions.  someone has been very carefully keeping everyone...crippled.  Successor State and Clan alike, and they've done a very good job of it."

Josephine felt an object being pressed into her palm, she held it up, recognizing the helmet-test lead.  she plugged it into her own helmet,  letting them separate.

"We shouldn't have been able to make this much progress, unless whatever was holding us back had been removed." Sharon's tone was much, much, clearer, "But someone turned up in the Quarantine Zone with a stealth warship-an unusual design, Clan design engines-the old Star League models, but new construction.  They used civilian ships and local enforcement vessels as live fire testing targets."

"engines you don't make here."

"correct." Sharon said, "Weapons we don't make here either.  the six hundred milimeter autocannon is an SLDF standard from long before the Amaris war, but these were evolved designs, better than the Word of Blake were using."

"How much better?"

"Twenty five percent lighter, faster firing, everything the Clans work toward with their ground and fighter weapons." Sharon noted, "The analysis of the wreckage did not include a black box recorder, but genetic analysis of the dead showed connections with every Clan that participated in destroying the Word of Blake, plus one Clan we can't identify.  unfortunately, we were unable to recover any survivors to interrogate but the mystery clanners were a familial genetic match to a group of sabotuers that tried to destroy the Boojum shipyard in thirty-ninety four, and those we were able to link to the Republic of the Sphere."

"let me guess...they targeted whichever part of the yard was not civilian, quiaff?"  Josephine asked.

"Likely." Sharon agreed, "I understand there were a string of accidents over Tamar when Clan Wolf was trying to assemble a yard there, at about the same time.  would you be interested to know what went on when the Jade Falcons tried to assemble a repair yard over Sudeten?"

"We already know.  Twelve thousand dead when the gantries...'accidentally' de-orbited. I was just starting Sibko training when that happened.  How did you stop them?"

"they weren't Rockjacks." Sharon stated.  "A shift foreman spotted them and alerted security, a team of workers followed them and disarmed their charges and sabotage devices.  Nikki Minh apprehended them on their way to 'safe distance' by separating them from their pressure suits on the ferry-shuttle.  No suit, no flight controls, they suicided rather than be arrested, but sources in the Metis identified two of them as part of the force that took Congress Station during the Republic's crackdown on the Belts."

"You have an agenda if you are sharing this with me." Josephine said.

"I do.  During my housecleaning in the Commonwealth navy, I managed to identify a number of ranking officers with ties to Republic Intelligence. It is my belief you may have a mole in your forces, in particular, your Clan Watch, because someone on Dire Wolf is having conversations with one of the moles I didn't remove.  If your Khan is sincere in his desire to take the Terran system, having an enemy spy in your ranks is not the way to go about it, and if it fits the pattern, this spy will come from a known bloodline and be Trueborn, or close enough to pass for one."

"you allow a spy?? why?"

"because it will make it easier to get my enemies to do stupid things, if they think they have good inside information." Sharon told her.  "i want them to do very, very, stupid things."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 18 April 2020, 06:39:41
What a twist!

Fidelis?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 18 April 2020, 07:19:41
Counterintelligence FTW!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 April 2020, 10:08:46
"Everyone knows the saw about 'preparing to fight the last war'.  This...this isn't the last war."

-Assemblywoman Jennifer Vanh, Kowloon, 3148.

Pangkalan. Jade Falcon OZ, 0345 hours, January 4, 3148...

The 7th Mixed Cluster knew, just like everyone knew, that this was as safe an assignment, as boring, as devoid of possible glory, as a Clan unit could be saddled with.  Pangkalan had fallen in an afternoon to the power of the Clan, after all.

the citizens knew it too. No-one was coming to save them, and it had been over a decade now.  A decade of being ground into the dirt.

the midnight sky lit.  Flashes in the darkness where there should be no flashes...and then, the sirens in the remaining cities began to sound, and Clan warriors scrambled to their machines, to get them into the field.

The first thing to go, was the field-portable HPG erected when the planet was taken.

The next, were the air-bases where the second-line cluster kept their fighters.  as the alert and the ready rolled to the end of runways, their less ready kin were savaged with slanting lines from orbit- ten meter long lances of tungsten from orbit, smashing fortified hangars and tarmacs, followed by a rain of metal balls that shook the very ground for hundreds of kilometers.

The fighters that made it into the skies, and into orbit, finally got a glimpse of their assailants.

There was a confusing regularity to these-they were not bandits, or if they were, they were remarkably well equipped bandits.  Eisensturm-A fighters, painted white, with a Killer Whale on the left wing roundel, and a Lyran Commonwealth Fist on the left.  These also sported a black and red checkerboard pattern on the vertical stabilizers, with clearly marked series numbers.

The ships coming in with those, were not dropships, and the haze-gray over white paint-schemes were broken by a single red line, with the same Killer Whale rampant, and the words "Coast Guard".

This intelligence was transmitted to the surface, as the attacking force interlocked its fire, and began erasing the Jade Falcon Aerostar with the same almost-casual ease that it had erased the defending assault dropships, and the same ease that they had already erased the 7th Mixed Cluster's transport dropships.

as the fighters fought back, more radar contacts showed more incoming objects.

Surface based defenses, fortresses, bunkers, erased in quick succession by objects moving at or above escape velocity, put in motion days ago, on a strict timer.

a meteorite shower of low-scale kinetic death, hammering with just enough force to knock out surface radar stations, communications hubs, military barracks.

It is, perhaps, a testimony to the central flaw of the Mongol concept, that all these targets were relatively easy to identify-because only military targets had electrical power with electrical lighting.

The scheduled beating continued until 0600 hours shipboard time. 

Then, the landings began, as the spindly shapes of transport jumpships arrived at pirate points less than two hours from the planet, and released dropships.

It was at this point, it became abundantly clear to the surviving officers of the 7th Battle Cluster, that this was not a raid.

The second thing apparent, was made so by a simple comparison of markings-and that, scared the dogsnot out of them.  Panicked orders to scout units that had been conducting live-fire exercises on a rebellious hamlet's residents led to seeking out the landing place for one of those dropships.

The report was cause for existential dread.

the dropship's hull was marked "Cuerpo de Marines de Arluna".

Biohazard protocols were immediately pulled out.  The Plague Zone had sent an invasion force.

The Quarantine, was Broken.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 18 April 2020, 10:22:11
The quarantine wasn't broken... it was weaponized...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 18 April 2020, 11:00:26
There was a confusing regularity to these-they were not bandits, or if they were, they were remarkably well equipped bandits.  Eisensturm-A fighters, painted white, with a Killer Whale on the left wing roundel, and a Lyran Commonwealth Fist on the left.

Pretty sure one of those should be the right.  Also it says something about the contempt the Clans in general, and the Mongol Falcons in particularly, hold the Lyrans in that the last thing they think is coming is the Commonwealth to retake the world.

Quote
The scheduled beating continued until 0600 hours shipboard time.

And ended when moral was much improved.  Well Lyran moral that is. ;D

Quote
The second thing apparent, was made so by a simple comparison of markings-and that, scared the dogsnot out of them.  Panicked orders to scout units that had been conducting live-fire exercises on a rebellious hamlet's residents led to seeking out the landing place for one of those dropships.

Or as those in the inbound dropships would call it, Warcrimes.

Quote
Biohazard protocols were immediately pulled out.  The Plague Zone had sent an invasion force.

The Quarantine, was Broken.

A webcomic I read once that had this explanation end an arc, summed up:

Outlaws see the rules of civilization like bars on the cage, getting in their way.  Only fools and losers obey them.

Then one day they find out the bars on the cage aren't there to protect the tiger.  And the tiger isn't them.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 April 2020, 11:23:49
Melissia, same day.

The 5th Talon Cluster and the 121st PGC hadn't been prepared for this.  Really, who could be?  The first warning that something was wrong, was a shower of meteors that moved far, far, too fast, raking across the Starport, skipping the city next to it, striking the Governor's palace (but curiously missing the surrounding buildings) only to somehow magically strike HPG stations, comm relays, barracks, 'mech bays...and dropships.

Not a single military-capable dropship that was on the ground last night, was intact enough to lift by morning.

a series of 60 meter by one meter tungsten rods hit the Brian-castle-like former home of the 32nd Lyran Guards which housed the planetary control grid and most of the supplies for the 5th Talon Cluster, effectively drilling through the mountain that the bunker had been built into.  Warship-grade composites don't hold up against tungsten rods driven at 12,800 meters/second.  The Castle, with the Planet's commander, was smashed and there was still no sign of the enemy.

The deep radar installations were also erased with similar methods.

Nothing, NUCLEAR. or biological, or even chemical.  Just very, very precise ballistic calculations done with a lot of advance knowledge of where 'secret' routes and military facilities were.

and, of course, where units in garrison, or in the field, were.

Three Aerofighters managed to get into the air out of the aviation trinary.

Not three points or three stars...three.

These joined the star of aerofighters that were already in flight, launched to 'check out' a radar contact.

Identification of what was arriving at Melissia's Lagrange points wasn't hard.  Sampan Mk II's were well known vessels from the Jihad,  Mark IIIs were frequently encountered and imagery taken by Merchant Caste at designated 'safe trade' planets.  The paint schemes were even known.  Kowloon's Killer Whale, Mandaoaaru's Maori Mask,  the sunset of Inarcs.  These were all well and truly identified by the recon/patrol fighters.

These were also well outside of the Quarantine Zone that was their home.

SB-27s and SL-19KR Kowloonese fighters were leaving the cutters and assuming an attack formation.

The only communication the Clan Jade Falcon pilots recieved, was in english, it was one line.

"Ah, so you want to resist arrest?  We'll see."

Attempts to get clarification, to get any sort of response, were ignored.  Instead, the forces burned in toward the planet, which was reeling, and when the Clan Aerostar tried to intercept...well?

The fight was ten to one, without counting the long-guns and missiles from the cutters.

Nobody even got a chance to scream in most cases.

Had the Clan pilots lasted longer, they would have seen transport jumpships arriving behind the Cutters, heavy with landing support dropships marked with the names of famous (or at least traditional) militias and units either originating within the Quarantine zone, or linked historically with it.

months, in some cases, years of preparation for this.  There would be 12 other invasions today, involving forces from the Quarantine zone and points rimward.  Timing was a key element-effectively, all 14 strikes on this front were happening within the same minute, the invasion forces landing within twenty minutes of each other.

This is War Plan Green, Silver Variation P.  Every single Jade Falcon military facility in this wave had been identified, the location plotted with orbital mechanics, kinetic weapons had been put into place and started-all with the intent of striking a simultaneous blow.  Yeilds were calculated using geological and geographical surveys, to prevent collateral damage, courses set with calculus out to the sixteenth decimal, thrust applied with absolute precision, gravity field alterations calculated to within the 314th decimal.  Troops had been screened, and trained, psychological factors were taken into account as well, to maximize the psychological impact, jump points were monitored for months to determine where antishipping strikes would need to in place, patrol patterns were analyzed.

Clan Jade Falcon did not expect to be struck in such a manner here.

especially not with the warships converging on Coventry.

the dropships carrying the Kowloon 171st Volunteer Division were already plunging into Melissia's atmosphere, free of the threat of interception or air-defenses, by the time scouts on Pangkalan confirmed that the 1st Arlunan Marines Expeditionary Unit were grounding ships to begin anti-Clan mop-up operations.

When you have a population of billions, you can build a damned big army, even with an average expenditure of only 2.5% of the gross domestic product.  for the last eighty years, the worlds of the Quarantine Zone have been getting reindustrialization help from Kowloon and the less-damaged worlds in the zone.  aggressive industrialization, deep industrialization, thorough development aimed at self-sufficiency and economic growth, while developing expansive militia formations that sometimes, saw a lot of action.

This fourteen world assault is only one of the diversionary tactics to cover LCAF's major strategic moves.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 18 April 2020, 11:54:56
Interstellar WAR.  Scale is something the clans could never wrap their heads around.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 18 April 2020, 12:05:09
This fourteen world assault is only one of the diversionary tactics to cover LCAF's major strategic moves.

Interstellar WAR.  Scale is something the clans could never wrap their heads around.

Note the scale of this attack, is only the diversionary strike. :o :o :o
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 April 2020, 12:12:44
Mount Asgard, Tharkad...

"Divisions, Sharon?"  Roderick Steiner asked.

"all I did was authorize the release of forces on Kowloon, General." Sharon stated.  "I figured Pat would follow the naval war plan, I didn't think he'd amend on the ground forces, and I didn't think the others would consent to contribute."

She looked at the map displayed in the central atrium of the command center.  "Nice to see mom's plan in action, though.  Grandpa Nathan contributed a lot to the underlying ideas.  Grandmama Liz supposedly wanted this to happen sixty years ago, but LAAF was over-stretched and there was no way in hell she could've gotten legal cover to bring up division-strength forces."

"you still don't." He said.

"I'll call it a Navy operation, and put them on my budget." Sharon said, "Problem solved-I activated Naval reserves, some of those reserves included Naval Marine units.  Big challenge is that Uncle Pat's reserve commission is LCAF Army."

Roderick began to chuckle. "gotcha!" he said, "You always say 'if you can't afford to lose it...' so how many LCAF units am I adding to my budget for this year and next?" he reached out and poked her shoulder, "because I know there have to be spares available."

"Joint responsibility?" Sharon asked, "For the ****** in the Estates."

"hm."

"look, it's easier to put them under Department of the Navy." she added, "Trade me Uncle Patrick and I'll trade you a couple of-"

"this better have a good explanation!"  Trillian Steiner's voice echoed as she strode in.  "Roderick?"

"I..ah...authorized it?" he said.

"say that with confidence, you're testifying in front of the Defense committee in two hours-both of you." Trillian snapped, "you can both explain to the Estates General where you got these forces, and why we weren't already using them."

"I'll do it." Sharon said, "The General here, is in the midst of planning the next phase of our counter-attack and can not be spared. MY role is already completed."

"What are you going to tell them?" Trillian asked.

"National. Security." Sharon stated, "Followed by lots of variations on 'need to know' and 'compartmentalized information' followed by terms like 'imminent domestic threat', 'foreign aggression' and maybe drum up a domestic spying scare to drive the point home."

"can you prove any of it?"

"I can prove the spies." Sharon said, "if you'll buy off on releasing the info-not all the ones we caught, just a few.  There are a couple I want to think we're too dumb to catch still.  I can guarantee it will quell the peace-at-any-price lobby and destroy a few ill-gotten careers in the military, which ought to give you some weight internationally if you do decide to pursue peace-talks with someone else in the near future.  You'll look more reasonable and less weak, especially since you're brokering the talks between the Wolf factions."

"talks you opposed."

"talks I oppose." Sharon nodded, "I don't agree with your policy stance on the Wolf Empire, OR the Republic, but you're the boss, so you will look stronger to them, and to those walking parasites in the Estates General if it looks like you're a hardass on defense policy."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 18 April 2020, 12:32:49
Note the scale of this attack, is only the diversionary strike. :o :o :o
That's exactly what I was talking about...  ^-^

And it's a good thing for Trillian Sharon doesn't want to be Archon...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: EAGLE 7 on 18 April 2020, 13:07:29
Warriors this will be your introduction to warfare 098, 100, and 101.
Please keep the screaming and nashing of teeth to a minimum.
Trials are for children.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 April 2020, 16:42:41
Tharkad Naval Shipyard, July.

"The Republic is back."  Archon Trillian Steiner said.  "Stone's back in charge, and they've lowered the wall."

"Knew this was coming." Sharon said.  "I take it their envoy is...disappointed in what we've been up to?"

On the wall, what had been a sea of Jade Green had retreated to a somewhat swollen river.

"That's putting it nicely." Trillian joined her.  "Mein gott."

"Roderick's strategic plan." Sharon said, "he's executing well.  what's our long-term damage from this?"

"You're asking me?"

"He has his mothball fleet. He has his lethally effective special forces, and he has his spies and diplomatic contacts." Sharon listed off, "what kind of trouble are we in for?"

"I don't know yet, a whole lot of 'broken treaty' and 'acts of war' talk from his envoys-the Republic DID sign on to help Cousin Julian reclaim what's been lost."

"That's nice." Sharon said it without feeling.  "I assume he's going to demand you surrender your 'excessive' fleet, either before, or after demanding you let him use us."

she turned to her sovereign.  "Trillian, please, you listened to me on the reforms, and you listened to me on the general pacing and strategy of this war.  I've delivered everything you asked and more.  listen to me now..."

"I always listen, Sharon." Trillian said.

"Anastasius Focht, in his writing The Gallant Defense of Mankind, said something prophetic that nobody listened to when David Lear was chanting 'peace dividend' in Stone's name.  He said, 'History proves no war ever ended by arms reduction'.  he also described in 3058 what starts, and ends, wars."

Trillian sighed, "I know this one. 'Wars are not won on the field of combat. Battles are, but those are only ever part of the story. To win a war you need to break the enemy's resolve, to force him to accept defeat. Otherwise the war will never end. Too many conflicts persist because battles are won but the hearts and minds of the people are not. Winning involves every level of society, from the generals and politicians to the shop girls and street cleaners. The infantryman with his rifle may be the blunt weapon used to win this fight, but he is neither the instigator nor the concluder.'"

"Tell Stone 'no'.  I think we can crush his fleet if he sends them." Sharon told her, "But I also think he won't send them, because he has the Draconis Combine, Cappellan Confederation, and the Free Worlds Remnant, plus the remains of two Clans gunning for his cold-stored ass.  I think you're in the position of power here, not just physically, but morally-they abandoned the rest of us after they cut off the communications.  The actions of Devlin Stone and his 'republic' have repudiated and shat upon any claims of kinship, friendship, or alliance.  The bastards screwed us all and left us out to hang."

"Like Kerensky did to Kowloon." Trillian said.

"Not quite, my ancestor got to tell Kerensky he was an idiot when he left, and Marjorie's diary shows our people already knew how much they could trust Terran promises from dirtyfeet leaders.  you have the position to tell him 'no'.  To claim neutrality, to seize the moral high ground in a way and manner that leaves no question, while denying them the physical high ground because you do have the army and the navy that can fight a two-ocean war...and win, but only if you don't let the other side set the terms.  Make them do the compromising."

"What am I going to do when you quit?"

"Promote the next sucker with big ideas and a head for math.  I can give you a list of people who can do this job without ****** it up, if you need one." Sharon said, "i still want to go be an explorer, now that the Quarantine is finished.  I even have a direction to go."

"the evidence of ETI your people found on that mars-like planet in the Q-zone?" Trillian asked, adding, "I also followed their work."

"First contact is a better career capper, than General of the Armies." Sharon told her, "it will change the universe we know in ways that people only speculated-or feared for over a thousand years.  I want to go."

"I can't afford to let you, Sharon.  I need you here. there is a point where something you can't afford to lose is something you absolutely must use-it comes with people."

"I hate your policies, we don't get along..."

"You speak truth to me, without fawning and you're professional." Trillian told her.

Sharon sighed.  "Got me there."

"And I respect you, so does Roderick."  Trillian sighed, "You're loyal.  you don't like me, or my policies, but you're loyal."

"You're going to send part of the fleet to support your cousin in the Federated Suns."

"Yes.  I need you to be here in case it goes bad."

"that means getting back in bed with Stone's lunatics." Sharon pointed out, "it means repudiating our alliance with Clan Wolf.  are you sure about this?"

"No, but I'm doing it anyway."

"I'll get the staff drafting movement orders." Sharon said.  "i don't like this. not one bit.  Do you have a preference for the fleet officer in charge?"

Trillian shook her head, "Put someone good, someone with good judgement, someone...professional, who knows where their loyalties are on it."

"Aye mum."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 18 April 2020, 17:33:32
Whoever Sharon picks is going to be unhappy... I can tell already...  ::)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 April 2020, 18:46:34
LCS Hermann Steiner, October 11, 3150...

"Your mother, Nicole, plotted a course to Terra that avoided the pickets of the Word of Blake, back in the seventies.  Can you do that?"  Sharon Ngo asked.

"I don't know." Rear Admiral Linda Sithers-Minh answered.  "Where am I going?"

"Past the Wolf Empire, Rassalhague Dominion, Draconis Combine, and into Federated Suns Space. One way or another you're going to have to cross possibly hostile territory without engaging to get there....and you're not going to be doing it alone."

"How 'not alone' are we talking?"

"She wants to send a task-force to aid Julian Davion before he makes a serious mistake and gets too far in bed with the Republic."

"She being the Archon."

"yeah."

"So...blaze a route that can avoid detection across two or more hostile territories to a place that might be hostile territory when we get there, to support someone who might not be an ally when we arrive, and get home alive while doing the same trick the other way?"  Nicole asked innocently.

"Can you do it?"

"Would you like fries with that universe? a custom saddle for that unicorn?" Linda asked.  "Short answer, with a large taskforce, is 'no', that's the answer you want me to give you, because it means they can't do it to us."

"Long answer?"

"Yes." Linda stated, "we can, indeed, with the right preparations and charts, at the right time of year, set up Her Majesty's lifeline to her cousin.  if we do this, it's going to put the whole inner sphere on their ass for real. It might GET the whole Inner Sphere on YOUR ass for real."

"What do you need?"

"A year and a half to prep it, complete secrecy, a set of jumpships carrying prefabricated station modules, fuel supplies and consumables, and a destination."  Linda stated, "We'll build a supply route as we go, so in addition to that task-force, we'll need a secondary force to guard the drops and maintain them...and it has to be even more secret. everything compartmentalized until it's finished, with a standing guard force that can resist takeovers once it is, because as soon as we're there? someone's going to want the route, the supply dumps, they'll either want it for themselves, or they'll want to cut it."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 18 April 2020, 18:51:43
This Linda totally lives up to her name...  8)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: idea weenie on 19 April 2020, 05:11:08
Add in a few extra stations with fake coordinates, so people hunting for the route receive coordinates to a location in deep space with nothing nearby.  They think they found the rote when a leaked set of coordinates is provided by spies, send a fleet there, and have to recharge their drives for a week to get back.  Or send LFB-equipped vessels to scout the coordinates

An far away is a station that is watching the arrivals, counting, and measuring their times

Or a bunch of satellites with anti-shipping missiles, where each satellite has a single shot Barracuda missile and a self-destruct).  Pity you can't mount external ordnance racks to satellites.  You'd get shorter range and accuracy for each missile, but a lot more shots
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 April 2020, 05:26:14
Tharkad, Lyran Commonwealth...

This time, the Archon didn't try to make Sharon conform to groundsider sympathies, but it may have been because of who the guests were.

What this means, is she didn't demand the Chief of Naval Operations attend a diplomatic reception without a skinsuit under her dress uniform.  Considering the guest list, Sharon wasn't entirely sure she couldn't have gotten away with showing up in Marine Assault Armor.

However, the regulations she herself wrote for the LCN made that a decidedly improper use of a half million kroner suit of powered armor. Instead, she simply wore the skinsuit, and an LCN 'Class A' overgarment combination.

This time, with awards from her term in the Coast Guard, and in the 'previous service' position (Left Shoulder) the mission patch from her last Cutter command, the KCGS Evelynn Mosovich

she watched the attendees carefully.  The delegation from the Republic were in full dress uniform, and had made something of a stir by marching a massive, tripod-like super-size battlemech from the starport to their Embassy.

"Know what they used to say about big mechs?" Roderick asked her from her shoulder.

Sharon held up her fingers, about one centimeter apart, "compensation?  I remember that was what Grandfather's friends used to say, anyway.  considering my ride is over a million tons of warship, I think it compensates handily for not being born with a Y chromosome."

his sparkling wine did an admirable job of spraying out his nose at her turning his joke and extending it.  the General of the Armies wiped his nose with class..and a handkerchief.  "Jesus, Sharon, why must you always do that?"

"Being the ugly girl means needing to trade off of my personality." she looked over at him, "Such as I happen to have one.  Just like being a toothpick means you have to trade off your nerdish charm."

"Just because I'm not packing a hundred kilos of prison muscle..."

"And tats." she said, "Don't forget my tats."

"You don't have any."

"Like you've ever seen me without a skinsuit."

"I have, remember?"

"oh, right...caught me...so we get a whole Paladin of the Republic as envoy to complain about our military build up and demand our help dealing with the people they've screwed over."

"Sharon, stop being the Admiral and be a duchess again for a moment." he said, "I know you know how to politic."

"Okay..." she closed her eyes, "Trillian looks at the Republic and sees...i have no idea." she opened her eyes.  "Objectively, our best course of action is to tell Stone's people they're on their own, and that we don't care."

"bigger picture, Sharon." he said.

"Bigger picture is, we can keep expanding, the Republic can't, we have enough force to make peace an appealing option and the republic doesn't.  We have a better reputation in trade, and just godhammered a Clan without needing a sphere-wide multinational force at our backs.  We're stable with the Wolf Empire, and they are not, and we haven't spent sixty years covertly destroying anyone else's industries in order to force unequal treaties...and up until tonight, we have not betrayed any of our allies and left them to die.  the Duchess in me is asking why in the hell we are letting them come here with their demands and their admonishments when we should be making popcorn and corn chips and salsa to watch them get what's coming to them."

"Fair enough, now the Admiral."

she sipped ca'phe from her glass.  "Strategically, the Fortress contains as many shipyards as we've built in the last six years, along with ninety or so capital warships in mothball.  for some bizarre reason, Rassalhague still has good relations with them, they just signed a mutual defense pact with the Federated Suns-kind of like how an abuser gets their battered spouse to move back in, and the location of the real-estate suggests wars are going to spill over and become our problem, particularly if they lose, or start to lose. Population density inside the Republic's main prefecture is over ninety billion, conceptually, they can man a fleet large enough to maul us real good, and they've got advanced technologies we don't officially know about."

"And the right strategy is...?"

"buy time." Sharon said.  "Don't make commitments and buy time."

"Hence, why we're here." he told her.

"Nope, that's why they are here." Sharon countered.  "WE are here, because Her Majesty wants us to attend-I could ask any of my senior staff to attend this, but she wants me here.  YOU could ask any of yours, but she wants you here."

"Does either half of you understand why?" He asked.

"Show of trust.  show of faith, show of sincerity and show of solidarity." She answered, nodding to a young Kapitan on his first surface tour since reaching rank.

"Precisely." he said.

"I should be getting work done." Sharon stated.

Roderick chuckled, "You mean you want to go sit in null-gee with muscle-stimulators in your suit going full blast, meditating on distant stars."

"And places I'll never be allowed to go." She agreed. 
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 19 April 2020, 05:50:38
If the Archon's there, why isn't Stone?   ???
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 19 April 2020, 05:58:25
To show who's important. Archons have to hop for Stone's bungo houseboy.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 19 April 2020, 06:13:18
If Sharon was listened to, the Archon WOULDN'T be there...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 April 2020, 08:22:21
Twenty Minutes later...

Sharon and Roderick watched as the officials mingled, and finally, the Paladin arrowed past the minority leader from the Estates General, and walked up to them.

"Where is the Archon?"

"Oh, she's not here yet?" Sharon countered, refilling her coffee from a service on the table beside her.

"no."

"Roddy?"

"Affairs of state?" the Commanding General suggested.

"Sounds about right." Sharon said, "Trillian's not really much of a party girl."

"Neither are you." Roderick said.

"Yeah, but she said I have to be here." Sharon contributed, then looked the Republic official in the eye, "She will arrive, exactly at the time she arrives, Paladin-mister-ambassador, and not a moment before or after.  Ambassadors wait on the convenience of heads of state, not the other way around."

"Rude, Sharon." Roderick said, an admonishment that underscored her unspoken point.

"Admiral, I think we got off on the wrong foot." the Republic envoy said, "Paladin Lester Howell, Special Envoy from the Republic of the Sphere." he said, extending a hand.

Sharon looked at the hand, and sipped her coffee.  "Sharon Ngo, Duchess of Kowloon." she said.  "Your accent-New Earth, right?"  she did not extend her hand.

"yes...Admiral Ngo, right?"

"My current job, yeah. You might have noticed my ride on your way in. It's hard to miss."  she took another sip, and kept her eyes on his. 

"We have warships in the republic." he said.

"yeah, but mine is new." she said, "funniest thing about you guys going armadillo for fifteen years, we discovered a sudden drop in industrial accidents and mysterious malfunctions, also less industrial sabotage, and somehow, without having to route our budgets through your Comstar, a hell of a lot more money to do infrastructure repair and industrial development."  she swirled her cup, "Imagine that."

"your...successes are well documented."

"That's nice. They're not my successes.  Roderick did a hell of a good job cleaning out the dead-wood in LCAF's ranks and he designed the series of offensives we used to remove the threat of the Jade Falcons..permanently.  All I did, was organize the supply line."

he flinched and blinked first.  For just a moment, Sharon could feel the violent intent in the man's posture, the momentary steeling up before lashing out, and the desperate exertion of willpower that kept him from doing so.

"When will the Archon be available?" He asked Roderick.

"When she is available." Roderick said, "You do know Trillian is an admirer of the Republic, unlike Admiral Ngo, here."

"I'm one of those awful, terrible, un-progressive, nationalists." Sharon said. "our domestic economy is stronger than it was before the blackout, our armed services are no longer riddled with infiltrators or corruption.  I don't see any reason to change things from how they presently are, as opposed to the state of decay we were in fifteen years ago."
 
"I hear an accusation in your tone, Admiral." Howell said. she could almost sense the violence he was restraining.

"three hundred, Thirty two trillion kroner." Sharon said.  "Forensic book-keeping is not a lost technique, and I did as much time in Judge Advocate work in the Coast Guard, as I spent in the black-sometimes at the same time.  the 'beneficial trade' with your Republic was costing that every year in deficits for the Lyran Commonwealth.  Notably, that trade deficit was electronic numbers.  the real-Kroner losses were higher...and terminated rather mysteriously when you went Armadillo and someone actually started having to do real-world accounting...and demanding real-world results."

"Sharon, is this necessary?" Roderick asked.  "He is our nation's guest."

"Of course." Sharon muttered, "apologies."

Howell looked at Roderick, and then at Sharon.  "She's not coming tonight, is she?" he asked.

"Can't say." Sharon said.  "The Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth is a busy woman, she has a nation to run, including reconstruction of nearly a third of our territory, a third recovered from genocidal psychopaths while your leader was sleeping it off.  a recovery I'm not sure we could've done if you hadn't cut off the communications and tried to Scorpion us."

"HOW DARE YOU!!!" Howell couldn't take it anymore.

"I dare, because it's truth." Sharon snapped right back. "Every HPG, mister Paladin, every long range communication array, every financial market, every communication, knocked out for almost TWENTY YEARS. and when you came out of your precious fortress, you expected everyone to be in chaos and desperate for the healing hands of the Republic to wipe their asses and we don't need you."

Howell's fist was a blur, and stars exploded in Sharon's vision even as she rolled with the punch, landing against the tea-service.

The room was still and silent, shocked expressions all around.  she pushed up to her feet.  "That's one." she said, "we don't need you, and we never did. you need us."  she spat to the side, and red hit the tiles.  "Not a very convincing argument." she added, "Unaugmented is fine, by the way.  I accept your challenge.  go grab a buddy so it's fair. we'll give everyone a show for the scandal vids."

"Sharon, don't-"

"It's fine, Rod." she said, "Think.  Howell.  I'm thinking Trueborn, cannister kid, 'best of the best get to be paladins'...so Jaguar, new earth accent fits with LIC's info." she reached up and wiped blood from her lip, "Temper fits too. I'll be fine.  He violated Guestrite."

"What?"  Even Howell was confused.

"You extended violence in the home of your host.  not debate, violence." Sharon stated, "You've just lost moral high ground, moron, demonstrated you expect to be treated as more important than you are...and you challenged someone who rides in a battleship to a duel, if we do it augmented you've got your tripod thing, and I have enough firepower to level continents, we do it unarmed, and maybe we both get to live, so I accept-unarmed combat, out in the garden.  You have insulted your hostess with your lack of self-control."

"sharon, he can take you apart." Roderick said.

"yeah, but it won't win the debate." she said, "what it will do is make my point clear."

"You are wearing armor." Howell said.

"Right, i can fight naked." she said, "let's take this outside...unless you want to extend a formal apology and offer repentance to the Archon for your undisciplined behaviour and lack of courtesy...in public, right now, on behalf of your government."

"Not you?"

she gestured, "NOT MY HOME." she said.  "When Trillian Steiner says 'frog' I jump, that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to have my own opinions, but you threw a punch at someone in HER house, not mine, therefore, the insult is to her, as she's not here, I'm best equipped to make it up if you want to get physical, otherwise, if you want forgiveness for this breach of etiquette? that's hers to give, not mine. if you want it personal, we'll take it out the door, out from under the roof, and out of the hospitality zone, but you're still going to apologize, because you just ****** up."





Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 19 April 2020, 08:28:54
Well played... Maybe Trillian DID listen to Sharon...  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 19 April 2020, 08:33:09
I'm also not at all certain about Rod's assessment of who will win that fight.  She'll certainly break one of his long bones before he breaks one of hers...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 April 2020, 09:30:09
I'm also not at all certain about Rod's assessment of who will win that fight.  She'll certainly break one of his long bones before he breaks one of hers...

Let's see... Howell is in his late 20's/early 30s, Sharon is in her late 40s.  he's a 'mechwarrior, Sharon's a naval officer.  Howell's visibly Trueborn, she's a mutt whose pedigree includes a grandmother who was infamously fragile (Liz, no matter the version, spent a LOT of time hospitalized for dumb stunts that resulted in broken bones and other injuries).

and yes she out-masses the guy, and probably knows how to fight-but her Infantry days were 20 years ago, and do you REALLY think a Paladin of the Sphere isn't an expert and experienced hand-to-hand combatant?

Added to that, Howell's a 'mechwarrior, and Sharon is decidedly NOT.  There's definitely a cultural bias here.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 April 2020, 10:11:06
Twelve Hours later, LCAF Headquarters...

"Task Force Arminius should be about here." Sharon said, highlighting a location on the holographic representation.  "based on relay data, they're almost to the rendezvous."

Trillian nodded, satisfied.  "that's good... everyone but Admiral Ngo and General Steiner, clear this space."

The command staff filed out, as well as the techs, leaving only Trillian, her bodyguards, and the two senior officers.

"What the ****** were you playing, Sharon?" the Archon scolded.

"Buying you leverage, your Majesty." Sharon stated.

"Leverage? he could've killed you."

"not a big loss on the larger scale, if he did that, Stone would lose all his credibility and you would be forced not to sign any treaties that compromise the Commonwealth. as it is, their negotiating position right now has gone from Stone's slightly worn reputation from the Jihad, to attempting to beg or bully aid from the Commonwealth-it was win-win." Sharon's tone was unemotional.

Trillian closed her eyes in frustration and shook her head, "It wasn't supposed to go like that!"

"Permission to speak freely, your Majesty?" Sharon asked.

"You don't have to ask."

"I believe I do, your Highness." Sharon stated, "No matter what, the fact I could bait Stone's hand-picked envoy into an act of public violence gives you status and authority on the international stage, and strips him of the leverage he might've had leveraging Lear's ideals with the public.  You control the engagement on a political level now, and you have a superior physical position."

"How's that?" Roderick asked.

"We're still building warships." Sharon said, "Sources through contact with The Folk say Stone's just started gearing up-they didn't expect to ever need their fleet, and we've got it outgunned with more coverage, and the sum total of the Republic's remaining alliances that they haven't poisoned has gone down by one."

"how do you come to that conclusion?"

Sharon rubbed her bruise, "Because the clip made it to the Ghost Bear Dominion." she said.  "Think like a Clanner.  He lashed out, I accepted his challenge, and he backed down, then I rubbed his face in it and made him apologize to you for the offense.  Stone lost some credibility there. More with the Rassies themselves, because his man outright violated Guestrite and had to be called on it,and the Rassies hold to those customs.  He'll have a hard time invoking their alliance if he decides to attack us.  the open lack of courtesy as a guest also doesn't play well with the Combine, and I can bet that Daoshen Liao is hitting 'rewind' and laughing his ass off."

she ran a finger along one of the consoles, "Meanwhile, your hands are clean." she added.  "I'm infamous for my mouth, and from a family that is infamous for the same mouth.  Howell blew the Republic's credibility as an honest broker." she turned, "and not a drop of it lands on you-even your enemies will consider whatever you do next, to either be justified, or generous.  It was the right move strategically for us."

"You're sure that's how it's going to be read?" Trillian asked, slightly scoffing.

"yeah. Status games.  The Combine people will correctly identify that it was you testing the Republic's envoy by putting me in that room to do what I did. He lost composure.  the Wolves might lose a few points on their estimation of me, but you gain those points back, and with you, the Commonwealth gains points over the Republic.  If you decide I'm full of shit and take them as your bosom-ally, nobody will think it's because you're intimidated, they'll ALL know it's because you're charitable, and the Republic is a charity-case. if you decide to go to war, you've got a ready excuse ninety percent of the governments out there will accept as legitimate and they might even find it hard to get allies from the people who don't like us."

"And Neutrality?" Roderick asked.

"Oh please yes." Sharon said, "that's the best of all-it means they can't pull the shit they pulled for sixty years against us. It cements the Commonwealth as the honest arbiter, and it means we aren't wasting lives fighting other people's wars...can I please recall the Task Force now?  Stone is activating his navy, Julian's got some success against the Combine in recovering lost territory, if we're out there, we will take casualties we don't have to fighting a foreign war we don't have to, not when we can be the honest arbitrator for the peace talks they're going to have to have."

Trillian looked tormented.  "issue the recall." she said.

"Thank you your Majesty." Sharon said fervently.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 19 April 2020, 10:39:33
Wow... Sharon really played Trillian there... There will (eventually) be hell to pay for that...

And Liao may be laughing, but he's also taking notes, and the Maskirovka will be shortly doing some forensic accounting of their own...  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Red Pins on 19 April 2020, 11:09:44
Wow... Sharon really played Trillian there... There will (eventually) be hell to pay for that...

And Liao may be laughing, but he's also taking notes, and the Maskirovka will be shortly doing some forensic accounting of their own...  ^-^

...It might be possible to claim Daoshen Liao already KNEW what the republic was doing, hence his behaviour to the republic.  It would explain a lot, from what I know of the DA books, which admittedly isn't much.  Not my era.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: mikecj on 19 April 2020, 12:17:02
Nice set of outcomes for the Lyrans.  Calling him on the Holy Shroud operations was a nice touch.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 19 April 2020, 13:42:58
Sharon totally knows what's she's doing, even if Trillian doesn't.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 19 April 2020, 13:54:44
Sharon totally knows what's she's doing, even if Trillian doesn't.
Trillian seems smart enough to pick people who know their given area, and trusts them.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 19 April 2020, 13:57:13
Even when they want different things than she wants...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: EAGLE 7 on 19 April 2020, 14:10:26
Thank you for giving us this story.
I am not a fan of the jihad and post jihad story.
That being said your take on it seems more realistic to how international relations should have gone with the Republic after they bailed and tried to sabotage everyone else.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 19 April 2020, 17:23:35
...It might be possible to claim Daoshen Liao already KNEW what the republic was doing, hence his behaviour to the republic.  It would explain a lot, from what I know of the DA books, which admittedly isn't much.  Not my era.
Liao actively fought against the RotS constantly. refused to follow Stone's reforms even adfter the RotS used military force to push the issue (the CapCon just went through the motions to appear to be doing the minimum, while actively working behind the scenes to undermine them). kept attacking the republic to reclaim worlds the RotS took during that "force you to follow the reforms" conflict, etc.
odds are they did already know and were working hard to limit it.
probably would help that they were an opposition state so Stone couldn't use the usual trade and secret agreements imbalance methods. it would have to be more sabotage and fomenting unrest.

on the otherhand the CapCon went into the post-Jihad era at a weaker level than the other successor states. not only had they not fully recovered from their 4th succession war lull when the jihad started, but the Jihad pummeled them pretty hard, and then they lost most of the territory regained in the preceding half century to the republic.
but they worked towards reclaiming it.. building up stockpiles of (retired) military hardware while appearing to destroy it to conform to the reforms, organizing insurgencies and pro-capellan movements on republic worlds, etc. and when the blackout hit they immediately moved to bring all their hidden assets out into the open and reclaim their old space. in fact before the Fortress wall went up, they were largely the only successor state actually making a concerted attempt at (re)conquest of republic space.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 April 2020, 18:08:27
[out of story]

Trillian seems smart enough to pick people who know their given area, and trusts them.
Even when they want different things than she wants...

What does anyone want?  Very FEW people want war, or economic chaos.  Very few leaders, certainly.  Those who love their nations tend to want prosperity and peace-if not in the world, at least in their home.  We end up in so many disagreements, because we all have different mental and emotional pictures of what that "Peace" and "Prosperity" actually mean.

Trillian doesn't 'want' to get rolled up into an optional war on the far side of the Inner Sphere, up until this last scene, she felt she had to.

this goes to concepts of Duty, Filial piety, and obligation.  Julian supported her, he's a cousin, there's a sense of family obligation and duty there, as well as a sense of repaying a debt.

Add to that, Trill was raised in a household that saw the Republic as a net Good.  if there's a manipulation here, it's that Sharon forced her to confront that the Republic is just another nation-state, and one that has done real harm to her own over a sustained period of time.

And she removed the necessity and forced the understanding that intervention in the Fedsuns' ongoing wars was an optional situation that held no benefit for the nation.  (in the process reminding Trillian that her first duty is at home-to her nation and people, and not to friendships, family ties, or personal debt.)

she also positioned Trillian very well to be a 'statesman' instead of just another warlord.  in essence, doing exactly what a good subordinate officer does-taking the hits so her sovereign doesn't have to, and acting to elevate her sovereign's status so that when the question of war comes up, the answer becomes 'nope'.

(this was done in two ways: 1) the successful annihilation of the Mongols as a military force, with their confinement in 'reservations' where their movements could be restricted and access to weapons limited, and (2), positioning the Archon as Devlin Stone's Equal instead of his Subordinate in the eyes of the press, people, and of foreign governments.  this standing is more than strategic weapons, it's also moral standing.)

effectively, Sharon is trying to accomplish Trillian's more idealistic goals, but in a format of cold, ruthless pragmatism.  Every time a foreigner or the press brings up her success, what does she do? she deflects the credit to others-her superiors, her subordinates, she only claims the failures for herself.  this is her "Professional standards" in action, and it's something she's working hard to inculcate into the LCN's officer-culture.

WE KNOW what Sharon Ngo would like to do-she would like to go off and play Captain Kirk for the rest of her life.  She isn't doing that, but that's what she wants to do.

but she is ruled by her duty and her professionalism as much as she is ruled by the Archon, who basically already rejected one offer to resign.

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 19 April 2020, 18:18:17
Wait... they left some Mongols ALIVE?? ???
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: mikecj on 19 April 2020, 21:37:11
must have been a mistake
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 19 April 2020, 21:59:50
must have been a mistake
Wait... they left some Mongols ALIVE?? ???

Sibkos, and some of them might have surrendered fast enough to get Alura Flu treatment when they saw who was coming for them.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: kindalas on 19 April 2020, 22:10:14
Sibkos, and some of them might have surrendered fast enough to get Alura Flu treatment when they saw who was coming for them.

Even when engaging in unrestricted warfare you kind of have to accept offers of unconditional surrender.

I'm sure that the Mongol Falcons were exiled to a life of sustenance farming somewhere without any neighbors or industry.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 19 April 2020, 23:45:05
Even when engaging in unrestricted warfare you kind of have to accept offers of unconditional surrender.

I'm sure that the Mongol Falcons were exiled to a life of sustenance farming somewhere without any neighbors or industry.

Naw, these are purebred TrueBorns.  That means even if they survive exposure to the Alura Flu (IIRC they get hit harder) the lack of junk DNA means they survivors are still carriers.  In effect they are in lifetime quarantine.  And a big enough population to give them a very large island or a small continent somewhere till they breed in enough extra genes for their children to no longer be viral bombs.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 20 April 2020, 20:51:55
a more diplomatic diplomatic meeting, Tharkad...

"you put them in Reservations?" Paladin Howell hadn't gone back to Earth with his tail between his legs,

"That's the term, it was selected from pre-spaceflight historical documents." Admiral Ngo's bruise was two-days faded, but still apparent. 

"WHY?"

"If you kill people that are surrendering, the next bunch won't surrender and you've un-broken that will to resist and fight that you just spent vast amounts of lives and money breaking." She cited, "Towards the end, the Falcons were surrendering in job-lots.  Not all of them were Mongols when we started, and not all of the ones who were on day one of our counterattack believed in Malvina's toxic philosophy when we finished."

"but they could have been lying, or deceiving you." he said.

"Yup.  they could have." she nodded sagely.  "That's why we did what we did with 'em.  Surrendering means the war is over.  Surveys were done, some worlds were found while we were conducting operations, not the nicest places, but suitable for human life, reachable, and able to be monitored.  We relocated Warrior Caste populations and identified collaborators to those worlds, provided them with seed crops, livestock, and sufficient basic hand tools to enact any base, non-industrialized society they wanted to build, we didn't give them 'mechs, we didn't give them the extensive databases their ancestors took on the Exodus, we gave 'em books."

"Why books?"

"books don't require batteries." She told him.  "Plenty of basic knowledge there, the refugees that settled Kowloon initially started with less in terms of raw information.  If these guys want machineguns and tanks they're going to have to learn how to do it from scratch.  they'll have to master steam engines before they can even think about fusion reactors.  In the meantime, they can run their society any damned way they want to-those reservations are official 'no go zones' enforced by the LCN and the Coast Guard.  nobody goes in who isn't on oversight duty.  we did make sure to remove or inactivate their contraceptive implants before we put them there.  Give it a few generations and they might be ready to rejoin the human race.  the standing order is to wait for them to rediscover radio and start calling."

"You put them out to die-"

"No, we gave them good planets."  Sharon countered.  "They can be civilized or they can be barbarians,  but whatever they can be, they have to do it themselves, and on their own, without the loot of a thousand planets backing them up.  Trillian didn't go with my plan."

He stared at her, "What was that?"

"Put 'em down naked, with no tools at all and no books, and let them start from the pre-stone-age." she said evenly.  "She said 'no' to that, so we compromised.  They get basic hand tools, a small library, seeds for crops and animals that can be tamed and used...and a set of frequencies that require a twenty-first century level of tech to transmit.  They're on their own, they can have their society, such as it is, if they can build it, and the Quarantine Detail keeps anyone from entering the system and interfering.  I expect the Archon is right,  it's better than genocide.  They can have their culture if they can keep it. nobody's taking that away." she held his eyes across the table, "We're just making sure they don't bother anyone else while they work that out."





Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 20 April 2020, 20:56:08
Well, that explains that, then...  8)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: EAGLE 7 on 20 April 2020, 21:27:45
So green cockatoos are done in inner sphere....
Good so what tech and infrastructure did they recover?
What are they going to keep/ use?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Derain Von Harken on 20 April 2020, 21:46:07
This is what total and crushing defeat looks like.
Take notes kids this is the result of the archon talking the dreaded admiral ngo down.

 I can imagine that bricks are being shat across the sphere.
Memetically Lyrans are known for having a really good industrial logistics base and economy. But shitty military leadership. This is what happened when the Lyrans actually pushed themselves into using their massive potential.
And everyone looks back at the last few hundred years and goes. Wait the Memetically massive Industrial/manpower potential we were afraid of was not in fact being used fully before?

No. No it was not. And really they are not using it full bore even now. Just wait a little longer.

Oh and they just rebuilt their navy culture to purge incompetence and waste.

House Kurita may be very glad that the ghost bears are between them and lyran space. (although with Terraforming tech and a growing navy the commonwealth may expand outwards from the sphere. and even build up worlds in its borders. And do it stealthily for a while without people realising just what is going on. I mean think about those newly surveyed worlds they dropped the birds onto.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Red Pins on 20 April 2020, 22:48:53
Maybe.  If they build on the edge of the periphery, you have all the pirate problems and everything else.  If the Sharks hadn't taken the Chainlaine group and the Scorpions Neuvo Castille, the border would be secure.  I wonder if they'll try to expand outwards anyway, since fighting over the border worlds isn't really helping to secure the Commonwealth.  I figure Sharon will bug out unless Trillian or Alaric does something to force her to stay.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 20 April 2020, 23:37:51
Meeting room...

"..no." Sharon said.  "I don't see how that's even remotely reasonable, Paladin.  I'm fairly certain my sovereign, likewise, will find it unreasonable."

"the Repbulic fleet is ninety full-scale warships strong."

"And that's reasonable." She said with a shrug, "a tad excessive in your upkeep costs, but reasonable.  Freezing the LCN at current levels? not so reasonable.  Re-entry into the RUNT is completely unreasonable."

"You've had some success, but you can't tell me that the ratcheting slippery slope of an arms race is in your nation's best interest!"

"You're right." she said, "It isn't.  We'd be facing that regardless.  Your fleet spent the last seventy five years in mothball, with no updates, no upgrades, and only one prototype we can almost pin on you making trouble in the Quarantine-which was defeated by LCN reserve assets operated by the Kowloon Coast Guard-but that prototype, if it wasn't you represents a hostile naval power, and if it was you, it represents an implied threat that can't be ignored. Re-ratification and a return to the RUNT cripples the national ability to respond to undefined threats we already know exist.  Your nation's history of backing up their alliances is, to put it very gently, nonexistent, particularly over the last fifteen years."

"The trade benefits-"

"Also nonexistent.  We were in an economic recession when Comstar turned the phones off." Sharon said, "Over the last seven years the Commonwealth economy has grown by eleven percent per annum-this represents drastically restrained growth over the previous sixty years.  We have also won the first war in generations without external aid.  some of that has to do with naval expansion, but most of it has to do with having the chains taken off and being able to act freely for the first time since Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner said 'I do'.  believe it or not, Naval spending is still less than fifteen percent of the total LCAF budget, and it took five years to get spending up to where it had been in thirty-one-forty-three.  A Naval Treaty won't yield the benefits Lear claimed and you're claiming."

she slid a Padd across the conference table, "THe only thing it will do is give neighboring states a chance to catch up, and they're already taking that chance without a treaty."

"What is this?" he asked.

"Draconis Combine Kaga (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=68968.msg1599701#msg1599701) class fleet carrier, on sea-trials." Sharon said.  "They've been sitting on the design since the fall of the Star League, they've updated the drawings and gotten their yards working on prototypes.  I don't think whoever's the coordinator or Gunji-no-Kanrei today is going to be as keen as the Honorable man who signed the original RUNT, do you?"

She slid another one.  "Rassalhague Dominion Dreadnought, Leviathan II class, we don't have a name yet, but she pulled into the Sea Fox maintenance yards last December.  I doubt they're going to spend the resources to get that thing in operation on its own, just to honor a treaty with Devlin Stone.  some Semier Datatron security guys busted a Cappie spy ring on Duran, they were trying to steal blueprints for Shipyard equipment-they probably have their own ideas what a warship should look like, and given that the prints they were after are for compact-core foundry gear and controllers?"

she pulled another sheet out.  "Your allies, House Davion.  They've reactivated fox capable yards and restarted the RX-78 and RX-79 programs, as well as something they're terming the RX-80, which is wrapped in enough secrecy even LIC can't figure out what they're building...except that they're building something.  NAIS has reopened their warship naval training center."

he stared at the holos.

"So...you understand this could turn into a race..."

"Yep. it's already a race, we're already ahead. I don't see the advantage in sacrificing that lead." Sharon told him, "I think Trillian shares my assessment, as much as she wishes it wasn't so, your republic has ninety one warships and the most prime real-estate in the Inner Sphere. You're going to need 'em all."

"you did not include Clan Wolf." he said.

"That's because you already know what they have, and it would be redundant for me to point it out.  the Wolf Empire has seven current service capital warships and a crash building program for yards to put more into production.  If you get your fleet operational fast enough, you might be able to stop 'em before they take a big bite out of that juicy industrial base of yours."

"Seven?"

"there was no advantage in retaining the Falcon Relics we captured at the end of the war." Sharon told him, "The Freds are better battleships, the Landmarks better destroyers, the Marsden III's are better cruisers, and we've got an experienced force of Cutters to screen fleet elements, it kept the Wolves from turning our direction, so we let them have the remains of the Falcon naval forces.  they, after all, helped us get rid of the Mongols."

"We should be allies." he said.

"Yeah, it would be nice, except for sixty years, we called you allies and you screwed us over." Sharon said, "The whole 'through thick and thin' thing vanished when Nikki Minh caught a Fidelis team of your best trying to nuke the Boojum shipyard in the Kowloon system in 3105.  Friends and allies don't stab each other in the back. If you remember, you gave me this shiner when I pointed it out before."

"then why are we meeting?"

"Because we don't have to be enemies." Sharon said.  "Trillian Steiner desires peaceful relations with the Republic of the Sphere. I don't personally give a shit, but she does, and it matters to her.  Reactivate your fleet, defend your border, form your alliances, do what you need to do, but we're officially neutral and intent on staying that way.  WE are the one state in the Sphere that doesn't want to take what you have for themselves and leave you nothing."

"And you? what are you getting out of this, besides insulting me?" he asked.

"If you can present a treaty your government will actually honor, and is acceptable to mine? I get to retire." she said, "I get to hang it up and go do the fun things I dreamed about while mom was in meetings and Grandfather was pining for the old days, Just me, a cutter, and a big blank map full of unexplored places that I can go, if I'm not chained down securing the safety of a nation.  With a proper treaty built on facts? I can give Trillian my resignation and she will take it."

he scoffed, "Would you really?"

she blinked at him, and leaned forward, "In a heartbeat. I want to be up there with Kearney, and Pathfinder, and Armstrong-there's a first contact out there, and I want to be the one who makes it.  Do you even have the capability of imagining what kind of a change that would bring? proof of nonhuman, extraterrestrial intelligence?  Can you imagine a nobler quest than seeking that out, instead of pounding each other back to the neolithic?"

"and if it is hostile?" he countered.

"Well, it's a good idea to be ready, isn't it?" she asked, "Consult your Exarch, Paladin, let him know his offer is unacceptable but we're still willing to deal.  bring me something I can endorse to my Archon."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 21 April 2020, 01:11:08
I have just made a presentation I have been working on since February, to gain agreement to do certain things to the significant benefit of my department head. It contains many ... elements. Such as not talking about "pulling us out of a pit", "dragging us into the 20th century", or "implementing things the regulators told you, from scratch". It talked about "uplift", "formalising", "central viewpoint", "enhancing existing capacity". It had to be catered to appeal to people who know what they know, and do what they do, and don't want some outsider (I've only been there since Jan) telling them what to do, how they've been doing it wrong, etc.

It would have been much quicker, and better for the overall company, had I been able to channel Sharon Ngo. And more emotionally satisfying. However, in the real world, it's more common for good deeds to not go unpunished.

Cannonshop, I purely love your work, except when it makes me grumpy that I can't go off looking for alien life too ;)

(Looks like they'll accept the proposal. So waiting for the punishment to commence ...)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 21 April 2020, 04:30:41
Eh, we'll see... If Stone hears it like Sharon told it, he may just say no...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Liam's Ghost on 21 April 2020, 05:15:45
I suspect he'll say no regardless. Devlin Stone wasn't entirely stable before his "nap" (the fact that he willingly froze himself and murdered the friend who helped him do it to keep it secret is evidence enough) and the brain damage he suffered from it has only made it worse. He's impatient, irrational, and confrontational and, based on the special rules for him in the back of field manual 3145, the longer an argument takes, the worse he gets, to the point where the only way to win the argument is for him to get so exhausted that the storms off.

He most definitely SHOULD NOT BE IN CHARGE. But, you know, desperate people want their King Arthur.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 21 April 2020, 09:49:43
RAF Middleton, Essex, Earth...

"...we are the ONE state in the Inner Sphere who doesn't want to take what you have, and leave you with nothing."

"Freeze frame."  The Exarch, Devlin Stone, snapped.  "What do you think, Tucker?"

"She doesn't throw any tells." his aide, Tucker Harwell, stated, "I think she's sincere here-which is puzzling. I can't imagine one of the successor houses not wanting something from us."

"Sure she does, she wants us to leave them alone.  That's something, the question is why she wants it.  Lester did black her eye good... she dared us to reactivate the fleet."

"No." Tucker said, "She recommended it.  Her reasons are completely rational."

"Nobody is that rational, least of all a Ngo. The whole damn lot of them are almost as bad as the Liaos."

'ALmost?"

"No real power." Stone asserted, "at the end of the Star League era, Kerensky held their leash, then it passed to the Steiners, but the whole damn family are a pack of rabid guard dogs.  Things had to have gotten real bad to put one of them in a job that close to the throne..." he traced the image on the screen, "Without her, Trillian and Roderick would have fallen in line like Julian did.  Study that face carefully, Tucker, because that's the face of our real opponent."

"With all due respect, she's negotiating." Tucker said, "We can present a reworded offer, and she's gone-she wants to go be an explorer."

"Liz just wanted to run her business and take care of her planet.  Amanda wanted to keep the Quarantine and rebuild the Zone." Stone recited, "Yeah, she wants to run off, and she's not going to."  He turned to face his confidante and aide,  "It's like their whole line's cursed, Tucker.  They always want to be somewhere else, they always want to be doing something else."

"Uhm, yeah?"

"But they're always in the way of someone else.  Liz wanted to be left alone and ended up establishing the Quarantine, which saved trillions. She wanted to keep things stable and had to send ships and men to help us with the Word of Blake.  Amanda just wanted to keep the Quarantine Border and rebuild, and ended up being a thorn in everyone's paw."  he tapped the image, "Sharon here? she wants to go chase aliens, but there's a problem and Trillian isn't going to let her go.  If we offer a compromise that still achieves our aims? Trillian still won't let her go, if we capitulate, Roderick will convince Trillian to keep this bitch in place-because that's what Peter did with her Grandmother...and look at her eyes."

"I..it's an image, Devlin."

"I know that.  Look, if this girl were born in the Draconis Combine, she'd be one of the Coordinator's most loyal samurai, regardless of who that coordinator is.  Ngos are..." he sighed, "...Servants.  It's like it's written in their DNA somewhere-they're loyal in a way the Fidelis are, only they don't turn when they lose."

Devlin Stone studied the face of the Lyran CNO.  "Two choices: Change Trillian's mind, or kill the Admiral.  We need that Navy they've built on-side and under control."

"How do we change the Archon's mind? she's using Ngo as her firewall." Tucker asked.

"I guess..." Devlin sighed, "It's time for a summit meeting.  I guess I have to go to Tharkad."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 21 April 2020, 10:16:45
I repeat: those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Derain Von Harken on 21 April 2020, 10:26:43
Wow Devlin Stone. You manage to be remarkably insightful and yet utterly dense at the same time about the same person. Or family really. I wonder if Sharon has recordings from her grandma to play because liz did not think much of stone either. Or perhaps just unleash the ultimate burn. Although devlin would break his hand if he tried punching her.
Actually I think he is letting bitterness at the whole family get to him. It seems every generation of Ngo sees through his shit and continues to thwart him in some different way.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: EAGLE 7 on 21 April 2020, 11:14:08
Wow Stone buddy,
It is almost like you can not understand why the people you spent decades covertly attacking, killing, destroying infrastructure, stealing their money, and being the opposite of a friend want you to piss off and do not trust you.

Kerensky was a deserter, Stone is a traitor......
I would not let him land on Thakard, until he broadcast a public apology to the Lyra people, for betraying them.

Whom am I kidding, I would leak that he was coming and his itinerary to his enemies, while offering a 100,000,000 C-bill bounty for his head anonymously.

No more Stone no more problems.....
His ego is so big he would not fathom it being done to him, as he contemplates doing it to Sharon.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sharpnel on 21 April 2020, 11:21:44
Here's where Sharon convinces Trillian to sic Alaric on Devlin. Get rid of that madman and let the Wolves foot the bill.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Dave Talley on 21 April 2020, 13:52:48
Stone needs to watch to video of 8 year old Liz beating the
crap out of a bigger bully, he might get it then
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 21 April 2020, 14:19:55
Stone needs to watch to video of 8 year old Liz beating the
crap out of a bigger bully, he might get it then

What makes you think he hasn't?  Stone sees Sharon as dangerous.  Dangerous enough, in fact, to want to have her killed.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 21 April 2020, 14:57:00
What makes you think he hasn't?  Stone sees Sharon as dangerous.  Dangerous enough, in fact, to want to have her killed.

And just like in many Greek Tragedies, his attempt to avoid the future he fears will be instrumental in bringing that feared future into being.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Derain Von Harken on 21 April 2020, 20:15:11
Wow Stone buddy,
It is almost like you can not understand why the people you spent decades covertly attacking, killing, destroying infrastructure, stealing their money, and being the opposite of a friend want you to piss off and do not trust you.

Kerensky was a deserter, Stone is a traitor......
I would not let him land on Thakard, until he broadcast a public apology to the Lyra people, for betraying them.

Whom am I kidding, I would leak that he was coming and his itinerary to his enemies, while offering a 100,000,000 C-bill bounty for his head anonymously.

No more Stone no more problems.....
His ego is so big he would not fathom it being done to him, as he contemplates doing it to Sharon.

Not so much ego as a self deception. Recall how he said regarding Sharon that no one can be that rational. (Is it perhaps that maybe he cannot be that rational)

And he would expect the chance that they would try to kill him because that is what he would do. And he would have plans to thwart and turn such to his advantage.

What he would not expect (but should if he stopped letting bitterness reg ngos to cloud his judgement) is for Sharon instead of hitting him to publically present him with a bill for all the money the Republic defrauded the commonwealth of. An official one worked out by the treasury and forensic accountants. The Bill for damages from the HPG blackout she can present seperately.

And then she can point out that from his actions it appears that he opposed WOB because he thought he could do a better job of manipulating all mankind to one day rule it. Except he has  done worse because he got caught at it in under a hundred years.

I still think it would be the bill that makes him lose it though. Especially if she presents it publically but without any fanfare or anger.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 21 April 2020, 20:48:08
Not so much ego as a self deception. Recall how he said regarding Sharon that no one can be that rational. (Is it perhaps that maybe he cannot be that rational)

I think that in anything else but a Cannonship AU, he'd be right. There's a considerable body of evidence that decisions in the BT universe are rarely made in a consistent rational manner.

Cannonshop's gift is showing us what would happen if someone did. Imagine if rationality was catching in the BT universe ...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 21 April 2020, 20:53:48
A nuke for you, and for you, and TWO for you!  :D
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 21 April 2020, 21:49:00
I'm reminded of the hoops writers go through to produce realistic interstellar war against near-present humanity, or the contortions involved in creating the Leviathans universe the way we wanted it. Rationality leads to undramatic outcomes, and we do like our dramatic outcomes in games.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 21 April 2020, 22:51:06
"A Cutter begins with a fairly primitive jump core capable of limited interstellar mobility,  typically in the modern world, a base 15 light year range, though modern controller design allows the integration of an LF battery to reach a double-jump range of 30 Light years.  These ships tend to fall into the mass range of some pocket warship designs, but without the need for a separate jumpship. 

Typically, Cutters lack drop-collars and have limited bay spaces.  The primary purpose of these vessels began as in-system deep patrol and enforcement vessels servicing Belter communities in roles varying from search and rescue, disaster response, and antipiracy patrol.  The most iconic being the Kowloonese
Sampan series cutters, which saw a massive increase in numbers due to the stresses and strains of the Arluna Outbreak and the need to patrol quarantined space using indigenous forces to prevent the spread of the virus by either refugee flight, or pirates accidentally coming into contact with the virus and spreading it.

During the Jihad, Cutters from the Kowloon Coast Guard were pressed into service as Warship numbers among LCAF and allied navies plunged.  Despite the short range of their jump capability and relative light armament, Cutter units had certain advantages, including a remarkably small jump signature, easy maintenance, and low observability despite powerful maneuver drives coupled with an effective capital armament.

Post-Jihad, cutters continued to be produced in the so-called 'Quarantine zone', which, coupled with the necessary manpower to sustain the quarantine, led to a situation where a regional militia formation not officially funded or supported by LCAF became the largest source of jump-naval qualified personnel with skillsets appropriate to operating full-scale Warships in the Lyran Commonwealth.  During the period of the Long Peace, Cutter units in the Quarantine filled most of the same roles LCN utilized combination assault dropship and standard core jumpships for.  During the dual-clan assaults on Tharkad following the collapse of Operation:Hammerfall and the invasion of Tharkad, Cutters belonging to the Kowloon Coast Guard were critical in routing Jade Falcon and Wolf Naval units from the space over the Lyran Capital, and were critical in providing support to LCAF forces on the ground.

the Usage of Cutters in the LCN can be roughly compared to the usage of Submarine forces on old earth during the pre-spaceflight era, that is, they operate in groups, and are often the first ships to enter a hostile system, preceding the main fleet by as long as three to six weeks, during which time their crews gather intelligence, deploy special forces, and conduct 'pre-assault' preparations in near total radio silence, sending information back using first or second generation 'black box' systems to bypass normal radio interception techniques. 

The additional purposes served by the expanding 'cutter force' in the LCN include antipiracy patrol, search and rescue, and customs inspection.  In the hierarchy of the reformed Lyran Commonwealth Navy, an officer wishing to command a larger warship must do a tour in "The cutters" as part of a "Cutter Patrol".  this has led to a decidedly periphery-background flavor for Warship officers in the LCN, and an institutional dominance of Belter and "Rockjack" personnel among LCN Warship branch commanders, often with the result of Kapitan or higher ranked officers speaking with a Kowloonese, Arlunan, Winterite, or Sol-belt accent, though there are prominent exceptions to this general shift in tone.

Cutter Tactics in battle are 'wolfpack' tactics, with an emphasis on exploiting movement and maneuver options available to small vessels capable of conducting KF jumps in-system, and crews are trained to recover quickly from the aftermath of an in-system jump.  This often provides a shock even to prepared groups of opposing pocket-warship and/or enemy fleet vessels, as they are not prepared for an enemy who arrives on a wave of EMP and thermal bloom within close striking range in the middle of a battle, unleashign fire and then, often, vanishing to reappear light-minutes away.  this is exacerbated by the free use of thermonuclear anti shipping ordnance in combat against other warships.

Unlike the navies of other States, the LCN after the reforms of 3143 enter battle with all decks depressurized to limit fires and 'secondary shockwave' from hull hits.  This practice is standard for Cutter forces since the 3060s.  Cutter crews in combat zones may be operating under vacuum pressure for as long as three to six months before rotation to peacetime status.  In peacetime, crews are expected to be constantly ready to deal with hull breach and loss of internal pressure, as well as ready to conduct damage control tasks at a moment's notice even while under thrust.

LCN Uniforms were changed under the 3143 reforms to bring the entire Commonwealth Navy to the same basic standard. Officers and personnel are therefore in "Skinsuit" at all times, even while posted to planetary surfaces, and DC (Damage control) and survival harnesses have been integrated into the "Dress over garment" formal dress uniform.

Cutter Captains are required to be certified in the following:

1. Jump Navigation Calculations-including carrying out jump calculations without computer assistance.
2. Nuclear ordnance handling, arm/disarm procedures, and deployment methods.
3. Null-gee manuevering and space-walks.
4. Damage control tasks.

As a result, every ship's captain in the LCN whether commanding a dropship, or a Battleship, assigned to a cutter or a station, is also required to be proficient in these four tasks.

By 3151, a mere eight years after the initial reforms, the LCN's officer corps is 'mostly compliant' to these requirements, with those non-compliant being given the option of either accepting demotion until proficient, or accepting forced retirement as unfit for naval service.

Other notable regulation changes:

Leave policy and leaves of absence-  No vessel or station may place more than 3% of their total personnel on leave status at any given time.  Officers, senior, and junior enlisted are expected to live aboard ship (if assigned to a vessel) and may receive an allotment of 3 days per fiscal quarter (90 days) of off-post leave.  those with families and young children may have 3 days off per month to spend time with their loved ones. (this may be taken per-month, or banked for longer, depending on the needs of the command).  Personnel on active duty may not retain or transport more personal goods than will fit in a one meter by half meter by half meter ship's locker, this includes personnel assigned to ground service.  Additional items must be shipped home or placed in offsite storage.

During Refits, Crew personnel are assigned to assist Yard personnel on refits, repairs and maintenance of their vessel.  Leave policy remains tightly restricted.

Dependents may live on-base for shore duties, and dependents housing for crews at-sea is maintained at the home-port location.  Education and basic civil services for Dependents is provided from the Personnel budget.  Dependent housing is maintained internally, with that being one common duty for crewmen and officers assigned to station and/or base (Shore) duties.  Cubic meters of space for Dependents are assigned based on the rank of the active duty personnel, with an average of 10 cubic meters added over basic housing for each step in rank progression.

Dependents with jobs off-post are provided with a 'car pass' and all dependents are provided with identification documents citing security clearances.  for shore duty and dependent's housing, services are provided, including car service for dependent personnel with off-post or off-site jobs.  For station-bound dependent personnel (see: Duran, Boojum, and Tharkad Naval Shipyards and Naval Shipyard Buena Habitat) weekly shuttle service is available.  Teen dependents (ages 11-18) may sign up for 'pre service' education including flight school, Aviation and Naval maintenance, and Avionics technician training.  vocational education offerings for teens include Machine Shop, basic ship maintenance, and pre-qualifier courses for engineering and medical fields.  these are accredited courses in partnership with various unions and guilds throughout the Lyran Commonwealth, and provide pre-credits for entry into LCN and LCAF supported military academies.

Academy Cadets:

Cadets attending LCAF supported academies on a Naval track are fitted the same skinsuit pressure-undergarment used in the Fleet, and Academy uniforms are altered to fit over this suit.  Cadets on a Naval track are expected to meet the same standards as other cadets, while also meeting strict standards of conduct and deportment required of LCN under the Reformed Regulation  series, to include limitations on personal items and personal time or 'leave time'.  (during holiday breaks, LCN cadets are temporarily assigned to the crew of whichever cutter, destroyer, warship, dropship, or station happens to be nearest to their school.)  during this time, their official Rank in service while on holiday break is "Midshipman Apprentice".

Service period is 5 years for Enlisted, with a minimum of 5 years post-academy service for Officer candidates.




Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 21 April 2020, 23:32:57
Tharkad Naval Shipyard, 'The Admiral's Deck', vacuum outside Airlock 22...

"I don't know what you said to them, Sharon."  Trillian Steiner sounded pleased over the suit radio, and an S-7 'bus' smallcraft hovered 22 meters out.

"I have no idea what you're referring to, Highness."  Sharon said.

"Devlin Stone has requested a Summit meeting." Trillian said.

"mmh.  makes sense.  Where?  if it's on Earth, then he wants to paint you as the supplicant, seeking his blessings."

"Where are you getting that?"

"Grandmother's letters to her children." Sharon said, "She discusses politics and something she calls 'image' quite a lot, along with Victor, Katherine, Marthe Pryde and Devlin Stone...she discusses Stone at length.  Terms him an 'able politician pretending to be something else'.  There are whole chapters on her notes about how he and Victor formed the coalition and kept the factions directed."

"What do you suggest I do, Liz? it's a Summit with Devlin Stone."

"Find a neutral site within a jump of our territory.  Somewhere not in the Republic and not in Lyran territory." Sharon said, "barring that, invite him here and see what he does, and while you're at it, invite Alaric and your cousin Julian, along with reps from Liao, Kurita, and the Bears.  make it your summit, not his."

"Why?"

"because we don't like the Liaos, and we don't like the Dracs." Sharon said, "The Wolves don't like Stone, Julian is probably sore at you for letting me recall Task Force Arminius, but Stone wants to push the sausage back into the case in terms of the various treaties-so he'll come, and he might see it as an opportunity, but he'll also see that you're not his supplicant, you'll have the advantage in the negotiation, and you'll have the advantage with the other powers-they won't feel you're making secret treaties against them."

"isn't that what we're talking about though?" Trillian asked.

"I don't know!" Sharon reached up and tapped her suit's rank tab, "See this? I don't actually make the policies, at most I can advise, but once you've made policy, my job is to make it happen.  You don't have to take my advice, you don't have to keep me in the job, you do have to make the policy calls, and as long as I have this job, I have to make sure the policy you choose is carried out in the most intelligent and effective way I possibly can."

"is this going to be another one of your lectures on professional standards, chain of command, and separation of powers??"  Trillian's voice asked over the channel.

"maybe." Sharon acknowledged.  "you don't need it, but it's become a habit.  My apologies, Highness."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Derain Von Harken on 22 April 2020, 00:29:46
Oh goody. All the major players in the sphere in summit with Stone. This will be fun. What if Sharon shares copies of her grandma's notes with the archon and the representatives. One advantage to his little cold nap would be fewer heads of state having experience dealing with him personally versus the public image.

It feels like an early Christmas.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 22 April 2020, 04:06:14
I thought Stone was already planning on going to Tharkad?  ???
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Derain Von Harken on 22 April 2020, 05:45:49
I thought Stone was already planning on going to Tharkad?  ???
Well they did not know that. He will not bat an eye if they ask since it was a concession he was going to give anyway. It is inviting the others that I think will throw him for a loop.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 22 April 2020, 10:46:29
Celestial Throneroom, Luthien, Draconis Combine...

The recording had come as part of a message from the Lyran Commonwealth's Archon.  Yori Kurita, Coordinator of Worlds, the Dragon, leader of the Draconis Combine, watched it stoically.

"Because we don't have to be enemies." Sharon Ngo said, her expressionless face highlighting an asian ancestry.  "Trillian Steiner desires peaceful relations with the Republic of the Sphere. I don't personally give a shit, but she does, and it matters to her."

"She makes it clear she does not wish peace with the Republic, but her lord does...interesting."  Yori said quietly.  Her advisors were respectfully silent, taking note of her reactions and holding their own tongues until the Coordinator has made her judgement.

"Reactivate your fleet, defend your border, form your alliances, do what you need to do, but we're officially neutral and intent on staying that way.  WE are the one state in the Sphere that doesn't want to take what you have for themselves and leave you nothing."

Yori's lip twisted into a half smile.  "She baits him here-discounting the wealth of the Republic's remaining worlds as unimportant to the Lyrans, and denigrating the potential threat of Stone's fleet."

"And you? what are you getting out of this, besides insulting me?" he asked, the angle showed the increased tension in Paladin Howell's shoulders, the hostility in the room-covered by such a fine veneer of civility felt like the Court of the Dragon for a moment.

"throwing him off his routine, of course." Yori muttered, "making him unbalanced...but let's see what her diversion is."

Sharon Ngo remained placid, a feigned passiveness in her posture that was purely feigned.  "If you can present a treaty your government will actually honor, and is acceptable to mine? I get to retire.  I get to hang it up and go do the fun things I dreamed about while mom was in meetings and Grandfather was pining for the old days, Just me, a cutter, and a big blank map full of unexplored places that I can go, if I'm not chained down securing the safety of a nation.  With a proper treaty built on facts? I can give Trillian my resignation and she will take it."

Yori Kurita laughed out loud at this.  "She will never retire, she will never be allowed to resign!" she hooted, a few courtiers nervously joined, then relaxed as they realized that the Coordinator's laughter was genuine.  The joke was genuine, and genuinely funny in a way only the Court of the Dragon and the Coordinator of Worlds could truly grasp.

Every loyal Samurai, when in such a position, would use such a line-and some were even faithful enough to believe it when they say it...

he scoffed, "Would you really?"  Howell was clearly sophisticated in his own, crude way-at least, enough to recognize a pipe-dream when he heard it.

Admiral Ngo blinked at him, and leaned forward, "In a heartbeat. I want to be up there with Kearney, and Pathfinder, and Armstrong-there's a first contact out there, and I want to be the one who makes it.  Do you even have the capability of imagining what kind of a change that would bring? proof of nonhuman, extraterrestrial intelligence?  Can you imagine a nobler quest than seeking that out, instead of pounding each other back to the neolithic?"

Yori's expression sobered.  Something in Ngo's posture killed the joke.  "She's serious, they must have found actual evidence...or something very like evidence. Maybe another threat building in the outer-periphery like the Clans in the fifties?"  even articulating that thought brought a chill to the room.  The Combine had been very nearly conquered in Takashi's day by being unready for invaders from the wrong direction, invaders that after defeat promised to be good allies, only to turn on their hosts, on the Dragon itself...


"and if it is hostile?" he countered, still clearly too untrained to recognize the difference between a diplomatic joke, and a serious statement.

"Well, it's a good idea to be ready, isn't it?" Ngo asked, "Consult your Exarch, Paladin, let him know his offer is unacceptable but we're still willing to deal.  bring me something I can endorse to my Archon."


The record file ended.

"She has good imagery of the Kaga, unless that is the Hiryu."

"It is the Kaga." Her Naval advisor stated, "During shakedown trials flying in the off-axis routes.  I hesitate to admit it, but that image was taken without our knowledge by someone not part of the Draconis Combine Admiralty."

Yori hmmed', "Reconaissance flight, Not Davion?"

"Unlikely.  We have a fairly good grasp on what the Davions can field, and clearly that was not from a Republic source."

"The Ghost Bear Dominion would have turned it over to Stone first...so the Lyrans have been sending covert flights into Combine space...yet they refuse to join the Archon's cousin Julian in his fight against us."  Yori decided.  "Speculations on how?"

"Cutters.  Very small jump signature, and they used such vessels extensively during the Jihad as forward reconnaissance assets...or they captured some Bug-Eye ships from the Jade Falcons when they put them down."  the DCA's senior man said.  "We can build similar, but they are...not powerful vessels without thermonuclear weapons as primary armament.  Our standard assault dropships can inflict heavier damage and have better sublight manuevering."

"What would it cost the Dragon to build similar reconaissance assets?" she asked.

"We would have to delay construction on the next two Kaga class vessels.  we have the money, we do not have the facilities to build both."  the Admiral confessed, "the Republic's sabotage slagged the Dieron yards completely before our forces could take them, and the Nova Cats never built a Naval yard capable of producing jump-cores."

"Investigate building more shipyard capacity."  Yori ordered.  "How many Captured Nova Cat ships can we get operational without delaying or scrapping the Kaga program?"

"Three."

"Prioritize that." she said, "Right behind building new yards deep in our territory."

"What of the Lyran Archon's proposed summit, My Lord?"

"Send our acceptance, and ready the Kaga's battlegroup." Yori said decisively, "The Lyran military does not wish alliance with the Republic, and we can lose nothing by going, while gaining greatly should an opportunity present itself."  And I am curious what evidence Sharon Ngo is sitting on of an external threat...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 22 April 2020, 11:04:45
FCS New Avalon, recent block Fox class corvette, New Avalon system...

Julian re-read the message, and the guest list...and let out a Whoop of relief.  "I could kiss her!!" he exulted.

"My prince?"

"Trillian's gotten us time and a cease-fire." He announced.  "The Combine's accepted her invitation to a Summit, and accepted Stone's offer of a cease-fire for the duration of that summit.  it gives us time."

"Your Majesty, Yori Kurita's acceptance is contingent on yours!"

Julian grinned wide, "Send back 'Yes'. and copy it to our neighbours."  he said it savagely, "It buys us time to fix the disaster Caleb left behind...I swear, I thought she left us to hang for a while there, but here she is-buying us what we need the most!"

"Time?"

"TIME!!"  he said, "It gives us time to get forces out of mothball, time to get troops trained and time to get forces moved into position, to position and to take the initiative when this summit ends-which it will."

"but no fresh troops from-"

"We are the Federated Suns, not some beggar kingdom, it's time people started remembering that we've been in worse shape before, and won-because of time."  He sobered, "Also because we're getting technical help and additional manpower from the Republic, and this cease fire lets the Prince's Champion actually get those into position to be useful as more than a speed-bump."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 22 April 2020, 11:28:01
Sian, Capellan Confederation...

"bloody brilliant."  Daoshen Liao said.  "brilliant.  she's made Stone come to her as a supplicant." His tone reflected envy, "And invited the leaders of the rest of the Inner Sphere to witness his humiliation."

"Will you attend?"

"To see Devlin Stone go home empty handed?" Daoshen asked rhetorically, "To see the Proud 'Hero' crawl and beg and be denied??  I want to bring popcorn and balloons!" he laughed viciously, "The humiliation he saddled the Cappellan people with, and now he is going to be told 'no' to his face? I can't wait to go!"

He gestured at the still hologram.  "Why is it?  How can it be? the Lyrans called the duplicitous bastards out!!" he sneered, "FINALLY, someone sees the grasping ghost of the Master for what he really is-what he really has done, someone besides us sees him for what he really is, what his 'republic' really is!!"

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: EAGLE 7 on 22 April 2020, 12:33:27
Trill: We will negotiate a treaty, with one condition.
Stone you stand trial  here for your attacks against us and pay damages in full.

Stone: Rage-Cano Eruption power activate!
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 22 April 2020, 12:53:15
Lyran Commonwealth Naval Command Center...

"Well, they're coming, and they brought the good dishes."  Fleet Admiral Sharon Ngo gestured to the command stations.  "First ones across the border were the last ones on your list, Your Highness."

"the last ones?"

"Nikol Marik-did I say that right?  I think she brought her whole damn navy as an honor guard.  Four Corvettes and an Atreus, just hooked up at the charging and fueling facility we put up at Bolan.  Nghien's report says they're behaving and so is the Wolf delegation, who just arrived six days after.  that's two..." she paused, as another report came in and another sector of the map lit.  "Rassalhague Dominion brought a Leviathan II, they're fueling at fort Pitstop."

"Who did they send?"

"I guess someone decided I needed a counter." Sharon said, "They're sending Bekker.  She's hardcore pro-Republic and an agitator for the Conservative wing of the Clan.  I think the Diplobrats are going to have a hell of a time keeping some of these people separated enough we don't get fist-fights in the meetings."

"THAT is part of your job, Sharon."  Trillian stated.

"What, we're holding it on the Yard?" Sharon asked innocently.

Trillian laughed, "You know that new grav-deck structure you were so proud of?"

Sharon got it.  "YOU want to make sure everyone sees the Tharkad Division, right?"

"The viewing area is superb."

"it's unsecure."

"Yes." Trillian noted, "I will be wearing my skinsuit, and a nice ensemble Giorgio cooked up for it.  it's a discussion of possible Naval Treaties, we might as well show off the Commonwealth's Naval Power."

"Especially since everyone is bringing theirs?" Sharon suggested, "I can make it even more impressive, if you want-like, say, letting my people do their jobs. They're going to get a pretty strong impression of how far we've come all the way here. rubbing their noses in it might be...kinda..."

"Fun?"

"you know me too well, Your Highness...or I'm a bad influence." Sharon confessed.

"Roddy thinks you're a good influence." Trillian assured her.

"Roderick thinks anything that gets him 'there faster and with moster' and on-call orbital support is a 'good influence'.  I swear the man's getting lazy." Sharon stated.

"Quit it, or get a room." Trillian told her, "or don't. You two have been dancing around it for ten years now."

"He's a toothpick." Sharon imitated an upper-class Tharkan accent,  "I'd break him in two pieces." then she sighed, "We're just friends, Highness. he's a great guy and I wouldn't come between him and his lady-of-the-week."

"but you've contemplated it, yes?" Trillian hinted.

"He's handsome, clever, a great fighter, rich?" Sharon said, "Yeah, I've thought about Roderick Steiner, just about every woman in the damn nation at least, the ones that aren't exclusively into other women, have thought about him...fantasized about him...but no.  It would be unprofessional, it would ruin a good working relationship, and besides, I was always the ugly betty. The Ducal line's going through Patrick, and I'm fine with being the cool aunt." she shot the Archon a smile, "Besides, I'm like, forty eight now, well past my 'sell by' date in the dating game.  Middle-Aged, men get 'distinguished', girls like me get old."

Trillian looked her in the eyes, "SERIOUSLY??"

"When I was a teenager, I figured out the cure for excessive romantic thoughts." Sharon said.  "It's solitude and calisthenics."  she tapped her shoulders, "THIS, is thirty eight years of frustration and self-discipline."

Trillian's eyes went wide, "You mean you've never-"

"I didn't say that.  had a couple fun rolls in the twenties." Sharon stated, "But...you know, romantic attachments get in the way of doing the job, and I never really had any fun when I was in my experimental phase."

"Oh my god, you poor thing..."

"Drop the pity, i get enough of it from Sithers-Minh and Falcone." Sharon said, switching to a more serious tone, "Your cousin's safe with me-I won't be grabbing the Marshall of the Armies for some snu-snu between meetings.  Among other things, I doubt he has enough settings."

and Trillian started to giggle.

"Let's get back to serious work here, Highness." Sharon said.  "Enough about my nonexistent personal life."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: mikecj on 22 April 2020, 18:19:13
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D Brilliant
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: worktroll on 22 April 2020, 18:46:37
"Will you attend?"

"To see Devlin Stone go home empty handed?" Daoshen asked rhetorically, "To see the Proud 'Hero' crawl and beg and be denied??  I want to bring popcorn and balloons!"

 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 22 April 2020, 21:09:59
Tharkad System...

The view was...unexpected.  There are reports from intelligence, of course.  The sheer scale of what was outside wasn't really communicated.  The Tharkad Naval Shipyard was an outright shock.

Estimates relied on modeling pre-war shipyards like Titan and Luna.  Those yards had null-gee assembly structures.  Big, permanent ones with extensive reliance on ground facilities to provide the logistical anchor for ship construction.

This was standard, it was how retreating Republic forces at Dieron had destroyed the Dieron shipyard before the Dracs could take it intact.

this was not that.

as RAF Luxor followed the designated flight path to their designated position, Tucker could see nothing, yet everything.  'nothing' because there were no enormous hangars or shirtsleeves assembly modules.

Instead, it was skeleton-structures, a fraction of the cost of a yard like Titan, surrounded by modular clusters of smaller size, laid out in parallel, a three dimensional pattern in the orbit of the system's lone Gas-giant.

The facility was the size of a planetary continent.  Telescopes showed hints of the procedures being used. The 'buildings' were inflated for pressurized work in the gantries.

Solar collectors reflected pinpricks a thousand times, feeding power.  vacuum smelting operations using sunlight because it only takes a thin film to make a reflective surface.

"You could destroy it with machine guns." Tucker Harwell noted, "Destroy everything we see, and they'd have it back up in a few days at most."

"Can't destroy the ships being built with machineguns."  Stone said.

"No...but the facility? decommissioning it looks like an exercise in futility, to be honest." the younger man said, "It's not that it's sophisticated, it's that it isn't. I know what they did developing it."

"What did they do?"

"They decided not to bother trying to emulate Titan Yards, instead of a facility at the bottom of a gravity well, with an atmosphere, moving materials from surface mining, they just went straight to null-gee manufacturing.  asteroid and comet mining to provide raw materials, processing those raw materials in space instead of going down to a surface with them, the forming presses are probably single-use and use explosives for force, alloys are probably worked and formed using magnetic fields like an Endosteel facility...only they're not bothering to wrap it in an armored layer-just letting vacuum's natural insulating properties work, and maybe a layer of something like mylar to filter the local radiation and reflect heat back in."

"That explains how they got production for the raw hardware done so quickly.  Where did they get the expertise?"  Stone asked.

"That's a damn good question, sir.  I see a lot of belter techniques at work out there, just...Sol's belt communities were never that extensive with theirs.  but the choices we're seeing outside?  It explains why there are so many Lyran yards turning out their new ships so quickly.  They aren't bothering with surface facilities...christ, that array covers an area at least the lateral size of North America."

"Tell me how you think they're doing it?"

"Some of those arrays out there are building more shipyards, replacement parts and supplies for the yard itself."  Tucker said, "Exponential growth.  One yard produces two yards, they're located in systems, those yards produce two more.  The big expense is survey work and hiring the right people.  Build two yards at each yard to prove out the equipment, locate them either in a different part of the system or nearby, build two more and send them to another location.  eventually you get massive parallel production when you turn the factories to building other products.  Since everything is building to the same design spec, your tolerances might be a little loose, but you can turn out large numbers of whatever you're making at multiple locations in a short time-your main bottleneck ends up being manpower, because part of the reason for central yards like Titan or Galax, is the reliance on Star League era automation.  Those are Belter style yards, heavy on the manpower, light on automation, which in turn means..."

"The usual methods for sabotage won't work-there's no central computer core to compromise, no single vital structure to bombard. It doesn't have to be fortified by walls, because even without resisting an attack, such an attack could run an enemy out of ammunition and still leave significant portions of the facility not only intact, but in operation."  Stone said, "We know of how many of these?"

"Boojum, Duran, Buena, a few others, no more than twenty and no less than twelve total." Tucker asserted.

"The metis suppression all over again...only over interstellar distances."  Stone shook his head.  "I think that might even explain where they got some of the expertise."

"Not all of it though."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Derain Von Harken on 22 April 2020, 22:08:33
Even with inefficiencies and waste being purged Lyrans gotta Lyran. Sharon and tris are showing everyone what they can do on purpose. Like rich ladies having buff boytoys walking around a poolside.

Behold our massive, robust and totally ripped military industrial complex. And even if you blew it up we have reserves.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 22 April 2020, 22:29:29
And that suppression trick?  Unlikely to work twice, now that they know it's a possibility.  Heck, it's one of the main reasons all this exists...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 22 April 2020, 23:50:57
Meeting Hall A, Tharkad Naval Shipyard Guest Complex...

"...it's really a city of its own."  Trillian Steiner said casually.  "I've toyed with the idea of adding each of the Yards as a represented district to the Estates General from time to time, given how large the populations have grown."

"Where did all the people come from?"  the First Prince asked, in spite of the briefings, he was a little shocked at the sheer scale.

"we mostly already had them."  Admiral Ngo commented, "Highness, Majesty." she offered them drink bulbs.  "Funniest thing, when you start offering underemployed people meaningful work at good wages, they come out of nowhere at you.  Lots of Ship-families, Folk who want a stable dock, unemployed civilians... the biggest expenses were paid out of savings from dead projects."

"I caught that, 'Folk', you're talking about The Folk, right?" Julian asked.

"Yeah.  stateless Spacers, tramp captains, funniest thing happens when you pull them over for a health-and-welfare and offer to fix their breakage." Sharon noted, "Instead of offering to shoot them if they don't cooperate.  they come back and ask for work."

"Most of the Shipyard's idle space is used for civilian maintenance and safety inspections." Trillian said, "buff the infrastructure and you get production slack, the savings in terms of cargoes not lost to accidents, reduced piracy and other illegal activity are significant when you look at the hard numbers.  Safe trade routes stimulate the economy, which improves processes and makes spaces for people to fill."

"bottlenecks are training enough bodies to fill those spaces." Sharon added.  "which falls into the readiness cycle."

"readiness cycle..?"  Julian asked.

"Huge area to maintain and cover, First Prince." Admiral Ngo explained, "we're still bottlenecked on manpower, we can turn out ships like nobody's business, but crewing them requires serious training-I've had a lot of push-back from the Academies over some of the reforms to the training program."

"such as?"

"Every candidate learns Damage control because every man on a ship, from the cooks and cleaners to the Captain is expected to participate." she stated. "It's not a popular position for guys who grew up with McKenna's fantasies as their textbook.  You can't helm an LCN warship as Captain without being a competent Navigator.  When I took over, I had to relieve around Two Thousand O-6 and above because they weren't trained in DC or Navigation.  it cut our administrative overhead by around ninety five percent and represented more than three quarters of the budget that could be saved.  Every officer, including administration officers, has to have Time in the Black and qualify as a ship's officer."

Julian scoffed, "That's like asking every officer in the army to be a 'mechwarrior!"

"Not quite." Ngo said, "I can't teach someone to have the right neural conductivity to interface with a neurohelmet, I can teach someone advanced calculus and how to read a manual.  Natural talent doesn't have anything to do with what I do-it's all learned.  Aside from the truly too stupid to live, anyone can learn to be a Spacer, it's whether they're willing to be committed to the service."

"and yet, all the traffic on the channels was in English, with funny, non-germanic accents."  a woman Sharon only knew from images, said. 

Julian bristled slightly, "Coordinator."

"First Prince." Yori greeted him. "Your counter-offensive in the Benjamin district was a thing of brilliance.  Young officers will be studying your moves there at Sun Zhang for generations to come, as an example of how to overcome previous defeats."

Sharon briefly wondered if she would have to remind them they were here under flag-of-truce.

"You ain't seen nothing yet." Julian managed to get his anger under control and sound clear and confident.

"Oh, I look forward to seeing it." Yori told him, "you are a much superior opponent to your fool of a predecessor."

Julian frowned.  "Caleb, you'll bring up Caleb? here?"

"Of course." She said, "I am the Coordinator of Worlds, the Dragon, leader of the Draconis Combine, your predecessor attempted to pre-emptively attack the Combine, using what can only be described as the stupidest plan ever conceived of by man, You, for your part, have proven far more able an opponent and I sort of regret that Caleb Davion died when he could have lost the war years earlier by living."

she tapped her drink, "If Caleb had lived, and escaped us? He could have compounded his series of hilarious errors, the Combine would have wound up sharing a border with the Cappellans and we would own Galax-but he died, and you took over, and so, your nation continues to exist.  Unbeknownst to us, we did your side a favor killing him and destroying his followers."

"I doubt you'll get another chance to do such...favors." Julian said.

"Count on it.  it is most unwise to interfere when your enemies are intent on self-destruction." Yori said airily, "Though by allying with Stone, you might as well be lining to to fill dear, departed Caleb's shoes right to the end."

Julian scoffed and Sharon wondered again if she was going to have to break up a physical fight.

"You don't believe me? Caleb believed that by bedding the Snow Raven Khan, he could count on a powerful ally with a powerful navy, she left him...unsatisfied and took what she desired from him at his most vulnerable moment.  There is a lesson there, dear adversary.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I see Danai Centrella-Liao is here." She raised a glass, "To the Archon, may your realm remain in prosperous neutrality."

and hurried off.

"Wow...she's bitchier than my mom." Sharon said.

"I think that was her version of 'being nice'." Julian stated.  "I could be wrong, but that's what I think."

"I thought you were going to deck her a couple of times." Sharon added, "I was really kind of expecting it."

he shook his head, "I've got more self control than most people realize-Trill knows."

"Sharon, give us a moment?" Trillian said.

"Aye mum."  Sharon walked away from them.

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 23 April 2020, 04:31:25
Julian was listening there... good!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 23 April 2020, 08:24:16
a few dozen meters away...

"...speaking of chalcas lunatics- Admiral."  Sharon turned to her left, and found herself eye-to-eye with Dalia Bekker.  "I find your 'solution' to the Jade Falcon Mongols to be disturbing."

"Khan Bekker.  Enjoying the circus?" Sharon asked.

"Such as it is, aff."  The Ghost Bear officer looked her up and down.  "You are not as I imagined from your appearances in the media."

"Camera adds five kilos, you look underfed.  I assume you're here speaks to the Rassalhague Dominion's position on Stone's proposals, quiaff?"

"Aff...founder, you do look like a widened Roshak."

"Considering my grandfather held the bloodname, is it a surprise?" Sharon asked, "of course, I got the ugly parts of the family tree, hit every branch on the way down.  My people said you brought the GBS Rassalhague, which suggests our report that the Alshain was the one in the shop."

"I never would have believed I would see a ngo in a uniform." the Ghost Bear Khan said, changing the subject again, "What did they have to threaten you with?"

"Mmm...a crappy pension and long hours in the office." Sharon said, "Oh, and having genocidal space nazis attacking everyone helped make up my mind.  What brings the Dominion's top military mind to a damn peace conference?  I thought you tinspawns hated those things."

"I do." Bekker said, "However, we like supporting our allies."

"Stone brought a Luxor." Sharon said, "I think bringing a full on Leviathan block 3 might be a bit much, except Nikol Marik brought a carrier group, Yori Kurita brought a Carrier with Pocket Warship parasite riders, and Julian came with not just one fox, but a fox and four new-build Corvettes."

"You have a large fleet just outside the window." Bekker noted.

"We have a lot of ship construction and a patrol group outside the window-the Fleet is working." Sharon countered.  "The ships parked here are basically waiting for orders to go elsewhere.  the Commonwealth is large, it requires a lot of work to maintain."

"Hm, interesting, what kind of...'work'?"

"Well, there's commerce enforcement, anti-piracy, intersystem and intrasystem security, training cruises, ship-ex, fleetex, border patrol, maintenance, and humanitarian missions in the former Falcon territory, plus standby in case the neighbours get froggy.  One difference from my predecessors, is that I don't let my crews sit still and rot.  I understand your flag-captain was surprised to find recharging stations and fueling points along your route in."

"She was." Bekker said. 

"Then you can confirm-the Republic has nothing in their territory we want." Sharon stated, "As a dispassionate observer, mind you."

"I admit a certain discomfort in that thought."  Bekker told her, "You Lyrans seem to be pulling away from the rest of mankind."

Sharon shrugged, "We invited you all here-we're not so much pulling away, as we are sick of four hundred years of pointless conflict over a tapped out region of space whose primary resource is a vast population on public assistance.  Trillian wants peace, I agree with her-there are more interesting and important things to do than beat one another back into the neolithic."

"Yet you not only have built a massive fleet, but are still building it."

"Nations have National Security concerns, Piracy and crime don't stop just because you sign a treaty, and the Star League failed us all and ate itself out from the inside.  the official position of my government, is that we're open to balanced trade, and peace with anyone who doesn't attack us."

"and your own position?" Bekker asked.

"I can advise the Archon, but SHE makes the policies, and I carry those policies out to the best of my ability in the most intelligent manner I can to achieve the end goals she defines.  I am a professional, Khan Bekker.  I serve the nation to the best of my capacity and in exchange, I don't have to deal with making policy beyond the scope of my specific duties."

"but you do not favor alliance."

"No. I do not favour entangling alliances." Sharon said firmly, "If Trillian Steiner, the Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth signs on to an entangling alliance and plunges us into another optional foreign war? I will do my best to prosecute that war to a successful conclusion as quickly, and if necessary, as brutally as possible within the scope of my abilities.  You know we used powerful weapons and techniques to break the Falcons.  Those techniques, while ugly, saved more lives on our side, and that's all I care about when fighting a war.  Others can debate 'honor' and 'glory', I only care about winning."

"Yet you always publicly claim the master strategy was Roderick's." Bekker almost sneered.

"It's amazing what you can accomplish if you give credit to others and take the blame for errors on yourself, Khan Bekker." Sharon said easily, "you would be surprised at what you can develop from subordinates and superiors alike. for example, the performance you can get from greenie crewmen if they feel you're in their corner, or how fast someone will turn in a guy taking backhanders if they understand you value your personnel.  Men will fight that much harder for you if they know, without a doubt, that they're not being wasted to pad a resume' or investment portfolio."

"and the master strategy?"

"Was absolutely Roderick's." Sharon said, "He defined to me what needed to happen so he could win.  I made sure that thing happened."

Bekker laughed a little, "Spoken like a Soldier.  what would your policy be, if you were...'in charge'?"

"You really want to know?" Sharon asked.

"Yes, amuse me."

"I would be handing this job to Emily Falcone, Ike Krautmeyer,  or  Linda Sithers-Minh, and I'd be getting into a cutter bound for the farthest reaches of the deep periphery, looking for radio shells and undiscovered civilizations, missing colonies, and aliens." Sharon said bluntly.  "I didn't ask for this job, Trillian stuck me with it after Melissa demanded we come to Tharkad's aid.  she gave me this job and I'm doing the best I can, but I don't want to be here-she won't let me leave until the job is done."

"Why does she keep you?" Bekker asked.

"Because she seems to think I'm good at it.  being a professional, I don't want to disappoint her. Everything I've done with the LCN has been to show people that we can do better, and to make sure when she finally lets me go, that she doesn't need to call me in again." 

Bekker was speechless for a moment, looking contemplative.  "You are not what I was expecting."

"If you were expecting my mom, sorry, she kind of caught a Republic-sponsored bullet to the forehead in 3140 and died.  we caught the guys who did it, and traced them back to Brewer, and from Brewer's people to Republic Intelligence, who also taught my people why you don't over-centralize your shipyards with an attempted nuking of the Boojum yard in '05.  Nice bunch calls themselves 'Fidelis'."  Sharon sipped her drink and added, "So you're damn right I don't trust Stone, and I don't believe his words.  I don't have to make that call though."

"Do you have proof of these claims?"

"yep." Sharon said, "I do. I also have enough perspective not to waste my life on a revenge fantasy like Daoshen Liao has.  There are more important things than trying to get backsies for past insults."

"I...I know family ties can...you would let that go?"

"More important things to think about." Sharon said, "life is full of disappointments, I don't need to dwell on going after grudges when there are more important things to consider, people who look to me to do my duty without prejudice, subordinates, superiors and the stability of the nation-those all take precedence over my personal grievances."

"but not the Inner Sphere as a whole?"

"Screw them-sorry, I don't mean to be too offensive, but I focus on that which I can change.  I can't stop Yori and Julian from taking turns ratcheting up the atrocity ladder, I can't stop Daoshen from pursuing his revenge fantasies, i can't stop you from hopping into the squabbles of people who let their personal passions rule their reasoning."  Sharon looked at the assembled VIPs, "All I can do, is advise my Archon that we don't need to be dragged through the mud and the blood of people who have forgotten there's a universe out there beyond the border, and that the very best thing to do, is to take care of our own problems and stay out of the squabbling, posturing, and murdering that has been going on since Kerensky deserted the Inner sphere."

"and when she rejects that advice, which she must surely do?" Bekker asked.

"Then I will do my duty and kill the people she says need to be killed." Sharon said, "Without hating them, and with no anger, I will kill the enemy she tells me to kill, and maybe when I'm done killing that enemy, she will let me do what I would like, and someone else can give her bad advice she won't listen to."





Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 23 April 2020, 10:31:51
elsewhere at the reception...

"...calculate it, based on what they put on display escorting us here?  that's not a threat."  Nikol Marik said, as a suited steward passed refilled bulbs around.

"I counted the hull numbers, either they're very good at painting, and I mean very good, or they have at least as powerful a fleet as the Republic has in storage."  Danai Centrella-Liao accepted one of the drinks.  "I'm a little nervous-all the Lyran Navy types are wearing skinsuits under their clothes."

"It's perfectly safe." Yori Kurita seemed to materialize unbidden, to collect a fresh drink from the Stewards.  "One of the little changes under Trillian's rule-their entire Navy is required to wear those, and have their helmets, basic survival, and damage control gear at hand at all times, including on planetary assignments, and somehow, they're actually able to enforce it."

Nikol nodded, looking over the Coordinator, "You're wearing one too."

"It seemed the fashionable thing to do." Yori confessed, "Mine is, naturally, better than theirs, but no joke, Trillian's got enough Navy to make Stone nervous."

"Maybe to make us all nervous." Nikol noted.  "We've barely gotten a dozen pre-war ships repaired, and she's turning out that many every year."

"Oh, more.  Which is what has the Republic's Exarch nervous." Yori commented.  "And we should be nervous...but I'm less nervous right now, than I was when I arrived."

"Do you really think she wants to be a Neutral?" Danai asked.

"Aside from Julian being very persuasive and a relative?"  Yori waggled her hand a bit, "I think maybe so.  I think she is quite alright with letting the Wolves attack the Republic, and continuing to refuse to aid her cousin directly."

"huh, that doesn't fit the history." Nikol said.

"No, it doesn't...unless you know the whole story." Yori said, "Trillian listens to her lunatic Admiral-the one who built that impressive fleet outside the viewing window, and that Admiral thinks there's a threat coming from the Deep Periphery.  She is also outspoken to both her Sovereign and anyone who will bother to listen, with the opinion that the former Terran Hegemony-all those worlds our ancestors have been fighting over?"

"Yeah?"

"is absolutely worthless real-estate." Yori said firmly.  "I believe I overheard her calling it 'used up' and expressing the view that the only thing the Republic has of value are trillions of welfare recipients and a border exposed on all sides to people who have grudges."

"You're fighting over some of that territory." Nikol noted.

"I'm fighting the Davions, just like my ancestors have for generations untold, I'm fighting the Republic, because they're backing the Davions.  Maybe next week I'll be fighting the Ghost Bears over the same territory." Yori shrugged, "Or, maybe I will use this cease-fire to declare victory, consolidate gains, and focus on more...important matters, like fortifying against an external attack in order to avoid going through what my Great-Grandfather had to endure when the Clans came out of nowhere."  She sipped her drink, "I'm still deciding."

"What's the breaking point?" Danai asked.

"Whether Trillian Steiner stands her ground, or caves to Devlin Stone." Yori stated, "if she caves, we will have to continue the war to prevent such an alliance from annihilating my nation.  In that case, it might be a good idea to make allies who will join us in our struggle to remain free of Terran Domination.  We have taken Dieron, the Combine is once again whole...mostly whole.  I can declare victory and focus on preparations to face an external threat-provided Trillian Steiner doesn't weigh in to make this another succession war on Devlin Stone's behalf."

"Given what they did to the Jade Falcons, I think we'd have to seek allies for the Confederation." Danai said carefully, "it would be catastrophic for us. another Fourth Succession war, only without a Candace Liao to narrow their advances and preserve our industrial base..." She looked to Nikol, "And you, they would go after on general principles, seeing as the League reclaimed Republic worlds too, and you have the Wolf Empire breathing down your necks."

"I've been putting out feelers to the Wolf Empire, our acceptance of Clan refugees and the threat of the Republic combined, They might be potent allies." Nikol said, "Or they might turn and eat us whole.  Alaric makes me nervous, and Anastasia is a psychopath, but they might be a better choice than letting Devlin Stone roll us over and break us again."

"Oh god, you're really interested in getting Steiner on your side?" Danai asked.

"She does have the forces, and the success-beat both the Wolves and the Jade Falcons, has peace with the Wolves and has annihilated the Falcons." Yori said approvingly, "I could think of poorer choices for the Free Worlds.  Better choices, like the Dragon, but poorer options do exist."

"We still have a few tricks, Yori." Danai said quietly.  "I didn't miss the dig at the Confederation."

"I was not 'digging' at the Confederation.  I think a direct alliance with the Wolves would be the worst option for Nikol's people, not yours.  Clanners as allies are inevitably poised to stab you in the back-they can't help it, it's their nature, as we discovered with the Nova Cats.  On every other level, the Republic is outright the worst option possible.  I am sure you have seen evidence in your own territory of their manipulations, including gray monday."

"Trillian doesn't want a war with the Republic." Nikol said.

"I don't want a war with them either-anymore." Yori stated, "What we want and what we need sometimes do not share a definition, but if the Republic can be isolated to a single pair of allies? or frozen out? we can make them irrelevant. Leave the sad little king on his sad little hill and move on."

"I am unsure I can convince Daoshen of that." Danai noted.

"Something to overcome when and if we have the opportunity." Yori said carefully.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sir Chaos on 23 April 2020, 12:40:47
Has Daoshen met Sharon yet?. Given how much Daoshen enjoyed what Sharon did to Howell, I half-expect him to propose to her the moment they meet face-to-face. Or at least offer her her choice of province to rule if she defects to the Confederation.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: drakensis on 23 April 2020, 13:43:15
Danai is admitting Daoshen is her father?

I don't think that was something that was ever admitted publicly and it seems to have been a very well kept secret. Officially, she was recorded as his much younger sister.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 23 April 2020, 18:34:06
There's a good question...  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Derain Von Harken on 23 April 2020, 19:29:12
Danai is admitting Daoshen is her father?

I don't think that was something that was ever admitted publicly and it seems to have been a very well kept secret. Officially, she was recorded as his much younger sister.
Well it would not be the most unlikely romance of the ngos. Although more likely it could be a one night stand involving alcohol.
More seriously there will likely be some happy reaction when they meet. I mean he said he wanted to bring popcorn and balloons. This summit is like Christmas for him. When the liao Consider someone to be a duplicitous bastard just how deep have we gone here?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 23 April 2020, 20:49:01
Danai is admitting Daoshen is her father?

I don't think that was something that was ever admitted publicly and it seems to have been a very well kept secret. Officially, she was recorded as his much younger sister.

damn, good catch, edited. 

Well it would not be the most unlikely romance of the ngos. Although more likely it could be a one night stand involving alcohol.
More seriously there will likely be some happy reaction when they meet. I mean he said he wanted to bring popcorn and balloons. This summit is like Christmas for him. When the liao Consider someone to be a duplicitous bastard just how deep have we gone here?

True, the most unlikely romance being what happened in the FC3062 game and involved 'relations' between Liz Ngo and Jaime Wolf.  (A sitch that would have ended up with Sharon being a redhead and cousin to...well...lol.)

but while he's arrogant enough to make the offer, he's also smart enough to do his homework.  (thus, smart enough NOT to make the offer because he'd know in his bones it would be insulting.)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: qc mech3 on 23 April 2020, 21:12:26
I can see Daoshen offering one of his best bottle to the Admiral and a copy of his finance forensic to add on the pile just for fun. And asking her to wait for him with said pop corn when Stone try to puff his chest to her and the Archon.  :P :crazy: :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

I also would love to see Sharon talk shop to the Sea Fox and Raven Khans, comparing their skinsuits and maybe a private meeting in the ''Admiral room''  ;)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 23 April 2020, 23:51:32
"During diplomatic receptions, no deals are final.  Nothing is final until the ink dries on the treaty, and then is when the fun process of violating the hell out of that treaty by all sides really starts.

In essence, the purpose of Treaties, is to set the goals everyone is agreeing to for which provisions are going to be broken, and what excuses are going to be used for breaking them.

this is where Treaties are fundamentally different from contracts...in a contract, both sides are working to facilitate an actual exchange to their mutual benefit.  Treaties are written with the specific goal by both sides of hampering the other with the intent of mutual violation."


-Elizabeth Ngo, "Letters to my children" Volume 18. (3067)


At the reception...

From the spinward hatch, the most famous man in the Inner Sphere came walking in the station's quarter gravity.  "A wizard is never late." Sharon noted.

Bekker looked at her, "What?"  the Ghost Bear Khan said.

"I said a wizard is never late, or early, he always arrives exactly when he intends to." Sharon clarified, "Your hero has arrived.  Maybe we should've made the corridors bigger so he could come in on his big, white, horse."

at roughly the same time, from antispinward, came Daoshen Liao.

"Oh, this is going to be fun." Sharon added in a tone that suggested she was about to have no fun whatsoever.

Knots of conversation ended and groups drifted apart as the new arrivals made their way to the center of the reception.

"Excuse me." Bekker told her, and made her way to Stone's presence.

Sharon made her way to Trillian.  "Highness?  might want to take charge mum, I smell a brawl coming. Stone and Liao have entered the room."  this got Julian's attention off of his attempts to persuade the Archon of...whatever.  sharon didn't care.  she cared very much about not having to change the atmo-filters and fill out the various witness forms if things turned violent.

"Thank you, Admiral. I've got this." Trillian said, and started walking to the side of the chamber, her magnetic boots active.

"What's she doing?" Julian turned his attention to Sharon.

"Taking charge, because it's her job." Sharon said.

The archon walked up the bulkhead wall, and strode along the ceiling to the middle of the room.

"Your Attention Please!!"

They'd discussed theatrical moves, and this was what Trillian came up with?  Sharon felt a fleeting sort of pride.

Trillian deactivated her boots with a short, directed tumble.  Sharon bit her lip-the practicing would either pay off, or it would be a small embarrassme-

the Archon landed with catlike grace on her feet, a perfect two-point 'superhero' move  "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first Tharkad Naval Summit.  Everyone is here, there will be no violence at this summit.  Please feel free to accept my hospitality tonight, it is open bar, and the buffet is good.  In the morning, we will begin presentations and formal discussions, but tonight everything except the pledge of non-violence is informal, some of you are at war with one another."  she met Yori and Julian's eyes as she spoke, "Some of you have been in conflict for a very, very, long time." she nodded to Daoshen and to Stone.  "Regardless of how you view one another, in here, your grievances are real, but they are also only tangentially relevant, and only to the formal proceedings of the actual summit meeting.  Nothing is going to be settled here over drinks and catered snacks."

Trillian strode a circle on the floor, "Everyone here, wants something from the others.  Some of you want a breathing space to gird for the next phase of your wars, some of you want a chance for understanding and maybe peace, some are seeking allies and some are seeking to see enemies humiliated, or to see their positions verified and vindicated.  Those are the functions of the formal meetings that begin in the morning. Tonight, we are here, to meet one another, see one another, and to drink my wine and eat my food and maybe gain some understanding of each other's positions."

"This structure, the Shipyard's Gastehaus, is a fairly recent structure initially intended as temporary quarters for crewmen with families and VIP services. This activity is the first time it has been opened for any purpose. As some of you have noted, it has a very good view of the primary production line of the Naval Shipyard.  That is the unfortunate side-effect of letting my Chief of Naval Operations determine the most stable point to place the structure and I apologize for the rather drab views."

this got a few chuckles and polite laughs.

"We are beginning this, with a simple proposition: The Lyran Commonwealth is neutral to the disputes of your nations.  WE are not at war, nor intent on being at war, with any of you.  Some of you are here to try and change my mind on this, some of you are here hoping to keep my mind from changing on this.  I can say without hesitation that I will listen to every argument, from every side, that you choose to present, and weight them according to my best information before making any choices.  I can also state that should anyone leave this summit, you will be safe to return to your home realms, you will not be pre-emptively attacked, and even in the event that war is declared, you will be safeguarded to the border without being accosted by LCN or LCAF forces."

she crossed her arms, "THIS is because the Diplomatic Process must be upheld, or there can never be negotiation. as my Marshall of the Armies Roderick is fond of saying, 'you can get more with a kind word and a big stick, than you can with only a big stick or only a kind word'.  Some of you-" she looked to Khan Bekker, "have certainly brought along some impressive big sticks.  I look forward to hearing what you deem to be the kind words that accompany them...or unkind words." She shrugged theatrically and got another polite round of laughter.

"Some of you have already met my Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Admiral Sharon Ngo.  Take a bow Sharon!"

Sharon flushed, clicked her heels at attention, and offered a single bow to the assembled dignitaries.

"She has been instrumental in making this conference happen...in spite of her own, deep, reservations."  Trillian stated, "We have all seen the result of fighting over the same territory generation after generation.  The catastrophe of the First, and second, succession wars for the Star League Crown, the slow slide into decay of the Third, the disruption of the fourth, the Clan invasion and the Blakist war, Gray Monday and the Republic's civil war, and everything connected to those.  The Lyran Commonwealth officially voids all claim to the former Republic territories.  You're all welcome to it, we don't need it and don't really want it, likewise, I have amputated the region known as the 'Wolf Empire'.  These are public acts you should all be aware of before you arrived here.  They made me somewhat unpopular with elements in the Estates General, particularly after our successful war against the Mongol falcons."

Trillian leveled her gaze straight at Devlin Stone, "The Lyran Commonwealth has no interest in attacking, or defending, the Republic of the Sphere.  Gray Monday, and Fifteen years of Fortress Republic has shown that we don't need you. This is your opportunity to convince me that this position of policy, is incorrect."

she turned to offer everyone a broad, bright smile, "enjoy yourselves, Ladies and Gentlemen. Tomorrow, we start the serious work of negotiation!"




Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: qc mech3 on 24 April 2020, 00:18:28
It's fun to see an Archon with more then 2 working braincells.  :thumbsup:

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: mikecj on 24 April 2020, 00:20:18

Trillian leveled her gaze straight at Devlin Stone, "The Lyran Commonwealth has no interest in attacking, or defending, the Republic of the Sphere.  Gray Monday, and Fifteen years of Fortress Republic has shown that we don't need you. This is your opportunity to convince me that this position of policy, is incorrect."


Chew on that "hero"
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: kindalas on 24 April 2020, 00:31:51
I was hoping she would throw him out an airlock and then make a joke about the importance of a strong chain of succession.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Derain Von Harken on 24 April 2020, 00:37:09
Chew on that "hero"
With this i will inflict on Stone the greatest insult an enemy can suffer. To be ignored.

Man get some aloe for that very precisely heated and still polite burn.
I mean I came for the space navy and Industry. But I admit a huge draw now is seeing the whole sphere dump on Stone. While liao cheers and eats popcorn.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 24 April 2020, 04:07:07
Theatrical indeed... and she nailed it!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Derain Von Harken on 24 April 2020, 04:31:35
Theatrical indeed... and she nailed it!  :thumbsup:
Landing and presentation. I mean think about the visuals. Her voice came from above and then she descended from on high like an angel to deliver her message of peace, neutrality and polite condemnation.
Neutral meetings on space stations may become more popular just so the leaders of the sphere can make more dramatic entrances. (until of course someone flubs the landing.)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 24 April 2020, 11:08:06
"a decade after the Monday Morning Massacre, the Lyran Commonwealth Navy hasn't returned to their historical conditions yet.
maybe they never will.  Certainly if promotions and assignments are indicators the changes are down to the cultural root of the service.
Kapitan Elizabeth MacAulliffe is the daughter of the infamous Debra MacAulliffe, the 'Hayseed Duchess' from Arluna in the Jihad era. Like
her famous parent, Elizabeth's face is marked by the damage done by the Arluna Flu.  Where the plague marks were scars on her mother,
they are birth-marks and proof of disease resistance.  Her older brother is the Duke, and initially, Lady Elizabeth was merely slated to serve
her five years in Arluna's Coast Guard Militia-a formation copied from Kowloon's Coast Guard, but like many in this generation, she accepted
posting to the Lyran Commonwealth Navy shortly after the mass of firings after Trillian Steiner's ascension to the Archonship..."


-DBS "Profiles of Note" program dated 3150

LCS Tatyana Steiner, Battleship, Frederic Steiner class...

"IFF identified, Kapitan, our mystery bogie is squawking an Ident Code SLS Francis Drake on subchannel 19, markings indicate Clan Snow Raven on long range imager."

Kapitan Elizabeth MacAulliffe  reached up, and closed her faceplate.   "All hands stand by for battle conditions, we'll try hailing this visitor first, but they're a Clan unit so they might decide to say 'hi' by opening fire.  You have three minutes."

she felt the seals snap into place as the CIC depressurized, and then the cool rush of air from the command couch's connector as the deck's life-lines kicked on.

"RTO, send hail to our visitor with full identifiers, and give me voice on thumb command."

"Aye mum...they're responding."

"SLS Francis Drake this is the LCS Tatyana Steiner, code identifier Bravo-Bravo-one-Eight-Alpha.  You are in Lyran Commonwealth Space and scaring the merchies, Please respond, over."

Five years in speech therapy with the Coast Guard, and there was only the slightest hint of her Arlunan Hill Folk accent.

"LCS Tatyana Steiner, this is CSR Drake, you might want to update your Transponder book.  We are en-route to Tharkad with a Pennant, on Diplomatic purpose, repeat, we are flying a pennant, Over."

diplomacy. she relaxed.  "Understood CSR Drake, nobody called ahead, Over.  do you require fuel or a hot-charge for your drive, Over?"

"You're offering, Over?"

"Come about one three degrees spinward axis and burn half gee for the next twenty minutes and you'll be in range of the charging station, we'll run your diplomatic credentials and you won't even be charged for the juice or the fuel." she said, feeling the knots relax.  "I need to call the office and let them know you're coming-last word we had was no response from the Raven Alliance, Over."

on the sensor boards, active pings from the Snow Raven Whirlwind class were mapping their hull in detail.  take a good look boys and girls, my ride is prime!

"They're moving to the reception range for the charging station, Mum."

"keep us at ready stations until we get a response from fleet." Liz said, "They're pretty ****** late."

"Aye mum."

The RTO patched  into fleetcom, and sent the inquiry.

Five hours later...

"Response is positive, they're on the guest list, mum."

"bring hull to half atmosphere pressure." Liz said, "shift breathers to supplementary, stand down to yellow status and full press in crew and off-duty areas."

"Aye mum, adjusting mix now."

It took another hour before the Snow Raven vessel was ready to move to the formal jump point and continue their journey.  "Not as scary as the big bastard the Bears brought through, eh, Kapitan?"

"Scarier. These guys bothered to look." Elizabeth said.  "They counted airlocks and gun ports and took a look at our arrays.  these guys are professionals."



Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 24 April 2020, 11:43:57
CSR Drake...

"Well?"  Star Commodore Jordan Sukhanov asked.

"They tracked our scans, and counter-scanned us, the audio indicated she was speaking on a suit mic, Ovkhan." the sensors officer reported.

"They were running depressurized when they hailed us-either their life support was down, or they were expecting us to fire on them unprovoked." Star Captain Lori, his executive officer, noted. 

"Hm. Considering this was Jade Falcon territory until '49, and that ship is clearly part of a peacekeeping operation, I am unsurprised that they would be ready for battle."  Jordan commented.  "The Charging station and civil support are nice to see."

"I almost wonder what the inside of that battle-wagon looks like."  Khan Lankenau noted, "The design is very well laid out, and did you notice their escorts?"

"The smaller warships, big corvettes or small destroyers? aff.  Those gun-mounts look complicated on the smaller ships-I have no doubt at all that against a single opponent, the destroyers can deliver a cruiser's broadside from any angle, but for how long?"

"Long enough.  The battleship is almost supernumerary." the SaKhan said, "except as a command center.  Watch officer, who was that person on the other end of the radio?"

"according to media, she is Kapitan Elizabeth MacAulliffe from Arluna.  Daughter of a former Duchess and sister to the current duke of that world, she has ten years in the Coast Guard and commanded a destroyer during the war with the Jade Falcons."

"how many battle stars?" the SaKhan asked.

"Eighteen months of continuous offensive operations while commanding the LCS Iron Hill, the battleship is new, the commander is young for a spheroid commander with so much responsibility, but our sources indicate the whole LCN is loaded with younger officers due to the purge of 'social admirals'."

"How notable is she?"

"her public file on DBS credits her with the sinking of the CJF Turkina's Pride over Coventry in '48, OvKhan-her vessel at the time, one of those weird-looking little destroyers.  the profile indicates she lost her own ship as well in the engagement and spent ninety one hours in a space-suit waiting for search and rescue, before being detailed to the yards and assigned that battleship."

"Nice to know they assigned a hero to greet us at the border then." the SaKhan said it mirthlessly.  "She was ready to fire on us, quiaff?"

"Aff, I think so."

it still sent a chill down the SaKhan's spine-ninety one hours living in a skinsuit, waiting in the black for someone to find you, is a nightmare only sailors of the black can really grasp-the utter loneliness and the vastness of space, with only your breath for company, drinking recycled waste and waiting without going mad.

even a Clan warrior would be risking madness in those conditions.

"We almost do not need to come.  if the Lyrans have such spacers, they will surely never cave to demands to surrender it." he mused aloud.

"A voice of support may be needed regardless, OvKhan." the Watch officer noted, "Trillian is known for her admiration of Stone, and the Ghost Bears passed through ahead of us-and Bekker is very enamoured of the Republic...and they brought a Leviathan that has been upgraded."

"We will see what we see..assuming we can get there in time!"
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 24 April 2020, 12:35:41
Work Platform 1115, Tharkad Naval Shipyard...

Sharon pinged the civcon on the other end, and locked her boots to the girder, lifting with her legs, to hold the hull plate on Destroyer DG-401 while Lt. Kasseler sparked the welding rigs to full power and started to run the joining beade.

A thousand kilometers away, Trillian was holding meetings, Roderick was half a solar system away speaking with his General Staff, and Sharon was here, leading by example along with the men and women who would be the crew of the yet-unnamed Landmark II destroyer, helping the Yard with the heavy work, because her own staff were handling things and Trillian didn't need her making waves at the conference.

DG-401 was the first Landmark II, and the class would get a new name by the time the outer hull was fully braced and plated, wiring runs finished, and the ship was ready to leave the slip.

but for right now, the Fleet Admiral could spare a few hours to help the civilian contractors, engineers, and the crew to get a little further ahead.

Every military has busywork, and experience actually building or, after damage, repairing a warship gives the crew a chance to build bonds between ranks and crewmates, as well as a deeper understanding that you can't get from an academy classroom.

The heavy work was good for burning off the excess distracting energy.  she watched suit monitors for tolerance and flex, keeping the thousand ton structural member aligned to within .01 centimeters while a welding rig the size of a bulldozer passed within meters, the powerful jet of metallic plasma countered by tuned thrusters.

the coolant cycle over the fresh join came next, crystallized frozen nitrogen sprayed on the superheated weld line, bending the whole join in a pre-planned arc as it flash-cooled in the vacuum of space, the frozen gas becoming once again gas-phase and flashing off, to recrystallze when it shed the excess energies.

she reached into her 'yard bag' and checked the join and the gap with a handy, fist-sized go/no-go guage.

within tolerance.  she slid her work-bar out, and walked out onto the new structural member,  "Let's get the next one ready, Midshipman, you saw what I was doing?"

"Aye mum." Midshipman Liezler was a senior at Nagelring, doing a Naval program, and while his LCAF ground-forces bound classmates were going home for the semester break, he was here at the yard, learning how the ships he would serve on are built.

learning to live in a suit full-time, far from the safety and security of a planet, earning his salt.

"here." She handed him the yard-bar and the inspection bag.  "next one is yours. don't ****** it up or you'll have to learn how to re-do it."

"Aye mum."

her helmet comm pinged almost as if by arrangement.  the text message said "Report to the conference, duty uniform.  Trillian."

"Gotta go guys, sorry!" she said over the work-channel for the dock.

"No problem Admiral, don't let the dirtyfeet walk on you too hard!"  The dock's shift-boss, an old Schvarze-volk who probably had seventy hours on a planet in his entire seventy years of living, said with a grin in his tone.

"Work safe, guys!"  Sharon fired her EMU and caught the skids of a loader bound for the drydock's shuttle deck.

The T-11 executive shuttle was already positioned when she let go of the hauler and free-dropping toward the open airlock of the Admiral's pinnace.

"Have fun playing construction worker, Admiral ma'am?"  Dietrich 'Deke' Rutherford asked.

"Herr Leutnant, I always have a wonderful time playing with the Yard apes." Sharon said, as she settled into her seat.  "It's a nice break from the endless paperwork of actually running this organization."

"Her Majesty set me out to find you with a string of expletives, mum." he said, "Nasty words, like 'Diplomacy' and 'dress uniforms' were tossed at me, it were a terror, mum. she almost had me locked up for five whole seconds."

"you'll live, besides, I think if a foul word actually passed Her Majesty's lips, it would be given special dignity and cease to be foul."

"Your lips to god's hearing aid, mum." he said, "She did say she needed you at the station in a ticky manner, however."

"so have some fun, you've got the priority flight clearance."

He grinned wide behind his mask, and reached for the throttles.

"but if you scratch the paint, I'm going to make you clean, alodine and repaint the marks." she added, "And I better not feel it when we hit the docking lock."

"Aye mum...hey, there's this guy I saw at a bar down on the Triad docks, he is, most unfortunately, painful straight and only likes girls though I could rock his world...he seems like maybe your type."

"gods, you too?"

"Mum, you're a human being, you need to let the steam off sometime, ayuh? dude is prime." 

"Just fly the damn shuttle, Deke.  I know Emily must've put you up to this...or was it Linda?"

"Hey, no, I know you barred that line. this comes from Her Majesty herself-she said to me, 'Deke, that Admiral of yours, she needs to blow off the steam and find a good man before she tears someone in half!' so I says, 'yes your Majesty, but my Admiral, she don't settle for no ordinary blokes, she needs a special kinda man, don't you know.' and she tells me, she does, 'Deke, you're a natural seeker of the primest of men, judge of character and bottomless drinker of the juice of love, if any ought find herself the Sharon a man, it's you', so you see, I have a directive from our Lord to find you a proper man."

"I believe exactly none of that story, and you better hope nobody has a recording of it." Sharon said, laughing.

"I do hope you'll at least find a moment to toast my upcoming nuptuals, Mum." he said.

"Someone's making an honest man of you, Deke?"

"Oh Yes, Mum, and He's a proper man too.  even has all his teeth." Deke said.

"good for you. when am I signing the leave slip, you horrible liar?"

his mein changed, "I'm serious, Admiral.  He proposed, i accepted, I'm about to be off the market, no more midnight pickups on shore leave for me.  We're planning on an adoption, full nuclear family, I've even turned down the re-enlistment bonus.  The day after my ETS, I'm going to be a married man."

"Oh...I need to find your replacement." Sharon said with a sigh, "Good for you, Deke.  am I invited to the wedding?"

"I think I just said that, yes." he told her.

"I'll bring a nice gift." she said, "And I promise to only cry a little bit."

"you'd better be catching the flowers, mum." his bright mood returning.

"I make zero promises, you know I'm a Kludge in gravity."

"You better bring a date." he added.  "it's traditional, and my husband-to-be is a very traditional guy...but no pressure, you have four months to find someone."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 24 April 2020, 13:44:46
Gasthaus station, Tharkad Naval yard...

"...manual labor? in a Shipyard??"  Trillian was fending off Julian again when Sharon walked in.

"It's called 'inspections'." Sharon said.  she had taken the message at face value, and was still wearing the work-duty outergarment, the scorch and embedded slag around the sleeves and chest-piece darkening the reflective surface.  "what?"  Sharon slid her 'duty' crowbar into the handy loop-and pocket on the back of her harness.  "Don't your naval people bother checking out the ships they're going to be commanding?"

"Usually...from a safe distance." he said.  "You were doing actual work on a ship?"

"every LCN officer and crewman is expected to put hands on their ship, especially in the yard." Sharon said, "Lead by Example, you learn more about what it can maybe do that the spec sheets don't talk about, if you have actual hands to the ferrosteel, and it's a good way to keep training sharp when a crew's not on an actual deployment. what's the trouble, Highness?" she asked.

"Julian was asking about your naval reforms, Admiral." Trillian said, "I think you're better equipped to give the briefing on that."

"First, fire any brass-ass who thinks 'ramming' is a viable tactic." Sharon said.  "Then fire anyone who won't put hands to the steel on the ships they intend to command. then fire anyone who thinks a shore billet is a good thing.  If they aren't begging for a boat, they aren't committed. if they won't work with the yard on a hull, then they're probably shit in an emergency, and anyone who uses words like 'proles' or 'rankers' in a non-ironic way? kick 'em to ground forces asap.  A ship commander needs to want it in his bones."

"A bit less generalized, Sharon." Trillian told her.

"Okay, first off you need to go through the books of your navy with a couple of forensic accountants and find out who's taking bribes, which hands are getting graft, and who's not showing up for work."  Sharon said.  "I spent months before the 'monday massacre' digging up who was in which contractors' pockets, who was slacking on their duties, and who was just plain too stupid to live.  Your first step, is to eliminate the dead-weight."

"The...dead weight?"

"Yeah, guys whose commission has more to do with mommy and daddy's money or social standing.  kick them the hell out." she said, "A Navy can't afford officers that can't do the job, and schooling is only part of the job.  I'll take an illiterate who can identify stars from his peasant hut over an academy grad who can't tell the difference between a starship, and a battering ram.  why? I can teach the illiterate to read and do math. Ninety nine percent of a starship comes down in one way or another, to doing calculus and reading a clock.  one percent is knowing how to look confident under pressure."

"You keep bringing up ramming-"

"You brought four corvettes designed for ramming attacks!" she said, letting her passion reach her voice, "you've got admirals who need to be fired from a naval gauss at the nearest convenient slag asteroid! the guys who wrote the spec on those need to be relieved for cause, stripped of rank for the good of the service.  Warships are force multipliers, for christ's sake, what is the stupidest battlemech design in the last four hundred years, Julian?"

"The Charger."

"Why?"

"because..."

"because it's useless for anything but boxing." Sharon told him, "It represents a force deficit.  Those Kentares class corvettes of yours, if used for the purpose they were obviously designed for, represent a one-for-one in a naval engagement, at the build cost of a ship that can get at least two or three to one.  they represent a significant waste of your manpower and resources for at best, breaking even-and that's assuming they can actually hit under thrust with a solid impact, against a half-aware or half-competent opponent, they'll burn their fuel out and take damage, and do it without even crippling their opposition.  So first, you take the theorists and historians who suggested that as a proposal, and you pink-slip them into oblivion, and hire someone with at least two ****** brain cells to rub together."

"assuming I do that, what is the next step?" he asked.

"Impose standards." Sharon said,  "No starship captains who can't navigate a six minute jump point, no officers who don't have competency at damage control tasks, and I'm not talking theoretical-they need to be able to run a cutting torch and a welder, do basic electrical and plumbing work in vacuum."

"How does that-oh..because warships take fire and you don't believe in trusting the enemy to miss." Julian said.

"You're getting it.  Every ship in the black faces emergencies and military ships bring and experience disaster on a regular basis.  If your naval uniform doesn't include a skinsuit as daily wear? you fix that.  Spacers who don't wear space suits become dead spacers at inconvenient times-your naval personnel must learn to live in and love the black, the silent space between stars, and you're better off if they learn to love it more than being ashore on a planet.  Your crews and captains should know their ships, every centimeter, every defect, every character line.  your ship is your home, your crew is your family, your service is your nation, your nation is your mother, and so on.  the next step is probably going to be harder for you-you have to invest in your navy's professional standards.  Those standards mean things like 'class' or 'caste' get tossed aside-dirtyside distinctions have no place on a ship in combat."

he looked a bit confused, "Explain that one-what do you mean?"

"My ace Battleship captain was born in a poverty-stricken slum, and didn't finish high school, much less attend a service academy." Sharon told him, "Ike's a ****** genius, but until he enlisted in the Coast Guard, his future looked like a lifetime spent as a petty crook in the deck levels of Swindon Arcology on Winter, his mother was a drug addict and his father was a convicted pimp and dealer.  the coast guard made that ruin into one of the finest officers in the Lyran Commonwealth Navy.  Talent, determination and skill count for more than birth, the Federated Suns has a highly feudal society, and you'll have to break your Naval branch of those attachments.  There is only the Service, and the Sovereign, nothing in between, or it won't work."

Trillian looked thoughtful, "That's why you rejected Brewer, isn't it?"

Sharon nodded, "Fundamental of professionalism, Brewer was not the lawful sovereign. Melissa was, and when she chose you as successor, you became the sovereign.  Vedet Brewer was an idiot and an ******, and he got in power by being a well-connected noble who could play on feudal loyalties and flat out corruption.  A navy becomes worthless if they start accepting...suggestions...from people based on ground-sider titles, inherited money, or political affiliations-that's also why I put a hard ban on extracurricular memberships and associations, and rooted out anyone who wouldn't drop them. the order is Nation-Sovereign-Service-Crew-Family-Self.  any other order is anathema to good discipline, and discipline is what keeps your crew alive."

"How does that work into what you did with limiting your resource waste?" He asked.

"When your CNO has his or her priorities in order, and they have your support as the Sovereign, cutting waste becomes mandatory in their own mind, finding the waste, the sap on life-support, the thing that is holding it all back? and finding the solutions to supply and support problems? that becomes the easy part." Sharon explained, "first you cut sentimental things.  LAS Invincible was a sentimental vanity project and going nowhere. cut it.  keeping a couple of half-dead foxes 'in service' for prestige? cut them, they're costing more in upkeep than it would cost to replace them.  Has your prime contractor got a record for production delays, missed deadlines, and cost overruns? find someone else.  if nobody else has the capacity, you spend the money and fix that, but you stop propping up somebody's gardening trophies and six fusionaire business luncheons at the strip club.  Ninety eight percent of the 3142 budget was going to non-service related costs, black budgets that produced nothing, and lobbying.  there's a reason that Lockheed CBM fired most of their executive board after Semier Datatron got the Fredric Steiner contract-they also went through a corporate 'reorganizing' that saw most of the CEO's family members tossed out on their asses-if your contractor hires his idiot nephew for an important position you don't use that contractor."

"I feel like I should be taking notes..." Julian said.

"You should." Trillian told him.  "When Sharon presented me with her reforms, I was...skeptical, but the Navy was our worst branch and had just proven to be incompetent, so I let her run with it. you can see the result of that."

"I don't have a 'coast guard' to draw officer replacements from." he said.

"build one first." Sharon said, "The tech is actually low-cost once you have the base infrastructures in place, and the Sampans don't use anything really exotic-the cores are actually outdated designs.  You can probably front a couple of small contractors to build the facilities.  build up your small vessel navy, then build off that...but cut your dead-wood out right now, and start grooming in people who can actually do the job."

"With a crowbar?" he asked.

"I'd recommend it." Sharon told him.  "You should never have an officer in command, who doesn't know how to be a spacer."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 24 April 2020, 14:17:10
It might be easier, albeit more expensive, to build a Coast Guard up seperately, clean sheet.  Then bring them over to reform/replace the FSN.   Think hostile takeover, where the Coasties pick up what can be reformed and who can be retained and retrained.  Hell, have them 'poach' from the FSN useful officers and spacers, then bring them back with the deadwood ready to be cut down.

OTOH, Juillian does have an active war.  This largely depends if the FedSuns and Combine can hammer out a peace or extended cease fire.  The Coordinator seems to think she has taken enough to satisfy honor if there is a need to stop the war with the Davions and reorient to a new potential threat.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Red Pins on 24 April 2020, 14:58:25
Good luck to Julian.  Sharon just gave him the thirteenth labor of Hercules, the one nobody writes about.

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 24 April 2020, 19:45:55
Nice one Red Pins!  ^-^
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Dave Talley on 24 April 2020, 20:11:59
Good luck to Julian.  Sharon just gave him the thirteenth labor of Hercules, the one nobody writes about.

pretty much, do you want to be the one who tells the Ngo elemental to shove off?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Red Pins on 24 April 2020, 22:31:03
Nice one Red Pins!  ^-^

I try.  Quarantine, you know.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 24 April 2020, 23:31:41
Good luck to Julian.  Sharon just gave him the thirteenth labor of Hercules, the one nobody writes about.

From "Murphy's rules of land warfare": 

"The important things are always simple, the simple things are always hard, and the easy way is always mined."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Red Pins on 24 April 2020, 23:52:00
From "Murphy's rules of land warfare": 

"The important things are always simple, the simple things are always hard, and the easy way is always mined."

I used to have a whole bunch of these, but my favourite was about how 'stuff' happens - "it contains that which encourages growth, such that none can abide it", etc.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 25 April 2020, 00:32:24
I used to have a whole bunch of these, but my favourite was about how 'stuff' happens - "it contains that which encourages growth, such that none can abide it", etc.

That would be

The Plan


In the beginning was the Plan.

And then came the Assumptions.

And the Assumptions were without form.

And darkness was upon the face of the Workers.

And they spoke among themselves, saying, "It is a crock of shit, and it stinketh."

And the workers went unto their Supervisors and said, "It is a pail of dung, and none may abide the odour thereof."

And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying, "It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."

And the Managers went unto their Directors, saying, "It is a vessel of fertiliser, and none may abide its strength."

And the Directors spoke amongst themselves, saying one to another, "It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong."

And the Directors then went onto the Vice Presidents, saying unto them, "It promotes growth and is very powerful."

And the Vice Presidents went unto the President, saying unto him, "This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigour of the company; with powerful effects."

And the President looked upon the Plan, and saw that it was good.

And the Plan became Policy.

This is How Shit Happens.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 April 2020, 00:56:27
Naval Conference, later that day...

"...chose to void the previous Naval Treaties long before Gray Monday, with the excuse of the Quarantine."  Devlin Stone was in a fine form this afternoon.

"Point of order for clarity, Exarch Stone, we only got a working antiviral treatment in the last ten years, unless there's something your laboratories were sitting on for sixty years prior."  Trillian let Sharon speak, "did the Republic of the Sphere have an adequate treatment or vaccine that you weren't sharing for the 21b virus?"

she waited for his response. "is the question indelicate, sir, or is the answer?"

"No.  We didn't."

"I have a letter of understanding here from the Republic Senate, dated October 22, 3085, is this your signature?"  Sharon asked, passing copies around the room while an aide brought the original to the Republic's table.

Stone studied the document carefully.  "Yes."

"In this letter, the position of the Republic of the Sphere on the question of the continued construction and use of Cutters and other jump-capable combat units in maintaining the Quarantine Zone, is this subject addressed?" she asked, "For the education of your fellow delegates from the far side of the Inner Sphere, would you summarize this finding?  This is your government's official position at the time, Exarch Stone."

"I admit at the time, I found it not to be in breach with the Republic Treaties, including the arms limitation law."  Stone said.

"My grandmother left letters for her kids, since she didn't expect to live to see them grow up." Sharon said, "She did, but not their kids.  as a result, I've had to learn about my Grandma Liz the same way any historian does-not with personal interaction, but by reading her statements.  Her view on Treaties versus Contracts is revealing on any number of levels.  Read outright, this letter of understanding would seem to imply the Republic was offering assistance, but you apply Contract language and it's clear that is not at all what was being offered, but in neither diplomat-speak, or contract-lawyer speak, is there any question that the Coast Guard was not a violation of the Republic Treaties-there are some indicators in that letter that you wanted to get Adam Steiner to give you control of the agency-not that you wanted it disbanded.  What was the Archon of the time's response?"

"he declined."

"That's right, he declined to hand over control.  Your claim that the treaties were in breach on OUR side prior to the events of Gray Monday and the Fortress going up are...disingenuous at best, outright fabrications by your own words at worst."  Sharon's tone never left 'calm and reasonable'.

"Which has led to a Kowloonese becoming Chief of Naval Operations for the Lyran Commonwealth, and overseeing a vast arms race!"  Khan Bekker pointed out.

"Yes ma'am." Sharon said.  "I was Drafted, we're doing the best we can, what's your excuse?"

"Sharon. down."  Trillian said.  Admiral Ngo sat down.

"The fact of this matter, is the proposal from the Republic." Trillian said, "not who violated which treaty that is no longer acknowledged by any party, but rather, whether a treaty that will be honored is to be agreed upon.  I have several questions and reservations about Exarch Stone's proposal,  I think if we've all gotten our relative phallic-volumes compared now, we all ought to get down to serious business, ja?"

The Archon leaned forward, placing a hand on the table, "THere are two major points of contention that need to be addressed before any future arms limitations are entertained, the 'elephant in the room'."

Stone glared at Ngo, "Those are?" he asked.

"The war between the Republic, and the Confederation, and the war between the Draconis Combine, and the Federated Suns.  These are ongoing wars, and only a complete and total idiot would think that any arms control agreement will be honored by either side in the middle of a shooting war.  Especially if one side feels threatened and the other is smelling an advantage.  Neither of those conflicts is vital to the interests of the Lyran Commonwealth, however I will state categorically that I will neither sign nor ratify any arms limitation with anyone who is currently party to an ongoing, shooting, real-blood-and-casualties war.  Unlike some of my predecessors, I intend for my treaties to be...contractual, to be upheld both in spirit and practice, and not simply a framework for defining excuses to violate them."



Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 25 April 2020, 01:09:56
Unlike some of my predecessors, I intend for my treaties to be...contractual, to be upheld both in spirit and practice, and not simply a framework for defining excuses to violate them."

HERESY!  :D
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Red Pins on 25 April 2020, 01:18:09
That would be

The Plan


Yep.  And it still applies since my time in the Canadian Reserves.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sir Chaos on 25 April 2020, 04:55:13
Question: Is Daoshen keeping a straight face while Trillian is having fun with Stone?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 April 2020, 05:23:31
Question: Is Daoshen keeping a straight face while Trillian is having fun with Stone?

The Celestial Wisdom is likely keeping a very dignified face up for this, while gleeing silently in public and loudly as soon as he's in private.






Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: JA Baker on 25 April 2020, 06:43:49
I believe that we actually have a live-feed from the conference, and if we can have one of the cameras turn to look at Daoshen Liao?
(https://media.tenor.com/images/1b793071d48eb189865684473f04d10b/tenor.gif)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sir Chaos on 25 April 2020, 06:48:37
The Celestial Wisdom is likely keeping a very dignified face up for this, while gleeing silently in public and loudly as soon as he's in private.

At the very least, I expect him to send Trillian and Sharon a box of chocolate each with a very nice (if anonymous) Thank You card by the time this is over. He hasn´t had this much fun in decades, after all.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 April 2020, 07:11:18
Day three of the summit...

The arrival (late) of the Snow Ravens provided a short interruption in the constant back-and forth, both by arriving late, and by having no visible agenda beyond 'well, we wanted to see what everyone was talking about for ourselves'.

Rear Admiral Emily Falcone found her own duties expanded as a direct result.

"You are of Clan descent, quiaff?"  Khan Lankenau asked.  "How did it feel, going against the Falcons?"

"Good, sir." Emily said firmly, "I am from Hue, our branch of the 'family' was kicked out because of the Arluna Flu.  The sad joke being, the rest of the line of my ancestors was reaved when the Clans went to war on each other."

"Oh?"

"Pershaw, sir."  she said. "Since Hue city is dominated by Kerenskyist social norms, I would have to challenge an existing bloodname holder for the last name, and we do not have any families claiming the name.  No Bloodhouse.  'Falcone' is the generally accepted substitute for a variety of no-longer-existing bloodhouses, it gets more complicated when you acknowledge we have no...trueborn in Hue.  the last generation of pureblood Falcons in Hue died out when I was a little girl.  I believe the closest you'll find on Kowloon are the Icaza-Mosovich family down in the Golden Lake area, and those are half-caste elementals."

"The Pershaws were fairly good pilots, in their day." the Snow Raven SaKhan said, "You at least keep to that tradition."

"Service to the nation is a pretty big deal in Hue and Golden Lake." Emily said amiably.  "We are not...raised in creche's or anything like that, but it is expected to enlist, and to excel." she smiled, "your quarters for your stay." she said, "I broke with some of the family by going Coast Guard instead of Militia or joining the Volunteer Regiments."

"Oh?"

"Dad was a fighter pilot." she said, "excuse me, my gene father flew fighters with the Volunteers, and before that, as a Clan aeropilot."  she grinned, "I got dad's height.  When Sharon and i go on leave, I get to be the pretty one, and she gets to be the winggirl."

"So you have known Admiral ngo for a long time, quiaff?"

"We came up through the ranks together." Emily said, "I was her executive officer on the Marjorie Ngo during her last cruise on the Quarantine line, and was her flag cap when we took the Ia Drang out of the zone to relieve Tharkad in '43."

"What is her relationship like with the current Archon?"  the Snow Raven asked.

Emily thought for a bit as the SaKhan's staff moved into the quarters and swept for bugs. "Complex." she settled on.  "Sharon hates some of her politics, and I doubt they are going drinking in port together...but I would call it a good, solid, relationship of mutual respect.  Friendly-as much as those things go."

"And the Marshall of the Armies, Roderick Steiner? how is her relationship with him?"

"Roderick's one of her stronger backers on the political front." Emily said, "hard-core backer, when the Estates General tries to balk at one of her projects, he's there the next day testifying why it's absolutely necessary, and I know for a fact she often doesn't tell him about the situation before he's moving in support.  He even took some steps to eliminate the positions of some academy profs who were objecting to her methods and positions.  You're asking about Sharon because you're here about our navy."

he gestured to his uniform, "Snow Raven?" he said, "of course I'm here about your navy-there are concerns that the very real progress you are making, will be undone if the result of this conference is what we suspect it is."

"How's that?"

"I have reliable intelligence that Stone's naval program may be installing Caspar control systems on their fleet." he said, "such a system presents a threat to our security in the Raven Alliance, and while there are buffer states, we border the Combine and House Davion, and the Davions have recently signed a mutual treaty with the Republic, if our intelligence is accurate..."

"Another strong naval power in the region helps your security." Emily said.

"exact." he said, "Your disarmament harms our security, so it is felt that our presence can help...alleviate that threat."
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 April 2020, 08:00:02
[out of story: the scorecard]

Lyran Commonwealth: Up and coming Naval power, riding high off the outright defeat of the Mongolized jade falcons and reconquest of the former Jade Falcon OZ.  half-assed alliance/nonaggression pact with the Wolf Empire(composited of WiE and Clan Wolf).  many bricks were shat when the Lyrans turned around and started slinging large numbers of new-build warships in the Falcon War (3147 to 3150).  Probably the largest operational and functioning fleet in human space (the Snow Ravens being the second largest).   Notably, this fleet was constructed after tossing the Revised Uniform Naval Treaty of 3105 into the recycler following the formation of 'Fortress Republic' in the wake of Gray Monday (the sphere wide HPG blackout) and the Republic civil war.

Republic of the Sphere/Fortress Republic/Prefecture X (Devlin Stone): Wants to reimpose limits on Naval expansion, has a known fleet (in mothball) of 91 or more Capital Warships, making them (Prior to 3045) the largest potential fleet, just came out of fifteen years (3135 to 3150) of self imposed isolation.  is reactivating their fleet, but is also pushing for naval disarmament to pre-3130 levels.  Desperate to get the RUNT put back into place and either tap off the excess from the Lyrans, or turn them against their many enemies.

Capellan Confederation: never liked the RUNT (or the Republic Treaty, or the Republic).  Mostly bottlenecked by resource shortages and budget problems, but with one of the most innovative local warship designs in the Inner Sphere.  The Chancellor would really rather the Republic NOT get the Lyrans to help push the sausage back into the casing, and is immensely enjoying the whole event so far.

Free Worlds League: With the LCN's reform and the Lyrans suddenly showing that yes, a massive industrial power CAN build a competent navy, the FWLN is dipping their collective toe into the game, with attempting to rebuild a naval powerbase.  Issues with Regulus, and with the Republic on their border, have forced something of a slow process on them, but at least since the Wolf Empire removed several problem provinces from consideration, they have a national need.  Nikol Marik is keen to try and pry the Lyrans out of their stated Neutrality and onto the FWL's side, (or at least, establish something resembling friendly relations and trade so they can maybe get some side benefits from the Lyran naval building program.) The Free Worlds League has a problem in that they jumped in with both feet, retaking "Republic" worlds as soon as the Fortress cut them off.  Nikol's position and economy suggest the nascent FWL her mother Jessica built from ruins is in mortal danger of being broken up again by a vengeful Republic of the Sphere, and she has little faith that the Capellans CAN help her realm and less trust that they will. (this in spite of personal friendship with Danai Centrella-Liao, including knowing that Danai was raped by Caleb Davion.)

Draconis Combine:  Not happy with having the Republic come in on House Davion's side, but victorious enough that if Coordinator of Worlds Yori Kurita can get peace-talks going, she can declare victory and buy time to rebuild the Combine navy in emulation to what she's seen with the Lyrans.  In particular, her bottleneck is having a single warship-capable yard at Luthien.  (Dieron's was destroyed by retreating Republic troops).  Kurita's position is that if the Lyrans stay neutral, they have a chance at pursuing a cease-fire without it being a death-knell.  If the Lyrans come in with Stone and the Ghost Bears in addition, the Combine faces annihilation and will be forced to fight to the last man-only to fail.  (Having enemies on all sides kind of does that.)  as a realist, Yori Kurita sees zero possibility that the LCN will come in on her side, so she wants the Lyrans to remain neutral.  She has made some inroads into establishing an informal pact with the Free Worlds League against the Republic, and even more establishing a similar informal relationship with House Liao, but counts neither of them as strong enough to help should the Combine face a three-front invasion.

Clan Snow Raven/Raven Alliance: probably the best of the Clan Watch organizations still report to the Snow Raven Khans in the former outworlds alliance area.  as a result, they're 'watching with alarm' as Devlin Stone's people are modifying and reactivating the Republic's mothball fleet, with SDS/Caspar hardware.  lacking the industrial development and raw resources necessary to match a massive build-up of highly automated battleships that their tech people feel is only a few months away, they're counting on having other naval powers available to threaten the Republic and slow the inevitable advance before having to commit warships themselves.

Rassalhague Dominion/Clan Ghost Bear:  Stone's Fandom, big believers in the ideals of the ROTS, major supporters, if Stone asked them to attack the Combine, there would be little hesitation.  the problem the Dominion has, is that their sum fleet consists of two Leviathan battleships and a nice selection of expensive and powerful dropships.  As a ground force, the Ghost Bears are a terror to behold, but as a naval force, they are hampered in comparison with naval powers like the Ravens or the Lyrans.  (Especially the Lyrans).

Federated Suns: took a beating and really, really took a beating.  Needed Republic aid to retake BenjaminRobinson, needed republic aid to blunt CapCon probes and retake New Syrtis.  The Fedsuns has reactivated their warship program, but are hampered by some rather...unique...doctrinal ideas that have resulted in some of the strangest choices in human history, including development of dedicated, jump-capable rams-that is, warships built specifically to be used in ramming attacks at close quarters.  Julian wants a cease fire with the Combine almost as much as Yori wants to give it to him-but for entirely different reasons. To the Federated Suns, a cease-fire is a chance to regain lost capacity after the crushing damage of the Palmyra incident, and a chance to retrench for a counter-offensive to push the Combine into a corner and do to them, what the Lyrans did to the Jade Falcons.  At present, the AFFC is reliant on RAF support and supplies, and is in a besieged mindset.  attempts by Julian to use filial connections to Trillian have failed to manifest in the form of a Lyran Fleet to help his realm against their many enemies, so he's stuck taking aid from Devlin Stone, and some aid from Clan Ghost Bear (Mostly in the form of arms shipments and supplies).

Clan Sea Fox: happily making money from almost all sides of this, they are happily renting refit/repair services to the Ghost Bears, selling weapons to both sides of the Combine/Fedsuns war, cheerfully supplying arms to the Liaos, and also to the Republic, and selling advisory services and weapons to the Free Worlds League (and Regulus.)

Clan Sea Fox's position is that 'war is good for business', notably, they lost a good customer when the Lyrans overran the Jade Falcon Golden Ordun, but this has not harmed their relationship with the Lyran Commonwealth...much.

the insistence by CNO Sharon Ngo not to use foreign sources for the LCN, however, is seen by the sea foxes as a bit of an insult.  (though not enough of one, at present, to merit a military response.)


*edited because I wrote this on sleep dep and mixed up names.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 25 April 2020, 08:39:05
What, the Sea Foxes haven't figured out how to do "local national subsidiaries"?  ???
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 April 2020, 09:28:17
Day 4...

Things had degenerated into a shouting match.  To Trillian's relief, Sharon was continuing to keep her mouth shut, but that didn't stop others from arguing and bickering loudly.

In this case, the bickering was between Yori and Julian, arguing about whether or not to extend the cease-fire, with Stone favoring it-on his terms.

"You're reactivating the Republic's grand fleet, House Davion has begun a crash program of naval rearmament, I can not leave my people unprotected from your aggression!" Yori Kurita was snarling, "which is what your 'proposal' entails!  The Combine has the right to develop our own fleet and technology!!"

"An aggressor state? please!" Stone scoffed, "YOU attacked first!"

"We attacked the Republic, and only after your promises proved to be vacuous! House Davion attempted to invade us!"

"you certainly punished Caleb for that, but you turned around and-"

"And counterattacked! yes, we did that, and you and your Republic allies have recovered. Admirably.  I'm not going to sacrifice the stability and safety of my realm for a cease-fire in hopes that you won't use your alliance as an advantage to attack the Combine.  I'm not an idiot, Julian. Our realms have been at war more often than not for centuries, you're building a new naval power, you have an ally with the largest and most advanced fleet, and they have an ally with a massive and well trained army.  I will not give up the Combine's navy to influence your cousin into giving up hers."  Yori was adamant, "What I will offer, is this: Honor in the matter of the Republic's betrayal of the Combine has been satisfied, the Combine is whole again, and intent on remaining so.  I am offering you the honest chance to end this war on a high note; you've won back what you lost from us-mostly, you can have peace with honor-at least, until you break it with us, and we can go our separate ways."

Yori turned to the assembled delegates, "The Draconis Combine is surrounded on three sides by hostile nations.  some-" she looked to julian, "have reasons, others-" she turned to face Stone, "Ambitions, and still others because we have recent history." she faced Bekker.  "I'm offering peace, but i will not disarm my people while surrounded by enemies who wish us harm."

Julian glared at her, "Why now?"

"ask your cousin why her Chief of Naval Operations so desperately wants to seek beyond the periphery." Yori said, "I believe the Lyrans know there is another enemy-like the Clans, out there, one nobody here is prepared for. I do not want to repeat Takeshi's mistake, so I will offer you a break from this...conflict, to fortify my own nation, and invest in our own reconaissance to discover this invader before they devour our nation."

"Who was it that saved the combine last time?" Julian asked.

"That was a different time, Julian." She said.  "I sincerely doubt you would come to our aid as Hanse or Victor did, and even if I could believe, my position would remain unchanged.  Take the peace that is offered, and we can all hope I'm wrong, but the Combine will not be unprepared again."

Sharon got to her feet, "Highness, I'm not feeling well, I'll be outside." she muttered.

"go ahead." Trillian said.

"Wait! what is she talking about??" Nikol Marik demanded.

sharon hurried without answering, from the room.

"is there something you're not sharing?" Bekker demanded.

"I-dammit, Sharon!" Trillian looked helplessly at the closed hatch, before turning to the others.  "This is a long story but the summary is, one of the Coast Guard patrols may have found...anomalous artifacts...almost twelve years ago.  I haven't let Sharon go looking, I understand she's commented on it before, but-"

"So there is something to it?" Danai Centrella Liao asked.

"We're still looking into the matter-why are you all staring at me? it could have been a prank!"

"but you don't know." Nikol said, "do you?"

"not definitively, no."

"Why haven't you shared this intelligence with us!?"

"because it's not intelligence-at least, not yet!"

SaKhan Lankeneau of the Snow Ravens stood, "What do you have?"

"a crash site, some physical samples, some dried up bodies...but the site's centuries old, and nothing concrete so far that can even indicate that the point of origin is the right point of origin...it's Sharon's hobby project, maybe you should ask her."

"Where is she, where did she go in such a hurry?" Daoshen Liao asked, in spite of himself intrigued.

"Outside.  she goes outside when she needs to...meditate? think? I'm not sure where she'll be out there, but I feel like I need to defend my Admiral from this-"

"I move that we debate a requirement that the Lyrans share their naval technology and all samples of this 'alien' culture."  Julian announced, and turned to Yori, "your proposal is accepted, let's draw up a peace treaty, but only if you back me on getting this information they're sitting on to everyone."

"Acceptable.  The Draconis Combine seconds the Federated Suns position on all data pertaining to possible extraterrestrial nonhuman intelligences."

"Does this mean we are convening a Star League again?"  SaKhan Lankeneau asked.

"More like a Whitting Conference. I oppose the demand that the Lyrans share their naval technologies, but support international pressures to require they release all data on extraterrestrial entities of nonhuman nature." Daoshen said, "and categorically a uniform declaration that the previous naval treaties be rendered the dustbin they deserve to be.  Stone gets nothing, and the Confederation will give the Federated Suns a peace on their border.  as Admiral Ngo pointed out four days ago, the Republic is nothing but a collection of used up worlds with a trillion or so welfare recipients, and there may be more important considerations than the national pride of holding what has been drained of worth by centuries of war."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 April 2020, 09:47:03
Outside.

Sharon floated in the black.

"you want to go.  I know you do." her grandfather floated in front of her, Nathan Roshak as he was in the last years of his life.  "You have a duty, Sharon. Patrick doesn't have your imagination, your potential.  as much as you want to go out there and see what hasn't been seen before, you have a duty to your people, and I know it's hard."

suction tubes in her helmet scavenged tears as she floated.  "people rely on us, Sharon.  we have to be strong for them."

the humiliation she felt was real.  they're going to call me a crank, a fool, a dupe.  everything I've built will be torn down because of...

she remembered the mockery and the teasing as a child, when she admitted to believing that humanity couldn't be god's only children.  the sarcasm from teachers who insisted on Fermi's paradox and a human-centric universe, the jokes in training and in the field.

nobody is going to believe it, even with what we found.  she was certain someone would accuse her of creating the hoax.

and it would hurt everything she's worked so hard for, everything she built.  they'll never forgive me for this, because they'll never believe it's not a hoax, not without that first contact!

she reached up to the helmet latch.

"Sharon! come inside, We need to talk!"  Trillian's override on her suit radio-the overrides were something Sharon had insisted on.  "Come inside, Admiral, right NOW!!"

she lowered her hand, and the helmet latch clicked back into place. 

"Aye mum." she said.

"People are depending on you, to be strong, Sharon. don't disappoint them." Grandfather's voice in her head, sounding sad.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: idea weenie on 25 April 2020, 09:52:48
What, the Sea Foxes haven't figured out how to do "local national subsidiaries"?  ??? 

Or pull a Ngo, where they set up a local company manufacturing something that the LCN will need, but using Clantech so they can make it cheaper and faster.  The items needed to maintain/repair/replace that Clantech though, are carefully controlled.  So if the LCN does go to war, they will confiscate the factories, but after a few months those factories will be work down and useless.

It likely would have worked better under the old LCN, as Sharon will likely spot what they are doing.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 25 April 2020, 10:52:11
The don't need clan tech to make money, though...
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: qc mech3 on 25 April 2020, 12:22:55
Frankly, the only thing the Sea fox can offer the LC/LA is Hargel for their BA or ships. I can even see Sharon be pragmatic enough to accept it on some of her ships as a peace contract.

And the Sea fox could them discover the 35th rule of acquisition in that sector.  ;D :))
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 25 April 2020, 12:24:55
I don't think Sharon would go for Hargel she couldn't get domestically.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Red Pins on 25 April 2020, 12:44:14
Twycross?  No, that became a sea fox holding, didn't it?  Still, they could prospect for it.  Isn't there a theory that near-stellar neighbours will have similar ecologies from asteroid impacts, etc.?
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: idea weenie on 25 April 2020, 13:49:41
The don't need clan tech to make money, though...

But they can exploit Clantech to make their profit margins better, or make their competitors' profit margins smaller.  Then as their competitors start to go under, they buy up shares in their competitors to slowly but steadily expand their economic control, though this could be accused of setting up a monopoly.  The other option could be to go with vertical integration (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_integration), where the Sea Foxes own the entire process from prospecting, mining, refining, mixing, and manufacturing.  They could purchase a steel refinery and still sell the material to their competitors, but internally the steel is sold for its actual cost (and internal purchasers have dibs on output).
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 25 April 2020, 15:39:27
Or pull a Ngo, where they set up a local company manufacturing something that the LCN will need, but using Clantech so they can make it cheaper and faster.  The items needed to maintain/repair/replace that Clantech though, are carefully controlled.  So if the LCN does go to war, they will confiscate the factories, but after a few months those factories will be work down and useless.

It likely would have worked better under the old LCN, as Sharon will likely spot what they are doing.

they're already doing this in the Chainelane Isles, which they've invested heavily in going by canon. (no reasonto assume that would be different here). that same canon has it that they also own factories in most of the successor states, in whole or in part, and it is likely that much of the clantech used by the Fedsuns and Republic is actually being produced at sites they helped upgrade or build by companies where the Foxes have partial ownership of the company. (probably by way of having just bought smaller companies outright and buying stock in others)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Smegish on 25 April 2020, 19:35:01
[out of story: the scorecard]

*Snip*

Federated Suns: took a beating and really, really took a beating.  Needed Republic aid to retake Benjamin....

Is that supposed to be Benjamin, or Robinson? Because Benjamin is a LONG way from traditional FS territory.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 April 2020, 20:12:32
Is that supposed to be Benjamin, or Robinson? Because Benjamin is a LONG way from traditional FS territory.

in my defense, I hadn't slept before writing that entry. edited.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 April 2020, 23:55:26
Laboratory Module 183, Tharkad Naval Shipyard...

"This is it."  Admiral Ngo said, gesturing to the open doorway.  "Everything we had as of six months ago, archived."

"It violates your personal space limits, I see." He said.

"It's not my property." Sharon said.  Stone floated through the hatch, followed by Yori Kurita and Daoshen Liao.

"Then whose is it?"  Yori asked.

"Nobody's, everybody's." she answered hollowly, as Julian Davion followed them in.

There were boxes of survey reports lining the walls, collections of evidence, bagged and tagged with Kowloon's Coast Guard Marine evidence seals.

"Everything from the crash site that could be retrieved and catalogued."  Sharon added, "Except the stuff that's still in analysis."

Yori lifted the gold disc, eyeing it carefully.  "Analogue?" she asked.

"Parts of it." Sharon said, "Figuring out how to play it took some work back at Spider Moon.  it's just like the ones our ancestors put on probes back in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries."

"All from an alien civilization?"  Yori asked.

"That's what we're still trying to determine." Sharon told the Coordinator.  "It could be a hoax, it could be a prank...except for the bodies."

"Where are the bodies?"  Stone asked.

"Down one level." Sharon said, "indefinite in every way, except for being dead for a very long time."

"You've been sitting on this?" Julian Davion demanded.

"Evidence." Sharon said.  "is it evidence of aliens, or evidence of a hoax?  how much is it worth to even bring it up?"  she seemed less dynamic.

"This is everything from six months ago? what has happened since?"  Devlin Stone asked.

"My uncle authorized a mission to trace it back to the point of origin shown on the disc there." Sharon said, "it will be six months from now before they get there...and I'm stuck here, waiting for word, like everyone else."

"Did Trillian authorize this?" Devlin Stone asked.

Sharon stared at him.  "Would it matter if she didn't?  He didn't even wait for me to authorize it.  There's no guarantee they'll even find anything."

Julian held a confused look on his face, and Nikol Marik, who entered last, said, "You're afraid of what they're going to find.  Why?"

"The best Coast Guard OCB can determine, the crash wasn't an accident." Sharon said, "the remains of antishipping missiles were uncovered on some portions of the wreck.  if it was real, the aliens were shot down by the Star League Defense Forces.  If it wasn't, then who fabricated an alien hoax, and why?"

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 26 April 2020, 00:41:31
Oh, that government that fell?  Might have started an interstellar war that you are just finding out.  And you don't know if the guys that shot have already found out what happened.

OTOH, Stone is about to regret declaring any knowledge of ET was to be common to all mankind.  Because the other States at this conference?  Are going to demand his people ransack the remaining First Star League archives for any information on this shoot down.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 26 April 2020, 03:10:20
"Star League? when?"  Yori laid the disc on a player set up by one of the techs.

"About concurrent with the Amaris takeover." Sharon said, "Near as we can tell based on isotope decays, anyway.  That shit's not as exact as we'd like, plus or minus is about fifty years."

the coordinator hit a button on the console, and music swelled in the lab module.

it was familiar, but at the same time alien. 

"They were explorers."  Nikol said,  "Weren't they?"

"That's our working hypothesis, yeah." Admiral Ngo's tone was sad. 

"Your uncle sent the mission, and didn't ask, because you wanted to go." Yori Kurita said, "isn't that right?  you wanted to be the one to go-in the recording, you said you wanted to be remembered with Armstrong, and Kearney, and Pathfinder."

"It's someone else's now." Sharon said.  "If they even find it.  there's a possible stellar cluster past a nebula on the course shown-well off of anyone's colonization pattern, far from the Inner Sphere or the Kerensky cluster, a year or so by cutter, maybe six months by something faster."

"What about follow up missions?"  Khan Lankeneau asked.  "Tell me you aren't letting your people hang unsupported because of petty jealousy."

Sharon rolled her eyes, "that's your objection? four squadrons of cutters, with tenders and engineering teams are part of that mission-Patrick didn't send one ship by themselves, the survey tasks alone, identifying probable candidate systems, finding and locating radio-shells?  Trillian needs the fleet here, at least until it's clear none of you are going to be attacking, or in case she decides to give in to Julian or one of the others and go to war again."

"How many ships are you talking about?"  Yori asked.

"a Squadron is twenty ships." Sharon said, "Sixteen cutters and four tenders-Tenders being your basic six-collar dropship hauler, in this case carrying fuel and consumables transports.  four of those is a cutter Divsion.  Pat sent a full division of cutters out.  so somewhere out there, are eighty ships, looking for probable source worlds for that probe."

"and they could be looking faster, if they were proper Warships." Lankeneau commented.

"Yep." Sharon said, "But see, the Coast Guard doesn't own proper warships-the Landmark class were all handed to LCN when I needed to reform the Navy, and the LCN's owns future production at all eight yards, until fiscal year 3160."

"I'm not sure I like the idea that our future security is being handled by a regional militia, one that is under-armed and, pardon my saying so, slow." Daoshen commented.  "I have seen the spec-sheets on those cutters."

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 26 April 2020, 05:10:58
April 11, 3154...

"We have a temporary peace, Sharon.  Good work."  Trillian Steiner said.

"It wasn't my work." Admiral Sharon Ngo said, as they walked to the Throne Room. 

"You facilitated.  Stone didn't get what he wanted from us, we got what we wanted from the rest of them.  it's a win."

"Stone didn't get what he wanted, because he didn't want it anymore."  Sharon pointed out.  "if anyone 'won' it's Yori Kurita-she got a comprehensive cease-fire and a nonaggresion pact with the FedSuns and the Raven Alliance, Julian got breathing room and technical assistance from the Republic, Nikol Marik got the Republic to promise to refrain from retaking worlds from the Free Worlds League, Daoshen got to see Stone humiliated for three days and then got a distraction spelled 'aliens', Alaric got time to plan his build-up for the invasion of Earth, Bekker got a new set of wars to plan defending Stone and his Republic, plus time to plan it."

"Succinct, accurate..."

"Can I resign now?" Sharon asked.

"I need you to head up another project, Sharon." Trillian told her.

"Which is?"

"Exploration.  With Comstar being permanently out of the business, peace on most of our inhabited borders and nobody treating the Commonwealth like a threat or barrier at the moment, I want you to start drafting guidelines for exploration missions and survey.  There is a hell of a lot of former Rim Worlds out there who've gone fallow, lost colonies and nobody knows what's going on with the Kerensky Cluster except that the Sea Foxes aren't talking about it.  Yori wasn't wrong-there are plenty of potential threats out there that nobody is positioned to deal with...and it's something you want, and you've earned a boon."

"Em will make a great CNO." Sharon said.

"I hope so...you haven't been wrong on your personnel recommendations thus far."

"When can I leave?"

"Oh, as soon as your ride is out of the shipyard, I expect." Trillian told her, "We're having some problems working out what a proper 'science vessel' really involves, you might stop off at Semier, and give some input, ja?"

End Record.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 26 April 2020, 06:12:32
A Ngo with a happy ending?  I like.

Somewhere I did a thread about kitting up a Vincent for a five-year exploration mission, which evolved into kitting out a Cruiser class cruiser instead, which is where we ended up having to errata the official Cruiser class' cargo hold 'cause it was like 50-60kt too big.  Fun times.

Looking forward to seeing what Sharon comes up with, and where this goes next.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 26 April 2020, 07:12:19
A Ngo with a happy ending?  I like.

Somewhere I did a thread about kitting up a Vincent for a five-year exploration mission, which evolved into kitting out a Cruiser class cruiser instead, which is where we ended up having to errata the official Cruiser class' cargo hold 'cause it was like 50-60kt too big.  Fun times.

Looking forward to seeing what Sharon comes up with, and where this goes next.

I'm presently resisting the urge to turn this into a proper playground, with lots of non-canon designs and special rules, and maps.

Of course, to do that, would require lots of work, and I'm not sure anyone would be interested in PLAYING in this playground.

I'm pretty sure I got the characterizations completely, totally, and utterly wrong on the canon figures.  I was working off of Sarna entries, rather than canon sources.

I changed the timeline, but while in canon, everyone is waiting for Stone to save them...in my stuff? "Not so much".

spending a decade with ruined interstellar comms, and you figure out how to live without Comstar.  (No, seriously, you do.)  Spend a decade with 'Fortress Republic' and you also learn how to live without pronouncements from on-high out of Earth. 

this isn't to say I didn't try to keep to some essentials, like there still being 'Fans of Devlin Stone' in positions of power among the Ghost Bears (and a few others).

Writing out the Jade Falcons wasn't that hard.  They're my favorite Clan, but the massive villain decay known as "Malvina" pretty much killed that right the ****** off.  Clan Jade Falcon tossing everything that defined them to be cardboard baddies just didn't do anything positive for me.  I want my villains to be at least reasonably intelligent, and Malvina's Mongols just aren't.

On the other hand, they do make for a good prelim-bum for the (now with 99% more rationality) Lyran Navy to mud-stomp without so much as a flicker of regret on my part.  (Credit to Weismann and co. at Wizkids-they managed to simultaneously make the Mongol-Falcons dangerous while also making them boring enough to destroy off-screen.  good job, guys.  It takes a lot of work and talent to make me not care about the designated bad guys that much, to the point of not caring about their perspective even when they're losing... normally writers try to create an emotional response, and they have with what they did to the Jade Falcons, the emotion is a mix of antipathy, and absolute apathy for me.)

mind that I only cared slightly more for the Wolves-enough to give them a few token scenes and an off-stage role that rapidly went to becoming supernumerary to the main story.

mainly on account of no longer giving a damn about the wonderously-wonderfully-wonderful wolves.  Again, someone else might like them, but on the apathy scale the DA Wolves only pull ahead of the Mongolfalcons by a nose-and only because I had to actually account for them, but didn't feel so much apathy and antipathy that I actively wanted to make them gone.

on the flip side, using RONC and looking over the past-as-Sarna-presents, (and the past as Wizkids presented with MWDA), my version of Stone and The Republic are probably kinkier and more interesting (in a less "Spotless hero who is always entirely and totally justified in every shitty thing they do" way) than the canon.  Basically in my version, the ROTS is doing dirty, shitty things to their 'allies' up until Stone Retired because they thought they needed to in order to not have the neighbours wake up one day and realize "Hey, we don't need these ****** messing with our internal policies and foreign relations!"

basically using underhanded moves to keep everyone dependent on the Republic for their economic and/or political stability-right up until Gray Monday.  The real impact of Fortress Republic in THIS setting, was that some folks actually noticed, and a few (Who weren't Daoshen Liao who'd been telling anyone who would listen about it for sixty years) put two-and-two together and realized they'd been suckers, and that they could live without the services Terra wasn't providing anymore thanks to that Hyperspace Wall around Prefecture X.

This didn't mean Devlin Stone's name isn't still magic.  I struggled a lot with how to show it, and still didn't get it right-but part of why Trillian could get so many national leaders to show up on Tharkad, is that every one of them, except Max, still admires the Legend of Devlin Stone and secretly (or in Bekker's case, openly) wants to believe that legend is real, is still real, and is still really real.

including Trillian.

Sharon, of course, wasn't one of those admirers.  But she's Kowloonese, and she's a Ngo, and she really never had much use for Earth any more than Liz had any personal stake in the Star League.

so I made Stone insightful enough to NOT be holding the idiot ball, and at the end here, let him salvage some of that Legend and position himself well.

Yes, I left the question open on what the expedition (done almost entirely off-screen) finds.  Battletech, even fanfic Battletech, needs to have mysteries and unsolved threads.  even unsolvable ones. (Glares menacingly at the guys who decided to resolve the Wolverine thing).

it simply isn't the same when you give the solution to the puzzle before you present the rest of the puzzle.

it's like rattling off the punchline before you finish telling the joke.

Sharon, like Liz before her, is a totally obnoxious marysue.  Not self-insert (she'd need to be a tall, skinny white dude for that) but totally a marysue. Nobody is that awesome, ever.  If you liked her, you should be ashamed.  After all, she is not a 'mechwarrior.

nor does she play one on tri-dee.

shame on you all. ;)

that said, the ending here; they've got a peace that will last probably two years in-setting before someone drops the soap again.  y'see, things aren't actually peaceful. Yori might be ready to buckle down for some serious reconstruction and reoganization (with a side order of financing exploration missions) but the Davions got hurt at Palmyra.  Twenty percent of their standing army died there, including a first prince, they lost a huge chunk of territory including Robinson (it was temporary, but still, they LOST).  if nothing else, Julian may have to tear up the cease-fire simply to not be de-throned by someone who will.

Stone might've let the Lyran naval buildup slide-but that's temporary, having everyone but the guy you're actively supporting and the gal with a two-ship battlefleet against you at a multination summit when you're used to being enshrined as the hero of all? yeah.  he did the survivor thing, let the distraction proliferate and took advantage, but he's still going to want to be High King again.

If nothing else, Daoshen probably isn't gonna let him off for long, and there's Alaric and the Wolves looking for IlClan-hood.

There is going to be a fight.  Who starts it isn't guaranteed, but who gets dragged in?  can you say 'everybody'??  because sooner or later, it will be everybody.

War, after all, isn't the answer, it's the question, and somehow, in the universe of Battletech, the answer tends to end up being 'yes'.

Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Daryk on 26 April 2020, 07:22:02
So... will she name the ship "ENTERPRISE? ???  :D
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Sharpnel on 26 April 2020, 07:39:55
A Ngo with a happy ending?  I like.


Sharon's story is not over yet, so there is time for a tragic end courtesy of an alien phaser or lightsabre.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 26 April 2020, 08:04:17
[afterword continued]

Frederic Steiner (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=68902.msg1598708#msg1598708) class battleship

Hulls:
Panzerschiffe 1/BB 001: LCS Frederic Steiner
Panzerschiffe 2/BB 002: LCS Hermann Steiner
Panzerschiffe 3/BB 003: LCS Cynthia Steiner
Panzerschiffe 4/BB 004: LCS Jonathan Steiner
Panzerschiffe 5/BB 005: LCS Kailen Steiner
Panzerschiffe 6/BB 006: LCS Tatyana Steiner
Panzerschiffe 7/BB 007: LCS Ross Steiner
Panzerschiffe 8/BB 008: LCS Nondi Steiner

Marsden II (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=69058.msg1601792#msg1601792) class Cruiser.

Fregatteschwer 1/CB 101: LCS Marsden
Fregatteschwer 2/CB 102: LCS Donegal
Fregatteschwer 3/CB 103: LCS Buena
Fregatteschwer 4/CB 104: LCS Pandora
Fregatteschwer 5/CB 205: LCS Sudeten
Fregatteschwer 6/CB 206: LCS Timehri
Fregatteschwer 7/CB 207: LCS Mandoaarau
Fregatteschwer 8/CB 208: LCS Anembo

Fregatteschwer 9/CB 301: LCS Kowloon
Fregatteschwer 10/CB 302: LCS Arluna
Fregatteschwer 11/CB 303: LCS Winter
Fregatteschwer 12/CB 304: LCS Hood IV
Fregatteschwer 13/CB 405: LCS Inarcs
Fregatteschwer 14/CB 406: LCS Jerangle
Fregatteschwer 15/CB 407: LCS Twycross
Fregatteschwer 16/CB 408: LCS Kwangchowwang

Hull coding for Marsden II hull numbers: there is the yard production number, which corresponds to when it was built.  this number does not appear on the final vessel.  the CB number is coded as follows: 
First number in the 3 digit CB code indicates which battleship group a given cruiser is assigned to.  The final number indicates order of commission.

in the case of LCS Kowloon, this cruiser is assigned to the Cynthia Steiner's battlegroup, and is the first cruiser from the second block of Marsden II's constructed for the Lyran Commonwealth Navy.  Hence, CB 301.

with eight shipyards producing in parallel, Marsden II's are generated in groups of eight, however, for production paperwork purposes, the "Fregatteschwer" number is applied until the vessel is completed and named.

Battleships without Cruisers in their groups are awaiting completion of the Marsden II contract in 3160, at which time, the proportion will be 4 Cruisers for each Frederic Steiner battleship, with assigned destroyer support of sixteen destroyers (one squadron) per group.

at which time, the Cutter squadrons assigned to support Battleships without full groups, will be transferred back to Coast Guard or training duty roles that focus on local defense and quick reaction forces.

Each 'flag command' will then be assigned to a regional position within the Commonwealth, with two battleship groups tasked with supporting exploration and colonization on the antispinward periphery of the Commonwealth, as well as 'show the flag' missions to near-periphery states and other duties.  this designation will rotate periodically to provide active service in peacetime and prevent 'neglect rot' in the ranks of the Fleet.

in peactime, one flag command will stand down every 2 years for refit and updates, at which time component crew will be tasked with assisting shipyard personnel in making updates and changes as technology and mission requirements change.

Note: Initially, on approval, the Cruisers were to be named for families related to the Steiners, however, after the first hull (CB 101) was launched, a lobbyist in the Estates General managed to pass a resolution to name all subsequent cruisers after worlds in the Commonwealth-including worlds recently liberated from Clan Jade Falcon.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 26 April 2020, 08:30:37
[addendum: Other Nations]

this isn't a comprehensive list, but this is the guy who won the design challenge.

Kaga Class (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=68968.msg1599701#msg1599701) Carrier

DCS Kaga
DCS Hiryu
DCS Shokaku
DCS Mitsu

House Davion didn't let themselves fall TOO far behind, although their 'solution' was...er...well...it fits with prior experience!

Kentares (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=68924.msg1599102#msg1599102) class Naval Ram

FSS Kentares
FSS Antrim
FSS Covenant
FSS Guardian
FSS Avalon
FSS Lucien Davion II
FSS George Hasek
FSS Palmyra

With Fox class production restarted (albeit hesitantly), each Fox class corvette has four of these vessels assigned as part of a battlegroup.

but wait, there's MORE.  in Emulation of the Lyran success with region-based Coast Guards, by order of First Prince Julian Davion (and with some rather stern opposition from much of his naval staff), a program to both increase shipyard space, and provide supplementary defensive vessels to the FSN (as well as bulk out the navy at somewhat reduced expense-at least in the short term), a program to develop a "Kowloon style Cutter" force was initiated.

The entries can be found Here

Cutters for Davion (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=69096.0)

as of the ending of this story, a finalist has not been determined, much to the hidden joy of Boeing and the rather annoyed chagrin of the First Prince.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: mikecj on 26 April 2020, 20:47:21
I uess he missed the meo about the rest of Sharon's reforms
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: kindalas on 27 April 2020, 01:33:16
I'm presently resisting the urge to turn this into a proper playground, with lots of non-canon designs and special rules, and maps.

Of course, to do that, would require lots of work, and I'm not sure anyone would be interested in PLAYING in this playground.


I'd make a mess in that playground.

Especially if I can keep writing fluff and small IC fiction sidebars to go with it.
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: Cannonshop on 31 May 2020, 14:03:08
Continued in "The Advisor" (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?action=post;msg=1603228;topic=69139.0)
Title: Re: The Administrator
Post by: idea weenie on 01 June 2020, 02:00:37
Continued in "The Advisor" (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?action=post;msg=1603228;topic=69139.0)

Your link gets an error saying we are trying to make a post.

Here is a link to "The advisor"
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=69139.0