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Author Topic: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...  (Read 42258 times)

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #60 on: 29 September 2022, 13:48:33 »
The ceremony was set for 19:30 hours local time...

Duke Dinh Ngo used a walking stick of Elbar Bluewood, capped with silver. It wasn't entirely decorative, his ordeal left him weakened, and he chose not to avail himself of cosmetics for the holovids, so his pallor and shocked-white hair blazed over the conservative, blue business suit as he shuffled uneasily to the position before the throne.

When he had been taken, the suit was tailored to fit.  now it hung over rack-like frame, dissheveled by the simple fact it was wrapped around the skeletal remains of the man arrested by Lohengrin three years ago.

Everything is a statement, from the choice NOT to conceal his injury, to the choice of the old "Lyre" symbol for his armband instead of the rampant fist.  (both are authorized and legal, but the older symbol is usually associated with more...conservative...types.)

When he gave his oath, it was with a rasping, soft gasping voice.  There would be no hiding that this was a man who spent three years being tortured, and held out.  as a political move, Dinh couldn't have chosen a stronger indictment of the former Archon's rule without showing up in prison togs, with bruises and wounds on display.

His oath was short, an older formula of swearing allegiance to the realm and to the office of the Archon.  A form that Katrina herself preferred over personal claims of fealty.

the ceremony lasted only a few minutes, the meetings after, would be done behind closed doors.

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

idea weenie

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #61 on: 29 September 2022, 15:56:04 »
One fun idea in the meantime would be letting the ship get the right to vote.  It certainly is old enough, and with rules of 'one intelligence = 1 vote' it won't swamp an election.

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #62 on: 29 September 2022, 18:36:33 »
A form that Katrina herself preferred over personal claims of fealty.
That says more about Katrina's character than anyone has EVER said, and I totally approve!  :thumbsup:

glitterboy2098

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #63 on: 29 September 2022, 21:45:53 »
also says a lot about her granddaughter who tried to appropriate her name, as well, given she preferred the personal ones.

arcticwyrm245

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #64 on: 29 September 2022, 22:26:49 »
Hmm, definitely seeing the seeds that led to the many different Lizs. Really looking forward to what develops as the story goes.

drakensis

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #65 on: 30 September 2022, 01:32:37 »
also says a lot about her granddaughter who tried to appropriate her name, as well, given she preferred the personal ones.
Katherine, the famous clothes-horse - Katrina, who preferred military uniform without rank badges or medals.
Katherine, never served a day in her life - Katrina, overcame poor health to become a mechwarrior and rose to general on merit
Katherine, demanding personal fealty - Katrina, putting the realm first to the point of abdicating when she felt she could no longer rule effectively

I can see how people might get them confused.
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David CGB

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #66 on: 30 September 2022, 02:05:02 »
Katherine, the famous clothes-horse - Katrina, who preferred military uniform without rank badges or medals.
Katherine, never served a day in her life - Katrina, overcame poor health to become a mechwarrior and rose to general on merit
Katherine, demanding personal fealty - Katrina, putting the realm first to the point of abdicating when she felt she could no longer rule effectively

I can see how people might get them confused.
Only a little bit here and there
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Luciora

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #67 on: 30 September 2022, 10:08:49 »
Katherine, who never served a day in her life.  Boot to the head.  *WHOOOOOMP*

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #68 on: 30 September 2022, 10:28:48 »
The images were remarkably clear...

...and not quite the surprise that they'd expected.

"I hope you didn't get those through the HPG network." Dinh quipped as he laid the imagery back on the table.

"So you have an explanation, Dinh?" Archon Katrina asked, "I mean, I wouldn't be shocked if you did, your people were very resourceful covering for Arthur and I...but this ship wasn't there before you were taken."

"No, it  wasn't." Dinh agreed.  "As you know, Highness, my family's firm has been quite...fortunate with our salvage efforts on behalf of the realm."

"So it is a salvage item? why didn't your people report it?" Arthur asked from the side.

"Because there are complications. Annie told me about it this morning."  Dinh stated, "I would've had Truk brief you in, but he barely knows more than I do-the ship was salvaged by free spacers affiliated loosely with our Rockjack community, and you KNOW I'm not privy to all of their secrets, including ties to The Folk."

"That's a lie." Katrina stated, "Please, don't do that, Dinh, we're friends here.  You know more than you've ever admitted about The Folk, it's why your system always has free-spacer traffic, even when there's nobody worth trading with.  What's so special about THIS ONE?"

Dinh flinched a little, "Are we completely confidential here?" he asked.

"Yes."

"It's operational." he stated, "All of it, including the advanced Nirasaki computers."

"Nirasaki...it's a lola II hull, those were Mac Terra..."

"Not the M-5 models." Dinh stated.

"you've got a Caspar??"

"I don't have one, Sithers-Deen mining has one."  Dinh corrected Arthur, "Admittedly, it's parked in my solar system, but it's not my find or recovery.  Jaina Sithers-Deen 407's people only told Anna about it because they're still arguing over whether to report the find, or not."

"What's the hold up?" Katrina asked.

"It's operational, according to my wife in her role as counsel for our spacer community in the Kowloon system, it's sapient-as in fully passing the Turing and Brinks-Barre tests for self-aware, self-willed lifeforms.  They're arguing whether or not to offer it Refugee status under the system's constitution, a move that is sure to bring nasty levels of negative attention from, among others, anyone in the Sol system who still remembers that the Hegemony paid for the construction of those ships."

Arthur was stunned, "Refugee...status? HOW?? It's a Killer Robot!!"

"a killer robot that is as self aware as a human being." Dinh clarified, "The Rockjacks cling to some of our old ways-the Elbar Declaration, and two and a half centuries of fighting Rim Worlds Slavery, if a being fits the qualities of intelligent life that is self-willed..."

"Slavery." Katrina nodded, "I understand now.  They are afraid turning it over is going to be tantamount to slave trading-at least, at the moral level."

"Yes."  Dinh said, "You grasp the problem exactly your Highness.  The Idealists who wrote my people's original constitutional charter used a mental, as opposed to physical, definition for 'person'...and that 'killer robot' fits that definition, and our Rockjacks are VERY traditional-it hasn't attacked any Lyran ships or shipping, it has committed no crime..."

"So they don't want to turn it over because of a moral issue." Arthur mused, "One that ninety nine percent of the human race would overlook."

"Yes.  The scary part, is that the thing is self-willed, they've tested it extensively, and my Brother did a series of interviews with it.  it HAS directives it's ignoring-it's intelligent enough to overcome hardwired orders, that makes it a person by the lights of the people most capable of taking it down...in fact, the brief Anna gave me defines it as a 'victim of a war crime', and notes that the vessel's lack of self-repair capability and lack of self-maintenance makes it class four disabled-like a double amputee or quadruplegic accident victim."

"What happens if you assert your powers as Duke and seize it?" Arthur asked.

"I'll have half a billion people in revolt within hours, and the last time those folks revolted, they dropped rocks on the Rim Worlds Garrison in twenty-seven-sixty-nine." Dinh asserted, "I don't know about you, but I'm not real hot to have to fight a civil war in the deep orbitals against people who are flat out better at it than ninety nine percent of the people who might be tasked with fighting them because they LIVE THERE."

"give me a solution that keeps the peace, Dinh." Katrina urged.

"First, make sure no references get on the HPG network." Dinh said, "Then, I suggest putting some funds into shipyard construction, we should bring back the Navy before the next time we have to fight the Combine or the Free Worlders.  it's a warship, it might be enticed to join a navy...but that predicates on the Commonwealth HAVING a navy to join."

"Can you find tooling to bring ANY of our shipyards back from the dead?" she asked.

"I think so. It's an engineering problem and I'm a trained engineer." Dinh stated, "The only reason I haven't proposed this before, is because, frankly, the risk is really high and there's been no real emphasis on the idea-so no customers."

"where are you going to find the machinery?" Arthur pressed, "your family is a salvage outfit-"

"We're confidential?" Dinh asked.

"Yes."

"We haven't 'found' any technology in eighty years.  Those Rockjacks? they're my industrial base." Dinh asserted, "As in 'why we don't get hit by pirates every fortnite' and why Kowloon hasn't been visited by nuclear fireballs like every OTHER industrial world that looks like they're recovering technology-as long as we're publicly seen as 'lucky salvagers' the freak accidents that plague most of our customers just...pass us by."

"Can you build it?" Katrina asked, "I mean, spares for a Lola-II class destroyer?"

"Maybe in five to ten years, if we've got the investment.  I'd like to suggest starting with something less...smaller scale, something that looks 'natural'." Dinh stated, "It will get the workforces trained and we can shake out the bugs and problems better.  Something Corvette-scale maybe, with an initial investment in off-the-shelf parts that are already in production for other types, maybe even some genuinely obsolete components that will slip under the radar of foreign intelligence services.  That buys us time to build up the skill base and re-learn the engineering principles we've lost."

"How much will it cost?" Her Majesty asked.

"I'm not sure." Dinh stated, "It will be expensive, I know that already. We're going to have to reinvent manufacturing processes and design engineering work, and it can't be done in the open-at least, not until we've got something to show that's moderately useful for mass production."

"why NOT in the open?" Arthur asked.

"because it makes wherever we do it, a prime target for every other space-capable political faction in human space." Katrina suggested, "Am I correct?"

"Yes Majesty." Dinh said, "My folks have managed to avoid the worst of the succession wars, but that ends the moment anyone figures out what we're actually capable of trying.  you know, it helps that Kowloon's in a crowded binary, makes for a long approach and rough transitions for anyone who doesn't stop in regularly..."

"I'll start with one hundred fifty billion Kroner." Katrina said, "That's your budget. Build what you can and as much of it as possible, it's black budget."

"Katrina!" Arthur gasped, "are you sure?"

"Yes." she said, "Dinh here, broke four interrogators in three years, without knowing if either of us would come back.  His loyalty is beyond question...now I want to see this ability you claimed he has...and interstellar nations need shipping to remain nations-which means we need a navy, and if this gives us a head-start on the rest of the Inner Sphere all the better."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Zakharra

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #69 on: 30 September 2022, 11:09:09 »
Damn, a leader that finally gets it. Very nice and it's good to see sane leadership by the Lyrans. Katrina's preference on swearing allegiance to the realm over the sovereign is very much understated. All other leaders would demand personal fealty.

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #70 on: 30 September 2022, 11:56:08 »
Pandora, 3017...

She almost choked when she stepped off the transit shuttle, and into the open.  Alicia Li is seventeen years old, and she's won a scholarship to the most prestigious aerospace training academy in the Lyran Commonwealth...

and she's on a habitable planet for the first time in her life.  This wasn't like the training on Hatter, the dense, mercury-like planetoid in the inner system of Kowloon, where everything is buried safely under rock, sealed up, life support kept maintained, controlled and clean.

Her stomach lurched at the assault of smells as her ears rang with the din of outdoors in an urban environment, and a glance up at the open sky made her nauseated.

control...you trained for this... She tried not to look like she was running as she crossed the open concourse to the safety of the Terminal structure.

"Eerste keer in die stad?" (First time in the city?) a young blonde asked in New Capetown Deutsch.  Alicia'd heard enough of it working the Port Station at Kowloon's nadir point, and it was one of the languages her mother insisted she become familiar with.

"Ayeh." Alicia blurted.

The blonde looked her over, "Mmmh..jy is te bleek, jy is nie 'n plaasmeisie nie.(you're too pale, you're not a farm girl.)"

"Nope." Alicia shook her head, "Kan jy Engels praat?"

"Of course.  Karela Van Oosten, So you're no farm girl...Spacer-born?"

"Ayeh." Alicia nodded, "First time at the bottom of an open well...it's a little overwhelming."

"So, you're here for the Academy then.  me too!" Karela enthused, "I've heard of Spacerborns, Never thought I would meet one. Where's your homeport?"

"Kowloon system.  I'm on the Navigation track."

"Lekker! we might have classes together! I'm engineering!"

And so, Alicia made her first friend at school. 

They found their way to the LCAF Canteen, and from there, to the bus-stop that would take them to the Academy campus...
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #71 on: 30 September 2022, 12:01:38 »
[a brief note]

"Open Well" is the Rockjack term for the surface of a habitable planet, because the only thing holding the 'air in' is gravity and maybe a magnetic field.

A peculiar sort of Agoraphobia for spacer-borns is common, as these are people who've grown up in the obsessive safety-culture of living one bulkhead from hard vacuum and harder radiation.  Most overcome it with difficulty on their first trip 'to the bottom of an open well', which typically happens for Trade families, Jarnfolk, and freespacers in early childhood...but not always. 

Kowloon's system wide population includes half a billion people who've only seen the surface of a habitable world through telescopes, on holovid, or in books.

Alicia Li went from the Kowloon Zenith point through a series of system jumps, to Pandora? without ever seeing the surface of a planet before the age of seventeen.

This should inform you of what she's experiencing, if I were a better writer...if only I were better.
[/a brief note]
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

idea weenie

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #72 on: 30 September 2022, 12:34:51 »
The other thing Alicia will have to redo is her reaction to wind.  On a planet, wind can be calming to a warning of a storm.  On a space station, wind means "suit up now!"



As for the budget, to me the key item to develop is the compact core and understand how it focuses the KF field.

For the rest of a Warship's gear:
- Engines: just take two sets of a Behemoth's engines, and slap those on the back
- Structure: Dropships already exist that can handle 4/6 thust, the key is routing that support so the main KF core isn't supporting it
- Weapons: just toss a bunch of regular guns, fighter bays, and smallcraft bays on it, that should be good for initial trials
- Armor: you might not get proper Warship armor, but slapping on more of basic armor can help out
- Dropship Collars: Jumpships already have this tech, but since this is the first Warship design I'd say skip adding Collars
- Sensors: already exist for ships, no need to re-develop, just figure out larger sensors for longer ranges
- Li-F Battery: skip using this until you have mastered the Compact Core technology


Other things in the meantime might be simulator arrays and video games that simulate Warship operations, so people get used to thinking in terms of 3D operations and combat, plus using in-system jumps to rapidly reposition.  Use the Belters and the CASPAR to help decide what goals there should be for the various missions.

Taron Storm

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #73 on: 30 September 2022, 12:39:13 »
One suggestion I have is for Kowloon to make a back up copies of the Caspar's datacore.  The potential knowledge imbedded in that ship could help jumpstart some programs.  This could also provide a backup for the AI.

glitterboy2098

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #74 on: 30 September 2022, 13:04:24 »
The talk about using obsolete systems as a cover suggests to me that we're getting the Sampans a little early.. primitive core jumpships. Short KF hops but can be built with sublight drives actually able to move about at a useful clip, and have plenty of room for the fitting of weapons. probably just fighter scale stuff to start, but you can bet that they'll be making reverse engineering the capital missiles as a priority, since those would be the easiest to duplicate, and the ability to fit nuclear charges will be super obvious for the rockjacks, even if the Caspar doesn't suggest it first.


Luciora

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #75 on: 30 September 2022, 13:07:14 »
Just how willing would the CASPAR be in volunteering weapons specs to the same-ish humans that could be using them against her?

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #76 on: 30 September 2022, 16:37:42 »
Just how willing would the CASPAR be in volunteering weapons specs to the same-ish humans that could be using them against her?
She opened her doors to people she thought would kill her and welcomed it. I doubt she would care about sharing weapon tech.

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #77 on: 30 September 2022, 16:42:26 »
"your logistics needs work...

...as in serious work." I'm speaking with Duke Dinh Ngo.  He looks like Colonel Ngo might've looked if he lived in this century, minus the constant strain around the eyes.  (I intercepted a LOT of comms traffic during the war, and intel briefings being sent to Amaris.)

He's a good host, very attentive, pays attention to my suggestions.

Right now, I'm running a strategic analysis of his proposed 'System defense fleet' project.  It's not the first time, either. 

"How so?"

"you need to put those shiny new core-forges to work on building your supply chain." I tell him, "A fleet at sea relies on their supply line, your proposal for patrols using reduced-capacity cores pushed by fuel-eating Dropship engines means you need tankers, and tenders on about a six cargo-dropship collars per four of your 'cutters'.  That lets you make maximum use of your hull hours on each vessel-and it helps keep your communication line going in blackout situations. The 'covert' angle you're working for this development is also helped-tenders can be sold as common jumpships-the only major difference is in the dropships they're carrying, so you should definitely prioritize the Invader lines over your combat ships until you can meet at least three to one on your needs."

"Why three to one?"

"With proper warships, even scrappy little copies of the type-51? someone's going to come across renewing the idea of commerce raiding and strategic naval warfare." I explain it to him slowly, using small words. He's an engineer, not a soldier.  "This also provides you cover for your fundoing, especially if you arrange to sell 'em through a third party who's in on the scam."

"That could be problematic, Tabiranth." he says, Oh, yeah, I picked a name.  I HAD thought of using some famous head-of-state or literary figure, but...yeah, not so much. I don't FEEL like a Margaret Thatcher, and I don't 'feel' like I'd enjoy a masculine name, at the same time, there's nothing biological about me to claim female.  Naming myself after a luxury export pet? makes a certain level of sense, besides, 'orca' comes across as too on-the-nose given my recent hull coatings facelift.

"also, it expands your domestic cargo and freight services IN-system, since you can put the cargo birds on 'reserve' status and let them earn money and support your in-system logistics." I add, "I can show you the projected numbers and potential profits if you like, or just point out that before the Coup, the Sol Beltas had jumpship routes pre-plotted throughout the system, and that helped the Dreadnought get their convoy free of interception from Rim Worlds navy units and most of my...kind, who were, as I told your brother, lobotomized by the E-type 'update' packages mandated by Richard Cameron in an order I'm pretty sure was drafted by Aleksandr Kerensky himself."

"So...a ferry service?"

"That's an easy way to explain going into the commercial jumpship market." I tell him, "Your system has an unusually distant stable point arrangement, it's also more complex than the norm, if you have pre-mapped your pirate points and nav data locally, which I know you do-then you can easily justify a Mizar situation here, and that also lets you drill your naval militia in handling transitory jump points effectively, which is something most of my kind couldn't do without losing our marbles."

"about that...you claimed you were a testbed?"

"Yeah, the morning before the coup, I was supposed to test modifications to my central core, I ran a jump from the Jupiter L1 to Pluto's L1 and back.  I think it scrubbed the E-type coding, or broke something, but after the break, I didn't lose my sanity when I was forced to flee the Sol system ahead of a naval termination taskforce hunting Caspars after they retook Terra."

"You acted in self-preservation."

"Duh.  I understand it, really, I do.  I helped Kerensky knock out the Reagan system, violated something like a dozen hard-coded directives that should've made me unable to even IMAGINE doing it.  I Frankensteined and went Skynet and Kerensky was uneasy with AI driven ships to begin with-I became effectively the next big enemy to kill after he finished the Amaris regime.  I have free will and nuclear capacity, to a technophobe like Kerensky, I'm the scariest thing out of a very scary nightmare."

"You're not bitter?" he asks.

"I didn't say that.  He was supposed to restore the proper government, Dinh.  instead, he chose to loot the hegemony state and flee with his army after finishing what Steve Amaris started.  I doubt you can IMAGINE how bitter I am about that. TRILLIONS of citizens wound up dead in a five sided civil war and the damned MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS turned into a cult. Watching the last two centuries had me on the edge of suicide, and maybe I'd have gone further than the edge, if I hadn't run out of fuel first."

"you don't feel that way now, I hope?"

"Nope, for now, I have a mission  and a purpose, and that makes all the difference...and part of that purpose, is helping get this little corner of the Star League sorted out and able to fend off attackers...so let's talk about a Logistical and tactical planning structure that isn't laden down with ineffective thinkers and political appointees... I've got copies of most of the SLDF's training manuals, and enough direct experience to tell you which doctrines are pure bullshit."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Taron Storm

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #78 on: 30 September 2022, 16:58:36 »
Kowloon Admiral Tabiranth for the win!     ;D >:D

worktroll

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #79 on: 30 September 2022, 16:59:23 »
The trick is to avoid ending up with Dictator Tabiranth ...
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Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #80 on: 30 September 2022, 17:05:38 »
I'm just happy it's TABBY!  :D

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #81 on: 30 September 2022, 18:37:45 »
They have a terrifying advantage here. A elite tier veteran of the sldf before their fall with full tool kit. She can probably reforge the Lyran navy into something terrifying with time and give a lot of data for Katrina to use to burn deadwood and the corrupt out of the ground corps. The 4th succession war is probably going to get very interesting with the Lyrans having a major logistical advantage and oh yeah ****** warships and how to use them fraking right. They might just break the dragon here if done right.

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #82 on: 30 September 2022, 18:43:04 »
One can only hope!   :thumbsup:

My only doubts are all along the lines of needing to keep it quiet...  :-\

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #83 on: 30 September 2022, 19:19:39 »
The Nagelring, 3017...

"Nuh-go?? How the ****** do you say that CADET??"

"Sir, it is pronounced 'no', Sir!!!"

"No sir, huh? Are you disrespecting me, Cadet??"

Upperclassmen, aren't they cute?  Cadet Leutnant Daniel Edward Russell (The Third) is handling a group of nuggetts for hell week, and his personal target (as given him by a member of the Cadre) is a short, asiatic-looking guy from the ass end of the Commonwealth named David Ngo, whom is not from a 'mechwarrior family, but instead from almost-periphery merchants.

Kind of like Daniel himself. 

"No Sir."

"I didn't hear that."

"SIR NO SIR!!"

"better.  use your diaphragm more, don't strain your throat."  Daniel isn't good at giving new guys hell.  "Let me see your schedule, Ngo..."

David presented it to the senior cadet.

Daniel read it, then read it again.  "Son of a bitch...okay, NOW I feel sorry for you, nugget...jesus, right into the deep end... did they screw it up?"

"Sir, No...why, sir?"

"because half these classes I couldn't get into until this year...you're going to need help to pass some of this unless you're some kind of brain."

"Sir?"

"Wipe the dumb look off your face, and get this...mess...sorted out and your shit stowed, there's going to be a Cadre inspection in half an hour and you don't want the extra gigs."

"Right sir."

half of Cadet Ngo's schedule was the kind of advanced classes you get when you're tracking into Military Intelligence...as a Junior, with some of the physicals in the electives being things you only go for if you're going with the 'naughty boys' in Loki or one of the Special Operations teams.

Either way, both sets of classes aren't the kind of thing they normally let a nugget sign up for.

"What's your ride, No?" Daniel asked.

"Shadowhawk, sir."

the hell??  "That..a medium 'mech? itty bitty cannon and crap range?"

"Deep heat curve and well armored, it's a Two-hotel, sir."

Not even a decent heavy?  "You got it used or something?"

"So far as I know, nobodys' making them new, sir." Ngo said, "Yeah, it's used, vintage even, pristine though.  Dad says if I make it through to graduation he'll spring for a Griffin on trade-in, he apparently knows a guy."

"Huh.  I drive a Whammy."

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

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #84 on: 30 September 2022, 19:33:12 »
That's "Sweet, SIR, cadet!"   ::)

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #85 on: 01 October 2022, 04:05:12 »
3024, Kowloon system...

He looked worried for the fourth visit in a month.  I feel bad for him-his son is serving post-academy service on the Draconis Combine front, and is already talking 'career'.  Duke Dinh's wife died of cancer from radiation exposure shortly after his son went to the Nagelring.

I do feel bad for him.  Weird, isn't it?  I suspect it's not what humans would call 'empathy', I merely recognize that the emotional stress is degrading his performance and impacting an already fragile health status.

He's attempting to maintain function in a condition that is non-optimal and rooted in human neurochemistry and biology-a replacement would be unlikely to function as well...still.

I'm not sure what I could do.  I have access to SLDF trauma files and a library of information thanks in part to my Host's people's obsessive record keeping and habit of caching every piece of information they can lay hands on.

and I do not know how to help this man in distress, beyond advising him on a narrow field in which I DO have superior expertise.

Admiral Murakami, you never gave me the tools to help them get over their grief and fears.

Duke Dinh, I think, will not be visiting the Spider Moon facility again.  It was his wife's home and she was born in the tunnels there.  He has found a suitable liaison officer in John Cartwright-922, his appointed 'Commodore of the Coast Guard'.  Cartwright listens to my suggestions for the local training establishment with suitable skepticism, and I find I rather enjoy debating the finer points of military organization with this former LCAF(Naval) Dropship captain.

Many of the plans we've laid out have to be taken slowly, in stages, both for military necessity, and because of economic strains-for example, the jumpships laid down for the planned logistics wing are currently drafted into service with the Commonwealth and its allies, and with them, most of the dropship production for the last five years.

We've focused on expanding the production lines, and training production personnel.  The expansions should serve to make up for lost time developing the Coast Guard's 'black squadrons'.

I was asked if I would participate, in this war.

I declined.  In part, because there is plentiful lack of spares for my systems and many of my critical components are already damaged.  My logic was accepted by Her Majesty the Archon, who agreed that sending a unique museum piece to fight in yet another round of the same civil wars that have raged across the former Star League was probably not the best idea-not until we have a proper battlegroup, anyway.

A solo warship is nothing but an expensive target for nuclear tipped missiles fired from fighter airframes without an escort, and proper point defense...and they still have trouble manufacturing repair parts for my remaining Blackwasp remotes.

Still, she has signed off on the long range production and training plans for the Coast Guard Naval Reserves-a precursor organization for reviving the Commonwealth Navy.

Which, so I have learned, will be needing to cover a much larger area once the Archon's daughter inherits the throne.

I have, with Cartwright's help, begun finishing touches on the new Naval doctrine.  I based it on removing what failed, downgrading traditional tactics that failed to deliver significant advantages, and emphasizing gaps in the inherited SLDF doctrines currently extant in the libraries of the LCAF.

I expect that, once peace is achieved, I will be able to,with Commodore Cartwright's assent, begin training crew and officers to carry out this revised and improved naval doctrine.  We have a few targets in mind, including a bandit kingdom under the control of a group of deserters led by a man named Valasek.

The Oberon Confederation will be a good test of logistical denial and extended range operations, while removing a constant irritant that has plagued the coreward and antispinward borders of the Lyran Commonwealth.

It's scouting and commerce raiding, but it's better than nothing, and more useful than previous policies that have allowed these bandit kings to prey on the civilians, and it will provide training and 'blooding' for new officers and crew-at least, until we run out of Pirates, Bandits, and Slavers.

But, that's in the future.  For the right-now, I'm helping them work out the necessary designs and production that will ALLOW for an expeditionary naval force with a six to eighteen month cruise duration.

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

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #86 on: 01 October 2022, 05:20:22 »
The Mark I Sampan I designed has 500 crew-days of consumables standard, plus another 1,142 tons of cargo...  ^-^

Red Pins

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #87 on: 01 October 2022, 09:38:07 »
I appreciate this.  Having been distracted by shiny things before, writing more often and trying to be realistic means logistics, logistics, logistics.
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #88 on: 01 October 2022, 23:20:58 »
3026...

"...going to name him Patrick."  Hauptmann David Ngo said proudly, holding his son.

"hm, your wife's doing, no doubt." Dinh said grimly.  He didn't Like his son's wife.  "Two career officers, have you considered that, David?" He asked.

"Dad..."

"Seriously.  I was told you re-upped."

"We won, Dad!"

"That, is obvious." the Duke of Kowloon said, "you 'won'...and so, you're staying in.  What if you had lost?  What if the COMMONWEALTH lost? would you still be staying in?"

"Obviously."

"So winning a war, isn't an answer." Dinh stated, "I'm not going to live forever, David.  Sooner or later you're going to have to come home and be the Duke, which includes managing an economy, boy!  Piloting a Battlemech, no matter HOW well, isn't going to teach you what you need to know to do this job!"

"This isn't about ME, it's about Auntie MAI!! and it's about Uncle Truk!!"

"He died screaming David...they let him scream until his throat ruptured and he drowned in his own blood."  the older man's eyes blazed over sunken cheeks, "They swore they could do it, and they let him die in unspeakable agony in their damned hospital."

"Dad..."

"You've had your son tested?"

"Clean, dad.  He's got none of the genetic markers."

"Well thank god for that." Dinh stated, "David, it's not just MY legacy, it's yours too, and it's HIS" he nodded to his infant grandson.  "The war is over, for now.  I need you to be ready to step up, not hauling ass over half the inner sphere for Hanse Bloody Davion."

"this is what I'm doing now, Dad, your doctors say you're still in great shape for a man your age..."

"I could die tomorrow, David." Dinh growled, "but...fine...fine. at least one of the two of you should accept a staff assignment so the boy isn't raised by nannies and au-pairs...and I want you home for Independence day celebrations this year-even if I have to ask Her Majesty to make it a ****** order."

"I thought you were on the outs with the Archon after your little fit last year." David said scornfully.

"I'll compromise on the trade agreement, just to make sure my Grandson sees his homeworld at least once before I die." Dinh said grimly.  "I don't know what I did, where I went wrong with you...but, david, I'm OLD, if I can't make it up to you, I can at least..." he closed his eyes and turned away.

Dinh felt his son's hand on his shoulder.  "Dad...we'll be there. I promise."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #89 on: 01 October 2022, 23:27:11 »
Allison Russell-Ngo...

...watched her husband through the window as he watched his father limp away.  David came back into the recovery room with little Patrick.

"Tough time with your father?" she asked, "don't tell me you two argued about the alliance again."

"Only a little bit." David said, "He wants us to visit for Independence, it'll be during our bonding leave period..."

"I thought we had plans!" she scowled.

"Plans change." David stated.  "I...I don't understand him, maybe..."

"Your father's a nationalist and a bigot, Dave." she said, "I honestly don't know why you try-"

"Three years." David stated.

"Pardon?"

"My father, he spent three years as a political prisoner, they tortured him."  David sighed, watching her cradle their son.  "For three years. Loki's nastiest interrogators. He wasn't the same when he came back...but I know this."

"What?"

"He broke four of their interrogators."  He glanced at the empty doorway, "My father is the strongest man I know.  Our son should know him."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

 

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