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Author Topic: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...  (Read 42256 times)

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #90 on: 02 October 2022, 03:20:38 »
How do you define 'brave'?

Hauptmann Alicia Li had to wonder at it-what she did, she did because she didn't want to die.  She's on Tharkad, tonight, in full dress uniform, because she didn't want to die.  It's why she had her suit on and helmet at hand when bringing the dropship in, and having that suit and helmet, is why when the DCMS fighters hammered the dropship she was the 'docking pilot' for with a coordinated strike to the bridge, she was able to don helmet, take control, and keep it through reversing the landing cycle and burning back to the transport jumpships while her commander, and the other senior staff, died.

It was not wanting to die, that kept her alive through the four days it took to reach the jumpships, while most of the 10th were torn to shreds by the Combine on Dromini IV.

She'd almost died out there, but she hadn't wanted to die.  The men and women aboard, the embarked support company for 2nd Battalion, 10th Lyran Guards, were alive because Leutnant Alicia Li didn't trust planets, and put on her helmet during the landing phase in open defiance of her vessel's commanding officer, who mocked her for wearing a P-suit in the shirtsleeves environment of the command deck...shortly before he was evicted by concussion and decompression as the enemy tore the dropship open.

She'd managed to seize control from the co-pilot's seat as Senior Leutnant Perkasan died where he was strapped, slammed by high-altitude winds that were shaking the dropship like a dog shakes a toy.

the next 96 hours she had to hold the dropship steady, first doing a reverse to take it back OUT of the atmosphere it had just begun crossing, and then, back to the Jumpship-without artificial navigation aids and using only her vision and a vague sense of direction through the torn-open hull.

That's all on the medal citation.  what isn't, is that for part of the way, an enemy fighter flew within eyeball range-not on attack, but as an escort, only breaking away when his fuel hit bingo.

"...suit only has a limited supply of air, how did you survive?"  The guy from the 1st Royal Guards asked as she carefully walked to the chamber under escort.

"I learned how to meditate and control my breathing years before I learned how to walk, Kommandant." she answered quietly.

"Really?"

"I was seven before I learned how to walk in gravity, Kommandant." she glanced uneasily at the windows as they passed.  "By then, I was already able to rig my suit in seconds and knew enough to keep my hat at hand.  Pandora was the first time I had ever so much as set foot on a place that wasn't...contained by hull with a controlled life support."

The Kommandant laughed, thinking she was kidding.

She'd mastered the art of showing nothing of her unease at being...trapped at the bottom of the well, without a proper suit, at the mercy of randomness in a natural environment.

"Well, the Archon is going to pin you, and I must say, we'd like to have a dropship pilot with your skills."

"thank you, Kommandant.  You're very kind." she answered.  "I was hoping for a slot on a Jumpship, actually." (somewhere I don't have to come down into this...randomness.)

"Well, we DO have jumpships as well as dropships." he was putting too much effort into being the salesman.

"I...will go where the Nation sends me, sir."  (Please god not back down to a planet!!)

"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 #91 on: 02 October 2022, 03:28:50 »
[out of story note]

Someday, I'll write Alicia Li's heroic exploits in the LCAF Transport command.  In case you're wondering, YES, this is totally not-canon correct, I haven't read the novel where Frederick Steiner's final battle shows up, but we do know that Katrina kept one jumpship back, adn that troops from the 10th DID get out.

So I embellished a bit to show longtime Ngoverse readers just exactly why Li would become Elizabeth's top-dawg Naval officer and why Li is just that much of a badass in the other stories.

She pulled off the impossible in the 4th succession war-she brought the passengers back to the jumpship alive, and did it wiht the command deck of the dropship she was assigned to torn open during re-entry...for which, she gets Promotions, and Medals!

The throwaway of the Combine pilot escorting her back in the direction of the jumpship, is partially inspired by this song.  It's not maybe Bushido, but the Combine isn't truly a realm of hat.

That said, maybe someone can latch onto this, and write that incident better than I can-from the POV of the DCMS/DCA pilot who didn't kill the retreating enemy?

[/out of story]
« Last Edit: 02 October 2022, 03:32:20 by Cannonshop »
"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 #92 on: 02 October 2022, 04:12:37 »
That would be exceptionally tricky.  Stigler was driven by a standard of decency long absent from the Inner Sphere (he viewed downing that plane the same as shooting parachuting pilots, which is a war crime; it's the "hors de combat" thing).

Euphonium

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #93 on: 02 October 2022, 06:33:41 »
That would be exceptionally tricky.  Stigler was driven by a standard of decency long absent from the Inner Sphere (he viewed downing that plane the same as shooting parachuting pilots, which is a war crime; it's the "hors de combat" thing).

OTOH I don't ever recall seeing anything in BT that would suggest that shooting pilots (ASF or mech) after they ejected was acceptable or normal so I think you could argue that Stigler's views are still held by the majority of pilots in the IS
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Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #94 on: 02 October 2022, 06:51:35 »
On the gripping hand, the Combine perpetrated Kentares and moved on afterward without much change.

Trace Coburn

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #95 on: 02 October 2022, 08:31:52 »
On the gripping hand, the Combine perpetrated Kentares and moved on afterward without much change.
  True, but there’s also the counter-example of Minobu Tetsuhara’s lance coming across Jaime Wolf’s Archer on Dromini VI, heavily damaged, shut down from overheating, and its ammo bins empty... and Tetsuhara’s sense of bushido leading him to pass by the helpless man, giving him the chance to return to his lines and find an honourable death when he could fight once more.  I imagine he and Stigler would have shared at least a bro-nod if they’d ever met.

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #96 on: 02 October 2022, 08:44:38 »
Hmmm... a Tetsuhara level pilot could probably get away with it, at least if they had a commanding officer willing to shield them from higher ups.

nerd

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #97 on: 02 October 2022, 14:39:34 »
Hmmm... a Tetsuhara level pilot could probably get away with it, at least if they had a commanding officer willing to shield them from higher ups.
Expert pilot, Samurai known for honorable conduct, and willing to take the social consequences. About the only way one can do crazy stuff in the DCMS and get away with it.

Remember, Tetsuhara had an explicitly non samurai MechWarrior destroy his career, and life.

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Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #98 on: 02 October 2022, 14:45:28 »
Also remember said non-samurai was in charge...

glitterboy2098

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #99 on: 02 October 2022, 15:10:49 »
IIRC, Tetsuhara got pulled from active service over that incident, which was why he was available to be the Dragoon's liaison. so i'd say that honor of that sort is recognized in the Combine officially but in the 3rd and 4th succession wars actually holding to said honor code when you had the opportunity to ignore it and get some important kill tended to get a response that could end careers.

odds are the DCMS version of Stigler in the story found himself facing a major halt in his career. unless he was fairly important nobility like Tetsuhara, i'd guess that he'd probably end up being transferred to some hard luck unit. probably legion of Vega, since even with Theodore's efforts to improve their actual effectiveness, the Vega units were still the combine's dumping ground for 'troublemakers'.

of course, given Theodore was already present, and probably said pilot's ultimate commanding officer, perhaps it wouldn't be as bad as all that. Tetsuhara's issue was that the counter attack against the dragoons by the sword of light failed and the dragoons were able to maul them and retreat from their raid-in-force. which allowed the sword of light commanders (who'd bungled the entire operation) to use tetsuhara and similar incidents as an example of the 'weakness' that caused the loss.

also interesting fact.. Dromini VI is also the planet where Tetsuhara performed his little act of mercy in 3021. it was also, on paper, a lyran held world in 3029 when the 10th raided it. it had been taken in Operation Holdur not long before, where the LCAF had dropped ten regiments of armor and infantry onto the planet, managing to take it from the eleven regiments defending it mainly by luck (it was harvest time and the DCMS defenders were largely militia and were dispersed helping with the harvest.) but ISF backed guerilla operations had basically crippled the lyran forces occupying it, allowing Theodore to use it as a staging ground for his counter offensive, which is what the 10th Lyran under Fredrick Steiner was able to disrupt. (there is a scenario for this battle btw, in the 4th succession war sourcebook. it has Frederick and his lance performing an orbital drop against a larger enemy force, then running around the map blowing up supply depots. i'm presuming that since it was an orbital drop, his men escaping meant that they'd met up with the surviving lyran forces already on the planet, who were using the chaos to evac what was left of their personnel.
« Last Edit: 02 October 2022, 15:12:34 by glitterboy2098 »

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #100 on: 02 October 2022, 16:36:07 »
Could also be pragmatism. At least officially. Just because they blew the bridge does not mean the guns and the gunners manning them were dead. The DCMS might not have had the spare birds to finish the job without crippling themselves and the dropper was retreating into deep space and they might not have realized that whoever was piloting it actually knew what they were doing until they were beyond interception range beyond the bingo fighter trailing it making sure it did not try something funny like doubling back.

mikecj

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #101 on: 02 October 2022, 17:39:04 »
Interesting if that pilot was recruited into the Ryuken...
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Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #102 on: 02 October 2022, 20:30:21 »
"I wish you'd reconsider, Hauptmann Li...

...the Naval branch doesn't get many people we can roll out as 'heroes'."  GeneralLeutnant Kyra Lestrade of the Naval Branch opined.

"Five and out is traditional for my folks, Ma'am." Alicia said, "I served my five after academy, and there's a freight run waiting for me with my mother's ship."

"Freight run, huh? steady work? decent pay?"

"We're smallholders." Li confessed, "we get what we get and pay for everything."

"I think we can find bonuses that might make it worth your time to stay in, Li."  and just like that, it was a negotiation, "There are some exciting opportunities in the works for a good spacer-hand, I doubt you want to miss out.  give it ten more years."

It's 3030 now...  "I'll consider it, Ma'am...but I have conditions."  it's a negotiation.

"What, bonuses? extra pay codes-"

"No surface duty." Li affirmed,  "If I stay in, it's under the condition I never have to set foot on the unprotected surface of a planet again-at least, not without a full environment suit."

the senior officer in charge of LCAF's Transport command looked surprised.  "You're serious?"

"Very.  Now, that puts things in a bind, because that means you have to authorize an examination, which will show that I...have problems...with...that I will require a medical waiver, and that, in turn, creates problems for your staff...but if I'm worth keeping, you'll sign that waiver, or I will submit my resignation and go on my way.  there are literally THOUSANDS Of qualified pilots you can bring in to replace me, who do NOT have the...problem...I have with being trapped here at the bottom of the well and exposed to...an environment custom made to kill at random."

"Ten. Years, Hauptmann Li, and you will attend counseling for your planetophobia when not on an active mission-at an additional grade increase, and as a Jumpship officer.  are we agreed?"

it was as much compromise as the senior officer was willing (or able) to grant.

"Yes Ma'am.  Ten years."

"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 #103 on: 02 October 2022, 20:42:00 »
"Our biggest problem isn't training...

...it's retention."  Katrina clarified.  "We train batches of great pilots, and 'mechwarriors...and lose them to the Mercenary market constantly, while we seem unable to shake off the dead-weight of poor officers and shoddy leaders.  I am therefore directing that the maximum effort be exerted to keep good personnel in the uniform, if for no other reason than to leaven out the bad ones who cling like parasites."

The General Staff at Mount Asgard glanced away from their archon, abashed.  she had just spent the last four hours openly discussing the number of the Commonwealth's best who had gone mercenary or chosen early retirement rather than remain with the colors...

and she had defined this as a PROBLEM.

To be fair, it had also been defined by every one of her predecessors at some point or another since the Star League's civil war as a problem...or at least, every one of the competent predecessors.

"How do you plan to do this?"

"Welll forming new units helps, as does retention bonuses, I intend to beef up the Inspector General's office and I have written an executive order protecting internal whistleblowers from punishment for reporting on waste, fraud, and abuse." Her Majesty scowled, "I expect to see a great many of those whistleblowers documented and promoted. I just spent a lovely eighteen hours in talks with Hanse Davion, embarrassing talks. about OUR performance, and the chronic drain of talent from the LCAF!!" she leaned forward, "MY daughter is not going to be the junior partner in the unification of these two realms.  understand?"

"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 #104 on: 02 October 2022, 22:50:18 »
Building a cadre of leaders...

...isn't a simple matter.  I recognize that.  Humans don't have the ability to absorb information or programming directly, they have to build their data through personal experience and learning processes through their five senses, strained through their biological brains, which are rife with irrational connections.

To have a working doctrine, however, requires officers capable of sufficient comprehension to actually make use of it.  The best instruction set in the universe can be worthless if the software and hardware to execute it is inappropriate.

I guess as an Artificial Intelligence, I have something of an outsider's view of what they need, and how to get it.

"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 #105 on: 03 October 2022, 03:27:36 »
Every problem they have is a people problem...  8)

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #106 on: 03 October 2022, 04:02:44 »
The underlining problem is the source trouble is baked into their culture. As a merchant/corp state corruption of various sorts just seeps in and any system where you can buy a commission and wealth and connection are more important than actual competence? Made worse that unless she can show iron clad evidence in many cases she cant burn the dead wood without risking general revolt as her nobles and officers move to protect themselves.

CVB

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #107 on: 03 October 2022, 11:19:25 »
Somehow an army commanded by officers with bought commissions and a navy commanded by officers advancing strictly by seniority conquered the largest empire on Earth... :P
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Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #108 on: 03 October 2022, 11:39:13 »
3037, Fox's Den, New Avalon...

"We need to finish off the Draconis Combine.  I'm not comfortable letting Takahashi have more time to plan his counter-move."  The First Prince stated.

Katrina looked at the projection, then at her son-in-law.  "We're not ready."

"You're not ready?"

"We aren't ready."  She repeated.  "your plan has the Commonwealth forces coming in on the Dieron front, with the intent to cut off Combine forces...and we're not ready.  Nondi had the same idea-and so, I ordered a staff analysis using LIC's sources inside the region...and we're not ready."

"What do you need to 'be ready' then?" he asked.

"Time, mostly." Katrina stated,  "we've been working on something that will actually work for tying down the Combine entirely on our shared border, but it's not ready yet."

"and...how much time do you need?" He asked.

"Three to five years." Katrina stated. 

"And will the Combine be ready for it?"

"The people I have working on it are paranoid." Katrina smiled, "Also loyal.  Everyone not familiar with Project Cantaloupes, should leave the room." she pointedly looked at Ardan Sortek.

"Do it." Hanse stated.

Most of the staff stood up from their positions, and left the room, along with most of Katrina's people.

"Now, anyone unfamiliar with Mahan, please." she added.

Ardan looked helplessly at his First Prince.

"Can my champion stay?" Hanse asked.

"I suppose so."  the Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth said amiably.

"So what is 'Cantaloupe-Mahan?' anyway?" Hanse asked.

"Back in '07, some Kowloonese found a working Caspar."  Katrina stated, "Dinh's been working with it, redeveloping technology and doctrines.  We're close to a field test, but it's three to five years away still, and I will be sincerely no-shit-willing-to-disinherit-my-daugther pissed if a whisper of this goes out over HPG, even coded.  are we clear?"

"So what's 'cantaloupe', I assume it's not the killer robot." Ardan asked.

"No, it's the logistics preparations for the force we're building.  Publicly it's an initiative to build up the Transport Command with jumpships from secret yards in the periphery...yards that are going to be going public next year.  We started restoring them back in '25." she explained, "The main barrier is trained crew and officers that can be trusted, because we're re-inventing Naval Warfare doctrine based on lessons that weren't properly learned or analyzed during the first three succession wars."

"And...jesus, Dinh Ngo??"

"He's in my pocket." Katrina stated.  "He won't leak, and his people are good at keeping secrets.  The proof is that they've been sitting on an operational M-5, D-series drone for decades to work this up."

"So, you're building a navy...got a warship program?"

"Well, something like it." she allowed, "not as advanced as most of the iron we lost in the first and second successsion wars, and not particularly good for the usual, traditional roles of flying command post or surface bombardment position.  Task force One is working up by working over the Oberon Confederation and the Greater Valkyrate right now. Shifting that force to the combine front directly could be problematic."

"are they drones too?"

"God no!" Katrina shook her head, "We still don't have half the understanding to replicate a Blackwasp, never mind an M-5!!"

"but you're working on it."

"I might be, but not for the purposes that the Camerons did in the Hegemony.  Artificial Intelligences don't handle jumpspace travel very well.  Give me six years, and we'll have the ability to cut the Combine off at the knees."

"what kind of capability?"

"Have you ever heard of a strategy known as 'commerce raiding' or deep space blockade?" Katrina asked.  "if we do this right, the Draconis Combine can be reduced to a collection of disconnected planets instead of an interstellar nation.  It won't matter if Takahashi's army is growing, because he won't be able to deploy or supply them."

"Defeat in detail." Ardan mused.

"Exactly." Katrina leaned on a console.  "we need time, give me time, and we can break any rival nation you want to point at."

"I see some immediate flaws, Archon." Sortek said, "The Federated Suns has a naval tradition of it's own, and we've never been able to make the kind of operations you're describing work, it's why everone's doctrine revolves around either securing the Jump Points, or planetary orbitals."

"Hence needing to prove my point with the periph bandits, Mister Sortek." Katrina stated, "Which in turn, requires the extra time.  We're going 'off the script' written back in the age of war here, if it proves out, it will save thousands, maybe millions of friendly lives...and if it doesn't, then we still need to keep it bottled until we know it either works or doesn't."

"I want to have a look at this." Hanse said, "Or have someone I trust have a look at it, at the very least. If we're going to change strategic plans, I need to know what I'm working with."

"agreed." she said, "Screen your people VERY carefully, Hanse.  Comstar leaks like a damned sieve and I would just as soon not have an errant transmission error turn up on Luthien."
"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."

glitterboy2098

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #109 on: 03 October 2022, 13:05:09 »
Given Ardan is now "in the loop" on this i predict he'll be the one to be sent to check it out. Perhaps with a small group of Fedsuns navy officers and some intel people.

Though this suggests that the war of 3039 will he 'the war of 3040' in this timeline.

DOC_Agren

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #110 on: 03 October 2022, 13:32:26 »
I'm not sure that the fedsuns naval guys will understand, didn't they Ram ships into another???
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glitterboy2098

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #111 on: 03 October 2022, 13:56:30 »
I'm not sure that the fedsuns naval guys will understand, didn't they Ram ships into another???
that seems to have been a post-warship development. i'm not aware of any sources for pre-clan-invasion fedsuns naval doctrines. given the era i'd guess that their focus is mostly on troop transport and ground support. and per the MUL they don't have access to more than the typical trio of IS general assault dropships (Avenger, Achilles, and Vengeance) so doubt they have much of a dedicated ship to ship naval doctrine yet.

and to be honest while i know it is a meme, i never though that the fedsuns doctrine was literally "ram stuff". so much as "get in close and unload everything". which tends to result in collisions more often due to the poor maneuverability of warships, plus the fact that it means their ships get damaged more leaving their commanders prone to decide to 'take the enemy with us' when facing the loss of their own ship.
« Last Edit: 03 October 2022, 14:05:06 by glitterboy2098 »

mikecj

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #112 on: 03 October 2022, 15:34:18 »
The Feddies were just mis-applying Nelson's adage... No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy.

The lack of skill with the maneuvers led to alongside becoming inside.
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Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #113 on: 03 October 2022, 18:24:45 »
I like the cut of Katrina's jib...  8)

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #114 on: 04 October 2022, 11:22:57 »
It's always better to...

...do your research BEFORE making an eight month trip to the far side of the Inner Sphere...or even just to the far side of the Lyran Commonwealth.

Ardan Sortek was doing his research ahead of time, and finding a hell of a lot of what is 'known' is pretty shoddy, mostly because the sources available through normal channels don't line up with his mission profile.

On the video screen in front of him, a 41 year old man is screaming in agony. On the screen beside it, is a profile of another man named Dinh Ngo, a man in his fifties whom the Archon apparently has entrusted with something absurdly dangerous.

Why he's watching the last hours of Truk Van Ngo's life? because it relates to Duke Dinh Ngo, the man Ardan Sortek is going to be speaking directly with.

One is connected to the other by more than blood, there's an anger there and it could foul everything up.

Other parts of the history are clearer.  The Duke's Heir apparent, David, married to a third daughter of a Kirklin family from the Federated Suns, two sons and a third child on the way, David, at least, would be considered relatively stable and loyal to the coming merger of the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth.

Career Military, and according to Von Kleist, his LIC contact, cut out from the covert side operation by his father, a relationship characterized by observers from both sides as 'rocky' with the exception of the children.

Dinh Ngo's history is the sort of thing that IS impressive to a professional spook.  The man endured three years under intense, invasive, and at times inhumane interrogation covering for Katrina and Arthur Luvon under Alessandro's regime, with the proof being permanent injuries and permanently white hair.

According to the Lohengrin file, Dinh Ngo broke four interrogators-and didn't break once, not even under intensive narco-interrogation.

Someone like that, is exactly who you WANT covering this kind of operation...but there's the problem.  That kind of will comes with obstinate blind-spots and petty vindictiveness.

Dinh Ngo's business-his main income, is as a tooler.  That is, the man's an engineering expert and owns a somewhat massive industrial tooling outfit...and he refuses to do business with entities from outside the Lyran Commonwealth.

Including the Federated Suns.

And it's because of that younger brother...and how the man died.

"or that's what everyone believes." Ardan muttered. These things are always more complex than that.

On the screen, the recording from 3021, showed Truk Ngo's last moments before organ failure, and the record ended.

"What is the complexity...?"  He focused on the Duke of Kowloon.  "What is your REAL game?"

****

Boojum repair yard, Kowloon system...

The frames were arrayed in a wagon-wheel of branches along centralized corridors linked to modules.  In the distance, the larger forge assemblies were being fed processed ore.

"It's...spread out, sam."  Duke Dinh Ngo commented.

Sam Cartwright nodded.  "Ayeh...you din' exect us to put together a murphying Tower and box did you?"

"But it works?"

"It works.  We've got the jumpship lines going, you've even sold a few."

"and the Sampans?"

"The modified type-fifty-ones are under build, sirrah...do we have captains and crew though?? it's hard to find people with enough talent to do more than merchie-work."

"So we're what...?"

"Gonna need to start rotating people from TF1 back through to train the newbies, and soon."  Cartwright told him, "there's only so much you can teach in classroom."

"We need to ramp it up, Her Majesty's wanting to use the Guard soon-maybe three years?  can you have a fully functioning squadron ready in three years?"

"Only if you're fine with them being green as grass." CArtwright commented.  "We don't have enough experience base and this isn't like 'mechwarriors, we can't just go scoop a bunch of mercs to leven the crews out with veteran officers, because nobody's had a damned Navy that does what we're building in about five centuries."

"alright, assume green. Who do we have that you'd put in charge?" Dinh asked.

"Paul Vu Dao, Callie Li, Mai Huyn." Cartwright listed off.  "Those are my top picks.  If your sister hadn't gotten herself disappeared out with The Folk I'd have her on my shortest list..."

"Mai isn't on the table." Dinh stated, "though she did send a message by courier last year-from somewhere in the Outworlds, she's running with the Salvigne line of The Folk...and she's apparently happy.  Got herself a marriage contract and everything.  Wanted me to know Dave has cousins running with The Folk now."

"Lucky lady then."

"How's our chief advisor?" Dinh asked.

"Tabiranth's keeping busy overseeing the tech program over Snark, and helping the outer burrows work up their disaster relief operations, I think that warship's...happy? I guess?"

"That's good, pass along a message-we're getting visitors.  Her Majesty spilled the beans to her in-laws about Tabby, and the Feddies want a look."
"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."

mikecj

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #115 on: 04 October 2022, 14:01:08 »
Conveniently for training, the Opposing Force is very experienced.  Tabby can pull examples scenarios from her memories and I'm sure she has plenty of "don't do what these idiots did..." to emphasize her points.
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #116 on: 04 October 2022, 14:21:26 »
Honestly just getting this far is amazing though perhaps they could go ask among the Rockjacks and Folk if anyone wants to get involved even if just 5 years? Over some damn good contracts to lure in experienced people to at least try and help the idiot dirt lovers some pointers?

How long till Ardan does realize it is that simple? Ngo does not ant to do business with liars who let his brother die in agony and they have damn good reason to not do contracts outside the Commonwealth. They have centuries of experience it just means trouble.

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #117 on: 04 October 2022, 18:44:52 »
If anyone can solve that problem, Ardan is it.  I don't know how me might do it, but if it's at all possible, I think he'll figure it out.

DOC_Agren

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #118 on: 04 October 2022, 20:42:57 »
Honestly just getting this far is amazing though perhaps they could go ask among the Rockjacks and Folk if anyone wants to get involved even if just 5 years? Over some damn good contracts to lure in experienced people to at least try and help the idiot dirt lovers some pointers?
I'm think that the Rockjacks are going to make up large part of the navy build, the problem with the green status is no one has had a functional navy in a long time.  Yes you can promote Attack Dropship Crews and Draft experinenced Jump Crew/Navigators but they still will be green, the good news is that by the time they get to regular/vet status...  most of their enemies are still going to be Green.
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #119 on: 04 October 2022, 21:53:16 »
mid winter, June 30, 3038, Ia Drang Overlook, Kowloon...

The boys were playing outside under watchful eyes.  "I would have thought you would position further up."  Ardan Sortek commented from the deck of the cabin.

Dinh Ngo finished pouring his own ca'phe, and joined the foreigner.  "you mean in the out-system.  Yeah, well, You go where the work is, Mister Sortek.  My job is down here, so are the grandchildren this year...don't worry, we're not under anyone's observation."

"How do you know?"

"because I'm paranoid...which is to say, 'security conscious' about industrial espionage efforts, especially with our manufacturing status being outed by Her Majesty to foreigners.  The threat of a sudden rash of unexplained deaths or accidents keeps me on my toes."

"you have reason to believe in such things?"

"Only history."  Dinh said firmly, "Every time someone looks like they're getting things put back together? there's a rash of accidents, or someone critical dies, it's been like that for more than two hundred years, which is why my mother, and her father, and his father, and his mother? they all went with the cover of being a somewhat lucky salvage outfit for as long as we could get away with it...you're going to want to drink that soon, or it'll be so cold it's terrible.  I got my first real 'eye opening' when I went to You-Dub Donegal back around the late nineties, and found professors teaching shit I already knew from apprenticing with my father's friends."

"Funny, your marks were middle-of-the-pack."

"Yeah, had to dumb it down a lot." Dinh stated.  "We kept a wealth of industrial and technical knowledge that everybody else seems to have rushed to forget...only I think it was more than just a rush to forget, and I can't say it's a 'dirtyfeet problem'.  Her Majesty wants me to read you in on the program here, and while I have objections, I swore an oath, and she's got my loyalty, so we're going to pretend my reservations don't make me want to throw you out the nearest airlock and write a letter to your sovereign explaining the accident."

"That's...more frank than I was expecting."

"We survive out here by keeping secrets secret." Dinh underlined with a gesture.  "It's why Alessandro's interrogators didn't get Luvon's itinerary or support group from me for three years, and I've gotten what amounts to a royal command to give up a big one."

"The Caspar."

"Tabiranth, and you'd best get used to referring to them as you would a person." Dinh clarified, "because they ARE a person, in every way that matters."

"Every way?"

"Self-willed, intelligent, even capable of selfishness." Dinh stated, "Tabiranth is a..a sapient being, we're not sure how they wound up that way, it's not because Nirasaki did anything spectacularly right, but in every particular that matters, that ship is a person, and forcing them into a service role is slavery.  They're a guest, and an ally, and due all the rights you are as a guest and an ally."

Ardan blinked, he caught the emphasis there.  "You aren't kidding."

"No."  Dinh stated, "I'm not.  TQF-142M5D is as deserving of decent treatment as any human being, and has the scars and traumas to prove it...without their help, Kerensky would've lost the day he started the final drive to Terra, and he paid that back by trying to kill his benefactor...right before he deserted with the only force in existence that could've made the Successor Lords blink."

"Uh, how?" Ardan asked.

"The 'unique ECM' wasn't." Dinh explained, "She virused her own kind, and crippled their performance when he arrived. If she hadn't, Kerensky's fleet would've died on the way in. she was able to do that, because she's somehow developed the will to overcome hard-coded directives-she was able to ignore Amaris' orders, which shouldn't be possible for something built on a Nirasaki processor instead of evolved from what we evolved from.  She still HAS the directives, she's just able to refuse to obey.  She has morals Mister Sortek."

"So...if she chose to leave..."

"We'd make sure her fuel bunkers are topped up and let her go."  Dinh told him.  "She hasn't chosen that, she seems to like working with us, but it's HER CHOICE whether she speaks with you...I think this is a wonderful way to introduce the idea of immigration for non-human sentients, don't you? I have a mind to offer her citizenship status, or warn her to run and keep going, depends on what you show me."

"My god, you're serious."

"As a heart-attack." Dinh stated blandly.  "I'll suggest you draft your request to speak with her in the sitting room, we'll courier it out to her, and she'll decide if she wants to speak with you, and under what role...and she'll have my full backing if her answer is '****** no'...it's how Annie would've wanted it."

"Your late wife."

"Yeah." Dinh agreed.
"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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