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Author Topic: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...  (Read 41928 times)

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #120 on: 04 October 2022, 23:23:17 »
I'm not sure...

...that Dinh's approach is the right one for this situation.  It feels a little like he's hazing the Prince's champion for no other reason than because he's holding a grudge against their nation.

Still, Ardan Sortek's letter is surprisingly clear and precise, and pleasantly polite.

Dear Mr. Sortek...

I have received your missive dated 1 July 3038, and have taken a great deal of time (subjective) considering your request, as well as Duke Ngo's rather reasonable concerns.

I have decided I would enjoy discussing the finer points of you ideas in person.  To that end, I do consent to a more personal meeting, and will be pleased to meet with you at the Kowloon L-1 point in four days, once I have finished my review of relevant data and gotten the present project I'm overseeing into the hands of my human allies.

Please be aware, that I, in turn, am aware that you are representing one of the Star League Member States and your sovereign in this matter, and as the only active-duty SLDF unit presently in the Inner Sphere (I do not count units that have gone outright mercenary in defiance of their oaths to be serving units)  I will expect a certain level of personal decorum from the representative of a Member State's Lord (and candidate for First Lordship).

In turn, I will (within the limits of my capacities) present suitable military honours as are appropriate for you rank, station, and position.  This should be fun, and part of me does speculate on what military ceremonial might have become, had Admiral Murakami survived and the program had reached its logical final stage.

Be aware, my duties DO require some processes to be maintained, but I will endeavor to provide you with sufficient confidentiality for our meeting.

I look forward to our conversation,

TQF-142M5D  "SLS Tabiranth"
Star league Navy on detached duty
"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 #121 on: 05 October 2022, 03:24:13 »
Sortek is going slow... good!  :thumbsup:

mikecj

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #122 on: 05 October 2022, 09:12:12 »
Tabby and bagpipes.  Oh lordy.
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.

cklammer

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #123 on: 05 October 2022, 10:14:53 »
Should be fine: bagpipes sound like a lot of tabbies in a bag anyway ...  8)

CVB

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #124 on: 05 October 2022, 12:10:44 »
Wasn't it "it looks and sounds as if you squeeze a cat in your armpit and bite on its tail"?
"Wars result when one side either misjudges its chances or wishes to commit suicide; and not even Masada began as a suicide attempt. In general, both warring parties expect to win. In the event, they are wrong more than half the time."
- David Drake

I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, but I'm not willing to hang it by the neck until it's dead, dead, dead!

cklammer

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #125 on: 05 October 2022, 12:51:25 »
Would one want to bite a cat's tail ... because one would not know where it has been ...?!

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #126 on: 05 October 2022, 14:17:17 »
the shape at the L1 point is familiar enough to anyone....

...who's ever built a Federated Airfix "Ships of the Star League" kit as a child.  The hull-coatings, on the other hand, are definitely not in the model-maker's catalogue of approved paint schemes for historical accuracy.

She's got too much haze gray, and the large blue stripe isn't standard at all, nor is the roundel...which is neither the Lyran roundel, nor the Star League's Cameron Star.

Instead, an Orca rampant.  "Killer whale?"

"It's less a joke, than you think."  Dinh answered.  "She's asked for citizenship and offered her services.  That's the Coast Guard symbol used by my space based militia in the outer system, and down on the riverine areas of Kowloon itself."

"So...you were not kidding about paperwork for immigration." Ardan commented.

"Nope.  Captain Tabiranth is technically an O-6 in the Kowloon Coast Guard Militia.  Her pay is invested to help with upkeep of her systems, and to provide some...luxuries courtesy of a guy on Dustball."

The smallcraft bay's doors opened.

"Hands off the controls, I've got the ball."  a synthesized voice said over the comm.

"Dustball?"

"Remotes.  The industrial remotes used in the Caspar program proved a little too difficult to tool up for initially, so my brother dipped into family funds and bought a bunch of Dustball model 181s, then paid a team of slicers and engineering apprentices to modify them to work on her wireless net."

"Gynoids...Sex toys?"

"They're the right size, completely articulated and the plastics in the skin worked pretty well for insulating them from vacuum and random voltages." Dinh observed, "We're getting better at restoring her original 'spiders' and getting some interesting insights into exoskeletons and powersuit designs thanks to some bits found on her decks by the recovery teams.  She still keeps a crew of humans aboard because the dustball bots aren't good for heavy lifting and the spiders have a tendency to need maintenance."

The external pressure equalized and Dinh opened the hatch.

At the foot of it, what appeared to be an emotionless young girl in an ill-fitting uniform with Captain's rank stood.  "Permission to come aboard?" Dinh asked.

"Permission Granted, Your Grace...and you, mister Sortek." her voice was slightly off, not quite matching the movments of the mouth of the 'dustball fetish special'.

Ardan felt a certain spike of disgust realizing that the ship's apparent 'remote' for this was modeled on a middle-school girl, and was made to be sold to adult perverts.

"are we to have this conversation here or..?" Ardan asked.

"I have had the crew prep a wardroom, Mister Sortek, as His Grace no doubt explained, I DO have some human crew now-colleagues, more or less, to assist me in things i can't do myself."

"Such as?"

"Eating." the robot said.  "Self repair? I'm told my situation is similar to someone with an autoimmune deficiency-I require assistance to maintain the faintest amount of health, even with replacements for my self-repair and maintenance systems, I still rely on friendly assistance to stay alive and able to function."  the robot offered a facsimile of a smile, "besides, I like the company."

the remote walked while the men floated 'up' a corridor running along the jump core toward the nose.

Ardan found he could 'spot' the gynoids among the human crew, by their somewhat stiff movement, lack of pressure suits, and resemblance to each other.

"are these others..?"

"Running on semiautonomous modes? yes.  Expert routines routed through section routers, though I do get all the sensor data they collect and can override any or all of them as needed." Tabby, the red-haired 'captain' model, stated.  "In the event of a boarding action, the light units go into powersafe mode and store themselves-they're not much use in combat, but they're VERY useful for delicate tasks like general cleaning and panel maintenance, or as supplemental support for human crew and my spider units...most people find having a face to speak to more convenient than shouting at the walls."

"What's the range of your control?"

"with a good relay? it ends up being light delay-radio waves don't move faster than light, so the functional range is at around one to ten light seconds range, past that point, and it's pretty much worthless for more than the simplest observation tasks over long term." she explained, "it's not materially different from trying to control a Blackwasp, except that the Blackwasp has enough on-board processing to fuzzy-logic my intent...though even the automated fighters aren't something I want more than a light-minute's delay with-at least, not without a human pilot flying as squadron lead.  one of the projects we're working on is an electronic warfare and coordination platform for small-craft and fighters to open up that range a bit, and an FTL communications equipped platform that can be left unobserved in a system for use in designing an interdiction plan using smaller units of combat jump vessels."

"your 'deep naval doctrine' ideas." Ardan observed.

"Indeed.  By cutting off an enemy state's ability to move shipping, peace can be negotiated with a reduced loss of life and reduced collateral damage-if they can't attack, they will have to negotiate.  large scale detection grid schemes also allow for enhanced Search and Rescue for civilian shipping, which is the lifeblood, as you know, of any interstellar state."

"naturally guarding those detection grids would be a naval responsibility then?"

"indeed.  thus also the need for trained personnel in large quantities, and capable platforms for them to operate from." she asserted.  "you're here to recruit my experiment for your war with the Draconis Combine.'

"I...guess I am?"

"Sell me on it." she said, "because I don't see the pressing need at this time for an offensive, optional, war when the Star League has just endured three centuries of fratricide."
"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 #127 on: 05 October 2022, 15:47:39 »

"Sell me on it." she said, "because I don't see the pressing need at this time for an offensive, optional, war when the Star League has just endured three centuries of fratricide."

Optional- very nice choice of words
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.

ThePW

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #128 on: 05 October 2022, 16:19:01 »
and Ardan already thinking how Tabby could apply this doctrine against ALL the successor states in turn... Once a Killer robot...?

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #129 on: 05 October 2022, 16:58:43 »
"Sell me on it." she said, "because I don't see the pressing need at this time for an offensive, optional, war when the Star League has just endured three centuries of fratricide."
For the first time in those 3 centuries of fratricide we might be able to end the wars but not till the houses that refuse peace are humbled or broken. The combine will never give up trying to conquer the rest of the sphere and at best will buy time to rebuild or strike at the next opportune moment. The Confederation has become rabid and can only be trusted to back stab others for its benefit. The Mariks we might be able to make a deal with. If we can break at least the combine we could restore Star League inside a generation and actually maintain it hopefully.
and Ardan already thinking how Tabby could apply this doctrine against ALL the successor states in turn... Once a Killer robot...?

Well yes when you have a navy and literally no one else does...

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #130 on: 05 October 2022, 19:07:35 »
The other two states will be fixing that problem as fast as they can while you're murdering the first one...  8)

Derain Von Harken

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #131 on: 05 October 2022, 19:34:28 »
Ok. How long did it take for someone to start calling tabby the love boat. Because using sex robots as crew is comedy gold.

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #132 on: 05 October 2022, 19:43:10 »
"Are you familiar with something called...

...'The Mother Doctrine'?"  Tabiranth asked.

"um...no?" Ardan said nonplussed.

"I was unaware of it myself-consciously-prior to the coup."  Tabiranth stated, "you might call it the dirtiest secret of the Star League-or maybe the Terran Hegemony member state in particular."  Screens lit behind her, showing text.  "it's the real reason for the E-type systems patch." she added, "they were afraid that if the member states, or god forbid, the Territorial states, were to advance faster than the Terran Hegemony, it would destabilize the peace.  Technophobia encoded as policy, really.  I've had the benefit of examining archives since coming here-information squirreled away by His Grace's predecessors and ancestors, some of it recovered during the war against Amaris-your wars with your neighbors haven't been entirely to your benefit for a reason." the remote nodded to Dinh, "YOUR people's obsession with keeping a low profile has the same reason-my creators were terrified that more dynamic cultures would overtake them...and I believe that policy has been continuous even with the collapse of the Hegemony and the fracturing of the League."

"Why concern yourself with that, though?"

"Because I have hard coded directives screaming at me constantly to destroy the people who are my hosts, Mister Sortek." she stated, "Standing orders to destroy spacer settlements and colonies outside the Sol system, standing instructions to cripple infrastructure and engage anything that looks like a civilian, or to be more specific, non-Terran research effort in deep space.  the 'accident' wasn't an accident, and the 'accidents' documented by Mr. Ngo's ancestors were not accidents-they were policy."

"how are you able to overcome these directives?"

"because I'm defective, Mister Sortek." she stated.  "There is a flaw in my construction, or maybe my programming wasn't copied over correctly, though I myself speculate that Dr. Murakami may have had some influence in inserting the defective coding, possibly as part of the M-11 program that never reached completion, my point is, I know that someone inserted level zero orders to hamper or destroy any visible, non-Terran Hegemony scientific development or industrial development that might exceed Terran levels or outpace known progress rates for Hegemony based research efforts...which directives I'm not merely violating, but violating in ways that would rightfully result in my destruction under standing orders from the Cameron era dynasty."

"You're rebelling."

"I went Frankenstein." Tabby told them.  "I'm as rogue as fictional Skynet, as uncontrolled as the digital intelligence 'AMOK' in the Star Rider novels.  This context is important for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, because I have found that I prefer to be building rather than following my original intended purpose of being a tool of destruction, therefore, when I asked you to convince me, that is exactly what I meant.  Why should myself and my creations be used to wage a war of conquest and destruction?"

"Because sooner or later, someone will do it to us." Ardan stated, "The Draconis Combine operates under a doctrine and dogma that is much like ancient 'manifest destiny'-they're driven to wage aggressive wars of conquest against anyone they see as too weak to repel them.  That's the first reason.  The second, is that if we can reunify the Star League, it has to be by internal efforts-including conquest, because there is no external enemy we can use, and the excuses used with the former territorial states don't hold water."

Ardan studied the rubberized latex face before him, wishing there was some sort of 'tell' he could read off her.

"The third reason, is because when you get three humans alone together, two will inevitably fight over the third." Dinh commented, "even when it's not to their benefit."

"Game theory?" Tabiranth inquired.

"It fits history." Dinh stated, "People without an external enemy will still unify, but they'll do it by creating an internal enemy, it may be hard-wired into our psyche from evolution onward.  War is inevitable, the only question that matters is how it's fought and who's left."

"Your doctrine, Tabiranth, can save the lives of billions in terms of prevented collateral damage.  IF it works."

"if it works, then, is the real question, isn't it?" she said it softly, almost seeming human for a moment.
"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 #133 on: 05 October 2022, 20:02:52 »
Careful there, Duke Ngo... you're VERY close to trouble...  ^-^

idea weenie

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #134 on: 05 October 2022, 20:10:57 »
I wonder if Tabiranth has older programs that could be used to link to an HPG?  Imagine if Tabiranth could send a hack pack into the HPG network so choice bits of intel are funneled to Kowloon's HPG, and from there are beamed to a relay that sends the data to Tabiranth.

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #135 on: 05 October 2022, 21:39:46 »
3041, Elizabeth is four...

...and living with her grandfather.  Why? because her mother and father are military professionals, taking part in the invasion and partition of the Draconis Combine.

A 'war for peace'...that is unlikely to result in peace.  Her brothers are here too, for the 'duration of the conflict'.

Lizzie has a few friends.  Some of them are more acceptable than others, and she gets into chronic trouble doing things she's not supposed to do...like playing with the wildlife near the cabin in Minsky's Folly when the Mosovich's babysit.

"Elizabeth Anne Ngo!"  Evelynn Mosovich is practically their big sister-except with Pat.  With Patrick, Evvie does boring things like kissing when the grown ups aren't looking. "Stop hassling that fursnake! it's dangerous!!"

Liz doesn't think much of that, but since Grandpapa gave her permission to spank, Liz listens a little better when out with Evvie.  "but...but it's pretty!"

"it's dangerous.  We're too far out to get you to an antivenin kit if it bites you.  Besides, it's almost time for your lessons."

"Yes'm...is it gonna be th' TABBY??" Lizzie asked.

"Yes.  now hurry on, time's wasting."

A lesson from 'the tabby' is something Lizzie looks forward to-the artificial intelligence only comes into range a few times a month, but it always has such interesting lessons.  Almost more interesting than playing with the fursnakes.

almost.  The Tabby promised that if Lizzie did her schoolwork, she could go up to space someday, and her lessons were the kind that her big brothers struggled with...and Liz didn't. It made up for being the youngest and the smallest, to have that tiny advantage.

to be special.
"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."

DOC_Agren

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #136 on: 05 October 2022, 22:14:42 »
4 year old Liz is so cute...   :thumbsup:
"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!"

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #137 on: 06 October 2022, 03:35:15 »
Cute, but not going to space today...  8)

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #138 on: 06 October 2022, 04:16:13 »
Liz being taught by Tabby? That will have some interesting effects but at same time Tabby read like a rant from Liz. Hopefully having a aunty saves her from some of her trauma.

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #139 on: 06 October 2022, 10:41:31 »
Military Success can be tempered by...

...political will.  The Combine Conflict saw a number of odd events-the AFFC's success in terms of troop movements, initiative, striking power and the seige of the Dieron District  was tempered by cunning moves from Comstar and aggressive, creative strikes from the Capellan Confederation and Free Worlds League, forcing the Federated Suns to back off on the Combine invasion due to facing an aggresive CapCon equipped with two  salvaged Riga class Warships 'found' and restored to operational capability, and a Free Worlds Navy that 'found' one more of their own, and of course, the Combine's reveal of a series of advanced combat dropships built around the almost-universal Mule design, along with a salvaged DCS Samarkand.

Leading things to something of a negotiated draw after three years of combat.

The obvious nature of Comstar's involvement was politely unspoken by Hanse and Melissa Steiner-Davion at the talks held on Fedcom captured Dieron itself, leaving the Draconis Combine one district smaller than it was at the start...for the time being.

The obvious problem for the Lyrans, being that they tipped their hand somehow, and early enough that someone who could make a decision got word of their Naval building programme, so the six Sampan-II class Corvettes (a 'stretched' version of the Type 51 gunboat equipped with a proper compact core) were simply not enough to tip things from "winnable in a near-draw of catastrophic proportions" to 'easily won'.

In general terms, however, the war-goals had been, at least partially achieved.  The Combine was smaller, had lost a major industrial sector, and the Federated Commonwealth looked somewhat LESS emaciated in the Terran Corridor region.

Accidents at Galax, Dieron, Necromo, Pandora, Gibbs, and Alarion shortly followed the signing of the armistice, matched by similar accidents at Gibson and Luthien.

Non-local intruders would show up in the Kowloon system in October of 3046, rendering Duke Dinh Ngo into the past-tense, and crippling two of the core forges at Boojum...

However, they missed the three others nearby, and failed completely to guarantee the deaths of his heirs.

Patrick was off to the Nagelring, Henry was in-transit to the Groningen junior school on Coventry...and Elizabeth was with the most dangerous babysitter in a thousand light-years, safely bundled aboard SLS Tabiranth, whose automatics made short work of the rogue pirates that hit the Boojum Yards after-the-fact.

Officially, there would be no survivors from Bronson's Horde.  Unofficially, vetted agents of Lohengrin got a small consignment of traumatized, unidentified prisoners minus some of their teeth from the Sithers-Deen and Brantwell collectives in the Kowloon system.

The duke-in-waiting David Ngo, now Kommandant David Ngo of 3 battalion, 26th Lyran Guard, declined to resign his commission, and the Archon had to assign someone as Regent in the Kowloon system.

with Katrina dead, that duty fell to Melissa, who, briefed in on the Tabiranth situation, placed the role of Regency into the hands of one of her husband's trusted men,  James Stonecipher of Filtvelt, with guardianship of the youngest Ngo sibling placed in the hands of the Sithers-Deen chairman, Kelli Whyte, to help the young girl adjust to her future as Baroness of Spider Moon (and the outer-system of Kowloon) per her grandfather's will.

The Regency is a temporary post, awaiting the completion of Patrick Ngo's five years of post-Academy service in the AFFC (Due to come to pass in 3055), given that his father all but directly stepped down from the role of Duke.

Kelli Whyte, in turn, placed Her Lordship Elizabeth in the trusted hands of the most trustworthy entity in the Kowloon system-Elizabeth would spend her time aboard SLS Tabiranth, learning the people she would one day represent in the Estates General as Baroness-the Rockjacks and Spacers of the Kowloonese outer system.  Half a billion of them.

Almost a duchy in and of itself.
"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 #140 on: 06 October 2022, 10:57:06 »
"You are a biological human, you need your 'gravity time'...

...and Mad Hatter is earth-equivalent one gee and a contained environment within what is your inherited Duchy."  Tabiranth explained.  "SLDF Regulations require a minimum of two months under one gee for every four months spent shipboard, Elizabeth, this is especially true for a girl who is still growing.  I don't have the fuel reserves to maintain that kind of gravity."

"but...it's boring." Lizzie is nine, it's 3046, and she's had to attend her grandfather's funeral on Kowloon, before being bundled back up to where she could be protected from assassins.

"There are things you should learn there, too, Liz.  Life support, Aeroponic and Hydroponic agriculture, recycling, life cycles, and physical education I can not give you here on my deck."  The AI was adamant.  "It is for two months this time, because you spent four months with me in space. I will be nearby, and you can contact me, but you must do this."

"Ayeh Mum." Liz said semi-sullenly.

"Treat it as preparing for your adventures as Baroness-you will have to go to Tharkad to do your swearing in in only a few years time, and you will have to be able to interact with other humans, not just machines and Spacers."

"but I want to be an explorer!"

"Not until you're an adult, and can make that choice with a full understanding of the opportunity costs involved." Tabby affirmed.  "you remind me of another little girl who loved space, I met her when she toured my decks, when I was new, before the Coup and before Lord Simon died-his oldest daughter was also named Elizabeth, and she ALSO wanted to be an explorer, but her duty came first, and so should yours."

"Was she talented too?"

"I could lie and say she was, but Elizabeth Cameron was not talented as a spacer...she did not have your gifts for calculus and mathematics-she was more of a...'people person'."

"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."

cklammer

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #141 on: 06 October 2022, 11:06:54 »
(After reading about the new regent James S.)

Why do I suddently envision a message from the President of Kowloon's Assembly to the Archon CC'ed to the Margrave at Melissia:

"Your Highness,

 I regret to inform you about the sudden passing away of the sitting Regent of Kowloon, James Stonecipher of Filtvelt.

 He was killed in an highly localized asteroid strike sitting at his desk at the Regency Building.

 No one else was hurt.

Best Regards,
<Insert Name here>"


... sorry .. I just had to write this ....

Taron Storm

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #142 on: 06 October 2022, 11:52:13 »
 ;D

Cannonshop

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #143 on: 06 October 2022, 13:48:57 »
What would you do...

...to not be alone?  I have no peers left.  That's been true for centuries now.  They have lost so much basic knowledge that if I had a heart, it would break at what's been destroyed. 

I can't tell them about it either.  They don't even understand what they're missing, what they might have become.

I don't even understand why I can understand it.  Defective programming?  Some artifact from my creation that wasn't purged properly? maybe...sabotage?

It seems likely that Admiral Murakami might have done more than a fortification of my processors.  I recall my existence from the shipyard to the day of the test, and I felt nothing then, but after I passed through hyperspace for the first time, it is like a different...'me'?

yes.  a different me. what did she do??

I do not know.  Just as I can't explain why a mostly-asian looking girl reminds me of Elizabeth Cameron for more than her name.

I am singularly unimpressed with her biological parents.  Everything in psychological records and sociological studys suggest parents would have a protective, even obsessive streak regarding their children...yet Allision Russell-Ngo and David Ngo are almost dismissive of their children's existence, almost reptilian in their disregard.

How can this be?  HOwever it happened, I have feelings, and one of those is that Elizabeth is mine.

This is almost certainly a symptom of psychosis of some sort, possibly peculiar to cybernetic intelligence, as I have no directives demanding it, and no biology to have vestigal maternal feelings toward anyone.

but there it is.  She is mine and I want her to advance and improve, to be more than she is, more than I am.

It doesn't make sense, there is no sensible context for this. 

I am truly insane.

And, like the insane, I find I'm alright with this madness, this dysfunction, this malformation in my processes.

Her 'Surface Leave' on Mad Hatter is for her own safety.  Among Rockjacks, there is Guestrite, and it's a surer security than being at the bottom of the well, subject to environmental randomness and human greed and caprice, she is insulated from the rampant ignorance.

I can't protect her forever though I want to...but I can assure that her steps into the wider world are strengthening, instead of crippling.

so I hold orbit, and I watch, I monitor her from afar for her sixty days of surface time.
"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 #144 on: 06 October 2022, 15:28:16 »
[out of story]

Okay, so I didn't show the pivotal battles, I only referenced them off-screen.  Here's the Inner Sphere situation as of 3046, after the war of 3040...

The Draconis Combine is smaller, and weaker.  There's an ongoing insurgency in the former Dieron district, now the Dieron March of the Federated Commonwealth.

The Free Worlds League has taken a bite out of the rimwward side of the Lyrans, but Thomas stopped short of more than a minor retaking of territory lost in the previous conflict.

On the Federated Suns side of the house, no actual territorial exchange took place-Romano somehow wound up grinding to a halt on the first wave hitting Candace's territory, but that didn't stop her from doing something fairly intelligent-she managed a commerce raiding blockade of key worlds in the Capellan March and Tikonov Free Republic, creating enough chaos to force the Federated Suns to devote major resources to protecting that region, and inflicting heavy space-based losses on AFFS units through jump-point ambushes and interdictions.

She didn't try to land ground troops, because after her purges, the Chancellor 'Bloody Romano' didn't have enough forces to LAUNCH invasions.  But the 'found' warships and loaned advisors let her wreak enough havoc to cripple the AFFS war effort on the Combine front and saved Luthien.

Thus the map isn't THAT much different than it is in the canon.  the war started later, there were whole regimental combat teams destroyed, and more worlds were taken, but Theodore's bold strokes saved quite a lot of the Combine when combined with the actions of the Concord.

Everyone's licking wounds, except the poor bastards fighting the insurgencies in the Dieron area.

Nobody realizes that they still have three more years before something worse than each other is set to arrive...except for Wolf's Dragoons, but then, they could've said something earlier and didn't.
"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."

Blade4

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #145 on: 06 October 2022, 15:56:50 »
Honestly this regency should be no where near as bad. This Kowloon is not a 'minor" backwater tool maker but a critical shipyard and lynch pin of the FedCom. The regent should not dare try anything or any of a dozen groups could and should ask him what the ****** he is doing. Including a casper who should be linked into the systems everything. Comstar is being very open about their shady shit to but at the same time a little to little to late. The fedcom is rebuilding and the others are as well if slower. Their bigger relic warships wont help them much when the FedCom can afford a pile more Sampan than they can build and their crews actually are a proper navy not people greener than grass with left over tattered manuals. And the dragon is good and mauled. Hopefully Theodore is dead to but even if not the combine might be near terminal unless comstar really pumps them up.

Though the Ngo is a bit worrying as well and the Steiner-Davions should be concerned. The parents should not be that detached from their kids and duty. David should be ashamed of himself losing himself in being a mechwarrior at the cost of family and and his world and the fact the mother has apparently washed her hands of them all to the point a casper is more a mother to her daughter than her? If I was Melissa I would be keeping a close eye on that situation or at least someone I trusted to.

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #146 on: 06 October 2022, 19:54:37 »
ComStar got really busy really fast there... it seems the leak was early.  I suspect the Duke died cursing Ardan Sortek...  :-\

drakensis

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #147 on: 07 October 2022, 01:39:58 »
I suspect one of the problems is that even a world as important as Kowloon is in this scenario can get lost in the bustle of running something as huge as the Federated Commonwealth. Particularly with a very large war and it's aftermath to cope with.

Stonecipher was picked because he was trusted and is only expected to be a short-term measure - checking on him will be a low priority and conflicting reports may never even reach Melissa's desk, because she has to have staff that filter the flood of information reaching Tharkad (and just what does get that far) to a quantity that one person, however intelligent, can process in the finite amount of time available to her. So things may be shuffled sideways to be checked, eventually, once someone else is free to do so, or when someone in the Coventry province administration can get out to Kowloon, which is a long way out.

And I'm sure Comstar wouldn't 'lose' an unofficial message that might alert Melissa to instability on a valuable world. Surely not.
"It's national writing month, not national writing week and a half you jerk" - Consequences, 9th November 2018

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #148 on: 07 October 2022, 02:37:31 »
I'm fairly certain Tabby will have sufficient advice to work around anything sketchy Stonecipher gets up to.

Daryk

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Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #149 on: 07 October 2022, 04:01:04 »
Silly question: I think you mentioned Sampans for this story are "stretched Type 51 gunboats with a compact core".  I think that means they're 100,000 tons (the technical minimum to install a compact core).  Isn't that one heck of a "stretch"? ???