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Author Topic: War is a grave.  (Read 47722 times)

Cannonshop

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #270 on: 30 November 2021, 10:04:42 »
Isn't this the point where one of the Ngos becomes a space-time wizard in one of the other stories?

That was one of the goofier versions and think almost sixty years earlier for time context with Elizabeth, I abandoned that line of thinking by killing that version off.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

ThePW

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #271 on: 30 November 2021, 11:40:41 »
That was one of the goofier versions and think almost sixty years earlier for time context with Elizabeth, I abandoned that line of thinking by killing that version off.

You know, from playing DDO for years, i know for a fact that any problem involving death is fixable with enough Rez scrolls...

Cannonshop

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #272 on: 30 November 2021, 11:57:19 »
Meiterhaus bar and grill, late evening, April 2, 3154...

Sharon Ngo is a big girl, and she usually dresses like a spacer, wearing a skinsuit under a modified coverall altered to look enough like a proper uniform to pass for it, and a long jacket when 'on duty' surface-side.

Tonight, she wasn't dressed for business.  Tonight wasn't blue, Khaki or emergency orange, it wasn't even black.  Red.  red, and 'duty inappropriate' dress supported only by friction and a strap across her left shoulder, cut asymmetrically with a 'horsewoman's cut' halfway up each thigh, held with a belt more decorative than functional across her hips.

The cut was actually flattering, considering her extreme muscularity, this was topped with styled hair instead of her usual 'helmet bun', draped over her bare shoulders and framing a face that almost never saw a lipstick, never mind full makeup-but whoever did the work knew what they were about, transforming her middle-aged 'permanent weightlifter's frown' into something attractive, and more surprising-feminine.  Low heels meant she still towered over most of the men, but it wasn't to the extreme it might've been-just enough lift to emphasize her walk.

"My god, she's wearing girl clothes." Roderick muttered, "Trill, did you even KNOW she could dress like that?"

Trillian laughed as Admiral Ngo was shown to the table by the Maitre'd.

"Heya."  Dressed like this, Sharon looked vulnerable, her whole overconfidence and bearing were concealed.

"Mein gott, you wore it!" Trillian laughed.

"This is embarrassing enough-"

"Roddy, stop staring, you're ruining the illusion!" Trillian added, "Sit, sit! Mein gott you clean up well, Sharrie! where have you been hiding this look?? Have some wine, relax..."

"I...don't get out much." Sharon confessed.

"Neither do I, nor does Roderick.  You understand, everyone in here tonight works for me." Trillian stated, "it's only an illusion of normal.  I can't sneak out to 'slum with the proles' as Melissa used to put it back when I could."

"Carolina was the pretty one, I just feel...exposed." Sharon confessed.

"You're gorgeous. girl." Trillian affirmed, "you SHOULD get out more. The agenda, because I know you like things alles in ordnung, is we eat, we drink, we dance, we drink some more, and do things we're going to regret in the morning...or at least, we pretend to. No titles, no ceremony, no drill, just cutting loose."

"I didn't put her up to this, Sharon." Roderick said defensively.

"you clean up pretty well for a toothpick yourself." Sharon quipped.  "You have a date coming?"

"Uh...no."

"Most eligible bachelor in the Commonwealth, and no girls or boys on the side?" Sharon scoffed, "The press must be incensed.  just think of the poor Paparazzi out there, starving because you give them nothing to gossip about!"

Trillian laughed, then, "My date is here."

Sharon turned her head to look, "ooh, Trillian! nerdy bookish boys? I think I could snap that one in half one-handed."

"You two have fun now." Trillian announced, and got up to meet her 'date'.

"Did we just-"?

"-get stood up? yeah, I think so." Sharon answered.

"So, what do you want to do?" Roderick asked, "Given that Her Majesty just left with a date she managed to keep me from finding out about, after conning me into dressing in this monkey-suit."

"The monkey suit looks good on you." Sharon commented, "It's quite fitting and takes years off your appearance. I, on the other hand, have clownpaint on my face and am wearing a sequined rag that cost as much as some people's houses, and uncomfortable shoes."

"Which makes you stunning." he told her.

"So, we're supposed to drink the Archon's booze, eat the Archon's food, dance, and do regrettable things?" Sharon asked.

"I believe so.  we can, I think, do most of that without getting plowed, unless you need liquid for your courage?"

"Hardly, besides, this stuff is kind of weak." Sharon commented, then looked him over again, "HOW are you still single??"

"I'd ask the same of you."

"Mine is wrapping up all those urges into time at the weight bench." Sharon commented, "The 'office' part of 'officer' eats up all my time these days, but I still keep fit."

"VERY fit." he said.

"Let's do something we'll both regret." she smiled at him, meeting his eyes.

"Let's."

***

Roderick Steiner's apartments, Triad...

"so, does this change anything?" Sharon asked, morning light filtered through open curtains, "Between us, I mean?"

"I don't know, do you want it to?" he asked.  "I understand if you don't."

"meaning I wasn't your first choice." Sharon teased.

"before last night? no." he said, "I was a little surprised you...were so inexperienced."

"Not a lot of dating opportunities." Sharon said calmly, "professional demeanor, everyone I spend enough time with is lower rank or uninterested, or intimidated. and YOU??"

He rolled over and looked at her.  "I wasn't intimidated." he said, "just never really considered you that way.  You know there's a rumour you're into girls?"

"I've heard the rumours." Sharon nodded, "some of the dirtier ones, even some disrespectful of the Archon herself."

"Well, we've given them something else to talk about, at least...you were good, Sharon."

"I didn't have to do much, Roddy. You did most of the work."

"Which is a fun switch from our usual relationship, don't you think? I usually have to let YOU do all the work in the office!"

"It helps to be experienced. How do you hide it?" she asked.

"People expect me to be involved with multiple women!" he chuckled, "SO, it's fairly easy to do so quietly...you're not jealous, are you?"

"Envious." Sharon said, "envy, not jealousy.  I envy whoever you keep. she'll be a damned lucky girl."

"could be you."

"You're flattering me in the afterglow, Roderick." Sharon said, "Which I thank you for, but..."

"yeah, 'but'." he grimaced.

She teasingly put her finger on his nose, "BUT, you deserve better than a hare-catcher noble and professional spacer and you know it."

"Still with that 'not good enough'." he shook his head.

"Well, as I said, I know I'm not your first choice, we had fun, you showed me new things...but do you think we could work? in the other twenty hours of the day?"

He sighed and lay back on the pillow.  "Honestly? no."

"Neither do I...but we did have fun, ja??"

"Lots of fun."

"We can have fun in the future, if you wish, but no false promises, ja?" she said, "no insincere 'love you forever' speeches, because that's not fit for either of us, and you know as well as I do, that we're no dynastic match. You have responsibilities and I have my career...besides, it's fun being the side-piece."

He sighed, and then, he chuckled.  "We need to get dressed soon."

"I think we can delay. 'Rank has its privileges', after all, and won't Trillian be surprised?"
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Cannonshop

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #273 on: 30 November 2021, 15:06:45 »
Headquarters, LCN, late afternoon.

"Well, it's not much of a walk of shame when you show up pressed and snappy." Admiralleutnant Emily Falcone commented once the hatch closed.

"Nothing to be ashamed of." Sharon quipped, "You didn't set fire to anything and I didn't smell blood in the air filters, so...quiet day?"

"pretty quiet, nothing but reports, a few of them are on your desktop's display...so dish?"

"He was...quite considerate." Sharon said diplomatically.

"Ouuuu..." Emily flinched, "that bad huh?"

"No, that good, but it was...there wasn't any feelings in it.  His mind was on someone else." Sharon confessed.  "I can't compete with an ideal, you know that."

"So, no maternity leaves?"

"I remembered to update my contraceptives." Sharon said it mock-haughtily, "So no Steiner bastards in the woodpile from me.  Honestly, it was worth wearing the dress, we might do it again..."

"ooooh." Emily grinned.

"You...are enjoying this far too much, Emily Falcone."

"Usually I have to make shit up for you to vicariously live through." Emily said, "it's tiring, you know, searching romance novels for dialogue to keep my best friend entertained with made up stories about assignations..."

"are the visits to sick call when we were on Barbary Seas also made up? I seem to recall quite a few lectures from Medical about ve-"

"All scandalous lies!" Emily said, "except when it's scandalous truths of course.  Enough about me, I want to hear details!!"

"I'm not going to give them...now, is there any actual business we need to address today?"

"Aww, yeah, actually.  The bids on the Marsden program are in, so we've got to put together a board for review, and I have a list of candidates..."

****

Mount Asgard, late afternoon...

Trillian shoved the door closed behind her, "So?? How did it go?"

"How did what go, Trill?"

"I set you up, you're late to the office, I want to know how it went!"

He sighed, "We gave each other the 'let's be friends' speech, of course. how in hell do you think it went??"

"Well, I was hoping to hear 'well Trillian, it went really well and we had a very good time', plus some salacious details and maybe some accounts of your amazing performance."

"Guys don't talk like that." He told her.

"Yeah...so is it more of a 'dear Spelmann's, I never believed anything in this forum but this happened to me...' or was it more like 'I have found the one and she is terrific!', hey?"

"We're friends." he said.  "Just friends.  If you really want to continue this line of inquiry further, I'm going to have to ask if you've found a consort and when the Heirs are due to start appearing, because you know that that is what the Estates General is looking for."

"Low Blow, Roddy." She said, "Why should I be producing the heirs anyway-you're healthy and virile and it wouldn't even impact your work, because you don't need to take nine months-"

"because YOU are the Archon." He told her, "Not me.  YOU are therefore responsible for guaranteeing succession."

"A job I was hoping to pawn off on you." she admitted.  "Only an alarming number of women you're with just want to be 'friends'."

he shrugged, "hey, when you've got it..."

"beast."

"That is what she said...we need to deal with national business now, Your Majesty, security arrangements."

"Yes, we do." Trillian stated.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #274 on: 30 November 2021, 15:23:54 »
You know, from playing DDO for years, i know for a fact that any problem involving death is fixable with enough Rez scrolls...

For that, you need Archmage Chimkin of the House of McNuggNugg.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Cannonshop

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #275 on: 30 November 2021, 18:13:57 »
Fleet Mess, aka 'The Oaken Cudgel', Naval Station Tharkad...

"...so his wife is standing in the doorway and I'm half-naked and he's got this look, and she asks me, casual as you please if I'm there to fix the water pipes!" Sylvestri's story made Peregrine wince every time he told it. 

she turned away as he delivered the bawdy punchline to the laughter of the table, and headed for the bar.

"Kapitain! can I get you something?"  the steward behind the bar asked.

"Hard water, two fingers, something artisanal."  a nice way of describing what amounts to vacuum distilled spacer's moonshine.

"I've got just the thing." He put a shot glass on the counter, and pulled out a stained-looking fluid bag.  in spin gravity, it's a skill to pour mixed drinks, "anything with it?"

"What've you got?"

"fresh peaches."

"I'll take a couple slices thanks." she turned to watch the promotion party going on at the large table.

"A bit put-off?" the steward asked.  "It's your party, I know that much."

"Yah, a bit." she nodded.  "He doesn't go on to tell them the ending of that story, you know."  she sipped.  The nasty tasting stuff burned from her mouth lining down her throat.

"Oh?"

"The guy on the side, bought it with the Caisson Ridge." she said quietly, "He had to go to Inarcs and talk to the widow." she glanced back at the barman,   "top me off barman.  It's going to be a LONG night."

"you say it so sadly."

"Grounded." She said, "Staff tour of a year.  I have not one clue what to do with it, they frocked me up, and put me behind a desk. How ****** up do you suppose I am, that could happen, hey?"

The old Steward straightened a bit, "Ma'am, with all due respect, not ****** up at all, it means they trust you."

"So they told me." she sipped.  "but it means being stuck, tell me, you weren't always a steward, were you?" she turned around.

"LCS Yggsdrasill for a time, Air-wing." he announced, "I even retired, before your time. volunteer here now.  YOU were part of the first batch of the 'new navy', yah?"

"Yeah."

"I could tell, that Kowloonese accent." He said with a nod.  "Hue Falcon?"

"Yeah."

"so...natural born or cannister kid?"

"Cannister kid, but adopted out-penetrating questions mister barman!"

He chuckled and shrugged, "It's part of the job you know, get the customers talking.  So, a Trueborn, but raised wild, I bet you have a few stories there.  did they tell you, or did you have to find out?"

"Told me." she said, "Wonderful people, really. Miss 'em from time to time.  Felix and Magda were very understanding foster parents."

"You seen them since the war?"

"They died in '45, older couple." she said sadly, "Natural causes, I had leave to go to the funeral, and that's the last time I set foot on Kowloon."

"So, why 'Falke' then?" he asked, "Just curious, you don't have to answer."

"because I can't be a 'Pershaw'-or won't be, after what we saw during the war." she sighed.

"Maybe you ought to be." he told her, "It's a staff tour, you can probably get leave to do it.  Those medals say you've got the record, and all."

"It's...complicated." she said quietly.  "I have bits of medal on my uniform, so why do I feel like a failure?"

"A question for the ages, maybe back off on the hard water, and drink some actual water girl, you don't want to show up for duty hung over from your promotion party!"
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Daryk

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #276 on: 30 November 2021, 18:22:02 »
I don't know... if any two could make it work, I think it would be Sharon and Roderick.  It certainly wouldn't be a bed of roses, but it would WORK (in all senses of the word...  :D).

What kind of bar man are we seeing here?  Falke should have the day OFF after her promotion party...

Cannonshop

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #277 on: 01 December 2021, 09:54:33 »
Aufmerksamkeit auf Befehle, auf Befehl Ihrer Majestät, des Archons des Lyranischen Commonwealth.

To: Kpt. Falke, Peregrine, Mader
From: LCN Personnel Command, Tharkad

RE: Assignment and report.

You have been selected to reassignment to Lyran Commonwealth Naval Special Operations Bureau.
Location LCN Weapons and training establishment, Heligoland Moon, (Tharkad VII/5) Building IIA, Floor C

Duration: 1 Year's time (366 standard days)

Duty is considered Hardship duty and no provision for dependents has been made.

Report to Site Director Ngo, Clarissa for further instructions.

This assignment counts toward Two standard Staff Tours and may be extended per the needs of the Realm.

By my order,

Admiralleutnant Minh, Linda Nicole Sithers 102
Director, LCN Personnel Bureau

Countersigned by
Flottenadmiral Ngo, Sharon E,
Chief of Naval Operations, Lyran Commonwealth Navy
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Cannonshop

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #278 on: 01 December 2021, 11:18:50 »
Notation: Special Operations is NOT Special Forces. (an entry briefing)

The Lyran Commonwealth actually has several very good special forces type organizations, including the Action branch of Heimdall, Lohengrin's Operations department, Loki, and of course, the branch Special Forces from LCAF itself.

This isn't that.

'Special Operations' in simple terms consists of missions and mission profiles unsuitable for classification with regular military functions.

You've been assigned here, to work with the weird stuff.  This isn't like regular weapons or systems research.  It is also not like standard domestic or foreign intelligence work, nor are we doing strategic or tactical planning against known threats.

You have been assigned to Special Operations because you possess some key competency that is considered rare or valuable enough to retain, relevant to what we do work with, whether it's an intensive love of, and understand of, fringe scientific ideas, cutting edge theory, religious iconography, supernatural or unexplained phenomena, or Occult and/or fringe spiritual beliefs.

Failure is expected.  Fringe ideas and cutting edge theoretical work share a common trait: they usually fail close examination.  This department's writ of authority is to pursue materials and research that has hit dead ends in the last 500 years, because it has become understood that scientific, technical and related information has been sabotaged repeatedly by foreign actors.  (See: Habeas, Bertram, "Field Manual Comstar" 3065, see also recorded interview with Herr Doktor-Professor Dunletter, Henri, late of the University of Tharkad Physics department, or Files listed under the White Shroud Mother heading once you've been issued your security clearance.)

We're going through historical failures, flawed concepts, and failed experiments to assure that these were, in fact, failures caused because the universe doesn't work that way, rather than failures caused because someone on Old Earth/Holy Terra/ Terra/Comstar didn't want the work to proceed.

This is a dangerous career field, and your family(ies) may be endangered should details of your work in this department slip out at the wrong time.

Many of you, therefore, were selected not based as much on your testing scores, as on your status as unmarried, without close family relations, and freedom from various entanglements in your personal life.

No joke here, for four hundred years someone has been assassinating scientists and researchers to prevent humanity from advancing, and while we're doing our best to prevent this from continuing, the danger remains real.

Much of the work you will be engaged in will fail.  Most of it.  during your tour here, it could be that you will work a file to closure without doing more than confirming that the theory presented is, in fact, balderdash.

Do not despair, failure and lost time running down false leads eliminates those falsehoods from consideration and frees the future to pursue ideas that actually work, or can work, or can be made to work, as was the case with the effort to restart HPG service in the Commonwealth and identify the cause of Gray Monday.

The time you spend here, will be gruelling, disappointing, lonely, frustrating, and mentally and psychologically challenging.  If you're extremely fortunate you may see one success during your tour.

But don't expect it.  This is a battle some of you have never dreamed of-we are battling the collapse of human enlightenment to claim the prize of human advancement, and we are facing many, many enemies.

Welcome to Special Operations.

Signed:

Clarissa Roshak-Ngo, PhD.
Director, Lyran Commonwealth Special Operations Annex.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Cannonshop

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #279 on: 01 December 2021, 11:51:38 »
Triad, Tharkad, June 2, 3154...

Sharon didn't wear a ballgown, or an evening gown to the Archon's diplomatic reception for the Republic's Ambassador.  She dressed for work.

Dressing for work, involved for tonight, a cloth uniform instead of a skinsuit, the type listed as "Mess Dress" in teh LCN handbook and officially reserved for 'Archon's specific order' in the listing.

Nonetheless, the Mess Dress uniform included a buff-white leather version of the standard LCN utility harness, and the equipment in the harness was inspect able, from the rigging line to the rigging tape, portable plasma-torch (roughly the size and shape of a pistol), multitool, and, in place of a swagger-stick, a crowbar.

One of Trillian's little jokes, the "McKennsy Crowbar" is the Naval version of the McKennsy Hammer, and weighs roughly eight kilos, it is reserved for officers whom have distinguished themselves aboard Warship, Jumpship, or Dropships in combat theaters.  Hers is inscribed with 'Naval Battle of Tharkad-3143', and unlike the Hammer, it's made of Platinum-plated spring steel, as it is required to be serviceable as a damage control tool.

"Heya Sharon, she made you leave the space-suit at the port?" Roderick asked.

"Yeah.  I think she must've penciled in the modifications to the uniform articles while I was looking the other way, because Her Majesty's instructions cited the specific reg and paragraph just to shut me up-preemptively."

He chuckled.  "Seen the new Republic Ambassador yet?"

"watched him land, watched him march that three-legged atrocity to their Embassy and park it, does that count?" she asked.

"It counts." he nodded, "So you watched from orbit."

"Ayeh." she nodded, "I hitched a ride on LCS Bremerhauven during orbital escort."

"That's...whose boat? I don't-"

"New guy, Mike Hogarth, he was with 4th Division in the III Corps operations area, supporting the periphery front counterinvasion." She explained, "Kid's from Gallery if you can believe it, got stranded this side when the Wolves invaded in the forties, worked as an able spacer for Commonwealth Lines before we recruited him."

"is he on your good books?"

"very much.  Considering his grandfather is...obnoxious."

"SIR! THOMAS!! HOGARTH!! right??"

"that'd be the obnoxious grandfather, but Mike's chill and he's competent, he's even got the Gift, good navigator...we scored with that kid.  Razor sharp, and sensible.  He'll finish his Destroyer tour, do a staffer at the War College, and then I think he's going to get one of the Marsdens, or get XO on a Marsden, once they're through sea trials."

"Did you bother to read up on our visiting Paladin?" Roddy asked.

Sharon made a face like she'd bit into a lemon.  "yeah.  LIC is short a ton of info on the guy and my people haven't done any better job, but his last name? seen that before, and given those super-even features and super-fit physique, if that guy has living parents they're either fitness models or he's adopted-he's got the look of a pure-strain cannister kid with the last name 'Howell'? not a lot of our local clans have those-it was a big name with the Smoked Jaguars, whom were supposed to be extinct."

"yeah, I noticed that too." Roderick nodded.

"seems to me, a whole lot of looking wasn't being done in Grandmama's time if there ARE trueborn Jags running around in Prefecture X." Sharon added, "Kinda fits with Stone's practice of paperclipping Blakies too...and explains how they managed ops in Clan territory without getting caught."

"That is...pretty paranoid, Sharon." He noted.

"comes with the job, Roddy. Comes with the job...shit, he's coming this way."


"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #280 on: 01 December 2021, 12:02:45 »
Am I the only one seeing Sharon had that tripod dialed in for some laser based orbital bombardment if it tried anything nasty?

paulobrito

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #281 on: 01 December 2021, 12:22:55 »
Am I the only one seeing Sharon had that tripod dialed in for some laser based orbital bombardment if it tried anything nasty?
Nope, you are not the only one.

Ramblefire

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #282 on: 01 December 2021, 12:28:27 »
Am I the only one seeing Sharon had that tripod dialed in for some laser based orbital bombardment if it tried anything nasty?
You're either delusional or new if you think any of us are willing to challenge that bet.

Dave Talley

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #283 on: 01 December 2021, 12:46:50 »
Park a couple Battlesats in synchronized orbit over it
Resident Smartass since 1998
“Toe jam in training”

Because while the other Great Houses of the Star League thought they were playing chess, House Cameron was playing Paradox-Billiards-Vostroyan-Roulette-Fourth Dimensional-Hypercube-Chess-Strip Poker the entire time.
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georgiaboy

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #284 on: 01 December 2021, 13:53:21 »
I would think that Sharon would have the Gauss Rifle barrel of a Landmark to be pointed at the tripod at all times. Since Laser emitters should not have a barrel that is evident.


So a Naval Gauss barrel pointed at all times towards the planet should be visible even by a regular telescope.
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Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #285 on: 01 December 2021, 14:00:34 »
I would think that Sharon would have the Gauss Rifle barrel of a Landmark to be pointed at the tripod at all times. Since Laser emitters should not have a barrel that is evident.


So a Naval Gauss barrel pointed at all times towards the planet should be visible even by a regular telescope.

I picked Naval Lasers over Naval Autocannon or Gauss Rifles in part due to 'splash', a NL isn't quite as powerful, but still will at least amputate whole sections of a mech caught by it, while limiting collateral damage.  And secondly energy weapons are near instant time of flight, as opposed to a physical projectile which requires a decent prediction of where the target will be in several seconds.  True the damn thing is a walking bunker, but I doubt Trillian would be happy if Sharon had to bracket the area to insure a takedown.

Cannonshop

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #286 on: 01 December 2021, 17:49:30 »
"AH! the famous General Roderick Steiner!"  Paladin Howell was an effusive seeming man with more-than-conventionally handsome features compacted onto a muscular (but not too muscular) 'mechwarrior body almost exactly two meters in height-taller than Roderick, but a hair shorter than Sharon.

"Paladin, mister ambassador, how was your trip? Do you like your accomodations?" Sharon spoke before Roderick could respond, saving him from the vigorous hand-shaking.

Howell looked up to meet her eyes.  "My, you're a big one, you must be that Chief Admiral we have heard so much about."

"You didn't answer my question." she inclined her head.  "what do you think of what we've done with things in your absence, Mister Ambassador?"

Howell met her eyes.  "Impressive.  You've certainly taken advantage of the lapse in the Naval Treaty enforcements."

"Funny how that works, Mister Ambassador." Roderick caught a quick glance, noting that Sharon's smile could probably cut glass it was so hard and thin. "Industrial accidents in the shipbuilding industries just...lapsed away once your wall went up."

"It must have been quite expensive, Admiral."

"Ruinously, or so I'm told." Sharon lied, "Why, I had to personally cut back on the polished oak and teak wardrooms, and six thousand count sheets to pay for it, and the caviar is simply inferior.  I doubt a single officer in my command even has a proper china tea set to his name, what with the reduced quarters." her eyes glittered.  "Still, having everything with clock set back to below the five year check, does make up for those little economies.  How's your relics collection?"

"Relics collection?"

"The Republics famed ninety-one ship fleet." Sharon said, "I imagine the clock hours on their reactors must be reaching some phenomenal hours, unless you've been refitting them for the last ten years. Most of those old SLDF and Ex-Comstar boats were pretty old before either of us were born."

"They are, so I'm told, doing rather well, thank you for asking, Admiral." Howell's tone was cold and low.

Roderick interrupted, "Howell...would that be like the Syria Planum Howells, or Clan Snow Raven?"

"Snow Raven." the Ambassador said, "one of the founding bloodlines. my ancestor immigrated to the Republic during formation."

"Setayshun oah Duttyfet?" Sharon blurted.

Howell's expression slipped with a hint of confusion.  "What?"

"ah, Dirtyfeet, Roddy, he's yours, and I'm bored again." she sighed dramatically, "I'll be by the punch bowl."

"Don't drink it all, and don't spike it, Sharon.  Trillian hates when you do that."

"I know..." she turned to walk away.

"What was that, General?"  Howell asked.

"She asked if you were born a spacer, or on a planet." Roderick told him, "In Belta Lang."

"That's...extinct?" Howell said carefully.

"Not where she's from...I think you disappointed her." Roderick pseudo-confided, "Sharon hates coming down into 'the well' with the rest of us, she really prefers being on a ship, but Trillian demanded she attend this."

"Where is the Archon?" Howell asked.

"Well, if you can't find her, it's because she's busy."  Roderick explained, "Her Majesty is quite a busy woman, especially with needing to address the reassimilation of former Jade Falcon held territory.  Works horrendous hours, she might have even forgotten you were going to be here."

"I must meet with the Archon, General! I have important business that can not be handled by underlings!" Howell insisted, losing some of that greasy grace in his manner.

"Well, then you'll need to be patient." Roderick said, crossing his arms, "This is her Majesty's capital, not yours, you come as an emissary to see her, she is not come to you as a supplicant, Mister Howell."

"You are bordering on rudeness, General."

"he's not the rude one, I am..." Sharon said returning from a different angle, "...and I'm about to be ruder, Roderick, Her Majesty requires your presence...Alone."

"My Archon calls, Mister Ambassador."  Roderick said, and strode away.

"So...you're an innawallah...from a wellwallah parent.  I assume the three legged phallus is your ride, and not the Aegis you rode in on?" she asked sweetly.

"The Auspicium? no. That isn't mine, it belongs to the Republic, and her commander is quite good." he said.

"well good. Nice to see there's still a use for those old classics." Sharon said casually,  "We let the Wolves have the two we captured."

"You...gave them away to the wolves??"

sharon sipped her punch, and nodded, "yup.  don't have a use for them, we're building better."

"I saw some of that.  Your navy's accomplishments are both impressive, and alarming."

"As long as you're viewing with alarm, I'm comfy." she said smoothly.  "if you're alarmed enough, we don't have to fight."

"That fleet out there is a treaty violation!"

"Yup...but see, the way I see it, and Trillian may counter me as being wrong, but that treaty is with oathbreaking scumbags." Sharon managed to smile down at him, "So, it's null and void.  When we needed the Republic's help against the Clans, your bunch were nowhere to be found, so we had to do it ourselves."

"Null and void??" He gaped openly.

"The trade agreements with the Republic, the Comstar contract, and the mutual security agreement underlying the Republic Treaties are all predicated on the republic honoring its end of the deal." Sharon explained it as if to a child.  "They're also predicated on the Republic of the Sphere being a stable entity, and on the Republic not conducting hostile actions and interventions against the Lyran Commonwealth.  That's three conditions that weren't met, so the treaty is null and void.  We're not interested in fighting our way through the Wolves to enforce sanctions, and we're not interested in fighting the Wolves to save you from what Alaric's got cooking." she sipped her drink.

"What do you know about that?" he asked, showing some genuine interest.

"I understand that Alaric Ward is interested in making the Republic part of his Wolf Empire." Sharon said, "By force of arms, of taking Terra from you, being proclaimed ilKhan of the ilClan, you know, finishing the job they started in 3047."

"They will come for you next!"

"Hence, and Trillian will correct me if I'm wrong on this one too, we're not interested in disarming our forces or entering into economic relations with people who've been ripping us off for decades before we got a break and actually got a look at our own books without Comstar's hand on the 'edit' button.  You're staring down the barrel of a Clan Invasion, mister Paladin, they're not coming to sip tea and discuss snowfall, and unless you are very persuasive with my sovereign, we're not going to lift a finger to intervene-after all, your people knew what Malvina Hazen was, and you didn't lift a finger to help us."

"Gray Monday-"

"Gray monday was an inside job." Sharon stated, "Sabotage code and a tuned pulse using what had to be the equivalent power generation of a planetary power grid knocked out the network, the code then propogated and repeated instructions to overload HPG cores.  we fixed it, without Comstar's 'helpful' sabotage."

He blinked.  "That's..impossible, it must be Blakist cells-"

"Where did they get the juice?" She countered, "It's funny, really-your 'wall' told us a lot about how it works, we don't have the name, but the filename uncovered in the hardcode of the chips said 'Clarion call'.  It was from the Republic, no splinter cell could manage it and remain hidden from everyone, especially not since the propagation rates show it had to come from the Sol system in the initial burst, where it hit, how it hit simultaneously when you account for reporting lag.  Your nation blacked out the grid, then you hid behind a wall, sir.  You have few friends here, and none in this court."

Howell had begun sweating rather profusely, his expression turning darker as she spoke, and a the words 'a wall' his fist clenched, a vein stood out on his otherwise utterly handsome-even-in-rage features.

The other conversations in the room stopped at the meaty smack of fist hitting a face, and Sharon Ngo tumbled to the floor, barely catching herself before her head struck a decorative bit of the wall.

"That's one." she said, standing, and cracked her neck with a head-twist.

***

"Boom! and there it goes." Trillian said, watching the monitors.  "Feeling better?"

"I can't believe we almost had you in there with him while he was dumping synthetic pheromones." Roderick said, "how's she doing?"

"She's got him angry."

"This was your plan?"

"yeah.  make sure the tridee crews and journalists get a really clear recording, Stephanie." Trillian said, "we're going to knock the last of Devlin Stone's moral high ground right out from under him...if Sharon can keep her temper in check."

****

"That's one." Sharon said, "You can apologize to Her Majesty now, or you can leave, or we can go out to the gardens and settle this in a time-honored civilized manner, because I guarantee if you want to make this augmented, I'm bringing a battleship, and that Aegis won't survive the afternoon without nukes...which we have, loaded.  Did your Exarch give you leave to start a war in his name? because I'm fair certain Alaric won't have objections to having the enemy he's prepping to fight meet the navy we've built-he watched what we did to the Jade Falcons."

she spat blood at his feet.

the Ambassador struggled to master himself.  "I...I apologize-"

"not to me!! Finagle's Balls man, I want to beat your toothpick ass, Her Majesty is the person you insulted, offering violence in her home, as her guest, to her retainers, for speaking words.  I simply offered to take it outside, where it won't make a mess for the cleaning crews or further disrupt Her Majesty's party."

"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

DOC_Agren

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #287 on: 01 December 2021, 18:18:17 »
Am I the only one seeing Sharon had that tripod dialed in for some laser based orbital bombardment if it tried anything nasty?
8)  Of course not...  she would never have done that...   >:D

Howell, did they not brief you on the handling of a Ngo.  You done messed up..  I do hope they properly briefed you on how to diplomatically  say I done messed this up, and let me fall on my sword.   :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: 01 December 2021, 18:26:25 by DOC_Agren »
"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!"

Intermittent_Coherence

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #288 on: 01 December 2021, 19:13:52 »
8)  Of course not...  she would never have done that...   >:D

Howell, did they not brief you on the handling of a Ngo.  You done messed up..  I do hope they properly briefed you on how to diplomatically  say I done messed this up, and let me fall on my sword.   :thumbsup:

Well, he's a Howell. He might claim to be a Snow Raven, but a good chunk of their bloodheritages and genetic material was shared with the Smoked Kitties.  The break in self control was frankly unsurprising.

Daryk

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #289 on: 01 December 2021, 20:38:09 »
I really hope he can't resist taking it outside...  >:D

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #290 on: 01 December 2021, 21:03:47 »
***

"Boom! and there it goes." Trillian said, watching the monitors.  "Feeling better?"

"I can't believe we almost had you in there with him while he was dumping synthetic pheromones." Roderick said, "how's she doing?"

"She's got him angry."

"This was your plan?"

"yeah.  make sure the tridee crews and journalists get a really clear recording, Stephanie." Trillian said, "we're going to knock the last of Devlin Stone's moral high ground right out from under him...if Sharon can keep her temper in check."

Hmm, gene tweaking of Howell, or just his cologne?  Either way sending in your ambassador to a negotiation soaked in mind altering chemicals he is immune to sounds like a good way to get that ambassador sent back holding a declaration of war.  Would go a long way to explain how the Republic got everyone else to slit their throats with various treaties if this was SOP for negotiations.

Slightly tweaked genes giving Sharon an immunity here, or just an atypical reactions, loathing instead of trust and like.  Or just foreknowledge of why she keeps wanting to trust him driving things back around to rage at being so tampered with?

Liam's Ghost

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #291 on: 01 December 2021, 21:34:06 »
Or cybernetics. A pheremone effuser was one of the implants the word of blake came up with.
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

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idea weenie

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #292 on: 02 December 2021, 09:12:50 »
And this is why the ruler should always sit upwind.  Make sure there is a decent enough breeze blowing away from the ruler, and the visitor's scent won't matter.  Testing the breeze could be done via tear gas grenades or thioacetone.  If the person making the claim is able to stand comfortably where the throne will be put, with minimal breeze noticed, then you know the setup is good.

(Read this idea for the Star Trek Orions.  An Orion feudal leader would have her throne room designed where passive air flow would be away from the lord and into the crowd, while the crowd's pheromones were dissipated outside.  Of course due to the increased air flow around her she needed extra hot-metal braziers to stay warm.)

namar13766

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #293 on: 02 December 2021, 09:41:13 »
Or cybernetics. A pheremone effuser was one of the implants the word of blake came up with.
Yeah, and I bet it was an 'unfortunate necessity' that the Republic of the Sphere is using the same equipment, right?

Cannonshop

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #294 on: 02 December 2021, 10:02:08 »
Executive Washroom 5, Royal Palace, Tharkad...

Corpsman Linh Bui-854 had the dialysis rig ready when Sharon walked in.  "Hurry it up, Bui, that son of a bitch's little 'negotiating enhancement' has me so horny I could frig a washstand!!"

"Hold still mum."  Bui said, swabbing Sharon's exposed neck before sliding the needles in-one to her carotid artery, one to her jugular vein.

He pressed her head against the backboard, careful to avoid the spreading bruises from the Republic's 'Ambassador's' fists. "Hit you pretty hard."

"Yah. He did." the portable unit began pumping red type O blood in, and drawing her own blood out.  Bui pulled the nose-filters out of her sinuses with an extractor tool, and slid a fresh set up her nose.

"Tongue."

she opened wide and stuck her tongue out, and he ran a cleansing swab through her mouth and across the back of her throat.

The procedures were developed during the Blake War, when questioning captive non-combat Manei Domini, one presumed all sorts of dirty tricks and unpleasant trickery.  Heimdall had retained them after seeing two archons in a row reverse their policies to line up with Republic demands that made no sense.

Trillian had paid attention as well.  "Feeling, ah, better mum?"

"Still feeling his effects." she said, "We're lucky we could get environmental to concentrate the effect in that part of the room."

"I'm going to guess this was a hail-mary play." Bui suggested,  "Most of the Emdees during the war would've been more subtle about it and less overconfident."

"Tell me he isn't meeting with Trillian right now, just reassure me of that." Sharon insisted between swabs.

"I think we can be pretty sure he's not meeting with Her Majesty, once the conjecture was confirmed with Roderick, the Loki security detail started conducting procedures for isolation and they activated the Archon's quarters at Mount Asgard, she should be moving there by VTOL as we speak."

"Good.  How's my exposure levels?"

"You're still in the yellow zone, Mum, maybe he had additional on his hand?"

"Wouldn't surprise me...remind Her Majesty's staff nobody touches him bare-handed, no more than a couple of minutes within three meters, and keep the ceiling vents pulling negative pressure to flush the building."

"Aye mum...did she tell you the next step of the plan, mum?"

"no. I'm risking compromise." Sharon said, "so Her Majesty is keeping everything compartmentalized.  Standard SOP would be to send the Emissary back to the Republic with a sternly worded note for the public assault, and maybe a hint that we're not only on to their pheromone trick, but have a counter.  She might ditch the second part, sure as hell everything will drop in the pot if we admit what we know, and the timing is probably not right for that."

"Okay, your neurochemical residues are starting to reach for normal now, mum, I'm going to have to keep you on for a little longer, then it's microsurgery time to get the stints out without killing you."

"I know the procedure, Doc."
« Last Edit: 02 December 2021, 11:42:33 by Cannonshop »
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Cannonshop

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #295 on: 02 December 2021, 12:04:44 »
Three days after...

"...I'm sorry Ambassador, but that simply won't do." Trillian spoke to a camera and watched the Republic's emissary on a screen from orbit.

"If I could just convince you to meet I could show you the classified information I've brought!"

"If I can't trust my staff with policy level information, Mister Ambassador, that might suggest I'm not fit to govern." Trillian observed, "After all, I rely on my advisors to provide me with good advice, even if I tend to overrule them.  There is nothing you have that is current, that you can show me, that wouldn't end up being seen by my policy team anyway-so, you can provide this information to my select, designated representative, or you can return to the Republic and explain your failure to your Exarch.  As to the breaching of the Republic Treaty, I'm sure you understand that that treaty was not negotiated in a vacuum, nor was it abrogated in one.  If your Exarch chooses to ask for a renewal, I'm afraid jumping the Queue when I've got a dangerous state on my rimward border and a massive internal commitment coreward, with another dangerous state in the form of Clan Hell's Horses is simply not something even a Paladin of the Republic is of sufficient rank to compel."

"The Republic's ready to step forward, Archon, and resume our previous agreements!"

"I'm aware, however, you just came out of more than twenty years of domestic chaos and isolation, and I'm fresh out of humanitarian aid packages to help you recover from your period of civil war, strife, and solitude, need I also remind you that your routing through the Free Worlds League space is because your nation and mine no longer share a border?  I don't see a compelling argument in favor of going to war with the Wolf Empire to regain a province that was in rebellion when they overran it, nor to recover the holdings of a man who led a Coup de tat and lost that territory in the first place.  I'm simply too busy with the tasks and problems I already face, to schedule a personal meeting with a functionary, particularly one whom has demonstrated the poor judgment to pick a brawl in public at a reception." her smile was sweet, genuine looking and completely false.  "Send your request via courier, through the proper channels, it will be reviewed and evaluated in turn."

"Archon, this is a critical matter!"

"I'm sure you think so.  Good evening, Mister Ambassador." she waved a hand and the signal cut out.

"So, Highness, what's his next move?" Sharon asked.

"He's got no choice, if it's genuine, then he'll forward his request, and information, through official channels and wait for my response, if it's just a pretext to get me in the room for a mind-whammy? he'll be boarding ship for Terra by the end of the week, we'll get another note from the Republic via one of the other Embassies, and it'll be their Exarch wanting a proper summit."

"And assassins? Andrew was assassinated." Sharon observed.

"there are always assassins, Sharon." Trillian said, "BUT...I'm more moderate than Roderick, and if I suddenly 'died of food poisoning' or 'had an accident'?  Alaric and Roddy would be racing to conquer the Republic's final prefecture, and I suspect Roderick, at least, would give you leave to employ Crowbar on their installations, fortifications, and strategic positions."

Sharon nodded, "I think I understand, mum." she said.

"I'm the one putting the brakes on it right now, I suspect." Trillian added, "So, you two are my insurance-if the Republic thinks I'm being unreasonable..."

Sharon grinned, showing a little teeth, "Ayeh.  Leverage."

"Yeah, 'leverage'."
"If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."-Samuel Adams

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #296 on: 02 December 2021, 12:39:30 »
So Trillian's assassination insurance is her being the "Good Cop" to her cousin and her CNO.  The former would be furious and in charge, the later is brutally pragmatic and willing to display if you can't control your local space, nothing on the ground will last longer than she needs to line up a shot.

"Do you really want these two running things if I'm gone?"

Euphonium

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #297 on: 02 December 2021, 14:26:45 »
I wonder how the Paladin would feel if Trillian agreed to a face-to-face meeting, and then had Sharon host it, so the whole thing to place in orbit, on the hull of a ship, with everyone in pressure suits?

"The only way I could fit you into my schedule was to have you join me on a tour of the shipyards..."
>>>>[You're only jealous because the voices don't talk to you]<<<<

worktroll

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #298 on: 02 December 2021, 15:02:32 »
A little too obvious. They're leaving open whether they know about the pheromone diffusers.
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kioras

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Re: War is a grave.
« Reply #299 on: 02 December 2021, 15:26:01 »
The actions should have made the Republic know they have been blown.  Being so careful to not remain in the same room should make it obvious.

The Lyrans are treating them as a serious rival currently.  They remove Trillian and the Republic gets treated as an enemy.

An enemy that Sharon wants a pound of flesh cut from for personal reasons.

Besides those Fleet and armament limitations only work if every peer is signed on.  The Wolves will never agree now and neither will the Combine or others.