Author Topic: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March  (Read 12718 times)

Daryk

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #150 on: 05 October 2023, 17:51:18 »
I had resisted going that far last weekend... I'm not sure how I'll resist the next time my privileges are restored.  That means I CAN'T EVEN LOOK until after work tomorrow... ::)

monbvol

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #151 on: 05 October 2023, 18:14:32 »
Hehe.

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #152 on: 05 October 2023, 20:34:14 »
You two guys are great as team.

I have to admit, I'm picturing Priss to be....similar to anime character by same name Bubble Gum Crisis (original)
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monbvol

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #153 on: 06 October 2023, 18:08:12 »
Helena’s Office
New Lazarus
19 April 3144


“Hmmm…  It was only a matter of time but of course the Lyrans are already trying to poach.”  Helena read the dispatches.

“What are we going to do about it?”  Reimu asked.

“The only thing we can.  Foster I have new orders for Thomas Erik Mahan.  We’re going to setup a joint training command for the Lyrans to establish their own school and Privateer service from later on.  Next to you he’s the best person to get it done and he has experience with the kind of service we’ll be teaching the Lyrans to make.  In the meantime we’ll draft up joint force agreements, including attachees and observers for the Lyrans.  That way we can have Lyran authorities on hand observing and if they say out the airlock, well we’re covered.”

“You’re going to help them setup their own Privateers service?”  Reimu asked.

“You better believe it.  This way instead of poaching our talent we’ll be teaching them how to hone their own.”

“They will need ships.”  Foster added.

“We can start them with Trackers and then maybe they can figure out what they want to use for their service.  They got some good Corvettes in their archives they can dust the plans off of.”

“Where should we put this joint training command?”  Foster asked.

“Someplace they’d be somewhat comfortable and familiar with.  Skye.”  Helena answered.

“And the audience?”  Reimu asked.

“After she’s had a visit with her mom or if Trillian decides to come here.”  Helena nodded.

“No offense to your daughter but this might require high level negotiation between you and the Archon directly for something of this scope.”  Reimu noted.

“You’re right.  If we had HPGs I would leave this in her hands.  I think it is time.  We’ll see how much Trillian actually trusts us.  I’m inviting her here.  To New Lazarus.  But word it carefully Reimu, I want her to have room to gracefully decline without losing face.  But let her know I will be bringing my new Royal Black Watch with me if she insists I go to Tharkad.”  Helena nodded.

***

"The Royal Strategy; or why we can't marry who we love."

"That's unfair.  Helena's happy with Leon, after all."  Amanda noted.

"It's a different situation."  Elizabeth stated, "once she's recognized as legitimate, the other House Lords will be crowding around waving heirs and relatives, looking for a strategic marriage, count on it.  My sister produced a lot of kids, she could probably do with pushing out a few more, just to cement her position."

Amanda laid the papers on the table, "lots of daughters, few sons, but Yori is female, Nikol is female, Trillian is female, and all three are, based on this…'playbook'? In need of heirs and claimants to the old Star League throne.  Daoshen is a weirdo, and Christien is gay."

"Yah, and has it stopped him from having an heir?"

Amanda rolled her eyes, "no…but that's more because-"

"Because Sterling McKenna, who backed him, allocated an iron womb to make sure of it." Elizabeth asserted.  "The bloodline game is REAL, Amanda."

"Why bring it up to me?"


"Helena considers you to be part of the family-hell, so do I.  Your family-the Roberts? Are eligible to play this game of thrones, or to be pawns in it."

"I'm not sure I like that idea."

"Get used to it, Amanda.  It's going to take more than martial victory to stabilize the world of humanity, and Helena herself has pointed out that not playing isn’t an option.  Not forever anyway.  Plus ultimately in the end names have power.  Yours has earned a great deal in its own right."

"Kolossus mentioned something like that once." Amanda sighed, looking out at the swirling vortex of the Port Orphan system.

"Yes, and like or not, you represent a sovereign power, allied to other sovereign powers.  I, on the other hand, am the figurehead for a client state, I only have to occasionally pretend to play the game."

"Helena has to play it for real." Amanda realized.

"Yes, yes she does.  I don't envy that in the least." Elizabeth sipped something amber colored.  “Mind you it did take her a long time to realize not playing had its own consequences.  But of all the people out there, honestly I think she is correct in saying she is disconnected from humanity because of how long she has lived.  Where she is wrong is that I think her particular type of disconnect actually makes her perfect for the role we all hope to see her in and I think she just might be able to do it.”

“Her type of disconnect?”

“Yes.  She doesn’t have the same type of vanity and hubris that has been the source of so much of human conflict but everything she has endured means she does have the steel to go with her compassion.  She is not so naive to think the war will end when the shooting stops.  It will just take a different form.”

Daryk

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #154 on: 06 October 2023, 19:38:32 »
War has many forms indeed... ;)

Wrangler

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #155 on: 06 October 2023, 21:07:03 »
There too many Amandas, I don't know which one which!
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Daryk

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #156 on: 06 October 2023, 21:13:43 »
That's why they all have different names... ;)

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #157 on: 06 October 2023, 21:20:01 »
My point is I think per entry there should be stated WHICH person which.  Amanda Yeh could be jabbering verse the Prime aka maybe reborn/fake death Amanda Roberts?  Too many...
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
"No, it's a "Most Awesome Blues Brothers scene Reenactment EVER" waiting to happen." VotW Destrier - Weirdo  
"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants
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monbvol

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #158 on: 06 October 2023, 21:48:56 »
I do try and make an effort to distinguish when it is Amanda Yeh by dropping her family name.  It is possible I've missed doing so somewhere but I don't think I have.  But a handy guide is she spends most of her time on Tharkad or in orbit with AI Alice as part of Lori's protection detail these days.  If the scene does not say it is taking place in either of those places it's not Amanda Yeh.

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #159 on: 07 October 2023, 09:11:10 »
So the one talking in the game thrones subject is actual / prime Amanda?
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
"No, it's a "Most Awesome Blues Brothers scene Reenactment EVER" waiting to happen." VotW Destrier - Weirdo  
"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants
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monbvol

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #160 on: 07 October 2023, 09:18:18 »
With Elizabeth, yes that is Primary/Amanda.

monbvol

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #161 on: 07 October 2023, 13:17:42 »
Bolan City
Bolan
28 April, 3144


Alaric allowed himself a smile.

Despite the Falcons moving enmasse to his territory the Lyrans had only offered meager resistance.

The 2nd Bolan Guards fought well enough to be sure but the contest was over quickly.

The real shock, was the civilian leadership, greeting his arrival.  As Archon.

He'd made the claim as an insult, and to leave open a door, and here the civilians were, willing to declare fealty.

He did his best to keep a stony exterior up, to show no shock or surprise.  Yet to be welcomed…  He had not expected that in the slightest.

What had brought him here was long ago there were shipyards.  A commodity he needed, badly, as the Watch had confirmed the Republic and this Eternal Princess had quite the fleet.

Relying on the Sea Foxes and what he’d already cobbled together in the Empire was a losing proposition.

“Governor, I am quite pleased about your oath.  Let it be known we will be restoring your world’s industry to its rightful state, rather than have it stripped away for the vanity of far away rulers who have allowed themselves to be corrupted by avarice.”  Alaric said calmly.

"Milord, Thank you.  Tharkad ignored us for decades, the Republic also ignored us.  Nothing but promises and unequal trading deals. It's going to be good to have a ruler who understands."

"I am curious, how did you know of my intent? I do not recall any propaganda in favor of the Clans being found…"

The Governor grimmaced, and produced a recording.

A familiar young woman in the image…"...he needs your shipyards-the ones left unrestored after the Jihad, He's likely to offer you a deal, the sort the Lyrans can't…"

"Interesting."  What is your game, Helena, sending an Envoy to Bolan?

"Where is she?" he asked.

"She left over a month ago.  But she told us you would need us, and that's more than Tharkad ever did."

“I do, Governor and together we shall accomplish great things.  Even restoring the Star League.  And no small part of that will be thanks to you.”  Alaric kept his expression controlled.

This Envoy all but ensured we would have this world.  This is a most interesting game indeed.  Almost certainly a misstep but one I will gladly take advantage of.


***

"...Bolan was a mistake."  Helena said, "right or wrong?"

"Yes.  Bolan was a misstep."  Today, Peregrine was at Lazarus.  "My sister thought she could warn them to dig in, they didn't dig in, they surrendered once the occupation force was well and truly beaten, which to be honest, didn't take long since the garrison there was undersupplied."

“2nd Bolan Guards were also largely composed of locals.  What we have been able to gather they fought just enough to satisfy honor but no more.”  Juanita added.

"He offered them mercy and respect." Pestilence mused, 'Didn't he?"

Peregrine nodded silently.

"So…Alaric has eighty percent of a working shipyard…"  Helena hummed for a moment.  “Means he’s going to be on the offensive before the end of the year.”

"I have a weird idea…" Peregrine spoke up, "..why not engage him in diplomacy now, before his forces are knocking on the door at Port Lazarus?"

“I’m an existential threat to his legitimacy.”  Helena sighed.

"Worst case is he traps whoever you send and maybe kills them.  BEST case, is we might be able to deal.  Priss's reports from inside the Wolf empire last year suggested Alaric's a reasonable ruler and not a nut."  Peregrine observed.

“We have to try, don’t we?”  Helena shook her head.

"So, does that mean I'm going to have to go?" Peregrine asked, "After all, one of us is more disposable than the rest if it is a trap."

“I’m reluctant to put any of you in that situation, it seems he’s figuring out how to use your nature against you.  But if I send a regular diplomat…”  Helena leaned back in her chair.

Only Lori has the experience for this level of diplomacy outside the Envoys but if it is a trap…

"It has to be me, or Priss."  Peregrine said, "I mean, sure, he might be able to block an upload, but we're not royal scions, and he can't 'trap' a consciousness if he doesn't kill the envoy."

“Go.  Take whatever precautions you reasonably can.” Helena sighed.

"Wait, Peri, what's your plan??" Pestilence demanded.

"Nice suit, Explorer class jumpship with an LF battery, a few secretaries and a writ from Her Highness as a Diplomat with a legal name, open source documentation, and everything in the open." Peregrine stated, "no covert ops on board, I fly in, announce myself to all and sundry, and present Her Majesty's offer for talks.  He busted Priss because she ****** up her covert tradecraft, but 'Peri K. Roberts' is going in as a palms-up mouthpiece for a neighboring power."  Peregrine enunciated, "which will put the Watch off any 'bag and grab' since Clanners adore it when people are honest with them."  she glanced at Helena, "I need an official title for this to work, Majesty, something to put on the letterhead."

“Special Ambasador with the Star League Diplomatic Corps sounds about right to me.”  Helena nodded.

"You're going to miss mom's visit, Peregrine."

"I know, but this feels like something she'd want me to do…"

“Last report was that she hasn’t even left Port Orphan yet.  And it’s about a four month trip here the normal way.”  Helena added.

"Home port?" Juanita asked.

"Kolossus, a subsidiary site of the Star League, of course." Peregrine said, "everything up and up, they can't know what to dig for if everything they expect to dig for is out in the open."

“Hmmm… Any requests for other biographical details?  I know Kolossus has made some of that potentially difficult to believe if going for full honesty.”  Juanita asked.

"Roberts experimental Sibko 3-11 works once they do the gene-testing you know they'll do, I've got my 'flunked warrior training' documents and those worked pretty well with getting into the Falcon's medtech subcaste, this time it's easier because he'll have less to dig for once the clan references are removed, though…he took on a lot of damaged Falcons…"

“Yes.  Hence why I know he’s going to be on the offensive again before the end of the year.  He has to or they’ll become a problem instead of an asset for him.”  Helena nodded.

"If I bring him the research, it might be a sweetener." Peregrine mentioned, "He can't guarantee he'll use them completely up regardless-they are pretty good fighters, he might be positively inclined if he thinks he can keep them after."

“Do it.  If nothing else it is the right thing.”  Helena nodded.

"I'll need you smart people to come up with a list of proposals and ideas to present." Peregrine added, "besides the medical data.  This is palms up diplomatic, it's expected."

“Don’t look at me, I know math and hyperspace calculus.  Biology is way different than physics and high order math.”  Helena chuckled.

"You're making policy.  I need at least three unreasonable demands he can reject and I can give in on, three more reasonable requests he might actually give on, and three 'sweeteners' to keep his attention."

“Part of the job isn’t it?  Okay.  Well I’d love for him to forswear becoming First Lord, ilKhan, or invading Terra, bend the knee to me would be acceptable as well, and restitution to the people he’s invaded and conquered.  So maybe those can be the unreasonables.  A non-aggression pact with us and our allies, turn over Mongols guilty of War Crimes, and shit I don’t know him well enough for a third suggestion for something he might agree to.  Sweeteners obviously the cure, our recognition of his Empire as a new sovereign state to be treated as an equal with all other states, and a Royal Pardon for their ancestors crimes of Desertion, Piracy, Theft Under the Color of Law, Brigandry, and a bunch of other crimes I’ll have to write up.”  Helena sighed.

“Really?  You’ll pardon them for all of that?”  Juanita raised an eyebrow.

“Yeah, you’re right.  That should be contingent on Alaric bending the knee.”  Helena nodded.

“Your Majesty, I need you to be serious.”

“That’s just it.  You’re right we need to try diplomacy with Alaric but at the same time everything about who he is, the people he leads, and what that all represents means he has to attack either us or our allies and soon.  I’ve been among Clanners and know them quite well too.”  Helena shook her head.  “I’m willing to make the attempt.  It is who I am after all to give people that chance.  So that's really the best I can do for terms and treaties, well we can work out fine details as needed.”

"Don't expect a treaty, but try to get one anyway.  Got it."

“Yes.  I know I’m not being particularly helpful in that regard for what I’m putting on the table but if anyone else has an idea for a realistic third treaty point to ask for I’m all ears.”

"If it gets him to talk, that buys time."  Peregrine nodded, "I'll do my best."

“Thanks Peregrine.  I do owe you one for this.”

"All part of the service."

“Well you pull this off I know this wonderful spa on Old Lazarus.  I’ll arrange everything.”

“Seventh Heaven?”  Juanita asked.

“That’s the one.”  Helena nodded.

“It folded up in 3077.”  Juanita shook her head.

“Shit…”

Euphonium

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #162 on: 07 October 2023, 13:48:07 »
“Well you pull this off I know this wonderful spa on Old Lazarus.  I’ll arrange everything.”

“Seventh Heaven?”  Juanita asked.

“That’s the one.”  Helena nodded.

“It folded up in 3077.”  Juanita shook her head.

“Shit…”

Are the other six spa's in the chain still open, or is it time for someone to stry and raise the funds to open the "Eighth Heaven Spa"?
>>>>[You're only jealous because the voices don't talk to you]<<<<

Daryk

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #163 on: 07 October 2023, 13:58:41 »
Chores done for today... going to try the Google doc... fingers crossed!

Daryk

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #164 on: 07 October 2023, 14:16:24 »
Darn it... no joy on either the old or the new Google doc... :/

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #165 on: 07 October 2023, 20:04:38 »
Story having number interesting twists.   I'm more confused where old Lazurus was and new one is.   I assume somewhere inside what was the Hegemony but (shrugs)
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"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants
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monbvol

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #166 on: 07 October 2023, 21:06:29 »
With the MekHQ edits I did Old Lazarus wound up practically next to Epsilon Eridani and New Lazarus is about as close to Northwind as you can get without being in Northwind.  I know I want them both to be literally just outside the Fortress Wall but since no source book or MekHQ function shows where the Fortress Wall covers I may have to adjust an XML file.  I probably should anyway to create more distance but I'm now too lazy.  :P

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #167 on: 08 October 2023, 08:48:05 »
Well, typically story tell just focus on the story and outsource other things.  I can't do squat with that sort maps.

You could say that Helena's Star League in Exile / Terran Hegemony in Exile has retain HPG technology to slip in and out of the wall without issue or go undetected by Terra.
They properly have inside people on Terra whom are adjusting the HPG device that's generating the "wall."

Everything I've read of hints of the HPG wall, sounds like its actually the HPG Torpedo system.  They detect the ship coming in, they use up a KF Drive to blow up another one via the HPG thing in Antarctica as Hour of the Wolf suggested.
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
"No, it's a "Most Awesome Blues Brothers scene Reenactment EVER" waiting to happen." VotW Destrier - Weirdo  
"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants
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monbvol

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #168 on: 08 October 2023, 08:55:22 »
Narratively I do want both if possible just outside the Fortress Wall.  The difficulty is more in there are no depictions of where the wall extends to.  I know it covers out to about Northwind and most, if not all of, of Prefecture X.

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #169 on: 08 October 2023, 22:55:08 »
Triad
Tharkad
1 May 3144


Trillian had been studying the counter proposal delivered by the Ambassador from the Star League in Exile.

“I need another opinion, Roderick.  What do you think?”

“The general outline they are proposing is solid enough.  And an invitation to their home system?  Honestly I’m not sure how you’re not jumping at that.  If they wanted you dead or captured they could have easily just left the Falcons alone and let your pre-existing foes deal with you.”

“It means I’d have to leave you in charge while I’m incommunicado.”

“The nation thanks you without knowing it for the consideration.”

“I know you aren’t keen on being Archon but you are my heir.  But you might be right.  This might not be the time for me to be away from Tharkad for that long of a period.  I will accept them coming here.”

“I guess that means I should make preparations for a formal reception.”

“Yes.  She will be bringing an honor guard.  It would not do for there to be a misunderstanding about that.”

"You'll need to establish limits, Trillian." Roderick noted, "I'm sure you read the reports from LIC and Loki, what kind of forces she's got, and I know you know how your supporters in the Estates are going to react if Helena Cameron shows up with manei domini part two."

“The dispatch does say she will be bringing one regiment, the Royal Black Watch.  It contains no unusual requests for their accommodations.  But yes it would be wise to ask their Ambassador for more details.”

"More details, and maybe ask them to keep their robot dogs inside their compound until after the meeting." Roderick noted, "mind you, I like Alice and her dog, I wish we had more of them, but it's politics-Alaric's been sending feelers to some of worlds within a jump of the region you ceded him…"

“Yes.  Alaric could prove troublesome.  Too much of the Wolf identity is now predicated on their conquest of Terra and re-establishing the Star League for there to be a long term peace but he is in a position he could create a temporary peace that will allow him to build up even more strength at our expense.”

"At what human costs?" Roderick asked, "we both worked with him before, you know, just like I do, that he'a not going to settle for less than complete victory, and he's not going to just leave the Commonwealth alone, even if it means delaying his march on Terra-not when we're finally pulling things back together and becoming 'worth something' again."

Trillian studied Roderick, "You're worried about a civil war?"

"It's a real possibility-even with the regions you released from the Commonwealth being gone, the fact is no ruler's rule reaches past the range of their voice."

“Which means I need to send a message to those that defy me and one to those whose support I need.  I think it is time we brought Vedet Brewer to heel.  To gain support we need to invest somewhere.”

"That's one option and we should pursue it, but Trill…there's a growing faction and I only found out about it recently, and you need them on side."

“I know, thus why we need to invest somewhere.  Somewhere useful.  Show them that I am willing to actually tend to the realm beyond putting down rebellions.”

Roderick's expression flashed something like pain.

"What?"

"I'm not talking about the marcher lords, though we need them, too…I'm talking about the Independents.  Places like Ender's Cluster might be what we associate to them, but they're wide-spread, and they're organizing, and we need them on side to get the economy back on track, we need them to move your decrees, orders, and initiatives forward…right now, forty percent of our domestic shipping is running on one-horse ships owned by banks and paid off by people who only see planets when they're making deliveries or picking up cargo.  I want to reach out to them, and to do that, I need your permission."

“Do it.  Our current situation isn’t sustainable.”  Trillian nodded.

"First step then." he handed her a one-use Padd.  "Her name is Priscilla Deen, you met her once, that 'fake' Corsair. She's been the closest thing most of those indies have to a representative, and I want you to consider her for a title."

“Yes.  She does show signs of being someone interesting so at the very least having her closer would be informative.”

"You know something I missed."  Roderick said.

"Yes, I do." Trillian stated.  "I know what she really is."

He looked nonplussed, and Trillian tapped a few words into the terminal.

"She's a product Roderick.  Clone maybe, maybe something like 'Alice', but if Helena Cameron has them, we should at least get to know more about them, and if they're potentially a threat we need them close, so we can know it."

“My role forces me to think most anything could be a threat but yes this could be quite troublesome.”

"Cheer up, Alaric hates them." she added.  "He tried to send me a 'warning' about them, and a scheme to trap one.  I don't feel a pressing need to trap one, do you?"

“Not with what is in orbit.”  Roderick shook his head.

"She seemed real, didn't she?" Trillian asked, "Did you sleep with her?"

He sputtered, "No!  I mean, I admit, she's not bad looking but she's no Callie Kell..and it didn't come up."

"Pity.  you're my heir and you'll need to make heirs yourself." she mused.

"You could do it too."

"I haven't found myself with that overwhelming desire just yet, and the guy I like is pining for someone else. I don't play second fiddle to anyone, Roddy."  She tossed her hair, "I don't want to be the 'substitute'."

“There are plenty of other viable candidates.”

"I know.  I just haven't found one I can tolerate yet."

“Could always borrow an Iron Womb, getting the genetic material shouldn’t be too difficult.”

"Yeah, but I have YOU to marry off and produce heirs instead!" she laughed.

“I’m simply following my Archon’s example.”  Roderick laughed.

"I could go with uncle Andrew's words there…" she said, and they both chimed "Do as I say, not as I do!'..." and Roderick laughed.

"Yeah…find a woman you can live with, Roderick. I want nieces and nephews, someone I can give the toys that make the noise to."

“And before Nicol gets the same idea.”  Roderick finished the unsaid portion.

"Call it a 'long term mission'."  Trillian told him, "I'm probably going to die a spinster, so I want to do some vicarious living first."

"You still miss Mel, don't you?"

"Every day." Trillian admitted.  "We keep that between us."

“Of course.  Not everyone would understand.”

"Not everyone understands love doesn't always require bed-play." she agreed.

“Nor the bond of family.”

"Road test your new baroness, see if she's a keeper or just a stopgap to get the indie shippers on our side, but keep her there once she is, Roddy." Trillian said seriously, "We can't afford to lose that haulage."

“I will do as my Archon commands.”

"If it doesn't work out, I may have to ask Helena if her girl Lori is single.  I'm serious about a dynastic marriage to cement your dynasty, Roderick.  If you can't find a girl, I'll find one for you."  Trillian’s tone left no doubt about how serious she was being.

Roderick just silently nodded.

Daryk

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #170 on: 09 October 2023, 04:41:42 »
Priss is going to have to be VERY careful...

Wrangler

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #171 on: 09 October 2023, 07:51:19 »
If Priss is like Bubblegum crisis by same name, Roderick will do well if he plays well to that.  :laugh:
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monbvol

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #172 on: 09 October 2023, 16:58:29 »
Levin’s office
Terra
6 May 3144


“Jonah, glad you could make time for me again.”  Illiana said cheerfully.

“I understand you have a new request of us?”

“Let’s be real here.  The Blackout is a problem for everybody.  We know you’re playing host to a guy who has solved it at Wyatt.  Simply put we’d love to compare notes.”

“Mister Harwel is a free citizen and comes and goes as he pleases.  He is currently on sabbatical, enjoying a well earned rest and vacation in reward for his efforts and to give him time to recover from his ordeal at the hands of Comstar.  We are currently respecting his privacy.”

Translation, you’ve lost him and have no clue where he is.

“Well then be sure to let him know there is another interested party in his research and do make it clear we’re willing to let him set any reasonable terms.  I’d hate for him to think he’s being suckered into another bad situation.”

“Is there anything else?”

“Yes.  You should know that Helena is putting out feelers to Alaric, Yori, and Daoshen to negotiate peace settlements or at the very least non-aggression pacts.”

“How… No, I see her rational.  We in the Republic are not warmongers either.  If she can secure peace in our time, so be it.”

Back at the Embassy

“Maxwell, Emestine, I have a mission for you two.  I need you two to track down Tucker Harwell.  Without tipping off the Republic.  They’ve lost track of him but I have reason to believe he is still here on Terra.  Mars is unlikely.  Either way it is clear Tucker is not happy with his current arrangement with the Republic as he’s slipped their custody.  I’ve only gotten a brief glance at their censored version of events so be very cautious but also kids gloves.”

“Could take a while with our lack of leads.”  Maxwell said.  “Still better than sitting around here all day reading local offprints.  Come on 99.”  The man said to the other woman with him.

Clan Council Hall
Ghienna
Wolf Empire
11 June 3144


Alaric had studied the reports enough that he saw the resemblance to the other Envoy right away.

“Your boldness has earned you this audience.  Tell me what Helena Cameron wants from us.”

“Earth and water.”  Peregrine answered.

“Hahahaha.  It has been too long since someone has made me laugh like that.”

“It is good to know you’ve been educated on the classics.”

“But seriously, my time is limited.  Helena is smart enough to know I will never be her subject or go against my destiny.”

“Peace and a list of Mongols that we wish to face justice for their actions.”

“Not unexpected.  What does she offer in return?”

“We have identified a genetic defect in the Falcon trueborns.  It causes undue aggression and psychopathy, even by Clan standards.  We have a cure.”

“That will buy her and the Republic a year and none of my warriors.”

“What if she officially recognizes the Wolf Empire as a legitimate sovereign power?”

“Meaningless for we already are.  We are already reaping the benefits of Lyran neglect and corruption by bringing prosperity and stability.  Surely you know we will not stop doing so.”

“Just a year?”

“Aff.  I aim to end the age of corrupt nobles, correct the failure that is the Republic, and bring about a Star League that cannot be torn asunder by the Traitor Lords.”

“So it shall be then.  One year the Wolf Empire, Clan Wolf, and any forces under the control of either entity shall not engage in offensive military operations against the Lyran Commonwealth, Republic Remnant, Republic of the Sphere, or the Terran Hegemony in Exile.”

“Aff.”

“Oh and if you get any ideas about splitting off forces into a new political entity to get around this we’ll still hold you accountable.”

“Perish the thought.”

An hour after the Envoy departs

“My Khan, we cannot be idle that long.”  Warbear warned.

“Nor will we.  We shall continue to go where we are welcomed and gobble up long neglected worlds.  That is not offensive military action.  But to keep our troops sharp and ready for our eventual thrust.”  Alaric pointed to the region around Dieron.

“I see.  It would indeed make an excellent forward position.  Heavily industrialized and populated.”  Warbear nodded.

“It will make an enemy of the Combine but with their war against the Davions they cannot risk sending a strong enough counter to root us out, especially if we send our own diplomatic mission to the Ghost Bears.  With a little help from the Watch it should not be too difficult to stir up their anti-Combine sentiments.  Ready the Mongol clusters.  Even with the cure it would do to reduce their numbers while sating their appetites for blood.”

“It will be done my Khan.”

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #173 on: 09 October 2023, 19:24:06 »
Alaric is trying, but I suspect he's a little slow... ;)

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #174 on: 09 October 2023, 20:13:31 »
Hope Maxwell and 99 don't get shot at too much,  they'll send up saying "Missed me by that much."
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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #175 on: 09 October 2023, 20:57:17 »
Hope Maxwell and 99 don't get shot at too much,  they'll send up saying "Missed me by that much."

If they don't say that, I'll be disappointed!

I've got this need to have a good dose of hope and expectations for the future when I read and watch tv. which is why I don't like watching reading/watching things that always seem to suck for the "good guys" (I really liked Enterprise, but it was hard to watch them get their asses handed to them in and out).  I know there is hardships and setbacks, but I really want to seem some hope win out here.  What was that Whitcher epidsode ... Everyone has a plan until they get punched in face.  Something like that, but with the SLE able see it, take it, and respond well.
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monbvol

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #176 on: 10 October 2023, 17:59:33 »
Triad
Tharkad
10 July 3144


Helena had not been to the Triad in a long time.  Only a handful of times at most, all when she was much younger.

The pair of Battlemechs certainly were imposing but she couldn’t help but feel they were impractical for the task.

“May I present Lady Helena Cameron, first of her name.  First Lord of the Star League in Exile, Director General of the Terran Hegemony in Exile, and the Eternal Princess.”  Ezekiel announced.

Helena shot him a glance at the last title but composed herself.

“Welcome Lady Cameron.  I must admit I am surprised with your reputation about the nature of forces under your command that your honor guard is all human.”  Trillian stated flatly.

“A deliberate choice by the architect behind the Regiment Archon Stiener.”

“I will not lie, it is a reassuring one.  Though I admit we here have all developed a certain fondness to a particular member of your diplomatic delegation.”

“Alice seems to have that effect on people no matter where she goes.”

“Shall we move to a space more conducive to negotiation then?”  Trillian smiled.

“At your leisure Archon Stiener.”

They began walking with their various bodyguards following along.

“You intrigue me Lady Cameron.  Logic says I should be denouncing you as a fraud, that there is no way you really are the youngest sister of the last First Lord of the Star League.  Yet somehow I do believe that the Star League at its height was able to produce a life extending serum that grants a much prolonged life and despite everything you survived the Coup.”

“I get that a lot, Archon Stiener.  My sister survived too and believe it or not she’ll actually outlive me despite everything she has been through.  But that is not my story to tell without her permission.”

They came to a conference room and entered.

Trillian sat at one end of the table flanked by bodyguards while Helena did the same at the other end of the table.

“Still you must have some fascinating stories to tell having been witness to so much history.”

“I’ll be glad to tell you a few of them.”

“Business first.”

“Agreed.”

“I’m inclined to agree to your compromise in principle.  Obviously there are fine details to be worked out.”

“Standard expeditionary forces rules.  While operating in your territory your liaisons have operational seniority and thus final call but our forces will operate under our regulations and abide by law.  The joint command on Skye is our show.  It’ll be purely voluntary and loss rates will be higher than you’re likely used to but lower than Clan Standards.”

“Still a bit broad strokes but agreeable enough.”

“Well the real nitty gritty is about to start.  Because you don’t have a Navy.  And until you do, that school on Skye isn’t going to mean a whole lot.  To get you by I’m willing to sell you Tracker class vessels.  Technically Warships but they look and act enough like standard commercial Jumpships that they can serve in that role during peacetime but effectively be self escorting in fringe areas that lack the power to take even a low grade Warship.  It’ll be imperfect but it’ll get you by until you get more yards than just Gibbs up and running and figure out your own designs.”

“Thankfully the trade deals brokered by your daughter has managed to do the groundwork for currency exchanges.”

“Yes but now we’ll have to talk maintenance schedules, pricing, and establishing Visas for students.”

“You sound like you have a lot of experience.”

“I had a really good tutor.  His name is Dave Foster.  I’ll have a copy of his book series sent over later.  I think you’ll find it enlightening.”

“One other item I wish to talk with you about while you are here.  Your Ambassador, no, your daughter.  She’s impressed me.  Enough I’d like to talk contingency plans to secure both our realms futures.”

“I knew this was coming.  I preach personal choice and freedom but the reality is she is my daughter and she is in the game.  I think on some level she knows that with it being public what family line she is a part of she knows that this discussion was inevitable. Roderick?”

“Depends on if he hits it off with another person I’ve sent him off to meet but yes.”

“I understand.  You want him to have a choice as well, at least to an extent and another candidate presented themselves first.”

“I realize it is an awkward situation now.”

“No mother likes the idea of their daughter being the second choice.  But in this case I do find some relief in the idea.”

“That is one minefield navigated then.”

“To an extent, yes.  But let us navigate the others first before we come back to this one.”

Two jumps from Lazarus
1 August 3144


The system wasn't empty.  "Transponder squawk is SLS Indianapolis."

Amanda studied the ship on telescope.  "She's running damaged, also running Jade Falcon colors. What's her audio ident?"

"CJF White Aerie."

"That's one of Malvina's, If I remember right, one of the ones on the missing list."

"Ayeh"

"Launch fighters and prep for battle, set condition one throughout the ship, and hit them with a hail, let's see who we're really dealing with."

"This is Star Admiral Brenda Von Jankmon!! Who dares challenge the might of the Jade Falcons?"

"Hi Brenda, I am The Great Captain Roberts, and if you stand down your weapons and drives and promise to be good, I won't kill you."

"You cannot be, she is dead!"

"I got better.  Surrender your vessel, your clan is past-tense, you're in bad shape, I have you outgunned.  Be intelligent.  I don't want to kill you, you don't want to be dead."

Her quartermaster on the side channel interrupted, "Does that ever work?"

"There's always a chance for a first time…"

"She's launching fighters and those jammer-equipped smallcraft."

"Oh goody…Arnold, play EW games, CAG, get my fighters in the air in attack configuration, gunnery, lock on to their damage.  Helm, prep evasive pattern Foster three."

A series of acknowledgments of commands came back as the ship almost seemed to settle down into itself, becoming sleeker and more aggressive.

"Yo, ho, ho…"

A vessel this size was not supposed to have 3gs of thrust available to it, but it did anyway.

The familiar pull of acceleration pushing her down, then to the side, and even away from her command couch was almost welcome despite the discomfort.

“Ma’am, hate to correct you from earlier but a Black Lion actually considerably outguns us straight up.”  Amanda’s ex-oh commented.

"Yeah, but he's damaged." Amanda said, "Port side and forward weapons bays are slagged, and he's burning red in three of his thrusters, means damage to his fusion toruses and his heat sinkage and PDU.  helm, hold us at range overlap and guns, keep focus fire on those damaged areas."

“Aye ma’am.”

“Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat.  We are cheating.  We got a significant ASF advantage and unlike them we can actually bracket fire meaningfully.”  Amanda added.

On the monitors, White Aerie's fighter stars were blipping out, as they came across the space-fighters from Amusing Anecdote, and with them, the ECM coverage from the Clanner small-craft.

"Okay, Brenda…how are you going to play this…"  Amanda muttered to herself.  "Your fighter coverage is almost gone, you're not close to a jump point, where are your dropships?"

Damage alerts sounded as their opponent landed a few hits.  "Damage control systems to nose starboard and Starboard broadside."

“Armor is holding in those areas.”

A double flash on the monitor as some of their hits dug deep, striking powerplants and other critical spaces.

"She's dumping helium!"

"Keep firing."

The sensors showed the White Aerie trying to bring it’s engines up to full power, to close the distance where it could make most effect of it’s firepower advantage.

"Maintain distance, helm, keep us just off their port side, even if they roll." she ordered, "CAG, how long before the strike fighters hit them?"

"Four minutes thirty."

Amanda felt the tension, come on, dammit, you're crippled, you'll need us to get you help if you want to ground your crew!

“Hang on, going to hard over with lots of lateral thrust!”

As expected the White Aerie tried to roll but the Amusing Anecdote suddenly almost stood up in relation swinging around with lateral thrust and the main engines putting it almost into a orbit around the White Aerie.

"UNNNGGGHHH!!!"

She almost blacked out as the maneuver continued, blazes of capital weapons fire reaching to chew temporarily at the Clan warship's undamaged segments before settling once again on the damage.

It went on, and on…until the strike wings hit it.

A double flash of silvery light announced the first alamos hitting the drive section.

"SENSORS! Look for escape pods!!" Amanda ordered.  "We are not leaving anyone to die of thirst, starvation, or anoxia out here!!  CAG, scramble SAR birds."

"Can we afford that?"

"We damned well better, I'm not going to look David Foster in the eyes after I leave men to die in darkness and silence!"

“Ugghhh.. That’s what they say only pull an Aldo in a fighter or a small craft.”  Tamra Graves muttered from helm.

In the distance, the wreck of the White Aerie burned and broke up, escape pods and lifeboats feebly trying to get clear.

"CAG, get my SAR teams in the air, all hands set to condition two, repressurize the hull, DC teams and units, make sure we aren't leaking, that is all."

Fifteen hours of SAR operations later…

"Hello, Brenda. Nice to see we got you out of that in time."  She was…exactly like a holovid character.

“You should have left me to DIE!!"

"No, no, no." Amanda Roberts shook her head, "See, I have a little list…you're not on it, so I've got a moral obligation to not let you die of anoxia and radiation when I can do something about it, but cheer up, I may most likely kill you in the morning."

“Why..  Why did my crew put me in that pod… I should have been allowed to die…  Please.  Allow me to honor my traditions.”

"Because they're decent human beings, I imagine."  Amanda said, "we got a few newts off the wreck too-they're in a secondary sick bay, when you can walk again, I'll probably let you see 'em."

“I wish to claim Bondsref.”

"Since I don't take bondsmen I'll just have the marines post a suicide watch on you.  You, Brenda Von Jankmon, Star commodore according to your file, are a prisoner of war, under Star League rules.  Means I can't let you kill yourself until you're healthy…which you aren't right now."

“My failure is complete then.”

"Failure, according to a brilliant Naval mind who taught me how to be a person again, is inevitable, it's how you cope with it, and what you do after, that is the true measure of your character.  We should NOT have been able to brew your ship up like that with what we were using."  Amanda paused, "You're not on the 'war criminals' list, Brenda.  What happened?"

“Most of my crew and our attendant Dropships wished to go with the others to Clan Wolf.  I objected.  We settled the matter in the way of the Clans.  There were after effects.  With nowhere else to go I sought the home of the Eternal Princess.  I was intent on one last act of redemption.  To make her pay for all she had done to us.”

"Redemption…" Amanda shook her head, "You'll get the chance to tell her that yourself, also? Your navigator had you WAY off course for Lazarus, you were steaming toward the wrong region when you picked that fight."

“Stravag, it is that close to the Fortress Wall?  Of course it is…”

"Yah." Amanda nodded, "You'll learn, maybe if you take the next couple weeks of recovery time to think you might even do that thing intelligent people do, where you examine your priorities and the events that led you there, and pick something other."

“Why, why bother with me?  I have no honor left and I have proven a failure in every conceivable way.”

"The same brilliant man taught me there are two kinds of honor-there's the honor in public, and the honor inside you. One of those, is real." Amanda told her, "You gotta pick which, the nice thing about being a real person, is that you can change your mind.  Back home, we're a simpler folk, really.  Are your promises better than your threats? Only you can decide that one."

“I find I am at a loss.  I feel no honor whatsoever anymore.”

"Well, when we get you off the painkillers and you have a clear head? You can think about it more rationally.  We're a couple weeks out before I turn you over.  I would consider it a kindness if you didn't try to undo the six hours of surgery before the stitches heal-my doctor's a sensitive sort, she doesn't take kindly to that sort of undoing of her hard work-and if she has to patch you together, she might put a nerve-block to paralyze you until you're actually healed."

“I will abide by your terms.  I seem to have no alternatives anyway.”

Amanda smiled, "Fair.  When you're clearer, we'll go over the list of survivors from your crew, so you know you're not alone.  When you're healed enough, you'll get to spend actual time with them.  Just one thing-if your ship had been in better shape, we would've lost-you're good, you just weren't equipped to make use of it."

“I am unworthy of such praise.  Your helmsman is insane though with that trick they pulled.”

"She reminds me of a more skilled, prettier, better and younger me." Amanda allowed impishly, "She's going to be even better with more time on deck."

“The old must always make way for the new.  The one constant that we all know…”

“But the old still guides them as best they can to make sure they’re better than we were.”  Amanda completed.

Amanda stood as the autodoc whirred, and the Falcon officer lost consciousness in a narcotic haze.  "Make sure she lives, Vendetta.  They're going to want to interview the last leader of the Falcon Navy."

"Yes mother."

Daryk

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #177 on: 11 October 2023, 04:55:00 »
Yes indeed they'll want to talk to her!

monbvol

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #178 on: 11 October 2023, 16:52:50 »
Port Lazarus
28 August 3144


“It has been too long Amanda.”  Helena greeted her at the docks.

"Lifetimes." Amanda returned the hug, "My girls haven't' been giving you too many fits, have they?"

“No more than you did.”

“Funny, that, I've got more gray hairs than you, so they must've been at least slightly less stressful.  I brought some extra presents."

“I read the reports.  I’m glad you made it safely.  Though it sounds like we may need to beef up patrols along the trade routes.”

"Well, y'know, I'm a troublemaker.  Sixty Jade Falcons, the surviving crew of CJF White Aerie, aka SLS Indianapolis."

“Well I guess I should be glad you managed sixty.  The Mongols have a nasty tendency to suicide rather than surrender or evacuate.”

"Enough of the crew weren't Mongols to find the keys to the escape pods, and they even evacuated their CO." Amanda confided, "whom I've been keeping drugged in the secure section of the medbay."

“Well sounds like Juanita is going to have an interesting afternoon then.”

"Yah, she will…how's Dave doing? And the others?"

“Dave’s looking forward to meeting with you as soon as he’s off shift.  Which should be any minute now.”

"How did the diplomacy go? I noticed there's signs of mobilization, but not as many as I feared."

“Trillian is vexing my daughter but we’ve made good progress there.  Alaric agreed to a one year peace but he’s definitely planning something.  Hence why I couldn’t completely clear Dave’s schedule for him to be here to meet you.”

"Alaric Steiner is his mother's boy, at least, Priss thinks so and the data we have suggests she's right." Amanda noted. "He's up to something, bet on it."

“Yes.  He’s shrewd enough that he’s engineered the situation to where we would be the aggressors and breakers of the treaty if we did anything now.  I hate to say it but he could win the peace if peace were the way of the Clans.”

"Damn, I was hoping I was wrong." Amanda muttered.  "Okay, so we have a year to prepare for the storm."

“Meanwhile there are Lyran systems willingly flocking to him that I can’t do anything about.  So when the time does come he will be a formidable foe.”

"Figures.  I've got some science work Kolossus and Persistence came up with back home, we need to test it."  Amanda sighed, "it won't fix the HPG problem completely, but it might help the actual eventual fix."

“Whatever you need.”

"I need your core forge." Amanda said simply, "For about a month, and we brought the Germanium in bars in the hold, see, we have one experiment at Kolossus, but we need a second site this deep in, they're building a third at Port Orphan now, but you've got a proper forge..."

“From what I understand HPG cores are different beasts than Warship cores but if there is even the slightest chance we can even ease the Black Out, if not outright fix it it is worth it.”

"Excellent…" Amanda palmed out a Data-chit, "your AIs are going to want to parse this data and run sims while we're doing the work, I don't understand most of it,  and that's with over twenty years of Kolossus teaching me."

“Honestly I think K-F theory is meant to evade most people. Hell sometimes I wonder if Kearny and Fuchida purposefully structured their journals and papers to pull our legs.”

"Kolossus said a lot of key data was omitted in the published versions." Amanda told her, "He's been playing with it for centuries, he's found…'gaps' and some of those gaps led to this research, thing about research is that any experiment has to be replicated."

“So it shall be.  I don’t think you’ve met Zulu yet.  Of my AIs she’s the science nut.  So good luck keeping your sanity.”

"Oh, Kolossus would adore that!" Amanda said cheerfully, "I think even when I was AI I wasn't quick enough mentally to satisfy him.  A proper AI with the right interests and he might not be bored."

“I imagine so.  You’ll also need to meet Truk.”

“Apologies for the delay but I am here my Lady.”  Truk’s avatar walked up to them.  “A lot of work to be done these days and as capable of multitasking as I am still feels like there isn’t enough of me to go around.  Looks like Amusing Anecdote needs some armor repair and a few internal systems looked at.  I have my best crew on it.”

“Thanks Truk.”

“Just don’t be in a rush to undo all my crew’s hard work.  I know we’re about to be at war again but it would be nice to see my work last a while.”

“I’ll do my best, Truk.”

“I have more news so let’s find ourselves a bar.”  Helena smiled.

Hubble’s Bubbles and Brews

“So what’s this other news?”  Amanda asked.

“Seems we’re in a race with each other for who becomes a grandmother first.  Well in my case again.  Trillian is trying to set Roderick up with one of your daughters and if that doesn’t work out she wants to set him up with Lori.”

“That fills me with a lot of conflicting emotions…”

“Preacher, choir.”

“Yeah that must be especially confusing for you, your daughter being the second choice.”

“Very much so.”

“Being a mom has changed a lot for me.”

“Unavoidable.”

A waitress sat down a bottle of spiced rum, one low gravity shot tumbler, and a low gravity tea kettle and tumbler.

“You’ve really changed.”  Amanda noted.

“I probably waited too long to clean up some bad habits but I have.”

“So it’s true.”

“Yes.”

“You don’t seem particularly bothered by it.”

“Living as long as I have I have gained an appreciation for the gift that is mortality.  Plus I do have a succession plan in place and a spare if need be.”

"That's good.  That's real good Helena…I expected more…ire, I guess is the word, Vendetta and Kolossus told me that you'd been informed on the calving experiments."

“I’ve accepted it would be like being angry at water for being wet.  It is who you are, indeed I’d probably have done similar if my circumstances were different.  I didn’t because I already have a trusted network of friends and allies.”

"I neglected mine while I was running it." Amanda stated, "I got into this idea that I could make…replacements?  It didn't work out that way, but it took Kolossus denying me access before they could make me stop trying."

“It is a hard lesson to learn.  One we’ve both been stubborn about in our own ways.  Making and maintaining connections.”

"At my lowest, I'd lost something on the order of fifty IQ points, it's taken most of this year in recovery just to get them back.  The becoming stupid was part of why Kolossus cut me off."

“You’re taking steps.  It will be a long journey but you’ve started it.  And it makes me happy you’ll be making part of it here.”

"I'm here, because here is, as Vendetta put it, 'not Kolossus' and I have to live in the real world here, instead of concocting horror scenarios with the intent of breaking my own mind, that said, Trillian's trying to set Roderick up with one of my daughters, is it Priss?"

“Yes.  She’s been trying to organize the independents to help them protect themselves from bandits and pirates.”

"Huh…I kind of wondered how she'd turned out once she wasn't in the virtual environments, once she got a taste of being human."

“Well fortunately I’ve managed to rig things so most of your daughters are here for a visit with you.  Some had to be away.  Peregrine should actually be back here soon though.”

"That's also good…but you're a bit wrong.  I calved sixty five times, only a dozen or so have been transferred to an organic body, the rest are content to live in virtual worlds, helping Kolossus analyze exploration data or run simulated experiments."

“If I had known it was that many I would have made the trip back to Kolossus during some of the relative peace periods and pulled you out myself.”

Amanda chuckled weakly, "Yah,  We kept it quieter.  The sickening part is that while I was rigging in, I got a share of their memories, their perspectives back, especially when one of my girls had to upload after a death.  I'm not certain they learned all the lessons they needed to-Perfidy in particular didn't seem to develop a decent sense of self preservation."

“I don’t think I could handle that.  As it is I’m having to force my staff and AIs to keep which unit my Sally is billeted with from me so I won’t be gun shy about sending it into danger.”

"The difference, Helena, is you're a good mother by nature, I'm…not.  I've had to learn how, and made a lot of mistakes."  Amanda poured herself a drink.  "By all rights, my kids have every reason to despise me."

“Oh mistakes are par for the course.  I screwed up so badly the first time my daughter ran off.  Now I’m making the mistake of not getting to know my children as adults.  I know some of that can’t be helped as David and Nathan have made their lives in the Alliance and have returned there to live them and I guess I’m fixing that with Lori.”

"At least you're fixing it." Amanda allowed, "nobody can fault that part."

“Now you can get to know your daughters too.  And look at the time.”  Helena smiled as Dave Foster entered the bar.  “I do believe this is my cue to let you have some alone time with your adoptive father figure.  We’ll talk more later I’m sure.”

***

"You've gotten gray." Amanda greeted Admiral David Foster, "gray-er.  That hair's almost white now."

He chuckled, "And you have not been dying yours." he gestured, "Not the child I knew, a Black Lion Battleship?"

"They were pre-damaged when we got there, and I followed your lecture." She allowed, "have a seat old man, it's damned good to see you in reality, instead of just a simulated memory!"

He chuckled and sat at the table, "Your drinking habits remain atrocious."

"Yep.  The SLDF uniform actually looks snappy on you, sir, and the ranks are correct-not some 'fleet captain' thing, you're an actual admiral in a real navy now."

"I would be remiss if I said I didn't sometimes miss that collection we put together, Amanda.  What really brought you out here, because I know it was not nostalgia."

"Super-Science." Amanda said, "and a chance to relive some of my youth…and nostalgia."

He joined her laughter.  "The Amanda Roberts I remember, still scowled over the memory of Amos Forlough…and the Star League."

"Yeah, well, you know what the best way to prevent an Amos Forlough is, is to be involved enough to stop them from getting into a position to act.  To do that, It's best to be in that kind of position, or at least adjacent to it."  she topped up her glass, "besides, some kind of Star League is going to be absolutely necessary, and soon."

"Soon?"

"On a galactic scale.  Within a few thousand years at the outside, but the sooner we get one, the sooner we can be ready for what's out there.  The BIG mystery is that aside from the accident that crippled Erinyes, they haven't hit us yet.  It might be we're too small, or they're busy with bigger fish, but sooner or later mankind is going to get the attention of whatever whacked that planet….at that point, it won't be what it likely was this time."

"Which is?"

"Kolossus thinks it's someone's stray shot, likely from the lesser magellanic cloud.  Something fired from so far away, and so long ago, that a return shot would take potentially millions of years to arrive.  Our logic is based on Fermi's Paradox and what Kolossus has observed about non-carbon lifeforms-that is, it's actually really easy for life to occur, and the Inner Sphere is full of it, except, only one intelligence, which doesn't fit the pattern, the volume of space we're in, should be lousy with intelligent life."

"And it isn't."

She nodded.  "Hypothesis is, we're not the first, or the tenth, or the ten-thousandth,we're just the most recent.  Intelligent life is the best reason for the extinction of intelligent life…and I don't know about anyone else, not really, but I'm kind of against going extinct."

“And Helena represents our best shot at avoiding such a fate of all the players on the table.”  Dave nodded soberly.

Daryk

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Re: Weapons of War Saga Concludes: The Final March
« Reply #179 on: 11 October 2023, 17:12:58 »
He can SAY it soberly, but that kind of statement REQUIRES a drink! ;D

And I see someone has read Schlock Mercenary... ;)