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Chapter 35 - The Administrator[]

Hearing room
LCAF Field headquarters
The ruins of the Triad, Tharkad City
Tharkad System, Lyran Commonwealth
July 18th, 3143

"Have a seat, Admiral Ngo." Trillian Steiner had read Sharon's Lohengrin file. "You came as called."

"I was obeying the lawful orders of my superior officer, Highness." Sharon said, "We were also assisting a fellow agency in the enforcement of Commonwealth Law."

"I overheard. I have to admit I honestly forgot about that treaty." Trillian said, "Among other things."

"Highness, you're a head of state, not a god." Sharon said it without emotion, "Your staff should have handled that. it's what they're for, highness."

"But you remembered."

"It's part of my job. Yours is to run the national government, make executive decisions, and not get killed, Highness."

"I intend to repudiate the Republic Uniform Naval Treaty." Trillian stated. "How do you feel about that?"

"I believe that's called for in this situation." Sharon stated. "The RUNT relied on enforcement by the Republic and voluntary compliance by the former member states of the Star League. No Star League, the Republic's gone armadillo? Repudiate the treaty-they've already done so. That is my professional opinion."

"What if I said I wanted to roll the Coast Guard into the Navy?" the Archon asked.

"I would argue against it." Sharon said, "When the army becomes the police, the enemies of the state inevitably become the people they are supposed to protect. Rolling assets into the Navy, certainly is a different bucket of ore, but the Coast Guard's role, especially in the Quarantine zone. It's role is fundamentally at odds with a strong Commonwealth Navy, and compromises national security."

"Assets...such as?" Trillian led.

"Third Cutter Division, KCGM Ia Drang and sufficient replacement units to bring it up to strength, would be a good beginning." Sharon suggested. "Emily Falcone is a fine officer, and deserves a chance to shine in more formal military service, and you saw what a well-organized division of Cutters can do. Beyond that, we have five hulls in progress at Boojum, with the next hull, the Landmark class, Golden Lake set to leave the docking slip in August, she'll need a shake-down. Some doctrines will have to be rewritten by LCN's brass to account for technologies we used in designing her."

"And you?"

"If I had objections, I would simply tender my resignation. I've already done my five mandatory. Where do you need me and what do you need me to do?" Sharon asked.

"No bargaining?"

"Leave the core of the Coast Guard in place, let them continue their core mission. Let us maintain our infrastructure without interference" Sharon said, "and you can do with me what you will."

"So, some bargaining." Trillian said with a smile.

"Highness, I do have responsibilities beyond my role as an officer." Sharon said, "I trust my Uncle to maintain order back home for a time and I trust my ducal subordinates to do their jobs competently. I wouldn't have come here but, I do have those obligations and among them is protecting what my people have built."

"Not what I anticipated, Duchess Ngo." Trillian said. "You're so unlike your mother..."

"Thank you, Highness. I would have thought the extra hundred kilos would have been a hint."

It took Trillian a moment to process that. " have a sense of humor after all!"

Sharon shrugged, "A small one, highness. Maybe the extra bulk makes me less...witty. What is the job?"

"I'm not rolling the Coast Guard into the LCN." the Archon stated, "I am, however, taking your offer...with caveats. The local units in the Quarantine have been building up? I want two Divisions of cutters, and every one of those destroyers you can build, and you."


"Chief of Naval Operations for the Lyran Commonwealth. Rebuild our navy, Sharon. You have my backing, clear out the deadwood. We're losing wars on three fronts right now, you've proven you can muster and employ forces, evaluate subordinates, and recruit talent. I want it."

"By your command, Your Highness...I take it I'll be reporting to the General of the Armies?"

"I said 'chief of naval operations'." Trillian enunciated, "You will be reporting to me...or to Roderick in my absence."

"Understood. I assume I am to begin immediately?"

"Yes, that would be preferred."

Sharon rose to her feet, in a position of attention, "Request permission to attend to my duties, Highness?"

"Permission Granted, dismissed."

Sharon saluted before leaving.

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