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The Administator (Chapter Cover Art) Chapter Page - Book 1

Chapter 51 - The Administrator[]

KCGS Ia Drang
Landmark class Destroyer
Lyran Commonwealth
3147

"Welcome aboard, General." Kapitan Emily Falcone met him on the smallcraft deck, boots anchored to the floor with magnets.

"Is the Admiral available, Kapitan?" Roderick Steiner asked.

"You mean, is she indoors, in her office, instead of sitting on the hull star-gazing? Yes. This way please...you're not accustomed to nullgee?"

"Usually on a transit I tend to stick to the gravity deck of the jumpship." he confessed.

"Sorry we don't have one for your sake, sir, just use the crawlway." she gestured at the ladder rungs built into the corridor, and then kicked off to drift beside him.

"You're from Hue, right? The old Falcon enclave?"

"I'm not just from Hue, sir, I've got enough Pershaw ancestry I could probably challenge for a bloodname, if the ****** Clan hadn't turned into a bunch of...rimjobs." she spat the word. "I used to be proud of that, now I'm ashamed."

"You've seen the intel report."

"I'm the Admiral's Flag Captain, sir. I saw it before she did."

"How did she react?"

"Badly." Emily admitted. "She started looking for lumber yards. It took a while to talk her down."

"Lumber yards?"

"For toothpicks, sir, and postholers. it took a few hours to get her to relinquish the idea of planting a sever garden. We're going to space them instead."

"Them?"

"Every Mongol we catch, sir." Emily enunciated, "Capture them, interrogate them, try them, and execute them. alles in ordnung."

"You pronounced that wrong."

"German isn't my primary language." they reached the Admiral's cabin, just off the ship's CCIC (consolidated combat information center). Emily braked with a loop-twist motion and tabbed the hatch's knocker.

"Admiral, General of the Armies Steiner to see you, mum."

"Send him in."

She anchored her feet, and worked the hatch wheel, opening it.

Roderick crawled awkwardly in the microgravity, and found Admiral Sharon Ngo floating in a lotus position, with displays covering walls, ceiling and floor. The furnishings otherwise were stowed.

He took it in-comparison imagery of four occupied worlds, displays of geological survey data, demographics, climate statistics, orbital profiles.

"Trillian sent you to talk me down?" Sharon asked.

"No, we're here to discuss strategy and readiness." he told her. "We're going in."

"Good. In four days, the Frederick Steiner will be fully stocked and operational." she told him, "I found a good Flag Captain for that ship, Everything is within one jump of the yard." her eyes were empty of feeling, "How do you feel about launching the counterattack from a battleship?"

"You won't be-"

"I came up on cutters." Sharon stated, "It took forever to find a sensible man to helm the Fred. The largest enemy concentration's going to be on Horneburg, that's also the strongest ground presence. to retake the planet, will require both naval, and ground forces in large quantity. The bulk of enemy units in the target zone are from Delta galaxy. a simultaneous strike and we can prevent them from mutually reinforcing or organizing a ready counter-attack. First Squadron's confirmed the Falcons don't have a deep defense, their next major fleet base is two jumps further in. communication with my Uncle has provided me with fleet movements for four out of eight known Jade Falcon warships-they're off-axis and attacking at least three jumps distant."

A display changed at a finger motion from her. "The battlegroup for the Fred includes the destroyers LCS Golden Lake and LCS Cold Creek, with a cutter squadron and two transported squadrons of Indefatigable class Pocket Warship type Twos escorting the LCS La Grave, a Vengeance class Fighter Carrier DropShip. that should be sufficient for landing your RCT's and holding the system."

"You've been thinking this out."

"I've had four years." Sharon said, "Of course I've been thinking this out. I just wish the LCS Hermann Steiner was further along. we could use the firepower of a second battleship on one of the other targeted systems, we'll have to do with four-ship destroyer squadrons backed by sixteen ship cutter squadrons and assault dropships instead. Give me a timetable and deadlines for loading your ground forces. We'll get them there and keep the enemy from reinforcing."

"I need twenty four days."

"That's time enough to finish loading the ordnance on the Fred." she said. "Let me plan the Naval battle, you focus on the ground war."

"Who did you give the Fred to?" he asked.

She told him.



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