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Chapter 57 - The Administrator[]

LCAF Command
Tharkard system
Lyran Commonwealth
December 25, 3147

As the reports came in, Admiral Sharon Elizabeth Ngo was confined to a ground station.

Tracking casualties.

Calculating losses.

Each phase of the operation had involved risks. Trillian had explicitly ordered her to remain here. Overseeing from a distance, while her crews, her officers, and her ships were dying.

It was a cold calculus. Fleet Admirals don't fight Fleet Actions from the front line, and the Archon had been quite clear in her insistence that part of the price of being allowed to plan this offensive?

Sharon had to move into an office at the bottom of Tharkad's gravity well, where she would be available at a moment's notice.

Each dropship or cutter, that died, was tallied thanks to the use of black-box comms. Each shift in the orbital battles going on, was tracked the same way.

Out there, beyond that awful blue and white, in the comforting black, men and women were dying horrible, agonizing deaths in darkness and silence.

Sharon studied each 'compilation display' in turn.

"Is it ready?" General of the Armies Roderick Steiner asked her, from the hatch-the doorway.

"Almost." Sharon replied. "She grounded you, too?"

"Yeah, she did." he said.

"Pobeda and Horneburg are clear for landings." she reported, "Space in those systems is quiet now, Task Force Juno, Gold, and Idaho are ready to move in on the planets whenever you want to send the ground troops. Space superiority has been secured in Pobeda, Horneburg, and Cameron."

"What about Westerstede?"

"Em's working on it." she said, "They had an Aegis class hanging out that we almost missed. I'm going to have to talk to the Recon captains about that."


"Just talk. everyone makes a mistake now and then, and you can't always lean on what the intel pukes tell you. OCB misses the damnedest things sometimes, and LIC isn't a whole lot better when it comes to Clanner deployments."

She sipped coffee from a cup and marked off the LCS Iron Hills. "Gonna miss, Chung." she said.

The fax display lit, and the message; Splash One Aegis. Engaging escape pods. appeared.

"There we go. Path is cleared for your guys, Roderick. you may begin your landings with confidence. Just...don't ask my people to do what that moron at Palmyra did."

"The geosynch for orbital fire? I wouldn't dream of it." he assured her, "My officers aren't anything close to that stupid."


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