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Chapter 88 - The Administrator[]


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"During diplomatic receptions, no deals are final. Nothing is final until the ink dries on the treaty, and then is when the fun process of violating the hell out of that treaty by all sides really starts.

In essence, the purpose of Treaties, is to set the goals everyone is agreeing to for which provisions are going to be broken, and what excuses are going to be used for breaking them.

This is where Treaties are fundamentally different from contracts...in a contract, both sides are working to facilitate an actual exchange to their mutual benefit. Treaties are written with the specific goal by both sides of hampering the other with the intent of mutual violation."

-Elizabeth Ngo, "Letters to my children" Volume 18. (3067)

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Tharkad Naval Shipyard - Guest Complex Tharkad system
Lyran Commonwealth
3150

At the reception...

From the spinward hatch, the most famous man in the Inner Sphere came walking in the station's quarter gravity. "A wizard is never late." Sharon noted.

Bekker looked at her, "What?" the Ghost Bear Khan said.

"I said a wizard is never late or early. He always arrives exactly when he intends to." Sharon clarified, "Your hero has arrived. Maybe we should've made the corridors bigger so he could come in on his big, white, horse."

At roughly the same time, from antispinward, came Daoshen Liao.

"Oh, this is going to be fun." Sharon added in a tone that suggested she was about to have no fun whatsoever.

Knots of conversation ended and groups drifted apart as the new arrivals made their way to the center of the reception.

"Excuse me." Bekker told her, and made her way to Stone's presence.

Sharon made her way to Trillian. "Highness? Might want to take charge mum, I smell a brawl coming. Stone and Liao have entered the room." This got Julian's attention off of his attempts to persuade the Archon of...whatever. sharon didn't care. She cared very much about not having to change the atmo-filters and fill out the various witness forms if things turned violent.

"Thank you, Admiral. I've got this." Trillian said, and started walking to the side of the chamber, her magnetic boots active.

"What's she doing?" Julian turned his attention to Sharon.

"Taking charge, because it's her job." Sharon said.

The archon walked up the bulkhead wall, and strode along the ceiling to the middle of the room.

"Your Attention Please!!"

They'd discussed theatrical moves, and this was what Trillian came up with? Sharon felt a fleeting sort of pride.

Trillian deactivated her boots with a short, directed tumble. Sharon bit her lip-the practicing would either pay off, or it would be a small embarrassme-

The Archon landed with catlike grace on her feet, a perfect two-point 'superhero' move. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first Tharkad Naval Summit. Everyone is here, there will be no violence at this summit. Please feel free to accept my hospitality tonight, it is open bar, and the buffet is good. In the morning, we will begin presentations and formal discussions, but tonight everything except the pledge of non-violence is informal, some of you are at war with one another." she met Yori and Julian's eyes as she spoke, "Some of you have been in conflict for a very, very, long time." she nodded to Daoshen and to Stone. "Regardless of how you view one another. In here, your grievances are real but, they are also only tangentially relevant and only to the formal proceedings of the actual summit meeting. Nothing is going to be settled here over drinks and catered snacks."

Trillian strode a circle on the floor, "Everyone here, wants something from the others. Some of you want a breathing space to gird for the next phase of your wars, some of you want a chance for understanding and maybe peace, some are seeking allies and some are seeking to see enemies humiliated, or to see their positions verified and vindicated. Those are the functions of the formal meetings that begin in the morning. Tonight, we are here, to meet one another, see one another, and to drink my wine and eat my food and maybe gain some understanding of each other's positions."

"This structure, the Shipyard's Gastehaus, is a fairly recent structure initially intended as temporary quarters for crewmen with families and VIP services. This activity is the first time it has been opened for any purpose. As some of you have noted, it has a very good view of the primary production line of the Naval Shipyard. That is the unfortunate side-effect of letting my Chief of Naval Operations determine the most stable point to place the structure and I apologize for the rather drab views."

This got a few chuckles and polite laughs.

"We are beginning this, with a simple proposition: The Lyran Commonwealth is neutral to the disputes of your nations. WE are not at war, nor intent on being at war, with any of you. Some of you are here to try and change my mind on this. Some of you are here hoping to keep my mind from changing on this. I can say without hesitation that I will listen to every argument, from every side, that you choose to present, and weight them according to my best information before making any choices. I can also state that should anyone leave this summit, you will be safe to return to your home realms, you will not be pre-emptively attacked, and even in the event that war is declared, you will be safeguarded to the border without being accosted by LCN or LCAF forces."

She crossed her arms, "THIS is because the Diplomatic Process must be upheld, or there can never be negotiation. as my Marshall of the Armies Roderick is fond of saying, 'you can get more with a kind word and a big stick, than you can with only a big stick or only a kind word'. Some of you-" she looked to Khan Bekker, "-have certainly brought along some impressive big sticks. I look forward to hearing what you deem to be the kind words that accompany them...or unkind words." She shrugged theatrically and got another polite round of laughter.

"Some of you have already met my Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Admiral Sharon Ngo. Take a bow Sharon!"

Sharon flushed, clicked her heels at attention, and offered a single bow to the assembled dignitaries.

"She has been instrumental in making this conference happen...in spite of her own, deep, reservations." Trillian stated, "We have all seen the result of fighting over the same territory generation after generation. The catastrophe of the First, and Second Succession Wars for the Star League Crown. The slow slide into decay of the Third, the disruption of the fourth, the Clan invasion and the Blakist war, Gray Monday and the Republic's civil war, and everything connected to those. The Lyran Commonwealth officially voids all claim to the former Republic territories. You're all welcome to it, we don't need it and don't really want it, likewise, I have amputated the region known as the 'Wolf Empire'. These are public acts you should all be aware of before you arrived here. They made me somewhat unpopular with elements in the Estates General, particularly after our successful war against the Mongol Falcons."

Trillian leveled her gaze straight at Devlin Stone, "The Lyran Commonwealth has no interest in attacking, or defending the Republic of the Sphere. Gray Monday and Fifteen years of Fortress Republic has shown that we don't need you. This is your opportunity to convince me that this position of policy, is incorrect."

She turned to offer everyone a broad, bright smile, "Enjoy yourselves, Ladies and Gentlemen. Tomorrow, we start the serious work of negotiation!"



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