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Chapter 89 - The Administrator[]

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""a decade after the Monday Morning Massacre, the Lyran Commonwealth Navy hasn't returned to their historical conditions yet. Maybe they never will. Certainly if promotions and assignments are indicators the changes are down to the cultural root of the service. Kapitan Elizabeth MacAulliffe is the daughter of the infamous Debra MacAulliffe, the 'Hayseed Duchess' from Arluna in the Jihad era. Like her famous parent, Elizabeth's face is marked by the damage done by the Arluna Flu. Where the plague marks were scars on her mother, they are birth-marks and proof of disease resistance. Her older brother is the Duke, and initially, Lady Elizabeth was merely slated to serve her five years in Arluna's Coast Guard Militia-a formation copied from Kowloon's Coast Guard but, like many in this generation, she accepted posting to the Lyran Commonwealth Navy shortly after the mass of firings after Trillian Steiner's ascension to the Archonship..."

-DBS "Profiles of Note" program dated 3150

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LCS Tatyana Steiner
Frederic Steiner class Battleship
Tharkad system
Lyran Commonwealth
3150

"IFF identified, Kapitan, our mystery bogie is squawking an Ident Code SLS Francis Drake on subchannel 19, markings indicate Clan Snow Raven on long range imager."

Kapitan Elizabeth MacAulliffe reached up, and closed her faceplate. "All hands stand by for battle conditions, we'll try hailing this visitor first, but they're a Clan unit so they might decide to say 'hi' by opening fire. You have three minutes."

She felt the seals snap into place as the CIC depressurized, and then the cool rush of air from the command couch's connector as the deck's life-lines kicked on.

"RTO, send hail to our visitor with full identifiers, and give me voice on thumb command."

"Aye mum...they're responding."

"SLS Francis Drake this is the LCS Tatyana Steiner, code identifier Bravo-Bravo-one-Eight-Alpha. You are in Lyran Commonwealth Space and scaring the merchies, Please respond, over."

Five years in speech therapy with the Coast Guard, and there was only the slightest hint of her Arlunan Hill Folk accent.

"LCS Tatyana Steiner, this is CSR Drake, you might want to update your Transponder book. We are en-route to Tharkad with a Pennant, on Diplomatic purpose, repeat, we are flying a pennant, Over."

Diplomacy. she relaxed. "Understood CSR Drake, nobody called ahead, Over. Do you require fuel or a hot-charge for your drive, Over?"

"You're offering, Over?"

"Come about one three degrees spinward axis and burn half gee for the next twenty minutes and you'll be in range of the charging station, we'll run your diplomatic credentials and you won't even be charged for the juice or the fuel." she said, feeling the knots relax. "I need to call the office and let them know you're coming-last word we had was no response from the Raven Alliance, Over."

On the sensor boards, active pings from the Snow Raven's Whirlwind class Destroyer were mapping their hull in detail. {Take a good look boys and girls, my ride is prime!} thought MacAulliffe.

"They're moving to the reception range for the charging station, Mum."

"Keep us at ready stations until we get a response from fleet." Liz said, "They're pretty ****** late."

"Aye mum."

The RTO patched into fleetcom and sent the inquiry.


Five hours later...

"Response is positive, they're on the guest list, mum."

"Bring hull to half atmosphere pressure." Liz said, "Shift breathers to supplementary, stand down to yellow status and full press in crew and off-duty areas."

"Aye mum, adjusting mix now."

It took another hour before the Snow Raven vessel was ready to move to the formal jump point and continue their journey. "Not as scary as the big bastard the Bears brought through, eh, Kapitan?"

"Scarier. These guys bothered to look." Elizabeth said. "They counted airlocks and gun ports and took a look at our arrays. These guys are professionals."



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