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

Chapter 93- The Administrator[]

Tharkad Shipyard
Gasthaus station
Tharkad system
Lyran Commonwealth
3150

Naval Conference, later that day...

"...chose to void the previous Naval Treaties long before Gray Monday, with the excuse of the Quarantine."  Devlin Stone was in a fine form this afternoon.

"Point of order for clarity, Exarch Stone, we only got a working antiviral treatment in the last ten years, unless there's something your laboratories were sitting on for sixty years prior."  Trillian let Sharon speak, "Did the Republic of the Sphere have an adequate treatment or vaccine that you weren't sharing for the 21b virus?"

She waited for his response. "Is the question indelicate, sir, or is the answer?"

"No.  We didn't."

"I have a letter of understanding here from the Republic Senate dated October 22, 3085. Is this your signature?"  Sharon asked, passing copies around the room while an aide brought the original to the Republic's table.

Stone studied the document carefully.  "Yes."

"In this letter, the position of the Republic of the Sphere on the question of the continued construction and use of Cutters and other jump-capable combat units in maintaining the Quarantine Zone, is this subject addressed?" she asked, "For the education of your fellow delegates from the far side of the Inner Sphere would you summarize this finding?  This is your government's official position at the time, Exarch Stone."

"I admit at the time, I found it not to be in breach with the Republic Treaties, including the arms limitation law."  Stone said.

"My grandmother left letters for her kids, since she didn't expect to live to see them grow up." Sharon said, "She did but, not their kids.  As a result, I've had to learn about my Grandma Liz the same way any historian does-not with personal interaction, but by reading her statements.  Her view on Treaties versus Contracts is revealing on any number of levels.  Read outright, this letter of understanding would seem to imply the Republic was offering assistance, but you apply Contract language and it's clear that is not at all what was being offered, but in neither diplomat-speak, or contract-lawyer speak, is there any question that the Coast Guard was not a violation of the Republic Treaties-there are some indicators in that letter that you wanted to get Adam Steiner to give you control of the agency-not that you wanted it disbanded.  What was the Archon of the time's response?"

"He declined."

"That's right, he declined to hand over control.  Your claim that the treaties were in breach on OUR side prior to the events of Gray Monday and the Fortress going up are...disingenuous at best, outright fabrications by your own words at worst."  Sharon's tone never left 'calm and reasonable'.

"Which has led to a Kowloonese becoming Chief of Naval Operations for the Lyran Commonwealth, and overseeing a vast arms race!"  Khan Bekker pointed out.

"Yes, Ma'am." Sharon said.  "I was Drafted, we're doing the best we can. What's your excuse?"

"Sharon. down."  Trillian said.  Admiral Ngo sat down.

"The fact of this matter, is the proposal from the Republic." Trillian said, "Not who violated which treaty that is no longer acknowledged by any party, but rather, whether a treaty that will be honored is to be agreed upon.  I have several questions and reservations about Exarch Stone's proposal,  I think if we've all gotten our relative phallic-volumes compared now, we all ought to get down to serious business, ja?"

The Archon leaned forward, placing a hand on the table, "There are two major points of contention that need to be addressed before any future arms limitations are entertained, the 'elephant in the room'."

Stone glared at Ngo, "Those are?" he asked.

"The war between the Republic, and the Confederation. The war between the Draconis Combine, and the Federated Suns.  These are ongoing wars and only a complete and total idiot would think that any arms control agreement will be honored by either side in the middle of a shooting war.  Especially if one side feels threatened and the other is smelling an advantage.  Neither of those conflicts is vital to the interests of the Lyran Commonwealth. However, I will state categorically that I will neither sign nor ratify any arms limitation with anyone who is currently party to an ongoing, shooting, real-blood-and-casualties war.  Unlike some of my predecessors, I intend for my treaties to be...contractual, to be upheld both in spirit and practice, and not simply a framework for defining excuses to violate them."



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