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Can you tell me where we can start again (cover art) Chapter Art

Chapter 6 - Can you tell me where can we start over?[]

Kowloon, Lyran Commonwealth

His daughter in law didn't even stay a year before returning to active duty and leaving the children on Kowloon with their grandfather and a board certified Au Pair named Kelly White.

At least this time, she left the boys and their sister with family, instead of sending them off to a toddler's boarding school.  It was a little bit distressing how often Allison didn't want the hassles of being a mother given how many kids she had.

"We're going over to the Mosovich place today." Dinh told his grandson Patrick, "I need to do some business with Ike."

The boy wasn't good at hiding his interest.  Ike Mosovich had a daughter about his age and Dinh was about certain the boy had the king of crushes on her.

Which on balance, pleased the old man.  David hadn't had much interest in local girls when he was growing up and wound up marrying into a Davion family from Kirklin via joint operations and training in the alliance.  *(The only amusing part of that story, for Dinh, was how the girl's family reacted to her marrying 'an Asian from the Steiner side'.)

"Is Evelynn gonna be there?" Pat asked.
"School's out until summer, so yes." Dinh said.

Letting the boys spend time with the Mosoviches and the Vanhs was good for them.  Maybe less so for their little sister.  Two-years-old and already a handful, Elizabeth was at the age any child is getting into trouble with everything they can find. It was good that the girl had apparently already bonded with Ms. White, who at least had the sense to keep an eye on the child.

The children followed instructions, and met him at the ducal helipad for the sub-orbital hop via K-1 shuttle from the capital, to the Golden Lake district half a continent away.

Two year old Elizabeth paused at the entry door, "Airlock." she said.

Dinh felt a spike of worry.  Truk was quick like that.

He buried the warning feeling.  The odds that a family from Kirklin would have the recessive? Almost too small to think about.

Outside the sandstone chateau style house of the Barons Mosovich, the boys were playing with the Vanh and Mosovich children. While the youngest toddlers were gathered in one of the 'playrooms' under careful supervision.

"I think it's time we took it public, Ike."  Dinh stated.  "With the other economic rebuilding measures coming down the pipe, it's time for Ngo Industries to be more than a 'lucky salvage operation'.  We need to start working on innovation, and to do that, we need to be known as a manufacturer."

The board consisted of Eleanor Vanh, Ike Mosovich, Job Sithers-Deen821, Garrett Young, and Brigham Levi.

"I'm on the fence on that one, Dinh." Brigham said, "We've done pretty well keeping a rep up as a lucky salvage operation with some technical training.  Letting anyone know where we've got a factory means painting a target on that site."

"Disagree with that, Levi."  Job spoke up, "Sooner or later someone's going to notice anyway.  If we're up front, it opens opportunities and lets the burrows start expanding capacities without needing elaborate cover stories.  Also, Dinh, would going public mean seats on the planetary Assembly?"

"Inevitably." Dinh confirmed, "The major risks I see to the move are the same ones that were there when Alessandro threw me into Blackgate, but they're offset-Katrina's sane."

"My objection would be simply that we mustn't declare manufacturing capacity, then get dragged into the weapons business." Ike said, "When you look at the long list of customers, they're customers because someone trashed their facilities looking for weapons and weapons-components.  I move that any public reveal is limited enough to prevent someone from questioning why we're not in the arms business."


All agreed.

"Not that we're not already making some weapons."  Sithers-Deen pointed out.

"It's different when you're making them for self-defense." Dinh stated, "We'll need to set up shell companies or find someone to mask any arms production we do domestically. Sithers, how's our Coast Guard finances these days?"

"No major shortfalls this year.  IF we go public, are we going to have to account for Jumpship traffic?"

"The Ferry program's still running five LY cores, I doubt the LCAF is going to want to draft those." Dinh noted, "They MIGHT want to grab some of the old Merchant and Tramp class vessels."

Tramp Class Jump Ship (CG)

Tramp Class JumpShip

"We'll have to work up a plan to deal with that-we need that capability in the outer system."

Ike was quiet, thinking..."You know, if we're a toolmaker, and known to be a toolmaker. It might be easier to start setting up maintenance yards out near Boojum 3."

"Where the old Rockjack yards were?" ask one of them

"Those very same ones." He noted, "Being able to fix ships isn't that uncommon-it's uncommon, but it's not that uncommon. Plus, it could represent an alternate revenue stream for the Company...If we happen to use maintenance efforts as a cover for building additional ships, who's going to notice? As long as capacity's small enough, the nationals probably won't even blink."

"Let's keep that one a secret, Job."  Mrs. Vanh suggested, "There have been 'good times' before, and they always went bad.  I'd as soon not have an LCAF Regimental strike force show up to nationalize half our industries because Katrina's successor is feeling yeah on openly manufacturing tooling and equipment. Nay on publicly going further than that."  she turned an eye to Job, "Keeping it a secret, on the other hand, I'm all in on that, if your people can manage it."

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