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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 192

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January 3070
Interlude: Mars

Nouveau Versailles
Great Canal
Word of Blake Protectorate

Looking out through the deceptively fragile looking windows overlooking the grand canal Cameron St. Jamais sipped his coffee while waving with his free hand for his guest to stop his update on the current strength of the WOB Fleet. Placing his cup down he inclined his head towards the storm raging just a few feet away as they sat having a working breakfast together. "Mars really is a lesson for us..."

Gregory Zwick glanced out the window and grimaced. "Cameron, I don't think..."

Hushing his top ranking subordinate with an almost smile St. Jamais continued. "If the supreme military leader of the Word of Blake cannot speak freely within his own home and to one of his oldest friends, then we really should just slit our throats and save the Davion and his friends the trouble... As I was saying, Mars should be a lesson to all of us... We came here to a dying world and infused it with new life, seeded it with the return of ancient technologies... And now it is wracked by storms and in a state of constant chaos and upheaval as it adjusts to these changes...! If that doesn't sum up what we have done to the entire Inner Sphere then I don't know what does... Perhaps more telling those very storms would be death to us were we to stop out onto the balcony right now..."

Avoiding looking for ears at the door the Precentor Naval sighed and nodded. "Except the storm growing across the Inner Sphere isn't mindlessly hammering at our walls... Cameron they are coming for us here... At Terra and I can't stop them."

"There. It's said." Cameron St. Jamais smiled broadly at the Precentor Naval. "Was that so hard?"

"Some might argue it is defeatism..."' Zwick spoke softly.

"In this case I would say it is realism." The Precentor Martial picked his coffee cup back up and sipped the excellent Terran coffee that he imported for his breakfasts. Coffee grown here on Mars in vast greenhouses just wasn't the same. "Not that I intend to be so blunt to the Master... He still assures us all that final victory will be ours... Perhaps it might have been, had Victor Davion not retaken New Avalon so bloodlessly back in 3061..."

The naval officer sat silently not bothering with his own coffee or breakfast. He had lost his appetite.

Responding to the silence, St. Jamais shrugged. "Not that it matters now... My wife assures me that if I unleash her she can raise a revolt throughout the former Confederation and drown the entire AFFS in a bloodbath. I rather think that what is more likely that her brothers former subjects would tear her limb from limb if she tried... But she was never stable or capable of much insight. Hence why I keep her away from my son."

Returning to the military realities he nodded to Gregory Zwick. "So you can't stop them... Fine. Finish all current warships under construction and then shift the shipyards over to drone production. I want them pumping them out in vast quantities. Your fleet will fight them in a guerrilla war while the Protectorate Guard do the same on the planets of the Protectorate, buying time for me to turn the Terran System into a fortress that they will have to pay a truly terrifying price to break. I'll bolster the Guard with what Word of Blake Militia formations I can spare to buy more time. Perhaps we might weaken them enough to preserve a few isolated seeds of our future resurgence...  On that note Gregory, I need the WoBS Vision of Truth and some escorts... Arrange it. Quietly."

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