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Chapter 12 - Important People[]

LCS Frederick Steiner
Tharkad Orbital Anchorage Yard - Slip 16
Tharkad System
Lyran Commonwealth
September 3097

[The Frederick Steiner's Combat Information Center...]

"...interfaces aren't complete, We don't even know what's supposed to go there, only that it's not here."  Irena was explaining when Amanda made it to the CIC.

"It's not on the spec sheets?" Kapitan Krieger looked a little like Amanda's father, only with variations in coloring and a different chin.  He was wearing what she'd come to think of as 'surface duty' class B uniform, similar to the ones she saw when she reported to Headquarters on Tharkad.

"Do you have anything to add, Lieutenant Ngo?"  He barely glanced up while addressing her.

"Not at present, Skipper." she said, "We've about finished with installing the hardware update to the drive core. I've got the boys and girls mapping out the gaps in our power distribution and control networks now. The focus is now on propulsion, sensors, and life support...sir. You should probably be suited up, for safety, Sir."

THAT got his full attention.

"My god, you look like your mother." he said, adding, "I know.  I came here direct from Headquarters.  Commander O'Reilly will be arriving soon with the rest of the engineering department."


"There is apparently some kind of dispute with Lockheed CBM.  That's why we haven't had CivCons swarming the ship installing replacement public property." he said sourly, "The Lockheed rep has been dodging my we're going to take on as much of the work as we can until the Inspector General and Bureau of Ships can get this mess sorted."

"Respectfully we know what the problem is?" Amanda asked.

"Other than the work on my ship hasn't progressed until the two of you started pushing? No." he made a negating gesture, "I'm suspecting it's got to do with the appropriations bill going through the Estates General but, don't quote me on that."

"Why would that-" Irena started to ask.

"That's because the contract's in jeopardy." Amanda interrupted, "About right, ayeh, sir? It's in jeopardy for cost overruns?"

He frowned and nodded.

"I bet there was a proviso giving Lockheed exclusive on the actual work as well, sir?" Amanda added.

"How would you know?" Irena asked.

"Its because she's the daughter of Elizabeth Ngo, of Ngo industries." Kreiger said.

"Wait!" Irena regarded Amanda with a peering expression, "You're from that Ngo family??"

"Uh, yeah." Amanda said, "Mom occasionally bitched about dealing with Lockheed on the Eisensturm OmniFighter contracts.  Phennig-pinching and late on delivery to the's the reason the Coast Guard went with the modified SL-15 variants and kept the SB-27s in service. We could get parts on time."

"Do you think you can do something about our missing components?" Kreiger asked.

Amanda sighed, "Not an engineer." she said, "I have some knowledge but, you need an engineering team to figure out what's not there. You'll need the actual plans.  With actual plans I can probably supervise production and installation but, without them and without the parts? I lack the expertise, Sir. I don't even know what I would be trying to design. I am not confident in being able to jury rig a workaround without knowing what I'm trying to rig around.  I don't even have the full spec sheets on those new sensor arrays."

Kreiger nodded sagely, "Wise." he said, "you can't navigate until we have a sensor array."

"No sir."

"Good enough.  Report to Commander O'Reilly when he gets here. Give him everything you've given me, plus whatever you find between now and then some. Leutnant Van Oosten, you've been on duty for three weeks now. You're free to take pass to the planet if you wish."

"Sir, I'd rather stick around. I've learned more in the last two days than since I graduated Academy, sir." Irena said.

"Acceptable, hold the chit then." he said, "You will use it before we get under way again. Surface time is medically mandated for health reasons."

"Jawohl mein Kapitan."

"That goes for you, too, Ngo." he added, "You'll get your minimum time in gravity."

"Aye sir." Amanda replied.

"Okay, dismissed!" he made a shooing gesture, "Captain has the conn.  Return to your tasks."

Amanda and Irena left CIC and headed back toward the aft of the ship.
"Have you checked your P-Mail yet?" Irena asked.


"Let's get you logged in then, shall we?" Irena suggested.

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