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Chapter 23 - Important People[]

The Royal Palace
Tharkad City
Tharkad System
Lyran Commonwealth
September 3097

[...the bar at the Archon's Ball]

Thomas poured another glass.  The git is so damn naive!  He downed it, "Another, Barman."

"Tom, you're drinking like you just went a round with-"

"Naive." Thomas Hogarth said, "Was I ever that naive?"  He turned a long-time political ally, "Tell me truthfully, Daphne, was I ever so...blind?"

Daphne Rowe leaned against the bar and motioned for the steward to provide a glass.  "At times." she said.  "Rarely though."
"Your friend's daughter completely lacks any sense of perspective!" he complained, "I'd half expect her to break out into songs about Unicorns!"

"Oh...can't be that bad, can she?"

"She thinks she can avoid Politics." He lifted his glass, "She's not the caliber of her mother.  I'm not sure she'll be worth courting against the Peace faction."

"She's young, Thomas...and traumatized."  Daphne said, "You may be right but, she may still be useful in helping to block the ratification of the Uniform Naval Treaties."

"Traumatized?"

"You kept up on the intelligence reports, Thomas.  That incident in Clanner space we've heard rumors about." Daphne said it quietly, "She was there."

"You're sure?"

"My colleagues are." Daphne told him, "A failed black operation against the Homeworld Clans, there are rumors gathered by our feelers in the occupation zones.  A black operation that went bad, two Homeworld Clan warships destroyed outright, a number of the rest damaged."

"The girl was there?" he asked, interested.

"Yes." Daphne said, "IF it happened, she was earlobes deep into it and barely escaped alive."

"You wouldn't be telling me  this if you didn't think it was true." he noted.

"I think the Clans think it's true."  Daphne held her drink casually as she turned to face the dance floor, "Otherwise, why would Phelan have one of his intelligence officers dancing with her?"

Thomas turned and watched for a few moments, "Does your agency have someone on her?" he asked.

"Of course." she said simply.  "We watch everyone."



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