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Chapter 24 - Important People[]

The Royal Palace
Tharkad City
Tharkad System
Lyran Commonwealth
September 3097

[ the Archon's Ball]

Amanda and the Wolf officer separated at the end of the song. She then headed back toward the sideline, while he headed back to a group of Arc Royal and Wolf officers.

Amanda found her way out on to the balcony.  The weather is cold, but it's quieter, and not as stressful.

The door closed behind her, "Herr, Lieutenant?"

Amanda turned around. The voice belonged to a young man with junior NCO markings on his steward's jacket.

"Ja?" she asked.

"I know why your ship will not be finished." he said.

"That sounds like something you should be reporting to the Inspector General." Amanda noted.

"I have.  Nothing has come of it, but...I am a Patriot ma'am, and I believe there is Treason happening."

In the back of her mind, the choir began to sing.  "Speak on." she said.

"The upgrade-it isn't. The arrays are more powerful. Yes, but they were never designed to work with the systems on the ship." He said, "The parts you must have realized are missing? have not even been designed."

"How do you know that?"

"Because the working group responsible was dismissed before we finished, ma'am." he said, "We never finished the engineering work, and the lead designers have left the nation."

"To where?"

"Terra, ma'am." he said.  "They went back to Terra. it is why Lockheed has stalled on completion."

"That's not your uniform, is it?" she asked.

"No, ma'am." he said.

"Why are you telling me, and not reporting to the IG's office?"

"I did. Nothing has come of it, and I no longer have the ti-" he slumped to the ground.

Amanda checked for a pulse, and breathing.  Then she tried resuscitation, while shouting for help.

"...Karl Immelmann, an engineer with Lockheed CBM's Tharkad establishment or he was, but he was recently fired. His access denied due to a claim of internal spying."

"What did he die of?" the Archon demanded.

Adam Steiner (Young)

Archon Adam Steiner (in his youth)

"We are testing now, but the damage looks similar to radioactive contamination." 

Adam Steiner turned to look at the only witness, "Miss Ngo."

"Your Majesty." she answered.

"Did he mention anything?"

"He claimed to have information on a possible hostile conspiracy, and that he had 'run out of time'." she said.  "He claimed the components necessary to complete the refit of LCS Frederick Steiner have not yet been designed, and suggested that the work was not meant to be completed, Majesty."  she looked at the section of the balcony where the man had died, "He also said that he reported it to the Inspector General's office, without result."

Adam Steiner turned to an aide, "Get Max Haranshire in front of me yesterday!!  I do not care if he is in his night clothes or even if he has pants, I want answers."

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