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Chapter 39 - Important People[]

Tharkad System
Lyran Commonwealth
November, 3097

Power flickered on the RWS Invisible Truth and Admiral Trumbull demanded, "Damage Report!"

"That last salvo damaged plants along the port side, we've got fires along the same on decks eleven through sixteen, drive nacelle three is down."

"Roll the ship, concentrate fire from all vessels at the enemy's right and center!"

"Aye sir! initiating roll now!"

They only had to wait for word from the surface-the elimination of the Heir would throw any loyalists into turmoil, and Victor would have to swallow the fait accompli...

"Detection, new Neutrino sources and thermal pulse, Aft six O'clock, five thousand kilometers!"

"That's too close, how could they do that??"

KCGS Minsky's Folly
Landmark-Class Block 2
Destroyer Leader

"It worked?" Elizabeth Ngo asked from the Navigation station before leaning over and vomiting. Her helmet hoses scavenging the remains of a liquid breakfast, while IV tubes replenished fluids to her body.

"It worked.  I told you it works."  Patrick Ngo stood at the commander's station, "RTO, send to the rest of the task force, 'it works, come at speed in battle-ready condition'."

"Aye sir."

It was a matter of grasping the physics of black boxes, and how they produce subtle distortions in use, bent the right way, you can create an effective gravitational null anywhere...and this proved it.

"GUNNERY officers, I see before me, a fleet sworn to a traitor, this offends me, remove it!" then he turned to his RTO, "Send Hail all general channels. The Kowloon Coast Guard, pursuant to Regulation 7743.112 of the Lyran Uniform code has arrived to restore order under Section 221 of the Commonwealth Charter, subsection 11, titled 'Domestic Insurrection'."

"Aye sir."

Within minutes, both Lola-IIIs and the Fox corvettes were rapidly expanding balls of incandescent gas and razor blades as antimatter loads hit them.

The Cameron Class tried to come about to broadside, it lasted long enough to detect the incoming gauss rounds.

"CAG and all Ships! Launch Search and Rescue birds. Landing Craft deploy to the surface, Cutters in support." Patrick ordered.

His orders given, he then turned to the Duchess, his mother, "Does it get easier?" he asked.

"Ask me when you've been forced to annihilate a city."' she tells him, "No, it doesn't."

"How did you know this was the move they were going to make?" He asked.

"Victor, went to New Avalon for a meeting last year." Elizabeth said quietly, "The Peace Faction is mostly made up of his former supporters...but the real reveal was that report your sister sent.  Max Haranshire wouldn't dare set up something like that, when I realized their target was the Navy. It fell into place-they don't have the votes in the Estates to ratify the Republic Uniform Naval Treaty. They do have enough supporters to attempt a coup and Adam was never that able a politician-he was always a soldier first. With one legitimate-looking pretender to the throne under his Thumb, and with his initiative in the Skye region failing the plebiscite?"

She sighed, "Stone's only move was this one.  I just pray we arrived in time."

[...outside the Royal Palace]

"...your Highness, we need to get you OUT of here!"

"I am not going to be run out of my own home, and leave Milena."  Andrew Steiner had a lot of elements of his Father's character.  One of those was a persistent courage that made his bodyguards sweat bullets right now.

The Conspiracy had done a fair job of suborning most of the security in the royal palace, and had almost caught him unawares.

Almost. Dumb luck and a drinking session with his personal tech in the 'Mech bay had undone what had to have been weeks of planning by the conspirators.  Milena hadn't approved of his jaunts with Marta Fieldmann and the 'Mech techs, so he'd only brought his most trusted men with him.  And when the coup attacked, he hadn't, as a result, been where he was supposed to be.

Crazy-brave can be augmented by many things. Andrew's was augmented by 'Pony'. The Pony being a Hauptmann-class Heavy Omnimech outfitted as a command platform.  He 'rode Pony' mostly in training exercises and the occasional ceremonial parade, but it was the best physical protection money could buy in a ground mobile platform.

"Let's kick these trespassers out of my house!" He declared.

The short company of Loyalist troops cheered.

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