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Chapter 47 - Important People[]

Lyran Naval Annex - Tharkad City
Tharkad System
Lyran Commonwealth
November, 3097

The Marines guarding the building had been replaced.  Some of the windows weren't.  Elizabeth Ngo walked past bullet scoring and cleanup crew working to remove debris, occasionally acknowledging personnel along the way.

"Madame Secretary-" an ensign in surface-duty class Bs hurried up to her.

"Not now," She said.  "I want exactly two things, where's Admiral Kingfisher being the first."

"This way, Ma'am."  the Ensign said.

"Second thing. Once you've brought me to him, you will get your ass fitted into a proper uniform. No more of this groundside dirtyfeet cloth uniform nonsense." she added casually stopping (which forced the Ensign to stop).  "Wipe that oil-paint off your face, Ensign."  She offered a baby-wipe from a pocket, "Jesus Christ, you're made up like a bloody clown."

"It-it's regulation-" stuttered the Ensign.

"Not anymore.  Pass it along to your friends. There are going to be some changes around here, now that I'm back." Elizabeth said harshly.  "Skinsuits under overgarments is the uniform of the day. No makeup and get a damn haircut...  He's in there?"

"Ye-Ayeh, Ma'am.  The Admiral is in those offices."

"Good, go get squared away."  Elizabeth limped her way to the double-doors and pushed them open. 

Admiral Kingfisher was still wearing his EVA suit under a 'bag' for space operations.

"You got my memo, Adrian," Elizabeth said.

He looked up.  "LIZ!!"

"Did you pass it on? I saw a lot of staff in clothes." she noted.  "Even walking in."

"So you're back for real?" he asked.

"Andrew made it clear he wanted me in charge of the department for the time being." Liz said quietly.  "It was... almost painful getting the old togs back on."  She pulled off the greatcoat, revealing a skinsuit with harness.  This wasn't LCN standard blue, but black.  "I'm your civil oversight." she added.  "Back in the Navy Secretary's role until we can un ****** this cluster."  She strode over, magboots making a tinny click as she stepped on burnt away portions of the carpet.

"How is your husband taking that?"

"Nathan is going fishing with his friends.  Retirement seems to have inspired him. Though he's promised to start teaching at the Academy when he gets back from chasing brassfish on the Big Damn Ocean."  She smiled, "How's Karla?"

"She's well, Mum." he said.  "We're in trouble."

"I saw.  What's our breakage across the entire service?" she asked.

"Eight stolen destroyers. They didn't bother with cutters, LCS Tatyana Steiner, and the other fifteen battleships destroyed in dock." he listed off.

"The Taty was a newer one, that was Kelswa's boat, wasn't it?" she asked.

"Ayeh, and we think he's still in command.  Full crew defection."  He shook his head.  "Declared for Victor over Skye.  I'm sorry."

"The other two on patrol?" asked Elizabeth

"Fylgia 2 had an attempted mutiny that Hemmler put down. We're still sorting reports from the Arluna."

"That's a Fox Two isn't it?" she asked.

"Ayeh, Mum.  Paddy O'Ryan's boat.  His last report was collecting units from the Taty's battlegroup and a few stragglers in the Skye region who didn't defect and managed to survive the gun fight."

"What about the Arc Royal fleet?" she asked.

"Last word from them was that the Wolf-in-Exile units went armadillo and took most of that task group with them." he told her.

"I see... they got us good." she observed.

"Ayeh Mum.  Some of the defecting ships..." he looked pained.  "I know those people."
"Treason wouldn't be treason without trust." Elizabeth reminded him.  "You can't betray the trust of someone who didn't trust you.  They got us good ayeh."  She laid her cane on the desk.  "What does the Regular fleet still have?"

"The Bolan squadrons, the Periphery border squadrons, and the Falcon Border squadron." he told her.  "We've lost most of the Skye and about half the Donegal fleet. Plus, of course, sixteen battleships here. Since even though we've got the Fred, she's not operational. We've got two thirds of the transport fleet."

"Well, we started with less." Elizabeth noted.  "We're moving Headquarters to the Anchorage."

"Excuse me??  That station is a ruin!" exclaims Adrien

"Exactly." She said.  "But it has the advantage of being very uncomfortable to visit. It's not anchored to a planet in the middle of a city when Stone gets his traitor fleet reorganized and moving.  I would as soon not see them do to us, what I did to Geneva."

"They didn't declare for Stone, Mum, they declared for Victor."

"AND I met them both, remember?  Stone has his hand so far up Victor Steiner-Davion's ass you can almost see the fingers when he opens his mouth.  This was the Republic.  They supported it, they even sent ships to back it up, I'm guessing that right now, they're wondering where the Lyran Fleet got so many ships to respond to their move so quickly and whether we have secret fleets.  That doubt?  We're going to work it, to make them hesitate."

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