BattleTech Fanon Wiki

Chapter 48 - Important People[]

Tharkad Orbital Anchorage - Portable Habitat
Tharkad System
Lyran Commonwealth
November, 3097

Kapitain Johannes Krieger found himself in the unenviable position of watching his ship, the LCS Frederick Steiner pulled back into the docking slip and engineering crew erecting a shipyard scaffold around her to effectively dismantle his Warship. From a 'portable habitat' module fastened where the station's command core had been before he blew it all to hell.

"I'm beached," he mourned.

"No, Kapitain, you're not." Patrick Ngo wasn't in the LCN, he was strictly Coast Guard, and here as a civilian consultant... officially.  Unofficially, he was overseeing ten thousand engineering rates and contractors in salvaging the damaged 1st Squadron, Tharkad Home Fleet.  "Beached would mean being sent down to the bottom of the well to sign retirement papers."

"Near enough," Krieger said.  "There's a list, you know, of officers who've been relieved in the last forty hours."

"You're not on that list." Pat said, and clapped the man on the shoulder.  "I'm understanding the Archon is considering you for promotion."

"An Admiral's desk is every bit as beached as a forced retirement, Mister Ngo." Krieger said.

"Not always." Patrick suggested.  "I mean, Commodore Minh still takes her cutters out on patrol."

"We're a little different from your force, Ngo." Krieger said.  "Size has an impact, as does scope."

"Ayeh, sir." Patrick said, and continued reviewing survey reports.  "You'll be back in a proper CIC in a few weeks, sir." he added.


"Ayeh... and then you'll be learning to use new equipment." Pat said.  "Some refinements from Semier Data-Tron's engineering office, and a couple of improved systems we worked out at the Snark labs."

"The Lockheed Contract?"

"Vacated." Patrick said savagely.  "We'll be integrating your improved C3 systems along with the rest of it. Removing whatever sabotage code they hard-wired into those sensor units."

"You think there was?"

"The gear came from Terra." Patrick nodded grimly.  "Lockheed subcontracted work to Terra and New Earth for a lot of it. Therefore, Comstar, therefore, someone put sabotage back doors in just in case we got it working.  I've got a group of our RTO people working to find it the old fashioned way: centimeter by centimeter inspection, individual component testing. Anything not rigidly within one percent of rated function either way gets torn down to the elemental silicon.  When your ship pulls out of the dock, she'll likely be the most advanced ship in the sky."

"Ahm, 'Advanced' is usually a euphemism for 'unreliable'."

"Oh, we're going to make damned sure it's reliabl.," Patrick almost growled.

Krieger nodded, and scrolled through his missives.

"How long did you say?" asked Krieger

"Four months on the outside, sir." Ngo said.  "We're not going to foot-drag this."

"Hnm.  Then I can sign this TDY chit and authorize these hours." Krieger said.

Patrick looked up from the engineering reports, and Krieger showed him the notations.

"New Capetown?  OH..."

"Two of my better junior officers but, with the ship in for another four months. It matters little." Krieger judged.

"Ayeh sir... Which reminds me I need to talk to my sister before she goes hauling off halfway to home." Patrick stated.  "Van Oosten's one of your better people?"

"Yes." Krieger said.

Patrick logged onto a small console and typed out something.

"What are you doing?"

"Making sure my sister and her friend get to New Capetown safely and back again." Pat said.  "Given the situation, I'm not a hundred percent sure of Space-A or commercial transport..."

Krieger looked over the younger man's shoulder.

"Approved.  I'll tell her myself."

"Is that-?"

"Elizabeth Ngo, Secretary of the Navy?  Yes sir, it is.  It's good to be well-connected." Patrick said without irony.

Previous Chapter - Return to Story Index - Next Chapter