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Chapter 7 - Important People[]

LCS Frederick Steiner
Tharkad Orbital Anchorage Yard - Slip 16
Tharkad System
Lyran Commonwealth
September 3097

[Forward section of the LCS Frederick Steiner]

Amanda levered the hatch open, and floated into the forward cargo space.

"...No way, man, He's out of your league! How did you do it?"
"...only problem was he said he never had a brother before..."

She counted six voices.  She hooked a cargo container and adjusted her velocity until she was skinning the hullward side, thus getting a look.

"...Klaghler's wife had her hand on my thigh the whole night.  What the ****** was I supposed to do, turn her down?"

She gently swung outward and let her velocity lead. She straightening to six meters above where the group of sailors were trading sex stories and a bottle of contraband liquor.

Then she activated her boots, and dropped into the middle of the group with a three point landing her basic training chief called a 'superhero' landing.

"Yo boys and girls."  she straightened and lit the illuminators on her suit, displaying her rank. "Who wants to tell a lonely ell-tee what the game is or why nobody's unshipping these crates, ayeh?"  she completed the display by tapping her palm with a crowbar, before drawing it along the endosteel of the deck structure, making sparks.

The desired result was achieved and she knew it when an E-4 squealed 'Scheisss!' like a little girl.
Quite an accomplishment for a large man with dark skin who quite apparently works out.

Irena's approach was more straightforward, but Liz had their attention until... "Hey, There's an Officer on deck!!"

Amanda held out her hand, "Booze me, and who's supposed to be NCOIC here?"

Abashed, the group of lower enlisted sailors passed the bottle between them to her.  "Petty Officer Downes, Ma'am."  the same black sailor told her.

"Where can I find him?" she asked.

"um...container three, ma'am...but-"

"I take it your presence officially on-duty isn't due to some fantastic performance, neh?" Amanda asked.

"Negative ma'am..."

"Well. we're going to pretend you weren't drinking on duty." Amanda said, "Provided you're fit for duty.


"There is no regulation against Drinking, there is only a regulation against Being unfit." she enunciated.  "Get yourselves ******, I'm going to have a talk with your NCO.  This much downtime means someone isn't making or enforcing duty rosters.  We're going to fix that...and...Cleveland, is it?  Button up your suit, you're an embarrassment to your gender.  I'm actually a little bit embarrassed for you."

"Ma'am..."  a thin female with excellent cleavage blushed and pulled her uniform tunic, open to the fourth button, closed.

"Not to say you're going to be punished for taking these boys' money but, you're not being paid by the Commonwealth on your ability to make boys..and maybe girls, moan." Amanda continued.  "Get suited up, we're meeting on the aft quarter-deck exterior in an hour."

"For what?"

"Work party." Amanda stated, "The hull looks like scheisse and I'm not painting that ****** by myself."

She strode on the deck, no hint of stealth, to cargo module 3, and rapped on the hull with the crowbar.

To be rewarded by tumble-stumble and squealing from inside.

Then she undogged the hatch,  "FRONT AND CENTER!!" she demanded using a Drill Instructor voice.

Two heads peeped out, both in their mid-twenties.  Amanda loomed (which is kind of amusing, she's barely average height for a woman of her age.)

"Petty Officer!" she showed teeth, "Put your pants on...and...excuse me, miss, but are you a member of the crew or a civilian contractor?"

"I'm not going to report this cluster-******." Amanda explained after the Petty Officer came out with his clothes on.

"You're not?" asked the Petty Officer.

"Hells no." Amanda said, "We're going to correct the problems. However, we're not going to bother the Judge Advocate with a stack of dereliction reports and we're not going to bother the Captain with a stack of NJP's.  Nobody is going in front of a Captain's Mast.  We're going to correct the deficiencies and deviations instead."

"That's...very generous. Why aren't you going to report this?" he asked.

"That's because you have not been treated as professionals, so you have lost your professional demeanor." Amanda explained calmly, "It is a morale problem.  Those are not solved with blindly lashing out with punishments.  We are going to restore the dignity of this crew instead."

"You're not the captain." he said.

"Ya but, a good crew can make a poor captain great. While a degraded crew can make the best captain shit." she explained, "Junior Officers and NCO's provide the leadership and difference between a good crew and a poor one."  she laid an arm over his shoulders, "So we're going to be a good example, Ayeh?"  she gently tapped the point of his chin with the crowbar, "Or maybe someone will have an accident.  You understand, ayeh?"

Fear lit in his eyes, "Aye, Ma'am."

"Good talk. Now get suited up, we're meeting on the aft quarterdeck hullside in forty minutes."

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