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I used to Dream Chapter (cover art)

Chapter 17 - I used to Dream[]

The Triad
Tharkad System
Lyran Commonwealth
August 3089

[Perspective of Elizabeth Nog on Tharkad]

"...don't know what you're on about, Highness." she said casually.  Elizabeth was in her traditional black suit.  "I did not misplace those vessels."

"Look, we've got compliance issues, the other treaty signatories want to see proof of destruction." Adam Steiner insisted.

"and..?" she asked, "The ones not repurposed on long-range survey had their dedication plaques and cores turned over to your government, so I honestly don't know what you're on about, Highness.  We're in compliance."
"LONG range survey? I don't remember authorizing that." he scolded.

"I don't recall there being a proviso in the annexation treaty restricting Kowloonese exploration and potential commercialization of unmapped systems past the old Rim Worlds Republic, Highness." she told him.  "Specifically we're running four separate deep-periphery exploration missions to map out potential resource sources antispinward and rimward of the periphery border. This is including escorting trade missions to the Rim Collection, NIOPS, and Magistracy of Canopus."

He stared.  "Why aren't you going through normal routes?"

'"We're not on sustained good terms with the Draconis Combine or Capellan Confederation. We're sending ships through the chaos in the Free Worlds League is inviting armed confrontations." states Elizabeth.

"Oh...right...Liz...look, I know you have issues with the treaty." he told her.

"Don't smooth my feathers, Adam." she said, "I spent months in prison on Terra facing war crimes charges to try and get some stability worked in. If the RUNT is a result of that, then it's the result, and I'll deal with it.  Sometimes you can't predict what the results of your work are going to be."

"Stone's government has asked for assistance restoring his shipyard capacity." Adam told her.

"No." she said.

"No...you're not even going to listen to the offer?"

"I will not do business with the Republic of the Sphere." she told him flatly.  "I won't use Comstar for my messages and I won't sell them tooling or systems either. Find someone else."



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