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Strategos (A Great Captain Roberts Tale!!)

Chapter 2 - The Task

"It's good to be…

…home." Amanda noted, "How are we looking, Larry?"

"We've updated the infantry equipment, .lost some of the cargo bays to expand the smallcraft bay and add actual quarters for an infantry force, and Mister Seron's now got a full binary of Marines, plus landing craft to deploy them."


"Fifty. Mostly Trueborn Snow Ravens, mostly pulled from guys who would've passed a Trial of Position in the pre-relocation, pre-Alliance days but can't make it under the current standards with the arms control treaty in effect." Larry stated, "We also picked up some that were on the way out due to aging, especially beefing up our fighter wing."

"SO we lost range and increased our reliance on resupply." she commented.

"Yeah, but the Autocannons have been replaced by LB-X's for the point defenses, and they did a pull-and-retrofit on the LRM racks. It's not up to what they settled on for the Illusive, but we've got a bit more reach and range with the point defense arrays and they gave the Laser systems a shine and polish with some new power distribution components to deal with stuff that degraded over time or was close to wearing out, and the Yard gave the sunlight drives a tune-up."

"How much did all that polishing cost us?" she asked.

"Most of it was covered by auctioning the prize ships-Clan Snow Raven was the major buyer, so it was goods in trade." Larry told her, "Though you did get a few hundred thousand in your personal account, and we won't have problems making payroll."

She turned to Lori, "and our Watch contingent?" she asked, "How many additional agents did they put in, Lori?"

"I'm having to keep account of fifteen." the S-2 told her. "Five in each of the infantry stars, two Aviators, and three in Operations or engineering roles."

"Nobody in Navigation?" Amanda scoffed.

Lori sighed, "Besides me?"

"Pick one from Ops, start them on navigation training with Mister Nichols." Amanda stated, "Fully half our official sponsorship is Clan Watch, they get their money's worth so we keep getting the sponsorship…and so I know who's doing what on my ship. I want you to brief them on the fact that their cover is only for outsiders, I know., or better know, who's working for the Watch on my vessel."

"Do you want to review their reports too?" Lori scoffed.

"NOPE." Amanda stated, "I really don't, but I want them aware that I can know, if I deem it necessary to the ship or the mission, crystal?"

"Crystal, I'll brief them on your policy."

"Good, they can then brief the non-operative covers interlaced in the REST of the crew to keep an eye on their trade-craft, because I DO like catching surprises, and will not hesitate to make it embarrassing as a learning experience." Amanda stated, "WHEN you brief our new intel staff, I want you to use my personal report on the goings-on during my shore leave as an example of what to not do, particularly Mister Farrous's mistakes and my own, particularly pay attention to my mistakes leading up to the incident at my grandfather's wake. Desmond helped me write that briefing. I want essays on what I got wrong and why afterward."

"Uh, why?" Lori asked.

"Greatness is decided by the ship and crew." Amanda stated, "I have zero intention to be anything but the Greatest anyone has ever seen, that means, continuous improvement for everyone, including the semi-official and official spies and minders keeping an eye on me, that happen to also be among my crew. See to it."

"Aye ma'am."

She glanced at Mister Samuel, "You're up on the condition of the ship?"

"Aye, ma'am."

"Good, go down to the infantry decks, pick five of our infantry, and start teaching them how to do damage control and operate ship's systems, coordinate with Mister Seron and Mister Bedwyr for which troops from each section, I want them to be at minimum safe to pull supervised watches by the time we reach the halfway point, get with our new Armory officer and have her select personnel to train in those tasks, and same for our shuttle and fighter decks, we have fifty extra hands, getting them up to handle watches keeps them from doing stupid things until it's time for them to show off their MOS training, and it gets a few more bodies ready to cover losses if we bump into something that can hurt us."

"What about the actual trainee personnel?" Larry asked.

"Mix them with the infantry complement in the supplemental instruction." Amanda stated, "everyone trains, and when they're not training they study, and when they're not studying or training, they're working. We'll keep that going for the first three months, once we're sure they won't open an airlock on both ends in their underwear, we can lean off and let people have leisure time, we've picked up a huge number of extra people, I want them integrated into the crew by the time we hit the midpoint of this cruise."

She paused, "Larry, I want a schedule of 'random' damage drills, including blowout drills, fire drills, and accident drills interspersed through the next twelve weeks. We need to build proficiency and reflexes."

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