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Strategos (Cover Art)

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Strategos (A Great Captain Roberts Tale!!)

Chapter 4 - In Darkness

Lord Commander Cecil Halford wanted to relax on his estates, study the production figures, maybe check owed debts and discuss his wedding…and he would do these things, if he weren't called up on by the Lord Marshall of the 9th himself.

SLS Biringer was where they'd parked it, but just a visual confirmation wasn't why he was here, instead of chatting with Lady Eloise or his father's vassals over what manpower needs would need replacing in the next fiscal quarter.

Lola III Class Destroyer (By Matt Plog 2016)

Lola III Class Destroyer, SLS Biringer

The ship was an older one, Lola III class and expensive as hell to run while also being risky to reveal. Technically, the Biringer was his responsibility as the descendant of that ship's successful executive officer. (Captain Sherzinger had been...resistant…to the idea of remaining, the mutiny was a treasured tale among the Sons-Commander Halford quite rightly moved to back the Royal CAAN regiment's decision to remain in their AOR, especially considering the important task the unit was here executing.)

The inciting incidents, of course, being the sudden interest in the region-an interest not aligned with either the Ministry of Communications (and rightful Terran Government), nor so ill equipped or informed that they could be either disappeared, or intimidated by normal means.

Something made a bit of a point, when the second brigade went silent at Tresspass and information from the Ministry showed the Outworlders had somehow taken not only Tresspass, but Joan's Post and Devil's Breath.

He banked the docking shuttle in, and slid into the shuttle-bay, as transmitted codes awakened the destroyer's systems for the (six months early) annual inspection by the acting commander.

Reliable information said the most likely penetration of their defense would come aboard a used-up age of war era corvette, but if that corvette were to find the trail, an enemy fleet would be coming…

Provided such a ship could not be silenced quickly and decisively.

"Officers head to your stations, I want all systems up and active by zero-seven thirty tomorrow, and a full accounting of munitions and support craft ready by twelve hundred." he ordered his men…his crew to tasks they'd only practiced here in dock, or aboard the far less…visible…standard JumpShips and DropShips.

Potemkin (Old - Underway)

Potemkin Class Troop Cruiser, SLS Belleau Wood

Halford knew the rest of the WarShips in the fleet would be rallying soon-well, as soon as their Lord Commanders could find the ****** manuals.

Cecil had no illusions there. While the Belleau Wood-a Potemkin class Troop Cruiser, was larger and Lord Captain-Commander Terry Winston was more prominent in the General Staff, and wealthier, with nearly a million serfs, including technical serfs at the manufactures? The man was only as good as his overseers, and those overseers weren't instructed from birth to helm a WarShip the way Cecil was. Lord Captain-Commander Winston didn't even risk bringing tech-serfs up to the Wood more than once in five years, and Cecil was sure the man didn't bother actually doing run-ups, or live system checks as the Halford family had for generations.

The Biringer would be ready regardless. Ready, and Capable...and when the inevitable mechanical failures began, it would be Halford-owned ships that carried the Marshall's forces to clear out the intruding rubbish, and preserve the Basileus.

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