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The Armada (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 35 - The Armada[]

Unity City, Terra
Sol Star System
Wolf Empire
February, 3171 CE



It rains quite a lot in the Puget Sound region, and Unity City's Seattle borough is everything a spacer hates about being planetside-it's crowded, it's dirty, it is largely disorganized.

Fleet Admiral Ngo turned, and slid her paycard into the taxi-service drone's payment slot.

"Thank you for choosing Microkab!" the recorded voice announced.

She turned from the vehicle and sighed. Then trudged up Denny Way with her trench pulled close to her body and the slouch hat from her days on Surface Patrols back home pulled down to keep the rain off.

Groundside on Terra in Sharon Ngo's humble opinion, sucks ass.

At the crest of the hill, she turned north moving through the early evening crowds of civil servants, hangers-on, and tourists until she reached the McKenna Street megaplex.

The door guards glanced at her, and she showed them an ident card.

"Admiral! You were not expected for another-" says the Guard

"Shut up, corporal. Tell Fetladral I'm here." she snarled.

"Of course, Admiral...this way please."

She followed the Wolf Policeman.  She'd used the wrong rank to address the man and she knew it.  HE in turn, had to know that she wouldn't acknowledge the 'point system' of ranks, and had the seniority to make it stick.

She pointedly also didn't remove the slouch hat once indoors.  "...as i was about to say, Admiral, you were expected in three hours time..."

"Well, I'm early." she groused.  "I know the way from the elevators, go back to your post."

"Aff-I mean, Aye ma'am." he hurried away.

Sharon strode down the russet carpeting to the office of the Terran Garrison's naval commander, and she didn't knock.


"Ian, we are about to have words." Sharon glowered removing her headgear revealing the now-mostly-silver hair over her eurasian features.  "Everyone O-5 and below clear this deck and secure it." she added.

"Admiral Ngo-" a Wolf Star Commander tried to intercept her.  Sharon didn't bother repeating herself. She simply released tension in this case with a blow that could be heard in the command center even if she hadn't just become the center of every man and woman's attention.

The man she struck hit the deck with a broken jaw and glazed eyes.

"I gave an order.  Corpsman, secure this man and treat his injuries." she growled, "Outside!"

People moved, spreading away from Star Commodore Ian Fetladral, and clearing the room.

"You will begin with the explaining, Ian. You will convince me that I don't need to make an example out of you." she snarled, "You have one minute, on my mark."

She tossed her hat on a recently vacated console, slid out of the greatcoat, and rolled up the sleeves of her overgarment jacket.  "Mark."

"Admiral, I was obeying a lawful order from the First Lord." Ian Fetladral stated.

Sharon's fist opened.  "So Alaric ordered it?" she asked.

"Aff...Yes Ma'am." Ian stated, "Among our people, it is a great honor."

"Ian, those men on the Tranh Truk Ngo were Kowloonese. You didn't ask the families before you transferred those samples.  Now that I know it was a lawful order from the First Lord, I will continue this conversation with him.  Thank you for your cooperation." she pulled her sleeves down, and pulled her greatcoat back on, before picking up the recently discarded hat. "Your people have finished updating the system defenses?"

"Aff, Admiral." he said.

"Good. Start your folks working on the next generation of defenses now that the current one is in place. I want focus on both jump interception and interception outside the oort cloud of sublight targets moving at relativistic speed. Read Hogarth's report for ideas on what you will be most likely to face and get some paranoids with degrees speculating on what might have evolved since."

"Um...what is the rush?" he asked.

She paused, "If you don't understand. Have someone explain how cancer spreads, then look up 'von Neumann machine' and watch Hogarth's reports carefully.  We're at war. Have been since the start. We're only now starting to recognize that we're at war and if we lose this war, it means all of humanity dies. now get to work."



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