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The Adjudicator Chapter (Cover Art)

Chapter 31 - The Adjudicator[]

The Cutter, FSS Halberdier
Everett System
Federated Suns
December, 3159

Captain (O-3) Sammael Boothe was a mustang, that is to say. He began life as an enlisted man.  Unlike a lot of Mustangs, he didn't come up through the usual process of heroic deeds seen by one of the 'mechwarrior officers, nor through family connections.  He started as a bos'n aboard the FSS Kentares, a station-born spacer brat doing his mandatory term in the AFFS's fleet so he could have that coveted 'Able Spaceman' ticket and a job in the Merchies.

But Then, an opportunity showed up and he grabbed it with both hands and all his toes.

"Officer School" in the Patrols meant long hours of academic study punctuated by living a Spacer's life aboard a training command. It meant having to prove he could grasp languages, and law, and engineering and especially Navigation.

He was one of the few 'ungifted' who could manage a six minute insertion for his final exam before his enlistment converted to a commission, and he'd mastered it on a three minute rock over New Syrtis.

Fox Class Corvette (Underway - BattleTech Space Wars Mod)

FSS Kentares

The other thing drilled into them, was a cold professionalism.  "What do you think, Faunty?" he asked.

George Welrod-Fauntleroy was almost twenty five years older than Boothe, and an ensign, but two years ago, he'd been a Commodore commanding a Fox.

Right now, he was the second officer on the Halberdier, a defrocked ex-flag officer enduring his struggle to redemption.

"I'm seeing a lot of evidence of scavengers on the surface, Sir." said George

"I'm going to suggest you're right, you up for taking a boat down to check out the town?"  Boothe asked, "Gather samples, see if there's anything here to recover?"

"I do have eyes, sir.  A couple atmospheric processors and decontamination gear and Everett might be liveable again, but yah. I'll take a squad down to poke and look if you want."

"Do it.  Everett's one of the Admiral's 'candidate' systems. We clear this one, we can move on to the next one until this job's done...and then, it's on to the next job."

"Aye sir."  Faunty, as Boothe and nearly every ranking officer called the man. He needed every good mark he could get if he ever wanted to be a full-on officer with a clean record and that suited Boothe fine. The man was actually quite good with the Marine squads and while it was taking a while to beat some of the bad doctrine out of him. What was underneath was a fine officer and a decent man.

At least, as long as said man was kept away from the booze locker.

Secretly, Boothe presumed that when he was Commodore Fauntleroy. The man had made the mistake of trusting the wrong subordinates and fell on his sword for lesser men, which was a plus in Boothe's eyes. Though the man did argue passionately about the importance of close-quarters engagements with Warships, one of which had resulted in the Carrier DCS Shinano destroying the FSS Albequerque with significant loss of life, five minutes after the cease fire had been signed.


"Sir?" asked George

"Good luck, and be careful."

"Aye sir."

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