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The Adjudicator Chapter (Cover Art)

Chapter 56 - The Adjudicator[]

Royal Hospital - Toyama City Taussen, Taussen Star System
Federated Suns Space
Mid 3160

"You say that with such certainty, Admiral...I have to admit, that hurt." said Director-General Jon Cameron

Sharon shrugged, "It wasn't meant to be comfortable, Director-General.  I work with a lot of people I don't like. I've worked with and for people I don't even respect.  Some of them became something like friends, but not because of what they could offer me."

"Friendship isn't bought.  Strange attitude for a Lyran, if the rumors are any indication."

"Strike two." Sharon said, glancing through the one-way glass as Corpsman Bao gently examined her niece.  "Pre-judging based on rumor, everyone does it to an extent, but you need to be at least self-aware enough to know when it's earned, and when it isn't...and when you're speaking with a stereotype versus a real person.  one of the reasons my reforms worked was that I took those stereotypes and broke them."

She turned on her heel, "I find I've misjudged people all the damn time." she added, "As I get older, I find I know less about people than I thought I did, but some things hold truer than i'd like...huh. weird."

It interrupted whatever woolgathering was happening in Jon's augmented mind. "What?"

"Julian Davion would have decked me by now.  Trillian would have sent me to spend a few hours groundside on a petty shopping trip, Roddy Steiner would've threatened me with that Mackenzie hammer of his, and you take the abuse like you deserve it."

"Your niece's digital self prepared me." he said, "She claims you are always testing people."

"That's true." Sharon said, "I am.  I have trust issues, Mister Director-General.  Always had them. had to learn to live with them, deal with them, and keep them out of the light.  Clara doesn't and she's a better person than I am. Frankly, I'm offended you dived her mind."

"I didn't. She offered me advice on handling you." he confessed.

"Huh...when's dinner?" Sharon asked, "You offered a meal and I offered to tell you the stories that didn't make it into the official report."

"Even though we're not friends?" he asked.

"Yeah. Because I don't need to be your friend to drink your booze." Sharon told him, "Or to tell you truths."

La Piazza Del Sol Restaurant, Toyama city
Taussen, Taussen Star System

They spoke on issues that weren't critical through the appetizer, and discussed family over the meal.  Jon learned that Sharon held quite a lot of affection for her kin. She kept her distance since her youth, that she deeply respected the Archon Trillian on a personal level, and that she helped 'hook up' Roderick Steiner with his current wife.

" romance for you?" Jon asked as they finished the second meal course.

"I can't stand to be touched." Sharon told him, "It's in my psych files, intimate contact is...distressing." she shrugged, "Why else would I spend so much time packing on muscle and bone-density? You don't lose the hormones or the urges, but the panic attacks just aren't worth it.  For the sake of inheritance when I thought I was going to be stuck doing the Duchess thing for the rest of my life, I donated my ova to the 'bank in Hue. But since I could pass it to a cousin, I don't have to worry about maintaining a lineage for salic law purposes. So my eggs are probably going to be used for charity families or banked for research."

They finished the meal.  "You promised a sea-story." He said.

"Bring out the booze." she said, "You'll want it."

A bottle of something amber, with a faint whiff of paint-thinner about it was brought out and a pair of glasses.

It took two before she sighed, "Okay, I'm ready now."  she met his eyes, "We found them...or...what was left of them.  The coordinates were right where their probe said they'd be, and that's probably why they're all dead now."

"Who...HOW?" question Jon Cameron.

"Well, we were able to salvage some of their devices.  We know they sent out probes in all directions. In one of those directions, was someone who really wants to be alone in the galaxy."  Sharon told him, "And wants it a lot.  Enough to send a fleet of thousands to bombard a planet into rubble, then salt it with strontium ninety. How humanity's avoided being found by those ****** is a miracle. However miracles, Mister Director-General sir, don't last forever.  We were recalled before my teams could figure out which direction the force that exterminated our neighbors came from. So we don't know if it was luck. If they prodded someone far away or if it's an ongoing campaign and we've just been lucky."

" the Noble Houses know?" he asked.

"Trillian knows, I assume Julian does, and the Kurita because she sent a team out with us and they saw what we saw."  Sharon stated,  "We don't know where it came from. We don't know who did it or why, but we saw what and how. Those people weren't ready to face an attacker.  Their best tech was maybe late 23rd century stuff. No real military development past the 21st, but they're extinct now and we don't know who. We don't know why or when they're coming to do it to us."

"Would this tie into the 'aid' your Archon has offered to the Ghost Bears?" he asked.

"I assume so." Sharon stated.  "I know it's why we're helping the Leaguers build their fleets up, and why we're giving technical aid to the combine.  The problem with the Wolf Empire and the Republic, is that those two are dedicatedly beating the snot out of each other. It will probably turn any technical aid we give 'em to continuing to do so, and of course, Devlin Stone."

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  • Wiki Editor Note: This second section was enter same way it was in original Bg.Battletech forum entry. The author jump a section and did not describe the conversation of Sharon Ngo describing the discovery of dead alien civilization at the hands of another more powerful one. This has not been clarified.