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The Adjudicator Chapter (Cover Art)

Chapter 57 - The Adjudicator[]

Tharkad Naval Shipyard Tharkad Star System
Lyran Commonwealth
Mid 3160



"...all information can be a weapon, you just need to think about how to use it..."

"...and who you are going to use it on."  Fleet Admiral Emily Falcone strode along the structure in order to keep pace with the foreign visitors-a delegation from the Rasalhague Dominion's warrior caste, inspecting designs and prototypes as part of the reconstruction plan.

The 'weather' at the Tharkad Naval Shipyard is always sunny with a chance for micrometeor showers and other debris-a chance mitigated somewhat by magnetic field generators and ion-field structures arranged around the docks, but in any place this busy, there are going to be accidents. "You used quite a lot of information on us."  Star Captain Grant Tseng noted.

"Yes, we did.  As you can see, the yards are rather active." she said, "We can review the designs competing for your Krona once we have reached the pressurized office structure up ahead, but Her Majesty wanted to underscore that we have the capacity to provide your goods, if you have the manpower available to crew them."

"The Warrior being the most important system of the weapon, quiaff?"  his aide asked.

"Ever so, Star Commander." Emily noted, "No matter how good your ships are, they're garbage if your crews are poorly trained, poorly led, or unimaginatively used. You are buying a better navy than we used on you.-Between the Sea Fox contractors for your weapons, your local hardware producers, and your fighter and small craft designs...but then, you had a superior force when we beat you before.  The core is going to be doctrine and training."

"How did your forces beat ours, especially at Lyons?"  the Ghost Bear naval officer asked.

"We do not run pressurized when in combat." she said, "This prevented shock waves from propagating inside the hull and snuffed fires before they could spread, it also kept our crews active and functional. All LCN personnel from the raw recruit to the commanding officer are trained and drilled in damage control tasks as they are expected to perform them. Internal communication is kept active, and leeway is given for individual departments to act in emergencies to remain operational. A chief in motion outranks a Lieutenant who doesn't know what is going on. One of the cores of command integrity is that in the absence of direction. Junior leadership takes the fore in the absence of junior leadership. The person taking the initiative is in control regardless of birth or background." she smiled to herself, "You would not believe how many officer candidates we found in that task force after the Lyons fight."

"You mitigate the damage because your doctrine expects to take damage." says one of the Ghost Bears

"Precisely." answers Admiral Falcone

"You have an open-ended promotion system, because you expect to lose officers." questions of officers.

"Yes we do.  We do not want to take casualties, but it derives from...well, from the Coast Guard. Which in turn derives from something Duchess Ngo said a long time ago.  'if you can not afford to lose an asset, you can not afford to use that asset'.  You can get a lot of flexibility if you can afford to take losses in combat...and it is far, far easier to take those losses, and recover from them, if you enter a conflict situation with your backups planned ahead of time."

"If your navy had not beaten us so thoroughly, I would call that attitude madness."

"Star Captain, all due respect, but warfare is madness." she said, "One of our central training activities is keeping the peace, which most often involves rendering aid to civilians.  This gives my sailors hands-on time doing damage control and repair, damage mitigation, and keeping core skills sharp.  I do not know what your doctrine will look like, but I can tell you this: It works for us, and it worked on you-my officers were able to identify your key weaknesses and exploit them ruthlessly while. For the most part, avoiding your key strengths-the Alshain went down with no fuel because we knew her crew weren't trained in self-replenishment and we could identify and cut every logistical line she could latch onto.  The Rasalhague went down because we were able to identify key doctrinal weaknesses that gunner's mates and pilots could exploit, as well as identifying how to turn a system meant to prevent atmospheric losses could be used to break the spine of a ship with resonant hits...and we knew your training doctrines, so we knew how to best exploit your damage control doctrine."

Trillian told her to assist them-that making sure the Dominion Navy was competent was a national security item.  Sharon's unredacted report underscored this, but telling them why was out of the question.

For now. thought Falcone

"Resonant frequencies?" Star Captain asks.

"Patterning the shots to ring the bell, Star Captain." she said, "Everything has a resonant frequency. We had the drive specs on your ships. Your crews work in shirt-sleeves environments at 1.15 atmospheres for comfort. Lizzie didn't need to breach your hulls, she needed to make them ring at the right frequency with shots.  Her task group shook the Rasalhague apart because you provided the resonant medium yourselves, and had systems built to keep it pressed up."

"That...would require extensive mathematical modeling..."

"Yeah. The Commonwealth has had technical details on the Leviathan class since the 3060s. A weapons fit and fresh armor didn't change the core structure, but running the math? Yeah, that's tough." she keyed in the airlock's access code, "Ever calculated a six minute jump?"

"Six..I am afraid I do not understand the question. Jumps are instantaneous."  Star Captain Tseng answered.

"Ohhhboy...no, and if you ever hull-surfed during a jump you'd know that's not true." she said, "Let me take a quick stab based on your tactics during the war-you use your navigation computers to calculate your jumps, and you don't override them very often, quiaff?"

"Aff..why?"

"That because some jumps they will not let you do, because the systems don't like running endless recursion strings." she told him.  "Imagine the duration of a jump point, say, a transitory point...your standard navicomp can handle one down to a window of three hours...I qualified in the Guard on a six minute target.  Sharon ran a record run at a six second gravity neutral point.  During the war with you folks, not one of my ship captains couldn't hit a thirty second window, and most were qualified out at under ten seconds-which you can not reliably do using SLDF NavCom Software."

She joined them in the airlock.
"How did you do it?" he asked.

"Manually." she answered as the chamber pressurized around them.  "It's the standard your people are going to need to meet if you want your navy to be more than expensive target practice. Most Planetborns can learn to hit a six minute target. Are you going for a record run? That's something you need a knack for."

"How do you find those with the 'knack'?"  he asked.

"How many of your guys have TDS?" she asked. "My best navigators end up spraying vomit and blood after a hard jump-because who knows why?" she shrugged  "It works, and it drives the guys in Fleet Medical absolutely to distraction trying to figure it out.  I usually use a double-size capacity barf-bag if I'm jumping into combat with both catheters inserted and a blood bag on my left arm to replace what I'm going to be puking, pissing and shitting from the experience."

"You suffer from Transit Disorientation Syndrome?" questioned the Star Captain.

"Yeah, it sucks, but it works." Emily said, "Somewhere in that Pershaw ancestry of mine, or maybe in the Huyn ancestry, not sure which. Someone had it something fierce and it bred true.  What's nastier are the hallucinations during a transit, but hey, I was a contender for a record jump and only Sharon Ngo beat my target. That is until Nguyen rooked us both out of a record with a four-second transition taking out a Shadow Fleet base at Ross 728. For the record, mind that was a window about fifty seven point five meters wide, he barely got that destroyer through it intact and still lost a couple of antennas and two gauss guns off his X turret."

"Savashri...Really?"


"Yeah, really.  I imagine the bastards in that base got the shock of their lives when a Landmark class destroyer came out of nowhere, hammered them with the emergence waves. They Pumped a dorsal battery of nuclear orcas into them at less than a kilometer-some of the missiles on playback burrowed into the base before their warheads went off. That was before their systems recovered from the EMP, their defending corvettes didn't do any better-they were still pulse-blinded too.  His helm had him at full honk coming out of there because the next closest point was ninety minutes away at three gees, and would only last for about seven seconds."

The Dominion officers were exchanging looks.  "We thought you had some advanced stealth technology..."

"Some, not like you're thinking though. Stealth is for passive." she said, "Everything in space is time and velocity, including where the gravitationally neutral points are.  Find those, plot them, plan ahead, pattern it, you can get anywhere with a good star map and a stopwatch."



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