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Chapter 31 - The Absolute Zero[]

Wolf Empire - Naval Staging Area
New Dallas Star System, Clan controlled Territory
March, 3159


"You'll never guess what I brought." Vice Admiral Sharon Ngo said as soon as she stepped off the shuttle in the new Wolf base.

"You are correct, Admiral. Why not just tell me?"  Khan Alaric Ward asked, "It saves time, quiaff?"

"I brought terraforming gear." Sharon said. "We tested it before, thought you might want a nice planet for your shore leaves.  I figured you already knew I was bringing three battlegroups, so a little bonus might make your lot happier."

"Where did you get Terraforming equipment?" he asked.

"Little trade mom made with the Metis before Stone's crackdown. My cousin is going to be marketing the stuff, I kind of think we can pre-empt you guys taking it into your heads to trial for it if i just gave you some. It's good gear, my cousin's company had time to improve on the old pre-Amaris designs.  Everybody goes for data-cores, and that's fine if you only want an encyclopedia description.  We bought a technical library."

He looked at Trillian, the Archon of the Lyran alliance, "Suddenly, your massive naval expansion makes perfect sense." "That was just geometry. Having planets to dump the Mongols on after the war? now that was the library." Sharon said.  "Where's that dumbshit Nguyen? I'm going to pin his ass with the order of the lonely shepherd if-"
"He didn't ram." Trillian said.

"Alright, so it's a platinum ear-loop then."

"Is that a euphemism, Trill?"  Alaric asked.

"No, it's a Kowloonese Coast Guard thing. You live through your ship going down, you get an earring. Gold for accidents, silver for malfunctions, and platinum for combat. Did I remember that right?" The Archon asked as they walked down the curving corridor of the gravity deck to Medical.

"Yup.  I've got sixty one of them to hand out." Sharon said, "And I brought the rum.  Is Em going to keep that crew together?"

"That...is my decision." Trillian said, "With advice, and I have not yet decided."

"Might be good to spread the experience around, I got a stack of files and recommendations I had to go over on the way here-an Engineer's mate Second Class who might be a good pick for Nav Officer school, an RTO who maybe needs a spot in a lab..."

"I understand you have been busy developing anti-stealthing methods." Trillian said, "I am sure we both look forward to a number of boring lectures on that."

"Majesty, your Khanship, you're both national leaders. You don't have to sit there and listen to me ramble on about specific, narrow-case naval tactics or engineering doctrines."  Sharon said.

"I sleep incredibly well during your lectures." Alaric chided with a grin.
"So do half the flag-ranks in the service." Sharon groused.

"I want to hear it." Trillian stated.  "I want to know we are doing something effective about this stealth fleet!"

"Working on it, Majesty.  The Recon data from the Delpin is helping with that. Are we seriously considering running both War Plan Maroon and War Plan White?"

"More than thinking about it, Admiral." the doors closed behind them, "We're doing it." Trillian stated.

Sharon looked pained.  "Two front war, plus military assistance to four states? Did you really recall me just so I can talk your ear off about how bad an idea that is?"

"You wrote the plans." Trillian said, "You also helped Roddy plan the war against the Falcons."

"I'm not magician." Sharon said, "My plans aren't magic either.  We're still half a million servicemen short of where we need to be to execute."

"We will have assistance, one of the briefings you will be giving, is orientation to our allies." Trillian told her, "The Free Worlds League, Draconis Combine, Federated Suns, and Capellan Confederation."

Sharon froze, "I have so much study to do..."



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