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The Bull and the Genie[]

Chapter 42 - Book II - The Ninety-five Theses[]

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Headlines and Warnings[]


Headlines:

  • "Betrayal! Edward Calderon and the Game of the Star League!"
    From: Selected writings of anti-government groups in the Concordat.
    Taurus Academic Press: 3035.
  • Trade Increasing.
    Ten Percent Increase in Commercial Jumpship Traffic in Lyran Space.
    3035 Tharkad Business Review
  • Investment opportunities rising, especially in the civilian market, focusing on infrastructure and high tech.
    New Avalon Investors Guide: 3036
  • Troop Depolyment, Comstar Peacekeeping and Observation Forces Deployed to the Combine/Suns Border
    *New Avalon Daily: 3036.
  • Pan Periphery Treaty Signed, promoting freedom of movement, common financial links, and a uniform legal code.
    Canopus Review: 3036.
  • Dawn in the Outback?
    Federated Suns Skid Row worlds report the third straight year of an increase in graduates in engineering and medical fields.
    *Education Review: 3036.
  • "Can a Truce Become A Treaty?" A symposium on the Davion/Combine truce, and its effects on cross-border trade, with Precentor Wilma McConnel as speaker.
    Atreus Broadcasting: 3036.
  • "First Jumpship launched by the Mechdur Shipyards. High Lady Kamea Arano, Protector Calderon and Magistrix Centralla were on scene for the ceremony marking the launch of the shipyards first Star Lord class jumpship. While built with extensive assistance from the Concordat and Magistracy, the shipyards are expected to become fully self-sufficient by 3045, providing jobs and economic aid to the Aurgian worlds…
    *Mechdur Daily, 3037.
  • Outworlds Alliance Government abolished. President Neil Avellar, in cooperation with Comstar, the Concordat, Federated Suns and Draconis Combine directed that all remaining bodies of the government work with Comstar peacekeeping forces. The ComGuards have undertaken to deal with piracy from Port Krin and other regions. One of the oldest states in humanspace has ended.

    Story on page 5 of Sunday, 3038 issue Tharkad Daily, behind the article on the recent winner of the Tharkad Daily Lottery.

    Wynn's Roost is happy to deal with us, and so is Quatre Bell. Most of the worlds in the wastes are low population but there are a few high population worlds there, in the hundreds of millions or billions and their problem isn't unwillingness, but the fear that if they build up, they'll be smacked down. I suggest putting the Fourth ComGuards Division there, with enough lift to keep it responsive. Copying—I mean, playing homage to the Taurian's RCTs. I know the budget people are going to scream, Primus, but I think we need HPG linkage, ASAP.

    A fair number of the core OA world are happy to see us. Evidently government is evil until you realize that now you're sitting with your ass in the wind. Dante's against it, but we can ignore them. Negotiations to fold the Alliance aerospace forces into the ComGuards are ongoing and believe me, they'll be an asset—although most of them aren't willing to leave their homes. Still, we can use them as OpFor and cycle our own forces through to get the humiliation of seeing star league designs beaten up by something that look like it was slapped together in grandpa's junkard.
    Better news? Our survey teams were right. The Quatre Belle shipyards had a lot of stuff squirreled away in long orbits with Star League beacons set to squawk if they heard the right code. Six
    Carrack Class Transpports and several cargo droppers loaded with the key tools that the team pulled from the slips before they abandoned the site. I think we can get the KF Drive foundries online by 3040 for both conventional and compact core units. Transit drives… not possible, without a lot of work. The question, which is a political one, is do we tell the Inner Sphere and if so, how much…
    Report on the former worlds of the Outworlds Alliance. EYES ONLY: NO ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION. 3038.

Urgent Message to the Protector[]


From: TDI
To: Protector Calderon.
RE: Ghost ships.
Date: August 3039.

It's not just our own forces, Protector Calderon. We have a number of reports of ghost ships in the near and mid-periphery ranges. Our attempts to locate the origin of the advanced weapons found by General Cheng's forces have been unsuccessful and it was our opinion that they were forgeries, taken from an old Star League site.

However, these sightings are not as easily explainable. The Oberon security forces have three verified cases of a Jumpship leaving quickly after jumping in, which could indicate hot charging, but may also indicate a battery system. Not only that, but on at least three cases, we detected communication from them, using very high level encryption, similar to, but more advanced than old Star League coms.

These reports are over the whole arc—on both sides of the borders. I've been talking to my opposite number in the ComGuards and they have also seen some of these ghost ships, some of them four jumps into interior space. It's possible we may be seeing the build up to a major pirate raid, so my suggestion is that we put some more effort into civil defense preparations. It may be nothing, but it'll be good practice. The boys and girls may be getting a little complacent given the reduction in piracy in the region.


"It is odd that the warnings weren't seen, but in part it could be understood. Even the Marians were remaining quiet, as the Inner Sphere took advantage of a period of relative peace to clean up issues on their borders. They can be forgiven for feeling that a few sightings of mysterious JumpShips were, at most a new pirate band, one that could be handily repelled.

They did not know that those ships were not the first—they were testing the responses of the Inner Sphere, as the Clans finished up the last steps of the vast logistics network that would link the Homeworlds with the soon to be Frontline…
Thunder on the Horizon, Clans Preparations for Operation Revival: Tharkad Military Press, 3080


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