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The Great and The Good (A_Great Captain_Roberts Tale!!)

Chapter 5 - Staff Work

One hundred twenty one...

…stomachs to fill, pairs of lungs that want air, bodies that need water….and that's just the Evanescent, never mind the bases at Northsun or Joan's Post, or the garrison at Devil's Breath, or the ongoing efforts at Tresspass.

"Amateurs study tactics, professionals study Logistics…no, that's not quite right." Larry was addressing a group of Alliance officers. "Professionals don't just study logistics, they live them, they make them happen. If you want to argue that, you can look at the mothball list, and compare it to the active lists-including which ships will be put into mothball or scheduled for scrapping in the next fiscal year, because the Clan and the Alliance both, can't keep them operational and in fit condition to serve."

He paced to the left of the display, "We're having to work that out without having an in-built training apparatus or dedicated support infrastructure in the Unincorporated Region. I'm the executive officer, the 'second in command' of a 240,000 ton corvette with a nominal crew of 121 souls, that last saw an update twenty some years before the Amaris Coup. There's a reason why most of the notable actions by the OWS Evanescent have been done using the smallcraft bays instead of the main armament. We don't have enough spare parts to fix the ship if anything major is broken."

This elicited polite laughter from his audience.

"But, the ship has used the main armament in the recent past-with notable results mostly in terms of instinctively knowing what to use that armament on."

The player lit, showing an Invader class Jumpship with three variously-colored military DropShps being dispatched with sudden violence.

"The targets in this composite footage, are a battalion of the Bandit group 'The Sons of Plunder', a force we ran up against at Devil's Breath, Joan's Post, and finally Tresspass."

He let it play out for them, then rewound, and played it for them again.

"The Evanescent is almost ideal for the role, which is why the Alliance issued our Letter of Marque, and why we're holding a service chit for Quatre Belle shipyard that put a vessel that is essentially under contract, ahead of some of your regular service ships at the fueling docks, and why some of you have been offered the opportunity to join us out on the frontier, in the Unincorporated Regions, instead of whiling away your gray years as Solahma Infantry or Clan Police."

He froze the player, "This, then, is the pitch; When you sign up with the Privateers, you're signing up to do a job. It's a job that someone else might be better trained for, or better equipped to do. There will be long periods where you feel like you're doing nothing, or nothing of importance, where it feels like you've been abandoned, and the paperwork involved will push the limits of your tolerance…but all of that, is necessary to get the results we're here in creation to get."

The image changed. "Joan's Post, It took the NorthSun Militia twenty hours to finish off the Bandit garrison, Sixteen thousand people were saved from a life of slavery or worse. Devil's Breath, four hundred people saved, Tresspass, nearly forty thousand natives living a life worse than animals live, plus six thousand, two hundred, fifty eight civilians saved from slavery, mutilation, torture, or worse." he crossed his arms, "nine out of ten waking hours will be boredom or frustration, the last tenth will be a mix of active emotion and significant violence, the pay sucks, you won't have the kind of Glories you're used to, the khans and the President each have good reasons to down-play your position and role. There will be lots of wondering what's going on and not knowing what's coming, or what you'll stumble across, you may find you're not using the expensive and extensive educations and training you've developed in ways you expected, if at all…but it's worth it to me, and it might be worth it to you. At the very least, we have a retirement fund, so when you're genuinely ready to hang it up, you won't have to work at quik-e-mart or starve, and nobody's going to make you wear a paper hat or a hairnet."

He nodded to the side, and a young man with belter tattoos started handing out packets.

"Detailed here, is your benefits package as offered to Outworlds Privateers, including financial compensation scale, medical coverage, survivor benefit program, and share formulas for vessels taken as prize. Most of you will spend at least some time with the Northsun Station or Joan's Post station staff, until a boat needs crewers or officers, or becomes available. Included is also a brief introduction into the common regulations of the Privateer service, and available training slots for your continuing professional development. Some of you, already have those skills and may be called on to provide mentoring or training for non-officer personnel-there's a pay scale, it's not like civil service, you aren't working for free. We're not 'mercenaries' in the traditional sense, so if you're here for the princely paycheck, you can leave the room-the pay isn't as good as I was pulling at Oh-Three in the Federated Suns, and for my part, as XO of the Evanescent and one of the senior officers in the Privateers, I'm pulling Oh-Five levels of responsibility for just a hair more than Oh-Two pay…not including bonuses from completed operations against Bandits and other undesirables."

Outworlds Wastes Map - Northsun (Dead) Centered Sarna Map

Star Map centering on though dead star system, Northsun.

He waited as Mister Samuel finished distributing the information packets.

"Each tour is time-limited, or by mission. You can quit any time we're in port, as I said, it's not a regular military or even militia, there are bonuses to your base pay for what amounts to working for the Snow Raven Watch, or for Alliance Intelligence as an embedded officer, and that bonus doubles for embedded officers who also step up to fill the role of a ship or unit's intelligence officer. The unincorporated zone has a nickname, you've all heard it-'the Wastes'. Well, we're out in the wastes, putting down the kind of outfits that make them a waste. That's a job that requires, at times, formal intelligence gathering and assessment. One of the fundamental requirements under our letter of marque, is to provide supplemental service to the Watch. You can accurately state that sitting in my chain of command, right between Captain Roberts and The President, is the Loremaster of Clan Snow Raven…because that is an accurate statement-and the Loremaster, of course, reports to the Khans first, and the President second."

He grimaced, "Those interests may come into conflict, so to be absolutely crystal clear, forget any of your political leanings, ideas, ideals, ideologies, alignments, and associations. At our level, the only interest is objective accuracy in reporting, assessment, or analysis. Being in the Privateer fleet means you don't set national policy, and you don't have a voice in how it is set. The only impact you can hope to have, is getting accurate and Objective information to the policy makers as quickly and effectively as possible. This is objectively less power than you had as Warriors in the Touman."

A few warriors got up, and walked out.

But not nearly as many as Larry had feared would go upon realizing they were giving up any political future in the Clan for this.

"So, each of you has your packet, study it tonight, those of you who show up tomorrow can interview with the board for an enrollment and an assignment. Have a good rest of your day, ladies and gentlemen."

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