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

Chapter 6 - Accrued Leave Time and Bereavement

One of...

…the nice things about having partnered with an Aerospace focused Clan, is the development of certain forms of infrastructure, such as regular scheduled passenger service between major worlds in the Alliance, scheduled to the point that the majority of any given travel between worlds within the borders of the Raven Alliance can be done without waiting for the jumpship to recharge, because there's a scheduled route arriving, and leaving daily from the Zenith or Nadir point.

Most of these 'light hauler' routes use old, but good condition Merchant or Invader class JumpShips, though a few, like the Quatre Bell to Alpheratz run, have larger ships to accommodate more cargo.

For the routes running to smaller worlds, it's not 'daily' but 'weekly' schedules. Compare this to places like the Federated Suns or Draconis Combine, where even capital world routes are weekly to monthly at best? With more far-flung settlements being bi-monthly or quarterly? The smaller size, and thus, shorter radius favors the fleet Clan Snow Raven used to evacuate the Homeworlds.

It really does. The increased domestic traffic alone, justifies a lot of industries that have gone 'fallow' in the region in the past centuries. This, in turn, has worked with President Avellar's 'long road' program to give the incorporated region of the Outworlds something it hasn't had since the Reunification War era:

A strong economy. The so-called 'peace dividend' is real here, something visibly happening for those from a generation where the Outworlds was a struggling, impoverished, preyed-upon victim of everyone from the Major States to bandit kings, barely treading water and in constant danger of drowning.

Amanda Roberts isn't old enough to have first-hand memories of what life was like before the Snow Ravens came to the Outworlds.

What she has instead, are the recorded memories of what the nation was before the Amaris Crisis.

Looking out the window of a passenger ship on the way to meet a scheduled flight to her home-world, she's able to match what she's seeing in the present, to what once was…and they're not quite there yet, but it's coming.

"Better that this remains somewhat obscure, Amanda." Desmond whispered. She imagined him being a dapper man, in a tuxedo, with conventionally handsome features and a lilting, hypnotic accent…except when she imagined him with long, unkempt hair and a tricorne hat. I know. she thought back. Last time we had this much prosperity the whole universe went insane.

Her imaginary friend chuckled, "Yes, it did. You're getting better at hiding it when you speak back to me."

Practice. You stopped answering when I got too loud.

She imagined him nodding along, "That, I did. You're getting more comfortable, and more dominant. This is optimal, I don't have to directly run things if you can handle yourself on your own."

The woman the files told her was her mother was coming back from the lavatory. is it really better?

"I was developed to PARTNER with a trained operative, they installed me in an untrained girl, for my function to be optimal, it's better that you develop the trained skills, and you have been, which lets me do MY job of watching your back. So yes, it's optimal. Also interesting, I do not think I was supposed to develop this much self-awareness."

Huh. Erin's influence maybe?

"No, I do not think so. I think it might have to do with your biology interacting with the synthetic nerve tissue I was programmed on to. Erin suspects that's the case anyway-I may be taking up some of YOUR real-estate in addition to the triple core."

She snorted. thinking about taking over already?

"Not especially. I'm more recognizing that I provide you with tools and options, but you set the priorities and make the decisions…which is how it ought to work."

Okay, she's almost back to our seats, start reviewing mission parameters we were given for November's cruise for me, display in overlay mode to my vision, upper left corner, I'm going to have to make conversation.

"Are you ready, Amanda?" Natalie Roberts, age 47, asked.

"I don't know." she answered, while chart plots and historical data from the archive cache displayed on the back of the seat, letting her seem to be meeting her mother's eyes with her 'good' eye while the artificial sat, looking, well…like a glass eye. "Should I wear the eye-patch? I know the prosthetic looks…uncanny at close range?"

"Er…yes, please." Her mother said.

It was a good excuse, the alternate modes would work through the medical gauze, and let her work without as many distractions. "Files say I have brothers." she added. "What was my relationship with them like? Do you know what they might be expecting?"

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