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

Chapter 9 - Conversations

"In what twisted logic…

…is this acceptable?" Star Colonel Todd Siegel demanded, "You are permitting military grade weapons in hands OTHER than the Clan!!"

"Do you know the weird part?" Khan Sterling McKenna asked, "The weird part, Todd, is that President Avellar is getting this exact same confrontation from his civilian counterparts just across town-because he issued the Letters of Marque, from the Pacifists."

Siegel's eyes widened, "Neg!!"

"Aff. And we both got the same speech and confrontation from the Republic of the Sphere's people, only that was over the Newgrange we're currently disarming to restore to its original role as a colony support vessel." She tented her fingers, "NOW, You and I both know your objections to the agreement to mothball the main fleet, and you and I both know that the Pacifist factions here in the Alliance do not like our presence-enough that there have been attacks on isolated garrisons by extremists, and attempts at sabotage."

The leader of Bloodhouse Siegel turned thoughtful, "ANd the nationalists have been part of that." he nodded slowly. "This is a Stratagem, to create a rift between the extremist groups."

"To exploit an existing rift, actually." the Khan stated. "Look deeper."

"The treaty that was negotiated, you have developed doubts, quiaff?"

"Aff. The arguments of your own factions have not been laid on deaf ears Todd, but openly breaking our word is not acceptable at this time." she stated, "However, there are technicalities. The Clan Watch controls the Privateer organization, which is not strictly military but is barred from political activity. No member can hold a higher office and remain part of the organization, policy is set by the joint government."

Todd's expression showed comprehension, "Technically, it is not part of the military, but it is also not an independent entity…TECHNICALLY, the Privateers are not a Treaty violation, but represent a means to keep specific classes of Warrior and Technician ready for the collapse of the Treaty…"

"We will not collapse that treaty, it will collapse on its own. How ready will we be?" she inquired, "How ready, when the House Lords tire of peace and turn their eyes this way? I Do Listen, Todd Seigel. In peacetime, it provides an outlet to allow the talented to continue to rise in the ranks by opening pathways to rise, without wasting the skill and ability of the previous generation on menial tasks or suicide infantry. It also provides an outlet for the more…aggressive of the youth to work it out of their systems without having to deal with incidents against our own civilians. THEY, of course, will be allowed to return to the Touman if they serve well, and inject in-service, real world experience that we will need when, not if, Stone's Peace turns into a Peace of Paper."

"And it taps the more aggressive youth, vulnerable to radicalization, by giving them an alternate path that 'seems' like they are keeping to their ideals." Todd recognized.

"SO, what world does this logic make sense, Todd Seigel? It is This world we are in. There are no targets worthy of our most powerful warships, but there remains a role that must be filled, and we may well need those powerful Warships in the near future."

"And Avellar's argument?" he asked, curious.

"Bandits, lost colonies, and National pride. Restoring the Wastes to the Alliance, and when all those fail, he will lapse into humanitarian concerns and securing the border with the deep periphery." she predicted. "All of which have valid appeal to disparate, even opposed, factions within the civilian leadership."

"In the meantime, this allows our Touman to be ready." Todd's comprehension was complete.

"Do not give up entirely your public opposition, Todd. To sell this, it must look Reluctant. Particularly to the eyes of the Peace Faction and the conservatives, otherwise the other governments will see it for what it is, and react in a…non-optimal fashion. One that does not work well for either the Clan, or the Alliance."

"What if it works?" he asked, suddenly, "What if it becomes popular?"

"We will see if that happens, I doubt it will." she asserted, "but if it does, that too, opens options."

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