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The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye (Cover Art)

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Chapter 40 - The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye[]


Triad - Tharkard, Lyran Commonwealth


"It's a pretty good training aid."

Generalmajorr Hector Gonzales pronounced, "The interfaces are pretty intuitive, and we could probably use some of this for upgrading and updating our own navigation systems in the AFFC-the engineer who did the work must be a genius-they pared off everything you don't need and that's a sign of genius right there."

"What I told you it's the work of a ten year old girl from the periphery end of the commonwealth??" Melissa asked. The hour was late, Arthur was in bed, the party had been over for hours.

"I'd recommend recruiting the kid to work at NAIS before the school system ruins them." Gonzales stated, "Or, find out which adult did the actual work."

Lola III Class Destroyer (By Matt Plog 2016)

Lola Class Destroyer

"The Girl in question rode in on that Lola II sitting in orbit over our moon." she told him.

"Huh. So she's a spacer then." He noted blandly, "That explains the work. Most Spacer-brats learn to do electronics before they learn to walk...so how drugged was she to get her down to the planetary surface?"

This surprised Melissa mildly, "You've got experience with them?"

"Alicia Li." he said, "I worked with her. Hell of a Nav officer, and sharp with the engineers-she practically rewired my engineering departments and she was sharp as razors, but getting her to take surface time was almost an act of god. she mustered out a couple of years ago. 'Too many dumb rules'."

Melissa laughed softly, "I see...no Elizabeth wasn't born in a...what do they call 'em?"

"Setayshon, or 'burrow', or shipboard." he suggested, "I've heard all three when we run into the occasional Folk traders and some of the guys from Enders Cluster...neat." He placed Arthur's 'toy' back on the desk. "I don't suppose she'll give you plans for these."

"I will ask." Melissa said, "She's staying upstairs in the Guest quarters with the other Noble visitors who don't have a Tharkad address to go to...but the reason I wanted you to evaluate this bit she gave my son, is that I have a job for you."

"What's the job?" he asked.

"Go to Kowloon system, they're trying to start an Academy with a Naval focus. I want you to take a team of DME evaluators out there to have a look, because I might want to inject official national funds into it and accreditation."

"is there a rush? Pandora's meeting most of our needs right now, along with Nagelring and Sanglamore..."

"Yes." Melissa stated, "There is a rush. Find out how they're set up, check over their planning and facilities, and tell me what is needed to get it up to a high standard, because we're expanding the Navy, and Kowloon's about as far from the Draconis Combine, or Free Worlds fronts as is physically possible to get...but it's also inconvenient from Tharkad, so I want eyes checking their work and making sure they're not cooking up some secessionist nonsense."

"I hear you...problems with Skye then?"

"In a word, 'yes'." she asserted. "having a facility of that type out there, is a reminder to Ryan that we have alternatives. see to it that those Alternatives are in good shape."


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