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

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Chapter 71 - The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye[]

"We need to cripple...

...their naval production." Lynn McKenna stated. "Right now, they are a frigate and corvette navy, but they are producing new hulls and training new crews at a pace that leverages the sheer size and scope of a Successor state that has over a trillion people living in it."

Ulric Kerensky was surprised. "Lynn, you are a Warden?"

"I am a realist." she said, "Prisoner Giao's testimonials, and reviews by our Scientist Caste of her claims, reveals an industrial juggernaut that is preparing to wage industrial war, an industrial war we can not win if we do not cripple their ability to replace losses. Are you familiar with the concept of Attritional warfare, Ulric?"

"I am...why?"

"Because that is the kind of warfare they are planning. These are people, in this system here-off the axis of the invasion-who use thermonuclear warheads as Mining tools, with half a billion in population in one system alone whom have no connection to natural worlds beyond seeing them in books...and that is what the Lyrans are building that navy with. Our environmental concerns, our limitations? they do not have those. we need to cripple that navy before it reaches the point they can swamp us in numbers alone."

"You are certain?"

"Numbers? That is what they used at Blackjack, and the prisoner, Giao? Was captured because her vessel was seeding listening devices-right now, they are hampered by having to work with...planetborns, but training will improve, and it is inevitable that processes will be streamlined if for no other reason, than because the dumb ones will die. We need to apply pressure to stall them until more Caches can be opened up and the navies of the Clans can be expanded, or we may find our descendants trying to defend Strana Mechty itself from fleets that dwarf all we have preserved and advanced, fleets unconcerned with taking planets because the resources they gather, are in space...and they are good at it."

"Do you want it?"

"NO!" she scoffed, "look, my Touman would need a geometric increase to fill both our responsibilities as a Reserve Clan, AND open a new front on the Lyran member state. I recommend bringing in one of the home clans, or giving the nod to one of the larger reserve clans that has an adequate naval presence. Maybe Steel Viper and the Hellions, or the Cloud Cobras with Diamond Shark providing logistics, but a new front needs to be opened to keep the Lyrans from swamping their way to victory with disposable ships armed with nuclear warheads. Whoever gets to go, will have to take not just Kowloon-the-planet, but the star system around it, then repeat at Gibbs, Ender's Cluster, Alarion... the threat is strategic and after what the Jaguars did on Turtle Bay, once they are moving, they will not stop until they are in the Homeworlds."

"And you believe that a, series of strikes now, will stall or delay that, quiaff?"

"Aff." she asserted. "We can at least use it to force them to the table to set limits, Pham is quite open about how they are training to engage in unlimited commerce interdiction and naval warfare...once they have reached their planned goals in terms of production of materiel and have resolved their manpower shortages."

He flipped through the pages, "She appears open about a lot of things..."

"Aff." Lynn looked aside, "I asked Nelson Elam to dig into his Clan's archives of rescued SLDF documents. He found...some confirmations, and wants to go to Kowloon to verify...but the Scorpions are too small to survive it, in my view."

"I will back your presentation of this new data to the Grand Council, and endorse the idea that we need to expand the width of the invasion to deal with this potential threat, then."

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