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

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Chapter 98 - The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye[]

"I thought this was supposed to be...

...on the ground!" Elizabeth's expression was sour, angry, petulant. "It was never supposed to be-"

"it is what it is." Commodore Alicia Li groused back as they walked into the meeting room.

"Explain." Liz scowled.

Patrick stood up. "The Scorpion SaKhan has conceded the medical support, we'll be getting visitors from the Clan to set up a research hospital in Hue...but, the Clans of Kerensky as a whole still want the real-estate, and it's Clan Snow Raven's turn, and they want to fight the Coast Guard."

"It wasn't in the deal."

"Deals change...Liz, this is SaKhan Bryn Cooper of Clan Snow polite."

She limped up, and leaned on her cane, sizing the Clan officer up. "Jabberwock." she finally said.


"We can do it in the orbitals around Jabberwock. It's lightly settled, mostly Rockwell-Nghien out there, as long as the fighting doesn't intersect with the second moon or the ring system, should be safe enough...right Li??"

"She's right, Jabberwock's got lots of low-value materials in the outers and it's orbitally out of the way for most of the commerce and traffic, while being easy to find on a chart, the points are mostly longer-duration and there's not a lot of gravity flux that far out, or large scale random debris. we were using it for field runs with the Academy and preliminary testing with the new destroyer prototypes."

"NEW destroyers?" Cooper's ears almost perked "Really? New designs?"

"We've got a few of them, the intent is to run them in trials with AFFC as soon as we knock the bugs out-basically designed to escort Foxes or cruisers, or to act as squadron leaders for Corvette units on commerce patrol. The major issues are funding and training, but we're getting a handle on it."

"the point is that it's relatively safe." Elizabeth announced, "Boojum and Snark both have a lot of burrows and industries going, but Jabberwock's all low-value stuff and almost nobody lives out there. So the odds that someone gets caught in a crossfire are a lot lower. it also means it's going to be easier to pick up someone's distress beacon if they need to be rescued, because there's less RF chatter that can cloud a detector out that way."

"What is on the second moon though?" Cooper asked.

"Farms." both Liz and Alicia said simultaneously, before Elizabeth continued "Hydroponics and the largest offworld grain domes, the infra to keep them running is fragile, so avoid it, okay? Rockwell's experimental work is kind of critical to some plans we have involving expansion into systems that dropped off the maps due to the Succession Wars, and it still costs a lot to get basic soil bacteria shipped out there for making the dust and minerals arable for plant growth."

He was intrigued, "You know this how?"

"I have to review the progress reports and okay loans and shipping." the girl said, "It's part of the whole 'being the baroness' thing-I have an obligation to know what my people need, and make sure they can get it legally, instead of worrying about them stealing it. Rockwell wants to make the outer system completely self-sufficient in case another bad government happens on Kowloon itself-so...self-sufficient is good, it means more resources to grow, less struggle means people can look ahead and develop new things instead of wearing out old ones...and the work there will help the Realm recover from the Succession Wars by pointing the way to restoring what's been lost."

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