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Chapter 1 - The Advisor[]

Duran Naval Shipyard
Lyran Commonwealth
3155 CE

"hehsow, Dirtyfeet, get a moveit, Dem mounts don't unship'msevs." Leutnant Commander Aneh McCoy's folk came from Arluna's "Hill Country" and the shift to LCN regulars hadn't come with the six years of speech therapy that usually preceded a move from Arluna's Coast Guard to LCN Regular service.

Her Spanish was nearly as bad as her German but, it was her English that made Herr Commodore Axel Freuer wince the most.  That said, she was a good cutter boss and one of the best navigators assigned to 8 Squadron, 2nd Cutter Division. However, the girl would never 'graduate' to a Destroyer command with that speech impediment, she would always be a 'cutter driver'.

It's a matter of crew.  On a cutter, everyone lives cheek-by-jowl close quarters, crew learn each other's tics and habits, speech patterns and behaviors like a hidden, second language.

Destroyers and larger vessels, require more formal engagement.  A full-sized warship's commander has to be understood by officers and men from a variety of backgrounds and origins.  Arluna's hillfolk accent is a thorough barrier to that simple requirement-in some ways, it's almost another language the dialect is so severe, especially from the 'back country' areas north and east of the Iron Hills.

He mused on this, while the crew of Cutter 2028 unshipped their dorsal battery for refurbishment by the Semier Datatron tech reps.

"You look troubled, Axel."  Kapitan Elizabeth MacAulliffe was from the same region, but she had the six years of speech courses that McCoy didn't, her German was the clipped Deutsch of Coventry and Inarcs, with a slight Academy 'drop' on the vowels.

"McCoy." he said.

"She's good." Lizzie Mac said it, "Real good. Not bad for an enlisted who went blues-to-brass."

"She deserves a promotion but, I can't see her passing a basic board." he said.  "Tactical tasks, navigation, even engineering she's a damned savant, but she opens her mouth, and..."

"...and she sounds like an inbred hillbilly." Liz said.  "Yeah.  I got word, we need to put together a special unit, I'm looking for volunteers."

"What kind of unit?"

"Advisory role, far side of the Inner Sphere.  Her Highness wants to loan some of our good people to the FedSuns to help them get their 'Patrol Force' off the ground."

"HM...sounds like a real problem."

"Admiral Falcone feels the same." she said, "I'll need a list of officers you feel are 'adequate' and likely to volunteer for a long-duration cadre mission."

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