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Chapter 15 - The Advisor[]

Geneva City
Sol Star System
Republic of the Sphere

[Diplomatic Reception]

...don't need them to advise the Federated Suns, you know."  RAF Admiral Maxton noted.  "Sure, the Lyrans kicked the piss out of the Falcons after only waiting what, almost a century?  Their fleet isn't that impressive."

Commodore Nick Palmer listened to the Terran officer, and thought back to what he'd personally observed during the tour of the Duran shipyard. "We're looking at all the options, Admiral." he finally said.  "Some of their methods are pretty enlightening."

"What, like those low-tech kludges...what are they calling them, 'cutters'?  They're running low-tech cores without safeties, using computer controls that were outdated before the Reunification war.  You can't tell me that's intelligent."

"They made it work against the Falcons." Palmer observed.

"Did you look at their loss reports? because our analysis branch have.  You can swamp anything if you throw enough machines and bodies at it."

Palmer let the Republic Admiral bluster on, he'd read those same after-action reports thanks to the LCAF being free with the information.  He'd also read the parts describing how many LCN spacers lived to be picked up after the battle. While he wasn't an accountant, he could see the drastic difference in costs for those losses and it was telling.  Not just in terms of resources spent on the offensives and materiel losses. However, also comparative losses and comparative firepower differences.

She knows more about how to fight a ship than you do, Admiral. Was not a phrase he was ready to utter in public, but it was glaringly clear as the Terran-born Republic officer ranted at the shortcomings of the LCN's cutter program.

"Still with me, Palmer?"

"Sorry, is this actually from the champagne region of France?" He asked, redirecting to the sparkling wine.

"Yes! It is, actually.  It's quite good, isn't it?"

Thin as piss and too sweet. "Yes, it is, I don't suppose you can let me secure a bottle for the folks back home?"

"Of course.  Now, when you see the parade we've got lined up, you'll see a real Navy."

"I look forward to it."  If they're as arrogant as you lot, then I can say I've already seen a real navy, and you're not it.

"Huh...I guess your pilots will stick it in anything with a pulse."

Palmer bridled and caught sight.

Lafayette had McCoy on the dance floor.  About damned time. something expected happened.  "I don't care for your tone, Sir." Palmer said, "I think that even offends my national pride and honor.  Leftenant LaFayette is both an officer and a gentleman." he turned to meet the older Terran's eyes, putting the cold steel into his gaze, "He doesn't just 'stick it in anything with a pulse'."

Yup, this was going down hill fast, but Palmer found he really didn't care-maybe the wine is stronger than it seems.  "That young woman he's dancing with, Admiral, SIR?  Has kill-claim on a Clanner Aegis class Cruiser, while commanding one of those 'primitive' tinker-toy cutters.  What's the last Warship you've even faced, Sir? Not one of those Drac-built dropships but, a proper capital grade warship?"
"My...apologies if that sounded like a slur, Commodore. It was meant to be light." the Terran said.

"Accepted.  I'm looking forward to seeing what a 'real' navy looks like. Now if you'll excuse me, I see I need to rescue a civilian from the predators surrounding the punch bowl."

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