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"Lyran Naval Victory.  Did you mean Lyran Naval Defeats?"

-NAIS network library search engine result, 3050


Chapter 5 - The Advisor[]

Docking Pier 18
Durna Naval Shipyard
Durna System
Lyran Commonwealth

Full Dress uniform was the spec in her P-mail.  Anh tugged the material of the class-A overgarment nervously.  She didn't wear the thing very often, it was a pain getting the ribbons to line up. As a 'Cutter boss' (even one with her own patrol of four cutters) she didn't have a lot of need to wear the crisp dark navy blue with black pants bloused over her deck-boots, or the buff-white gear harness with its 'ready for inspection' (and ready for use, because even in basic transition your emergency line, medikit, slap patches and spare powercells better be functional) hardware, and of course, the thing given to every officer with time commanding a ship-the Crowbar.

The un-fancy one she had with her duty uniform in her C-bag.  The one she had to carry, was something she was certain came from the LCAF's side of the administrative house.  Mechwarriors who've done something remarkable like live to earn a command spot, get an eight kilogram platinum-plated sledgehammer. Infantry and tankers (and some pilots) get to wear a nice, compact, lightweight but otherwise useless medal.  Both of those are named "McKenzie", and the hammer has a reach deep into the Commonwealth's military tradition.

Since 3145, the Naval branch got their very own version, and in her opinion. It had to be one of the Archon's little jokes, possibly with the connivance of someone in the Ground Forces, since the Archon is a well-known and well-regarded 'mech operator.

Her crowbar is plated with platinum and it's a ****** medal in its own right. Crafted just like the one Admiral Ngo wandered around with but, plated in goddam platinum.

If it weren't, it would be a relatively nice type 41 spacer's rescue tool, but some tool decided that the Navy had to have their own Mackenzie medal, and it had to be distinctive, and since every spacer in the fleet keeps a crowbar nearby for damage control duties, emergency rescue, or as a 'reach extender' when moving in null-gee, and of course, because Admiral Ngo pointedly carried one as a substitute swagger-stick when forced to attend functions, someone got it through the Estates General, and approved by the Archon, and so now, Anh has to carry a crowbar on formal occasions.

All of which was a lot funnier when she didn't have to attend formal occasions requiring dress uniforms very often.

As a good Lyran officer, she did study the drill-and-ceremony associated with the Platinum Crowbar, however.  She spent a good five hours practicing Sunday-the first and only five hours of practice she'd bothered with since getting the damned thing awarded over Sudeten in '50.

"How'd they get you, McCoy?"  Chief Warrant Eli Willard asked, the Winterite rockjack managed to arrive silently.  His Viet was good.

"Oh, I woke up in the drunk tank with a Feddie Ell-Tee.  y'all?" she responded in 'school viet', laced with Arlunan words.

"LIC found out my last tour before transition from Coast Guard was OCB.  They want me to do in-the-field analysis." he said, "Also teach the sheep-humpers how to conduct anti-piracy investigations."

"Y'all wanna watch them slurs." she said, "Ah git th' sense of 'm bein' kinda...sens'tive."  she muttered back, "ah'm doubtful they's understan' th' joke ahind et."  she nodded to the vessel coming into dock, "Cese en poant, FSS Kentares." "Naval Ram."  Elizabeth MacAulliffe's voice came over their helmet speakers, prompting Anh to look up-and see the suited flag officer descending through vacuum off a support pylon down to the Pier.

"Et's a stuppit idear, mum." McCoy said.

"It's theirs, Aneh, and they're proud of it.  Your whole team is going to need to watch your step on that subject.  No jokes about 'lonely shepherds' in the Feddie Admiralty."
"Decorum, Mum." Anh said.

"Yes. Decorum.  I do not need to find out your team are making jokes about male sheep looking for ewes."  the Kapitan looked up, "Even if that is the sheep- ****** est stupid idea I've ever heard of, building a ship specifically specced for ramming attacks..."

"What happens if we end up in a fight?"  the Chief asked.

"I expect you to advise them.  Teach them how to fight a ship if you have to.  The only thing that should be slamming into an enemy vessel, are missiles, beams, bombs, and shells."

"Ayeh mum." Anh said.

The docking lights flashed green, three times, and Anh waited.  "Well, where's they bosun's?"

"Teachable moment, McCoy. You take port, I'll take Starboard, their crewmen are probably still futzing wit their helmets.  I didn't see anyone riding the hull in."

Anh shook her head and chuckled as she helped a flag-rank officer extend the pressure umbilical to the personnel hatch of FSS Kentares.

"Should make the damn dirtyfeet learn how to do this..." the Chief muttered as they wrestled the seven tons of inflatable plastic into position and secured the magnetic locks.

"Plenny o'tahm 'n we gits thayr."  Anh muttered over the channel.

Air roared in, and she checked with a smoke stick for leaks before manually triggering the all-clear to the airlock's panel.

The FSN personnel who came out the airlock in their bulky, Federated Suns issue environmental suits, looked both awkward, and confused at finding the umbilical already in place, secured and pressurized.

"Less'n th'one. Y'alls taked toodam long gittin' aht heah." Anh said it on the external mic, and over the common channel.  "Ah's gig y'all fo'ty poahnts fo' sleckin!"  pointedly, she emulated the Coast Guard PO3 who supervised her transition to spacer duty, tapping her crowbar on her left palm, while letting her feet float off the deck to loom.

"What did she say?" a young voice with a slightly more French accent came from the bosun's party of Fedsuns crewmen.

Anh sighed.  This is going to be a long damn trip.

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