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Chapter 235 - What Could Go Wrong[]

Linden (Former Outworlds System)
19th August, 3046

"Krait has a cracked core, right down the middle. The stations computer says it can manufacture a new core in 3 months plus another month to cool properly. It needs 39,500 tons of processed Germanium and 14,800 tons of Titanium. Extraction of the jump core will take a month and another month to install the new one. So, figure Krait is down for 5 months. The other repairs needed can easily be completed in that time frame. For a ship hundreds of years old, she is in pretty good shape overall. Funny thing is, we could build a new Tracker in just 4 months. It is easier than extracting the busted core and reinstalling a new core. For comparison, a Star Lord will take 7 months to build, a Tramp will take 6 months and the Carrack Transport takes 5 months to build. From nothing to complete ship."

"Normally a Star Lord Jumpship takes about a year to build, the Tramp is not in production anywhere that I know of and no clue how long a Carrack would take. To me, the construction times are astounding for any sort of Jump capable ship. Taking an educated guess here, the construction times are for the cores, building one with the compact core is quicker due to less time forging the core itself. Standard Jumpships, which are mainly a massive core with a hull wrapped around it take longer to forge. If I had total control, we would build nothing but compact core ships, for speed of construction, cargo capacity and the ability to travel in system from a jump point. But that is not my decision." Chief Engineer Vincent Zuniga said to the gathered officers.

"Well Captain Birch, there is your answer. I swore I would be home by December. No way will Krait be repaired by then. The offer to move to Thazi still stands. We would be glad to have you all there with us. What would you like to do?" Major General David Mitchell asked

Captain Marcus Birch was silent for a few minutes as he stared at a spot on the table in front of him before lifting his head to look around the table. "We will move to Thazi and join you. The people deserve a good life, not one where they can barely keep from being hungry and on a strict ration. By the way, I checked Krait's database and a Carrack was armed with 16 NL/35 and 6 NAC/10, and 2 NAC/20 in addition to the smaller weapons. Pretty decent firepower for a cargo transport. Just thought you would like to know that little tidbit."

"I wonder why they would strip the main weapons off the Carrack in the Shipyards database. Would the Star League actually turn Carracks over to civilians? Guess we will never know what they had planned for this design. But it is good information to have." Chief Engineer Zuniga replied

"I am glad you will be joining us. Now we need to figure out how to get everyone and everything to Thazi." Major General Mitchell said

"Once our own Jumpships get back, 3 Merchants, they can help moving stuff. Currently we have 2 Jumbo and 2 Mule Cargo Dropships in system to help haul stuff around. There are two Tramp Jumpships also in system but they are busted, Barracuda missiles are not overly kind to jump cores. They have been parked at the Zenith Jump Point for years. The biggest problem will be the habitats, orbital factories and this Shipyard. Taking them apart I would highly advise against. I also hate to leave the Olympus behind, that is where I actually call home." Captain Marcus Birch said

"We really need to get Paul Orlean from next door out here. The other two orbital factories are smaller than those Snowdens. Probably going to need his experience to reprogram the KF-Booms. We have the two out there we can bring back here and mount on something. There are four more next door if you can talk them out of them, maybe a promise to return them after we use them." Chief Engineer Zuniga replied

"Our friend will probably extract a pound of flesh in rental payments because that is going to tell him we found something he will want. Now that he has his own ships going back and forth to Thazi, it is going to be hard to hide this find from him." Major General Mitchell said

"This friend a threat suddenly?" Captain Marcus Birch asked

"First Prince Hanse Davion is not really a threat, but what you have here is going to be like waving a raw steak in front of a starving dog. No telling what he might do. Your not grasping how bad off the Inner Sphere is for technology. Any of the Great Houses and all the Periphery nations would wage a major war over what is here. It is even making me a little cautious suddenly." Major General Mitchell said

"Boulsi. We move them to Boulsi. It puts them out of jump range from next door. Out of sight from their ships entering and exiting Thazi. It's the perfect place for them." Major Nathan Davis chimed in.

"Where is Boulsi exactly?" Captain Marcus Birch asked, suddenly cautious in his tone.

"Nine light years from Thazi. We checked it out already. Almost as nice as Thazi, uninhabited except by several million bison, sheep and goats." Major Davis replied

"You would still be with us Captain Birch, ever since we found it, I have been toying with settling it. I just do not have the people to do it correctly yet." Major General Mitchell said, now warming to the idea.

"Sir, if you will excuse me, while you all work out the details, I want to do some exploring and see what I can find to maybe help us out." Chief Engineer Zuniga said

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