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Chapter 244 - What Could Go Wrong[]

Thazi (Independent System)
30th November, 3046

"Welcome back, Sir." Brigadier General Herbert Horbaugh said as he shook Major General David Mitchell's hand.

"It is both good and bad to be home." Major General Mitchell replied, "Sarah, good to see you too. I have an early birthday present for you. But first, this is Captain Marcus Birch and Captain Carla Hansen, part of the Linden group we are settling over at Boulsi."

"Good to meet you both. What sort of birthday present? That usually means I am about to get screwed." Sarah Campbell replied

"Not this time. Not only do you have the Merchant fleet here at Thazi, but I had our lawyer purchase a shipping company in the Federated Commonwealth. He managed to score two small companies, paid in full, so you have no debts at all there and, which was a surprise to me as I just read the message from Sergeant Major Pullman, they purchased an additional six Merchant Jumpships, you would have to find crews for them, but they are currently being transferred to Inman to await your arrival. So, happy birthday, you have earned it." Major General Mitchell said

Sarah Campbell had tears in her eyes as she said "I do not know what to say. I honestly don't. Thank you." She hugged Major General Mitchell tightly.

"You don't have to say anything. If you decide to relocate to the Federated Commonwealth, don't forget about us out here. It is your decision to make, I will not try and stop you." Major General Mitchell said

"I don't know, this is a huge surprise to me. I would never forget about any of you if I moved away. No crews, I will have to do some serious scrambling to get people hired." Sarah Campbell replied

Captain Carla Hansen cleared her throat before saying "Not too much scrambling. We can easily supply the needed crews for those ships. We have more trained crews than we do ships. They are not familiar with current affairs in the Inner Sphere, but they know how to jump using uninhabited systems with the best of them and are used to operating out here. General Mitchell explained to us how you all depended on a long supply chain for almost everything except raw material and food. On the way in, I counted six Merchant Jumpships, we have three Merchant Jumpships ourselves. If your crews are willing to take over those in the Federated Commonwealth, we can easily take over these and handle any sort of hand off you decide on."

Sarah Campbell exchanged looks with everyone and smiled "That could possibly work out. What am I actually starting off with besides the six uncrewed Merchants?"

Major General Mitchell pulled a message slip from his pocket and handed it over. She took it and read.


To: David Mitchell
From: Briscoe Osbourne via Sergeant Major Pullman

As requested, I have finalized the purchase of Inman Shipping and Red Star Shipping. Both companies are debt free and currently active on existing routes. Total purchases were below provided funds. I have also begun paperwork to register in the Federated Commonwealth, awaiting proper signatures and agreements, for Outback Shipping, along with transfer paperwork of both companies' assets to new company. Current assets follows:

Inman Shipping (Inman, FC)

1x Monolith Jumpship
1x Star Lord Jumpship
4x Mammoth Cargo Dropships
11x Mule Cargo Dropships
1x Commercial (Company Owned) Drop Port

Red Star Shipping (Humansville, FC)
3x Merchant Jumpships

I refused to lease the Drop Port and demanded it also be transferred to company control from previous company owner or we would wait for the creditors to seize it and then purchase it at a discount. He agreed, I know this was not part of the request, but it might help to control your own Drop Port. It did not show up in the company financials and was a surprise, but previous company owner had personally co-signed the loan documents, so it was far game for the creditors anyway. Standing by for new assignment.

Briscoe Osbourne


"I even have a home base to operate from. David, this is too much." Sarah Campbell said when she looked back up.

"You deserve it, all your people do. Some of our people want a more normal, nonmilitary life. I know it and so do you. Though, I would like that Monolith and Star Lord Jumpship in exchange. SaRI still owns 40% of the company after all. Maybe a Mammoth or two. Sure, would help when we trip over stuff like we just did. We are looking at months of transfers from Linden to Boulsi. I will even let you have SaRI Express back in exchange." Major General Mitchell replied

"You can have them. This sort of changes things. Captain Hansen, how would you like a job?" Sarah Campbell asked

"Doing what exactly? I already have a job." Captain Carla Hansen replied

"How about you come with me, and we will find a place to sit down and talk about it." Sarah Campbell said as they both walked away quietly talking.

The gathered men watched them walk away until Brigadier General Horbaugh asked "So, what did we find out there?"

"Besides Captain Birch here. Just a functional shipyard, orbital factories, small SLDF cache, about 60 Billion in Germanium, two mining stations, a soon to be functional WarShip and over 70,000 highly skilled people. The usual stuff." Major General Mitchell said

Brigadier General Horbaugh laughed softly and then seriously said, "You are the definition of understatement. The usual. You know as well as I do that Shipyard is going to cause all sorts of problem with the First Prince when he finds out. Not to mention a damned Warship."

"That is why they are being placed at Boulsi, to keep them from prying eyes. The First Prince is not going to find out if I can keep it that way. Besides, it has very limited construction ability on ship types. None are of true military value. As for the WarShip, Krait is not really a warship, she has a few weapons and a powerful transit drive. Looks just like a Merchant Jumpship. Nothing he will get too worked up over. It is only a threat to those that cannot counter it. We know he can counter it. The best thing, is we can now home grow our own crews and Aerospace pilots from Captain Birch's people." Major General Mitchell replied

"Not get too worked up over. Sir, you have been gone too long. Need I remind you who exactly your talking about here? First Prince Hanse Davion, the man who started the Fourth Succession War at his wedding reception. The Fox himself. He is going to blow a fuse over this the moment he finds out, whenever that might be. Mark my words." Brigadier General Horbaugh said

"I will cross that bridge when I am forced to cross it. We are our own nation, and we must look to ourselves to defend ourselves and at times, our interests will not coincide with those of the Federated Commonwealth. You know that you just saw that a year ago when we got cut off from maintenance support without a second thought. Now, we are independent of that particular string holding us back. We will also be starting our own training programs; it is time to work towards cutting the last strings he can use to pull us back in line." Major General Mitchell said

"Yes sir. If that are your orders, I will begin preparing some sort of training outline. They are going to be some uneducated recruits." Brigadier General Horbaugh replied

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