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Chapter 260 - What Could Go Wrong[]

Thazi (Independent System)
5th February, 3047

The arrival of an AFFC Invader Jumpship carrying pair of Titan Dropships was a surprise to everyone. It was even stranger when they did not detach but a simple radio call asked that President Mitchell meet them at the Nadir Jump Point.

"What do you think this is about? We were only promised one and why did they not just land?" President David Mitchell asked as they boarded a shuttle for the 2 day trip up to the Nadir Jump Point.

7th February, 3047

"President Mitchell, my name is Ingrid Bertmaul, I was head of the Titan project at Wokha." Ingrid Bertmaul said

"I remember you; Inner End wasn't it. Wait, you said was, as in past tense." President Mitchell replied

"Yes. Was, as in past tense. The Archon shut the project down. It is a failure and I have no idea why. Vice Admiral Unger ordered both of the Titan we built to be handed over to you. But there are serious issues with both of them." Ingrid Bertmaul said

"Nice of him. What problems?" President Mitchell asked

"Neither can enter an atmosphere. We already lost one with all hands during testing. During high G maneuvers the internal structure might warp or crack. We had to make a few modifications to the interior since we used the engines off of the Achilles, it had the needed thrust levels to handle the larger Titan yet still meet the designed thrust levels. Exterior and weapons wise, they are an exact duplicate. None of our changes should have impacted the design at all. I have been doing this for twenty-five years and this is my first failure. They are still combat worthy and excellent carriers, but they are not the Titan you expected. I cannot stress enough to take some caution with them. Vice Admiral Unger was very clear that I was to make sure you understood the limitations of both ships." Ingrid Bertmaul said

"I do not understand, we turned over all the specifications, you watched us copy them over. I was told that it would be enough to recreate the ship." President Mitchell replied

"Neither do I. Normally, they should be enough to do just that, even if you substitute an engine and account for any changes needed for the substitution, which we did and rechecked so many times I cannot count that high. Something went wrong somewhere; I have no clue where or how, but it did." Ingrid Bertmaul said

"So, they are more battle taxi than frontline fighters. I guess I can live with that. Even defective I can use them to defend the system anyway. Tell the Admiral I said thank you. Is there anything else?" President Mitchell asked

"No sir. I am sorry I could not deliver what you expected." Ingrid Bertmaul said

"You did your best. Tell me, what did you work on prior to being assigned out here? Your jumpsuit says Challenge Systems, but they do not build Dropships." President Mitchell said

"I was hired by Challenge Systems a few years ago. Used to be a engineer with Federated Boeing at Galax. In the Dropship division. Been building Dropships for twenty-five years. But now, I will probably have to go back to Federated Boeing and beg for my job back." Ingrid Bertmaul said

"If Challenge Systems cuts you loose, you come see me. I am always on the lookout for people that are experts in their fields. No matter what that field is. It is not your fault and we will figure out what went wrong, it would be nice to have you here when we do figure it out." President Mitchell replied

"Thank you, sir. Always good to know you have a job offer in a situation like this. Not sure what you would need me for though." Ingrid Bertmaul said

"You never know what I might start doing, half the time neither do I and I am usually scrambling to try and find what I need after the fact is decided. Maybe I am just trying to get ahead of the game for once." President Mitchell replied

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