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You Swore to Carry On (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 2 - You swore to carry on[]

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Bluenose Shipyards
Luna Orbit
Sol Star System
Republic of the Sphere
February, 3098

The Word of Blake had salvaged a lot of old spacefaring iron, but they hadn't gotten all of the massive surplus.  Paladin and Admiral Carlotta Perez looked upward at the temporary gantries holding the Republic's building fleet.  The types would have been familiar to any of her ancestors who joined the Exodus, or any Clan aerospace warrior from the invasion era.

The ''Riga II class Destroyers, after all, was initially built as a stopgap in the first place, then upgraded during the long years of the Exodus, finally evolving into the York class Destroyer/Carriers of the Clans.

These were a hybrid between the Riga and the York, and that was due to available tooling.  They could build the cores and drives for a Riga II because the tooling had been mothballed by Comstar and left in storage by Word of Blake.  It hadn't been there to be struck when the LCN broke Devlin Stone's plan and struck the industrial base of the Terran navy.

Riga Class Frigate Mini - Painted by wackrabbit

Riga II Class Destroyer

Out in the distance, she could see the larger work-frames.  In this case, the result of dedicated efforts to repair or replace lost shipyard equipment at Titan, brought closer to the mother world in order to make it easier to control information and prevent sabotage.

The ships being built out there were probably the budget-busters of the fleet and she knew it. A pair of Luxors, really a rebuild project from salvage of the ships Kerensky sent to Venus during Liberation.  The first was being restored to operational status following the basic plan. The second ship was being optimized as a fighter and dropship carrier, meant to serve as the center of a fighting group of the new Castrum pocket warships.  A counter, of sorts, to the the Lyran 'cutter' type gunships, the Castrums weren't independently jump-capable, but they didn't have to be.  They had to be excellent weapons platforms useful for securing the space around a battlegroup.

She completed her inspection walk, and went back inside the Republic Navy's headquarters on Luna.

"Tell me we have good news, Perez."  The Exarch himself was on her comm screen when she reached her office.

"I need at least six months." she stated.  "We've got production going on the new Riga-III's, and RSS Cairo is ninety percent complete.  But you tasked me with giving you a functional navy, and we need six months minimum, a year would be better."

"Is that your estimation as an engineer, or as a warrior?" Stone asked, looking interested.

"Both," she stated.  "We know the Lyrans have not curtailed their shipbuilding or training programs. And they have a squadron pursuing our friends, so they are developing more techniques and methods even while you and I are speaking.  We have yet to finish building up a competent fleet arm, and the losses last Christmas only underscore this.  This is not a situation of elite trueborn warriors against part-time spheroids in deficient equipment.  We are the ones playing catch-up."

"So you need a year." Devlin commented.

"We need a year for a fleet capable of peer level operations.  I could make it shorter if you could give me access to more trained personnel, or more raw materiel, or better ship designs... quickly.  But a year is your minimum to take the Lyrans on on the naval scale at peer levels.  We can train enough crew in a year, we can have enough ships in the fleet... in a year.  To secure what we have now, assuming peace on the other fronts, I can deliver an adequate counter to their commerce raiding in six months, assuming Castrum production and the graduation of personnel from Sandhurst Mars, Norfolk, and Port Langley continues at the present pace.  Six months for a defensive navy is possible, but if you want to secure the Isle of Skye region and prevent the Lyrans from taking it back?"

She shrugged, "We need more time. In two years, we can have sufficient ships, if you can find us officers and crew, to utterly dominate the Lyrans.  One year gives us a fifty to seventy percent chance of securing the Skye region for the Republic."

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