Frays in the Weave

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"That is unacceptable!"

"I'm not interested in what you find acceptable, Commodore. We're shuttling over units to take command of Orbit One as I'm speaking. You can either stay as my guest or take up rooms here. I'm certain Commodore Ali would be delighted to be your host."

The nerve! "I'm..." Vivian began. The nerve! The last thought was one of delight though. So that was the reason! "You will stay those shuttles! That is a direct order!"

"Don't be absurd, Commodore!"

"That would be Rear Admiral for you, Brigadier. I'm in command of TSS Orbit One"

There was a moments silence. Brigadier Goodard could link with her systems to confirm both her new rank as well as Orbit One's new status as flag ship.

"I see I may have been mistaken about the jurisdiction here," came the expected response.

Damn right you were, shit head! "Could happen to the best. No need to apologize." Like the little bastard would even know the word without a dictionary handy. "I'm happy we sorted this misunderstanding up." And stay the hell away from my command!

"I'm certain we'll come to an agreement eventually."

"We sure will. I hope you won't be too uncomfortable aboard the Nobunaga. If they arrive in smaller groups I will of course be happy to provide your men with the comforts of Orbit One."

"I'm happy you feel that way. I'll tell my men on leave of your generous offer before they launch?"


"Admiral, Nobunaga, she's opening shuttle bays," Anisa's voice cut across the bridge.

Vivian cut communications with Brigadier Goodard momentarily. "I know, those shuttles are returning." She disliked Anisa using her proper rank, but when an ass like Goodard was listening it was probably for the better.

"No," Anisa stared at Vivian's red lighted link, "she's dropping, Vivian. Those are friction shielded."

Vivian ordered the link back up again. "What is the meaning of this? Recall those shuttles immediately!"

"Afraid I would be disobeying my orders if I did, Admiral," Goodard drawled. "I can't do anything about the farce of making an orbital station a flagship, but there's no way you could possibly argue that the planet side launch port is a naval installation."

She could, but she also had the sense to realize when she had lost. The Federation army didn't show up here by mistake. Space Command had salvaged as much as possible by giving her flag rank and a flagship to boot. They could as well have ordered Rear Admiral Radovic to take command of Orbit One, so she guessed she should feel grateful in a way. Hers was obviously about to become a very visible command.

"Admiral, dropping single shuttles. Army, no TADAT," Anisa announced.

I knew that, thank you, but you don't know the Goodard pigs, so you're excused. "Acknowledged Commander," she answered instead. Just keep the show running. Besides, Anisa was too young to know how the Goodard family infested politics like vermin. The brigadier was only a very high ranking piece of muscle for whomever they wanted to have the next presidency. If they managed to force Otherworld to join the Federation citizens would be ecstatic, and the next election a given. If the gamble went wrong, probably very little dirt would ever find its way home. All in all dirty little clean piece of political juggling of weapons.

She had to make her own preparations, of course. Warn Radovic. How? TADAT! They despised the navy but they hated the army with a glee. Major Goldberger was the most senior TADAT officer, and she could strip the launch port of the other group as well. It wasn't like Brigadier Goodard lacked any armed monkeys to man those guns anyway.

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