State of Siege (TGG/Btech).

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State of Siege (TGG/Btech).

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2007-12-16 05:36am



Due to the continued development of a savage and unrelenting terror-campaign against the legitimate government of the Viceroyalty of Luthien and all component territories, immediate and severe measures are required for public safety and order! It is understood that in all cases these terrorist acts are the result of cells infiltrated by so-called Grand Duchy of Pesht, in its unholy alliance with the arch-traitor Victor Steiner and his illegal regime over the Lyran Commonwealth. The government recognizes the relief and happiness of the population of the defunct Draconis Combine at the benevolent guidance of their liberators from the Federated Suns, and the unique and fully autonomous Viceregal status accorded their territories.

Indeed, to protect the prosperity and the very lives of the citizens of the Viceroyalty, these measures have been undertaken with the utmost care and reluctance to prevent the rampages of these foreign terrorists. According to these principles, and with the authority vested in me as the Governor-General of the Viceroyalty, I have authorized the declaration of a State of Siege over the whole of the Viceroyalty of Luthien. Pursuant to this declaration, the following decrees are now in force:

I. The gathering of more than three unrelated individuals in a public place for any non-commercial purpose is prohibited, save religious services registered in advance with the local Viceroyalty security office. Violation is on pain of imprisonment.

II. All publications for any purpose must be presented for review to the appropriate security office for confirmation they are not being used for illicit communications. This rule also applies to all forms of electronic media and broadcast media. Violation is on pain of imprisonment.

III. Distribution of seditious material and seditious statements in public places are forbidden under pain of imprisonment.

IV. All political parties and organizations not authorized to operate by the Viceroyal government are banned from operating or organizing.

V. Labour unions not authorized by the government are banned.

VI. Electronic distributed network communications are hereby shut down for the duration of the State of Siege.

VII. All simple audio communications between individuals are subject to monitoring by the Viceregal security services.

VII. All local security offices throughout the Viceroyalty may declare at any time a curfew covering any period of time, with or without exceptions, not to exceed twelve hours of the day. Violation is on pain of imprisonment.

VIII. Possession of firearms and energy weapons of any sort is banned, or explosives and explosive precursors of any kind without direct authorization from the local security office which may be revoked at any time. All such weapons must be rendered up to the government for securing within the next ninety days. Punishment is on pain of imprisonment.

IX. No individual may leave, or attempt to leave, their registered homeworld without a special internal travel visa issued by their local security office. The local security office may withhold such a visa for any reason without providing justification. No appeal is permitted. Punishment is on pain of imprisonment.

X. Any residence or business may be entered by the Viceroyal security services on belief of a connection between persons residing or working there and seditious or terroristic acts or groups. Refusal to allow entry for any purpose or resistance to entry will be punished by imprisonment.

Any violation of the above directives may result, on the discretion of the local security offices, in indefinite detention, up to the full duration of the State of Siege. Anyone suspected of any seditious or terroristic activities, or aiding or harbouring those suspected of seditious or terroristic activities, may also be detained for the duration of the State of Siege.

Military forces may be used as necessary to enforce all provisions of this State of Siege on the discretion of the Security services and the Governor-General's office.

Enacted by the Governor-General of the Luthien Viceroyalty on the Fifteenth of March of the Year of our Lord MMMLXI.

Signed and Sealed,
Her Excellency Katherine Davion.

15 June 3064.
(1 February 2165 AST.)
Three years, three months into
The State of Siege.

Tall, with should-length blonde hair done up under the red cap of the special Luthien Viceroyal Gendarmie, red coat over black uniform, though the cut was normal for the FedSuns, the epaulet with two broad bands obviously showing her to be a Colonel, even if the colours were not, the woman with her dark eyes but pallid features could have easily been mistaken for a Lyran, except that there were very few of those with positions of trust in the government after the end of the Civil War.

The attempt to chastise the Arch-Traitor Victor Steiner had gone badly, after all; only the Dyev Thumb, the Terran Corridor, the planet Accrington and two minor worlds near her had been seized back from the traitorous Lyran regime. They had been incorporated into the Luthien Viceroyalty, too, but the rest of what it had was more important: Seventy percent of the territory, eighty-five percent of the industry, and almost eighty-five percent of the population of the old Draconis Combine.

The job of the Viceroyal Gendarmies was to keep them under Davion control.

The woman received the salute of the Gendarmie troops stationed outside out of the large Capitol District Headquarters building, housed in an old government records office of the Combine's own security forces. The records that had been seized intact had proved very useful, but they had been relocated and now the building didn't even house the headquarters of the Gendarmie; this was simply the chief facility for the capitol city.

And the woman arriving was its new commander, in charge of what was on paper almost a brigade of special Gendarmie. In reality, when the immense web of local informers was counted, it was more like she had responsibility for several corps' worth of personnel. It was an assignment unlike any she had been given before, and it showed the belief of her superiours in her competency, and also their lack of perfect trust for her. She was here so they could watch her.

With good reason. Less than two years ago, she had been the Chief of Staff to the military dictator of a foreign nation. Katherine Davion's multiversal talent search had spread far and wide in a search for the best and most skilled military officers she could obtain. And, in more than a few cases, intelligence specialists as well.

"At Ease!" She snapped with the crisp familiarity of someone long in the military life as she strode through the main offices and returned a salute of one of the duty officers. Not just tall but somewhat muscular in her features, the Colonel seemed instantly an intimidating figure. In truth, her lack of familiarity with the assignment meant that she was rather concerned about adapting to the post.

They had, however, promised her the best in aide. Her own chief of staff was waiting for her in what would be her office. He had combat experience, and had been doing intelligence work after a crippling injury had made it impossible for him to continue front-line fighting, and doing it for a while now. Another Colonel, his seniority was somewhat below her's.

"Colonel Richter," He said as he came to attention. "I'm Colonel Thomas Barrett. Welcome to the Capitol District, Sir."

She returned the salute. "Thank you, Colonel Barrett. Please.." She moved to take her position behind the desk he'd vacated. "I know this is technically a Brigadier's posting and I'm only here with a month's seniority on you in the AFFS. So, just call me Wendy when we're alone, hmm?" She was vaguely irritated at the 'sir', which had not been used in the Gilean military normally, but traditions were traditions.

"Ah, of course," he answered after a moment. "Well, first thing's first. I was told you're married; has your husband accompanied you?"

"No. We were very aware about the attacks on the families of AFFS personnel that have taken place recently," and she continued with a grim assessment of the situation, "I like him enough to prefer missing him for a couple years over having him come home in a bunch of little boxes. Damn fucking savage 'Samurai'."

"Yeah, that's about the size of it," Thomas answered, pulling a cigarette out of his breast pocket. "Do you want one, er, Wendy?"

"No, I remember what the preacher's wife back home sounded like at fifty, thanks much," she answered a bit tartly.

"You're one of the Gileans, yeah?"

"Yes, and not one of Rosario's, either."

"They said they were sending out someone who had experience in organizing false-flag operations. Is that true?"

"Yes," Wendy answered, staring down at the reports on her desk. She realized after a moment that they were interrogation reports. Well, it's nice that we actually have those. Back home interrogation was illegal, so we had to do it unofficially. "I've cleaned up the patsies after successful ones we executed, too," she elaborated calmly.

Damn bitch is pretty stone-cold. Good. It'll keep her from cracking, Thomas thought as he flicked the ashes from his cigarette and exhaled. "Good. We need someone in charge who knows what the other side is thinking and trying to do. They're everywhere, and they won't stop at nothin'. We've taken, as you've probably been briefed, to seizing suspects in the middle of the night without notice, to avoid targeted reprisals and allow some deniability. In some circumstances.."

"Even pin it on the terrs themselves," Wendy concluded. "Yes. This is a messy, unpleasant business, though, hell, me and my boss back home realized we had to do the exact same thing to save our country. We didn't have the power necessary to implement such measures, however, until it was to late."

"Heh." Thomas took another drag from his cigarette. "Looks like you're going to be a good fit, Colonel. Welcome to the Dirty War." It was said without a trace of irony, or sarcasm. It was just the facts of life.
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Post by starfury » 2007-12-16 02:36pm

Seems With the ADN wiping out the Clans, Victor and Katherine switched roles from their places in the original timeline, where it was Victor who held the Federated Suns and Katherine with the Lyran Alliance/Commonwealth.
"a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic"-Joseph Stalin

"No plan survives contact with the enemy"-Helmuth Von Moltke

"Women prefer stories about one person dying slowly. Men prefer stories of many people dying quickly."-Niles from Frasier.

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Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2007-12-16 08:30pm

starfury wrote:Seems With the ADN wiping out the Clans, Victor and Katherine switched roles from their places in the original timeline, where it was Victor who held the Federated Suns and Katherine with the Lyran Alliance/Commonwealth.
Sort of true, but note that Katherine Davion is the Governor General of Luthien. The situation is rather more complex than a straightforward reversal.
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Post by Panzerfaust 150 » 2007-12-17 01:29pm

This is interesting? Wonder when Hanse finished what he started in 3039? Or did this not occur because the ADN got there first? And if Katherine's some sort of viceroy of the former Draconis Combine, then...

1) Who's in charge back on New Avalon? (God I hope it's not Arthur or Yvvone!)

2) More importanly, where's the rest of the Kuritas (I think we can assume Theodore, Takashi and possibly Minoru died in any doomed defense of Luthien..)

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Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2007-12-17 06:14pm

Panzerfaust 150 wrote:Hmm...
This is interesting? Wonder when Hanse finished what he started in 3039? Or did this not occur because the ADN got there first? And if Katherine's some sort of viceroy of the former Draconis Combine, then...

1) Who's in charge back on New Avalon? (God I hope it's not Arthur or Yvvone!)

2) More importanly, where's the rest of the Kuritas (I think we can assume Theodore, Takashi and possibly Minoru died in any doomed defense of Luthien..)
Omi Kurita is the ruler of the Grand Duchy of Pesht, which is allied with the Lyran Commonwealth of Victor Steiner, unsurprisingly. Omi is the last surviving Kurita.
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Post by Panzerfaust 150 » 2007-12-18 08:30am

Then this has some interesting devlopmental potential. I will be watching!

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Re: State of Siege (TGG/Btech).

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-07-23 12:39am

État de siège

Chapter One

Wendy Richter sat there for a long moment, glancing from Thomas to the documents on the table, and then took her uniform cap off and reached back to let her hair down. "Well, do I have an assigned adjutant yet, Thomas?" She tried to reinforce the first name basis a bit as she shuffled a few of the introductory papers on the table and tried to make sense of them. Why is it that all the preparation in the world is never enough?

Colonel Barrett looked up from the file he was cursorily reviewing at to answer his new boss. "Yeah, the orders were cut last night by human resources. Leftenant Anya Doyle, an up and comer in the service. I think I've got her file..." He shifted through a pile of beige folders right by his elbow, and looked satisfied as he found the right one. He handed it across the desk to Wendy. "Everything you might want to know about her. Green as grass, but smart enough to get someone's attention and to play the game well enough it was positive. Not enough clout to get one the staff at the palace, though."

"Such is life," Wendy answered with a trace of amusement. "There are disadvantages to being palace staff, anyway." She was speaking from some personal experience there, roughly. Working for organized crime and monarchist governments sometimes had disturbing degrees of similarity, though she wasn't about to say that. Hmmm.. "Lots of backbiting, anyway." She found the call button to the base executive secretary, a very distinct position, while looking through the folder and spoke crisply: "I'd like Leftenant Doyle to report to my office, please."

"Usual spate of sniping at the occupation troops, some armed robberies the yaks are behind, probably to support the insurgency." He was recalling material off the top of his head, from the latest weekly report. "We can probably expect the Black Dragons to start getting uppity again during Duke Arthur's visit next month, but his personal security is the responsibility of the Palace staff and MIIO. The brigade will need to be on alert for more conventional attacks, and there's always the possibility some damned bastard'll sneak another mortar in..."

Several minutes later the door to Wendy's office opened, admitting a very young woman in the authorized skirt variation of the Gendarmerie duty uniform. She removed her cap as part of her salute, allowing a better look at her Eurasian features. They matched the file photo, but seemed to be far livelier in person. Such was the effect of all official photography. "Leftenant Anya Doyle, Sir, reporting as ordered."

Wendy flinched slightly at the mode of address; still not used to it... "At east, Leftenant," she mastered the word fairly well, at least, having been around lots of British officers back home, but spelling it that way.... That still tripped her up, too. "I'm your new boss, essentially." The smile returned to her lips. "And the next couple of days will doubtless be chaotic hell for both of us." She looked back to Thomas. "Any recommendations for what I start catching up with, Colonel?"

He barely kept a yawn in check. "The interrogation reports from last week still haven't been reviewed, due to the change in command. I recommend going over 'em personally, skimming through and looking at the striking ones with more attention. It's the best way to keep up with the latest developments and cases, I've found. There's too much ass-covering with the executive summaries."

Wendy nodded and looked back to Anya. "I don't suppose, Leftenant, that you know where you could fetch those for me?" In fairness Lieu...Leftenant Doyle probably wasn't that familiar with things yet but if she was conscientious about her work she'd scrounge things up fairly quickly.

The youthful personal aide nodded quickly. "I'll be right back with those, Sir." She didn't allow her hesitation to infect her voice, but she wasn't exactly sure. They should be collated in the records room, and returned to the internal mail department until picked up... she thought. And since she hadn't had the tour of the offices yet she wasn't exactly sure where the mail room was to begin with. But she was moving quickly out of the room at that point, determined not to fail her first assignment. However trivial it might seem, she was well aware that she was being tested, in part by the very mundanity of the order.

"Pretty eager kid" he acknowledged, though in such a way as to cast doubt on whether or not it was praise.. "Supposed to be intelligent, but she's got no experience at all. She'll pick that up in time, if she survives. She has to be politically reliable to get an appointment like this right out of training, and that can be a sign of trouble. As for the rest?" He shrugged. "Depends on how long it takes her to get back with those reports from Special Investigations."

Wendy laughed dryly. "Yeah, that was somewhat the point. As for her political reliability, well." She shrugged. "This is just a job we do, Colonel. I figure that as long as her idea of political reliability includes killing yaks that she won't be particularly bad here. This job is, all things said, actually pretty cut and dried."

He scratched at building stubble along his jaw. "I've seen politics get in the way of the job before. But I reckon she won't be too much of a problem on that score. And if she's passing reports up the chain of command, well, I already know I'll retire a Colonel. You might need to be a bit more careful there."

Wendy was silent for a moment, and then shrugged. "Likely, but then again, I have nothing but appreciation for Katherine Davion. You know how the Alliance, heh, flushed its alliance with us down the drain and is probably behind the destruction of the Fed-Com," she noted a sentiment which would be agreed to by anyone in the FedSuns at that point, "Well, suffice to say that my past life does guarantee me a legal reception in most of the multiverse. No offense to the local politics around here, but I'm truly and genuinely interested in keeping this nation from ending up at the hands of a nice and friendly regime change by the Alliance Stellar Navy. One was enough for my lifetime."

"Yeah, they're a real piece of work. And that damned fool Victor..." He shook his head. "Still, I can't work myself up to sing the hymns of praise to Katherine that most of the higher-ups in the service repeat. The Fox could always stand an honest man giving the truth, but the palace doesn't want it if it looks bad and I have to think the Viceroy's responsible for that problem. She's supposed to set the tone for the whole government, and it speaks in press releases. That's something you'll also need to be careful of, making sure your reports have the right tone to be acceptable."

Wendy nodded respectfully. She had been in positions, long before she was even a military officer, where flattery had been the difference between life and death, and it was in truth trivial what would be expected of her here, but the warning was taken in the spirit intended. "I'll be sure of watching that, of course. Fortunately the wide operating latitude means it's mostly a matter of sweetening the data. Much nicer than operating under rules of engagement..." She glanced to her chrono. "I figure that if she's actually got her wits about her she'll be back somewhere between now and three minutes from now."

Doyle entered a moment later, pushing the door in with her hip while carrying a large pile of paper printouts in her arms. Clearly the reports had built up significantly in the past few days with no one to address them. She walked over to the desk, setting them down in front of Richter and Barrett with evident relief. "Sir, the outstanding reports on prisoner interrogations, as you requested." She seemed to hesitate for a moment, as if unsure what to say next. Finally she seemed to make a decision. 'I heard, while in the mail room, there's breaking news. Duke Hasek-Davion's been assassinated on New Syrtis and the news is blaming the Capellans."

"Thank you for letting me know, Leftenant," Wendy answered very calmly as she looked to Doyle for a moment. "Keep it up. That's exactly the sort of thing you should be keeping me up to date on in addition to your assigned duties. Very good work." She started shifting and organizing the interrogation reports as she glanced to Colonel Barrett next. "Do you estimate any potential impact on our operations here, perhaps a sympathetic uptick in terrorist activity?"

"Ordinarily I wouldn't. The Snakes hold Capellans in contempt and they don't need inspiration to do their worst." Barrett shifted a bit in his seat. "Still, with Duke Arthur's visit up ahead it might give them ideas about what they can accomplish. At least so far we've got no evidence of the Mask operating on Luthein either, after the embassy was closed down. But that may be something we've gotta watch out for now, foreign countries supporting the Black Dragons. Well other than the Grand Duchy of Pesht."

"And Victor," Wendy muttered, and continued in an utterly sarcastic monologue: "I'm quite sure the dear naive idiot traitor could be convinced that the Black Dragons are harmless, valiant freedom fighters in the service of his darling Omi Kurita, who is of course the innocent angel whose inheiritance was destroyed by the evil schemes of his sister. And he probably believes that Elijiah Weisbaum is a heroic defender of national self-determination, too..."

"At any rate, it'll be a good excuse to apply some pressure. We just assume the Duke Arthur will be the target of a concerted assassination attempt inspired by Duke Hasek-Davion's assassination, and take the appropriate measures to clamp down on the Black Dragons accordingly. Oh, we would have done that already as part of the security for the event, but since I expect everyone here is thoroughly jaded it's a good motivator for doing it right."

"It's been a while since we really applied the screws," he agreed. "Part of why you had a billet to fill. It's good practice to do so every little while, and it's a good reason to now. The newbies will be fired up by it and they'' get some valuable experience out of the exercise." And the stupid ones would probably be killed, but Luthien was a case study in Darwinian selection. "Maybe you can have Leftenant Doyle here bring in a mobile trivid so we can follow developments with the assassination? And some coffee..."

"Leftenant? If you don't mind, seeing as how it's an enlisted gopher job but for the moment I don't have any orderlies assigned..." Wendy offered rather affiably. Adjutants were people you wanted to cultivate reliably, and she had shown herself quick on her feet already. She glanced back to Thomas. "Have we had any poisoning incidents with food service, by the way?"

"Yes Sir, right away." Anya nodded, and then turned to scurry out of the room to find a mobile unit; at least the cafeteria would be serving coffee 24 hours.

Barrett had a wry grin on his face. "The last attempt was a couple of months ago, and we haven't had any further ones after the reprisals for that. We've been keeping a close eye on food suppliers since it's the easiest way for the insurgents to strike at us. Full testing of foodstuffs, authenticated chain of suppliers tying every shipment to a particular farm, extensive background checks on contractors... we're pretty secure against it now, after some real problems in the first year of the occupation."

"Good. I had a boss who was very paranoid about poisoning once, and informally used me to test his food without outright saying it by always telling me to eat first while he had a couple rounds before starting off on his own meal... The paranoid bastard rubbed off on me." Wendy stretched and peered down at the first of the interrogation reports to start gleaning information from it, but she fairly quickly rubbed her eyes faintly and shook her head. "Isn't this fun?"

Barrett laughed openly. "Yeah, eighty percent of the job is reading and approving reports, and the rest is mostly writing them. And today's probably one of the more exciting ones. But I had my fair share of adrenaline overdoses when we first arrived on the Black Pearl."

"I imagine. Do you think we're finally starting to get a handle on things? Not by really dealing with them as such but rather, I know, by the level of fanatical sentiment in the populace simply ebbing out of exhaustion. There's probably going to be yaks setting the occasional bomb as some romantic sentiment of the past two hundred years from now, but... Well, you know what I mean." She tapped the table lightly.

"It's not as bad as it was in the first couple of years, probably because all the really dedicated or really stupid fanatics have been killed" he said thoughtfully. "There's a long history of these kinds of insurgent movements in the Inner Sphere, spiking up in reaction to events and then dying back down. Still, as long as they have outside support they've been able to sustain themselves for decades. Pesht is one big damned safe haven where the Snakes can find refuge and train up another generation of rebels to keep the whole thing going on. And even among the general population, they've had four hundred years of that xenophobic Japanese cultural programming, and damned near brainwashed into worshipping the Kuritas since the beginning of the state. Right now we're just keeping a lid down on any overt rebellion while we hope they get used to it, and the education specialists in MIIO come up with some counter-programming for the next generation."

The unsettling note lingered in the air before it was interrupted again by the door opening, as Leftenant Doyle wheeled in a cart with a small trivid set and steaming coffee piled haphazardly. "I'll turn the set on FSNS," she said as she searched around for a power outlet for the set. She bent down to plug it in, and it came to life with the staccato tones of a newscaster blaring out the latest developments from New Syrtis. Attention in the room was drawn to the unfolding chaotic reports and ominous projections on a world hundreds of light years away.

But in the end they had work to do, and after a few minutes and coffee service, the return back to the grind of the reports was made. Altogether it basically seemed like an office job at which you could randomly get killed by mortar fire, but at least that was more interesting than actually being stuck in a cubicle. Wendy bit back a laugh and got to work on the interrogation reports; it’s a pity that countries with legalized enhanced interrogation do in fact instantly bureaucratize them, though. The reports for Covington made much more interesting reading. Lost to the amoral cynicism or blind faith of all involved was the fact that there were people on the other side of the paperwork.

Somewhere in the Grand Duchy of Pesht.
19 June 3064.
(5 February 2165 AST.)

The room, as always, was kept pitch black except for a single weak illumination source around the broad oak table which displayed the vague outlines of the figures sitting down at it while still shrouding their faces and features in darkness. Of course most of the members here knew one another, but it was still a useful reminder of the game of shadows that they had played consummately for years now. For decades, in several cases, and none of the men and women at the table had the accumulated skill and experience in deception that had accrued to the man sitting at the front of the table, marked only with a placard displaying a stylized red gemstone. Duke Hassid Ricol, the Red Hunter and onetime scourge of the Lyran border, had lived and breathed conspiracy before many of his fellows in this latest plot had been born. And now, finally, he stood holding the reins of the Dragon itself, though he still hid from the Yellow Bird. There was a lesson here about the nature of power that he reveled in.

Tiger’s Eye was speaking about the state of the Order of the Five Pillars. “The shameful conduct of Omi with the gaijin Victor Davion has polluted the purity of the Kurita line. The Order has become alienated from this whore who pretended to be the Keeper of the House Honor, and I have solidified our support among it. The bumbling efforts of her loyalists to handle the damage are being subtly undermined by the efforts of Pearl to sabotage Voice of the Dragon propaganda about her relationship. Emerald will not have to worry about interference from the Order on his end.”

There was an edge of gloating in her voice, but Ricol bit back a rebuke. Tiger’s Eye was powerful and important, and in truth everyone was here because they loved the exercise of power. “I applaud the efforts of Tiger’s Eye to secure the loyalty of the Order,” he said instead. “The Five Pillars are the foundation of Combine society, and having their guardians on hand will make reconstructing it so much easier. And their cooperation means that the Kokuryu-kai will be unopposed by the foolishness of our so-called Coordinator. Now, I believe Pearl has a report on the fallout of Duke Hasek-Davion’s assassination?”

A figure on the other end of the table shuffled in his chair. “Yes, Ruby. Thanks to Emerald’s efforts we know Morgan Hasek-Davion and several members of his family were killed in an explosion in the Ducal Palace in Saso. An infiltrator was caught and killed by the palace security, and found to possess myomer musculature replacement and other surgical alterations used only by the Maskirovka. Davion propaganda has blamed the Confederation and Chancellor Liao herself, and has been drawing comparisons between her and her unlamented father. There has been a notable upsurge in anti-Capellan programming on the Federated Suns News Service, and a focus on mass protests in the Capellan March. Katherine’s pundits are also drawing blame onto the Alliance for thwarting her father’s destruction of the Confederation and even alleging their complicity in the assassination. From our own experience the Federated Suns is actively whipping up hostility to the Confederation and its allies in preparation for a political crisis.”

“Emerald, what do your analysts have to say about where this is going?” The question was vital. Could this be the beginning of a full scale war in the Inner Sphere, offering the opportunity to liberate the Combine?

“Katherine is not yet truly willing to commit the Davion realm to war with Alliance.” Emerald’s baritone voice resonated with a surprising richness in the small room. “She knows she is outmatched by those outsiders, though if she can isolate the Confederation we have no doubt of her willingness to attack them. She wants to prove herself her father’s legitimate successor, and what better way than by achieving that which he failed to do? But we do not believe that Katherine can convince the Alliance that the Confederation is actually responsible for the assassination, despite the evidence. And the ISF doubts their responsibility as well. Candace and Victor are close allies and Morgan was Victor’s man in the Federated Suns, a voice of moderation in Davion policy. Someone else was probably responsible, and the leading suspect is Katherine herself.”

“It will increase tensions in the Inner Sphere, and that works to our advantage.” And to the advantage of our allies, Ricol didn’t add. He suspected that they had a hand in the affair, though he didn’t really care. It served the purposes of the Black Dragons to have Hasek-Davion dead whoever was responsible.

“We have our own operation coming up on Luthein, perhaps we could try to implicate the Capellans in supporting it?” Diamond spoke up for the first time in the evening.

“Too complicated to bother with,” Onyx dismissed. “We have used financial records to implicate the LIC, through your own channels. The Lyrans and Capellans are allies now, so the behavior of one will reflect on the other and cement the distrust of the Davion nobility. With Hasek-Davion out of the way his cousins in the Capellan March will stir up hatred for House Liao, and we can always rely on the Sandovals to play their part in agitating against us here on Pesht. We will have our glorious war, and return the Dragon to his rightful station.”

“Where do preparations for the Luthien operation stand, Emerald?” Ricol thought it useful to review what should be the turning point in their long struggle to redeem the homeland.

“Operation Tsubazeriai is proceeding to plan,” the other gem answered, satisfaction evident in his voice. “We have our striking team in place in the Teak Ward of the capital, and they have recovered the weapons cache necessary for their operations. Our agents within the palace remain undiscovered and willing to carry out their roles in the operation. So far there is no indication that our plans have been detected, and our allies have provided us with useful intelligence on our enemies. The gendarmerie created by Katherine as Viceroy of Luthien has primary responsibility for the security of the capital and the Imperial Palace. The head of the capital district was recently removed and replaced by an outsider, a refugee from one of the wars in these other universes we hear of. Their organization will be in disarray as the change of command adjusts to the new officer, and there will be those agents who resent the Viceroy’s reliance on foreigners. They will not have their hearts and minds focused only on defending their Lord.”

“We should strike earlier, before the palace goes on high alert for the arrival of the other Davion,” Onyx grumbled. “Trying to assassinate them both at the same time is asking for something to go wrong. Our allies are allies of convenience only, and we should not defer to them when it goes against our interests.”

“We can’t be sure this blow will lead to war,” Diamond argued. “We need to be prudent and not burn our relationship with these associates. Our sources of income were shattered by the invasion and without their assistance we would not have been able to sustain our operations after the initial crisis. They have provided other assistance over the years, and if we do not trigger the war we need they may yet be of aid to us.”

“The decision has already been made.” Ruby moved to cut off the argument decisively. Sometimes handling the council of gems was a lot like herding cats. “It is too late to alter our arrangement with our allies, or to change Operation Tsubazeriai.” Emerald nodded his agreement with that from across the table. “The bombs will be ready on time. Sho-Sa Elliot and his team will storm the Imperial Palace, and leave none of the occupiers alive. Katherine Davion will die, and her realm will launch on a self-destructive war that will lead to the resurrection of the Combine. And that will give us the strength to remove this whore Omi and restore a true scion of House Kurita to the post of Coordinator. The Dragon will continue its inevitable path to rule over all of mankind, and our power and influence will be supreme.”

“How about Sapphire? Will the DCMS be ready to play its part in the war we hope to spark?” Diamond once again made a small probe about the most mysterious member of the Council.

Ricol smiled thinly at the obvious attempt. Of all the members, only he and Emerald knew the identity of Sapphire, and it would shock the rest of the Council if he ever let them in on it. He briefly toyed with the delicious idea of doing so, but set it aside. That connection was what gave him such power over the Council. “Our samurai are training constantly in the new ways of war,” he affirmed. “Sapphire has honed them to a keen edge, and they are eager to confront the Davions and undo the shame of defeat. Omi and her advisors have looked no further than to confirm that they have held to the ideas of her father, assuming that a commitment to victory is incompatible with an understanding of the true destiny of the Combine.” He nearly laughed aloud at such naïveté; the great Shiro Kurita had not armed his retainers as bowmen when he set out to conquer the stars. “They will play a fitting part in our efforts, rest assured.”

The substance of the meeting continued afterward. Diamond ran down progress on the industrial development of the Pesht worlds, and the finances of the organization. There were votes to be held on that issue, but the important decisions had all been made weeks, months, and years ago. He had only to wait until his plans came to fruition.
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Re: State of Siege (TGG/Btech).

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-07-23 05:25pm

And an historical document (well, less than three years old at the date of the story) clarifying the nature of the "Viceroyalty of Luthien":



Owing to the nature of the disparate territories organized into the Viceroyalty of Luthien the Viceroy has taken particular measures to organize these territories into three distinct groups according to the need to apply the State of Siege. In certain areas it will therefore be natural and appropriate that all aspects of the State of Siege shall be suspended until further notice, though under the initial declaration pursuant to RCFS 1043.82 these measures may be again implemented with fifteen days’ notice should the initial declaration remain in force and the situation be judged to require it.

The areas of application may be divided based upon the governing divisions of the Viceroyalty of Luthien. These governing divisions shall be considered seperately:

1. The Reclaimed Territories: Comprising all territories recovered from the Kurita tyranny which were previously part of the Federated Suns. In these territories the State of Siege is indefinitely suspended and authority over its effects delegated to the local planetary governments which may re-implement all or some of the measures of the State of Siege as required. These territories are being prepared for full reintegration into the Federated Suns.

2. Sarna March and Associated Lyran Territories: Consisting of the Lyran territories of the Sarna March, the Dyev thumb, and Accrington, Port Moresby, Phalan, and Baxter, worlds traditionally of the Lyran Commonwealth, these territories are legitimately part of the Lyran Commonwealth as ruled by its rightful Archon, Katherine Davion. Their being reclaimed from the opposition of the Arch-Traitor has necessitated a temporary organization into a single governing territory to be ruled from the Sarna March. With the exception of the planets of Accrington, Port Moresby, Phalan, and Baxter, the State of Siege here is indefinitely suspended. The Governor of the Sarna March shall be delegated the authority to re-implement all or some measures of the Stage of Siege in the other territories of the region as required by circumstance.

3. Luthien Governorate: The Luthien Governorate and associated territories, formerly under the Kurita tyranny, are under the direct and un-delegated headship of the Viceroy of Luthien and all provisions of the declaration of the State of Siege shall remain in full force within these territories for as long as the situation demands.

All military forces in all territories of the Viceroyalty of Luthien remain under the sole control of the Viceroy, both the Viceroyal Gendarme and Free Lyran Army, as well as all AFFS forces assigned to these regions. Due to the Declaration of the State of Siege, per RCFS 1044.7, all regions of the Viceroyalty of Luthien remain considered a War Zone and all regular provisions of Federated Suns Law regarding conduct in War Zones not related to the declaration of the State of Siege remain in effect!

Enacted by the Governor-General of the Luthien Viceroyalty on the Twenty-second of July of the Year of our Lord MMMLXI.

Signed and Sealed,
Her Excellency Katherine Davion.
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Re: State of Siege (TGG/Btech).

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-07-26 07:08am

État de siège.
Chapter Two

By Marina and Christopher Purnell.

Luthien, Jade Ward.
23 June 3064.
(9 February 2165 AST.)

Crickets began chirping early in the evening in the Imperial City, a sedate reminder of the ancient Terran environment that Coordinator Urizen Kurita had sought to consciously sculpt for his capital. That effort had been somewhat undermined by the Combine’s complete lack of environmental protection laws, which presently left Inspector Jacques Tabelard hacking his lungs out on the pavement instead of enjoying the relaxing music of the insects. He spat out a nasty, brown-bespeckled glob of phlegm onto the cracking pavement outside the Mashitomo Industrial Park, to the visibly expressed disgust of his partner. Her elfin features crinkled up in disgust as Tabelard straightened himself and tried to regain his composure and project a fitting image as one of House Davion’s elite investigators.

“They didn’t issue a smog alert,” he said lamely. His circulatory system, so used to the ultra-filtered air of Galax’s space habitats, had never really adjusted to the omnipresent pollution of the Black Pearl. Not for the first time he regretted ever signing up with the Luthien Gendarmerie, money be damned.

Inspector Rina Varden regarded her partner for a moment. With his diffident manner, crumpled uniform, and irreverent outlook he made a poor example for the liberated Snakes. Jacques stood a full head shorter than her, which made the comparison with her lithe figure and immaculately maintained clothes worse. “You should have a mask in the car,” she rebuked. “This is not the first time we have had to go to the Jade Ward to further an investigation and your allergies always act up here.”

He finished up a cough, ignoring his partner to scan around the area. The vast, sprawling factories of the Mashitomo complex were a maze of pipes and furnaces only partially hidden behind solid looking ferrocrete complexes. Streaks of rust were evident on every exposed steel surface, and the building exteriors were discolored by the batches of thick black smoke being belched into the air all around. The access gate ahead was closed, manned by privately employed security guards, locals allowed only to maintain stun weapons and truncheons. A lighter spot at the top of the gate showed where a plaque of the Kurita Dragon and inspirational worker slogan had been removed.

They continued walking up. Varden pulled her credentials from her coat pocket, flashing the bored looking Snakes her identification badge. “Luthein Gendarmerie business here. Open the gate and notify your superiors to send down a personnel manager to meet with us.” Her tone made it clear she would brook no delay.

Few citizens of the capital were unfamiliar with the ill-temper of the occupation authorities, and the guards at the gate scrambled to fill the orders. The security grille was lowered to allow them past, and one of their number, an ill-nourished looking teenager in a uniform a size too large for his body stepped out and bowed deeply. “Please follow me,” he said, in badly accented English with a voice so high that made Tabelard question whether or not he had hit puberty yet.

They nodded and followed the guard further into the park, toward one of the closer administrative buildings. This one still had an exhortation written in kanji across the board, which he roughly figured out was some kind of call for vigilance in production quotas. Workers in dingy jumpsuits walked, never particularly quickly, across the vast sea of concrete encasing the area, into buildings or to the ladders leading into the cavernous networks of steel rigging and pipes that stretched out above the skyline. The whole arrangement spoke of some kind of industrial nightmare, though the twelve hour days and omnipresent ISF supervision were a thing of the past. Orders by the occupation authorities kept the planet’s industry going, but more out of the desire to avoid adding millions of unemployed young men to the pool of insurgents rather than any need for their mostly obsolete products. New technology was being introduced to control the pollution of the planet and update the obsolete production, though the insurgency had obviously rendered the well-being of the Drac worker a lower priority.

The building they entered at least had functional air conditioning and filtration, Tabelard noted with relief once he stepped inside. They were brought to a reception area, where a bored looking secretary waited by a computer terminal. “Mr. Divecha is on his way down to meet with you,” she greeted them without looking up. “Our personnel manager,” she added in a sudden afterthought of explanation.

Fortunately for Mr. Divecha he arrived out of a lift shortly afterward. Varden’s eyes had already started narrowing in irritation, and the security guard had slinked out in fear of what was going to happen. As it turned out Mr. Divehca was a middle aged man of Indian extraction in a well tailored suit, who bowed deeply in deference at the gendarmes. “Personnel manager Kryat Divecha, at your service. I understand you have requested my presence?”

“We have. There are some questions we need answered. Best to head to your office.” Jacques did not make that a suggestion, but an order. The businessman shrugged, and bid them follow him up.

“May I inquire what this is about?” Divecha broke the silence as the lift creaked upward, clearly nervous. He hadn’t been asked for by name, which was good, but any interaction with the occupation authorities carried a degree of risk. He wanted to get this over with, and the Davion gendarmes out of the park, as quickly as possible.

Rina met his request with stony silence. Jacques simply shrugged his shoulders, the elevator was hardly secure. And letting him sweat a bit was useful. The Dracs had once been real big on pride, completely arrogant, convinced of their own superiority to everyone else. Now he was powerless in his own factory, and having him recognize that meant things would go so much more smoothly.

The lift came to a stop at the sixth floor, and Divecha led them out onto a well-maintained carpet, passing by a number of small offices before halting at his own. “Shall I order refreshments to be brought here?”

“No,” Rina said decisively. She had no intention of accepting hospitality or dissipating the impact of their visit. “We have urgent matters to discuss here and no time to lose on pleasantries.”

The Kuritan manager seemed to pale a little, but led them in. His office was smaller than might have been expected, and his desk included a clumsy looking, older monitor, a sign of the backwardness of the Combine before its liberation. Neither Rina nor Jacques bothered to wait to allow him to offer them a seat, instead pulling over a couple of chairs in front of his desk. Divecha accepted the slight with only a moment’s hesitation, before booting up the old computer. “What may I do for you, sir, ma’am?” He dreaded the answer.

“We’re looking for an individual who was listed as employed at this park before the liberation,” Rina began. “Kaji Doi, age 33, quality control specialist.” She pulled an identity card out of a pocket on her uniform, and handed it over to him. “Tell us everything you have on file for him.”

Divecha gave the card a cursory examination before entering in the serial number into the computerized archive system. A file dutifully popped up on his screen, and as he reviewed it his brow furrowed. “It seems Mr. Doi began his service with Mashitomo on January 1 3059, and was transferred to Luthien Armor Works on May 15 3062. Our records of his employment end there, but LAW was seized and shut down by the... new authorities shortly afterward.” Which was to say that their ‘Mech factories, producing such once-potent symbols of the Dragon’s might as the Panther and Grand Dragon, had been ceremoniously dynamited by the Davions.

“And where did Mr. Doi come to Mashitomo from?” The timing already looked suspicious to Jacques, and finding out where Kaji had come from might provide a further clue to follow.

“It seems he was assigned here directly by the Ministry of Wealth and Disbursing of Assets,” Divecha replied. There was no need to add commentary. In theory the Treasury had control over the Combine economy, including the assignment of inspectors to oversee quality of production. In practice the business community, dominated by wealthy nobles, had cultivated their own personnel; if an inspector was being directly assigned by the Ministry it meant there were either serious problems in a critical sector of production, or that he was an agent of the ISF.

Jacques and Rina looked knowingly at each other. The card had been recovered from a raid on a suspected resistance safe house and had been followed up as a potential lead. It looked as if it had paid off. As Jacques shifted his view back on the Snake manager he noticed the man looked confused, still staring up at the displayed screen at something. “Is there more?”

Divecha wavered for a moment about volunteering anything, but he knew the consequences of appearing uncooperative. “It seems that while all of Mr. Doi’s security clearances and access privileges were rescinded after his transfer to LAW, this card has been used to access our facilities multiple times in the past year. I’m not sure I can explain how that is. His access code was definitely eliminated from the computer’s systems, but there was no warning of unauthorized activity associated with these instances. I will call our chief of security...”

“Don’t.” Jacques stopped him then and there. “We’ll bring in our own people to examine your database. You are to inform no one of this situation until we tell you otherwise. Your chief of security and computer people may be complicit in this situation. Now, where has this code been used to gain access to?”

Divecha nodded, shaking a bit. He was caught in an unpleasant dilemma. If he refused to cooperate the occupation authorities would probably lock him away, possibly would torture him for information he didn’t have. If he did cooperate, and the insurgency found out about it, they would kill him. And he didn’t kid himself about the insurgency’s reach, knowing full well there were cells within the plant’s worker population though obviously not who. But these Davion agents were staring him right in the face, and his room as empty. “It has been used to get into the basement of this building, a janitorial and supply sublevel. There’s nothing of value down there, I’m sure.”

“We’ll have to examine it.” Varden stood up, and indicated Divecha should do the same. “You will take us to this sublevel, now.” She was already going through the possibilities. The ISF could certainly arrange things so that their agents had continuing access to former posting sites while superficially allowing employers to believe they had removed it. Probably some agents among the computer technicians handled erasing the logs, but perhaps the one attached to Doi and Mashimoto had been killed or picked up or had just gotten lazy.

They went back down the lift, with Divecha using his own access card to bring them down to the sublevel in question. The door opened to a dingy, dusty concrete cavern, piled with wooden crates, pallet trays, and various containers of cleaning chemicals. Rina stayed by the lift with the manager while Jacuqes poked around in the poor lighting of the room. He pulled a miniature flashlight from his pocket and began examining around, looking for traces of recent disturbance. There were traces in the thin layer of grey covering the floor, most of it looking like innocent traffic by maintenance staff picking up or depositing supplies.

“Who’s there?” A voice prodded Jacques ahead, and he shined his flashlight in the general direction. An elderly Asian man in the grey jumpsuit of the facility staff stood there, gripping a mop and a bucket of soap. A badge identified him, though it was too dark to make out the name.

“Inspector Tabelard, of the Luthien Gendarmes. This is occupation business.” The caution seemed to startle the older man, just as he’d intended. “You, are you down here often?”

“Yes, it’s party of me duties, I’ve been working with Mashitomo for going on sixty years now.” He spoke with pride at his record at the company, a relic of the old Draconis Combine where non-noble civilians were identified with their profession and corporation. “Come down here every day, I do.”

Jacques brought the flashlight back down, sparing the man’s vision. “Alright, have you noticed anything strange in here for the past year? People who seemed like they shouldn’t be here, that kind of thing?”

That seemed to cause the old janitor a moment of consideration. “Well, I always reckoned that anyone who was down here had to have a cause, since they’ve got to have access to take the lift down here. But I’ve seen people coming down here in suits and such that seem a little too good for having cause to be here. And there have been a few packages I’ve never seen accounted for with the registers, that came and disappeared... usually in the corner back here.”

Tabelard followed the old man back, and saw a corner suspiciously empty and with a clearly disturbed square of dust underneath. Bingo, he thought. If it was just criminal, still, crime here in Imperial City was under the thumbs of the yakuza and no one would be stupid enough to piss them off by running an illegal operation without their consent. And the yaks were tied deep into the insurgency, so any progress against them would serve the overall security of the planet. And if it was the insurgency directly, so much the better. “When was the last time you saw such activity?”

“Oh, hmm.” The janitor scratched his bare head. “I’d say two... three days ago. A gentleman came by and took a bunch of containers from the corner, they was marked as cleaning supplies. Struck me as right odd, a man of his stature doing manual labor.”

“Thank you for your assistance.” Tabelard hastily dismissed the janitor, and went back to the lift. Rina raised an eyebrow questioning him, and he relayed the discovery. “We need to get a team in here too, looking for explosive traces like we found at the safehouse. I think Mr. Doi here was storing them here for a while and moved them once we hit his lair. And since he has ISF written all over him, the sooner we can bust him, the better.”

“I will call Major Simonson immediately and request the required teams be dispatched.” Varden turned her head to look at Divecha. “You will stay with us until they arrive, or face the consequences prescribed in the declaration of the state of siege.” The Snake paled, in a manner she found pleasing. She smiled lightly, a thin, humorless gesture of anticipation. “The hunt begins...” From the chipper and cheerful Rina Varden, the sentiment was simply emblematic of what Luthien had become, and what it had done to the soldiers of the House of Davion.

Luthien, Gold Ward;
Capitol District Headquarters.
23 June 3064.
(9 February 2165 AST.)

Wendy had picked up the habit of an afternoon siesta--to balance out only getting about five hours of sleep a night--back on Gilead, and it was employed to good effect here to check out for the most annoying part of the day and be available for as broad of a spread as she could. Seeing as she slept in the headquarters building, lived there, and spent essentially all of her time there, she had managed so far to stay on top of business quite well, settling for a meandering but constant approach to her job. She was, after all, genuinely interested in it, so it made more sense to be doing it all day, every day, but not put to much pressure on things. The mere endless presence of the Colonel, rather than having her off in the O-club, tended to make an office much more attentive anyway, and she found that she could stay on top of things without so much effort by virtually always being available to sign off.

With that in mind and a truly wonderful cup of coffee in one hand and half of a pastrami sandwich in the other, she was a bit to awkwardly encumbered to do more than breezily inform the personnel in headquarters that they were at ease--formality was not Wendy's strong suit, but fortunately neither was it one of a rather busily working Gendarmerie facility. She settled into her office, waiting for Anya who had somewhat admirably adapted to her schedule. The cup of coffee--a big handless navy mug--was set down and she continued munching on the sandwich while glancing at the papers that had accumulated. I wonder when the Gendarmerie will go completely paperless here, she mused, the coffee still waking her up.

Leftenant Doyle entered the office on her appointed schedule, with a chipper expression that gave no indication of being broken despite the odd hours of her commander and the difficulties of adjusting to her assignment. She had also adjusted to the informality of Colonel Richter after a period of awkward saluting and constant military bearing; she now breezed into the office, carrying a batch of folders in her arms which she laid out on the desk for her superior in a neat pile.

"The new interrogation reports, ma'am." She glanced up at the clock, checking the time. "Also we have Major Simonson of the Special Investigations Division due in fifteen minutes for a briefing on operations last night."

"Thank you, Leftenent," Wendy replied with a triumphant smile at her having conquered the use of Sir in formal language here. She already had everyone running around pretty hard but was also quite determined to spare no expense in making it feel like a genuine atmosphere of camraderie, especially aware of her own status as an outside. "I'll see how many of these I can get through before he shows up. Anything else pertinent?" She tossed the sandwich wrapper into a waste bin and, sipping her coffee, had her eyes down looking at the first as she spoke.

"Not for today," she replied, with an unspoken but. "The monthly budget review is next Wednesday and you'll need to start getting prepared for it." She gave her boss a sympathetic look. "The departments know to submit their paperwork to you by this Sunday. We've already received the figures from the Security Brigade, it looks like they've had a quiet month."

"I doubt that's a good sign, in the long run. Or perhaps I'm just adapting to Luthien." She smiled rather mirthlessly. "I don't see anything particularly useful in this batch of interrogation reports, though it is, of course, always probably the best way to tell the pulse on the street. Within reason. A bit harder to figure out the tenor of yakuza operations this way, though. I should start, I think, sitting on a few yakuza interrogations and possibly questioning them myself--there's a few signs you can pick up from their answers and tattoos and so on that aren't immediately available in these reports. But that will just be a diversion from the budget review...." Wendy shook her head and took another drink from her cup of coffee. "My only objection to the job so far is not having the same kinds of financial resources I'm used to. There's a lot we could honestly do in cracking organizations simply by lots of money for all the Yakuza like to make games of being highly honourable and loyal."

"You can submit a request for extraordinary operational funds with the review, I found out looking over the paperwork. But it would require a developed idea and personnel to execute it before the money can be disbursed. Maybe for next month? Unfortunately MIIO tries to monopolize covert operations against the insurgency whenever possible." She spoke with a hint of disapproval there; Doyle was learning to associate herself with her agency and her boss' agenda. "But if it's pitched as an organized crime investigation by the Special Investigations Divisions it may get under their radar."

"Excellent idea, Leftenent. I already have a rough idea of how this would go... But I'll need to outline it more later, I think. It would be very nice to actually crack some of the area yakuza, though," she concluded with a faintly delighted tone, sort of like it was a bit of a personal grudge--odd, for an outsider.

A knock at the door interrupted the budding plotting session. Anya left to go open it, and was confronted by the austere figure of Major Michael Simonson. The director of the Special Investigations Division for the capital district was a lean, rather cadaverous looking man with a perfectly tailored uniform and a disposition that seemed to actively drive people away. He took Leftenant Doyle's salute and then stepped in to present himself. "Major Simonson, reporting as scheduled to Colonel Richter." His clipped, upper class accent oozed well-breeding and arrogance, and reminded Doyle of the all too many times of Crucis March aristocrats who had looked down on her as a half-breed border rat.

"Major Simonson, if you'd please have a seat," Wendy gestured somewhat cordially. "Want any coffee?" There was, nonetheless, a hint of iron in her voice and her extremely fit body which contrasted with a rather easygoing demeanour. As Colonel Barrett had first noticed when meeting her, she was tough, wiry, while still being lithe, and had the air of a mongoose about her--someone who had killed before, the experienced combat veteran had immediately known--and thus the decisive sort of personality which could command respect without formality. It might be less obvious to the aristocratic disposition of Major Simonson, on the other hand.

"No thank you, Sir," he said, declining the offered refreshments while taking the offered seat reluctantly. Doyle found it expedient to remain standing, and moved out of the way behind the Major and the door. If he noticed, he paid it no mind. "The purpose of my visit is to provide an update on last night's raid of a suspected insurgency safehouse in the Ivory Ward. While we missed our quarry, we have turned up evidence that suggests it was being used by resistance, or possibly ISF personnel, and was being used to house a considerable quantity of explosives. We have men out following up on the leads we have obtained from the operation."

"Go on, Major," Colonel Richter answered as she flipped open a security-grade perscomp palm device and started taking notes with it, her hazel eyes following the Major attentively as she wrote without any difficulty from memory, and tagged it as urgent. "Evidence summary first, if you would, and then the leads."

"An anonymous tip was received about suspicious activity at 1192 Yoguchi Avenue in the Ivory Ward. Usual sort of people coming and going at all hours of the day with packages and so forth. As you know," he began, in a tone suggesting she did not, "the Ivory Ward is the main middle class residential zone of Imperial City and as such this behavior was striking, as was the lack of children and family at the house. We sent a scouting party which described a traditional wooden frame Japanese house, seemingly unoccupied, and a yard that looked poorly maintained compared to the neighbors. Records indicate that the property-owner, one Aizen Sachiburo, had been reported dead in the liberation of Luthien and that inheritance documents had not been filed. As the taxes were being paid regularly out of an account at the People's Prosperity and Savings Bank no one had seen reason to investigate the matter before. Forensic analysis of the transfers suggested the money had been deposited by the Kuritan Treasury Ministry eight years ago."

"Further surveillance seemed to indicate the house was being entered by a number of young men at night, normally around 2300 or later, and evacuated before 0500 hours. With that in mind I authorized an entry team for last night at 0200 hours, but no activity was reported at all in the time leading up to it. A soft entry was effected and found the house deserted, empty of any articles of furniture or other signs of habitation. Forensic investigation showed that the house had been swiped down heavily but hastily with bleach, which ruined our chances of obtaining fingerprints of DNA traces. However, remnant traces of pentaglycerine were discovered in a room at the back of the house as was the entrance to an underground tunnel leading into the Ward sewer system. An examination of the grounds turned up an identity card linked to Mashitomo Heavy Industries, a local producer of steel, military grade armor, glass, and chemicals."

"Based on the best present assessment, did we just miss them when they were moving out of the house permanently, or did we interrupt a regular explosives smuggling conduit?" Wendy flipped through her computer and brought up the information on Mashitomo Heavy Industries, of course, glancing to Anya very briefly to let her know she'd probably be needed after this, or even sooner.

"Probably abandoning it. I'd feel better about the prospect of their not being a link if a review of files from before suggests that a week of activity followed by long lapses may have been conducted at this site before. If there are any suitable surveillance records from the area they should be checked out. Otherwise, I would indeed tend to assume that they have some sort of source which warned them of the investigation, and we will certainly proceed under that assumption. Carry on..." She tapped in a few other notes, not at all surprised that Simonson was making the assumptions that he had. He doubtless did not think of her, and certainly nobody here realizes I've worked for yakuza before, she thought mirthlessly. It had been another time, and universe, but it was a strange coincidence indeed that she was putting that knowledge to work now.

"Unfortunately the ISF surveillance cameras were taken down after the liberation of the planet and as a residential neighborhood there were no businesses in the area requiring them as anti-crime measures." It was a pity, too, the omnipresent surveillance equipment that marked developed Drac cities would have been invaluable for a counterinsurgency effort. The inhabitants of Imperial City, and many others beside, had wrecked the infrastructure in between the collapse of the Snake defenses and the occupation of the cities.

"We have begun rigorously interrogating the neighbors of the house for clues to the pattern of activity there, and I anticipate results from that shortly. I have also dispatched two agents to the Mashitomo industrial complex to follow up on the identity card, and am having the neighborhood and surrounding blocks swept with chemical explosives detectors. Unfortunately the environment of the sewers rendered the machines useless for following the trail of the pentaglycerine back to its source, if it came in that way."

"Probably. I'll want the report from those agents who've been sent to Mashitomo, or any other developments on that front. As for the sewers, do we have full maps of the system, Major? I would not count it above the yakuza to have arranged for certain sections of the system to have been removed from public record, long before we even arrived on this world."

"We have the public chart available at the infrastructure and utilities departments for the cities. If there are secret channels to the sewers they would have been mapped by the ISF. We can search through the surviving documentation for them. I have no confidence, if such charts existed, that they survived the destruction of records." The metsuke had been very thorough about destroying anything of use to the invaders.

"You're certainly right. We'll do the documentation search, and that's pretty much all we can do--wouldn't have enough manpower for regular patrols if we tried to search the sewers in anything less than a year," Wendy answered. "Though in light of the Duke Arthur's visit it might be worthwhile to do a sweep in the Gold Ward sewers to be finished before his arrival. The Capitol brigade was performing rather poorly before my arrival and I'm sure the motivation of avoiding such an assignment will get some of the shirkers out of their complacency."

"Undoubtedly so, Sir." The idea of punitive assignments to sewer mapping duties would be useful. "I expect to hear back from the agents investigating Mashitomo in a couple of hours, and the interrogation reports of the neighborhood will be batched as usual for you. Is there anything else?"

"That would seem to cover everything, Major." She glanced to Anya. "Tag the interrogations from this operation with the highest priority for me when they come in, Leftenent," she ordered to get it out of the way before looking back to the Major. "Good luck and good hunting on this assignment, Major. You're dismissed."

Simonson stood, gave an efficient looking salute, and exited without further words. He pushed past Anya without even seeming to notice her, and closed the door to the Colonel's office behind him. Leftenant Doyle looked relieved to see him go when she responded to Richter's order. "Yes ma'am, highest priority to those reports. I'll have the mail room notify me immediately when they come in and bring them right to you."

"Of course." Wendy was silent for a moment. "Leftenent, if anyone around here gives you any trouble over anything, don't hesitate to report it to me immediately. You're my eyes, ears, and extra set of hands and if you face the slightest bit of contempt or disrespect, unbecoming the treatment of a commissioned officer, you report it to me instantly even if your first inclination is to take it. Disrespect for my Adjutant is disrespect, and a hindrance, to my command, and I will treat it as such."

Anya hesitated for a moment, before nodding her head sharply. "Yes ma'am, I will. I haven't had any problems like that, honestly. But it was hard in the old Draconis March. People would look at me like I was the enemy. Simonson, though... is just like that with everybody."

"I imagine he is," Wendy answered. "And I don't expect him to even give his trust to me easily, or quickly. But consider it useful information in the future, and I suspect that there is a lot of borderline racialist sentiments due to the violence of the occupation. Good to hear that the men under my command haven't shown them, but if you have any problems, we'll get them dealt with." In truth Wendy thought Anya reminded her of the daughter she might well have had at a few points in her life had she not been so singularly unlucky in cosmic roulette.

"Thank you, ma'am." She had faith that Colonel Richter meant well, but didn't want to seem like a whiner. And the Federated Suns was better than a few bigots here and there. Still, it was reassuring that her superior trusted her that much. "I'll report any problems that I see along those lines."

"I doubt it will be substantial. You have a good bearing, Leftenent, and you've done well so far. Carry on with your regular assignments and get that budget report to me soonest. I learned a long time ago to just get financial stuff out of the way... Unlike everyone else who says that and then procrastinates anyway." She grinned and laughed softly at the sentiment, and turned back to her stack of interrogation reports. "You're dismissed." It would be easy for most to dismiss the idea that she'd killed before in cold blood.

"Yes ma'am. I'll bring in the budget reports to you as they come in." Anya left, feeling a little bit better about her position than when she had entered the office.
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. -- Wikipedia's No Original Research policy page.

In 1966 the Soviets find something on the dark side of the Moon. In 2104 they come back. -- Red Banner / White Star, a nBSG continuation story. Updated to Chapter 4.0 -- 14 January 2013.

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