Author Topic: The Twelfth of May (Episode I: Strictly Hypothetical)  (Read 1786 times)

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Offline Theodidactus

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The Twelfth of May (Episode I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« on: April 30, 2014, 12:13:57 PM »
[ooc]In general, just post your responses below. PM me if you want to report anyone for suspicious activity, but you'll need to specify who you are reporting them to. [/ooc]


Monticellan Atmosphere, April 29th, 2142: (Semetary, Magnus, Zebulon)

The high crags of Montecello recede in the window, mountains taller than everest are now easily obscured by the human hand. From up here, everything looks inconsequential.

The rocket shuttle screams through the rapidly thinning atmosphere, bucking violently from side to side. This is not the first time you've ridden a fast burning shuttle into space, but every time, you need to suppress that deeply terrestrial part of yourself that believes the rocket is simply going to fall from the sky at the next jolt. Your shuttlemates rock along with you, the sound of the thrusters drowning any natural conversation. The passengers have resorted to decidedly unnatural means: everyone wears a pair of headphones, with a microphone below their lips, dialog is possible, if only just, as raw newtonian forces do battle around you.

The conversation is inevitably quite interesting, the shuttle's passengers are some of the brightest minds on this or any world. The passengers on this craft are a team of scientists and civilian professionals assembled to brief high ranking members of the Concordance of Worlds on an alien menace from the constellation Ophiuchi. A war is raging in the depths of space for supremacy of a completely unremarkable system on the edge of Ophiuchian territory. At the Concordant's direct command, human starships ambushed the Ophiuchian defenders of this system in early April, the fourth fleet has been holding the system ever since, despite increasing damage to their starships and dwindling supplies. The Concordant expects a counterattack, and has called upon you to explain the arcane particulars of enemy ships and their crew.

This information is strictly classified, of course, but the conversation tactically manuvers around your areas of expertise without directly entering forbidden territory: the peculiar psychology of the Ophiuchians, the identity of their mysterious, purportedly immortal leaders, how the Ophiuchian mind differs from the human mind. Professor Tao, an expert on the design of Ophiuchian starships, points out that in her numerous interrogations of these verimform beings, she's never once discovered an incident in their history when they made war on each other...not once, in the 10,000 years since their "enlightened lords" came to power. from there the conversation meanders to the nature of hive minds and conformity, to questions of social contracts and civil disobedience, and finally to enlightened critique of the particular government in power.

The Concordance of Worlds could not in any sense be called repressive. the Concordant, Leopoldo Franca, maintains absolute power over terran space, but scrupulously keeps himself out of the affairs of terran worlds, which are free to grow and prosper, or starve and die, as they see fit. For many, this situation is not ideal. Since the concordant was put in power nearly 2 decades ago, Monticello and the Oceanic world of Tiamat have thrived due to an abundance of natural resources. Smaller worlds like Vadim, Mediterranea, and Freeside have foundered due to a forced break with what were once supportive Earth-based governments. There are rumors of slave-like labor conditions at the bottom of the  the stratified castes on Tiamat, and quietly concealed genocides on Tolkien. War is impossible, but evil persists for precisely this reason.

one among you, you can't remember who, begins to focus specifically on the faults of the Concordant himself. Here is a man who has deliberately done evil. A man who has carefully structured a cult of personality on the most militarily powerful worlds, posing as an enlightened, happy warrior to the nations of earth while turning a blind eye to evils that persist on the outer colonies. Franca makes only occasional public appearances, and sticks to the shadows, attempting to cultivate the illusion that his invisible leadership does not exist at all. He is known to be brilliant, slow to act, admiring reason above all else, and scornful of men of lesser intelligence.

As the conversation turns more strident, one of the two Marshals of the colonial guard leaves the cabin to conduct some sort of business with the pilot. His companion joins the conversation. After a moment, he asks.

"I guess I'm curious...you seem to think disobedience, even violence, might have been necessary, at several points in our history."
"at several points in our history, yes." Dr. Tao replies
"is it necessary now?"
his gun hangs idly at his side, the smile on his face seems to suggest that this is a strictly hypothetical question, barracks-room banter on high philosophy. Dr. Tao seems to take it that way.
"Some might say so, yes."
"Let me put it this way." the guard says, his attitude abruptly changing "If you and Franca were alone in the dark, would you shoot him?"
The color drains from Dr. Tao's face. The silence over the comms is deafening. It's unclear who can hear, and who can't. The plasma sheath covering the shuttle as it plunges spaceward would keep conversation confined to only the men and women aboard....but are the cockpit crew on the same audio loop? What about the marshal that just left the room?
"you heard me Dr. Tao." The marshal asks, "would you shoot him?"

How do you respond?

Staff Office of the Coronado, April 29th, 2142, at roughly the same time (Malikane, Jameskiller)
(you are both being reassigned to staff jobs in the second fleet. This is your inception interview, it's the same for both of you, you'll see why)

Someone's pulled a lot of strings to get you where you are.
You stand at the entryway to the office of Lt. Commander Mark Hutchinson. While not officially second in command aboard the Coronado, he's famously regarded as the Right hand of Admiral Griffiths as well as a close friend of several politicians close to the Concordant himself, negotiating the two must be an incredible challenge...you seem to be in a position to take on part of that challenge.

Your reassignment was mysterious, no sound explanation was proffered. Since Franca's unfair and unexpected shuffling of officers in November of Last year, promotions, dismissals, and unexplained disappearances have been swift and unanticipated in all areas of the starfleet. You have no idea why you are currently being tapped for a staff position in the starfleet most likely to engage in glorious battle with an existential threat to mankind, but you have decided to go along at least this far. You have powerful friends and family, presumably, one of them recognized greatness in you.

Lt. Commander Hutchinson does not rise to greet you, but asks you to take a seat. His desk is an impressive extravagance, you've seen a lot of those today. Officers in the command staff are famously well off in this regard, perhaps you will be afforded these impressive extravagances in your new life...assuming you make the right first impression.

The interview proceeds as expected. He discusses your qualifications, which are sufficient but only just so. He remarks on your grades at the academy, which were good but hardly exceptional. He congratulates you for a few commendations you are genuinely quite proud of, and then he begins discussing the chain of command aboard the carrier. Mind numbingly dull stuff, especially when he launches into a digression about his problems with the engineering staff. At the nadir of the conversation, as you are lost in your own reflection in the polished wood of his desk, he suddenly stands.

His eyes flick quickly to a glowing panel in his desk. He pushes a digital key. Something chirps and powers down.

"And now we cut to the quick." he says. "Lieutenant Commander, I am part of a conspiracy of junior and midlevel officer engaged in an act of treason and dereliction against the Concordant Council itself." the tone of his voice is flat, disinterested, like he's still droning on about the engineering crews, but what he says could only be prompted by insanity or mad desperation.

"Recently a defensive contingency code-named 'Barsoom' has been activated, the particulars of which I will not discuss. Writ large, this is a strategy enacted by the Concordant himself to force a military crisis, in order to consolidate his power following the November purge. Franca's assault on Kuiper 75, sending the fourth fleet to attack the Ophiuchi, was only the most visible part of this protocol. The fourth fleet is suffering a death by a thousand cuts from the Ophiuchian armada, and Franca will not withdraw them. Why? Because he wants an invasion and counterattack. He wants unity...in fact he wants total power. We aim to deny him that, by any means necessary. We need your help..."

Possibilities hurtle through your head: is this a genuine cry for help? A novel technique by a paranoid spyhunter to ferret out dissenters? some kind of loyalty test? perhaps a sick joke? If you side with him, the penalty for being caught would certainly be death. If you reject him, you are alone without allies on what is, in all likelyhood, a ship of traitors. Who would you report to? Would you be dismissed or disappeared?

You suddenly realized that someone did pull quite a few strings to get you here, but the strings they pulled may have been your own.
How do you respond?

Deep orbit of Monticello, April 29th, about the same time (JaceHahn)

The colonial guard maintains an aura of incorruptibility, but you know there are weaknesses. Unlike the four starfleets of the Concordance Armada, the colonial guard only ever recieves one mission: maintain order as defined by the Articles of Concordance in a radius of 10 light minutes of whatever planet they are stationed at. There are no interfactional struggles here, no command staff politics driven by men with dreams of conquest or power. There is nothing but an allegiance, almost a blind worship, of the rule of law. At least, that's the image they cultivate. You know there's something festering under the surface.

Individually, every Guard post is weaker than a starfleet, just a handful of laser frigates and light carriers, but the guard is powerful because of its ubiquity. Every populated world has defenders in high orbit, shielded by orbital trajectories from long ranged missile bombardment, and able to rain protonic fire down on the inhabitants of each world at a moment's notice. the guard also enjoys power due to its proximity to Franca. Historically, the Duke of the Guard is the right hand of the Concordant. The colonial guard command bunker abuts strategic command, the beating heart of Concordance military intelligence and coordination. The inhabitants of monticello, which you protect, believe Duke Stephen Lowe and Concordant Franca are of one mind...you are not so sure.

Recently, rumors have begun to circulate that the Concordant will soon name a successor. That successor, contrary to long-held expectations, will not be Lowe, but another duke in charge of the command fleet itself, Duke Taylor Thompson, who is much more political, and much more pragmatic, than Lowe, who is widely regarded as an unthinking zealot....he may begin to start thinking. He may begin to see that the cause he's dedicated himself to has abandoned him. He may begin to see that the only way to keep the power he has is to fight for it.

As the commander of a laser frigate charged with protecting one of the most powerful worlds in the Concordance, You suspect quite strongly that you will have to make a decision soon about where your loyalties lie. Are you a true patriot, loyal to Franca or the articles of Concordance that give him power? are you a careerist, likely to make or break any alliance if it means advancing your own personal prestige. Are you bitter about the excesses of Franca's power, anxious for some of your own, or suspicious of your duke's motivations.

try as you might, you can't keep your loyalties hidden from the major players in this conspiracy. Where do your loyalties lie?
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 05:25:05 PM by Theodidactus »
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound
 

Offline Zebulon

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Re: The Twelfth of May (I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2014, 01:38:21 PM »
Dr. French presents a relatively calm figure in the midst of the turbulence, following the conversation but spending most of his effort on his rising gorge. As the Marshal puts Dr. Tao on the spot, the nausea is replaced by a block of ice in the pit of his stomach. Several thoughts race through his mind, growing increasingly more paranoid. Is this really the time for a revolution? In the midst of a war? Or has this all been some maneuvering on the Concordant's part? Damn this political nonsense.

Sensing that the moment is in danger of lasting far too long, he interjects.

"I can't say that I would; do no harm, after all," he says, with a wan smile. "However," he begins, pausing to clear his throat, "I'm not sure I could blame someone who did. It might even be for the best," he finishes, looking the Marshal directly in the eyes.
 

Offline Sematary

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Re: The Twelfth of May (I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 02:07:50 PM »
Alexander Peacock was enjoying the conversation before the marshal started turning it sour. In his mind this is why military types shouldn't be allowed to listen to conversations like this. Academics could objectively talk about problems with society without speaking of rebellion or political dissent but military types generally couldn't see the difference between the two.

Then Dr. French interjected. Holy hell, is he trying to get killed? Was the first thought that dashed through his head. Then on second thought it wasn't quite that bad. If he was trying to gauge the marshal's intent behind the question, his wording was about the best it could be.

Finally Dr. Peacock decided he would try to help deescalate the situation. "It wouldn't be any use to imagine that situation because even if somehow a person could find themselves alone in the dark with the Concordant, which is not likely to ever happen, the person would still be on a ship full of Franca's most loyal men. It would be suicide for at most the chance for an idea at a change. It would be stupid and everyone knows it."
 

Offline JacenHan

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Re: The Twelfth of May (I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 04:30:58 PM »
Stephen Humphries joined the Colonial Guard because he believed that protecting the worlds of humanity was a good cause, and that the Concordance has been a successful defender of these worlds, from both internal and external threats. Although these moves by Franca have worried him, Stephen believes that in the end, they are for a cause that sometimes requires a great risk, and that the decision Franca has made is the right path for the right cause.

Stephen's loyalties lie with the Articles of Concordance that provide the power that the Concordant needs to protect humanity.
 

Offline MagusXIX

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Re: The Twelfth of May (I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2014, 09:13:38 PM »
Renee Claude had spent this shuttle ride much the same way she spent every other, combat-drop or otherwise: half asleep.  Get it where you can, she knew.  She kept one eye open while she slept, and she didn't spend it on the particulars of the conversation.  Her focus was on the sounds of the shuttle, her weapon, and the weapons and emotional states of those around her.  When the conversation became tense, she didn't have to move her hand to her rifle: it rarely left that perch unless it was needed elsewhere.  When the tones turn treasonous, she carefully watches everyone around her, still feigning sleep, ready to intervene on behalf of her wards.  She would be ready to strike first.  Her mission came before all other priorities.  No one would harm these specific civilians while she still drew breath.

(Note: she shoots to kill, or she doesn't shoot at all.  To her mind, and according to her training, one should never point a weapon at anything they do not intend to kill.)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 09:17:52 PM by MagusXIX »
 

Offline MagusXIX

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Re: The Twelfth of May (I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2014, 10:19:57 PM »
Double posting here, but I do have a question.  Who does Renee currently report to?  My response there was under the assumption that she did not have any direct superiors in her chain of command aboard.  In my own military experience, even someone who outranks you cannot override your mission unless you are part of whatever unit they are responsible for.  Put more simply ... if my commanding officer tells me to guard a door and let no one through, then it doesn't matter if some general or admiral or whoever tries to get through the door ... I would have to stop them.  Politely, if possible.  Only someone who has direct responsibility for me or my unit can countermand those orders.  Billet supercedes rank.

Might not work that way in this fiction, though.  Hence my question.  :)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 10:21:57 PM by MagusXIX »
 

Offline Theodidactus

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Re: The Twelfth of May (I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2014, 12:42:24 PM »
Double posting here, but I do have a question.  Who does Renee currently report to?  My response there was under the assumption that she did not have any direct superiors in her chain of command aboard.  In my own military experience, even someone who outranks you cannot override your mission unless you are part of whatever unit they are responsible for.  Put more simply ... if my commanding officer tells me to guard a door and let no one through, then it doesn't matter if some general or admiral or whoever tries to get through the door ... I would have to stop them.  Politely, if possible.  Only someone who has direct responsibility for me or my unit can countermand those orders.  Billet supercedes rank.

Might not work that way in this fiction, though.  Hence my question.  :)

Good question, especially for someone who has absolutely no military experience :)
You're definitely right in this case. The admirals control their fleets, and the dukes control theirs, and the concordant, as their commander in chief, makes mostly strategic decisions. Each Admiral is in charge of only a particular fleet, and does not ever mess with the affairs of any other admiral. chain of command goes, in your case, to Kyle Griffiths, admiral of the second fleet, you are on assignment by him to pick these guys up.

This is theoretical. Practically, the dukes mostly exist to keep the admirals in line, and sit on a ship that has a virtual monopoly over the command and control infrastructure of the entire armada. The dukes also have spies and moles in virtually every fleet, so many junior offers, in fact, report to the dukes directly and not an admiral...and crossing a duke in your hypothetical door guarding scenario would most likely lead to you mysteriously being discharged without cause.

In terms of power you can think of the dukes as semi-civilian administrator types who are powerful because they always happen to be in the same room as the concordant, say an amalgam of the joint chiefs of staff, the secretary of defense, and the heads of the ATF, CIA, and FBI
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound
 

Offline 3_14159

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Re: The Twelfth of May (I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2014, 03:59:48 PM »
The sudden electronic chirping was like the sign of change for the whole room, Lieutenant Commander Luciana Tourinho thought. Where the atmosphere before was one of boring, standard briefing it now stank of intrigue. He had prepared himself for that possibility - though officially denied, nepotism did exist measurably in the Concordant's fleets. With himself only a few months away from possible discharge, he could no longer avoid aligning himself with a faction.
A surprise, however, was the actual request made. Unless he developed psychic powers in the next second, he needed to decide where he stood. Support the alleged resistance against a crazy dictator, or support the wizened technocratic concordant against traitorous elements? He knew where his preference lay, but what was Hutchinson's? Most of all, he needed more information, more data. Before any of the other two answered, he said "Sir, it is my duty to protect Humanity, from enemies both without and within; from both military and civilian threats." A slight emphasis lay on the 'civilian' part. Not enough to be noticeable unless you already looked for it, he hoped.
 

Offline jameskiller98

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Re: The Twelfth of May (I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2014, 06:56:52 PM »
Lt. Co. Andre Rochat thinks for a moment and responds delicately "If I was to act on this I would need evidence. I have pledged my allegiance to the concordance of worlds for the protection of the home-worlds. If he is not performing his duty he must be removed but until I have proof on this I can not act within the law. If this was proven to be true though all the soldiers on his ships and on all other ships would go up in arms against him to protect their families."
           Lt. Co. Andre Rochat was not telling the whole truth but he was standing on a thin line and he intended to stay on it as long as possible. If he could know for sure that this was an actual coup he would join arms open. His family became wealthy by being noblemen a long time ago and following that politicians. Nowadays they gained their wealth from the many investments that they owned through-out the colonized worlds. His allegiance was towards a socialist state with democratic elections so his family could once again siphon money from the state.
 

Offline Malikane

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Re: The Twelfth of May (I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2014, 05:19:37 PM »
Lt. Co. Gregoire de Saint Pierre considered the sudden change in the interview.  His mind, attempting to cover every angle, couldn't imagine how exactly to respond.  If this was a loyalty test to the Concordance, it was a highly unusual one, especially for a man of Lt. Commander Hutchinson's renown.  After several moments that dragged for an eternity, Gregoire made up his mind.  

"Commander, if what you say is true then we have a duty to the people to stop it.  First and foremost, the worlds of humanity must be protected, even from the highest authority."

With that, Gregoire went silent.  He saw little reason to continue speaking, and, if this was in fact a test of his loyalty to the Concordance then he could plausibly try to spin it so as not to be executed.  Still, he was aware enough of the gravity of the situation to recognize that he could have just signed his own execution notice.  
« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 05:21:50 PM by Malikane »
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Offline MagusXIX

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Re: The Twelfth of May (I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2014, 06:14:58 PM »
crossing a duke in your hypothetical door guarding scenario would most likely lead to you mysteriously being discharged without cause.

So the question then is ... would my admiral be legally bound to protect me if, in following his orders, I crossed a Duke that was neither responsible for me nor my admiral?  And further, even if legally bound, would the admiral in question just push it under the rug to avoid making enemies?  Both questions are important.  If Lt. Colonel Claude reports directly to Admiral Griffiths, I'd assume she has a good estimation of the man's character, and could make an educated guess on the second question.

Edit:  Also highly relevant ... what is the oath of service that anyone who joins the military must swear?  Pretty much every military has one.  In the States you need to swear to defend the constitution of the United States of America and to obey the orders of the President of the United States before they'll let you join.  Is Renee oathbound to Franca?  Is there more to the oath than just loyalty to Franca, such as "defending the colonies" or the documents that define the government?

It was always a question that weighed on me when I was in the USMC: getting orders that cause confliction in the oath.  If ordered to do something contrary to the constitution, for example.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't at that point.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 06:20:42 PM by MagusXIX »
 

Offline Theodidactus

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Re: The Twelfth of May (I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2014, 10:09:37 AM »
So the question then is ... would my admiral be legally bound to protect me if, in following his orders, I crossed a Duke that was neither responsible for me nor my admiral?  And further, even if legally bound, would the admiral in question just push it under the rug to avoid making enemies?  Both questions are important.  If Lt. Colonel Claude reports directly to Admiral Griffiths, I'd assume she has a good estimation of the man's character, and could make an educated guess on the second question.

Edit:  Also highly relevant ... what is the oath of service that anyone who joins the military must swear?  Pretty much every military has one.  In the States you need to swear to defend the constitution of the United States of America and to obey the orders of the President of the United States before they'll let you join.  Is Renee oathbound to Franca?  Is there more to the oath than just loyalty to Franca, such as "defending the colonies" or the documents that define the government?

It was always a question that weighed on me when I was in the USMC: getting orders that cause confliction in the oath.  If ordered to do something contrary to the constitution, for example.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't at that point.

All good questions and things I had not considered.

- Griffiths is by all accounts a noble and honorable man who pays his debts and protects his friends. His flaws insomuch as they are known is that he's old fashioned and a bit set in his ways. Also jealous that upstarts are filling the admiralty and positions of power nearer to franca.

- The ideal is definitely that you protect the colonies, which the concordance does not control. You probably swear an oath to defend them from harm. This coup will decide the reality of that situation, IE, does the concordance really do that or does it actually look out for itself or treat the colonies like vassals of an empire.

- of course in reality many if not most are directly loyal to their admirals or the concordant, and realistically there could be violent power struggles. There are not like, mass murders like some dictatorial regime...yet, but there are ghastly rumors of a few choice officers getting spaced last novembeber.


k now I gotta write the next episode.
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound
 

Offline Theodidactus

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Re: The Twelfth of May (I: Strictly Hypothetical)
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2014, 02:57:58 PM »
Alexander Peacock was enjoying the conversation before the marshal started turning it sour. In his mind this is why military types shouldn't be allowed to listen to conversations like this. Academics could objectively talk about problems with society without speaking of rebellion or political dissent but military types generally couldn't see the difference between the two.

Then Dr. French interjected. Holy hell, is he trying to get killed? Was the first thought that dashed through his head. Then on second thought it wasn't quite that bad. If he was trying to gauge the marshal's intent behind the question, his wording was about the best it could be.

Finally Dr. Peacock decided he would try to help deescalate the situation. "It wouldn't be any use to imagine that situation because even if somehow a person could find themselves alone in the dark with the Concordant, which is not likely to ever happen, the person would still be on a ship full of Franca's most loyal men. It would be suicide for at most the chance for an idea at a change. It would be stupid and everyone knows it."

Quote
Alexander Peacock was enjoying the conversation before the marshal started turning it sour. In his mind this is why military types shouldn't be allowed to listen to conversations like this. Academics could objectively talk about problems with society without speaking of rebellion or political dissent but military types generally couldn't see the difference between the two.

Then Dr. French interjected. Holy hell, is he trying to get killed? Was the first thought that dashed through his head. Then on second thought it wasn't quite that bad. If he was trying to gauge the marshal's intent behind the question, his wording was about the best it could be.

Finally Dr. Peacock decided he would try to help deescalate the situation. "It wouldn't be any use to imagine that situation because even if somehow a person could find themselves alone in the dark with the Concordant, which is not likely to ever happen, the person would still be on a ship full of Franca's most loyal men. It would be suicide for at most the chance for an idea at a change. It would be stupid and everyone knows it."

Quote
Renee Claude had spent this shuttle ride much the same way she spent every other, combat-drop or otherwise: half asleep.  Get it where you can, she knew.  She kept one eye open while she slept, and she didn't spend it on the particulars of the conversation.  Her focus was on the sounds of the shuttle, her weapon, and the weapons and emotional states of those around her.  When the conversation became tense, she didn't have to move her hand to her rifle: it rarely left that perch unless it was needed elsewhere.  When the tones turn treasonous, she carefully watches everyone around her, still feigning sleep, ready to intervene on behalf of her wards.  She would be ready to strike first.  Her mission came before all other priorities.  No one would harm these specific civilians while she still drew breath.

The colonial guardsman smiles, adopting the air of a attitude of a blameless and aimless tool for hire...hardly comforting. He says through widening lips
"Well,  you never know..."

His companion returns, and he immediately asks the same question, receiving a sharp reprimand. The situation quickly plunges into mutters and awkward silence and when conversation resumes, its on the far less interesting, but far more universal, subject of Monticellan animal domestication projects.


Quote
Insert Quote
Lt. Co. Gregoire de Saint Pierre considered the sudden change in the interview.  His mind, attempting to cover every angle, couldn't imagine how exactly to respond.  If this was a loyalty test to the Concordance, it was a highly unusual one, especially for a man of Lt. Commander Hutchinson's renown.  After several moments that dragged for an eternity, Gregoire made up his mind. 

"Commander, if what you say is true then we have a duty to the people to stop it.  First and foremost, the worlds of humanity must be protected, even from the highest authority."

With that, Gregoire went silent.  He saw little reason to continue speaking, and, if this was in fact a test of his loyalty to the Concordance then he could plausibly try to spin it so as not to be executed.  Still, he was aware enough of the gravity of the situation to recognize that he could have just signed his own execution notice. 

Your interviewer nods, and extends his hand.

"Welcome aboard. Officially, you will be our interim intelligence officer until we can find a more permanent position for you. Unofficially, you may have...other duties. You'll know when I call upon you."


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Lt. Co. Andre Rochat thinks for a moment and responds delicately "If I was to act on this I would need evidence. I have pledged my allegiance to the concordance of worlds for the protection of the home-worlds. If he is not performing his duty he must be removed but until I have proof on this I can not act within the law. If this was proven to be true though all the soldiers on his ships and on all other ships would go up in arms against him to protect their families."

"A wise decision Lieutenant" your interviewer says. "In these desperate times many may be tempted to act...hastily. We of course are charged to prevent such hasty decisions."

The interview resumes normally, there are many more involved questions, but none seem relevant. You keep thinking about the exhcange earlier, your answers are rambling and halfhearted. You don't even remember the conclusion of the interview. You are given the position of sensor and survey officer for the second fleet, but your interviewer mentions it may be only a temporary assignment. you leave somehow feeling like you've done something wrong, and may be reassigned relatively soon...best do your duties with exceptional care in the meantime.

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The sudden electronic chirping was like the sign of change for the whole room, Lieutenant Commander Luciana Tourinho thought. Where the atmosphere before was one of boring, standard briefing it now stank of intrigue. He had prepared himself for that possibility - though officially denied, nepotism did exist measurably in the Concordant's fleets. With himself only a few months away from possible discharge, he could no longer avoid aligning himself with a faction.
A surprise, however, was the actual request made. Unless he developed psychic powers in the next second, he needed to decide where he stood. Support the alleged resistance against a crazy dictator, or support the wizened technocratic concordant against traitorous elements? He knew where his preference lay, but what was Hutchinson's? Most of all, he needed more information, more data. Before any of the other two answered, he said "Sir, it is my duty to protect Humanity, from enemies both without and within; from both military and civilian threats." A slight emphasis lay on the 'civilian' part. Not enough to be noticeable unless you already looked for it, he hoped.

Your interviewer sits in silence for a moment, considering every wrinkle and tic on your face in minute detail. Eventually, he concludes
"I was hoping you'd say so. Lt. Co. Tourinho, I'm pleased to welcome you aboard as the communications officer for the second fleet. You will be presented with a dossier of your expected duties later this evening."

And with only a few more formalities, and very little mention of what has transpired, the interview concludes and you are sent on your way...


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Stephen Humphries joined the Colonial Guard because he believed that protecting the worlds of humanity was a good cause, and that the Concordance has been a successful defender of these worlds, from both internal and external threats. Although these moves by Franca have worried him, Stephen believes that in the end, they are for a cause that sometimes requires a great risk, and that the decision Franca has made is the right path for the right cause.

Stephen's loyalties lie with the Articles of Concordance that provide the power that the Concordant needs to protect humanity.


you are unexpectedly invited to dinner aboard the Coronado by the admiral of the second fleet himself. Better dress the part



[ooc]stay tuned for the next episode in a few hours[/ooc]
My Theodidactus, now I see that you are excessively simple of mind and more gullible than most. The Crystal Sphere you seek cannot be found in nature, look about you...wander the whole cosmos, and you will find nothing but the clear sweet breezes of the great ethereal ocean enclosed not by any bound
 

 

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