BELT Providence

Discussion in 'Private Roleplay' started by William Buttersworth, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. William Buttersworth

    William Buttersworth Director of PS&E, Captain of the Revenge

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    New Providence Station - Shipyards

    [​IMG]

    William Buttersworth stood on the bridge of the Revenge. The mighty vessel had been designed from the ground up for belter use, a warship like no other. The bridge was comparatively small, only half a dozen stations existed, with many tasks being carried out by the vessels formidable AI, an offshoot of the stations Core AI, designed for war. The Captain, even a fan of old-Earth popular culture had christened it Warmind, a reference to a video game about war amongst the solar systems planets, from the twenty-first century.

    The Warmind's computing core hung above the bridge, shrouded in steam and clouds of vapour. At its base a single red eye glowed, bathing the bridge in stark red. The bridge was surrounded by a three-sixty degree panoramic display, showing everything around the great vessel which currently was the interior of the foundries and shipyards of new providence station, including massive docking clamps holding the Revenge in place.

    In other berths, arrayed around the Revenge, were other vessels nearing completion. Sparks and welding torches flew in all directions in the zero G environment. Huge mechanised rigs comprised of hundreds of arms and manipulators crawled across the ships, attaching armour plates, laying cable, welding the vessels into formidable warships. Each one was powered by a clone of the Warmind, allowing the fleet to coordinate and interact as a hive mind when in a combat situation. Not that the fleet had been tested in combat, only many tens of thousands of simulations.

    New Providence Station had spent a significant amount of its coffers on the Security Fleet, however the end justified the means, even if the station had been as a lawless pirate outpost, William had taken it to new heights, enlisting the best minds in the belt and creating something no other station had managed except for Ceres, a successful Belter city, a thriving economy.

    The construction of the Security Fleet guaranteed jobs for a huge swathe of the stations population, even now across the station, recruitment centres enlisted young belter men and women to serve on the first true military force built by the belt.

    William watched as a pair of tugs floated over the Revenge, a compact, corvette class reactor grappled in their magnetic arms. The tugs flew over berth after berth before arriving at their destination, a "White Horse" corvette, several of its armour plates removed to accept the new reactor into it. As the tugs lowered it in, pushing it gently into its new resting place, a smile steadily grew on Williams lips.
     
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  2. Emmet Sheldon

    Emmet Sheldon Deputy Undersecretary of the United Nations

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    In light of the newfound evidence, Sheldon opened up a tightbeam message to the leader of the group of interest to see their side and to respond to their non-aggression pact.

    "This is Deputy Undersecretary Emmet Sheldon of the United Nations, and in light of the absolute pandemonium that is going on around Io, I have come to you. Let me make it clear, I'm not one of those fuckers that licks Protogen's ass. I'm trying to prevent this waste of a war from escalating much further because both sides want to fuck each other over with an alien son of a bitch. Now, because I don't know you much, I'm guessing that you're thinking that I'm doing this as a muse. No, this is the most honest person that you'll ever meet in the United Nations, because I'm about to send you unfiltered info about Protogen's involvement in the escalation of UN-MCR-OPA relations."

    Emmet proceeds to upload the data to the tightbeam.

    "I'm absolutely appalled that your people were selected by Protogen to do their dirty work. Millions of people that I consider human, all thrown towards their doom. I hope you are too, because this corporate experiment shouldn't have happened in the first place. I'm reaching out to you, because I'm unable to leave Earth without permission, to help me in this."

    He sends the tightbeam towards New Providence.
     
  3. William Buttersworth

    William Buttersworth Director of PS&E, Captain of the Revenge

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    Bill sat in his armchair as the face of Emmet Sheldon pleaded with him. A smile formed at the edged of Bill's mouth. It seemed finally someone in the UNN's sludge-like administration had finally caught onto the web of deceit, lies and bodies Protogen was spinning. The young Governor of New Providence leaned back in his seat for a moment, deliberating...This had not been expected. Bill had essentially expected the UNN, MCRN and OPA to shoot each other into tatters, while his team nuked Protogen's facility right under their noses. He was then going to start the systems largest salvage and rescue operation, painting himself as the great humanitarian of the system. The man who would pick up the pieces after the nations went to war...

    Now it seemed like almost none of that was necessary. It seems this man...was relatively high up in the UNN bureaucracy, he would have enough political clout to end the war if he was given the right information...at the right time. He began to record a response to Emmet, while also reaching out via the implants in his head, through the vast networked intelligence of New Providence Station, to the Black Freighter, the ace he kept hidden up his sleeve. Once the vessel acknowledged his ping, he opened up a remote video feed to the labs aboard the vessel; the feed showing scientists working, carrying out tasks like the neurally altered worker bees Protogen had made them into, interpreting the signals that the Protomolecule sent out whenever humans...attempted to control it.

    He sent a thirty second recording of this feed to Emmet, with a response to the politicians plea. "Mr. Sheldon, first I would like to express my deepest honour at being contact by such a senior member of your administration. It gives me hope that even through the vast bureaucracy of the UNN, information can still reach the right ears. All that you had sent me, all that you have heard...It is all true. I can corroborate all the evidence provided by your sources..." He sent the video feed, plus battle cam footage of the raid on Thoth Station, the fleet of Steatlh ships that had fought with the OPA, the scientist's split up, some taken to Tycho, others to New Providence, the grotesque footage from inside Eros as Protogen's experiment played out. "As you can see, Protogen is playing the MCRN, the UNN and the OPA against each other. They are waiting for a clear victor to emerge and it is they who will receive this...technology. Mr. Sheldon, this has to end. Now. You and I must both go before the system and cast light on these horrors if this war is to end."

    @Emmet Sheldon
     
    #3 William Buttersworth, Mar 26, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  4. Emmet Sheldon

    Emmet Sheldon Deputy Undersecretary of the United Nations

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    This just keeps getting better ain't it. With disgust written all over his face, he downloaded the rest of the footage.

    "I will try my best to wade through the system to get to the Secretary-General with this info. I thank you for keeping a cool head in all of this. I'll remember your value in the defusing of this situation."

    With the info downloaded to his terminal, he closed the tightbeam, turned off the screen and proceeded to do a check around his office, pondering what to do next.
     
  5. Mark

    Messages:
    8
    The bloodied young man wearily monitored his radar. He had seen nothing but death and destruction going forward. Barely escaping the destruction at Ganymede using nothing but a space tug, he trudged on, hoping to find any derelict vessel. He found this one; the owner OD'd at the controls and the cargo had gone. He wanted to escape but felt that he had a moral purpose. After spacing the owner and the cargo, he checked all the vitals of the ship. The ship had been not looked upon, but it was still structurally sound and had enough fuel for one go at Ganymede. He hadn't escaped smoothly. While he had more than 100 refugees on board, UN vessels scrambled at Ganymede had knocked out one drive and had put bullet holes all over the vessel. He himself was shot, non-fatally, but it had discouraged him a good bit.

    A massive dot with a radar signature had appeared on the sweeping radar. It was New Providence, a bunch of scrap and derelict vessels that had been put together like asteroids and space matter put together a planet. It was his and >100 refugees' last hope. He pinged the station, fumbled around with the beaming controls and sent a beam to that station and all ship signatures docked within.

    "Help us, please. We've been wounded and are coming from Ganymede. We only have a bit of fuel left and can't go on much longer."

    They really couldn't. The remaining two drives had burst fuel lines, shot drive maintainers, and such. People were grasping at life, convulsing, and there were people who had fractured bones. Worst of all, the PDC's from the UN ships had damaged structures important to the vessel's structural integrity. They were close to being ripped apart.
     
  6. William Buttersworth

    William Buttersworth Director of PS&E, Captain of the Revenge

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    New Providence Station - Traffic Control & Fleet Operations Headquarters

    The fleet headquarters of New Providence was alive with activity. It had been a busy several weeks, coordinating the rescue and merchant fleets in the fallout of the inner planets and their war. The rescue fleet had successfully completed its contract with the Martian Congressional Republic and was currently shadowing their fleet as it closed in on the Behemoth and several UNN battlegroups over Io. At the centre of the large, domed space that was the headquarters, floating above the many workstations and planning tables, floated an ethereal holographic representation of the solar system, showing the location of every Providence freighter, vessel and operative in the system.

    At once several alerts went off as yet another distress signal was received. It was squelched quickly before every ship docked on the station was bombarded with the shrill sirens of another vessel in distress. The signal was rerouted to the Rescue Operations Task Force Command, a subset of workstations towards the centre of the massive room. These highly gifted individuals communicated and coordinated with the Providence Rescue Fleet. The very fleet which waited patiently in the space between the Jovian moons before they were required. The signal was played aloud:

    The team looked at each other and immediately sprung into action. "Unknown vessel, was is your transponder code? We can't pick you up until you reactivate your transponder. We have triangulated your approximate position using various signal recievers across the system, the rescue vessel Icarus 2 is en-route, however you need to get your transponder working for them to find your exact position. New Providence Rescue Command Out."

    ---

    Near Io - Jovian System

    The Icarus 2, one of the four rescue corvettes in the fleet, undocked from the Daedalus, the enormous support cruiser that kept the rescue fleet stocked and operational. As it pushed off from the support cruiser it fired several retro-thrusters and flipped itself around and upon reaching a safe distance from the Daedalus, ignited its epstein drives and quickly accelerated away from the fleet, heading for the wayward ship, drifting amongst the void.

    @Mark
     
    #6 William Buttersworth, Mar 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  7. Mark

    Messages:
    8
    Mark only knew how to pilot the ship. He had no expertise in the other sectors. He literally had a stroke of luck when he pressed the beam message button. All he knew is that he had them on the radio.

    "I.. I don't know how to do that. I only know how to pilot this vessel."

    He tried to jog his foggy mind about the appearance of the vessel, but it was hard doing that while withstanding the pain of the bullet shot, which was now becoming much worse.

    "It's a uhh, red, flying wing type of thing. Cargo vessel. The name of it is the Spirit. I can't tell you much else. Please hurry, we've got internal bleeding happening here."

    To try to shave time off and provide some sort of artificial gravity, he increased the thrust of the vessel to at least 1.2g of force. This would decrease time to the station, get the blood flowing a tad bit, and increase their heat signature. The vessel creaked under pressure though, a bad sign of the compromised integrity.
     
  8. William Buttersworth

    William Buttersworth Director of PS&E, Captain of the Revenge

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    New Providence Station - Traffic Control & Fleet Operations Headquarters

    “Stand by Sir we’re trying to track you down. Icarus 2 is still two hours away from your approximate location. Do you have an auto doc on board? It is most likely in a med bay or medical centre of your vessel. You need to run the diagnostics routine and it will do the rest, that will give you more time. Over.”



    The Icarus 2’s crew groaned collectively as the pilot increased their acceleration, putting more pressure on their fragile human bodies in the hope that they will reach the vessel in distress slightly sooner. Through the vibrations and the roar of the drives, the ops specialist, lanky belter covered in tattoos let out a pained whoop, raising his hands up to gesture “success” before flopping them back onto the armrests from the pressure.

    “Captain, found them mi,” he said with an uncomfortable expression, “found a drive signature on de scopes, no transponder and heading suggests New Providence.”

    “Gut work kopeng, helm, adjust course.” A burly woman, the Captain of the Icarus 2 ordered. After a moment the drives for the rescue vessel cut momentarily as it adjusted course before reigniting and burning off on a new heading towards a small, glimmering blue star in the distance.
     
    #8 William Buttersworth, Mar 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  9. Mark

    Messages:
    8
    He motioned to the other able bodied people to find the auto doc and the medbay. In the meantime, he takes care of himself by cleaning himself up right in his crash couch. The PDC bullet had prevented him from bleeding out, but that was only a stopgap measure as the adrenaline slightly slowed and the pain worsened. The vessel steadily increased in speed to come up to that 1.2g, but he was worried that more structural beams might break under pressure, and he was also worried about the reactor. Nevertheless, he kept it at that speed.

    "I've sent for some people to search for the medbay and the auto-doc. Might not have one on board... it's been derelict for a while."

    The refugees acknowledged to him that they found the medbay and well, dated medical supplies. No auto-doc. It wasn't ideal for him and many others on board, but they're going to have to rely on just expertise they gained at Ganymede. Some others also found pieces of usable metal and used those to patch some of the holes that pierced through. Every bit helped.

    Then, one of the drives flickered off for a moment. The people inside felt the imbalance and the silence. It had went back on, but that worried Mark.

    "New Providence, we don't have an auto-doc onboard and our drives are flickering. What should we do to help alleviate the situation?"
     
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  10. William Buttersworth

    William Buttersworth Director of PS&E, Captain of the Revenge

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    Two Hours Later - Jovian System

    The Icarus 2 slowly coasted up alongside the crippled vessel. The ship, damaged as it was, was an impressive piece of machinery. It looked like someone has built a large steel boomerang and strapped three huge epstein drives and a cargo hold to the back of it. As the Icarus edged steadily closer, small puffs of reaction mass bursting from along its frame, large mechanical waldo's unfolded from the rescue ship and reached out for the stricken vessel.

    At the end of the waldo's, large clamps unfurled like the skeletal hands of some prehistorical dinosaur, grasping for its prey. With unsettling tenderness, they grasped the ship and drew it steadily closer to the Icarus, as a docking umbilicus extended from the rescue vessel to it's dorsal airlock. Four vacuum suited figured could be seen making their way through it, pulling themselves hand over hand using rungs alone the tube's side. As the umbilicus reached the airlock, it's docking ring spread out and suctioned itself to the red hull of the ship. The airlock didn't budge, even after disengaging several overrides, and three of the team pulling on the handle with all their might, it refused to budge. Instead the fourth pulled out a large tool, its tip covered in a variety of cutting implements and manipulators. Slamming the device into the airlock, the device began burrowing into it until it located the locking mechanism and wound it back.

    With a slightly breeze, the airlock door swung open, revealing a depressurised inner airlock chamber, devoid of life. The team entered, swinging the outer airlock shut behind them. The ship still had power, as one of the team tapped as a touch screen and initiated the depressurisation sequence. Slowly the airlock filled with stale atmosphere, and when the lights of the area turned from red to green, the team removed their helmets. "Hmm, tastes stale...air recyclers need a bit of love..." One of them said, a woman with cropped green hair and a OPA facial tattoo. "Probably de least of de crews worries at dis point, yah?" A male team member said, as he moved towards the inner airlock door and shoved it open. "Aw kaka..." He said, his shoulders slumped. Inside, much of the inhabitants were huddles in corners, staring at the four in fear. Strapped into what looked like the pilots chair a man was slumped, his shirt stained with blood and his skin pale and clammy.

    "Begin prepping these people for transport over to the Icarus...this one needs urgent care," the woman with the green hair said, the team following her orders. Pulling her terminal from a pocket on her chest, she opened a channel back to their rescue ship. "Icarus this is team alpha, one for emergency med-evac, prepping now. Will be crossing the umbilicus in thirty seconds, have med bay prepped. The woman, along with another team member, a man with curly brown hair and a short Earther neck, unstrapped the man in the pilots chair and lifted his lmp body up and away, before strapping him into a stretcher lined with impact absorbing foam.

    The stretcher wouldn't do much for him in zero-g, however if anyone made a mistake (no one made a mistake on the Icarus) and he wants flying into a wall, he wouldn't feel a thing. Gingerly, the two rescuers pushed the unconscious man towards the umbilicus and towards the Icarus' medical facility.

    @Mark
     
  11. Mark

    Messages:
    8
    Mark flirted in and out of consciousness as he saw a stark contrast from the relatively burnt out lights of the Spirit to the well-maintained bright lights of Icarus 2. He had lost quite a bit of blood in the two hours, and he was in pain shock. He finally passed out as he was transferred to a hospital bed, the PDC bullet still stuck in him.

    He found himself in an equally bright room, dazed and groggy. The beeping of a heart-monitor accompanied him as he slowly came to his senses. One of his mates came by his side with a relieved look on his face.

    "You've been out cold for three days. I couldn't say how much we thank you for saving us."

    He had been surprised by this fact. The time in darkness had seemed so short. He touched his side where the PDC bullet hit him and felt the metal thing gone, replaced by layers of medications and bandages.

    "What about the others? Were they tended to?"

    "We lost twelve people in the confusion. There were way too many injured for us to handle. Almost all of them had some kind of internal bleeding."

    Mark sank back into his bed after he was given this fact. He had tended to those people when he was awake and able bodied only for them to meet their demise sometime during the trip to New Providence or on the hospital beds. He was sure that he was the only one that was stricken to be saved.

    "I'll, let you be, for the moment. I have things to do."

    As the man's footsteps slowly dissipated into the ambience, Mark looked up at the ceiling for what seemed like hours, his side still sending him dull, but firm pain. When he slowly slipped back into darkness, a peculiar man with cyborg parts came to his hospital bed.
     
  12. William Buttersworth

    William Buttersworth Director of PS&E, Captain of the Revenge

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    New Providence Hospital - Emergency Department

    The Icarus had docked at New Providence not an hour ago with a unique red flying wing style freighter clutched in its claws and a hold full of refugees from Ganymede. The man responsible was in a hospital bed that William Buttersworth stood at the foot of, silent regarding the man as he wafted in and out consciousness. "You will have to forgive my manners, but in all the excitement no one has managed to find out your name, short of the very mysterious...Mark," William said, a flutter of amusement crossing his features, momentarily turning the corners of my lips up.

    "Nevertheless, your vessel is safe, it is currently being inspected by our engineers...though I do get the feeling that this vessel has not been yours for long..." William lets that hang in the air for a moment, but even though Mark's eyes were open and following him as he walked from the foot of the bed around to his side, he did not speak. "We've treated all the refugees your brought here, many of them have been released. Some, had more serious injuries such as yourself. I must commend you on your ability to save so many people from the tragedy at Ganymede." William rested his hand on the mans shoulder for a moment, but he still said nothing. William sighed, "I must be getting on, being a stations Governor has its perks but also its responsibilities. If you need anything, the staff at this hospital will be able to assist you. As for your ship, when you are in better shape, contact me office and we can meet again. Have a good day, Mark."

    William gave the mans shoulder a light squeeze, trying to convey a since of reassurance and care, before pulling back and turning away. As he strode down the emergency department, nurses and doctors moved about their routines, many making eye contact and smiling, some averting their gaze awkwardly. William had a peculiar reputation amongst the general population; many saw him as a leader, someone who changed the station from a backwater poverty stricken dump into a thriving economic hub. Others saw him as a mad scientist, dabbling with technologies barely comprehensible. Some were simply unsettled by the sheer amount of augmentation William had done, not that much of it was visible. He had several artificial components grafted to his skull, an unfortunate side effect of being permanently linked to the AI network that ram the station, but many of the changes were deeper under the skin, more subtle.

    He left the hospital and joined the throng of people in one of the businesses habitats of the station, a large ring that provided spin gravity to its inhabitants so they could live and work in relative comfort. Still many parts of the station were still in zero-g, and the health effects were steadily becoming apparent amongst the younger population, the children especially. The AI was working day and night to find a solution, but the current technology was simply no match, there was only so much bone density drugs and gene therapy could do. They needed something more effective, as if on queue...the terminal in Williams pocket chimed, not that he needed to check it, or even needed the sound to know he received a message, it appears in his vision, projected onto his retinas by his ocular implants. Still, he liked the nostalgia associated with the primitive devices, and it seemed to put people at ease around him, instead of the unsettling glow in his eyes when he used his implants.

    From: Kanyari
    To: William Buttersworth

    Message: Package secured. Surprise set. Returning home.


    Maybe the solution to these ailments was closer than he thought...
     
  13. Mark

    Messages:
    8
    Long hours ticked by, as the stricken leader of the refugees from Ganymede processed what he went through. He had no idea what to do next; his life was full of peace and planting until now. He hasn't been onto any place except Ganymede. He was born there, raised there, gave back to the community there, and it may as well be gone.

    This realization stirred up something in him that was out of his calm, collected character. A rising feeling of nationalism for the colony of Ganymede and the people who saved his people. He slowly balled his right fist, finding unfound strength in him.

    "Hey, Mr. Buttersworth, I want to propose something to you, sir."

    *insert character being called back here*

    "I want to join your navy. My vessel is not a true freighter; it is armed with two turrets on each tip. I don't know anything else about what kind of weapons are on it."
     
  14. William Buttersworth

    William Buttersworth Director of PS&E, Captain of the Revenge

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    William was in a meeting with several OPA representatives when his hand terminal chimed. He ignored it, obviously, but the notification appeared on his retinal implant, informing him that the pilot recently rescued by one of the Icarus corvettes wanted to talk to him. He continued to listen to the desired and requirements of the representatives before him, interjecting when necessary, but otherwise being a pilot and gracious host to three previously warring factions from the belt.

    When the meeting concluded he had forged three new alliances, and had given each of the representatives enough poker chips that the remainder of their evening would be spent in comfort, whether at a bar, a brother or otherwise, it made no difference to him as long as the alliance held. Hopping on a cart, it whisked him down the corridor and into a transport shaft. Several minutes later he stepped into the hospital room of the man known only as Mark.

    William stood politely, leaning against the frame of the door into the room. He hoped it wasn't going to some crazy belter throwing his lot in with New Providence again, he had enough of that what with the war galvanizing everyone in the belt against the inner planets. He usually got their information and if they checked out, would send them off for an interview. However a vast majority ended up being rerouted to the local OPA branch. From then on they were no longer his problem.

    William groaned internally, but his face made not a move nor a noise. "My friend, your ship is still in several pieces on the drydock floor. It will take at least another several days before it is even ready to reassemble. With that being said, its offensive capabilities are...limited at most. Two kinetic cannons...highly outdated weapons...and one missile bay. I'm afraid all I can do is offer you a security contract in the belt.

    However if you were to join our fledgling fleet and serve aboard one of our vessels, in time we may come to an arrangement that provides your vessel with proper armaments. I am still looking for some positions to fill on new flagship, the Revenge. If you pass the checks and tests...well, you may have a place here. What do you say?" William looked down at Mark who was still in the hospital bed. His eyes glowed with something not quite human, but not quite machine. The implants had this unnerving effect, it was only partially intentional.

    @Mark
     
  15. Mark

    Messages:
    8
    The young man was determined to protect Ganymede from calamity. "Anything. Just let me defend my home."
     
  16. William Buttersworth

    William Buttersworth Director of PS&E, Captain of the Revenge

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    William smiled, before clapping the man on the back. "Excellent, another soldier for the cause. When you're out of here and feeling fit again, make yourself known at the recruitment office on this habitation ring and they'll get your sorted out. Welcome to the Free Navy, Mr...?"

    ---

    Several minutes later

    William Buttersworth was walking through one of the main ports of New Providence Station, one could almost mistake the constant motion, noise and crowds as chaos, but it truly was a perfectly choreographed dance of timetables, algorithms, manifests and docking fees. The AI handles everything down to a tee, allowing the stations employee's and population to get on with life knowing that things would carry on much as expected.

    However something many of the current shift workers did not expect to see was over a dozen vessels dock over the course of the day all flying various faction colours of the OPA. They usually didn't reveal themselves so obviously, preferring to keep their affiliation secret in the dark days of the EMC. However New Providence Station was a friend to all, especially to OPA. Much of its staff were part of the Providence faction, however they avoided infighting and intrigue, aware that i would only weaken the fledgling belter nation that was the station.

    Once by one the vessels flew into port, their maneuvering thrusters shooting out short busts until the great clamps of the port's docking arms caught them and pulled them towards their assigned airlocks. William continued to watch, counting each ship off by name, one by one. The Capella, The Ranger, The Walrus, The Dowta, The Belta Ekepesh, and many more. Soon a conclave would be called and for the first time since Tycho was attached weeks ago, the OPA would reconvene to decide the next steps in the construction of their new nation.

    William also had a surprise in stall for them, for a series of ships that he had been keeping a very close eye on was due to completion in the next few days. One in particular only needed to be christened before launch, but otherwise it was a ready vessel. Just in time too, as after Io...The inner planets were gazing at the belt with renewed hunger...but this time the belt could push back.
     

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