3Vonday Ginal, Prime Minister of the Third Gleise Monarchy, floated at the head the table in his formal dining room. Like the woman on his right, Commodore 2Hilna Lin, Vonday had converted the space into a war room. The table was covered in layers of ovelaping windows, each showing another ship, a diagram of the surrounding systems, lists and manifests of supplies. At didn’t add up to much.
“That’s it, then,” 4Charl Itawa, DesCon Five’s Leading staff officer, began hir summation. “We’ve six destroyers fully armed with extended range reserves and magazines, three platoons of espatiers with organic artillery and mechanized support. Thanks to the PREISTHOLE directive, we left 3Gleise with everything we needed.”
Commodore Hilna spoke up. “That being said, it would be dangerous to fight a pitched action at our extended range capacity. Any direct hit would almost guarantee a magazine explosion or propellant breach.”
“We can help with that.” said 4Neuman Kehahn, Captain of Vonday’s flagship, the diplomatic cruiser Varangian. “We’ve been on vector for almost eight weeks at this point; our cargo bays and propellant bunkers have enough room to store one of the destroyers; their supplies won’t be a problem.”
“Fighters?” Vonday asked.
“That’s me,” A woman farther down the table gestured for attention. Unlike the assembled officers and staff, She was in a civilian suit with bold read striping.
“7Hatawe Ahn,” Vonday smiled, “Thank you for joining us.”
Hatawe began without preamble, “I’ve had a chance to review your current stable of fighters. You have twenty-four units in your inventory; half Destriers, half Centaurs. The corpi are in excellent shape and my Fifth raised the AI herself. Nice to see you taking care of my babies.”
A chuckle went around the room.
Hatawe continued, “Cavalier Arms’ corporate assets include StarGate access to two systems in the Unclaimed Librans. One’s our satellite HQ, the other’s our factory and mining assets. HQ includes a full auto-creche with AGI breeders and specialized virtual world simulators for flight training.
“In addition to the the birds we have a pair of escort carriers for tansport.”
A ripple went around the room.
“Two Mauraders?” 4Neuman exclaimed, “Fully armed?”
Hatawe nodded, “We’re in the boondocks, here. The King’s Own is the first warship patrol to come out this far. The Crown granted us a dispensation for military-grade weapons to provide for our defence.”
3Vonday smiled and began counting on his fingers. “So, we have a private citizen of our polity, with financial support of our polity, that moved into unoccupied space, established StarGate infrastructure, improved the available territory, and provided her own defence.”
“The letter and spirit of the soverienty statute of the Galactic Union treaty.” 4Charl confirmed.
“What’s that again?” Kehahn asked.
“Under the terms of Union law, Lord Hatawe has established a colony of 3Gleise.”
Ahn chuckled. “I’m Lord Hatawe now?”
“Indeed - First StarLord and Colonial Minister. You’ve got the industry, might as well be in charge of it.”
Vonday turned to Commodore Hilna, “You’re Second StarLord. I checked the senority scale - When we make contact with DesCons 1 and 4, you’ll have more to work with. And you, Flight.” He indicated 4Neuman, “I’m afraid you’ll have to be Admiral of the Fleet.”
“Me?” Captain Neuman burst out. “One of the other Commodores are surely more qualified -”
“Sorry, Kehahn.” Vonday said. “I know your dirty little secret. Number 2 in your class at the War Collage and you are in fact a full Admiral by pay-grade already.”
4Neuman grimaced and flushed. Commodore Hilna grinned.
“You’ve been holding out on us, sir.”
“This details can be worked out later,” said 3Vonday. “The important thing is that we are now officially the Third Gleise Monarchy’s government-in-exile.“Let’s get to work.”