Lai Dang II

"I suppose it cannot be helped, you two are here to do what Mikki is trying to do in Lai Dang, would you accompany me there?"   "Accompany you?"   "Travel aboard my ship, EMS Great Kagome, to Lai Dang. so that we can join the deliberations, or at least, you can, I'll bring supplies and anything needed for my other ships, and bring back at least a caretaker for my Department of State, Auxiliary Vice-Undersecretary Linnnaeus Van Peltmight have earned one promotion, but not the three or four he needs to address what must be done."   "You're bringing my sister back?" Asked Linnaeus.   "She's one of the people with the necessary authority, but I'm bringing you with me and leaving you there.   "Why?"   "Auxiliary Vice-Undersecretary Van Pelt, you have proven to me you can handle complex requirements from our partners, I will be leaving you in Lai Dang to continue work with Mikki if she is amenable." She emphasized his new title, which, he hadn't realized yet, was effective immediately, then it dawned on him...   "I... won't let you down, Zim." His hands was shaking, he wished he could have his safety blanket with him right now.   "Will you be coming, Namei Trireme and Namei Furuken ?"   "If it pleases Meihomei, I will accept your invitation." They both said, in odd unison.   "Splendid. Shibué Dandelion , Raknion, make ready for embarkation. Officer Tenerife, signal my flagship!"   There was a chorus of Zims and Zim-Zims to this.   The next day, on the flag deck, pipes were playing reveille, and the officer of the deck was lowering then re-hoisting the flags, after confirming they were correct.   "Ah, the famous Kagomine flag review."   "Yes, Namei Trireme."   "Is this ship especially trained for formal work? I've seen parade-grade detail to everything."   "Oh, this is for all intents and purposes a mostly ceremonial ship, just like EMS Ambulon, anyone you see is the very finest from my fleets. But they are trained to actually go to war, and they have fired shots in anger. Except for this one officer." She walked towards him.   "Meihomei, Zim!"   Flag Gandroste, those flags are unusual, are you sure they are correct?"   "Pray excuse me Meihomei, it is unusual for so few Naval Flag Officers to travel aboard this ship."   "That is not what I find unusual, Gandroste, whose flag is next to mine?"   "That of Orange Prince Furuken Tsimori whose native rank is equivalent, and indeed, includes command of a naval fleet of ships, fully equivalent to a OF-06 Medjen ."   "And that of Trireme Minoro , Prince of the Second Rank of the Nisei?"   "I consulted the Jadebanks, with respect, and found out his rank equals that of an OF-07 Vixen, a land rank, as per standing regulations, all sea ranks or sea-related ranks, are counted as two above land ranks."   "So when I am aboard ship, I could be outranked?"   "With respect Meihomei, for that to happen, you would have to rule a land that has no coasts. Since Kagomei is an island, your Titles, ranks and Privileges are inherently naval. Just as if the Magelord of Nisei were, but, begging your pardon Sir, as a General of Infantry, well, like the Nisei when I visited there, years ago, for training, we Sailors do feel the need to recognize our own a little bit."   "Thank you Flag?"   "Flagboy Gandroste, Zim."   "I thought Flagboy was the least commissioned rank in the Kagomine Navy?"   "It is, Zim, and I am the least officer on this deck."   "And yet, you're facing off with your own ruler, and the ambassador of a not yet friendly power, and you are fully confident that what you are doing is right?"   "With respect, the Kon already inspected these choices, I am fully confident they are correct."   "Kon?"   "Bannerman, at least, that's the origin of the word, a non-commissioned officer, in this context, the most senior non-com aboard ship, the chief of the boat."   "You would know this individual?"   "I would choose such an individual for my ship, on the basis of his record, among however many were qualified, and I assure you, not many would qualify, he would be one of the best such, anywhere. I would have to trust this individual with my life."   "But not the best?"   "The very best non-commissioned officer is the Telbun, who runs my training ship, Ambulon.  You've heard of him, he is a Meritant of Honor."   "I have heard of this Telbun, and this Kon?"   "He's walking to come to talk to us, let us say hello."   "Is there something I can assist with, exalted dignitaries?"   "OR-09 Striped Javelin Bundle Quinn, Telbun-Elect, you've come a long way since Yesugai."   "I am flattered beyond words that you remember me."   "I write all the individual citations for the medals I give out personally, it's more honest that way. As a side effect, I tend to remember those I hand them to."   "Is it common for your soldiers to doubt your sincerity?" Interjected Minoro.   "No, at least, they doubt me less than I doubt myself. I'm dealing with so much politics and so little sincerity."   "Quinn, what's with the flags?"   "With respect, Meihomei, I consulted the Jade Banks, thrice, they are correct for two ambassadors of prospective allies and yourself."   "I don't buy that, there is something missing."   "What is that Zim?"   "Who is the flag officer here?"   "Why you are, everyone else was sent away... You did not leave anyone with commissioned rank high enough that is trained on this type of ship."   "What about Nessun-President Global?"   "What about him?"   "Couldn't he flag this ship?"   "His vision was medically down checked, he's fine on land, but he is not facilitated to command a ship of war."   "Surely there is someone left."   "If there was, we couldn't find one in time, with respect, Great Kagome is happy to be under your direct command."   "What, so I'm the Fleet Admiral?"   "Meihomei's Personal Cutter is under your Flag, Zim, yours in totality for once. And since we are the flagship of meihomei's own, we are all of it, right now."   "Valias once told me if I gave orders the crew might be upset."   "I suspect she assumed she'd have to be dead for that to happen, not just assigned elsewhere."   "That would explain it, carry on Kon."   "Zim-Zim."   "Meihomei, with respect, why did you say there was something wrong with the flags?"   "I'm the ruler of a Maritime nation, as they say, but I am not trained as a naval officer, it's quite unusual for this ship to travel without one in command."   "Meihomei, please return to deck as soon as possible, there is a situation."   "Adjen Tutsuite?"   "Meihomei, we are under attack, from the invaders."   "Tell me you have engaged, please."   "Yes, but I do not have permission to arm the Hammers by myself, I need your authority."   "Granted."   "Quinn?"   "If Meihomei will please find a Jade Bank, we would need her thumbprint..."   "I've never had my thumbprint taken, will it accept voice authority?"   "If you think it wise."   "Computer, recognize, Meihomei, ME-30."   "Authority, recognized, special mode, confirming with gait analysis and thermal signature."   "Meihomei authority, transferred, temporarily, until end of battle to duly assigned tactical officer, EMS Analecta Kagome."   "Authority delegated, thumbprint console activated, awaiting thumbprint from Harvey Quinn, OR-09, tactical officer EMS Great Kagome and attendant fleet element. Thumb print received, activating Hammer in interdiction mode. Broadcasting warnings."   "In interdiction mode?"   "Meihomei, with you aboard, we just cannot take risks. If something gets too close and acts unfriendly, we should take it down."   "And you're warrant of their intentions, Javelin Bundle?"   "I am, are I... did I just get demoted?"   "No, Tiger-Striped Javelin Bundle, I just misspoke. Not unless I need to court marshal you over this, try not to get hundreds of innocent civilians killed."


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