Sunday October 29, 2017
Book 18: Mandatory Failure — Part I


NARRATOR: The U.P.A. battlegroup flagship Soulward Honor...

SRABBEN: We're here because Traffic Control doesn't want a "military solution."

executive officer (x.o.): I don't get it, Lord Srabben. How does that work?

SRABBEN: *sigh*

We are not the military. Q.E.D., any solution we provide is not military.

x.o.: Even if there's shooting?

SRABBEN: When there is shooting the matter will be inherently civilian in nature, and our exoneration will be handled by the Judiciary.

NARRATOR: It is 226 meters of "enthusiastically re-purposed" freighter which Shiplord Srabben unapologetically calls a warship.

NARRATOR: Per the sweepingly general Planet Mercenary classification system, it is a class V5 vessel, and its shiplord owes actual warships an apology.

x.o.: So we are going to war?

SRABBEN: Hardly.

Of the three vessels we face, only the very smallest one is a proper warship.

NARRATOR: Shiplord Srabben is mistaken. Cynthetic Certainty, Maxim 39, and Breath Weapon would be rated X8, V7, and S9, respectively.

NARRATOR: Rather than waste precious art-space on a vessel classification table, let's just say this:

SRABBEN: Maxim 39 is a repair ship, and Breath Weapon is clearly a sack-hull freighter.

NARRATOR: No, not that.

SRABBEN: Cynthetic Certainty has teeth, but we won't be giving it a chance to bite us.

NARRATOR: That wasn't it either.

What should be said is this: Shiplord Srabben ought to be running from fights rather than picking them.

... And he should study a vessel classification table.