Until They Are At Rest (Milagro)
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Oct 7 2014 1:42am
GF-105 Black Arrow Five, near Sentry Station Waypoint Two

Flight Lieutenant Geoff Gillam could almost hear the screams on that fateful day on which the Reaver hordes had found the Gestalt Colonies. While some of the Colonials had escaped, many had not. Some had been too weak, too poor, or too slow to escape. Others had thought themselves to been too strong, too wealthy, and too fast to succuumb to those new beings. But the Reavers had proven themselves against those unfortunate wretches. Even as the Vice-Commodore's controversial Krakana's devastated the invading Reaver hordes with ReSat Torpedoes, and even later on, with thermo-nuclear warheads, he knew that the fledging colonies were done for in their current state. There were too many of those bloodthirsty savages, and too few of the enlightened colonials. Hours too late, a vast Confederation armada lead by the Revanche helmed by Admiral Lucerne himself had entered the outskirts of the Gestalt system.

But even they could turn back the pages of time and save those already vanquished.

A combined host of Confederate and Colonial ships conducted their fighting withdraw from the system, fleeing to, and then destroying Sentry Station Waypoint One. With its destruction complete, the Gestalt-Kashan hyperlane had met its end, with it, the threat of the Reavers travelling up it infect Confederate space from the Galactic South.

But that had only partially solved their problems.

Where would the Colonials go now? Back to a Coalition that nominally was their home, or perhaps their source of employment? Or to their cultural allies, the Confederation which had at least done something to protect their colonies? Or perhaps they should all just return to their homes before the colonies, even with their military hardware? But where does one part a multi-ton starfighter at the family home? And does one maintain physically and legally?

Gillam didn't know. He didn't even want to think of it. At least for, his superior officer aboard the MC-170 which now called home hadn't made a decision one way or the other. Despite raids conducted on their lost homes by the Colonial survivors, it was clear that the Reavers would be there to stay for a while. The Coalition was busy dealing with Reavers around their surviving territories to extract vengeance. The Confederation balked at expending any more forces and lives on territory that was not their own, or that of their people.

The Colonials had no place to truly call home.

That is, if they were to remain Colonials.

His comlink crackled over his headset.

“Hey Five, the mother ship is launching another transport to visit the L'Ocean. You got it? Or do you want to perimeter guard still?”

He toggled the comlink, “I've got it.”

He pulled the yoke of his shuttle-sized starfighter back, pulling the craft away from his wingman's trajectory to drift and soar among the fleet of Colonial refugee craft. Some were modern craft newly constructed by the colonies mere months ago, whether they were fighters or transports. Others were near-rusting industrial hulks that had helped built the technological paradise that was the pinnacle of the Colonies' achievements. Yet others were unusually nondescript, hardly worth noting out of the myriad of ships that plied the space lanes, save now for their relic Gestalt Colonies transponders. His own vessel drifted and shot among them to cross onto the opposite edge of the refugee fleet anchored at the hyperlane waypoint, finally arriving a dark object almost invisible save its running lights: a Krakana.

As he approached it, a single CG-10 transport seemed to appear out of nowhere. The blocky vessel slowly turned to orient itself to the gray-silver wedge of the Confederation Star Destroyer L'Ocean anchored among the remains of the old Hyperlane squadron, set some kilometers away from the Gestalt refugee fleet. He pulled his craft into a gentle arc which put him behind and above the friendly transport.

“Who do you think is on it?” questioned his weapon's officer, sitting behind him.

“Hell if I know,” quipped Geoff, “but maybe they can finally pull us out this purgatory. If the Captain and that one civie guy can ever make up their mind. It's not like they can keep people here forever.”

“Oh, that's what you think,” snickered Will, “I bet they can keep on racking up supply bills to the Confederates on their charge cards. It'll all be good.”

“Yeah, I bet...Seriously though, if this lasts any longer...”

“I'll be right with you. Though we should credit toss for it once we escape.”

“Credit toss for what?” asked Geoff innocently.

“Oh, you know exactly what I mean...”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Oct 8 2014 2:04am
La Galissonière-class Star Destroyer L’Ocean, near Sentry Station Waypoint Two

Line Captain Basile Allard leaned back the chair of his quarters, eying the two Colonials that had just boarded his flagship off of their CG-10 and were promptly ushered into his cabin. The middle-aged brunette woman with hazel eyes wore the uniform of a Colonial captain, which was an oddity given all of her decorations. Clearly she got demoted somewhere along the line. She leaned against the door frame, letting a white-haired man in a gray business suit with a perky demeanor saunter in first with both of his hands clasped together. Allard rose to greet them, his own aged eyes straining to make eye contact with both of them.

“Mr. Lippincott, Captain Wilkins, welcome aboard again,” said the Line Captain, offering an extended hand, which Lippincott promptly shook, “What gives me the pleasure?”

“Mr. Lippincott thinks that he may, may have found a solution to our problems,” stated Wilkins coolly.

Allard offered a faint smile, “Captain, if you would kindly come all the way in and shut the door behind you.”

She did.

“Let's cut the crap,” declared Allard, “What's different now? Is Mr. Lippincott signing off on your voyage of revenge? Mr. Lippincott, do you realize that you cannot control the good captain here, regardless of your official capacity?”

Lippincott raised a finger as if to ward off the Confederate's accusations, “You're not half as courteous as Admiral Lucerne-”

“I'm not Admiral Lucerne,” muttered Allard, “not some spoiled youth that grew up in nobility. But continue.”

“As I was saying,” said the man, plopping down in a chair, “I think I have a solution. Your Confederation can't keep us here interred forever, especially with our own supplies starting to run down. You can't keep us in purgatory forever. So, I suggest that you let my people leave.”

“That's it?”

“No,” admitted the man, “obviously the property issue and state of government remains.”

Allard sighed. That had been the big sticking point ever since these Colonials had withdrawn from their home system alongside the Contegorian forces. Most of the vessels and equipment that had escaped with technically belonged to the Gestalt government, which meant that some politicians viewed it as being Coalition property. Others, less sovereignty minded, believed that since the Gestalt Colonies ceased to exist a formal state, that it was finders keepers. It was further excaberated with Mr. Lippincott wanting to remain the de facto political leader of these colonists, who position solely rested on his alleged authority being derived from the administrative protocols of the now nearly defunct state. Wilkins, the highest ranking Colonial officer in the refugee fleet and captain of the sole MC-170, had been his unwilling partner in leading the colonials through these trying times. She would have much preferred to abandon the civilian fleet to the Confederates, taking her own warships to continue to raid and harass the Reavers still occupying their homes, but logistical reasons had kept her dependent on the Confederation authorities, notably Line Captain Allard, former commander of the Gestalt-Kashan hyperlane squadron. His cocoa-colored eyes swept across both of them.

“So your people leave and promptly get either sued by the Coalition for theft or return to the Coalition's fold? Captain Wilkins and some of her officers here might even get a court-martial...”

“There's no chance of that,” cut-in the woman, “we're past that avenue. Mister Lippincott is stating that we should join the Confederation as our own entity.”

“No chance in hell happening,” objected the Confederate officer, “that'd be far too controversial to even put to a public vote, and then there's the problem of the Coalition wanting what they may deem as their own property back.”

Lippincott smiled, “Who said we'd give them that chance?”

“I don't follow,” replied the Confederate.

“Do you remember the case of the rogue binary lifter on Mechis IV? The one that was being delivered to a local factory when suddenly it went rogue and killed ten people?”

Allard frowned, “I don't follow...such items of interest...”

“He's saying that there was an intermediary that shielded the responsibility, or at least gave the pretext of that,” explained Wilkins.

“And who's the intermediary in this case? The League of Nations?” guessed Allard.

“Of course not,” smiled Lippincott, “no, they would be far too hard to influence. I was thinking Milagro.”

“Milagro...that's a neutral world by the Cularin system if I remember right...” said the gray-haired line captain.

“It is,” said Wilkins, finally sitting down besides Lippincott, “a world famous for the Empire giving it a Delta-Base-Zero order in the Galactic Civil War...”

“I wouldn't ever say that that war ever really ended,“ scoffed Allard.

“In any case,” interrupted Lippincott, “I have some governmental contacts there from a business arrangement that I was going to work with. They are very interested in helping to reconstruct and defend their world, which is something we Colonials can provide. We join this world, and then persuade the powers there to be to join the Confederation. But we all do this quietly so that we don't give the Coalition a chance to make a formal protest.”

“Let me get this right,” said Allard leaning forward, “you're relying on your own influence on a world you've never been to and people that you don't really know too well, and the Coalition's lack of attention with other galactic events to solve this problem.”

“I think there's less volatility in this plan than you're implying,” countered Wilkins, “not that I am a huge fan of it myself, but I haven't been able to come up with a better plan than faking our own deaths, which will never work with a group this size, not if we're to have our own freedom too.”

“It's risky,” admitted Lippincott, “but doable. I'll only need your unofficial approval to do a few things, unhindered by your impound of our ships.”

“I'm not letting you all, or even half of your ships leave the system,” stated Allard plainly, “not happening.”

“I was going to ask to borrow one of your ships, a shuttle or something like that, which wouldn't attract much attention from the outside world, and especially the Coalition,” said Lippincott, “something bland and unobtrusive. I don't know, like a Lambda or maybe a civilian transport of some sort, so I could go talk to people there discreetly.”

“I'm putting someone with you then on your great adventure back to mainstream galactic civilization,” said Allard, grabbing a nearby datapad.

Lippincott frowned, “Why?”

“Because I don't want you to be too free or careless. If Coalition Intelligence somehow magically finds you, I don't want them knowing anything about what's going on here, got it?”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Oct 9 2014 1:57am
Five days later...

Averysville, Milagro

The group of three individuals sat down around a round, glass table on a patio overlooking a giant hole from which starships occasionally soared out of and into. A thick ceraglass wall enclosed the patio from the atmosphere, leaving them sealed against the outside world, a necessity given the nature of their talks.

“What do you mean no?” blurted out Lippincott, suddenly leaning forward.

At his side, CSIS agent Coker spared a darting glance from the Colonial politician to one of his business partners, a lean duros named Queblen Wolluk, who had allegedly survived the Empire's Base Delta Zero by being deep inside the planet's crust at the helm of a mining vehicle. The alien swatted away the other man's outburst and waved for his servant droid to come forward with more drinks. Queblen had been one of the first to set up shop back on Milagro, reconstructing Averysville from ground-up, or as he liked to say, ground-down. He had used most of his old mining equipment to build the community predominantly underground, leaving the scorched and glassed plains above as a testament to the Empire's ruthlessness and barbarity.

“It will not be easily done,” remonstrated the duros businessman, picking up a cerulean-colored drink, “I am not the Governor. And the Governor has already privately told me that she's unsure if we should even proceed with the arms deal as it stands.”

“There's nothing wrong with the Avenger starfighters, and we're giving you a fair price on them,” replied the Colonial, “along with the ability and expertise to make more of them, I just don't get it...”

“It's not the hardware or the economics,” replied the businessman, “it's the Coalition. Look, you're essentially asking us to be your fence for stolen equipment, except that we're going to be the ones holding it when the Coalition comes knocking.”

“Not if you join the Confederation though,” said Lippincott, “it's not as if the Confederation and Coalition ties are going to become much worse than they already are...”

“You're assuming that everyone wants to join the Coalition,” noted Wolluk, “but you are mistaken. There are a great number of people, notably a lot of business people like myself who want none of it. They think that neutrality will make Milagro more open to business to ships from people who may not be on the best of terms with the Confederation. I obviously disagree after witnessing Milagro be destroyed by the Empire, but I am not everyone else. You will have to work them first.”

Lippincott rolled his eyes, “So who should I see first?”

“Well,” started the duros, “the governor is ultimately going to the one who can control this process, so you need to get her on your side. So if I were you, I'd skip Vice-Governor Diacle and go straight to Secretary Goer. Goer is far more worldly than Diacle, and more a 'hawk' as you say. He wants to see our world better armed and prepared for the next attack, which is why you can easily talk to him about the arms deal, but I do not think he has much of an impression on your Confederation.”

Coker raised a hand for the first time in the conversation, “Mister Wolluk, why skip Diacle?”

“Diacle is a bit of what you people call a 'dove',” informed Queblen, “he believes that if the Empire and Alliance had never come to fight over this world, the world would never have been damaged...so he tries very hard to keep anything military from getting close to this system. He is probably your main opposition politically. I believe the Governor herself is rather neutral, believing that we do need some sort of military beyond what we have now in order to protect us from what destroyed your own colonies, Mister Lippincott. In time, I think the Reavers may even convince Diacle to become more hawkish.”

The Colonial sighed, “I would not count on it with our luck. Agent Cok-, Agent Cobalt, you have people on this world, don't you? They say CSIS is everywhere near your own space.”

Coker raised an eyebrow, “I can't comment on that.”

Wolluk wrinkled his mouth in what Coker guessed was an approximation of a smile, “It would hardly be a secret, given the recent expansion of your government in this area.”

“What are you thinking of, Lippincott?”

“Well, maybe your people, have some friends who know some people, who can both set us up with a meeting with Goer, and maybe do a bit of something to lessen Diacle's influence...”

“I can set you up with a meeting with Goer,” answered the duros, “though the second...”

“The second is an impossibility,” announced Coker, “it would be unbecoming, especially if there is a certain implication in it.”

“So then what will you do then, agent?” questioned the Colonial, leaning back, “I doubt that you would want me to tell your boss about something else unbecoming.”

Coker leaned forward and growled, “That wasn't fair, Lippincott. You did something to me that I will never forget...”

“Oh did I? What proof do you have? Besides, you have been under a lot of pressure,” suggested Lippincott, “I heard that people begin to crack when thousands of lives are at stake.”

“That applies to you too,” retorted Coker.

“Gentlemen,” interrupted the duros, “I do not know what is going on between you, and I doubt that we will want to know, but Milagro is important to me. And that makes your actions important to me too. Perhaps I should serve as an impartial arbitrator for you both. Mister Lippincott should go talk to the Secretary. Agent Coker should talk to Vice-Governor to try and change his mind, however you can. I personally will go entreat the Governor. Are we in accordance?”

“For now,” muttered Coker, rising from his chair, “but Lippincott, know that what you did was wrong...”

Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Oct 10 2014 8:36pm

Two days later…

New Hope, Milagro

Eying a flowering Frisye Tree, Wilfred Lippincott gingerly strolled through the capital of the devastated world.  Governor Daria had been the one who had established New Hope after returning from university studies to her homeworld.  Almost immediately, she had begun to rebuild the city with the help of other Milagroans offworld when the Empire attacked.  But as a biotanist by trade, she had added her own touches to the city, making it perhaps the most green and pleasant city to tour on the world.  It was Lippincott’s first time encountering any plant life since he had left Gestalt many weeks ago.  How I will love this, and so will the others.  Once Milagro joins the Confederation, we can expand the Governor’s gifts to the rest of our new world, making it beautiful again and protecting it with the Vice-Commodores technological genius.  Of course, we will have some work to do to make this Little Gestalt…

He wandered through several streets before finally ending up at a café tucked just off the main thoroughfare of the city.  He looked around it and jumped into a waiting limo-speeder.  An exceptionally average man wearing a plain business suit and serious demeanor stared intently at him.

“Mister Lippincott?” said the man.

“Yes,” replied the Colonial, “Secretary Goer?”



“I am Mister Hampton, his secretary.  He couldn’t leave without attracting more attention than you would like.  I will be taking you to his house, where we will wait for him until he can speak to you privately.  Do not take this change of plans too personally, Mister Lippincott, the Secretary is very interested in arming our world before another power seeks to strike at us again.  Do try to enjoy the ride; it should only be a few minutes.”

The speeder zipped around the streets of the world, past apartment complexes just starting to rise; past small buildings being ripped down to make room for the larger and more permanent structures than the temporary pre-fabricated buildings with which the Milogroans had reestablished their civilization after the original destruction of their homeworld.  The airspeeder zipped around the skyways before finally heading into the upper floor of one of the largest skyscrapers on the world, a monolithic building that gleamed with hexagonal panes of crystalline ceraglass and brilliant, polished beams of durasteel.  The two men exited out of the vehicle into the garage, and then into the upper-crust town house itself.  Hampton glanced at his wrist chrono.

“The Secretary will not be home for another hour or so.  I must leave you now, but there is a servant droid in the kitchen that will tend to all your needs.  His name is I-53.  If you look at the caf table over there, by those holos, I’ve left a piece of flimplast that has my comlink number on it if you need anything.”

Lippincott gestured at one of the holos depicting Goer and his family, “He’s a lucky man to have such a beautiful family.”

Hampton winced, “He was.  The Empire took that from him some time ago, along with many of his friends and much of his business.  I would advise you to steer of the subject as a matter of personal honor.”

Lippincott, “I know what’s it’s like to lose your world.”

“I know.  He knows that you know too.  Perhaps that kinship is why he agreed to see you on such short notice, Mister Lippincott.  Maybe it is not what you have to offer, but what he has for you.  Something to consider.”

“Well, thank you Mister Hampton.”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Oct 11 2014 2:08am
MC-170 Orca, near Milagro

“This is it?” questioned Lieutenant Gillam, glancing at the black and blue swirled world below, “I guess I thought it’d be more green.”

Stepping out of the shuttle behind Gillam, Vice-Governor Diacle frowned, “At one time, it was…before the Empire.  What is this…ship?”

“A stealthy first-strike platform that the Coalition built,” stated Coker bluntly, “designed to devastate worlds with nuclear weapons and classified technology.”

“The Coalition?” questioned the Vice-Governor incredulously.

“Our part of it,” stated Gillam, “well, before the fall.”

“So this is Confederation property now?”

“Not exactly,” answered Coker, “Vice-Governor, I hear that you are not in favor in expanding your world’s defenses from customs and local police to a full-scale defense force.  Let me ask you a question, if the Coalition, perhaps one of the more noble and pacificist governments in our galaxy, has weapons technologies like this, which government do think does not?  What horrors do you think the Empire possesses now?”

He said nothing.  The trio began to silently walk towards the relatively minute Mag-con field through which their shuttle had just entered.  Some thousands of kilometers away, Milagro continued its rotations, as it had for thousands if not millions of years, its inhabitants oblivious to the invisible dread weapon which pulled into far orbit around the planet.  After a full minute of staring at the spinning world, Diacle turned to Coker.

“I must admit that I would not have believed you had you not shown me,” said the other man, “doubtless that you are probably right.  I suppose it is likely that even your Confederation has some super weapon.”

“Possible,” admitted Coker, “although I do not know of it if it does exist.  But this is your chance to rid the galaxy of one of them.” 

“What?!” exclaimed Gillam, “get rid of the Orca?  Are you crazy?”

But Coker persisted, “Do you know why the people of Gestalt built this?”

Diacle turned his green eyes onto Gillam, “Tell me, Lieutenant.”


Coker cleared his throat, “Pride and fear would be my guess.  A combination of emotions that can produce at terrible drive, just like the Empire before it.  It is the same combination which turned the Empire to bombard and destroy the cities of its own world, for fear that the newly freed peoples would embrace the Alliance.  They put their pride before their humanity, destroying Milagro.  That cannot be stopped, but you can prevent future people from making the same mistake.  Your chance to potentially save thousands of lives.”

Diacle cleared his throat, “So if you’re saying that if I lobby, or merely let your diplomats work their influence, you promise me that this ship will be decommissioned?”

“I could not fully get their promise to decommission the ship per se,” started Coker, “but I did get the promise that they would remove the ship’s nuclear weapons.  The people of Gestalt will need a new avenue to put their pride, a new way to deal with their fears.  You can provide that by giving them a place to call home and a new culture to integrate to.  You can provide security to a whole people, and your own, by putting them under the umbrella of the Confederation and building up conventional forces to provide your people, including these colonials, as your own.  If you do not, their fear, at least among certain members among them, will turn irrational.  Your people may end up building Milagro’s own version of one of these yourself if you provide them with no outlet or feeling of security.  And these former Colonials can provide you with just exactly that.  I realize that this is not an easy choice for you to make, Vice-Governor, but I think that if you take it in the long run, you will have a legacy that you can be proud of, having impacted countless lives for the better in an opportunity you will never see again in your life time.”

Diacle bit his lip, “I want to see this agreement in writing.  I understand that the disclosure can’t be made in public, that you can even acknowledge the existence of the Orca…”

“I will do all in my power to provide you all the reasons to trust us of our good intentions.  You may understandably have fears, but I will work until they are at rest…”
Posts: 1865
  • Posted On: Oct 13 2014 11:05pm
Several days later…

Office of the Governor, New Hope, Milagro

A little over half a dozen people gathered on the top floor of the Office of the Governor.  It wasn’t a standalone building, but rather a multi-story penthouse whose exterior walls and ceilings were made entirely out of transparisteel, allowing the occupants a panoramic view of the New Hope, the nearby ocean, and the desolated wasteland deeper in the continent.  Yet despite its vistas, nearly all of the occupants were focused on each other.  Secretary Goer stood at the head of people endorsing a stronger, more militant Milagro whereas Vice-Governor Ryan Diacle quietly stood in semi-circle with those of a more similar, pacifistic point of view.  And between both groups stood Governor Daria, the botanist turned politician; the independent wild card who had managed to capture the office despite, or perhaps because of, the two other men’s designs.  Daria, a bland-looking burnette, leaned back in her chair behind the ornate desk to briefly adjust glasses after Diacle finished his remarks.  Silence permeated throughout the room for

Governor Daria spared glances at the two other leaders, “This is unbelievable.”

Secretary Goer eyed Diacle suspiciously, equally shocked by the Vice-Governor’s relevation. 

But the Vice-Governor merely shrugged their concerns away, “I still am not a proponent of building our forces into a large standing army out of mere pride, but I feel this move is necessary to maintain our way of life.  Inviting in the former Colonials is advantageous to us too from a practical standpoint, both military and economic, but I cannot help admit that much of my opposition is loosened by a certain kinship to the Colonials after seeing one’s world get destroyed before their own eyes.  These are people who have known and felt our pain in a way that few others can possibly understand.  I would feel wrong if we did not accept them.”

“Very well,” said Daria, reclining in her chair, “it seems that both of your parties are in agreement for once.  But I am not.”

“You’re not?” questioned Goer raising an eyebrow, “but why?”

“Because if both of you agree on something,” stated the woman plainly, “then either hell has broken loose on our world again, or there is something or someone else behind this all.  Goer, I must admit that while I have no proof, I figured that you would still try and work around to get the arms deal on track again after the Colonies’ fall.  What I did not expect was your sudden flip, Ryan.  Why?”

“It’s the right thing to do,” shot back the Vice-Governor.

“Bullshit,” snapped the woman, suddenly leaning forward, “who talked to you?”

“Who I talk to is my own business,” countered the man coolly, “it’s not as if I’m getting some kickback for this, if that’s what you’re insinuating.  Go ahead, I’ll even give you permission to search my assets and monitor my accounts, if that will prove to you that there’s nothing nefarious behind this.”

“That’s what worries me,” replied the Governor, “is that you don’t think that there is.  Speak plainly with me, Ryan.  Have you talked to any outsiders recently?”


“Who?” questioned the woman, “was it a Colonial?”


Daria let out an exasperated sigh, “You’re really going to make me go down this route, aren’t you?  What do I have to do to get you to tell me what’s really going on?”

“Someone who was familiar with the Colonials’ plight talked to me,” offered the Vice-Governor, “and convinced me what the right thing to do is.  It’s not the weapons that they bring that I particularly like, it’s giving those people another chance.  They need it, even though they seem to think that they must earn it.  They think the weapons and experience that they can contribute are the admittance price to enter our country are the price they’re going to pay.  I can live with that self-delusion, but I think the real price is that they’re going to become us, even if there are Little Gestalt neighborhoods everywhere.  Their fates will be intertwined with our own as we influence each other.  I can think I can do it for their betterment.  That is my answer to you Governor.”

Daria twisted a strand of her hair as she eyed her second, “I think you’re telling me the truth as you see it, Ryan, which is good, but there’s something else you’re not telling me right now.  But don’t worry, I’ll find out eventually.  On that, you have my word, Vice-Governor.  I’ll let you all know that I have been doing some talking of my own recently with some outsiders.”

“Oh?” questioned Goer, tilting his head to the side, “Who?”

“The Confederation,” said the brunette quietly, “it was almost inevitable given their influence.”

“Trade Pact?” suggested Diacle.

“Membership,” said Daria plainly, adjusting her glasses, “we don’t have much to offer the Confederates in terms of a trade pact.  Anything that we could provide them they can already acquire from their nearby members at the rates that we could never hope to counter.  Yet the same is not true for us.  If both of you will support me in persuading your various people to support membership, I will allow the Colonials to settle among us.”

Goer raised an eyebrow, “Why?  You’re not going to question either of us any more about our plans to bring them in?  That’s unlike you…”

“I think the Confederation can deal with any problems the Colonials might bring to our world, Mister Secretary, and you know that as well…”