A Rising Thunder – Snippet 24

A Rising Thunder – Snippet 24


“Well, I’m afraid I can’t agree that it’s a very good idea,” he told her flatly.


“Why not?” If Simpson was dismayed (or surprised) by his response, her tone gave no indication of it.


“Several reasons occur to me right off hand. First and foremost, there’s the question of pre-transit intelligence.” Caddell-Markham shook his head, his expression sober. “I’m sure you realize how much Manticore’s closure of the Junction is hurting us here in Beowulf. They’ve shut it down from their end, not ours, but with Manty merchant traffic all heading for home or already there and the Junction closed to all Solarian traffic, one of our major revenue producers is effectively completely off-line. I’m sure Admiral Kingsford and Admiral Rajampet were aware of that when they sent you to make this proposal to us, and no doubt there are some people right here on Beowulf who want to see our terminus reopened just as badly as anyone in Old Chicago might. But whether that’s true or not, the fact that it’s currently closed to Solarian traffic — including ours — means we don’t have a clear idea of what’s currently happening in and around the Junction. Everything we have heard and been able to piece together, however, suggests they’ve concentrated their defenses to cover the Junction from their side more thoroughly than at any time since the Star Kingdom took Trevor’s Star away from the People’s Republic. At the very least, the forces they already had in place have to be at a very high level of alert.


“Even leaving that consideration aside, though, there’s the problem of coordinating our own forces. Manticore may be only a single wormhole transit from Beowulf, but it’s light-centuries away in n-space. Trying to coordinate simultaneous assaults between two forces which are literally months apart in terms of communications time strikes me as a recipe for disaster. Especially when, if I understand what you said earlier correctly, there won’t be time to get a dispatch boat to Admiral Filareta with the news that your second force is even coming!”


“You’re right,” Simpson conceded, “and we’ve considered that. We can’t communicate directly with Admiral Filareta, of course, but we’ve already infiltrated one of our own dispatch boats into the Manticore System. It’s covered as a news service vessel, since the Manties are so ‘graciously’ allowing even Solarian courier and dispatch vessels passage, and we’ve arranged to rotate additional couriers through the Junction under similar covers throughout the entire operational window. The Manties’ own movements should make it evident to everyone in the system when Filareta arrives, at which point our dispatch boat transits to Beowulf and another thirty or so of our SDs transit directly into the Junction. The sudden arrival of another task force that powerful in their rear should certainly drive home to the Manties the sheer disparity between our resources and theirs.”


“Even assuming your courier boat’s allowed to make transit — which it might well not be, once Filareta arrives and the system goes to a high state of military alert,” Miternowski-Zhyang said, speaking for the first time, “what makes you think the Manties will let you make transit with that many wallers?” The assistant director of defense wasn’t making any particular effort to disguise her own incredulity. “I’m assuming from the number you’ve just given us that you’re talking about a simultaneous transit, but whether you plan on a simultaneous transit or a phased transit, those ships are still going to be emerging suddenly, without clearance, when the Manties are already facing the open arrival of four hundred Solarian wallers. As Director Caddell-Markham just pointed out, all our sources indicate their Junction defense forces are at a strength and readiness level we haven’t seen in years. And, to be blunt, whoever’s in command of those forces is going to shoot first and worry about IDs later.”


“That’s clearly a possibility.” Simpson nodded. “Fleet Admiral Bernard and the Office of Strategy and Planning feel the odds are in favor of their standing down — or being momentarily paralyzed, at least — in the face of such a sudden multiplication of threat axes, however.”


“‘The odds are in favor‘ of their standing down?” Miternowski-Zhyang sounded as if she couldn’t believe her own ears. “You’re talking about sending better than thirty ships-of-the-wall with—what? A hundred and eighty thousand men and women onboard? — into a situation from which they can’t possibly retreat, because the odds ‘are in favor‘ of the Manties not pulling the trigger?” She shook her head. “Fleet Admiral Bernard does understand Manticore’s been at war effectively continuously for twenty T-years, doesn’t she?”


“Of course she does.” Simpson’s tone had become a bit testy at last. “I would submit, however, Assistant Director, that there’s a vast difference between fighting something as ramshackle as the People’s Republic of Haven and fighting the Solarian League. And that has to be especially true after they just got their entire system-defense force royally reamed by whoever got through to their industrial platforms!”


Miternowski-Zhyang shoved herself further back in her chair, shaking her head yet again.


“I’m sure there is a ‘vast difference,’ Admiral,” she said with a noticeable edge of frost. “At the same time, I think we’ve probably seen a bit more of Manticore here than the Office of Strategy and Planning’s seen in Old Chicago. I’m not trying to cast any aspersions on the analysts and planners in question” — there might, Caddell-Markham thought, have been just a hint of insincerity in that last little bit — “but everything we’ve ever seen out of the Manties suggests their first reaction to any threat, especially to their home system, is going to be to kill it. And whatever they may have used at Spindle, I think we can safely assume they have even heavier weapons defending the home system.”


“Which someone else has already cleared a path through for us,” Simpson pointed out. “And which the damage to their industrial capacity will prevent them from replacing.”


“Assuming they hadn’t taken the elementary military precaution of having more of them stockpiled in secure areas, well away from their industrial platforms,” Miternowski-Zhyang shot back. She shook her head yet again, more sharply than ever. “I’m sorry, Admiral Simpson. I realize this isn’t your plan, that you’re simply in the position of describing it to us. But speaking as someone who’s spent the last thirty or forty T-years helping manage the naval side of our own system-defense force, there’s no way I could possibly sign off on such a high-risk, no-fallback operational plan.”


“And if Justyná could sign off on it, Admiral,” Caddell-Markham put in, “I’m afraid neither Chairman Benton-Ramirez nor I could.”


“I see.”


Simpson sat for a moment, looking back and forth between the two Beowulfers. Then she shrugged.


“I’m sorry to hear that. We’d hoped the BSDF would help flesh out the secondary force. In fact, I’m afraid my instructions are to officially request that of the Planetary Board of Directors, even if Chairman Benton-Ramirez is as likely to reject our request as you’re suggesting. Fortunately, we should be able to make up the necessary numbers out of SLN units, although without Beowulfan support we won’t have the redundancy to follow up once the terminus stabilizes again. I hope the Chairman will at least consider the…advisability of providing that minimal level of support to an operation of such obviously critical importance.”


Well, score one for Jukka’s “paranoid” analysis, Caddell-Markham thought. Although, to be honest, I find it difficult to believe anyone even in Rajampet’s office is crazy enough to think something like this could possibly succeed!


“If you intend to make a formal request for BSDF support, I will of course present it to Chairman Benton-Ramirez,” he said out loud. “And while I understand your viewpoint, I’m afraid my own recommendation will be that he turn it down. I’m sorry, Admiral, but I fully share the Assistant Director’s view of the probable outcome of any such operation. Under the circumstances, I can’t recommend anything which might be construed as approval of it.”


“Obviously, that’s your privilege, Sir,” Simpson said more than a little coldly.


“I see it not as a ‘privilege,’ but as a moral duty, Admiral,” Caddell-Markham said equally coldly. “In fact, to be frank, my initial reaction is that this entire plan is based on overly optimistic and extremely problematic assumptions which rest on completely unverified — and unverifiable — estimates of the Manties’ current vulnerability. I’m perfectly prepared to review any intelligence analyses which would appear to support those assumptions and estimates, but all of the intelligence available to us here in Beowulf, right on the other side of the terminus, suggests that Justyná’s view of the Manties’ probable response is unfortunately accurate. Indeed, I suspect the Planetary Board will officially go on record as opposing the entire operation as hasty, ill-conceived, and likely to result in extraordinarily heavy casualties.”



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32 Responses to A Rising Thunder – Snippet 24

  1. Gene Evans says:

    If I am reading this right they are willing to to expend the first thirty odd ships just so that they can say ‘it would have worked if Beowulf had come through with a second strike force!’

    CYA on a monumental scale. And remember the SLN is basically a (multi)family business at least for the officers, so the High Command will be one-waying people who have blood connections to them. This has got to be Mesan work, no one could be that naturally stupid.

    i mean, if it doesn’t work once why would anyone, however out of touch, expect it to turn out better on the second try?

  2. Stewart says:

    I wonder if Darwin Awards still exist in 20th Century Post Diaspora ?

  3. ET1swaw says:

    ” “but everything we’ve ever seen out of the Manties suggests their first reaction to any threat, especially to their home system, is going to be to kill it. And whatever they may have used at Spindle, I think we can safely assume they have even heavier weapons defending the home system. ”

    Let’s see:
    A two-prong attack with –no– direct communication capability (major assault is even out of communication with higher);
    A limit of 30 or so ‘Scientist’ class SDs (whose capability is not even on par with pre-expansion (pre-build-up prior to Basilisk Station) Manty or Haven technology; a modern Haven BC or Manty CA would be a more even opponent) with a minimum 17 hour window where nothing (not even info) can pass through that WHJ;
    An estimated destruction of WHJ Fortresses, covering fleet, and system defense forces —that did not happen—;
    A gross underestimation of technological gap (extremely capable LACs, FTL comms and fire control, MDMs (range and capability), ECM and missile defense (2 or more generations advanced), NTM logistic (even with ‘Yawata Strike’ losses) and tactical superiority) though –Beowulf– is probably aware of ‘Scientist’ (which they have in their SDF) vs. ‘Invictus’ (newest SD(P)) discrepancy;
    Ignorance/Denial of what happened at First Battle of Manticore (300+ —modern— wallers destroyed/captured by mobile units alone (WHJ fortresses and planetary sysdef systems were not involved)) and Battle of Spindle (70+ semi-modern wallers destroyed/captured by System Defense missiles and BCs);
    And unknown to either side present: at least half of RoH Home Fleet (250+ “modern” wallers).

    The Mandarins are planning to use up Manty munitions (which they believe in limited supply) by throwing endless sitting ducks at them (which include relatives/family of SLN higher-ups). And it looks like Rajampet et.al. have signed off on it!

    And all to denigrate Beowulf (betrayed by their lack of participation) and dehumanize Manticore (the 10’s of thousands of casualties inflicted when the uppity antagonistic barbarians refused to listen to their betters and flagrantly ignored the just and proper rebuke; going so far as not only strike back but severely pummel the paragon forces of civilization).

    @2 Stewart: I’d agree the SL was a near shoo-in but in some ways the Mandarins are —knowingly— committing their forces to mass suicide. The SLN’s denial of reality gets them at least an ‘Honorable Mention’ though.

    @1 Gene Evans: IIRC the Battle of Manticore took only a few hours so expectations that 17+ hours later —–ANY—– force could effect the situation is ludicrous (though ignorance and inertia of the masses might make it palatable).

  4. ET1swaw says:

    IIRC WHJ fortress strength was calculated to massively exceed that of any simultaneous translation through 2 or more termini.
    Manticore has direct control of 3 of the 7 known termini (Basilisk, Trevor’s Star, and Lynx; each with their own fortress/defense force); another is conrolled by the Andermanni (and deep in their allied Empire); therefore Beowulf, the one near Erewhon, and the third (also on SL periphery) are the only ones available to the SL. Even assuming simultaneous attacks through all three (even with Lynx thrown in), the fortresses are designed to defeat it.
    With Haven thrown in the GA mobile forces will be on par or exceed Filareta even numerically; much less the extreme technology gap (offensive and defensive).
    System Defense set-ups with FTL Fire and tactical control in a superior system (Spindle did it with BCs; Manticore has SD(P)s and coordinated system controllers) with no current shortfalls (only a projected possibilty).
    And triple digit (possibly quadruple digit) LACs (capable of capitol ship destruction) will be available as well.

    They expect to overawe a –professional– military that has been fighting for survival for 20+ years (toddlers with nerf weapons vs. stone cold killers with automatic weapons and –no– ammunition problems (for the moment)) with a two-axis attack and a repeat of Haven’s attempt with much less capable forces.

  5. ET1swaw says:

    Remember how difficult Hamish Alexander’s fleet transfer before Basilisk was even without opposition? And the transits during the Battle of Manticore walked a thin line as well!
    Does the SLN actually believe they are not going to suffer friendly fire breakage with a mass transition into opposed space?

  6. Wolf says:

    @3 Actually Manicore has direct control of 6 of the 7 termini.

    Hennessy (the one near Erewhon),
    Matapan, Gregor the one in the Aldermani space and despite where it is Manticore owns the star it is locked to the other star (binary system) has the inhabited planet and is owned by the Aldermani, Lynx, Basilisk, and Trevor’s Star.

    It also has naval forces at each of these termini; however except for the ones related to the war those forces are minute DD and CL level.


  7. ET1swaw says:

    3 Sag-C CAs plus 4 Roland DDs (~2 miltons) vs. 6 Indefatigable BCs (~5+ miltons) blatently demonstrated capability to destroy the BCs from outside of their missile envelope and against all that their missile defense (ECM, CMs, and lasers defense systems) could do (163 of 240 went home; 50 were Dragon’s Teeth and 27 were decoyed/destroyed). (chap. 3 ART)

    Unkown to SLN only shipboard systems were used (one reason for smallness of attacking swarm.

    Reports were already known on Earth prior to Admiral Simpson’s deployment/mission (in fact p/o Mandarin justification was ‘Zucker Incident’). Filareta won’t knoow, but Kinsford and Rajampet do.

  8. wyrm says:

    @2 Stewart

    Although the SLN plan is *truly* idiotic, it does not qualify any of the planners for Darwin awards

    With the possible exception of Filateta and his XO, no planner meets Darwin rule 1
    1. Improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from the human race in an obviously stupid way.

    And even Filatera and his XO fail to meet rule 2
    2. The death of innocent bystanders absolutely rules out a Darwin Award.

    However, the entire plan is so stupid, you wonder how the planners achieved their current positions without winning a Darwin.

  9. Scott says:

    SLN hasn’t needed to fight. All engagements have been done by OFS.
    What we have here is a military who runs simulations. Sims which are skewed, no veterans to ask awkward questions or cry bs.

  10. John Roth says:

    The Mandarins have painted themselves into a corner. They have no good options, and they’re aware that the ISLN command is insane. If Filaretta succeeds they’re home, or at least they’ve got some possibilities at holding the thing together; if he doesn’t they’re toast. What they’re trying to do is political: isolate Beowulf.

    In other words, they’re desperate, and desperate men do crazy things.

  11. Stan Leghorn says:

    The only sane way out of this is to leak the attack info, having Beowulf declare the entire action illegal under the Constitution and demands a full up vote to authorize war. Force the mandarins to show their disdain for the law.

    MAlign might be preparing to do genocidal bombardment of a Solarian world and disguise it as Manticore? Since they see most humans as “not people” anyway…

  12. tootall says:

    If they can only transit 30-(out of 100-200(?)ships) why do they even pretend they need BDF? Such a crock-and Simpson has to know it. And know that the Beowulfers know it. That’s the telling point that this is all a game to make Beowulf look bad. She never expected them to agree.

  13. dave o says:

    On the shortage of munitions: In their last battle, the Manties used many more missiles than were needed. This time the attack on Filareta’s fleet won’t be so wasteful. So they’ll probably have some still in inventory. Probably not enough for the SL’s second wave attack.

    But they are now allied with Haven, whose missiles outrange the SL’s and whose fire control is better. The Mandarins think they can throw away two fleets, and match Manticores technical lead before the Manties reconstruct their infrastructure and missile supplies. Even without Mesa’s plans, I don’t think they can do it.

    But the civil war within the SL starts as soon as the second fleet is destroyed at latest.

    In the meanwhile, the Graysons are rebuilding without anybody harassing them. In Mission of Honor, the Andermanni are pulling away from the Manticore Alliance, because of realpolitic. But throwing away two fleets is
    likely to convince them that the SL is a hopeless pack of losers.

    On Beowulf and the political fallout: I suspect the Beowulf will start telling the rest of the SL that they warned the Mandarins that their plans were fatally flawed and couldn’t lead anywhere but to a disaster. True the ministry of education and information are experience propagandist. But it’s really hard to believe they can sell their story after 400 of the most modern SD’s have been blown into rubble.

  14. John Roth says:

    @13 dave o

    Well, yes. They wasted a whole wave of missiles at Spindle to make a point. However, those were the missiles intended for the SDs that hadn’t arrived yet, and that were most likely recalled immediately after Oyster Bay. None of the missiles intended for Home Fleet, Eighth Fleet or the Apollo system defense have been expended – unless they were stockpiled on Hephaestus, etc.

  15. robert says:

    @13 dave o: re The Andermanis
    What will Gustav do when he learns of the nanotech that was used to attempt to assassinate his heir and killed his relative? My guess is that an Andermani fleet will be perched on Mesa’s doorstep before anyone else manages to get there—and maybe Henke’s fleet will be right behind them, despite the snippet we saw of the next Shadows book (on DW’s site). The timing is everything.

    As for the Mandarins, they are being manipulated by Mesa, and I still think that the Mesan agent doing the dirty work is Rajampet based on the secretive deployments of the various SLN fleets that we’ve seen and his rationalizing everything to the Mandarins. By everything I mean his blather about how badly Manticore must have been hurt by whoever did the raid on their infrastructure, how they can get Manticore to shoot their missiles dry, etc. All of which is baseless speculation.

  16. dave o says:

    #15 Robert Maybe Rajampet is a Mesan agent. There’s a suggestion of this in Mission of Honor. But it’s more likely he’s an idiot with the usual SL navy prejudices against Manticore. Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.

  17. ronzo says:

    I at this point I think there’s a very good chance Rajampet is another generational agent, or just plain insane. But the way he keeps throwing good money after bad and is convinced that a war of attrition could be sucessful against an enemy thats taken out everything you thrown at them without your forces getting in weapons range seems to go well beyond isanity to enemy action.

  18. shadowdancer says:


    Its probably both.

    Rajampet is really stupid and Mesa is using him like a handpuppet.

    I think they are trying for new Tuscany 2.0 .

    Get a lot of SOL warships in range of Manticorian weapons, and “encourage” them to do something stupid, that will destabilize the Leage further.

  19. robert says:

    Assuming that everything goes as we expect with respect to Filareta, it will be interesting to see the Mayan reaction and whether it speeds up their timetable. I see Maya as Weber’s exemplar for a variety of League systems, and as they go, so will a buncha other systems. And this is also what Mesa wants to see.

  20. justdave says:

    @13 the RMN won’t fire a single missile at SLN, RHN will take care of the fish in the barrel

    as Pritchard said in MoH, IIRC, the RMN will save it’s Apollo for a more suitable target, the MAlign

  21. B Taylor says:

    @3 ET1swaw – I don’t think the SLN believes the Junction forts have been destroyed. They just think they can awe the forts into surrendering. Not realizing that the forts may out gun Filareta, and certainly out gun anything the SLN can send through the terminus.

  22. JeffM says:

    Silly ducks. They’ll just order through the ships WITHOUT their relatives on them! Rather, they are fooling themselves into being dumb, thinking that the Manties will surrender.

  23. ET1swaw says:

    The Manties have already faced an attack of 300+ —modern (as on very near par to their own)— wallers (with escorts and an extreme amount of pods (which the SLN neither has nor has fire control capabilities for)) in a —coordinated— two-axis attack without using junction fortresses or planetary sysdef missiles (which –were– fairly hard hit by soft kill during Yawata Strike). After the Battle of Manticore and with the SL situation worsening they beefed up their defenses even more!!! And the Yawata Strike may have taken out infrastructire and manufacuring capability, but most of Home Fleet (NTM the return of 8th fleet from Haven and all the work-ups of New builds at Trevor’s Star) was not hurt as badly. Unless stored at stations/shipyards, their stockpile should also not have been as badly damaged. Yes, their replacement of stocks and especially new build warships is in the crapper but is being rebuilt as rapidly as possible.

    Yet Rajampet and the SLN in their infinite wisdom think 400+ (plus maybe 30 through a WHJ mass-transit(difficult to pull off well; disrupting the WHJ between them and their support for 17+ hours; and without interfleet communications/coordination) into the face of cutting edge FORTRESSES) severely outdated wallers (comparative combat capability of old Haven DNs, modern Haven/Andy BCs, or possibly even modern Manty CAs) in an uncoordinated two-axis attack will overawe the Manticore Navy!!!

    Manty BCs (with pod support) have demonstrated the capability to destroy SLN SDs at much better than a 1:1 hull ratio (IIRC tonnage ratio was more like 8:1 or more for SLN) and Manty CAs (with DD support)have demonstrated the capability to destroy SLN BCs at better than 2:1 tonnage ratio (more like almost 3:1 for SLN).

    With Haven’s addition the defending force may even outnumber Filareta!! NTM what help (between release of Haven-opposed assets and technological/infrastructure assistance) they will be for Manty recovery!!

    @11 Stan Leghorn: Leaking the info would be an ‘Act of War/Implied Seccession’ (like the firing on Fort Sumpter in ACW). As for MAlign (or even SLN) pretending to be Manties and ‘acting out’ (no EE violation needed), the Peeps tried something similar and that didn’t go well.

    @21 B Taylor: At this point I’m starting to believe that Rajampet and the Mandarins don’t care how outmatched their forces are, they just want the political leverage that the massacres (trumpetting that Beowulf was treacherously supporting the Manty enemy) will provide.

  24. JeffM says:

    #33–Sorry, I think it is literally instituitional arrogance, combined with complete and utter denial. They cannot conceive of the possibility that they might not be mistaken, and that the Manties might not be as badly off as they think–because the MAligns capabilities are also outside their area of reference.

    I also don’t think that Filareta is complicit–but when he shows up and sees and equivalent force of SD’s awaiting, I thing the battle will end quite quickly. Not an entire massacre, as some peopel think. After all, seeing Havenite SD’s in the system would have to give him pause, at the very least.

  25. MTO says:

    @24 We shall see how the battle plays out, but if we assume Rajampet not complicit with MAlign, then he really is acting on bad assumptions and delusions. Assuming that’s true, I don’t think *any* number of RHN wallers will affect his judgement. Simpson said it in this snippet: “there’s a vast difference between fighting something as ramshackle as the People’s Republic of Haven and fighting the Solarian League”. She’d be right if she hadn’t used “ramshackle” to describe PRH. The SLN is going to figure they can handle the entire RHN with 30 wallers (or something) and get reamed. The big difference? RHN couldn’t reliably deliver a warning shot like what we saw in earlier snippets. They’d just wipe out the opposing fleet.

  26. robert says:

    ET1swaw: I am sorry to nitpick, but there is no “p” in Fort Sumter. Gen. Sumter was a Revolutionary War hero.

    Opinion: Beowulf will not let the SLN in through the backdoor. I don’t care how big a fleet Rajampet sends, they will not be let through the junction. And since Beowulf has already let the Filareta cat out of the bag, I have no doubt that they will not hesitate to ask Manticore for help in barring the way. Not that it would matter one way or the other, but lives will be saved.

  27. Robert H. Woodman says:

    @ several

    Rajampet is behaving like a tool of the MAlign. Whether he is or not remains to be seen. My opinion is that he IS a MAlign agent; if he is not their agent, then his stupidity is astounding.

    Since this is an attempt to discredit Beowulf, how does Beowulf respond? How much can they say and to whom to point out that this proposed “plan” to attack Manticore along a second axis was unspeakably stupid and wasteful of human lives?

  28. Stan Leghorn says:

    Have to agree that Rajampet is a sleeper agent. Perhaps Beowulf would get some points by asking who the commander of the attack is and show him limited data on the junction forts, just what could be seen by merchants. Maybe pass out copies to the crews as well. Mutiny in the face of suicidal orders is not out of the question.

  29. dcchipper says:

    I think that Beowulf might be best served by withdrawing from the league. Yes this means that they can’t veto a declaration of war but I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t other planets that would. My reasoning for saying they should withdraw 1. The SLN and the mandarins have shown that their response to being told no is to break whatever is causing the problem. What if the incoming fleet has secondary orders that say if you are informed that Beowulf will not help go into orbit for R and R and once there demand their surrender. If B is part of the league there is no reason why they shouldn’t allow the SLN into orbit as an independent system they can simply deny the SLN access. 2. If they are no longer part of the league then it isn’t treason to reveal the second wing of the attack. 3. If they are independent they can tell the SLN that they can’t use the wormhole. 4. If B doesn’t want to be the one to tell the SLN no they can always request the RMN protect the wormhole. 5. It allows B full access to their biggest trading partner and the junction.
    If we assume that Rajampet is a sleeper it would make sense to have something like taking out the government of B in the second prongs orders. I’m sure somebody will feel free to point what I haven’t thought about that makes this a poor idea.

  30. ET1swaw says:

    @26 robert: Apologies for the misspell!!! (My memory sucks and I didn’t factcheck)
    As for Beowulf barring the door; that even more could be seen as an ACT of War/Implied Seccession. Especially if they call for Manty aid! Suggesting that Manticore forward-guard the WHJ from the Beowulf side (which –is– outside of Beowulf territory limits) is more of a gray area, but may be spun by the Mandarins just the same.

    @29 dcchipper: Some problems I see with a Beowulf withdrawal: 1. Justification for a Mandarin attack on Beowulf as an Enemy ally/combatant; 2. Sweeping the feet from under –anything– that Beowulf supported in the SL governmental process and strengthening anything they opposed; 3. Leave their daughter colonies and political supporters in a compromised position (even worse after Mandarin spin); 4. Make opposition to a war with Manticore a near untenible position (“Support us or leave and suffer the fate of Beowulf”).

  31. B Taylor says:

    @23 ET1swaw – I can’t really disagree with you. I was just pointing out that the SLN has slightly better info than you seemed to think. Doesn’t really change anything.

  32. Stan Leghorn says:

    Beowulf needs to stay in the League as long as possible to force the Mandarins out into the open. Make them the ones who violate the Constitution openly so as to mobilize the other worlds to choose sides.

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