April 8: It's Always Something

April 8: It's Always Something by Mackey Chandler

Book: April 8: It's Always Something by Mackey Chandler Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mackey Chandler
to do everything," she sighed.
    "If I may make an observation," Mo said, gently. "Burdening your subjects with two or even three jobs, is still likely to get better performance than you can do trying to carry a dozen all by yourself."
    Heather looked stricken. "That's terribly reasonable."
    Mo just nodded rather than beat the idea to death until she hated it.
    "The French revealed the USNA has been bringing in replacement people marginally qualified to maintain systems. They may know IT or environmental, but they are all of a military background and age," Heather said, her face saying this was significant. "They have different enough skills that they don't just plug into the equivalent civilian job. They aren't used to the same way of reporting and getting orders or requesting supply. Things haven't gone smoothly, and where there was friction the old management structure was retired and sent home without any negotiation or effort to blend cultures. This sort of thing is easy to pick up with human intel, because people complain about it."
    "Oh crap...they are militarizing Armstrong," Mo said.
    "Indeed, and if they have little use for civilian managers who don't adapt to military practices, they have zero need for the research and scientific workers who even the civilians find scattered and difficult to work with. They see them as a drag on resources and a luxury they can't afford right now. They seem to have no idea that some of the tech Home used to force independence and keep it originated on the moon. Which is all to the good. We are getting Armstrong people who developed energy storage systems Earth still doesn't have, and who worked with Jeff Singh's mother before she fled.
    "The inventors of that tech are exactly the people who came over here rather than go back to Earth. Some of them might have gone to Home, but it is our good fortune it was too difficult to go to Home or to the French base, a fact of which he was aware and very bitterly lamented. We have an actual road to Armstrong and an English speaking culture. There is so little Armstrong commerce with New Marseille and these people had no idea how readily they would be granted entry or asylum. They may have imagined a language barrier."
    "They have a long tradition of generous asylum, but I doubt most of these academics are aware of the political history," Mo said. "They may also believe North American propaganda."
    "I had one person suggest we would be better off imprisoning some of these people before allowing them to return to Earth. Especially to North America," Heather revealed.
    "I'd be very careful of that person in the future," Mo said, not even bothering to ask who it was, to gauge how safe it was to contradict them. He held up a finger and tilted it sharply. "I think their moral compass is more than a few degrees off true north." Using an Earthism again.
    Heather nodded agreement. That he had the strength of his convictions wasn't lost on her. "The French were the source of several other pieces of tech Jeff and I traded for some time ago. They supplied armor we used when April went to Earth and electronic systems we used for signal interception and processing. Both hardware and the software to run it. Until now they didn't offer the tech to fabricate the chipsets, but the tunnel machine buys that for us. They still haven't offered up the tech to fabricate the armor, but I intend to weasel that out of them.
    "They want to buy a new three meter machine in the near future, after the one we're building for ourselves. So I have some leverage to get the armor process from them when they come back for that. I'm also trying to broker a deal for Dr. Holbrook to work with the fellow who was the primary source of the chipsets. We're getting tech from that source for extracting trace elements from regolith or milled rock that aren't feasible to separate any other way. I expect we'll do other, more mundane trade too."
    "That certainly sounds like a good trade," Mo

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