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Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Sixty Five

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By Imperator-Zor   |   Watch
Published: March 5, 2017
© 2017 - 2019 Imperator-Zor
"Well Malonso, I must say that I'm impressed. This is a command worthy of pride." Captain Freilysiin ti'Jaimis said as she took a sip of wine. "As is this vintage." Both points were truthful enough though they glossed over important details. Her light frigate the Qilthast (Stingray) had been on patrol for three months and this meet-up was a welcome diversion, even if some of the dispatches had given them some important context to the development.

"My family has some shipping contracts with a few of the better vinyards, that part of provisioning was nothing." Captain Malonso Cosetti replied "But I am flattered on behalf of the Scia and her crew for your approval. She's among the finest craft the Arsenal has put together and I am truly blessed to be her commanding officer." He was a charming human, reasonably handsome with a pleasant educated voice, a reasonable command of the Dark Elvish Language and while he might not always convey that message to those he'd accept as guests (especially those fools who believed that any deviation from the marshal was an sure sign of utter weakness) it was clear that he was good at running his ships. The contrast between his crisp sailors and her motley slaves was obvious when she had come aboard.

The Scia was the scout in a squadron of four steam galleys and a steam Galleass and it's captain had extended an invitation. Neither state had any cause for war at the time and she was genuinely welcome for a break. She'd brought aboard a couple of body guards who could carve through a good section of the galley's crew if push came to shove. Cosetti was enthusiatic and eager to show her about his ship. How the banks of oars had been replaced by a gundeck and steam driven paddlewheels which could be rigged to turn in opposite directions to turn the ship around quickly. Their new rifled cannons which had explosive shells. The fountains which produced cool drinking water. The electric lamps. The flushing heads. The rangefinders, the semaphore lamps and other contrivances before retiring for a quick period of refreshment in his quarters. All of which had an undertone which was simple enough to read. 'See this wonderful ship of mine. She's fast, maneuverable and armed with some of the best artillery that does not come with a hexagon on it. You'd not want to be on the receiving end of this ship's weapons. No, no, no. So, if you would be so good, remember this fact, write it down in your logs and submit it in your reports.'

"It is amazing the marvels that can now be made. Even so I've seen some of the new construction at Noljas's shipyards and i'm sure that they would make a similar impression on you. If everything goes well I might be captaining a steamship of my own in a few years."

"A noble ambition and one I would wish you luck in achieving." The Venoan replied. The words were well performed, but empty. There were glory hounds out there who desired to test their mettle against worthy foes and gloried in the defeat of mighty enemies in a fair fight, but Malonso did not strike her as that sort. In that regard he was cut from the more common cloth that wished that wished all the foes that he might ever face were feeble, cowardly, incompetent, beset by never ending bad luck and equipped with shoddy, poorly made and obsolete weapons. She was not his foe yet, but that could change quickly if level heads did not prevail.

Even so, for all that there was nothing she could do about that situation. What she could do is take advantage of his hospitality, be it born of an ulterior motive or not as it was a reasonable diversion for a couple of hours. And in any case the wine was quite good.

Previous-Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Sixty Four
Next-Infrastructure: Part Two Hundred and Sixty Six
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Euel's avatar
Interesting interaction there...
Imperator-Zor's avatar
When you have a lot of dealings which are decidedly hostile, unpleasant or both and some dealings that seem friendly but carry an ulterior motive you learn how to register the ulterior motive but still take some small pleasure from the hospitality while it's being offered.