Chapter Sixty-Five

The next day North took over the Peepian Command Center. He left Quantros in charge of The Republic's Forces while he put his full efforts into re-organizing The Peepian's Fleet.
2 For the first two days he merely studied everything they had, which was considerable. He learned they had nearly one-hundred new ships in storage, plus over one-hundred old ships equipped only with system drive, sitting on bases throughout the system.
3 He quickly sent some messages to Morn. Did they have any old system ships? "Sure!" Morn replied, "Hundreds of them!"
4 "Send me two-hundred!" requested North.
5 Next, North went over the crew lists. He found the promotion lists strange. There seemed to be two sets in each category. So the Officers that had considerable experience and excellent records were half way down the lists proceeded by younger Officers with not HALF their skill! He noticed that each name on the top of the list was preceded by a circle with a line through it, while the name at the bottom had only half a circle.
6 North called in his Aide. "What does this symbol mean?" he asked.
7 "I am not sure," the Aide explained, if you have a comparable word for it. It means a child whose mother and father are married; the two halves of circle making a whole ...legitimate."
8 "Let me see if I understand," questioned North, "Deserving Officers are held back because they are the sons of whores?"
9 "Those of honorable births are given positions first," the Aide snapped, "if there are any left over ...."
10 "I see!" snarled North, "Every promotion list is to be rewritten. These symbols are to be removed. From now on Officers are to be promoted by seniority and skill. It is to be done immediately! When it is completed,

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