Sunday December 29, 2002


Battleplates were originally designed to protect planets from the sorts of events that create the geographical features for which the Battleplates are named. The student of geology should only need to hear names like "Chicxulub", "Vredefort", and "El'gygytgyn" to know that we're talking about large rocks landing where rocks ought not land.

While it might seem like overkill to have close to a hundred giant ships like these in one planetary system, that's because once you've moved all of the naturally occuring rocks-o'-doom from dangerous orbits, you begin to worry about someone else sending one at your homeworld from an oblique angle, and at velocities more typically associated with charged particles or recklessly-piloted warships.

Should a relativistic rock the size of a house hit your planet, it will ruin your entire day. Battleplates, with their swarms of long-range, hypernetted sensor drones, are insurance against that sort of event. And with their massively overpowered annie-plants, they're good for all kinds of things, including the odd spot of intimidation.

Book 2: The Teraport Wars
Part III: Handsome Ransom

Transcript

Narrator:Back aboard the mercenary troopship "Serial Peacemaker"
Tagon:What's the status? Is everyone aboard?
Ennesby:Schlock, Legs, and Andy are in jail. Everyone else is here.
DoytHaban:Captain, you need to bail them out immediately. Those bounty hunters will not be stopped by a mere jail to get at hostages they could swap for me.
Tagon:We'll get them out. We need a long-term solution though. I'll get bored hiding here. How do we get this hunt called off completely?
DoytHaban:The U.N.S. Security Council would have to be convinced that I have absolutely no value to them, or to their enemies.
Tagon:It sounds like you would have to be either dead, or lobotomized.
DoytHaban:At this point, I suspect that the U.N.S. will only settle for 'dead.' You don't want to be anywhere near me. They're accustomed to using statements like "regrettable collateral damage" and "appropriate compensation to next-of-kin"
Ennesby:Captain, we're being hailed by something very big and very angry sounding.
Tagon:Put it through, Ennesby.
UNS-Tunguska-Crew:This is the U.N.S. Battleplate Tunguska. You are required to allow a boarding party to collect the fugitive U.N.S. agent Doyt Gyo.
Tagon:I'm sorry. Mister Gyo has expressed a desire to retire from U.N.S. service. Have a nice day.
UNS-Tunguska-Crew:We would be happy to retire him. This can be accomplished from a distance.Regrettably, however, this will result in some collateral damage. Still, we assure you that we will provide appropriate compensation to all next-of-kin.
Ennesby:They sound determined to have that nice day at our expense.
Junshodan:
Serial Peacemaker:
Shv'uu:
Shep:
Oufers:
Nick: