Sunday August 1, 2004
Book 5: The Scrapyard of Insufferable Arrogance — Part IV: Hand it Over


Narrator: the mercenary warship Serial Peacemaker clears the teraport-interdicted space of Absn'te. Our heroes are headed back, or at least that's what they think.
Ennesby: Sir, I'm not getting teraport clearance from Athens.
Tagon: When was our last contact with them?
Ennesby: I sent them a status update when we got paid, about two hours ago.
Tagon: If there's a problem, they would have called. . . Even just a quick burst to say "Trouble."
Ennesby: I'm barely getting hypernode touch, and what I do get is intermittent. I believe they're being jammed, and that means they're under attack.
Tagon: Get the V.D.A. . .
Ennesby: Way ahead of you. The Very Dangerous Array is being deployed as we speak.
Ennesby: Teraprobes show interdiction in an 18 minute sphere. I'm taking half the VDA right to the edge to resolve the center.
Tagon: Only half? What about. . .
Ennesby: The other half is going two hours and sixteen minutes out. . . that's the amount of time since our last contact.
Ennesby: The far array will show us everything that happened since then. We use the close array to see the nine-minutes-recent past.
Tagon: That's still too much delay. Anything we learn will come too late for us to do any good.
Ennesby: I don't think you get it, sir. It's already too late for us to do any good. We're out of the ring for this fight.
Ennesby: The best I can get us is some seats in the nosebleed section.
Der Trihs: Ooh, did we get tickets to something?
Der Trihs: Sorry to interrupt the secret party plans. How come we haven't 'ported back yet?
Tagon: I'm glad you got here in time to contribute something useful, Lieutenant Commander.