Sunday December 21, 2008
Book 10: The Longshoreman of the Apocalypse — Part IV: Fuller's Soap


Narrator: Emergency tactical discussion aboard the mercenary warship Touch-And-Go. . .
Captain Tagon: TAG, give me a way to rescue Brad. His tank is going to crash in less than two minutes.
TAG: Our drones are now inert and dropping. It seems the strike team's flight triggered a strongly enforced "no fly" defense originating from the stationwaist.
TAG: The only annie-plants capable of withstanding those defences are here on the Touch-And-Go.
Captain Tagon: We could take this ship inside the station?
TAG: Credomar is certainly big enough. We would have to make a hole, but we could get there in time.
Captain Tagon: A hole. . . How many people are we likely to kill trying to rescue Brad and his tank?
TAG: If everything goes perfectly? Perhaps as many as two hundred. If we get shot down, or something else goes seriously wrong? As many as thirty million.
Captain Tagon: How many people are likely to die if Brad crashes?
TAG: Between zero and ten thousand, depending on where he hits, and whether his ammo goes up.
TAG: 'Chelle's tank did not breach upon collision, though, and in a fortuitous coincidence she want down in a precinct evacuated due to my early-morning misadventure with teraport area denial.
Captain Tagon: So a perfect rescue saves thousands, but a botched one kills millions.
TAG: Aptly put, sir. Brevity is the soul of wit.
TAG: You have now waited long enough that there is no longer time to execute a safe rescue.
Captain Tagon: Don't rush me. . . I'm still thinking this over.