Sunday October 19, 2003
Book 4: The Blackness Between — Part III: Trouble in the Outjack


Narrator: Eight tanks and a full company of lightly-armored soldiers streak across the artificial wilderness of zoojack station alpha... the "outjack."
Narrator: The tanks are modern miracles of engineering: their gravitic drives, multicannons, and shielding allow them to function simultaneously as artillery, armor, and air support.
Narrator: The soldiers' uniforms are no less miraculous: their powered fullerene fabrics are all but impervious to conventional weapons, and their inertiic systems give the troops flight, after a fashion.
Kerchak: Tango leader, cut speed please. Our suits can't keep up with you.
Narrator: The most impressive part of this scene, however, is the scenery itself. The "outjack" is over 4,000 square kilometers of unbroken wilderness folded into about 1000 cubic kilometers. Highly advanced systems provide constant gravity for a landscape that is a topological cousin to a hamper piled full of dirty sheets.
Der Trihs: Roger that. All units, cut speed by 25 percent. We're losing our pack of crunchies.
Kerchak: Tango leader, if you'd care to step out of that can of yours, I'll show you who's crunchy.
Der Trihs: Sh'vuu! I thought you said this was a private channel!
Shv'uu: For certain values of private, yes... yes it is.
Narrator: Cooperation between armor and infantry, however tenuous, should probably also be listed among the major miracles present.