Note: In the opening panel of this strip the stars appear to be zipping by very quickly. This is not an indication of "warp speed" or anything silly like that. It's a natural result of the camera being placed on an outriding drone and aimed back at the ship. The exposure time required to gather enough light for the ship to be properly illuminated is such that the starfield appears to move in much the same way that long exposures of the night sky taken from the reference frame of Earth's surface will show all stars as streaks.
In the final panel the camera is fixed on the distant stars, and it is the Touch-And-Go that appears as a streak. Same principle, different point of view.
We just about broke the budget getting those cameras in the right place to capture these dramatic moments, but that's our commitment to you, the reader.
KEVYN: I've caged the whole team in. From the sounds of the chaos Shodan's got a squad on the left, Elf is leading a squad to find K-Prime and the general, and Ebby is chasing after Tagon because the good captain has already engaged the enemy.
KEVYN: And I'm stuck back here sitting on my hands. I could send reinforcements, but anybody we cage in has to be caged back out.
The more we use that cage, the more likely it is to show up on somebody's TAD, and then we get jammed.
TAGII: Damico-P'sloqye has had an exclusion from the U.N.S. Teraport Area Denial around 3317 Paris for almost as long as TAD systems have existed.
They maintain their own, independent Teraport Area Denial bubble around the asteroid, which means your Teraport Cage is only up against one TAD system.
KEVYN: Well, that's one piece of good news. And it must be nice to be rich enough to be able to bribe a giant hole into your system's defenses.
TAGII: Indeed. This doubtless simplifies all sorts of fascinating and profitable smuggling.
I suspect this also allowed the enemy to 'port their abductees from the edge of the Celeschul system directly to 3317 Paris.
KEVYN: We need to exploit this.
TAGII: That's Tagon's "Plan B." If we disable the 3317 Paris TAD, there will be no U.N.S. TADs preventing us from using cageless teraports for emergency extraction.
Once we reach the exclusion bubble, that is.
KEVYN: Two hours, you say?
TAGII: One hour, fifty-four minutes. And at least thirty points' worth of mid-system traffic violations.