Sunday October 30, 2016
Book 16: Big, Dumb Objects — Part IV


NARRATOR: Beskin-Sashik...

ANTOSSA: Wing Marshal, what have you done?

NARRATOR: Pereri System...

BESTI: I have taken resources from the weak, and secured our future.

ANTOSSA: Sweet starlight... Did you steal ships from the mercenaries?

BESTI: We almost had all three of them, but only succeeded in claiming the smallest.

So, you know, yes.

ANTOSSA: You launched an unprovoked assault upon our allies!

BESTI: A first strike.

The shine of the mercenaries' greed is unmistakable. The Toughs would eventually have taken the wealth of our world by force.

ANTOSSA: This is outrageous, and immoral.

All we hold dear - our city, our families, our futures - they all lie defenseless beneath a burning sky.

You have broken the Sacred Compact of the Wing.

BESTI: I have not, because you're not defenseless.

I left you a dozen-dozen combat engineers, and a full wing of Sosheki, all at full alert, prepared to repel any assault.

ANTOSSA: Would that be the wing you abandoned by shutting down your teraport cages?

BESTI: Does it matter? They will defend you.

ANTOSSA: Of course it matters. You robbed us, robbed our allies, and you forced everyone here into war.

You have violated the Sacred Compact of the Wing, and unless you return immediately I will pass summary judgment.

BESTI: I am kind of busy here. A summary sounds nice.

ANTOSSA: You're a pirate. The sentence is death.

BESTI: Thank you! That's exactly the credential I need for tomorrow's meeting with some actual pirates.