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Chapter 13 - The Administrator[]

Winter Coast Guard Ship Hulo
Sampan Mk II-Class Cutter
Winter System
3142

Lieutenant Jorge Osterrand looked a the sensor returns, "Attenuate sensors another four megahertz and coordinate with our boats."

"Aye Mein, Kapitan." the enlisted man at the nav-set nodded, complying with the order.

Sampan II Class Cutter in Orbit (Ngoverse)

Sampan II-Class Cutter, Hulo

The blank-spot on the screen sharpened into an actual shape, as the cutter's on-board computers processed sensor returns from the four small boats he'd set to a search pattern.

"Ninety meters length, near enough." he said with satisfaction. The spotting report had come from one of the rockjack mining groups-they'd picked up the thermal bloom and EM shout of an incoming jump signature and called it in when no drive plume had appeared.

"Boat four, ping with active LIDAR, short pulse duration, two seconds, then shut it off and evasive away. on my mark." he had a theory-They're confident in their stealthing, but if they think they've been seen, they will either fire or maneuver.

"Engineering, Helm, prepare for evasive action." he added. "Boat Four, Mark!"

Boat Four's two-second burst revealed a squat, armored shape, with enormous engine housings, ninety meters from stem to stern, and thirty meters from dorsal to ventral, an octagonal prism shape studded with weapons blisters and a chisel-nosed shape.

The engines on the bogey fired, as predicted.

"Detecting missile launch!!"

"Torpedoes in the water, two...four...six...twelve...twenty four."

"Evasive maneuvers, helm! Guns, bring up our point defense batteries and set a return shot bearings only, no seeker, mark!!"

He turned his head, as the ship accelerated hard, "RTO, send our sensor data to all nearby allied vessels."

"Jump point opening, Port!!"

The point-defense cannons were firing, the vibrations rattling the old cutter's entire length, a sound only heard inside as shells fed the exterior mounts.

"Friends?"

"Friends!!"

Contacts appeared in quick succession, following a five kilometer rock around the sun nearly ninety thousand kilometers away, transponders sounding across the void.

"Brace for impacts!"



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