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Chapter 29 - The Administrator[]

CWS Jerome Winson
Liberator class Cruiser
Tharkad System, Lyran Commonwealth
Zenith Point
July, 3143

Star Commodore Sietha Carns felt a mix of impotent boredom and mild rage. Since defeating the remnants of the Lyran navy here, she had been forced to endure shepherding duty over the transport JumpShips of the clusters come to punish the Lyrans for their betrayal.

Liberator Class Cruiser (Delranes Fighting Ships 3061)

CWS Jerome Winson

{Stuck. Here, with no worthy enemies....Waiting.} Thought Sietha

"Incoming jump contact, off-axis fifteen million kilometers, emergence wave suggests a major vessel, OvKhan!"

{Well, maybe they had some fight left in them after all-the Arc Royal had been conspicuously absent, as had the two Fox class corvettes they knew about...} thought Star Commodore Carns.

"Visual range?" she asked.

"Bringing up telescope data now!"

The, ships coming through the point. "Ryan ice-cartel techniques. Fascinating." she muttered, "Action stations."

"Who are they?" one of the bridge officers, a freebirth she barely acknowledged, asked.

"Those are Kowloonese made Sampan class cutters...and I have no idea what that ship in the center of their formation is." she turned to her crew, "They are coming to challenge us."

Sampan III Class Cutter - Full Thrust (Ngoverse)

Typical Sampan-Class Cutter (later models)

On screen, the larger ship's maneuver engines lit, revealing more of the shape. An irregular octagonal prism planform with echelon rings around the center, blunt ended and under thrust, and its Jumpsail reefed away for combat action.

"That is no cutter and I find no reference to that particular hull planform in our databases!"

"Of course not. That is a treaty violation." she smiled, as the resolution on the telescopic image improved. "Coast Guard...oh my, have they been busy in the quarantine zone? Aff, I think they have."

"...four grav decks?"

"Those, are not gravity decks." she asserted. "Those are weapons mounts."

"How can you be so sure?"

"Why would Belters use gravity decks, Point Commander?" she asked rhetorically, "There are no windows, but those 'gravity decks' are not rotating, and they are contiguous to the hull. Since there is no reason to have swellings that regular along the length of a warship, they must be weapons mounts. Estimate their thrust."

"Two gravities."

Two gravities fits the size of the engine nacelles... "Estimate time to weapons range?"

"Thirty one minutes at two gees...their emission is relatively quiet, Ovkhan...perhaps that ship is less dense than it appears."

"Or they are not in overthrust!" she snapped back. "Two gravities is within the upper end of the tactical thrust for those cutters, but look at the planform! That ship has engines significantly larger than is necessary to move a mass of that apparent size at that speed! What is the neutrino count showing?"

Her sensors officer studied the returns. "This can not be correct..."

"It can, if that ship is as fast as I think it is." she said, "Launch all fighters in the flotilla, combat Dropships prepare for fleet engagement, and nonessential personnel are to report to radiation-shielded bunkers aboard!"


"They are Kowloonese. Kowloonese use nuclear weapons the way the rest of us use standard munitions." she snapped, "They will attempt to use thermonuclear anti-shipping weapons on us!"

"The Lyrans would never allow-"

"Coast Guard." she snapped, "If the Lyrans convinced the Ngo to come, the Ngo will bring the Nukes! I want all point defenses at full ready!!"

"She's launching fighter-scale masses, OvKhan!"

"Thirty minutes...what is our plan for after this, Star Commodore?"

"Lodge a firm complaint and remind the plagueies that they need to stay inside their quarantine." she said grimly, then turned to her XO, "That assumes we come out of this alive, Quiaff?"


"Then see to your duty that we do come out of this alive. I will not see our ship destroyed or taken by a jumped up border police."

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