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Chapter 30 - The Administrator[]

KCGS Ia Drang
Landmark class Destroyer
Tharkad System, Zenith Point
Lyran Commonwealth
July, 3143

On Sharon's HUD, a blinking light appeared, showing a hailing in progress from the Clan formation that was shaking itself out in slow-time (seconds of light delay).

She activated it with a glance.

A Woman in Clan Wolf uniform appeared in front of her eyes. "Hello." Sharon said.

"This is Star Commodore Sietha Carns to oncoming Coast Guard vessels!"

"Hi, Sietha, I'm Sharon Ngo, Rear Admiral, Kowloon Coast Guard Marines, have you called to tell me you're leaving?"

"Sharon Ngo...the Duchess of Kowloon, come to challenge our right to be here? Lovely. In twenty minutes your tin-cans will be in range of our weapons, I am offering you the unique opportunity to heave to and surrender...why am I only seeing your eyes?" asked Sietha Carns

"Suit cameras." Sharon said, "Personally, I would suggest you get something better than cheap coveralls if you're going to fight us. Decompression is a bitch for skin tone, Star Commodore Carns. Maybe you should consider...ya know, heaving to yourself, we've got lots more experience with these kinds of dances than your lot, and I'm fair sure we've got you out-gunned."

"Your ship is tiny, mine is large." taunted carns

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, Star Commodore. Funniest thing, before you guys decided to attack us, the last word was you were allies. What the ****** happened? Eighteen minutes." announced Sharon

"The last we were told, nobody was building new warships in the Lyran Commonwealth. Yet here you are, in a...prototype?" asked the Star Commodore

"First production model. Did you guys send that stealth ship that blew up the Pol Nguyen station, along with a rockjack prospector, two cutters, and tried to attack a major water processor in the Winter system? Because it was all Clan Tech and a bitch to kill."

"Um, no." mutters Carns

"Well, I don't want to take your word for it, I guess I'll have to ask the Falcons, Seventeen minutes."

"You accept my assertion, Quineg?"

"Aff, I accept Clan Wolf didn't sent the mystery ship." Sharon said, "You Clanners are not very good at lying and you answered a direct question with a firm answer. Until Clan Wolf gets a rep for lying their asses off like everyone else does, I'm going to accept you had nothing to do with it...but I'm still obligated to make you leave Tharkad. Fifteen minutes." said Sharon

"Our intelligence says you refused to send aid!"

"That was when a usurper tried to coerce it. I don't like the Archon, but she is the Archon. Melissa called, we came. Fourteen minutes." said Sharon

"If Melissa Steiner were to die?" Carns asked.

"Then I will follow my last order from her until her lawfully appointed heir changes those orders, Star Commodore Carns." Sharon said, "That is what it means to be a professional. Thirteen minutes."

"If she ordered you to break off-even if you were winning?"

"I would obey my lawful orders, Star Commodore, and break off, why? Do you have information I don't about the state of mind of the Archon?"

"Neg...but there is a headhunter star after her."

"My marines will deal with that." Sharon said, "Ten minutes."

"You will not break off this course, even to save your Archon?"

"Not a damned thing can i do on the ground from here and there is a chain of command in case the top of the chain is decapitated. Unlike you guys, my guys won't go home and sulk for year if you get lucky and I die. The command integrity remains without weak links...Eight minutes."

The dig did its job, the Clan officer on the other end. Well aware of what happened when a pilot rammed the Dire Wolf during Operation Revival, the Wolf Commander was momentarily speechless, and better still looked doubtful.

Velocity counters on her helmet's display matched the preplanned meeting velocity, range indicators were good, and the cutters were in position.

Thrust cut, gravity became null.

Sharon motioned to Emily, and the experimental system was deployed, but not activated.

{We're entering the range of their improved naval ppc batteries.} silently Sharon to herself.

"Let's see if this works."

The Wolf officer cut the connection, and technicians stabbed controls.

{We held a narrow, straight line vector. They have to have us ranged by now.} Sharon thought

She waited.

"Test system active! They've got targeting lock!!"

"Stand by for damage control."

Exterior view...

The Wolf Warship fired her Naval PPC's. Really the best choice, those don't cost ammunition and have the best damage-to-weight and damage-to-heat ratios.

The impact revealed a blue haze, cut in hexagons, drifting ahead of the Coast guard formation. beyond it, the remnants of the charged particle beams were distorted, diverted, and diffused, blistering hull coatings and removing fractional tiles from the cutters and the Ia Drang.

"It worked!!"

"For the moment. Initiate attack plan Alpha, that's gotta have them confused!" Sharon barked.

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