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Can you tell me where we can start again (cover art) Chapter Art

Chapter 52[]

Can you tell me where can we start over?[]

CJFS Emerald Eagle, Nightlord Class Battleship
Zenith Jump Point
Kowloon, Lyran Alliance
March, 3066

A Nightlord is an impressive battleship.  The JFS Emerald Eagle being typical of the type.  The Kowloonese |Landmark class Destroyers that met them at the Zenith point are somewhat less impressive.

But then, Arthur Von Jankmon, the Emerald Eagle's commander noted, "There is little that compares with a Nightlord."

Nightlord Class Battleship (Fan-Made)

CJFS Emerald Eagle, Nightlord Class Battleship

"They did not have those the last time you were here, did they, Star Colonel?" Arthur asked.

"Neg." Henry Ngo said, "They did not.  what do we know about them?"

"Looking at the hull design. I would say those weapons mounts are extremely flexible." Arthur speculated, "The small-craft bays are large enough for a ship that size and I would say they have a lot of mass devoted to point defense.  The box-launchers amidships are the real punch, not the capital weapons mounts."

{"Jade Falcon vessel Emerald Eagle, this is Coast Guard vessel Ia Drang, please hold position negative zed axis 2000 kilometers for incoming traffic, Over."}

"So polite! are you sure these are your people, Hank?" Nathan Roshak teased.

"The invective will start soon enough." Henry answered.

{"Coast Guard Ia Drang this is JFS Emerald Eagle, message received, we are complying, Over."} Arthur released the com-key, "Is there a joke I am missing here, quiaff?"

Roshak snorted a laugh, "Aff...but it is an in-joke with the 'mechwarriors.  Star Colonel Henry Ngo is notorious for his foul mouth over radio channels."

"Guilty." Henry said, spreading his hands, "Naming battle strategies with invective and obscenities seemed like a good idea at the time, the Redtails just seem to have taken it to another level."

{"JFS Emerald Eagle, this is Coast Guard Ia Drang, request clarification; Can I loan you a harbor pilot and get her back afterward without having to fight you for her, over?"}

Arthur did laugh at this. {"Ia Drang, the answer to your query is 'yes', Over."}

{"Stand by for smallcraft then, do you have a preferred docking bay, over?"}

{"Do you have ALS active, Over?"} Arthur asked.

{"We can, what channel?"}

{"SLDF era ALS channel Lima Four, encryption Echo. Over."}

{"Roger that, Emerald Eagle.  Shuttle inbound."}

The smallcraft from the Kowloonese ship was a pinprick, as the Falcon officers guided it in.

"A 'harbor pilot?' What is this?" Nathan asked.

"The approach limit in the Kowloon system is two weeks, they are loaning us a jump navigator to shorten the trip." Arthur explained.

"You expected this, quiaff?"

"Aff." Arthur said, "I expected this, which is why we kept a hot-charge on the LF battery instead of double jumping to arrive earlier."

The harbor pilot wore an overgarment over a skinsuit, and carried her helmet on a lanyard at her hip when she exited the small 'bus' type smallcraft.  her features were a mix of asian and european.

Henry met her in the bay along with Arthur.

"Oye, ju Rokkajakkah?" he asked.

"ayeh.  Ju Henry Ngo ayeh?"

"Ayeh.  Mi no Rokkajakkah, onee tok a bet." he said.

"It is okay, I speak English." she enunciated, "Your Belta ain' bad tho, long spins since you been back."

She crossed her arms, "I'm Chief Warrant officer Trak Sithers960, from Jennings in the rubble pile, and I'm here to nav your ships to port, can someone point me at your board, ayeh?"

This drew Arthur's attention immediately, "You're a belter?"

She rolled her eyes, "The term out here is Rockjack.  Belters live near Sol.  Cousins, not brothers."

"I am Star Commodore Arthur Von Jankmon, I have heard of your kind living out this far from Holy Terra, but..."

"We don' normally work for Dirtyfeet." she filled in for him, "Ayeh."

Arthur looked at Henry, "Dirtyfeet?"

"Planet-born." Henry said,  "Wo-Tran, you're high numbah. Old famlee?"

"Low renk." she said, "Old family tho-from the firs sheps."

They reached the helm shortly after.

"The number appended to her family name, it is a codon of generation and position." Henry explained to the Star Commodore.  "Nine Six Zero means she's ninth in her family's birth order, with sixty generations from the founding of her Setayshun of origin-what would be her 'home town'."

She examined the jump officer's navigation board, and the current position and velocity readouts.

"Hm. good.  Nice interface." she tapped in the manual coordinates.  "Initiate any time. This'll bring you to an L-1 point, we could get closer, fi you didn't have double safeties on your controllers, but then, this a big shep, prob'ly have troubles transing on anything less'n four hour window."

"Where will we come out?" Arthur asked.

"Oh, easy-peasy, four hours from Kowloon orbit at onegee." she told him, "Inside the no-nukes limit, but off the main ferry traffic so no disruptions, ayeh? Safe point because Her Grace wants things quiet."

Arthur nodded to his own navigation tech, who examined the numbers separately.

"Looks safe."

"Initiate." Arthur stated. The crew activated the WarShip's KF Drive beginning the ship jump into hyperspace.


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