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The Armada (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 25 - The Armada[]

Star League Palace
Unity City, Terra
Sol Star System
Wolf Empire
3169



[Recorded Transmission of KCGS Tranh Truk Ngo....]

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LCS Tranh Truk Ngo
Landmark Class Destroyer
Clan Space
August, 3169 CE

"We're still alive.  KF Drive systems are down, including both the drive core and the HPG, but the Box as you've proven is still works."

"I can confirm-the fusion plants experienced significant surge damage. The lighter units used on cutters would have rupture, so we know how Fourteen and Thirty One division's birds were destroyed.  We've managed a scram and restart on the number four and six powerplants, so we've got life support and some thrust.  The core shows nano-scale damage, including delamination of layers and a radical configuration shift. So we're not going to be able to jump out any time soon...if ever.  I'll send you guys the scans, the damage is...strange.  Part of the HPG assembly is simply gone."

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There was a pause, "Medical exams show ionizing radiation side-effects on all crew remaining aboard the Tranh.  Precancerous lesions are forming in just about everyone.  Corpsman Holloman has already started us on cancer-prep medications.  Given that we had a damn gas-giant between us, and the subspace wave, the odds that a shielded bunker could sustain any survivors are nil.   We've got two months until the real-space shockwave hits, we're deploying shielded sensor drones along the predicted wavefront..."

The report went on for hours, describing the side effects, injuries and damage, outlining actions and plans.  When Captain Mike Nguyen finished, the rest of the channel was pulsed data collection from the sensors and systems.

"THey are going to die out there." Star Lord Alaric Ward said.

"Yes." Sharon stated, "The crew of the KCGS Tranh Truk Ngo are going to die out there. We can't get in to reach them with a rescue vessel, not past the wavefront.  Even the black box comm is showing signal degradation."

Alaric turned away from the feed, and sighed.  "You sent them to their deaths." he said.

"I did." Sharon stated, "But we know more than we did because of it, and Mikey knew the risks."

The First Lord's jaw worked, and he sighed, "NO.  YOU didn't send them, I did."

Sharon's turn to be silent.

"I sent them." he said, "I authorized it, I am in charge, that makes me responsible."

"IF you say so, First Lord." she said, "I know a lot of people in your position historically didn't take that particular tack-that interpretation." "I am not 'many' people, I am not even 'most' people." Alaric stated, "You have a list of the volunteers, quiaff?"

"I do."

"Medals seem...hollow." he said, "Insufficient somehow."

"Not going to tell you how to do your job, Sir." she said.  "I have put the volunteers up for the best medals we can give them."

Alaric Ward mused.  "Approved.  what about giftakes?" he asked.

"Most of the ones without kids did contribute reproductive cells to on-site fertility clinics, sir." she said.

"They will be in demand." he said, "That kind of courage, knowing what they knew and doing it anyway, will make them in-demand with the Clan factions."

"Not for me to say, sir." she said.



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