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The Armada (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 28 - The Armada[]

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

"Yeah, I know it's the wrong thing to do, but it's also the right thing."

Mike Nguyen watched as the small knot of civilians made their way to the shuttle.  "Objectively, we're going to have a hard time keeping them fed, they probably won't live much longer on the Tranh Truk Ngo than they would in that bunker."  he turned to Celeste, "But while it's not the smart thing to do, they will survive longer with us than they would hunkered here.  Sometimes, Celeste, you have to do the right thing even when it's not the smart thing.  Our ship is gimped, but we can park in the shadow of a large body, and maybe ride the shock out long enough to open possibilities."

"You admit it is a vain hope." the former Star Colonel said.

"It is a vain hope." Nguyen nodded.  "But it's hope, which beats resignation by a wide margin."

She was silent, watching PO2 Grau helping a woman holding a toddler onto the boarding ramp of the Coast Guard Mk VII shuttle.

"What if we do succeed in surviving?" Celeste asked.

"Then we survive." Nguyen said.  "If we're lucky, there will be enough ice and comets to restock water once the supplies on the planet have boiled off. We can rig greenhouses with the seeds, set up a burrow, and hold out until space gets 'right shaped' again and someone can pick us up."

"And if they can't?" Celeste asks

"Then we hold out until another answer turns up." he said, "Could be generations, could be the day after.  More people means more genetic diversity in our root population-it's not enough to be viable for more than a couple generations, but that might be enough.  If we don't get out or get rescued, we go belter until we die out I guess...but it's a chance we won't die out, and a chance is better than just lying down to accept the inevitable."

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