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The Armada (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 9 - The Armada[]

KCGS Tranh Truk Ngo III
Landmark Class Destroyer
Eden star System
Pentagon Worlds
3167 CE

The Noruff was an improved model, sporting the roaring lion's head of these 'Stone Lion' clanners.  Mike watched as the system patrol ship limped its way to the transit point, broadcasting IFF and challenge identifiers.

"Arto, are they catching our transponder code?" he asked.

"Pingback says they are, but I kinda wonder if they're looking on the old SLDF bands.  Shall I 'show the flag', sir?"

"Show the flag." Mike ordered

WO4 Deena Shainer grinned, which crinkled the plague-scar tissues around her lips and eyes, "Ayah sirrah." and then, she set the transmitter to full.

"Clan Stone Lion Traffic Control vessel, Cobb's Steed Alpha, this is Kowloon Coast Guard Ship Tranh Truk Ngo III Identification Coast Guard Six-Fife-Zero-Two, we are on a mission of mercy from the Star League, please respond if you are receiving, Over?"

She remembered to cut the gain on the transmitters when she finished.

"I hope you didn't blow their eardrums off with that, Arto, it'll be a pain to talk to them if we have to resort to charades and sign-language."

"Sir, that signal was probably heard...will be heard...everywhere in the system." her eyes glittered with what can only be termed 'winterite malice'.

"That means every enclave in the system heard us?"  XO asked.

"Yeah...Arto, do we have a change in their broadcast profile?"

"Incoming transmission, Sirrah, they finally found channel sixteen."

"This is Star Commander Jesse. What in the name of the founder are you babbling about, freebirth?"

"If you want, I can give you data on exactly how long you've got to evacuate the entire population of the Pentagon Cluster before it's penta-gone, we're here to help."  Mike snapped, "Contact your commanding officers and ask them about multiple supernova events less than thirty light year's distance from where we're talking, Star Commander.  According to the information we wrung out of the people who abandoned you, you've got fifty six million Stone Lion civilians on Eden alone, and something around two hundred Jumpships spread across six clans, most of which aren't in condition to jump more than a few times before they fail.  we're here as the contact team of a force with sufficient lift to get everyone, and I mean everyone out before the wave-fronts fricasse every living thing within two hundred light  years. Over."

He looked over, "It's 'Fricasse' right?  cook over an open flame?"

"It works, sir." said Arto

"What? what authority gives you the-" the man's voice stopped, and then, "Kowloon?  The Impalers of Elbar?"

"The Coast Guard.  The One-seven-one put Rimworlds officers on pikes.  Yeah, we're here, because of the Elbar Declaration." He said, "If you don't know what the Elbar Declaration specified, I can have my RTO shoot you a children's guide to the Amaris War.  we've included the text in the appendices providing you Clanners have retained the ability to read.  The relevant passages denote a condemnation of genocide, you're facing genocide, my people are obligated to help your people survive. Over."

"There is nothing in the text of the Declaration about natural disasters." Star Commander Jesse was still clearly in denial.

"Yeah, well, these aren't natural supernovas.  Someone or something is trying to kill you, we're here to save you, and it gets a lot more complicated if I have to shoot you in order to do that, so how about we try acting like adults, Over."

"Stand by, Coast Guard Six Five Zero One, I need to contact my superiors." said Star Commander

"Standing by, over."

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