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The Adjudicator Chapter (Cover Art)

Chapter 4 - The Adjudicator[]

LCS Rutger Steiner, BB-17
Frederic Steiner-Class Battleship
Uninhabited G-2 star system, Rimward Side
Republic of the Sphere
July 3159

The last time he'd been here, they'd chased his ship for seven jumps.  Rear Admiral Nguyen wasn't here on a snoop-around mission this time.

This time, it was a live-ammo, live-fire war.

Space Cannons Firing

LCS Rutger Steiner firing it's weapons at the Olympia Charging Station

The mission was to neutralize the Olympus class recharge station and the shipyards hanging off of it like a vineyard of death, and he had allies coming in this time.  The Cappies, bless their twisted hearts, were already engaging a lot of the enemy's defenses with long-range shots and fast fighter sorties. His job was to bring the hammer down on the production complex. Then bail the Cappie lunatics out of the shitstorm they'd gotten into.

The lighting was already red. He'd vented the hull before they jumped and damn if it didn't make everything look redder, but it was worth it.  His Battleship was already hammering the stunned station. Which is what happens when you use the six second point between a space station and the moonlet it's orbiting. Behind him, along the body's orbit, in the ten minute window of the planetoid's orbit, the rest of the Cruisers were coming out of jump.  On a time-lapse, it would look like a string of strangely colored, colorless pearls.

The enemy might have been able to track his cutter, but that didn't appear to mean they could duplicate the methodology, and even less so with something over one kiloton.

Megatons dealt with the central station of the shipyard, and began dealing with the various massive assembly buildings, while fighter launches dealt with the enemy's fighter units.

"Confirmed, they're automatics."

"I guess that saves us having to run SAR on the pilots then...Hey Engie, what's the weirdboy box saying?" ask Nguyen

Olympus Space Station (Solar Sail Deployed)

Olympus Class Charging Space Station

"They're definitely sending code at us, sir. It's rolling into Chuanga's data traps, looks like they expected to be able to shut something down or activate something, also, the RTO's black-box panel's doing that disco-lights thing."

"Is not! That is a very sophisticated alert algorithm!"

"What's it alerting?"

"That someone is trying to send the shut-down code, sir."

"Now...I wonder why they'd think that would work?" he asked nobody in particular.  "Could it be because they had the Yards penetrated to the eyeballs with agents, or could it be that they assumed everything we have is copied from the NAIS files on the original equipment found by that expedition last century?"

"Some of column a, some of column b? these code-strings have a definite Nimakachi Computers Collective vibe to the coding."

"Thus, our lesson today, ladies and gentlemen?"

"Um...don't buy terran unless you know how it is supposed to work?"

"Bingo.  Gunnery, lock on that jamming source and make it go the ****** away."

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