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The Adjudicator Chapter (Cover Art)

Chapter 62 - The Adjudicator[]

Taussen Star System
Federated Suns Space
Mid 3160

[And then, you run like you stole something...]

For over eighty years, the Kowloon Coast Guard hunted pirates, smugglers, and human traffickers. To do that, you have to be pretty good at identifying the routes and methods those unworthies use to get from point Alpha to point Zulu.

much of that methodology has moved into the Lyran Commonwealth Navy, but only at or above a certain level.  After all, when your job moves from keeping stealthy hit-and-run types in check, to maintaining a battle line and winning, some skills are more necessary than the ability to move large numbers of ships quickly without detection.

Having a distraction helps.  Fortunately, such a distraction was poised waiting to move in as soon as LCS Beagle jumped out.

The Hegemony Remnant's automated and semiautomated fleet of AI enhanced automated warships has a Federated Suns military fleet to deal with and that fleet's been waiting for two months with nothing to do but study telescope data and listen to electromagnetic flux from remote signals.

With a fairly significant reason to do more than wait a bit longer, what with the confirmation of Taussen's role in the Jihad as co-sponsor, as well as confirmation of their involvement in many of the deception operations, sabotage ops, and political manipulations that led to Caleb Davion's doomed death-ride into the history books at Palmyra and the subsequent half-decade long occupation of New Avalon by the Draconis Combine, as well as the presence of a hostile nation inside their borders, bent on reconquista and pax Hegemon goals.

How did the Davions find out? well...

There's this funny thing that happens when you station a fleet a few light minutes out, and someone dumps a couple centuries worth of encrypted intelligence data out onto an unsecured radio broadcast tower...someone's always listening when they're surveying your star system.

The "Banana war' wound up being relatively bloodless...a few thousand dead more or less...but it didn't mean Sharon was going to wait around for the conclusion.

Run like you stole something.  Because you did.

Sidle off and look innocent like you stole something? Maybe, because you did.

Either way, doesn't matter.  The goal isn't to stick around, it's to get Clarissa Ngo back to Tharkad and the Coast Guard OCB psych specialists who can unlock everything she picked up while having her brain rummaged by the people now facing a full-scale Federated Suns invasion force.

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