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The Silent Black Ocean (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 14 - The Silent Black Ocean[]

The Cutter, KCGS Morgan Icazz
Idrmach Star System
Chainelane Isles, Deep Periphery
September 5, 3165

"...look, I don't have a problem with you importing weapons, heck, we're officially hands-off're taking pot-shots at random trading ships." Lt. Commander Truk Jennison was having a 'day' here, trying to mediate a local conflict that was getting out of hand.

"They are Spying on us!"  the lordling supreme leader of Idmach spat in increasing fervent inbred frustration.

"Okay, we can solve that." Truk growled in frustration.

"Solve it?"

"Yes, if the jumpships and dropships are spying on you, the Coast Guard can post your system as a do-not-enter with warning beacons and a general quarantine.  No more spying, we'll even voluntarily enforce it."  he'd had enough of this crap.  "I can guarantee we can make sure not a single Jumpship enters your space for as long as it takes for this to blow over.  No more traders, no more gun-runners, no more 'spies', you'll be free to do...whatever it is you're doing, no more bothersome interstellar trade, spare parts, ammunition, industrial goods, manufactured goods or medicines.  Thing is, you're halfway there already because we've gotten complaints about your 'defensive fire' from every shipper and trader in the cluster and the only reason I'm here is to try and stop your neighbors from putting an embargo on your ass."

He didn't realize he was shouting until he stopped speaking.

On the vid, the Supreme Leader quailed, wide-eyed.  "That would kill us..."

"No shit, but you're so frekking paranoid that someone is going to see you bolting armor plates on industrial mechs that you're missing the bigger picture here. You need that stuff to live and if you keep shooting at the people who bring it to you, you won't get it.  If you take up piracy, you will get an LCN Punitive expedition up your ass...and that's if they're being nice, if we have to do it it's elbar toothpicks for everyone responsible."

"We have the right to defend our territory!"

"I'm not disputing your sovereign rights. I'm telling you that I'm here today to keep this from spiraling out of control. You need trade to live and to restock your expended ammunition, but mostly to live.  So, let's talk deals and talk about talking to your neighbors so that you still have an economy to be paranoid about."

"Sir!"  Lt. Charlee Riggs interrupted.

"Dammit what-"

"Emergence waves detected at the zenith and nadir, large ones." she said.

"Son of a bitch.  Send an all-points to the rest of the patrol-" He turned tot he comm panel, "We're going to need to talk later, Mister Orlov, but in the meantime, you might want to scramble that ragged-ass piece of shit you call a militia, because company has arrived in force and it's not us."  with a gesture, he cut the transmission to the planet.  "Helm, get us underway and moving!  Gladlee, I want telescopes on those points, show me what we're in for!"

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