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The Silent Black Ocean (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 15 - The Silent Black Ocean[]

Idrmach Star System
Chainelane Isles, Deep Periphery
September 5, 3165

The emergence wave cleared...and revealed the pathetic defense of this degenerate hole.  The ship types on radar were familiar, but not too familiar.  The Hansa had fielded a handful of primitive, pre-dreadnought Gunboats obtained from Founder-only-knows-where.  a handful of easily shattered, obsolete hulls crewed by devoted-if completely outclassed, crewmen.

Mass spectra showed the three visible ones falling into formation were only slightly better than the brutalized and dysfunctional Type 51s that died trying to defend the homeworld of the Hanseatics.

These were only slightly bigger-still below 100,000 tons.  Flimsy machines. he thought.

Star Commodore Leland stared at the telescope image of the vessels forming up a mere 2,000,000 kilometers off his warship's port bow.

Statistical analysis by the warbook was having a problem identifying them, but the Roundels?  Those could be enhanced...

As could the view as each of the three ships launched six fighters.  Something tugged at the back of his mind, and it took him a moment to grasp what that something was.

The fighters were identical.

Someone's pride project, no doubt-or some remnant factory pushing out all the same products... Leland continue to observe.

One of the small ships fired her maneuvers thrusters-and pushed off with three gravities of acceleration.

They weren't running away.

"Launch Aerostars." He ordered.

Something picked at his memories. Memories of Sibko classes and boring historical analysis in basic tactical training.

Something about the roundel...

"Have you identified these?" he asked.

"They are identifying themselves, Ovkhan."  the technician caste at comms said.  "We are being hailed by...The Kowloon Coast Guard."

"Out here?" he remarked with surprise.

Kowloon 4th Squadron, 9th Cutter Division[]

2 Patrol, 4th Sqdn. 9th Cutter Division

KCGS Evelynn Mosovich, Veteran/Reliable, Sampan Mk IV*
KCGS Edward Vanh, Veteran/Fanatical Sampan Mk IV*
KCGS Kelli Whyte II,  Regular/Fanatical Sampan Mk IV*
KCGS Nathan Roshak, Regular/Reliable Sampan Mk IV*

3 Patrol, 4th Sqdn. 9th Cutter Division

ACGS Melinda Castellanao, Regular/Reliable Sampan Mk III* (Arluna)
WCGS Luanne Pfiel, Regular/Fanatical Sampan mk IV (Winter)
KCGS Linda Sithers, Veteran/Reliable Sampan Mk IV** (Boojum/Kowloon outer system)
MCGS Sydney Davis-Copperton, Regular/Reliable Sampan Mk IV* (Mandaoaaru)

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