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The Silent Black Ocean (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 16 - The Silent Black Ocean[]

The Cutter, KCGS Edward Vanh
Idrmach Star System
Chainelane Isles, Deep Periphery
September 5, 3165

"I repeat, this is Commander Phillip Von Jankmon of the Kowloon Coast Guard vessel Edward Vanh, Hull number zero-two-two-three-four-niner to unidentified Clan Vessel, you are trespassing in a peacekeeping area.  Stand to and state your identity and business, Over."

"Zero Two-Two-Three-Four-Niner, did I hear you right, you are claiming to be a Kowloonese vessel, Quineg?"

"AFF, that is what I said. Identify yourselves and state your business in entering a hazard area, over."

"This is Star Commodore Leland Khatib of Clan Cloud Cobra, and this is our vessel the Cameron-class Incense. Little man By what right do you contend our claim upon the habitable planet below?"

Cameron Class Battlecruiser (Delranes Fighting Ships 3061 - Matt Plog)

CCS Incence, Cameron Class Battlecruiser

"One question then, are you carrying civilians, Incense?"

There was silence on the channel for a moment.  "Yes.  What will it matter when we have destroyed you and your pathetic little fleet of three ships?"

"It determines whether we use megaton yields to pull you over for a safety inspection. You jumped into my pond, the planet is not my pond. if you want to negotiate with the owners of the planet. We will stand by, Over."

More silence on the channel.

"Clarify, Commander, you are claiming the space in the system as yours, but not the planet, quineg?"

"Our jurisdictional writ only reaches fifty nautical miles inland from navigable waterways or everything past the atmospheric interphase of a habitable planet.  The cities on the planet are inland, if the owners offer you safe conduct, we will not interfere.  If they do not, we will," he paused and signaled the RTO to send course adjustments and targeting data to the rest of 2 and 3 Patrol, "This area is navigationally hazardous, I suggest you contact the surface traffic control officers if you wish to land at this world and obtain clearances or I will have to ask you to stand to for a health and welfare inspection as well as provide documentation showing you are not engaged in kidnapping or unlawful human trafficking for illegal profit. Over."

For a moment there was more silence, then, a sound that at first sounded garbled, but he realized it was laughter.

"YOU...pull US over?" Leland answers astonished.

"You're in a stolen ship. Slam dunk case, the SLS Queen Victoria on your transponder, Cameron class Battlecruiser. Stolen from the Terran Hegemony yards by one Aleksandr Kerensky on 14 February, 2784 in an act of mutiny, brigandage, conspiracy to commit mutiny, and outright treason by a conspiracy of officers seconded to the Star League Defense Forces.  Notably these are aggravated charges due to the fact this mutiny and desertion occurred during a period of national distress, and lucky you, the perps and the victims are all dead now.  over."

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