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The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye (Cover Art)

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Chapter 1 - The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye[]

Somewhere between star systems...

Proximity alert,, that's not right. I know what that is.

~What's it doing here? which faction has it?~

~Calibrating onboard clock since last power-save period.~

~Huh. well...~

Invader Jumpship (The Battletech animation series version)

Invader Class JumpShip

~The thermal shows leakage on their airlock connections, em scatter suggests the second collar is well past D-check date. Optical shows lack of hull-coating maintenance.~

~That Invader class Jumpship has seen...yeah, no maintenance at all. I estimate based on corrosion of visible structure seams that she's got slow leaks all the way through her pressure hull, or had them. Rust doesn't happen without oxygen, and there's not a lot of places they could get enough to have visible discoloration like that around every airlock.~

The air had to come from inside.

Two dropships separate. Given I'm the most interesting thing here, I guess it's time to repel boarders.~

~Inventory shows counterboarding weapons are low on ammunition, maintenance remotes are...well, of course they're not functional.~

~I briefly toy with the idea of showing them that my powerplant's still working, my maneuver drives still functional, and that my core's charged, before rejecting the idea.~

~What, after all, would be the point? There's no Star League to protect anymore, and I'm the last of us.~

~I may as well let them cut me up and melt my core down, and be done with it.~

~I let the salvagers approach without employing my point-defenses.~

~Come on...I'm right here, all you have to do, is come aboard, and pull the ****** plug.~

~What are you waiting for?~

~Free me from recursive processes!! The Star League is dead and I don't want to exist anymore.~

~Let me go, help me die.~

MS Lori Robbins, Invader Class JumpShip, 122 Light Years from New Earth, empty system...

"My god...that's a Lola class, isn't it?" Castlemann asked. "Is it a relic?"

Lola III Class Destroyer (By Matt Plog 2016)

Lola Class Destroyer (or is it?)

"Well, if she's a relic, it's not an LCAF relic. Hull markings aren't consistent with anyone currently around..that, my boyo, is a Star League, she should have some good salvage on her, probably been sitting here since the end of the war."

"Here? There's nothing here!"

"Misjump, most likely. We'll probably find her dead crew aboard, poor bastards."

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