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

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Chapter 105 - The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye[]


...often seek lone glory. This is partially due to the Clan system, including Snow Raven doctrines developed during the Golden Century with the Corone class-a vessel type considerably larger and heavier than the Sampan class, but there was something akin between them-a spacegoing, jump-capable vessel designed and built for a pure Space combat role, with little to recommend it in action against surface targets.

Warrior's going to warrior, after forty minutes of maintaining tight formation and banging away with LIDAR, RADAR, and watching for sign and echoes, the formation had to spread out.

Space is after all, big, and three dimensional.

"We are within eighty thousand kilometers of 'goalpost one'." his sensor operator announced. Bryn took this advice-there were a number 0 'objective' items scattered in the orbitals, in part to assure that combat could occur in such a large playing field.

"Spread the formation, fighters to conduct sweeps, sensors active, look for warm helium trails." he ordered.

Burned helium from hydrogen fusion is the main exhaust-and if you catch it soon enough, it shows up on infrared and other receptive spectrums as it cools, including, if you're close enough, gamma.

"Maybe they will be between this one and goalpost t-" Star commander Jerrold, serving as XO, was about to suggest, when the lock alarms went off.

"Where are they!?"

The ship rocked as inert warheads from missiles struck the aft quarter, ventral side, and damage sensors on the hull announced Naval Laser fire, class 45, drawing a line up the spine of the ship.

"Engineering! damage report?? someone cut that alarm off!"

Sampan IV Class Cutter - LCS Delphin in Battle (Ngoverse)

Sampan III Class Cutter in Combat

"...port side fighter and shuttle bay doors are jammed open, reactors three, five, and seven are offline, two is showing accelerating heating from coolant loss, starboard propulsion nacelles two and four are out of action, six is showing damage..."

Another string of hits, this time from forward dorsal, scraping across the Naval Laser mount, and two of the four box-launchers for capital missiles. Reports from his fighter squadron announced that they had visual on the opposition's cutters, and were being engaged by fighters.

"They knew we were coming, they knew where we were!"

it was educational, as his helm brought the ship under control, DC parties cutting off severed fuel feeds and rerouting through the redundant plumbing, he brought the nose around to face the second assailant, who was now merrily riding a fusion torch toward the objective marker. "Engage THAT ship!" he ordered, "Point defenses on aft to keep more of those missiles off us!!"

The ship would have groaned, if it were pressurized...or more likely, howled and burned from rents in the hull.

It was a tail chase, and he had the advantage here-the naval laser mount was dorsal and forward-a semi-flexible nose mount, while the opposing vessel could only try to fire missiles aft, their directed energy weapon being forward in the same mounting.

"They are...their fighters are recovering?"

Founder. "They are going to Jump!" Cooper realized, he could almost imagine the gravitational balance point between the satellite, and the Planet where they would pull the transition.


"Not impossible." he said savagely, "These ships do not have safeties on the jump drive, if they think they can meet the math. They can put it through any theoretical point large enough to pass the hull!"

And with that, he realized he would lose this trial for real. As a third cutter appeared ahead, facing them, riding an emergence wave and closing. As the other vessel kept burning for the same point.

"Savashri...what we could do with that...skill."

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