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

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Chapter 53 - The Glow of a Worm inside a Child's Eye[]


Blackjack System, Lyran Commonwealth - August 3050


"Savashri!! What the hell? that should...


...have crippled them OUTRIGHT!!"

In the distance, pieces of the Tabiranth spun away under the guns of the White Aerie...

And the damned ship was still fighting.

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

Sampan IV Class Cutter firing it's weapons

There were no secondary explosions, no venting of burning atmosphere.

Just more incoming fire, and the damned spheroids were doing things under a level of thrust that a ship like that should not be able to do.

Like walking off a hit that had to have breached the atmosphere envelope near the bridge.

Pressure decks should be rupturing, fires should be damned near visible.

No fires, and someone must have trained their fighter pilots exceedingly well.

"How in the founder's name are they doing that?", As another shock hit the Falcon warship as another salvo of fire from the Lola slammed with inhuman accuracy. Drawing lines and craters across targeting arrays and sealing the port small craft bay by exploding the founder-bedamned thing with a one in a million...no, one in a billion lucky shot through the opening doors into the face of Bravo Star's strike wing.

More bad news came over channels, as the dropships, including their Carrier class Dropship, were struck by Capital Missiles and Naval Laser fire from the smaller ships-right through the CAP, because...

"We did not take her seriously, we did not take them seriously.", Galaxy Commander Samantha Clees observed. "Status, Von Jankmon!!"

"We have one third thrust if we dump everything into it. Power generation plants Two, Four, and Five are offline due to damage to the cooling towers. We can not launch or recover small craft or fighters....", the man snarled, "HOW ARE THEY DOING THIS!!?"

"Can we withdraw?"

"They have us bracketed!!"

Another OmniFighter exploded under the guns of the smaller ships, as lock warnings sounded from the remaining detectors.

"Open a channel to the enemy vessel.", the Galaxy Commander ordered.

"Attention Elizabeth Ngo, if you are still alive, this is Galaxy Commander Samantha Clees of Clan Jade falcon. Respond!"

(("Hello, Samantha Clees, This is Liz, do you have something you would like to say?")) The girl's voice asked.

"Aff. I wish to request...Hegira... to withdraw. Over."

(("Let's see...nope. Can't do it. You've lost forty percent of your drive sail, you're dumping Hydrogen and Helium Three from holes in your fuel bunkers, and your flight deck appears to be on fire. if I let you go you'll just be going to die, which takes longer by lots than if I let the latest salvo of missiles go ahead and hit. We're past the seventy five thousand K limit, and that package is rockbreakers. I CAN send the abort...but not if you're still an enemy combatant. Over."))

"You want surrender, quiaff?"

(("Yes, that would be lovely. surrender all your forces and we can get to work on search and rescue while you still have live personnel to rescue, over?"))

The Dishonor, was in underestimating the foe. It was in thinking the Spheroids would remain easy meat..."We...Surrender."

Bursts flashed the remaining screens white, before filters shut down, indicating several nuclear devices had been 'lit off' at a distance.

Static cleared. (("Stand by, please. Order your men to stand down their fighters and remaining dropships, we're going to have to call in our support element to conduct search and rescue."))

"Why?" Von Jankmon asked. "Why do you have to call in others?"

(("That's because we gots no air in our decks, and that makes medical treatment and prisoner handling complicated, Over."))

"Do it." Samantha ordered. "Do it before we have nobody left."

"Seyla..."

It would take three hours for the rest of the Convoy, the civilian-grade jumpships with their cargo dropships, to arrive and begin collecting the damaged, the out-of-fuel, and the surrendered warriors of Clan Jade Falcon's Delta Galaxy.

It would take sixteen hours for the very astonished officers of AFFC high command to get word that their navy was no longer a secret to the enemy.


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