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The Wind at my Back, Stars at my feet Chapter (Cover Art)

Chapter 27 - The Wind at my Back, Stars at my feet[]

Mila Weintraub's CIC...

"Is this even possible?" The job requires hands, and that meant letting some of the Blood Spirits ride along. Amanda ignored the skepticism of the Clanner dropship officer anchored behind her station, focusing on the math instead.

"Yes...if she gets the calculations right." Lt. Daimh, the Skipper, said, "Give me a time marker, Ngo."

"Target is a nine second window in five minutes, thirty seconds recurring from my mark...mark." the girl said, locking the data into the core-control, "Their position is pretty stable, their engines must've been shut down when they were hit."

She tapped a rocker switch on the navigation board, "Switching to manual in three, two, one...I have the ball."

"Confirmed, Nav, you have the ball. All hands, all hands, brace for KF transition in four minutes." Daimh announced, "You might want to get anchored, Luther, a nine second translation can get pretty rough."

"I have never even heard of such a thing..." the man said wonderingly, "...how often do you do this?"

"On a training mission? I have seven navigation trainees, four of them were up for qualification including the guy whose mistake landed us here." the Skipper commented, "Amanda's my best student, she never misses a mark and she always double checks her calcs. We're in decent hands."

Amanda didn't flinch outwardly, but she flinched inwardly. Praise always seems to come right before a mistake. she re-ran the math mentally, whispering a child's rhyme to keep her timing, before snapping her helmet closed, which activated the scavenging hoses that would catch the inevitable vomit from a hard transition.

"Three...two...one..."

Discontinuity

"Jennings, they're working those people to death!"

"It's not our business, Trau. The Alliance Parliaiment has already refused to hear the appeal, and you know that Al-Faradh's people own the supreme court."

"It's a genocide, Phil. How the ****** can we justify doing nothing?"

"The pathfinder service can't get involved, Trau, you know that. It's Terran Alliance Politics, and the Alliance has decided that it's worth it to them to let some people die in forced labor camps if it keeps the peace for the rest-they're probably hoping that the colonization drive will take the pressure off, and maybe it will."

"****** you, Phil, these are people down there!"

"That has occurred to me, buddy. Unfortunately, the Director isn't going to back us up this time if we do something-the Germanium mines in the Sinai are too important to the colonization project and the military doesn't want to get involved, especially if it means risking instability in the southwest asian corridor-hell, they're not even willing to go to bat for your people under Beijing's thumb."

"We can do something." Sarah Crowe said, cradling a bulb of something vacuum distilled. "We can rig the colonization lotteries, it'll work once, but only once. There are seven hulls and once they find out we rigged the draw, we won't be able to do it again-the rich ****** that are getting first pick won't stand for it, but we can get seven ships out-and if we get them out far enough, maybe in the wrong direction..."

"I found a spot last time." Trau said firmly, "It's a complex jump, but space is rough enough there that nobody's going to try to follow on until a lot later, they can maybe make something of a go at it, and hold it. an off-sequence binary, it's long range, but nothing compared to some of the spots we've surveyed in the past...how are we going to rig it?"

"Easy-peasy, they're using a windows-based system and it's on-line, the network security is shit when you're dating one of the programmers, which I am...just make sure you've got room on one of them for us, because once we've done it, everyone involved is going to be a felon."

It was better than watching people die from orbit...

Discontinuity

Amanda's stomach rebelled hard-and for a few seconds she was blinded by vomit inside her helmet, before the scavenger flow sucked it under overpressure out of her vision.

Status monitors showed most of an Aegis class cruiser tumbling less than five kilometers away.

"We're here." she groaned, "Fuuuu...Hurrrk!!"

"Secure from jump, all hands!! Corpsman to CIC!!"




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