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Chapter 11 - The Advisor[]

FSS Kentares NR-001
Kentares- Class Corvette / Ram Ship
Sol Star System
Republic of the Sphere

[Day 40...into the trip back to the Federated Suns...]

Anh settled on the hull and found herself joined by a Sergeant named Boothe.

It was an opportunity to practice making herself understood. "I love it out here." she said.

"Ma'am, you should be inside."  Boothe said, "The view is superb."

"Yes, I should." she said slowly, "But..."

"but the stars are spectacular, it's quiet." finished Boothe.

She sighed contentedly, "Look, a drive plume. Do you know what kind?"

"Not without a telescope." he said.

"Look at the spectrum.  Blue-white intensity but, there's a bit more blue than white." she said, "That's not a Clanner drive plume, it's Inner Sphere, and heavy."

He blinked and studied it carefully.  "How heavy?" he asked.

She shrugged, "Over one hundred thousand tons. I'd need a point of reference for distance but, see how the trail firehoses before it loses density? Clanner drives are sharper, they don't disperse like that unless they're old SLDF engines.  This is part of how I knew we were up against an Aegis-Class Cruiser over Sudeten. A smaller drive closer, like a fighter or smallcraft? would have more yellow at the fringes.  We can go down to the CIC and I can show you-wait, I can't. I don't know if your ships carry that kind of gear.  I had an XO during the war, Mettersen, grew up in the belts. He taught me how to look at drive plumes."

In the distance, the drive plume vanished.

"Long burn." he said.

"I watched him for ten minutes before you spoke." Anh said, "Based on the visible light intensity, length of the plume, and duration, he was pushing one point five gees for fifteen minutes-with one course correction. I'd need a sensor log to confirm that."

"Why study drive plumes?" he asked.

"When you're hunting pirates." she said, "Ship-spotting is a good skill for a Captain doing antipiracy or warfare.  There are a lot of times where you only have your passive sensors.  We laid in doggo for weeks before the invasion force was ready, ship-spotting and plotting their patrol routes.  by the time the counter-invasion taskforce was ready, we knew where to lay rocks, where the enemy's patrol droppers were, and how long they would have to burn to react..." she gestured, "Our boy is running a patrol between Saturn and Neptune, see?"

"Huh...when I was a boy at Galax, we used to ship-spot from the hull of the station." said Boothe

"It's great, is it not?" she asked carefully, "Relaxing."

"It is..." replied Boothe

They sat in companionable quiet, while the FSS Kentares finished deploying the jump-sail.

Fox Class Corvette (in orbit from MW3 art revamped)

FSS ''Kentera''' opening it's sail for charging.

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