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Weapons of War

Chapter 9

SDS Command Center
Unity City, Terra
15th September, 2767
09:47 Unity City Time

Captain Loric Villers' perspective

I am starting to question what I did to deserve being assigned to babysit a bunch of AI driven Warships. We had full control of them now. There seemed no real need for someone to monitor them full time. At least not while Kerensky was off still playing 'all conquering hero'.

I would laugh if it wasn't for the fact he was killing my countrymen.

In our wildest dreams though we never thought he'd still be out there this long.

"Hey Loric? I got another report." My only human company while on shift was Corporal Wanda Silver.

"Odd. All my transponders are still coming up where they have been for a while now. See?" I probably let her get away with a bit too much but you spend enough time with an attractive woman in close quarters and good order and discipline tend to have a habit of vanishing as fast as our clothes did last night.

"Somethings not right." She looked over at my screen then started tapping something on her controls.

"Not saying you're wrong, but the list of possible explanations is pretty short and all of them are unlikely." I start pulling up traffic logs.

"I know. Someone got to be pulling our chain. I'm not sure if I'd prefer it to be Intel Section 6 pulling a sick prank on us or if it was actual sabotage causing all these reports of outbound jumps." She furled her brow.

"Probably just the Belters getting out of the system still. It'd take a fleet many times larger than even the SLN to properly patrol and pin down all the various settlements they have out there and those are just the ones we know about." I offer.

"No. The reports are not out in the Kuiper or Oort Cloud. We'd never see outbound jumps that far out with how everything is arrayed." Something about the way her face was scrunching up was making it difficult to concentrate on work.

I had to admit she was right. Outbound jumps were a lot harder to notice in the first place and add in being that far out in the system and our monitoring capabilities would probably never see them.

Still something was going on and had been for a while now. At first it was easy enough to just chalk up to straggling refugees that were just trying to get clear. But now? With the system as thoroughly under Amaris' control as it was?

They weren't the only ones noticing but everyone else was happy to chalk it up to faulty sensors or more than happy to let people leave if that was what it really was.

Still I was quite convinced of one thing. It couldn't be the AI driven stuff. It was completely incapable of jumping by itself.

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