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Elvians by S. H. Jucha

Elvians by S. H. Jucha

Author:S. H. Jucha
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Publisher: Hannon Books, Inc.
Published: 2020-09-29T21:00:00+00:00


* * * * *

Tatia received Alex’s affirmation that Scarlet Mandator and Vyztram had tentatively accepted the plan. The negotiations with those two individuals were close to conclusion, and the next step was in her hands.

With Cordelia’s and the other admirals’ help, Tatia designed a strategy to draw the drones away from the system. The fleet’s present position was identified, as was its intended sailing trajectory.

Tatia warned Alex that there would be a small time lag before the fleet was underway. The travelers surrounding the Arcus had been slowly consuming their energy banks. Although the massive ship provided a trickle of gravity for the shells, it didn’t make up for the travelers’ energy consumption.

Franz suggested an idea to emphasize the straggler concept that Alex wanted for the Freedom. “Let’s send the Tridents toward the Arcus to pick up the travelers,” he said. “In the meantime, the Freedom and the freighters could sail on the original vector. After the Tridents recover their travelers, they can accelerate, intersect the Freedom, and sail past it.”

For several practical reasons, Franz’s suggestion wasn’t accepted. Then there was the unarguable reason. Alex had vetoed the idea. He didn’t want to panic Vyztram into thinking the Omnians were attacking the Arcus.

Staying with the original concept, the travelers would abandon their station around the Arcus and make for the fleet. Then the Freedom, the freighters, and the Tridents would sail for the dark. With the Tridents’ faster acceleration, they would leave the city-ship and support ships behind, making the Freedom a clear target.

Cordelia bundled the plan’s outline, Tatia’s message, and the data. Then, via focused antenna, she sent it outward toward the Our People.

<Message from Tatia,> Hector sent to Ellie. <We meet in the owner’s suite.>

Lydia, a SADE and Hector’s assistant, had thé prepared for the admirals, when they arrived. It was late, and she knew humans would have been seeking their beds.

Fleet Admiral Ellie Thompson, in the company of Rear Admirals Adrianna Plummer and Alphons Jagielski, settled into comfortable seating and enjoyed sips of thé, while they listened to Tatia’s message.

Hector used the holo-vid in the central table to project the elements of the plan — the Arcus, the travelers surrounding it, Alex’s fleet, and the mining operations.

“I can’t say which problem our fleets faced was worse,” Adrianna commented, when Tatia’s message finished.

“Alex’s headache,” Ellie replied, without hesitation. “First contacts are always tricky. Then add an immobile AI under the control of a petulant child.”

Ellie turned her head to regard Hector, who had suffered emotional torture under a Méridien House Leader. The SADE’s face didn’t betray the thoughts running through his kernel.

“I hope the admiral is right that the AI will delay the drone launch long enough for the Tridents to collect the travelers,” Alphons said. “Otherwise, the drones will catch our ships boarding the Tridents.”

“Let’s not second-guess Alex’s plan,” Ellie remarked. “Our job is to prevent the drone fleet from reaching the Freedom. Focus on that.”

For the next hour, the humans and the SADEs designed various strategies to intercept the drones with Tridents, which would carry an NNEMP.



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