Rigs hugged the visioner at his station, fascinated and horrified
at once at the sight Or the enemy fleet that faced them. The enormity
of the task was over whelming: How could they hope to challenge
the Doxtap Fleet, in all the pride of the Jurisdiction's might?
The Bench had left no choice for them.
had to try.
was their homeworld, and the orbiting artillery plat forms that
defended it had to be protected from destruction by those mighty
warships if Eild was to have any hope of remaining free.
target." It was his brother's voice on intership, Marder's voice.
On this little courier they almost didn't need the intership to
hear each other--the ship was tiny, built for speed and maneuverability,
both of which were crucial to its intended task. They had to get
past their target's own defenses, its Wolnadis, after all.
the Wolnadi fighters were visible even now, clearing the maintenance
atmosphere and coming toward them at frightening speed.
Fleet Ship Scylla," Sonnu's clear calm voice confirmed. It was useful
to remember that Sonnu was there. Fanner had often fantasized about
marrying with Sonnu, if he could catch her eye for long enough to
make his ease with her. This was his chance to show her his true
still it was a desperate enterprise.
all knew that. TOP
party had the most desperate part of it, for while the others in
the attack on Scylla were to draw the Wolnadis off toward the carapace
hull the topmost shell of the warship his
party was to feint for the carapace, and slip at the last minute
through the atmosphere barrier into Scylla's maintenance atmosphere,
beneath the ship.
had the schematic firmly fixed in mind.
they could only be quick and nimble enough about it, agile and canny
enough about it, slip through the startled defenses of the maintenance
atmosphere--Scylla could not fire upon itself, for fear of damage
to the ship-- To fail meant death.
succeed meant death as well, because if they won through to the
main battle guns they could destroy Scylla, and everybody on it.
would never marry with Sonnu now, but if he could be part of the
freedom of port Eild it would not even matter.
tactical plan," Marder said; and Fanner engaged the overthrust boosters
on the courier, and sent it leaping forward.
Scylla, and their death.
they could only take Scylla with them it was worth it.
Avon Eos Science Fiction