Hammersmith. Chapter Seventeen

“A billion types of grey. That’s very apt. I like it.”

James saw he was joined by the Woman whom he had seen earlier. “Commander Bath would appreciate that I think. He’s about to address us.”

“Oh. Yes. Thank you. ”

James felt some affinity with her. It was good to know he wasn’t the only one to think about the surface of the moon worthy.

“I’m Clorinda Bite, sort of a strange name but that’s what I get for being a true Selenite.” She cuckelled a little. She was smiling a bit to much for someone in an emergency. James was about to respond when the Commander started to talk.

“Sorry, first of all for getting to you all a bit later than usual. We had to get cleared to give you all this vital and sensitive information.” Commander Bath looked nervous. “We recived confirmation from Tyr and the intelligence experts on Earth. Sol is directly under attack from a pirate fleet. The dilation radiation from a large fleet dropping out of FTL cuased the radiation alarm. This is why the alarm came from lunar based satalite data as opposed to Earth based.”

James realized what this meant. This is huge.

The commander continued. “The fleet is likely to drop out of FTL any minute now. It’s likely they purposely are using the radiation field to mask their approach and stop Luna SF from helping the Earth based forces. We have a small number of hardend fleet wear that can deal with the radiation field and they are already scrambleing to mount defense and counterattack. As of this moment we are at war with the Pirate forces and will seek a military aims and response. Semi -Peaceful coexistence is clearly no longer a option. Tyr tells me our defense is unfortunately unlikely to be able to meet the Pirate aggressives before they capture their objectives. Our aim from Luna SF will be to scramble a force for responding to them as they make a escape. Our main Earth SF based fleet will be mounting defense opposition however it’s unlikely to be effective against the pirates hardened vessels.”

Jame found himself raising his hand.

“Yes?”

“Sir, what makes you think our vessels will do any better?”

“Good question. Tyr tells me the Luna SF fleets are simply in a better position to attack the Pirates on their flank.”

James thought about this and realized the Earth based fleets would have to attack or defend from below. Luna based fleets were likely to be able to attack from above or behind. Gravity was against the Earth based fleets. If there where any in space they would still have their positions known as the Pirates came out of FTL.

Their is little I can do though. I program robots who build things.

“Don’t we have space stations with SF forces based on them?” Asked Clorinda. James felt less silly for asking a question now a actual SF person had asked one.

“Most have their radars out of commission due to the radiation. This isn’t a senario for which we are prepared. The SF has been cut back again and again for years. We never even thought of the Pirates as anything but a nuesance to our mining operations in Sol and Tai Ceti. Our intelligence doesn’t tell us how far they may have spread. We didn’t even know they would have fleet capacity to attack Earth full on. Our senarios always looked at full invasion or small raid. This is half way between. We never thought they could be this fast. As we talk the attack has already started and is likely to be finishing before we go to bed. You will all get orders on your pads for filling. We have a lot of work to do. ”

James looked at his pad.

Operations. Go to basement two three G and start R commissions. Build as many as we can put out.

“Wow.” James started walking towards his first real Ro job. They want me to start Ro drones for space battles. We don’t have enough pilots. I’m going to have to work out how to make the drivers for the ‘robots’ as good as a human. James set his mind to the task.

Meanwhile his pad had another message on it, waiting patiently. It read “is this my feast?”.

**************

Bella had fed all of her animals. Well she thought of them as hers. It was one of the things that had made her mother call her awful.

She liked animals. She was fascinated by history. Both where met with disdain and arguement from her mother. Like little nails in her life’s plans. Slowly she won over with her love for history. Her love of animals and frequent requests for pets went ignored until she was able to provide for herself and move out.

Now she kept a feeding box and many wild animals would feed. The bats where her favorite. The would eat fruit and honey out of her gloved hands. When Bela was sad or depressed she would take the gloves if and let them lick her bear hands. It reminded her of weakness and her sensual desires that she often could not feel ever really made sense. They were little stories her body told her, but her mind wouldn’t be present. It was like reading a history of the moment.

This was what made her decide on asexuality. Her moments cold never really be hers, let alone among else’s. This also made her feel like a awful person every time she felt attracted but was unable to get the desire to have a sexual relationship with them. Again it was like a story, a take her eyes would tell her, beautiful men, beautiful women, beautiful people. None of them made her want to feel sexual. Sex was another story. One people told of, but she never really got. Once was hard enough. She had friends, and her animals. She was able to love them in the same way as anyone else.

Always wanting know how her country had fallen to the British, gained independence and then again later to befal the rot of corruption and conceded to the SOL government administration. The incident was infinitely curious. No one had really poked around too much and the general historical theory of what occurred had worked for all but turbid acolytes of history academia. The incident had also led to the destruction of many cities and billions of people. Her mothers father had been one. Someone who had faught in the wars that led up to the total chaos that eventually took over. Until SOL.

What about the Environmental changes? The incident had blighted the former courty. The climate in India has changed so much now. The rivers snakier and smaller.  The forests have different shapes, the jungles have different animals. Indian animals, and foreign. Wild dogs were a big problem.  The Tigers still lived but the dogs could even take them on in a big pack. Tigers didn’t like packs. The elephants were gone, but the cows now roamed in huge herds. The Hindu even starting to think of ways to control them. Buffalo too had been found in the deltas. Wild tribes of people who had been cut off by the incident were found on a almost monthly basis. It was truly a more wild place than ever. SOL did what it could but most fell on the semi-autonomous democratic body that governed most of Central Asia, what was left of it that still had a population to govern.

Bela knew the bats and rabbits and parrots would all find new food. She had never fed them any more than she needed to attract them. They would be fine. It didn’t stop her tears. They kept coming in huge sweltering sobs that shook her to the core.

Eventually, she packed up the rest of her belongings. Most of her possessions were electronic. Her larger perishables she placed in the freezer or threw out. She made a merger meal of her reminding vegetables and her last chai. She got on her computer and booked her class 7 to where the closest space port was. Indonesia’s equator SOL base. She would easily pass the physical and then she would have to work out how to get in contact with a pirate clan.

Working out how they would react to a observer interested in researching them would be not hard. It was amazing how easily people were happy to let you take a look at things if you asked them. Especially if you gave them history or were happy to do minor labor. She also could hack into anything else she needed, but often people didn’t give two hoots about something that happened so long ago. The Incident has settled as a unknowable mystery to most, not a thing something that someone might work out. It was easy to not want to learn something when you didn’t have a direct link. So many people had come to Earth from the colonies in the system.

She hoped on her last sips of chai that she really would get to find the evidence out in the wide expanse. It was hopefully something that would make her feel at peace.

For her father. 

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