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The skiff shot swiftly across the calm waters of the harbour as if pushed by a giant hand. A young woman, her thick red hair flying wildly in the wind, sat in the stern manning the tiller. Around the little craft, pacific striped dolphins danced. Blissfully lost in the enveloping sweep of the moment, she was shocked back to the present by the subtle buzzing of her iPlant.
She subvoked the ‘plants menu which appeared to her eyes to flutter against the saffron sail. The call was priority from Confed command. “Shit,” she muttered, “not even one fucking hour of peace.” Reaching up to her right ear she pulled away a lock of crimson hair… and as she pulled the lead of the Sony DreamMan from behind her right ear, the dismal reality of her berth congealed around her.
“Murphy here. What is it?”
Only appearing in her brain, but to her perception, materializing before her was a tall broad shouldered man with close cropped hair wearing the uniform of a Marine brigadier general. “IT, is your DIVISIONAL COMMANDER, Captain Murphy.”
Instantly she snapped to. “Sir, sorry Sir, I just thought, I had no idea Sir, I…”
“Never mind. Our base on Pearl was bombed. It’s gone. O’ahu is gone for that matter.”
“Sir I don’t understand. What is going on?”
“The Asiatics. They violated the Earth Non-Aggression Treaty. They brought the fight to Earth.”
“Sir, I am afraid I still don’t understand.”
“You have the captured yacht of Hikachi Muromoto in tow, correct?”
“Yes sir. I am to escort the defence minister, his staff, and the yacht’s crew to the detention centre on Ganymede for interrogation.”
“Captain, destroy that ship.”
“But Sir, they are just unarmed civilians.”
“CAPTAIN! DESTROY THAT SHIP AT ONCE!”
“Aye aye, Sir.”
Captain Adelaide Murphy muted the neural connect. “Bridge,” she called, opening a secondary connect, “Cut the yacht free. When she reaches 300 kilometres fire one salvo singularity torpedoes. Maximum spread.”
She pulled up her main feed. “Sir, I…”
“I heard Captain, I just hope that…”
At that moment, the reaction drive motors of the Asiatic Alliance yacht, Divine Wind, went critical. Her hull breached and washed the Confederate battle cruiser NCS Juarez and her crew of six hundred in the warming glow of white thermonuclear fire.
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