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Chapter Ten

"Now that's interesting," Lieutenant Commander Scotty Tremaine murmured.

"What is?" a soft Grayson accent asked.

The sandy-haired lieutenant commander took his eyes from his display and turned to look at the other officer in the compartment. Commander Solomon Marchant had been the executive officer of the Grayson heavy cruiser Jason Alvarez before they all wound up in Peep hands. Tremaine's slot as Lady Harrington's staff electronics officer had brought him into contact with her flagship's exec on a regular basis, and Tremaine rather liked the black-haired commander. Unlike some of his fellow Graysons, Marchant was singularly free of any special awe for the Royal Manticoran Navy. He respected it, but the RMN had learned just as many lessons, proportionately speaking, from its experience with the GSN, and he knew it. He was also no man to suffer fools lightly, and he could jerk someone up short with the best of them, but he usually assumed you were an adult human being who knew what you were doing until you proved differently.

"I just picked up on something we've all overlooked before," Tremaine said, answering the commander's question. Marchant quirked his right eyebrow, and Tremaine waved a hand at the computer display in front of him. "I should have noticed it sooner, but somehow it went right past me. And Jasper and Anson, I guess."

"So what is it?" Marchant asked with the merest trace of exaggerated patience, and Tremaine hid a mental smile. Everybody was going just a bit stir crazy with so little to do. The classic concept of castaways working diligently—if not desperately—to provide for their continued survival simply didn't apply here. There was no way they could live off the land anyway, so there was no planting or hunting to do. And given the dire necessity of keeping their presence a secret, any avoidable activity which might attract attention was out of the question. Commodore McKeon's patrols had explored the surrounding jungle in all directions for a good thirty klicks, but once that was done and the fiberoptic land lines for a net of undetectable remote passive sensors had been emplaced, their people had been told to stay close to home and keep under cover. Which meant that, aside from those fortunate souls like Senior Chief Linda Barstow, who had been Chief of the Bay in Prince Adrian's Boat Bay Two and had taken over responsibility for maintenance on their shuttles, there was very little to keep a person's brain working. In fact, commissioned officers were almost begging Barstow to let them help out with the grunt work just to avoid sitting around on their hands.

Lady Harrington recognized that, and she'd parceled out assignments in an effort to give everyone at least something to do. Some of it might be little better than make-work, but none of the people who had survived to escape from PNS Tepes were idiots, and it couldn't hurt to have as many intelligent perspectives as possible on the raw data they were managing to acquire in dribs and drabs. Which was how Commander Marchant found himself playing fifth wheel and sounding board for Tremaine's analysis sessions while Lieutenant Commander Metcalf and Lieutenant Commander DuChene did the same for Mayhew and Lethridge, respectively.

"Well," he said now, "it seems that there's one prisoner camp here on Alpha that doesn't have a number." Marchant leaned back in his chair with a questioning expression, and Tremaine smiled at him. "It's got a name, instead: Camp Inferno. And it's not exactly prime real estate. As a matter of fact, it's the only camp on the entire planet that's located directly on the equator."

"On the—?" Marchant stood and crossed to the map beside Tremaine's work station to peer at the map he'd called up on his display. "I don't see it," he said after a moment.

"That's because this is our original map, and Inferno isn't on it," Tremaine told him. "When Jasper and I generated the original, we used an old camp survey from Tepes' files, and this one wasn't listed. But yesterday Russ pulled a major telemetry download from the weather sats. It included weather maps for Alpha, with the camp sites indicated, including half a dozen that're new since the file survey we used was last updated. Like these." He tapped a key and new red dots appeared on his display, one of them flashing brightly. "And lo and behold, there was this camp we hadn't mapped sitting dead center on Alpha where it shouldn't have been. So when I came on watch this afternoon, I started trying to chase it down. I thought at first that it was just another new camp, but then I found this—" he tapped more keys and the display changed again, transmuting into a terse StateSec internal memo "—in one of Tepes' secure files on Hades, and it turns out it's not a new camp at all. The survey just hadn't mapped it—apparently for security reasons."

"I see." Marchant said, and smothered a smile, for Tremaine had added the last phrase in tones of profound disgust that he understood only too well. None of the Manticoran or Grayson castaways had yet been able to figure out what sort of reasoning (or substitute therefor) StateSec called upon when it decided when it was going to get security conscious and when it wasn't, but the logic tree involved promised to be twistier than most.

The Grayson officer stooped to look over Tremaine's shoulder, green eyes flicking over the memo, and then he inhaled sharply.

"I do see," he said in a very different tone. "And I think we should get Lady Harrington and Commodore McKeon in on this ASAP."


"My, my, my," Honor said softly, gazing at a hardcopy of the data Tremaine had found. "How very convenient . . . maybe."

"It certainly seems to offer a possibility, at any rate, Ma'am," Geraldine Metcalf observed. The dark-eyed, sandy-blond lieutenant commander had been McKeon's tac officer aboard Prince Adrian, and her Gryphon accent was more pronounced than usual as she, too, pondered the data.

"I agree, Gerry," McKeon said, " 'but let's not jump to any conclusions here. Scotty's memo is over two T-years old. A lot could've changed in that long, and aside from the food supply, there's no time limit on our operations. If there've been any changes, we could screw ourselves over mightily by jumping too quick. I'd prefer to take it a little slow and check things out first rather than rush in and wind up hanging ourselves."

"No argument from me, Skipper," Metcalf told him. "But if this is right—" she tapped the hardcopy "—then the bad guys just did us a great big favor."

"You're certainly right about that," Honor said. She leaned back and frowned in thought while her hand caressed Nimitz with slow, gentle strokes. The 'cat lay in her lap once more, for his crippled mid-limb made it all but impossible for him to ride in his usual position on her shoulder, but both of them were in much better health than they had been. Her weight was coming back up and his pelt had been reduced to a bearable insulation factor, and although his badly healed bones still hurt whenever he moved, he radiated a sense of cheerful confidence which did more for her own mood than she might have believed possible.

"Of course, they didn't know they were doing us one," she went on after a moment. "And from their perspective, this actually makes sense. Nor is there any reason for them to change a longstanding policy like this one—after all, they don't know we're here, so they can't possibly realize how much this could help us. That's why I'm inclined to go with the data despite its age."

"Um." McKeon scratched his chin and squinted at nothing in particular, then nodded slowly. "I can't fault your logic, but I wish I had a dollar for every time I'd figured something out logically and been wrong."

"True." Honor gave Nimitz another caress, then flipped through the pages of Tremaine's printout one more time. I wish I could ask Warner about this. Gerry and Solomon are good, and so is Scotty . . . although he can get just a little over enthusiastic. But they're all junior to Alistair and me. None of them really want to argue with us. Alistair would tell me in a heartbeat if he thought I was wrong about something—God knows he's done it in the past!—but he and I have known each other too long. We each know what the other is going to say before it gets said. That's good when it's time to execute orders, but it can keep us from seeing things in skull sessions. Warner doesn't have that problem, and he's smart as a whip. I found that out in Silesia, and I could really use his perspective here, too . . . if it wouldn't be putting him so much on the spot. And, she admitted, if I could be certain his sense of duty wouldn't rise up and bite us all on the backside.

She hated adding those qualifications. Caslet had put himself in his current predicament primarily because that very sense of duty had ranged him against StateSec at the side of Honor's captured personnel, and her link to Nimitz let her sample his emotions. She knew he was her friend, that his actions before and during the breakout from Tepes had been motivated by stubborn integrity, mutual respect, and fundamental decency. Unfortunately, she also knew that a part of his personality was at war with the rest of him—not over what he had done, but over what he might still do. If he hadn't broken his oath as an officer in the People's Navy yet, he'd certainly come close, and she didn't know how much more cooperation he could extend to her people, for the very traits that made her like and respect him so much gnawed at him with teeth made from the fragments of that oath.

But he wouldn't really know anything more about this than we do, she reminded herself, so the least I can do is leave him alone where it's concerned.

"Was Inferno covered in the last supply run?" she asked now.

"We don't know, Ma'am," Anson Lethridge replied. The ugly, almost brutish-looking Erewhon officer who had been Honor's staff astrogator sat with Jasper Mayhew and Tremaine, all three of them facing aft from the shuttle's tactical section hatch to where their superiors sat in the front row of passenger seats. "The only deliveries we can absolutely confirm," he went on in the cultivated tenor which always seemed oddly out of place coming from someone who looked like he did, "were the ones where something came up that required com traffic with Camp Charon that we managed to tap—like the numbers of rations to be dropped off at Alpha-Seven-Niner." He rubbed the neatly trimmed Van Dyke he had declined to shave off despite the climate and shrugged. "If they didn't discuss a particular drop, or we didn't happen to hear it when they did, we can't say for certain that a delivery was actually made. Assuming we're right about the way they schedule the supply drops, then, yes, Inferno probably was covered, but there's no way we can guarantee that."

"I was afraid you'd say that." She gave him one of her half-smiles, then sighed and rocked her chair back and forth in thought. "I think we have to move on this," she said finally, and looked at McKeon. He gazed back for two or three seconds, then nodded.

"All right. Gerry," she turned to Metcalf, "you and Sarah get with Chief Barstow." She turned her head to glance a Tremaine, as well. "Scotty, I'd like you and Chief Harkness to lend a hand, as well. I want both shuttles preflighted by nightfall."

"Both shuttles?" McKeon asked, and she grinned wryly.

"Both. There's not much point leaving one of them behind, and having both of them along may give us some extra flexibility if we need it."

"It also puts all of our eggs in one basket," McKeon said. "And two of them are harder to hide than one." It wasn't an argument, only an observation, and Honor nodded.

"I know, but I don't want to split us up. Keeping everybody in one spot will concentrate our manpower, if we need it, and cut down on our com traffic even if we don't. From the looks of the terrain in the area, we can probably hide both of them, if not quite as easily as we could hide a singleton, and keeping them—and us—together cuts the number of potential sighting opportunities in half. And let's be realistic about this. If it all hits the fan so badly that a rescue mission or something like that would be necessary, keeping one shuttle in reserve isn't likely to make that much difference. If Champ Charon figures out that we're here at all before we're ready to make our move, they should be able to handle anything we try without even breaking a sweat."

McKeon nodded again, and she inhaled sharply.

"All right, people. Let's be about it," she said.


It should have been a fairly short hop. Camp Inferno was only about fourteen hundred kilometers from their original landing site, which would have been less than a twenty-minute flight at max for one of the shuttles. But they didn't dare make the trip at max. They thought they'd located all of the recon satellites they had to worry about, and if they were right, they had a three-hour window when they ought to be clear of observation. But they couldn't be certain about that. There could always be one they'd missed, and even if there hadn't been, simple skin heat on a maximum-speed run might well be picked up by the weather satellites parked in geosynchronous orbit. So instead of high and fast, they would go low and slow, at less than mach one. Not only that, they would make the entire flight without counter-grav, which would both hide them from gravitic detectors and reduce power requirements enough that there would be no need to fire up their shuttles' fusion plants.

There were, however, some drawbacks to that approach, and Scotty Tremaine and Geraldine Metcalf, tapped as pilots for the trip, spent a great deal of the flight muttering silent curses. Flying by old-fashioned, unaided eye at treetop level above the kind of jungle Hell produced, with all active sensors turned off to avoid betraying emissions, was no picnic. Tremaine almost took the top off a forest leviathan which suddenly reared up right in his flight path, and simple navigation was a pain in the posterior. They'd been able to fix their starting position with suitable accuracy, and the weather map which had first revealed Inferno's existence to them fixed the camp's latitude and longitude. Tremaine and Metcalf had worked out their courses before takeoff using that position data, but there were no handy navigation beacons upon which to take fixes en route, and the idea of using celestial navigation was ludicrous. They could have used the Peeps' satellites as navigation aids—which, after all, was what the StateSec pilots did—but the satellites weren't beacons. They transmitted only when queried from the ground, not continuously, and while hitting them with a tight beam from a moving shuttle was certainly possible, Honor and McKeon had decided that it also increased the chance of giving away their presence by an unacceptable percentage. Which meant the pilots were pretty much reduced to instruments no more sophisticated than a compass and their own eyesight, and over the length of a fourteen-hundred-kilometer flight, even small navigational errors could take them far off course.

That might not have been so bad if visibility had been better, but visibility wasn't better. In fact, it stank. True, Hell's trio of moons were all large and bright, but that actually made things worse, not better, for two of them—Tartarus and Niflheim—were above the horizon simultaneously, and the confusion of shadow and brightness those competing light sources cast across the tangled, uneven jungle canopy did bewildering things to human vision. Nor was Camp Inferno likely to offer much in the way of a landmark when they finally reached it. Presumably the jungle had been cut back immediately around it, if only to give the Peep shuttle pilots clearance on their grocery runs, but even a large clearing could disappear without any effort at all against such a confusing sea of treetops and shadow. And without electrical power, the kind of artificial light spill which might have been visible at long range was highly unlikely.

All of which meant the shuttles were going to spend more time than anyone liked to think about cruising around looking for their destination. Which not only increased the possibility that some weather sat or some unnoticed recon sat was going to spot them, but also the possibility that someone on the ground was going to hear them and wonder what SS aircraft were doing overhead in the middle of the night.

Which wouldn't be a problem, Honor thought, sitting in the copilot's seat of Tremaine's shuttle and peering out through the windscreen, if we could be sure StateSec hasn't planted informers down there. And much as I hate to admit it, if I were StateSec, this is one camp where I'd make darn sure I had at least one or two spies in place.

"We ought to have seen something by now, Ma'am," Tremaine said. Most people would never have noticed the strain in his voice, but Honor had known him since he was a brand-new ensign on his first deployment, and she turned to give him one of her half-smiles.

"Patience, Scotty," she said. "Patience. We've hardly started looking yet."

He grimaced at his controls, then sighed and forced his shoulders to relax.

"I know, Ma'am," he admitted. "And I know anything down there is going to be the next best thing to invisible, but—" He broke off and shrugged again, and she chuckled.

"But you want to spot it anyway and get down on the ground where it's safe, right?" she suggested.

"Well, actually, yes, Ma'am." He turned his head to grin back at her. "I guess I always have been a little on the impatient side, haven't I?"

"Just a little," she agreed.

"Well, I come by it naturally," he said, "and—"

" 'Scuse me, Mr. Tremaine," a voice broke in over the com, "but I think I see something."

"And where would that happen to be, Chief?" Tremaine inquired. "You really ought to be a bit more precise in making these minor sighting reports, you know," he added severely.

"Yes, Sir. Sorry 'bout that, Sir. Guess I'm just getting old, Sir," Senior Chief Harkness replied so earnestly Honor had to turn a laugh into a smothered cough. "I'll try not to let it happen again, Sir," Harkness went on. "Maybe next time I can find you a younger, fitter flight engineer, Sir. And then—"

"And then you can tell me where you saw whatever you saw before I come back there and have Master Chief Ascher take care of you for me, Chief!" Tremaine interrupted.

"Ha! Threats now, is it?" Harkness sniffed over the com, but he was tapping keys back in the tac section even as he spoke. A heads-up holo display glowed suddenly, painting a rough map against the windscreen with a blinking icon to indicate the approximate location of whatever Harkness had seen. The icon was well astern and to port of them, and Tremaine brought the shuttle around in a wide curve.

"Is Two still on station?" he asked. Honor leaned to the side, peering through the armorplast on her side of the cockpit, but she couldn't see anything. Senior Chief Harkness, however, had a better view from his location.

"Sticking to you like glue, Sir," he said. "She's dropped back a little on your starboard quarter, but she's holding position nicely."

"That, Chief Harkness, is because she is an officer and a lady. And unlike people who don't tell me they've seen things until we're past them, she's also good at her job."

"You just keep right on, Sir," Harkness told him comfortably. "And the next time you need to find your posterior, you can use your own flashlight."

"I'm shocked—shocked—that you could say such a thing to an officer and a gentleman," Tremaine returned in a slightly distracted tone. He was leaning forward, eyes sweeping the night. "I'd think that after all these years, you'd at l—"

He broke off suddenly, and the shuttle's speed dropped still further.

"I do believe I may owe you an apology, Chief," he murmured. "A small one, at least." He glanced at Honor. "Do you see it, Ma'am?"

"I do." Honor raised an old-fashioned pair of binoculars, once more missing her cybernetic eye's vision enhancement as she peered through them with her right eye. It wasn't much—no more than what looked like a torch or two burning against the blackness of the jungle—and she felt a distant surprise that Harkness had seen it at all. Of course, he does have access to the tac sensors from back there, she reminded herself, but Peep passives are nothing to write home about.

"How do you want to handle it, Ma'am?" Tremaine asked, and tension burned under his deceptively calm tone.

"Warn Commander Metcalf, and then take us up another few hundred meters," she replied. "Let's see if we can't find another break in this canopy."

"Yes, Ma'am." He thumbed a button on the stick to flash the running light atop the vertical stabilizer once, then eased the stick back and fed a little more power to the air-breathing turbines. The big shuttle angled smoothly upwards while its companion, warned by the flash of light, broke right and stayed low, tracking him visually against the moon-bright sky. He climbed another three hundred meters, then leveled out, sweeping around the dim lights Harkness had spotted.

They were easier to see from the greater altitude, and the live side of Honor's mouth frowned as she studied them through the binoculars. There were actually two double rows of light sources, set at right angles. Most of them were quite dim, but five or six of them flared brighter where the two lines crossed, and she thought she could make out faint reflections of what looked like flat roofs of some sort. She stared at them a moment longer, then laid the binocculars in her lap and rubbed her good eye with the heel of her hand in an effort to scrub away the ache of concentration.

Nimitz bleeked softly at her from where he lay beside her seat in a highly nonregulation nest of folded blankets, and she smiled down at him reassuringly. Then she lifted the glasses again, studying the jungle.

"What's that line to the east?" she asked after a moment.

"How far from the camp, My Lady?" Jasper Mayhew's voice came over the com.

"It looks like—what, Scotty? Twenty or twenty-five klicks?"

"Something like that, Ma'am," Tremaine replied. "Chief?"

"I make it twenty-three from here, Ma'am," Harkness said from the tac section after a moment, studying the frustratingly vague output of his passive sensors.

"In that case, I think it's a river, My Lady," Mayhew said, and she heard the rustle and crackle of plaspaper as he studied the hardcopy map he and Russell Sanko had put together. "The Tepes download didn't give any terrain details, but that's what it looked like from the weather sat maps we picked up. If it is a river, it's not much of one, though."

"Um." Honor laid the binoculars back down and rubbed her nose in thought, then looked at Scotty. "Think you could take a shuttle through there without counter-grav?"

"Without—?" Tremaine looked at her for a moment, then inhaled sharply. "Sure," he said, far more confidently than he could possibly feel, and Honor chuckled.

"Don't get your testosterone in an uproar on me now, Scotty. I'm serious. Can you get us in there?"

"Probably, Ma'am," he said after a moment, then added, grudgingly, "but I can't guarantee it. With one of our own pinnaces, yes. But this is a big brute, Ma'am. She's a lot heavier on the controls, and I haven't really experimented with her vectored thrust yet."

"But you think you could do it."

"Yes, Ma'am."

Honor thought for several more seconds, then sighed and shook her head.

"I'd like to take you up on that," she said, "but I don't think we can risk it. Chief Harkness?"

"Aye, Ma'am?"

"Go ahead and fire up the plant, Chief."

"Aye, aye, Ma'am. I'm starting light-off now. We should be nominal in about four minutes."

"Thank you, Chief. Signal Commander Metcalf please, Scotty."

"Yes, Ma'am." Tremaine banked the big shuttle to expose its full wingspan to Metcalf's lower position and flashed both wingtip lights twice.

"Answering flash from Shuttle Two, Ma'am," a Grayson voice reported.

"Thank you, Carson," Honor replied, and leaned back beside Tremaine. Firing up the fusion plants and bringing up the counter-grav added somewhat to the risk of detection if any recon sat happened to be looking their way. She'd hoped to avoid that, but she'd also known she might not be able to. That was why she'd arranged a signal to warn Metcalf without breaking com silence. At least the plants shouldn't be on-line for long, she told herself, and the counter-grav would make it much, much safer—and easier—to get the shuttles down.

"I've got power to the counter-grav, Ma'am," Tremaine reported, breaking in on her thoughts, and she nodded.

"See that 'S'-curve to the south?" she asked.

"Yes, Ma'am."

"It looks like the widest break in the tree cover we've got. See if you can get us in there on its west bank."

"Yes, Ma'am." Tremaine almost managed not to sound dubious, and Honor felt the right side of her mouth quirking in another grin as he banked again and came back around. Her hand dropped down beside her to rest on Nimitz's flank, and she felt a wiry, long-fingered true-hand pat her wrist in reply, and then Tremaine was dumping altitude and speed alike.

Despite his comments about the shuttle's controls, he brought the big craft in with a delicacy a Sphinx finch might have envied. The counter-grav let him fold the wings, which had been swept fully forward for their low-speed examination of possible landing sites, back into their high-speed position without losing control, and she heard turbines whine as he held a moderate apparent weight on the shuttle and vectored thrust downward. The sixty-three-meter fuselage slid almost daintily towards the ground, hovering with ponderous grace, and Honor peered through the armorplast windscreen.

The break in the canopy was a river, and shallow water rushed and tumbled over mossy boulders in a torrent of moon-struck white and black. The trees grew right up to the banks, but the humidity was far lower here in the center of the continent than it had been at their peninsular landing site, and the growth looked less lush and thick. Or she hoped it did, anyway. It was hard to be sure, and the last thing they needed was to suck something into a turbine.

"Over there, Ma'am. To port," Tremaine said. "What about there?"

"Um." Honor twisted in her seat to look in the indicated direction. It looked like one of the trees—and a titan among titans, at that—must have fallen and taken two or three others with it. The result was a breach in the overhead cover that seemed to offer a way under the remaining canopy.

"All right," she said finally, "but take it slow. And take some more weight off her so you can cut back on the VT. Let's try not to kick up trash and FOD a turbine."

"Yes, Ma'am. That sounds like a real good idea," Tremaine replied, then grinned tightly despite his gathering tension. "Chief Barstow would appreciate it, too, I'm sure."

"Hey, the heck with Chief Barstow," Harkness growled over the com. "This here is my bird, Sir. She can look after Two."

"I stand corrected—or at least chastened," Tremaine said in a somewhat distracted tone, his hands flickering over his controls with the precision of an absent-minded concert pianist while his eyes never left his intended landing site.

The pilot in Honor wanted to help him, but she knew better than to try. Her single hand would make her slow and awkward, and it was better to let him handle the entire load rather than risk getting in his way.

The shuttle came in very slowly, gleaming in the moonlight, and the black shadow of the jungle reached out for it. Tremaine slid it forward, no more than half a dozen meters above the ground, and Honor watched with carefully hidden nervousness as foliage rippled and danced below them. Even with the reduction in downward thrust, there was a lot of small trash flying around down there, and foreign object damage to a turbine could have deadly consequences this close to the ground.

But the turbines continued their whining song of power, and Tremaine eased the shuttle carefully down and forward. The long fuselage slid in under the tree cover, and he fed in some side thrust, edging to port.

"We're not going to be able to get as deep as we were at Site One, Ma'am," he observed through gritted teeth. His voice was still conversational, despite the sweat glistening on his taut face, and his hands moved the stick and thrust controls with smooth delicacy. "Best I can do is scrunch over as far as I can this way and let Gerry have the right side."

"I'll go with your call, Scotty," Honor said softly, without commenting on the fact that he'd given himself by far the tougher landing spot. But he was a better natural pilot than Metcalf—as good as Honor herself, but with more recent practice and two hands—and he brought his shuttle another twenty meters to its left, then nodded to himself.

"Deploy gear, please, Ma'am," he said. That much she could do, one-handed or not, and she pulled the big handle. The landing legs deployed quickly and smoothly, and Tremaine let the shuttle sink slowly down onto them. There was one scary moment as the outboard starboard leg flexed alarmingly and a red light flashed on the panel, but assault shuttles were designed for rough field landings, and the computer controlling that leg adjusted quickly. The red light died, and Tremaine gradually reduced his counter-grav, watching his readouts carefully for several taut seconds. Then he exhaled explosively.

"We're down, Ma'am," he announced. "Chief, kill the fusion plant."

"Aye, Sir," Harkness replied, and Honor reached across her body to pat Tremaine on the shoulder.

"That was good work, Scotty," she told him, and he smiled at her. Then she turned away to watch through her side window as Geraldine Metcalf brought Shuttle Two in on the far side of the opening. From here, it looked almost effortless, but Honor could imagine exactly what it felt like from inside that other cockpit. After all, she'd just experienced it herself.

"All right, people," she said as the other shuttle finally settled and its turbines died. "We're going to have to work faster than we'd expected to get the nets up. Senior Chief O'Jorgenson?"

"Yes, Ma'am?" Senior Chief Tamara O'Jorgenson was a fellow Sphinxian who had been a senior environmental tech aboard Prince Adrian but also happened to be a fully qualified small craft gunner.

"You'll man the dorsal turret while we get squared away, Senior Chief," Honor said.

"Aye, Ma'am."

"Very well, then." Honor hit the release on her own straps and stood. "Let's be about it, people."


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