24: Orbit, Evasion, Request, Intervention, Regulations

22:49 Mon 25 Sep 2006
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“Three Redmane interceptors, they said we’d committed security violations, want us to power down and surrender.”
“Any Navy ships in the area?”
“Um… yes, there’s Smallbore, but they’re further away.”
“Okay, Shara, take the controls while I talk to them.”
“You think the Imperials will help you?”
“We’ll see.” I kept an eye on the nav readings, enabled the comms simulation that disguised me, and waited a few moments before opening a channel.
“Smallbore, this is Basest Desires, with an emergency request. Three Redmane ships are in hostile pursuit.”
Basest Desires, this is Captain Ishida. You are prohibited from leaving, please cooperate with the Redmane authorities.” Ishida. Fuck. Well, without his knowing it was me, it might be advantageous.
“Captain, the trading code does not consider ‘security violations’ as grounds for pursuit outside planetary jurisdiction—and we passed the median gravity mark two seconds ago. I have damaging information, and they will kill to eliminate it. I request Imperial protection under section seventy-four J.”
“Your reading of the code is correct… protection granted. Move away from warp range.”
Warp distance: one minute. Weapons distance: fifty seconds. “Captain, I cannot alter direction unless they halt pursuit.”
There was a pause, presumably as Smallbore threatened the interceptors. Smallbore was approaching weapons range, and while the interceptors would get us before it arrived, they would not be able to escape it.
They flinched. They sped up again when we didn’t slow, but we now had a one-second window. More than enough.

(250 words)

The above is part of a series of microfiction pieces.

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