Earth Song: Twilight Serenade

Earth Song: Twilight Serenade by Mark Wandrey

Book: Earth Song: Twilight Serenade by Mark Wandrey Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mark Wandrey
about. She only hoped there was enough time left for the long term.
    They’d gotten together to discuss the ending of the operations at the ghost fleet. On the huge wall displays their squadron of ships were arrayed around the now stabilized and fully powered Fiisk. When Minu returned with the Eseel gunboat Lilith sent all three out to orbit more than a million kilometers away, thus giving her a wider sensor sweep and a few more light seconds warning if another alien ship approached. Ibeen Alpha, Beta, and Gamma were all standing by with skeleton crews finishing the last of the work needed to put the ships into service.
    Lilith broached a subject she’d been considering. “I believe we should crew and launch the three completed Ibeen.”
    “Isn’t there risk in that move?”
    “Yes, there is some risk, but I believe it is bigger in leaving as a large convoy. We lack the ability to protect them in mass, and the gravity signature of five Ibeen, the hybrid Fiisk, and my Kaatan will be formidable. Recall the results when I tried to protect only one Ibeen in the past.”
    “The control systems we’ve fabricated are much more advanced over those improvised ones.”
    “I agree,” Lilith said, “and the additional firepower of the Fiisk will be a great addition, once we’ve gotten it back to Bellatrix and spent the time to properly integrate the Kaatan combat intelligence systems into it.”
    “You’ve decided it can handle it?”
    “I think I’ve decided your long term idea coincides well with integrating the CI. Between the two, we’d have an effective Fiisk team.”
    Minu knew what long term idea her daughter was talking about, and her furthering that idea made quite a bit of sense. If it worked as planned the results would be perfect for this project. As to the ships…
    “Okay, I agree. Let’s send out Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.”
    The three Ibeen powered up and left over the following eight hours. There was a brief ceremony on the bridge of Ibeen Alpha where Minu, as leader of Humanity, officially presented the ships to the Beezer in exchange for their agreement. First Alpha left, then Beta four hours later, and finally Gamma. Twenty Beezer remained behind to finish the last of the work on the Fiisk and to load the salvage.
    “As much as we can cram into the holds of Epsilon and the Fiisk,” Minu instructed them. Anything useful. Lilith has provided technical details of what to look for in order of priority.”
    Something in her knew that their time was running out. She knew they would have to leave untold amounts of invaluable treasures here for that ship or another to return eventually. And besides that basic fact was the fear that much of it was ordinance that would later be used against her. And that, more than anything, did not sit well with the military leader of the human race.
    As evening of that long day approached, one of the Eseel picked up a faint but definite tachyon signature. Then a second, and a third, and a fourth. They were gathering less than a light year away.
    “Get the other two Ibeen out of here,” Minu immediately instructed.
    “They’ll detect them departing,” Lilith said.
    “Not if they see us instead.” Minu detailed her plan and Lilith admitted it was a good one. Once the young girl sent the Beezer scrambling to depart, Minu verified that the work crews had carried out her personal instructions.
    “Just as you ordered,” the crew chief huffed over his suit’s transmitter. “All set and ready.”
    “Excellent, get to your ship as fast as possible and get your cargo to your guild colony world of Timbuktu. We’ll see you at the rendezvous as planned.”
    “They are moving in,” Lilith warned her over their communicator within minutes of the final Beezer crew reaching their ship.
    “Begin coordinated move,” Minu ordered, and Lilith went into motion.
    “Come about on me,” she told the Combat Intelligence on the Fiisk.
    The T’Chillen squadron moved in force

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