The Betrayal Chapter 23 revised
No matter how many times she made the h-space to n-space transition, Kate mused, it never seemed to get any better. Unlike some people, her body never seemed to adjust to it, leaving her with momentary nausea whenever she crossed the threshold. Sighing under her breath, she turned her attention to the task at hand.
Before her hung the six-planet system of Haven, anchored by a G5 yellow dwarf much like Sol. The entire system, she thought, was amazingly like Sol system, even if it did have fewer planets. Like Earth’s system, the first four planets were terrestrial with the fourth being the one that hosted life. An asteroid field separated them from their two larger gas giant sisters in the outer parts of the system.
Seems quiet enough, she thought, looking over her sensors. Punching in the coordinates for a surface landing, she fought the urge to try to find some wood to tap. No surprises so far.
She shivered involuntarily as she looked at the clay colored globe. It would be the perfect place for a grave, she reminded herself. Below, on the surface, would be at least one person with the task of killing her.
It would most likely be a team, she mused. Standard operating procedure in a situation like this was to send one. They would all be as skilled as she was, she sighed, and most likely people who hated her. There was going to be nothing easy about surviving this trap.
After reading her mission briefs, she knew the local government turned a blind eye to the smugglers. As long as the local gendarmes were given a piece of the action, they were more then happy to let the smugglers be. It wasn’t hard for her to believe that the smugglers loved Haven; she would have thought of them as fools if they didn’t.
The sad thing of it all was that Haven wasn’t a poor planet. Blessed with an overabundance of raw minerals, they exported more chemicals and minerals then anyone else. However, people from the western section of North America had settled the planet and they had believed in limited government. Taking the bull by the horns, they had created a planet where the local government turned a blind eye to most items provided it benefited Haven.
Yet they like to live like they’re in the twenty-first century, Kate thought with a grimace.
Working with her controls for the landing, Kate let a curse escape under her breath. This was one time, she thought, that she would kill to have had her original fighter again. Sitting on the bottom of a lake on Selvior, it had been equipped with a cloaking screen that hid its Fleet origins. This one did not, which was going to make it stick out like a sore thumb.
Nothing I can do about it now, she thought as her fighter started to enter the upper reaches of Haven’s atmosphere. I knew I should have had it installed when I took delivery of this fighter! However, with the **** happening after Selvior I never had the time...
Atmospheric penetrations were the one thing she never took for granted while flying. None of them were ever ‘textbook’ and the only thing they held in common was their unpredictability. One could be smooth as glass, while another would make you think you were going to die.
You need to be logged in to comment