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Synopsis

Greatstar Lost (2181): Captain Xiu-Li Chen would never have dreamt an assassination attempt at a Memorium Ceremony six months earlier was planned by the Qet leader herself. Despite later tactical analysis that concluded it must have been, the motive is still unknown, and humans cannot easily imagine one.
Now the Qet-Qeta is back at Deepstrike for meetings on PORTAL Plat, and JAGUAR is on site as well. Xiu-Li seeks a meeting with Qet-Lia Pathfinder, hoping to get some clarification of events.
A trade meeting is interrupted by an alert. Admiral Matisou invites the Qet-Qeta to the ops center, Commander Ecurba offers to escort her, and Captain Chen makes sure she goes with them.
After the GREATSTAR Class SAS FRANCIS BACON is rather graphically lost to an unknown alien fleet/force, the decision is made to undertake a “rescue recovery” mission. There are ways survivors could last for months if undetected by the enemy in undamaged areas.
The newly reconstructed COURIER Class SAS VICTORY arrives at Deepstrike and is given to the newly promoted Captain Ecurba for an assignment to “bring home the BACON.” Captain Ecurba has a “test bed ship” to learn, a new crew to command, and then the appearance of a dark black Tau Ceti Cat, one that can “talk” to him at certain moments. It is a “watch Cat,’ as the Niv call it.
Ecurba wonders if things are bad enough that he needs one.
Then his wife Qet-Sia Pathfinder appears, to join him on a permanent basis as a Qet Liasion. This is to protect her life from ambitious Qet politicals, and she has missed Ecurba as much or more than he has missed her. He didn’t expect to see her, so it is quite a shock, albeit pleasant.
Then he learns Qet-Qua Pactmaker is going along as well, as a Qet delegation of sorts to assist in this crisis.
Before he knows it, his wrist has been broken during a Defense of Qet Name he has been tricked into, and his powerful Qeti opponent is slowly choking Ecurba to death.
VICTORY meets FORT VALOR, a tactical shadow ship for SIR FRANCIS BACON. The actual events leading to BACON’s loss are reviewed, and the plan revealed is for VICTORY to serve as a first emergence target, so FORT VALOR will see any attackers the instant it emerges ten seconds later from realspace, and can counterattack.
After emerging into realspace the next morning, VICTORY is damaged by ordnance fired from a city-sized “Seamer Platform.” Escape from the target zone is because of Commander Pathfinder, who trained as a pilot of combat spacecraft (a Qet fighterpilot). Her actions save VICTORY from instant destruction, while FORT VALOR is attacked as it emerges into realspace and is quickly destroyed.
Then Niv shadow tactical ship NSS SHADOWCLAW appears, reports damage, and acts as a “fireship” to disrupt the city sized platform’s ability to attack. Its impact into the vast structure saves VICTORY from further immediate attack, and as VICTORY continues to exit the area it recovers E-mer Pods with Niv crew from SHADOWCLAW.
A stand-off occurs as VICTORY continues its exit vector and makes repairs. Ecurba is trying to figure out how to handle these alien “Seamers” – who were shocked by the “fireship” Captain Leonidas flew into them. It requires further tactical sacrifice and more damage to the Seamer city platform to stop their next attempt to destroy the fleeing VICTORY.
Ecurba has just arranged safe passage when the Assembly Of Sentients intervenes to punish this Seamer Platform, the device used for punishment so large that size of the damaged area in realspace is measured in light hours.
That explosion will consume VICTORY as well – unfortunate, really. The device arrives. Its blast wave will affect an area of space twenty light hours in area.
Just when it seems VICTORY will be destroyed, the Tau Ceti Cats have a say.

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