A/N: I’ve made some tweaks to my Patreon – check it out.Â You can also check out a sample chapter of my Traditional Fantasy WIP “Shattered”. If pledges reach $50/month I’ll start posting on this site fortnightly (I have 20 chapters written so far).
â€œThat was sudden,â€ Mahir said. â€œI wonder what made Promise react like that.â€
â€œIt’s gone to signal its kind like it said,â€ Summer said. â€œThat’s all.â€ The Mez seemed quite certain of that. â€œI think it likes us and wants to help.â€
Amanpreet nodded. â€œI think that’s right, Promise has been very helpful.â€ Even as she spoke Promise re-emerged from hyperspace and signaled them.
â€œI’ve arranged the escort I mentioned. Two of my friends will meet us on the way back.â€ It paused. â€œI apologise for rushing off like that but I know what those acid weapons can do and you don’t want to face such a thing without defence. My people are also going to offer escorts to the convoys for the same reason.â€
â€œThat’s good of you,â€ Rick said. â€œBut I hope they will be restrained about defending the convoys.â€
â€œThey will,â€ Promise said. â€œWe understand you wish to de-escalate this situation not make it worse. It speaks well of you.â€ It paused. â€œHaving said that we won’t restrain ourselves if it puts our new allies at risk.â€
That caused a few moments of silence. There wasn’t much to say about it after all. The pensive quiet was only disturbed by a soft chiming from Lin’s console. She looked at it in surprise and then her eyebrows shot up.
â€œThe Corona computer is hailing us,â€ she said.
â€œIt’s probably been listening,â€ Mahir said â€œWe have been talking openly between ships without encryption after all. It’s probably worried so you’d best put it on.â€
â€œYes, sir,â€ Lyn said.
â€œGreetings, Allies, I gather you have a problem?â€ it said without preamble.
â€œUnfortunately we do,â€ Rick said. â€œThere’s a species that rejected our overtures a while back. We left them alone but someone else has attacked them â€“ either the enemy you already know or possibly a renegade human group â€“ and they are blaming us. We will endeavour to keep them away from Corona.â€
â€œI know,â€ it said. â€œAnd I’m sure it wasn’t your fault that this happened. But both this system and the Talis are programmed with strategy and diplomacy programs so maybe we can help you resolve this peacefully if it is a renegade group rather than the enemy causing this.â€
â€œThat would be helpful, I think,â€ Summer said. â€œWe’ll pass that on to the Council. Thank you.â€
â€œYou are most welcome,â€ it replied. â€œThe Children have noted your sophont ship and are debating contacting it to negotiate with it for transport services. Something I gather it will find acceptable.â€
â€œI do and my people do as well,â€ Promise replied. â€œBut how did they recognise I was Sophont and the other ships weren’t. Are they listening to us as well.â€
â€œNo, but they noted that you do not have ant artificial add-ons unlike the other ships and inferred from there,â€ it said. â€œThey are very perceptive. More so than my makers in some ways.â€
â€œWould it be acceptable to me to talk with them unilaterally?â€ Promise asked. â€œI do not wish to upset the Council.â€
â€œI’ll send them a message to check,â€ Lin said. â€œBut in the circumstances I’m sure it will be fine.â€
â€œI will wait for their okay then,â€ Promise said.
â€œI will advise them to wait then,â€ the system said. â€œThank you, allies.â€ It cut the contact.
A/N: Sorry for the skip last week, peeps. Also please check out this post about when Haventon book 2 will Launch.