“All right, General, you seem to have basic maneuvers mastered, so let’s try alanding. We’ve got some shuttlebay deck simulators off to port on sensors. See them?”Rentoshi checked the readings on the small screen between the two stations andthen looked out the window to his left. “I’ve got them… but what is that moving beyondthem?”“Looks like some sort of asteroid,” Richards answered, “but it’s not showing upon sensors.” He then reached forward and activated the shuttle’s subspace radio panel.“Gwalior, this is shuttlecraft
. We’re visually tracking an asteroid moving near the flight range, but it’s not showing up on sensors. Have you guys got anything?”
. I’ll check with the ships in orbit.”
“It’s definitely big enough to do some damage if it hits something.”“Yeah, but why wouldn’t it show on sensors, unless…”“Unless someone didn’t
us to see it.”
, Gwalior communications. None of the ships show anything out thereexcept you and two other training flights.”
“I do not like where this is leading, Commander,” Rentoshi remarked, as he laidin an intercept course. “I’m taking us in closer. Maybe we can find out why it’s notshowing up.”“I’m on the sensors.”“Whatever it is, it’s big.”“And fast. It’s moving like the proverbial bat out of hell. I have the controls.”Rentoshi immediately lifted his hands and watched as Richards programmed in a jump to warp that would last less than half a second.“That’s an awfully short warp jump,” Rentoshi remarked.“I’ve made shorter ones. Remind me to tell you about some of the flying I did back in the war. Here we go…”It was over almost before it could register. There, before them, was a floatingmountain of nickel iron. As they moved closer, a light caught Rentoshi’s attention.“What’s that?” he asked, pointing to it.Richards quickly had the indicated light on the screen. “Computer,” he ordered,“identify object on the screen.”
“Object is a stealth field generator, type unknown. Visual scan indicatesmixed Tzenkethi/Breen design.”
“Can we deactivate it from here?” Rentoshi asked.
“A focused resonance pulse of 2.286 megawatts will neutralize the device,based on EM sensor readings.”
“Do it.”Instantly, the shuttle emitted the ordered pulse. The light flashed several times brighter than it had before going dark.A moment later, the subspace panel came alive.
! I don’t know what you did, but we’re reading that asteroid now. We have a fix, and we’re generating a plot, but it doesn’t look good… Holycrap…”
“What is it?” Richards asked.
“You’d better get back here, Sir. These readings indicate that it’s headed for animpact… and it’s a continent-killer.”