It was Shevek Ansible who took the message. I remember it as distinctly as a seal in this wax. He came running in like a
cute little pup as yet not bitten by a mangy mongrel. Though how they got carrier waves to break not only the laws of
space but also of hyperspace is clearly beyond your ken so I won't bother to try and explain
"They have found the coordinates for a lost ship, sir," he said. He looked a bit on the pale side.
Okay, he wasn't talking to me, I've never been a sir, even to myself. Even if he wasn't drooling he did look a lot like a
puppy. And damn me if he wasn't right to be excited. A lost ship could mean the difference, all the difference between
a rise and a meteoric rise.
"And?" The captain of the scoutship was a real man of words.
"Th-they w-want us to investigate."
I'd like to say that the captain muttered something but he didn't. He just made a sound: to call it a grunt would be to
give it too much dignity. As if he had been the pilot ordered to drop a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki - 'Message received,
over and out', followed by a pre-emptive radio silence. Well, been there, done that.
Actually the captain, and Shevek, did a real fine job of locating the ship. It wasn't easy because it was 'hiding' just out
of orbit of an independent colony. Yep, that's right, real live outerspace... humans. Aw shucks, I thought it was going to
be something exciting. Those ancient aliens seem to revel in losing their ships right where any decent independent would
gobble them up without thinking, except they don't do either. And, wait for it, there's more to come, also just coming out
of hyper at Cautu were a brace of honest to God, except they weren't and I'm not, pirate gangsters.
So the captain makes like a hyena and sneeks in around the back of the lost ship with the pirates hot on his heels and...
Wow. Lucky the pirates think that these things are just part of the scenery. And pretty soon they, or their pieces, are too.
Now the captain he was already out of there. Good for him. I'd stuck around and got to see a pirate frigate
materialising out of the void. I say frigate, but man, I've seen destroyers which would get eaten by this thing. Not the
Quaestor though. They did try to jump outsystem but someone sabotaged their drive coil software. Should have been
given a medal, if you ask me, but instead they just go down in history as another faceless hero. Unless you're a pirate,
Whatever you do, don't ask me about the crew of the lost ship... They only made one journey anyway, since
apparently our scientists had run out of mice to dissect. Probably good in a way as I can't imagine how many rodents
you would have to dissect to learn Enhanced Hyperdrives.
And yes, I do know the one about the Teekan, the Zenox and the Ugnari.