Because you have all been so patient, here is a short excerpt from Whom Gods Shall Fear to get that blood pumping again.
Not long to go now!
The habitable sections of Night’s Shadow rang with the urgent clamour of a red alert, the address systems sounding general quarters over and over, and every single recessed lighting strip pulsed with rich, arterial red. Caden tore through chaotic passageways, feeling very much like a corpuscle hurtling through the packed blood vessels of some great being as it readied itself for flight or battle.
It was time.
He burst through the gap between the command deck’s security hatches before they had even opened sufficient to admit him, almost tearing the front of his uniform. The XO looked up from her holos, nodded curtly, and pointed towards the tactical station, where Hekekia was all but commandeering the duty officer’s consoles.
“Get it into the master battle map, now,” the captain shouted.
Tactical waved another officer over to help, and the second crew-member ported data to a holo before racing across to the main battle map’s projector. Tactical’s hands flew over the holos at the station, activating weapon systems and priming defences.
“All defensive drones deployed, Sir. Fighter pilots warned. C-MADs turrets are alive and seeking, and I’m bringing all turrets to bear on our nearest contacts.”
“I want those fighters launch-ready in no less than two minutes.”
“Two minutes, aye.”
“I’m detecting a gravitational anomaly,” Helm called out. “Same sort of profile we saw at Axicon and Laeara, only it’s more acute. This one is building up scarily fast, Sir.”
“We thought that might be coming,” said Caden. “Now we know Voice really means business.”
“COMOP, start running pre-emptive countermeasures for e-warfare. Set me up with an encrypted link to Love Tap, and be ready to jam any incoming.”
Caden watched as the master battle map ingested the data from the tactical station, taking the packets which had been provided as a template and linking itself to the ship’s sensors to learn more. Icons upon icons appeared throughout the Roumhale system, waves of incoming with no end in sight.
His entire skin chilled.
“Looks like Voice finds our bait sufficiently appetising,” he said. “What’s the quick version of the rundown?”
“Ninety-six dreadships,” Tactical called out. “Couple of hundred stolen vessels, mostly ours. A dozen or so Haidukaan signatures out there, could be a problem for our defence systems.”
“Ninety-six,” Caden gasped. “He really, really wants Forge Ruinous.”
“Good for him,” said Hekekia. “I hope this plan you and Betombe have dreamed up is a great one.”