Part 49: ... And Reign In The Dogs of WarWell commander, I think our pilots have a point. And I doubt you're going to let some hurt feelings keep us from gaining a tactical advantage.
I ... suppose if the paperwork has already been filed
Very well captain. You are correct that the Havoc's tactical capabilities are impressive. Although this appears to be a moot point, as we are still short of a pilot.
One thing at a time, Ava. We can
And don't even THINK of saying we should let Cosmos back into that thing.
Hah hah ... W-why would you ever suspect I'll ever do that ...
Past experience! *storms off*
All right people, show's over, get back to work!
Thank you, captain! I would have hated to see such a mighty ryder be scrapped!
Yeah, shes really got a soft spot for heavy ryders.
Thick armor and heavy weaponry are all you need on a ryder!
Pfff. Don't come crying back to me when you get slugged by a capital ship's kinetics right out of the launch tube!
Captain, you have an incoming FTL call from Admiral Grey.
Thank you, lieutenant. Put him through to my office.
Captain. A moment of your time.
Admiral. How may I help you?
Shields. We meet again.
Calm down, captain. Hes with me. The information Im about to share with you is classified at the highest levels, but certain elements of PACTs leadership have quietly reached out to us. After the, shall we say, unexpected turn of events at Helion, some within PACT seek a negotiated settlement to the war.
PACT wants peace talks?
In a manner of speaking. We are still divided. Arcadius, or rather, the creatures that impersonate him, still command considerable loyalty from the hardliners. Yet not everyone in PACT wishes to see our ideals turn to ash.
Make no mistake. The Alliance's greed shall prove its undoing. But it shall be time that withers away the wealth of the imperialists. Not the blood of our men and women.
In any matter, I have been involved in talks with Veniczar Fontanas faction, seeking an understanding that may pave the road to ending this war. It is a path well worth exploring. Im inviting you, as a representative of a Neutral Rim power, to observe our next meeting with the PACT envoys. I am sure you have a considerable interest in this as well, no?
That I do, admiral.
Very well, then. Veniczar Fontana and I shall look forward to your attendance.
Until later, Shields.
(Peace talks ... It really feels like the war's ending. Arcadius is still powerful ... But even PACT's beginning to question his methods. Almost there ... Just a little bit more ...)
Meanwhile, in the brig
There's been no sign of any PACT activity in this sector for weeks now. Looks like your friends have abandoned you.
Not so sisterly now, it seems. Quiet in your cell, isn't it? Without all those voices, whispering in your head.
Heh. Confident, arent we? You think we're defeated.
Well then, lets take a look at some Alliance Internal Security Bureau reports, shall we? Prototype located in the Ongess system: killed resisting capture. Prototype located on Hera Orbital 14: killed attempting to flee the station. Prototype located on Solaris itself: killed resisting capture. Would you like to see the pictures of that one? Theyre a bit graphic, but if you insist ...
Your kind have nowhere to run. The Alliance will hunt you down. Humanity will hunt you down.
Hahahahaha! Oh no, you got three of us? Our numbers are infinite! We are the next phase of humanity's existence.
I see the fear in your eyes. Well eye. You know whats coming. Betrayal. We've already taken what is most precious to you. Just wait! His heart belongs to us!
*storms out of brig*
Thanks for stopping by!
(And thank YOU, Lynn, for confirming it for me. Youre not long-lost sisters or her clones Chigara IS a prototype!)