I gave the ship more speed, but not to the point where I risked damaging the engines.
On one of the screens appeared the words:
[There is no sign of pursuit, but their passive scanning systems should have no trouble tracking us back to Earth.]
“Oh?” I thought about that. “Let me know if there’s any sign of action.”
I glanced back toward Lee and Vaughn. “They won’t really do anything right? They like the Heroes League. They feel like they owe us.”
Continue reading Intergalactic Sherlock: Part 10
“No idea,” I said, “except for the last ship they’ve all left people in our system, and I’m using ‘people’ pretty loosely so I can include the machines.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that a small ship had left the “pirate ship.” It shot off at high speed, and disappeared behind Earth. I didn’t see any signs of battles, but on the other hand, could I have?
Vaughn watched the small ship disappear. “Huh. Could be that one.”
Haley shook her head. “Maybe.”
This wasn’t getting easier. “Lee said something that made it sound like he expected it would be pirates, or at least look like pirates.”
Vaughn turned his head toward me. “What do you suppose he meant by that?”
Continue reading Intergalactic Sherlock: Part 9
Vaughn turned around the room, staring at the spaceships. “Wait, I thought you had to go through the jump gates.”
“I guess not,” I said. “I kind of knew that, but I wasn’t sure how far I could trust the information. Basically, jump drives are really big, and they need a big power plant to run them. That means they’re mostly found in the really big spaceships. Capital ships, and some of the larger cargo ships.”
Haley eyed me through her mask. “So a capital ship is a big ship?”
“I think. I may have it wrong, but generally they’ve got the most armor and firepower.”
Vaughn stopped looking around, and looked directly at me. “So how do you know?” Continue reading Intergalactic Sherlock: Part 8
With a sinking feeling, I followed the path. Low, blueish-green light illuminated the hall. Given the hall’s liquid metal material, bioluminescent light seemed unlikely. On the other hand, the Xiniti were aliens. They might easily light their halls with lifeforms outside my experience.
Collecting a little bit to analyze would have been interesting, but I had a bad feeling that the Xiniti wouldn’t approve. They were here to prevent us from gaining more technology unless we developed it on our own, and had the authority to commit genocide to prevent it if necessary.
The Xiniti felt like they owed the League somehow, but I wasn’t going to push it.
Continue reading Intergalactic Sherlock: Part 7
We didn’t have time to say any more about it as I let the ship float into the landing bay. I kept my mind on coming to a full stop, turning on the external anti-gravity to use what little gravity there was, and also lowered the landing gear.
Behind us, the force shield went up, followed by huge doors rolling out of the floor and shutting, and finally their artificial gravity slowly turning on.
That gave me more gravity to work with, meaning that I didn’t have to use the maneuvering rockets inside the bay. Continue reading Intergalactic Sherlock: Part 6
Next to me, Haley paused as she’d been turning back toward the dashboard. “A pretty good time?”
Lee smiled wider. “The best. In moments like that people stop worrying about how you get things done. They need it done, and they don’t have time to care how. Say you have a Skerrish battle station orbiting the planet. Normally you’d try to talk them into leaving, but if you’re in the middle of a battle, barely anyone cares if you ram them with one of their own heavy cruisers. As long as the battle station’s out of the fight, no one complains.”
Haley turned back to the dashboard without saying anything, and we took the jet out the underwater airlock into Lake Michigan, the engines humming as we traveled underwater. Continue reading Intergalactic Sherlock: Part 5
“That, and I suppose when you kill as many people as he has, the enemies add up.” Plus he wasn’t exactly nice about it. The few times I’d seen him fight outside of training, he’d pushed people’s buttons deliberately.
That’s the kind of guy who would end up on the run from his entire species, leaving them pissed off enough that they destroyed any planet they found him on. Granted, it wasn’t just because of that, but it put things in perspective.
Normally they committed genocide over the long term. When they found he’d influenced a planet, they did it immediately.
“Exactly. You need someone to balance out the crazy.” She sounded amused.
Continue reading Intergalactic Sherlock: Part 4
By Wednesday night I had a response from the Xiniti—yes. I could take the League “jet” to the jump gate and go through their logs. They’d be happy to help investigate. In fact, they were already doing so on their own.
Not that they told me so directly. Lacking an official Xiniti email address, I’d emailed Isaac Lim, and he’d sent it on through appropriate channels. I had no idea how much bureaucracy “appropriate channels” involved, but the impression I got from Lim was “too much.”
Whatever the case, I’d gotten my reply within twenty-four hours of asking Agent Lim, so I wasn’t in a position to complain. At least I wasn’t in a position to complain about that. I was in a position to complain about what they’d done with the Xiniti’s reply.
Continue reading Intergalactic Sherlock: Part 3
Cassie had mentioned that he’d been feeling left out. It wasn’t as if I’d been ignoring him though. Anyway, technically I’d seen him most weeks—Stapledon program stuff every other weekend, (officially credited) Stapledon distance learning classes each week, and sometimes additional team practices midweek.
Of course, Lee had taken a couple weeks off from that recently—apparently so he could arrange accidents with blenders.
How did that even work?
“Nick?” Vaughn asked. He sounded a little irritated.
“Sorry. Lee killed a bunch of people, and I’m a little distracted.” Continue reading Intergalactic Sherlock: Part 2
Vaughn and I stood inside DePuit Hall’s lobby. Not much more than an entrance that opened into the TV room, it wasn’t as nice as anyplace I’d been for a Stapledon weekend. The dark carpet in the TV room had to be at least ten years old, and might have been pushing twenty for all I knew.
We’d happened to run into each other—almost but not quite literally.
I’d walked down to buy something at the pop machine while he happened to walk around the corner. Since the row of snack machines happened to be just around the corner, I leaned down to pick up the can of pop as he dodged me.
I stood up, and we looked at each other.
Vaughn said, “Hey, how’s it going?”
“Pretty much okay. I’m kind of surprised to see you here.” Continue reading Intergalactic Sherlock: Part 1