Wandering Engineer 6: Pirates Bane
levels agree and admire his plan to
rebuild the legend and plant seeds of civilization,” Sprite said slowly. She
paused for a microsecond, a long time for the AI. “I think you are right. And
you were right about illustrating it Phoenix. I'll need to borrow your graphics
processors for my presentation,” she said.
    “Very well. When?”
    “That, we'll have to wait and see. Find the right moment,” Sprite
replied.

Chapter
3
     
    The Admiral piloted Phoenix for six days in Delta band of
hyperspace, then dropped to Alpha band for Phoenix to take over so he could
rest. Each day in Delta had cut their transit time by four days. In the A band
of Alpha, which was the best any of the AI could handle, they traveled at a
compression ratio of one week for every seven tenths of a parsec. In the mid
octaves of Delta they traveled the same distance in one point three days. But
traveling up and down the bands to Delta came with an energy penalty.  They had
used up a great deal of energy, eating into their planned reserves. Traveling
in Alpha slowed their progress to a crawl. It was grating, but he needed the
rest. His fatigue was starting to become a factor. He couldn't afford to lose
his life due to that.
    He wished he had the cetacean and Ssillian ability to shut down
parts of his brain into sleep at need while still remaining functional. He
smiled. But then things would have been a whole lot different for him if he had
been born as one of those races.
    Sprite insisted he take several days off before he attempted the experience.
Irons had to admit; he did need the break. Doing one task for hours on end
could be mind numbing, doing it for days even more so. He tried to watch some
ancient movies, but he had already watched most of them.
    Sprite got him into some virtual games. The VR experience helped
to alleviate some of the stir-crazy feelings, while also expanding his mindset
and making him feel less trapped in the confines of the small ship. Sprite
introduced him to games on a curve, starting with simple games until he got
testy about the child's play.
    The second day she threw him a curve, she decided to game out a
star system's defense based on what Intel they had. He watched the vitalization
of Pyrax form. Ship and possible fortification stats cascaded like waterfalls,
for an Admiral it was depressingly few and rather light.
    He'd flat out refused to explore Antigua. There really was no
point; there were no defenses. He frowned, looking at her projections. “The
problem is, we don't know which way Horatio will go.”
    “But we do know what he is limited with.”
    “True.”
    “And we know what he has in the pipeline. So...” Sprite started
with what they had before Destiny left and then accelerated the time stamp. He
watched build times in the yard drop fast. He winced. Yeah, that wasn't good he
thought; everything had come to a standstill. That was consistent with what
they had expected would happen, and what they had picked up when they had
traveled through Gaston and Epsilon.
    Not that there had been a lot of intel to be had, Horatio and his
intel team had kept any hard intel on the Yard down to vague generalizations,
which was good. He nodded, watching the space station Anvil pass by, with the
Yard and San Diego following them. “Here is where things get interesting,”
Sprite said. She projected the return of Destiny.
    Irons watched the plot and then nodded as the ship docked with
the yard and things began to move. Not at the prior pace, but at least there
was life once more.
    “My assessment of Commander Logan is that he will go for a redundant
platform approach. But he will be conservative with his logistics since he
doesn't know when you will send more, or even if.”
    “So, what, one or two frigates?” The Admiral asked, frowning. “Or
three or four sublight vessels?” He'd sent along enough material for that as
well as some work on Prometheus. Not a lot, he'd been limited to a few thousand
tons of

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