The Tide_Ghost Fleet by Anthony J. Melchiorri

The Tide_Ghost Fleet by Anthony J. Melchiorri

Author:Anthony J. Melchiorri [Melchiorri, Anthony J.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Anthony J Melchiorri
Published: 2018-03-03T22:00:00+00:00

-23-

“The drone is still trailing us,” Lieutenant Daftary said.

“I am not blind,” Admiral Mokri said. On the monitors in front of Daftary, a display showed the drone’s position in relation to the Karlstad.

“It would be very easy to eliminate, sir,” Daftary said.

“It would be,” Mokri agreed. Such a decision seemed obvious to a mere lieutenant like Daftary. But eliminating the drone was precisely the wrong move at that moment. “We do not want to do that. It’s better that we track their drone.”

“But they’ll follow us to the rendezvous point.”

“They won’t make it that far,” Mokri said.

Daftary gave him a nonplussed look. “Is this part of Spitkovsky’s plan?”

“It is part of my plan,” Mokri said, perhaps a bit too defensively. “We want the Hunters to follow us. Better to keep them close. If they think they’re tracking us, then we have them on a leash. It is much easier to shoot a rabid dog on a leash than one running loose.”

“Ah, I see,” Daftary said, leaning into the radar screen. “I would assume, even if we did shoot it down, they would close the distance. They aren’t stupid; they know what we have.”

“You are right not to underestimate the enemy. They most certainly know what we’ve taken from Cesta. But I do not want to risk them getting any closer to us than they are.”

The hatch to the bridge opened. The tall, muscular form of Sergeant Semenov marched in like a specter of death. He still hadn’t washed the bloodstains from the bone plates covering his chest. For all Mokri knew, Semenov wore the blood of his victims like a macabre badge of honor. In fact, he’d be willing to bet the Karlstad that was the case.

“They are still following us,” Semenov rasped, halfway between a question and an accusation.

“Yes, they are in pursuit,” Mokri said.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Daftary twist back to his monitor, eager to avoid facing the Hybrid. Mokri’s eyes narrowed. The Hybrids enjoyed striking fear in the rest of the normal human crew. It was almost a sport to them. Mokri hadn’t witnessed it, but he’d heard the whispers from his lieutenants of Hybrids marching down the corridors, forcing the Iranians to shrink out of the way. As a Hybrid passed, he would hiss or lunge or make some other barbaric gesture of aggression, invariably causing the victim crew member to flinch. Bullies was all they were. And yet, he could do virtually nothing about it. They were near immune to his reprimands. Threats of temporary imprisonment in the brig—and even more than threats—did little to change their behavior.

“And why does their pursuit concern you?” Mokri finally asked.

“Because they must be stopped,” Semenov said. “Because we can stop them.”

Mokri understood the insult behind Semenov’s words. Semenov wasn’t referring to the crew of the Karlstad as “we”; he meant only to refer to the Hybrids.

“We will stop them, but we will do it my way,” Mokri said. “I have already coordinated this with Spitkovsky.



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