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January 23, 2015
Posted at 2:44 pm

Chapter 315 of Book 3 is in the queue

This week with Arlene and Jeff:

Deep Space

The scout's AI had little problem finding the location of the alien ship after it dropped out of warp. Moving relatively slowly, the tiny ship crept toward the alien's new location to eventually snuggle to a large asteroid at the far edge of passive sensor range. The two humans in command of the scout were mindful of their instructions to be careful to avoid detection.

Moments after the alien's move, the scout detected a number of tenders exiting the alien ship and fanning out into the new section of the asteroid belt.

"I didn't realize the belt was this long," Dave commented.

"You were technically correct in your assumption; however, the belt extends in sections across a considerable distance," the AI responded. "It is logical to assume that the aliens have moved to a new section of the belt because they had exhausted the supply of the elements they were searching for in the first section."

"But they went to warp…" Dave started.

"Obviously to test their drive, but note that they continued parallel to the belt. Considering the rapid deployment of the tenders after the ship dropped out of warp, it is also logical to assume that the aliens knew that they would not be able to remain in warp long and intended to continue their mining operations at a new section of the belt. Again, this is additional data to reinforce my postulation that the short warp was a test of their drive."

Dave and Evie looked at each other, then turned back to the forward screen. "Best guess as to how long the alien ship will remain in the belt. In other words, how long should it take them to repair their drive - if that's what they're doing in the first place?"

"I have not reduced myself to guessing," the AI replied indignantly...

Have a goodun;