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July 31, 2015
Posted at 3:11 pm

Chapter 342 of Book 3 is in the queue

This week with Arlene and Jeff:

...As the minutes that seemed more like hours ticked away, the AI continued to update them on the enemy craft. "Both are now in the general location of our near-collision with the rogue." Then after several moments of waiting, "They have separated. One is heading in the opposite direction along this side of the belt, while the other is accelerating in our general direction, but it is paralleling the belt well away from the asteroid swarm. If I accelerate at a higher rate, they will be able to detect my energy emissions. If I do not expend more energy, the tender will reach our general location in slightly more than six minutes and twenty-seven seconds, and they are actively scanning.

"As before, I do not detect warp engines aboard the enemy tenders, but they are more heavily armed than I am. In addition, we are well within their detection range if we warp out. They have shields, but I do not know their strength. Decision?"

"Find a dense part of the swarm and get behind something that will block their scans," Arlene ordered without hesitation.

"Should they find us, anyway, I will not be able to go to warp until we are well clear of nearby asteroids. In that interval, the aliens will have a simple targeting solution."

Arlene and Ann looked at each other, but Ann spoke first. "Jeff said not to take any chances. To obey him, we have to clear the asteroid field and warp out now."

"But that will alert the aliens that Earth is watching them."

"Do we have any choice?" Ann reasoned.

The two locked eyes for an instant before Arlene gave the order.

Have a goodun;