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   Chapter 17 No.17

Bypass Gemini By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5533

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:02

Gravity was on the short list of things that weren't. It wasn't that it was fast. It was just that it was always there, tugging and pulling at everything else in the universe. The gravity sensor was used in FTL to let the pilot know when something moving about the same speed as the ship was getting too close. Handy for ships in established routes to keep from bumping into each other. It shouldn't have ever made a peep during a sprint. As such, when it started blaring, it had his attention.

"What the hell?" he said, groggily brushing the sawdust wrappers off the console.

He fiddled with some settings just to be sure, but there it was, a dot on the navigation overlay with an approximate distance and an approximate mass. It was a ship, it was behind him, and it was getting closer.

There were only two things it could mean. It could be another freelancer, but it wasn't. No freelancer stupid enough to stay on someone else's tail that closely would live very long. That only left the far less pleasant possibility that someone was purposely following him, and that meant The Law. Probably a VectorCorp security patrol, but there was no way they could have found him. He'd taken precautions. The only way that he could have been followed is if he'd managed to come close enough to a couple of their marker pylons for them to plot a speed and heading from his transponder code, but for that the transponder would have to be active, and there was no way he was stupid enough to. . .

"Son of a bitch."

He rapped on the dash and the transponder light winked off.

"Okay. . . okay, " he muttered to himself, "should have done the curved sprin

ss. Sensors winked back into operation, instantly screaming proximity alerts, with a special focus on the ship that had overshot him by a few thousand miles. Considering the fact that they were both going a high multiple of the speed of light, a few thousand miles too far along was damn near surgical precision. It also placed him right between Lex and where he needed to go. This guy was either very lucky or very, very good.

"Attention, pilot of the. . . Of the unauthorized courier vessel, " squawked a voice over his com system, "this is Senior Asset Protection and Loss Prevention Specialist Agent Emanuel Fisk. You will adjust course to one eight mark four seven and match speed. You will then remand all packages to my custody and accompany me to the nearest VectorCorp--"

"I'm going to interrupt you right there, Mister way-too-long-title. I am not in VectorCorp space, and you have no way of knowing if I do or do not have a package, and certainly not if I'm delivering it professionally without a VectorCorp permit. You and I have nothing to talk about. You have no authority out here."

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