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   Chapter 9 No.9

The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1 By Christina Engela Characters: 5166

Updated: 2018-06-29 12:02

As time went by, the Corsairs made regular forays into Imperial space – hijacking and stealing small ships and loderunners, attacking small settlements and under-defended outposts – but their own base remained a mystery. Rumors, myths and legends abounded. Their Corsairs' home was known only as Turtle Island, named after the mythical island colonized by Earth buccaneers in the 17th century. The terrible Corsairs were really only bothersome at first, merely prodding at the outskirts of the colonies. Later, they seemed to become more confident, with each passing year marking increased incidence of pirate attack. As a case in point, last December, Corsair raiders descended on several outermost colonies at once, laying them waste. For the colonists who survived, it was one hell of a Christmas, or Saturnalia, or whatever you celebrated at that time of year – but to attack a starbase – and to win? That would take guts, numbers and firepower! And confidence too, if, she concluded, that was what happened.

"What if it is Corsairs, sir?" Ripley asked Falcone. "What do we do then?"

"Alert Core Command. The Fleet on maneuvers will come out after us as a back-up." Falcone sighed, looking them all over. "Ladies…gentlemen… It's obvious we've been in better shape – gods know, the poor Ant-arse has seen better days – and this could be a very risky scenario we've been sent to deal with. I expect each and every one of you to conduct yourselves as the professionals you are! As I said, it could just be a communications problem – but if it'

e learned it as well. After all, what cadet at the Academy didn't? The words sprung to mind involuntarily. It was a naughty, rambling tale that involved an innkeeper's daughter, an axe, a chair, a four-poster bed, some rickety stairs, the devil's wife – and at the center of the whole thing, three fictitious German officers from some or other almost forgotten war. It was quite a good song, depending on how much you'd had to drink, or planned on drinking. He'd sung it himself many a time he couldn't remember, including the time he put invisible purple marking dye on the ladies toilet seats at the Academy at an inter-house swimming gala. That made quite an impression on his record – he was gated for three months. But that was long ago, better times… happier times. There were seven verses in that song, but somehow you'd always manage to forget one – but that was the point – you didn't sing it alone, and one of your friends would remember. Anyway, he'd never heard it hummed backwards before. At least, not recognizably.

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