Red and green static dances everywhere for a moment, then disappears.
Quiritis mutters to herself “What’s that all about?”
The Ship AI replies quietly, still with a heavy piratical accent. “That be the sounding lead, testin’ the waters.”
“Someone looks t’be slippin’ into the harbor, quiet-like, to take us at anchor. Crow’s nest can’t see a thing, fog’s thick, but thar be a splash t’ be heard.”
Quiritis ponders the words a moment. “You think we are under attack?”
The Ship AI is cautious. “Aye, perhaps, lass. But no shots fired yet, an’ we cann’a fire blindly in’t’ fog without knowin’ wha’ sail be thar.”
“What sort of attack?”
“Noises. Pokin’ ‘n prod’n wi’ lightnin’. Gettin’ their magic in’r compasses.”
“Lightning? EM attack, hacking?”
“Aye. Shit-magnet ‘peers t’be on full power, t’is.”
“But they can’t do that at this tech level! Jamming only.”
“Aye. That’s why the crow’s nest is keepin’ a sharp eye, so’s we knows th’ targets well. Then we be clearin’ the decks in a hurry.”
“Can’t you do something!?”
“Not movin’ duzin’ mean not doin’,” the Ship AI replies conspiratorially.
I wrote that in about the middle of The Stars Came Back, several years ago. Right now the world has me feeling a little like Quiritis: fearing that there is a huge amount of heavy shit going on that building to an explosion, and I only have guesswork and rumor to go on. Watching things that seem crazy, people doing things and appearing to get away with it, no response from the “opposition,” and just a general unease. Quiritis trusts Taj, and want’s to believe the ship’s all but invincible… but she knows that whatever is up is big and very dangerous. I want to trust that Trump knows what he’s doing. He’s done the seeming impossible before, just getting elected, and there’s a huge pile of things that just don’t add up, but the explanatory story that fits is a wild script from a Dan Brown / Michael Crichton mashup or something. I mean, it’s really an intrigue at the highest level sort of script: outsider president, leaving breadcrumbs in his speeches with veiled allusions. anonymous and mysterious clues hidden on boards. outlines of stings and events that line up with confirmable events. Known bad actors, but it’s hard to believe they are ‘child-sacrifice Satanist out of central casting caricatures’ bad, but… but… Rumors of impending resignations and scandals and deals that are just epic.
But all these rumors are against the backdrop of more than a hundred people who have fallen from grace in the last couple of months, powerful and well known representatives and senators retiring, quitting, not running for reelection, or announcing that they will announce their quitting sometime soon, a state senator charged on 113 accounts, record pedo rings being busted, actual border controls being enacted, and all sorts of other improbable but verifiable things happening. Macro economy is one thing -jobs strong, growth up, inflation reasonable, stocks up – way up – that’s unusual, but explainable.
I just hope that Trump is like Taj, waiting for the right bit of shiny evidence to fall into his lap, so he can commandeer the guns and return fire. It would be GLORIOUS! Pray the God-Emperor is as crafty and God-guided as the rumors have him.