The RIM Confederacy: SleeperShip

Prologue

At the very southern border of the RIM Confederacy the space ship Keshowse moved ahead and at its slow cruising speed, it could have been mistaken as a comet. It expelled no exhaust or plasma or anti-matter shower of protons, it simply coasted along at its maximum speed as it unhurriedly went by the boundary buoy and began to enter the RIM Confederacy.

It was of a shape and design that one could see would never ever touch-down on a planet – it was meant for interstellar movement only. Arrays hung off the front of the ship and pods that held unknown equipment jutted out all along some of the sides in haphazard random fashion.

There were none of the usual armament ports or arrays that one would normally see for plasma cannons or laser weapon barrels or energy pulse lenses. The bridge was plain to see, set back from the front of the huge craft as it jutted up and spread out on the forward decking, its rounded viewports facing ahead and abeam to port and starboard.

It was amidships that the strangeness of the ship was most apparent where there was a huge four-sided shell-like box that circled the ship’s axis and ran for almost 1500 feet long populated with ports and lights that had no apparent purpose. Each of the four sides had ports strung in 6 rows all across the length of the box and each was bright from interior lighting.

And the whole ship was huge at more than a half a mile long; it was truly a colossal ship bigger than any other that had ever entered the RIM.

At its speed of slightly more than 30,000 miles per second it was certainly the slowest of intruders into RIM space as it flew too slow to make any kind of a beep on any ships display and that was a part of what was wanted by the ships builders.

Yet the RIM boundary buoy noted it passing, and as its automatic plotting algorithm mapped the course this RIM trespasser would take. At its current speed and heading, it would clear the RIM space with no collision worries in 240+ years, hardly worth worrying about, the AI stated, as it was simply a fast moving comet as its algorithm drew its own conclusions.

The AI then made that entry in its logs; it then transcribed the message to be sent to Juno and the RIM Navy network, and parked it in the buoys Ansible queue where it waited to be sent.

It would wait forever though as the Ansible arrays had been sheared off more than a month earlier during a rogue meteor shower that had come thru the RIM space and the few messages the buoy wanted to send, continued to be all stacked up and never sent.

So Juno never learned of the incoming alien ship that had just entered its space and the intruder’s entry year passed and then another and another…the alien ship crawled into RIM space until now four years later, it neared Novertag, the planet in the system sitting almost on that southern boundary.

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