RKestal’s Raiders, Fourth Flak Platoon, Third Battery
near Site SNASNY perimeter
Golikkar (Night’s Cliff) System

The ground shook under another distant explosion.

“What’re we doing here, Sarge?”

The blotchy linobir spat.

“Getting’ paid, kid, same as last month.”

“Yeah, but – what are we getting paid for? Who are these guys? How’d they piss off a bunch of librarians?”

“Three in one: because these selffuckers are a bunch of iconoclasts.”

“They like command lines?”

“Yeah, Raczy, they’re fighting to get their keyboards back… The new fanatics in town don’t want anyone remembering the gods of their spawners. They told everyone they were going to burn down an’ blow up the temple back there, stop anyone from getting sinful ideas. That’s what pissed off the librarians.”


“Because they’re librarians.”

“But –”

“So we need to keep them out of the librarians’ way while they get the temple rooted up and moved off this planet, you copy? Which you’re not doing by standing here talking to me instead of getting’ theLongeyes set up and mined in for anti-air work. Their skycrane gets shot down, the estrev don’t get paid. The estrev don’t get paid, we get paid in pain when she finds out we screwed up.”

“Yes, sarge. Sarge – ain’t this stealing?”

“Nah. We’re mercenaries. This is plundering. Technical term, an’ not the same thing at all. Don’t call it that in front of the clients, though. They like to call it preemptive archaeology.”

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