Adalric Ewart watched his navarch disappear in a flash of light. That translocator had cost as much as Perun, but it had certainly proved its worth over the years. Nearly every yashcherit in the crowd produced a weapon of some kind or another, and moved quickly to form up at the base of the amphitheater.
Ewart signaled his men, and they fell back into the park. Two of them set their packs down. After a minute, they had between them a comms set. They looked to Ewart expectantly.
“Give the signal.”
Some thirty seconds later, outside the station, Perun fired his engines and set a course straight for the yashcherit fleet, his escorts in company. Some hundred boarding craft left Morana‘s hangars and made directly for the void station’s spire.
The yashcheritsy lost no time in launching assault boats of their own. Perun‘s secondary batteries opened fire, scything through their formation as they approached the station. Shortly after, the yashcherit raiders formed up and approached Perun in battle formation. The battleship’s main guns found the range, and the battle was joined.
Ippocampos’ tentacles danced over a control panel, so quickly that Varouforos couldn’t hope to follow. At length, Ippocampos said, “It is done.”
“Good. That will slow them down. We must return to the dome.”
“Follow me.” Ippocampos tapped at the panel. It shut down, and Ippocampos quickly floated away. “What is it that you plan to do?”
Varouforos jogged behind the kraken. “My soldiers will land at the dome. While my warships contend with theirs, shooting down any assault craft they send to reinforce their position here, we will capture the false patriarch and force him to sign the treaty as planned.”
“Why should he honor a treaty he was forced to sign?”
Varouforos raised his eyebrows at Ippocampos’ nearest flitter. “The strength of a yashcherit’s word is his dearest possession. If he does not intend to honor the treaty, he will die before he signs. If that is his choice, we oblige him, then find the next in line to lead the warband and offer him the same choice. Eventually, one will choose peace.”
Ippocampos rounded a corner. Now they were in a corridor. A few more turns, and they were into a public thoroughfare. The spire was not large enough to warrant vehicles; nevertheless, the street was large and busy, some twenty paces across, though the ceiling was barely more than a few handspans over Varouforos’ head. Shops of many sorts lined the way, and stalls were scattered over the street nearly at random.
They wove around athat palanquins and gaggles of floating kraken. By Varouforos’ reckoning, honed by decades spent in voidship and void stations, they were heading for the edge of the spire.