14 November, 2011

[SFAP] Chapter 14:4

This is the fourth section of the fourteenth chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.

“I don’t get it” James stared at the screens in front of him “a nuclear explosion in the same spot, every few seconds getting more and more rapid over the Indian ocean, what the hell is going on. Shit, now another one over the Pacific ocean.”
Laurence smirked, his company had been asked to quote for the refit of a number of what he thought James was seeing. While intelligence believed that multiple countries had them it was something of an open secret that they existed. Or maybe that was from his past life, kids these days maybe missed out on this. Before the Habitat had arrived the nuclear deterrent for most countries consisted of ground launched nuclear missiles or nuclear submarines; as it had done for a couple of centuries. However with a real space based threat appearing a number of countries had decided that in secret they’d build some sort of credible space defence system. However their hands were tied by treaties and even in cooperation with each other publicly stating their plans would have caused significant problems. So with no small amount of cooperation the Orion fleet was built. Designed to protect against a future invasion they were built in secret, their construction hidden amongst stories of a new test submarine fleet, of submarine exploration vehicles, drilling rigs, underwater habitats, test orbital vehicles; any excuse that would hide a variety of programs.
When completed the vehicles were either partially sunk: hidden in the largest oceans or disguised under other facilities whose only role was to be destroyed when the call came.
The largest of the these vessels weighed in at over a hundred thousand tons, the smallest a mere twenty thousand tons. The drive in question though made weight an advantage, a larger mass would cushion the blow. This much he knew from the requests his company had received. What he didn’t know were the details, how many there were, where they were, what circumstances they’d be deployed for, tactics, armaments all things that would have come had he got the contract, but as fate had turned out he hadn’t. Apparently his young upstart company was getting too powerful for the entrenched players and so he’d never got the contract. Well it would be interesting to see what he had missed out on.

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