This is the sixteenth section of the fourteenth chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.
The commander of the Compton supervised the repairs and waited for any clue as to what the next step was. He had been ordered to wait for a clue as to when the next phase of the attack would begin. Probably a nondescript piece of orbital junk would crash into Earth or something would suddenly change orbit to land on Earth. He just had to wait and let the computers do their job. Until then he had to get this ship fixed.
“Sir I think we’ve got it.”
“Yep, remember that rescue come pirate attack the Contrafibularity suffered?”
“Well they theorised that there was some sort of carrier stage that formed the initial engines that got them into the right flight path to rendezvous with the Contrafibularity”
“And it’s return path has brought it awfully close to earth orbit”
“Close enough that a fuel leak at this point would be enough to get it into atmospheric entry trajectory.”
“Let’s go get it then”
“It’s already past the L1 lagrange point. By the time we get to it it’ll be too late.”
“What? You were supposed to find it.”
“And you can thank the AIs for that. It was a known piece of low risk junk so they masked it out from our searches.”
“Do you know how much junk is out there?”
The commander rubbed his head “So we failed.”
“Fine inform ground forces. They’ll have to intercept.”