Twisting in the Vacuum
|Twisting in the Vacuum|
|Author||Jason M. Hardy|
|First published||1 August 2008|
|Timeline||13 July 3069 - 4 February 3072|
Twisting in the Vacuum is a short story by Jason M. Hardy that was published online on BattleCorps on 1 August 2008. It was also published in print in the fifth BattleCorps print anthology, Counterattack, in 2014.
|“||In a unit full of secrets trust is a rare commodity. But it will take a full measure of trust from one, for all to follow. The question is, should he really be trusting them all?||”|
Marcel Webb's mercenary unit, the Star Seeds, famously managed to board and capture a Green Ghosts Overlord-class DropShip, the Silhouette, in the Tomans system on 13 July 3069. Although they have not shared all tactical details, the newly-minted unit gained quite a reputation through this action which also forged them together as a team. A subsequent (successful) mission in 3070 was the boarding of the Word of Blake DropShip True Blood in the Orestes system.
On 4 February 3072 Webb is in contract negotiations with a representative of the Lyran Alliance on Hamilton. The proposed mission is to capture a Clan Jade Falcon DropShip at Bountiful Harvest, but Webb and his acting XO Krantz are wary because of the unprofessional manner in which their Lyran contact is handling the negotiations.
Unsure about whether or not to accept the Lyran contract, Webb is confronted by Interstellar Exploration agents who are in truth affiliated with the Order of the Five Pillars. They have tracked Webb, in fact a DEST deserter, down and call him by his true name Frederick Zhil. Webb returns to his unit after an inexplicable absence and informs his command staff that he has accepted a new, different contract to Arcturus, though he does not yet know the details of the job or the identity of their employer. They make him put his cards on the table and, satisfied that the mission will apparently go against the Word of Blake, decide to go with it.
What Webb does not know is that two of his officers—Krantz and Bennett—are actually Word of Blake plants monitoring the Star Seeds for the Word of Blake. Having learned of the upcoming assignment to Arcturus and the unit's outlook, they decide to continue their work from within to find out as much as possible.
- Model 96 "Elephant" tug (Syssiphus - an unspecified Star Seeds DropShip features in this story that rammed the Silhouette, faciliating the boarding action; its name and type were stated in the Mercenaries Supplemental Update sourcebook, p. 109)
- Overlord (Silhouette)
- The story is standalone, but ends on something of a cliffhanger. In the unit's writeup in Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents an unspecified betrayal at Arcturus in 3073 is mentioned, along with the assertion that Webb personally handled the execution of the traitors.
- According to Dawn of the Jihad, pp. 157-158, the Green Ghosts attacked Tomans on 1 August 3068 (with armored and unarmored infantry). The capture of the Silhouette occurred a year later, in July 3069, during what was obviously a different attack.