There is a place in the Void where ships tend to gather. Some homing instinct bred into them through the first generations of space travel, perhaps. Some say that there are obscure gravimetric or cosmological undercurrents that impinge on their delicate senses. Others say that ships have souls, that the christening of a starship awakens it, and that they seek out such stellar locus points the way their human inhabitants find themselves on pilgrimages to holy lands.

The Scarlet Saber rested easily in the asteroid belt. Intelligence indicated that the system was being used as a base for pirates. It was now or never – if the pirates could be caught with empty capacitors, they couldn’t escape.

RHO walks confidently down the Boulevard of the Seers. Around him, the other travelers in search of their own cathedrals or hovels move like the human current of an urban river. In the distance, the howls of engines warming up for take-off can be heard.RHO hears a whining noise. He spins, spotting three glowing orbs darting right at him. An attack! In broad daylight? He reaches down, makes a drawing motion. A glittering sword of gold-white light springs into existence and he swings it at the first orb. It slices in half and vanishes abruptly.