Message delivered, the nodes detached from Harking’s vessel and drifted back into their former positions.
And thank the gods for that, thought Harking.
“Navigation, what’s the next closest jump point?” he demanded. There was a moment of silence as Nav plotted the course.
“Just over 40,000 lights, sir,” Nav replied. Someone cursed. Even at top speed, that distance would still take the better part of a year to cross, much too long for a ship like this that was only outfitted for short runs. Just traveling that far in real space, shedding emissions all the while (even their stealth tech couldn’t compensate for that much continuous power), was a significant risk. Marauding species were always on the hunt for others to prey upon. It’s why subspace travel was always preferred — and why Harking had chosen this particular traversal. It was one of the only “safe” routes in real space through this arm of the galaxy. To have it suddenly cut off was shocking and disheartening.