Scott McMurtry was almost running across the Comm Room floor. A loose sheet of paper flapped noisily in his hand.

Jerome Innis was already standing at his office door when Scott arrived, and he ushered the breathless man into a waiting chair.

“What’d you find, Scott?”

Winded, Scott merely handed the paper over. Jerome scanned it for a moment, then looked back up at Scott who, by this time, had nearly caught his breath.

“You’re certain? There’s no mistake?”

“None. I triple-checked it myself. At precisely 2105 there was a 2% reduction in visible light from Sol. At 2107 our satellites triangulated on the origin and made a positive ID. There’s no doubt — it’s Lucifer-class, and it’s headed our way.”

“Well, shit, Scott. You know what this means?”

Scott nodded. “It means we’re in a whole heap of trouble.”

“If we’re lucky. Kick it upstairs, Priority: Harbinger. They’re not going to be happy about this. Maybe, just maybe they can get Harlot’s Dream back here in time to clean up what’s left of us.”

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