Ascension II: What Matters

“The Navy uses a complicated system for classifying ships,” explained Max Shwartz. He glanced uneasily out his office window. The tram line across the street had suffered a hijacking and two murders yesterday. "They have frigates, heavy frigates, corvettes, cruisers and so on.

“But in reality, only three classes of ships matter. Ships restricted to normal space. Ships capable of transiting a wormhole. And ships that can send other ships thru a wormhole—jumpgates. The big military ships are technically jumpgates too. But their Volkoff-Lorentz manifolds can only sustain a wormhole large enough to admit themselves. Anyway, you’ll never get your hands on a cruiser. But, a jumpgate … Captain, look at this.”

Ishikawa joined Shwartz at the window. A van with no lights was gliding down the street, a pistol jutting from its window. A gunshot echoed from Hooligan’s. He drew Shwartz away from the window by one arm. “We’ve got to get you an office in a better neighborhood.”

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