Chief: I dunno why the Cat ... Capin ... CAPTAIN! Why the captain order you to foller me around?
Nok: Because you wouldn’t see me if I did it.
Chief: Nonononoooooo. Though yer right. I mean why does he think you need to follow me aroun’?
Nok: I quote, “I’m tired of bailing that ordnance monkey's ass out on every shore leave.”
Chief: Ahhhhh there wasn’t anything to worry about this time. That was a perfeckly ... perfectly friendly little night spot.
Nok: I’m not the linguist Mukh is but the place was called ‘The Murder Hole.” I believe that is a bad thing.
Chief: Why did ya come alone? The beanpole is no help but Mukh ...
Nok: ... That was no place for a lady.
Chief: Again? I wisht he’d stop doing that. ‘Screepy.
Chief: Hey ... you vole people are pretty much built alon ... along similar lines to us ... dolphin people. You got a lady? Some scary little white haired beauty waiting for you at home? Inna ... inna dark?
Chief: ... you want to talk? We got time waiting onna shuttle. Shavetail pilots like my gammaw.
Nok: I don’t want.
Chief: What a s’prise. You’re usually the gabby one. Suit yerself.
Nok: ... you heard of the Shadow Fleet.
Chief: ... Yeah!
Nok: What do you know of it?
Chief: Not a damn thing!
Nok: That’s the one. Tivk’s people built a fleet of research ships. Mukh’s people handle the shipping and logistics of our polity. My people built a fleet for espionage. We didn’t trust anyone to spy for us. ... Did you ever hear of Morghus?
Chief: Not as such.
Nok: One of the things my people do not condone is psionics. The idea of someone reading your mind is abhorrent to us. I mean we’ll do an anal probe and stick an audio recorder up there if we want the goods on you but ... your mind is your mind. So we try to catch people with psionic potential and eliminate it through drugs, surgery whatever is the least invasive. We’ve tried to breed it out of ourselves.
Chief: Tivk is a reader ...
Nok: Like the beanpoles would waste time with our minds? Anyway I learned to set aside my bigotry.
Nok: Yes. I don’t know why I’m telling you this. You aren’t even my species.
Chief: That’s exactly why you’re telling me. I ain’t judging you.
Nok: You should keep getting drunk. It suits you Anyway of course being psionic these people are difficult to catch. They had at one time a whole network of sympathizers sending them somewhere. The Shadow Fleet was going mad trying to find them. At one point they entered the Korsa Holding, and the Enemy’s space. Finally the trail led to Morghus. the Shadow ships were going to warp in close and begin landing troops to take the psionics captive.
Nok: The Shadow Fleet broke out of hyperspace. For once all these spooks, operatives and snitches in one place and as soon as they did ...
Chief: The fecal episode commenced.
Nok: Some said that the Shadow Fleet’s commanders all felt the effects of a psionic attack. They couldn’t take a chance on being taken over or losing the command of their ships. It was an attack that much was sure.
Chief: I’d be interested in the otha opinions ...
Nok: The Shadow Fleet, the largest collection of military and civilian intelligence in the Local Bubble had just popped in over a planet of mind readers. Do you think they would take a chance of that information being read and leaked. Hell maybe the psionics said that was what they were going to do. It’s a credible threat.
Chief: I’ll say.
Nok: The Fleet fired a spread of torpedoes targeting the population centers. Thousands died. The diplomatic fall out ... well it’s still being resolved. But there was evidence, visual recording medical scans of psionic effects on the Shadow Fleet’s commanders. The final decision was that the psionics provoked an attack. Of course the Shadow Fleet also had a lot of blackmail evidence on ... nearly everyone to insure that was the verdict. My wife and children ...
Chief: Good God man. I had no idea. You were on Morghus.
Nok: I was on the bridge of the Shadow Fleet’s flagship firing the torpedoes. M'fe ... my wife did not believe my rationale about following orders. She left me soon after that. She took my daughter, L're, and I did not contest it. I ...
Chief: You followed orders. I hope to God I never have to make that sort of decision.
Chief: Do Tivk and Mukh know ... ‘a course not! Sorry. Hey, shuttle’s here!
Nok: Yes. You go on without me. I hate Shavetail’s piloting. I will 'port up later. The Captain gave me a 48 hour pass.
Chief: Okay Mr. Nok. Want to leave word where you’re heading?
Nok: To quote Tivk: no.