Private thread: open to Goldtail crew members He heard something strike one of the bulkheads. It was impossible to work out which direction it came from. With no atmo it travelled into his suit through his feet. “Colson, that you again?” “You don't need worry. Mi can make enough noise if in trouble, keyá?” Tadgh chuckled back before switching off his radio. Glen Colson was referring to another salvage run three months back when he had got his hand trapped. He'd screamed until they'd uncrewed the transmitter from his suit to get him back aboard before his suit couple depressurise. Glen could slip into belter creole easily enough, but Tadgh could generally follow him. In fact when they'd picked up a couple of belters who he could barely understand Glen had almost been a translator. Those two had left the Goldtail on Ceres to get a transport back to Eros. “Who's even going to buy this stuff?” That was Catherine. She was searching the main hold with Colson whilst Tadgh explored on ahead. He wanted to make sure there weren't any active drones or hazards ahead. “I mean...who needs rounds and parts for a Martian PDC? They're not going to buy it back off us.” “OPA!” “It's not campaign rally time Glen,” Tadgh said before Glen could start working up to a speech about arming the belt to free the belt. “Tadgh?” The microphone in his ear crackled to life after a few seconds of silence. It kept crackling. “Captain. What's up with the signal?” “Martians might be a problem. We’re using low power.” Tadgh pushed the body in front of him out of the way with the muzzle of his rifle. The bright MCRN logo stood out on the plain black coveralls. “Don't think the martians are going to be a problem…” Their ship wasn't the largest but with ice as a premium they'd made a run to Saturn. This salvage op was an opportunistic detour after they'd picked up some debris on the scopes. They'd come in as quietly as possible in case it was a trap and sent in the Goldtail to see what they'd found. The martian frigate was split almost neatly in two. It didn't seem like the work of a torpedo. “We've picked up a hard burn pointed in our direction.” “Shit.” That meant a ship heading their way had turned and started to decelerate to make an approach. “Exactly.” “Can we out run them on a hard burn?” “Doesn't matter if they're slow or not. Torp can survive more Gs than us. Just get the Wing back aboard. We’re going to move into the shadow of this thing.” Tadgh shook his head and slung his rifle over his shoulder, tightening the strap. He lifted his left boot and pressed it against the wall in front of him. Then he leaned back as he brought up his right to re-orientate himself. Now he was standing on the bulkhead. He pushed off the wall to propel himself back down the corridor. “Drop whatever you're salvaging and get back to the shuttle. We've got company.” Several voices acknowledged him. If that was a gunship they wouldn't get out of this without being caught. If the martians found an independent freighter picking the bones off one of their own they would probably confiscate the Goldtail. In his rush his hand almost missed the lip of the door and his turn was ungainly. His knee struck the opening painfully before he could find a good hold to launch himself back into the old to catch up with the others. “Tadgh. Good and bad news. We think. Another drive signature. Might be a UN vessel.” “Did we just stumble into a battle? I didn't think they'd started firing yet.” It was only a matter of time. Everyone knew that since the martians had blown up the Cant. Or hadn't. Tadgh wasn't sure what the current position was. “I hope not. The first ship is closer and burning harder. They’ve been pushing hard to get here first it seems.” “Won't be happy to find out they didn't.” “Same thought crossed my mind.” He pushed through the opening in the hull and had to force down a surge of vertigo as he was out into open space. The squat form of the Bluewing was still anchored to the black and red hull. He'd often wondered if their freighter and shuttle had once been painted to match their names. He had never spotted a fleck of paint on either to suggest they had been.