Excerpt from The Gathering Edge
by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
"Theo, the subetheric device on that ship is an unacceptable risk," Bechimo said.
"Is it unstable?" Theo asked, with interest.
"No, it is not. However, I believe it is compromised. Responses to testing are ambiguous. This
may reflect damage taken when it transitioned to this place, or it may be the result of deliberate
tampering; it would be interesting to know which, but not at the cost of putting our crew in danger.
I cannot allow that vessel on my decks. Surely you have not already forgotten the dangers inherent
in a compromised unit."
Since they'd only just replaced Bechimo's own Struven unit, which they'd compromised in the
course of that risky--not to say, theoretically impossible--Jump out of Ynsolt'i traffic, the dangers
inherent in a compromised unit were vivid in Theo's memory. Granted, from Bechimo's point of
view, her memory was desperately short and horrifyingly inaccurate, but she doubted he thought it
was as bad as all that. Still, best to treat the comment as a conversational device, rather than
Even--especially--if she suspected sarcasm.
"I haven't forgotten," she said evenly. "But it can't call anybody from here, can it?"
"Here" being a piece of space that Bechimo was pleased to style a "safe zone," which was what
Theo had originally considered to be "dead space," where no signals came in, nor signals went out.
She'd since revised her opinion to "wyrd space"--which was straight out of Thrilling Space
Adventures--when teapots and other small bits of flotsam began phasing in from Galaxy Nowhere.
The latest bit of flotsam was looking likely to change her opinion again, assuming the math. . .
but before she did math, she had to deal with an intact spaceship of somewhat baffling lines, more
or less outfitted and arranged like a courier ship that had just phased in out of Jump. It held air, that
ship, and all systems were go, the only things lacking being pilot and crew.
Unless the tree in the box of soil grey-taped into the copilot's chair was, in fact, crew.
In any case, and even without the math, this was another order of business than teapots, random
bits from what might have been instruments, hull shred, and broken tile.
"It can, in theory, influence us," Bechimo said.
Theo thought about that, then shook her head.