"There you have it gentle men. Questions? Good. Dismissed."
Hannibal had just concluded the mission briefing and the captains of the other five ships in the group began to file out and head back to the shuttle that would take them back to their respective ships.
"Communications, this is the Captain. Please notify me as soon as all captains are aboard their ships and are ready for Vortex."
Grivyk waited for an answer before addressing Hannibal. "This, I take it, is going to be a fairly simple loot-n-scoot type of mission? What problems do see that could arise?"
Hannibal Teethran, 2nd mate, thought for a moment then replied. "Provided the convoy hasn't picked up a military escort of some kind, should be pretty easy. I don't like bloodshed, so if we can create an image of fierce mercifulness, future convoys should have no reason to fear for their lives when they run afoul of us."
"Fierce meaning we take what we want and mercifulness meaning we don't kill anyone that doesn't resist. If personnel resist, we shoot 'em in an area that takes 'em out of the fight, but isn't life threatening. If the ship resists, we start shooting - lightly at first then intensify it until they give in."
Grivyk interjected, "The psychology being that no ship captain would protect cargo over their ship or their crew. I like it. Communicate that to the other captains."
Forsyth Grivyks IV led the way out of the briefing room back to the bridge. "With our group as it is, what is the maximum length of time this mission should take and what's the maximum length of time we can stay out before needing to return to Nuribis?"
Hannibal pulled out a calculator and started mumbling to himself. "Hmmm...Yes....ok...hmm... Looks like we should be able dock back at Nuribis in twenty-nine days and we can stay out for thirty-eight days."
As they entered the bridge, the communications junior officer immediately reported. "Sir, one captain is left aboard the shuttle and we expect to have the shuttle docked within five minutes."
Hannibal responded first, "Very well, tell the ships to form up for joint entry into Vortex, formation Juliet."
This formation would put The Sands Dementor, the command ship, right in the center of a pentagon formed by the other five ships that are ten kilometers away. Grivyk, Jorr and Hannibal watched out the view port as the ships slowly began to maneuver to their pre-designated positions.
Eight minutes later, The Shattered Glass, an Okinawa class frigate, locked into position and reported that it was ready for Vortex.
"Engineering, sound the alarm and enter Vortex in three minutes." Jorr commanded.
The general alarm sounded two times, paused for fifteen seconds, again sounded twice, paused, and then sounded for the final time.
"Communications reconfirm that all ships are ready for Vortex."
There was a momentary pause, "Sir, all ships are ready for Vortex."
"Thank you." Jorr responded.
Grivyk, Jorr and Hannibal took their seats and made ready for Vortex.
"Entering Vortex in 10...9...8...7..."
There was a lurch and all six ships had entered Vortex to a destination where they would collect some bad debt caused by gambling.