From the Inside Flap
"Incomingfighters!" Tamara yelled.
She taggedeach of them and then swivelled the gun mount around. It could only move aroundtwenty degrees in each direction, and no matter how hard she tried, it was impossibleto align on the approaching fighters.
"I can't hitthem from here. I count six of them, all heading for our dromons."
"Do it," saidXenophon.
Tamara, asduring the escape from Bijar Prime, had taken up her post in the nose of theraider. Her small frame, good eyesight, and excellent shooting ability made herthe perfect gunner for the Night Scythe. The pilot, an aged-looking man with ametal patch over his left eye, merely laughed at her and yanked on a control.The raider tilted ten degrees and shunted across several metres. The man madeexpert use of the lateral thrusters and then put them back on course.
She tookcareful aim and fired. The quadruple mount fired with such intensity it couldbe felt throughout the craft. Each blast sent a long streak of flame thatinstantly dissipated in the cold vacuum of space. One fighter exploded and asecond lost a wing and engine before spinning out of control.
"Goodshooting, lady," said the pilot.
Xenophonwatched as they rushed past the wreckage and onto the nose of the Bactrianwarship. Another dromon swept by to the left, blocking the view for a briefmoment. Then it was gone, and the view of the enemy ship was there in all itsglory. Xenophon spotted several small gashes in her hull, classic marks ofimpact and debris damage during a battle. He opened his mouth to speak but was dumbfoundedat the shape of a single Elamite battleship in Hayastani colours. The markingswere clearly different to the rest of the ships. A twinkle along its port flankannounced the firing of its guns.
The view fromthe cockpit went black, and for a second Xenophon thought he'd been killed, orat the very least knocked unconscious.