The Legendary Tales of Notch Johnston

Cord Konobi the old visuvian school teacher had little patience for small minded insignificant beings now days. But when they threatened his adopted home he had reluctantly caused them to die. But now they had came back years later and in vast numbers. They had invaded all the core systems in just a couple of weeks. The other races were putting up a staunch defense but to no avail. The war was being lost on all fronts. The only reason the peaceful beings here had not been slaughtered was because the enemy hadn’t made the time for it yet.

The peoples he had adopted followed him not because he led but because he was going in the right direction. Or so they said. They did things like make plans for disasters, famine and disease and even invasion. The peaceful people did it because he said it was a good idea. The question to run had never came up. They had moved into the cloaked evacuation ships as soon as the frontier was overrun. They would have launched then but they had no where to go. Cord poured over the incoming Intel with growing desperation, it was all bad with no refuge anywhere.

His search was getting nervous when he saw the prefix of a planetary class ship, callsign “Alice” he tried to look it up and got red tape. They had put a datestamp on it though. Placing the classification on the file within two minutes of the information reaching central planets. Why. They had put a date on it. A date.

Why. What was out there. He had no access to those files. His charts were old and central had wiped those files in a firesale three day ago. He was stuck with what he had. But he had to go someplace and it might as well be there.

They jumped as soon as they broke atmosphere. There run from danger was the first time any significant portion of the small native scaly noisy stink slugs had left there home planet. The only things they did was set around and tell storys and talk about the storys they told. Cord liked the storys and had showed them the value of recording there tales. That was how they got the ships. Books sales had been good.

They ran in a long line. This was how they traveled one after the next in a big long line. With Cord in the lead, he lead them on a twisted trail with no stops looping his followers around battles with care not to betray there presence to the enemy.

Eight thousand plus ships and not one damn gun except the one under his bunk twenty feet behind him.

At one time he had had a reputation for being pretty hairy in a fight and it was not a reference to his orange fur. Back in the day him and Chang had whipped the bucksnot out of armys and empires. He had slapped the taste of tyranny from the mouths of Tyrants. He had stepped on the throats of rulers that did not speak for there people. They had ruled there domain as warrior poets. Kings and Emperors had sought his council and opinion. He did it all almost by accident. He was just a librarian, a history buff, a tri-dee chess champion and a fiction author. He had used his knowledge of ancient military history to win. He had soon found out nothing succeeds like success. He had refused to head any government or council or group.

For a bit the excitement of the adventure had blinded him.

But the adventure had become dry and pithy when he found a fellow librarian on a planet that him and Chang where taking from the remains of on old empire. And he had stumbled on a librarian who had died defending his library from both armys. It had been a profound moment in his life.

So he had left looking for something different. And in the simple storys the simple bugs told he had found a bit of peace, a bit of distraction, not much, but enough.

He had located a large number of ships fleeing up the short arm. He followed there lead but his ships were made for running far and fast. Only the brainships could match him on this run. When they hailed him he told the nice brainships with the nice shiny particle cannons his situation. The Brainship sent him new charts for an express route for his fleet.

He hit a coalsack and opened the throttles. His charges could handle all the gravitational pressure he could and then some. He was running with his hand on the throttle and eyes on the screen. The only things out here was outsiders and their huge skeleton ships. They generally made contact only for economic reasons. But they too were making for the blue dwarf star. Several dozens had taken damage fighting to retain there economic base. But the enemy had killed all there buyers.

When he grabbed ahold with his tractor beams his followers followed suit some even latched on to undamaged ships. The outsiders would have vaporized them but there were no weapons just huge motors and massive shielding with good off the shelf cloaking devices. The outsiders realized that the pilots were on their maiden voyages. But they had spent a lifetime on those controls flying endless simulated evacuation missions.

They ran blue star with the whole fleet stuck like warts to the outsider ships.

His old and faded ident got an old friend Alec the spacestation on the line and then old crusty ass Chang appeared.

Chang saw cord and started laughing “Hay cord nice ‘doo'” some wizeguy put his old photo up with a live feed for contrast. He suspected that wiseass Filis was behind that.

He missed having his hair combed and braided in neat lines like that. The only way to describe his present hair doo was “poof”. Or maybe “Damn”.

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