It wasn’t a particularly exciting volume of space.  Some hydrogen, some cosmic microwave background, a lone neutrino going about its business.   The local stellar body was sufficiently distant to seem an overly-bright star; no planetary masses disturbed the spacetime curvature.   It was, in fact, as close to the middle of nowhere as it was possible to be inside the confines of a star system.  And in a brief ripple of collapsing cloak-field, it had an occupant.

It didn’t stay long.  Even as the chromomorphic paneling of the hull reverted to the default black and red; a standard cargo canister was being jettisoned from the hold of the blockade runner.  Leaving the canister, stripped of its locator beacon and anti-collision strobes adrift, the Crane-class transport’s flatspace engines surged, ramping up speed for the dive back into warp and cloak.   The covert courier had a schedule to keep.

And the clock on the canister’s self destruct package marked time silently to itself; unaware it was being observed.

“Time is now drop plus forty-five; can is still inert on all passive arrays.  Negative lidar or radar emissions, negative on any EM or subspace band.  Negative for neutron flux, neutrino emission, or pentaquark junctions.  All I’m getting is some nitrox mix, consistant with a standard shipboard atmo.”

“Confirm system fluid router still negative activity?”

“Confirmed, Local is clear”

“Then stand off and light it.  Give me sixty klicks seperation.

“Roger, dropping cloak, See-sign in three… two… one… lit”

A ripple, smaller than before, as the Hound stealth bomber that had been monitoring the entire display by the Crane dropped cloak, special systems pulling a small volume of liquid ozone from the tank in the cargo hold and compressing it; twisting the energies of the entire frigate’s power grid into forming the specially resonant pseudo-gravity well; setting up a faint but detectable harmonic in the very fabric of space time.  An encrypted ‘Here I am!’ sent from one tin can along a cosmic string.

The other can was listening very patiently.  Its reply was orders of magnitude more energetic.  Not just to set the cosmic string a-humm at a specific frequency, but yanking on the string.  It was a short-ranged effect, as such things go; but the higher dimensional entanglement of the chosen string had an effect that could not be stopped without an energy budget similar to a main-sequence star.  More entangled than normal for this sort of thing.  More treacherous, more prone to abruptly snapping if too much strain is placed… but for a brief moment, that n-dimensional tug brought two disparate points in spacetime into contact with each other.  Just long enough for a single ship to pass through.

Another black-and-red hull graced the system briefly, materializing from a higher state of existence before its own cloaking field could stabilize; in that momentary gap between unreal and undetectable the powerful engine clusters surged, propelling the Widow away from the still-burning covert cynosural beacon.  “Once beacon’s down and you’re back in cloak, I’ll send a drone in to check the package.”

“Confirmed; burnout approaching.”

The Hound recloaked, heading to overwatch with its powerful torpedo systems while the Widow rematerialized, a single Hornet EC-300 drone dropping from the bay to approach.  When no proximity detonator fired, the Widow herself soared up to the jetisoned container, cargo-loading tractor fields quickly stowing the package away and permitting the Black Ops ship to rejoin its partner in cloak.

“Cracking the seal now… negative for biologicals.  And… there, the remote’s extracted the package.  Sidebanding video feed now.”

The comm link fell silent for long seconds.

“Kiva… do you mean to tell me you brought me this far out into pirate space, went through all the hassle of this dead-drop, and paid enough ISK to cover both our pilots’ licenses for the next month… For a T-shirt?!

“But Kyr; it’s an awesome shirt.”

Yes, I bought it
Sorry for the crappy image quality; but yes, that’s my fat girth swathed in J!nx’s most awesome creation ever; the Kaalakiota Widow t-shirt.