PING-PING, PING-PING! The alert woke Charles LeMont, captain of the buoy tender, CNAS Halcyon, a naval auxiliary ship. He slapped the link on his wrist to shut off the pinging and sat up in the dimness of his cabin. His eyes felt gummy. He rubbed them, trying to remove the sleep grit that had accumulated since he had gone to bed.

"Go ahead, Comm." LeMont's head throbbed. How long had he been asleep? Not long . . .

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