He stared at the readout for a long time before it hit him. The mass was wrong, completely different from everything in their records on the facilities at Baka Kar. The docking complex was supposed to be large, but these figures were almost twice what they should have been. Banfeld ordered the computer to zoom in on the orbital dock so that he could study it more closely.
It took along time for the computer imaging system to interpret the sensor data well enough to comply with his request, and that wasn't right either. Something anomalous was out there, something that was distorting Highwayman's probes . . .
Banfeld let out an audible gasp as the computer imager finally displayed a picture based on the collected data. Something massive really was over there, docked with the orbital facility. Something that dwarfed the spidery framework of the station. It was the biggest ship Banfeld had ever seen―if it was a ship, and that's what the computer was insisting. It measured nearly twenty-two kilometers in length, bristling with hardpoints and radiating an awesome amount of energy even when it lay quiescent alongside the dock.
The Guild leader had only heard rumors about such ships, but now he was sure he was seeing the reality behind those rumors. A Kilrathi dreadnought, one of the vast and powerful warships Prince Thrakhath had ordered for the final solution to the war with Mankind.
And it was here, with Ragark's fleet.
Cold fear washed over Zachary Banfeld. He had wanted to help Ragark even the odds so that the war on the frontier might be prolonged and the Guild profit from the war. But a Kilrathi dreadnought made all the defenses of the Landreichers useless. Even their new supercarrier would be no match for such a powerful ship of war, whether they fully restored it to fighting trim or not.
When the Kilrathi smashed their way across the border, the question of Guild profits would no longer be a factor in his plans. The question would be one of Guild survival.