"Are you sure that's going to work...?" I said after having said what the Fortress had in mind.
"I think it should work." said Pentyl. "It twist into a place on the outer reaches of the solar system and hides among all the other crap floating around there. On the periphery no one will notice us appearing."
"I'm still not sure." I said scratching the back of my head. "Sure it would be hard for them to detect us if they were just looking for us. But we are talking about a high security system here,they will notice the sudden change in gravity once a small planet appears out of no where."
"Bah." said Pentyl. "In the outer solar debris cloud really?"
"Besides," I added, "21 of the one hundred and eight open gates are out there."
"We will be arriving in a place that is as remote as possible from the gates." said the Sentinel Fortress. "Like most star systems this one has most of its planetary mass in a disk shape. We will twist into a point above one of the stars pole far away from pretty much everything. From there I will be able to scan the system and give you at least back-up intelligence and I will be able to twist in for the rescue in the worst case scenario."
"If you say so..." my feeling of foreboding decided to make itself at home in mind.
"What's the worst that could happen?" asked Pentyl.
"Is that a trick question?" I said.
"Not really?" said Pentyl.
"Well in that case I'd say that you will be discovered seen as a threat and the Black Aep'ar 557th Deep-Shock fleet will attack you."
"I can take them." the Sentinel Fortress said.
"That's not the point!" my sense of foreboding shifted a bit to make place for my sense of exasperation passing over the popcorn. "Even if you could, which by the way is a rather bold claim, you'd still be murdering a lot of innocents in cold blood."
"It's not murder if the attack me first."
"It is when you provoke them!" foreboding and exasperation decided that this one was going to be one of the all time greats. "Pleas tell me that you aren't being serious?"
"I would not shoot first and try to be reasonable." the Fortress protested.
"Besides," Pentyl chimed in. "The pilots are only organoid copies of the originals. When they die they get replaced by a new copy. Right? So that's more like losing some periphery matter right?"
"Not you too." I groaned. "No. No it is not the same as losing some periphery matter. The 'copies' are fully alive and sentient terranoids like you and me... well like me at any rate. Best case scenario it would be more akin to that what I saw beyond the light barrier. You remember the being burned piece by piece?"
"That's not something you should joke about." Pentyl said her face becoming sharper, clouded by anger.
"I am not joking Pentyl. This are fully sentient beings and they are real-time connected to the originals so that they can gain their experiences. Death is not funny and I am not joking."
"How about this then:" the Sentinel Fortress said braking the awkward silence that was slowly welling up in the room. "If we get discovered and the Black Constables get nervous I'll just twist away. They'll have a very hard time finding out where I went, should they even be capable of following me I'll be long gone by the time they arrive. No one gets hurt. Everybody wins. Right?"
"It would still put the entire 4-LUMIA security cluster in the system on high alert though." I said.
"Yes it would", agreed the Fortress, "and they concentrate all their efforts on space leaving the planetary base wide open for you and Pentyl to explore. See? However it goes we'll be fine. Trust me I have been around for billions of years I know my way around."
"Fine." I said relaxing a bit. "How many infiltrations like these have you participated in anyway?" maybe the Fortress was up to something and I had never considered how much we could profit from its vast amount of knowledge and practical experience.
"Countless." it said.
What was countless for something that was billions of years old? "More than a million?" I ventured.
"No. It is actually without count. So zero."
"But I always wanted to do one." the Fortress added with almost child like enthusiasm.
"Oh." my my feeling of foreboding and exasperation toasted each other knowing that this might be the last time they ever met again but they agreed that it had been totally worth it.