The Long Arm

“This is all we could find, sir.”

“Damn! It’s been only seven years and you come up with a scrap of visual data and bits of audio? I ordered all available data from the Alliance Scouting and Explorations Wing concerning this “Long Arm” mission or whatever it was, and I ordered it to be complete and in a way I can work with it!”

He picked up the holotape and threw it against the office wall.

“This is rubbish! I demand an explanation, Lieutenant!”

Lieutenant Wagner shifted uneasily. Cortez could be a veritable bitch when he was angry; which was nearly always the case.

“Sir, that is all the SEW provided us with. They excuse themselves with the reference that the Long Arm’s flagship, the Anaconda-class exploration cruiser Mark Antony, was lost in action in an unexpected coronal mass ejection. All hands were lost as well as most data. Only the blackbox and several exploration limpets with survey data could be retrieved. Despite the loss the expedition was declared a success and all expedition data was stored in the SEW archives. As they put it: This is all there is.”

Cortez turned around and faced the Lieutenant, then looked at the holotape again, his hands crossed behind his back.

“Dismissed!” was all he could muster now.

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