Voices From The Past

Sir, the word is just out in the Alliance Navy. They called off all remaining ships of the Long Arm and ordered them to return to base. Officially, no one will admit it’s been a disaster but rumors among their scouts say otherwise: That it’s been a mess from the very start and ended in a catastrophe at the end.”

How many ships remain?”

Three, as far as we know, all military Asp models. Among the losses were a Lakon deep space tanker and the mission flagship, an Anaconda cruiser named Mark Antony. They say it’s been destroyed in a solar flare while on active duty.”

How unfortunate.”

So far circumstances seem to indicate that the Antony was located in the outer corona of Beta C for yet unknown reasons when it was hit by a plasma jet. That’s what their first dossiers say. The Admiralty thinks the ship and all crew was lost in that incident. Since the Antony also was the chief scientific vessel all mission data was presumed lost as well. They are now mounting a recon and rescue mission but knowing the Alliance, the bureaucracy will slow things down with their report evaluations.”

I take it our assets where present and did as ordered?”

Yes sir. What now, sir?”

Call back our assets. Analyze what they came up with. Meanwhile plant some evidence that supports the solar flare incident but also capitalize on those rumors. That’ll give them more to chew on all sides and delay their hunt for facts and witnesses.”

Sir, our assets failed to make contact with us at the appointed rendezvous points. So far we couldn’t reach them either. We…”

You just said our assets carried their orders through. How do you know when you haven’t made contact with them yet?”

Well, yes … I mean … we have no reason to believe otherwise, sir. If that were the case, the incident may have appeared in an entirely different light. The Alliance…”

You believe. And things may. Speculation is a dangerous road and I expect better of you. Get eyes back out there asap and sweep the area. Calculate possible itineraries for escape pods and search planetside. We must know what the Alliance wanted out there and everything was in place when the Long Arm moved out. We must locate both the assets and the package. I hold you personally responsible.”

Yes, sir! … Anything else, sir?”

Where was the tanker lost?”

They still keep that classified and we haven’t been able to figure it out. Guesses are somewhere in or near the Corona Austrinae nebula.”

That doesn’t make sense. Go there anyway and find out. I want proof. Also track those three remaining Asps. I want to know their next assignment. Prepare a plan to seize them but don’t act until I tell you.”

Yes Admiral, sir!”


The man stopped the audio recording.

After a long moment the other man leaned back in his chair and sighed: “This is most interesting. Where did you get it?”

The universe holds many mysteries.”

That it does.”

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