Kara Black, Captain Command Executive, Vanguard Bastion Arms of Sorrow
Log Classified: Obsidian – Director Clearance only
…Ahem, okay, need to record this. Just in case.
We intercept a distress signal relayed from a comm buoy in synchronous orbit around one of the uncompromised system moons.
We’re not on any rescue detail, so I order my Signal tech officer to log it, store it, and we’ll check when we can. Our section of the armada is focused on a Firebrand orbital platform that has been putting up some heavy resistance. Bigger catch to fry, right?
Arms of Sorrow is splitting fire and flashing in-system at a steady heading. I’ve got two dozen drop-ships ready and loaded for breach. The plan is tactical insertion via bulwark t-cast. Might drain the drive, but it gets us inside the envelope of the platform. From there drop-ships assault the central control facility, we might lose a handful, but we’re spooled to full cortical backup, any casualties are up and in the fight faster than cooking a casserole.
Three hours into mission approach I get a Solcom directive mission order, and a beam cast straight from Coreworld Admin.
Looks like that distress signal I ignored was related to an incident on some deep science SSD out on the Alabaster nebular plenum – a biohazard breach. Solcom directive is clear on this, we need to get the remaining science team out if possible, and THEN contain the breach. You don’t ignore orders from that high up, even if you’re in the middle of a war. I’m not going out like Gheried did.
So we turn and burn, full drives to get there and iron out this matter so we can get back into the fight. About halfway there I realize something that gives me the shivers, we were the only Bastion that intercepted the signal. No one else got it.
But it gets better. We’ve been orbiting the facility for twenty minutes manoeuvring under inertial thrusters only.
We’re not raising any coherent signal from within the facility, except for a low energy hum that has all kinds of weirdness about it.
Firebrand and mercenary ships have been thick in this area only a few days ago, so I want to keep a low profile. T-cast is too visible, and a hull breach is low class. We’re going in full ninja.
I’m ordering a cadre of Samaritans and some specialized personnel to gain a foothold. Scans verify that we’ve got a good chance at accessing one of the outer docking bays.
I’ve got one of my best Combat Medics leading the first excursion – he’ll be able to nail the nature of the biohazard pretty fast. He’s used to spooky ops too, an advantage when you’re this far out of Solcom oversight. “The edge of the Edge”.
Commodore Grist is in charge of the Arms of Sorrow while I lead the boarding and rescue party. Crisis teams are assembled, and I’m planning on being a part of this op, just so I can see first-hand how critical this mission is. I don’t like being pulled out of a combat mission to go into this kind of night country. This reads Solcom core director board all over it. If they’re involved …
I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
This is Captain Kara Black, signing out.
Short story written by Rob Baxter