Thread: Dawn
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Old March 13th, 2008, 12:21 PM

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Default Re: Dawn - All things \"official\"


Pantrissa system
Pantrissa V

Ed Jefferies was back in his favorite off-duty hangout, and his favorite companion was with him. What the woman thought might be the end of a potential gold mine of information turned out to be a boon. Jefferies came back complaining about having lost his wallet the day after the Intelligence Directorate raid, but the bartender told him his “companion” had turned it in to the bartender when he “went to sleep” because she didn’t want anyone to steal it from him. A grateful Jefferies returned to the establishment later that night and found his wallet – with his money still inside. The fact that the bartender was “doing a good deed for a fellow Empire citizen” helped improve his business, and the bartender had to admit doing things the way those stuffed shirt agents twisted his arm into doing wasn’t all bad. The girl also benefited. And so did her employers.

They had been talking about a more permanent relationship. They did enjoy each other’s company, but today, Jefferies was agitated and almost despondent.

“It’s my fault,” he confessed. “The engine coupling weld gave way and the entire compartment was breached!!”

She bade him to slow down, and he explained the story about how the CDS York – one of the last of the older frigates – was being refit, but his mistake caused the entire engine compartment to vent, filling it with radioactive gas. The gas couldn’t be contained, and the ship had to be abandoned. Shuttles were even now taking salvage crews to the York to save what they could before taking her to the edge of the system to become a target for a live fire missile exercise.

Just then, the video displays in the establishment cut in with a news story, about what had happened to the York, and reassuring the good citizens that the disaster was contained to the ship in space. The story then cut to the reporter asking the right questions and the expert giving the right answers…

The woman pointed out to Jefferies that no one had been killed, and this ship called “York” was old and outdated anyway, so it really wasn’t that bad of a tragedy. Besides, he was able learn from the failed weld and not make that mistake again.

She smiled as she delivered her analysis for him, and he did feel better. She was right – it was a mistake, but he cold learn from it. He really felt good about sharing with her, and he told her so.

She said she did as well, and that she would pray for him…

Meanwhile, James Cabrerra was thoroughly confused by this time. Both he and his “escorts” had been aboard the shuttle for over a month. Both they and their “mothership” – the freighter they were docked with – had made two more jumps to arrive in Pantrissa. Now free of the need for the freighter, the shuttle made remarkable time to the giant space yard at Pantrissa V. Of course, just when Cabrerra thought he had an idea of where he was going, the plan changed again.

“We’re not going to the yard?” he asked.

The men and women escorting him did not reply, but Cabrerra’s question was more rhetorical than anything else. He could see for himself they weren’t going to the yard, but to a ship that was just outside the yard.

“Mister Cabrerra. Please put this on. Now.”

The agent pointed to a space suit, and again, Cabrerra examined his options. Option one, put the space suit on. Option two was pointed right at his head, and held by an agent who was probably recruited for his distinct inability to show any facial expression.

He got into the suit.

When they docked with York, Cabrerra heard a voice as he stepped into the airlock. He turned and looked back, to see the agent with no expression now pointing a camera at him, with a bright light over his shoulder.

“Probably recording this for posterity, the bastards. And all of this for smuggling a little Sithrak ale.”

He stepped through the airlock.

Back at the bar, Jefferies was watching the story, when the reporter cut in again with a live news feed from one of the salvage shuttles.

On the shuttle, the female agent spoke her monologue perfectly, and the empire got a chance to see a real live salvage expert go into a real live radioactive ship and help save the planet from any further damage. When she was finished, the shuttle undocked and left the ship.

The other door of the airlock opened, and a man in a black uniform met him. His face was also devoid of emotion. He had one more thing in common with the man he just left. He also had option number two. He escorted Cabrerra to a small cabin, where he finally spoke.

“Remove your suit. Sit down. Wait here.”

The man left and the door locked behind him. Cabrerra was about to get up and test the door, when the display terminal on a table suddenly energized. It resolved into a strikingly beautiful female face. She smiled.

“Good day, Mr. Cabrerra. My name is Rita Edwards. Welcome aboard your new ship.”

After an hour, Cabrerra was finally a bit more informed of his situation. He was to captain a frigate that wasn’t an official ship, to head into space that wasn’t officially belonging to the empire, and to scan for ships without officially being near any ships.

He did know one thing for an immutable fact, however. He was – officially – now a member of the Intelligence Directorate.
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