Chapter 3:

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 37

“Jason before you even ask, yes you have permission to speak freely. The rule here is that everyone speaks their mind freely without judgment.” said Captain Hunter quickly “now the reason we called you down here is that we have a situation at hand,”

“We received a distress signal about twenty-five minutes ago and the captain wanted your opinion on what to do as we have jurisdiction in this part of human space, actually we have full authority in the entirety of human space and even somewhat into the DMZ, perks of having a direct lineage to the late King Hunter the Great of England, also because we kick so much ass and Admiral Mires has given us this great privilege.” said Lieutenant Libby with her silky sweet voice.

“Does the admiral know that we have detected a signal? Personally I think that he should be included in this one.” said Jason swiftly.

“Admiral Mires has not been informed yet and I do agree with you on that note. We should inform him before we start our investigation into whatever it is.” said Hunter quickly as he realized that he would be doing very little talking.

“Ensign John. Get me a line to Admiral Mires on the double.” said Ian

“Aye CWO O'Sullivan.”

“Down to business now. Guys there is a signal but I just wanted to mention that I a grateful for your help in this matter. One more thing Jason, anything that we discuss here stays here unless you are talking to myself, Libby, Ian, John, or Ensign Mac who is currently in sick bay, and they are only to be discussed in private rooms or in respective offices. Anywhere else and you will lose your officer commission and will be severely reprimanded.” spoke the captain

“Connection has been established people. Fleet Admiral Mires is requesting vid call as well as audio should I accept?” said John loud enough for the group to hear

“Yes accept vid call John.” said Libby with her same silky smooth voice

“Captain Hill, good to hear from you again, is something amiss?”

“Fleet Admiral Mires about twenty-five minutes ago we received a distress signal from an unrecognized beacon that was on loop on thirty-seven different channels in multiple languages.”

“Has the beacon been scanned for everything?”

“Sir could you rephrase your question? I do not understand it.”

“Have you scanned the beacon at all?”

“Yes sir we have scanned the beacon.”

“What did you find on it other than the fact that the system does not recognize it as a standard signal?”

“Sir we discovered that although we do not know what it actually is, the system it is running off of is very rudimentary and seems to be about five years old. Actually it is so simple that our personal radios could decode the signal.”

“Captain what is your exact location?”

“Sir we are drifting along very near the DMZ along the outer band. We were set for a course to head to Corinthian space, which is just over one hundred light years away, to allow us to dock and make repairs and refuel, but I ordered all halt as soon as we detected the signal.”

“We lost a food trading convoy and its military escort about five years ago near your location but their beacons would have been registered.”

“Permission to speak freely sir?”

“As you may Captain Hill.”

“Sir why did a food trading convoy need an escort?”

“That is a question beyond even my pay grade. I wish I could answer it, but at the time of the incident I was just a Vice Admiral and even then it was kept quiet. I know that your job at the minute is not about searching for answers as your ship is supposed to be docking but you are under my command and we handle military intelligence. Seeing as how you are a detective I am going to send you off the grid for the next week which should give you ample time to investigate the signal. I expect to see your ship in a little over two weeks at Corinth captain.”

“Aye sir.” spoke the captain with his deep, gruff voice and he quickly snapped off a salute and was slightly saddened to not see it returned. “Alright guys you heard the man. Let's get our asses on it. He will be expecting a full report on his desk the day that we get there so expect to be helping with that.”

“Aye, captain” said the rest of the group in unison.

 

As the ship located the region of space that the beacon was located in and scanned the area around it fully the signal was determined to be coming from less than a dozen light years away. When the scan was finished it came back with a nearly negative result save for the beacon, and the captain ordered all on duty personnel to stay where they were as they would be making the jump to faster than light travel. As the ship jumped up to speed the captain sat in his seat thinking about what could possibly be the source of the distress beacon. He pondered over what the admiral had said about losing a trading convoy and then considered the possibility of this whole thing being a scam and then getting ambushed in one of the most remote sectors of human space. Even though he had a fair idea of what his ship was capable of in a combat situation, he still wanted to be absolutely sure of surroundings as this was a sector of space that was rarely monitored as there was nothing of any strategic use to anyone other than a star researcher or an artist. He looked out of the windows that surrounded his bridge and felt beads of sweat start to form on his neck from worry, and turned back to his pilot and looked at the back of his head until the pilot turned around.

“Sir?” said Jack in an abnormally shaky voice that gave away his fright.

“Jack, exactly how fast could we make a faster than light jump should we come under fire?” said Hunter with his steady even-toned voice

“A planned jump will take probably six minutes which will give us long enough time to make sure that we don't fly into a black hole. An unplanned jump will take about two minutes again because we don't want to fly into a black hole.”

“Understood. I will be meeting with the XO if something arises. You have the deck.”

“Aye sir.” said Jack with his voice still quivering and wavering as if he were learning to speak.


Submitted: November 30, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Sonic the Cactus. All rights reserved.

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