{TDA} First Steps: Chapter 2

Chapter 2

~

1st Private Jenzen Varsios was not happy.

His hand wavered over the control panel, his eyes glued to the array before him. If he was tracking this right, and he was fairly certain in his skills to do just that, he had just found yet another complication in the 98th Fleet’s ongoing objective. Finally, with a sigh of exasperation, he lifted his finger and notified his superior.

“Excuse me, sir, I think we might have an issue.”

The response came back instantly, and not a little perturbed.

“What is it now? You know we’re busy in Sector O8, so whatever you’re bothering me with better be at least a Priority V.”

“I know that sir. That’s why I contacted you.”

The voice was silent for a moment, and when the response did return the difference was marked.

“What is the issue?”

“I caught a primary source entering voidspace from String O3. Identity confirmed to be a non-issue, but somehow they got caught up in the tail of a voidstorm, and bypassed restrictive zone Alpha.”

“Where are they now?”

“They just breached String O1-C and sir… they retained equipment.”

“That sounds impossible.”

“Improbable sir, but not impossible. I have a theory, but you’re not going to like what means sir.”

“No need, I can hazard a guess. Somehow Prisoner K got a message out, and they naturally figured out a loophole.”

“It is the most likely probability, sir.”

“What’s the sources’ name?”

“Jacob Taferin. Below two decades String O3 time. No prior history of Traveling or inclination via family influence. Complete non-entity sir.”

“Likely not for long if they already reached him. Still, this isn’t as bad as it seems.”

“How so sir?”

“The whole purpose of O1-C is reintegration. If he is starting with a clean slate, he might be the perfect control group to observe.”

“But Prisoner K sir…”

“Is already interred. If this is a rescue attempt, it’s virtually pointless. Which means it’s not. More likely, this is a means of contact, or simply a message to us.”

“A message sir? Saying what?”

“That “They” could retrieve Prisoner K at any time desired. Since they haven’t, it means he was serious about his claim. I’ll send this up the chain, but in all likelihood, the order will be to observe and not interfere. Actually, belay that. Send in a care package, something he could attune to. And set up a basic translation protocol for a level H class. That should keep him alive for now. We’ll wait for further instructions beyond that.”

“Yes, sir. It will take a few minutes O1-C Time to engage.”

“That’s fine. Keep an eye on both him and Prisoner K for now. Contact me again if something develops.”

“Understood sir.”

The holo fell silent, and Jenzen looked ruthfully at his screen. “Well, my young friend, let’s see just how well you can climb.”


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