Masunori Yatsumoto stalked into the control room where an Alliance Officer watched several huge flatscreens. He was flanked by two men dressed in plain black business suits. They looked like ordinary science officers, however both of them wore bright blue gloves covering their hands, revealing the true nature of their profession. The Alliance Officer, Commander Zhang, turned to look at the three, and then returned his attention to the screens. Each one featured a different angle of Eavesdown Docks. The focus of the observation seemed to be docking pad 49.

Commander Zhang

Commander Zhang

Yatsumoto sighed.  “Are they finally under way?” The young Asian man stopped short of the Commander’s desk, and the other two men took up positions on either side of him. Their faces were stern and their gazes piercing.

The Commander nodded, not looking away from the screens. “Yes, they just broke atmo. Should be out in the Black any moment.”

Yatsumoto adjusted his vest, and flattened his tie. “This had better work, Commander. You’re certain that the tracking beacon is in place on their ship?”

The Commander nodded again. “We’re taking a risk, but yes the tracking beacon is in place. The decoy was discovered, but our mole put the other in place the second they lifted off the pad.”

He folded his hands behind his back, and cleared his throat. “Tell me again, Commander,” Yatsumoto sighed. “About the events that have transpired.”

The Commander finally looked away from his screens, flicking a switch to fade them to black. He folded his hands on the desk, and frowned as he spoke. “The subject is one Edward Elliot Edwards. He was assigned to the biological weapons division and worked closely with Durran Haymer. However, Edwards was transferred to the PSYOP/MISO division in Ariel when his “experiments” became too far outside the parameters of his actual assignments.”

“And that is when it became clear that he was a Sleeper,” interrupted Yatsumoto.



The Commander affirmed the comment with a slight nod of the head. “He was more than a Sleeper at that point, sir. He was an Active. He started to display the ability to Read, although it was wild and uncontrolled. We believe that’s when he started to experiment with using and abusing drugs in a futile attempt to place his abilities into remission. We believe that he was frightened of his emerging powers, likely thinking that he was suffering from a mental break involving a schizoaffective disorder. What he found was that methamphetamines seemed to help him with what he thought was an emerging psychosis. It wasn’t until later that he realized that he was developing the same abilities as the subjects that he was operating on within the Program. We believe that his drug abuse was a key factor in his decision to go Rouge. His loss of contact with reality and mood problems ultimately resulted in his decision to rabbit from Ariel and the Program along with two other fugitives.”

Yatsumoto nodded. “Abel Longworth Bai-Xiong Whitham-Smythe … aka Abel Smith.” He cleared his voice. “And John “Mack” MacGruer, a Elite Alliance Special Forces trooper turned Contract Salvager.”

“Precisely.” The Commander jabbed a button, bringing up a datafile. “According to this report, Mr. Smythe followed his brothers into the military, becoming an expert in weapons and unarmed combat. During his last stationing he was recommended for security detail on the PSYOP/MISO program. At some point, the young man started to grow a conscious about the Program and he started to correspond with a reporter Before Smythe could be apprehended, he was intercepted by MacGruer who helped him escape alongside Edwards.”

Both men remained quiet for a moment.

Yatsumoto cleared his voice, breaking the silence. “You’ve done well, Commander. I’ll see that your superiors are aware of your excellent performance.” He turned sharply, directing his attention to the two Blue Hand Operatives. “Alert all commands. Calculate every possible destination along their last known trajectory. We know their final destination is the Rim’s Dream. However, I’d like to intercept them before they dock with that ship.”

The two Blue Hand Operatives turned without even an affirming gesture, and stalked towards the exit. Yatsumoto watched them as they made their egress, and then turned back to address Zhang.

“Contact Captain George Owens,” he said with a wry grin. “I wish to speak with him about a business proposition.”

The Commander raised an eyebrow, but nodded. “Yes, sir. I’ll hail him immediately.”

“Good,” Yatsumoto said as he walked towards the door. “Carry on, Commander.”

Yatsumoto left the Control room, and the Commander leaned back in his chair, refocusing on his observation screens.

NEXT: Act Two



About Big Rich

D&D, WEIRD WAR, STEAMPUNK, FIREFLY, CTHULHU, COMICS, and ZOMBIES ... oh my. Big Rich is just another geek cluttering your internets with senseless nonsense.
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