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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 240

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February 3072
Interlude: Inglesmond - The scientists arrive

FSDS Palisade Excalibur (Upgraded) class Dropship
Palisade Base, 3rd Ceti Hussars RCT
Combat Command Bravo, Detached Force Baker
"Dead" world of Inglesmond

As the three civilian dropships began descending towards the every more permanent base that had grown up around her Excalibur DropShip and for which it had been named, Major Georgina Zibler had to restrain from dancing with unadulterated joy. The team from the NAIS had been rushed via a command link from New Avalon to Inglesmond and now that they were here she could hand over responsibility for her "find" to the damn egg heads and let THEM worry about it all. Maybe she could get back to fighting the damn war, it was a hell of a lot less stressful than dealing with a primitive regressed human population that had somehow became the darling "child" of every political scientist and social commentator on New Avalon! A steady stream of almost mutually conflicting orders had been sent by various officers within Mount Davion probably at the bequest of whichever scientist had their ear that morning. She was to "avoid offending the local tribal population", "initiate first contact in order to make a positive first impression", "avoid any risk of infecting the local population with off world diseases", etc... How the hell was she to avoid offending people while also trying to make contact with them? With a long suffering sigh she watched the trio of DropShips enter their final descent.

Knowing the growing exacerbation that the situation had caused his Captain Roberts couldn't help but chuckle and speak up. "Not long now Major and we can get back to being soldiers!"

The Major knew better than to try and quell the infantry officers attempt at humor and after a seconds thought joined in. "Unfinished Book I hope so captain, I really do!"

An hour later the three DropShips (a Monarch civilian transport, a Dove medical variant of the Condor troopship and a Mule cargo ship) had landed and the first of the scientists were flowing out into the base. All of them loudly demanding information. Major Zibler had managed finally to retreat to her Mobile HQ along with three scientists who seemed the most senior. She had had to order some infantry to literally bar the way to prevent at least a dozen others from pushing into the HQ to demand information! Unbelievable! She led the three chosen scientists towards the main command holotable and looked them over.



Doctor Joseph Vernon was a doctor of cultural anthropology with NAIS and seemed to be the most senior of the various scientists and doctors and was probably one of the oldest as well. His white hair was still thick however and he walked with a barely suppressed bounce in his step and couldn't stop beaming at her. He seemed positively giddy at the finding of these long lost tribes of humans.

Doctor Maria Cartwright was a medical doctor who had came down in the FSDS Fleming and led the medical contingent. She was shorter than either of the other two and was more than a little overweight which seemed strange for a medical doctor, but unlike the stereotypical "jolly" fat person she had already displayed a bad temper towards the assembled troops and to Major Zibler herself that didn't speak well to any report she might write and send back to New Avalon on their conduct!

Doctor Paula Santos had clearly been chosen because as well as being doctor of linguistics. She was herself a native speaker of the Brazilian Portuguese dialect that had at least been the native language of Inglesmond before it's destruction. How similar her language would be to the survivors descendants remained to be seen however. Still she seemed at least slightly friendlier than the scowling Dr. Cartwright.

"Doctors, please have a seat... If my staff can get you anything? Coffee? No... Very well." Zibler waited until they had all sat. "Firstly, I would like to repeat myself. Welcome to Base Palisade and to Inglesmond. You are genuinely a sight for sore eyes! Being able to hand this discovery over to the professionals is something I've been looking forward too!"

"Of course major. You are a combat officer, not a scientist or doctor. Still you and your troops may have been party to one of the greatest scientific events of decade! Finding survivors on a world that we had long thought dead... Incredible!" Vernon beamed at her. "Trust me, Major, you will go down in the history books for this!"

Ignoring the now deepening scowl on Dr Cartwright's face Zibler smiled somewhat embarrassed back at Dr Vernon. "Well thank you, Doctor, I will pass that onto my command. For the record it was a Sergeant Ian Butters of 3rd Platoon who first saw the natives. If we are going to be mentioned in the history books then at least lets make sure he gets the credit!"

"Of course of course!" Vernon laughed. "I will make sure to mention him in my papers..."

"The mutual admiration society is all well and good, Joseph, but we still need to make sure that the military hasn't bungled this up and potentially infected the natives with a modern day pathogen. Isolated as they are they will have almost no immunity to modern day illnesses we shrug off easily!" Cartwright interjected. "I will need a FULL breakdown of ALL contact your people have had with the natives...!"

"Of course, Doctor. I can assure you however we have followed all of the guideline and procedures to the letter." Zibler had to stop herself from barking back. "You can review the files yourself..."

"I intend too!" Cartwright snapped back. She really didn't seem to have any other setting except aggressive... She'd have probably made a good combat officer herself Georgina couldn't help but think to herself.

"Has anyone managed to speak to them?" Dr Santos asked, speaking for the firs time. "I mean actually spoken to them?"

"No Doctor, I'm afraid not." Major Zibler admitted. "We don't have any native Portuguese speakers in the detachment and from little we can make out the language drift seems pretty bad."

For the next hour Georgina Zibler spent her time explaining the current state of affairs to the three doctors, even managing to somewhat mollify Dr. Cartwright who at least stopped assuming that the military had introduced a plague into the population. Finally she sat back and waved a hand at the various printed out reports and data pads on the table. "That's pretty much everything we have doctors. So with your permission I will leave you too spread the information to your various teams while I prepare my unit for departure..."

"Departure, Major Zibler?" Dr Vernon asked.

"Well, yes... Now that you are here..." Zibler began to get a sinking feeling.

It was Cartwright who delivered the news. However, smiling for the first time in genuine amusement as she did. "Oh you aren't leaving Major... You and your troops are to help us in our field research and protect us and the natives against any potential attack either by the natives themselves against us or any lostech seeking adventurers or WoB patrols... You will be staying to support us by order of Marshal of the Armies Jackson Davion himself I'm told!"

The sinking feeling turned to lead weight in her stomach. Major Zibler had to make polite noises as her worst fears were realized. She and her unit were stuck babysitting the egg heads rather than getting to rejoin the war...

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