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Chapter 87 - What Could Go Wrong[]

10 March 3042
Waitur (Former Outworlds System)

<<"This is not the way we came. You transmitted the coordinates prior to the jump. I just now checked them, why the change?">> Ship Master Calvin Newman radioed

"Insurance, Mister Newman. We worked too hard and lost too much to have our salvage taken from us. We are taking a new path to Inner End." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell replied

<<"You have already seen how dangerous it is out here. Why risk another confrontation with pirates? We should head for Valasha and then on to Inner End.">>, Newman radioed back

"That would require a backtrack to accomplish. This way is just as fast, we will be at Inner End in 2 more jumps." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell replied

<<"I do not like this. We have already spent way too much time in the Wastes.">> Newman replied

"Mister Newman, I remind you that you are under contract. We travel my paths. Your being well paid for this. We will transmit the next jumps coordinates just before we make the jump." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell replied

When no response came back, Leftenant Colonel Mitchell looked at Agent Jessica Hammel "Your a witness. If Mister Newman tries to jump somewhere else, he has committed an act of piracy. I am under contract to the Federated Commonwealth to combat piracy, and it does not say or limit where I go to combat that piracy. Do you agree?"

"You are correct in your contract interpretation. Is that why you placed an additional platoon aboard the Behemoth Dropship before our departure?" Agent Jessica Hammel asked

Behemoth Cargo DropShip (in Orbit)

Behemoth Class Large Cargo DropShip

"That Behemoth Dropship is carrying a fortune. The temptation might be too much for them to overcome. How about sending a message to our friend and tell him we should be back in two weeks. Also include the names and details on Mister Newman. If he takes off, maybe we can get some FedCom diplomatic support if I take off after him to Valasha. Plus, I have one of our navigators onboard that Behemoth. We will see how Mister Newman reacts when he delivers the coordinates in person in a couple days." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"I think your being paranoid. Your seeing pirates everywhere you look. Not everyone is a criminal, Colonel, but I will send the message." Agent Hammel replied as she left the bridge of the Star Lord Jumpship.

Ship Master Sarah Campbell waited until she had left before saying "Boy, she sure has been a right bitch lately."

"I think she will be requesting a new job when we get back. She likes investigating, solving problems, figuring things out. She does not get to do that out here with us. Plus, she is not a soldier. We are, she does not understand the way we do things or how we think. She is bored out of her mind. Besides, she started getting distant when we returned to Joshua. Heard a little too much soldier talk, tossing the slavers out airlocks, lining them up and shooting them, aiming a flamer at the entire group, chaining them underneath one of the Dropships so they get incinerated on launch. You did not hear the talk down on the surface, she damn sure did." Leftenant Colonel Mitchell said

"Well, one thing is for sure. We are going to see if your theory on the communication method is correct if I get a jump warning suddenly." Ship Master Sarah Campbell replied

Aboard the Monarch Dropship, Agent Jessica Campbell was let inside the ad hoc communication room and the door secured behind her. "I need a message sent to Mister Allard again. What would be the fastest way to get it delivered and a response?"

The MI3 agent did some calculations before answering "Fastest way is to Inner End and then a Priority HPG to New Avalon. Max Priority routing should get it to New Avalon in less than a day. Going to cost a fortune and one of those bean counters at headquarters is going to scream bloody murder."

She wrote out her message quickly and then handed the slip to the MI3 agent. "Send this to Inner End and have them relay it via HPG to New Avalon, highest priority."

The MI3 agent did not even read the message, he just opened the small case and pulled out a keyboard and start typing.


To: Inner End Station From: Hammel, Special Mission

Arrival Inner End roughly two weeks with pervious message items. CO suspects hired transport of bad intentions. My opinion is he is overreacting. Expects FedCom cover if hired transport flees. Taking extra hazardous route on return. Advice needed. Relay to QA New Avalon via HPG Alpha Priority.


The MI3 agent hit send on his keyboard.

On the bridge, Shipmaster Sarah Campbell and Leftenant Colonel Mitchell moved to the sensor station when the operator said "There it goes. At least we know what it is now."

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