Commander’s Log [Cmdr William Gearwright] : [Dulos/Dulos 6/Wilson Ring] : [3302/05/19]

[Report Summary] Pre-flight checks complete. Awaiting launch window from Con.

[Manifest] None.

[Incidents] None.

[Signed] Cmdr William Gearwright of Antfarm Consolidated, Dulos.

[Private Entry/Decrypted/ddf87yO0j-brook] [embeds enabled]

I’ve got a funny feeling in my gut. This run is off and came together so quickly and I just don’t like it, but I have no choice really. The old man himself asked me and I said yes so here I am in the Pharos about to head out several hundred light years to the Pleiades and all because the he’s spooked about something.

He called just after I docked and whilst there is nothing unusual about him calling he normally just wants to talk about the flight, the job, the contact, that kind of stuff. This time he ignored all that and asked me up to his office.

The old man was there, staring at an ancient looking brown leather bag sitting on the desk as if it held the ashes of his favourite dog. “Sit down,” he said to me without looking up but tipping a glass towards a chair opposite him. I sat. Nothing happened for a very long time and eventually I moved to speak but he cut me off, “I need to you to fly to the ‘Sisters tomorrow.”

“The Pleiades? Why? That place is crawling with relic hunters and alien whack-jobs, not to mention the pirates hunting them. Any cargo I take there will be at high risk.”

“No cargo,” he said.

“Same issue,” I replied and tried to keep any hint of annoyance out of my voice, “whatever I pick up will be at an increased risk, which means so will my ship and so will I.”

The old man looked up from the battered leather bag and fixed me with his eyes. I could feel the sweat beading on my back. “This bag belonged to a friend of mine. He died a long time ago. A very long time ago and in all the time since he died I’ve stayed alive by knowing what was coming,” he let his words trail off.

“OK,” I said eventually, “Look, I’m…”

“Something is coming, Bill,” he cut me off again, “something that could change everything and I want you to go out to Maia and pick up some meta-alloys. Then I want you to get yourself out to an engineer called Farseer, Felicity Farseer, over in Deciat and have a chat with her and see if she knows where Professor Palin has gone. Get to Palin and find out what is it they are not telling us?”

“Us?” I asked.

“The Feds, the Imperials, the whole damn lot of them. Something is happening and they know more than we do. It’s time to start changing that before it’s too late.”

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