I’m staring into empty space.

The main console at the navigation station in the cockpit shows me nothing. Minutes ago, there was a survival pod on screen. Specifically, it was the survival pod from the SM5. This survival pod had the same mass, the same density and, hopefully, the same pilot. It was no small task to navigate the SM5 alone to this particular region. Granted, out of the 23 detected objects, this particular blip was closer than the rest. But it also had the strongest reading and energy signature returns from the scans I performed.

Given the information on the target movement, after a lock on its position, we set a short jump exit vector within 165 km. With a little surprise, this moderate distance would have allowed us to use recall signaling systems to attract and re-capture the pod. As we exited the jump into the planned coordinates, I punched up the locator and sent a ping out to the pod. I received a positive return and queued up the pod signaling and remote management systems. From the parent ship, it takes about a minute to hail a lost pod, log the pilot off the system, and take control. But within seconds, the target space was empty. This makes no logical sense. Spegg and that survival pod were out there.

Now, I’m staring stupidly at a blank screen. No pod. No jump signature. No debris. No Spegg. At this point, the question becomes: What were we seeing and where did it go?

[Communication sent: 31DEC2185 Shinkai Maru 5]

en.pdf24.org    Send article as PDF