Uncertainty has set in. I didn’t actually see Spegg in the survival pod I re-acquired a few days ago, as the communications lines from the ship to the pod were not functioning correctly at that time. I also didn’t see Spegg die at the center of that black hole, as he was further from sight than I could navigate the ship safely and return intact. I assumed everything, yes. I cannot even be certain that I had a survival pod docked and locked, not having actually opened the hatch. Therefore, I did today what I thought was best in this present situation.

I finished examining all the scan data that came back from the nav station yesterday and confirmed that there are numerous identical survival pods popping in and out of existence around the region of the supermassive. As stated earlier, there are incredible fluctuations in the mass and density of each. Those closer to the supermassive are “flickering” more rapidly than those on the outliers. Curious but cautious, I moved the SM5 within hailing distance of a pod that is furthest away from the group. I now have a renegade pod off my starboard bow, belonging to a Chandra-class STS-93 ship no different than the SM5. This I have verified and documented. At present, I’m keeping the SM5 in a blind spot, both visually and electronically. The hailing frequency is open but silent on our end. I’m getting a soft beacon back from the onboard systems that tells me all is functioning normally aboard the pod. I also have confirmation from the pod that life support systems are active and functioning. Something is alive in there. Spegg or otherwise, something living has a pod belonging to this same type of ship just outside my hull.

As I connect to the remote management systems, I can silently monitor the all the pod’s functions. If I wanted to, I could log the pilot off the system, and take complete control. I could reel that pod in, lock it down, flood it with gas, open it up and see with my own eyes what kind of phantom is piloting one of our pods around this area of deep space. Of course, I could also simply shut the whole system down and let whatever is inside that thing freeze to death.

[Communication sent: 05JAN2186 Shinkai Maru 5]

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