+++OPEN LOG-CMDR SOUVARINE ABOARD SSF LORD OF KOBOL – 08.06.3302+++
This is Agent Phineas Souvarine, checking in on day one of this classified Imperial Private Expeditionary Company reconnaissance trip.
I don’t know what you want me to record, Your Grace. I do these logs all the time. So I suppose, until I find something worth logging, you’ll just have to put up with my ramblings.
It’s business as usual for this pilot.
Well, nearly as usual. Some things have changed. I have a wingmate, for one. Happily for me, I can count on the inestimable judgement of Commander Al-Pocalypse should crisis befall. At least I won’t die of thirst.
Our mission is to chart a course to the Heart and Soul Nebulas; to establish, if possible, the existence of alien life there, as has been recently confirmed in the California Nebula – and to go beyond, to the Formidine Rift, to learn it’s secrets.
Heady stuff, indeed.
I’m recording from the capacious flight deck of my latest acquisition – gifted by the Company as thanks for my part in the conquest, and to facilitate this voyage. I’ve called her the Lord of Kobol.
It’s an Anaconda-class gun ship, the largest ship that Faulcon DeLacy build. There’s room in the hold for several surface landers, several hundred tons of cargo and even a launch bay for the Weasel. I don’t have the credits for that, yet. She jumps just over thirty light years at once, packs seven turreted lasers and a cannon the size of a Sidewinder. Woe betide any aliens who stumble across me in this.
This is my first Commander’s Log from the bridge. The voice of Penelope, the ship’s computer, echoes around it, it’s that large.
Of course, a ship this size and age invariably has vermin. I last spotted Margot delightedly hurtling down one of the labyrinthine corridors below, on the scent of something. I think she likes it here.
What else has changed? Well, the war ended on the nineteenth of May.
The Pact surrendered Szentmartony City unconditionally. The day will be forever in my mind – swinging the Hammerhead exhaustedly into the docking bay there; seeing the pilots climb, tired but jubilant, from their combat craft, amid cheers. When the Executive Orca, ‘Expeditionary One’, touched down for the first time, a roar like none I’ve ever heard erupted throughout the ragtag crowd.
I remember pulling my flight helmet off to see the Octopus appear at the threshold of the loading bay. She was wearing a stern, statesmanlike grey gown; thick black braids piled regally on her head. She nodded tersely at the cheering pilots, her slight smile playing at the corners of her mouth. An expression of resolute, vindicated satisfaction at a victory hard-won.
That was two weeks ago. It seems like months. The Pact garrison quickly evaporated, so we formed a civilian police corps and claimed the station as our own. After that, events accelerated past my comprehension and I haven’t been able to keep pace.
Our victory at Szentmartony made the other factions in the system sit up and take notice. Magnus Trabe disappeared; rumour has it he fled to Clapperton Enterprise. TravSol – long the dominant power here – had been in long term decline; that quickly began to look terminal. Elections were called at Dashiell Orbital to peaceably decide who should govern the System and IPEC won resoundingly. The populace of Bernoulli Gateway, the starport closest to the central star, called a plebiscite of their own, and the results were similar. Nourse Dock, an industrial city far from the star, is their last large starport.
In a few short weeks the Imperial Private Expeditionary Company has gone from a small commercial enterprise with no territory, to the governing power in a star system of seven billion souls. We’ve dethroned well-established bastions of hereditary Imperial rule, and overnight taken giant city-states as our own, to widespread astonishment. All this from a private company led by a woman with no political heritage. After we finally beat the Pact, it was though all the dominoes fell one after the other. It was nearly too easy.
It’s almost as if we have some guardian angel.
+++END LOG-CMDR SOUVARINE ABOARD SSF LORD OF KOBOL – 08.06.3302+++