Another day travelling at 100c.
That is, of course, at a hundred times the speed of light.
She was getting old, poor thing. Groans and creaks with every turn. Still, she was my only Ship, and she'd served me well. Her HyperDrive engine hummed and pulsated with a pleasing bass-like melody, albeit these days it was interrupted by the odd wheezing and spluttering. I lowered my speed to 35c, and watched the scanner. Nothing. As always. Such is the life of a Freelance Retriever, looking around and collecting lost cargo for extortionate prices. I looked out the windscreen and just relaxed. I doubt I was going to find it any ways. To my side, I saw a flash in my peripheral vision that barely registered. I guess I passed a star. My eyes began to creep close, as the rhythmic sound of the HyperDrive engine lulled me into feeling drowsy...
I don't really remember my childhood. Nobody really does any more. If they have the credits, that is. The brain is only a certain size, and it's the one part they can't replace, so you only get to retain the last hundred and fifty years of memories. I figure I'm about a hundred and twenty. They call it The Operation. You get it done every sixty years or so, provided you have the credits, and don’t fall victim to anything underhand before that.
I remembered quitting an apprenticeship with an Intergalactic Trading firm, and joining the Marine Academy, but about two years in, I got into some form of trouble (the details are hazy), and had to nick the only ship I could reasonably pilot, and make a hasty exit from that gods-forsaken rock. I remember looking into the dormitory mirror, before I left. My sweat slick fringe, sharp nose and hard brown eyes looked somewhat alien in the distortion of the Piloting Helmet. Luckily, I wasn't without friends in the Academy, else I wouldn't have been able to smuggle myself out of there. The hell they would have caught if they were found out could have gotten them expelled, and one of them was aspiring to be Captain of the Guard. I had hoped they didn’t get caught. As it was, I took off and drifted for about a month about two or three parsecs away.
She was brand new and state of the art. A high speed mercenary's ship, fit with a Cargo hold, two empty hard points, and one of the first consumer ships to have a HyperDrive engine. Her engine hummed with vigour, and her matte black streamlined exterior chassis was gorgeous and un-dented, with the name 'Slipsnake' catching the light of a near cluster of stars I passed, it's stark white treated paint shimmering brilliantly.
I flew the Slipsnake (which I had affectionately named 'Slips') around for a bit, but quickly realised that she hadn't much fuel, and I hadn't much cash. My last few credits had been saved away at a bank on my (former) home planet.
I checked my short range scanners, and found a small external dock about 5000 light seconds away. I kicked her speed up to about 25c, where I encountered the Dock. It wasn't too much bigger than... what did the Terra used to call it? The International Space Station? Something like that, anyway. Its six docking panels spanning about 50x50 metres squared each, I carefully approached one, before hailing the AI managing the station.
>WELCOME TO SIRESTI STATION. HOW CAN WE BE OF ASSISTANCE?
"Request docking." I said, embarrassed. These commands always made you look like a massive ponce. I waited for about half a minute before I received a response.
>DOCKING REQUEST GRANTED. PLEASE USE LANDING PAD 4
I disengaged the throttle, stopping my ship about twenty feet from the pad. I hit a couple buttons and I heard the sound of servo motors working as my landing gear deployed. Hovering gently down, I lowered myself onto the landing pad, whereupon the Dock's AI took control and latched onto Slips. I was lowered slightly and locked into place.
I couldn't get out and stretch my legs, this was a small, unmanned Dock, little more than a refuelling station. I spent the last of my Credits on refuelling my ship, and was about to disengage from the landing pad, when I saw my interface had a second option to interact with the Dock, besides refuelling:
'A bulletin board, like, for hiring people? Sign me the hell up!' was my initial thought, before the realization of what kind of people would hire at a dodgy isolated refuelling station hit me like a lead torpedo. Well, I was already knee deep in crap back on my home, and I had no qualifications to speak of, so I guess it was my only choice. After all, the credits I could earn from this could set me up for a while, and my curiosity was too far piqued to ignore this. At the time, I had never really worked a proper job.
After dismissing a few of the dodgier options, like what I can only describe a slave smuggling, I stumbled across an encrypted job. Slips' software decrypted it, and the message displayed itself on my interface:
** >...---... HELP. REQUIRE SHELTER. PLEASE. REFUGEE. I HA E MONYE - SIGNATURE: MARI**
This had me concerned. Normally, I would've just taken flight and ignored the message - I don't have time to care about other people's problems, but this person, this 'Mari', her rushed encryption at the end there implied a sense of urgency. This person was in deep trouble, and for some reason, I felt the urge to help. To be honest, I'm pretty sure the whole promise of money was the contributing factor to my motivation. The message came with a set of updating, encrypted coordinates of this person’s location, so I entered these into my Short Range Scanner.
They were less than three Parsecs away from me, in a decommissioned unmanned mining drone. My scanners were able to retrieve some information regarding the drone, and I felt my blood run cold as I saw the oxygen levels:
8% and dropping. Fast.
My better judgement clouded, I found myself lining the ship up with the Escape Vector required to reach her, and engaged the HyperDrive - the, now soothing, hum of the HD Engine making me tense. Within minutes, I reached the correct speed and distance for a safe disengage, flicked the lever, and the hum faded away. In front of me, flashes became bright blurs, became comets, became stationary stars, and I could see the old drone floating unpowered about a Mega metre away.
The drone was big enough to have a single hangar, the entrance door blown apart, a gaping hole in the side suggested a rather large impact with...something. I didn’t want to consider it for long, else I lose my nerve, so I navigated my way through the void, lowered the ship onto the landing pad. The pad didn’t engage. Damn it. Of course it wasn’t, it was unpowered.
I carefully turned on Slip’s auxiliary lights, and emerged from my ship, with a torch in one hand, and a small, Federation-approved energy pistol in the other, a perk from my days in the Academy, and a duffel bag of supplies slung over my back. I bent down and manually adjusted the clasp release levers on the landing pad, the satisfying click of the connection reassuring me that at least my ship won’t float out the hole and strand me, too. Giving the hangar a once over with my torch, I became more and more uneasy...
The door, along with the wall it was fitted to, was completely torn up, with strange rectangular holes cut out of the wall. No, not cut - they were too perfectly shaped, too clean. There used to be stuff in those holes. Checking the other walls reciprocated this fashion, a purple tint encompassing everything due to the red and blue lights emanating from the Slipsnake. Walking wasn't an option - the gravity was still zero, the pressure having long since buggered off, so I had suited up, a form of jet pack strapped to my back. Slips sure came well-equipped. I heard strange creaking sounds coming from the opposite end of the ship, I was in the middle, and my map had tracked the girl’s coordinates to the cockpit, which was on the opposite end of the noises. I propelled through the room, looking around as I went. I entered what I presumed was the Docking control room.
Observing the North wall, there were blast marks everywhere, save the even darker black rectangle in the centre. I cautiously entered the door, the jet pack cutting painfully through the silence, its hissing like crushing an angry viper’s tail.
I was beginning to wonder if the girl was still alive, the oxygen had long since run out. While modern humans can survive for some time in an atmosphere with no oxygen, it wasn't long. I was running out of time. The creaking sounds fading, I checked my local map. The cockpit was the room across the door. I was about to beeline it to the opposite side of the room, but I stopped dead in my tracks when the light from my torch glossed over something that shimmered.
There was jet black liquid strewn about the space between me and the door. Due to my varied education in the Academy, I knew what it was, and I was terrified. Hyper-Phosphazene, a modified super-alkaline substance used as part of the HyperDrive engine of older models. It was spread out in strange, distorted blobs, floating outwards. I remembered it was pretty conventional.
And extremely corrosive to all forms of organic material when not immersed in water.
I had no choice. I needed money, and I suppose the girl needed not dying. I slowly edged forward, the blobs of corrosive death fuel slowly wandering in random directions. Luckily, the room was so big that I had a decent amount of room to move. Things were looking ok, the viscous liquid groups were floating away from each other, so I propelled myself through the hole they left. I was near the end, not five feet remained. After this I just had to-
The hissing sound cracked through the frequency module - my head whipped round to the source of the noise - my arm. The suit there had a few drops of Hyper-Phosphazene smeared onto it, and it was smoking like a particularly livid gas fire. I guess it had lightly brushed against the suit. Holy crap - I guess my suit had more natural elements than I thought. Damn it, they used to be made of synthetic materials like Nylon and… argh, gods know! I could feel the fuel burning into the inner layers of my spacesuit, and I was beginning to seriously panic. I tried desperately to think of a solution to my new fizzy friend’s enthusiasm to giving the cold vacuum of space a nice window to me. I had maybe sixty seconds before it got through the innermost layer, then maybe another thirty before it got to me.
With all the speed and wit of a panicking, smoking, free floating moron, I managed to remember that bases are neutralized with acids. I took the small canister of Hydrochloric acid from the duffel bag (used for emergency carbon pickling to strengthen metal I find), and liberally doused my arm with the stuff, knowing at least that my treated suit was acid-corrosion resistant. The smoke departing, the hissing died down, and I drew in a quick, relieved sigh, before remembering why I was here. I took a quick glance, noticed the small jutting crag on the side of the wall coated in Phosphazene, realized that that is what I brushed against, and then hurriedly propelled myself to the cockpit.
The cockpit was very small compared to the size of the drone, but that was exactly why - it was a drone. Not really intended to be manually maneuvered, save in an emergency situation, and these things were built cheaply. I saw her lying on the floor. I quickly propelled over to her unconscious state, checked for a pulse, then relaxed slightly when I confirmed she was still alive.
I took a second to examine her condition. Her suit was armoured like mine, although filthy and some layers torn, others burnt, probably from the Phosphazene. Her head was completely obscured by the oxygen mask that tethered her face to some canisters secured to the wall. She was taller than me by possibly half a foot. Next to her was some form of steel briefcase, also tethered to the wall by means of armoured chain. I couldn't cut it, so I connected her oxygen tether to my tanks, lifted her up (the one time I was thankful for the weightlessness), and began to propel her back to Slips. It was actually going to work out.
That’s when the creaking got louder.
I hadn't realized it had become audible again. Whatever caused all the mess on the drone was still here, and it was approaching fast. Suddenly, I heard a sharp gasp from behind my shoulder. The girl’s eyes fluttered open, and she whispered half a word before delving back into a state of comatose once more:
“Bandi? Who’s that? Is there another refugee on the drone?”
Unfortunately, she was, again, out like a light. This was right when I caught the voices in the Docking Control room, my frequency module picking up several murmurs. My blood ran cold, and I tuned into their frequency. “Where the hell has the motherless weasel got to, Silas?” This voice was deep and gravelly, but extremely nasal and uncontrolled, his obvious anger barely contained. “She must be either be in the attiring quarters, sir, or the cockpit - the engine room is filled with that P-plasticine, Lord Trequis, it’s eating away the room from the outside in!” This voice was also deep, but uncertain and quivering. A third voice chimed in:
“It’s Hyper Phosphazene you turnip-brained rat whelp! How did I get captured by such morons?! If I took your brain and put it into a thimble sized vacuum, we could make a scale model of this very drone compared to the vastness of space itself!”
This voice, high-pitched and arrogant, sounded awful confident for a captive, and, as terrified as I was, I was still not surprised to hear the sharp stinging sound of a forceful backhand. The man gasped and I heard him collapse. The first man, Lord Trequis, his anger somewhat vented, spoke next, his voice booming.
“You may be beyond the grasp of death, Scientist, but make no mistake in thinking we won’t let you put your feet in those waters to test the temperature. Understand?”
The Scientist grunted.
“Good. That’s enough loot for now. Call the rest of them back, Silas. The girl is probably already dead, anyways, and we’ll be richer for-” Lord Trequis had stopped mid-sentence. Scared, I drew back from the door to avoid being spotted, which was just as well, as a twelve inch electrified spear head was then protruding from the part of door I was just standing beside. Besides the obvious cause for concern, I could only hear three people, and they were all on the opposite side of the room!
I took a millisecond to think on what the gruff man, Trequis, said. Loot. Bandi? Bandits! That’s who she was running from! The Bandits, notorious group of murderous pirates.
The blade head drew back, and the whole door was blown apart by some unseen projectile, and suddenly a tall, lanky man with a sharp nose and sharper electric spear appeared as if from thin air.
There was no way in hells he was that fast. I heard him on the far side, not five seconds ago. That was over forty metres.
“I think we have a leech, my lord.” Silas said, grinning wickedly with three brilliant white rows of jagged, broken teeth, the middle row retracting gruesomely every time he talked, juxtaposed against pale grey skin. Three rows. He was a Zebulon, one of the few intelligent species of life humanity had discovered during the Interstellar Revolution, and the one infamously known for their less-than-friendly relationship with humans...
...that, and they also possessed the notorious ability to move at close to sonic speed. However, up until now, I had presumed it was just a rumour - I had never actually seen a Zebulon myself.
A sluggish, towering, beast of a man came lumbering out through the hole that was once a door, his features entirely made of rock made him even more menacing. We had called them Homosilica - the only silicon based species ever discovered, but they referred to themselves as Tephra, due to apparently liking the word 'rock' we Humans used in Systemic. Supposedly, their insides were hollow, able to use rocky valves to expel pressure imbalances from inside them, which they were rumoured to have weaponised. Most were very hospitable to humankind. Most. I shot a glance at the door, torn off and blown eight feet away. I suppose that too, was no longer a rumour. A loud crash could be heard in the distance, but I couldn't dwell on it. Lord Trequis took but a glance at me, and guffawed mockingly.
“Another boy?” he chortled, “Yer joking! And look! You've done our work for us!”
“Give us the girl, human.” Silas had lost the quivering tone that adopted when speaking to the big man. “Or you both die.” his spear caught the emergency red light, gleaming wickedly. I was too scared to form words in my head, let alone speak sentences, but my Academy training kicked in, and repressed the fear as best I could.
“I- er, I can’t do that. S-sorry.”
Brilliant, eloquent reasoning by me. Trequis was not amused.
“Boy! I will ask one last time. If you refuse, I will get the Zebulon and his men to cut you and your friend’s throats right here, right now.” Trequis paused for what I could only describe as dramatic effect. Pompous ass.
“However, If you comply, you live. I might even make it worth your while.” He tapped his interface, attached to his wrist, as was the fashion, smirking - The universal sign for mutual satisfaction through financial gain. Cash, basically.
As he did so, three other men, armed with energy pistols much like my own entered the room and surrounded me. Two of them were Human, the other, another Zebulon, his eyes obscured by shades. They were overly sensitive to light, I remembered.
I felt like actual rivers of sweat would have been pouring out of me by now, had there been any gravity to let them flow. I needed money, but it was clear this guys weren't exactly above the law. Plus, I may have been a relatively disregarding guy, but I wasn't a turncoat, nor was I about to be responsible for some unconscious refugee’s murder. My wits had somewhat returned. Another crash could be heard, slightly louder. I ignored it. Before I knew what was happening, my pistol was drawn. I guess my wits hadn't fully returned. “I'm no turncoat, you, er - you rocky prick. How about you go lick scorpions in hell?” Well, at least my last words were a sharp and stinging insult. My suave, witty side came out in the face of danger, it seems. That was going to get really annoying.
Trequis chortled again, then simply shrugged.
“Fine by me. Credits stay in me pockets, and the girl dies.” He signalled the men. One of the human hirelings jerked, I squeezed my eyes shut, and I heard the familiar sharp whine of an energy pistol shot. Sorry, girl. I couldn't help, and now I was about to die...
…Hang about, I'm not dead. At least, I don’t think so. I risked opening half an eye. Trequis was stunned into silence, watching the man who had shot me. He jerked again for a second, then collapsed to the ground, dead. I looked past him to see a congregation of uniformed men and women. Marine uniforms.
Oh crap, I was so immersed in my little adventure, that I had totally forgotten that Slips probably had a tracker on her, and that, just maybe, they might one of their million credit ships back.
Well, here they were, and leading the pack was the Captain of the Guard. It was… my friend! Luka! He had actually made it to Captain! Luka yelled from the other side of the room, his booming, powerful voice demanding authoritative respect, albeit somewhat surprised to have come looking for me, and having found… them.
“Bandits! This is a Federation approved, licensed drone. By breaking into it, and by stripping it of its electronics, with intent to sell them, you are committing several severe Federal offenses. I hereby place you all under arrest.” His voice had calmed. He shot a glance at me, giving me a worried look. Then signalled the marines to surround the thieves.
Trequis, having regained his senses, laughed yet again.
“Well, boy, you have either incredible luck, boy, or you got friends in the Marines.” He continued, all bemusement in his voice lost:
“Looks like it's about time for friends to die.”
A female Marine opened fire on one of the Bandits, striking once his shoulder, and two in his chest. He died immediately. However, in the same instant, I looked around, and noticed Silas had disappeared. I heard a choked gurgle. I whipped my head around to look back at the woman, but she was on the floor, spasming, an electric spear was impaled in her neck, the silver beam of metal sending jolts of deadly electricity coursing through her lifeless body, the Zebulon standing over her. Silence fell over the room as Silas discharged the spearhead. He tore it out, blood and viscera smothering the brilliant sheen.
That’s when all hell broke loose.
The bandits, few though they were, had the strength of the Tephra, and the ungodly agility of both Silas, and the Zebulon hireling to give them an advantage, while the Marines had sheer numbers. Several mini skirmishes broke out. Energy pistol charges were exchanged, with Luka being authorised to use an energy rifle, as well as a federation approved laser bayonet, as electric spears were outlawed across the system. He dashed through the fray, darting in and out of fights, firing long range charges at Trequis, whiles cleanly yet mercilessly cutting the throat of any nearby Bandits he passed. This was the scary side of Luka, the cold, calculating part that I was always uncomfortable to be around - how he was during training exercises. Honestly, though, I couldn't complain.
Marines an Bandits alike were dropping like flies, either being shot to death, electrocuted by Silas, or having the unfortunate luck to face one of the Tephra. Trequis himself fought without style or grace, but his sheer, overpowering strength meant he didn't need to, his armoured, rocky fists slammed into a Marine’s chest, shattering ribs and sending him crashing into the floor. He didn't get up.
Being a decent shot, I looked around frantically, taking potshots at Bandits, mostly human, killing few but injuring many. Corpses were beginning to replace the floor. I had killed before today, but this was my first true battle, as it was Luka's, who admittedly was handling it far better. I looked at him, then I froze.
His eyes set on Trequis, Luka didn’t notice Silas casually sauntering over behind him, spear in hand, relishing the coming moment. I needed to warn him.
I was about to call out, when I was kicked in the back, and fell on to my face. I scrambled around quickly enough, to be face to face with the Zebulon hireling. He thrust the butt of his gun into my stomach, and I doubled up in pain. The pale skinned creature took aim at my head, and began reloading his pistol.
Trying mightily not to vomit, I pushed the pain back somewhat, I used my jet pack and threw a suited, rocket propelled punch to his shaded visor. It smashed, sending smoked shards floating out, and revealing wide, black, dilated pupils. I shone my torch not two inches from his face, and his arms slapped his eyes, moaning. His sensitivity to light seem to cause him actual pain. I almost felt sorry for him, but then I checked myself, and near emptied my pistol of charges into him. He was dead before he hit the floor. It seems that their ability to move at sonic speed did not extend to their reaction timing. Interesting.
I remembered Luka, turned and shouted “Luka! Behind you, the Zebulon!” just as Silas was about to close the final two feet between them. Before he had even turned, Luka shot a preliminary rifle charge behind him, striking Silas’ right arm, tearing off and burning away. Silas screamed - a shrill, whistle of a screech. Unfortunately, he was left handed. Luka turned around to receive a spear to the shoulder, and grunted. Silas had enough humours to press the charge button before his vigour ran out and he lost consciousness. The skirmishes were beginning to move outwards. Luka was jerking spasmodically, yelling in pain as electricity coursed through his body.
I ran over to Luka, having taken Silas’ wielding glove, and pulled out the spear. He was still alive, breathing irregularly, but alive nonetheless. Half a minute passed, and the fighting was dying down, Trequis’ two biggest advantages out of the picture. Sensing the lost battle, he grabbed the Scientist, who had been rendered unconscious during the battle, a young, frail human, gathered a few men, who then expelled enough pressure from their arms to create a Tephra sized hole, and left before I could stop them. Nobody else seemed to have noticed. I helped Luka up, and we exchanged a very manly hug. His eyes softened, he spoke:
“Marcus! How the hell did you get in with this lot? You… you didn't join the Bandits, did you?” There was real concern in his voice.
“No! No of course not! The refugee girl was broadcasting an emergency signal that a docking station I was on picked up.” I explained. I punched him playfully in the arm, but then he winced and clutched his shoulder.
“Luka! Are you alright?” I exclaimed.
“Y-yeah. Well, no - I’ve got a massive fricking hole in my shoulder, and I was just electrocuted... and I was just punched.”
His voice quivered slightly. “S-so, where is the refugee?”
I froze. I don’t even remember dropping her.
Looking around, I saw her, lucid, hobbling back to the cockpit. Her oxygen mask would have stored some air to breathe, but it must be running out by now. I ran after her.
“E-excuse me? Miss, uh Mari?” - I had to refrain from calling her a civilian, I wasn’t a Marine. She turned around, She took a long look at me, and began to cry. She grabbed and embraced me. It was a bit weird, actually. I wasn’t entirely certain why. Trauma, I suppose.
“M-miss. We need to get out of here, you can come with me, and then maybe discuss paymen-”
“Marcus, no. She comes with us.” Luka had gone back to his cold, commanding tone. He wasn't messing around.
“But, she’s a refugee! And… she kinda owes me money.”
“All the more reason to come with us, willing or not.” his face softened.
“Give me your wrist a sec.” my interface connected to his, and my credit count increased by a couple thousand. It was in double digits, originally.
“Look, thanks for saving me, here’s my show of gratitude. I can’t keep covering for you, Marcus. Get out of here. We’ll see each other again, one day. Chichilia says ‘Hi’, by the way. Now go - the drone is about to blow up. That fuel leakage is its own problem, as we confirmed before we boarded the drone that it’s already flowed into the spark ignition chamber, and when next the drone attempts to move, in about three minutes… boom. Good luck.”
With that, he signalled some men, and they took the girl away, running. She kicked and struggled, for some reason, before engaging her frequency module and shouting:
“Marcus! The package! Chained to the wall!” her voice was weak and hoarse, but loud enough. I remembered the steel armoured briefcase, and made for the cockpit, but Luka put a firm hand on my shoulder and spoke:
“No. Leave. Or I will arrest you, Marcus. She’ll be fine.”
She tore off her mask - her hard brown eyes and sharp nose twisted into a look of pleading: “Please! Get the package! Please! It’ll survive the explos-” she pleaded, before the Marines confiscated her frequency module, and donned her mask. I hesitated, squeezed Luka’s arm in farewell, and legged it back to Slips, disengaged the landing pad, and took off back through the crater from which I had entered. I left with a few more wrinkles etched into my face than I went in with.
I flew for another minute, during which the Military Federation Cruiser had received the Shuttle that took the remaining squad of marines back in, and they left. Half a minute later, the drone attempted to jump, and it detonated, creating a strange inferno like the death of a mini star. Somewhere, the package the girl had so desperately needed, was scattered into space.
I needed to find it. I needed to know what was in it. So I need a job which would let me search uncharted space. Thus, the next five years of my life would be spent searching as a Freelance Retriever.
I opened my eyes.
Not a day had gone by where I hadn't re-lived that day. Searching each moment in time, to see if there was any way of telling who that girl was, why she needed the package, why she was running from the Bandits. Trequis and Silas had escaped alive, and the Scientist was with them, supposedly, though not one archive of information mentions a kidnapping, I had basically searched them all.
A blip pierced my thoughts, startling me like the historical deer in the headlights. I checked my radar. A small object was emitting a low range broadcast signal, on collection frequency was making itself noticed. I thought I might as well check it out, considering my employer was pissed off at me already for being late. Nuclear batteries were pretty expensive, after all, and they were paying me a lot to find them. Coming within fifty kilometres, my scanners displayed a hologram of the object:
A steel armoured briefcase.
It was indeed the one. I could not contain my excitement, and my fear. Finally, I would have some truth revealed. The cargo scoop took but seconds to retrieve it. Modern day ships had automatic ones, while Slips still had to have me manually control it, but I had years of practice. I headed down to the small cargo chamber. The briefcase was covered in burn marks, and was dented in several places, but had survived. It wasn't locked, just latched. I opened it.
A letter. That was it.
Not to be disheartened, I pulled it out, and began to read. The handwriting was scratchy and uncoordinated, not unlike my own. I read:
If I have not explicitly stated for you to read this, then somehow I am dead, and you've pried this note off of my corpse. Go to hell, so I can kill you in person.
However, if I have asked you to retrieve this, then I profusely apologise for not being able to talk to you in person.
Right now you are still in the Academy, whiling away your life, serving a force to which its grasp extends far beyond your comprehension, and for this I apologise. I had no safer place to leave you, no other options left.
But they will find out. They will confront you, and then you must leave. Clearly I have failed in explaining this to you personally, so I will try to leave the letter in your hands.
We are children of Resistance members. The ‘Federation’ is so much more than you know, but you will never be able to escape the mark of the Resistance, an extremely illegal group of several races. But I cannot explain any more like this. Come see them. I have attached their current Headquarters’ coordinates as of the time of writing.
Marcus, I am truly sorry you have no memory of me. When I brought you, a kicking and struggling ten year-old, to that rock you called home, I had you Operated on. The youngest Operation ever done on that planet, but it was for your own safety. Unfortunately, while memories can be removed, they sure as hell can’t be restored. Not yet, anyway.
Don’t come looking for me, not yet. We will see each other again, but first reunite with the team at the HQ.
We’ll meet again soon enough, I hope.
Lots of love,
END (TO BE CONTINUED?)
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