Bright Lights and Dark Jobs.
26 December 3304
Wyatt Parish pushed off the covers of his bed and sat up slowly. "Good morning, computer," he said with a yawn, "How did you sleep?" A robotic female voice answered: "Hello Wyatt Parish. Jai Prince requires you to be in his office today in 1 hour." Wyatt stood up and walked to the table of his small station apartment. "I slept fine, thank you for asking," he answered. There was no reply from the computer. Parish opened a ration pack and began to eat slowly while looking at news on a data pad. Once he finished he went to his small bathroom and brushed his teeth. He put in his Fresnals, and hoped in the shower. "Computer, what are Princes orders," he said out loud. "Display answer on my lens." Small words popped up only visible to him. New assignment. Wyatt was curious about what Prince had to offer. He put on his remlock suit, with a green jacket over it, black pants, and his mag boots.
He made the trek from his apartment to the big block of rooms that his company had bought and now used as a headquarters. He walked in and looked at the words on the wall. Federal Envoys. He began to walk towards a small door to the left of the reception desk. He said goodmorning to the receptionist as he walked by. She greeted him back and the door opened. He stepped inside. He began the long walk to his office. People saluted him as he walked by, quickly moving to the side and standing strait up. He nodded to each one. He knew them all by name. The walk from the front door to his office was almost 600 meters of corridors. He passed many rooms along the way, barracks, mess halls, rec rooms, even a giant gymnasium complete with fake grass in the middle. He felt proud as walked past.
As he walked past a short woman with short blonde hair, she began walking with him. "Good morning, sir." she said. "Good morning, Cortez," he replied. She walked with a confidence to her that not many people had, especially in magboots and a remlock suit. "I saw Prince." she said to him. "Do you know why hes here? Federal Navy Senior Admirals dont usually liaison with us, its mostly vice and full Admirals. And never directly with you. Thats what the Public Affair Officers are for." They continued as they passed a shooting range. "No, im not sure. I woke up and saw his orders to come to the office. When I tried to get details from the computer, all I got was new assignment." he replied. She scoffed. "An Navy Auxiliary Admiral getting assignments, not to mention the founder of the entire faction," she said. He smiled a little at that sentence. Parish had founded the Federal Envoys in 3302 after working as a bounty hunter for the Federation. He held the rank of Admiral, even if it was in the Navy Auxiliary, he was still proud of it none the less. Everything around him had sprung from his vision. "Admiral or not, Im still a soldier," Parish said.
He opened the door to his office and went to his desk. He half expected to see Prince in there waiting for him. Cortez came in behind him and the door shut. She leaned on a small table on the other side. She booted up his "window." It would display whatever he wanted, even if he was in the center of a station. "Void or planet side today, sir?" she asked while typing in commands. It wasnt her job but she did it anyways. He always liked that about her. "How bout above a gas giant?" he replied. She smiled and typed. The window showed a gas giant spinning slowly below them, with elegant storms racing across its surface in beautiful blues and purples. Parish stared for a moment before reaching into his desk and pulling out a holster. He attacked it to his belt and then went to his safe behind him. He typed in the code and it popped open with a hiss. He reached in and grabbed a small laser pistol from inside. He made sure it had a full charge and then checked the safety. He slipped it into his holster and said "Im gonna go find Prince."
He walked out of the office and said aloud "Computer, where is Prince at?" A line displayed on his lens, leading him to one of the small conference rooms in the back off the block. It was fully sound proof, and had no recording devices. It also scanned for recorded devices every six seconds and would lock down if one was found. It was mainly used by the covert and clandestine ops. Prince sat in the very back, sorting through papers. Parish closed the door behind him, disabling his lens for the time. "Paper? Where did you find that?" Parish asked. Prince didnt smile. He looked up with a blank stare and nodded to the chair across from him. Parish sat down, not wanting to screw up again. Prince didnt deal with minor factions very often but he had a reputation for hating them. Most factions Prince oversaw shut down. All but the Envoys. Prince had tried to shut them down on multiple occasions. The Envoys always accomplished the tasks he gave to try and prove their incompetence. Despite this, Parish tried to be friendly. In return, Prince sent him on several suicide missions. He wasnt meant to return, but he did. Parish had the feelings that Prince hated him.
They sat quietly for several minutes, making Parish even more worried. Prince had cut funding to the Envoys multiple times despite their success. They made enough on their own to outlast the shortages, but the low supply of funds did begin to show at times. "We have an assignment for you." Prince slid a paper over to him. It showed a the wreckage of a Federal Corvette, crashed on a planet. SRV's and Federal soldiers in vac suits were around the wreckage. "This photo was taken 6 days ago, on the outer fringes of the core systems. We were sent the location anonymously. We identified the ship as the FNS Devout. It was transporting high value thargoid samples. Three admirals and our best science teams were on that ship. They were all found dead." Prince slided more pictures over. "Okay, why does this require us? It sounds like it was pirates, the Corvette tried to land and failed. While I understand the loss, sir, I dont understand what this assignment is."
Prince looked at him, and slide more pictures over. Parish looked at them. It was all the dead bodies of the science teams and three people in officer uniform. Parish winced. "Look closely at this." Prince replied with a strait face. Parish examined the photos, thinking Prince was ordering this as a reprimand for his words. On the third photo, Parish stopped. He looked closer. He went back to check the other two photos. He saw the same thing. He moved to the 4th and 5th photo. He kept going until he checked them all. "You see it, dont you?" Prince said.
Parish did see it. It made this seemingly normal crash alot bigger of a mystery. "Sir, were all these people killed before the crash?" asked Parish with genuine curiosity. "Yes, all of them have the same cause of death. Energy weapon to the head. These people were executed. We recovered part of the black box. The only thing we could salvage was the ships navigation orders. The planets coordinates were inputed and the computer was told to fly strait into it. The computer also registers one ship detaching from the cargo scoop of the vette after the coordinates were entered."
Parish leaned back. "Interesting, sir, but why are we sure these arnt pirates that just decided to board instead of sift through wreckage." Parish said.
"All cargo was accounted for. Even the Thargoid samples. The only thing we couldnt find in the crash was a datapad that belonged to one of the admirals. We pinged it but it registered as inactive. Not destroyed, or offline. Inactive." Prince said. "I see," replied Parish while leaning forward, "So someone targeted that ship for the datapad, not cargo, not thargoid samples, but intel. So from that Id guess that someone wants to use the data from that pad to do something against the Federation or for another power."
Prince gathered the photos and stood. "Thats what Hudson and the Admiral of the Fleet thinks. They assigned me to send someone to investigate and track these people down. Thats were you come in. Im sending you and one another agent out to find them. This is a long period covert and clandestine op. All funding with have to come from your organization and must be untrackable. As far as everyone else is concerned, your doing this without the Federations help. The only thing your required to do is use a ship I chose already. Its been bought outside of the Federation and cant be traced back to us." Prince began to walk out, he turned around the doorway, and gave a smile that made Parish squirm. "I think youll like it. Ill send you the details." Prince walked out, the door shutting behind him. Parish didnt move. He was processing it all. Judging by that smile, this ship will be the death of me, he thought. He walked out and headed back to his office.