Encryption Level Alpha Omega
They've taken my father into custody in Brestla. I'm not sure what the formal charges are at this time. My sister, her husband and children arrived here along with my mother this morning. They're still pretty shook up. Mom is practically in shock and not handling it well at all. I've asked for a doctor to visit later today.
From what I can gather from them, the IISS broke into my family's estate a few hours after dark while everyone was asleep. Every member of my family that were present had been taken into custody and released a few hours later. All but my father. So far, there's been no official word as to why he's being held. Damage to the estate was extensive. Someone is trying to send a message.
I've already filed a protest at the lack of information regarding his charges and plan to meet with the Imperial ambassador at the embassy in a few hours. I'm not willing to consider using what little leverage I have as an officer of the Federal Navy. This is an internal Imperial matter, and I'll treat it as such.
- - - -
I just received the first good news to come from all of this. My father is alive. Ambassador Heinrich is an old friend of the family and has no love for the Imperial Inquisition. He's forwarded my protest along his diplomatic channels along with his own. It seems that my father's arrest wasn't sanctioned, although the Inquisition has special allowances for matters in this regard. At least I finally can put a name to my troubles.
Count Josef Stuller. He's a ranking member of the Imperial Inquisition and one of the major landholders in the Brestla system. He's also carried a personal grudge against my family since before I was born. I asked the Ambassador why, and he told me the tale. It was a story the likes of which my parents had never shared with me. It would seem that I was his means of settling that score until I left for the Federation. Having foiled that plan, he's taken a more direct approach.
Ambassador Heinrich assures me that he will be able to secure the release of my father, but I fear he may be too late. I shudder to think of what my father is going through while I sit here watching the wheels of bureaucracy slowly turn. I feel as though I should be doing something. I'm just not sure what.
- - - -
Alone in his cell, he pondered his fate. He thought he'd been cautious enough, his years of service more than sufficient to make amends for any wrongs he'd committed in his youth. He realized now that some mistakes can never be erased, some insults never forgotten.
Count Stuller had crossed a dangerous line by abducting him. He knew the man's noble bloodline wouldn't be enough to save him when word of this got out. Sadly, he doubted that he'd live long enough to see his comeuppance. He was certain he had only days left to live and the Count was making sure he didn't enjoy them. The Inquisitors weren't known for their hospitable methods of interrogation.
The audacity of using that noble order to carry out a personal vendetta still shocked him. He never could have imagined that the Count would sink so low. The Imperial Inquisition would long bear the stain of this dishonor.
He heard the heavy footsteps approaching his cell and knew it was time for another round of interrogation. He wasn't sure if he could survive much more. 'They never even ask me any questions ' he thought as the cell door swung open.
- - - -
Encryption Level Alpha Omega
I'm currently waiting for a data slicer to finish working on my ship's new registry. The Imperial Eagle won't draw any attention, but I'm sure there will be system alerts for the name 'White Rabbit'. Hopefully altering the registration to 'Rook's Gamble' will buy me the time I need.
Parkinson Port in the Kartenes system is as close as I can get to my target safely. My criminal contacts with the Kartenes Brotherhood were still good, and they provided the data slicer for me. It's the final touch. Most of the work on the Eagle was finished earlier before I left Shinrarta Dezhra.
I've yanked parts off of several other ships to complete the modifications. I didn't explain what I was doing, or why I was doing it. No one asked questions. Not even ol' Lee. Guess they just knew I needed them. Everything in the shop stopped and they all pitched in wherever needed. The Rook's Gamble is a hastily created work of art.
Nearly twice the firepower and shield strength of a standard Imperial Eagle with military grade frame support on top. Even I was impressed when we'd finished. Now I just have to hope that it's enough.
I'm going to try to rescue my dad. He's being held at an Inquisition facility on Brestla B5, an otherwise unremarkable ball of rock in orbit of the secondary star in the Brestla system. That's about fifty-five thousand light seconds from the system entry point. The Eagle's fast, probably the fastest ship I've ever flown. Once beyond any gravity well, there isn't much that could keep up with her.
Still, that's a long way to go in enemy territory. The Count's actions will certainly prove to be unlawful, but right now I suspect there'll be a lot of Inquisitors between me and dad. I'm hoping my luck holds out. It'll all be over in a few hours, one way or another.