System: Hypoe Bluae XF-H C13-318
Commanding Officer: TFAS-EX Pitter Patter
Status: All Conditions Normal
Our expedition isn't even close to complete, and it's already bearing fruit. In the past two days, We've surveyed almost 20 Water Worlds, and we even accomplished a life long dream of mine, locating an undiscovered Earth-Like World. Checking our locations against astronomical data, we estimate that we've made it about halfway through Ryker's Hope.
Crewman Astra has been taking time off of her normal duties to continue working on her paper on Water Worlds. Apparently, we've detected several spices of Plankton that might have value in terraforming technologies, and she believes she can synthesize them in a lab.
Something's been getting to me lately. I'm out here, with this crew, who is trusting me with their lives, and, I haven't been entirely honest with them. They think I earned my commission to Rear Admiral for rescue operations, which is partially true, but my real work with the Federal Navy was as a spy, running messages. This, on it's own, isn't a big problem, a lot of pilots get their start as couriers, and this eventually leads to a little bit of spying.
The problem is, even as I was buying my corvette, and accepting my one-star insignia, I was running intelligence to the Empire. I had defected.
This is a big part of the reason why we are out here: I think Hudson sent a team after me.
I had been a strong supporter of Jasmina Halsey before her disappearance. Once she reappeared, a lot of us had assumed that, after some medical treatment, and time to recover, that she would return as president of the Federation. When Hudson didn't give up his power, I rushed to work with her, and Felicia Winters.
Whatever happened to her out there. . . It changed her. A lot of us think she was attacked by Thargoids, which has to be wrong. Her ship showed none of the corrosive damage caused by their weapons, and, had they known who they were attacking, would not have left her there. Regardless, it was around this time that Hudson seized power, and started cutting federal aid. As I worked with Felicia Winters, inside of normal Federation structures, the second Thargoid war started.
The Federation is not only unprepared to take action and protect her people, she isn't even really going to try. They lack to capacity of governance to respond to an organized, alien threat. During a rescue operation from a seriously damaged station, I had the opportunity to shuttle an Imperial Diplomat on a trip to Federation space. She told me how the Empire is preparing to make a serious push to make their space secure for their citizens.
That's how I ended up spying on the Federation for the Duval family, and spying on Arissa Lavigny-Duval for her niece, Aisling Duval.
But I screwed up. I was supposed to plant false intel about Winter's movements in a data node used commonly by Hudson's spies, but I mixed up the data and planted information about the Duvals. I managed to correct the mistake, and get our asses out of there before anyone showed up, but I wasn't able to completely erase my presence there.
As a high Ranking member of the Federal military, I am allowed to access these nodes with low scrutiny, but if someone looked close enough, they'd be able to figure out what I'm up to. Despite the fact that my crew has been with me this entire time, they had no idea how close they were to being executed for treason that they didn't commit.
Hence, the pods.
I've seen it happen before. A Fed Spec ops team stages a crash along a known flight path. Escape pods aren't supposed to open on their own, they need to be popped from the outside, so, most of the time, well-meaning or opportunistic pilots will load them up, and cart them along until they get back to inhabited space, where they will trade them in or ransom them for a profit. Only, these pods have biometric scanners installed. When the target picks them up, they find voice patterns, or DNA signatures, and the pod opens, releasing a pissed off commando into a ship that is entirely unprepared to repel boarders.
It sucks that I had to use my federal rank to legitimize my decision. That was a total betrayal to my crew. Better alive and un-trusting than informed and dead though.
Why couldn't I have just started my career as an explorer? This betrayed loyalties crap is too complicated for me. I believe in my choices, so I can't understand why I feel so bad. The Empire has maintained a strong central government for nearly a millennium. It's not the kind of leadership humanity likes, but it's what we need right now. The Federation and Alliance will argue through a crisis about how to respond, but never actually get anywhere. The Empire can coordinate attacks and rescue far quicker, and save more people. Ideally, I'd like to see Aisling Duval on the Throne, and the Throne on Earth. It's the only way I see forward for us, or, at least that's how I thought before I cam out here.
Now, I'd almost rather see her take Colonia as her new throne, and lead us from there. A man can dream.