“Commander I’ve got something. ”

“What is it Specialist?” Commander Ngtyllik moved over to Scanning specialist 12’s station.

“It’s a match for a surveillance order. The Verity.”

“The Verity? Don’t know it. Who gave the order?”

The specialist hesitated. “Uh, it says here you did sir.”

“What? I have no memory of that. When?”

“I don’t know, sir. In fact I don’t remember entering it myself. It just popped up like its always been there.”

“Nonsense. Maybe it’s from upstairs. Damned odd to slap my name on ot of ot is. Don’t worry Specialist. Good work. Do try to pay more attention when you’re authorizing orders though. Could sound sloppy not to remember orders.”

The Specialist looked doubtful. “Yes sir. I’ve sent acknowledgement and provided approach for now.”

“Good good. What else do we have on it?”

The Specialist poked around on his interface for a minute.

“Not much sir. The order only calls for an alert if the vessel is matched. it’s called the Verity. No known origin. No known crew. One race. Alendan?”

“Never heard of it.”

“And that’s it other than, oh! My apologies sir. It’s a level one alert.”

“What?! That’s ridiculous.” Level one was an all hands emergency if spotted. The idea that a level one could be spotted but nobody be expecting it or even remember entering the order was the most disturbing thing the Commander could think of.

“Well– Capture it. I’ll head upstairs and try to get to the bottom of this.”

The Commander ran up to the Captain’s office but he had already headed off to the Admiral’s Ready Room as soon as the alarm sounded. the Commander raced down the corridors to catch up and came barreling into a room filled with top officers all staring at him.

“Ah, Ngtyllik, I assume you can explain this?”


“Somewhat sir,” this brought a perturbed look to the Admirlas face. The rest if the officers look less than pleased. Nobody joked ant a Level 1 and they all seemed to know even less than he did.

“Specialist Ramsey spotted the target just now on a ship called. The Verity. Records show I gave the surveillance order at Level 1 signed off by you Admiral. Neither the specialist nor I recalled the order, which is damned odd in this case. The ships only details are a race of origin called the Alendans. I’m not familiar.”

A Captain from another part of the operation laughed. “You don’t read fairy tales then?”

“What’s that supposed to mean Fergranters?” The Admiral snapped.

“Sorry sir. The Alendans are characters from children’s stories. A once powerful race that could travel in time but reached too far and brought their entire people to destruction. Typical moral lessons and such,” the Admiral cut him off. Captain Fergranters was from the Cultural Relations arm. They could talk at length if allowed.

“And that’s all we have? Please tell me this isn’t some kind of joke Ngtyllik–”

An aide interrupted the Admiral. “Sir we ‘re getting a transmission from the ship.”

“Is it already locked on approach?”

“Yes sir. It’s been captured on my orders,” said the Commander.

“Ok, so they can’t pull much. At least we did that part right. Let’s hear it.”

A burst if static filled the room followed by a perfectly normal sounding voice speaking the dominant language of the Fringe. Cascade.

“This is Pilot X of The Verity to the command of the Fringe Cascade. I mean you no harm. Doubtless your records are in disarray or even missing about me. I can clear up the confusion. Please allow me to land peacefully.”

The message repeated.

“All right,” said the Admiral. “Peacefully. But make sure a well-armed battalion meets him to make sure it’s stays peaceful.”