Mia gave up. She had reached the bottom of the thing without a trace of what it was. She sat down against a bulkhead to listen to Zay’s response and stare at a glare of light on the opposite wall above a ventilation shaft that sat on what to Mia was the floor.

“You have to keep investigating even if it means bringing in guest salvagers to help. The fact that you haven’t found anything is confirmation that this find is significant beyond its metal value. Who would go to such lengths to remove all identifying marks on a ship unless it was important. There has top be something there,” Zay kept talking.

Mia just kept staring at the glare. She had stopped listening. Then she stood.

“… you have to realize that in the salvager scheme of things, a find like that..” Zay’s message continued.

Why was there a light? It didn’t move when Mia’s light did. What was the source. She leaned over and peered into the end of the ventilation shaft opposite. Was it a ventilation shaft? The metal at it’s end wasn’t a grill but badly folded solid pieces. Through a gap she saw an LED. She pulled out some tools and pried it apart. Below was a control bank. It must be auxilliary control she thought!

“… so don’t give up. Keep moving. Keep pushing….”

Mia resisted the urge to message back right away interrupting Zay before she had finished. Most people might not notice the timing. Zay would.

“..let us know what else we can do. Zay out,” she finally finished.

Mia immediately messaged back. “I found an auxiliary control room. Dropping down to investigate. You were right Zay!” Why not let her feel like she’d had an effect.

The auxilliary control room was a a narrow chamber with a bank of screens and input devices running down the center. That was where the LED had come from. Whatever long-life batteries still existed on the ship still had enough charge to light them.

At one end of the chamber were three dessicated bodies. They were almost skeletons but bits of cloth and tissue clung to them and littered the floor around them. They were all three lying face first into the wall. If Mia had to guess, they must not have been strapped in when the collision happened, which implied an accident of some sort. Or all three bodies restraints had failed.

One screen was still active with a logging program active. She tried to call up previous logs but the screen could not access storage. Likely it was destroyed in the crash. She was about to give up when she noticed that one log entry showed as still in composition. She chose it ad the last log entry, still in the process of being written appeared, stored in the local systems memory for hundreds of years, waiting to be saved to oblivion.

“Gamelt and Stallion have joined me in auxilliary control. The bridge is destroyed in the impact but engines are still active. No idea what caused attitiude to go haywire like that. Suspect foul play. No other explanation. Hold— Stallion reports an incoming airwave. From where? No ship on what scopes we have left but could be missed. Why? Not much time. Trying to fortify shields but little hope. We won’t make it no matter what. This is the ship Gallian signing off. Gallium control—“ And it stopped.

“Leonard you were right,” Mia messaged, sending an image of the screen. “This is the original Gallian Colony Ship. It looks like they were trying to set it down here for some reason and lost attitude control. They suspected sabotage. Poor suckers They had no idea of the early corporate politics. Likely their executive sponsor was just on the wrong side of a dispute. But to wreck the original colony ship because of it. There’s a story there for sure. Mia out.”