Home > Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)(10)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)(10)
Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

“Major Hawking, intercept Osprey Group and destroy. Acknowledge.”

I heard Dreadnought talk on open comms, then. That’s when I knew we were in real shit.

“Jah … ,” she said. “Jah, help us.”

Prophet requested confirmation. “AIDAN, say again? You want us to fire on civilians?”

“Quarantine breach in motion. Class Alpha Zero pathogen. Intercept Osprey Group and destroy. Acknowledge.”

“Oh, god … ,“said Carlin.

“Quarantine breach in motion. Class Alpha Zero pathogen. Intercept Osprey Group and destroy. Acknowledge.”

“Intercept Osprey Group and destroy. Acknowledge.”

“Intercept Osprey Group and destroy. Acknowledge.”

“Intercept Osprey Group and destroy. Acknowledge.”

In the six months since we left Kerenza, we have been pursued by the BeiTech vessel BT042-TN, the ship we know as the Lincoln. We owe the Alexander, her crew and the United Terran Authority military a great debt of gratitude for their protection.

We are still several months from reaching a jump waypoint, and the Lincoln will use any means within her power to prevent us from reaching that safe passage, and telling the rest of the galaxy of the atrocities perpetuated by BeiTech on the Kerenza colony.

It is with deepest regret I inform you all that last night at 21:15 (shipboard time), the Lincoln launched a surprise assault on our fleet, resulting in the destruction of the heavy freighter Copernicus.

I know many of you had friends, family and colleagues aboard the Copernicus, as did I. Survivors aboard nine shuttles were rescued during the assault by the Alexander’s Cyclone pilots, and we extend to them our heartfelt thanks for their heroic efforts.

Due to the health concerns on the Copernicus in recent times, the survivors have been quarantined aboard the Alexander. This has slowed our efforts to compile a list of names and details, however, please rest assured we understand the urgency of this task.

We are renewing our efforts to make good time toward a jump waypoint, and safety. Please assist and support those around you who have lost family, friends or colleagues. Memorial and pan-denominational services will be arranged shortly, and details posted in the mess halls.

ByteMe: u seen the PIR? it’s bullshit

CitB: huge surprise, the brass r lying. KNEW this was coming

ByteMe: u psychic now?

CitB: should have started digging when they took down civilian comms on the Copernicus. maintenance, my ass.

ByteMe: so they were hiding something, let’s work out what

CitB: you got any gen?

ByteMe: working on it now.

CitB: u still there?

ByteMe: trying to get past the ICE wall, takes a while. systems are SO busy over there. seems like they have their main engines off, but that makes no sense. we should be accelerating fast as we can, before the Lincoln gets busy again.

CitB: tick tock tick tock

ByteMe: u can do any better, feel free

CitB: sorry. r u ok?

ByteMe: fine. found a court martial list

CitB: …

CitB: say again?

ByteMe: they’re court martialing the pilots that heroically saved all the people on the Copernicus shuttles

CitB: what the fuck?

ByteMe: got the records here. u tell me why they do that if the pilots were under orders

CitB: not the only mystery, grasshopper. i’m hunting for any scans or records showing Lincoln got close enough to us to take a shot. nothing so far. it’s still way behind us, far as i can tell

ByteMe: so no attack from Lincoln, and they’re court martialing our pilots. are we saying it was our guys who took out the Copernicus?

CitB: fuck me

ByteMe: ew no

CitB: this is getting weirder and weirder. but that can wait, trying to find u a survivor list first

ByteMe: don’t need one

CitB: course you do

ByteMe: i don’t want to talk about it

CitB: you need to know who made it off

ByteMe: i need to know who shot down the Copernicus, that’s the real mystery here

CitB: look, we both know i have no social skills, but if you need to talk about it

ByteMe: need you to tell me what you’re finding

CitB: …

CitB: finding something weird.

CitB: I can’t get a read on AIDAN. thought I was just hitting ICE walls but it’s more like nobody’s home …

PILOT IDENT: Cayla Alton (UTN-924-776ad)

RANK: Major

CALLSIGN: Sting

FLIGHT GROUP: Delta

PILOT IDENT: Eli Hawking (UTN-912-842ad)

RANK: Major

CALLSIGN: Prophet

FLIGHT GROUP: Echo

PILOT IDENT: Zhenya Alvaranga (UTN-945-817ad)

RANK: First Lieutenant

CALLSIGN: Dreadnought

FLIGHT GROUP: Echo

PILOT IDENT: Ezra Mason (UTN-966-330ad)

RANK: Second Lieutenant

CALLSIGN: N/A

——LIST INCOMPLETE——

——ACCESS INTERRUPTED——-

I’ve tried writing this email ten times already and I can’t get it right, so I’m just going to send this through, whatever it ends up saying.

I’m sorry I didn’t write you back. I should have. I mean, when you say “I’m never going to speak to you again,” you don’t think your planet’s going to be invaded that afternoon. It was more, you know, an opening position on negotiations. I was angry.

But you said in your email maybe the universe was telling us it wasn’t going to work out. You’re the most romantic idiot I know, so I guess if you think so, it must be true. That stung, but still, I’m sorry I didn’t write back. Because yeah, I should have let you know I was okay.

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