Home > Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)(5)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)(5)
Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

In short, ladies and gentlemen, we are bleeding badly and there are sharks in the water. We are understaffed and outgunned, and over six months from a realistic escape point. As such, I am issuing the following order, effective immediately:

Any Kerenza colonist with a skill set useful in plugging our shortfalls is to be conscripted into the United Terran Authority military. Engineers. Medical personnel. Scientists. Anyone with a history of military service.

Furthermore, every Kerenza colonist aged eighteen years or older will be immediately tested for aptitude in: computer science, mechanics, electronics, spatial awareness, pattern prediction, hand-eye coordination, twitch reflex, and stress management. Anyone showing C-grade ability or better is to be conscripted immediately. We need pilots. We need gunners. We need spanner monkeys and chipheads. And we need them now.

This is an unprecedented situation—to my knowledge, no stellarcorp has ever openly attacked a United Terran Authority ship. I don’t care if BeiTech Industries’ litigation department has enough red tape to giftwrap a small moon. These corporations need to learn nobody is above the law, and nobody attacks a UTA vessel without consequences.

You have worked tirelessly, acquitting yourselves with distinction and valor. We have lost comrades. We have lost brothers and sisters and those we loved dearly. I know the past few days have been hard. The road ahead will be harder still. But knowing each of you as I do, I have no doubt you will rise to the challenge before us, and get these civilians to the Heimdall waypoint alive.

Centrum tenenda.

David Torrence
General, United Terran Authority
Commander, Alexander 78-V

Hey Kades,

They told me almost everyone on the Hypatia has been fixed up with an onboard comms account now. I hope you get this.

I’m not sure what you know and what you don’t. Everything is a mess over here. The military don’t really tell us anything. But I wanted you to know I made it out alive. I wanted to say thanks. Without you I don’t think I’d be here.

Delete that. I don’t think, I know.

I’m in the med bay on board Alexander. They’ve pumped me full of nanotech and my shoulder is almost 100%. Still trying to get my head straight. Figure out what the hell happened. I heard a rumor that the Alexander’s jump drive is bricked. There’s definitely something wrong with the water supplies but they won’t say what. Someone else said the BeiTech dreadnoughts that attacked the colony are still chasing us. But I also heard we’re just days away from meeting up with a whole UTA fleet. So maybe we’ll be safe soon.

I feel bad about what happened between us. I keep feeling like there’s something I could’ve said to fix it. And then I wonder if I’m an idiot for even thinking that way. I wonder if it was supposed to happen. I mean, if you hadn’t have broken it off, if you hadn’t driven to school that day, we’d both be dead, right? If that’s not the universe’s way of telling me it wasn’t meant to be, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, I hope you get this. I’m glad you and your mom made it out. I hope you’re okay.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Love E

Grant, Kady—
Psych Profile/Conscript Suitability Assessment
Incept 02/17/75

—Page 2—

suggests Ms. Grant is considerably more capable than her test results indicate. When contrasted with the early training exercises she undertook in the Hypatia’s makeshift educational facility, her current outcomes are less than impressive. Simply put, she doesn’t want to score the sorts of results that would get her into the neurogramming training program.

TEAMWORK: Ms. Grant does not work well with others. The accounts of her peers indicate she was previously a relatively social girl at school, although she did not have a large number of close friends. It is clear that she now prefers her own company. She is, frankly, demoralizing to others in a group situation.

ATTITUDE: Ms. Grant displays strong anti-establishment sentiments, and has an awkward habit of questioning authority figures at all the wrong moments. This, combined with the intelligence she tries so hard to conceal, makes her something of a liability. It doesn’t appear ego is at play, as she is content to be viewed as average. Rather, it appears her queries and (often successful) attempts at destabilization are driven by her personal beliefs.


▢ Conscript—Priority 1

▢ Conscript—Priority 2

▢ Conscript—Priority 3

☒ Do Not Conscript

COMMENTS: We’d expend more time combating her games and forcing her to get some work done than could be compensated for by her output. It appears she’s willing to leave us alone if we leave her alone, and there are better candidates for recruitment.

ByteMe: That all you got?

CitB: ah, the new girl

ByteMe: Sure it is, but who are you?

CitB: the guy who can show u how to get all the info you’ve been trawling for

CitB: and more

ByteMe: In exchange for what? Nothing comes for free in this place.

CitB: for u, no cost but time. for the folks upstairs, plenty. the Alexander is a military ship and here on Hypatia we’re civilians, but emergency or not, we have a right to more information than they give us.

CitB: our lives are on the line too. u want to join the fight, ur welcome

ByteMe: Just like that.

CitB: u’ve been sitting your entry exam this last month, grasshopper. been watching u poke around inside the system. u don’t like being kept in the dark either. seen u keeping an eye on a few things. on a few people.

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