Part five of the snowflake model has you write a page for each character’s story arc. Essentially the story from their POV. I decided to do this as a sort of “debriefing”.
Virginia “Ginnie” Dare Debriefing Report – It’s been a busy few months since we left the colony at Eshua. I’ve adapted the Eshaun crystal to a variety of applications. The most success I’ve had is making it jam the current level of scanner technology that I’m aware of and pushing that past theoretical limits to cover tech that I’m not aware of. I kept Dad in the loop on this one since he was still a little upset about the secrets I kept from him and the rest of the crew. That’s understandable I guess.
I also decided that I want to be more involved in the daily goings on onboard the Helena. As a result I’ve learned more about how the ships runs and about navigation. Dad says that if I’m ever to run a ship, something I’m not convinced I want to do, that I need to be at least familiar with every function. It made him happy and it kept me occupied when I puzzled over something particularly challenging.
All of that was set aside when we got an emergency communique from Rafe a while back. An old friend of Dad’s is the President of the colony there. Some research told me that they’re important to the manufacture of elements used in the Peeg. Apparently they decided to secede from the Commonwealth. That happens occasionally, a colony figuring that they’d do better on their own. So far as I’m aware there’s never been a successful attempt. The Commonwealth always manages to convince the colony that there are far more advantages to staying in the fold. That’s not to say that there arent’ independents out there, but once you’re part of the “happy family” you’re in to stay.
Dad shared with the crew that we’d been hired to take them some important supplies, things they depend on a steady supply of and won’t get once the net is tightened. Not everyone was on board. It surprised me that Jonas didn’t want us to get involved. It took time to get the supplies together. During that time I worked out a way to get us in under the SDF’s security net and a way to burst communicate with them once we set up a station on the planet itself. That will make future communication easier.
Once we made it into the system proper, everything ran smoothly. We didn’t run into a problem until we literally ran into one. None of us expected the SDF to seed the system with mines. Apparently they were attracted to us even with the cloaking I used. The first one caused minimal damage. Jonas said they primarily serve to alert the locals to the presence of undesirables and aren’t typically configured to cause major damage.
We stopped the ship and Jess and I went EVA. Unfortunately one of our cargo pods was badly damaged and ejected itself. We weren’t able to re-attach it and were in the process of rigging it for towing when Jonas showed inbound SDF scouts. The only choice we had was to route the pod to a nearby satellite while the Helena went on to the planet. Dad said that he’d set up secure communications and either get a tug out to us or come back in the Helena. We agreed to coordinate one they offloaded the main cargo pods.
Thankfully our pods are equipped with sufficient motivators for brief in system travel. It’s hardly a replacement for an actual shuttle and it’s usually used for the rare situation where we can’t get the Helena to a cargo elevator. The satellite was close enough that it only took us an hour to arrive. In a day that seemed doomed to failure after failure there was a malfunction in the thrusters. Jess was able to bring us in, but she broke her leg during the landing. To say that I was nervous is an understatement. She assured me that she’d be okay and the medkit we had access to agreed. I set up the secure transponder so that the second Dad was able to communicate we’d be synced up. In the process I discovered that we weren’t alone after all.
Unfortunately, once I unscrambled the encrypted radio transmissions, we found out that the people were terrorists bent on destroying part of the colony, using the Helena to do so. We weren’t able to contact anyone without risking unwanted Commonwealth attention. So it was up to Jess and I to take care of them. First I was able to set up the transponder to scramble any outbound communications. That meant they wouldn’t be able to trigger anything remotely. Second, I was able to make it seem like someone or something was passively scanning the moon. That kept their heads down. Jess was able to rig up some directed energy weapons and we made it seem like they were being pinned down by SDF forces.
We kept up the siege until dad contacted us and arrived, followed by the SDF. I found the tracking device with Brad’s help and was able to trace it back to the President’s aid. After that things went even more pear shaped. I had to end up giving my research on the cloaking device over to the Commonwealth. They took the terrorists into custody and their representative seemed to listen to reason. They took down the blockade and let us go on our merry way, for now at least. The whole thing makes me even more glad that I’m not entering the academy.