Once again, I was in hiding, looking back at the plot in Stanton.
Space. Infinite vastness. Infinite silence. I stood in the cockpit next to the pilot’s seat and looked out over the endless sea of asteroids. Boulders as far as the eye could see. I wondered if every single asteroid had a story to tell. I had a story to tell. A story full of aberrations. A story of friendships and conspiracies. The plot in the Stanton system.
It had started harmlessly with export of ores for the free peoples. At first illegal, later legally possible via the space station Port Olisar. Then we found the first clues. The mega corporations wanted to secure the ores exclusively for themselves. They made secret plans to stop the export. Finally, we found evidence of activities of the pirate group Xeno Threat from the Pyro System. Rumors made the rounds. Rumors of an attack by the Xeno Threat group on Port Olisar. Did the mega corporations want to destroy Port Olisar with the help of Xeno Threat and thus stop the export of the ores? The assumption was obvious.
I shivered. The cold metal walls of the spaceship did not radiate any warmth. I went into the lounge area and made myself a cup of tea. My fingers clutched the hot cup and soaked up the warmth.
Our guess from the Xeno Threat’s attack on Port Olisar was wrong. Exporting ores was now impossible in the Stanton System for independent traders. The large corporations had achieved their goal. With new trade and security regulations. Port Olisar continued to orbit the gas giant Crusader unharmed. The attack of the Xeno Threat had nothing to do with the mega corporations. The pirates were pursuing their own goals and were targeting UEE Navy Station Jericho.
But our story didn’t end here. We found the prototype of a killer satellite. A much bigger scandal was looming. I feared that the killer satellite might be used against the free peoples. That centers of freedom were in danger. Centers like Levski in the Nyx system or my home on Ashana in the Nul system. But it was much worse. A conspiracy against life itself was underway. A conspiracy so big that we could not ignore it. We were drawn deeper and deeper into the whirlpool of the machinations of the mega corporations. What we uncovered was terrifying. Shubin Interstellar had contracted Hurston Dynamics to develop a killer satellite. The satellite was equipped with a bioweapon and MTX-1 chips from Microtech. The mega corporations had a perfidious plan to circumvent the Fair Chance Act just to increase their profits. The killer satellites, disguised as communications satellites, were designed to prepare planets for terraforming by wiping out existing life.
A long and rocky road lay behind us. A path in which we had gathered evidence and made new friends. We followed leads, hacked into systems, and eventually got inside information through an informant. Brubacker, meanwhile, had published the killer satellite scandal in an extra newspaper. The Advocacy was looking into the matter. Even the Senate was taking notice. Brubacker felt we were now safe. After we had uncovered the scandal and our names were publicly known, no one would dare to get rid of us. I was not sure and went into hiding for the time being. The public also held risks. I preferred to stay under the radar. Under a false identity I disappeared into the depths of space. With an Argo Mole I mined ores for ArcCorp Mining in the endless expanses of the Aaron Halo asteroid belt.
My cup of tea was empty by now and I got back to work. I sat down in the mining arm’s turret and looked around. Out here I felt safe. A wide view into the stars, no underground bunker, no bullets flying around my head. For the time being I would stay out here. Brubacker said we were safe. I did not trust the peace. A message Brubacker had received from an unknown sender confirmed me.
“It’s not over.“
It really wasn’t over. We didn’t know where the bio-warfare agent for the killer satellite had come from. And then there was the matter of Project ENOS. A conspiracy the extent of which we could not yet foresee. Was ENOS the source of the bio-agent? The story wasn’t over yet.
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