To get information about Project Enos, we tried to infiltrate a party on an 890 Jump.
The secrets of Project ENOS lay hidden in the sand. In a cave on the moon Daymar. Guarded by mercenaries of the Blood Red Front. The Helldivers had the mission to capture the cave and secure the information. To do this, they needed the Vital Skin Code from Eris, the host of the Thiago Lobby cooperation party on Renaissance. The only way to extract the vital kin code from the bearer was to massively lower his vital values. However, he was not allowed to die in the process. How were we going to do that? It was difficult enough to get near Eris. Let alone put him into a coma or cryosleep. We considered how to proceed, assessing our chances. One thing was clear, we had to get on the Renaissance, the Origin 890 Jump luxury yacht and infiltrate the Thiago party.
Our ticket was Thane. He was officially invited as a representative of the Microtech Protection Force. However, we had to go into areas of the ship to which guests did not have access. Thane managed to infiltrate Lunaria, Kjeld and me with false identities into the Thiago Technical Flight Team. As technicians, we had access to all areas of the ship except the battlebridge and Eris’ chambers. The night before the mission, Lunaria, Kjeld and I coordinated our appearance aboard the 890. We were ready. And we were not the only ones who had managed an infiltration. Mentally, I went through the upcoming mission, familiarized myself with my false identity, and packed my things into a backpack.
In a shuttle, Lunaria, Kjeld and I landed on Renaissance. Gently and quietly, the hangar doors closed over us. No loud rumbling like in industrial or military ships. The luxury on board was not only visually apparent, it could be heard and felt omnipresent. In keeping with the immaculate splendor of the luxury yacht, we were dressed all in white. As soon as we left the shuttle we were checked by two guards in red armor. During a tour of the lower deck, we got an impression of the situation on board. The guards were everywhere. They were on patrol, usually in pairs. Completely unexpectedly, they would appear, watch us, and move on. It was impossible to do anything alone and undisturbed.
In the engine room we pretended to check the systems. For a moment Lunaria, Kjeld and I were alone. After a check over my shoulder, I called the elevator that would take us up one level. Suddenly, a guard appeared. My heart slipped into my pants. I felt caught and waited for the scolding. But the guard remained calm. He just stood there and watched us. Nevertheless, I felt uncomfortable, unable to act freely. Like birds of prey, the guards constantly circled over us with watchful eyes. We could not break cover.
Finally, I got the order to pick up the guests with the shuttle. Among the guests were Thane and Brubacker. When we were back with the shuttle there were problems with the hangar doors of the Renaissance. They did not open properly. The landing was delayed. Brubacker was ranting like a howler monkey. The service would be poor; he would expect something different at a luxury party. He played his role as a rich snob really well. Whereby I was not sure if it was really just an act.
We used the malfunction with the hangar doors as an excuse for a tour to look for other malfunctions. In the spa we could talk undisturbed. We stood next to the whirlpool. The splashing of a wall of water drowned out our voices.
“We have to lure Eris into the shuttle on some pretext. Then we can kidnap him. Before that, we have to cut off communications to the Blood Red Front on Daymar in the Battlebridge”, Kjeld whispered.
“How are we going to do that? Eris is doing business with his guests and the Battlebridge is locked down”, Lunaria asked.
“The access codes are in Eris’ quarters”, he said.
“To which we have no access.”
At that moment, I saw something red in the corner of my eye. I winced. “We have company.”
We fell silent. Only the splashing and rushing of the water could be heard. Then I saw that the guard had taken the elevator from the lower deck to the upper deck. She was only briefly visible through the glass door as the elevator passed the spa.
“All clear. I thought so,” a little of the tension fell away from me.
With no idea how to get to Eris, we went back to the hangar. A guard was already waiting there. Shortly after, another one appeared.
“You are the ship’s technicians. An airlock opened by itself. Fix it,” The guard sounded quite annoyed.
Under the watchful eye of the guard, we went to the airlock. It was really open, nobody knew why. Then Kjeld had an idea and turned to the guard.
“It is possible that dangerous particles have entered the spacecraft through the open airlock. We need to check the ventilation and air quality in the quarters.”
The guard looked at us, puzzled. “OK. I will accompany you.”
The shadow in red armor stayed close by our side as we checked the guest quarters.
As we walked from one quarter to the other, we met Eris’ butler. I took the opportunity to describe the situation to him.
“Of course, we should also check the air quality in Mr. Eris’ master suite. Not that Mr. Eris will get sick from any space dust. Can we do that”, I asked him directly.
“I think I can answer for that. Please make sure it is safe and the air is clean.”
“I will accompany you”, the guard added.
It was bewitching. We could not get rid of the shadow. No opportunity to be undisturbed was found.
The master suite was huge. There were several rooms on two half levels. We looked around with amazement.
“That’s funny. There’s a model of an 890 Jump there”, the guard said with a laugh. “A model of an 890 in the 890. I wonder if there’s a model of an 890 in that model.”
Lunaria and I stayed with the guard and marveled at the model with her. Kjeld went into the study. There he found the access codes to the battlebridge.
When we were back in the atrium we met more guards. The sun shone brightly through the large glass roof. The guards’ faces did not shine. They looked nervous.
“The hangar door opened on its own. I closed it and positioned two guards in the hangar. We need to make sure no one gains unauthorized access to the ship. The hangar is closed to everyone for now.”
“There’s something wrong with that. It’s not normal for hangar doors and airlocks to open by themselves”, I fueled the guards’ nervousness.
“You’re the ship’s engineers. You’re supposed to make sure this doesn’t happen”, one guard scolded us.
“Yes, and you are responsible for security. Someone might try to board the ship”, I replied. “The best thing is to position guards at all entrances and make sure there are no intruders. We’ll go down and check the engineering.”
The guards stayed in the atrium while Lunaria, Kjeld and I went to the lower deck. We had caught our breath for a moment and were without guards. We took the opportunity to go to the battlebridge. Kjeld had just deactivated the communication to the Blood Red Front when two guards appeared and confronted us. Then more guards came. We were surrounded by red armor. The situation was getting dicey.
“You don’t have access to the battlebridge. What are you doing here”, the guards murmured at us.
“The door opened by itself when we came by”, I tried to talk our way out of it.
“We need to find out why doors open on their own. In the hangar we have access to the systems. We need to get into the hangar.” Kjeld sounded very determined.
“The hangar is locked”, the guards stated briskly.
But one of the guards tried to smooth things over. It almost seemed as if he was standing up for us. He suggested that we could go into the hangar with an escort. The others agreed after a short discussion.
In the hangar, Lunaria and Kjeld checked electrical circuits, I checked computer systems. I had no idea what was causing the malfunctions. I stared at the terminal with a blank stare. Suddenly, an idea jerked through my head like lightning.
“There’s been a cyberattack on the ship”, I shouted aloud. “A computer virus is spreading through the ship’s systems. It’s infecting various systems. The malfunctions with the hangar doors and the airlocks was just the beginning. Everyone on board is in serious danger. We can no longer guarantee safety on board. We have to evacuate the ship.”
“We only have one shuttle for evacuation. There is only room and oxygen for a few people in the shuttle”, said the guard who already helped us at the Battlebridge. “In addition, we don’t know if the shuttle is also infected by the virus. I recommend that Eris, as the most important person on board, be evacuated first. With him only security and a technician just in case. You go to the security chief and clear it with him. I’ll stay with the technicians.”
The other guards left, Lunaria, Kjeld and I stayed back in the hangar with the one guard. It wasn’t just any guard. It was Root. He had infiltrated the guard.
Time passed. There was much discussion. Nervously, we waited at the shuttle. Would our plan work? Would we really manage to get Eris off the ship and to Grim Hex to extract his vital skin code? The minutes passed. Finally Eris appeared in the hangar. Together with his two bodyguards and a guard he boarded the shuttle. Root and I followed. We were very close to our goal of abducting Eris. He was in the shuttle, I just had to fly us out. But before I could get into the pilot’s seat, one of the bodyguards took the wheel. I had no way to get us to Grim Hex.
While the bodyguard at the wheel started the shuttle, I knelt next to Eris. The second bodyguard and the guard sat across from me. Root stood to my right. The situation seemed confusing, unclear what would happen next. After takeoff, the bodyguard at the wheel spoke up. “We need to get checked out at a clinic as soon as possible. Grim Hex is the closest. Quantum jump in 3, 2, 1, jump.”
The party wasn’t over yet for us, we were still in the game. However, we had to figure out how to separate Eris from his security detail to extract the vital-skin code. In Grim Hex, all the beds in the clinic were occupied. Even before Root or I could do anything, the guard who was on the shuttle with us had organized a Cutlass Red. The first bodyguard ordered everyone into the Cutlass. On board, the guard went into the cockpit. Eris and the second bodyguard laid down on the medical beds first for the check. The first bodyguard made adjustments to the beds. Root and I could only watch.
Then the first bodyguard said with relief. “So the two are in deep sleep. The vital-skin code can be extracted,” it was Citko, the leader of the Yellowhands. He had infiltrated the bodyguard. At that moment, the guard came out of the cockpit. It was Knecht. He had infiltrated the guard. The Yellowhands had been searching for Eris since the Enos action in February and had assisted us in infiltrating the Renaissance from the beginning. After extracting Eris’s vital-skin code, Root transmitted the code to the Helldivers. The assault on the cave and the recovery of the Enos information could begin.
I was glad that we were able to reach our goal on the Renaissance with skill and finesse. No force was used, not a single shot was fired. On the moon Daymar, the Helldivers made short work of erasing the Blood Red Front. A massive bombardment of the cave left them scorched earth. We were lucky that the sandstone cave did not collapse due to the massive bombardment of the Helldivers and that the information about Enos could be recovered.
The information was frightening. Enos was what we had suspected and much more. Initially a cure for a Vanduul virus it was developed into a combat agent against the Vanduul organism. The research finally culminated in the breeding of super soldiers.
And all this with the argument it would be for the good of the UEE in the fight against the Vanduul. I could have puked. The megacorporations and the UEE believed they could get away with anything. No limits would apply to them. But the limits were no longer the fight against the Vanduul. There were different groups that were interested in Enos. These groups did not want to use Enos against the Vanduul, but against criminals and enemies of the UEE. From their perspective, this included the free peoples and people like me.
The perspective of
- Second bodyguard Ray Keaton…
- Kjeld Stormanson…
- First bodyguard Citko…
- Report on the whereabouts of Butler….
- Report of the Helldiver…
- Video of the Helldiver…
- Fleipi from the Blood Red Front on Daymar…
- Remoten Scout Dethilion on Daymar…