Log #213 – Satellite transmission

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The tracks of ENOS led us to a place that had already been our undoing once before.

We stood high up on a snow-covered rock and looked out over the icy surface. At the end of the frozen lake, the New Babbage Spaceport nestled into the snowy mountain range. Just a few more seconds and Stanton’s star would rise above the peaks, spreading warm light. Everyone was giddy and drinking beer. Husky was jumping around in his underpants. I didn’t feel like celebrating at all. But there was a good reason to celebrate. We had completed the last stage of ‘Into the Wild‘. The circumnavigation of the planet Microtech on hoverbikes.

But I had other things on my mind. Besides, I had never understood what Brubacker wanted to achieve by circumnavigating the planet. Who was it helping? Did it make life better for the free peoples? Did it solve the mysteries surrounding ENOS? Hardly. Besides, I had only been on a few stages. My thoughts revolved around the satellite that Friedrich Winters and Hermieoth had found near the Pyro jump point.

In the satellite’s logbooks, we had found evidence that data about ENOS had been stored on it. The data was transferred to a Drake Herald, a spacecraft for data transportation. Afterwards, the self-destruct failed due to a lack of power. Was this the pipeline to Pyro? Was this how information and funds were transferred from Stanton to Pyro to enable illegal research on ENOS? There were many indications that this was the case. After all, the data in KH3 was copied to the satellite. That was the bunker where the public ENOS test took place. The bunker where I lost my life, where my body was destroyed. The place to which I owed the first activation of my imprint. The traumatic experience of regeneration was still in my bones. And that was exactly the place we wanted to return to in order to follow the clues. In just two days. How could we celebrate with these prospects?

Suddenly I felt warmth in my face. Stanton was looking over the peaks, casting a beam of orange light across the ice that blinded me. I put my hand over my face protectively.


The plan was complex and took all eventualities into account. Hopefully. We had the official order to retrieve some crates from bunker KH3. I had no idea how Hermieoth and Friedrich could organize this mission. Still, there was more than one risk. Would we be able to get into the bunker without any problems despite the order? Would the turrets fire on us? And would I be able to hack into the main computer undisturbed without triggering an alarm? To be on the safe side, Kjeld jammed the radio around the bunker. He had some of his mercenaries ready in case of an emergency. Friedrich Winters brought us close to the bunker in his spaceship. He, Hermieoth and I drove the last few kilometers in a rover. We took the freight elevator down into the depths.

Suddenly, the elevator came to a halt with a loud screech. I swayed back and forth uncontrollably. My soft knees could barely withstand the hard stop. We had reached the lower level. Everything had gone smoothly so far. Hermieoth went ahead, followed by Friedrich. I stayed in the background. Let the two experienced fighters form the vanguard. I was surprised when Friedrich told me that he had served in the UEE Navy a long time ago. Husky’s grandfather was full of surprises.

“Hello, delivery service. We’re here to pick something up. Where are the boxes?”

Frederick sounded confident and assured. Something I couldn’t say about myself. None of the guards reacted. No one was interested in us.

“Looks like we have to look for the crates. Let’s go then.”

“We’ll take our time,” Hermieoth whispered to me. “You search the computer until then. But hurry up. I don’t want to spend too long here.”

While I was walking to the server room, I heard Hermieoth grumbling loudly.

“My God, you’ve got a mess here. It might take us a while to find the shipment.”

In front of the server room was a kind of workshop. There were tools on a table and a small satellite between them. The solar cells were folded out and the maintenance hatch for the data interface was open. I stood still. It was exactly the same satellite model that Friedrich and Hermieoth had found at the pyro-jump point. Was another data transmission being prepared?

Suddenly I heard someone behind me. My breath caught in my throat. My fingers began to tingle and my knees went weak. Panic rose up inside me. I knew I wasn’t allowed to be here. The delivery service had no business here.

“I’ll secure the doorway. You concentrate on the computer.”

It was Friedrich. A feeling of relief flowed through my body. Oh man, I would have preferred a little less excitement.

I quickly found the admin console in the server room. “Terminal locked. Insert access card.” was written on the screen. I was prepared for that. Now I was in my element. It whirred quietly as my hacking chip slid smoothly into the card reader. A jumble of cryptic characters flickered across the screen. Then a folder structure appeared.

The first thing I noticed was a personal transportation certificate from the MBOC. That was the Microtech Bureau of Organized Crime. The names Special Agent Franklin Brittle, Professor Mark Gilbert, and Arthur Esei were on the certificate as principals or verifying persons. Professor Gilbert worked at ENOS in Stanton, Arthur Esei belonged to the ENOS support group. Melissa Dusak was to be transported. Melissa Dusak was a scientist who had worked at ENOS.

She wanted to pass on information to Brubacker and Hermieoth. However, she never showed up at the meeting point. Where she was to be taken was not written directly on the order. Only a cryptic status was noted: “X.3 SIV . PII.” Was PII Pyro 2? We assumed that Pyro 2 was the ENOS laboratory in Pyro. Had the powers behind ENOS snatched Melissa and brought her to Pyro? Just like many others. Like Marietta Abendroth and Tjarva Ulfur, who were now ENOS test subjects in Pyro?

“Zero, hide, there’s a technician coming.”

Friedrich’s warning jolted me out of my thoughts. In a flash, I took cover behind a server cabinet. When I looked at the admin console, a cold shiver ran down my spine. I had forgotten to lock it. The transportation certificate was still on the screen. If the technician went to the console, he would immediately recognize that someone had gained unauthorized access.

Footsteps approached. A quiet “shit” roared in my head. Panic rose in me again. My thoughts were racing. What should I do? Switch off the technician? Unable to think clearly, I crouched behind the server cabinet. Then I heard a voice.


It was Friedrich.

“Can you help me? We’re looking for the third box of the delivery we’re supposed to pick up. We can’t find it in all the chaos.”

“Yes, I think I know where it is. I’ll show you.”

“Thank you. It’s urgent. We have to leave as soon as possible.”

The footsteps moved away and Friedrich’s message had reached me. I hastily copied more data from the server without looking at it. Then I deleted the recordings from the surveillance cameras. Finally, I disconnected, locked the screen and took my hacking chip out of the card reader. Everything looked the same as before, as if no one had ever been there. We left the bunker with three boxes. No one was hurt, no one had noticed anything. It was a clean operation.

A little later, we met up with Kjeld and Brubacker at a space station to analyze the data. Unfortunately, the documents were quite old, but interesting nonetheless.
We had found a top-secret document about confidential financial transactions. Huge sums of money had been transferred back and forth between Eldfjall University on Microtech, Professor Mobi’s now-destroyed laboratory on the moon Clio, the drug cartel Forgotten15, the Blood Red Front and the MBOC.
The data from the bunker also contained a letter from an employee of the ENOS project to the authorities. His name was James Morgul and he denounced the disregard for ethical principles in the project. He reported that the Nine-Tails killer group Versipellis Sica had kidnapped people who were now being abused as test subjects. The MBOC would cover everything up and eliminate whistleblowers like him. In addition, the experiments should be moved to Pyro to avoid complications with the group’s jurisdiction. He had evidence and wanted to make everything public. Below the letter was an instruction from the MBOC to remove James Morgul and the evidence.
We also found a letter from an unknown sender to Niels Mobi, the director of the MBOC. The letter, just like the letter from James Morgul, confirmed what we already knew. Professor Mobi’s research and the experiments on humans. The relocation of the experiments and the test subjects to Pyro. That Professor Usagi should continue his research in Pyro in order to develop a weapon. The collaboration with the drug cartel Forgotten15 and the radical Nine Tails group Versipellis Sica. And it was instructed to carry out regular research in the Stanton system away from the secret research in Pyro, in compliance with all laws and ethical principles, and to grant the public access.

“All the high-profile ENOS actions in Stanton are just a smokescreen to distract from the illegal research in Pyro,” Hermieoth scolded.

“And the MBOC is knee-deep in it. I’m going to confront Thane McMarshall. As head of security at Microtech, he has to do something about it,” Friedrich added.

“If we publish the information, nobody will believe us anyway. We have to cut off the pipeline and thus the financial flows to Pyro. That would disrupt research in Pyro.”

Brubacker was not enthusiastic about the idea.

“Zero, that’s dangerous. We’ll only scare off the masterminds behind ENOS and endanger the test subjects in Pyro.”

“How are you going to get to the masterminds? If we cause a bit of trouble, they might get careless and make mistakes. I’ll go in search of the Forgotten15. They know the pipeline. That’s our best chance.”

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)