The jump to Bernard is successful, and Agamemnon deploys her solar sail and begins the five-day charge of the K-F Drive.
Celebrations break out that evening across the ship. Chief Fagan is the star of the enlisted celebration. At one point during the party, she asks Corbett if she can stay in the specops bunk room – she says she really doesn’t want to stay in her private quarters. Corbett happily agrees.
The same night, Jameson and Summerville come to Colonel Becker with a proposal – Jameson, Rance, and Sims offer senior officer employment rates to Becker, with a plan to use Cooter’s two remaining Leopard dropships for recruitment and procurement operations to support the Agamemnon. Becker agrees.
Becker also transmits an HPG message to Natasha Kerensky offering to meet at New Samarkand in the Draconis Combine instead of having to travel the many months it would take to reach Outreach.
Fagan stays with Corbett for several days, until Janks discusses it with him and he agrees to try to move back to Fagan’s quarters. Fagan reluctantly agrees. In subsequent days, Corbett wakes with splitting headaches and Fagan continues to sleep extremely poorly.
Becker also begins to notice irregularities – at one point she notices writing on her arm that she knows wasn’t there a minute before. She checks the surveillance from the cameras she mounted in her quarters and sees herself make a change to the computer while the lights of her quarters flicker in strange patterns. She checks the logs on the computer and finds no activity logged. Noting a correlation with the lights, she has Captain Millet physically disconnect the lights in her quarters from computer control.
The K-F drive reaches a full charge and the ship jumps to Caleb. A civilian jumpship (Star Carrier 5) is charging at the HPG relay. It doesn’t respond to hails and immediately jumps away upon seeing the warship.
In the following week, Corbett continues to investigate issues with Fagan’s sleep, including attempting to switch quarters. Alternately, Becker begins to sleep peacefully for the first time in her memory after disabling the lighting control in her quarters. Further investigation into the Ares expert system continue to show it to be completely inept at what it’s supposed to do.
The K-F drive reaches a full charge, and the Agamemnon must make a dangerous jump to deep space in order to cross a 60 light-year gulf between Caleb and Jordan Wais.
Stella encounters the LSO – Captain Alexander in the officer’s mess and he appears to be extremely distracted and nearly catatonic. He stresses that he’s fine. She reports the incident to Cottle, and them Summerville, who see to it that Alexander is put on bed rest for a few days to recover from exhaustion.
Janks and Stella discover a sidearm missing form the specops armory, and the computer logs show it to be in-place. Corbett approaches Cottle in the hopes of borrowing the necessary equipment to conduct a sleep study on Fagan, and finds out that Alexander was having sleep difficulty as well. Cottle, Corbett, Janks, and Stella converge on Becker’s quarters and explain the evolving situations. Becker orders Millet to disable the lighting in Fagan’s quarters just like her own and also has Alexander monitored through the night as he stays in sick-bay for analysis by Cottle.
The following day, Fagan and Corbett are both feeling much refreshed, as is Alexander, who Cottle clears to return to duty. Becker gathers her council and lays out the recent events for all, deciding to cut off computer control for the ship’s lighting completely to prevent whatever hypnotic activity from affecting anyone else.
During the day, a call for maintenance to investigate lighting issues in the engine room goes unnoticed by those who it would concern.
That evening after standing post, Corbett is met by Fagan on his way out of the enlisted mess. She gives him a hug and a kiss, professes her admiration for him, slips his sidearm from him and takes her own life. Simultaneously, Becker responds to a knock at her door, assuming it’s Summerville, whom she had just called to her quarters. The door opens, revealing a figure raising a firearm in her direction.
The jump went well. Considering what happened during our last jump, I suspect most of the crew is now busy getting drunk. At least Jameson, Rance and Simms have signed on. I am not entirely sure what I think of Simms, but he sounds useful enough, and we’ll just have to see.
The message to Natasha Kerensky is away. A brief one, asking her to meet us at New Samarkand instead; it will take us far too long to get to where she is.
There is little doubt I am writing these messages. “Don’t sleep” is not exactly helpful, though. But this time, the camera caught what happened. I obviously did something on the computer, though I couldn’t find any sign of what it was I actually did. But there was something odd with the lights. They flickered, in what looked almost like a pattern. So, just in case, I had captain Millet disconnect the light from the computer system and install a manual switch. I also have put up a few more cameras, just in case. I suspect sergeant major Janks is getting pretty curious by now.
The jump to Caleb went well. There was another ship there when we arrived, a civilian jumpship. They jumped almost as soon as we entered the system, without answering any hails. Well, at least the galaxy will soon know we’re back. Not that it would have remained a secret for long anyway.
And I agree with captain Millet. Rasputin is definitely not a tactical genius. It cannot seem to figure out even the easiest of scenarios that I set up. I was thinking it might handle real scenarios better, but it doesn’t. So much for tactical assistance.
Yet another successful jump. We’re sitting in the middle of nowhere, waiting for the engines to recharge. I also sleep better, and there has been no more writings, on the walls or elsewhere.
We might have a very serious problem. I had major Cottle, captain Ives, sergeant Stimson and sergeant major Janks in my office with a couple of different cases. It seems major Cottle is here about captain Alexander, who has had trouble sleeping lately. It might be the stress, but it might be something more serious as well. The major is going to keep an eye on him for a few nights.
Sergeant Stimson seems to have ended up with chief Fagan, sharing her quarters. What he told me is disturbingly familiar. He doesn’t sleep well at all, and chief Fagan has been writing messages as well. I told captain Millet to fix the lights in chief Fagan’s old quarters, and told them to spend a night there to see if anything changes. If it does, we have a serious issue; I have no idea how many people are being affected, hell, brainwashed or mindcontrolled, by whatever or whoever is doing this, but I now believe it is more than just me.
And sergeant major Janks and captain Ives came to report a missing handgun. That is disturbing to say the least. We have to solve this fast. I’m gonna call a meeting tomorrow, inform a small group of what’s actually going on, and figure out how to solve it.
Sergeant Stimson and chief Fagan slept well last night. Which confirms my fears, that it is not just me. At least now the senior officers know, as well as most of sergeant major Janks’ men. Changing all lights to manual will be one hell of a job, but we have to. I just hope that is the only means of control.