“I have often said that, if I am to die, it should be at the con of this mighty weapon of war, in service to my people. Yet as this armada charges into battle – what I am told will be the largest spaceborne battle in human history – I am deeply troubled.
The first line in the Jericho Book of the Ancients says ‘this place was not meant for us’. But here we are. Very likely the last of the human race, thousands of light-years from our birthplace, and battling not for survival or resources…but for control. And freedom. For centuries, the people of Grove and Foxglove and Canto were on their own. Masters of their own destinies. Then Mao and MacGregor made the galaxy so much smaller, and the Council just couldn’t help themselves but try to reassert control.
I remember a time when we weren’t at war with each other. But will my children? Will theirs?
Tomorrow I will ride into battle at the con of this mighty weapon of war, in service to my people. But I am deeply troubled.”
-Final personal log of Cmdr. Andrew Stowe. Commanding Officer, WDF San Orestes.
The Memoirs of “Gentleman” Jack Cartwright
2 July – 29 July, WY602 – Deep Space: San Orestes Recovery Site
The crew spends the next four weeks prioritizing and making repairs on San Orestes. During that time, they replace the autocannon turrets, repair the sensors and two damaged missile barbettes, return the one remaining Korolev drive to working order, replace the dive capacitor and repair four of the five dive grids, and even repair some critically-damaged armor plating on the hull. They return the CIC and medical deck to the point they can be pressurized and lived in comfortably, but do not repair any of the other decks. Cara leads several others in collecting and cataloguing the remains and personal effects of the former crew.
Late in July, the crew finally decides to activate Calliope, and make introductions. After some conversation though, the AI detects a jump signature and the crew rushes to investigate.
The sensors detect a Cheyenne Drive Yards heavy gunship fast approaching without a beacon. While the ship’s signature isn’t in San Orestes’ database, the Peach does have records of the ship affiliated with known pirates and smugglers. Attempts to contact the ship are ignored. After a brief discussion with Captain Harrington, they decide to detach from Peach and let her make the jump to Foxglove and safety.
Attempts to contact the ship continue up until it launches a salvo of missiles….