Vong War Annals – “An hour late, but with credits to spare” 03.15.2011

            Nylan tried to smother a yawn and took a long swallow of caf, glancing at Indy.  “Looks like Tag was wrong about Janet making it up here.”
            Indy shook her head, still watching the feeds from Aten-Re.  “First time for everything.  Go to bed, Nylan.  Rather have you sharp for tonight than keeping me company now.”
            The Jedi considered this and glanced at the chrono.  0657.  He could hit the sack for a few hours…she was right.  Better he be sharp when he was actually on the watch later than falling asleep in a chair behind her.
            “All right,” he said, and got up.  “G’night, Admiral.”
            “Good-night, Colonel,” Indy said softly, not looking at her cousin as he slipped out of Ops.  She shook her head slightly, though, and frowned.  We’re not twenty anymore, Nylan.  We can’t do forty-eight on our feet anymore.
            “Admiral, I have a priority transmission from the Sentinels group,” one of the dayside communications techs piped from the next bank of consoles over.  “Should I put it through?”
            Indy nodded, leaning forward to shut down the Aten-Re feeds.  She adjusted her headset as she straightened up again.  “Patch it through to this console, Biru.”
            The tech nodded and hit a few controls.  Indy heard her voice pickup go live.
            “Aurora Force Operations, go ahead.”
            “Admiral, we have a little situation up here that I felt we should apprise you of.”  It was Dorrin Drake’s voice, which alarmed Indy for half a moment.  Her heart settled as she realized Dorrin’s voice was perfectly calm, and if something had happened to Cay, she wasn’t sure that would have been the case.  “We had a freighter pop out of jump on top of us looking like it’d run afoul of the Vong.  I put the pickets on high alert, but it’s been an hour and we haven’t seen anything.”
            An hour.  They’re all from the Derik Bel Iblis school of “Don’t worry Indy just yet” aren’t they?  Indy took a deep breath, counted to five, then exhaled before she answered.  “Any survivors on the freighter?”
            “One, human male.  Molly’s handling him.”
            Indy nodded slowly, even though Dorrin couldn’t see her.  “Bring the Legacy in.  Which crew is the most solid with the modifications?”
            “Marconi’s crew seems pretty solid.  Davil said something about old engineers learning new tricks better than expected.”
            “All right.  Leave Captain Marconi in temporary command of the picket group until you get back with the Legacy.  Bypass Wayfarer and land on the south field at Shay.”
            Dorrin hesitated. “You sure, ma’am?”
            “Yes,” Indy said very precisely.  If the ship looked like it ran afoul of the Vong, it probably did, and I want the ground crews to have a chance to look at what kind of damage those weapons can do so we can figure out some ways to defend against it.  “Those are your orders, Mr. Drake.  Where’s your captain?”
            “On Wayfarer, Admiral.  Order business, I think.”
            Order business.  Indy shook her head.  I’ll deal with that later.  “Have the pickets stand down from red to yellow.  I want them alert, but not on pins and needles.  If he wasn’t immediately followed, they might’ve decided not to give chase.”
            “Yes ma’am.”
            “Anything else?”
            “No, Admiral.”
            “Right.  Ops out.”  Indy nodded toward Tinian Biru, who cut the line.  The admiral took another deep breath and exhaled it slowly.  “Advise Wayfarer to raise its alert level from green to yellow and advise base personnel that we are raising the alert level from blue to green.  No one oversleeps their CAPs this morning without reprimand.”
            There was a quiet chorus of “yes ma’am” from several of the officers and enlistedmen that moved to carry out the order.  Indy glanced toward their dark holoplot and restrained herself from patching back into Izra Dargan’s tightband feeds from Aten-Re.  Somehow, the galaxy had a way of reminding them they could quite possibly have their own problems.

~ Erin

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