Armageddon White

Posted on Fri Aug 12th, 2022 @ 5:52pm by Captain Eagan Clearwater

Mission: Getting Back Out There
Location: Perugia Colony
Timeline: Mission Day 1 at 1530

Perugia Colony. What an odd name for a world, Ain thought, as he moved down stone lined pathways toward what had been the town square. What had they planned on calling themselves? Perugians. The breeze brought with it the smell of rotting corpses; they’d seen the bodies piled up in an untidy heap as they made their way from the beam down point into ‘town’. That is, he thought, if you could call these pitiful structures, huddled against each other for support, a town.

Not his doing though and that would both please and displease his sister, Calliope. She preferred things to be neat, without dangling threads that might talk at an inopportune moment, but the pleasure of that would be superseded by the fact that they weren’t the first to find this place. No, that wouldn’t please her at all.

Still, they’d done their sweep, both of the colony and of the roughly constructed Dominion staging area. Just to be certain that no one lingered. With that done, his job was merely to oversee the work. Everyone on the team had memorized (internalized) the list of things that Calliope wanted and knew it in order of preference. It was one of the requirements of membership because nothing was written down. Nothing. Ever. A pallet would be stacked and tied down, then beamed up to the ship, and another prepared. Not nearly as much as they had hoped to find.

No, she wouldn’t be pleased at all by that. The buildings were interesting though in that whole ‘military aesthetic’ that precluded comfort of any kind. He wondered what it must be like to spend one’s entire life at war and found himself smiling because that sort of described his own life. His and Calliope’s. Big difference was no one was using addiction as a means of keeping them in check. Really, no one was keeping them in check at all because mercy to one’s enemies (or competition) was not a phrase either of them acknowledged as part of their reality.

He turned toward the administration building, intending to go through the office and quarters of the colony’s leader (Governor? Mayor? Dictator?) when he saw one of the new hires come racing along the path. Annie something or other. She had a mop of red-gold, corkscrew curls that she tried to wrestle into something presentable though largely failed. Some of the crew had taken to making bets on how long it would take to come undone and he himself had one at least three times.

“Sir … Sir …” she called as she ran, hair bobbing wildly in the breeze, and he would have laughed except for the look on her face. Something had happened and from the look in her blue eyes, it was bad.

“What,” Ain said as she came skidding to a halt in front of him, with her hands on her knees, trying to catch her breath.

She took a few steadying breaths and then nodded to herself. “Sorry,” she said. “I knew you would want to know right away. It’s your sister, Sir. She’s … the Federation has her.”

“Back to the ship,” Ain said, his eyes closed at the pain, his voice going cold and hard. He raised his voice, so that it would carry and bellowed, “everyone back to the ship … now.”

[Short While Later]

Once everyone was back on board and the ship was leaving orbit, Ain opened ship wide communications and said two words, “Armageddon White,” and then closed the channel. Annie turned toward the communications panel and began setting up a highly encrypted communication that would go out to everyone in the inner circle so that they too would get the message and begin filtering down through the ranks.

Armageddon White.

He turned toward the pilot and said, “Set course for Alternate 2. Notify me when we’re about an hour out.”

“Aye Sir,” the pilot said into the surrounding silence.

Ain left the Bridge and headed for his quarters, to think, to plan. If Calliope was taken, then someone betrayed her. Actions must travel on two paths. Find the traitor and get her back. Neither would be easy to do. He entered his room and, kicking his boots off, stretched out on the bed but not to sleep. He stared, unseeing at the ceiling, and got to work.