Pearl of the Stars

Dedicated to
Hrothar
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 The entire fleet sat in a low orbit around Faraday's enormous gas giant, so low in fact that should the enemy fleet return, the highly ionised atmosphere of the planet would hide their presence.

As she was the Fleets flagship, the Pearl's repairs were to be carried out first. She was connected to the largest of the MRV's by a series of airtight tunnels, not to mention twelve extremely hefty docking clamps.

Throughout the Pearl of the Stars and every other vessel in the Fleet, an eerie green light filtered, the gas giant its origin.

 

 

The interrogation room was larger than was absolutely necessary. The only furniture contained within was a small metal table with a chair on either side. Other than that the only feature of note was a video and audio recording device attached to the wall closest the table.

Captain Grace Ifhans stared at the man opposite her as he stared right back, as had been the case for the better part of an hour. Originally Major Hynes had been in the room too, but he had since left to confer with the military personnel of the base in orbit around the planet.

“We can do this all day,” said Grace eventually. “But if you're not going to talk, I've no problem flushing you out an airlock.”

“Then do so,” he replied coldly. “I shall tell you nothing.”

“Is that what you think?”

“It is not something I think, it is fact.”

“In that case, allow me to explain something,” said Grace with a knowing smile. “You see the recording device attached to the wall just there?”

“Of course,” he scoffed.

“Well as we speak, through that device your brainwaves are being interpreted and in a few minutes, my technicians will have garnered all the information we need.”

You are reading my mind?”

“Oh come now, it is a much more complicated process than that, but essentially, yes.” Grace sat back, a satisfied smile upon her face. “It is a much more humane method of interrogation, don't you think?” There was no reply, the man simply sat and continued to stare at Grace, as if he was daring her to read his mind at that very moment. A few minutes later though, Grace heard a low bleep in her ear as her communications device kicked into life.

“We've everything we need, Captain.”

“Thank you,” Grace replied, pushing the chair away from the table as she got to her feet. She left the room without so much as another glance at the man, closing the door gently behind her, and stopped just outside to address the two marines acting as guards. “Deal with him,” she said.

 

 

“What do we have?” Grace asked as she entered the computer lab.

“A great deal Ma'am,” one of the technicians replied with a smile, eager to please his Captain.

“Well?” She coaxed him after a few seconds' silence.

“As we suspected, the enemy in this case are not the Others, in fact they are not even human.”

“Well he certainly looked human.”

“As best we can tell, that was a projection.”

“I see, go on.”

“They do not have a name for their race, which I suppose could indicate they consider all other races including our own to be inferior,” he paused to clear his throat. “It does appear though that we entered their territory unannounced, an act they consider to be one of war. Thing is, this was twenty years ago.”

“Twenty years ago?” Grace said, confused. “Why have they not made themselves known to us until now?”

“Because twenty years ago, their race was at a point in their history equivalent to our own during the late nineteenth century.”

“That has to be bullfick!” Grace exclaimed as she carried out some quick mental arithmetic. “They squeezed fifteen-hundred years of technological advancement into twenty?”

“It is rather worrying, I agree,” the tech replied.

“Is there any way you're wrong?”

“No Ma'am, there is not.”

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Cast

Michelle Ryanas Captain Grace Ifhans
Jason Stathamas Major James Hynes
Hugh Jackman as Captain Michael Hubbard
Cate Blanchettas Captain Danielle Casper
Natalie Portmanas Captain Jane Erstwhile
Ray Winstoneas Captain Frank Holding
Chris Hemsworthas Captain William Frost
Hannah Spearrittas Emily Johnson
Tricia Helferas Captain Dihou

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