Meddlers In Time- The Cockatoo River Incident
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All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or otherwise able to take legal action against me, is purely coincidental.
All the names were pulled out of my memory and applied more or less at random. You ain't that character just because you share a first name and a trade.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
The Cockatoo River Incident
Throughout the Empire of Man there are many great memorials to the fallen. On the planet of Yalumba there is one of the smallest, yet the events leading to its creation, history has shown to be the most pivotal in the course of the empire.
In the Ikuntji province, exactly 847 meters from the Cockatoo River Mission bell tower, there is a small knoll. The grape vines now have been cleared for 200 meters around. Circling the top is a simple tall hedge of Acacia. Within the hedge is a circular grass lawn. Around the border of this lawn are 47 simple crosses- half a meter high and iridium plated. At the center of the Lawn are 16 similar but smaller crosses, grouped together in four rows of four. The single gateway of wrought iron has no decoration but a single word.
This is the story of the events leading to what is now known as 'The Cockatoo River Incident'.
The day the Empire realized that 'Live and let live' was no longer an option...
Cockatoo River Incident Memorial
Jenny and Wayne quietly walked out of the inner circle of the memorial- a place that few were ever permitted to stand upon the lovingly cared for lawns. They took up position in front of the Imperial flag and saluted as it was lowered to the strains of the Last Post. As the guard party marched off towards the mission, they stood for a while in silent contemplation.
"Never forget how much worse it would have been without you" said Wayne.
"I tell myself that every time I think about it. Not that it helps much..."
21 years previous (Empire time line)
“I've done some weird shit, but this beats it all.” said Jenny- now inhabiting a four-year old child's version of her body.
“This is just like having the baby sister I always wanted.” said Sonja laughingly, picking Jenny up and spinning her around.
“You need to find a man and make babies.” said Jenny. “Now put me the hell down before I get in character and pee all over you.”
Transit Station Ready Room
"Good luck- things are going to be a bit hairy until the Marines take control" said Wayne.
Jenny waited next to the portal area dressed in flimsy silk and makeup- this prostitute's garb looking disturbingly incongruous on her young body. “I plan to act like my apparent age and hide under the bed- I hope those marines aren't too trigger-happy.”
“No worries there- those boys like to take slavers alive- all the better for tossing out the airlock.”
“Gate in ten seconds” said Sonja. “Time to get in character.”
Jenny stepped through to the (empty) captain's cabin of the 'Golden Caravan'.
Heavy Destroyer 'Wotan's Fury'
'Four Hour Warning- Normal space in four hours' sounded the intercom.
Captain Jamieson scanned his messages, then took a quick shower and put on a fresh uniform- along with the now traditional splash of Old Spice. Time for a quick tour about the ship before taking the helm for the battle. Outside his cabin, the duty officer was waiting.
“What's on the trouble sheet?” said Captain Jamieson.
“Two marines on the sick list- I gather they got carried away with close quarters training, Sir” said Ensign Johnson.
No doubt Lieutenant Eichmann has already dealt with them, thought Wayne.
“Nothing operational Sir”, said Johnson, handing over a tablet.
Wayne scrolled down a list of minor faults- all under action. Just the usual house-keeping repairs.