Star Force

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-05-10
  • Publisher: Textstream
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DISCOVERY (Chapter 1, page 1) Commodore Admiral Ruric Andor peered over the colorful display of graphics before him on the control console aboard the bridge of Earth Colonies Starship Centaurus, now launched precisely 12.3 days from Starbase Proxima at .5x light-speed ion hyperdrive. The multi-colored splashes of light washed across his mature face as he studied the data intently from computer graphics, charts, and information analysis. He frowned, his furrowed brow crinkling with lines of age above his bushy eyebrows and intent, steely dark brown eyes. He stroked his graying beard, attempting to make some sense out of his findings. The Admiral of Earth's first deep-space combination battle cruiser and space colonies task force fleet, code-named "Mission Star Search", looked thoughtful for another moment, then spoke into his communications headset. "Commander Jordan of the Arcturus, please. Laura! Top priority!" A disembodied female metallic voice replied, "Yes! Right away, sir!" The voice was that of Com-Link Laura Antonucci, followed by a computer-generated, modulated voice droning: "Acknowledge: cleared for transmission/data entry on Security Level 1 Priority alert. Proceed..." Commander and Vice-Admiral Nicholas Jordan's visage soon appeared on the viewscreen before him. Andor was a forty-year veteran of the Space Force, and Jordan was a young cadet in the Space Academy when Andor was already commanding missions. "Yes, Ric?" he inquired. "What's up? On alert status again, we see." Andor was courteous but firm, as a veteran fleet officer is predisposed to be: he gets his message across with lightning speed, but misses no hint of official decorum: "Nick, I'm afraid we've got a serious problem with radiation shielding in Engine Compartment C-9. Our engineers can't seem to account for it yet. Will advise you of our condition on priority status when we have more info. I really don't know what to make of it. We've been in deep space now for roughly 12 days without incident, and now this. You'd better run all the usual diagnostic scans on your vessel as well, and see if you come up with anything similar." "Have you determined point of origin of this radiation leak?" Nick inquired. "Negative, Nick. I'll have our technicians working double-shifts on this one, if need be. Will advise later if we have a breakthrough. Meanwhile you can check our data access files for your cross-checking routines and any updates. See you later. I'm on my way to the Command Lounge," Andor replied. Nick fired back a customary no-nonsense response: "Right you are, Andor. Will check our shielding throughout the ship, and especially at all vital areas. We'll do cross-checking for breaches in the corresponding chambers affecting the same sector of the Arcturus. Will relay anything we find to Yolanda. Jordan out." Ruric lifted his two fingers in the cautionary signal, and said urgently: "One more thing -- keep your robots on high alert status." warned Andor. "It might keep your technicians from going crazy in case we have to go to Red Alert. Andor out."

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