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From: Adam Crozer <crozer.adam@lunalines.com>
To: Underway Reporting <quetelet@report.int.lunalines.com>
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Subject: Final report, LRPF Quetelet
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Date: 15 Sep 2421 13:42:01 +0000
Date-Local: 15 Sep 2421 13:42:01 +0000

Adam Crozer, master of LRPF Quetelet on the regular Ganymede-Luna
run, reporting to headquarters Luna Lines. A complete log dump,
including current ecliptic coordinates (ref. WAS94) and projected
vectors to intercept, will promptly follow this report as
transmitted.

Our situation is dire, with no realistic prospect of relief. To
summarize the current incident:

We departed Ganymede on schedule at 1900, 10 September, with our
full complement of crew and passengers aboard. Per instructions
from home office, shortly before departure we also embarked Amelia
Nine, Earthgov expedition support director for the Voortrekker
project, and Joel Kenyon Fredericks, a deputy military attaché
rotating home from the Ganymede mission.

Our run was initially uneventful; we passed through the outer
system and transited the belt without incident, finding Ceres
Hollow traffic control no more than ordinarily
unprofessional. While the treaty announcement of 13 September
raised tensions among crew and passengers alike, no mishap ensued.

At 1533 on 14 September, our navigation surveillance systems
reported a probable Earth naval combatant with a heat signature
indicating a hard burn to match our vector. At 1612, we concluded
that the as yet unidentified ship was shaping to match our vector,
and would intercept us well short of any circumlunar approach
lane. We adjusted course to maximize time to intercept, and the
unidentified ship adjusted her own burn to compensate. We estimated
intercept within approximately twenty-six hours.

At 1644 on 14 September, we received a hail from the ship,
identifying herself as ENS Kearsarge under Captain John
Whitlow. Whitlow instructed us to cease acceleration at once and
heave to for boarding and the arrest of the passenger Amelia
Nine. Whitlow further instructed us to send no transmissions for
any reason, whether via QEC or conventional emission, and that he
would fire into us if we did not immediately comply with his
instructions.

Given Whitlow's apparent readiness to engage in hostilities against
an unarmed civilian vessel, and further considering his highly
atypical instruction to make no transmissions, I concluded that
surrender was not in the best interest of Quetelet or her
complement.

I informed Mr. Fredericks of the situation, and asked his
advice. He at once volunteered to send and sign a message to
Kearsarge, demonstrating his presence aboard Quetelet and claiming
her under secondment to the Foreign Affairs Office, thus protected
by diplomatic immunity under the definition established by the
Earth-Luna Memorandum of Consular Understanding, 2397. We
transmitted this message at 1732 on 14 September. We have received
no response.

In following discussion, Mr. Fredericks confirmed my appreciation
of Whitlow's probable intentions. Mr. Fredericks further noted
that, in light of the recent treaty of alliance, we could at best
expect to be interned following a surrender, and that, considering
the no-communication order, he personally thought it more likely
none of us would long survive such an action.

At 1749 on 14 September, we went to maximum emergency acceleration
and again adjusted course to maximize time to intercept. Kearsarge
again adjusted to match us and further increased her own
acceleration.

Kearsarge has continued to close us, and as of now we project her
no more than four hours thirty minutes from extreme weapons
range. We have no reason to doubt that Whitlow will fulfill his
prior threat at the earliest possible time, and we have no ability
to defend ourselves from such action.

We do not know with certainty what has driven Whitlow to so
contravene the accepted usages of interplanetary law and custom,
but - following further discussion with Mr. Fredericks and Amelia
Nine - I strongly suspect his orders are, by any necessary means,
to prevent certain information now in the possession of Ms. Nine
from reaching Luna. Therefore, at the request of Mr. Fredericks,
and with the consent of Ms. Nine, I include the following:

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

I am Joel Kenyon Fredericks, most recently the deputy attaché for
military affairs in the Ganymede consulate of the Luna Free State.

On the evening of September 13, I was approached aboard Quetelet by
Ms. Amelia Nine, a citizen of Earth, with a request for political
refuge under the terms of the Lunar Declaration on Human
Rights, 2354. Being empowered to respond to such a request on
behalf of my government, and having judged Ms. Nine's reasons for
so requesting to fall within the relevant terms of the Declaration,
I proceeded at 2054 on September 13 to grant Ms. Nine's request.

Following this discussion, Ms. Nine disclosed to me information held
by her government in extreme confidence. Specifically, she advised me
that Earth's heavy spaceborne industry has recently achieved the
ability to construct armed combatant vessels equipped for superluminal
travel.

Ms. Nine substantiated this statement with copies of documents
obtained by technical means from the archives of the prototype
project. While Ms. Nine's collection does not describe that project in
complete detail, the engineering drawings and correspondence therein
suffice, in my judgment, to confirm her statements.

Based on examination of those drawings, I would provisionally classify
the prototype they describe as a corvette or gunship type. Due perhaps
to constrained generation capability, she is described as mounting no
power weapons, and only four frigate-class kinetic bombards. Her
internal spaces include eight large launch bays, each equipped to
support four LCA(H) 1180 or compatible landing shuttles.

Based on known capabilities of similar types, this ship most likely
can deploy mechanized formations, in battalion to division strength,
within two hours of arrival in orbit. However, such landings could
only take place unopposed; this ship's weakness as a combatant renders
her largely ineffectual in reducing defenses of any strength.

In particular, a ship of this type could not hope to approach within
weapons range of Luna, even via FTL drive, without being engaged and
destroyed by our planetary defenses. Should she survive long enough to
launch her boats, they would meet the same fate, inflicting minimal to
no damage on our installations in return.

However, the existence of a working Earth FTL prototype is nonetheless
frightening. I most strongly recommend this matter be discussed among
the parties to the new treaty, and that no effort be spared to obtain
dispositive information regarding her full capabilities, and the
current state of Earth's naval construction programs, particularly in
their Ganymede yards.
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If preventing this disclosure is indeed Whitlow's purpose, perhaps
he will desist when the transmission of this report proves that his
mission has failed. But I am not optimistic. Therefore, in the
interests of simple humanity, I have advised our passenger
complement of our current situation, and made available our QEC
sender for brief personal messages. We will append these to our log
dump, to be transmitted following this report.

In a similar vein: Thecla, I know you'll see this. I'm sorry to ask
it, but will you please bear the news? I'd rather it came from a
friend. Give Tim and Bertie my regrets and my love, and tell
Susanna and Marigold I'm sorry I couldn't make it home for their
birthday and they'll always be my favorite little squirrel butts.

Kearsarge is now within two hours of firing range, and continues to
ignore our hails. I will transmit this report momentarily, followed
by our log dump and our passengers' personal messages.

Of note: Ms. Nine has requested that she be placed in a lifeboat
and the lifeboat then jettisoned, in the hope that Kearsarge might
be satisfied with her capture alone, or might be diverted long
enough for Quetelet to reach safety. Given Whitlow's apparent
intentions, and the certainty that Kearsarge carries launches
capable of overhauling our own boats, I declined her request: we
all have to go, looks like, but none of us has to go alone and
afraid.

All the same - she was clearly terrified at the prospect, but she
fought for it anyway, and made us convince her it wouldn't help
before she'd concede the argument. I think that was the bravest
thing I've ever seen anyone do. Her people deserve to know that.

Finally, I wish to state for the record that my crew has performed
admirably throughout this ordeal, and I confide they will continue
to do so, right up to the end. Almost everyone is downship in the
passenger cabins right now, looking after the souls who've
entrusted themselves to our care. I didn't order that; my people
decided on their own to do it, and set to with a will. For all that
I regret we've come to this, my people could not have done me
prouder.

Adam Crozer, master of LRPF Quetelet, signing off.