<< BACK TO RELAY ONE LOG From: Adam Crozer <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Underway Reporting <email@example.com> Received: from relay4.local.rs001.l4.earthsys.gov by int-03.lunalines.com for firstname.lastname@example.org with ESMTPSA id d6aY341Pf3 Received: from qec.lrpf107 by relay1.qec3.rs001.l4.earthsys.gov Subject: Final report, LRPF Quetelet Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf8" 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. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.12 (GNU/Linux) iQEcBAEBAgAGBQJcNI4QAAoJELTRYjUHvrn8N1kH/0lW+s42gaRUxtszhRb2mM8I YV80la8J8sFy58RNNx8ut9SafmSVUD2tUDkBr6vVYqC2EG8LwZJ1PWW4dX3nkPL9 SeZgzoOmMaOJQw+nA8hrSmKwx+XuGjfQp2i1dLs9SXCrXaOdZUlmr0ds8R8BaU4N X0BUJnYWk7OwQtopy/NdkDaov+8ereBhLLjLg7SLpIPRU6YrIUhvZc7CEMM/Mzd0 v/HKGX/QV2hD7qI8gFjDJgtUXMtEoadRohbDMfTCPlojuciY/o6fMSvZ+kUp2met /X0FYJhdiZeD7cFC8I8r32VoJBVmf02zeOvVRQUjs9id5FWcr7wEBjB5lz0Rwfg= =sUfE -----END PGP SIGNATURE----- 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.