From: Koenraad Gertodtenhaupt <kgertodtenhaupt@ross128-ventures.com>
To: Soloviev, Nikolaos <nikolaos.soloviev@voortrekker.com>
Delivered-To: Soloviev, Nikolaos <nikolaos.soloviev@voortrekker.com>
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Date: 06 Sep 2421 07:47:22 +0000
Date-Local: 23 Mar 2419 11:11:22 +0000
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Subject: Get your house in order

Kolya. What is going on out there?

To your earlier question: I have your reports. I don't see anything
in them that excuses such a shocking lack of concern for your
fiduciary responsibility to your shareholders and ours.

Yes, the circumstances of your landing on Ross 128 b were
suboptimal. The ship wasn't meant to crash like that. Allowances
have been made...but, speaking in all frankness here, the
information we have about the circumstances of that crash itself
gives us to question your priorities. And worse.

Look, Kolya, I'm sorry to have to say this so plainly. I wouldn't
say it at all if you didn't need to know. But our analysts, and
those over at the Expedition Support Program, have been over the
SCARS data from Voortrekker with a fine-tooth comb, and they are
unanimous that it can only be the result of extensive failures in
maintenance procedures during the trip.

Put simply, the board has begun to question your competence in your
role. Put bluntly, they think you went space-happy and got
careless, and let your people get careless, and ultimately let
seven hundred of them get killed and let the survivors get sick, go
nuts, and imperil every last cent of the billions that went into
sending you all out there in the first place.

They want to replace you. They'd have issued the orders already,
except that we haven't heard from your deputy and we don't know
who's still alive out there. They're going to hold off until they
can be reasonably sure they won't be making things out there still
worse by acting. But as soon as they can, Kolya, they'll pull the
plug on you.

Unless, that is, you get your house in order before then. You've
got a little time - but only a little. If you're going to stay on
top, you need to use that time wisely. If, when all this shakes
out, you can show the board that you've acted in their interests
and produced a result that's conducive to their investments
successfully maturing, then they'll be as positively disposed to
you as they are negatively so now.

They don't care who's in charge out there - only that whoever it is
looks after their interests. If you can show them you're doing
that, then they'll be fine letting you keep your job. But I'm
telling you right now, you'd better do a goddamned stellar job of
it. Because right now, I can tell you, there is very little worse
they could be thinking and saying about you than they already are.

Damn it, Kolya, we've worked well together in the past, and I'm
telling you this in the hopes that maybe you'll straighten up and
fly right before it's too late. This latest message from what's
left of your ship, from whoever it was who wrote all that nonsense
about love and friendship and so forth...And your private key
getting compromised! How the hell did that happen? Have you lost
all sight of security? Have you had a snowden on board for 25 years
and never realized? What is going on?

At this point we can only assume that nothing that's been entrusted
to you is safe. And I don't have to explain to you in detail why my
board finds that a frightening prospect. These are powerful men and
women, Kolya. They don't like being frightened, and they're apt to
behave rashly when they become so. Right now, they've got plenty to
be concerned about already. These treaty rumors that keep going
around - if something like that happens, it'll destabilize the
entire system. Idiot colonists thinking they can go their own way
without consequence, and the government's response is likely to be
intemperate. And on top of all that, you're scaring the hell out of
them, and that could be a problem for all of us.

Get your house in order. Do it quickly and completely. Don't let
any more weird nonsense, or any more leaks, come out of your
people. Take them in hand and keep them that way. Make sure they
understand what consequences it could have for their contracts if
they keep acting out in ways that we hear about back home. No one
cares what they get up to among themselves as long as they remember
to do their jobs and don't scare people back here. They can have
all the love-ins they want, and their families can keep getting
paid every week, as long as we don't hear about it, and they do the
work they contracted to do. Otherwise...well, it won't be a good
situation for anyone. Tell them. Make them understand.

And you get yourself in order, too. I don't know what you think
you've been doing out there up to now, but you need to remember
that discipline, as well as its converse, flows down from the
top. You've been in charge of these people for 25 years. If you
show them that playtime is over, they'll follow you.

You don't have much time. But it's enough, if you get to work right
now. I hope you will, Kolya. But you need to understand that I'll
act in the interests of Ross 128 Ventures. Don't put me in the
position of having to do something we'll both regret.

Koenraad Gertodtenhaupt
Senior Vice President, Business Development
Ross 128 Ventures, LLC
"Developing new worlds"