By Steve Karmazenuk

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We can rule out hardware failure on our end,” Kalenga said, “We’re communicating successfully with Earth. ” “As things stand now,” Bloom said, “We can’t contact the League. Nor can we locate the hyperlink beacon that’s supposed to be here. ” “There are actually one or two ways that we could do just that,” N’banga said. “The first method involves mapping out the drift patterns and gravitational fields in the Cluster, generating a model to see how they may have changed over time. If we assume the beacon was damaged or destroyed it will have drifted somewhere within the Cluster.

His office seemed more like a large private study than the headquarters of the Civilian Authority. It was, he believed, indicative of the difference between the civilian and military mindsets. Santino felt that the military was about strategy, calculation, control…he still remembered his run-in with Colonel Isaac Jude before the Ship unearthed itself. Jude had been ready and under orders to kill every last man, woman and child who knew about the Ship. Had it not unearthed itself, had news of its existence not been leaked over the World Grid, Jude very likely would have succeeded.

The idea of living under a military ruler in deep space was not one that Santino found particularly appealing. A series of chimes sounded loudly from Santino’s console. He turned away from his window. A Ship-wide announcement had been transmitted and was ready for playback. Santino sat down and keyed up the message. As if thinking of her had invoked her, the playback was from Colonel Margaret Bloom: Colonel Margaret Bloom Good morning ladies and gentlemen. We are now four days away from reaching Heliopause, the point at which the solar system ends and deep space begins.

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