Side Story: Meanwhile on Terra I

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Text to Speech:

“I'm sorry to disturb your conference, Admiral Cayden,” I begin the call, “but there was an emergency rescue request after a Hyperdrive malfunction.”

“That's usually not a reason to ask permission, so what is special about this one?” Admiral Cayden asks.

“The shuttle in question hasn't been found yet. But analysis of traces suggest an accidental intergalactic jump in the direction of the Tamagon Galaxy. Also, it seems the long-range Subspace Communications of the shuttle are faulty. Judging from the data we have, we assume survival chances are very high, but they will be stuck in Tamagon until they are rescued.”

“Tamagon? That galaxy hasn't been explored yet. The search effort would be searching for a needle in a haystack. So you're asking permission to embark on an exploration mission while keeping the rescue efforts in mind?”

“Yes, usually, that would be the case. The situation dictates, I call you now, as you are in a conference with the other admirals.”

“That would only be appropriate if protocol requires the involvement of all of us,” another person states.

“Affirmative.”

Silence.

“That means a person related to Admiral Cayden is involved.”

“Affirmative.”

Again, more silence.

“So it's about Aster… If this wasn't a call into this conference, I'd think you'd be making a macabre joke… Please continue.”

“I regret to inform you the missing shuttle is the Speeding Kitten, which was piloted by your son Aster. I'm not completely impartial about your son, either, but it seems there's no other vessel suitable for this mission available.”

“Proceed with the rescue efforts, Captain Teemo,” an elderly person speaks up, “Admiral Cayden?”

“No, I will remain here. Thank you for your consideration, Admiral Karles.

Me joining the crew of the Orion would not help the effort. I fear the presence of my authority would even hinder it. I will have to impatiently wait for the results,” she answers.

“Thank you, we will begin preparations to embark immediately. There is one last thing, the engineer that was last working on the Speeding Kitten feels responsible for the disappearance of your son. He wants to apologize to you and request permission to join the Orion to help with the search.”

“I don't need an apology. If he really feels responsible, he should take it up with my son after you've found him.”

“You are very confident they will find him,” Admiral Karles says.

“I'm sure his good luck will keep him alive until he is found,” Admiral Cayden smiles, “about the engineer joining the crew of the Orion as a civilian worker, I believe that should be up to you, Captain Teemo.”

“I emphasize for the record: the decision to send the Orion on an exploration mission was handed off to me to avoid personal conflicts of interest.”

The other people in the room nod.

“Very well, Captain Teemo, you may proceed.”

“Thank you, Admiral Karles. I'll go ahead and prepare the ship to departure immediately.” 

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