A Mysterious Rendezvous: Part II

April 2915
Kellog System

Omi Sakamoto stood by the Gladius checking fuel levels, weapon systems and various other meters doing a routine post flight check. The enemy agent had arrived just like the encrypted transmission she'd received a week prior stated. Her mission priorities had been altered with that transmission to determine the purpose of the agents visit. She could see in the distance that the agent had stopped by Commander Stormfury, Lt. Commander Pennefeather and chief tech Linsen.

She watched intently, pretending to be interested in all the bells and whistles of the unusual ship. The tense expression on the commander's face suggested he had encountered this agent previously. Her mission briefing mentioned a few details about the commander's past but nothing that suggested he might be an agent or loyal to the other side.

later that evening...

Omi spent a few hours looking over the ship for any secret compartments or intel she could get off the ships CPU, but there simply wasn't anything there. Now she'd decided to take a different approach. Captain Faulk had been invited to Vice Admiral Bennett's quarters and her guise as Liu Yang Technician allowed her far more access to the ship than she'd ever imagined. She manoeuvred herself into the crawlspace just beyond the main corridor and beside the Vice Admiral's quarters. Quietly and with the smallest of light sources, she removed the wall panel. A series of wires for various systems were now exposed. Omi attached an earpiece to a series of wires granting her clear listening to the entire suite.

"...cost us a lot in Osiris." She caught the tail end of Bennett's words.

"Rest assured Vice Admiral, he will not be a thorn in our side after tomorrow. I've got a man alre..." Bennett cut off Faulk. "No details. I trust that you'll take care of it and Commander Matthius Stormfury won't leave Vendetta." Bennett let out a chuckle. "Rather fitting Vendetta, don't you think." Both men let out a good laugh. Omi sat and listened for ten more minutes as the two had idle conversation and dinner, when she finally got the nugget she desperately sought.

"Tomorrow's rendezvous has been all set up. You're mission is simple. You'll pick up the package from our contacts and bring it back to the Mantis. We'll refuel you and you proceed to our man on Sol." He paused. "I cannot stress, Tony, the importance of this package to our cause."

"Fear not Matthius won't disrupt our efforts a second time!" Faulk countered.

Omi quickly removed her headset and replaced the panel. She had to do something to figure out what this package was. Perhaps she could put a locator beacon on the Gladius and pass on the news of what she'd found. No that wouldn't be enough, she thought. Perhaps a camera in the Gladius's cargo bay or a device to record sensor sweeps. Surely he'd have counter measures to those and she couldn't risk her cover. Proceeding down the main hall, she found herself at the door to hangar when she heard a loud crash echo throughout the bay. Someone had dropped a wrench or some other tool. Only it was far to late in the night for techs to be doing legitimate work. Faulk had mentioned another man...

Quickly, she slipped behind a Tough-Guy storage container just inside the hangar bay. She couldn't risk being spotted but needed more information. Her vantage point wasn't the best, but she could make out a figure by one of the Hornets. Matthius's F7A - 'Ghost Dragon' to be exact. She watched and waited for what seemed an eternity as the man finished up something near the rear of the war machine. After another couple of minutes, he replaced a hand full of tools and exited the hangar bay on the other side. Omi waited fifteen minutes to be certain he wouldn't return and that no one else would. Peering at her watch, it showed 3 AM. She only had another hour or so before the morning crew would begin pouring into the hangar. Omi had to act now and quickly.

It had taken her fifteen minutes, but she finally found it. A small explosive device attached deep within the Hornet's main thruster. The device would have taken out both the hornet's main engines and it's jump drive. Matthius would have been stranded at best, if not dead and all from a remote device, she assumed Faulk possessed. The explosion could easily be explained as combat damage. It took Omi twenty minutes more to remove and disable the device costing her a chance to deal with Faulk's Gladius but her original mission was keeping an eye on the Commander. Tonight that took precedence.

Later that morning...

"Mantis, coordinates locked in and we're ready for jump." Matthius waited for clearance from the bridge of the frigate.

"Commander, you're clear to jump and happy hunting." The flight deck command staff responded.

"Stay close Karis." He sent a direct communique only she could receive. "We are clear and ready to jump on you're mark SIR" Matthius switched over to the general frequency.

"Mark" Faulk responded.

Matthius was first to exit the jump at the designated coordinates. Immediately his shields spewed bits and ripples as warning klaxons went off.

"Warning Collision detected" His computer protested.

Matthius gathered his bearings quickly. They'd entered Vendetta in a debris field. Millions of bits and pieces of ship debris were causing a spectacular light show against his hornets shields. Just Ten meters in front of him were the remains of a Merchantman.