Ballistic Logistics - A Spark of Hope

March 2931
BLG Valiant Pennefeather - Panther Class Pocket Carrier
Kilian System

Matthius Stormfury stood in the medical facility of the Pennefeather. Watching as his two month early daughter struggled for her life. Born prematurely, Elizabeth was fighting to live without her mother's natural help. Alexis had been brutally shot down a week ago. The private villa she'd been staying at was supposed to be secure but a black ops assassination team was laying in wait. The doctors did the best they could, but her life was beyond their control. The final result was risk losing both lives or save the daughter.

"Maybe in a few weeks you can hold her." Chief medical officer Angela Melini broke the silence. She'd seen him stand there for forty minutes, four times a day, since the child had arrived. She wondered if he'd been sleeping at all with the sudden loss of spouse and three young kids to worry about, much less an entire organization.

Shaken from his thoughts, Matthius turned. "Ah yes Doc." He wiped his eyes and composed himself. "Yes. that will be nice." He turned back once more to his daughter and whispered under his breath. "Hang in there Liz."

Matthius had already ordered a lock down of the villa as well as the Pennefeather. Everyone was at a code red status. Most of the Ballistic Logistics leadership felt this must have been an attack from the mysterious organization dubbed 'The Shadow Advocacy', but Matthius wasn't sold on that concept. He'd already been targeted at least once prior to joining the organization. Having arrived the day after the incident meant they likely wouldn't find anything from the villa, but he had to do what he could to find justice for Alexis and possibly Elizabeth.

"Executive Stormfury" he heard on the Medical facility comm station.

"Yes, go ahead." He turned and headed for the door. Already knowing what it meant, he didn't want to lose any more time.

"Director Winters has arrived and is in the briefing room." The sound of the door closing told the specialist he'd gotten the message.

The briefing room, like most of the ship was on total lock down. Belcher had taken Alexis' death hard and was over compensating a bit on the security measures. Matthius stood as two guards double checked his credentials before allowing him into the room. "No one else enters." Matthius ordered. Once they were happy with his security sweep, he entered the room.

"Yes sir." both replied in unison.

As Matthius entered he joined Specialist James Belcher, Director Rachel Winters and Specialist Omi Sakamoto.

"Matthius, I'm so sorry." Rachel reached out and gave him a hug forgetting rank for a few moments.

"Executive." Omi nodded with as much sympathy as a nod can muster.

Belcher stood at attention by the two women not saying a word. His left arm in a sling and his shoulders burdened with the weight of the world.

Matthius had been furious at first, but getting the story from the kids, James and security footage from the freelancer, he'd known Belcher had done everything he could. In fact this hit was top notch. A professional hit. Matthius knew that Belcher's actions that day had saved both his children, potentially his unborn child and damn near Alexis as well.

"Rachel..." Matthius dropped the formal command etiquette. "The details of this meeting stays between us four." He looked at each participant in turn waiting for nods from each. "Rachel I want your best people tracking the Shadow Advocacy on this." Without waiting for confirmation, he turned to Omi.

"Miss Sakamoto, I know I already owe you an extreme amount. I must request you're assistance once more. I personally asked for you. Rachel says you're hands down her best asset." Omi stood looking Matthius in the eyes, showing as little emotion as possible. For a split second Matthius thought he saw an ounce of pride. "Effective immediately, you're sole assignment is investigating this murder and tracking down the killers of my wife. Whatever expenses, whatever resources, however long you need. As of now you report directly to me." Omi bowed and stated simply. "Hai".

"I'm not convinced this has anything to do with the Advocacy and you shouldn't let that notion cloud your judgement." Omi nodded.

Matthius turned and started working towards Belcher. Halfway there he stopped and turned back to Omi. "On more thing. The Jinsoku Shi has been requisitioned and will be delivered in system in two days time. She's yours for the duration of this mission." He started to turn back towards Belcher.

"Sir?" Omi was unfamiliar with the ship.

"Yes an Origin 350R. Fully stocked and geared for speed." Matthius continued towards James.

"Belch. I know you feel responsible." The specialist fought tears. "This wasn't you're fault. If anything, I need you now more than ever. You and I have known each other for twenty five years." He put his hand on Belcher's good shoulder. "I know you did you're best."

Matthius glanced at Omi. "I need you to take Miss Sakamoto back to the sight and go over every detail. EVERYTHING." He turned back to Belcher. "Anything that can provide you with a lead to who murdered Alexis. You OK to do that?"

"Yes sir!" Belcher stood tall. "We'll get these sons of bitches."