Birth of a new Order

October 2941
Unmarked Merchantman
Sol System

Matthius stood watching through the glass window. Pure exhaustion had set in. Peering from the negotiating room down into the cargo bay, the remnants of Ballistic Logistics had been corralled into a small fleet of ships, including the Merchantman and Reclaimer acquired from Relen's father.

Down in the cargo bay, the Merchantman had been converted into a makeshift hospital. Various cots separated by cloth dividers were spread across her bay. One particular cot had Matthius' attention. Long time companion, James Belcher lay mostly still while waiting for re-constructive surgery on over 60% of his body. The medical bed and supporting apparatus looked out of place, but Matthius knew a roaming fleet was the safest place for his people on this day.

To Belcher's side, sitting in a wooden chair and holding his hand tightly was ten year old Elizabeth; Matthis' daughter. He hadn't had a chance to speak to her yet, as they'd just boarded the vessel.

For over three weeks, the remnant ships and personnel were being patched together into a roaming fleet. Primarily made up of support vessels, the few military assets were finding long hours and constant rotation.

Matthius stood, still peering through the window, arms behind his back. The door to the chamber opened and an equally exhausted Relen Gedeon entered the room along with a dreary eyed Rachel Winters. She obviously hadn't slept in days and had more things on her mind than Matthius could imagine. Relen to his credit looked as if he had made the effort to freshen up a bit.

"Executive.." Rachel started.

"It wasn't you're fault Rachel." Matthius cut her off.

"I.." She started as Matthius turned to face her.

"It wasn't any of our faults. You have to believe that." He urged. "Sundavold was in place before either of us achieved our positions. His web was deep and something we'll strive to avoid in the future." He peered at Rachel, who was fighting back tears.

Matthius stretched his hands in front of his body, removing the tingle of sleep as he'd held them in one place too long. Turning to Relen, he continued. "All of us were played by Sundavold, your father, etc."

For the first time, Relen thought, Matthius looked defeated.

"I'm ju.." Matthius paused a few moments to recompose his thoughts. "Humanity isn't capable of saving itself. There simply is too much greed, deceit and anger in human nature."

Both Relen and Rachel stood in shock. Despite all he'd endured and survived through, Matthius appeared to have given up.

"Matthius" Rachel nearly whispered.

He turned to Rachel and back to Relen. "We have to try something new, something different. Our previous approach simply isn't working. We need something smaller, more focused." Matthius could see the relief in both their faces, and a spark of something more in Relen Gedeon's eyes.

"Ballistic Logistics is dead as we know it." Matthius let out, a sense of relief over taking him as he said what everyone already knew.