Wayward Guardian

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Plans In Motion

Captain’s Quarters

Danny Hough, stood a pace back from a nervous looking James as the captain ushered them into his quarters.

‘Thank you, Commander Hough, you can go now.’

‘Sir, this goes against protocol,’ Danny protested.

‘Your objection is noted.’

‘This is more than just an objection sir, if he’s found guilty, you could be implicated in the process because of this meeting of yours. If you let me stay then you’ve got a witness to whatever happens.’ Danny said emphatically.

Howard sighed, ‘I know Danny. This is something I need to do. I’ll take full responsibility for my actions. You should write this up in the report.’

‘I’ll have to sir. I hope whatever your doing is worth it.’ with that Danny turned and left.

James looked at Howard with a look of confusion, ‘What’s going on Howard?’

‘Have a seat James.’ Howard motioned for a seat while he took one of his own, ‘We need to talk.’

‘Is it about the case? Because I’m still innocent.’

‘I know James.’

James looked shocked, ‘You know? Why don’t you say something?’

‘Because I need the real killer to believe I don’t know.’ Howard said bluntly.

‘The real killer? Then you know who did it?’

‘I’m pretty sure.’

‘Who?’

‘I believe it was Exo.’

‘What?’ James said, a look of surprise on his face, ‘How? Guardians are supposed to serve us, not kill us!’

‘I don’t know how. I don’t even know for certain that it is him. I’m going on an educated guess here.’

‘Educated how?’

‘You can tell a lot about the missing piece of a puzzle by the shape of the pieces that surround where it’s supposed to go. For the murder to have lined up so flawlessly with our coming out of a jump, a jump right into a hazardous situation, is a powerful coincidence. The fact that there are no records for exactly when this took place is another.’

‘I know it wasn’t me that killed Sam. But it could have been an accident. The forces we had to put up with from the damaged engines would have been enough to cause a failure like that.’

‘I have a few more pieces to put together I’ll grant you. With any luck, I’ll have them all in a few days and then I’ll know if I’m right.’

‘And what if you are Captain? What then?’

‘Well, that’s where you come in. You have special rights to keep working on the solar arrays because you’re the best man for the job.’

‘Yeah, but if you want me to do anything for you, get any clues or anything like that, I think you better find another man. I’m escorted everywhere. Well... everywhere except here.’

‘What I need you to do can be done without raising suspicions. Here, I’ve written out my plan, have a look at it, but that paper cannot leave this room. You need to memorise what I want to be done, and then do it.’

Howard handed James a sheet of paper. James took it and started to look over it. Howard sat in his chair in stoic silence.

James finished looking at the sheet, and smiled, ‘I think I can do this.’

...

Message waiting for transmission.

Accessing.

Subject: Repair and refuelling Craft Requested by Veil Colony.

Analysis of text body commencing...

Repair request instigated by damage to drive section.

Repair crew presence may jeopardise existence when anomalies are detected in Guardian Core.

Formulating course of action...

Overloading long range communication.

Executing plan.

...

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