The Anomaly of SQ-A76
4th August, 3512 AD
Another headline questioning the reasons behind the Quarantine sector only reminded Shakrii that they would only panic if they knew the truth.
She couldn’t help but minimise the news report on her apartment’s lounge display, a scoff escaping her as she finished checking she had everything she’d need before heading out. With her day off, she had taken it easy, especially after the fiasco of her and others working with the local fleet garrison to escort that passenger craft back from the zone, some jockeys trying to take tourists on a ‘wild, thrilling tour’ out in space they weren’t supposed to be in.
A part of her wanted them to go deeper, find that system that was the reason the Quarantine zone existed, but if they did it would possibly bring out further action against them if what lurked there followed their trail back, as it pledged. Even if the Kro’nogri Republic fleets amassed with the other governments, she’d been there herself to see what lay in wait, faced it.
Shakrii Dehn-Herensk wasn’t too proud a Kro’nogri that she would deny the danger of what awaited anyone that trespassed in one particular system over others.
After all, the Quarantined sector was not always off limits, but what was discovered there, and how it changed shortly after its discovery, made it the most dangerous place near Trans-Stellar Space.
She still remembered it clearly when it all began 7 months ago.
A survey ship, the LSS Hai’vres, had been undertaking a standard unmapped sector sweep, charting resources and even potential habitable worlds beyond current settled territories, operating as part of Eskai Inc.’s contract to that particular sector.
In the SQ-A76 system however, it found something more.
It was a binary star system, one brighter, blue-white Main sequence star, while the second star was a red dwarf. Both stars had ‘clouds’, signals of debris around them in unnatural, total coverage, obscuring their light enough that long range observatories noticed when they trained their sights on the system.
Around the larger star was a system of planets.
Within it was a planet, potentially habitable even by the long distance images not being fully clear, surrounded by a ring that was far too narrow and solid to be natural.
Before much else could be pictured, the probe suddenly lost its signal. Cut short or not, it was enough for the Scientific Committee to be alerted, and the Hai’vres’s crew to be grounded out of a desire to keep the secret.
As part of their contracts in being allowed to chart unmapped sectors, they had to accommodate experts sent to investigate anomalies that were discovered. If ever there was an applicant for that procedure, it was this discovery, whatever it was.
After all, there was a history of first contact or surveys of intelligent races, space faring or not, and enough incidents where protocol had been established to prevent any incidents that could be avoided.
The population of charted space, government territories or private regions, would be none the wiser as the expedition went forth. Some secrets were best kept hidden until the right moment, when they were understood better.
Some were kept hidden as a result of this knowing what it was, as became the case with what Shakrii was there first hand to witness.
Her legs ached again as her mind wandered to what happened, and she was unable to help but reminisce on it all yet again. She suspected she wouldn’t ever be over it, nor would the others she was with on that expedition no doubt, given what some of them went through.
Not fighting her memories playing out as she made her way out of her apartment, to the transit station to take her elsewhere on the station, she only hoped the others she’d meet today were faring well, those she came to befriend on that expedition, though not all of them started as well as they got on now.