Caerus – The Hunt: Part II

Excerpt from the voicelog of CMDR Anais Furieux

The assigned task given to me by the Freedom Party of Caerus is complete.  The FPoC had better be forthcoming with the promised information on my brother’s whereabouts. It was not as simple a mission as anticipated and it did not come without trouble. Detailed deep scans of all three nebulae and their surrounding areas have been successfully logged. I have to admit that under different circumstances the expedition may well have been a joy and a wonder. Sadly, throughout the trip my mind was plagued with worry for Deu, ruining what could have been a wonderful trip full of discovery and enlightenment. The Delicate Heart is a magnificent ship, most assuredly a step up from the battered old Sidewinder that belonged to my grandfather. I wonder if the Hazy Jane is still docked in some backwater station. His Orca, while not ideally suited for long distance interstellar travel handles well for such a large vessel and the on board facilities are definitely suited to and high ranking officials and VIP’s.  My only gripe is that it feels…so empty. ‘ All fur coats and no knickers’ to quote my brother. Still, she got me where I needed to be, and at the very least I feel closer to Deu when on board. Maybe its because the style of the hull and interiors are so pretentious, perhaps it’s because the cockpit smells of liquor, but I sense him everywhere.

My objectives had taken me out to the Pleiades, Hind and Pencil Nebulae, and the Delicate Heart carried me there and back without a hitch. The ship’s jump range is far from perfect and having to adjust for some sixteen light year hops was a bit of a pain. Refueling the tanks was the stuff of nightmares.  On leaving the edges of civilized space I felt some pangs of nervousness setting in which conversely only served to steel my resolve. Even by the time I had reached Hyadum I, the feeling of isolation was acute. I was no explorer. Ramirez was right. I was a board room batchelorette. A conference room queen. Far more suited to number crunching in bull pens or absent-mindedly flicking through the Galnet finance channels. However, what I had to do didn’t involve choice. The FPoC had offered information ‘acquired’ from one of their prisoners, Amir Raj, no doubt via some horrific and ghastly means. As is the norm in this age there was a price to pay, however. Backscratching and double dealing are no strangers to me, it is after all what I do on a daily basis back home in Zeta Tucanae. Corporate pandering and ultimatums. Just another symptom of this hard, cynical, dog eat dog galaxy that we live in. There is no such thing as charity. No truth in kindness. Love exists, but is cheapened to almost material levels. It is bought, sold, lent and borrowed, just like the stellar data I am to gather for Nandez. A universal commodity. Ironic. Have I become just as mercenary as Deu lately, or have I always been so?

None of it really matters. The survey is done and I am merely fifteen light years from my return to Caerus. I’ll be putting the ship in for repairs as soon as I dock on Popov and I hold hope in my heart that the Freedom Party supply me with answers. I know my brother is alive. I can feel it. I just need direction. Wandering these lush but empty cabins of his Delicate Heart, I am reminded that my brother isn’t always the cool, cocky, happy-go-lucky soul he attempts to project to his peers. There is a darkness in him, a depth inherited from ancestry that he knows nothing about. Often, my own guilt in hiding the truth is too much to bear, and I have recently begun to think more and more about relinquishing that burden from my shoulders.  Selfish, I know, but selfishness is, at least, something that my brother and I share.

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