The Fall of Terra #5: Black File


Encrypted Message

——————————————————————————————————————

SENDER: General Madsen, Navy Intelligence

RECIPIENT: High Admiral/First Star Lord Sansky

MESSAGE ORIGIN: Navy Tower, New Terra

MESSAGE RELAYED VIA: Navy Communications Relay Network

TRANSMISSION SENT: 24/04/4025ad

TRANSMISSION RECEIVED: 25/04/4025ad

 

Raymond,

I have found something you might be interested in.

This transcript is of a video file discovered during the purge of Kombat 3899’s agents in Navy Intelligence after the War.  The file has been classified as ‘Black’ and is Top Secret under Navy Regulation 567-Alpha, so please keep it locked away.

I have sent you the video itself in a separate message for security’s sake.

I hope this proves useful to you, Raymond.

Your friend,

Micah Madsen.

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Digital video created: 12/01/3900ad

Transcription created: 31/01/4025ad

 

Room covered in shadows, only the small table and chairs visible in the dime overhead light.  This is clearly an intentional, and rather common, interrogation technique to unnerve prisoners, suspects, and interviewees.

The ‘prisoner’ is brought in and dumped harshly into one of the two chairs, his hands cuffed behind him.  The man has been positively identified as Lenson Gardner, a Lieutenant in the Army at the time of this recording.  Another man, positively identified as Fleet Admiral Jameson Kombat, sits down in the opposite chair.  He is, despite the calamity that had occurred only two weeks before, remarkably well groomed.  At the time of the recording, he was commander of 1st Fleet and survived the destruction of Navy Headquarters when the asteroid hit Pyongyang.

As his name suggests, he may well be the founder of Kombat 3899, and benefactor of the racist Terra Defence League.

 

Jameson Kombat:  “Afternoon, Lieutenant Gardner.”

Lenson Gardner:  “Sir.”

 

JK: “Do you know why you’re here, son?”

LG: “No, sir.”  (Shifts uncomfortably at the use of ‘son’.  Through public records, we have discovered that his whole family was wiped out when the asteroid hit Terra).

 

JK: “You were there weren’t you?”

LG: “Sir?”

 

JK: “On Terra, Lieutenant.  You were there when the asteroid hit, weren’t you?”

LG: “Yes, sir.  I was visiting my family in Indiana.”

 

JK: “Vacation?”

LG: “No, sir.  My mother was terminally ill; my regiment’s commander told me to attend to it.  I was… not given a choice, sir.”

 

JK: “Families can be difficult, can’t they?”

LG: “Why am I here, Admiral?  I can’t imagine you wanted to discuss my poor family relation skills.  No offence, sir, I’m an infantry officer, I don’t fall under direct Navy purview.”

 

JK: (Smiles) “This is not a court martial, Lieutenant Gardner.  This is what you might call a recruitment drive.  (LG looks confused)  “We have been watching you, Lieutenant.  Your views on Terran superiority are of great interest to us, as well as your application to Navy Intelligence.”

LG: “I only said that Terrans shouldn’t be an interstellar joke, at the bottom of the pile.  We should be leading the way, not stagnating.”

 

JK: “A noble sentiment.”

LG: “You said recruitment.  If not the Navy, then who?”

 

JK: (Pauses for over twenty seconds.  We are sure he is considering how much he should tell LG) “Our… group has been in existence for centuries, even before humanity’s exploration of space.  Once, long ago, we were known as Templars, but now we are fully embedded in the very fabric of Terran society.  We are powerful, Lieutenant, but our numbers have dwindled over the years.  With the asteroid hitting, this has become untenable.  We have all agreed to invite you to our group.”

LG: “What would be expected of me?”

 

JK: “Your usual duties, although you’ll have greater responsibilities.  You’ll be asked to carry out certain tasks as well as more opportunity for promotion.  And of course, we will fast track your transfer to Navy Intelligence if that is what you desire.”

LG: “Sounds interesting.”

 

JK: “Think on it, Lieutenant.  We are, after all, eternal.”

LG: “I don’t need to, sir.  I’ll join you all the way.”

 

JK: “In Terra’s name.”

LG: (Nods enthusiastically) “In Terra’s name.”

 

JK: (Claps his hands together, and gestures for someone to release LG’s cuffs.  We are still unsure as to why this was necessary in the first place, JK could have ordered him to attend the meeting rather than forced LG.  Perhaps it was a show of power?) “Excellent, Lieutenant.  Now, tell me how you escaped Terra; I understand it was extremely difficult.”

LG: (Nods) “Certainly, sir.  I was visiting the Iowa Glass Fields to get away from my family for a few hours—”.

 

 

The file cuts out here, presumably because of irrelevance, or more likely the camera was switched off, though we are unsure why that would be.  Perhaps Gardner’s escape from Terra was classified?  If it was, it is not recorded anywhere in public record, not even file numbers.

 

The conclusion from this meeting is terrifying from an intelligence and political standpoint, despite the War and the purge of Kombat 3899’s agents recently.  If these Templars were still around during the fall of Terra, is it possible they are still here now?  At the moment, they have Terra’s best interests (as well as their own) at heart, but what if they are infiltrated by an outside aggressor?  It has happened before, with the entity known only as Gold.

 

Will we ever be rid of Kombat 3899?  And why did they latch so all-consumingly on the destruction of Terra?

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