All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2015 SJ
The Investigation Begins
written by SJ
Melinda Dion had wanted to be there on the space station to say goodby to Lana, but couldn’t. The General had promoted her to the rank of officer after analyzing the training she had had as a Federal Investigator, realizing this had made her over qualified as an Agent, but just perfect to handle a new team of Investigators, and even more so because of her Scout Marine training.
On Cornucopia, some sort of sense needed to be made out of the disorder Chaos had left behind: Where did it start? How did it start? Who started it?
She began back at the city of Pomegranate, right next to power plant six, the very place where LaFong and she had found the strange hallway, months earlier. She thought about her friend’s rank back then, Sergeant, and smiled, knowing, the next time she would see Lana, she would be an officer, like her.
Officer Dion had been given reasonable control over who was chosen for her team: There was Sergeant Nikolai Petrovsky, who immediately got a promotion to Staff Sergeant upon assignment, plus Corporal Jesse Koufax and Corporal Lucynda de la Vega, both who had served under and respected Nikolai. Melinda had asked Jesse if he knew the term Koufax, or could trace his lineage back to Old Earth to a Sandy Koufax; but he didn’t know either. She also had access to a couple Federal security guards, which she decided not to use at this time.
Jesse and Lucynda accompanied Melinda down to the city of Pomegranate in a shuttle, de la Vega piloting, something she was very good at. Only, this time, the city was more populated, more organized. She remembered the place where the militia Guardsmen’s bunker was located and went there first.
The bunker had been turned into an HQ for a real platoon of Planetary Guards, but was still a good place to start, even though none of the people she met there previously were there any longer. The power plant security guard that had escorted Lana and her to the hallway, had moved off world. The strange hallway had been filled in with cement. When Melinda learned of the whereabouts of the other man they had escorted, George Cadwallder, she went to see him while she assigned her other team members to investigate people who had had any past connection to the power plant.
After five days, neither Melinda, nor any of her team had come up with any definitive leads, no one person stuck out as acting abnormal.
General Parker had several administrative officers as part of his personal staff. Melinda had contacted them, or they her, from time to time. With her leads for the current project getting colder, she asked for some information about Major Boseman, basically, wanting to know what he had done after being dismissed from the Federal Marines, such as, most importantly--did he return to Cornucopia?
They had only a few records about his whereabouts once he was no long a Federal Marine. Apparently, he had toured several Marine bases, primarily the Omicron Rangers, but had not returned to Cornucopia. However, one file stuck out; it wasn’t that the contents of the file had anything she could use, it had his full name: Thaddeus Alpharius Boseman.
From there, Melinda and her team began looking for records of colonists with the middle name of Nehemiah. However, they found no one by that name that had been on the planet at all...that was until she ran a search of the FTL com link files.
Someone by the name of Roland Nehemiah Jones had called from the Tolstoy system and talked to a worker at power plant six by the name of Sal Wilson. However, when she tried to find Sal, he was nowhere to be found. He had disappeared, which wasn’t that abnormal since after the evacuation, quite a few people had disappeared. His body was never found.
Corporal Koufax had only a short report on Sal. At first his co-workers considered him normal, then he seemed distant for some reason...sometimes very difficult to be found, like he was hiding...which wasn’t that unusual because he normally worked alone. He didn’t seem to travel much. His job was simply: maintenance engineer.
Afterwards, as Melinda tried to find out more about Roland Nehemiah Jones, she found something much more mysterious: Shortly after he had contacted Sal Wilson, he and a team of scientists had gone to a solar system called, Beta Aquilae.
Beta Aquilae was a solar system with a G8 class, sub-giant, star. Beta Aquilae Minor, a M3 class star, orbited the sub-giant at a distance of 33.5 AU’s (approximately 4667 million kilometers). There was no colony, outpost, or life there that Melinda knew of, so it was time to call the General’s staff for more information.
Melinda talked to several staff members first, none of which had anymore information about Beta Aquilae than she did...that was until the General answered:
“Beta Aquilae, huh?” He pondered, trying to recall...then remembered something. “The Alshain Research Outpost is there.”
“You mean the sub giant has planets?”
“No, no. It’s on a planet that orbits the M class star.” He sighed. “I’m not sure if anyone’s there--and we probably can’t call them.”
Once Melinda had explained her findings about Nehemiah, the General wanted to send two destroyers to the star system immediately. However, he wanted to contact Major Yarrick first. One more day shouldn’t matter, so he told Melinda to wait, in which she responded that she had another place to investigate anyway. Afterwards, the General told her he wanted her team to go with the two destroyers...investigate the whole Alshain Research Outpost.
The other place Melinda wanted her team to investigate was the Cornucopia Marine Base. After she and her team was picked up by a shuttle and taken to the General’s command ship, where she procured a few other pieces of equipment, she had time to make a call to Camp Cheyenne.
Melinda and Lana had a nice conversation, each trying to make up for lost time. Eventually, Melinda shared the information about her recent investigation and upcoming trip to Beta Aquilae, telling her she’d send her a report of anything she found there.
At the Marine Base, there was an underground storage area, a place were three Federal Investigators had been incinerated. It was simple, the symbol for Khorne was found at all the Cultists locations everywhere they had been. Then where did Tzeentch come from? Where was its symbol?
At the Marine Base, Melinda talked with the last remaining Federal Investigator still there. He told her he didn’t remember anyone seeing the symbol of Tzeentch anywhere when they arrived months earlier, and he never went inside the underground storage area. But, he did remember Major Bosemen when he arrived with two assistants, one who found a box in one of the destroyed barracks; the box was handed to the Major and that’s the last he saw of it.
The Investigator then led Melinda to the underground storage area, where the walls were still badly singed, and where high levels of WARP radiation still remained, even though short term exposure could still be tolerated. She brought down Nikolai with her this time, mainly because he was good at taking pictures, especially those to be used in spectral analysis later.
Melinda figured, if someplace on the walls there had been something painted, a symbol, a spectral analysis might make it show up. Later that day, after dinner, they got the results: a faint symbol could be seen–-the symbol for Tzeentch.
After dinner, Corporal de la Vega had done an investigation of her own, looking into the personnel records of the Space Marine Base. There hadn’t been very many Marines assigned to the Base, mostly Engineers. Then she ran across Master Sergeant Blake Wells, the lead Engineer. She didn’t find anything unusual about him personally, but she did discover he had a relative on the planet: Sal Wilson. Someone in the nearby town of Leeds reported seeing them together around nine months earlier, Galactic time, remembering it because Blake had picked up Sal in a Land Speeder. But, what they did after that, was unknown.