Approx. 1300 words
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2015 SJ
Investigation at Terra Aurigae
written by SJ
Major Taliaferro had known Lana was ready to take on Special Ops missions well before she became Level 3. About one month after she had past the test, the Major met with her in his office on the hill.
He began: “I think you already know that since the incident on Tolstoy, medical personnel all over the Sol Frontier have been learning how to detect WARP Worms in people’s brains.”
Lana nodded, adding, “and how to remove them, I’ve heard.”
“Well, the equipment and training for that will take much longer. Right now, it’s rare.” He prepared to continue. “Anyway, on Terra Aurigae, in the Psi5 Aurigae system, a man and a woman got arrested for making a disturbance. They were from a wealthy part of town so their lawyer got the charges dropped just as long as they paid for the damages, and they both got medical exams. Well, to make a long story short, during the exam, the medical personnel decided to test the new equipment for finding WARP Worms, not really expecting to find anything. At first everything was fine, but as soon as they started picking up a positive result, they panicked. Needless to say, they were scared. They let the couple go, and the next day they reported it.”
“How many Worms did they find?” Lana asked.
“They have no idea. Once they found something, they stopped and let the man and woman go.”
She thought a second. “Who did they report it to...local police?”
The Major nodded. “The police went to investigate, but ended up talking to their lawyer, who said, since the couple were released from the hospital with nothing medically wrong with them, there was nothing they could do.” He shrugged. “Plus, it’s understandable, even the police were scared. They’re not trained to deal with Chaos or the WARP.” He made a short chuckle. “And...apparently the couple have an ogryn for a butler.”
“An ogryn?” Lana was curious.
“I hear they’re native to that planet...out in the country. Not too many in the city.”
“Is the General going to send a destroyer or anything?”
The Major shook his head. “No. With an incident as small as this, we have no right to send a warship.” He shrugged. “It’s still possible the medical personnel simply made a mistake. It was the first time they used the equipment.”
Lana nodded in agreement.
“Your team right now is Dion, and I would suggest you take Sergeant Ramcke. The information about the incident is already on file for you to study; there’s not much to it. Sergeant Dakota will be here late tomorrow to pick you up.
Lana smiled at the thought of meeting Jennifer again.
He smiled, back. “I thought you’d like that.” Then he continued. “Yarrick gave us a small corporate yacht on loan. It should get you there in about three days. You should all take your combat gear with you, but don’t take it down to the planet unless you get authorization.”
The next day, at a little past midnight, the yacht landed on a small, civilian-part of the airport on Thunderhawk Mesa. Lana and Jennifer were glad to see each other again, and even more so, to be on a team investigating the WARP. This was the first time Jennifer had met Hank, but she was sure they’d get along fine. As for Melinda, she had already met Jennifer while they were on the space station at Cornucopia.
The corporate yacht that transported Lana’s team to Psi5 Aurigae was just about as fancy of a spaceship any of her team had been on. And, according to Yarrick, this was one of the lower class yachts. However, they were not there to enjoy the ride.
The first affair that had to be handled was politics. Melinda was perfect for the job. By now, the Planetary Governor and Planetary Corporate Board of Directors had been notified about the WARP incident scan, making them the first people they contacted.
Terra Aurigae was mostly populated by Tau and Terran/Tau (crossbreed), with Terrans being the minority in the urban areas. In the country, there was a small community of ogryns, a native life form that during the initial colonization had become very friendly with the Terrans, eventually becoming a known, but small race in the Galactic community.
So far, very few people on the planet knew about the positive WARP Worm scan. In this case, the incident was being kept quiet because, as Melinda had explained in an earlier communication, they were still not sure whether the scan had been done correctly, a point even the hospital personnel had come to agree with. After Melinda tactfully explained to the Planetary Governor, and then the District Governor, that three other members of her team would come down and investigate, they gave them their full support and permission.
The District had access to only one team of four Tau Pathfinders, reservists, plus one Piranha Light Skimmer. None of them were on duty currently; but, at the Governors request, the team’s sergeant made himself available, saying he’d try to contact the other members, when, and if, the scan turned out to be positive. As for the Skimmer, it was in the shop.
The first place Lana’s team need to go was the hospital were the initial scan was performed, located in a sizable city by the name of Pech Garnell. However, they quickly learned that only the woman had been scanned, and since it hadn’t been completed, any record of it was not saved, and therefore lost. But, they did get the name and address of the couple.
The woman was a Terran/Tau by the name of S’hawna Morgan. The man was a Terran, Randal Thomas. They had been living together for about eight years in a small mansion located in a type of rolling-hills-estates part of town. Next, Lana’s team went to the police to find out what had happened, why they had been arrested:
Apparently, they had been on the street ranting about some kind of treasure being located underneath the city. When people started complaining, there was a commotion, which resulted in some property damage. When the couple's lawyer showed up, he made a deal so that they didn’t get charged with a crime. Any damages were paid for, and the couple went to the hospital for some medical scans. Once they had left, they apparently returned to their mansion and hadn’t been seen since.
When the police heard about the finding of the WARP, two of them tentatively paid a visit to the mansion where they were met with the lawyer right away. He told them the incident was closed, and that they didn’t want to speak with police. The last thing the police said was that the mansion, from the outside, looked normal (no signs of Chaos), and that they didn’t see an ogryn anywhere.
Next, Lana decided to try and call the lawyer. It was possible that once he learned about the WARP scans, he would be able to convince the couple to get a second scan. However, the lawyer couldn’t be reached. Later that day, Jennifer was dropped off at a strategic, covert, location in the hills that overlooked the mansion from behind, hoping, if the WARP was present, she would be able to detect it with her special ability.