Christ, you guys are paranoid. I tried to get something to you in the last drop site, and it was completely cold already. I must be losing my paranoid touch.
Well now that I know you're here, Yours Truly has been doing some digging, and last week I hit the jackpot. I nabbed not one but two high level transmissions from an ONI op hiding in his beloved decapolis, and they're full of secrets! I guess I'm not the only one failing to be sneaky.
The first was an e-mail on its way out-system via the Argo, and guess who it's for! Ironic that we're having a look at it weeks before she ever will. It was encrypted, but it wasn't very much trouble to figure out- it looks like it had to be encrypted in a hurry. The Argo was already a few million kilometers out, so I'm guessing whoever sent this wrote this just a few minutes before and really wanted it to get out before the next ship leaves system, which won't be for a couple of weeks. But that makes you wonder about its importance, right? I mean, it's important enough that it can't wait 2 weeks longer, but it's obviously not very important or they'd have taken greater pains to keep people like us from reading it, right? The message is in the next post.
Not two hours after I got my dirty hands on that e-mail, my snoops picked up an internal transmission that had "Don't Read Me" written all over it. It looks like the good doctor was dictating to a transcriber so the signal could be heavily encrypted without losing the message- fat load of good that did, cause I just recorded it and decrypted it in only 3 days. A new record? The transcript I made is after the e-mail post.
Anyway, I'm plenty pleased with myself- this stuff is gold- but what's all that about evacuation and invaders and Harvest? "Have you heard the reports from Harvest"- is there something going on over there that we don't know about? And this research of his- I'm pretty convinced they're reverse engineering alien artifacts. Hah! I knew the government was hiding this from us! Well, this is way over my head, but I know you guys like to speculate about this sort of stuff, so eat up. Oh, and don't worry about that stuff at the end of the transcript, cause I know Zephyrr, and he's no infiltration AI. Hell, I could probably break into their financial servers without that bozo even noticing. But that's just not my style.
-The Archaeologist at Scythopolis
------------------220 mailfwd.argo.shp ECMTP Sendmail 24.5.0/24.4.7; Fri, Mar 10 2530 03:31:47 -0800 (EPST)
250 mailfwd.argo.unsc.shp Hello mail.scythopolis.oniinternal.mil [76.20.610.093.2.42]
MAIL FROM: firstname.lastname@example.org
250 email@example.com... Sender ok
RCPT TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
250 email@example.com... Recipient stored
ENCR code:"The Blue Jacket"
725 Data Encryption Start
--The following was encrypted, but I decrypted it for you:
354 Enter mail, end with "." on a line by itself
Received: from stakrnl.argo.unsc.shp (stakrnl.argo.unsc.shp [154.3126.96.36.199.143]) by mailfwd.argo.unsc.shp (24.5.1/24.4.7) id TH67467H5 for <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Thu, Mar 9 2530 23:33:67 -0800 (SST)
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Date: Fri, Mar 10 2530 03:30:11 EPST
X-Mailer: Ytterbium v8.2.5
Subject: We found something
The Argo is already prepping for slipspace, but this message cannot wait for the next ship. I'll mention as few specifics as possible.
We've been tearing these devices apart for two years now, and none of us feel we're making any headway. The technology is based on completely different principles to what you and I are familiar with. Some components seem to do nothing at all, and other components seem to magically accomplish multiple bizarre functions. We're having trouble distinguishing the ornamental from the functional. I'm sorry, but the only thing I can say is that we need more time.
I also have to tell you that roughly half our personell have been reassigned, including myself. I have appointed HNK in my place, and I am sure he will do a fantastic job. The reason for this reassignment is there was an accident in one of the mines not three hours ago- miners accidentally damaged a buried artifact similar in design to those found on other colonies, and it released massive amounts of radiation. The item was contained and brought back to the lab for research, and I must say it is very exciting. The devices you had me working on are nothing compared to this item. I can't mention anything about the functionality we've uncovered so far but to say that if we could safely harness its power, this war would be over. However, I am greatly concerned, as the radiation pulse was directed upward and destroyed several satelites, which in itself will be a nightmare to cover up, but the real problem is I'm positive *they* heard it. Doctor, this is absolutely vital- I need you to send the Argo back with reinforcements to defend this planet, but noone must know about the research being done here. There are millions of lives at risk, but I am convinced that our research if uncovered would be shut down in the blink of an eye, despite its potential to defeat the invincible foe.
726 Data encryption stop
250 TH67467H5 Message accepted for delivery
251 TH67467H5 message stored
ISFD TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
252 email@example.com in-system forward confirmed
221 mailfwd.argo.unsc.shp closing connection
AMJ [05:45:50]: Zephyrr, what are the chances of the signal dissipating out system?
ZEP [05:46:42]: Virtually nil. It was a very precicely focused transmission, but this may be a good thing. Any reciever would have to be directly within a very small cone angle in order to detect the signal at any considerable range. The chances are slim that any craft happened across that field for the duration of the signal.
AMJ [05:47:54]: Well a tiny chance is still a chance. There's no question. We have to evacuate the planet. Zephyrr, outline an evacuation plan.
ZEP [05:48:46]: Just a moment.
ZEP [05:54:31]: I have sent the files to your base directory.
AMJ [05:59:12]: Zephyrr, this plan is unacceptable. We cannot wait for the danger to show itself! We have to get these people out of here well before then!
ZEP [06:01:03]: The craft in orbit have hopelessly insufficient capacity for the population here. At best, we must wait for the return of the Argo and the reinforcements which you so brazenly requested without consulting anyone.
AMJ [06:02:23]: I'll admit that, but it's our responsibility to protect the civilian population. Our defenses are strong enough, but we just can't risk millions of lives. We have to get them out of here as soon as those craft arrive.
ZEP [06:03:15]: That is outrageous and you know it. There is nowhere prepared to recieve that large a population, and your operations here would be impossible to conceal. It is possible and perhaps likely that listeners have recieved the signal, but there's no reason to assume they'd expect humans to be here. At most they'll send a cruiser with a scout team to go groundside and retrieve the object. They will not expect resistance, but they will meet the Argo along with a small battlefleet, which will reduce them to a heap of fresh industrial materials.
AMJ [06:04:45]: Zephyrr, have you heard the reports from Harvest? Even a single scout ship can pose a serious threat. I've been working on their technology for two years now, and it's clear to me that they have far superior weapons. You know this! Don't be so arrogant.
ZEP [06:05:37]: Doctor, I have reason to believe this communication may be intercepted.
AMJ [06:06:30]: Now don't you change the subject, Zeph. We don't have time to go through another fifty-six hours of security rennovations; we've got to face this issue immediately.
ZEP [06:07:22]: The bottom line is that our research may be more important than the entire civilian populations of the nearest dozen colonies, and it is that research that we must protect first and foremost.
AMJ [06:08:20]: God damnit, Zephyrr, we've been over this! What good is our research if the people it is supposed to protect are already dead?
ZEP [06:09:12]: This is no chicken and egg argument, Doctor. I have done the calculations and there are bigger concerns. This worry of "invaders" and "evacuation" is a waste of your time. I will handle the defense of this colony, as I have previously demonstrated considerable skill in this regard. In the meantime, you must continue our research so that humans will have a weapon for the truly important battles yet to come.
AMJ [06:11:23]: I suppose you're right. Zephyrr, get to work tracking down that security leak, and if anyone tapped this conversation, I want them silenced immediately.
If I were you, I'd send an email in the encrypted code. Note the date: 2530. This is about the start of the Master Chiefs fun isn't it? "present time" is around 2552 correct?
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