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Blanketed by forgiving darkness, a silence that was comfortably numbing, so silent in fact it drowned out even the noise in his head, Jason did not regret hacking into the cab controls. Halted mid section in the central spinal tubes of the Explorer he also had turned off the lights. As well as other equipment in the cab that would create either noise or light.

Just him. Alone in the dark. Weightless.

What did “We are sorry” mean? Daria’s message haunted his mind.

After the pod had returned to Explorer he had gone through the radio transmissions. An EM signature had been detected, aboard the Orion. It was the same frequency that the linkers from the Digitally Enhanced Humans initiative had used. 

Young had said that the implant had taken a lot of pressure off his mind. At the time Jason had thought that he had gotten an implant like the Explorer crew, one that regulated his reproductive capabilities, and functioned as a medical monitor. 

Now he saw it in a different light. 
Refreshed, after his zero G pause and a shower, Jacob sought out his mother. In difficult times he always sought her out. Perhaps she could provide him with insights or answers. 

“Mum?” Her office was dimly lit. A quick look at the time told him that she should be there. “Mum!?” An uncertainty clutched his heart he hadn’t felt since his childhood when he and his family were in the gardens and he had lost them. Little did he know then that he could be tracked, as well as his parents. “Locate Doctor Nye Charles.” 

At home? Grumbling he turned away from her office, in the hallway he saw her colleague Karla, whom he knew as aunt Karla. “It’s your father. He had a heart attack. But he is recouping.” She immediately recognised the look on his eyes. 

“Just give her my best wishes!” She yelled after him as he ran to the tube. A message came in on his glasses as he waited for the tube to deliver a cab to him. “Sorry about your father, hope he is recovering? Love.” It was from Daria, should he reply?

Deciding just to reply with a simple and short “Thanks” he entered the cab. Moments later he stood before his parents’ quarters. 

“Mum?” Had he uttered just that word half the day? Did he thank aunt Karla? He honestly couldn’t recall. 

“Hi honey. I thought you still were being debriefed, or I would’ve called.” She took him in her arms. “Aunt Karla told me.” He whispered, suddenly the tears shot to eyes. 

“How is he?” Sobbing at her shoulder he looked around the room. “Sleeping. Doctors said he is going to need some rest, his implant keeps them apprised of the situation.” Figuring that a more severe case would’ve been kept in the infirmary, Jason felt relived. Only a little, but still. 

His zero G experience, all the stress reliving effect it had, was wiped away. The gravity of the past days experiences weighed him down again. “I need to tell you a few things as well. Hope you can help me.” He sat her down on the couch. 
As if on hot coals, the Admiral sat in the meeting room, Louis Walsh and Harald Rüttli had just discussed the possible ramifications of the detected frequency on Orion. Afterwards the Governors had begun a similar discussion. Although seemingly relived that her fears of racism were uncalled for, Governor Mbuntu was for strict measures. Such as sending out a probe to Orion which would be emitting the suppression signal developed on Destiny and also deployed for a while in all the ships from Earth. 

“Our own constitution forbids such an action!” Governor Rostova had replied, referring to the article that stated that every other vessel has its sovereign rights, and couldn’t be subject to policy from Explorer unless it posed threat to the safety of the ship or its crew.

The other two governors were only calling in, while Ophelia had the dignity of being present in person. A meeting even more important than the discovery of Orion, and the other two governors had not come in person. 

“We must at least reactivate the suppression field on Explorer!” Ophelia slammed her hand on the table, suddenly standing. “We can’t.” Rüttli sighed, leaning back in his seat. “After all users of the Enhancement were found and rounded up, we let their devices emit the signal for a while, then turned the signal off, removed and destroyed the devices. Each individual once part of the link, is closely watched and none have relapsed.” 

Bringing up a detailed list of the frequencies he pointed to a marked section. “Running this frequency with the suppression field over our internal network would be a huge power drain. At least if we did it continuously.” Ophelia turned her head to the Admiral with a pleading gaze in her eyes. 

“Alright.” Franziska too got up. “Emit the signal, for twenty four hours. Check random bio signs from implants for signs of a comatose state.” Turning to Louis she started walking around the table. “And I want every member of the away team detained, interrogated and closely monitored. It is beyond me why and how we set them lose on this ship again after we detected that signal.” The screen went blank and dark as she left the room, Ophelia hard on her tail, leaving Louis and Harald bewildered and speechless behind. 

“Do you think this is enough, Admiral?” Stopping dead in her tracks Franziska allowed Ophelia to catch up. “Honestly, no. But it is all I can do. We don’t have enough power to run that signal continuously, without restricting other systems. And people would want to know why these other systems were shut down, or limited in functionality. Widespread panic, or at the very least paranoia would be the logical conclusion if they were told the truth. That is something we can’t have. Not while we still have to evacuate half of Ark1’s cryogenic chambers, Harpys in our back and the Orion possibly linking up to become a fully Digitally Enhanced Human ship.” First, both women knew, non essential systems would be limited in functionality, or shut down completely. The ship wide news and entertainment networks. All the backups from earth would be offline. And that was what people would feel immediately. 

Ophelia nodded in agreement. “Please, can I stay on the command centre when the suppression signal is turned on?” 

“No way. That place is off limits, but I’d like you near when we bring in the away team.” Franziska entered the tube, Ophelia with her. Both women sat down. Although each ring, especially sub alpha, had a detention center, the main brig, or cellblock, was on subgamma. Right after she had given the command, security personnel moved to detain the members of the team that had went to Orion. 

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