Like stars in the far off distance, various controls and lamps on the control panel lit up from time to time, only to darken again.

Since the Harpies had left the Horizon to warn Destiny, almost a week had passed, a week of ongoing repairs, and in between repairs of mind numbing boredom. 

No news from the Harpies, no sign of the DEHumans, not even transmissions from Explorer or Destiny, even though longrange communication was routed through the new whisker probes.

“Miss Mulgrew, where is the Admiral?” Startled Jane took her eyes off the panel before her, turned to security chief O’toole.

“He didn’t ?” Not ending her question Jane closed her eyes in disbelief. O’toole was the head of sefurity for the entirety of the ship, and the Admiral hadn’t informed him?

“He is on vacation. I have no clue where he is right now. Nor will he be reachable via intercom, he left all of his devices.” With her head she pointed at the door to the adjacent room. “Didn’t he tell you?” 

“Obviously he neglected to do so. Otherwise I wouldn’t need to ask you, Ensign.” O’toole didn’t shroud his disdain for Jane’s rushed battlefield promotion. “Who is acting commander of the Horizon?”

Running her finger along the edge of her console, and inspecting it for dust afterwards, Jane kept her mouth shut. “Lieutenant Fohler!” O’toole raised his voice to draw the attention of the communication officer. But she kept silent as well.

Sighing a silent prayer O’toole turned to his station. “So,” he ground his teeth, “acting commander Mulgrew. Sit rep!” 

“Repairs are underway a little ahead of schedule. All entryways to the now non existing compartments on beta are being welded shut. Some of the pods we formerly had as a buffer are now being converted into habitable rooms. Otherwise, there’s nothing to report, sir. Handing over command to highest ranking officer in the command centre, sir.” 

Again sending a silent prayer to the heavens around the ship O’toole thanked her. Although he knew that she hadn’t done anything wrong, or illegal to ascend to her current position and rank, O’toole felt left out, like Jane’s peers, who were still a rank beneath Jane. After Joleen Jenkins had defected to the DEHumans, he should have been promoted to first officer, but instead there had been no promotion, and a private was promoted to Ensign, and placed in the position of the first officer.

“I am receiving a message, sir.” Lieutenant Fohler explained a sudden beeping noise on her console. 


“It’s a Harpy signal, text only. Judging by the signal degredation it appears to be old, very old.” 

Already not in the best of moods O’toole closed his eyes to remain calm. “Can you specify that?” 

“No sir, between four and five hundred years old. It is currently running through translation.” 

“Ensign,” the Lieutenant commander turned to Jane. “Please analyse that signal, once translation is complete, if necessary, talk with Hylia.” 
14th Shekray, 3221 after Digitalys settlement. Daxa.

We have successfully spliced the genes of all our crops with sequence 531. Widespread implementation has begun, predicted crop yield is at 90%, with a predicted 95% mortality rate among pests, and weeds.

I can’t wait to witness it with my own eyes, finally the bugs won’t eat my Arratis, and the indigenous plants will be susceptible to herbicides that won’t touch my Arratis.
It was damp and dark in Hylia’s quarters, her two children sat in a corner, reading some human literature that they were interested in. Other media didn’t seem to interest them as much. But that might be because Hylia had raised them that way.

“Welcome to our home, I hope it is something absolutely not life threatening that brings you here.” The elderly Harpy seemed to be in a jolly mood, perhaps because she had a chance to alter the climate in her quarters.

Or because she finally felt vital again after constantly fending off the DEHuman network trying to pull her in. 
“We are receiving some sort of signal.” She handed the harpy a tablet. The jolly mood seemed to fade away, a more stern expression replaced it.

“The Digitalys logs.” Although the computerised voice was monotone and emotionless, the sounds that Hylia made sounded anything but jolly. “Sent as an analogue signal, to keep it from too much degradation. It will take you some hours to receive all of them, but they’re worth reading.” Glancing over to her children who had begun listening to them instead of reading, Hylia request a copy for them to read.

“Digitalys, has become a synonym for a cautionary tale in our culture. I won’t spoil it any further for you.” Hylia handed the tablet back.
23rd Shekray, 3221 after Digitalys settlement. Daxa.

Softly the blossoms of the Arratis swayed in the wind, under a forgiving sun. Scientists crawled around the field in protective suits, to keep their samples from getting contaminated with any feathers or scales. 

Somewhat satisfied Daxa looked over her field. For years she had tried to fend of the bugs, and for years they had eaten up to half of her crops. For just as many years the indigenous plant life had been competing with her crops, but herbicides also killed the Arratis. 

Now, there was nothing to see but the Arratis blossoms in the afternoon breeze that came in from the ocean. “Thank you for letting us collect the samples. We’re off.” 

“It is I who must thank you. Less fertilisation, irrigation, no pesticides and simply spraying herbicides onto the weeds, It is truly me who must thank you.” 

The wo,man in the environmental suit smilingly shook her head. “Sequence 531 is to thank, we’re just making sure it does work properly.”

Thinking that she and the other farmers would’ve told the scientists and the matriarchy about any problems, Daxa just nodded.

“This is the future, my dear.” Daxa turned to her mate who was preparing a small robotic tiller for another field. “I guess, my love.” He winked. 
7th Hakiray, 3279 after Digitalys settlement. Goraka.

Cold light filled the room, shining down on testing equipment and computer pads. 

“Begin log.” A relatively young harpy entered the room, she seemed aggravated. “For some fifty years we have deployed the spliced crops. It had begun some five or ten years later that farmers reported weeds and bugs adapting. I brought this matter before the matriarchy of Digitalys, but they threatened me with revoking my status within the scientific community.” Carefully she picked up a test tube with samples of the Arratis fungus in it. Theoretically the fungus should’ve been wiped out with the deployment of sequence 531, but still it had not only survived, but adapted and grew around the roots of Arratis. 

“I hold in my hands irrefutable proof that the flora is adapting to the changes we introduced. I also have genetic evidence of the gobbler bug developing an immunity to sequence 531.” She put the tube back into the shelf she had taken it out from. “Going to need more evidence apparently, until they can’t ignore me anymore. End log.” Breathing heavily she stood over the notes on her desk, but turned away. 

A long day was lying behind her. At the present moment she simply didn’t have the mind to go back to work.
“How was your day?” Immediately after settling down for dinner, Jane’s long time boyfriend Wolfgang Peters asked. He always asked.

Mostly Jane adored it. 

That day she was annoyed by it.

“It was okay. All I’ve been doing was reading. Ancient Harpy logs from some colony of theirs.” She picked up a piece of meat with her fork. 

Lab grown meat, stem cell beef, the generation who had once lived on earth called it. She couldn’t believe that there was another way to get meat. One that involved killing another lifeform. 

But she enjoyed the taste, if she had lived in an environment where slaughtering animals was the only way to get meat, she probably would eat meat, despite the brutality behind it. “What are these logs about?” 

Still more talking. “The rise, and presumably fall of the colony. They released a GMO into their ecosystem. Sequence 531 it is called.” She vaguely remembered seeing the details for sequence 531 somewhere in the logs.

But unable to make heads or tails of it, she skimmed those that were to detailed in their scientific explanations.
After dinner Wolfgang went to bed early, as he had an early shift in the infirmary. All too often Jane was bothered by that circumstance, but on this evening she found it to be a good thing. Eagerly she reclined on the bed next to him, her tablet in hand, looking for the next log.