Gervase was busy with his own problems, first trying to fit-in amongst the crew and secondly relearning formation flying from scratch. Yol could tell that Gervase was finding it hard, though at least he hadn’t touched the bottle since they had arrived onboard despite there being a fully stocked crewman’s bar. Gervase didn’t bother to say much about his day, not even about who he was supposedly working for. This left Yol feeling alone, though she preferred her own company.
She had been busy, managing to access the Alamar’s internal and external systems and even the ISN uplink. A quick scan of the logistic programmes revealed the vast stores of munitions, being a battle-carrier it didn’t surprise her. Though she couldn’t quite work out why they were headed for some remote French mining outpost in the Belt, nor why the Alamar was supposed to linking up with some heavy reinforcements on the way in…or so the frequent coded transmissions told her. She had found out that the reinforcements were a couple of Frigate class ships and oddly enough a troop carrier. What worried her most was the lack of transmissions between the Alamar and the French outpost they were headed for.
She decided to link with the ISN to see if she could found out some more info on the mining outpost and more importantly Gervase’s new employer, a certain Victor Wilheim.
~ ~ ~ ~
Yol found the uplink quite easy now that she had had some practice at it and of course she remembered to set up a series of firewalls to hide her trail and more importantly to give her a warning if somebody on the Alamar had noticed her. She found quite early, when she first became aware of her abilities, that she liked her alternate form, a being of energy that was almost her mind flying along the electronic pathways of the so-called ‘ISN network’. It was like being in another dimension, a dimension of electronic signals carrying information to and from parts unknown. The whole solar system was merely compressed into one server, or so it seemed as Yol jumped from one data stream to another as she travelled the main roadways.
However the first thing she did, once she figured out just what her abilities were, was to find about her parents. Unfortunately she hadn’t been able to find out much expect for a headline from some Russian regional newspaper, ‘BABY GIRL SATCHED FROM HOSPITAL’, which was dated ‘July 2079’. The date more or less matched the rough date she had worked out for when she was born, though there was a lack of further information. There was also a lack of records from or about the hospital and no reports whatsoever, not even from the regional police. It seemed that somebody made sure that there was no record of her existence.
She had more pressing matters to attend to.
Yol discovered early on the JATs, sentient beings almost like her, which appeared to be observers more than virtual guard dogs. They never seem to pay her any attention, though she was careful to mask her trail, but they didn’t seem at all bothered by her hitching a lift. She found them useful in a way, that if she trailed one long enough it led her eventually to a data rich server. Though she shuddered in her virtual form at the thought of the other ‘things’ she had encountered in her travels online.
Yol wasn’t sure what to make of this being, a strange being having the appearance of a schoolgirl. The name had been whispered frequently in the data streams, it even had the JATs spooked if such a thing was possible. Yol herself had had one encounter with ‘Chloe’, something which she didn’t want to experience anytime soon. It happened about a month or so ago, she had stumbled onto a data server which looked promising in revealing her past. No sooner than she logged onto the server there was something like a…disturbance.
Yol experienced something akin to a tap on her shoulder…a sensation which she didn’t expect possible. She turned round to see an entity with, for some strange reason, the appearance of a schoolgirl. The entity gave a slight smile, closed her eyes, and said, "Hello. My name is Chloe."
Then promptly vanished.
Before Yol could figure out what had had happened, she found her connection being terminated. The feedback sent her into shock for a few moments, but she was lucky it didn’t fry her brain. Since that time, Yol kept a weary eye on the data stream for when this ‘Chloe’ should reappear.
Suddenly she got a warning signal from one of her firewalls on the Alamar’s uplink, cursing she hastily dropped her mask and terminated her connection. She didn’t give a damn if the JAT she was trailing noticed her ‘blink’, she posed it no threat.
Least she hoped it also came to the same conclusion.
~ ~ ~ ~
It took her a moment or two to come to her senses after her emergency termination, before she connected into the ship’s system to see if she had been noticed. A stream of data, larger than she expected, flooded into her mind which took a while for her to process. When she did she found out that the ship’s defence systems and turrets had been brought online. The MiGs in both hanger bays were being prepped for launch whilst the klaxons throughout the ship sounded their alarm.
The Alamar was under attack.