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Integrated Combat Information System: Page 12


 

since the top of the space was completely gone. Structural analysis indicated a base capable of supporting a couple of hundred Kilrathi without crowding. If this was a smuggling base, it was a major hub, probably keeping the whole former inner sphere of Kilrah supplied with black market goods. I did a full-spectrum scan, and took a few dozen pictures. I didn’t see any bodies.

I pulled up about 1000 kilometres and did a close orbit sweep, which came up with four objects that hadn’t hit the ground yet. Three of the fragments turned out to be the remains of two old Dralthi, one in two pieces. I saw plenty of shot-up Dralthi during the war, and the damage on these two looked like any other energy weapon attack. I did notice one thing. The more-or-less intact Dralthi had a cockpit that was ruptured, but not destroyed. However, the pilot was not in the ship. I got within three metres of the seat with my camera and took some pictures. Through the viewfinder, I could clearly see that the restraints had been unfastened, not damaged. Although it’s possible that the pilot may have loosened the straps and left the cockpit himself for some reason, my personal opinion, based on the intact Dralthi and the general lack of remains after the attack, is that the dead Kilrathi – and maybe the living ones too – were gathered up by the enemy after the attack.

The fourth object was smaller than the others, and I probably wouldn’t have noticed it at all except that the computer was reading it as anomalous – the analysis routines wouldn’t even guess what it was or even what it was made of. It was about 2 metres by 1 metre by about 25 centimetres. It definitely looked manufactured – the undamaged portions of the surface were smooth, and had a definite odd sheen, sort of like a fish’s scales or the inside of a sea shell. Colour was dark, almost black, with a bit of purple. While I couldn’t make a positive ID, I was very sure that it wasn’t Confed or Kilrathi, and it wasn’t natural, so under the circumstances it seemed pretty likely to be a chunk of an alien ship. I took a few pictures and did a full passive scan, then I tractored it and secured it with a waldo.

My orders were to bug out as soon as I collected any useful intelligence, and I thought this qualified, so I took one more medium-range sweep and left the same way I’d come in. I left the area at 2207, and arrived back at the base by 2130.

(Note: Preliminary analysis of the images and data collected by Major Washington confirm his account. At this time, analysis has nothing significant to add. A full report is pending.)

 

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