Captain’s Quarters, SSV Kurks, In orbit around Moros, Sphinx System, Argos Rho Cluster, Attican Traverse, September 25, 2197
Admiral Shepard face filled the screen in front of me, “Are you sure?”
“It had all the hallmarks of a false flag op, sir.”
“Purpose?” he asked.
“To seed chaos plus rope the Alliance into another crisis.”
“And you think that Cerberus is behind this,” Shepard asked.
“A group that sprang out of nowhere, an attack that was violent but unfocused, and whatever the outcome it would have derailed the Alliance ability to secure a steady source of impact diamonds at a time we are ramping up fighter and ship production. Not to mention put pressure on the Alliance Parliament to launch another military intervention. Who else benefits from that?” I asked, exasperated.
“But you have no proof,” Shepard said.
“Not at the moment, and to be honest, sir, wasting our time patrolling the outer reaches of this system is not helping. I need to get out there and find answers, and this ship, and it’s crew, are my best tool to do that,” I said.
“I know how feel, commander, but we have to- wait one,” Shepard raised a finger, “I think you should see this.”
The screen split. Shepard was on the left, an ANN reporter on the right. He newscaster stood on a street corner, a thick column of smoke rose to the sky behind him.
“This is Doh-Keun Jung, reporting from the Korean city of Busan. Earlier today, as shoppers filled the Shinsegae department store, part of the Cetum City district of Busan, a massive explosion, followed by a mushroom cloud engulfed the whole of the shopping district,” said the reporter, his shaky hand pressed to his ear. The image cut away to a street level shot of the large department store, a sudden flash, then the image cut out, followed by a long distance shot of a mushroom cloud that hovered over the city.
“So far no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the first nuclear act of terrorism on Earth since The North American Civil War.” The reporter looked at his omni-tool, ‘Wait, we are now receiving a message from ANN headquarters in Vancouver from a group claiming to be connected to the attack and I quote ‘When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth’ unquote.”
Shepard’s face hardened, “New orders, commander. Find those responsible and eliminate the threat.”
“Understood. Commander Thompson-Ramos out.”