And after a long hiatus, my patrons have voted for some more of this ongoing serial science fiction horror. To start from the beginning, check out this link, but to dive right in, this should help you get back into the action!
Alexei’s mission has gathered information, but no answers. He’s seen the horrors that DROP 47 is preparing to unleash on the galaxy, but without any way to get to the station, his mission is left spinning its wheels. The only clue might be the information of a recalcitrant passenger… but her price is something that the captain isn’t yet prepared to pay.
Ragnikov grunted unhappily. “She knows a lot,” he said. “More than she should as a test subject.”
“She’s not just a test subject,” Trips pointed out. “The more I talk with her, the more I’m convinced she’s far more than just a science experiment. The Imperium wanted something very specific from these children.”
“I know. The easy thing would be to say it’s another super-soldier project, but… I don’t know. Something about that just doesn’t pass the smell test for me.” Aleksandra had said some of the tests she’d been subjected to had included exposure to environmental extremes. That would be useful for any soldier, but if her testimony was accurate then those experiments had been more demanding than any on record. It felt like… like they weren’t just trying to see if she could survive, but prove that she would.
The Diamond nodded. Lieutenant Zaitseya might be convinced of that, but the more she thought about it, the more she was left wondering if that was another layer of the onion protecting DROP 47. They might, of course, be overthinking things. God, Spirits or whomever knew that Earth had made plenty of ghastly decisions. Violating centuries of laws on genetic modification wasn’t even in the top 10 of what they’d done. Now that they were losing, they’d be desperate. “That’s my gut feeling too, sir. I just have no idea what else the Imperium could possibly need them for or what ‘being observed’ on Caleuche meant.”
She took a breath. She hadn’t been looking forward to sharing this tidbit. She’d only just learned it herself. Paek had called her away from her interview to his lab and she’d gone from there straight to the captain. “There’s something else, sir.”
Alexei tilted his head. His intelligence officer’s tone had changed, trepidation entering it. “What’s happened?”
“Not so much ‘happened’ as ‘revealed, sir.” Trips passed him a report. “This is from Biosciences. It’s only preliminary, but they’re running the tests to get confirmation as we speak.”
Ragnikov started to read down the page. “Confirmation of what?”
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