The Avalon Incident by Alan Delaney

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SUMMARY: They still don't know what happened, but they've found a vital clue.

The following is a transcript of a cockpit voice recorder taken from the wreckage of a patrol vessel found near Starbase Avalon. While investigators are still far from concluding their investigations into the tragedy at the former station, they believe that this transcript may prove to be the key to unlocking the whole riddle.

[Transcript of cockpit voice recording of 07:27 20th June 2082 to 01:58 22nd June 2082 from NASA Patrol Vessel P-352E operating from Starbase Avalon. Transcription created by Dynosoft(TM) VoiceReader(TM) version 2.2.7]

[Selected excerpts only]

[07:27]

[Male voice - identified as Flight Sergeant Tom Davidson (TD)] Good morning everyone this is your Captain speaking. We are about to embark on today's flight which will involve lots of small stars, a big rock and plenty of sleeping so if you could all please fasten your seat-belts tightly and we will be ready. There will be food and drink served on-board in little plastic packages, and if we can get the chief engineer drunk enough then she will be providing today's entertainment. Thanks you for flying with NASA airlines.

[Female voice - identified as Chief Engineer Olga Domelzowich (OD)] If you have drinks onboard then you'll be providing today's entertainment for boys over in security.

[TD] No beer, but my socks are fermenting, they should do.

[Male laughter]

[Male voice - identified as Flight Navigator Miguel Marin (MM)] Oh man, that's rough, even for you.

[TD] Thought you'd like that one. You ready?

[MM] Suppose so. Coordinates set and locked, it looks like a quiet day.

[TD] Olga, how's the baby doing back there?

[OD] The engine is doing just fine Captain, thank you for asking. How's your hangover?

[TD] God, don't remind me. I hate these early morning runs. Alright let me ring in. Control, this is patrol craft papa-3-5-2-echo, do you read me?

[Male voice - identified as Flight Controller Grahame McQuinn (GMQ)] Loud and clear. That you Todd?

[TD] Morning Mack, what are you doing there? You're normally only staggering home from the pub at this time.

[GMQ] Funny as always Todd. I'm on the graveyard shift now, it sucks. Where you headed?

[TD] Apteron, sector tango-7-3.

[GMQ] OK, I've got a Mongoose supply ship coming though tunnel 331 in five, you can have that one. You got your girlfriend there with you there Todd?

[MM] Morning Mack.

[GMQ] Morning Mig.

[MM] Hey Mack, I heard what happened to your sister. Oh man, I'm so sorry for you.

[TD] Ah geez. She had such a bright career ahead of her too, so tragic.

[GMQ] What are you on about?

[MM] She got married last weekend didn't she. What a waste.

[TD] I couldn't believe it, broke my heart it did.

[Male laughter]

[GMQ] You guys are a riot. She's very happily married to a good man thank you very much.

[TD] Yes but she had so much going for her and now look at her - the singles bars will never be the same again.

[GMQ] How would you know, Todd. The singles bars you go to don't have any women there.

[Male laughter]

[TD] It's true.

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