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Discovery part 8 by Ronald Faltus
SUMMARY: Been a bit, working on other projects. Gareth begins his search for Sands.
Then the cold realization set in, Sands wasn't a grave robber, he was a murder. Opening the individual pods, exposing the poor occupant the vacuum of space, condemning them to a quick but excruciatingly painful death. Then he looted the frozen corps, only to then heartlessly cast it aside and move on to the next. It was a sickening prospect, making Gareth feel worse then any hangover possibly could. He brought The Scry up to full thrust and dived directly at the nebula.
Gone was the fear of Sands, the desire to run away and let someone else deal with the problem, the drive to find a place to hide and let the universe sort itself out had disappeared. Sands was going to unleash his carnage on the helpless souls aboard the Heavenly Star. Any anonymous call would come in far too late to do any good. Garth knew that he was the only person who could do anything to stop the carnage. Fighting aside the splitting pain in his head, he knew that this is what had to be done. In light of his determination, his body gave up its protest, loosening its tight grip on his stomach, the aching subsiding into a dull sense of anticipation. Gareth had no idea how he was going to confront Sands, but as he watched the distance count down to the edge of the nebula, he knew he better get started.
Firstly, he created an addendum file to the message he was preparing for the UAS. He added his own voice. "This is a general distress call for the colony ship UAS Heavenly Star. Crew is still alive, but trapped within the Azur Nebula. I repeat crew is still alive but suspended in cryogenic sleep. Crew under threat of forced decompression. Please send immediate aid."
Gareth then dumped the file into The Scry's two emergency beacons, and programmed for them to both head in opposite directions once released. Once ejected, both pods would shot away at near light speeds. Hopefully one would be able to clear the edge of the nebula and send a clear distress signal. Looking up again at the enormous nebula, Gareth knew it could be days for them to get far enough to do just that. Then it could be several more before the transmission reached someone and a rescue could return. Roughly eight to ten days for help to arrive. The Scry could be back to Eifrinti in less than a day. It would be the safe move, but Gareth dismissed the thought once he looked down at the crew manifest and noticed it had changed again.
23 crew - 2339 colonist.
Another one dead, Sands was moving fast with no more reflection for what he was doing than if he was browsing through a grocery market, casually picking out what the wanted before moving on to the next stall. Gareth knew that there was no way he could leave now; condemn who knows how many more to Sands' glutinous culling. The quilt would be a thousand times more intense than his regret for the suffering on Vergos, and that was enough regret for anyone to carry around. Besides, as he glanced out of the front view port, he realized that he had already entered the nebula, only a few kilometers too The Heavenly Star.