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  • Mars Date/Time:  Year 1, Sur Two, Thursday, Sol 1 (1.2.1)  17:12 NST
  • Earth Date/Time:  Saturday, 5 March 2016  2:41 PM PST

The festivities for Assimilation Day came to a sudden end. A ‘Command Alert’ was an alert of the highest level. The Director of ESEP, Nick Castillo, once said, “If I issue a Command Alert during the mission, assume we are being invaded by an alien species and Earth has already been overrun.” It crossed Jenna’s mind that maybe Nick was playing a prank, but she knew Nick well enough that he would never toy with a communication that might potentially be mission ending.

Jenna was surrounded as she approached her monitor over her workstation. She touched the red flashing icon and the screen pulled up a video image of the Director’s work suite in San Jose, California, but no one was in camera range. After a moment, Mr. Duncan stepped into view. He began,

“Rear Admiral Jenna Wade, I must inform you that one of the three planes carrying the Director and the Executive team has been lost in route from Spain to California. We have been waiting for more information, but here is what we know currently. The first two planes took off from the Barcelona airport yesterday between 20:18 and 20:27 Noctis Standard Time. The third plane had a mechanical issue that was resolved and it left at 21:41 Noctis Standard Time. The first two planes arrived in San Jose at 07:38 and 07:52 Noctis Standard Time.

We last had contact with the third plane at 03:23 Noctis Standard Time and it was located south of Greenland. The plane should have checked in with Nav Canada at approximately 04:11, but did not. I should have landed shortly after 09:00 but it did not. We will send you more information as soon as is appropriate.”

And the screen went blank. “What the HELL!,” yelled Jenna, “We will send you more information as soon as appropriate??? Who was on that plane? Why did it take them over twelve hours after it went missing for them to contact me? Who is in charge down there?”

Jenna paused for a moment and Reserve crew members Ian Banks and Peyton Rhodes came to the deck. Peyton said, “Admiral, we’ve received orders from ESEP to arrest you and put you in the brig. What the hell is going on?” Then Jeramy Prater came down and said, “Admiral, I just got orders to secure my area and then assist in a ship leadership change. Is this a holiday joke?”

Jenna looked at Ken and said, “It looks like they are staging a coup and you’re to be in command.” Anna said, “Nope, they apparently don’t like Ken either. My message says I am to oversee the arrest of the Admiral and be prepared to arrest the Commodore, then assume command and standby for new orders. Can I tell them where they can stick it?”

Jenna thought for a moment, and then said, “No. I want you to do your job. It’s the best way for us to find out what is going on.”