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  • Mars Date/Time:  Year 1, Sur Two, Thursday, Sol 1 (1.2.1)  16:58 NST
  • Earth Date/Time:  Saturday, 5 March 2016  3:06 PM PST

Jenna began climbing the Quill, followed by Ken, Ian, and Peyton. She was stopped when Naomi said, “Admiral, I’m showing that ESEP is trying to link to our systems. Do you want me to lock them out?” Jenna immediately called Jeramy, “Jeramy, have you secured the munitions?” Jeramy responded, “No.” “Do so, now, before you meet up with us,” Jenna replied, “and make sure that the IPC drive has a hard disconnect from the computer. I don’t want ESEP to be able to fire our engines.” Jeramy said, “Aye, aye.”

Jenna looked at Naomi and said, “Naomi, can you set ESEP up so they can access systems, but we can cut them off at anytime and undo anything they do….and make it look like we tried to stop them, but lost?” “Yes,” Naomi replied and then she turned to Paige, “Paige, block the ESEP signal, then take a system snapshot, then increase the encryption to 256, build a dummy pathway at 128, and an isolated block for ESEP commands that we can shut down and erase.” Paige nodded and got to work.

Jenna then said, “Alright everyone, remember, make it real. Don’t refuse ESEP orders, but don’t blindly follow them either. Naomi, cameras back up and recording when Jeramy meets up with us at the core.” At that Jenna and the other three began the long climb to the center of the ship.

The brig was located in the seventh section of Sagan’s hab Quill. It was meant to be as far away from any command areas and in the heaviest gravity environment on the ship. It also has the heaviest shielding on the ship as the end of each Quill received more exposure to cosmic rays than the core section.

Once there she and Ken were unceremoniously pushed in and the door was locked. Ian stood guard while Jeramy and Peyton moved back to the their workstations. As Peyton returned to the Command deck, Paige nodded to Anna that she had finished her work. Anna called Jeramy and confirmed he had secured his area.

Now it was time for Act I. “Anna said, Naomi, connect me to ESEP Actual.” In a second a screen came up that said, “Transmitting to ESEP Actual – 97 sec. delay.” Anna began,

“ESEP Actual, per orders from Mr. Duncan we have taken Rear Admiral Wade and Commodore Hart under custody, and I have temporarily assumed command of the ship and the mission. I would like to know under what authority I was directed to take this action and what they are charged with, as my actions could be construed as mutiny, and I have a crew that can correctly question my actions. I also need further guidance as to what my next action is to be. I await your response.”

Anna stood by waiting for their answer. While she did, Paige noticed that someone was trying to access the ship command software from ESEP. She watched them struggle with the encryption and estimated it would take them another five minutes to gain control of the ship. ESEP probably would have rather just taken over the ship, but they needed to buy five minutes, so it wasn’t a surprise when Mr. Duncan appeared on the ship’s monitors. Mr. Duncan said,

“Well done, First Officer Anna. We will determine your new rank and promotion later. I understand you concern about the actions you have been forced to take; however, please know that you have been entirely justified in taking command of the ship. We realized a few day’s ago that there was a significant leadership problem on the ship; however, we were made powerless to address the problem. With the tragic loss of many of the ESEP Executives last night we have recommitted to restoring the Mars Mission to normal protocols. When the ESS Queen Elizabeth II had a misfire of a dozen fuel pellets, we had recommended it return to Earth. Had that been done, we would not be where we are now. The new leadership of ESEP has determined that the Mars Mission is not viable and must return to Earth for a refit and crew replacement. Some of your crew may be eligible to leave on the next mission; however, past and current adherence to ESEP orders will be a significant determination for eligibility. At this time you should stand down operations and prepare for a direct return firing. We have decided to bring back the mission as quickly as possible. More information to follow.”

At this point all the ships systems blinked off and the ship went mostly dark except for emergency lighting. When the system came back up the workstations were all showing one message….

Now under ESEP control
Welcome back to Earth.