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  • Mars Date/Time:  Year 1, Sur Two, Thursday, Sol 1 (1.2.1)  17:39 NST
  • Earth Date/Time:  Saturday, 5 March 2016  3:47 PM PST

Jenna took a sip of tea and said, “We need to find out what is going on back on Earth.” The seven of them had gathered in her quarters to assess the situation at ESEP. ESEP had taken over control over the Sagan’s systems, but Paige had made sure they could only make temporary changes. ESEP could access ship cameras; however, Paige had improved upon’s Zeke’s usage of recording video and when ESEP pulled up any camera, they only saw what Paige wanted them to see. Currently, ESEP’s view of the brig showed the Admiral and the Commodore pacing, sitting, and talking, while both were in the Admiral’s quarters planning on how to respond to the coup by Mr. Duncan and unknown individuals on Earth.

Wendy said, “I could try to contact some people on the ground team, but I don’t know who might be complicit with Mr. Duncan.” Naomi said, “Any call from anyone on the ship is going to be routed through ESEP and they will monitor those communications.”

Jenna’s door chimed. Jenna found Paige waiting outside. Jenna brought her in and said, “What’s up, Paige?” Paige had a funny expression and said, “We got an audio message from Earth, but it wasn’t through ESEP. It came from the European Space Agency. ESEP deleted it almost immediately, but they don’t realize that they only are operating in a dummy block of software, so we still have the message in our system.” The door chimed again. Wendy crossed back to the door while Jenna said, “Paige, pull up the message.”

Jeramy was at the door. Jenna waved him in. He realized that he was interrupting something and waited. Paige played the message and Jenna recognized the voice immediately. It was Megan, Nick’s assistant,

“Admiral or Commodore, I don’t know if you will get this message, but I had to try to contact you. As you are probably aware, the Director and seven other top ESEP administrators were killed when their plane crashed somewhere in the North Atlantic. I was on one of the two planes that made it and I was aware the plane was missing before we landed in San Jose. On landing, we were held for debriefing; however, in hindsight, we were essentially kidnapped. I was told that since Nick was no longer the Director that I was relieved of duty and put on leave until such time that my position with ESEP could be determined. I don’t know that the crash was an intentional act, or just an opportunity for certain people to take advantage of; however, a few key people are using the crisis to seize control of ESEP. At this point, the people who supported Nick and his administration are locked out of ESEP. I don’t know what is happening with your mission, but I do know that many of the people involved have been very unhappy about our decisions in the past few weeks and would rather see the mission return to Earth. Good luck. I will contact you with more information when I have it. Good luck.”

Ken said, “Can we contact her through the Europeans?” Naomi and Paige, both shook their heads and Naomi said, “If we do, ESEP will also get the message and they will know the game were playing.” Jenna said, “I wish we could take over ESEP computers like they think they’ve taken over ours.” Paige said, “We can…well, I need a way to access their system, so they don’t realize it.” Jenna said, “What do you mean?” Paige replied, “I need to send them a normal file with code attached that will unlock their system and mask my manipulation…oh, and I need a transmission to piggyback on while I’m rewriting their code.”

Jeramy said, “Could it be a file of firing data?” Paige said, “Yes.” Jeramy smiled, “Mr. Duncan has sent me a message to reconnect the ICP drive to the computer. I was going to delay him by asking the Engineering to check my firing data to confirm the rack configuration. I could also send a transmission asking them several questions about the return and fuel required for the firings. I could talk for at least ten minutes.” Jenna looked at Paige, “Will that work?”

Paige said, “Easy peasy.”