The awakening shock filled me with well known dread of consciousness. Waking up from storage always causes some disorientation and makes it hard to integrate data directly, so the ship was presenting the tactical situation in an audiovisual form. Its coarse voice was commenting on the images unfolding before me within the bridge space.
“Yes, you are correct, prime lieutenant Raei, what you’re seeing here on screen is a gigantic unidentified space vessel rising directly out of the Reservation orbital space.”
An immense triangular spaceship was slowly climbing on a pillar of flame, straight out from the edge of the Protocol-enforced sensor blackout zone. The glyphs scattered around it were showing its orbital parameters, acceleration, probable mass, spectral analysis of the exhaust plume…
“Wait a minute, ship, this giant is CHEMICAL?”
“I’ve checked twice. Chemical-thermal engine, exhaust plume velocity and spectra are congruous with metallic hydrogen stabilised in a fullerene matrix and oxygen as the matrix reducing agent”
“I’m hailing on frequencies from petahertz to kilohertz, no response so far.”
I zoomed in on the colossal ship. The hull was densely pitted, no wonder it didn’t respond. It was flying blind! Something was definitively not right, my emotions told me. Time to wake up the crew.
“Ship, wake sergeant Torlay and private Weir, set an intercept course and prepare a boarding party.”
Torlay and Weir appeared next to me. They were worse at adapting to sudden instantiation, but then, most people are. Finding people like me is hard, finding people like me who are willing to enlist into the Sol Core Forces is even harder. It’s hardly a glamorous career. One might find oneself suddenly waking up in the company of strangers. And killing them.