The very, very private diary of Dr Robert Mbutu
We had a very pleasant trip back from the Holy City. I think Ms Jones
is quite happy with how things have gone so far. The paintings were
stunning although it's a shame that they are copies and we can't get a
date. Still they certainly support theories that suggest the Ancients
Everyone else seems more interested in souvenir hunting than everything
else. It's quite infectious. We only have a certain amount of spare
mass available so there has had to be some negotiation. They've let me
have a 3-string Hand Twanger. Wait till they hear one of these babies
really rip! It's probably a good job our cabins are fairly soundproof.
We also copied out a lot of religious texts as a gift for my Aunt - I
think she'll be quite surprised. I'm sure she'd rather have something
hi-tech from Earth but we don't have anything suitable.
The trip up to the OTC was pretty uneventful. It's strange to be
leaving Bheekhu again after all these years. Oddly Maria Telstar was
there to meet us and handed me a letter. It must be a trick since it
says that they have evidence that Auntie killed my parents. Why would
they say such a thing? At least they haven't tried to stop us jumping
out of system. I imagine they'll try and nab us when we are out of
sight of the Bheekhu. DM+19 here we come.
I like space travel. It's always very relaxing when I'm in hyperspace.
Dr Takamuri has stopped throwing up and has set me to translating all
the various books she downloaded. It's interesting stuff but I'm
itching to have a look at some of the tissue sample we took off planet.
I've got several Bheekhu and one or two samples of native wildlife. I
think I'll start with the blood sample we got off Antonio's opponent.
I'd better make sure I've got a copy of Atonio's genome too so I can
spot any contamination.
Ms Moran is up and about again. The lower gravity suits her much better
anyway and the AutoDoc has been working on her leg. Violence always
leads to this sort of unpleasantness.
It's all getting quite tense though. We've just arrived at DM+19 and
are waiting around on passive sensors but so far there doesn't seem to
be anyone here. I bet there won't be anyone until we reach Haifeng.
Then the Gantz slurry aerosol will really get pumped into the vac
suits. Nothing to do but hang around till we can jump off to DM+6.
There's definitely something odd about these Bheekhu sequences. Unless
I have a major contamination problem there are similarities that just
cannot be down to chance. They turn up in odd places but I've found
several now including that link between Clarence and Canis familiaris.
I need to see where else these turns up among Earth species. And of
course it would be nice to find out what they do. I really need access
to a bigger data set and some serious computer power but that will need
to wait until we get back to friendly space.
Another empty system. At least there's a really good planet for dumping
gravitons. Wait, Ms Jones says she's found something.
November 28th (about 8 hours later )
Now that was interesting. We've just been onboard - well Ms Moran and I
have - a derelict spaceship. It's the Cortez owned by Astra Revira, and
it's obviously been here a good while. The power is almost gone and
that doesn't happen very quickly. In fact it's odd because I wouldn't
expect all the power to have gone like that whatever. Still one of the
life support pods seems to be OK although it's very nearly out of
energy. Otherwise the ship has no sign of external damage although it
was obviously set to head out of system before they all got inside the
life-pods... Maybe there was a fault with the hyperdrive and they
thought they could get somewhere under impulse. If so they obviously
didn't choose their direction very well and anyway I'd have thought
they would be much better off staying in system if they had any sort of
choice. People don't come here often but it would be quicker than
trying to get anywhere under impulse. I suspect something went wrong.
Maybe they got the jump wrong and ended up miles away from the system
on the other side and set up the ship to head towards DM+6. They could
easily have travelled through the system without anyone noticing and
they were pretty lucky that we spotted them at all. Anyway getting
synced was quite tricky but Ms Moran managed it using some external
thrusters and Antonio lined us up for the umbilical.
There's some fascinating stuff on the ship. Before we were ordered back
there were signs that something had actually been eating the ceramic
just like the biorobots that Felix Holsten described. I've got a sample
that I can look at to see whether there are any tooth marks or if there
is some other mechanism behind the erosion. Everyone else seems to be
getting very jumpy about it so I'll check out the sample before I let
them know that I have it. It's sealed up so there shouldn't be any
quarantine issues. If there are biorobotic organisms on board we have
to get a sample. They would provide much better evidence than anything
we've encountered so far.