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Subject: The Threat Is Spreading rss

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Charleston James
United States
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-- Ceres Mining Colony Theta --

-- Communication to the Free Africa Trade Guild --

Captain Abdul-Haqq reporting.

For the record I would have it noted, on this date, that Captain Jelani Matata was wounded in the course of battle, offering his exemplary service in defense of Ceres Theta.

I've dreaded this day. I came out here to live in peace. The occasional skirmishes with raiders are not the problem. There is seldom any serious threat this far out. What happened today is precisely what I've been trying to avoid these recent years. They just won't leave it alone.

Actually, I shouldn't be here. Jelani, the mighty troublemaker, is a friend of mine. Possibly the only one. He patrols this route to Ceres 1 ferrying ore and supplies. He's one of my best customers. The Trade Guild doesn't usually send only a single ship on this route but Jelani has military experience. His Brutus Magnus class cruiser may be a small ship, but those who underestimate it do so only once.

Now that I think of it, Jelani shouldn't be here either. He should be dead, and I his executioner.

He was the key to my escape from the Itnoah Dominion. Guild records will show his previous experience in dealing with Itnoahn forces. The trick was to make him believe my defection was real. My shuttle was exactly the sort of target the Guild or the Terran Republic or any other faction would destroy on sight, since it's not uncommon for Itnoah forces to send false distress messages. I'm lucky to still be alive. Only the telemetry readings I was transmitting regarding my old ship saved me. His ship was badly damaged from our battle and would not have survived another Fission Bot. Any other day Jelani would have been finished, but that was a fortunate day for the both of us. His new information helped him destroy the Thunder Storm I had just abandoned. Without me, he and his crew would have been destroyed that day. Instead, I sacrificed those I served with. Now I am an outcast among my own people, with a price on my head.

I am a traitor to my people, technically. There are actually millions of us who feel as I do, that the Itnoah Dominion has hijacked Islam. So many millions were slaughtered during the Great Cleansing the rest of us knew that if we were to survive we had to play the obedient follower. We still hide among our brothers waiting and searching for ways to take back the faith from the defilers. Some have successfully escaped to other factions, as I did. Few outside the Dominion know of us; the Itnoah narrative would have the entire solar system believe all Muslims are of one mind, unified in cause. We are not.

Today they found me, though I doubt they actually know I'm here. I've never seen or even heard of an Itnoah vessel this far from Earth. Their crusade back home usually keeps them too busy to bother venturing out this far. Someone may be hunting a bounty, or something may have changed back home. What ever the reason, Jelani proved his trust in me today, as well as his value to the Guild.

The Brutus Magnus had just finished loading her cargo and was underway. Then our scanners showed an Itnoah Thunder Storm suddenly appear in the distance. We have decent defenses but if a single Fission Bot got though it could devastate mining operations. Even before it reached attack range it began launching Bots. Some captains would have left the area for sake of their cargo. But Jelani, he understands the value of the colony. And he is my friend.

He doubled back to engage the Thunder Storm, even before I contacted him about the approaching enemy. We've spoken many times about our first encounter, and he's read the briefing reports from my testimony before the Guild. He was as prepared as any one can be for the Itnoahn tactics.

This time Jelani struck down several Fission Bots before they could impact his ship. But the Brutus Magnus didn't respond as quickly as I expected once the battle started. I assume the Thunder Storm must have utilized electronic warfare. It can be devastating if a captain is not prepared for it.

Several Bots managed to reach the Magnus and detonate. The ship quickly took heavy damage, but also served its own share. Salvos of Missiles are difficult to escape, and the Thunder Storm is not usually a speedy vessel. But still, the Thunder Storm had the advantage, with the Magnus nearly crippled as it was. I feared Jelani would not live past this day.

Despite the burden of the situation, Jelani is very resourceful. His techniques are fast and powerful. One Quick Attack after another was enough for Jelani to utilize his surmounting Combat Experience. With two mighty hits the Thunder Storm was finally finished.

It was a close call but Jelani did it. He was wounded during the battle and is recovering in the medical ward. His ship is undergoing repairs at this time as well. I request a shipment of supplies and parts be delivered to Ceres Theta as soon as possible. The Magnus must be towed back to F.A. shipyards and the crew require transport.

All technical details of this request and station logs related to the battle are attached. Captain Jelani shall have all his necessary materials prepared for debriefing when you arrive.

-- End communication --
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