Flicking through the memories that Ryan had sent him, Thenos frowned. There had been four capital ships at the Finley star, but it wasn’t the number that caught Thenos’ attention. After all, Ryan hadn’t lost any ships; he’d just turned and ran. It was the markings on the capital ships that Thenos was interested in. He had seen them before. It had been one of his earliest assignments, back in the old sector. Two capital ships, one TEC, the other Vasari, had met in a remote gravity well. When Thenos arrived to investigate, the two ships were already leaving. The TEC ship had had the same markings as the ones in the Finley system. Thenos couldn’t remember the name of the organisation, but whoever was at Finley was a trader at heart, and one who would sell anything to anyone. This was good, especially if they had an Advent with them, as it would mean they would probably have, and sell, Advent tech. Now he just needed to talk to them, so that he could meet them safely. Thenos reached out with his mind to the planet’s surface, and contacted one of the administrative psychics.
This is Thenos. Can you tell someone that I would like a deep space transmitter array set up quite urgently, please?
Yes sir, right away.
Thenos, about an hour later, received a message that the array was ready, and headed down to the planet. As he stepped out of the shuttle, a soldier greeted him.
Welcome back to Rebirth, sir.
Rebirth? Thenos couldn’t recall the planet being named.
The council just named it this morning. Should they have told you?
No, it doesn’t matter. After all, they have a better idea of what’s happening down here than me. Anyway, can you take me to the transmitter array?
The soldier led him to the central complex, then through until they came to a small set of doors. The soldier opened the door, then stepped aside to let Thenos in. As the door closed behind him, Thenos received a friendly greeting from an elderly man inside.
Thenos! Bet you thought you’d never see me again!
Thenos smiled, recognising his first comms officer, No, I didn’t expect to, especially not here. Which ship were you on?
Oh, after I retired from combat duty, I felt that I should keep using my communications skills for the good of all, so I volunteered for colonisation duty. So I was on-
Yes, the Missionary vessel, I thought so, Thenos knew that Teldin was a good comms officer, to the extent that he had probably set up this array by himself, but he tended to ramble, so is the array ready?
Oh yes, it should work perfectly, but I can’t believe that after all these years you still look so young! Seeing all of these new people in your crew really makes me feel like one of the old guard.
Well, you did only retire from my crew seven years ago, and I was only just into my twenties then. It’s not been that long, said Thenos, walking over to the transmitter. An Advent’s naval career started young. After all, while other humans needed to go to military colleges or basic training, an Advent only needed to access the knowledge from the Unity.
It feels like a long time, though. Oh well, how-
Can I send the message now?
Hmm? Oh, yes, of course.
Thenos sent his message to the Finley star. It said that Thenos was an Advent captain, who was in search of numerous technologies, both colonising tech and ship designs, that he hoped this organisation could supply him with. He said that, with the permission of whoever was running the show, he would arrive with the Revenge at the star, and could then be communicated with. Hopefully, one of the capital ships at the star would receive this message, pass it on to whoever was in charge of the operation, who would then send a reply. However, that would take time. For now, there was no excuse for Thenos to escape Teldin’s endless oratory. Sighing, he looked up from the array.
So, Teldin asked, what have you been up to since I left?
Thenos knew that it would be a while before he got back to his ship.