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Unknown Alien Language

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93 pages1 hour

Summary

The Admiral says, “As you know, the Grand Alliance is currently involved in a war with the Favellian Empire. The war isn't going well for the Grand Alliance and our resources are severely limited, at this time.”
The admiral then leans forward and speaks in a low voice, “A patrol ship of the Grand Alliance, on a routine patrol of the outer edges of Grand Alliance controlled space, found a strange spacecraft that hadn't been observed during the last patrol of the area. What had been previously observed was a large piece of space rock, nestled among other space rocks. Apparently whatever had caused the strange ship to look like a space rock had ceased to function and the ship was now plainly visible to the patrol ship. The patrol ship crew did a very brief investigation of the just found ship. The matter was reported, as per orders, and then bucked up the Grand Alliance chain of command. The matter finally came to rest with me.”
Commando says, “Since you're very interested, I presume that the strange ship is a warship.”
The Admiral nods yes and says, “Subsequent, more thorough, investigation revealed that the unknown ship is apparently a warship. It's of at least Battlewagon class. The ship is of unknown manufacture.”
Commando says, “Battlewagon class! A ship of that size and capability could turn the war in favor of the Grand Alliance, all by itself.”
The Admiral nods yes and then continues, “Normally a strange ship of that size would have been promptly and thoroughly investigated by professionals. However, there are two problems. First, the strange ship is located near the edge of territory controlled by the Favellian Empire. Second, the Grand Alliance doesn't have a lot of spare ships or available personnel to do the investigation.
Commando thinks, (My people are available personnel. If we can get to the strange ship, we might do very well, not only for the Grand Alliance, but also for Software Commandos. It's an opportunity, a dangerous opportunity, but it might be one well worth pursuing. I definitely need to consider pursuing the situation.)
The Admiral continues, “I had an initial investigation team dispatched to find out what they could about the strange ship. Their initial findings are that the strange ship is apparently an ancient but fully operational warship. In addition to its own capability, the strange warship also carries tactical fighter craft. I'm told that your people do a lot of work with tactical fighter craft.”
Commando says, “Tactical fighter craft are our specialty! If the strange warship has a tactical fighter craft aboard, then you definitely need the skills of Software Commandos.”
The Admiral says, “Well, there are some definite possibilities here and the ancient warship appears to have an enormous capability. However, it was designed and manufactured by an unknown race. Unfortunately, all of the documentation in the ship is written in an unknown language. The probability of the strange ship being useful in the immediate future is quite low, but a ship of the apparent power of the strange ship could provide either information or fighting ability that might tip the balance of the war with the Favellian Empire in the favor of the Grand Alliance.”
Commando replies, “It would appear to me that the investigation of the newly discovered ship is of primary importance to the Grand Alliance. I presume that, despite the danger, you'll take the risk of sending in skilled people to evaluate the find.”
The Admiral says, “Yes, given the situation in which we of the Grand Alliance find ourselves, I have to take that risk. I'm going to send a volunteer force to investigate the strange warship. The ship that transports the investigation team out to the ship will also take the strange warship under tow and try to bring the big ship into Grand Alliance controlled space where a safer and more leisurely investigation can be done.”

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