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Entry by James Cook


Deadly but Beautiful
by James Cook 
TOP SECRET
Case # POS001017 After-Action Report                
April 15, 2199
Filed By: Marshal David Holt, District 2
Classification TOP SECRET/WNINTEL
Prepared For: Magistrate Gunther Wright, Section Beta
Subject: On-Site Investigation of Attack on Biogene Research Compound
Begin Text:
     Approximately two months ago, the Biogene Corporation completed
construction of a small research facility on an uninhabited island in the
Dimwash Seamounts cluster. The purpose of this facility, located at
longitude 12o2132W, latitude 13o1712N, was reported by Biogene to be
the study of several rare fish species which inhabit the islands waters.
Regardless of the true reason for its existence, satellite photos indicated
the presence of several heavily-armed guards, anti-air defenses, and a
number of fighter-subs patrolling the waters around the island.
     On the night of April 13, at 28:17:33, GEO Communications technicians
on Prosperity Station intercepted a distress call to Biogene HQ at
Cliffside. The transmission indicated that the facility was under attack by
hostile natives and unidentified lifeforms. The sender frantically claimed
that the attacking force had neutralized the fighter-subs, and had breached
the compounds outer perimeter. The signal abruptly cut off seconds later.
     At 28:29:30, Prosperity logged the departure of 2 Orca-Class Assault
VTOLs from Cliffside. Prosperity was unable to get a clear picture of the
site due to inclement weather, but communications between Biogene and the
VTOLs indicate the arrival of the aircraft at the facility around 01:12:15.
The pilots indicated deployment of two squads of Biogenes feared High
Threat Response troops. Known for their lethal array of cyberware and
biomods, Biogene HRT soldiers have a reputation second only to our own Shock
Troopers for their chilling efficiency. Sporadic updates were logged for
several minutes, whereby transmissions from both aircraft ceased.
     My team was located in a small village in the nearby Neptune Cluster,
where we were finishing up a previous investigation. I was contacted by
Administrator Bishop at 01:42:12, and was ordered to take two of my most
trusted subordinates to assess the situation at the site. My team
(consisting of DM John Champion and DM Jim Shelby) and I took off
immediately in our patrol-craft. Stopping once to refuel, we arrived at the
site around 04:09:00. The weather had begun to clear up, and the moonlight
escaping from behind the clouds dimly illuminated the still island.
     As our craft approached the island, sensors showed no signs of
activity. John cursed and thumped the console, claiming that he wasnt
picking up the facility on radar. Jim  ran a check on the sensor array and
the GPS, confirming that the systems were working properly. We had arrived
at the correct coordinates, with no sign of our target. With a bad feeling
growing in my gut, I ordered John to make a single pass over the facility.
     The sight that greeted us as we passed over wasunsettling. The
facility was completely gone. Lush shrubs and grasses, agitated by our
turbofans, swayed in the light of our spotlights as we passed over the
clearing. There was no sign of the facility, but a curious-looking large
mound near the center did catch our attention. John dropped us down for a
closer look, and we immediately learned the fate of the Biogene personnel.
     I told John to set our craft down at the edge of the clearing, and Jim
and I dis-embarked. The only sound was the dim but high-pitched whine of the
patrol crafts turbofans. Weapons ready, we cautiously made our way toward
the grim pile exposed in the spotlight. When we reached the mound, Jim
nearly vomited from the horrifying spectacle. The bodies on top of the pile
appeared to be those of the Biogene HRT members. All had obvious throat
wounds, and most were mutilated. Jim turned away as I moved a few of the
bodies, exposing several bullet-riddled corpses that I assumed were the
research staff. All bodies were without clothing or equipment.  I counted 30
dead in all, which corresponds to the currently official Biogene roster.
Notably absent from the area were any bodies of the attackers.
     Finding no survivors, we began checking the clearing on foot. Examining
a recent satellite photo, then looking around, I remember thinking that the
planet itself must have swallowed up the two buildings. A more thorough
search of the clearing yielded no answers.
     Jim and I began to move down a dark path leading to the beach and dock
area. Arriving there, we made two observations. First, the dock had
vanished, like the rest of the station. Then it hit me. They had vanished
just like the rest of the man-made objects that should have been there: no
buildings, no clothing, nothing. Not even a single piece of cyberware had
been left on the corpses of the soldiers. Who (or what) could have done such
a thing? 
     The second clues we found on the beach were two distinctive depressions
in the sand left by Orca-Class Assault VTOLs. The depressions were about 30
meters apart, and several bootprints led from them, but the vehicles were
nowhere to be seen. 
     At that point, John radioed to indicate that Prosperity Station had
warned of a sizable Biogene force on the way from Cliffside. We had some
time, but I didnt intend to stay around. We flew around the area for about
15 more minutes, but found nothing else. I told John to get us back to
Neptune, and we left the area.
     Having now had several hours to think about what I saw, verified by
current satellite images, I have no plausible theory as to who may have
conducted the attack. I wouldnt expect any group of natives to be able to
literally wipe the island clean of any and all man-made objects so quickly.
Reports from the facility during the attack mention unidentified
lifeforms. Could the beings known as Aborigines be behind the attack? Was a
rival Incorporate power responsible? In any case, Poseidon has once again
shown itself to be just as deadly as it is beautiful.
End Text.