-Wire schematic taken at ISNF Drive Yards, New Fenix, 230.M42 [Sanctioned by the Inquisition in regards to Anomoly 0(S)-184732]
The Shadow of Dawn
knifed away from New Fenix at a low burn, cruising past the massive Imperial battleships and frigates. James Marr sat comfortably in the pilot's seat, hands on the controls and a smirk on his face. Valin Redic sat behind him in the Captain's chair, watching the Ops map check off each ship as they left New Fenix's artificial orbit.
There was only about thirty crew aboard the Dawn
. They'd have to find more. The ship carried berths and cryo cells for fifty-seven people. Marr had counted.
The young man at the Comms station leaned back in his seat. "Sir, I've got an incoming message from Tower. Want me to patch it through?"
The man flicked a switch, and the speakers suddenly blared with voices.
[Unidentified ship, this is Tower New Fenix. Report intentions and codes, aknowledge.]
Redic nodded to the Comm Op. He leaned back and spoke into the vox.
[Tower New Fenix this is armed frigate Shadow of Dawn
breaking orbit at vector two-five-seven at angle fifty-seven degrees. Crew is thirty-three souls, repeat thirty-three. Cargo is nil, repeat, nil. Destination is Hrolmgang Up to resupply and take on crew.]
[Shadow of Dawn
this is Tower New Fenix, aknowledged. Continue on current vector or weapons will begin to track. Repeat, continue on vector two-five-seven out of the Yards.]
Redic breathed a sigh of relief as New Fenix dwindled behind the ship.
"Sir, we're leaving the no wake zone. Shutting down maneuvering thrusters in three."
He felt the Dawn
shudder as the ship came to a halt.
"Engaging primary engines in five.....four......three.....two.....one."
The frigate lurched ahead, scattering the ring of debris around New Fenix.
A large blue light lit up the bridge, and a holo of a globe appeared. Lines of what looked like buttons flashed around the sphere. A feminine, metallic voice echoed from the holo.
"Registering main systems as online. AI interface powering up. Hello, I am the ISNF Shadow of Dawn
's Electrical Robotic Interface Network. You may call me ERIN."
Redic's mouth dropped open. Marr strained to look. The ship lurched to the side as his hands slipped off the controls. He jumped back to looking out the viewport.
Redic leaned forward to let his fingers touch the globe. The buttons snapped into place, and lines of text appeared on them.
Redic's hand lingered on SHIP INFORMATION. He touched the cube. ERIN turned red and a different voice came through the speakers.
"The Shadow of Dawn
is a heavily converted Pheonix-class frigate and heavy destroyer. Built in 248.M30, it served as an escort during the Horus Heresy. It was converted to a refugee ship during the Gothic War, until it was purchased in 008.M42 by the [expunged] for the purpose of [expunged]. It's current status is five klicks from New Fenix drifter colony."
Redic pressed SHIP LOG
A line of text flashed onto ERIN's form.
[Self-destruct sequence initiated. Launching survivor's box-012.M42]
[Self-Destruct sequence halted-012.M42]
[Last Will-Captain Valente-012.M42]
[Audio File recorded-Unknown user-014.M42]
He clicked the audio recording. The bridge crew turned as a voice cut through static, gunfire, and an odd, wailing noise.
"Wh-whoever finds this, this is the INS Shadow of Dawn
! We're cut off from the fleet! Something went-uh-wrong! We can't get anything! We have to purge the core! Daniels! Cut ERIN's hard lines! We're abondoning ship! We can't stay at the apex! The Dawn
's coming apart! We've lost the Geller field, and the hull is losing integrity!"
It cut out in a roar of escaping air.
The crew looked around, suddenly more concious of the creaks and groans as the Dawn
hurtled to the jump point outside New Fenix.
Redic clicked off the file. "Well, at least we know what happened."
Marr gulped. "Do we know how
"I can check the main logs. They wouldn't have been purged."
Marr nodded. The crew turned back to their work.
Redic slumped into the chair. Maybe the Dawn
wasn't such a good omen.