The logo of the Systems Alliance loaded on screen, quickly followed by that of Westerlund news. Then the screen faded to black and transitioned to a close-up of Khalisah al-Jilani, star reporter of Westerlund news. Since she had taken up the job they had a constant 5% audience spike ; she knew it and that might explain the self-satisfied smile on her lips.
“The circumstances and causes or Captain Stark’s abduction have yet to be verified.”
The holo-field widened to show her on the deck of a spaceship. She wasn’t actually present, they only had a direct transmission from the SSV Hornet, but the effect looked good. In front of al-Jilani stood the holographic representation of one captain Landbridge. Even though the holographic definition wasn’t perfect it was clear that the officer was ill-at-ease. He pulled nervously at the high collar of his uniform.
“Westerlund news, Khalisah al-Jilani reporting”, the young woman began cheerfully. “Captain Landbridge, it’s always a pleasure for our audience to have news directly from the brave men and women serving on the Alliance Spaceships.”
Landbridge would not be there if not under strict orders and she knew it well. She enjoyed the young man’s awkwardness as he mumbled something appropriate.
“Now, the news of the terrorist attacks on Ferris Fields have raised the public’s awareness of dangers that exist in far-out colonies. This was only compounded by the abduction of an Alliance officer by a mercenary group. I’m given to understand that the SSV Hornet was in the midst of the action. What can you tell us about what happened ?”
Landbridge swallowed nervously and sighed. He looked more like someone facing execution than an Alliance officer about to become famous. “The circumstances and causes or Captain Stark’s abduction have yet to be verified”, he explained, “but I can tell you he was indeed abducted by the Blue Suns directly following the terrorist attacks on Ferris Fields.”
“But you were able to rescue him”, al-Jilani prompted when Landbridge lost his momentum.
“Ah, hum.” He cleared his throat. “We sent a strike team to get him back, yet. I have been permitted by High Command to unveil the details of the assault.” He looked spectacularly unhappy about that. “The strike force was divised up in three teams, Alpha, Charlie and Delta.”
“Ah, yes, the strike team.” al-Jilani paused for dramatic effect. “I’ve been told that this operation saw an exceptional interspecies cooperation. Would you say that the non-human team members were helpful in Captain Stark’s rescue ?”
Bewilderment and annoyance succeeded on Landbridge’s face before he managed to slam back a mask of indifference. “I would say they were instrumental in the operation. However I cannot reveal their identities for safety reasons.”
Al-Jilani opened her mouth to argue but Landbridge moved on before she could squeeze in a word.
“Delta team approached the Blue Suns compound on foot from the south, while Alpha and Charlie teams approached from the east in the MAKO.”
“And the Blue Suns did not detect their arrival ?” Al-Jilani arched a perfectly plucked eyebrow. “They are renowned for their efficacy.”
“Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that… Delta team moved without particular hindrances but the MAKO ran into a minefield which required some, ah, creative thinking to get across. Unfortunately that raised the sentries’ attention and they came to investigate. Five of them according to my data”, Landbridge glanced quickly at his notes. “Two humans and three batarians, two of them with rocket launchers.”
“I see.” Al-Jilani leant a little forward. “Weren’t you concerned about Captain Stark’s safety, should your strike team be detected ?”
“Captain Stark’s life was already in danger”, Landbridge said firmly. “We couldn’t have got him back without taking reasonable risks.”