“Conflicting reports abound - nobody is sure what happened, or how the ship was commandeered. All that we know for sure is that, while most of the crews were on the ground enjoying our new-found planet-side freedom, the UCSS Deliverance performed an unplanned docking manoeuvre with the St Nikolaos, and was apparently boarded. Those crew that escaped are being debriefed by Internal Security as I speak, so hopefully we will know more soon…“
“Unconfirmed reports indicate that the Destiny is now spooling to jump as well, and is refusing all hails! Is this connected, or a technological malfunction? Stay with us here as…“
“Garry Blake! That's the name on everyone's lips, after initial reports from the crew of the Deliverance tell us he was at the head of the mob of over 100 people which charged on board and offered them a stark choice: hand over the ship and leave, or hand over the ship and go with them. Go where? That's the question everyone's asking, now, hours after the two ships jumped away into the nebula - which direction did they go in? And why? And is anyone going to try to follow them?”
“In the cold light of morning, it becomes clear that this was a well-executed plan to seize control of two of the most functional and useful ships remaining of the Salvation fleet, and head off with them to who-knows-where. The Slipstream being the only ship in the fleet remaining with long-range scanners, negotiations are underway even now to send it after them, but without a decent guess which way they have gone, even that may be in vain…”
“THIS JUST IN: a message sent from the Deliverance, immediately before it jumped away:
This wasn't an easy decision to come to. The people in this system are all that is left of our species and we are few in number. Many would argue that we should stick together as one united family, for better or worse.
However, I believe we should not be so quick to put all our eggs in one basket. There were many people - men, women, and children - on the St. Nick who did not agree with the decision to settle here. I have already made clear my arguments as to why this system is a risky place to settle, and while I do not begrudge anyone who wants to take that risk, you should not force that decision on others.
I was elected to the council of the St. Nick to represent all the people on board, and I would not be upholding my democratic duty if I were to allow a quarter of the population to be ignored. To this end we have taken control of the Deliverance and Destiny, and intend to continue our voyage into unexplored space.
The ships we have left behind should be more than enough to build a home on this planet. There is no need for the Deliverance if you are staying here, and the Memorandum contains enough knowledge to educate the next generation in the skills needed to survive and prosper.
I sincerely hope this colony - this new home - is successful. I hope you are never again plagued by apparitions, and I hope that you build a shining jewel of a world which surpasses even Earth.
If my fears are correct though, I hope my actions today will ensure that Humanity survives.
We will be heading galactic North-East. If tragedy does strike again, I would advise any survivors to follow us. If we change direction at any point, we'll try to leave some signposts.
I hope, if we meet again, it will be on better terms.
- Garry Blake, Admiral of the Deliverance fleet.“
- Various rolling news reports, October 12th and 13th 2083
Another notable member of the St Nikolaos's Council who would become infamous shortly after arrival at Terra Libre is Garry Blake. Generally well-liked, he was elected onto the Council due to popularity amongst the passengers on board the St Nikolaos, who even later maintained that he had gone out of his way to help them whenever possible. He made a mark, however, in the final few Conferences held by the Exodus Fleet prior to arrival at Terra Libre: several attendees report hearing him argue against settlement, believing that Apparitions would inevitably find us if we stopped moving. Although we can now see such superstition for the nonsense it undoubtedly was, Blake seems to have been entirely convinced of the necessity to keep running, keep moving through space in order to stay one step ahead of the Apparitions forever.
This is undoubtedly what influenced him, and his supporters, to pull off the biggest spaceship theft yet seen: the commandeering of the UCSS Deliverance and UCSS Destiny, a mere month after the Fleet had arrived at Terra Libre. Conditions were perfect: the vast majority of humanity had decamped to the planet's surface by this point, leaving only skeleton crews on the two ships in question. Garry Blake had previously been considered a relatively helpful person by many, and had apparently had previous access to both ships: it can be assumed that he somehow over-rode their security systems. The Destiny had been stripped of much of her lab equipment, however still had sufficient on board for material processing and equipment repair, while the Deliverance obviously was the only functional fuel ship in the Fleet at this time. Garry Blake must have concluded, and possibly rightly, that this was sufficient to support a small population fleeing indefinitely into space.
- an excerpt from History of the Exodus, Volume 4: Other Persons of Note, 2172
Message begins unmanned probe found Omicron 92 stop looped recording indicates left by Deliverance Fleet stop says leave message if we wish to initiate contact and they will get back to us stop request orders on making contact stop message ends
- longwave transmission from a deep space scouting mission, 2341