Encrypted Security


2049-09-09 After Action Report – Daart (2/2)

Generation Kymera Delta Squadron
United States Navy
San Nicolas Island Base, Channel Islands, California


From:              NROTC Daart
To:                   Cdr. Ezra Stone

Subject:          Operation: 52—Pickup Debriefing Report

Event Summary:

I’m not going to lie. When Sham turned on me, I got really nervous. That guy is a superspy, and I’m just a cadet in the NROTC. There’s rumors on the base that he does, like, real CIA type spy stuff. You know, the stuff with poison umbrellas and computer hacking, and I think he assassinated Hitler! But I stood up to him anyway! I stood up to the guy who killed Hitler! Well, okay, I made up the Hitler-killing part. And maybe it wasn’t so much “standing up to him” as it was a stern, verbal defense . . . that I gave quietly instead of sternly.

“Uh, hi. I just wanted to see what you were up to. That’s all,” I said.

“Get out. You have no business here,” he said.

“But why?” I asked.

That’s when he got all mumbly and stuttery. 

“Because you—I—you are—I do not answer to you!” he said. “You are under the direct command of Commander Stone. Let’s just see what he has to say about this!”

That’s when I got suspicious. Why would he get so mad if he wasn’t hiding something? Then I remembered seeing him leaving Dr. Mera’s office. I got a hunch like The Iron Stomach gets in my old Arbitration League comics: Mera’s scary + Sham’s being weird = they’re up to no good!

Sham marched me to Cdr. Stone’s office, and boy was Stone mad. But I presented my case with perfect   logic. 

“Sham was doing something weird to the subs—” I started to say.

That’s when Sham butted in. “I detected an irregularity in the automated controls. I was attempting to fix it before it presented a severe problem when Daart interrupted.” 

“You’re too late, Sham,” Cdr. Stone said. “The problem has already occurred. Quillroy reported the subs set sail without him or Albert VII aboard.”

“They did?” Sham gulped. “Well. Then. That must clearly be . . .” He swirled his eyes around the room until they fell on me. “It must be Daart’s fault.” 

“What? You’re blaming me?” I said. 

“Had I not been distracted by your intrusion, I would have had time to thoroughly diagnose any errors found in the subs’ debugging protocols,” Sham said. 

“You were the one being all weird when Quillroy and Albert VII found those underwater buildings,” I said.

Then Sham got all huffy. “Huh! ‘Weird’ as you call it is a subjective term I won’t even dignify with a response.”

Cdr. Stone interrupted us, then. “Sham, see what you can do about returning the subs to Quillroy and Albert VII. Daart, you’re to stay clear of Sham until this mission is complete.”

I still can’t believe it. Cdr. Stone took Sham’s side! I’m still mad about that.

Sham left, and Cdr. Stone walked me back to my quarters. 

“If there was such an emergency, why was Sham wasting time talking to Dr. Mera?” I asked, hoping to hook Cdr. Stone into seeing it my way.

But Cdr. Stone wasn’t biting. “Sham reports directly to Dr. Mera. You know that. He’s not under Navy command.” 

“What about the books? He saw something on the VR feed, then he went to look at some weird old books. I saw them!” I said.

“That’s enough, Daart. You’re making accusations without just cause. Sham’s support role for GK Delta is gathering intel. Looking at what you call ‘weird old books’ is part of his job. I understand you want to help find El Ray, but your suspicions may have jeopardized this mission. The USS Allen W. Dulles has been ordered back to San Nicolas Island—immediately.”

At Cdr. Stone’s words, I felt like I wanted to throw up—and not because of the El Taco Cheapo five-dollar meal I ate, either. I felt terrible that I’d messed up so bad.

I watched from my room as Cdr. Stone turned and walked away, moving with that tired, upright walk he always has. I kept hoping he’d look back, but he didn’t. Not once.

File Directory

~/SNI Zero Zero/