Eileen strode quickly onto the hangar deck, her mind still running through her conversation with Priest. Suddenly the situation had just got a whole lot more complicated, and she was still churning through the different possibilities. Unfortunately there was no time to stop and think it through in detail.
Blanking any sign of concern from her expression, Eileen stood in front of the assembled marines, "Alright people, things just got a little harder on us. The Andromeda isn't at the rendezvous point," She waited briefly for a reaction, then continued, "Instead we've picked up several emergency beacons transmitting the ICC standard signal. One originates from a nearby planet, designated LV-142, approximately one hour from our current location, the other two in near space to this planet."
"We believe the Andromeda has either crashed or landed on LV-142 and is the source of the planetary signal, and that the two other signals originate from life boats. The Andromeda carries 12 lifeboats in total, however there's no signal to indicate the others have been launched."
Eileen paused to allow the situation to sink in, before resuming, "Our first task is to retrieve the two lifeboats to the hangar. After that we'll drop to LV-142 on the location of the emergency beacon."
"Priest is running a scan now, between him and whatever we find on the lifeboats we should have more information when we hit the ground. For now we do know conditions on planet are difficult. It's dark, high levels of geothermal activily with a high number of active volcanoes, and a heavy carbon dioxide based atmosphere with atmospheric pressure considerably about Earth standard. The survey records mention some indigenous life, but primitive, mostly plants."
"Translated that means we'll have to wear spacesuits down there and we can expect reduction in weapon performance due to increased drag. Explosives will be less effective, and between atmospheric pressure and oxygen levels Priest's not sure if incinerators will function at all."
"Currently we have no idea of the circumstances that led the Andromeda to LV-142. Scans should reveal whether it crashed or landed, and the lifeboats may provide more data, but for now we'll assume the worst. That the terrorists are alive and active on the ship."
"Given the surface conditions the passengers should still be on the Andromeda. We will enter and search the ship, locate and kill the cultists, secure the other passengers and crew and assess what if any damage has been done by the biological device. There's a lot of unknowns here, we may find out more before we drop, we may not, so be ready for plans to change at short notice."
"First things first though, we're recovering the lifeboats. Complete prep, I want both squads armed and ready when those things are brought on board. We have no idea who if anyone is on board, so they're to be treated as hostile until we can positively identify them."
Eileen looked around the hangar, "Are there any questions?"
nd Lieutenant Eileen Vincent
3 Bat, 2nd Reg, 8th Platoon