The outpost supply ship Reliant exploded this morning at 09:00 earth time. All 62 crew members died instantly. The Nicene anti-expansionists claimed the attack as one of their own. It is the first time they have targeted a non-military vessel, which may herald a worrying new trend in interstellar terrorism.
Excerpt from recorded film as part of the last will and testament of JB Reiser:
Hey Bro, if you’re watching this, the unthinkable has happened – I’ve just met my sticky end in the inky vastness of space (laugh). I’ve been updating this message every year or so and this time is really important. Cass found out she was pregnant just days before I was due to head off on this six-month supply tour.
Jesus, I really hope you aren’t listening to this because that means I never got the chance to meet the new person growing inside Cass’ belly.
Cass is well provided for – this job has good health and pension cover. I’m directing this message at you because I don’t want mum taking over. She’ll do it with the best intentions, but then she’ll railroad Cass completely. I need you to watch out for Cass, help her stand her ground and do what she thinks is right for the baby. We were planning to join the new settlement scheme and maybe move to some obscure part of the galaxy where life is less programmed, more of a surprise. If Cass still wants that, you’ll have to fight mum over it.
I’ve instructed that you be told first if something happens to me. I want you to be the one to break the news to Cass. I know you’re more of a words man, Bruce, but she won’t need your words, they won’t help her. You need to hold her as tight as you can. I know you’re cringing there (laugh), but it’s hugs that she’ll need.
Tell her I love her more than anything. It sounds clichéd but I really mean it. Tell her I’ll miss her dancing to merengue while she cooks or laughing at whatever she’s reading, the mean back massages she knows how to give me, how she looked on our wedding day in red because it’s her favourite colour (and white just makes her look ill), and the silly debates we always have over coffee in the mornings when I’m on home leave. Tell her I would never have left her by choice.
Tell her, too, that I want our baby to grow up knowing who I was but I want them to know the real me, no turning me into a hero. No naming them after me, not even as a middle name; they deserve to be their own person.
And the next bit of this message is for you because you are much more to me than just my messenger…
Annual meeting of the non-animal-protein development committee:
The meeting was interrupted when the chair, Cassandra Reiser, was called out to speak to a relative bringing urgent news. Those present were not able to hear what was said through the sound-proof glass, but they observed Ms. Reiser collapsing against a tall, thin man, wearing glasses (unthinkable in this day and age of corrective eye treatment). It was clear she was sobbing, wailing even, and the young man was holding her very, very tight.
Excerpt of passenger manifest for the Aurora settlement ship traveling to Kairos:
Bruce Reiser (28), traveling with wife
Cassandra Reiser (26) and child
Aria Reiser (2)