My name is Monica Tanner and the date is January 3rd, 2130. This is to be my 1,200th entry into my data journal. I received my data journal on my seventh birthday and I've been writing in it ever since. Now at twenty eight I can hardly believe how many times I've picked up this lap top to enter the smallest things in my life up to my most heart wrenching concerns....
Monica lie on her bed, her data journal before her with an ominous black folder labeled "TOP SECRET" cast to the edge of the her bed. The seal on the black folder had been broken and only the first of thirty pages had been removed. The thirty page file was accompanied by two disks holding vast amounts of data. Monica wasn't worried about someone breaking in and seeing the files laying about. She knew the military was near and watching her, even if there appeared to be no one around. She laid on the bed with her legs pointed towards the head the same way as when she had been a little girl, with her girlish concerns. Now somehow her concerns involved the world. Trying not to think of the big picture, she pondered her next entry as she twirled her forefinger through her long black hair. If Monica was standing up, she'd have been about five foot nine. She prided herself on keeping in good shape. That was another reason for the black folder. Her face was small with various freckles hidden by her brilliant turquoise eyes.
Monica resumed her typing.....`My life has been full of many changes and my career has been through many promotions. I'm entering my latest promotion as one that will effect my life forever (and possibly everyone's life here on Earth.) This latest promotion will take me once again away from Mother Earth. Unlike the Mars mission, I am being relocated and my rank will jump two levels. Not leaving me much more room to ascend. My expertise with NASA isn't just with engine propulsion, orbit tracking, optical electronics, or star charting. In my short, yet fruitful career I've managed to climb the ladder of success rather quickly, five to ten years faster than most. This didn't come without its downfalls. As a result I have no social life and an uncomfortable silence has fallen upon my remaining family. When I was young, I had been told that I was gifted and that I should shoot for the stars. I must admit, I never thought I'd be on the first NASA mission to take men beyond our solar system.
`The top secret assignment has simply been called Concord for a single reason. That being that the ship I'm to be apart of the crew of is named the UE-1 Concord. The ship has two objectives in it's mission. The first objective being that with roughly 845 different UFO's recorded throughout the course of the last one hundred years, there has still been no contact. The reasons behind the Aliens,' appearant avoidence of us is something that's been debated from one side of the planet to the other. Still, despite all the debating we really don't know why, or if they've been avoiding us.
I've glanced at the assignment out of curiosity, but I figure I'll read it more in depth during my trip to the Effendi base on Mars. From the brief look, I've gathered that the UE-1 Concord is a newly developed ship with the experimental Gravitational Nuclear Pulse Drive. I've seen some of the designs of the Concord, but didn't realize the ship was this close to its maiden voyage. It's fascinating to imagine that I could be there for our first contact (which should put a rest to all the debating.) For there's been a UFO detected fifty thousand kilometers outside Pluto's orbit of the sun. The UFO appears not to be moving and generating a distress call. Yes, that means our mission is to rescue them as an act of friendship. Though I predict Earth's governments are trying to make friends and maybe gain a favor or two. After all, elections are coming around again.
`The second objective for our mission is to test the new Nuclear drive outside our solar system. The drives main source of power is our solar systems gravitational pull between our sun and her planets. What'll happen if this drive is taken outside it's source of power is yet to be seen.'
`Tomorrow's flight will be on the Shuttle Intrepid. Not the best of shuttles, but the only one that could be had at such short notice. I'll get around three hours of sleep tonight, followed by my four hour flight to the launching zone. There I meet some of the crew. Astrologer Dekel Z. Relmore, who I've had the unpleasant experience of working with in the past. Though I think he is one of the best in his field, we are from two sides of the coin. Not to mention it will give him and me a chance to finish business. According to the crew roster, I'll also be meeting the ships Doctor, Sakae K. Tazu from Japan and the other leading Astrologer Ky-vanya Orinda from Russia, who I'm hoping will be able to handle Dekel. Last but not least, sixteen NASA Astronauts and twelve military personnel. There's not suppose to be any kind of a confrontation, but the military likes to be involved any way it can. It appears that there will be sixty crew members in all.....'
Monica's eyes rolled over the crew members when it occurred to her that she hadn't bothered to look at who the Captain of the Concord was. Many big names came to mind as she scouted over the page. Shultz maybe, that's who she'd choose. Or maybe it would be Dringsol, the South African. She'd met him once at a huge party and despite the talking and laughing going on, Dringsol always looked like he was on the bridge of his ship. She'd always wanted to work with him. Not finding the Captain's name on the title page Monica pulled the rest of the papers out of the folder. One was labeled official personnel only. Looking at it, Monica found a list of all the experts traveling on the Concord and where they were coming from. She scanned through it quickly looking for the Captain's name.
Thinking to herself as she went, `..say, it could be Valgerhaus. She was the number one female captain from Germany and...' - Jorbane S. Panas?
"Who the hell is this guy!" exclaimed Ms. Tanner out loud.
Finding little about him from the files except his name, Monica went to her lap top computer and began accessing Earth's personnel files. In entering his name, Monica hit the search button to locate Jorbane's personal history file.
NO FILE FOUND BY THAT NAME.
"Oh, so you think you can hide him from me", Monica challenged her computer out loud.
She punched in her high clearance government access code and searched for the Captain's file in the government protected files.
NO FILE FOUND BY THAT NAME.
"Okay wise guy",
Monica punched in her world access code, followed by her high rank access code to access the files on all the General's, Admiral's, and Top Secret weapons files.
NO FILE FOUND BY THAT NAME.
Monica sat scratching her head, `either they've spelled your name wrong Mr. Jorbane or you just plain don't exist..'
This unknown captain might have set Monica off, but she wasn't about to let it keep her from her precious three hours of sleep. Since those three hours of sleep might be all that she gets in the next couple of days.