The Cairo Saga, Book 3: Legacies of War
Chapter 1: Destination-Tukayyid

CNC Spirit Sight
Nadia Jump Point
CGR-135-134-T
Lyran Alliance

Cairo scanned the print-off:

From: Precentor Simon Clearwater, ComStar
To: Major Steven Cairo, Solaris Irregulars.
Priority: Most Urgent
Message reads:

Critical situation developing on Tukayyid. Most urgent you make best speed for ComStar Command. Forgo stop at Tharkad. Make you command as battle-ready as possible. Report to Colonel McKinlay on arrival.

Message ends.

Cairo crumpled the sheet of paper, swearing under his breath: The planned stopover at Tharkad was meant to be his first chance to see his daughter in almost two years. He swore again, realizing that he was going to have to break the news to Sinead: she was liable to be even angrier than he was.

He pushed off from the com-station and floated over to the holo-tank in the center of the bridge. Star-Commodore Ivan Leroux looked at him, "Bad new, Quiaff?"

"Aff." Cairo nodded, "We have been ordered to proceed to Tukayyid without delay. I don not know what is brewing, but it must be big: the message came over the Black-Box and was triple-encrypted." He handed over the message to the ship's commander.

Leroux scanned the message; "It bodes ill when a unit in a state such as yours is expected to be battle ready."

"We will be lucky to field a company, even if we work flat-out between here and Tukayyid. Add to that, I have to go tell my wife that it will be another six months before we see Jane again."

"I will tell the doctor to have sick-bay ready. It should take us approximately 5-days to reach the Tukayyid."

Cairo smiled, and pushed-off towards the hatch.

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Cairo made his way down to the Mech-bay of the DropShip carrying the remains of the Irregulars. He found McCoy working on a damaged Shadow Cat OmniMech. "You better stop that Shamus: We need to get as many Mechs as battle-ready in the next 7-to-8 days as we can: something big is going down on Tukayyid and Clearwater wants us in on it. Get Carpenters Templar on-line: I'll use it until I get a new Orion."

The tech nodded, "And have you told Sinead that we're not stopping at Tharkad as planed?"

Cairo shook his head; "I'm on my way now."

"Good luck…"

TBC…