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Days had passed since Amer's Toll jumped to a new system. Having scanned nearly a dozen craft, Calden had come to the conclusion that no Armada warships remained. The job of first contact was not his to do in that moment and as soon as the small craft drifted out of range, the ship made a change to navigation.
Four systems had been lifeless, some naturally while others were old battlefields that spoke tales of the violence that struck them. He eyed those sites with a dull hatred of what the Armada had done to them. Their time would come, he knew. Now, he had to find their tracks.
((Durkas System, Oort Cloud))
"Systems nominal. Jump complete."
The captain once again ordered a scan. The Durkas system was home to three planets that orbited Red Dwarf sun in eccentric elliptic orbits. The largest of the three worlds, Bitol III, is a large terrestrial world, rich in iron silicates and with vast deposits of stable transuranic elements. Dense jungles of tall, orange stalks cover much of its surface dotted by sprawling red bog to the south. The planet's north hemisphere is almost completely covered with vast icy plains. Several colonies dot its surface, mainly dedicated to industrial mining and refineries of heavy elements.
What caught his attention was the alarm that blared from a console as the crew compiled scan data. He waited as they assessed what was before them. Numerous craft and communications filtered in through the computer. Once again, a small alarm tripped as the ship's library found a match.
"Captain, I believe we have found something," spoke the astrogator.
"Navigation, rig us for silent running," Calden ordered. "What do we have?
"At this range, it is hard to be exact. Our sensors have detected a possible emissions match at the third planet."
"Bring us into the system."
The ship began to slowly maneuver into the solar system, making sure to stay above the solar plane in relative cover of the icy debris field of the Oort Cloud as long as possible before making way to the planet. Closer and closer still, Amer's Toll silently crept towards the source of signals.