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The narrator of this story had a very restricted, if highly personal and intense, view of the events he was part of. To provide the reader with perspective, four documents with very different viewpoints are provided here as prologue. The first of these is one with which the narrator was familiar, but which he did not consciously connect with the events and thus barely mentions in his debrief.

The other three documents, indeed two of the other three viewpoints, he was totally unaware of.

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1 The second millennium had passed since the birth of the Redeemer, and the Lord GOD looked at what man had wrought upon the Earth. 2 HE saw the waters and the air fouled, greed rewarded and virtue scorned. 3 Liars were empowered, their voices entering every home, and their pictures which moved with the semblance of life. 4 And the cities of man were beset with murderers and thieves, tempters and corrupters.

5 Great armies there were, and fleets of warships that fared upon the sea and beneath it, and there were other fleets that flew swiftly in the air. 6 Still other fleets flew above the air, and these were the most terrible, for they had in them such power that a single one of them could destroy a great city and all its people, and poison whole regions of the Earth.

7 And even as HE watched, GOD saw the armies of man move and clash upon the Earth; the fleets on and under the seas destroyed each other, and the fleets that flew in the air wrought havoc upon all they flew over.

8 Then those other fleets were launched which flew above the air. 9 And when they came to earth, the walls of the cities fell as less than rubble; fire and great winds reaped the people like mighty scythes; the sun was masked with blood and the moon hid its face; days became like nights; myriad were the dead, and loud the cries and lamentations.

10 And the Earth in its sorrow was cold beneath the pall of Death, so that the corn did not grow; hay rotted in the windrows and potatoes in the ground.

11 And the armies of man were without rule, sacking and killing, and the children of man were without bread.

12 Pestilence and famine spread across the face of the Earth, even pestilence that was sent not by god but by the hand of man, so that few remained of man's multitudes. 13 And bands of the wicked wandered the waste place the Earth had become, murdering with knife and gun, bow and club, stealing bread from the widow and blankets from her children, making slaves of them and violating them.

14 And many men raised their faces to GOD, crying aloud for mercy, but only a few there were who fell upon their knees, calling out to god that they repented, and saying that all which had befallen them was just.

15 And among the Host of Heaven were those who spoke to GOD saying that man was too iniquitous, that the time had come for the final judgment, and that the Earth should be cleared of man and all his works.

16 GOD listened to the hosts, but also HE listened to the supplications of those men who were righteous. 17 And in His infinite mercy and His infinite justice, GOD stopped for a space the passing of night and day on Earth. 18 HE made the suffering and dying and life itself to pause and wait, while HE renewed the Earth, recreating it. 19 And on the renewed Earth, he left few works of man; simple tools whereby man could have shelter and bread by the sweat of his brow. 20 For GOD did not return man to the paradise of Eden and the innocence of the beginning. 21 Instead he took the remnants of the nations of man and divided them into small portions, and sowed those portions separate from one another in distant places, mingling them, and caused them to forget their pride and their shame, and much else. 22 And charged the Church to teach man to love GOD and his fellow men.

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Report of hostile encounter in restricted Varnis-4 Reserve Zone. GPV 1207-34-29643

A vessel of ISWS Class 7V entered the Varnis System at 3174.29038.1592.4911 under cover of an FB cloak. A Varnis-4 Sentry Unit detected the faint emergence wave and tracked the intruder to its nearest approach, then challenged it. Intruder promptly fired S-pulses, then despite a G-field distortion of 0.493 mG, began to generate a warp field. Sentry Varnis-4 fired penetration pulses in an unsuccessful attempt to disrupt the nascent warp field. Intruder escaped, leaving neutron fog indicating critical generator strain.

Parameters of the emergence wave indicate intruder source in Vekktalos Sector.

Parameters of departure eddy indicated 5° departure cone centering on 5214.49960.812275.

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Memo fac, Cultural Oversight Bureau
GPV 1207-34-30427

»» Operations Director, Monitor Service

«« DEB COB, via Intelligence Filter
Bogey report


Suggest you call up and read Report of hostile encounter in restricted Varnis-4 Reserve Zone GPV 1207-34-29643.

Per Intel Eval, this intruder is probably (P<0.10) fun-and-games crazies out of LZ world Kelgorath-5. Consider sending a Sec-C warning to all teams in the 5° departure cone given in Report of Encounter.

In this Era of Fiscal Responsibility, I appreciate that sending warnings to so many receipt points will play havoc with a tight comm budget. If you decide to do it, and I hope you will, I am authorized to transfer up to 5 x 10**4 credits to your budget to ease the pain.


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Memorandum of transmittal, dated GPV 1207-41-93126


The official account of this mission is already in agency files. You may have read the abstract.

I realize how unusual (unprecedented?) it is, without a Committee of Evidence request, to send up an ultrarecall debrief of a project personnel, let alone a very junior project indigene. But that's what I'm doing. Obviously it is good promotion for the Sol Three Project, and therefore self-serving. And equally obviously, if that were the only reason for sending it, it would be severely counterproductive. But given the conditions on this planet, and our operating strictures here:

1. I believe it will be enlightening to HQ administrative personnel to read this. Too many have only the most general notion of field work in the boondocks. Very few will have had experience on anything like a 5-C Spec world.

2. You may also consider it desirable and appropriate that this be made available to COB, to promote the Service.

3. And finally, it may be useful in recruiting, whether by showing it to prime prospects or publishing it broadly.

Besides which, I like this young man, and obviously believe he can have an important future in the Service. This will establish a file on him at HQ.

Regardless of whether this debrief ever gets beyond your desk, I trust you'll enjoy reading it for the memories it'll stir up, from the years before they made an office slave out of you.


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