After the previous encrypted message was cracked, we were left asking how Socha Korbemile could have ended up becoming a traitor, when he was so clearly devoted to his work with Dr Arcanonn and his various research teams.
Well, this latest decrypted message might offer an explanation:
To: Socha Korbemile
Subject: You don’t know us, but we know you.
Socha Korbemile, formerly a Penitent of Remor Veld, now a man of science: read this message very carefully. How you choose to respond will determine the fates of those you hold dear.
Please study this picture carefully:[Attachment: img1.zimg]
You’ll recognise two of the people in this image – your mother and father. The other two figures, and the person who took this picture, do not belong there: they are ours.
They have been living with the Penitents for the past 6 months and have become key members of the community. To your family and the rest of the group, they are people who became disillusioned with the ‘progress’ of our species and who are now following the True Path.
But this is a fabrication. Their names, identities and histories are all fabrication.
In truth, they answer only to the names we give them; their lives beat only to the rhythm of our drum; their knives slash the throats of those upon whom we place our mark.
They are weapons, Socha, weapons which you now hold in your hands: If you choose to ignore us or attempt to warn anyone, your family will be killed. Their suffering will be long and exquisite, and you will be immersed in their blood.
To prove our point:[Attachment: img2.zimg]
Recognise her? Ah Marietta, such a pretty girl she was. As you can see – our operatives take a certain pride in their work – they see it more as an art form, and who are we to disagree?
So what do we want? Simple, really: Arcanonn.
He is a fool who thinks openness is a strength, that his quest for knowledge about these alien ‘things’ is somehow of benefit to us all. We know this to be a mistake. There is only one group who can be trusted with this knowledge: us. We shut Palin down at Christian Dock and forced him to run off to the Pirate haven Maia, and we’re going to shut Arcanonn down, too: with your help.
And if you do a really good job – one day you might help us flay Arcanonn like poor Marietta there.
You will receive a device later today which will allow you to communicate with us without being detected. You will use it to start telling us everything that goes on in the Doctor’s lab, and everything you learn about his movements: present and future.
If at any point we think you’re lying to us, or if we’re unhappy with the amount or quality of information you’re sending – you know what happens.
We also have a special task for you to perform, but we’ll tell you about that soon enough.
If you’re wondering about that message from your dear Mother – that was genuine. We have obtained control of the comms relay in orbit around your home system, so we can intercept anything going out or in.
Your response, for example: she hasn’t received that.
And she never will, unless you do what we say.
Don’t let us, or rather her, down.
Unfortunately (or fortunately in the case of the second picture), the images sent in this message couldn’t be identified.
So this would explain why Korbemile’s mother’s message was on a device on Forsskal Hub. But if that’s the case – we’re talking some serious power here.
It means potentially that the Penitents of Remor Veld have been harmless all along, and that the real enemy is someone else far bigger.
There are still yet more messages to be retrieved, and when I get the next one I will of course post it here.
UPDATE (7TH MARCH 3302)
And what’s this? CMDR Josh Hawkins’ rescued scientist makes reference to Socha?
What’s the connection here then?