Update (3rd March 3302): Socha’s response to this message has been decrypted!
Last week, I reported on a successful counter-intelligence operation by CSO De Rosa and his teams in which they retrieved some data that he believed was connected with the plots against Dr Arcanonn.
Instead of being encrypted, as was initially thought, it’s now been identified as a memory snapshot of a personal terminal, presumably used by someone on Forsskal at the time it was captured.
The analysts soon identified encrypted messages within certain areas of the data, most likely held there by a secure communications application that was running on the device (so they tell me – it doesn’t make any sense to me!). Following a few days’ of ‘brute force’ attacks on the underlying encryption – they were able to get the ‘plaintext’ of one of these messages, and reconstruct it.
They couldn’t believe what they were reading.
It appears to have been sent to Socha Korbemile (the man who betrayed Dr Arcanonn) by his mother and, if true, suggests that he was raised in a secretive community whose name you will recognise: the Penitents of Remor Veld.
The message offers an insight into the structure, beliefs and motivations of this sect. It might also help lift the lid on their involvement with the local factions’ plot against us.
The team have not yet identified when the message was sent, but we can assume it was just after he was mentioned by the doctor by name both here and in Galnet, as his mother makes specific mention of this right at the start.
CSO De Rosa has authorised me to reproduce this message here, in its entirety, for your consumption.
To: Socha Korbemile
Subject: Please return
I saw your name in Galnet yesterday – urging people to travel to the Pleiades to find the Barnacles… And I wept.
Your father and I have never stopped praying for you every morning and night since you left all those years ago. Even now, as his health fades and the life retreats from his bones, he still hopes for his son’s return. And so do I.
We fear for you, Socha. Your work makes you one of the Shameless: They whose heads shall be reaped when humanity is judged.
Are you really willing to risk the wrath of those who hold more power in one limb then any of us could wield in a lifetime? Did you really reject your teachings so readily? Perhaps you think that Hudson and his puppets at Core Dynamics can save you, or have you succumbed to the collective vanity that believes humanity has magically learned how to cooperate and defend itself?
History shows us the truth: The Thargoid war was a persecution perpetrated by humanity, and our continued parasitising of the galaxy is built on technology stolen from our victims. They will return, and when they do, we will be annihilated. The only safe path is to offer our shame – to repent and make reparations – and only we, the Penitents of Remor Veld, are following the True Path.
This work of yours with those Unknown Artefacts and Barnacles – oh Socha, can’t you see? You’re exploiting them just the same as we exploited the Thargoids before!
I know, I know… we went through all this before you left. But a mother must try to rescue and redeem her son. If she does not, she is lost.
Life in our community has become more and more difficult for us as your precious Dr Arcanonn has committed more crimes. He and Palin are the chief agitators now. They will be remembered, in whatever human history exists after the Fall, as the men who brought our judgement to bear. But so will you, Socha – and people who were once our friends now look upon us as diseased – wrinkling up their noses as if we’re surrounded by a foul stench.
I am no longer asked to take teachings or look after the children of others, and your father has been banished from the central hall. Children who ask questions during their teachings are now beaten, their family’s rations cut and their shame announced to all at the morning services.
We do not complain, because we see the need for control. How else are we to ensure that there is a humanity left!?
But if you could return to us, renounce your heresies and embrace the Truth once again, then I’m sure life would return to normal once more. We embrace repentance – even by those who desert the faith – and yours would be welcomed greater than the coming of the suns.
Marietta still waits for you – her heart still burning with desire for her betrothed. I know she reads the public feeds, eagerly awaiting mentions of your name. I believe she would have come to find you had her father not kept her safe at home for the last 4 years.
Please think about us. Please think about me – the one you trusted for so long to look after you and keep you safe. I have not changed – it was you that changed; but I am still hopeful that deep down, you are still the kind, dutiful son I raised.
The time is coming, Socha. I know you feel it too. Why take the risk that what you’re doing is merely harmless playing? What if this is all a test to see if humanity is ready to co-exist?
If so – the destruction and misuse of these alien artefacts and barnacles can only be judged one way: That we have learned nothing, and that we should be exterminated.
Oh I can’t stand it – please, come home!
There is something so sad about a mother reaching out to her son in this way, even if the impression we get is that of a brainwashed fool.
The analysts tell me they’re now working on another message. Obviously, they hope to find a response from Socha to this heartfelt message from his mother – but they can’t guarantee what they’ll find.
What’s not clear is why these messages would be on a device used by somebody on Forsskal Hub – unless she was there in person.
I’ll bring you more as soon as I get it.