“Yes sir! At once sir!” Britain signed off.

Barbuda could almost picture him saluting. He chuckled. The thought of Britain’s rotund frame snapping off a salute to an intercom amused him.

He wasn’t sure what to make of the news he had received from Antigua. One man meant more men. If they were lucky then all they were dealing with was a small tribal pocket, the last remnants of human civilization in the southern hemisphere. If they were unlucky, then their arrival in search of arable land and resources would inevitably result in conflict.

He resolved to write a report to the elder council, they would need to prepare  a propaganda campaign. The people wouldn’t need much convincing but it didn’t hurt to soften the blow.

He turned to study his console. The return pod support system readings were all nominal. The refrigeration unit was doing its job. He was mildly concerned that the core temperature was being reported as roughly fifty degrees. If it climbed any higher they would be receiving a well broiled human specimen.

Time to arrival was estimated at roughly three hours, forty minutes. He considered the condition Antigua had reported the man as being in…he didn’t hold out much hope for his chances of survival.

He tapped out notifications to both the medical bay and the morgue. The medical bay needed to be prepared to attend a hyperthermic amputee that had lost significant quantities of blood. They would also need to be prepared to work under level five quarantine. There was no telling what he might be bringing across with him. Likewise, the morgue would need to be prepared to perform a potential autopsy under the same quarantine level.

Once he had sent the instructions he sat back, contemplating the little blip that represented the progress of the return pod on his console map. He was immensely excited by what it contained but also more than a little apprehensive. He reached for his syringe gun and loaded it with a cartridge from his gauntlet. He pointed it at his neck and fired it.

Calm descended upon him.

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