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  from Oracle by Kyle Leigh

Chapter 1

“Catharine?”

“Yes?”

“Where’s Galileo today?”

“Still near New Dublin, 20 miles or so off the coast.”

“How odd… He hasn’t looked up in days.”

The young man sat back in his chair, taking a deep breath. He rubbed his eyes blearily and turned to the woman sitting at the terminal nearest his.

She peered intently at her terminal screen, the light playing off her delicate features. She was quite beautiful, even in the unflattering fluorescent light of the OSER offices. Dark hair fell in loose curls around her shoulders; a stray lock had tangled itself around the temples of her glasses. She was one of only a few women in the OSER unit, and she worked like she had something to prove. Nothing got past her keen blue eyes, darting between camera feeds, tracking dozens of lines of data at ones.

She glanced sideways at the man who was absentmindedly staring at her. “Something the matter, Will?”

Will flushed slightly. “Sorry, no. I was just thinking about Galileo’s strange behavior.” He attempted an excuse. “Is Loche still circling near Bermuda?”

She quickly sifted through several video streams before settling on the one she needed. It displayed a large ovoid ship hovering over a vast ocean.

“Not circling… But he’s still in the area.” She replied. “I wonder what he finds so interesting there. He hasn’t patrolled his normal route for days now.”

“Yeah, and it’s been so long since Gal looked up that he’s going to lose his namesake.” William mused, his poor attempt at a joke drawing a soft giggle out of Catharine.

A red light glinted off the edge of her glasses, forcing her attention back to the screen in front of her. She touched an icon, acknowledging the flashing alert. The feed switched to a scene of a similar ship to the first, this time racing over lush green plains.

 

“Who’s that?” Will asked in a concerned voice.

 

The office intercom crackled to life. “All officers to their stations. All terminals active and at yellow alert. Oracle 7 has deviated from its patrol route and is on course for Shanghai.”

&nbs...







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