1441 Information Exchange

    "Control Center of Ognev Starbase, this is Jiang Fei, the Commander of the 5th Hybrid Fleet. I'm here to request a meeting with General Lockseed," said Jiang Fei, sending his verification codes.

    They should know who he was since Lockseed had officially given him authority over the 5th Hybrid Fleet.

    "Codes received and verified. Welcome, Commander Jiang Fei. Your request is being processed. Please locate the entry point and dock at the 7th port in the hangar bay."

    "Thank you, Control Center," replied Jiang Fei.

    He drove the shuttle to the lower half of the starbase. After docking at his designated port, a few officers dressed in military uniforms came to greet him. One of the officers with a Second Lieutenant badge came forth.

    "Commander Jiang Fei?"


    "My apologies but a preliminary inspection is required to check your identity. If you would allow me?" asked the officer, politely requesting for permission to come closer.

    Jiang Fei might not be who he says he is, but on the off chance that he was the real Jiang Fei, he was still a commander of a fleet, a rank much higher than a Second Lieutenant.

    "Go ahead," said Jiang Fei.

    He stood still to allow the officer to conduct a bio scan. This fortress in space was an important structure. None could enter or exit without thorough verification.

    The Second Lieutenant stood in front of Jiang Fei and took out a small hand-held scanning device. A horizontal beam of red light flashed out, scanning Jiang Fei from top to bottom, and eventually turning green.

    "Identity confirmed. Welcome aboard, Commander Jiang Fei of the 5th Hybrid fleet."

    The officer saluted Jiang Fei and bowed. The squad of officers then bowed altogether in response before leaving Jiang Fei to his business. Following the squad, Jiang Fei exited the hanger bay and entered the torus.

    He mumbled to himself, "Shoot, I forgot to ask where General Lockseed is!"

    "Not to worry. I am now connected to the starbase. I am currently downloading its schematics," said 0541.

    "Huh? Did you just hack into this place?"

    "It's not that simple. If it was, I would have already been inside the system before you landed the ship. I simply logged into the database using your credentials. The information that I am able to download is limited to your level of authority."

    This base was so important to the military that hacking into its system would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, even for 0541. However, since Jiang Fei's rank and authorization were high, 0541 did not need to hack into the system to get what he needed.

    "Try and find out where he is, I need to speak to him as soon as possible."

    Right now, all Jiang Fei could do was to wait for 0541 to guide him to Lockseed. As for hacking into the system, he would leave that for 0541 to do on his own time. There was no urgent need for it, so 0541 could do that whenever he wanted.

    "Central Administration, Sector C14. Just follow this line and you'll reach the sector," said 0541.

    He projected an augmented-reality guidance arrow to guide Jiang Fei. With 0541's help, Jiang Fei arrived at the central torus where all the administrative officers were located. There was a reception desk in the center of the hollow opening.

    An officer approached Jiang Fei and stopped him from proceeding. "Greetings and welcome to the Frontline Command Center. Please produce your identification."

    "I am Commander Jiang Fei of the 5th Hybrid Fleet," said Jiang Fei, showing the officer his identification device.

    "Please hold. I will now do a quick bio scan."

    He scanned Jiang Fei with the same device he had been scanned with earlier. After confirming his identity, the officer held out another scanning device. This one would determine whether Jiang Fei was carrying any weapons.

    "You may pass now. Thank you for your patience," said the officer before leaving Jiang Fei be.

    "Hello, Commander Jiang Fei, what can I do for you today?" asked the officer behind the desk.

    "Is General Lockseed available?"

    "Are you here to see General Lockseed? Do you have an appointment with him?" asked the officer as he tapped and clicked on the computer on the desk.

    "No. But if you could notify him that I am here, I'm sure he would agree to meet me straight away," said Jiang Fei politely.

    Instead of rejecting him on the spot, the officer complied, "As you wish, Commander. Please wait for a moment."

    Not 20 seconds later, the officer stood back up.

    "I'm sorry Commander Jiang Fei. General Lockseed is currently in another meeting. You might want to rest in the recreational room while waiting for him," said the officer apologetically.

    "Thank you. I'll do that."

    In all fairness, Jiang Fei was supposed to be in that meeting too, as he was part of the military's commanding ranks. However, since he had been gone for almost half a year, Jiang Fei had been categorized as missing in action. That is why when Lockseed went to the meeting, his Vice-General had not included Jiang Fei in the presentee list.

    As Jiang Fei took a seat in one of the comfortable chairs in the room, he closed his eyes and started to think about one too many things. He was currently burdened with many problems of his own. He thought about his family, the girls in Braveheart, his enemies, the incoming invaders from the higher dimension... he felt like his lungs were about to collapse.

    Two hours later, the door to the recreational room slid open and General Lockseed walked in hurriedly.

    He greeted Jiang Fei with a radiant smile. "Apologies for making you wait so long!"

    Jiang Fei stood up and saluted him. "General Lockseed."

    Lockseed saluted back and invited him to return to his seat, "Please, sit."

    "Sir, the reason I am here is to ask about the developments in the Alpha Sector," said Jiang Fei, getting straight to the point.

    "Jumping straight to it, huh? I was going to talk about that as well," replied Lockwood, laughing it off.

    "That was actually the main topic of the meeting. I'm sorry about not including you, but you have been missing for quite some time. By the way, where have you been?"

    Jiang Fei told the truth but left out some things, "I... I went back to my home planet. It has been too long since I've shown my face there..."

    "I see. Well, if you want to leave, you could have informed me about it beforehand. Your absence has caused a little trouble on my part."

    Lockseed was not going to completely blame Jiang Fei, but his tone obviously showed that he was not happy that Jiang Fei had gone missing without informing him.

    For all Lockseed knew, Jiang Fei could have defected back to the Valsalrian Army. As a military combatant, one could never go missing for half a year and return without facing any repercussions. And Jiang Fei was the commander of a fleet at that!

    Jiang Fei bowed his head so low that he almost banged it on the coffee table in front of him. "I am sincerely sorry about this! I promise that it will never happen again!"

    He knew that he had caused unnecessary trouble for someone who had been kind enough to give him a rank in the military. If it wasn't for Lockseed, Jiang Fei might have been branded as a deserter!

    "Mhm. It's all good as long as you have repented. Well then, enough about this. Let's talk about the Alpha Sector. Please tell me what you know about the incident and I shall tell you what I know."

    "Aye, General."

    "You are one of the survivors of the incident. Do you have any tangible information that we can use?" asked Lockseed.

    The military had wanted to debrief Jiang Fei's subordinates about the events, but General Lockseed insisted for them to wait until Jiang Fei resurfaced.

    He only did so because of Theon. He was scared that if anything were to be done to Jiang Fei's legacy, Theon would be offended. In any case, Jiang Fei had returned and he was the one who could provide first-hand information.

    Jiang Fei started to explain, "When we attacked the Dirk Slone Fortress, we found that it had been deserted by the Valsalrian Army. Inside the base, I found some irregular data from the spacetime readings. Half a year ago, the entire Alpha Sector was showing readings of unstable spacetime, like a ripple that was growing into a rupture."

    He told Lockseed everything he knew about the events, but not the truth that he discovered about the higher dimension.
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