Graham’s image looks around the virtual table, looking a bit haggard today (medical staff would know that he has hardly slept since the incident). His eyes widen a bit as he listens to the audio on the datapad.
I don’t think we’re going to convince the ISN that the other stations are loyal – in fact, I think we’re going to have enough problems convincing them of our own motivations, under such circumstances. It’s not acceptable to leave them to their fate, but I agree that any communication from the Fourth Hunter Group to the stations would be a risk we can’t afford to take.
Rather than a message, we could send a messenger. If we can quietly get a shuttle close to one of the stations, we could deploy a team to use sector-wide communications to advise any remaining civilians to evacuate. It shouldn’t be possible for any ISN listening posts to overhear if we use laser-based communications. Shut down all channels back to ISN command beforehand, if possible; I imagine that the locals are already terrified. Once they’re evacuated, we come out of quarantine and, with communications back to command still down, we destroy the stations along with any evidence of our activities.
The movement of Graham’s shoulder as he shifts his weight indicates that he is gripping the arm of his chair entirely too hard. Eyes turn downward as he continues.
It’s a bit of a desperate plan, but we should to do everything we can for these people after – after what happened. If the ISN doesn’t realize the stations were evacuated, they will be legally dead, and so, hopefully, they will be safe.
Having said his piece, Graham finally seems to relax, sinking back into his chair, listening to the more senior officers discuss the matter.