Commander Ashoka sat aboard the Atrax, feeling comfortable in the cabin of her old ship. It has been almost three years since she had been back aboard the first generation light corvette, there had been two more iterations since, each slightly faster and meaner, but she loved the Atrax...it had battle scars, it had history. The vessel had been present during several historical moments in Martian history, and even one of the few Martian vessels to land on the surface of Earth during the memorial commemorating the Io Campaign. Since then, Ashoka had been promoted given command of a larger vessel, a Martian destroyer named the Templar, however she had not forgotten her old bird, and now she sat in its cockpit one again. She had specifically requested the vessel be transferred under her command. It was now joined with the Templar and the Spaniard in the task force she coordinated. Now that it mattered these days, they were no longer slogging it out with the Earthers, and for the last four months she had been patrolling the eerie space of the Slow Zone, monitoring the comings and goings of private vessels, running inspections, boring pre-war stuff that she had no interest in but had a duty to perform. Currently the Atrax was docked to the underside of the Templar, with the Spaniard not a kilometre off its bow. They were returning to New Tycho having completed their patrol. The station was an impressive feat, in four years they had managed to construct a station almost twice the size of Tycho, three docking rings instead of one, accompanies by six habitation rings and a gargantuan drum serving as the primary shipping warehouse and construction yard. The station was almost complete, with two of its docking rings and four of its habitation rings already spun up. As her taskforce approached New Tycho, she looked out of the panoramic display of the Atrax towards the Hub Station, feeling the hairs on the back of her neck standing on end. The Hub Station was the spherical construct at the exact centre of the Slow Zone. It glowed a faint blue, like the protomolecule technology which had been discovered years earlier, constructs of the strange race which had built the hub, and created the gate network through which so much of humanity was now pouring. Since she had been assigned to the Slow Zone it had not changed, and as far as she could tell, no one had been able to interact with it since the network was activated. Still it creeped her out and she tried to avoid thinking about it too much. A jolt and a rumble, followed by a ship-wide announcement signaled that she had docked with New Tycho. Much of the crew had shore leave, and was preparing to disembark. Ashoka planned to join them as soon as possible, however she picked up her terminal and opened a call to someone she had no spoken to in a while, @Liz Ritter.