At the top of the page is a smudged symbol that may indicate a date.
I have received word of a costly skirmish in the northern reaches between one of our peacekeeping floats and an enemy raiding party. Diarchian, according to the scouts. The presence of the troublemakers in the area is of course no anomaly, but the outcome was apparently dire: They sunk the entire float. Barring the amassment of a far more significant force than we anticipated–a possibility the scouts’ report attempts to discredit–this is highly irregular.
The captain of the vessel was one Euphonia LaSein, and it seems she escaped with her life. The scouts found her maimed and delirious. Her recovery will likely take some time, but I am eager to hear her report as soon as possible.
A second symbol marks the top of the next page.
I have decided that I will compile these notes separately from my regular reports to the Shareholders. Captain LaSein’s account unsettled me, and I fear spreading it might induce a panic in the barge-districts we ought pointedly to avoid.
I had an opportunity to visit the LaSein estate on the northern plaza two days hence, and I found the captain there in a sorry state. She was confined to an infirmary chair, wheeled by her butler, as during the battle for her float, her leg had been crushed beyond any hope of healing. The scouts amputated it in the field. This war is a sordid business, and I shall be well glad to be rid of it when Spar is finally crushed. Still, though, the captain spoke very little of her physical state beyond those spare facts explaining her disposition. Her worries seemed to lie elsewhere.
She confided in me a disturbing theory. That her forces were defeated in the first place she was able to explain: The Diarchian raiding party attacked in the midst of a mutiny by the float’s slaves. However, that they were ready and waiting for the opportunity, indeed that they were even aware of the mutiny merits further examination. Captain LaSein posited that a portion of the slave crew–a group of ten or so that the float had captured while following a lead in the Windwood–had been deliberately planted by Spar. The slaves, in her opinion, had an unusual level of military training and cooperation, and the timing of their revolt alongside the raiding party’s assault could not have been a coincidence.
It is clear she fears the Diarchy may attempt a similar tactic closer to the Federation’s primary holdings, perhaps even within Thago itself. While I do not wish that such exaggerated fears should spread among the populace, I do think her story merits cautious concern: I intend to immediately undertake an evaluation of my subordinates’ loyalties, in case some sort of infiltration has already begun.
Of course, I attempted to relay the same measured concern in my feedback to the captain, but it seemed she found my reaction insufficient. After a time, she lapsed into an angry silence, and her butler, an elderly gentleman in conspicuously plain clothes, asked me politely to take my leave.