Fleet Admiral Leonard McCloud was seated at a long table. A dinner table. The table was in the so-called “Red Salon” of the ATLANTIS base. ATLANTIS had different departments, everyone actually knew that. There were modern sections, but there were also those housed in historic buildings. Like this one. The building had once belonged to the well-known merchant Retho vom See, who had it lavishly furnished. Massive wooden furniture dominated the room. The room was named “Red Salon” from the red fabric wallpaper that could be seen between wooden panels. And the curtains were red. A massive mirror surrounded by a wooden frame stood against one wall. And a plush carpet lay on the wooden floor.
McCloud sat at the head of the table. As I said, he was alone, but there was still cover for several people. A naval officer stood to one side and waited. The officer considered this to be Admiral McCloud’s quirk, but he didn’t want to spoil the old man’s game. ASTROCOHORS also suffered from the pandemic. What McCloud was going to do here was actually a celebration. Because after the cowardly attack on ASTROCOHORS, the officers succeeded in an unbelievable show of strength in re-establishing all communication channels. That should be celebrated! But because of the risk of infection, too many people were not allowed to meet at once. So the admiral had other plans.
“So,” said McCloud, “how does it look?”
“All departments are operational again!” Reported the officer.
“And everyone has gathered?”
“Yes sir, they are all here!”
“Then let’s raise our glasses together!”
The officer came to the table. He now had to stand in for the various departments. So that he would not get completely drunk in the course of the procedure, there was only water in the glasses that stood at the seats of the departments. Admiral McCloud, on the other hand, insisted on pouring himself a red wine from Chateau Picard. He raised his glass.
“And now: report from all departments!”
The officer stood behind the chair on the Admiral’s left. On a small sign on the table was written: “ASTROCOHORS CLUB”. The officer took the glass from the table, raised it and said, “ASTROCOHORS CLUB and the newly planned EXPEDITION department are ready for action again! We are ready to plan and coordinate new missions, sir!”
The officer now moved to the next chair. There was also a sign on the table here. This was labeled “CANALIS TREMENDUM COLLABORATION”. The officer grabs the glass.
“The CANALIS TREMENDUM COLLABORATION, or CTC for short, is waiting to investigate strange phenomena and get into the details, sir!”
Again the officer moved one chair. In front of this was “CHEZ FRASHOKERETI”. The officer took the glass from the table and said: “I am extremely pleased to announce the complete production of the CHEZ FRASHOKERETI department! We are already investigating the extremely strange behavior of the Terrans with the help of new people. Super easy, barely an inconvenience, Sir! “
One chair further. The sign read “CLEF, PEN AND BRUSH”.
“We at CLEF, PEN AND BRUSH have already begun to devote ourselves to the fine arts and are glad to be running at full capacity again, sir!”
One chair further. “AQUAMARINON”.
“On behalf of the regent of the water planet AQUAMARINON, I can announce that the cowardly attacks of the enemy have been repulsed. Count on us, Admiral!”
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS ACADEMY”.
“It’s been a terrible year, even for us at the ACADEMY, sir,” said the officer. “But we have strengthened our staff. We will continue to fight against ignorance and stupidity! We will take the next opportunity to make people smarter. And the next. And the next, until we win, or until we run out of opportunities. But we won’t give up! Science will continue! “
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS EMBASSY”.
“I can hear the complainers, sir!” Said the officer. “Politics, who cares? But the last few years have shown that everyone has to be interested in politics, otherwise they will go under, and otherwise democracy will go under. We at the diplomatic corps of ASTROCOHORS EMBASSY are doing our best to ensure freedom and Equality persist.”
One chair further. “CHRONICLES OF SIDUS BELLA”.
“Our task is to analyze and file events. We have to learn from the events of the past. Unfortunately, however, we have had to discover that there are people who look for nothing more than a purity in these events that doesn’t exist. We. We confront these people and look at the history of the galaxies in a big context. That is our job at the CHRONICLES OF SIDUS BELLA. “
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS BATTLEFRONTS”.
“We were face to face with the enemy, sir,” said the officer. “And we’re still facing the enemy. I don’t know what the future will bring, sir, but we’re ready on the BATTLEFRONT!”
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS NExUS.”
“Our institute is still busy measuring and mapping all the star systems and cultures, the galaxies and universes. Our task will never be finished, but we at ASTROCOHORS NExUS are doing our best!”
One chair further. “BUREAU 07”.
“It was all a troubled time for the secret service too, sir! But we were able to obtain valuable information and thus prove that the days of secret agents are far from over. BUREAU 07 at your disposal, Admiral!”
One chair further. “THEATER OF THINGS.”
“Humor is important in these times too. It’s our job, sir, and we do it with as much duty as the other departments! We bring people back up when they are down! Rely on the THEATER OF THINGS! “
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS CENTRAL”.
“We at headquarters always fly a little under the radar. But important information is also gathered here and we are fully operational again, sir! We are ASTROCOHORS, Admiral!”
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS Brasil”.
“We in the South American section also had problems, especially because of the situation in the country. The attack also hit us hard, but ASTROCOHORS Brasil is ready for action again, sir!”
One chair further. “LES GUERRIERS DE BOYARD”.
“Our department has an unusual name and we are also a regional section. We are a little smaller, so we had difficulties getting back online, but from now on you can also hear from LES GUERRIERS DE BOYARD in French again!”
One chair further. “ASTROCOHORS ONLINE”.
“We are also a regional section, responsible for the Asian area. Perhaps this will be a little different in the future, but at the moment it is so and we are doing what we can. ASTROCOHORS ONLINE and the main department ASTROCOHORS ONLINE i are ready for action ! “
One chair further. In the meantime the officer had circled the table completely and had arrived at the place on the Admiral’s right. It was the last one, and “ASTROCOHORS Japan” was on the sign.
“We can only get through times like these together. We at ASTROCOHORS Japan are ready to make our contribution and we would like to announce that we are ready for action again!”
They drank one last time. The officer noticed that there was a lot of water in his stomach. Admiral McCloud had taken only a small sip at a time. He didn’t want to get drunk either. Chateau Picard was way too good for that.
At that moment the sound of a clock could be heard. In a distant corner stood an old clock on a dresser that rang a bell every hour. The officer and Admiral McCloud counted.
One – two – three – four – five – six – seven – eight – nine – ten – eleven – twelve!
Midnight. The admiral rose.
“We’re just in time,” he said aloud into the room. “I wish all departments a Happy New Year! I’m not going to announce the usual year now, because I have learned that due to special circumstances the time calculation is to be changed. So we’re not talking about the year 2021 according to the time calculation of Terra … better Said, a calendar of Terra, because there are several. We will probably also abolish the Galactic calendar. In the future, the years according to the calendar of human history will be determined. The year “zero” of this calendar is ten thousand years before the year “zero “of the Terran calendar. It was the time when man built a city on earth for the first time. I will inform you all exactly, but if it stays that way, then at this moment we will welcome the year 12021! For you, your Departments and their people all the best in this new year! “
The admiral and officer raised their glasses one last time and drank from them. Then the officer took a small remote control out of his pocket and pressed a button.
“The transmission to the departments is terminated, sir!” He said.
“Very nice,” replied McCloud. “It’s a shame that the internet connection on this damned planet is so bad! Otherwise we could have brought the others in too, but I think it went well that way. What do you think?”
“It was definitely very uplifting, sir!”
McCloud nodded. “So, and now I will retire. I am tired, the new year has already started and I am not missing a thing.”
“Exactly, sir. Good night then!”
“Thank you! Good night to you too and a Happy New Year!”
“Happy New Year!”