"Probably not," A tall man said. Judging from his ramrod straight posture and hat, he was the captain of this ship.
"I'd like to welcome everyone aboard the Ballard. Since we are only missing two pilots, I am going to start the briefing now. When they arrive, you can bring them up to speed." he said, puling out a small remote control. He pressed a button, and the room went dark as a small holoprojector ran up to speed.
A vitual image floated above the mess table, a starship, and a big one from the looks of her. The forward command area looked as imposing as the head of a sledgehammer, followed by a narrow spine that extended back through three antenna arrays. The body bloated out again into the manifold accomodations for the crew as well as scientific bays, engineerings and machine bays, and a plethora of sensors that no one present could name. The end grew sizably into the engineering compartment. Siz ion engines, each massing as much as the Ballard alone clamped in a ring around the central spine of the ship.
Somewhere inside of all of that iron and steel was a 3rd generation fusion reactor, plus a computer core likely smart enough to send anyone who was not a computer jock into a Luddite fit of anti-tech raving.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is the United Earth Space Ship Celeste. She is 750 meters long and displaced almost point five million metric tons. She cost the UE alot of money, 12 trillion credits. We are going to get a hell of a lot of money for bringing her back. For eveyones information, this is my last cruise, and well it should be, we are all going to be independantly wealthy after this mission." he said.
"Now, there are a few catches involved. The Celeste is still a classified ship. No one talks about her to the outside, no letters, no messages. This is a classified mission.
"Celeste was on her shakedown cruise, running sublight engines only. Yes, I can see that look in your eyes, she has a FTL drive and can leave the Solar System. This in one of the reasons this is a classified mission. The other is that she is armed, the first of her kind. The Celeste is technically a military Light cruiser. Advanced weaponry like you cant imagine.
"This is why we are being paid so well. We dont touch anything we dont have to, and we bring her home no questions asked. Now, I have no idea about survivors, but we will take care of the matter as best we can." he said. He pressed the button again and the holoprojection flickered and faded. The lights came back on.
"Are their any questions?" he asked.