Whooshswish…the blast doors opened admitting the Imperial Lord Vimto into the ship’s reconnaissance deck.
“Tell me captain,” he said to the ship’s head of reconnaissance, “how can we lose a signal?”
The star ship trooper shifted uneasily from buttock to buttock, temporarily distracted by the sight of a DY-son-3PO cleaner droid hovering impatiently in the background.
“Well ..er .. Lord Vimto sir, there are any number of reasons why a signal might..er stop signalling,” he said.
Lord Vimto seemed to consider this for a second or two, “such as?”
“Well ..er sir,” started the trooper, his spirits lifted slightly by the, almost perfectly reasonable, enquiry, “could be fog sir.”
“FOG!?” demanded Vimto, “FOG! We have the best communications systems in the known universe and the most potent weapons of mass destruction at our disposal and you’re telling me fog might hinder our progress?”
“Yessir, fog sir, very nasty.”
Lord Vimto stood stock still for almost one entire minute. The captain wasn’t sure, but it was almost as though Vimto were repeating something to himself as he took deep breaths.
“What else?” said Vimto eventually.
“Well sir, could be anthin..ghghergrhegrhgerhg,” started the captain, just then a cleaner droid hoved into view. The reconnaissance captain managed to raise his right hand, his bulging eyes pleading with Vimto.
“..kah! kah!” he said getting his breath back.
“Go on?” said Vimto.
“..well, could be all sorts of environmental reasons sir,” he said, “I mean, could be pretty hostile down there sir, could be anything.”
The Imperial Lord seemed to consider this for a moment. “hmm,” he said, “maybe it would be wise to send a scouting party. Do we have the co-ordinates of the location we last saw the signal?”
“Coordinates sir, yessir, we’ve got the coordinates sir. Well, more or lesssssssssrgrgrglll.”
The captain’s last syllable strangled out of him, he fell to the floor at Vimto’s purple jack-booted feet.
“Ready a scouting party,” said Vimto to the assembled crew. “I want full reconnaissance report on my desk by tomorrow. Do not disappoint me.”