Orion's Reach

What's in the box?

Operations Log
608 Microscopii

The synthetic prisoner identifies herself as Content Not Found: Marya_, but is unwilling to provide much other information of import. She will volunteer that her ship was the free trader _Content Not Found: Pheidippides; a cursory search of the infosphere discovers an competent fake data trail across several crowded ports of call.

The interrogation turns to the topic of the containers salvaged from the Pheidippides; Marya repeatedly insists that they are too dangerous to tamper with and insists that the crew should throw them overboard to be recovered by “appropriate persons”. The crew disregards this and agrees (with Conundrum dissenting) to open one of the containers in a safe environment.

In conference after the interrogation, Content Not Found: stromness happens to mention that it would be Just Great if they could find out what’s in the encrypted file regarding the planet that he found in the ship’s databanks. Sharon takes him up on the offer and cracks the file; it reveals that the planet holds a TCU research facilities dating back to the failed memetic unification campaign. Conundrum confirms the presence of ruins at the planet coordinates provided (from where?) and a landing party is organized.

Dr. Blanchard, Swarm, Rhone (impersonating a marine), Gamble, Estray Cold Ocean, and Zhaitsyev head down in a shuttlecraft. Ground Control contacts them, not expecting guests. Unable to provide proper authentication, they are told to land at “field ultramarine” and await further instrutions.

Eyes of a different color
Mysteries proliferate as the unknown ship is boarded

Operations Log

608 Microscopii

Sensors indicate that something atypical is going on with the torpedo system – the captain orders a boarding party to prevent the opposition from launching or activating that system as planned. Analysis also shows that the ship’s stealth capability is entirely mechanical – a layer of monotanium wrapped around the hull that scatters sensor wavelengths.

The boarding party advances quickly through the ship to the weapons deck where the crew has erected a defensive position. All defenders are killed save the only synthetic we have encountered, who shrugs off a direct hit from a stunrod (accompanied by a sudden change in her eye color, of all things) before a second stunrod strike knocks her out.

Having secured the weapons deck, the boarding party is stymied by a final set of blast doors to the torpedo room. On the Hamilton O. Smith, Sharon and Lucid Conundrum both make an attempt to gain control of the ship’s systems remotely – they cannot open the blast door but do gain partial control over the torpedo system. Conundrum shuts the torpedo launch tube doors to stall while Sharon captures the launch telemetry of the next torpedo, planning to use that to pick it up when the fracas is over. Both of them notice that the ship’s computer is extremely unconvential, using archaic design principles but a high advanced version of them; it is also running multiple parallel discrete partitions, at least one of which has hallmarks of being installed or maintained by an AI.

A series of blasts subsequently comes from the torpedo launch systems, while Sharon and Conundrum can only watch as catastrophic system failure begins to cascade across the ship. An unknown purple gas begins to flood the decks, and the boarding party takes this as a sign to take their prisoner and go. They make it off the ship with time to spare before it explodes.

Quick-thinking sensor work by the tactical officer allows the crew to recover not just the torpedo that Sharon tagged, but another launched prior (review of the logs indicates that the unknown craft launched five torpedoes before the boarding party intervened). A cursory indication shows that they are made out of the same sensor-baffling monotanium that the ship itself used.

While Dr. Everett moves the boarding party to decontamination out of concern for whatever we leaking into the atmosphere of the unknown craft, the engineering crew are eager to crack open the secrets of the monotanium torpedoes…

Why do they run?

Operations log

While on patrol in 608 Microscopii, sensors detected a faint contact coming out of orbit of the 4th planet. Further investigation showed it to be craft of unknown configuration, although somewhat related to an antiquated human design with a high speed and exceptional stealth package.

Attempts to hail the ship were unsuccessful, and attempts to close spooked the prey. The Hamilton attempted to close and eventually managed to knock out the engines. Preparations to board have begun…


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