Session 12

I radio to the contact we have, expressing that we need to go talk to our leaders about everything we have experienced here.  I am told that it will be brought up with their leaders and they will be back to us about it in “a few ons.”  When I ask what an “on” is, I get blown off.  I also pointed out that I wasn’t aware that we were prisoners here, and I was assured that we are not.

A few minutes later there is a beep from over by the door.  It is a man that looks similar to the Ensign.  He asks if we would be willing to talk to him.  I let him in.  They ask to interview Archon, including scans.  We tell him that we need to discuss this with our leadership as well.  They also ask to create an interface to have the two technologies be able to talk to each other.  We discuss this amongst ourselves and come to the conclusion that we aren’t able to make that decision since our mission is to determine the feasibility of having diplomatic relations with this culture.

It turns out that an “on” is a few months, and we are not allowed to leave until they make their decision as to whether or not we are enemies to them.  I determine it’s time we need to go, since we are no longer being treated like guests.    While this is going on, Camo sneaks out to try to find the ship.  When we discuss leaving to try to find the ship, we realize Camo is gone.  I have Nola tell him that if he’s not back when we leave, he will be left behind.  Evidently he’s on his way back to us.

Camo gets back and Stagg reveals to us that he’s got another consciousness inside, trying to gain control and get information.  Camo defeats the invader from Stagg’s consciousness.

We go out and get into Stagg’s air car and work our way towards the ship.  We have alien cops after us in two other air cars, and Stagg tries to do evasive maneuvers.  They fire on our engines, which forces us to land.  We run for it, as the bug-like creatures land and start running after us.  There is a security squad trying to intercept us, and we still have our ship locked up with magnetic locks.  They shoot at us, and the fight is on.  We get past them, and decide to try to get to the ship from below so that we can destroy the mag locks.

We take off and are intercepted by a large enemy cruiser.  We take out their engines first, and then we take out their fighter bays.  They try to ram us, and as they are about to, Captain Vaako shows up and destroys the cruiser.  He lands on the Archon and I fill him in on what happened.  Certain things will not be in the final report, including what happened to Stagg and our new crew members.  Captain Vaako hitches a ride on our ship, so we can meet up with his ship.

Session 11

There are 6 “humans” waiting for us that look like three sets of twins.  One of them looks like me, one looks like the Ensign, and one looks like a female version of Gunny.  Our standard away team disembarks to meet with the aliens.  We are taken into this huge building that is almost like a city inside.  This place seems to be made for a much bigger race.

I ask if they are Ambassadors, and they say that they volunteered to do Ambassadorial duties for us.  They will be there to answer our questions and help us to find housing and see to our needs.  They say that they anticipated a little bit of culture shock, so they chose to take forms similar to ours in order to not scare us.

Camo asks how they were able to achieve this so quickly.  They grew the bodies in four hours, and they downloaded a portion of their consciousness to the bodies.  They let us know that we will be meeting up with the Taskmaster, and hopefully our questions will be answered.  It is also expressed to us that they think we have plenty to learn from each other.  The Taskmaster is a volunteer who has a responsibility over this installation.  He has two cohorts that he works with to bring harmony and provide resources.

They lead us to an auditorium, and there is something standing at the front of the room.  It looks similar to the figure we put together from the DNA.  It is 9 feet tall, has 4 legs, 2 arms, 8 eyes, no exoskeleton (internal skeleton), and leathery skin.  It has also has a mandible.  This one has delicate looking wings, and it is reddish-brown with spots.  The woman speaks up and introduces us to The Taskmaster.  He greets us (through the woman), and says that we are regarded as guests.  His hope is that our accommodations meet our every desire.  I thank him for his hospitality, while Camo crawls over him and sees what information he can gather about this species.

They have always considered it likely that there were other species out there, but they continued along their path knowing that it would be inevitable.  Gunny volunteers to be inspected by one of them.  Nola asks about the difference in technology, and they explain that there is a positive charge, a negative charge, and no charge.  They use all three, instead of a binary technology that we use.  Two of the women lead Gunny off to inspect him.

We are invited to look at our new accommodations, and I say sure.  There is a misunderstanding about how long we will be staying.  They were under the impression that it was permanent.  I express that it will need to be a rather short visit, so that we can go back to our people to report back.  We express that we are here to try to forge a friendship.  They are very eager to show us to our accommodations, and they hope that we will change our minds about staying.  I have to explain about how time is finite for us, since our bodies expire.  The aliens look astonished at my concepts and say that they have to go discuss amongst themselves.  They will return.

One returns when I page and ask about food.  We have a discussion about how Archon is downloaded into a synthetic body, and her purpose.  Also, we discuss why her past life was removed from her memory.  It leads into a discussion on quantum computers and how we can calculate things so quickly.  Our host says to call her Walks on Moonlight, which is how her name would translate into our language.  She agrees that we can shorten it to Moonlight, and she takes us on a tour.  Moonlight sits down to eat with us and explore the food they brought for us.

Gunny comes back with the two women who are somewhat clingy to him.  Camo examines him.  Camo confirms to Nola and I that Gunny is a clone.  Nola is given some engineering tools to play with and figure out.  Gunny goes with the two women back to their quarters instead of sleeping with us.

Session 10

We meet up with Captain Vaako, where I head to his ship to meet and discuss our next mission.  There is an alien culture that we need to investigate.  They are space-faring, advanced in some areas, but less advanced in space travel.  They have colonized their star system, but at sub-light speed.  They are very private, with radio transmissions that appear to have been normalized.  They could be trying to hide themselves.  We need to make contact and determine if they would make good partners for the Confederacy.    Subtlety is tantamount.

I get back to the Archon and let the crew know of our next mission.  We set course for Roka 473, and Archon gives us a printout of what we know about them.  We decide that Camo would be the best candidate to go into the system and observe.  He will fit in the best in the jungle planet, so that will be his destination.  He mind melds with Nola so that he can communicate telepathically with her later from afar.

We decide to get close to the jungle planet (Roka 2) so that we can drop off Camo with a pilot and shuttle.  Then we will leave, and Camo will pose as a traveling scientist who is there to research.  We will wait on the outer edges of the system.

Archon figures out that their population is around 39 Trillion, which is WAY bigger than The Confederation.  Yeah, let’s go for subterfuge instead of walking in blindly to say “Hi.”

When we drop out of hyperspace, we see a large ship and 7 cruisers headed our way.  They have solar sails to boost their speed.  We jump into hyperspace early to avoid the ships.  There’s a huge lurch, but we seem to be alive.  Camo says that he makes contact, and is given DNA sequencing.  Nola starts working on it to see if we can decipher what we are dealing with by putting it in the mind web and having Archon help with it.  Camo meets with them, and they point out that they know exactly where we are.  They also have taken on the human form, and they look similar to the Ensign.  They are trying to pass off that they are close to human in appearance.

Since they know where The Archon is and would like to speak with us, we decide to go in to meet with them.  The shuttle flies up to rejoin The Archon, escorted by the aliens.  Camo fills me in on what he’s found out so far.  We are being led to Roka 5, which is the gas giant.  Camo requests the missing DNA, and as they are about to transmit it one of the ships is vivisected by light.  There is a flash and a massive chunk of the big ship in front of us vaporizes.  We are sent communication from others, and told that we were being lied to and taken away.  We are told we will be safe and taken to the real Haven.  They express they have the ability to manipulate genetics, and they have eliminated all illness.  Our DNA was scanned off of the shuttle and they have their own mind web that is public, where the information was put.

Camo figures out what the DNA for the aliens would look like as an adult, and they are insectoid.   We get to Haven, and the gravity is less than we are used to.  When we land, they let us know that because of our DNA this world was chosen for us to be most comfortable on.  We land the ship on the planet, and get ready to disembark.

Session Nine

So here we are in quarantine…

Nola has the ship’s orbit stabilized, so it will not go hurtling into the planet.  And then one of the blackened bodies gets up!  The other one that was strapped down breaks its way out.  It’s close, but the commandos come through and finish them both off.  Camo’s space suit is a casualty, however.  Nola seals off some doors, and the commandos go down below with Gunny.  They take out the threat.  It gets creepy, as we hear one break through a door off of the cockpit, and we decide we need to move quickly to take them out.  Our communications are cut.  One of the commandos is taken out horrifically, by one of the zombies puking in his mouth.  Two more commandos are taken out horribly, leaving just the leader of them.  Gunny opens up and takes the zombie out.  We take a breather before moving on to the next couple of zombies.  Gunny torches the dead commando that was infected, and the body screams!  The remaining commando flips out and punches Gunny, threatening to bring him up on court marshall charges.  Uh oh, Gunny got puked on.  He’s not looking so good, as we fight three zombies.  Nola gets infected, as well, and we end up taking out the zombies.  The last one is secured behind the bulkhead.  Camo has figured out a cure, and first cures Nola.  He then works on Gunny.

Camo makes it clear that this is HIGHLY contagious, and we will have to decontaminate extensively before even going back to our ship.  We will need follow-up treatment to make sure that there is no dormant infection.  We did, however, eliminate the immediate threat of infected people.  In his opinion (Camo’s), there is no way to clean this ship safely, due to the residue.  The ship falls back into a decaying orbit, preventing us from taking any artifacts off of it.  The TSI was still somewhat active, so it could have changed the orbit as a last stab at us.  We decontaminate and head back to the Archon.

Session Eight

I had an Irish wake for the Commandos that were lost, and sent an appropriate message to their families about how great they were to serve with.  Captain Vaako sends me a message that he would like to meet with me on his ship, which is now docked at the station.  Thankfully our repairs are now completed.  Archon asks who is in charge while I am gone, and it prompts me to look into her personnel file to see what rank she has retained.  She’s still Lieutenant Commander, so that puts her in charge in my absence.

I head to Vaako’s ship, and he shakes my hand.  I explain to him what happened while the ship was being repaired.  I mention promoting the Sergeant, and he also has provided more naval crew for me to help with manning the Archon.   Our next mission:  There appears to be a Federation research ship that’s taken orbit around a star known as Nemesis.  The ship appears to have been abandoned.  We need to investigate it to see why it was abandoned, and to analyze whether or not it is a threat.  If it is a threat, we need to make it safe enough for salvage teams.  The location is considered top secret.  After we are done I need to purge the location from Archon’s memory.  We need to have the scientist analyze the data we recover, but we need to be careful to keep it top secret.  I relay the secrecy of our mission to the crew when I return to the Archon.  I privately give the coordinates to Archon, and stress that they are top secret.

During the two weeks it takes to get to the abandoned ship, I write up the paperwork for the Sergeant’s promotion.  20 minutes out from our arrival, Archon expresses concern over the coordinates and some unstable gravity.  She says it’s as if there is a black hole, or a collapsing star.  I warn everyone to get to battle stations, and strap in — it could be a bumpy ride.

We’ve arrived in a system with a dwarf star, which looks like it used to be a red giant before it started to collapse.  The abandoned ship is in a decaying orbit, and we have about three hours before things get bad.  We get on the ship and there are dead bodies that look to have been mummified and possibly charred.   The TSI takes me out, and Nola deals with him.  Camo researches what happened to the bodies and scientists (this is a research ship), and he stabilizes my wounds.

Camo discovers that it wasn’t Federation tech they were studying here.  Something of high tech was discovered on that planet, and the scientist mentioned recovering something from the surface.  One of the containers talked about the fountain of youth.  There was a minor mishap, and the substance penetrated an assistant’s silicon gloves.  The condition seems to have worsened over time, and it took over (the black coating on the bodies).  Whatever is coating these bodies is carbon and highly infectious, and Camo is of the opinion that there is no way to neutralize the contagion.  He says we need to put the ship into the sun to be safe.

Gunny finds the captain’s log, and reads through it.  He shows it to me.

Session Seven

We limp into Argos C to make repairs.  As we approach the airlock, we are asked if this is business or R&R.  When I say R&R, we are given suggestions for what we might be interested in doing.    The suggestions are disturbing, with them having known exactly what we did the last time we were here.

At the suggestion of the Overseer, I head to the urgent care center to get the “Red Lantern Treatment.”  I’m somewhat insulted by this, and once I figure out what it is, Archon and I leave for our shopping trip.  She needs some work clothes that are less obviously official, considering the nature of our work.

Our trip is interrupted when the space station shudders, and Commander O’Brien asks me if my team can investigate something that happened in the engineering section of the station.  I message everyone to meet me at the airlock to the Archon.

We get to the engineering section, where the explosion was, and we find a piece of Federation ship embedded in the floor.  It crashed in from the outside.  Nola realizes it’s an unexploded torpedo head, and she whispers that we need to back up slowly.  She says it’s a weird design, and it looks like it has extra armor on it like it’s for long distance travel or penetration.  Camo and Nola stay to investigate further, while the rest of us go back to the other side of the bulkhead door.  Nola diffuses the warhead, and Commander O’Brien sends weapons engineers down to retrieve the warhead.  The hole made by it goes outward, which means the torpedo did not come from outside.  It looks like it skittered across the floor from the source of the explosion.  There was at least one engineer here at the time, and the torpedo looks like it came from a tool chest on the other side of engineering.

Nola looks at the video footage, and four hours ago there were two humans that brought it in.  One was male, and one was female.  They had Sendai corporation logos on their overalls.  Camo notices that the female seems to know what’s in the crate.  I hack into the Sendai employee database, and find out they do both work for Sendai.  The female lives in the higher class residential area, and the male lives in the lower class area.  We head to the upper class residential area and crack in to see that she entered that room 20 minutes ago (but didn’t leave).  Overseer pops up and says that there is two hours of air left, and warns the station to put their affairs in order.  I tell Nola to get the Commandos to meet her there to fix it.

Amanda Celeste is the name of the woman, and we get to her locked door.  I hack it open, and it gets stuck unlocked.  We open the door, guns drawn.  Gunny goes first and notices a trip wire.  Another trip wire goes off and almost hurts us.  We find a detonated briefcase in the bedroom, under the bed.  It appears that she works for the Federation, and is trying to slow down the Confederacy, technologically.

She was last seen going through an air lock attached to the hotel.  She’s on an unregistered ship, and Commander O’Brien dispatches four fighters to make sure the ship doesn’t leave.  The commandos and our whole group meets up at the air lock, to retrieve Amanda Celeste from the ship she is on.  We enter the hallway outside of the airlock, and are ambushed by a bunch of military bots.  We destroy them and go down the air lock to the ship.  I send a message ordering them to turn over the operative known as Amanda Celeste.  The pilot messages back and starts to say something, but she kills him on screen.  We head in to attack her, and she takes out half of our marines.  After Camo eats off one of her legs, she ends up surrendering.  We take her into custody and take her to Commander O’Brien.

Session Six

Our first course of action is to check out the scavenger camp, which is about 20 clicks away.  We get there, and it looks like it’s made up of big piles of junk.  I talk our way in and we find out at the tavern that there were some guys that came in a few days ago, and they are holed up at “the shipyard.”  We head there, and see some guys lounging around.  There’s a giant dog man who isn’t very interested in trading with us, so we attack.  Towards the end of our fight, a strange ship shows up and attacks the towers.  We use this to our advantage and get out, after recovering the artifact.

We get back to The Archon, and we need to get to our rendezvous without encountering the Federation ship.  We realize that the safest way out would be to destroy the Federation ship.  The buoys left behind are too numerous for us to avoid them undetected.  The ship causes some pretty bad damage against Archon, which Nola works on while we limp away after destroying the ship.  We destroy the life pods that took off, to make sure there are no witnesses.  Nola takes a couple of days to fix things up to where we can go hyper light speed again.

I hand over the artifact to the Captain, and he instructs us to go back to our last base for repairs.  He will send me our next orders.  I head back to the ship to share the news.  We can have some R&R while the repairs are being made.

Fifth Session

I go to the commander of the base, and she relays a message from the Admiral.  My existing marines are being transferred for some R&R, and then reassignment.  Archon is being remanded to the commander, to check out whether or not she’s got something wrong with her.  The ship will also be inspected, to make sure there is nothing that could have caused a problem with Archon.  I will have further instructions, once the Admiral arrives.  Well, crap.  Could this day get any worse?  Dare I ask that question, when I know it can?

After Archon is transferred to the base and I relay what’s going to happen, I buy the crew drinks.  Camo suggests that I get some R&R myself, so I head back to the casino.  Oops, lady looked like a dude.  Oh well, it was fun, and what happens on Argos Station, hopefully stays on Argos Station.

Archon comes back, completely changed.  Even her voice is different, but she seems to still be Archon deep-down.  Commander O’Neil assures me that her personality is still there, but the problem was that Archon was assigned to me as similar as she was.  Hopefully the change in appearance and voice will help to lessen the difficulties in adjusting.

I get back to the ship and there is a message from Admiral Boone, requesting that I meet with him this evening on his ship, The Intrepid.  He would also like me to bring my new medical officer, so that the Admiral has a chance to meet my new crew.  He is assigning commandos, which are a bit more specialized for my kinds of missions.   Admiral Boone will be giving my orders, through his Captain, so as to keep me shielded from political issues with the Council.  Camo will be giving military credentials and compensation.  When my orders are ready for my next mission, Captain Vaako will hand them off to me.

My troops arrive, and I have 20 commandos.  There is a lieutenant and a sergeant, along with the rest of them.  I get a message from Captain Vaako, requesting to get together to drinks, to get acquainted.  He brings out a data pad.  There is a desert planet called Manticore 5.  We will need to get there swiftly, avoid Federation Ships and Pirates, and get an ancient artifact without getting caught.  The Captain will be waiting.  There is a Frigate class ship patrolling the area, so if we are detected we will need to eliminate it before the Federation is alerted.

We avoid the frigate on the way in, and assemble our away team. We get past some potential traps, and end up looking at an empty altar with footprints going to / coming from it.  Obviously the scavengers have been here already.  We discern that the artifact could have been either a repository of some kind or a weapon.

Fourth Session

Our next destination is Star Base Argos C, where we will restock, repair, and await more crew.  It’s time for some R&R.  This system is a joint operation between the Sendai corporation and the Core of the Confederacy.  The base was originally contracted to be built, but they lost support and Sendai stepped in.  The end result was a star base used for trade and military, alike.  The military provides the only security.

Archon requested a biochemical feedback chip.  I said I’d look into it.  Nola requested a bunch of parts for the ship, and I told her to make a list and try to get all of it, within budget.  Then I headed off to my hotel, called The Autumn Moon.

Shoot, Camo figured out who Archon was in relation to me.  After going with me to purchase all of the equipment on Nola’s list, I explain to Camo that I would like some privacy to go in search of R&R.  Whew, that was awkward. Too good to be true, in the middle of some rec time, the phone rang.  Some goons had Archon in sector B3.

The goons get her onto their ship and take off, and we run back to ours to try to pilot it without her.  We beat them into submission, and they surrender.  We get Archon back, and now I have some talking to do, to the commander of the base.

Third Session

This little ball thing that looks organic plopped itself on the engineer’s foot, which of course was a very traumatic thing for the engineer.  She panicked and we are drawn attention to it.  It crawls up the engineer and appears to be non-aggressive while it communicates with us.

I introduce myself to it, and it offers to look through the logs to help uncover more information.  It says its name is Camo, as it goes to the computer and starts researching.

The last message of the scientist was that they had accidentally triggered an alien security system.  They were going to try to shut it down, but evidently they didn’t have time.  Camo says that it is logical that the security system is nannites.   We decide to head down quickly, to try to shut down the security system before it gets dark outside.

We follow the tunnel at the bottom of the lift, and we end up in a chamber where there is an alien console of some kind.  The lead scientist is lying in front of the console with a huge hole through him.

The engineer looks through the lead scientist’s PDA for information.  I help her with my knowledge of security systems.  She hooks her mind up to the system, and convinces it to shut the security down. She then goes further into the system to look for information on who/what created this technology.  She finds out:  they Xenites seem to fear war coming from some dormant plague; this plague could be lying dormant among a large number of Confederacy planets.  They used some sort of massive gate to travel in space by using something called a hammer gate.  It compresses time/space to eliminate the distance between points.  Also, the position of the Bengal hammer gate is provided, and this information seems to be about 10,000 years old.

As I go to contact our two security teams, an earthquake hits and the computer system comes to life.  Something being comes up on the screen with a warning that three pods have erupted, but the security system is down.  As the engineer is about to turn the security system back on, something comes running out of one of the holes into the room.    We are attacked by what we suspect burst out of the pods, while the engineer is trying to get the security back on-line.  Camo turns into some giant thing and fights these insectoids.

We are swarmed and are forced to retreat.  Camo isn’t as fast as the rest of us, so Gunny stays back to cover Camo with the flamethrower.  There’s another earthquake, and we get back to the top of the platform.  The engineer rigs up a bomb while we go across the bridge. Archon runs ahead to the shuttle to come back for us.  One squad gets destroyed by the insectoids during their retreat, and the aliens grab the bodies.  It’s looking at this point like this is the plague, and these insectoids stand between us and the shuttle.

We join up with the last remaining security group, and we run for it.  Archon is waiting for us with the shuttle powered up.  We strafe the planet with the shuttle to see what’s going on, and the ship has been instructed to shoot anything leaving the planet (that isn’t us).  The ground under the colony crumbles and gives way.  The leader insect took note of us as we were flying off, and acted as if it was transferring its consciousness (the body collapses).  A ship 4-5 times the size of The Archon takes off out of the planet.

We make it back to The Archon, and everyone goes to battle stations.  We shoot at the big ship, and it splits into 3 sections.  The main section continues towards the hammer gate, and the other two move to engage us in battle.  We are able to destroy one of the interceptors.   The engineer uploads something to the gate to close it on the main ship, which destroys it.  We blow up the last interceptor and head for home.  It is my opinion that the nannites on the planet will eventually take care of the bugs.