New Stars

Delivery Boy

Erindassa:

"Captains Log:

I knew something was up when we, the team that had dealt with the Brimbury had been asked to stoop so low as to become delivery boys. Not even earning enough to pay for the fuel, it would of been a slap in the face to any other well chiseled greek god, but not for me. I knew it was a call for help from my dear friend Yene. 

Seizing a Hermes class ship and rallying up a crew we disembarked for Vanguard Station, a well armed and fully automated station.

Now I knew why I was chosen for the job, Yene needed the kind of help that only a man of my skill set could provide, and I was ready to provide. But alas! My crew did not see it that way, there I was! Interrogating the culprit, about to make him snap, but I was alone. 

The poison that is Socialism runs deep in this system. It has my crew, it has my Yene. 

Some seem unaffected, numb as it were. I will investigate further. Until our next talk.

Erindassa out" static

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Aborted investigation
Goddamn spiders

David 63's Kiwi-Washman exploration report, entry #4.

One of my clone cohort, David 28, had an irrational fear of spiders during our short childhood. He often killed the harmless orb-weavers we sometimes found in our Creche, and our trainers often scolded him for it, as the spiders helped keep bugs out of our pantry.

After this last mission, I think he may have been onto something.

We were going to investigate the source of the giant alien beasts that overran the first xenoarcheology site. We rappelled down into the jungle a little ways out, and before we got very near our destination, we were attacked by giant spiders, jumping down on us out of the trees.

We fought five of them at first, and I was the only one able to stay conscious after the first wave of attacks (thanks again to Stellar Arms for their excellent armor). After a long and grueling struggle, I was able to finally kill them all, knife to carapace. But I'm not sure I'll ever look at a spider the same again.

The other members of the group (Roland, To'do, and the scientist Dr Clement Allen) had be cocooned by the spiders who had attacked them and hauled up into a tree while I was still fighting. Fortunately I've yet to meet a tree I can't climb, and getting up to them was not much of a challenge. Getting them down (without doing more harm than the spider's paralyzing venom had already done) was another story. Before I could rig my ropes up to begin lowering them, an even larger "mother" spider attacked me from another tree. This beast was even tougher than its smaller "children", though since there was only one of it, the fight went a bit quicker, for all it was occurring in the top of a tree.

When the fight finally ended, I was able to get the other team members out of the tree without them being further molested by the wildlife. My climbing talents proved to be better going up than down (I have met trees that I can fall out of). When we freed him from his web cocoon, we found that Dr. Allen was critically injured (and the spiders' poison was actually helping keep him alive, as it reduced his blood loss). We called for our shuttle to pick us up and got his spinal injury bandaged temporarily as we flew back to Gallipoli Station. Unfortunately, it seems the injury resulted in a paralysis that the station's medical treatments are not able to cure (though there is some hope he can get more help elsewhere in the Federation at some point).

So our mission was an abject failure. We should certainly try again some time to investigate where the creatures are coming from, but we'll need a bigger team and we'll need to be prepared to fight from the moment we set out.

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An Infestation Emergency Report
Session 17-NOV-2018

[Recorded] call log file, sent outbound by Star Knight Roland.

“At first, I thought this was a simple punishment. Send me out here to the edge of the galaxy, out of the way. I still think that as well, but you are also correct in that something very odd is going on out here.”

A man is sitting in a chair in front of a computer, the recording light on the computer’s camera emitting a soft amber glow. If one were to place the man’s age based off his composure, hair color, and harsh voice they would be off by about 30 years. He takes a long drag off his cigarette before continuing,

“There was an emergency alert for personnel in danger on the planet Brimbury, where a bunch of scientists have been studying the local environment or some relics or-sorry, not important. Even though I answered the call for assistance as soon as I heard it, I was still last to arrive at the designated relief shuttle Oathbringer, a Rook 0-IV class dropship. There I met its’ engineer, a Borian named To’do, a couple of soldiers, named Rook and David, and the ship’s relief pilot, callsign Grinder.”

A short pause for the contradiction that is a breath and smoke,

“They were professional in how they carried themselves, despite the hectic situation, and we were on the surface before too long. Not much for talking this bunch, which you know gives me comfort.

Down on the surface we saw the chaos that had transpired. Tents destroyed, equipment damaged, some slightly injured smart-types. Nothing too crazy but I couldn’t help but feel the anxiety and chaos in the air. To’do and I got to work clearing out a swathe of landing space for the shuttle to ferry the civilians out when the soldier David reported a foul stench. This wasn’t a normal stench, either, as a post-mission trip to the clinic revealed later that it was the odor of a noxious cloud that was poisonous to biologicals. Rook, being a synth, was immune thankfully.

I wanted to see what events transpired so I used what you taught me. I used my mind. Seeing the events as they unfolded by turning back time, I saw several local wildlife, some big some small, rampage through the site. Even saw a large winged creature, bigger than any I’ve witnessed before, crash right down into one of the tents and get stuck for a minute before getting free and flying off. All of this was not terribly interesting, however all the denizens of Brimbury came from the same area: a local mountain range that so far, the scientists have no information on, or at least not willing to share what they know. As we we’re loading up and preparing to go conduct our investigation on the source when another source, this of the noxious cloud, made its’ appearance known.”

Another small pause in which some indecipherable mutterings continue under Roland’s breath.

 “A creature, insect-like with a hundred spindly legs, burst forth from the underbrush at the edge of the site. I could almost feel it as it regarded us, but I could not tell if it was hungry, angry, or scared. Either way, as it was a threat to the vulnerable civilians, I took the necessary action and used an electrokinetical blast on it. Minimal effectiveness, but the attack did tell me that its chitin armor was stronger than it appeared. It was not strong enough, however, for the combined efforts of the two well-trained soldiers on our team as they slaughtered it in short order. However, the creature had the last laugh as its noxious cloud infected the Borian To’do, David, and myself. From personal experience I will tell you that I never want to go through that again. It’s effect were immediate and damaging, however with the use of respirators located on Oathbringer we were able to weather out the effects enough to survive.

We were preparing to take off when…it showed up.”

Roland now pauses for a full minute, seeming to listen to an inaudible voice. Before too long, he continues in a tone that is seemingly lower in pitch,

“A creature, whose resemblance is close to that of an alligator from Earth or a reptile in similar appearance, with the exception of two extra legs and it being two stories tall. Minor differences, if you will. Oh, and it had a temper with which would shame even the angriest of Star Knight instructors.

You see, it has had stood on its hind legs and grabbed hold of one of the dropship’s propulsion systems, preventing the ship from take-off. Seeing no other option, I jumped out to distract the gargantuan creature from our poor ship. From there I single-handedly slew the monster and saved the maiden fair!”


A short, raspy laugh follows this proclamation,


“If only I were so lucky. To be honest, I don’t think even my blade make a scratch on the creature. You’d be happy to know this was one problem I couldn’t solve alone and didn’t have to as my soldier compatriots jumped out to assist. Those are two of the best soldiers I have seen and even they struggled against this monster. Between blasts of shotguns and rifle fire, the crackling of my blade’s energy, and the sound of compressing metal as Rook was grabbed and being crushed in this monster’s grasp, the engineer To’do himself was there to save us all. Between him and the ship’s pilot they managed to put several kinetic railgun slugs into the creature that penetrated straight through its strong exterior scales.

The monster slain, we retreated to the station instead of investigating the source of the danger considering our wounds and repairs that were needed. Rook managed to grab some samples of the scaly monstrosity for study.”

A slight hesitation is seen before Roland continues, in a softer voice,

“Another showed itself today. More riddles, of course, but it gave me a piece of intel: sentient creatures are not behind the disturbance, and I’m not sure if that information is a blessing or an omen. Something dark lurks on that world…and I will find it. This is Star Knight Roland, reporting out.”

The soft amber glow of the camera’s recording icon fades.

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The Scythers
Thanks to Stellar Arms for their excellent armor!

David 63's Kiwi-Washman exploration report, entry #3.

So I never wrote up a report from our last mission, but this time we were going back for more exploration at "Site 2" on Brimbury. Stellar Arms was sponsoring us to make another investigation, and I got to put their "Tactical Combat System #4" (riot armor) through its paces (see my review below).

The team was David 63 in command, with Kordell piloting, Rook, Ripley and To'do along for the ride, and (NPC) Grinder as a representative of our sponsor and also our copilot.

Kordell's aggressive maneuvers didn't quite manage to crash us as we came in for a pass over the site we'd vised a few days ago. We took a scan of the site, but other than a slightly better reading of the buried quantum crystaline anomaly (similar material to what the well structure one at Site 1 was made out of), there wasn't much we could resolve remotely. The explosion last time seemed to have orientated from near the crystals, where there was now a large hole opening into the ground.

Several of us disembarked and approached the hole, but before we could investigate much we came under attack by a very large mantis like insect I'd like to dub a "Scyther", after its rather memorable stabbing limbs. David and Rook fought hand to hand (or hand to scythe?) with the bug, and with some guidance from Ripley we were quickly able to take it out. Hoping to learn more about why the thing didn't show up on our scans, we dragged the body onto the ship. We didn't really figure it out though, beyond a suspicion it might have something to do with the quantum crystals, which seem to cause our scanners all kinds of problems.

After sorting out the first Scyther's corpse, we approached the hole again. The opening was about 10 feet wide, and the space below was about double that in depth. The fungal blast from last time seemed to have cracked open the top of a small cavern of sorts. We did see evidence of previous human interaction with this site, as there were tire tracks on the ground that we could make out under the signs of the fungal blast.

To'do sent his drone inside the chamber below us to try to scan things, but other than detecting a "hivelike" structure on one edge of the chamber inside, the drone couldn't pick up much. Rook dropped a light stick into the hole and we saw that two more of the unscannable Scythers were directly below the opening, invisible to the drone.

We opened fire, on them, as they were momentarily surprised by the sudden appearance of the light in their dark space. Though we'd done some damage, we were rather dismayed when they went on to jump all the way out of the hole where they engaged Rook and David in melee. Fortunately, the one who'd been hit hardest down below went down pretty quickly on the surface thanks to some good shots from Kordell's pistol. The other one however, proceeded to bite David a couple times with its massive, venom filled jaws. Fortunately, Rook was punching it from behind, and David was able to putting his knife right into its brain from inside it's gaping mouth.

I'd like to take a moment here to praise the armor I got on loan from our mission sponsor, Stellar Arms. Their "Tactical Combat System #4" kept me alive! All those stabbing hits I took from the Scythers would have gone right through my personally owned Kevlar Vest like butter, but the armor I had been loaned stopped the majority of the damage. I don't think anyone else in our group could have survived the two bites that the last bug gave me just before it died. Thanks so much for the loan of the armor, and I look forwards to trying out any heavier protection your company makes in the future!

To get back to the main report, after the two Scythers at the mouth of the hole were dead, we heard the trilling sound of more creatures coming from further below. To'do's drone suggested that there might be four more of them coming, and given that we'd struggled a bit with two, we decided to pull out for the time being.

Perhaps we can go back in again later on another mission!

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Erindassa's Report following escort mission

Taking on a pair of xenoarcheoligists (Aiden and Jena) the Oath Bringer was ready to set off when suddenly!! A small Drasilite lad, doctor Thrilloo joined the crew to be brought down to the Brimbury… mmmm yummy.

Heading down to the Brimbury, Kordell, our humble pilot descended down to the Brimbury not at Marine speeds though.

Cleared out a space in the forest, landed, drove an ATV with the scientists (thingies) to the base camp, Thrilloo acted weird on the way (What a weirdo) . 

Old ruins were discovered, David 63 and Ripley descended into the "well", lots of carvings, Psiconics were heightened, energy stuff (scanners, electronics) were dampened, highly reduced range.

Thrilloo got sick, spores probably are worse for Drasilites. Brought him back to the Gallipoli and was stuck in quarintine for 6 hours ish.

Ripley Man Of The Match 

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Ground exploration
Tales of scary fungus

David 63's Kiwi-Washman exploration report, entry #2

Most of the same team went on another mission today. The team consisted of Erindassa our leader, David 63 for security, Kordell to pilot the dropship, To'do to keep it in flying condition, and a new team member, Ripley, a medic who could patch us up if we got into trouble.

Our task was to escort some scientists down to an archeological site in the Jungle on Brimbury. The first two scientists were Doctors Andan Breedez and Jana Colley, but we also picked up a Dralasite medic, Jiri Thrilloo who was added at the last minute and nearly missed our departure, since we weren't expecting them.

The destination site was deep in the jungle. The scientists who had first traveled there had landed out at the river delta and had a multi-day hike through the jungle to get to the ruins to be investigated. Rather than travel so far on the ground, we though we could make a landing site for ourselves closer to the destination using our drop-ship's railguns. It took a bit of doing from David on the gunnery controls, but we eventually managed to clear a space large enough to touch down.

As we anticipated the ground being soft, To'do had prepared some platforms that would help distribute the weight of the landing gear over a wider ground area, and keep things level. He and David rappelled down from the hovering ship and prepared the landing spot without incident. A sensor check shortly before landing made by somebody on the ship indicated a very unusual anomalous reading from the direction of the archeological site. Some sort of quantum fluctuation technobabble.

The team, with scientists in tow, then proceeded to the archeological site using the vehicles that came with our vessel. We had four off-road bikes and one light all-terrain vehicle. Though the scientists got bounced around a bit by Erindassa's mediocre driving, there was no lasting damage to anyone and we made very good time.

The scientists already at the site were happy to see us, and especially to see Jiri, as he was bringing them more doses of a steroid treatment for lung irritation caused by long-term exposure to the native fungi. One of the scientists was apparently having a bad time with it, though the others seemed fine. The site leader, Dr Langer, offered to show us and newly arrived scientists the actual archeological site which was just a few minutes walk away from the camp.

The site was in an area with many sinkholes. One of the sinkholes exposed an obviously artificial structure, with a doorway leading into it. This was where the archeologists were working. Dr Langer showed us the route in, and took us through a hallway into a room that looked like a large well. The walls had many carved decorations, appearing to depict humanoid figures without any facial features other than eyes. Throughout the whole building, the same a low-level quantum fluctuation we'd detected from our shuttle made most scanning impractical, and even what would normally be long distance communicators had greatly reduced effective ranges.

To'do piloted a small sensor drone part way down the well (which had water in it only far below our entry level). Some distance down the drone was able to see an inset ledge wide enough to stand on, and another hallway running from that ledge out of the well, directly underneath the one we'd come in though. The drone couldn't explore any more on its own because of the signal interference (and the water further down).

So we decided to explore a little bit ourselves, with Ripley being lowered down by rope and David following, carrying a light and power relay device the scientists had at hand. We set up one light on the ledge by the well and another one about 60 feet up the hallway, where the hall ended in a T intersection. The arms of the T seemed to curve back into what might be a circle centered on the well.

We had to cut short our exploration there. At the upper level of the well, the rest of the group were joined by Jiri and Dr Baily, the scientist he'd been treating back at camp. Erindassa noticed that Jiri's skin coloration had abruptly changed since we'd first met him, and asked if he was OK. While he initially assured everyone he was healthy, as he assessed himself some more that appeared not to be at all true. The team called for Ripley to hurry back up to see what was going on medically, as Jiri was starting to panic.

Ripley made excellent time climbing back up the rope, and diagnosed Jiri as suffering from a bad fungal infection that was breaking down his skin membranes. That's bad news for a gelatinous Dralasite, as they don't have any internal structure to their body, only their membranes and a bunch of liquid internals. Ripley administered some basic treatment that would delay the infection, but Jiri still needed urgent medical attention from Gallipoli station.

At this point, To'do recalled that the water in the bottom of the well had come up as completely fungus free in an earlier scan. He used the rope we'd run down the side to haul up a sample of the water, and scanned how it interacted with a little of Jiri's infected skin tissue. The water seemed to kill the infection without doing any harm. Ripley was able to integrate it into his treatment that had been based on the steroid treatment for fungal lung irritation in the human scientists. The improved treatment stabilized Jiri's medical situation for the time being, though getting him more thoroughly checked out on station would still be a good idea.

The team then prepared to medevac Jiri. We also got a load of raw research data from the archaeologists to carry back up to the station, as it was too much to send up over their a low-bandwidth and somewhat unreliable data stream. The drive back to the shuttle was mostly uneventful, though Erindassa again bounced the ATV around pretty badly.

The gear and medevac patient were all loaded on the ship, then Kordell lifted a few meters up, leaving To'do and David to gather up the landing pad sections. That happened without much difficulty, but David, as the last man on the ground, was sure he saw something out in the jungle watching them and moving around their small clearing. He fired one shot from his phaser rifle (set on stun), and the movement stopped. Nothing showed up on sensors however when Erindassa checked, so David got hauled up to the ship and we all left.

When the team arrived back at the station, we informed the authorities of the medical situation. Ripley went off to assist the station's medics giving Jiri treatment for what he had dubbed "Jiri's disease". The rest of the team had to remain in quarantine on the ship for a little while until the medical staff could be sure the infection was only a danger to Dralasites.

The the CDA covered the team's expenses for the mission and we were each paid an additional 1000 credits.

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The beginning!
Dangerous warp space

David 63's Kiwi-Washman Exploration report, entry #1

Our team, consisting of a Federation diplomat (Erindassa), two ex-Marine bodyguards (David and Anderson), a Venetian pilot (Kordell) and a Borean engineer (To'do), were coming to Kiwi-Washman to begin fulfilling contracts from the Colonial Development Authority. We had a shuttle (a refurbished marine landing craft, with slightly improved sensors and some better accommodations for longer range exploration missions), but to travel through hyperspace, the shuttle was docked aboard a larger carrier starship.

The carrier ran into severe hyperspace turbulence on approach to the Kiwi-Washman system. The crew apparently didn't respond appropriately, as it kept getting worse, perhaps because they were trying to divert from one entry beacon in the system to another one. We ran to our shuttle as things started getting dangerous. Immediately after we got on our shuttle, the hangar we were parked in depressurized, and three other people were left stranded in zero-g and vacuum. Fortunately, our marine Anderson is a Belter and knows zero-g maneuvering like the back of his hand, and he was able to mount a rescue (with minor help at the airlock from David and some inspiring words from Erindassa.

The rescued characters were a weapons trader (who offered Anderson a free weapon and all of us a discount on future purchases), and his two clone bodyguards. They were not badly harmed by their brief exposure to the vacuum, so we settled them into our shuttle with us to see what would happen next.

Alas, a scan by To'do told us that what happened next might be the carrier breaking up. So he and the pilot, Kordell began to prepare to do what they could to save the ship if that happened. To'do overrode the carrier's docking clamps, then did some technobabble stuff with our sublight drive to make it easier for the shuttle to transition back to normal space from hyperspace as the carrier came apart around us. One very tough attribute test (with a lot of luck dice) was passed by each of the engineer and pilot, and we were in Kiwi-Washman. One other shuttle survived the transition, albeit with substantial damage. They didn't survive the encounter with the wreckage of the carrier, which we ran right into after it dropped out of hyperspace itself. Kordell made another heroic piloting roll, and we were safe.

After a scan of the wreckage didn't show anything left of the other shuttle, we made our way to Gallipoli station, where we explained what had happened to the shocked CDA officials. Their analysis of the data we recorded during our activities suggested that itw as "human error" by the carrier crew that resulted in the catastrophe, so as long as the pilots of later vessels are careful, travel into the system need not be restricted too much more than it already is.

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