Kessler Syndrome

After the last session’s adventure at Tlazolteotl, the away team is called before Captain Kishasaa who is not happy with them causing a small diplomatic incident on the planet. The planet has called for those responsible for the raiding of the religious site to be returned – a request that the Captain is ignoring.

Mission Commander Cacamri though is quite interested in the art artefacts that have been brought back, and asks for a presentation to be given to the rest of the mission crew whilst the Deepnight is in jump to the Gabriel system (Trojan Reach / 1114). Gabriel is a binary system, a G8 primary star and a M8 secondary, with almost a 1,000 AU between the two. Traffic at the secondary was reported to be light, so they headed there to the single gas giant.

Gabriel Beta II

The player conversation fell into a detailed discussion of star types, brown dwarfs and other matters, and to be honest after a long week at work I was too tired to try and pull things back on track for a while.

Once we got back to the game, refuelling when smoothly, so from there it was a quick jump to the Red Zone system of Velscur. Here there was a choice of two gas giants – the third planet where was recorded as having a number of pirate factions based in the ice rings of the jovian, or the fourth planet which was noted for strong magnetic fields and a very active atmosphere where it would be harder to refuel.

The crew decided to risk the weather and try to avoid the pirates, so it was an opportunity to roll on my list of things to happen at Gas Giants table:

There are twisting vortexes of air ahead of the ship, stretching horizontally across its path. They are dark red in colour, with flecks of brown and yellow. A piloting check can be used to avoid them, otherwise the ship will take minor damage from being tossed around.

As they head down to refuel, there is a lot of turbulence and three of the crew suffer injuries as a result of that. The ship takes a bit of damage as well, though nothing significant. From there it is a J-1 jump to their destination – 985-373. This is another red zone world, which may have orbital defences in place. They decide to approach whilst trying to keep in the shelter of the world’s moon.

Several of the local nations enforce the red zone here in order to prevent the spread of any biological diseases from the world. There are warning messages in place, as well as some mines hidden in the ruins of the world’s belt of artificial satellites – most of which have suffered from kessler syndrome over the previous centuries.

They have a choice of taking in the Deepnight itself, or heading in aboard a smaller ship. It’s decided to take the Opportunities Multiply, the ship’s boat that belongs to the Executive Officer Kirkiimekki Kamarsukhar. It’s a modified boat, with much faster drives so should be able to get in and out before anything notices.

The only problem was that I couldn’t find the stats that I’d come up with for the boat – after the session I finally found them in the most ‘unlikely’ of places – amongst the list of ship designs on my website. I knew I had a render for it, but couldn’t remember if I’d actually come up with any stats. This morning I decided to finish things off and try my hand at doing some deck plans for it as well using Dungeondraft:

The Opportunities Multiply

So Kirk takes his boat in, along with one of the sensor operators from the Deepnight to try and map out any defensive systems. I’d decided that there would be some Long Duration Offensive Mines around the planet (detailed in the Sword Worlds book from Mongoose), though not enough to provide full coverage. An Electronics (Sensors) check would be needed as they approached the planet to detect the defence systems, then another one to try and mask their approach or jam their sensors.

As they boat got within the orbit of the moon, an automated warning was broadcast:

You are approaching the world designated 983-373. This world is classed as a Red Zone and travel to it is forbidden by the Imperium, the Belgardian Sojurnate and the Florian League. You are ordered to turn back now.

Thinking about it, since Kirk had come from the Navy I decided that I would let his boat also have Imperium navy IFF. It’s not going to be of use for much longer, since they will meet fewer and fewer Imperium vessels or systems the further they travel, but it would provide a small benefit now.

As they got closer, a second warning was broadcast:

You are entering the Red Zone around world 983-373. IFF has identified you as a Imperium Navy Vessel and you will be permitted to approach. Any non-Navy vessels will be fired upon. This world is considered dangerous to visitors, and the strictest care is advised.

So they approached safely, performing a flyby of the world and scanning for as many weapon systems as they could. They had to navigate their way through the orbital debris, since the world had once had a thriving network of orbital satellites and stations. Over the previous centuries, these had collided and decayed until all that remains is a cloud of high velocity debris which is not only dangerous to fly through, but also masks the locations of the mines.

There was no obvious activity down on the surface of the planet, and the night side was dark suggesting it was uninhabited. They perform what scanning they could, and then flew back up to the Deepnight where it is still by the moon. Next week a small group of them will head down to the planet to find the bio-research site for Umbrella Pharmaceuticals, to try and locate information on the bio-weapons that are meant to be there.

There is a strong desire amongst the players to force Dr Ermam Nekuna to go down, since he is very risk adverse and had originally floated the idea of coming here by persuading Dr Rusasa to push for it.

Samuel Penn

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