Hitchhikers at Stowkau

Last session, the Deepnight Revelation had visited the world of Hwaoiei, where they had discovered a monument left behind by a Dryone expedition from 300,000 years ago. Leaving this world behind, they headed briefly into Faoheiroi’lyhao sector and the unnamed world at 0401. They refuelled at the outermost gas giant, and detected a frigate class ship around the habitable planet.

This system had a hot F-class star, and the system was quite spaced out, so the inner planet was over 90AU away.Even at 6g thrust, it would take over 30 days to get there, and they didn’t want to make another jump, so they avoided contact and jumped to the oort cloud around Stowkau in the Theta Borealis sector.

Stowkau (Theta Borealis / 3240) had no gas giants, and its habitable world was a Gaian Pelagic planet with 98% water cover. However, 600 million people lived there, and it had an A class star port. The Deepnight had been told that the world was an enslaved colony, so they didn’t want to head to the inner system. Passive scans showed there were at least two frigate class vessels in orbit around the main world.

Stowkau II, a Gaian Pelagic world

They came out in the Oort cloud not too far from a large comet (it was only a few days travel at maximum thrust). It had sufficient water ice to begin refuelling from, when they got a tight beam transmission from something not too far away. They didn’t understand the language, but it seemed to be asking for help.

After some back and forth, their translation software managed to start figuring out the language – it had some similarities to old Earth Chinese. There were seven of them, and had been living in what had been an in-system mining vessel for almost two years. They had escaped from the main world, having been slaves working in missile factories for most of their lives. They had planted themselves near one of the larger comets in the hope that scouts from Trailing would come by here and be able to provide a lift out of the system.

Khadashi, Shiiguma and some others went over in a small craft to investigate, and found that it pretty seemed to be as described. Most of their ship had been reworked to collect organics off the comet they were on, and were using it for fuel for their ageing fusion reactor. There were seven of them – two men, three women and a couple of teenagers (a boy and a girl).

One of the women showed signs of surgery to her head – later medical investigation showed that she’d had a mind controlling brain implant crudely removed.

The ship was in no fit state to be moved, so they needed a lift to somewhere habitable that wasn’t under the thumb of the cloned immortal President Yokanna at Rorschach. It was decided that they could carry them to Jauhaux sub-sector, where there was bound to be somewhere suitable. All of them seem to have experience with engineering, so might also have useful skills.

From Stowkau, they jumped to the outermost gas giant at Betuatan. There were some small research stations here, and some fuel tankers, who were very surprised to have a 75,000t vessel jump out on top of them. They detected a couple of jumps out from the inner system, and another one of the frigates started accelerating out towards them – though it would be over five days before it got to them.

Plenty of time to be able to mostly ignore the requests for boarding that were made, to get refuelled and to head into the outer system whilst the fuel was processed. From there it was a jump to another Oort cloud at Zaharoff, which seemed a sutiable place to bring things to a stop for the evening.

Samuel Penn

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