Codename Thunderbird

Last modified date

Spending time at the Tenipal trade outpost, most of the crew of the It’s a Sex Thing decided to head to a local night club to try and socialise and find out more about the cultures here. It is a crowded and noisy place, with a live band, people playing cards, dancing and having drinks.

Everyone stops as the aliens come in, but the place returns to normal as they find a booth at the back. These is some talk with the Tenipal about their history. The damaged worlds only happened to the Erline, and the Travellers consider that maybe the worlds were hit with asteroids because they had been infected by the Fungus. They haven’t seen anything that’s happened between 300,000 years ago and recently, so an event with the Fungus several thousand years ago would part way be a filler for that.

The Tenipal don’t know anything about any infectious fungi, but do know that the Erline have a germ warfare division.

Khadashi spots a couple of ‘Yo-matha’ – the name that the Tenipal give to slaves of the Sovereigndoms. They are sitting by themselves at a table, and seem to be watching the Travellers. He heads over and sits down with them, introducing himself.

From talking to them, it seems that they don’t consider themselves to be slaves. They are a part of Sovereigndom society, and the only limitation is that they can’t be nobles because they can never be descended from any of the original noble bloodlines (since they aren’t Erline). Their culture seems very feudal in nature though, so a better description might be that they are no more slaves than most of the other Erline in the Sovereigndoms are.

Their view of the Tenipal culture is not great, and they see it as weak and static. The Erline of the Sovereigndoms view things as strongest takes all, and technological advancement is faster and better.

Whilst the conversation in the bar is taking place, Zanobia as headed to the local medical centre to try and help out there. She is given a tour of the facilities, though the Tenipal seem reluctant to share their own biological information. As is Zanobia.

It is then that a newsflash occurs on the local TV stations – a Tenipal exploration vessel is in trouble. It is in the inner part of the solar system, about 24AU distant from the outer Ice Giant where the trade depot is located. It seems to have crashed on a world with a thick, insidious atmosphere, and several Tenipal have been killed or injured in the crash.

It would actually be quicker to Jump to the world, but the Tenipal only have J-1 drives. They could possibly jump there (though the route scrapes the edge of the star’s jump mask), but would have to fly back in normal space.

As it turns out, the It’s a Sex Thing could jump there and back, getting any seriously injured people back to a proper medical facility in a little over two weeks – several days faster than the fastest Tenipal craft. Their better jump drives, and better experience at astronavigation, means they also have a better chance of actually being able to jump directly to the world.

Helping out would get them in the good graces of the Tenipal, so the Travellers offer their services. The ship is already fuelled, and they clear out the cargo bay to allow some Tenipal medical staff to set up shop there. Khadashi insists that their call sign during the operation should be “Thunderbird”.

There is a competition amongst the crew on who can plot the most efficient route – and Dr Nekuna spends most of the trip sulking because his route was the least efficient. When they arrive at the world, it is a bit of a hell hole. It is a primordial Gaian world, with a thick atmosphere about ten times as thick as Earth, with a mix of Methane, Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen. The surface temperature is well over 100°C. There is surface water, since the high pressure is preventing it from boiling. The surface gravity is also about 30% higher than Earth standard.

The Tenipal ship was a 200t in-system craft with no Jump drive, that had been taking samples of the upper atmosphere when it lost control and went down much further than it should have. It managed to crash in some mountains, so the pressure and temperature isn’t as bad as down on the surface, but they are still going to be tricky to reach.

I have partial implementation of Starships working in Foundry. It’s mostly used for tracking what equipment is carried on the player’s ship.

Shinzaro makes an awesome piloting check, and manages to put the Sex Thing down close to the crashed ship. Fortunately, they have a good selection of Hostile Environment Suits aboard, so are able to arrange a rescue of the crew. Khadashi does a final pass through of the crashed ship, making sure everything important is saved (i.e., anything interesting is grabbed), before the Sex Thing lifts off and gets everyone safely to orbit. The Sex Thing itself has lost much of its paint work in the process, and its hull is damaged in places from the heat and pressure, but nothing serious.

They now have a trip back to the starport, during which time they will have the opportunity to find out exactly what it was the Tenipal were doing here.

Samuel Penn

1 Response