At the end of the previous session, our Deepnight Revelation campaign switched focus from the crew of the It’s A Sex Thing, the far trader which had headed into Tenipal space to investigation that civilisation. This week, we stepped back in time to the Out of Options, a 200t Deepnight advanced scout, that was heading through Erline space towards the Sovreigndoms.
The Out of Options had left the Deepnight Revelation around the same time as the Sex Thing, so we were back to the date of 1115-029. The player characters were Shiiguma (pilot, and a little bit of everything else) and Siona McFranchester (head of engineering). I had assigned a crew of NPCs as well, but we ended up running through the ‘CVs’ of the potential candidates since the players wanted to make sure they had a good distribution of skills. Which was highly sensible of them.
They ended up with Jarshi Aznuu, one of the bridge officers who could do astronavigation and sensors. Dr Rusasa joined them as a biologist. Amelie Kaliguuan, the Deepnight company representative, had invited herself along despite not having much in the way of technical skills.
Professor George Watt was head of social sciences, and Aema and Ishugi came along with a mix of gunnery, mechanics and security skills.
Once they’d sorted out crew, they made sure that they had a decent selection of weapons and vacc suits, as well as some suitable software for the ship’s computer,
The Out of Options was more cramped than the Sex Thing, but had a longer range (enough fuel for two Jump-2 jumps) and faster drives (thrust 4).
Their first port of call was Raque, which was just a small refuelling stop. No ports here, but a number of Erline craft refuelling at the local gas giants. There was an opportunity for chatter, since not all the ships here were aware that aliens had recently appeared amongst the Erline.
From there, it was a jump to Ikutybe, a world with a population of 8 million, TL 7 and a class D starport. They were met with a great deal of fan fare, and invited down to the planet to meet with the planetary governor. A few of the crew stayed aboard the ship, and Jarshi tried the usual hacking into the planetary communication grid to catch up on latest gossip. She uncovered discussion on the government channels about a large object heading into the inner system. The system’s rather sparse sensor grid was entirely focused on trying to find out more. A few probes had been sent on fast fly by mission, so Jarshi was trying to find the image data they had sent back.
At the garden party (tents had been erected outside, since humans don’t fit easily into Erline dwellings), there was an opportunity for some general discussion with the Erline. Siona found some engineers to talk to, whilst Shiiguma and Rusasa had a more political discussion.
Jarshi kept them updated as she found out more about the rock. It was travelling at 60km/s and was about 180m across. Currently 3AU out, it would be about 80 days before it got close to the planet. Images from the probes had clear evidence of large weapon systems on the object, as well as a drive system at the rear, though it was currently coasting.
It was then that smaller rocks were discovered heading in towards the planet – due to impact in the next 30 minutes or so. The governor headed off to safety, and the crew of the Out Of Options headed back to their ship, and rushed to orbit. The first few rocks hit mostly unpopulated areas, but caused serious devastation where they did land.
The Out of Options tried shooting them down as they came in, and managed to cause one to break up in the atmosphere without doing any damage.
This, whatever it was, was probably something to do with the planetary rocking that had happened ten thousand years ago, and the crew were interested in finding out more about it. After much discussion and planning, it was decided to head towards it at full thrust. This would take about 2½ days. Then they’d suicide burn to a stop alongside it, trying not to approach directly from the front.
As they approached, it started broadcasting a signal. It used the old language of proto-Erline that the Deepnight crew had found evidence at the first few abandoned systems they had encountered. “This planet is interdicted. Do not leave. If you leave you will be destroyed“.
There had been a lot of discussion amongst the players about whether the Events from ten thousand years ago had been deliberate, an accident, Erline or aliens. This seemed to be of ancient Erline design, and didn’t seem to be a simple mining bot gone wrong.
They continued to head towards it, flipping around and beginning their suicide burn. The big ortillery guns had little chance of hitting a small nimble target like the Out of Options. Unfortunately, it also had smaller guns, though many were non-functional. The weapon systems were all clumsy mass driver systems, and the Out of Options managed to dodge them all. It even managed to take out some turrets with its own laser weapons.
They safely arrived along side the big rock, not too far from what looked like some structure with airlocks going into the surface. The next obvious step was obviously to explore.