Friday, May 13, 2011

Turn 4: Waves

Falyai immediately transmits the message to fleet command and receives a standard “message received” notification with no additional details.

Chompy plots the course and Málakal engages the three-light drive.  The ship hurtles toward Psi Tauri 9, eight minutes away at maximum acceleration.

Seven minutes later, warning lights are blinking at every station.  The ship has encountered an undetected field of conta-gravitic waves emanating from the planet.  Málakal struggles with the controls; Falyai sees the ansible go off-line and notes interference on standard light speed communication channels.  In Engineering, Payákár watches as Wavium Pod 2 cracks under the strain and is automatically shut down and sealed.

At the Science station, Harv is dismayed at the sudden appearance of the field.  Sensors are impaired but functional.  The field appears to be emanating from a location on the Chir’un Rift approximately 180 miles south of the research station.  Sensors detect four humans and 24 anomalous lifeform-like readings near that location.

The station itself is not found; however high levels of sub-atomic radiation and indications of a recent massive explosion at the station’s coordinates are detected.


  1. Payákár resists the urge to curse. This is going to take more than a molecular spanner to put right.

    Giving the compartment a good long look, the Páchi Léi soon brightens. Not often a chance like this comes along. Ha. Repairing a split Wavium Pod. Now that is something. Legs and arms go into action, moving this way and that, collecting up various devices.

    Payákár suddenly recalls the shuddering. What was it? Could happen again. Perhaps some kind of additional damper could be set up...

    The Páchi Léi bobs in excitement.

    [@ The Drune - Would this be repairable quickly or easily, and could the repair be started yet? I'm guessing it would need to take place in a vaccum, to prevent the wavium exploding. If so, how would that be done, assuming it usually is? If it isn't, I can get creative. Also, would form need Payákár to call in to the bridge before beginning?]

  2. @Porky: Repairing the cracked pod array would be fairly difficult and take several hours. The ship has 8 so the loss of one isn't ctitical.The repairs would have to be done in a vacuum as wavium crystals become unstable and explosive when exposed to air.

    The other pods appear to be ok...this one must have already had a minor stress fracture.

    The pods are essentially the power plant where solar powered lasers are focused on the wavium crystals and the light is converted to contra-gravitic waveforms. Reserve power is also collected from inter-planar sources and stored in a battery when the inter-fogulator is used so the ship is currently near maximum power.

    You can assume that the AI has already notified the bridge with a damage control report.

    You could flush the air out of engineering and begin repairs, assign one of the other engineers to do so.

  3. What happened to the rest of the station personnel? Harv makes a region wide sweep for human and Pei Choi life forms covering the site of the station and source of the disturbance. He reports the results to the Captain.

  4. The sensor readings from the location of the station remain consistent. It appears to have been completely destroyed by a sub-atomic explosion. The scan of the second location, probably as it is near the source of the contagravitic waveform disturbance, is fuzzy.

    The readings on the four humans are clear enough to identify the number and species. The 24 anomalous-possible lifeforms match no known profiles. These could be ghost readings associated with the disturbance.

    Harv experiences a pang of deep empathic sadness, realizing that the Pei Choi researcher is likely dead.

  5. "Damn!" Lálei quiet swore as she heard Deed's damage report. "Mr. Malakal, try to determine if we can maintain a stable orbit."

    Lálei closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. She opens her mind and tries to stretch her perceptions far beyond the confines of her body to see if she can glean anything that the Deed's sensors couldn't detect.

    [Lálei uses her Third Eye Power]

  6. Meanwhile, in the Med Lab Dr. Mors and Halei prepare two Med Kits, adding the appropriate treatments for radiation sickness to the standard configuration. They then don their skin suits and report to the Bridge.

    They arrive just as Lálei re-opens her eyes.

    "Captain!" says Turján, "Request permission to evacuate the survivors."

  7. Lálei, momentarily entranced, opens her inner eye. There is a rush of dark reddish hues swirling as a vortex, then a series of images: an explosion, a spray of ice crystals, a narrow canyon on an icy plain, then darkness.

    She is left with a sense of great danger and the presence of unknown inimical beings or forces on the planet below.

  8. Lálei draws a shuddering breath as she closes her Third Eye... "Not... not yet doctor," she says into the intercom. "I sense something... something terrible still down there."

    She turns to look at Malakal. "Recommendations, Krutai."

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  10. Given the malfunctioning equipment, with some nervous chirping noises Chompy will do a thorough examination of the navigational array and related equipment.

    I think this is a poor choice of venue for plugging parenting workshops.

  11. Falyai curses, and begins running a full diagnostic on the ansible sub-systems, and initiates an emergency profile consistency check on Deed's positronic brain matrix. WIth luck, Deeds hasn't suffered a de-stabilizing neural shock event. (These ship AIs are just fine as long as nothing goes wrong... but they're like high-performance land-speeder engines: constant tinkering!)

    Cue up the emergency damage report along with scans from the surface, for immediate transmission to Imperial Command the minute the ansible checks out, or we have an open intersteller comms channel that looks supportable of the data stream. At the very least, perhaps we can get a tight "emergency circumstances: proceed with caution" burst through the interference in the comm channels: if we armour the burst package and set it sending on a rotating-through-primes period, maybe...

    Falyai prays that the Captain will place a higher-priority on stabilizing and repairing the ships systems than on further investigation of what looks like a terminal event on the planet surface...

  12. "We're right here, Captain." Replies Mors, with a slight smile, "Apologies for arriving unannounced, but I must insist: Someone has to help those people..."

  13. "Captain, indications are the situation on the surface is extremely dangerous. I respectfully recommend remote investigation via robotic probe."

  14. Lálei signs and nods. "Yes Doctor, of course," she says as she punches the intercom button. "I need volunteers to join myself and Dr. Mors for an immediate search and rescue operation."

    Lálei rose from her couch a turns to Malakal. "XO, I'll need you to stay behind and command the Deeds. Yes, I know, but I think there is need for mentalik on this mission."

  15. "...and then reconfigure it... Good point. We'll see. We'll see."

    Payákár watches as Jina strips down ready to put on the suit. The Páchi Léi takes every opportunity to study the human form and peers at her with enormous eyes; dimorphism is a fascinating thing.

    Payákár too is preparing to don a suit, arms and legs flexing. Engineering is flushed of air and the repairs can now get underway. It is exciting, and ordinarily might be the highlight of a mission; the Páchi Léi has been gabbling.

    At the sound of the Captain's voice both look up, listen intently.

    Search and rescue...

    Payákár responds immediately: "Captain, I will gladly join the party. If it so pleases you."

    Turning to Jina, just a little crestfallen: "Well, six hands are not strictly necessary of course. Truth be told, your pair is quite capable, and you have Hakmala too if need be. A pity, but there may be much greater need on the surface."

    The Páchi Léi wonders what could be happening down there; let there only be no loss, no suffering.

  16. Falyai can see no sensible reason she'd be needed more on the surface than right here at her station, so she does not speak up. Perhaps this will damage her career prospects, but there's no point in seeking to showcase expertise she does not have: that would only put the away team at risk.

  17. "Thank you Mr Payakar," Leali says into the intercom microphone. "Gather whatever equipment you'll need and meet us in the shuttle bay." She turns to the Pe Choi scientist "What say you, Mr Harv? We could use your expertise on this mission?"

  18. "I will accompany away mission as required." Harv packs his gear and dons the approriate protective gear. He glances at the service robot he has been configuring for telepresence ops. "Perhaps next time my Brave Explorer".