While in warp, the Coleridge shudders briefly. You hear a series of bangs from deep within the ship, each one louder than the last. Suddenly, the entire ship bucks and twists like a crazed mule and anything not bolted down - foodstuffs, crewmembers, furniture - is violently hurled forward like leaves in a gale. For an uncomfortably long moment in darkness, you worry that you’ve been blinded or worse until dim red emergency lights kick in. The sound of an enormous dynamo spinning down can be heard throughout the ship as the comforting background hum turns to a disquieting silence. Standing up carefully, you discover nothing is broken but everything feels bruised. Too bad the same can’t be said for the rest of the ship…
[[For reasons immensely amusing to me, this turn was computed entirely by hand. If anything doesn’t square with what you expect, just let me know and I’ll check my maths and be happy to correct any errors. Missions will be up later tonight!]]
“So, um, yeah. Here we are! Light years from home, dead in the water, and blind as a bat. That’s the good news.”
“I’ve pieced together the log commits just prior to the incident. Looks like the Coleridge initiated an emergency dump of the main warp ballast, which explains the bumpy landing. We appear to be just inside the edge of some sort of widely-dispersed debris field? I suppose it’s theoretically possible the debris represented a potentially fatal navigational hazard, hence the crash dump. Sensors are down, so I’m stuck to visible spectrum at the moment.”
“Now here’s where it gets interesting. See that speck floating off in the distance? Looks like a space carcass, right? I think it’s a ship, but - at the risk of sounding dramatic - I’ve never seen anything like it. Partially organic? Biomechanical? Infected or infested with some sort of hostile organic life form? Coleridge flagged it as an Object Of Interest just before everything went to hell. We need to explore all our options right now. And who knows? It may have salvage.”
Idle fee: 75Ʉ
"If you’re going to stick around, it’ll cost you some juice. We need all available hands right now."
Mission 1 - Nose for News
"So the front of this thing…how can I tell it’s the front? Trust me on this. Some sort of command structure? Signalling antennae? Eyestalks? Just get close and see what you can find there." Cost: 10Ʉ Requirements: none Salvage: 2x Good chance of ???, small chance of ??, very small chance of ? Risks: Defensive response (20-40HP based on DEF)
Mission 2 - What, the Hull?
"Remember that part about how this thing might be organic? We could use a few maneuverable types to get in close and explore as much of the surface of this thing as possible. We’re flying blind, and we need our Recon team to put eyes on it." Cost: 10Ʉ Requirements: Available only to Recon Salvage: +50Ʉ incentive payment, (EVA+SEN)% chance of valuable insights for Round 7 (bonus +50Ʉ) Risks: Booster fatigue (5-15HP based on EVA)
Mission 3 - Underbelly of the Beast
"The underside of that thing has some unusual projections. Mooring mounts? Legs? They seem to move at random. See if you can’t slip in there and see what you can see." Cost: 10Ʉ Requirements: none Salvage: 1x Good chance of ???, very small chance of ?? Risks: 3x Struck by appendage (3-7HP, EVA% chance to avoid)
Mission 4 - Right in the Ol’ Space Cloaca
"We may very well be the first scavengers to ever come into contact with something like this. It might be a radically advanced life form. Shouldn’t we know what it eats? OK but seriously this might be the easiest way to get access to more interesting places. If you have a strong stomach, scout away." Cost: 10Ʉ Requirements: none Salvage: 4x Good chance of ???, fair chance of dangerous salvage Risks: Caustic secretions (10-30HP based on DEF)
Mission 5 - Eye Spy
"With the sensor array down, we have precious little intel on what the heck this thing actually is. If you’re able, patch your on-suit systems into the main grid for amplification. Keep an eye on the others as they interact with the bogey. And be sure to debrief the rest of us when it’s over." Cost: 10Ʉ Requirements: none, but safest for Guardians Salvage: +50Ʉ incentive payment, (SEN+SCI)% chance of valuable insights for Round 7 (addl. bonus: +75Ʉ) Risks: Full-spectrum feedback: 40-60HP (reduced by SEN for Guardians)
"Look, everything’s offline right now, our supplies are smashed, and it’ll get worse if I can’t find out what’s wrong with the Coleridge. You’re on your own this round. Chin up! Maybe you can scare up some prime salvage out there?"
"Princess Rembrandt comin’ atcha on Radio Free Coleridge (Guardian Channel 2), with the vibe to shake those vibrations, and the where-with-all to set you square with all…
"Latest assess forthcoming following this public service announcement: scavenger species whose morphology includes a cloaca are advised to secure all personal items prior to warp-jump…
"Also, Guardian Channel Two is collecting spare toothbrushes for the needy among us, if you can open your heart, please drop one off at the Cannister-Drone on Pink-7…
"No inference is to be drawn between these announcements…
"Visible spectrum: Mostly red, with continuing redness throughout the cycle, deepening to a really red red by the beginning of the next cycle. It’s a shame you’re missing this, Professor, you should look into a SEN upgrade for that color-blindness…
"Other bands: Other bands are down, but we’re gonna cheer 'em up with a little spin round the galaxy on our Cosmic Wheels. If you didn’t get the Cosmic Wheels upgrade, just tramp along behind in your Boots of Steel…Take it, D-Man…