Location: Dingir, Low-Orbit planetary (LOP)
Terran timestamp: Sol 148, 2170 AD
Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura paced the bridge as the rest of the crew held their breath. On screen, and Imperial Navy Captain frowned one last time: “Alright, since you aren’t going to authorise boarding, we’ll blast our way in.” The screen went dead.
INTEL analyst Thane Bapke was at his listening station when the events unfolded. He could listen in on the chatter between the bridge and the Imperials. A troop of Imperial marines crossed the last 2000m meter to the Hadrian in their Redding battlesuits. The forward bay visual cam captured the breaching operations.
A blast traversed the Hadrian as the forward bay decompressed, the ship began to rotate until the RCS stabilised it. Dr. Inuuq was now all on his own in the lab, hoping that he would make it out alive. On the ship status display, it showed that the forward bay was depressurised. Another explosion, the forward cargo depressurized as well. The marines were making their way to the bridge by blasting locks instead of being let through. Why? Dr. Inuuq donned his Vacc suit, just in case.
Ambassador Sanjeet Lewis-Vats was sitting in his quarter/saferoom. He selected the bridge comms and began listening to the weakened voice of Vulnicura. She was pleading the marines to refrain from causing more damage to the Hadrian. At the other end, Imperial Marine Captain Slavonis was uninterested in negotiations. He had been threatened with infection prior to the breech and wasn’t in a negotiating mood. The ambassador decided to make his way to the central bus to meet with the marines on his own.
The marines disabled the artificial gravity and everything not tied down started to churn in the lab. A marine section entered the hospital and proceeded to the lab. Dr. Inuuq, trying to not tumble in 0-grav, met with the biomed team and the odd 10 marines securing the area. The Imperial scientist, Dr. Jilun explained that all lab logs and samples were to be removed as evidence for the prosecution of Lt. Cmdr. Harrowstein. Dr. Inuuq cooperated, knowing that the stem lifeforms were safely injected into the zebrafish of tank 110-A. The zebrafishes were almost killed in the process, but a good measure of technobabble got Dr. Inuuq to convince the Imperials to leave them be in the tank. The precious samples would live another day.
The intervention of the ambassador muddled the situation with the marines enough to resolve the impasse: the marines were allowed to proceed inside under the condition that they’d stop blowing locks after locks and depressurise the hospital ship. The most contentious item was the fitting of all UWO personnel with a biomonitor. It looked like a large wristwatch and is used as a tracking device by the marines. Most disturbingly, it could be used to inject sedative remotely.
Bapke took off his EVA suit just before getting his biomonitor installed. He launched a research to determine the legality of the boarding. Using the ship’s mainframe, he pieced together enough to feel confident that most of what the marines were doing was in contravention with Charter 133, the treaty under which the mission was defined. He reported this to the Chief Mission Officer (CMO). Angry, he got creative and created a fake account on a number of social networks down on Dingir. With them, he planted a number of anti-vilani pieces. The potentially most damaging was how the marines were interfering with the medical relief mission in the underwater city Keos B.
Captain Slavonis received the report from his sections: the 1GJ UV-laser had been removed, critical components of their torpedo system were seized, the lab had been cleaned of all samples and all terrans biomonitored. The only objective not achieved was the extradition of Dr. Mgii, who was still down on Dingir according to the ship’s log. Slavonis was upset to have to chase a Vegan to the underwater city Keos B: where marines are not particularly welcomed.
Location: Dingir, Keos B, Keonus Kingdom.
Terran timestamp: Sol 148, 2170 AD
Dr. Mgii spent the best of the day helping the ER personnel to treat Influenza A patients. They already had lost one elderly patient, and the uneasiness about the onset of the epidemic was building up slowly. Up to the sea surface, Clavain was helping a local engineer to convert the UNNC Hibiscus to accept water as reaction mass. The news from above weren’t very good: the Hadrian had been damaged by marines during boarding, and Dr. Mgii was wanted by them for extradition. Clavain contacted Mgii down on the sea floor.
Meanwhile, Sir Tsuros of Keos was getting agitated by the presence of heretics in his city. His squire reported on the news. Sir Tsuros placed a message to one of his shady contact to propagate the news that terrans were seeding the city with the plague. It didn’t take too long before some of the stores decided to close for the day. People started to avoid public places. By the end of the day, the Hibiscus up at the surface and the alien Vegan doctor in the hospital was the top trending news item on the local network. Things started to feel more dangerous for the medical personnel, and reminiscent of the situation on Daamika a few weeks ago.
The decision to pull out of Dingir was made when the Hadrian informed Clavain that the marines had launched a dropship to the planet, with a likely mission to arrest Dr. Mgii. Mgii and her nurse assistant packed their gears and headed back to the launch pad. Things were getting too complicated.
The Hibiscus was hot on the launch pad, but Mgii and the nurse weren’t in yet. Clavain was running diagnostic when a cloaked figures with a power sword entered the bay. Clavain dispatch Cpl. Roja to meet the stranger. They exchanged dirty looks. Roja pulled his taser and got the stranger to stand down. Another stranger, this time Sir Tsuros, entered the bay. Earlier today, he attempted to rouse the parishioners into a frenzy, but without success. Instead, he had to lower himself to addressing infidels on his own.
Roja wasn’t kidding, he hadn’t pulled on a trigger in anger since the terrorist attack on Daamika. He was aching to shoot someone. Tsuros didn’t need to be very perceptive to read into this and backed down. He yelled through his translation unit. Roja dared him to move forward. Mgii and the nurse slipped into the ship and the Hibiscus took off in a blast of superheated water vapour.
The mission had been a failure, panic was settling in and misinformation on the terran mission was taking a hold. Meanwhile, the marines landed to find that their dropship had crossed path with the ascending Hibiscus. The Influenza A epidemics was now allowed to run its course in the best possible condition: among a confused and misinformed population. Making things worst, the marines were ordered to quarantine in the dropship on the launching pad of Keos B for the time being.
Location: Dingir, Low-Orbit planetary (LOP)
Terran timestamp: Sol 149, 2170 AD
The transition between Charter 133 and 172 will have to be fudged. This is the interstellar wars world: things don’t go as planned and initiative has to be taken. The ambassador, Sanjeet, cooked a plan worthy of his old Master’s thesis in Computer Science. With the help of the INTEL analyst on duty, they broke into the communication software of the biomonitors, cracked the encryption, and devised a man-in-the-middle approach to disconnect silently the biomonitors from the marines’ control.
Thane Bapke packaged a situation report to be send back to UWO territory in Nusku. He double checked on his side project on sowing discord down in Dingir: things were working as planned. Thane smiled and fired Metroid once more for some R&R.
Dr. Mgii revealed that she discovered that the Vilani liaison had died of an EMP blast from a cerebral implant. The trail of authorization went straight to Lt. Cmdr. Harrowstein. It thus looks like the naval commander had coerced the liaison into doing a number of actions against his will: stealing stem lifeforms from Apishlun being one that probably was related to his own death. There are doubts on the Hadrian that Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura is also implicated in the murder conspiracy, but there is no proof of that.
The ambassador decided to head down on Dingir and assume his diplomatic positions. The marines are long gone, under the illusion that they are monitoring the terrans. Harrowstein is likely guilty of murder and Sanjeet will do his best to ensure due judicial process. Ambassador Lewis-Vats entered Dingir in the morning of Sol 149.
On the ship, the crew decided that since the Marines had operated illegally, they had good ground to not comply to the impounding order. They devised to rush to Apishlun where legal and diplomatic support would be available for them. This has two main consequences: 1) The personnel transfer is incomplete and 2) the UNNC Hadrian will need to evade the Imperial Navy until they reach a safe jump point. The Hadrian is completely disarmed, in need of repair for a number of bulkheads, and Forward Bay’s main door.
In 35 minutes, they are going to take off, Dukes of Hazard style, to outrun the Imperial Navy as they jump deeper into their territory.