The Hadrian Wall

Session 10 - Running on fumes
Season finale.

Context

The Nightingale-class orbital interface UNNC Ibiscus had to be left behind when the UNNC Hadrian escaped Ensulur’s highport. The ambulance, crewed by two contractor pilots, were on order to land in the city state of Upshal and wait for the Imperial Navy to pull them out of hostile space. Running low on delta-V, the Ibiscus had to abort and, on a near-miss collision course with the barren rock, sent itself nearly into a highly elliptical orbit. The science array showed the Hadrian blink out of view as it jumped about an hour later.

Location

Ensulur is a troubled system on the super highway from Apishlun to Urima. As a nest for piracy, most of the traffic never passes through the orbital space of the mainworld where the adventure is located. The Kamerians are officially controlling the space, but the friendlier State of Upshal is contending for political control of the barren planet.

Story

Location: Medium Orbit, Ensulur’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 8, 2170 AD
Clavain and Imimuk looked at each other, perplexed. There was only a bit of delta-V in the attitude thusters. The Ibiscus was on a 72h period elliptical orbit, on a plane 60 degree off the ecliptic. Imimuk showed the error on the trajectory to Clavain: it seemed wise to redirect the RCS reaction mass to the main reactor for a short burn at the apogee so as to ensure that the ship doesn’t do another 700m planetary skim at 2 mps. Without the RCS thrusters, the ship would be a tumbling mess, but at least it wouldn’t smash into the planet in 3 days.

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Clavain made a quick sensor sweep and identified the highport, a Kamerian destroyer in low-orbit, the Imperial dropship and a number of interface vehicles. He zeroes on the dropship for 30 minutes and gets good reading. Them Kamarian missile didn’t destroy the ship and there appears to be some EVA/drone crews in repair details. The Ibiscus is, however, incapable to make contact with the Vilanis. meanwhile, a broadcast from the highport states the the Kamerian authority has claimed the Ibiscus as salvage.

“They think we’re dead”, say Imimuk. Both know full well that there is no reason for anyone to believe that they’d be yet. While Clavain strugggles with the man page for the comm system, they accidentally broadcast their encrypted connection to the Upshal orbital control. It takes barely a minute for the ship’s sensor to detect the flares of the highport’s lead laser. Clavain pleads with the Upshal controller to intervene. Shortly, the highport laser disengagess and no damage is done.

There is no food on board, but there are enough water, fluid and blood products to last three days. Surviving until the next perigee is checked. They decided that they’d try to science the hell out of this situation, so Clavain went for a water-saving nap while Imimuk started to brainstorm.

Location: Low Orbit, Ensulur’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 11, 2170 AD
Clavain and Imimuk spent the last 12 hours in the cabin after Imimuk rigged the atmospheric stores to the reaction mass. That got them a full miles-per-second (mps) of delta-V to work with. Imimuk was affected by starvation more than Clavain. The plan had settled to use the 1 mps to correct the inclination and catch the dropship at an uncomfortably high docking velocity. The backup plan was to hope that an Upshal refuelling drone would be able to intercept at the ascending node.

During the long spin around Ensulur, they made contact with the Imperials some 3 light-hours away. A squadron of two destroyers and one tender would be jumping out in 4 days. The plan was then to dock with the Marines and wait to a lift out of the system. Imimuk ran the plan many times and passed it to Clavain for execution. Clavain nearly corrected the inclination but overburned in the process, leaving too much residual velocity for docking. The Ibiscus had to abort and whoosh by the dropship some 2000m away.

The drone rendez-vous as planned and pumps 30 mps into the Ibiscus. Clavain takes the ambulance to Upshal and meet with the government officials. With the Imperials incoming to exact revenge on the dropship’s attack, Upshal told the operators that they had sortied a squadron to oppose the Kamerian.

The dogs of war were out sniffing, and Clavain felt that he had something to do with it somehow.

Location: Tunshaon Tyo’s Highport, Vegan territory
Terran timestamp: June 1, 2170 AD
The UNNC Hadrian had to do some serious catch-up to deliver freight into two systems and lost 50% payoff (~200KCr) in Shasharmak. However, bypassing mainworld stops in the last system allowed them to catch up with a lead time when they entered the Vegan world of Tunshaon Tyo. Dr. Mgii, chief medical officer, was excited to enter his home interstellar space. The crew decided to take a leave in this system as many had business to conduct.

First order of business: the repair of the 1GJ US decimer laser turret. Tatiana signed on the 600KCr repair job reluctantly, but at the same time tasked Chief Agent Xiao Chen to locate weapons’ peddlers in the underworld. Chen failed to find anyone to buy the Gauss rifles, and certainly didn’t find anyone to sell the Hadrian a 2.5Kton nuclear warhead for its 40cm missile.

On the Pharaoh (the other ambulance), Dr. Mgii and Cheif Science officer Dr. Inuuq was present. While Mgii found a guide to help Xiao Chen, Inuuq headed for the University to make contact with the Vegan elite in the bioengineering field.

Inuuq was carrying a secret with him that painted a target on his pack for the Empire’s agents. During the last few weeks, he had smuggled the Apishlan “curse” out of Apishlun, enlisted an Apishlan PhD student, cloned a hand for Sgt Bergmann containing Apishlan stem cells, and performed with the help of Mgii a bone marrow replacement on the ship’s pug. He had discovered that a rhinovirus infection on Bergman induced genetic editing in the genomes of the pug, the Apishlan bean plants in the lab, and Stavra (the PhD student). What he needed was some great brain to pick and more gears to elucidate the mystery of the Apishlan “infection”. As he entered the gates of the Lowport’s university, Tatiana was securing the sales of the Gauss rifles to the local law enforcement.

But this, friends, is material for the second season of the Hadrian wall.

Aspects that are carried over to the next session

  • Clavain, Imimuk and the Ibuscus are in Upshal, Ensulur system.
  • Bergman, Stavra, the pug and the bean plants are genetically connected.
  • The Hadrian is on leave in Tunshao Tyo for a few days.

Characters Cast

  • Chief Agent Xiao Chen: A survivor from the Tibetan plateaux. Tech level 10 is too much for him, but that is not his business.
  • Dr. Theosolfus Inuuq (Cmdr): Terran Head of Science and grandmaster of contingency plans. Keeper of the “Apishlan infection”, as the Vilanis call it.
  • Ambulance Pilot Clavain Malek: Terran contractor, former free-trader and amateur gunslinger. Prefers ambulance outfitted with 10MJ lasers.
  • Dr. Kmee K’tee Mgii (Cmdr): Vegan Chief Medical Officer living in the unnecessarily high strung world of Homo Sapiens.
  • 1Lt. Ameen Sharshud: Fun loving sensor officer, Nusku Vilani, promoted too fast and in debt to his commander’s nemesis.
  • Chief Mission Officer Tatiana Vladic: Diplomat and humanitarian now consumed by the fires of spite. Possibly a good person, but a terrible colleague.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura: The iron lady on the Hadrian. Promoted too fast and the target of a ship-wide conspiracy.
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Session 9 - Punching Holes through doors, redux.
Escape from lawless Ensulur

Context

The UNNC Hadrian has ran afoul of armed bands on New Kameria. The local stevedores never came back to finish the job after the last firefight, and the crew is chipping in to unload the cargo. Ominously, their gun deal with a local kingpin is approaching. The Hadrian has expended all of its goodwill with the 507th Imperial Marines and is more of less on its own in the viper’s nest.

Location

Ensulur’s highport is a metaphor for Ensulur’s troubled geopolitics. Ensulur suffers from a chronic energy crisis and the Empire indeed has turned its back on the lawless world. The highport functions at minimal power, air quality is poor, water rare. There are regular brownouts and in absence of law enforcement, a “lord of the flies” environment prevails.

Story

Location: Entertainment sector, Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
Chief agent Xiao Chen and his team deployed to the entertainment sector ahead of the gun deal. Vilani undercover agent Shurshid poked around to identify enemies of Herberto (the gun dealer) and found out that his worst rival was the local government. Agent Saorce and INTEL analyst Bapke scoured the local net to determine that Herberto indeed had the financial chops for the deal. Xiao himself recruited a mercenary band led by a Vilani name Targu. Xiao made note of a larger group of mercenary called the Imps. These men were rather distinctively completely tattooed red.

Location: Loading bay, Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
Tatiana tried to get Lt. Drumpf to meet with her in her office. However, Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura denied the meeting, leaving Tatiana in a lurch. Vulnicura needed Drumpf to help cover the bay from maraudeurs. She made the best use of her limited naval staff to secure the area while the unloading was taking place. She was informed that the Kamerian had issued a call to plunder the Hadrian to all denizen of the starport. The Hadrian was effectively clamped down and trapped in the bay. The deal was that the ship would belong to whoever taking over for as long as 1.3MCr was paid to the government to recover the loss of a drone fighter.

Quickly, ne’er-do-wells were aggregating at the gates. Among them, the Imps. Tatiana broke a crate of Gauss rifles and equipped everyone with them. There was an argument with Targu as the crew didn’t wanted them armed and in the bay. Tatiana settle with Targu for a double pay, two hour contract. The mercenary did keep the imps and other bystanders at bay long enough to complete the unloading operations.

Location: Hadrian’s C8 INTEL room, Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
Xiao and the INTEL analyst joined force to try to compromise the loading bay security systems. While Xiao managed to open and maintain a connection to the starport system, Thane broke into the low-security subsystem operating the ship’s clamps and bay interior doors. The bay door to the outter space remained, however, inaccessible.

As the operations wound down, Thane locked down the bay and released the clamps. The pilot lifted the Hadrian off the tether as the mob found itself cut from access to the ship. Unable to open the exterior gate, Lt. Drumpf powered on the 1GJ UV decimer laser and fired it in the pressurized bay. The laser ionized the air, sending electric discharges everywhere. Targu and his men died in the process (but the Hadrian’s crew didn’t noticed that). When the laser breached the gate, the pilot had to manage the tumultuous airflow. Unfortunately, the laser turret got disabled as the ship scraped its way out into outter space.

Location: Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
The Hadrian began an emergency burn to rendez-vous with the Imperial dropship. Its laser disabled, it was a sitting duck as the starport defense laser took potshots. In the evasive actions, Ameen failed to recognize the launch of a missile coming their way. The Hadrian pleaded with the marines to interdict the missile. They threatened to fire their one and only 40cm missile back at the station (which may have spelled death for the 3000 station inhabitants).

In a last ditch effort, Clavain and another Vilani contractor performed an emergency launch of the ambulance orbital interface ship Ibiscus. They deployed too late to shoot down the incoming missile. This was a moot point as the missile locked onto the marine dropship. The marines deployed their point-defense system. The missile punched a hole into the dropship and the sensors recorded multiple internal explosions. The dropship went silent.

The Hadrian accelerated to a jump point, leaving behind the Ibiscus. It turned out that the Ibiscus had very little delta-V in its tank: the Hadrian would have had to break for it to catch up and exposed itself to the Kamerian navy. They told Clavain to land the Ibiscus in the friendly city-state of Upshal.

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Location: Very Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
Clavain husbanded his delta-V as much as he could. At bailout point, he figured out that he didn’t have enough to land on Ensulur. He used the last of his delta-V to avoid to collide with the small, atmosphereless planet. Consequently, he slingshot into a highly elliptical orbit. Clavain cracked open a can of soda. His next perigee pass would be in 72 hours, he was out of fuel and the local navy was out there to kill him. This was, no doubt, a low point on his CV.

Location: Very Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 8, 2170 AD
The Hadrian came out of jump space in the Shasharma system. They tipped the Imperial navy of the loss of the dropship and headed for the starport. The repairs on the laser would cost them 600KCr, but they decided to go for it anyhow. During the week, Dr. Inuuq closely monitored the colonization of Sgt. Bergman’s hand by a mixture of his and Apishlan stem cells. He found evidence that Stavra (the Apishlan PhD. student) and Bergman were somehow sharing genetic information. Bergman’s 3D printed hand template was growing very fast, and his white blood cells were now chimeric with these of Stavra.

Something exciting an odd was going on as Bergman was integrating himself into the Apishlan gaiasphere.

Aspects that are carried over to the next session

  • Bergman is host to Apishlan cells.
  • Stavra Shilku suffers from a mild form of withdrawal/depression.
  • The naval crew is upset about their commander (Vladic’s propaganda).
  • The Kamerian navy accidentally has attacked an Imperial navy ship.
  • Imperial Liaison Evoll is upset at Vulnicura, and cosy with Vladic (Vladic’s effort).
  • Clavain is isolated on Ensulur, with no delta-V.
  • The Hadrian’s laser is disabled.

Characters Cast

  • Chief Agent Xiao Chen: A survivor from the Tibetan plateaux. Tech level 10 is too much for him, but that is not his business.
  • Dr. Theosolfus Inuuq (Cmdr): Terran Head of Science and grandmaster of contingency plans. Keeper of the “Apishlan infection”, as the Vilanis call it.
  • Ambulance Pilot Clavain Malek: Terran contractor, former free-trader and amateur gunslinger. Prefers ambulance outfitted with 10MJ lasers.
  • Dr. Kmee K’tee Mgii (Cmdr): Vegan Chief Medical Officer living in the unnecessarily high strung world of Homo Sapiens.
  • 1Lt. Ameen Sharshud: Fun loving sensor officer, Nusku Vilani, promoted too fast and in debt to his commander’s nemesis.
  • Chief Mission Officer Tatiana Vladic: Diplomat and humanitarian now consumed by the fires of spite. Possibly a good person, but a terrible colleague.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura: The iron lady on the Hadrian. Promoted too fast and the target of a ship-wide conspiracy.
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Session 8 - A hold full of eels
A caper about rifles and fishes in Pirate's bay

Context

The UNNC Hadrian is producing Influenza A(V) vaccines for a mass vaccination campaign in the city-state of Upshal, Ensulur system. The Imperials have long abandoned the mainworld’s highport and rebuilt around a distant gas giant. Ensulur is thus left to the mercy of the pirate government of the day. To get to Upshal, the Hadrian had to engage a Kamerian drone fighter and place themselves under the protection of the 507th Imperial Marines. Unfortunately, the Kamerians are controlling the orbital space and the highport where 500kCr of freight must be delivered. Sixty displacement tons of it is made of live eels.
Session 7 – Influenza in a dome

Location

IMG_0200.JPGEnsulur’s highport is a metaphor for Ensulur’s troubled geopolitics. We asked the Tarot deck to tell us more. An upside down sun indicates that Ensulur suffers from a chronic energy crisis and the Empire indeed has turned its back on the lawless world. The highport functions at minimal power, air quality is poor, water rare. There are regular brownouts and in absence of law enforcement, a “lord of the flies” environment prevails.

Story

Location: UNNC Hadrian’s research lab, Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: March 24-31, 2170 AD
Dr. Inuuq spent the best of the crisis supporting the field hospital from orbit. In his spare time, he and his assistant, Stravra Shilku, devised a plan to map the genes from the gaian lifeforms. Once identified, the genes could be cloned and edited into the genome of terran cells. Unfortunately, the attempt failed as there appears that the gaian connection between lifeforms are epigenetic rather than hard coded. Inuuq observed that Stavra, now cut off from the gaiasphere, started to show signs of depression and melancholy.

Location: UNNC Hadrian’s bridge, Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: March 31, 2170 AD
Kamerian orbital control demanded 10KCr for access to the commercial berth of the Highport. The people on the bridge rolled their eyes. Tatiana turned to VIlani Liaison Evoll and pleaded him to lobby the 507th Imperial Marines to help. The Marines, in debt to the Hadrian, agreed to act as the ship’s scary bigger brother in the schoolyard.
The Hadrian performed a transfer to intercept the high port. The Hadrian and the Imperial dropship exchange lead laser sweeps with the Kamerian navy. The ship approached the starport. Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura played a head game with them, and got the upper hand as the Hadrian entered a cargo transfer bay.
Environment scanners did not give the all-clear for a hatch opening. The air quality and temperature was unsafe. The crew on the bridge, in disbelief, saw the stevedores busy around the ship despite the warnings. Vulnicura called a safety override, and the cargo bay hatch opened.

Location: Ensurlur’s Highport, Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: March 31, 2170 AD
The smell of VOCs filled the cargo bay as Clavain started to coordinate with the stevedores. There was 60dT of live eels in tanks, 90 dT of fragile packaged cargo, 100 dT of perishable food products and 90 dT of bulk liquid atmosphere (containerized). The atmosphere got priority and a mobile pumping station was brought onboard.
Chief Agent Xiao Chen deployed are three person crew to get the lay of the land. She had a contact with the Upshal government, but the contact information lead to a recently vacated apartment. The agents noted the complete absence of law enforcement, and assessed that the Kamerians had little to no control on the inner workings in the starport. Control on board was a matter of carrying a powerful sidearm.
Clavain, getting the report from Xiao, decided to sling his 4mm Gauss rifle over the shoulder and started scouring the pubs. His target: someone with pocket deep enough to purchase 500KCr worth of Gauss semi-automatics. He went for the shadiest looking guy who looked wealthy enough to buy the lot. He engaged a man with a neck tattoo. The negotiations went nowhere ( a loss of 60KCr ). Clavain walked to the other end of the pub and ordered a couple of beers.

Location: Loading dock, Ensulur’s highport, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
The stevedores worked for the last 6 hours without a pause. Sgt. Bergmann dismissed the others to catch their breath and have a quiet meal inside. He soon got bored of the drone of grav lifts taking tanks ful lof eels out of the ship. He spotted, later on, a pair of men scoping out the place. One of them seemed to be carrying a weapon. He reported to Vulnicura on the bridge, but then got surprised by incoming fire. His hand exploded as he dropped to the ground. Writhing back inside the ship, one of the assailant slipped in just as the hatch closed.
The pair engaged in a struggle amidst the gore. By the time that Bergman had taken over the rifle, a group of Naval officers entered the scene with Dazzler pistols in hands. Dr. Mgii shortly followed and rushed Bergman to the ER.
Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura had the intruder dragged the invader to Dr. Inuuq’s lab. Inuuq, having never vowed anything to Hippocrat, enthusiastically made the man uncomfortable with a slew of epi-injections as Vulnicura played bad cop. They got out of him that he was working for Herberto Shlata, but then passed out from truth serum overuse.

Location: Some shady pub, Ensulur’s highport, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
“Herberto Shlata, you say?”, asked Clavain as he downed his third beer. Out of blind luck, the neck tattoo guy was the man who had ordered the attack on the Hadrian. Clavain scanned the room and identified Shlata’s bodyguard. The bodyguard was unsuspecting and inebriated. Clavain used the occasion to slip to Herberto and shove the end of his Gauss rifle to the back of his head. Herberto thought that Clavain was back to renegociate the arm’s deal, and was then scared for his life. He ordered the bodyguard to drop his pistol. Two vilanis got into a fist fight over the pistol and the situation devolved into a general brawl: like a storm just waiting to break out.
Clavain pulled Herberto outside of the pub, the power wavered and the minimal red LED kicked in. It turned out that the attack on the Hadrian had nothing to do with the rifles.
“How can you effin’ expect me to know that a hospital ship would contain 4 dT of rifles?”, he asked. Clavain forced Herberto to call off the attack, but his call was let unanswered (more of that below).
Clavain, feeling in a position of power, tried to peddle the guns anyhow. Unfortunately, he was out of his league. The local man convinced him that getting rid of the lot was important before the Kamerian seized it, and that 420KCr was as much as he could pay at that moment.

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Location: Loading dock, Ensulur’s highport, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
With Bergman at sickbay, Vulnicura decided to take over the security operations. She devised a terrible plan that sounded at first pretty good. However, barging-out-of-the-ship-while-screaming turned out to be a bad idea. The stevedores were long gone, but not Herberto’s men. A flashbang grenade later, all of the naval crew but Ens. Banoo were blinded and deafened. Banoo climbed on one of the eel’s tank and opened fire with her dazzler laser on incoming miscreants. Most scrambled, but one got blinded, ran into a tank, scaring the eels inside. There was a pursuit where Banoo managed to pry the pistol from the thug’s hand. In the end, the man escaped and Banoo returned to the Hadrian with a badly bruised hand (marking the second PC left hand to be hurt under the control of the same player in a single session).

Location: UNNC Hadrian’s Science Lab, Ensulur’s highport, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: April 1, 2170 AD
While the tech were running a round the clock vaccine production run, Dr. Inuuq and Dr. Mgii conferred on growing a new hand for Sgt. Bergman. The idea wouldn’t pass the board of ethics stage, but Inuuq proposed to grow a chimera of Bergman’s and Gaian stem cells. Bergman would potentially benefit from the Apishlan health benefit while he would play live host to the cells that are otherwise difficult to keep alive. Stavra thought the idea to be great as Bergman would be a new node in the gaian network on board of the ship.
At first signs of success, the ship switched to yellow alert. Down below, the crew was preparing for the rifle deal with Herberto “neck tattoo guy” Shlata. The Hadrian prepared for a quick getaway as they planned to take the money and keep the weapons.
What no one but Tatiana knew, however, was that this situation was the moment that Tatiana couldn’t have engineered better to once and for all get rid of Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura, and make it look like an accident (Tatiana failed her will check, her obsession kicked in and overrides “reaonable” courses of action).

Stay tuned, kids, for a tactically flavoured season finale.

Aspects that are carried over to the next session

  • The Apishlun samples are still a secret from the Vilanis
  • Stavra Shilku suffers from a mild form of withdrawal/depression.
  • The naval crew is upset about their commander (Vladic’s propaganda).
  • The Imperial Navy has the Hadrian under protection.
  • Imperial Liaison Evoll is upset at Vulnicura, and cosy with Vladic (Vladic’s effort).
  • The Kamerians are upset about the Nightgaunt incident.
  • The cargo still needs to be delivered to the Kamerian-controlled highport.
  • Bergman’s new regrown hand is infused with Apishlan life force.

Characters Cast

  • Chief Agent Xiao Chen: A survivor from the Tibetan plateaux. Tech level 10 is too much for him, but that is not his business.
  • Dr. Theosolfus Inuuq (Cmdr): Terran Head of Science and grandmaster of contingency plans. Keeper of the “Apishlan infection”, as the Vilanis call it.
  • Ambulance Pilot Clavain Malek: Terran contractor, former free-trader and amateur gunslinger. Prefers ambulance outfitted with 10MJ lasers.
  • Dr. Kmee K’tee Mgii (Cmdr): Vegan Chief Medical Officer living in the unnecessarily high strung world of Homo Sapiens.
  • 1Lt. Ameen Sharshud: Fun loving sensor officer, Nusku Vilani, promoted too fast and in debt to his commander’s nemesis.
  • Chief Mission Officer Tatiana Vladic: Diplomat and humanitarian now consumed by the fires of spite. Possibly a good person, but a terrible colleague.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura: The iron lady on the Hadrian. Promoted too fast and the target of a ship-wide conspiracy.
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Session 7 - Influenza in a dome
The snuffing of an epidemic.

Context

The UNNC Hadrian is a Terran hospital ship on a pandemic relief mission into the Vilani Empire. The ship is heading deeper into the empire to investigate an outbreak, but has been embroiled in a three-way power struggle in a lawless system called Ensulur. They have identified the onset of an Influenza A(V) outbreak in the domed city of Upshal. Meanwhile, the 507th Bn Imperial Marines has commandeered one of their orbital interface ambulance for battlezone MEDEVAC. Meanwhile, the dominating faction on Ensulur just lost a fighter drone and is held back only by the looming threat of the Imperial dropship nearby.

Location

Ensulur has long descended into a near state of anarchy. The Empire firmly controls the refuelling facilities near a distant gas giant, while the Kamerian are the flavour of the month ruler of the starport. About 4.2 million souls are scattered over a dozen domes and subsurface enclosures. The main world is a frozen rock, without air, water nor food. Gravity: 0.37G The domed city of Upshal is the seat of a well governed city-state with a claim to mainworld government status.

Story

Location: UNNC Hadrian, Low-Orbit’s mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: March 28, 2170 AD

Chief Mission Officer Tatiana Vladic convinced the onboard Vilani liaison to lobby the 507th Bn Imperial Marines to release the UNNC Ibiscus for an emergency deployment of the field hospital. Tatiana impressed the 507Bn/CO that time was a critical factor in containing the Onset of a possibly serious outbreak. The Marine Commander reluctantly obliged, largely due to the intervention of the Vilani liaison. The political impact is minimal, considering the slight made to them earlier in the day when the Hadrian ignored their request.

Clavain (Pilot), Dr. Mgii (physician) and Sgt. Bergman are released from the dropship to perform an orbital transfer to the Hadrian.

Location: Upshal City-State, mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: March 28, 2170 AD

The second ambulance, the UNNC Pharao, landed in Upshal some in the dying hour of the Ensulur day. On board, Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura and three naval crews, Director Xiao Chen and one operative and nurse Rory Pond. They were greeted by an administrator and his cyborg assistant. The assistant did all of the talking, lead them to the hospital to meet with nurse Ratchett (already on site) and the hospital administrator.

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Xiao tasked Eleanor (the agent) to assist the Navy with security details while he hit the usual shady joints to make contacts and find information. Unfortunately, he came across strongly and realized only too late that he ruffled feathers in the process. He was then concerned that he may have started the rumour that the Terrans were here to take over the civilian administration: a sensitive point in Upshal.

Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura is led through a number of sites near the hospital to identify the most defensible field hospital. Ratchett was happy with a warehouse near the ER, but Vulnicura realized only too late that the site couldn’t be secured with the little staff that she had. By then it was too late to change her mind: she’d have to be creative.

Location: Upshal City-State, mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: March 29, 2170 AD

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mgii arrived in Upshal in the early hours of morning with 10dT of hospital equipment and CMO Tatiana Vladic. The security situation has deteriorated as the waiting rooms in the hospital swelled with patients. Tatiana learned from Xiao Chen that there is a rumour claiming that the Hadrian crew is here to institute martial law. As a result, some stores have elected to remain closed, and people are stocking up on food and weapons.

Xiao Chen spent the 29th undoing the damage done on the previous day. He made contact with local law enforcement and had them leverage their media to propagate a calming message clarifying that the Terrans are here purely to assist the local authority to fight the epidemic. At a higher level, Tatiana managed to get the city’s CEO to allocate law enforcement to protect the field Hospital. Most importantly, Tatiana made sure that hospital administrator Ulram was the public face of the operation.

The additional indigenous law enforcement arrived just on time to prevent a pilfering attempt on the field hospital. The police officer in charge issues gaussian pistol to the terrans.

Location: Upshal City-State, mainworld, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: March 30, 2170 AD

Dr. Mgii observed that the rate of admission of Influenza A(V) patient is now smaller than the rate of release and that the waiting rooms are starting to clear. While INTEL analyst feeds data from the various news and social network, the epidemic predictive model suggests that the onset had been averted. At the same time, stores announced that they would open, and hysteria goes from rash actions to vocal whining. The Hadrian crew felt ready to call this operation a success.

While Dr. Mgii ran the hospital like a German train network, Dr. Inuuq on the Hadrian was mass producing gene-replacement vaccines, and Tatiana was advising on a public health communication plan to prepare for a mass vaccination campaign. The Hadrian was still on a schedule, with millions in Vilani credits in freight delivery jobs to be honoured.

Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura returned to Low-Orbit to prepare the Hadrian for the next delicate operation: delivering 300 dT of freight into a Kamerian controlled highport. Xiao Chen consolidated a Upshal connection network that may prove handy for the next step. Active sensor tit-for-tat was going on for the last two days: what came ahead will not be a picnic.

Aspects that are carried over to the next session

  • The Apishlun samples are still a secret from the Vilanis
  • Stavra Shilku suffers from a mild form of withdrawal/depression.
  • The naval crew is upset about their commander (Vladic’s propaganda).
  • The Imperial Navy has the Hadrian under protection.
  • Imperial Liaison Evoll is upset at Vulnicura, and cosy with Vladic (Vladic’s effort).
  • The Kamerians are upset about the Nightgaunt incident.
  • The cargo still needs to be delivered to the Kamerian-controlled highport.

Characters Cast

  • Chief Agent Xiao Chen: A survivor from the Tibetan plateaux. Tech level 10 is too much for him, but that is not his business.
  • Dr. Theosolfus Inuuq (Cmdr): Terran Head of Science and grandmaster of contingency plans. Keeper of the “Apishlan infection”, as the Vilanis call it.
  • Ambulance Pilot Clavain Malek: Terran contractor, former free-trader and amateur gunslinger. Prefers ambulance outfitted with 10MJ lasers.
  • Dr. Kmee K’tee Mgii (Cmdr): Vegan Chief Medical Officer living in the unnecessarily high strung world of Homo Sapiens.
  • 1Lt. Ameen Sharshud: Fun loving sensor officer, Nusku Vilani, promoted too fast and in debt to his commander’s nemesis.
  • Chief Mission Officer Tatiana Vladic: Diplomat and humanitarian now consumed by the fires of spite. Possibly a good person, but a terrible colleague.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura: The iron lady on the Hadrian. Promoted too fast and the target of a ship-wide conspiracy.
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Session 6 - Trading photons
Two conflicts for the price of one.

Context

The UNNC Hadrian is a Terran hospital ship providing epidemic relief to Vilani worlds of the Empire’s fringe. The year is 2170AD, in between the 3rd and 4th interstellar wars. The UWO ship has smuggled samples from the interdicted Gaiasphere Apishlun with the help of an Apishlan PhD candidate. The tension between the civilian and navy commanders has nearly reached a tipping point.

Location

The bulk of the session takes place in a Vilani system called Ensulur. The main world has long descended into a near state of anarchy. The Empire firmly controls the refuelling facilities near a distant gas giant, while the Kamerian are the flavour of the month ruler of the starport. About 4.2 million souls are scattered over a dozen domes and subsurface enclosures. The main world is a frozen rock, without air, water nor food. Gravity: 0.37G

Story

Location: Pocket universe, 2nd recursion, Heading to Ensulur
Terran timestamp: March 21-28, 2170 AD
Dr. Inuuq decided to use the jump time to run a series of tests to identify how information travels between Apishlan life forms. His secret weapon was Ms. Stavra Shilku, an Apishlan doctoral student who herself was integrated into the Gaiasphere. After a few days, they discovered that the sprouts and Stavra passed information via chained pheromones. By the end of week, they had identified a very large number of chain links and established the potential to transmit rich information between life forms. Stavra started to show signs of depression, but Mgii seems to have the under control with pharmaceuticals. A false personnel file was crafted to hide her true identify from Harman Evoll, the Imperial Liaison.

Meanwhile, Clavain swiped three semi-automatic Gaussian rifle from the cargo and asked Sgt. Bergmann to train him and chief agent Xiao Chen with it. They set up a range in the forward cargo, down a long alley in between produces bound for Ensulur.

On a more sinister tone, Chief Mission Officer Tatiana Vladic rounded up the INTEL officer and her Navy double agent in an attempt to tap into the Lt. Cmdr personal files. With limited expertises, they didn’t go too far but did manage to gain access to metadata that turned out to be low-hanging fruits. Tatiana leveraged the new rules on social drinking to befriend the Naval personnel, find the fault lines between the Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura and the crew and use her motherly smile as a wedge into the command structure. When the chips will come down, Vulnicura may fall unassisted.

Location: 100D line, Ensulur’s main world, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: March 28, 2170 AD
As the Hadrian emerged from the pocket universe, the sensor screen saturated with bling. 1Lt. Sharshud couldn’t make sense of the on-screen glitter, made worst by the fact that the system didn’t post navigational aids on the standards channels. Lt. Drumpf reported three channels requesting privileged NAV connections. Behind the door 1 was the Kamarian highport control that essentially offered a protection racket. Behind door 2, the Upshal confederacy request immediate medical assistance with a possible outbreak of a respiratory virus. Under door 3, a weak signal from the 507th Imperian Marine Bn requesting emergency MEDEVAC following the destruction of their own assets on the planet’s surface. Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura knew well that the 507th had been charged with war crime on Terra 12 years ago. She overstepped her authority as the decision was a civilian one, denied the Kamarian and Imperial connection and ordered a low orbit to insert medical personnel into Upshal.

Ameen send a quick text to Tatiana urging her to come to the bridge as Vulnicura had crossed that line again.

Location: 100D zone, Ensulur’s main world, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: March 28, 2170 AD
While Clavain and the medical personnel was prepping the UNNC Ibiscus (The Orbital interface ambulance). Tatiana barged on the bridge and confronted Vulnicura. Vulnicura omitted the distress call from the Imperial Marines and simply stated that Upshal was the most mission-oriented choice. Tatiana protested but knew full well that, given that information, it was the right course of action.

Ameen announced that a small ship was entering long range in an intercept course and a 6G acceleration. Further analyses revealed a Nightgaunt fighter drone coming in with a weapon lock on the Hadrian. Vulnicura assumed that the drone was likely to be a Kamarian vessel and ordered to shoot down the ship. She hoped to discard the threat without having to call a red alert. When the lock was confirmed and the drone was on an attack vector and the Lt Drumpf was unable to establish a connection to its mothership, Vulnicura called the red alert. Chief agent Xiao Chen rushed in to relieve Drumpf at the COMM console. Ameen babbled stuff from the sensor station while Xiao tried to hack into the drone’s systems.

While both ships were harmlessly painting each other with guidance lasers, Imperial Liaison Evoll barged in and demanded explanations. Vulnicura convinced him to assume red alert station and return later. By then, Tatiana was trying to get Xiao to contact the mothership, but the connection had been firewalled previously by Vulnicura.

“HIT!”, exclaimed Ameen from the sensor station. A cloud of molten metal droplets flared the sensor display some 2000 miles away. However, the track kept on course as the Hadrian reported a temperature spike to 500K on a spot of the side hull armor. Xiao reported breaking into the system console of the nightgaunt, could read the weapon’s system status but failed to acquire root access to the power supply.
The Hadrian scored another hit on the drone, blinding the sensors for a moment. The drone changed course as the guidance laser fell silent.

By then, the Ibiscus had launched from the forward bay without authorization. Clavain trained his guidance laser on a system boats on an interception course. When the Kamarian navy detected that the ambulance was armed, an overriding broadcast came from a distant Kamerian mothership. The ultimatum was clear: stand your weapons down or face a missile barrage.

Vulnicura shook her head in disbelief and ordered the laser offline. The Kamerian gave the ambulance a hard time for a few minutes and cleared them for entry to Upshal. They sternly advised against powering on their laser again. Vulnicura waved Tatiana out of the bridge, without success. Bigger fish to fry: the Kamerian Navy announced their imminent boarding of the Hadrian.

Location: Low-orbit, Ensulur’s main world, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: March 28, 2170 AD
The Kamerian system boat was still on an interception course. The news of a boarding by an armed militia was unpalatable to everyone, but none more than Dr. Inuuq. He had nearly lost all of his experiments and live samples that last time that this happened. Llt Cmdr. Vulnicura was pondering collaborating to avoid the disaster in the Dingir system, but the pushback was too much. She threatened the Kamerian with reprisals from the Imperial Navy, but her threat fell on deaf ears.

Ameen, still at the sensor station, detected a large Imperial Navy planetary assault ship coming over the planet’s horizon. He passed on the information to Tatiana instead of the bridge commander, explaining that Vulnicura had earlier silenced a distress call from the 507th Marine Bn. Tatiana was almost gleeful as she reported on this and prompted the Imperial Liaison to contact the Assault craft. After a brief request, the assault ship recognized the Hadrian predicament. Their offer for protection was accepted. Rapidly, the Kamerian ship’s electronics was jammed. A few minutes after, the system boat had initiated a burn away from the Hadrian, never getting any closer than 500 Km.

The Imperial liaison, Mr. Evoll, confronted Vulnicura about the dismissal of the distress call. He was most displeased and urged the Hadrian to react to the call. However, Tatiania had already prompted the UNNC Ibiscus to look into the matter.

Location: Upshal dome, Ensulur’s main world, Ensulur system
Terran timestamp: March 28, 2170 AD
The UNNC Ibiscus landed in Upshal and was received with gratitude by the Upshalat council representative. They lead Dr. Mgii and Nurse Ratchett to the hospital centre where the terran quickly diagnosed Influenza A(V) and assessed the epidemic at the onset phase. Dr. Mgii initiated the standard protocol to contain the sick and begin the accelerated immunization schedule.

Meanwhile, Clavain was prompted by the civilian office to open a connection to the 507th Imperial Marines, some 5000 Km away. Their ambulance had been destroyed and they were in need of emergency evacuation as the entire dome had depressurised. Clavain and Sgt. Bergmann cleared the ambulance of medical supplies and recalled Dr. Mgii. While nurse Ratchett, stayed in Upshal to deal with influenza, the others left for the marines’ location.

Screenshot_2016-04-02_16.39.10.png

The marines were hard at work fixing the breach in the dome and busy providing emergency life support to a small colony of miners. Clavain and others suited up and loaded 5 wounded marines on board the Ibiscus. When the takeoff window came, the Ibiscus bounced up to rendez-vous with the assault ship. They were received with warmth by the otherwise cold vilani marines. The marines refueled the Ibiscus and offered the terrans a bowl of hot chow. Their services was still needed, although the Hadrian’s resources were at the moment spread rather thin.

Aspects that are carried over to the next session

  • The Apishlun samples are still a secret from the Vilanis
  • Stavra Shilku suffers from a mild form of withdrawal/depression.
  • The naval crew is upset about their commander (Vladic’s propaganda).
  • The Imperial Navy has the Hadrian under protection.
  • There is an onset of influenza in Upshal.
  • Imperial Liaison Evoll is upset at Vulnicura, and cosy with Vladic (Vladic’s effort).
  • The Kamerians are upset about the Nightgaunt incident.
  • The cargo still needs to be delivered to the Kamerian-controlled highport.

Characters Cast

  • Chief Agent Xiao Chen: A survivor from the Tibetan plateaux. Tech level 10 is too much for him, but that is not his business.
  • Dr. Theosolfus Inuuq (Cmdr): Terran Head of Science and grandmaster of contingency plans. Keeper of the “Apishlan infection”, as the Vilanis call it.
    Ambulance Pilot Clavain Malek: Terran contractor, former free-trader and amateur gunslinger. Prefers ambulance outfitted with 10MJ lasers.
  • Dr. Kmee K’tee Mgii (Cmdr): Vegan Chief Medical Officer living in the unnecessarily high strung world of Homo Sapiens.
  • 1Lt. Ameen Sharshud: Fun loving sensor officer, Nusku Vilani, promoted too fast and in debt to his commander’s nemesis.
  • Chief Mission Officer Tatiana Vladic: Diplomat and humanitarian now consumed by the fires of spite. Possibly a good person, but a terrible colleague.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura: The iron lady on the Hadrian. Promoted too fast and the target of a ship-wide conspiracy.
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Session 5 - Using beer as a weapon
A feud by any other name is still nasty.

Context

The UNNC Hadrian is a medical ship on a pandemic relief mission within the Vilani empire. The changeover from the first to the second tour got complicated by the murder of the Vilani liaison a few weeks ago. As a result, the ship had to flee deeper into the Empire to connect with the UWO embassy in the Apishlun system. The crew is tired and stressed. The infighting between the Navy commander and the Chief Mission Officer has taken its toll on the skeleton crew. On the previous day, the UWO personnel also traded a Terran tablet for a sample of sprouts from the interdicted Gaiasphere world down below.

Pre-session aspects

  • Crew morale is very low due to infighting
  • Hadrian is severely shortstaffed
  • The Gaian samples are illegal and a hot potato
  • The Gaian samples may not survive
  • The crew is untested
  • The Hospital isn’t ready for operation
  • Regular funding has ceased

Story

Location: Giuwei, Low-Orbit Moon (LOM), Apishlun system
Terran timestamp: May 20, 2170 AD (Day)
The Hadrian was a hive of activity as there was a sense of emergency to leave Apishlun. It was unclear whether they could hide the secret of the Gaian’s samples for much longer. Dr. Theosolfus Inuuq tried his best to transfer the sprouts to an hydroponic medium, but noticed oxidative damage to the samples. He flashed-froze the samples and headed to the director’s meeting.

Dr. K’me Ktic Mgii was busy down in the hospital area organizing the few staffers available. It was clear that the Hadrian wouldn’t be able to respond adequately if an emergency would prompt the deployment of the field hospital. She tasked head nurse Ratchett and RN Pond to order missing material, and then signed off on a 10 KCr purchase order.

Chief Mission Officer (CMO) Tatiana Vladic worked with the Terran contractor Clavain Malek to figure out how to best fill the huge cargo space of the Hadrian with freight jobs. The UWO office didn’t have funds to support operations, but interstellar travellers are somewhat robust to this kind of issues. On the side, they also scored 4 dT of Gaussian semi-automatic rifles authorized for law enforcement. Vladic, looking for a license to carry such cargo, triggered the nomination of a new Sharurshid Liaison: a vilani civil servant named Harman Evoll. Clavain busied to coordinate the loading of the ship with contract while Tatiana gripped about the director’s meeting for which she was already late.

Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura was most concerned that her feud with CMO Vladic was about to endanger the mission. She convened a meeting with the leadership elements: Dr. Inuuq from Science, Dr. Mgii, Director of the Hospital, and CMO Tatiana Vladic from the UWO civilian command. Tatiana was, as usual being an a*hole until Vulnicura snapped and made clear that she was willing to enact rarely used clauses to remove the CMO from command. Tatiana, assessed the situation as sufficiently messy and backed down. They settled for a departure in 36-48h toward URIMA where there was evidence of public health concerns.

Location: Giuwei, Low-Orbit Moon (LOM), Apishlun system
Terran timestamp: May 20, 2170 AD (evening)
Ensign Ameen Shurgar rushed through his technical checklist to organize a shindig in the mess hall, nick-named TenForward (although it is at the rear of the ship). He spent the afternoon spamming the ship’s internal comms with announcements of special drinks and live entertainment. He even managed to get the ship’s steward Borhman to issue a small volume of alcoholic beverages. Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura, fundamentally opposed to alcohol, turned a blind eye in the name of crew morale.

Screenshot_2016-03-19_12.19.41.png

By the time that Vilani liaison Harman Evoll boarded the Hadrian, most of the crew was in TenForward having a good time. Ensign Shurgar was in fact shirtless, playing dance james on his toy trumpet while the room roared in laughter when marine Sgt. Bergmann lead the Vilani in. Mr. Evoll was a straight-laced civil servant whose lineage seems to have selected out all facial muscles required for smiling. With a sneer, he reported on board to Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura and requested to be taken to his quarters. Vulnicura and Tatiana took him aside in a breakout room to get a sense of the man: He meant business and was obviously not on the Hadrian to make friends. Tatiana loved that he was standoffish as it would make it easier to keep the secret work in the science lab from him if he wasn’t socializing too much. Vulnicura disliked him on the ground that Tatiana liked him, mainly.

From down below on Giuwei, chief agent Xiao Chen reported success in finding possible contractors to supplement the Hadrian’s crew. Dr. Inuuq had a video call with Markhovo, the Apishlun’s native (known as Munqi on Giuwei) clerk who handed over the samples. A meeting with a Munqi scientist was arranged for the following day.

Location: Giuwei, downport, Apishlun system
Terran timestamp: May 21, 2170 AD
At the pink punch bowl, Dr. Inuuq met with PhD candidate Stavra Shilku to discuss Gaian biochemistry. Stavra was most flattered by the offer of an opportunity to use Terran biotech to study the “Gaian addiction”, as it is classified by the Sharurshid. She agreed to join the Hadrian’s science team if she could be smuggled onboard without alerting the Sharurshid. Xiao Chen organized the details and by the end of the day, Stavra was in TenForward with the other to celebrate new regulation DS122-A, also known as the “booze executive order”, or BOE.

Simultaneously, Dr. Mgii poached from a Vilani NGO one physician and two registered nurses to fill the open positions in her department. Three vilani contractors were also hired to fill backup positions as pilot, navigator and Jump-drive engineer. They, too, packed their stuff and reported for duty later in the day, adding to the euphoria caused by DS122-A.

Location: Giuwei, Low-Moon-Orbit (LMO), Apishlun system
Terran timestamp: May 21, 2170 AD
While Clavain was coordinating the freight handling ops, the techs were finalizing the repairs on the locks that were blown open by marines on Dingir, Tatiana broadcasted to all crew the wild idea of authorizing daily rations of alcoholic beverages in TenForward. The idea was twofold: crew morale and undermining Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura’s prohibitive incline.
Vulnicura, fearing that a flat refusal would burn a lot of influence on the ship, took the devious strategy of bringing DS122-A to a vote. She impressed that this was against Navy regulations and that she would be most displeased if the Navy personnel would vote in favour of the regulation. Most naval personnel toed the line as the vote came down to a margin of one. However, the great time on the previous day did more than just distract: it had brought the polarized crew together as one. In a way, Ensign Shurgar had done what the leadership didn’t do because of infighting. And thus was enacted, DS122-A, aka BOE, aka “BOE-time”.

Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura hid her disapproval very well. Old crew and new recruits mingled as if they didn’t nuked each others and shredded each other’s warships some 12 years ago. The Hadrian wasn’t on the brink of breakdown and it felt like a celebration of new friendship.

One may call it ironic that, after a strongish Vilani beer, CMO Tatiana started to brainstorm with INTEL analyst Thane Bapke on how to hack personal communications to monitor Vulnicura’s activities. Bapke thought that he may be able to log metadata and started to design the software on his tablet. Tatiana had a vision of Vulnicura left behind on a desert planet with nothing but a toothbrush and a case of beer.

Post-session aspects

  • Crew morale is very low due to infighting
  • Hadrian is severely shortstaffed
  • The Gaian samples are illegal and a hot potato
  • The Gaian samples may not survive
  • The crew is untested
  • The Hospital isn’t ready for operation
  • Regular funding has ceased (but freight ops are in effect)
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Session 4 - A pink beer too far
Giuwei moon, Apishlun system, 2170AD

Recap: The UNNC Hadrian has arrived to the Apishlun system. Officially classified as a Red Zone, moon of the mainworld, Giuwei, is nonetheless a major trade hub for the sector. The Hadrian is seeking cash from the UWO office, as well as legal representation to remove the warrant put on them in the Dingir system.

Quirk: The crew is demoralized. Each character is considered mentally fatigued: Will-2 and one of incurious, bad temper or compulsive behaviour (carousing).

Major plot point: Elements of the native administration of a Red Zone system gets in touch with the Hadrian in hope that their scientist can crack the mystery of the Gaia bond, a biological phenomenon that lead to the Empire’s isolation of Apishlun 3Bn population from the rest of the empire.

Location: Giuwei, Low-Orbit Moon (LOM), Apishlun system
Terran timestamp: Sol 171, 2170 AD

About half of the Hadrian crew decided to take a shuttle from the interface station Harrar-A to the city downport. The Hadrian was left in the hands of Lt. Hirsh for the time being. Everyone was aware that today was the eve of the Apishlun new year: kind of a local big deal and a massive excuse for food and music. A pointless fight erupted between the Chief Mission Officer Vladic and Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura. Emotions were running high, and no one thought of trying to appease the two as the shuttle made its final approach. The two women left the shuttle with a disheveled look and a sky high blood pressure. Tatiana Vladic reported to the UWO embassy to request money, seek legal advice and lodge a complaint against Vulnicura. The acting ambassador, noticing her frazzled look, advised her to take some time off and reconsider the complaints against the Navy commander.

Location: Giuwei, Low-Orbit Moon (LOM), Apishlun system
Terran timestamp: Sol 171, 2170 AD

Ens. Ameen Sharshugar decided to head for a low-moon orbit station where the entertainment laws were a bit more loose. He had plans to release a lot of tension in a short amount of time. He didn’t want anyone from the Hadrian to witness that. He took a shuttle to the B-Bing entertainment complex (on a low-moon orbit). On his way, he switched from his navy uniform to a set of civilian clothes. He found a small establishment where the point of focus was a table of a local variant of Vilani poker. He joined the table, but got drunk faster than planned and soon blacked out.

He woke up on the following morning without his pants, and with his ankle shackled to the leg of a table. He searched a pile of coats and found a Vilani communication device, but it was locked and could only contact the emergency line. Eventually, a burly Vilani came into the room, unshaclked him and, offering a coffee and a bowl of bacon bits. He informed him that he had picked up his tab, but he was now in debt of a year of work on his ship as an engineers. Ameen kept for himself that he was, in fact, not an engineer. Suliman picked up on this as the conversation went along and started to look for ways to get rid of Ameen.

Location: Giuwei, downport sector, Apishlun system
Terran timestamp: Sol 171, 2170 AD

Rapidly, the crew of the Hadrian got lost in the festival atmosphere of the trading hub. Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura found a good restaurant and then attended a slam poetry performance at the central library. She then took a small hotel room and had a long and restorative night. The same couldn’t be said for most other crew members. Dr. Mgii got blitzed on a pink kind of fruit punch, Dr. Inuuq tried (and failed) to find a backdoor to contact the Apishlun native living in the Munqi area. He ultimately ended up drinking pink beer as well.

Screenshot_2016-02-29_22.42.56.png

Xiao Chen, however, brushed aside his foul mood and started to do his thing. As the head agent for the Hadrian, his routine once on the planetside consisted in scoping the downport for interesting locations, figuring out patterns of law enforcement and identifying threat to operations. As Giuwei was in a festive mood, the environment was much more chaotic than usual. Chen found out that downport’s law enforcement was handled directly by the Imperial Marines, and that they were nervous about the new year’s celebrations. He also found out that the outlander sector, Mungwu, was off limit to the Marines: a useful factoid. His mobile vibrated. The holographic head of Tatiana popped over his device:

“_Chen, some lowly clerk from Munqi wants to make a deal with us. They insist in talking to scientists. I’m rounding up Inuuq and Mgii. Let’s meet at that bar near the stock market. We’ll need to get there unnoticed._”

Location: Giuwei, B-Bing Entertainment station, Apishlun system
Terran timestamp: Sol 172, 2170 AD

Dr. Inuuq, short of streetwise savvy, decided to head to the seediest entertainment station in low-orbit to find some way to get to Munqi. As he finally made contact with a native freelancer, he noticed Ens. Sharshugar discussing with a Vilani. Ameen was most pleased to see a fellow crewmate. Inuuq transferred from funds from his credit stick to free Ameen from his contract and the two headed in a shuttle to downport to meet with Tatiana. It looked like Dr. Inuuq would get in touch with the natives after all.

Location: Giuwei, dowport, Apishlun system
Terran timestamp: Sol 172, 2170 AD

Chen ripped a festival flag from a pole and draped it on his shoulder to look more like one of the reveler. A team of three marines was on to the terran party. Chen motioned Tatiana and vanished behind a food cart. Tatiana confronted the marines and, not willing to conflate the situation, managed to get them to back off. This gave a chance to the terrans to slip to the Munqi office while Chen stayed in their shadows.

The office was closed for the dayThe Munqi clerk was named Markhovo. He was a low-ranking employee from the science office. Cutting on formality, he offered the terra a sample of living stem lifeforms against a terran handheld science station. Inuuq pulled his tablet from his pack. The scientist came to an agreement, bypassing Tatiana how became irate. From their conversation, they found out that the native from Apishlun were more or less treated as prisoners by the Empire. They hoped that, by passing along samples to the terran, that a way around the Apishlun bond could be found. That bond connects/protects all living creatures down on the Gaia planet and at the same time making them entirely dependent on remaining within its sphere. The Empire classified this bond as an infection and decided to classify the system as a Red zone to contain the Gaia effect.

Dr. Inuuq managed to escape with the help of Agen Chen to the shuttle to return to the Hadrian, samples in a suitcase. To facilitate this, the others return to the street to draw the attention of the marines that were following them around. They shared on last pink beer with Markhovo, and found the man to be most pleasant and clever.

outlook for next session: INTEL analysis done by Bapke back on the Hadrian suggest that there may be an ongoing epidemics deeper into Imperial territory. The INTEL is, however, old and ambiguous. As the UWO can’t provide more cash, the Hadrian will need to task Clavain Malek, the pilot contractor, to operate a revenue generating trade to fund the operations. The crew has yet to truly relax, however, and emotions are still a bit on the raw side.

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Session 3 - Dash to safety
The escape from DIngir

Recap: The crew of the UNNC Hadrian has decided to dash to the Apishlun system where they will be able to get adequate legal and diplomatic representation. This means heading deeper into the Empire, and there are on board many personnel members that were planning to return home instead.

Location: Dingir, Low-Orbit planetary (LOP)
Terran timestamp: Sol 150, 2170 AD

Chief Mission Officer (CMO) Tatiana Vladic and Lt. Cmdr. Vulnicura wedged a truce in their bickering to coordinate efforts for the escape from Dingir. As most of the crew was slated to catch a ride back home, they were expecting many of them to oppose the plan to dash to Apishlun. The meeting in the ship’s bar was sombre, but the two commanders managed to keep enough of a crew onboard to operate the ship. The others would be leaving the Hadrian just before it initiates its burn to escape Dingir’s gravity well.

By then, most people had taken their biomonitors off. These devices are designed to keep track of all individual onboard, and can be used to inject sedative if any funny business takes place. However, the Embassador managed to cobble together a man-in-the-middle that simulates a normal network of people’s activities.

On imperial destroyer was then on route to a navy station some 3,000 miles away, and the other destroyer has slipped out of sensor tracking during the power outage. The Hadrian could possibly escape the system by a surprise burn then an acceleration to over 15 mps: they could afford the acceleration as their trip was one-way while the destroyer would have to husband Delta-V to return to low-orbit. The first burn to espace velocity was brief: 40s or so, and occurred coincidentally while the destroyer’s sensors were down (critical fail sensor check). By the time that the imperials had detected the change, a burn to break out of orbit would have sent them nearly 60 degrees off course. The imperials triggered the mass sedation of the Hadrian, and thinking that everyone was asleep, waited a full orbit to burn out of orbit. By then, it was clear that people weren’t asleep (despite the sensor readings). Clearly short of the Delta-V budget to chase and board the Hadrian, the Imperial Navy let them go, unlocked the targetting sensors, and broadcasted a warrant for the Hospital ship.

Once passed the 100D line, the UNNC Hadrian jumped into the next system.

Location: Kakushma system, 100D line of Gas Giant IV, 34 AU from star.
Terran timestamp: Sol 158, 2170 AD

The Hadrian decided to jump to the edge of the system and perform wild refueling instead of contending with the local navy. The initial sensor sweep revealed no navy picket ship in the area. However, the junior sensor operator detected an unpowered hulk some 200,000 miles away. Lt. Vulnicura ordered an intercept. The hulk was a Fat trader, completely powerless and engaged in an axial spin. Hoping for useful salvage, Ambulance pilot Clavain Malek and Marine Sgt. Bergmann sortied and docked the Hibiscus to the nose lock. Slowly, they used the Hibiscus’ own RCS thruster to slow down the spin. While this was ongoing, Bergmann entered the ship and found it already plundered. The only things of value was a series of 8 X 10MJ UV lasers, 6 of them still functional. He removed the weapons and loaded them onto the Hibiscus.

Since the Imperial Marines had removed all armament from the Hadrian, this find was seen as most welcomed. Three laser were mounted on the Hadrian’s laser turret, and Clavain obtained the permission to outfit the UNNC Hibiscus with one laser.

Screenshot_2016-02-21_10.37.04.png

The Hadrian slingshot by the gas giant after skimming enough hydrogen to replenish the reaction mass storage. Total spent in Kakushma system: 4.5 days. Their next system was Daamaka, a place where they lost an ambulance in a terrorist attack at the time. They decided to rapidly jump out to Apishlun without refueling.

Location: Apishlun system, approach lanes of the mainworld starport.
Terran timestamp: Sol 171, 2170 AD

Although Apishlun is an interdicted system, its starport is really the commercial hub of the subsector. Once arrived in-system, Tatiana made contact with the embassy and filed her report. As usual, she filed grievances against her own naval leadership and demanded a replacement of command.

Tatiana also tasked her chief agent, Xong Chen, to establish a network on Apishlun B and try to build the best possible awareness.

Dr. Inuuq and Dr. Mgii worked hard to revived the stem lifeforms from Apishlun that they almost lost after the whole zebrafish incident. However, when the ship entered the system, the cells regained some kind of vitality that was unexpected. In order to save the experiment, they will need to have access to more material from the planet’s surface. Dr. Inuuq started to follow the paper trail that lead them to obtain samples the last time that the Hadrian was in the system.

The navy personnel decided to stand down for well deserved R&R.

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Session 2 - Punching holes in doors
Dingir turns into a quagmire for everyone.

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.

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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.

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Session 1 - Convergence
Stem cells, lawyers and zebrafishes

Location: Dingir, Low-Orbit planetary (LOP)
Terran timestamp: Sol 147, 2170 AD

The UNNC Hadrian entered LOP over Dingir on Sol 137. This concluded nearly 2 years of medical relief operations in the Empire. Charter 133 was over! Some of the personnel has renewed for the new tour of duty, Charter 172. The ship is currently standing down at a stationary 12,000m from the Imperial-run civilian high-port.

Thus ends a long ride

1400 – After 4 weeks of piggy-backing a Navy tender, the UNNC Hibiscus finally is released at the edge of Dingir’s controlled space. The tender signs off and initiates jump-back procedures. The Nightingale-class orbital transfer ship is sent in replacement for another one that was disabled in a terrorist attack on Daamaka. Mr. Clavain Malek takes the controls as contractor pilot. His payload contains a large volume of personal transmission to the returning crew, and ambassador Sanjeet Lewis-Vats. They take an easy 0.6G push through space and dock with the Hadrian within 3 uneventful hours.

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UNNC Hibiscus in its non-ambulance colour scheme.

Listening duties

INTEL analyst Thane Bapke is playing Metroid to help him kill time during his monitoring shift. The ship is standing down, and honestly everyone on the Hadrian is hoping that nothing will come out of his analysis. However, onboard expert systems start sputtering information fragments suggesting that there may be an onset of a respiratory infection in an underwater city in the Kingdom of Keonus. He promptly reports to the Mission Chief and the Medical Officer. Things get more exciting when he intercepts decryptable fragments of a business communication from the Vilani Chief prosecutor office (Sharshuud Hildemani). It looks like Hildemani is trying to get the warrant to impoind the UNNC Hadrian: a clear violation of Charter 133. Thane reports this disturbing new to the Chief Mission officer, but omits the customary Navy’s CC: there is bad blood on the ship since the extradition of the Navy commander for the murder of the Imperial Liaison Officer.

Bad blood

The ride home from the main posting on Shululshish did not go all that smoothly. It looks like the weirdness began when the Vilani liaison insisted in getting a science team down on a garden world in the Apishlun system. Historically, the Gaia planet has been put off-limit to terrans. Down there, they found a garden-world heaven where disease doesn’t exist. Samples of so called “stem lifeforms” were taken back to the ship by Dr. Mgii, and entrusted to the Chief Science Officer, Dr. Inuuq. Thereafter, the level of political interference in the working of the lab became a matter of gossip. Finally, shortly before the final jump to Dingir, the Vilani liaison was found dead. The autopsy, performed by Dr. Mgii, lead to the arrest of the Ship’s Navy commander: Lt. Cmdr. Harrowstein. The relation between the civilian UWO personnel and the Navy crew reached a new low that no one thought possible before.

Unknowingly, Ambassador Lewis-Vats waded in this bad blood. He first made contact with his new staff on the planet, then with the Sharurshid CEO for the Dingir system. The CEO promised to do everything in her power to ensure that Lt. Cmdr. Harrowstein gets due legal diligence. Sanjeet then went to introduce himself to the Mission Chief and got briefed on the possible boarding/impounding of the Hadrian. He then introduced himself to the Navy personnel in the forward areas. Most were cooperative, except for the Acting commander. Lt. Vulnicura. Vulnicura essentially told him off and shooed him off the bridge. As Sanjeet was leaving, the sensor officer was reporting two Imperial Destroyers on an intersection course, ETA 10h. Sanjeet was the only one on the ship both knowing about the boarding warrant, and the approaching warships. He reported to the mission chief and headed to “Docs”, the Navy bar in the forward bay. He decided that his presence on the ship would be required soon enough, and delayed his transit to the surface.

Sourcing legal representation

Lt. Vulnicura had been propelled two ranks forward in no time after the departure of Lt. Cmdr. Smit and the arrest of the next in command, Lt. Cmdr. Harrowstein. She scanned the news as digested by the INTEL people and found out that there was much appetite for a planetside swift delivery of justice for Harrowstein. She spent the best of her day looking for a local lawyer capable of taking on such a case. She secured one and got him to begin working. About at this time, she got the report that Imperial destroyers were in a low-orbit interception course. She waited patiently for the Imperials to issue the boarding warrant, had it checked by her new lawyer, and received the advice to comply. They are not going to make it easy, she thought, and notified the civilian mission chief that she was taking command of the Hadrian under the civilian-military agreement of Charter 133. Imperial destroyers by then were within 2,000 km of the ship.

Onset of Influenza A on Keos B

Dr. Mgii received the report from INTEL and decided to investigate ASAP. She rounded up the new contractor pilot, one of the nurse and one of the Marines to form a 4-person party to the surface. Clavain was drinking with the ambassador when he got the mission details. They descended to Keos B amidst a tropical storm. This cost Clavain a bit more Delta-V reaction mass than planned. Clavain checked the balance of the spending account and realized, to his dismay, that UWO had no refueling agreement with the Kingdom of Keonus. He fought off a panic attack and landed the UNNC Hibiscus. According to protocol, Sgt. Roja secured the area first and then the medical personnel deployed. Dr. Mgii descended to the ocean floor to meet with the medical authority. After about 1 hour of red-taping, she confirmed that many of the people at the ER were fighting off Influenza A, and that, based on statistical modeling, there was a chance of Onset of a local epidemics. She spent the rest of the night with the medical authority on attempting to contain the epidemic before more damage is done. Already, the virus had claimed the life of an elderly woman.

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Sgt. Roja was quite happy not to be in a hostile environment that was the last two years had been. However, he realized that not all was perfect when he found out that some of the Hibiscus equipment had been pilfered a few hours later. Clavain explained to Roja that the Hibiscus had not enough Hydrogen Delta-V to climb out of Dingir’s gravity well. Clavain set out to find an engineer who would be able to reconfigure the thruster to use water as reaction mass. Down to the sea floor Clavain went, in search of an engineer without too many scruples regarding paperwork.

Samples from Gaia

Dr. Inuuq is the chief scientist on the Hadrian. When the sample from Apishlun were taken, he was entrusted to multiply the strains and prepare long-term frozen and live lines for later research. As far as he could tell, it appears that life on Apishlun has developed a distributed gene replacement strategy whereby all life forms are cooperating in building immunity and dealing with cell deregulation. The Navy had a heavy hand into the move, but he was certainly awareto the immense commercial potential of the finding. Secretly, he built his own stable lines and mislabelled them to obfuscate his efforts. When the Vilani liaison came to claim the stem lifeforms, he obliged without resistance, knowing that his secret copies would remain with him. A few hours later, Hildemani was dead and the other stem lifeforms nowhere to be found. Lt. Cmdr. Harrowstein was shortly apprehended for his murder. Despite the gossips, the whole truth apparently remains exclusively with Dr. Mgii who performed the autopsy.

In the early hours of Sol 148, a quiet alarm was sent to all of the civilian officers. The order was issued to destroy or encrypt critical information and disable key systems. This smelled like a pre-hostile boarding drill, although it was clearly not a drill. Dr. Inuuq realised that his private stash of stem lifeforms may be taken away along with all other biomaterial. He hatches a devious plan: what if the cell were carried through hypersleep with a pet? There was Ms. Nook down in forward Bay, and the Lt. Cmdr.‘s pug. However, he couldn’t bring himself to harm furry friends. As the general alarm rang, he busied himself injecting lab zebrafishes with stem lifeforms in their bladders. He should be able to recover the cells later. The only question remaining was whether/how the stem lifeforms would affect the zebrafish. Time will tell. The intercom was then announcing that the Vilani marines had entered the ship and that none should resist.

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Dr. Mgii is a Vegan, they are vegans, but that’s not why they are called like this.

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