The Lucanii Drift - Session 2

Game Session 2

James as Ens. Theresa White-Linen, Commanding Officer and others
Lord Bodacious as Ens. Dr. Zangor, Counselor and others
sternum as Ens. Jhonny Katzenjammer, Chief Engineer and others
BlueLightning as Sp. Bjarki Arnanson, Scientist and others
also featuring
Sp. Dana Barret, Sp. A’yuda May & Sp. Smedley Blister (Bridge Crew)
Sp. Etienne Roland, Sp. Deke Diggles & Sp. Pam of Luna (Security)
Sp. Nyoko Sato (Medical Science)
Sp. Bloort Ben Sloot & Sp. Chloe Brown (Engineering)

Mission Date 130 (cont’d)
Ens. Katzenjammer, perhaps lonely for another creature that understands his tormented existence, begins development of a robot cat. The cat will be completed on Mission Date 161.

The crew of the starship Endeavor decides to table their investigation of the derelict freighter MX-319. Sp. Xox had researched the captured Zap Rat, and developed a setting for the auto analyzer to suppress the animal’s electrical field, but that will have to wait. Instead, the Captain is intrigued by the order line “LOCATE MISSING CIVILIAN VESSEL REPORTED MISSING”

As Administrator Wellard explains: “As you know, in space there are hazards that can remove an individual or vessel from space and time, effectively erasing it from existence. In the past, we never knew that this happened, of course, because how could we miss something that never existed? But with the development of quantum-locked record storage, we’re now able to record a person or object’s disappearance by comparing local atomic weights and probability measures in our universe versus those in the record. Based on the differential, we can extrapolate… not a lot, but something: what kind of ship it was, it’s likely point of disappearance from our reality. We can find the general identities of the crew, and inform their families of the loss of loved ones they never met.

“Recently, we measured the loss of a civilian ship in the Xi sector. Unfortunate, but not unique. A few months after the measurement, though, something unique did happen: the ship reappeared. This never happens. And we still don’t know the specs of the ship, or much about the crew, just that one day, the computer record in our reality had a contemporaneous log of a missing vessel that never existed, then existed again, and was missing.”

Their mission selected, and without her Navigation officer, Ens. White Linen sets a two-day course through the Lucanii Nu 6 system, intending to survey it before proceeding to the Xi Sector. Engineer Katzenjammer proposes he modify a probe to take temporal readings, perhaps improving their chances to find the twice-missing ship. Unfortunately, his assistant Sp. Chloe Brown spills his experimental artificial liquid cat-brain into the probe, making the probe think it’s a cat. It will take her six days to undo the damage, on Mission Date 135.

Mission Date 131-132
First day, they travel 4 light years. On the second day,they execute a turn and travel 3 light-years. No incidents.

Mission Date 133
The Endeavor arrives in the LN-6 System. The ship engages its nuclear drive and moves to survey LN 6-1, a gas giant the crew names “Steve French.” There are dozens of moons that will take 3 days to survey, which White-Linen so orders.

Mission Date 134
During the second day of survey, two ships matching the configuration of the bug-men’s ships appear off the port bow. They demand the Endeavor leave their space – no discussion. Shields go up, and the battle is on. Captain White-Linen allows the intern, Smedley Blister, to handle fire control. The Fire Control Officer K’taath is not pleased.

The Bug-Men ships are technologically inferior to the Endeavor, with weaker power bases and no shields. However, the Confederation crew has two disadvantages: they are still inexperienced, and the Bug-Men lack any instinct for self-preservation. Despite carving layers of ablative armor from the Bug-Men with volleys of beam fire, the Bug-Men pound the Endeavor, and it doesn’t help that 5 torpedoes fire into space with little effect. However, the crew pulls together and the young intern finally lands a beam right into the center of mass of a Bug-Man ship. One ship moves off, and White-Linen hails the other, which is severely damaged. White-Linen opens a channel, and is greeted by a robed Bug-Man much like the one they saw in their first encounter.

The commander presents an aggressive stance, informing the Bug-Men that although the Confederation does not seek conflict, they will not hesitate to demonstrate their might if forced to do so in their first meeting. The robed Bug-Man replies, “This is not our first meeting.” Dr. Zangor steps in, and using his superior diplomacy skills praises the Bug-Men’s skill and bravery, praises this glorious battle, and hopes fto greet the Bug-Men as brothers. This moves the Bug-Men to a truce, and to introduce themselves as the Caeliferans. The apparent commander takes a shuttle over to the Endeavor and presents the Captain with evidence of the “non-beings crimes against us.” White-Linen agrees to review it, and if there is evidence of Confederation citizens commiting crimes against the Caeliferans, they will be put on trial; but she emphasizes that their system of justice might not be the same as that of the Caeliferans. The Caeliferan “Herald” promises that his people will find the Endeavor again and will demand to know their response, and their ship departs.

The crew sifts among the wreckage of the ship for Caeliferan DNA, and manage to find some still-viable cells. Dr. Zangor puts Sp. Nyoko Sato on a research project to grow a simulated neural network like the Caeliferan brain, so that they might better understand the species. The research will be completed on Mission Date 165.

Mission Date 135
The good news of the day is that Katzenjammer completes some damage control, and Sp. Brown repairs the probe. The attempt to convert it into a temporal probe begins anew, to be completed on Mission Date 151. The bad news is that, at the end of the third day of the survey of the moon system, the Endeavor finds no useful resources.

Mission Date 136
The Endeavor begins a survey of the second planet, dubbed Garfield. The planet hosts silicate life forms, that appear like small snowflakes. That is not what interests the crew, though: the computer indicates a space-faring intelligence on the planet. Dr. Zangor attempts to open communications with them through his Arena Wrestling Promo diplomacy technique, but the return transmission is in binary, translating to “DELETEDELETEDELETEDELETEDELETEDELETE.” Before Sp. Dana Barret can cut off the channel, an energy bolt leaps from the computer panel and strikes Zangor in the chest. Katzenjammer jury rigs a probe to the shuttle, and flies it remotely to the surface, where he sees a crashed ship. The only way to discover its contents, and if it is still space-worthy, is to go down to the planet.

White-Linen chooses Sp. Bjarki Arnanson to lead the away team and represent the science department. Sp. Bloort ben Sloot, a Wellerite, fills in Engineering, and Sp. Deke Diggles and Sp. Pam of Luna provide Security.

Arnanson elects to beam the party near the ship, and find a point of entry, ignoring the local silicate-snowflake life-forms. The ship is not of a familiar configuration. In no mood for delay, Arnanson locates the entry hatch and pounds on it. Eventually a knock echoes from the other side, but the hatch doesn’t open. Finally Sp. ben Sloot opens it, and a robot drop to the floor. It extends its electrified tethers/legs at the engineer…

Sp. Deke Diggles misses with his beam pistol, but Sp., Pam of Luna disintegrates it. She demeans Diggles’ shooting skills. He is intrigued by her. As the landing crew makes their way into the ship, and other robot drops from the ceiling. This time, Diggles disintegrates it. He hopes she is intrigued now.

Sp. ben Sloot is unable to gain access to the ship’s systems through an auxiliary comm port, and he determines that he will need to access the comm through a main port in order to salvage the ship. Sp. Arnanson explores a passage deeper into the ship, but is unable to stop another robot from electrocuting Sp. ben Sloot as he follows behind. Sp. Arnanson thinks fast and uses his Med-kit on the smoldering Wellerite to stabilize him enough to get him beamed up to sickbay.

Sps. Diggles & Pam of Luna trade off disintegrating robots as the team makes its way through the featureless chambers of the ship, until they reach a larger room with what appears to be a prime comm port. Ens. Katzenjammer beams down to replace Sp. ben Sloot, and as the cyborg-cat begins to examine the ship’s systems, a panel opens, revealing another robot, freshly manufactured. Sp. Arnanson is able to jam the panel shut before more can come out, and Sps. Diggles and Pam of Luna vie to destroy it first. Katzenjammer and Arnanson reset the robot programming to ignore the intruder protocols, then go to work on the ship. They discover that the ship must have one remaining functioning robot on it, or it will self-destruct. As Sps. Diggles and Pam of Luna explore the remainder of the ship, they find the remaining robot on something like a bridge at the center of the craft. This one is much larger, and it is tethered into the computer. It ignores them, for now.

Katzenjammer spends the next hour preparing the still-spaceworthy ship for flight. He isolates his command programs and warms up the nuclear engines – so far, so good. Meanwhile, Pam of Luna places a jet-pack on the robot, in the hopes that, should the robot regain control of the ship, she will be able to eject it into space, and the sudden untethering will prevent the self-destruct program from enacting. As the ship lifts off, the robot on the bridge begins to battle back against Katzenjammer’s programming, and it regains control of the ship. Pam of Luna sets off the jet pack, but the robot does not untether. Now it careens wildly around the bridge, nearly smashing Luna and Diggles.

The robot ship turns on the Endeavor, in orbit, and begins firing. Katzenjammer gets the idea to insert his liquid artificial cat-brain into the robot, hopefully rendering it feline. White-Linen risks the ship by keeping the shields down until the LACB is beamed over. Sp. Pam of Luna wrestles down the robot, and Katzenjammer uses his cybernetic implants to connect directly to the robot and insert the LACB…

All goes black for Katzenjammer. Then he is on a flat, featureless plane. Some distance off stands the large robot. Between them is a kitty cat. The kitty cat walks to the robot and rubs itself against its deadly tethers. It melds into the robot, and the robot changes…

It is beautiful. Katzenjammer is drawn to it. His psyche, weakened by the many cybernetic implants he has received, is unable to prevent his mind from being drawn in, connecting robot, cat-brain, ship’s computer and cyborg-Felician into one cosmic consciousness…

The new Katzenjammer-conglomerate consciousness steers the ship alongside the Endeavor.

Mission Date 137-138
Down torpedoes (and, possibly, a chief engineer), White-Linen elects to make the two-day return to Starbase Keppler for repairs and further research on the drone ship. Sp. Arnanson registers his objection to bringing the alien vessel to starbase Keppler when so little i known about it.

Mission Date 139
In his quarters, Dr. Zangor sleeps on his bed, a flat rock with a red heating lamp hanging above it. His sleep is disturbed by dreams of doors, hatches and access-ways opening into space. He hears the voice of the doomed crewmember of MX-319 repeating in his head… “They should be free. I’ll free them. They should be free. I’ll free them. They should be free. I’ll free them!” He awakes, be-slimed and anxious.

Katzenjammer was more machine than cat, now he’s more ship than machine! What is the robot ship, and where did it come form? Will the Chief Engineer ever be freed? What do Dr. Zangor’s dreams mean? Will Sp. Diggles discover that there is no shoot-‘em-up romance between him and Pam of Luna, or will he find out for sure when he starts mansplaining? What of the derelict freighter? What of the possible Zangid threat? What of the "crime" committed against the Caeliferans on the data tape? And what of the lost ship that was lost? Next time, on Starships&Spacemen: The Lucanii Drift!

Prev: Intersession 1, Mission Date 130

Next: Intersession 2, Mission Date 139-142

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