The Menorbi Partnership

Session #38 - January 26, 2023

The Door is Ajar

1100-174 1800 -  Aboard the Azhanti High Lightning, in Orbit Around Djinni

1800 – 2100 The VES gathers with the Task Force's leaders for a secure briefing and dinner in one the High Lightning's conference rooms. By this time, the VES's findings have been shared with the Duke of Regina, and according to the leaders of the Djinni Task Force- Count Quinlan, Lady Admiral Starrett ap-Agar, Station Chief Garrivan del'Zed— the VES are accounted as real heroes of the Imperium—brave explorers, individuals who established contact with a new sentient race, and functional subject matter experts on the Ancients. This is the first significant alien contact for the Imperium in thousands of years. It is expected that the Social Status of VES members will increase when the VES returns to civilization.

That being said, the Task Force's VIPs formally classify the VES's findings, and brief us on what we can talk about and how. That being said, they acknowledge that there is too much information flow into and out of the Djinni system for the Imperium to completely control.

Changing the meeting's focus, Garrivan del'Zed alerts the VES that the door to the Ancient facility was opened last night. A Marine guard noticed the exterior door was open (entry requires psionic activation). The guard checked with the heat pump monitoring team, who did not notice anything. The two teams swept the complex, and didn’t detect any traces of interlopers, including latent heat signatures. Within this period, there were no unscheduled ship traffic to, or from, Djinni itself. Only the supply shuttle came and went.

Garrivan del'Zed wants the VES to instrument the doorway into the Ancients' complex the following morning.

1100-175 0600 – 1600 - Garrivan del'Zed, Pinkie, Fitz, Alrik, Froge, Leah, and Martaan descend to Djinni's surface and the doorway to the Ancients' complex via Leah's Delight with electronic surveillance gear with which to monitor the entrance. Working together, the group establishes a sophisticated monitoring system.

Meanwhile, Fitz and Martaan interrogate the Marine guards. Their recollections during the intrusion are fuzzy. This "fuzziness" doesn’t feel like the away team's manipulation by We. On video, the away team sees one guard try to look at the door, but inexplicably turn away instead. The guards report engaging in a meaningless and unintelligible conversation instead of guarding the door as assigned. Froge determines the "fuzziness" did not cause any organic damage to the guards.

It turns out that Garrivan del'Zed’s team produced a psychic door opener so the team could enter the complex at will. The opener circuit board has “Dandelion was here” etched on its edge. It turns out that Dandelion del'Zed is aboard the Stygian Solicitation.

1100-175 1600 – 1700 - Via Leah's Delight, Garrivan del'Zed, Pinkie, Fitz, Alrik, Froge, Leah, and Martaan return to the Azhanti High Lightning.

1100-175 1730 - 2030 - A delegation from the Stygian Solicitation arrives onboard the Azhanti High Lightning to meet with the VES. The VES has requested Dandelion be part of the delegation. Madeline, Fitz, Pinkie, Alrik, Froge, Leah, and Martaan are all in attendance. (Pinkie in particular wants to meet the psionic door opener’s designer.) Count Quinlan, Garrivan del'Zed, Dandelion del'Zed, and Lady Admiral Starrett ap-Agar meet us in a large conference room on the Azhanti High Lightning. Dandelion sees Leah and immediately hugs her; Leah hugs her back. Dandelion reports she’s fascinated by the VES's papers and publications.

Dandelion has heard about Froge's visitation from CHESS. Froge asks how CASE is doing. It turns out that CASE is with Dandelion on the Stygian Solicitation in a bounded capacity. CASE remains very loyal to her.

Dandelion reports there is only one psionic door opener planetside. She designed and built it, although it could be replicated. She destroyed all the prototypes, per Garrivan del'Zed’s orders. Dandelion’s opener was kept in the site commander’s field-expedient safe, it was not lost, and it does not appear to have been used. (It must be touched to the door for it to function.) As the likelihood of a ship intruding undiscovered into the Djinni system seems low, the group suspects a spy is on one our ships; a psionic spy seems more likely than the duplication of Dandelion’s door opener.

Martaan asks the assembled dignitaries who might have authorized the infiltration and what its purpose might have been. The Count reports that none of the people in the room know. Pinkie suggests it may have been an Ancient checking on the Imperial campsite.

The Marine base planetside includes a whole marine platoon (16) and four support staff, who ferry items to and from the Azhanti High Lightning. The VES requests that the Marines scan the area in pairs for interlopers.

1100-175 2030 - 2100 - The VES sweeps Leah's Delight looking for stowaways, and checks its door lock and logs. The lifeform counter only recorded the expected seven life signs.

At the next opportunity (next session), Count Quinlan and Leah will scan the base complement for psionic ability, guilty parties, or anything else suspicious.