The Menorbi Partnership

Session 23 - December 3, 2020
Guardians in the Dark

1100-034 1000 – Inside the Ancients' Complex on Djinni

1000 – 1200 - The exploratory team (Fitz, Froge, Leah, Martaan, Pascal, Saeagang), now closed inside the Ancients' complex, begins exploring the complex floor by floor. On the second and third floors, they encounter and fight large (100 kg), six-legged arachnoid-like things. These are apparently guardians released from cocoons. Although they manage to defeat them, the explorers are wounded, and decide to retreat to the first floor, where they seal themselves in a large room to recover from their wounds.

View
Session 22 - November 12, 2020
Towards an Ancient Past

1100-034 0600 – Basecamp on Djinni

0600 – 0745 - The exploratory team (Fitz, Froge, Leah, Martaan, Pascal, Saeagang) have a quick breakfast, load their air / rafts, and head inland towards the location associated with the transmissions from the OoCP. 

0745 – 1600 - After many hours of flying deep into a mountainous range, the exploratory team finds themselves flying over a long, relatively narrow canyon, which runs roughly nortwest to southeast. This is approximately where the OoCP was sending its transmissions.

1600 – 1645 - A series of reconnaissance passes indicates that the valley is relatively featureless, except for a reflective, metallic structure set into the cliffside at the northwestern end of the valley. 

1645 – 2200 After some debate as to whether or not to camp in this particular valley, or to relocate to a different valley, the exploration decides to camp where it is, especially as it is losing the light. Three small tents are joined together into a little compound, and a watch order is determined-

  • Tent #1 – Leah and Saeagang – first watch
  • Tent #2 – Fitz and Froge – second watch
  • Tent #3 – Martaan and Pascal - third watch

Fitz and Martaan walk perimeter— it is earily quiet, and the only new lifeform found is a very primitive form of lichen.

Before they turn in,

  • Saeagang updates Madeline on progress
  • Leah sends all new survey findings to Pinkie and Elwin, with instructions to forward them to Jaimy Rodry and the SSDB Chimera
  •  Fitz falls asleep sharpening his knife

2200 - 1100-035 0600 -  Night watches prove uneventful.

0600 – 0900  The exploratory breakfasts, party breaks camp and pack the air / rafts, doing their level best to "leave no trace."  The relocate to within a kilometer of the metal structure in the cliffside- a large, featureless plate.

0900 – 1000 - All attempts made to interact with the metal plate prove fruitless, until Leah sits down crosslegged before it, and interrogates it psionically. The center of the plate then opens, revealing a side corridor and a ramp leading down. The group enters and begins its exploration. Leah senses life somewhere below the room they are in. A few of them hear a scritching sound from below. The door to the valley closes behind them. 

View
Session 21 - October 15, 2020
Planetfall on Djinni

1100-032 2100 – Aboard the An Lang, in Orbit Around Djinni

2100 – 2245 -  The VES collectively decide who is on the landing party, who will stay with the cutter, and who will stay in orbit aboard the An Lang:

  • Elwen and Pinkie will stay aboard the An Lang
  • Saeagang, Martaan, and Pascal will take the first air / raft down and select a basecamp location
  • Leah, Froge, and Fitz will take the second air / raft down and select a basecamp location
  • Madeline and Dr. Soto will pilot the cutter to basecamp

Once basecamp is established, the two air / raft teams will head to the location of the Ancient signal source and investigate.

The crew goes through its stores, and tries to decide what to bring with them to explore the Ancient signal source, what to pack in the air / rafts, and what to leave in the cutter.  An approximate basecamp site is picked out. Unfortunately, a weather analysis shows that the VES has arrived in the middle of Djinni's winter.

2245 - The crew retires to bed. Froge strips and cleans his weapons, packs and repacks for the EVA, and makes all his last minute checks. Leah sends a copy of all the survey's data so far to the System Defense Boat Chimera. Martaan writes a letter to Lady Doctor Cassandra ap-Tain. Pascal continues his studies, looking for references in the literature on the Ancients for technology involving antimatter and disintegration.

1100-033 0700 – 1200 - The two air / rafts leave for the surface, a five-hour journey. Partway down, air / raft one encounters real turbulence and goes into a tailspin. Through Saeagang's piloting, and Martaan's and Pascal's emergency in-flight repairs, the air / raft was able to recover its stability and land safely.

1300 - Following the air / rafts' landing, the cutter follows suit.

1400 - Martaan and Fitz walk the perimeter, making observations about the flora. There do not appear to be any fauna.

1530 - The air / rafts are secured to some nearby trees at the edge of the clearing, and covered over with tarpaulins.

1600 – 1700 - Fitz, Froge, Leah, Madeline, Martaan, Pascal, Saeagang and Soto have an early dinner.

1800 - In orbit, the An Lang's probe is refueled and launched. A moderate snowfall begins at basecamp.

1900 - In orbit, one of the An Lang's drones takes up station above one of the underwater concentrations of alien life. 

2200 – 1100-034 0200  Snowfall ends at base camp. The crew goes to sleep in the cramped confines of the cutter. Martaan and Froge take first watch- it is uneventful.

0200 – 0600 - Fitz and Leah take second watch, which is equally uneventful, and get to see their first sunrise on Djinni. 

View
Session 20 - September 24, 2020
No Maps to these Territories

1100-024 1940 – Aboard the An Lang, in the Djinni System 

1941 – 2110 - Froge, Leah, Madeline, Martaan, and Pascal perform a final systems check on the cutter, and finally disembark. The crew, led by Saeagang, cheer their return, and whisk them off to Dr. Soto for examinations. He can find nothing changed with them, and nothing wrong.

2110 – 2310 – Pinkie has knit together the away team's camera footage, and the team briefs the rest of the An Lang on their experience in the wrecked seeker and aboard the OoCP. Madeline asks each away team member to provide a key takeaway from their experience—

  • Martaan – A war between "synthetics" and "naturals" is what "took out" the Ancients. The Droyne are what is left of the Ancients.
  • Froge – Humaniti (GM's note— this is the official Imperial spelling of humanity as a species) is confirmed as a genetic experiment of the Ancients. If that is the case, what will we find on Djinni? 
  • Pascal – Even with an army of graduate students, the new information we have obtained is inexhaustible— "it just sucks that I didn't have more time."
  • Leah – Are there other very dangerous artifacts left over after the war? And, are the Droyne the winners, the losers, or something else?

2345 – Madeline holds a debate and a vote as to whether the An Lang should proceed cautiously to Djinni at 1G, or get there as soon as possible, at 2G?

  • 1G – Elwen, Froge, Leah, Pascal, Pinkie, Saeagang, Soto
  • 2G – Fitz, Madeline, Martaan

The 1G contingent wins the vote— at 1G, it will take a little over 154 hours for the An Lang to pull into orbit around Djinni. The away team retires to their racks:

  • Froge writes a quick letter to Arbellatra and goes to sleep
  • Martaan works out first, and then goes to sleep
  • Pascal pours through all his footage and makes notes, and goes to sleep quite late
  • Leah goes immediately to sleep

1100-025 0200 – The An Lang leaves for Djinni at 1G, collecting sensor data as she goes

1100-026 2355 - 1100-027 0015 - The top external hatch sensor triggers and alert, and Saeagang and Fitz successfully undertake an EVA to repair it.

1100-030 1207 – The An Lang pulls into orbit around Djinni. Madeline immediately sounds general quarters, and requests Elwen plot four courses to thoroughly map the surface. Each pass will take eight hours.

1100-030 1307 – 1100-032 1807 – Mapping takes longer than expected— five passes, not four, as the fourth pole-to-pass had to be repeated due to instrument collection problems experienced by both Leah and Pinkie.

1100-032 2000 - After a couple of hours, Pascal, with help from Pinkie and Leah, manages to synthesize a map and publish the initial survey results. There are some interesting findings:

  • The planet has been terraformed. Its average "natural" temperature should be -138 C; instead, its average temperature is 14 C. The terraforming seems to consist in some sort of engine in the planet's core that drives vulcanism, raising both ocean and air temperatures;
  • The approximate location of the Ancients complex has been identified.
  • There seem to be not one but two kinds of aquatic intelligences on Djinni— one in shallower water, and one in much deeper water.

The question on Leah's mind is, "Why do this experiment here, in an unstable environment?"

2000 – 2100 – Madeline holds a debate and a vote as to whether the An Lang should undertake an exploration of the Ancients' location first, or contact one of the two intelligences—

  • Ancients – Elwen, Fitz, Froge, Saeagang, Pinkie
  • Contact – Leah, Martaan, Pascal, Soto

After hearing the argument and looking at the vote, Madeline decides that the Ancients must take precedence, as that is the focus of the VES

A loose plan is put together, with a crew manning the An Lang, a base camp being set up on the shoreline via the cutter, and two air / rafts flying inland to the location of the Ancients' signaling equipment. A debate then ensues as to who should undertake which roles. 

View
Session 19 - August 20, 2020
Conversations with the Dead

1100-024 1540 – The Wrecked Seeker Dragonaut, En Route to the Out-of-Context Problem

1540 – 1740  Froge, Leah, Madeline, Martaan, and Pascal spacewalk from the wreck of the Dragonaut over to Out-of-Context Problem (OoCP), and soon find themselves in its cramped environs. Once they are all aboard, the OoCP pressurizes its interior, turns on its Black Globe generator (effectively isolating itself and the boarding party from the An Lang), and then projects a hologram of a Droyne warrior, as both an avatar and focus with which to interact with them. The two groups then attempt to speak in broken Anglic, trading questions and answers. The OoCP initially focuses on the fact that some of the boarding party have prostheses, and that two of them are carrying small artificial intelligences. In turn, the OoCP represents itself as part of the "biological" faction, and asks for information about the state of a war. In the course of its interaction, it essentially absorbs CHESS (first from Froge's comm unit, and then later from the An Lang itself) for reasons it does not make clear. After this, however, the OoCP's ability to communicate slightly improves. Ultimately, the OoCP informs the boarding party that, as a weapon, it is tasked with decommissioning itself, now that the conflict it was built for has ended- it must "ascend." It tasks the boarding party to look after the two "biologies" underwater. It then lowers its Black Globe generating shield. CHESS somehow surfaces as part of the OoCP's "consciousness" (?!) and warns Froge that the OoCP is counting down a self-destruct sequence.

1741 – 1755 - The boarding party makes a frantic effort to document the inside of an Ancient weapon system vehicle (with Pascal going so far as to leave his comm unit behind, and transmitting) before fleeing to safety, spacewalking back to the Dragonaut and then to An Lang's cutter.

1756 – 1830 - The boarding party hurriedly strap themselves, and move as quickly as possible to the An Lang, warning their shipmates along the way about the impending explosion.

1831 – 1835 - In a superb bit of flying, Martaan maneuvers the cutter to quickly dock with the An Lang.

1836 - 1935 - Without even allowing the boarding party to disembark from the cutter, Elwen and Saeagang take the An Lang in as straight a line as possible back into the plane of the Djinni system, attempting to get away from the OoCP.

1936-1939 - One by one, the satellites in orbit around the asteroid belt detonate themselves.

1940 - Suddenly, the OoCP expands into a huge ball of green light 20,000 kilometers in diameter, destroying itself, the wreck of the Dragonaut, and a sizeable chunk of the asteroid belt in question. The An Lang is safe.

View
Session 18 - July 16, 2020
The Wreck of the Dragonaut

1100-024 1200 – The An Lang's Cutter, En Route to the Wrecked Seeker

1200 – 1233 – Martaan pilots Froge, Leah, Madeline, and Pascal to a position just port of the wrecked Seeker. The party suits up, and spacewalks over to the wreckage.

1233 – 1533 – Entering through the top airlock, the party explores the ruins of the Dragonaut, finding among other things—

  • the badly-decomposed, partially-disintegrated remains of the ship's pilot;
  • undelivered mail in an official IISS memory bank;
  • a strongbox addressed to "Mr. Smith / c/o Arkhassa Ushir, Captain, The Golden Fleece, General Delivery, Regina /  Regina";
  • two staterooms (one containing a comm unit);
  • an electronics shop and a mechanical shop;
  • two ore bays, one with an extra fuel tank and one about a ton of planetary material in it
  • a fully-stocked main deck, with a ship's buggy; and,
  • a (now-frozen) hydroponics farm.

1534 – 1540 - The An Lang hails the away team, letting them know that the OoCP has moved slowly towards the wreck of the Dragonaut. As the away team looks on, the OoCP pulls along side the Seeker, rotates along its axis, and opens a hatch. Martaan leaps off of the Seeker, and towards the open hatch.

View
Session 17 - May 28, 2020
Seeking the Seeker

1100-021 - The An Lang, Behind a Gas Giant in the Fifth Orbit Around Djinni

0030 – 0900 - Lieutenant Commander Jaimy Rodry returns to the Chimera. Madeline sends the crew to bed, while she and Fitz stand watch.

0900 – 1000 - Saeagang and Froge thoroughly review the An Lang's cutter, prior to its mission to scoop hydrogen for fuel. 

0900 – 1300 - Leah prepares one of the An Lang's probes for a trip to the wreck of the Seeker, and the last known position of the Out of Context Problem (OoCP).

1000 – 1400 - Elwen and Martaan scoop fuel, culminating in a final "hot-shot" move just prior to docking, executed by Elwen.

1400 – 1500 - Pascal locks the An Lang's sensors on the last known position of the OoCP. Elwen plots a cross through the penumbra of the gas giant, allowing it to traverse to the near side of the giant "unseen" by sensors. Leah launches the probe.

1500 – 1600 - Madeline and Elwen safely pilot the An Lang to the far side of the gas giant, opposite the last known position of the OoCP.

1100-021 1600 - 1100-022 1600 - The crew of the An Lang monitor the probe en route to the OoCP's last known position, and the OoCP's supposed position.

1100-022 1600 - Madeline orders the An Lang to leave orbit and the follow the probe.

1100-023 1100 - En route to the Seeker, Martaan (with Fitz's help) begins to teach the An Lang's crew small unit tactics.

1100-023 1600 - The probe makes it to the hulk of the Seeker, and finds the OoCP. Pascal makes the determination that the OoCP is using a "black globe" generator to absorb sensor energy and conceal itself.

1100-023 2000 - As the probe examines the wreck of the Seeker and scans the OoCP, the OoCP in turns scans the probe so strongly that it even moves bits around in the system's memory.  

1100-024 1200  The An Lang positions itself about 10,000 kilometers from the OoCP, and readies the cutter for an exploratory mission to the Seeker. The exploratory crew will be-

  • Madeline (pilot, expedition leader)
  • Leah (lead surveyor)
  • Martaan (able to pilot the cutter, and a strong military tactician)
  • Pascal (expert on the Ancients)
  • Froge (junior engineer, in case something goes wrong)

Expeditionary Equipment 

<u>Froge</u>

  • vacc suit
  • first aid kit
  • emergency beacon
  • light-intensifying goggles
  • canteen
  • gauss pistol and ammunition
  • survival kit
  • comm hosting CHESS

<u>Leah</u>

  • Backpack
  • Gauss pistol and ammunition with laser sight
  • Grapnel Gun
  • Machete
  • Knife
  • Vacc Suit
  • Comm
  • Lockpicks
  • Locksmith Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Communicator, video
  • Emergency Beacon
  • Goggles, Light Intensifier
  • Metal Detector
  • Water Purification Tablets

## Left on cutter

  • Sleeping bags
  • Combat Environment Suit (Scout issue) with Reflec
  • 2 Tool Kit
  • Medical Kit
  • 2 O2 tanks

<u>Martaan</u>

  • Gauss rife and ammunition
  • Vacc suit
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency beacon
  • Heads-up display
  • Comm

<u>Pascal</u>

  • Vacc suit
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency beacon
  • Survival kit
  • Comm
View
Session 16 - May 7, 2020
Jumping to Djinni

1100-013 – The An Lang, Leaving Regina for Djinni

0440 – The ship takes and sends mail, and then jumps for Djinni. 

1100-013 – 1100-020 – JumpSpace

The trip between systems is fairly straightforward. On 1100-013, Madeline and Froge detect a sensor coupling in need of repair, and Froge and Saeagang address it. During the trip, the crew votes as to whether CHESS should be integrated into the An Lang's computer. Madeline puts it to a vote. Elwen, Fitz, Martaan, Froge, and Pascal are in favor, with Saeagang and Soto opposed, and Leah and Pinkie abstaining. Ultimately, Madeline allows it, after putting strict constraints on the miniature tactical AI.

On the seventh day, Soto scans all the crew into the autodoc, and Madeline briefs the crew one last time on what to expect.

1100-020 – The Djinni System

0440 – Coming out of jumpspace, the ship arrives on the edge of the Djinni system, and follows a precomputed parabola that takes it to the gas giant closest to the Out of Context Problem (or OoCP, the crew's new name for the anomaly they will be investigating).

1100-020 2230 – 1100-021 0030 – After almost 18 hours in flight, the An Lang arrives on the far side of the gas giant, where they are greeted by Imperial Navy SSDB Chimera. Lieutenant Commander Jaimy Rodry, the Chimera's skipper, comes over to the An Lang  and briefs them on what the OoCP has done since it revealed itself—

  • on 1099-356, the OoCP vanished from the Chimera's sensors;
  • on 1100-008, a strange wavelength of blue light played across the wrecked seeker floating near where the OoCP was last sighted.

The An Lang determines its course of action will be to—

1) passively scan the OoCP, from within the gas giant

2) refuel the An Lang

3) launch a probe towards the OoCP, passively scanning

4) as the probe draws closer, actively scan

5) send the probe to the mining hulk

6) use the probe to scan the mining hulk (near the OoCP's last position)

7) review and plan

8) and maybe approach the hulk in the cutter?

View
Session 15 - March 19, 2020
Shakedown Cruise, Part Two

1100 – 010 – The An Lang, in Orbit Above Regina 

1200 – 1700 – The crew of the An Lang complete four mapping and sensor calibration passes around Regina— one equatorial, on midway through the northern hemisphere, one midway through the southern hemisphere, and one around the poles. The result was a fully calibrated sensor set and a nice map of Regina. After that, the An Lang requests permission to break orbit from Regina Up-port and calls ahead to Harcourt to inform them that they are coming. The trip will take approximately 37 hours and 20 minutes. 

1100-010 (1700) – 1100-012 (0620)    En route to Harcourt, the crew of the An Lang run two competitive contests- one in marksmanship, one in unarmed combat. Martaan won the marksmanship contest, and after two successive bouts, Madeline and Pascal tied each other in the unarmed combat, and agreed to let the tie stand.

0620 – 1000 – The crew of the An Lang undertakes three passes on the Harcourt Gunnery Range, operating at increasing levels of difficulty—

  • a straight strafing pattern (three hits out of three targets)
  • a strafing pattern while evading along a random course (two hits out of three targets)
  • a strafing pattern while evading and engaged in combat (three hits out of three targets)

Following the An Lang's run at the Gunnery Range, six minor repairs had to be made—

  • Saeagang suits up for an external repair on the attitude jets
  • Froge discovers a programming error on the ship's fuel mixture during evasion
  • Pascal whacks a stuck iris valve back into functionality
  • Elwen and Madeline fix two problems with the navigation system 
  • Pinkie suits up for an external repair on a sensor shield

The An Lang then breaks orbit from around Harcourt to a jump point outside of the various gravity wells composing the Regina system, an 18 hour 40 minute journey.

1100-012 (1000) – 1100-013 (0440) – On its way to the jump point, Madeline serves a nice dinner for the crew of the An Lang, and offers to take watch after dinner, to give the crew some rest and relaxation. As the crew falls asleep, Madeline sounds general quarters, and times the crew as they rush to get to their duty stations and ready them. As the last crew grab their spots, Madeline orders the crew to prepare to jump into the Djinni system, to begin the Volunteer Emergency Survey.

View
Session 14 - March 19, 2020
Shakedown Cruise, Part One

1100 – 009 – Regina Downport

0800 – 1000 – Froge, Leah, and Pascal all receive email from Madeline instructing them that two laser batteries had been fitted onto the An Lang, that Leah had been appointed Surveyor for the expedition, and that the expedition was leaving the following day (1100-010) at 0900. In addition, one of the IISS AIs (Reggie) has worked out exploration kits for Froge, Martaan, and Pascal, and has equipped the An Lang's shipboard computer. Meanwhile, Martaan is having breakfast with Cassady.

1000 – 1700 – Leah receives permission from IISS and the Regina Up-port to leave her 100T Scout Leah's Delight in orbit around Regina. Madeline decides this is an opportunity for a crew and cargo transfer, and drafts Leah to pilot the Delight over to the An Lang to transfer VES members and their cargo; she sets the departure for orbit at 1700 today. 

Pascal says goodbye to his room-mate Gyllyan (and her parents Matthieu and LaDonna) at the Naval Hospital. Martaan says goodbye to Cassady via comm. Froge says a tearful goodbye to Arbellatra, giving her his medal for bravery in repelling boarders on the Wattever. Scrambling to wrap up their affairs and leave dirtside, the Partners empty out their TAS rooms and apartment, and their safe house, carting with them a handful of prized possessions and drones, loading the majority of the VES crew (Fitz, Pinkie, Dr. Soto, Saeagang), and leaving for orbit and the An Lang.

1700 – 2200 – Leah lifts the Delight into orbit, and works with Elwen to dock the two ships and transfer crew and cargo, finally leaving her Scout in orbit. Madeline shows the crew their cabins, and then invites them to a festive meal in the ship's mess. While moving into his stateroom, Froge realizes that the chess program installed on comm by CASE, named CHESS, is a miniature version of CASE sent along to "stow away" aboard the expedition to see more of the galaxy. Madeline then walks the crew through their stations aboard the An Lang. In the course of optimizing their stations, Fitz uncovers a security issue with the ship's computer, resulting in Froge introduces CHESS to the crew. Madeline subsequently extracts a promise of obedience out of the AI for the duration of the VES.  The crew spend the rest of the evening tweaking their stations, socializing, and moving into their cabins, and then go to sleep, preparing for departure. Fitz takes an uneventful watch from 1100-009 2200 to 1100-010 0200. 

1100 – 010 - Aboard the An Lang

0200 – 0600 – Martaan takes an uneventful watch.

0600 – 0900 – The crew wake up, have breakfast, use the fresher, and take their stations for the An Lang's shakedown cruise. 

0900 – 1000 – Saeagang and Fitz undertake a thorough review of all the ship's rooms, and all the air locks, to make sure that the ship is secure. 

1000 – 1100 – Madeline drills the crew on donning and securing their vacc suits.

1100 – 1200 – Madeline sounds "general quarters", and the crew sprint to their stations to check in and ready to break orbit.

View