Sunday, July 18, 2021

Deepnight Revelation #4

An Alikaia "mother"
Art from artist's website

Captain's Log - T036

Upon exiting hyperspace at DNS-AQ-406 Beta we immediately received what we soon determined to be a distress call from an Alikaia colony ship; as the Alikaia were until then unaware of the existence of any alien species, I can only imagine that they had sent out the call out of desperation, or in the hope that there was an Alikaia exploration vessel within range.

With Akranika's help, we were able to learn that the colony ship, carrying some 600 colonists from three different communities, were performing a refueling operation at the gas giant, while heading for the terrestrial planet which they had planned to colonise. Their drive had suffered a failure, and the ship was in a decaying orbit which would plunge it into the gas giant's atmosphere in fewer than 90 minutes.

I ordered the ship to proceed at full speed to the colony ship and put the entire flight wing on standby to perform rescue operation, and called the command team to devise a plan - we were at that point still an hour away.

As our docking ports were not compatible with those of the Alikaia, it was not possible to perform a direct transfer of the colonists. Transfer of the colonists via small craft was possible, but would not have been sufficient to evacuate all colonists as they only possessed some 40 vac-suits among them. The Alikaia were adamant that we evacuated their "mothers", not caring for their own lives, but my crew and I wanted to save every one of them if there was reasonable chance we could do so.

Performing a tether was not an option, as the combined effect of the ship's mass and the gravity at that distance to the gas giant would have risked Deepnight Revelation being unable to extricate itself. Then, seeing the trimaran configuration of the colony ship, Engineering proposed that we made all the colonists move into one of the lateral hulls, and then detach it from the rest of the ship with explosive charges.

We proposed the plan to the Alikaia, who were agreeable on the condition that we first removed their mothers via small craft, which we did, even though one of the distraught mothers had to be first sedated by a drug developed by Dr Balilaika, delivered via a dart gun.

Under the advice of Mr Stamper the Engineering Division was able to place the charges and attach the tethers, and we were able to pull the lateral hull a distance from the gas giant, where we were able to perform the transfer of the colonists via small craft in relative safety.

Chief Steward Patrick Hewes had been placed in charge of settling the colonists in the cargo bay and their provisioning, and after a discussion with their leaders we have decided to return them to the Aliakaia home system, which we expect to reach in two days.

Captain's Log - T045

Mr Johnson had returned from his visit to the city of Kadiaz, where he and his team met with the representative Irldzin of the faction. He reported that, unlike the rest of the Alikaia cities, which seem loosely organised by our standards, the faction seemed to have a more developed structure, and a higher proportion of warriors among their numbers - whether this was a true reflection of their society or a show for us foreigners he was unable to determine.

Irldzin and his team were curious about our technology, particularly about our weapons technology, and expressed an interest to trade with us, promising us a better deal than that which could be offered by the other cities.

I will have to meet with Irldzin soon, perhaps after the parade to honour our crew to be held in Dari-Alkin tomorrow; Mr Goldfone had been working with the city authorities on the programme, and he promised me it will be a spectacle.

On advice of the Mission Command Team I have decided that Commander Zruke will remain onboard Deepnight Revelation, while Commander Khomen will attend the parade along with representatives from each of the Divisions.

Prepping and Running the Game

This report omits the last part of the session, which I plan to report in the next post, after the next session.

The first "encounter" of the session was again a non-combat one. The situation as presented in the module was such that it was not possible to rescue all of the colonists. I reviewed the parameters, and was pretty sure that I had sufficient reasons to make the case that it was not possible to do so, even finding out the relative gravity at the surface of Jupiter to determine whether it was possible for Deepnight Revelation to pull the colony ship to safety.

I had prepared for the players to perform a rescue by small craft, which would have meant that most of the colonists would probably not be rescued, but when my players saw the picture of the colony ship, they came up with the idea of detaching one part of the ship from the main body, which made it mathematically possible for Deepnight to pull it free. As the colony ship was an atmosphere-capable ship, I decided that it should be able to withstand the stress of being pulled, especially since the whole section was essentially a cylinder, which is a strong shape.

As they were able to come up with a coherent plan and they rolled well, I ruled that their plan succeeded.

After the rescue we played out the arrival of Deepnight at the Alikaia system and their reception as heroes at their homeworld, with more detailed role-playing on their meeting with the "faction". Based on the information they have learned about the Alikaia until them, they rightly became suspicious of the faction, and started to call them the "space Hitler" faction.

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