Saturday, December 04, 2021

Deepnight Revelation #9

Captain's Log - T155

Our refueling operation at the last system was interrupted when sensors detected a large object headed for Deepnight Revelation. The object had a non-metallic "body" of low density, and a dense "tail" which emitted a signature consistent with a conventional gravitic drive. Based on the sensor readings, the Mission Command team surmised that this could be the same type of bioship which they have encountered on Wildwood.

The team decided that Deepnight Revelation would move to the edge of the system's gravity well in case there was a need to depart the system rapidly, while Mr Khan took the Amelia Earhart to investigate.

When it detected the Amelia Earhart, the bioship altered course to intercept, and when it was near enough, it launched a large spike from its hull, which struck the Amelia Earhart on its starboard side. The spike tore a hole in the hull some 2 metres across. The crew was able to seal the breach between the hull and the spike, but once cabin pressure had been restored the tip of the spike split open, and from within it two humanoid forms similar to those encountered on Wildwood emerged and began to attack the crew.

Mr Khan gave orders for the Amelia Earhart to reverse course and head back to Deepnight, but as it turned it was struck on the port side with another pike. The crew neutralised the two humanoids, and then retreated into the bridge and sealed it from the rest of the craft. Through the security camera they were able to see the other spike split open and disgorge two more humanoids. Mr Khan ordered the craft to be depressurised, and the two humanoids were vented into space.

The bioship continued to move towards the Amelia Earhart, but it appears that its acceleration could not match that our ours. Deepnight was able to recover the Amelia Earhart and enter hyperspace.

The Amelia Earhart is now under quarantine in the hangar. I have asked Life Sciences to remove and analyse the spikes to learn more about our attacker once it is certain that it is no longer active.

Captain's Log - T157

Life Sciences and Astrography has presented their analysis of the spikes from the bioship and the probable origin of the plant-based species. We have set a course for the cluster of systems which Astrography has designated as Probably Point of Biologic Origin, and plan to perform a systematic sweep of the systems once we arrive.

Captain's Log - T 180

Mr Khan as returned from the mission on PPBO Delta 3 with 58 of the inhabitants, from whom we learned that their name for the planet is Draytsirv.

Initial survey of the planet revealed a global civilisation that has been completely taken over by growth of the Biologic species. The away team was able to identify the ruins of a large city, where the only large areas not covered by the plant growth were the erstwhile starport and seaport. Concentric rings of defence could be made out, centred on the seaport. Several areas in the city were perhaps deliberately contaminated with chemicals - on these areas there were no plant growth.

The team landed at the spaceport and explored the terminal building, but found no survivors. Upon returning to the pinnace they found that the plant growth had begun to creep towards the craft. Mr Khan ordered the crew to return to the craft and depart the planet, but as they passed over the city they detected a radio signal consistent with the recorded distress signal we detected from the crashed craft on PPBO Beta 3, but this was a "live" signal.

Ensign Nidesh was able to localise the source of the signal to the seaport. Mr Khan ordered the craft to be set down at the seaport, and from there the crew made their way to a warehouse building, where they made contact with the a party of five of the local inhabitants.

The Draytsirvians are a humanoid species, and the party which the crew had made contact with appeared to be hiding from something or someone. The source of their apprehension soon became clear as Ensign Nidesh noticed many plant-like humanoids emerge from the vegetation bordering the spaceport and began to approach the craft.

Mr Khan once more gave the order to embark the craft, this time with the Draysirvians, but as they exited the warehouse the ground before them cracked and a large plant emerged from the earth beneath, blocking their path. The organism then proceeded to attack the crew with it tendrils. The crew and the Draytsirvians retaliated with their blasters and hand weapons, but the plant seemed invulnerable to their attacks.

Meanwhile, Ensign Nidesh had to take off as the ground became overruned with the plant humanoids, which were headed to the warehouse where our crew were trapped.

Mr Khan ordered the crew to retreat into the warehouse, and from there the party ascended to the upper level of the warehouse, from where they exited through the windows and accessed the rooftop, where Ensign Nidesh was able to retrieve them.

Captain's Log - T182

We have successfully evacuated all 58 of the residents of the Draytsirvian settlement. Through the translation software, we have pieced together the recent history of their people.

It appears that some 30 years ago the Draytsirvians came across a plant species on PPBO Zeta 2 that was especially efficient in producing energy through photosynthesis. The species also possessed a form of neural tissue which allowed the scientists to integrate it with the energy system the Draytsirvians were using, essentially converting sunlight into electrical energy at an efficiency that rivalled that of any solar power they had.

In an effort to provide clean energy to their cities, the Draytsirvians introduced the plants into all their settlements, and converted all their power generators to the plant-based system, eventually also using them to power their starships.

However, some 20 years ago it became clear that some of the plants have escaped containment and developed locomotion. These escaped plants displace the local plant life and even attack animals that started to feed on them. When the Draytsirvians tried to eliminate these plants the plants fought back, sending out humanoid and giant plants similar to those our crew have encountered. It seemed that their neural tissues allowed them to develop a sort of hive mind which made it possible for them to attack the Draytsirvians in a co-ordinated fashion.

The Draysirvians had some initial success in halting the attacks, but the plants began to reproduce and create more mobile specimens, and those used by the Draytsirvians for energy production began to die off. It was then a matter of time before one city began to fall after another.

The settlement which we have evacuated was one of several which fled the cities and escaped to biomes which the plants could not reach: deserts, the frozen polar regions, alpine heights. These settlements managed to survive by returning periodically to the ruins of the cities to scavenge for food and resources; they had kept in contact with each other by radio, which the plants did not seem to be able to detect, but by the time Deepnight arrived at the system all the other settlements have been silent for months, and our scan of the planet did not reveal other survivors.

We must now help the Draytsirvians to find a new home.

One good thing that has come out of this tragedy is that Dr Balilaika has reported that the plant produces a natural antifungal chemical, which he believes may prove useful against the Gren. Initial tests are promising, but we will need to obtain a sample of Gren tissue to confirm this finding.

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