Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Starblazer Adventures Session Eight

Some thoughts of Professor Alonso Scapelli on what has been happening - The Diary of Professor Scapelli (written by his player)

And Max 'Atomic' Jackson being 'interviewed' as to how it all began (written by his player)

 We'd taken off from Mars and started heading towards the Glitter Belt. So as not to attract any undue attention I had to pilot the ship as if we were some run of the mill small cargo freighter. It felt like we were going in reverse we were flying so slow!
Once we were enough of a distance away from Mars and other ships, the quantum tunnelling (a sort of peer to peer network allowing communication amongst ships and sats in the space lanes) was no longer in effect so I knew there were no close ship and we were also outside the beacon sats, so I could open the throttle up. I worked out if I flew fast enough to our actual destination, the dig site, it would give us half a day to a day or so there before having to head back, then slow down before hitting the traffic beacon sats near the Glitter Belt and no one would be the wiser if they looked at the traffic for our transponder.

I flew Mother to the asteroid dig site (which is located in the yellow zone) with enough time to allow us just under a day and 1/2 before we'd have to look at leaving. The asteroid in question had particular crystalline formations to which Al said that was what had attracted Jeremy to this spot originally.

From what Al was able to find out before we'd left, the dig had been going on for a year and a bit and was mostly underground. They'd dug a couple of kms into the asteroid so far and had not yet found anything. From what we could see as we closed with the asteroid there was an artificial docking ring set up, big enough at Heinrich's ship could be docked there.

We were hailed by a Max Planck, he looked like he'd been rubbing dirt over his suit it was that dirty. Our Max told him we were transporting Professor Alonso Scapelli and could we please dock. Planck seemed to have heard of Al and seemed to be in awe of him, almost star struck. It appeared Al is something of a celebrity in certain egg head circles. I was half expecting to find a red carpet rolled out the way Planck was going on.

As I brought Mother in to dock, we could see besides a few small runabouts a larger ship that matched the profile of Heinrich's ship. It was not unusual that the dig did not have their own ship here. Being a university dig, the uni would have chartered a ship to come out every couple of months to drop of supplies. They wouldn't have had the budget to have a ship just sit here.

As we leave the ship, Max (Atomic) remarks on hearing some sounds. Nether Al nor myself can hear anything out of the ordinary. Having a sneaky suspicion I get Max to try and hum some of the sounds, he does so - it is almost random. I focus on the sounds in my head that had been occurring since we'd been changed by the artefact. They were louder. I had not noticed initially as I'd become so used to them that I'd been ignoring them.

That reminds me of something I'd been wondering about. I quiz Al on when Heinrich removed 'Abigail' from auction and if it corresponds at all to when we gained the artefact. He confirms my thought. It occurred at around the same time (down to the hour). It appears that 'our' artefact somehow awoke/changed or whatever 'Abigail'.

Max Planck meets us with his wife Debbie. They both specialise in the engineering side of archaeology. Debbie also appears to be star struck by Al. As they lead us into the living area set up at the dig, I remark to Debbie 'innocently' that I was surprised that the university would leave a ship here. She tells us the ship belongs to Heinrich Steiner, and only arrived a few hours before us. Ha! I think to myself, pleased with my subterfuge and more so the fact my flying allowed us to close the gap on Heinrich.

Al, Max P and Debbie talk archaeological stuff about things such the fine tuning of the instruments for detecting the neutrinos, how they are using nano machines to dig, how they have yet to find anything or any sign as to how the artefact got itself inside the asteroid, the excavation was going on in vacuum and other boring stuff. Max 'A' J is doing his bodyguard impression, constantly sending military updates about distances, blindspots, ambush points, no sign of weaponry, how easy it would be to take this place, let's kill them all etc and I gaze about.

Al asks about Heinrich and they advise he's at the dig site and we are welcome to go there. I mention as an aside to Al that perhaps with his new abilities he may be able to work out a way of leap frogging the current development rate they are going on the detector. This would gain us a potentially useful tool for finding other artifacts and could accelerate the chances of the artefact here being turned up. Al, vagues out for a few moments then says that he can now hear the 'music' as well completely ignoring my suggestion ("What would I know, I'm _just_ a pilot").

Max and Debbie P say they need to go and do more work on the neutrino detector and to follow the yellow lights, they'll lead us to the airlock and tunnel to the dig. Al still ignores my suggestion. We go through the airlock and find several air jetpacks there to assist with travelling the klick or so to the dig site. The are set with an autopilot which I immediately disable on mine. After a couple of moments getting the hang of the controls, I rocket off down the tunnel, arriving where a group of people are, a couple of minutes a head of the others.

I get accosted by one of the people, someone called Roberta. She hassles me about why I'm there, who let me in etc etc. After diverting her questions for a bit to see how she and the others would react (she just keeps pestering me with questions and I keep getting hello pings for others there - no one draws a weapon) I know they've not been compromised and tell her that I'm with Al (saying his full name). She doesn't seem to beleive me initially but manages to ping AL and get a response back, where upon she proceeds to ignore me and as the news the Al is here (he and Max arriving eventually. Boy is Al a slow poke) everyone want to talk to him.

One thing I noted was that one of the people was not wearing your typical vacc suit (well besides Max in his combat version) he was wearing one of those emergency/ el cheapo baggy models. Potentially allowing the wearer, who we determined was indeed Heinrich to possibly hide something underneath. Also the music/sounds had changed. It was like we were initially hearing one part of an orchestra and another part had joined in.

Al briefly opened a private channel to Heinrich (allowing myself and Max to listen in, unknown to Heinrich). Heinrich remarked that Al must have gotten his message (Oh really Mr Obvious, I thought to myself, how else did we know to come here) and that Heinrich and Al should have a private meeting in Heinrich's ship, just the two of them without the hired help.


Dave said...

"So as not to attract any undue attention I had to pilot the ship as if we were some run of the mill small cargo freighter."
I dunno, fly casual!

Domenic Iannello said...

A celebrity in certain egg head circles!!?? How rude!!!

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