After the weird psionic bloodbath on the RSV Fidanza, the crew has some downtime. It took them two days to get out here, and if they don’t report back soon, Tannhäuser R&D is going to send someone to find out what happened. If they’re going to help the surviving test subjects, they need to fix up the ship and cover their tracks before Tannhäuser shows up.
To make this session efficient and fun, I broke up each day into 3 8-hour segments and asked everyone what they wanted to do for each part as we went along. The humans needed to sleep each day or get exhausted and take disadvantage on rolls the following day. After a secret randomly-determined time (4 days), a Tannhäuser death squad would arrive.
00:00-08:00 The crew unwinds, recovers, and gathers around the galley table to plan what to do. They’ve committed to helping Sonia escape to the outer rim, hopefully beyond Tannhäuser’s reach, and crewing her ship-body. They decide that, in order to hide their trail, they’re going to make it look like the shuttle they came in on, the Orca, was destroyed in a firefight, and 02BZ flew the Fidanza into the nearby star to destroy it and everyone aboard. If this works, maybe Tannhäuser will think there’s nobody left to hunt down!
08:00-16:00 The crew shuts off artificial gravity on both ships and moves all the supplies from the Orca onto the new ship (mostly extra fuel and food).
16:00-24:00 The crew spends the next several hours exchanging 4 of the broken cryopods on the Fidanza with fresh ones from the Orca. Even with no gravity systems online, it’s slow going.
Active Crew: Alex Hardcastle 02BZ Sasha Denisovich Janice Nyman
00:00-08:00 The humans sleep while 02BZ tries to figure out how to fix the jump drive on the Fidanza. He has a hard time sorting out the badly mangled and blown out circuitry, and it takes the whole 8 hours to figure out how to do it.
08:00-16:00 As O2 repairs the Jump Drive, the rest of the crew wakes up from fitful sleep. After a quick breakfast of the awful coffee and rations one becomes accustomed to on spacecraft, Janice sets to moving the mangled bodies and limbs to the Orca using a gurney from the medbay. Sasha tries to figure out how best to blow up the shuttle, and Dr. Hardcastle works with Sonia to assess the damage to the Fidanza.
16:00-24:00 02BZ, Sasha, and Janice repair the cargo bay with scrap and foam, eventually getting it to hold air again. Dr. Hardcastle, meanwhile, heads down to the science lab and studies the test data they recovered. He works out some details about the so-called “Warp Test” that the kids were subjected to — they were dosed with a potent combination of Stimpaks and Dissocan, a potent hallucinogen, then restrained and kept conscious while the Fidanza made a series of hyperspace jumps in order to induce “psionic awakenings” in them.
It’s common knowledge that entering hyperspace while conscious is a harrowing experience — every longtime spacer has tales of nightmarish hallucinations, doppelgängers, impossible geometries, or alternate dimensions from some time they had to stay out of cryo when in hyperspace. So Hardcastle imagines that entering hyperspace while restrained and under the influence of powerful psychedelics must be even more deeply traumatizing. But this is what the kids on the ship were subjected to, and, in its way, it worked — they were transformed. Scanning through the data, he gathers that youth, dosage, and hyperspace jump power all contribute to the psionic awakening (and its side effects).
00:00-08:00 02BZ repairs himself with some scrap parts he’s scavenged from the Orca while the humans get some sleep in the barracks.
08:00-16:00 Sasha finishes repairing various subsystems on the Fidanza, stabilizing the still-shaky gravity controls and getting the ship ready for hyperspace. Janice, Alex, and 02BZ go on to the Orca and rig up a series of grenades across the shuttle. They broadcast an audio report on a Tannhäuser encrypted channel in which Janice and Alex shoot SMGs, shout, and bang things on the walls of the ship while O2 runs around shouting into the transmitter that the mission is a failure, the Orca has been torn apart, and he is fighting his way to the bridge of the Fidanza so he can take control and fly it into the nearby sun to destroy the horrors that lay within!
02BZ pulls the cooling rods from the Orca’s reactor and everyone heads back onto the Fidanza. Sonia undocks from the Orca and flies some distance away as 02BZ does a spacewalk. Magboots firmly planted on the Fidanza’s hull, his arm unfolds to reveal his integrated laser cutter. He calmly targets the Orca’s exposed thrusters and fires. The Orca ruptures in a series of explosions that send shrapnel spinning in all directions. O2 barely dodges a red-hot shard of hull, but a few pieces do manage to embed themselves in the Fidanza, fortunately missing any essential subsystems.
IMV: Independent Mercenary Vessel.
16:00-24:00 The crew finishes working on the ship, cleaning out the officer’s quarters and claiming them for themselves. They discover that they can’t fix the mech suit in the cargo bay without some more scrap. They rename the ship the IMV Grasshopper with Sonia’s blessing. She overwrites the callsigns on the ship computers while O2 does another EVA and paints over the parts of the hull with the old name. Being an android, he has a quite steady hand and the new name doesn’t look too hand-painted. Hopefully.
They have Sonia pull up a starmap and see that the only jump locations they can reach from here are the Persephone system where they came from (coreward and Tannhäuser-controlled), the DeSanto Solaris system (rimward, with Visser Holdings and Tannhäuser operations), and the Matsuhira Omni system (rimward, with Anders-Klimt Mining Corporation and Kenbishi Heavy Industries presences). They decide to make the jump to Matsuhira Omni, but they worry about what’ll happen to the two psionic teens still on board and not in cryostasis when they jump. Sonia is bonded to the ship’s nav computer and refuses to go into cryo, and Yu Yin is still a whirlwind of flesh in the Test Chamber that everyone is too scared to attempt to talk to. After some deliberation, they opt to just make the jump and see what happens.
Continued in 01.05 The Card In The Warp