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#981162
Wed 23/10/19 12:04 UTC
Wed 23/10/19 12:04 UTC
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<C.F. Frost>

"Go ahead and begin. But be careful. There have been way too many problems to be coincidence." He continued to explore the problems where he was. He wanted to find evidence to support his suspicion.


MikeD
#982261
Tue 12/11/19 21:08 UTC
Tue 12/11/19 21:08 UTC
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Muddy Offline OP

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Volli

Jessica sits up and grabbing Volli briefly in an embrace she pulls her close whispering “for the moment, yes”

“Great heaven above” is Brother Justinian’s reaction as Jessica first opens her eyes and then sits up from her bed to. He looks over to you, perhaps for the first time genuinely surprised and…..smiling.

“Apparently the Pancreator does indeed move in mysterious ways – I have no idea what you have done but well done. And thank you.”

He turns to Jessica holding up the spare emergency vac suit he had collected earlier, trying to attach meaning to Volli’s last words and especially with the mention of Duke Fedor. He seems content to let that remain unexplained for the moment as he says to Jessica

“That doesn’t however mean you are not still in big trouble young lady and we are going to have a long talk when this is done. How are you feeling”

“Like I’ve been on a long, long walk” she replies “and hungry”

Anna and Justinian look at each other and then back to you at your last question.

“Sister Marion has told me lots of tales about a great many things, but nothing about ‘shards’ - I’m not even sure I know what that really means” replies Jessica

“What an odd question at a time like this” replies Justinian “however given you are apparently now divinely favoured I will answer. I know of one story about a shard, although it was called the Shard of Everywhere not what you said. Its an old folk tale that used to be spun on Byzantium Secundus just after the death of Vladimir the first and only emperor of the Known Worlds took place – about 500 years ago now. Well it was a folk tale until the Church made it clear that the story was ‘in evangelia’ (against the Gospels) which is pretty much code for ‘don’t talk about it unless you want to spend the day with the Temple Avesti when they come to visit.”

#982262
Tue 12/11/19 21:29 UTC
Tue 12/11/19 21:29 UTC
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Muddy Offline OP

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Chief Frost

“Proceeding with caution” replies Toby. He and Joshua count each breaker as they go over the link, taking their time on each, possibly a little too slowly.

“Okay that’s breakers 1 and 3” reports Joshua

As he reports the blank screens and other instrumentation in the engine control room change from non-functional to a start-up boot post screens and text that you would expect to see when that equipment is started from cold. Some of the main lighting panels also flicker on.

“Proceeding to breakers 5 and 7” reports Joshua

“Chief” interrupts Toby “that singular core process that’s running - it seems to be speeding up, all main core are now at 100% load, good thing the cooling system is still functioning. It’s now at 84%......85%......86%........”


Aari

“Well I’ll take the less worrying possibility first if I have a choice but honestly that's a new one on me. I’ve never heard of any circumstances where the ships navigation system could be used to disable an entire vessel, that would be a major design flaw in my book – and who would be ‘them’? - I mean I know we may not make that many friends but we are just a small ship at the end of the day there is nothing interesting or important we do that isn’t being done by a thousand other ships over the known worlds.”

He grins at the last part

“Well don’t sell yourself too short – Charioteers offer fellowships too you know, if young Mr Haugen can do one, I’m sure you can. Now why don’t you clarify a little on this theory of yours.

#982291
Wed 13/11/19 14:03 UTC
Wed 13/11/19 14:03 UTC
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<C.F. Frost>

He was glad to see things starting to come back on line ... until the process 'ran amok'. "Hold off Joshua", he called before anything else was turned on. He would have liked to see what was going on with the errant processor, but the cooling was being maxed out. "Shut it down Toby", he said.

Too many problems for coincidence! Someone had sabotaged his ship and based on the extent, it had to have been done when it was in dry dock. But he was going to need some hard evidence before he goes to the Captain.


MikeD
#982303
Wed 13/11/19 15:28 UTC
Wed 13/11/19 15:28 UTC
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Aari

She shakes her head.

"I don't know Sir. I was just thinking out loud really and I do have odd thoughts from time to time."

She grins sheepishly.

"This 'key' does seem to be Anunnaki. Their thinking is probably alien to us so what we might not be able to apply our reasoning to theirs."

#982538
Sun 17/11/19 21:30 UTC
Sun 17/11/19 21:30 UTC
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For whom weeps the storm,
Her tears on our skin
The days of our years gone,
Our souls soaked in sin
These memories ache with the weight of tomorrow


"Thank the Pancreator ..."

The words slipped from her lips as Sister Ekaterina was embraced by the younger one, They came unbidden. In fact, after she heard herself speak them, Suster Ekaterina's eyes widened a bit, a bit before closing. It was something that Anna may have felt but could not see. It was something, however, that Justinian could.

Who fights?
Who flies?
Who falls?


Only reluctantly does Sister Ekaterina slip back, to make way for the Battle Brother's work to ensure the safety of their ward. She does listen, however. She listens sharp and as she does she arranges all the disparate note she has heard, trying to find a melody - peaceful perhaps, or perhaps martially strident - that they might sensibly fit.

"The shard of Everywhere.

"The shard of Possibilities."

She retrieves Dvasha, one hand in his ornately woven strap, the trailing along his finely polished - and now clan and sterilized - neck.

"That makes a modicum of sense. If there is one shard, it suggests the possibility of many, all born from a single source. Everywhere. Possibilites. They also happen to describe our world. All that there is and all the which ways our path through everywhere may take us. To control one of these shards...

...would leverage much power. Power, perhaps, to wreak havoc on a God's plan. Wich, of course, would make them high on the Avesti's list of Things Unspeakable.

"I saw Duke Fedor with one. Where doesn't matter. When does. He covets it, wishes it, desires it, needs it, and when we last met..."

Sister Ekaterina gaze locked - softly though - with Sister Anna's.

"I believe we kept him from acquiring it."

Taking a deep breath, she looked between the younger sister and the older priest. They were the real thing. She had no idea anymore exactly what she was or where she stood. She only knew where she was going.

"The blue stone.

"Could it be this Shard of Possibilities?"

Her fingers drew out a single note from her balalaika, as if, perhaps, she expected an answer from him, too.

One brings shadow, one brings light
Two-toned echoes tumbling through time


"If so, it would be in our best interests to keep it from falling into the Decados Duke's hands. And I suspect, if I am right, knowing the Duke as well as I do, that if it ever leaves your possession, it will eventually end up in his hands."

If she was right, then what should be done with such a thing? Who should it be entrusted to? Sister Anna, Jessica, who walks in the Pancreator's light? Or Duke Fedor Decados, who skulks in the Pancreator's shadow?

Threescore wasted, ten cast aside
Four-fold knowing, no end in sight

One brings shadow, one brings light


"I saw the Duke with the Shard.

"The when I do not know. That is what worries me. Is what happens here the fulcrum, a decision point in possibilities, that will determine if he succeeds or fails?

"But if does, it does not seem to end well for anyone.

"War and strife across the stars.

"I think I saw him in another when. Because the best I could tell, he was going to summon the power of his shard and seek out another Possible Destiny.

One dark future no one survives

"What bothers me most, is that it didn't seem that this was the first time he had reset his world."

#982614
Mon 18/11/19 21:34 UTC
Mon 18/11/19 21:34 UTC
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Volli

Brother Justinian smiles, listening to your account as he struggles to help a weakened yet still annoyingly wriggly Jessica into the vac suit. He shakes his head

“Well there is no doubt that part of God’s plan is to give you an active imagination – but in a word – no.

The story of the shard of everywhere which I have heard in its full telling is that of a very powerful Annunaki relic, that when used in conjunction with a ship jump engine would allow its user to travel instantaneously between any two systems that possessed a jump gate. In short travelling from one planet to another at will and without moving. Now the rumours were that Emperor Vladimir had this relic installed aboard his flagship called the Queen of Air and Darkness – the ship that up and vanished a few hours after his assassination. This is likely how the story originated. The account also makes clear that the relic in question was in excess of 6 feet tall and had to be contained when not in use because it would give visions, false manifestations and eventual madness to anyone who spend too much time in its presence.”

Glancing at Jessica he looks back to you with a more serious look the next words being said a little louder and sounding more like an instruction than a statement.

“These are just stories nothing more and dangerous stories to those of the faith at that. The Annunaki were divinely inspired but they were not gods or ever wielded such power.”

He plonks the helmet down on the neck seal of Jessica’s suit saying as he does so “we just need to test this – keep it on for two minutes so I can check the seals are good.”

He moves as if to float to the other side of the partition wall of the intensive treatment room, nodding sideways with his head slightly for you to join him. Inside the bay some of the interior illumination begins to flicker on as well as some of the display screens.


Aari


“Yes I was wondering about that – what if the key was originally Annunaki or Ur Ubun or Ur Ukari but repurposed. Cultural vandalism as that would be keys are ultimately just programmable data matrices. Perhaps its not the key itself but the data it holds

Muh…..but we already tested for that, nothing showed up. Ignore that idea I don’t have any proof to back it up.”

Inside the bay some of the interior illumination begins to flicker on as well as some of the display screens.

Inside the flight deck some of the interior illumination begins to flicker on as well as some of the flight display and navigation screens directly in front of you. The navigation displays seem to indicate not a current or previous course but a proposed new course which would put the ship directly into the centre void of the massive jump gate.



Chief Frost


“Holding off Chief” replies Joshua over the coms

Toby comes on the link immediately after

“Confirm please Chief” he replies cautiously “you want me to hot shut down the main think machine core – as in complete and immediate big master switch throwing time shut down?”

#982618
Mon 18/11/19 21:46 UTC
Mon 18/11/19 21:46 UTC
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<C.F. Frost>

"While I would prefer to do a controlled shut down, I do not see that we have that option based on what I am seeing on my monitors", he said. "So, yeah, 'pull the plug' ... =NOW=!"


MikeD
#982625
Mon 18/11/19 22:17 UTC
Mon 18/11/19 22:17 UTC
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Gypsy Offline

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Aari

Master of the understatement.

"Uh.. Sir.. seems we are being diverted."

It is at times like this when she is glad she has no responsibility. But then she doesn't like being a sitting duck either.

"Override?"

It is a suggestion.

#982633
Mon 18/11/19 22:53 UTC
Mon 18/11/19 22:53 UTC
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<C.F. Frost>

"Not until we can figure out where the sabotage is", he said as he analyzed his probes into the core systems.


MikeD
#983659
Sat 07/12/19 18:05 UTC
Sat 07/12/19 18:05 UTC
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Volli

"I do not doubt your words, Brother."

Sister Ekaterina nodded politely, making sure she had her two pieces of gear tucked in each arm. Her helmet and her balalaika.

"Such passion plays are oft a warning to the faithful."

Her head ducked a bit, as she followed him, around the other side of the partition. Then she spoke again, much softer.

"What bothers me is that even the most fanciful myth often has a mote of truth hidden in its core. What scares me is that we both know someone who would test those tales."

She took a breath, tilted her head and offered him a wan, dry smile.

"I may well be wrong. I may be running in the dark, Brother. But for the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm not running from, but running to."

#985285
Wed 22/01/20 21:06 UTC
Wed 22/01/20 21:06 UTC
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Muddy Offline OP

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All

What happens next occurs simultaneously throughout the ship, cutting off any conversation mid sentence.

Following Chief Frosts instructions Toby throws the main switch to the think machine core. Lights and other systems all over the ship immediately come on as if fully restored then independently shudder off then on again in a random chaotic pattern for 4-5 seconds before shutting off again.

Anyone not already strapped in to a seat or bed (Aari, Chief Frost & Jessica are presently so restrained) is then immediately hurled to the nearest back bulkhead of the vessel as a tremendous force caused the ship to lurch forward violently. You will all recognise this as sudden acceleration, the force if it pinning you either to your chair or wherever you happen to land and you will all feel like someone is sitting on your chest.

On both the flight deck and the engine room displays the remaining displays are still functioning and indicate that the ships main drive (the LDS engines used to accelerate the ship to system transit speeds) are now engaged and rapidly climbing through an aggressive acceleration scale at about 1% per second.

On the flight deck the navigation displays also change showing the following:

• The words ‘Priority return - active’ appear in the top right-hand corner of every screen.
• The ship is now orienting itself to head directly to the centre of the jump gate and is accellerating towards it quite intentionally.
• The ships jump drive is now communicating with the gate (this normally happens just before jumping) and is rapidly powering up

(Note here – it is presently very difficult to move and comes down to pure strength to do so and will require strength rolls (unless you have cybernetics that enhance physical movement). Moving arms and legs in the direction of acceleration will be like trying to do so with a dumbbell strapped to their ends. You can talk but doing so and breathing will be laboured).

#985289
Wed 22/01/20 21:35 UTC
Wed 22/01/20 21:35 UTC
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Muddy Offline OP

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(OOC - Okay just for character situational updates here

Volli – standing a little ahead of Brother Thaddeus he will hit the back wall first, somewhat cushioning your landing as you pancake on top of him (front or back, your choice). Jessica was already strapped to the medical bed but lets out a yelp of pain as the straps bite at her with the acceleration

Aari – the XO who had stood up to move over to see your displays is now pinned like a rag doll against the rear bulkhead wall of the flight deck. You are currently in the co-pilots seat.

Chief Frost – you were already strapped into your system control chair but you still feel the force of the sudden acceleration pushing you into your seat )

#985290
Wed 22/01/20 21:37 UTC
Wed 22/01/20 21:37 UTC
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[[ Does that mean that those of us 'strapped in' cannot move our hands to work controls on our 'chairs'?? ]]


MikeD
#985292
Wed 22/01/20 21:44 UTC
Wed 22/01/20 21:44 UTC
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Muddy Offline OP

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(You can, but you are fighting against accelleration forces of at least 4-5 G's at the moment so your hands will feel many times heavier than they are - its difficult but not impossible. Note this doesnt effect systems you can technologically interface with just physical movement).

#985303
Thu 23/01/20 13:15 UTC
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<C.F. Frost>

This was just too much. This level of 'sabotage' could have been accomplished during the refit! He had to hope that they had been unwilling to mess with his console ... worried that it would be something he might notice. He strained against the acceleration, he had to try to cut the engines for a start.


MikeD
#985365
Fri 24/01/20 19:24 UTC
Fri 24/01/20 19:24 UTC
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[So a roll of strength plus d20 is required from us all to try to do anything yes?

Aari Trying to move
Gypsy rolled 1d20+3 and got 17


Aari

Whoah!

Aari is trying to work out what is happening. She can see readouts which show the ship is rocketing towards the jump gate and she is pretty sure that is not intentional, at least by their crew. She figures that the key is controlling this and maybe her 'emergency beacon' theory wasn't too far out.

She is not sure what she can do. She can pilot a land craft but that is a far cry from a space craft. She calls out, struggling even to breathe freely.

"Sir.. is there anything.. I can try.. from the.. co-pilot's seat?"

She should be scared but figures the ship won't try to destroy itself. Seems like it has somewhere to go. Could be interesting..

#985378
Fri 24/01/20 21:45 UTC
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<C.F. Frost>

"I will let you know", he replied to Aari as he continued to struggle to get control of the engines.


MikeD
#985423
Sun 26/01/20 02:14 UTC
Sun 26/01/20 02:14 UTC
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Drive it on up and let's cruise a while
Leave your troubles far behind
You can hedge your bet on a clean Corvette
To get you there right on time

Now if you're ready to dive into overdrive
Baby, the green lights are on
It's like you're running your brain on some high octane
Every time she reaches fully blown


Lights on, lights off. Dark off, Dark on.

She didn't even have the time to think ... and this is why I'm a people person ... before she was turned, sent flying for a brief moment, only to be suddenly slammed to a halt. On one hand her eyes went wide, and on the other, she was calm - it was one of the few very pragmatic and simple laws of her brutal life.

Worrying for things out of your control only hurts yourself.

And this was certainly beyond her control. Thus the faux sister found herself in a very compromising closeness with the true brother of battle. Not that, truly, there was anything compromising about it - it only looked bad, being plastered by the laws of physics almost but not quite face to face with her companion. Again, the practical nature and bulkiness of their emergency gear protected their modesty and their helmets preventing anything untoward from actually happening.

Not that she could do anything about it. Sheer strength was never one of her better qualities.

Not one of her better qualities. But she knew someone who did have the strength to fight this.

Her breathing was harsh, so she took a deep hard breath. She looked straight ahead. Straight into Justinian's eyes, locking her gaze with his.

She knew what she should say, what every bone of her body was screaming, every natural instinct. She knew exactly what she would have said for most of her life, she knew exactly what she would have said before she saw a young girl running down a hallway for what now felt like a forever ago.

But now, instead...

Snow and stars, Pancreator ... what have you done to me?

"Help Jessica first."


Won't you take that ride on heavy metal?

- Legendary Charioteers' Anthem, believed to originate from Manhome, Pre-Starflight Era

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