What We Leave Behind

USS Swiftsure

 

Captain Romanelle Podhigar takes command of the USS Swiftsure

Back from Merid, Commodore Chapman Stark and Lt Colonel Aloysius Stark learn that her maternity leave is being extended officially -- while flag personnel in Outer Perseus is being unofficially reassed by Headquarters. Captain Romannelle Podhigar, an old hand of deep space exploration, is brought through the wormhole to take temporary command of the USS Swiftsure.

A simple mission of exploration

Within a few weeks of departing from Starbase Perseus, the USS Swiftsure encounters a derelict ship of feeble FTL capability. The ship holds aboard 29 aliens in cryogeny, most of which cannot be reanimated without heavy risks. After some pondering on the potential consequences, three healty crewmembers are revived to the bewildering sight of sentient aliens!

The Berukans represent the first effort of their planet to explore the galaxy. Three expeditions were sent to likely solar systems in hopes that they could settle there. The crew is awed to learn that, given the intermittent capacity of their now defunct FTL drive, the Tituk wasn't expected to arrive to destination before a couple centuries, a fact defeating even the extensive lifespan of its crew.

The very bad news for the Berukans is that their target solar system was none other than Belina, which was seen destroyed on the Swiftsure's first mission in Outer Perseus ("Nova" mission). With their ship heavily damaged, most of the crew surviving only thanks to cryogeny and no place to go, what will happen to Geldur, Vendiver and Raler?

Beruka

Taking the only move available, the USS Swiftsure sets course for Beruka. More bad news await there when the planet is found mostly bereft of a civilisation and no Berukan can be located. Furthermore, the crew realizes that relativity came into play over the difficult course of the Tituk: while 127 years went by for them, 700 went by on their planet.

The hard explanation finally comes from a written statement dug up from the debris of a space station that crashed near the South Pole. Following a genetic experiment gone wrong some 6 centuries prior, the Beruka population fell prey to a plague rewriting their genome. Watching the whole species being turned into what they believed to be animals, one Berukan saw no alternative to the horror but to destroy his entire civilization as a gesture of mercy. The space station was intentionally crashed near the pole, effectively killing millions as a result.

Meanwhile, a second away team investigating some curious creatures that closely resemble the Berukas discovers that the Brown constitute the new, primitive species created by the plauge, with a potential to develop their own civilisation in time.

Welcome to the South Pole


CONCLUSION

The USS Swiftsure leaves Beruka to its fate and attempts to locate the Second and Third expeditions. The Second one, finding that its target system didn't contain a planet apt to sustain a colony, joined the Third to set up what is now a thriving colony - just about to develop subspace communications in an attempt to contact their homeworld.

First contact is made in low key fashion. With Doctor Paulsen using a controlled version of the genetic plague to heal the 26 Berukans still in cryogeny, 29 Berukans are delivered to what is left of their civilization.

 

- Captain's Log -

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"What we leave behind" was a personal pleasure with the reprise, for this while, of my old USS Liberty's CO character Rome Podhigar. This mission was also the last "real" mission for the USS Swiftsure as a played ship in our gameverse - read on to find out more!
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