T E S S E R A C T

USS Swiftsure

 

It is just another shoreleave day...

... aboard the USS Swiftsure. While most of the crew enjoys a last day of shoreleave in orbit of Vermillion (see previous log), a promotion and ceremony award takes place in the VIP Lounge. Newly promoted Commodore Paula Chapman-Stark concludes by announcing officially the new First Officer, Lt Gordon, a Benzite previously Chief of Sciences.

Unbeknowst to all, a curious scientist has fallen under the spell of an innocuous artefact bought from Heropu Trader JopJop. When she brings it out of her quarters for closer examination in a laboratory, the 'cube' begins drawing power from ship systems. On the Bridge, a skeleton shoreleave crew begins investigating the origin of the power bleed.

By the time Commodore Chapman-Stark exits the VIP Lounge and makes a routine check on the Bridge, she finds it empty of all personnel. Internal sensors continue registering multiple disparitions across the ship even as Red Alert is raised, to little avail.

The power drain extends to the entire ship while crew members, alone or in small groups, find themselves trapped in cubic rooms where all four surrounding walls open on other worlds. An irrepressible desire to go through takes over those who linger for too long.

Once gone through a portal, all crew members find themselves isolated on some unknown planet. Clueless, slowly losing hope, each group or individual organizes for survival under sometimes life-challenging conditions (see Crew Logs). Is there even a way home?

 

Unwitting travellers able to access sufficient technology and star charts eventually discover that they have been marrooned millions of light years away, in one or the other of the galaxies part of the Local Group.

 

Back on Vermillion, some 33 crew members and civilians shoreleaving on the planet or exploring the solar system discover that the ship is no longer responding to hails. 4 Marines attempting to board disapear without a trace. The remaining 27 settle for the most part on Vermillion while a shuttle is detached towards the nearest Heropu space lane in order to ask for assistance.

One of the first things they learn is that all Xin ships are massively heading home, the prelude to an all out war that could wash over the whole of Outer Perseus.

Lt Commander Peter Jansen, Exobiologist and briefly CSO, is forced into command by dint of rank and seniority. After the shuttle returns and discovers that readings are back to normal on the Swiftsure, the crew boards the ship again.

Bereft of shields, power drained, registering multiple damage, the ship is no longer warp capable. Alone at first then with some help from the Heropu ship Brinkar, they restore emergency functions while hunting for clues.

 

Will the crew return before the Xin threat sweeps through Outer Perseus?


!! List of adventures still under completion !!

************************

- Materials Officer Lt JG V'Zara -
Along with her four children and three crewmembers, she spent 3 years in the wilderness. One crewman died, a baby was born.

- Second Officer Lt Geoff Ashton -
V'Zara's husband saw his only companion killed. He was captured and turned over to a laboratory. His ordeal at the hands of scientists lasted several days.

- NCO Basil Allsop, CEO Rebecca Flagg, Conn Chief Martin Johnson -
The three were greeted by friendly populations in a realm where magic is a reality. They had just reunited after 1 year when they returned.

- Ensign Matt Dillon -
The Engineer officer faced a burning desert for several days.

- Asst Chief of Security Miho Okawa -
This officer was landed in the middle of an industrial age city, hunted by policemen and finally brought to an arena where she fought for her life.

- Lt Colonel Stark and Commander Mateo -
The Marine DC and Counsellor faced a trek of several days through a jungle before discovering it was part of an abandoned Dyson sphere sitting in intergalactic void. With robots for only allies, they faced up to the Unsane during 4 months of bloody, relentless fighting.

- Commodore Paula Chapman-Stark -
The Swiftsure CO spent 2.5 months on Myri. At first sight a pre-industrial world, Myri is really a protectorate from an interstellar empire, as the pregnant CO and her 5 companions found out after weeks of travelling. Just as hope rose again, the group also learnt that Myri was a planet part of the Phoenix galaxy.

 

CONCLUSION - VERMILLION AGAIN

13 days after the events, the remainder of the crew faces a difficult choice: to be transported by the Heropu shp Blinkar to the nearest habitable planet, or to stay behind on an ailing Swiftsure in stubborn search for clues. Lt Commander Jansen, acting CO, has just announced his decision to stay when the first returning crew starts reappearing at random across the ship. Over the next two hours, the whole crew minus 33 is returned aboard.

Joy and relief mix with the growing confusion as over 800 people turn up in complete bewilderment. For some, only days have elapsed; for others, months or sometimes years have passed away from the ship. Meanwhile the Swiftsure progresses towards an overload as massive arrivals overtax damaged systems.

A mysterious entity, now in possession of the long lost tesseract, contacts Commodore Chapman-Stark to inform her that use of the damaged artefact was responsible for the 'regrettable incident'. While the entities were able to retrieve most people, their own Prime Directive forbids them to undo what happened to them. Six died, 27 built new lives they refused to leave behind once again; among the returnees, others were away for years or lived through harrowing exile. As a manner of apology, an empty, alien ship plucked from the realm of "things that never come to pass" is offered as a temporary ride.

[Refer to further logs for the next phase.]

 

Vermillion Sky

 


 

- Captain's Log -

Back to Main
TESSERACT was a thorough success, with all players given the opportunity to be fully in charge of their own stories and doing that just brilliantly. The Swiftsure is an open archive on Yahoogroups. Go back to the Logs page and click on the PADD for a great read!
This mission concluded mid October to lead immediately to three weeks of busy intermission: "Bounty".
Joshua W. was promoted to (acting) XO at the onset of the mission.
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