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/tg/ - Traditional Games

CALLISTO AND EUROPA HAVE GONE DARK. In a different world and time when asteroid captures and mining go in stride with advancing outposts toward Jupiter, any setback would feel crushing. Mankind is making steady steps to a new space race with the Star Rakers reborn, and there is even good news of exotic breakthroughs in space travel.

**It's***interf***the shadow***

"**Do you copy?**"

**recov**syst***no good**

"**Hello? Hello?**"

The static-filled conversation dragged on, as the moons started to pass ahead. On the dug-in Ceres station, the newest batch of astronaut rotations files past the airlock, with new, other faces. This is a common sight now, with batches and batches of crew filling stations old and new from low Earth orbit, to the captured asteroid outposts, to the moons, and here far out on Ceres.

Orders were, to keep the world from wondering. Any news of a blackout would meet public hysteria, you remembered.

"Commander Blake Hitches? Good to be here on Ceres again," an old face greets you: Mission Specialist Shae Qenbek. She's been rotated out of Mission Commander after a successful but uneventful tour of duty in previous missions, twice under her. Today has made it your turn to be her Mission Commander...
"en volovo amazon har ├ątte sylindere!"

>>Generally, roll a 3d10 to beat a specified DC. I'm going to ease you into rolling more like this when the action heats up.
>>Upon certain actions or ideas taken in this quest, you can earn a Lightbulb --- similar to a Fate point for a reroll, or you can spend a Lightbulb for a hint or an insight.

Hope this is straightforward enough.
Your inexperience is showing, but I will stick around to see where it goes.
Trailing Shae are bunch of new faces. Some are some less seasoned specialists and spacecraft crew, and the rest seem to be some sort of armed detail.

"Who're these odd guys?" you ask. "They're green crew members, military like some us. You know what we've come here for -- the blackout. Ground control and the commission have decided to throw together a crash course for an armed escort, basically space tourists with a lot more guns, trained monkeys for a helping hand at best. The former old boys club at NASA weren't too happy, but the operation's got to keep running and well-oiled. "

"In the worst case scenario though," Shae says, "We've packed in some heavy cleanup."

[ ] Ask the military detail about their first long distance space trip.
[ ] Inspect their guns and other weapons they've brought in.
[ ] "How the hell are we bringing all this weight to Callisto?"

[x] "How the hell are we bringing all this weight to Callisto?"
Can I do all three? I want to do all three.
>Just to clarify, any leftover Lightbulbs from this thread or quest can be banked for spending in someplace in the future. Any lightbulb-eligible ideas are best placed in a write-in, but going back and forth about it in other posts is "okay enough", for now.
Just pick one.
>[ ] "How the hell are we bringing all this weight to Callisto?"
> "How the hell are we bringing all this weight to Callisto?"

You wonder how all this payload is gonna make it to Callisto.

"This is gonna become a lot of weight, plus the crew additions," you say. "We could have just sintered together equipment that mining robots bring in for us."

"I know this is a stretch, but we're preparing for the possibility of having to do some emergency demolition -- for mining... yeah," Shae says.

"Do you have the cargo manifest?" you ask. Going through the forms, you see the usual supplies of "vitamins" ---essential materials and supplies for living in space, a nickname coined by NASA's astronauts back in the late 20th Century.

Some of the explosives, you list, are simple enough for asteroid mining, and the rest are more potent ones they only use with the short logistic trail to Low Earth Orbit. Up here though, it's a wonder why. At the very bottom of the list are some volatile-sounding, exotic explosives you haven't worked with before.

"Are we blowing open an emergency shaft, or are we blowing apart for a whole new base, rotating cylinder and all?" you sigh.

" 'They' just want to make sure of our success, whatever it is that's going down at the moons," Shae says. "You must've missed it, but there's a new booster module they want to attach the bottom of the spacecraft. "

"Well that explains all the weight," you say.

[ ] "I've got a feeling we're being put into a pinch here"
[ ] Get a feel for the armed detail that's arrived
[ ] Go over the Callisto situation and how this operation's going to go down
[ ] Some other thing (This is a write-in option)

>[X] "I've got a feeling we're being put into a pinch here"
>[ ] Some other thing
>Kill Shae
She will betray us and fuck our father
>gonna be in a pinch (we're being sent on a suicide mission)
Well that is what makes these things fun, I bet they won't expect us to survive.
Haha! There's always fun things to shake an ass over and bake patty cakes for.


>[X] "I've got a feeling we're being put into a pinch here"

You glance at all these new supplies and people, and sigh. "Do you feel what I'm feeling here, Shae? All these demands right now, we're being put into a pinch here."

"Same here," she visibly grimaces at the thought.

[ ] (That sure looks forced)
[ ] Just ease the new arrivals through but get a good look at the green faces again
[ ] "You haven't been quite been warm and forthcoming."
[ ] Do/Suggest some other idea/thing (This is a write-in option)
So, wanna bet the official story's bullshit?

Probably shipping some sort of bioweapons like in those old movies. Hope it's not zombies. I wouldn't look good as a zombie.

You might, though, Shae.
Let's go for this, it's the fun option.
>Gained: Lightbulb


There's a nagging feeling in the back of your head that this might be bullshit. Your former mission commander is trying to push her seniority on you. You got a hunch something else is in the cargo, but there's got to be a way to crack open the containers, wrap it back up and avoid getting caught by the new crew -- or Shae.

[ ] Use rotating shifts to get past during the new crews' sleep time
[ ] Cough up some sort of space walk/EVA inspection work duty excuse
[ ] Sneak through the hectic refit/resupply period to sneak in and check your suspicions.
[ ] Do/Suggest some other idea/thing (This is a write-in option)
sneak in during sleep schedule.
>[ ] Use rotating shifts to get past during the new crews' sleep time
>Use rotating shifts to get past during the new crews' sleep time

"You look like hell, Shae. Why don't you guys take it easy for the night and we can sort this out later after breakfast? Work shifts are still on the dot, we'll figure in something for each of you."

"Well, cold sleep's not been the best of ways to rest up," Shae sighs. "I'll get the new guys to get dressed down for sleep. At least, the cabins here will be warm."

Sleep on Ceres base beats having to have to use hammocks in some of the older spacecraft. They're a little more spacious than being in those tuna cans in the Low Earth Orbit stations, thanks to not having to manage space so much in an inflated metal balloon, and less like sleeping in empty spaces in a submarine.

This was going to be your chance to really verify the cargo they brought in. If they're tired enough to sleep it through, you can make a clean run for it.


As the new arrivals head further into the station, you eye the way to the laboratory. There was a module built earlier into the stations' life that led to the communications array. It used to be for more compact experiments, but it was cleared out in favor of repurposing it.

There it was again.

That flicker, and there was something in that split-second.

[ ] Oh god, I can't be possibly be _tired_, right?
[ ] I definitely saw something.
[ ] "Gremlins" like these are a fact of life in space.
[ ] Do/Suggest some other idea/thing (This is a write-in option)
We'll be back later to continue the votes made at this point.
Yep. I saw something. I'm just going to go back and pretend I wasn't down here.
>>[X] "Gremlins" like these are a fact of life in space.
It's probably nothing but the maintenance guys being lazy again, gotta keep searching.
>Oh god, I can't be possibly be _tired_, right?
Rolled 2 (1d3)



Oh hell. Tell you what, let's break this three way tie, a 1d3 -- dice numbers in order of which suggestion was first.
>>>[X] "Gremlins" like these are a fact of life in space.
>It's probably nothing but the maintenance guys being lazy again, gotta keep searching.

Writing this.
Nah, that can't be, you think. A glitch like this in the system is a fact of life in space. Gremlins back in World War 2, and gremlins today. You do recall taking apart the panels there and replacing some of the wiring, and that godawful pipe job, where you just kind of managed to keep down that ethylene glyvcol leak. Thankfully it was just droplets at that point. The other guys probably didn't do their checks on communications for the day.

The Mir space station back in the day was quite worse with the glycol leaks, you recall.

You spy with one eye, an old instrument still stuck in the module-turned-corridor. You never got around to tearing out that old panel in the wall. Just too much trouble to fish out all the old wiring.
File: pod cabins.jpg (218 KB, 1600x1200)
218 KB
218 KB JPG
The new crew is out like a light in their sleep pods. Not the most comfy and not quite like a bunk bed in a ship or sub, but it's what we've got to make do with.

You quietly insert your name in the shift duties lineup, and creep over to the EVA suits.

Storing the ships on Ceres isn't like having a landing pad and ships all sprawled outdoors. Ships are towed away from the landing pad into a retreating hangar beneath the crust, as protection from the thin atmosphere and dust. It's a more clean, workable space than having to deal with the outside.

>Roll me a 3d10 to see if your sneakiness managed to see you through.
Rolled 6, 3, 9 = 18 (3d10)

Oh good.

With your EVA suit on, you creep over to the offloaded cargo. Some of the supplies have been unpacked, the rest were meant to be mounted onto the rescue ship. A quick glance behind you every now and then turned up nobody behind you.

You pry open the other containers and take a peek. The largest container was exactly as Shae had described: a new type of booster. It wasn't meant for a ship refit, but meant to be secured to the ship rear by means of struts.

The other container had some demolition charges, but the cargo manifest overstated the actual amount by a huge leap. Instead, the rest of the cargo container had heavy weaponry tucked away. In one corner, was a tall, unmarked, featureless box, save for being covered in screws.

[ ] Leave the box alone, this confirms your suspicion.
[ ] Get your tools and pry this box open as fast as we can, don't bring it up with anyone that's awake.
[ ] Call for help from the other guys on the shift.
[ ] Do/Suggest some other idea/thing (This is a write-in option)
>>[x] Get your tools and pry this box open as fast as we can, don't bring it up with anyone that's awake.
I'd assume having our EVA suit on precludes putting our ear to the box?
Yup. The hangar is more like a pulled over metal tent like a blimp hangar that extends underground. It's pretty much a gigantic dust/cosmic ray cover.
>[X] Leave the box alone, this confirms your suspicion.
Rolled 1 (1d2)


Flipping a coin here.
File: triwing.png (1 KB, 40x40)
1 KB
>>[x] Get your tools and pry this box open as fast as we can, don't bring it up with anyone that's awake.

You wave past anyone looking your way while reaching back in for the tools tied down to the walls.

They're totally buying it.

"Something's just a little... stuck inside this container. I've got this one, just gimme a minute or two... or five or ten!" you say, making yourself look busy.

Fumbling around with the secure bolt heads to attach, you finally find that damn odd shape. Really, a tri-wing slot? They really want you to not find out. Well, it's not enough. They could've just done the courtesy and gave the standard Torx head, but nobody seems to be very cooperative lately.

After a couple minutes of unscrewing the heads and spending a bit too much time trying to pry the housing open, you finally see the contents. An odd engine, with four coils surrounding a central block. There's something else in the back that suggests mounting it to some wall, and a couple of cables ending in clamps.

What. The hell. Is this? With another day before launch, getting some proper answers has to happen.

Breakfast was a bit tense, but you pull Shae over, who's exasperated, arms crossed, waiting for what you've got to say.

"You haven't been very forthcoming with me lately. That's never been like you. I know about the box, and what's really in the cargo. Are you looking to _kill something_, or probably _EVERYTHING_ on Callisto, or save the station and keep the edge of space alive?"

You show her photos of the box contents from last night. Shae looks reluctant, but there's no helping it now it seems.

"Honestly, I've thought about that, but danger has always been part of the job. "

"Look, I'm pushing fifty here -- _you're_ pushing fifty here, too. I was hoping to wind down my career quietly around here, and not something crazy like what you're planning and die out there for nothing. Out here in space, what you're doing isn't a one and done job and we both know that, so lay on me here."

"You know those rumors about faster than light? This is kind of like it. Ever since the experiments and test flights, we've been seeing an oddity that gravity sensors have been picking up. Of course, it's only at Earth where we got the space and logistics right now to make it all work, so it took a while. You see, there's suspicion that what's over Callisto has got something to do with the experiments, so we're going to use _this_ against it, they hope."

"So it's not some kind of nuke?"


"Well, that settles it."

"Remember Lebedev? He was supposed to be on the latest rotation to Callisto."

Mikhail Lebedev. A longtime friend and cosmonaut that's been around the block and known by quite a few. During joint-nation training, you were introduced to him at Star City, the nickname for the Cosmonaut Training Centre.

"Him? Oh god. He's trapped there."

We'll continue Tuesday evening where we left off, and fast forward to the meat of things.

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