Log:Array Consortium: The Death Ship

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The Death Ship

Location: Wild Space, beyond the Albanin Sector
Participants: Bar'duur, Quentin, Tamrae, Dosk, Atria Foster

Having found Imperious, Adhar dispatches a discovery team to the derelict Strike Cruiser. But what they find there goes beyond simple salvage issues...

The trip from Nar Shaddaa to the becalmed warship, Imperious, is not a terribly long one - in fact, trips to the Core take longer. Of course 'longer' does not mean 'easier', for the Albanin Sector has no hyperlanes short of the Triellus Trade Route, and the course plotted in is a long, long way from there. Past Barab, Clantaano, Dubrava - even Daluuj - the Harvester goes, Bar'duur serving as pilot and commander of the venture. Fifteen souls, the lot of you and a team of engineers and a few security troopers, travel in comfort; the Harvester might be an assault shuttle, but the previous owners had made the passenger compartment incredibly push. There's even a wet bar, though the alcohol has been removed in favor of nutridrinks, energy cocktails and tasty - but frozen - instaheat rations.

Hours pass, and beyond the veil of explored space you go and into Wild Space. When finally you do enter reality, you do so at the edge of a field of gravitational morasses; spirals of gravitic fluctuations casting mass shadows everywhere, causing the ship to stop. Bar'duur already has a map of these, however, and so he navigates the shuttle easily toward the goal...and up ahead, picked out in silhouette against the dazzling, luminous blue-violet cloud of a nearby nebula, is the prize.

Nearly five hundred meters long, the glorious, intact, and entirely lifeless form of the Imperious floats alone, caught between a number of gravitational flucutations. Nothing for a ship of any size under power, but floating alone, they serve as a holding pen eternal.

Dosk had made use of the wet bar for a few drinks during the journey, as the ship exits hyperspace, he moves to try and get a peek through the entrance to the cockpit of the ship. "Oh wow" He says, watching the ship float. "How do they just abandon a ship like that?"

"He is certainly ambitious. Though, at his current rate of injury to adventure, he will expire soon," Quentin, ever the blunt and capricious, eyed the Strike Cruiser in the distance with a strange expression of disinterest. He had turned his nose up at all the wonderful amenities on offer during the journey, content to sit in the corner and carefully read through a small paper book titled URBAN GARDENING, BONSAI ARTS AT 40,000 FEET. To be honest, he'd forgotten what he was here for. Oh, he was bored. That was it. Perhaps the mysteries of this vessel would serve as fodder for experimentation.

He eyed the rest of the denizens of this overly posh spacefaring vessel with an eye more curious than the one reserved for the adrift vessel. "So tell me, when he inevitably passes, whom of you inherits his title and holdings?"

Atria has spent most of the journey lovingly caring for the T-21 repeater she was issued for this mission. It's been a while since she's been able to handle a weapon like this so she made sure she was familiar with all of it. She lounges in her seat in the passenger compartment now that the ship has left hyperspace, getting herself mentally prepared for the mission at hand. To Quentin's question, she replies, "Bar'duur's first mate of the Castle. Don't know how that translates to the Consortium as a whole."

Tamrae has likewise been a bit quiet, as she's been reviewing what specs she was able to get on the Loronar-class Strike Cruiser...which by now, there's a fair amount out about it, considering it's a good thirty years old right now. At Quentin's question she says absently. "Bar'duur takes over as first officer an' th' captains vote for a new captain ta lead th' array."

As they ship shudders and comes out of hyperspace, she hops up, tucking the datapad under her lower arm as she steps up into the cockpit, moving over to the sensor tech's position. "Excuse me...could I take a look at th' scan for th' ship? If ya could bounce a signal off it, that is." She waits for the tech to do so, then begins running her gaze over the scan.

After a moment, she thanks the tech and steps back so she can address the boarding party. "She's configured as a carrier. Ten turbolaser batteries, ten single turbolasers, ten ion cannons, and ten point defense lasers. I can see one major hull breach...an' you'll love this, it's th' medlab transparisteel dome.. Looks like it blew out, an' somethin' like that is hard to do, medlabs on strike cruisers are heavily shielded. No sign of power generation. We might be able ta get emergency power up an' running, but no idea how much charge th' batteries will have after so long."

Tamrae does add after some thought. "There's no damage though. I can probably restart th' annhilator reactor...there's still signs of hypermatter left in th' core."

Bar'duur grunts softly at the idea of him being captain, though in what spirit this is done one doesn't know. He's often a quiet guy, Bar'duur. Once Tamrae gives her report, he announces that the lot of you will enter via the hangar bay, and with this said steers the shuttle through the already-mapped gravitational knots toward the darkened hangar aperture along the lower half of the ship's bow.

The size of the ship, regardless of its status as a middleweight cruiser, is still massive in comparison to the Harvester; on approach it looms, bigger and bigger, almost 1500 meters in length. That's a lot of houses. The ship dips into the cavernous bay, empty and deserted and drowned in shadow, lit only by the shuttle's floodlights.

Everyone is to put on pressure suits and exit the ship via the landing ramp. The path to the engine room and bridge is already known to the engineering team; the idea is to head into Engineering and start power and life support, then find out what happened to the vessel. Mind you, if anything stops you, you are to stop and study it. No point in killing everybody with a faulty reactor core.

Far larger than the vehicle bay to aft, the Hangar Bay is a vast space that runs for at least a hundred meters from fore to aft and a hundred left to right. Like the vehicle bay, the hangar is also heavily reinforced and lit with rounded rectangular ribs fitted with bright fluorescent tubes. The walls are gray, made of up many armored panels, and the floor is made of black metal polished to a mirror sheen and marked with chevrons and other glyphs to direct traffic. Overhead, drop racks connected to storage bays ferry fighters to and from the hangar for boarding and maintenance, and recessed landing bays for shuttles and other transport-sized ships. A large traffic control cupola with large windows sits flush with the port wall and the ceiling, and the entirety of the starboard side of the bay consists of a massive launch aperture, complete with brilliant rim lighting and a magnetic curtain to contain the ship's atmosphere.

To fore, another set of large loading doors leads to the cargo bay, another vast structure where ship's stores and transported cargo is loaded. Somewhat similar in design to the hangar bay, this well-lit, vaulted chamber is often full to some degree with crates of all sorts and sizes, though rarely is it entirely full; after all, a combat cruiser is not meant to be a freighter. To starboard, a large lift leads up into the decks of the ship itself.

"Plenty of room for a permanent guest room for me then?" Dosk replies as he gears up in the suit and secures his blaster pistol on his leg. Ready to depart into the creepy hangar bay of the ship. Switching on the lights on of the suit.

"Oh my goodness," sighed Doctor Q, massaging the bridge of his nose under his glasses with finger and thumb. "Of all the parts of the vessel to be damaged, it had to be the most interesting one." Because of course. Nothing ever went right for the good (lol) doctor. He got into a pressure suit with no end of sneering and grumbling, seeing this sort of... grunt work as beneath him. Curses. "Two," he said into the comms, testing them for veracity, "point seven one eight two eight one eight two eight." He paused. "Two three five seven eleven. Comms are functional."

Atria dons her pressure suit and grabs her repeater. She doublechecks the charge on the weapon and nods her readiness to the others. "I'll go out first, just in case there are hostiles. I'll draw their fire."

Following the others out, Tamrae wiggles into her customized pressure suit, checking the connections, before sliding the helmet into place so it seals with a hiss. "I read you, coms working. Well doctor, th' other way ya could think of it is that someone was worried enough about what was IN th' medlab that they wanted to be really sure it was blown up." she notes wryly.

She also pauses to check her datapad. "Lessee....Engineering is one deck up, it's deck 2. Should be past th' armory an' th' training complex if it's got th' standard layout in this setup. Um, unless th' bulkhead doors are closed. But if we can get through, there's a turbolift shaft that goes up ta where we need ta be. Should be able ta go up through the maintenance hatch at the top."

She nods to ATria, checking that her holster for her pistol is where she can get to it with one of her hands, then moves slowly out into the hangar bay and off the ramp, before she pauses, peering into the darkness. "Do you think all th' ships are still here?" she asks to no one in particular. "I mean, this is a carrier configuration. They should have a full squadron here, an' shuttles an' support craft...maybe if th' shuttle shines its lights around, we might be able ta see?"

With Atria taking point wielding that enormous repeater rifle, the lot of you file out of the shuttle and into the hangar bay. Drenched in shadows, there isn't much to see beyond the glowing cones of your helmet lights; the sound of your own breath and the clank of magnetic boots on the deck are your only soundtrack as you leave the comforting light of the shuttle's landing spots, save for the occasional snap of static or comms chatter in your ears. Aside from the four of you, the other eleven are an engineering and medical team from the Bandit's Castle - all civilians and noncombatants, save for another guard in the back, leaving them as your only shield beyond your own skills.

"Looks empty," says Chief Donlak, the Durosi chief of engineering from the Castle. "I haven't seen an Imperial vessel since I was freed from slavery at the end of the Civil War." Not that he sounds all that thrilled to be back, of course.

Dosk looks around. "Well this is creepy." Stating as he has the urge for a cigarra and a swig but none are available at this time. "Well, lets get the lights on and 'brighten things up'"

"Nonsense," was the word from the Doctor's comms in response to Tamrae's medbay comment. His pressure suit would turn occasionally, examining small details as they went by. Not out of preservation, but out of simple curiosity. "Destroying one's research is the height of foolishness." His voice, staticky from the comms, had a simple tone of certainty to it, as though the idea was inconceivable. "I can assure you, those who abandoned this ship would have likely taken every vessel they can. Anything else has suffered thirty years of disuse and exposure."

Atria leads the way off the ship, repeater at the ready as she scans the hangar bay for anything that may be hostile. After a moment, something catches her eye and she gestures for the others to stop, "I saw something up in the flight control cupola. I'm going to investigate. Wait here." She starts to clomp her way towards the turbolift shaft that goes up to flight control.

"That assumes anyone made it off this thing. All Adhar knew about it is they got off some mysterious garbled distress call, he said. So might be most of th' crew are still on here somewhere. I mean, they blew up the medlab, maybe it was some sorta biological contaminant that got out of containment?" she says, a bit nervously.

With all the lights from other suits and the shuttle lights, she can't really make out much of anything though, even being able to see in the shadows a bit better. "Though it'd make more sense if they evacuated an' didn't make it back, I guess. Can't see anything..." She sighs. "I guess just push on ta Deck 2 then?" Then Atria gives her report, with Tamrae frowning slightly. "Maybe take at least someone with ya? Just in case?" she suggests, backing towards the others nervously. It's CREEPY.

"That assumes anyone made it off this thing. All Adhar knew about it is they got off some mysterious garbled distress call, he said. So might be most of th' crew are still on here somewhere. I mean, they blew up the medlab, maybe it was some sorta biological contaminant that got out of containment?" Tamerae says, a bit nervously.

With all the lights from other suits and the shuttle lights, she can't really make out much of anything though, even being able to see in the shadows a bit better. "Though it'd make more sense if they evacuated an' didn't make it back, I guess. Can't see anything..." She sighs. "I guess just push on ta Deck 2 then?" Then Atria gives her report, with Tamrae frowning slightly. "Maybe take at least someone with ya? Just in case?" she suggests, backing towards the others nervously. It's CREEPY.

All lights from the rest of the team sweep up to bathe the flight control cupola in light; sure enough, a mummified corpse is splayed against the window, a horribly shrunken human male - perhaps - dressed in the garb of an Imperial officer. His mouth and eye sockets are full of a red substance that glitters brightly in the spots, giving the unfortunate officer the appearance of some kind of monster.

That is not good.

Dosk winces back a little as he sees the deceased through the window. "What the hell is up with that face?" Saying as his hand instinctively goes for his blaster, though apparantly dead, he doesnt try to draw it with the bulky gloves, it merely rests on the hilt. "That blood or something?"

"I require access," spaketh the doctor from behind the group. Dude, there's a dessicated corpse full of red stuff in there! But Q was not to be dissuaded. "Please grant access to the room. There are discoveries to be made." Priorities.

Atria makes it to the turbolift, but finds the doors closed. She frowns, looking for a way to get them open without power, but that's not really her forte. "I need someone to come up here and help me get the lift doors open. I'd rather not waste the ammo shooting them open." After a moment's thought, she adds, "And I suppose the doctor can come too so we can find out what happened to that guy up there."

Tamrae stands back, for Quentin is going to use SCIENCE! And she doesn't want to be in the splatterzone for this. Which means she is certainly not going up into the cupola. Also maybe turning a bit green before she looks away. Yeeeeeah. She doesn't need to see that....

And of COURSE Atria then asks for someone to open it, and she grumbles a bit, moving over hesistantly. "I can trip the manual release for th'doors an' ya can go up through th' roof hatch." she says, setting down her toolkit as she starts to work on the panel next to it.

Tamrae's work takes longer than perhaps expected, thanks to her inexperience with the Imperial vessel, but eventually she pries off the panel and activates the lift's emergency battery. The lift doors open, revealing a lit cab in which another dead officer is sprawled, this one female - her head is entirely encased in the red stuff, and spines of it jut out of her body through her back like a pair of stunted crystal wings.

Dosk remains down away from from the lift until he sees the lights of it open up, opting then to move forward now that light has arrived.

"Stand back!" declared the doctor decisively. This was a matter of SCIENCE, and where there was SCIENCE to be had, Quentin was to be found. Pushing past the people in his way, he had carefully brought out a small vial and a small spoon. Always prepared. With no care whatsoever for the creepiness of the dessicated corpse, he started taking small samples of the red material. He couldn't identify it by sight, but that was not to stop him. "To be expected. If it is truly a biohazard outbreak, here is our evidence. Begin scouring for any research notes whilst I take samples. No mystery remains such." His tone was borderline demanding, as though he were running the show. Already he was pushing people around.

Tamrae shrieks and jumps back as the doors reveal the grisly scene, scampering back out of the way of the others, her head lamp throwing wildly dancing shadows over the scene for a moment as she swallows, breathing faster. "Okay. See...that looks like something really BAD, and what d'ya wanna bet EVERYONE here is dead from it?!?" Her tone is a bit higher pitched than normal, her pointed ears flat against the sides of her skull.

At Atria's question she shakes her head a little. "I just triggered th' emergency battery, there's no power running from th' power systems themselves. Every Imperial turbolist has one ta help get th' doors open or slow it down if power shuts off when th' car is in transit, and FALLEN STARS why are ya doshing POKING IT?!?"

The other engineers stare at the thing, but like Quentin, the curiosity of the other medic on the team drives him to come up and squat down next to the body as well. "Looks like this woman died quicky," he says, looking from the corpse to Quentin. "What do you think, Doctor? Is it mineral or biological?"

Dosk stares at the other dead officer and watches the reactions. He just looks at it. "If they're dead from it, it may still be on the ship, so when we take our suits off, we might get it too, even if we go back in the harvester, who knows? May as well get power on and check out the medlab, that may tell the doctors with us more info." Stating as he moves pulls the dead body out of the lift. "We have limited air, lets move."

"Don't interrupt," Quentin chided the frantic four-arms, rather rudely. Science was happening and it always took precedence. "Your screeching is tiresome." Wow. The clunky pressure suit containing the doctor's tall frame carefully scooped half a vial up, then sealed it with a stopper. "Have a tech bring freezing apparatus, please," he instructed. Then, he leaned forward to examine the crystals some more, even as the less-screechy four-arms pulled it away.

"Silicate," said Q to the faceless medic, giving him the time of day only because he asked the important question. "Some form of life, though I can't yet identify it. It would not be a stretch to say it grows exceedingly fast, judging from the shock on the expired's faces." He looked back at the vial of Red in his hands some more, and slowly stood up to allow more people into the turbolift. "Something has arrested its growth, something about these circumstances, and until we can identify it, we will keep it in these circumstances." He handed over the vial to the medic. "Freeze it and vacuum-seal it, please. As for the rest of you," and now he finally turned to the other, slightly less important members of the team, "when we arrive at our stop, search for notes and research materials. The more I know of this anomaly, the less like you all are to suffer grisly deaths."

Atria nods at Tamrae's explanation and gestures to the roof of the turbolift car, "Get the maintenance hatch open so we can climb the shaft to the next deck. Do we have a schematic with a route to the medbay? That would be the best place to start looking. I don't need any grisly deaths on my watch."

Tamrae pauses to take a few deep breathes. "Ya..ya can take th' lift up. If it's still holdin' a charge, should be good for a least a dozen trips, probably more." she says after a moment. She pauses, then pulls out the datapad with the map, checking it. "Medical is also on deck 2, but forward...down th' midship corridor. Again, assumin' that it is, with no atmosphere th' pressure doors would have auto-closed, we'd have ta get them open. Though if it was sealed BEFORE that, then we probably need a officer's code cylinder to override the lockdown."

The unfortunate woman is an officer, though her rank pips are obscured by, well, lying face down - but after the medic seals the sample away in an armored canister, he also turns her over, revealing the horrifying image of her mummified face sealed away by the crystal short of her mouth, which is frozen in a rictus of fear and agony. Her uniform tunic is perforated this way as well, jutting out from her chest in short colonies in a V-shaped patter from her collar down to mid-torso. Her rank pips are gone, but there /is/ a code cylinder in a breast pocket, half-concealed by one of the colonies perforating her chest.

"Everyone we have crossed has that crap on them, you have your samples. Shove the rest out of the way. If anything is left in that lab, we need the power on to read anything on the computers." Dosk says as he turns towards Quentin and just stares at him for a moment before nudging Tamrae. "Will that code cylinder get us up there?"

Doctor Q took note of something as the corpse was dragged away. Something about how the crystal patter was spreading. For now, he internally documented it and moved on. "I trust your engineering skills are up to task at getting us into the medbay," he said to previously-shrieking four-arms. "Any information on what has breached containment will be there."

Atria nods again, "Great. A working lift, even temporarily, will make things a lot easier. Let's get up to deck 2. We only have so much oxygen but I'm not keen on restoring life support until we know more about this red stuff. Though Dosk does have a point about the computers." She motions for the rest of the team to start piling into the turbolift. She'll be the last one on so she can be the first one off when they reach deck 2.

"Um, probably." Tamrae says. "I can't see her rank tab, but th' cylinder is blue, should have th' clearance for it." She sighs, then moves to retrieve her tools, then gets out a pair of needlenose pliers and leans over to carefully slide the code cylinder out of the officer's pocket, wiggling it free of the frozen red goop, then heads over to the turbolift, borrowing a specimen bag from the medic to drop the cylinder in and sealing it for the moment, just in case, before she moves over to try and get the turbolift opening, popping the maintenance hatch and getting to work.

Tamrae easily engages the deck lift's battery, having discovered how to now, which will now allow free access from the hangar deck up to Deck Two. Be aware, however, that on the way back, there is a cargo bay to fore and a vehicle bay to aft - those doors are sealed closed, but when the power comes back up, you'll have more areas to explore.

Atria has point, one assumes, once again.

Dosk stands in the turbolift awaiting the end of the ride. "Good work Tam" He says aside from the silence. The anticipation was killing him, hopefully not whatever had affected the crew on this ship.

"Just a reminder," Quentin said, as the elevator ascended into whatever hell awaited them, "the entity is inert in the current environmental conditions. Any change in those may prompt awakening, so please be aware of your environmental sensors." That was his piece of advice for the day.

As the turbolift approaches deck 2, Atria readies her weapon and says to the others, "Be ready to close the doors if I give the word." When the doors open, assuming she isn't leaped upon or shot at, she eases out into the corridor, checking all directions for potential trouble. Not seeing anything, she motions for the others to start stepping out of the lift.

Tamrae, being the elevator operator, keeps her finger over the 'close' button. Just in case. And flattens herself back against the side of the lift in case anything comes leaping in as the door slide open.

The lift goes up - slowly. Emergency power does its work, but to save juice the system apparently is designed to move the car upward in its own leisurely way. This has the distinct effect of causing the powered rails to hum in a distracting way, as it sounds somewhat like - but not entirely - like a distant chorus droning away, as if from below.

When the car opens, Atria is the first one out, but she sees very little - but Dosk sees what lies above. Twenty Imperials - guards, stormtroopers, officers - lie together in a tangled mass, pincushioned by a horrible lattice of red crystal that has grown through the corpses in great, spearlike spines as tall as a man. Beyond, of course, there is a door - not a door, no, but a /wall/. Aurabesh on its surface in bright red reads 'EMERGENCY BULKHEAD - DO NOT BREACH'

Of course, once Dosk reacts, the collective spots of the engineering team will see said the bulkhead, and the display before it in all its gory glory. By the Force, what happened here?

As Dosk exits and scans around, the sight of what lies within his view is...finally freaking him out. "Over there, This looks like a bigger problem than just affecting just one or two" Adding as he points his lights in the direction of the sight. His concern grows.

Now that it's been brought to her attention, Atria looks up at the mass on the ceiling and sighs, "How did they get up there? Did the gravity plating fail and that stuff latched onto the wall as they floated by or did...something drag them up there? Like a spider with its meal..."

Tamrae eyes the mass of corpses and red stuff. "Coulda floated up there if th' gravity failed. Or, um, crawled there" She shivers, then shake sher head. "....I really think we should go back to th' shuttle and not go further until we figure out what this stuff is. An' how ta kill it, or remove it. Or to make sure it doesn't kill us." Tamrae suggests. "I mean, there's no viable air or heat in th' ship, but if we turn on the power, it might wake this stuff up." She looks back to the others. "...maybe we can find a decomtamination droid or somethin'? Or just...droids in general. That don't have squishy biological centers ta infect."

She pauses. "...also we'd have ta go through that mess ta get ta th' door there, so can't get ta th' medbay without gettin' past it. Maybe to engineering, if there's not a similar blockage somewheres..."

"There's no way we can cut through that," says the Chief as he enters, steadfastedly /not/ looking at the vision of horror. "We'd need fusion cutters with heavier power capacity - we can get them from the hangar, though. But...I don't know what to do about, uh, that."

"Same back here," says another of the engineers. "Armory's sealed off. We...we should go."

"Well, I think the Medical area was breached, right? Why cant we just go through the emergency bulkhead and walk over?" Dosk asks. "I think The Doctor there said this stuff is inert and we could be affected if life support came on..soo how would going back to the ship help?"

"Male Codru-Ji is correct," said Quentin, nodding his head though the movement didn't carry in the bulky helmet. "A spacewalk will get us there promptly and efficiently, however I am of a mind to study what we have before committing further to this venture," he explained. He turned, magboots clamping as he went, back towards the elevator. "I propose we return to our vessel so I can set up the testing environment. I am loathe to admit it, but I do not understand fully what we're dealing with, and as such the risk is too high."

Atria looks between Dosk and Quentin, then back to the red mass. She nods, "A tactical retreat would not be a bad idea. Too much can go wrong if we keep going without knowing more and people will likely die. We need to minimize that as much as possible."

"If we're gonna want ta go directly to medical, we could use th' shuttle ta take us over ta th' breach. and hop straight in, no spacewalk required...it was a pretty big hole. An' I imagine these things probably don't react well ta explosive decompression firin' 'em inta space. Any that were blown free are probably thousands of kilometers away by this point." Tamrae nods to Quentin. "But now that we know what we're dealin' with, we should let th' doctor here figure out what this stuff is, an' maybe come up with some things we need ta deal with a threat like this?"

Tamrae waves towards the mass. "At least we'll know moe about how ta deal with....with that! An' what th' red stuff is. If it's human blood somehow or somethin' else now entirely." She looks to Dosk and Atria. "We don't need ta rush. No one knows about this ship but us, an' anyone else who does come won't be able ta deal with this stuff any better than us right now. We can take a little time to figure out what th' doshin' void of space happened here."

Bar'duur reports in, having been listening to it - and then replies his agreement. If its a plague or the like, he definitely agrees that Adhar will want to hear more about it before deciding to risk his people or, if the issue becomes problematic, even convene with the Captains to decide a course of options. And thus does he recall you.