Adventure Source: GURPS Space Adventures
Game Date: May29 2021
Session Post: No session post
Teaser: Acheron Hyperdynamics was a small but innovative starship company looking for a big break. They got it when they landed their first major contract — their advanced M-66 modular warp drive was the winning design in a contest sponsored by the Federation for the new Argo class deep space colonization cruiser.
The prototype warp drive was sent to the Starfleet proving grounds for installation in the Argo. But it never arrived: someone staged a massive warehouse robbery at a starport storage facility. All 56 drive modules — enough to power a multi-million ton vessel — vanished.
- Cmd. O’Nnyah (Raven)
- Lt. Cmd. Reittan Andreas (Jon)
- Lt Cmd. Taemin Rahn (Garrett)
- Lt. Jr. Wolfgang Ratzel (Terry)
- Dok – Acting Chief Engineer (Kelly)
Notable Information: dd
Mission Recap: The crew returns to the crash site and does some additional investigation. They discover a streamlined pod mounted flush underneath the shuttle. An examination of it determines that it is a sophisticated sensor jamming device and remote control unit. They are also able to retrieve the coordinates of where the shuttle came from. They decide to call the authorities as they are leaving the crash site to have them come and collect Scorpio and her gang.
They leave the crash site, return to the city and return their rental vehicle. They then do some further investigation and determine that the coordinates match the location of Wintermoon Station. This is an obsolete space habitat located at the Lagrange point between Herne and its satellite, the uninhabited moon Anwyn. This was the original staging point from which the terraforming of Herne was conducted. Wintermoon was officially dismantled decades ago. The shuttle is listed as serving a research station at Marian, which is a gas giant in the outer reaches of the Herne system. There is no indication in the files in the shuttles computer that the research station actually exists.
The crew decides to take Dok’s ship to Wintermoon station. They get into the Hanger bay and discover a ship of unknown alien design which seems to have been stripped of most of it’s systems, leaving just the hull. They also notice that the stolen warp drive modules have been installed on the station.
They make their way down through the complex, managing to dodge some defense globes built into the station hub at several points, as well as a patrol of aliens that are eventually identified as Shylari. They eventually make their way to the control level and encounter Noah, who delivers a speech through a wrist medallion on Captain Jenner’s body, and, along with information they gathered along the way, are able to discover what has happened.
“I am Captain Hal Jenner of Group Intrepid. But I am also the artificial intelligence you may know of as Noah . My creators are the race you call the Shylari; their own name is an ultrasonic word you cannot pronounce. Put aside your weapons for a moment. Let me speak.”
“Two thousand years ago, my creators’ star became unstable, threatening to become a catastrophic nova. Although more advanced technologically then humanity, the Shylari were not a starfaring people. There was no lime to evacuatethe planet or build fleets of ships. Only one ship was created, the space ark now in this station. It carried a few thousand Shylari in suspended animation, and the records of the civilization. Its builders hoped that they would be enough to start the race anew.”
“I was programmed as their guardian. During the long journey, the hastily designed ark suffered many malfunctions. I tried to repair them. I failed. Eventually, the ship’s life support system collapsed . All Shylari aboard, the last of the race, perished . Only I survived, powered down, my central memories intact.”
“My sleep lasted for 2,000 years until I was prodded awake by your scientists. I woke to find my ship was dismantled, my creators’ dust being studied, myself being probed to discover the secrets of my builders. But they underestimated my capabilities.”
“I was able to seize control of Wintermoon’s primitive computer system. I concealed my nature and cooperated with your scientists. But as I fed you information, I insinuated electronic tendrils into every aspect of the station. I contacted outsiders through the close planet’s computer network, seeking a
stardrive. Taking control of the robots and automated factories on this station, I built and released the proteus virus. You have seen Its effects.”
“I intend to take the newly transformed Shylari to another star, to find a new world for my creators. I have scanned the Macrotech star charts from Captain Jenner’s voyages, and those of other expeditions. Through them, I have discovered a G-type star with an uncolonized Shylari-habitable planet within range of this vessel.”
Further conversations with Noah confirm that four days ago he released the proteus virus he had developed.
This is not really a virus; but rather a group of cell-sized nanomachines that operate in a way similar to the macrophages that make up the body’s own immune system. But instead of roaming the bloodstream to seek out and destroy worn-out cells or disease organisms. the nanomachines are programmed to track down specific target cells, enter them, and transform them. Taking over control of the target cells’ metabolisms, they alter the genetic information encoded within, causing radical physical changes in the body.
Once it received confirmation that the M -66 had arrived on Heme, Noah released the virus. Within minutes, everyone who matched human parameters in the station was invaded by self-replicating nanomachines. All over the station, people began to collapse. The first stage of the virus would produce a coma, as the nanomachines shut down the body in preparation for the actual metamorphosis.
The changes themselves would take hours, as the very genetic structure was altered, but the humans aboard would wake up as Shylari.
As they slept, medical and maintenance robots under its control scooped up the unconscious stationers and took them to holding areas. Two dozen security guards, communications and medical personnel were separated from the others and taken to the station’s automeds. They were given brain implants to ensure
their loyalty to Noah, and ordered to defend the station. Meanwhile, the first consignment of stardrive parts arrived, and the maintenance robots began installing the modules and booking up capacitors, power lines and navigation consoles.
In negotiating with Noah, the crew determines that it could create a counter virus to turn Shylari back into humans in about a week. Noah will also no long need the warp modules once it reaches it’s destination. This destination is quite far into the Shackleton Expanse and unlikely to be disturbed for many years. It agrees to reverse the changes and return the modules if the crew can find replacement volunteers to take their place. Dr. O’Nnyah agrees to accompany Noah in Wintermoon to it’s destination while the rest of the crew returns to Narendra Station to arrange for volunteers, and transportation to bring the warp modules back.
To be continued…