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Traveller: Session 18


This session was run on February 2, 2023.


Aboard the Far Horizon


The crew was caught by surprise when every light aboard the ship went out at once. On the Computer Deck, Michael noticed that CASS (the onboard AI) was restarting. In engineering, Bob noticed that CASS disabled the physical light switches immediately before turning the lights out.


After waiting for the 15-minute restart procedure to complete, Michael determined that CASS reset due to a communication buffer overflow. She received over 300,000 communications from the surface in less than 30 seconds. CASS reset because her operating system was being overwritten following the overflow. Michael determined that the signals originated from over 3,000 different sites on the surface of the planet. He also learned that the first 15,000 communications were used to determine the correct handshake protocol. CASS indicated that any computer system capable of exploiting a loophole in her programming that quickly must be significantly more sophisticated than her.


They took some precautions by preserving a separate backup of CASS that was not stored in a system connected to her. They also decided to have Bob take the second lander to the surface with submersible drones. He would stay with the surface team and the injured Sarah would return to the Far Horizon with the other lander.


Hour 33-34


They waited in the lander and worked on the damaged suits while the fuel processor completed it cycle and then took off for Site 24.


Hour 35


They arrive at Site 24 and Shireen determines that the “skyscrapers” they had seen from orbit are in fact ice fumaroles.


Hour 36


They take pictures and collect measurements and other data on one of the ice fumaroles.


Hour 37-38


Sarah pilots the lander from Site 24 to Site 58. Bob deorbits from the Far Horizon and lands at Site 58.


Hour 39-40


They transported the supplies they needed to the new lander. During this process, Katiya’s suit suffered a failure in its heat dissipation system and Helen had a cuff blowout that briefly exposed her to vacuum. They theorized that the suits, which had been designed for Pluto, were not suitable for Tartarus.


Hour 41


Vic set up the fuel processor while Shireen drilled through the ice to prepare an opening for the submersible drone. Sarah piloted the lander back to the Far Horizon but the ship was damaged during liftoff and became unbalanced. The lander behaved erratically as she was piloting it into the Far Horizon’s landing back and she crash landed on the deck. She was severely injured during the landing and died of her wounds before the bay could be pressurized to allow for a rescue.


Hour 42-45


The crew at Site 58 prepared the submersible drone and Bob discovered some kind of yellow colored substance on a rock under the surface. After examining it through the cameras, Helen determined that it was algae.


Hour 46-50


Bob remotely piloted the drone through a widening search pattern and discovered a hollow cylindrical object 9m in diameter and 30m long. They theorized that it could have been a rocket booster and take pictures of it.


Hour 51-55


Bob pilots the drone back to the algae and scrapes a sample. They recover the drone.


Hour 56-62


The surface team sleeps.



Aboard the Far Horizon


Michael was standing watch on the computer deck when all of the hatches on the ship locked and CASS began to reset again. He immediately pinged the others in their cabins to wake them up. Jason forced his stateroom door open and began struggling with the hatch to the Spin Arm Access corridor. Lucas hot-wired the door to his stateroom while Nori was unable to get his opened.


Back on the Computer Deck, Michael noticed that CASS was 30 seconds late completing her reset when the proximity alarm began to sound. Michael pulled up Navigation and saw that they were on a collision course with a large debris field, perhaps from a moon that broke up when the planet dislocated.


The Far Horizon took hits in the Mining Drone Deck, Pod A Fresher, and Small Craft Hangar when it passed through the debris field. The Small Craft Hangar was completely destroyed. The crew managed to break into the Command Deck and Lukas used up one burn worth of fuel to boost them out of the debris field. CASS finally completed her reboot and unlocked all the doors.


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