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Traveller: Session 41

 


This session was run on September 14, 2023.

 

030-1118

 

As soon as the dust settled from the Hull Eating Virus and the confrontation with Nadeemi, Executive Officer Harrison determined that they had dropped out of jump in an empty parsec. Harrison explained that the Twilight Ember did not carry any spare fuel to enable another jump. With no gas giant in sensor range, there was no hope of refueling before they ran out of life support supplies. When Marvin and Aryanna suggest growing food, Harrison told them that they would all suffocate before they could survive. She informed them that they had about four weeks of life support left.

 

At this point, Aminaha told them that Nadeemi had let out some kind of psionic scream before they took him down. She told them that she did not know exactly how it worked, because she did not have the ability itself, but some Zhodani had the ability to transmit psionic messages across vast distances at speed far in excess of the speed of light. She cautioned that she did not know how fast the message travelled, or how far it could go. She also warned them that Nadeemi may have had a recipient in mind when he sent the message, so they should be careful if anyone responded. It is possible that there may be Zhodani aligned with Nadeemi in the area, or other allies.

 

031-1118 to 043-1118

 

The crew and passengers of the Twilight Ember settled into a routine of minimizing activity in order to conserve their precious life support supplies. The captain and Zarf continued to recover from their wounds under Aryanna’s care and the travellers helped with repairs to the J-Drive and hull. They decided to leave Aminaha out of cryo because she might be the only advantage they would have if the response to Nadeemi’s scream came from the Zhodani or their allies in the Imperium.

 

At one point, while discussing how to keep the passengers calm, Arenui asked XO Harrison how long she thought they could stretch their supplies. She explained that even their best efforts were likely to only add a few hours, perhaps a day at most. The conservation efforts were more important to let people feel like they were doing something than they were to actually extending their life.

 

044-1118

 

At 0921 hours, a ship dropped out of jump. Zarf, who was manning the sensors to help make up for the crew shortage after Nadeemi killed most of the bridge crew, informed them that the ship was a 1000-ton freighter of unknown design. It was about five hours away at its current thrust.

 

Harrison hailed the ship and Captain Ulrich Thalmann responded that his crew had received their distress signal, and they were closing to help. After he broke contact, Harrison noted that he had never identified his ship by name.

 

A few hours later, the two ships maneuvered to dock with one another, and Ulrich invited Harrison to come aboard to discuss the rescue effort. Zarf, Hal, Marvin, and M’han decided to accompany her. Aryanna and Arenui stayed aboard the Twilight Ember to ready the cryo capsules for transfer and keep an eye on Aminaha.

 

They entered the ship through the passenger airlock and were escorted to the bridge. As they made their way through the ship, they could see that it was in ill-repair and appeared to have many jury-rigged repairs; bundles of communication cables ran through the corridors towards the bridge. The ship also seemed to have been designed for beings that were about a foot taller than an average human. When they reached the bridge, the true makeshift nature of the ship became clear. All of the bridge stations were of alien design and the writing was in some unknown script. The current crew, which seemed to be comprised exclusively of humans, had rigged laptops around the bridge which seemed to be connected to the cables running through the halls. Zarf surmised that they had completely cut out the original control system.

 

Captain Ulrich waited on the bridge along with fifteen of his crew. He introduced his Wilma Drex, his executive officer. They explained the situation aboard the Twilight Ember and that. In addition to the passengers, there were over sixty people in cryo pods as part of a relief mission. Ulrich said that his ship was able to take all the passengers and the cryo pods, but it would be a tight fit since they would have to set up temporary housing in the cargo bay for the passengers. After some discussion, they agreed that it would be safer to remate the ships at the cargo locks and transfer the cryo pods over before bringing the passengers on board. XO Harrison went back aboard the Twilight Ember to execute the maneuver, while the travellers stayed aboard the rescue ship to keep an eye on things.

 

While the others were discussing the rescue effort with Ulrich, Aminaha informed Arenui and Aryanna that someone aboard the other ship was a psion. She told them that she suspected it was a woman, and that she was untrained by Zhodani standards, possibly entirely self-taught. She did not think this was the sort of thing that could be faked, so it was very unlikely that there were Zhodani aboard the other ship. They decided it would be best to put her back in cryo before the other ship learned of her existence.

 

The ships reconfigured to bring the cryo pods aboard into the rescue ship’s cargo bay and started loading the cryo pods. Arenui and Aryanna manipulated the loading process to ensure that the pods with the Zhodani were in the middle of the sixty pods with children to hide their presence. They came aboard the rescue ship with the pods. When the cargo loading was completed, Ulrich asked Harrison if she wanted to bring the passengers over through the cargo dock and she decided that it might be safer to transfer them through the passenger umbilical (it had handrails and other safety devices). They unlocked and began to maneuver to reconnect.

 

As soon as the Twilight Ember was clear of his ship, Ulrich ordered a hard acceleration away and sounded the preparation to jump. His bridge crew drew their weapons and the travellers quietly surrendered.

 

Ulrich revealed that they were members of a group called Ine Givar, a revolutionary group opposed to the rule of the Imperium and its treatment of psions. While the Ine Givar were most active in the Spinward Marches, they operated throughout the Imperium and were often cast as a terrorist group by the media. There had long been rumors that they were merely a front for the Zhodani. He explained that their psion, who had not yet been identified, had detected Nadeemi’s distress call and they had quickly converted this freighter that someone had hauled into the ship graveyard at Viedma to respond. They knew that there were both Zhodani and psionic capable children in the cryo pods.

 

Ulrich told them that he did not wish them any ill will and that he was prepared to let them off the ship at the first opportunity to leave them somewhere they would not be able to interfere with his escape. He assured them that he intended to broadcast the Twilight Ember’s position and situation when the dropped out of jump. There should still be time for a rescue mission to reach them in time.

 

They warned him that he should not trust Nadeemi and cautioned him against bringing him out of cryo. He thanked them and ordered them escorted to their quarters.

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