Pretty sure that the creatures in the cold floor are baby Kukuri - they may be cold to try to keep them in stasis, and they are moving _very_ slowly. Looked for a place for them to move to (27-32!) , which eventually resulted in a catastrophic comingling of hydrogen and fluorine and Carol dropping us out of skip space so we didn’t misplace half the ship. Not entirely sure how we are going to move them to the right place, and unfortunately we will struggle to explore those floors (when we do, though, there are also a bunch of dead kukuri - what if anything to do about that?). The elevators may be possible to set up to do the right thing around airlocks so that we can move the babies.
Also found an exosuit for kukuri with a bunch of tools and an object that contains knowledge about the kukuri (floor 27 ramp before getting to the airlock). The Molub who knew about the kukuri joined some compatriots to see about getting in touch with them about these babies.
Need to replace my vacc suit? Definitely need to fix the light sensor, and not sure what all got damaged during the trek into the west wing.
Very glad about the Glugni fabric - it meant that we could slow down the fluorine attack on the copper.
Currently in progress:
The ice worms are young Kukuri – the station builders. They like icy planets with fluorine ecologies; they have high technology ceramics. And they will need food soon. A Molub ship is going to head out to Kukuri to see if they can offer help.
We jump to Tarandri - three Jovians in close orbit; Tarandri 2 has a ring, lots of small moons, and one large moon with lots of vulcanism – that's where the Crove mostly live. They like it; it represents a good breeding ground. We can trade light metals for heavy. The new thing is that they have been selling mini-Crove. They are not “small Crove” and they “shouldn't grow”.
Madu - refueling stop.
Mensae - refueling stop. Blue main sequence star.
Rewrite The Odyssey to be galactic-accessible. Prologue about the war that had just ended; simplified timeline with lotus-eaters, capture by cyclops, hospitality of Circe, avoidance of sirens, dangerous passage between scylla and charybdis, starvation and a final limp to Ithaka. Disguise as a beggar, Penelope and Telemachus. Focus on themes of proper and improper treatment of guests, family ; testing loyalty and identity.
Gussie asks for some exploration assistance in the West Wing. There's an abandoned lab where a robot-worm-arm was in the process of cutting through a ceramic wall. I open up the robot and get a 10% hit to my suit integrity. There is a very ex-Kukuri inside. An odd assortment of items - a cylindrical thing with lots of indentations and twistable things; some sapphires, rocks, other stuff.
We do some investigations. There's an omniprojector. I play shadow puppets with it. Pictures of Kukuri, but not taken by Kukuri, unless they were sanguine about dissection. Or it's Grey's Anatomy, Kukuri edition. So we go get Robby the Inflatable Desri Robot to translate. It might be Iliean.
Gussie and I go exploring and trigger an explosion in the elevator on W27. Gussie gets knocked unconscious. I send us back towards the hub. This stops suddenly as we leave skipspace. Gussy wakes up and helps me open up the door. Wiring is being oxidized fast. We cut a firebreak, then insulate both ends.
Floors 27 through 32 are apparently fluoridated. Let's mark them as off-limits to non-kukuri.
We bring our findings and report to the Denebian government and science council. They believe us. They do autopsies and things, and promise us the data.
Gussy experiments with a compliant Bavoran and discovers that they can at least make out some brainwaves. I offer up blood samples.
It's clear that the squirrels and trees are interstellar.
A properly equipped exploration team goes down and eventually gets the door open. Inside, it's like a dig site – three linked rooms, all empty. I suggest that it might be interstellar teleportation, and Carol takes it seriously.
Time travel is probably needed to equip Earth to defend itself against invasion. Did the Denebians go backwards, or two different groups go forward?
Selena can emulate a very polite person. She's been doing 1:1 and small group convincing for general buyins to idea of governments for station and Kritica's island. I've been working on implementations.
The Belm martial art – trankiBelm – continues to be practiced. Good exercise.
Three new Molub ships come in; they carry franchise payments from the company – and also we have a patent on the ship drive tech improvements. I suggest we start a trade federation/patent pool, which the Molub do have as a concept. Negotiations are complex.
The three Molubs are carrying a bunch of defensive fighter craft. Apparently they're interested in protecting the Denebian fleet in convoy. We depart. The station going to jump is much smoother, less rattly, and used 30% less fuel. Six days to Ardra.
ome of the Gellifrug start learning trankiBelm.
At Ardra there's a big banner: Welcome Denebian Humans! There are parties, and refueling, and 12 new ships carrying Bavorans.
Next: Quishu. In-system ships here are Orion bomb drives. The Harn have not yet figured out how to survive in jumpspace. Some of the Desri are now cooking with the Gallifrug in a new restaurant on the station.
Next: Noctae, where long range sensors detect other ships in the system; we weren't expecting them, and the Denebians elect to jump again immediately. It's going to be close for the Station. I distract Sam with ST:TNG. He likes Wesley. The other ships are Desri, and we jump just as they are getting close.
Back to Kritica, a few days behind the Denebians. There are survey teams looking for optimal sites. The soil is rather salty. Nobody has come down with new ailments yet.
Two of the Molub ships are staying in orbit for defense.
We discuss agriculture and animal resources. The Dymal set up a research station.
In the cargo crates: an unassembled multibot. Tracked crawler with attachments for digging, building, pumping. It's got a fusion reactor, but it will overheat if it's run for more than 4 hours continuously.
Food; water; waste; weather is temperate. Any seasons here? Rainy and less rainy.
Next Station stop: Chithra. Red dwarf, very dim. Just a waystation. Organization: we have some.
Xari: a mostly water world with a small Molub outpost. The atmosphere is toxic and cold.
Molub! Time for court appearances. Testifying. Speaking the truth.
Denebians managed to get into the metal area but everything was gone. Healed up with no lingering problems. Eye peripheral vision is fine, headaches are gone.
Went along with former Denebians (Rosa Blancans?) to their new home on Kritika. Ran into fleet of Desri on way but got out of there quickly.
Things are turning out well - they found a better place to settle with a river of fresh water probably from mountains. Some Molub also settled there - need a good supply of meat. Goats did not do well, but the molub creatures did fine. Crops that are salt tolerant did fine.
Continued along trading ring. To Molub. Went to court - hopefully things will turn out ok (apparently we were a little too good at understanding Molub psychology - they thought it was not possible to have something that was so meaningful to them that was not somehow sourced in their culture. Practiced piloting and did some looking around.
Turned our dead “chipmunk” over to the Denebian scientists for study, on the condition that we get copies of the data. Spent some time reviewing various footage from our adventures on Deneb. Sent data and footage on to the archaeologists on Ardra. Lil is putting us as co-authors on a paper. An armed search party broke through the metal doors we encountered, but there was nothing there by the time they got through. It is a mystery. A couple Molub ships arrived, the Denebians finished packing up (the missing people haven’t turned up), and we all headed to Ardra. There’s some Bavorans who talk their way into coming along on the various ships.
Brief stop at Qixu. Jumped into Nocti and jumped out again as soon as we could (the Denebians jumped right away); there was a fleet of Desri ships. Sam had to be distracted while we got the engines ready to jump sooner than normal. Got to Crittica and stayed a while helping get the colony set up. Took the goats back; they weren’t doing well there.
Continuing the loop: Chitra, just a stop, nothing there. Corvi, Dahle, and Xari are interesting, but not inviting for humans.
Returned to Molub. Dub and Gussie are getting some business sorted. I’m working on some art that might appeal to the locals. Checked in with the Gellefrug et al on the former cruise ship.
Ardra. Three scouting ships from the Human Denebians have arrived, refitted with Molub warp drives. 15 humans, about that many Bavorans, and a bunch of others are travelling in the other direction around the trade ring.
I talk to Sam about what they need. Carol and I point out that he needs Molub tech more than Bavoran. It will take about a month of not-jumping to retrofit the drive – but it will halve fuel consumption for jumps.
The plan: move the Denebian humans to Kritica. Spend the month at Deneb. Get Gussy's eye fixed there.
The dependencies: proving Kritica, convincing the Dymal, convincing the Bavorans, convincing the Humans, convincing the Station.
Bavoran writing started as raised nubs and squiggles on plates; adding a small electrical current causes potential changes that can be distinguished at a small distance; their terminals use just the potential changes. Menus are charged cylinders that get ingested and read and spit out.
We visit another crash-site museum. This one was flooded, and so lots of things were better preserved. There was a wooden boat thing, and skeletons.
Back to the station. Dinners and discussions. Cargo diving. Examination of skeletal remains.
I spend a week wrangling orders for Sam. We go to Deneb. The Denebians are panicking; a Remainer exploration ship went missing.
The Bhelm have decided on a regulatory framework for the island on Kritica.
I start Molub patent proceedings to cover Sam and Carol's new drive config.
Gussy, I, Norbert and… head off to the planet. The plants are blue-ish. Lots of bugs. I step on a sharp thing and roll through some brambles, but take damage. We leave. Wow, that was fun. Why do I go to alien planets, again?
We go back down, because we are idiots. We find a circle of solid metal. We are attacked by chipmunks. Gussie's leg is shattered. I prune bushes. The chipmunk-squirrels try to herd us into the circle while a giant tree charges at us slowly. Daring shenanigans including the use of attitude thrusters as flamethrowers ensue.
We went to Adra (Bavoran world) to get ship parts. They and Denebians are working on a trade route to get some of the Glugni fabrics. Yong went back to the colony on Crittica to resupply and see how things are going. Going well!
Visited another ruin - something wooden (Carol thought it was a ship for water), something pot-like, and a skeleton. The pot turns out to be a lot like the pots that the ambulatory trees on Deneb use. The skeleton looks like it’s between human and gelefrug. The Denebian ship is called the Rosa Blanca.
We go to Denib. Explorers who want to stay have vanished along with one of their ships? We will be here for a month and a half to do the ship upgrade, get the Denebians ready for moving to Critica, and get my eye surgery. Surgery went ok - some loss in peripheral vision on that side, but I should be able to do exercises to help with that. Currently farsighted in that eye, and need to wear glasses to see up close. Also, I get headaches from getting used to glasses and the surgery.
We try to see where the missing people went - first we found nasty thorns that cause paralysis and then the creatures try to trap and eat you. Then we went to where the ship vanished. Broke my leg trying to get down really fast from the metal doorway we found. Chipmunks trying to trap us and put us in the tunnel behind the doorway. Large tree in pot also trying to drag us in. Loud very low pitch sound kind of hurt. We escaped somehow. Curious about what they wanted, since they were not causing us damage while trying to herd us. But not ok with being forced to go somewhere with a large metal door.
Got a dead chipmunk because they look an awful lot like the diaroma with Lil-like creatures on Ardra.
Picked up Bavoran parts for engine upgrade on Ardra; install will take about a month offline. I also found a group to go around with and try various Bavoran cuisines; that was a lot of fun. We all visited a different set of ruins, this one is an active dig.
Started E83 crate inventory.
Transited to Deneb. I went along when Gussie and Dub decided to investigate the mobile trees again. We ended up in a fight with the wildlife, and Gussie was hurt before we got away.
Bhelm. We get a video call from a Dhimmel. They live on the shores and in shoals. They would like a meeting. They would like to see a movie.
We meet Ku-shin. We watch the movie. The folks who thought it was a dark comedy about ridiculous royal systems love it. Some Dhimmel want to do it as a play. We should do a slapstick comedy… Later this week there will be a performance of a Dhimmel play at the college.
One of the Plov wants to come down with us – Theodoria (Dory). We answer lots of questions from professors. Males have arms and hands; females don't. The professors suggest that getting further from the volcano probably would allow us to breathe without rebreathers.
The play is very active, a farce, crossed-lovers, Shakespearean comedy.
We go on an exploratory mission to an island. The air is nicer. We are circled by growler/grinders. Spinal-cord-snakes. Segmented spiky centipedes without legs. We whack them hard and chase them off.
There's a lot of land area on this planet not being used by sapients, including a nice island nearly a thousand miles across with a wet landbridge to the megacontinent. Away from the underwater volcano it's quite nice, really.
When we get back up, James and an engineer are telling us not to panic: the skipdrive coupling has been taken apart. Carol and I go look at the thing. We think that we could manage a 50% energy savings by using computer- based timing relays… but we can't do that right now.
We need to raise capital for the improvement. We land a mini-farm and several species of people down on the island to test livability.
Next stop Noctai, then Quishu (Harn), then Ardra.
We visited the Dimmel so that Gussie could screen her movie for them. We went back to the station to sleep, and the next day we visited the Dimmel college. Another sleep on the station, and gathering supplies, and we went to explore the far side of the island the college is on. Dorie (the Plov scientist), and a couple of Dimmel went too. We went up and over, and found different kinds of vegetation, and a variety of wildlife. These grey spinal-cord/centipede things attacked us, but we drove them off. One did bite Gussie, and appears to have had a mild venom. The air on the far side of the island seems to be better (at least the respirators thought so), but we didn’t try it for long. I took some plant samples, and Dorie took a lot of samples (soil, water, etc). The far beach was very fine sand, and we saw fish and something like sand dollars.
We got back to the Station after our adventure, and James was there to meet us. He let us know that Sam had taken apart part of the skip-drive. Dub and I headed up to find out why, and put it back together. Sam did manage to explain, and we have now have plans for upgrades that will fix the problems he diagnosed.
Dub, Celena, Gussie and I are laying the groundwork for a station government. I talked the engineers around. We got agreement in principal from the most of population to the idea of a government. Actual implementation is another kettle of fish.
We set up a cleared area with shelters and supplies for a couple Bheln, Gellefrug, and about 20 Humans to test out some of our crops and livestock on an inland area of Crittica. The Dimmel are fine with the idea of a colony, and the Bheln are open to negotiation. Both are fine with a testing period.
The station population did agree to reverse the travel loop for a bit so we can get the parts to upgrade the skip-space engines. We’re also going to let the Denebians know about the possible colony on Crittica.
We’ve arrived at Ardra. Need to get some of the engine parts here. If we haven’t inventoried the crates on E83 I’d like that to happen soon. How are my Ardra plants doing? Have we had enough tests on the Kesdef to determine if it’s ok for long-term consumption? If yes, would like to acquire. Government needs setting up.
(skills to take?: Politics?)
Dimmul want to meet us since the bheln royalty did. Also want to see Juliet and Juliet. They are further from the volcano - air is easier to breathe due to that. Students want to make movie into a play - think it's satire - ok, but pay royalties for it. Visit college with Carol, Dub, and Dori (Plove scientist).
Visited a tidal pool even further from the volcano. More wildlife on side of divide with less sulfur. Even easier to breathe, although annoying creatures which wanted to see if we were food. Humans maybe settle in an area that neither existing species claims - both want places on edge of water and land. Dori's tests look promising, so we left some Humans, Gelifrug, and Bheln to try to live there with plans to come back in 6 weeks for resupply.
Back to Bavaran system for supplies to maybe improve the drive.
Hope to have the eye surgery soon! (this means I need to roll for health next session to see how it went. After surgery will be changing from one eye (-15 pts) to bad vision (farsighted, mitigated by technology - where will I get glasses made?) -5pt disadvantage. Will also have a temporary quirk “eyestrain headaches” and likely to leave my (mostly for reading) glasses everywhere as I won't be used to needing them.
Ardra - a two-planet system. Prime (Davor/Babor) has an ex-technologic planetary ring. Equatorial crash sites and craters.
There are two medium sized Desri warships headed in.
We all go do tourist things in a tourist trap on the surface of Bavor. Bavoran kids are cute little blobs.
Bavoran computer displays are not usable by humans – tactile/electric.
Chezdef - caffeine-bearing peas
The canonical tourist kid-food is tontor beans – boiled in a sugar syrup so that the outside is gooey and crunchy on the inside.
And spicy-numb meatballs. Spice powder is really interesting. Carol says: szechuan-style pepper chemicals, capsaicinoids, very ma-la.
We spend a night in a hotel and then see a city.
New agency idea: consolidated station trading, offering both inter-floor station market-making and station-to-planet trade. 1% skim.
Pelletized promethium fuel is on offer. The Bavorans have tariffs.
Together, we kind of need a station government. We generally like democracy. It turns out Selena has some revolution-instigation experience. Much of the actual decisions are in the hands of the engineers. Unifying philosophy: move around and do a little better than break-even.
Some of the humans really want to find a new home. Molub want new homes too.
New system: Quishu, a double white dwarf system. Home of the Harn – zero-gee/low-gee molecular cloud people. Molecular manipulators. Potentially useful in replicating ICs or IC fabrication tools.
[Rigel is retconned to something else]
New system: Quithatah, with an F-class bright blu-ish sun, high-UV. Earthish, but atmosphere is toxic to humans. Sophonts have carapaces - meter-wide pebbles. Males are about 1/10th the size.
And then Belm! Some of the Juliet-and-Juliet plot is part of their history. People visit each other. Beach parties. not much fun in vac suits.
I go back up to the station-ship and start organization work.
Visited Bavorans using a rebreather and sent a message to Lil about the people in the ruins dioramas that look a bit like him. Also learned about a translucent membrane that might work as a cornea replacement (but I need to avoid direct sunlight on it as it will become opaque). Gave a bunch to Lyra to practice with - not yet to the point of being comfortable enough to work on me. [player = we need to know if we got XP last game to know if I can afford the cost of buying off the disadvantage]
Desri took back the people who did not want to stay. We brought three Bavarans along and some of their plants for Carol to try to grow.
Visited area of Harn. Helped Carol with fittings for power for medical floor now that the Desri have removed their pneumatic power when most of then left. Carol also made an area the Bavarans can live without the need for extra oxygen (and one set of plants for comparison's sake).
Visited Bheln homeworld. Met Kakahuna's royalty who came to the station (because I have no idea how I'd eat in a vac suit).
We visited a Bavoran museum centered on some of the tech-ring ruins, and tried some of the local food. Tantor beans are gooey and crunchy at the same time. They have a spice mix that's a bit like piney Szechuan pepper. Kesdef makes a caffeinated beverage. I bought some plants at the farmer's market, and a supply of roasted Kesdef for testing (I'm not making the long-term toxicity mistake again).
I'm setting up a High-O2 environment on E78 for my crops from Ardra Prime, and for the Bavorans to have a living space that's comfortable for them.
The Desri sent a ship to repatriate the Desri we had in lock-down. We're all glad to have the troublemakers gone. A few neutral Desri have stayed on; one of them is beekeeper, and we may get them set up on the farming floors.
The Bheln are setting up a dojo. I've been giving Sam (Bavoran engineer) tours of the jump-drive, and we're building a steam engine to power the Medical floor.
Freeport moved to Qui Xiu (Harn space), and then on to Nocti, and finally to Crittica (Bheln space).
Bheln are mostly aquatic, and I'm working on figuring out how to make underwater mobiles.
Dub and I are working on a station census, and a way to make sure that Freeport trades for enough supplies for the various races.
Let's look around outside the station? Exosuit rental.
The Desri have been restricted to a smaller space.
Space is awesome!
The breached deck is cold, but not zero; low pressure, but not no-atmo. There's a block of ice-stuff with 4“ diameter tunnels bored.
The movie will be distributed on the Shub homeworld. Also, there's a new script.
I talk to the human ship about distributing the movie there and on the surface of Deneb.
A Molub movie company is suing us for infringement.
The gallifrogs think they have a hostage group to rescue.
I invent six variants of Irish Coffee.
We get speculative mutant plants for free.
We go exploring! Hard landing – nose down. The shuttle must be generally OK, though. We run from a swarm of long chipmunk. The trees move – and one is chasing the chipmunks… no, it's being moved. In its pot.
Everybody wants to see our movie: $9000 income. We think Juliet & Juliet will do better.
I gain a marketing intern who knows more than me about merchanting.
Next stop: Davor, home of the Borrans. Takes a month to get there.
3 foot tall beanbags, grey-green, basically amorphs.
We have vac suits - let's go see what's up with the cold floor! Long story short, small burrowing creatures that might be the creators of the ship, but are not reactive to my attempts to communicate. They are burrowing into mostly solid water but with some sodium flouride carefully scattered around. I am not sure about repairing the hairline cracks when I don't know if they were purposeful, but if I cannot communicate to find out, I guess I can try repairing them and see what happens? I've been practicing welding and vac suits use since they are both very useful skills.
Denib humans need a new planet, along with the Molub. It's nice to see a bunch of humans on a planet, although we did not manage to start filming while we were still there. Not sure how that will work with the casting call I made, hrm. They were ok with the first film - may be too different for them - and liked Juliet and Juliet enough to buy a library copy. A Molub production company is suing for copyright infringement or something? Rude.
Gellifrug managed to get reactions to their “hey are there still some free Gellifrug” coded sitcom messages, but… they were a similar (and more subjugated) species called Slythe instead. Do we help? Is it a trap?
Explored the surface of Denib a bit. Not an awesome landing, but everyone lived. Weirdly ambulatory potted tree with chipmunk minions? Also, probably murder chickens. I need to throw some money at repairing the ship we used. Also, we restocked our medical supplies while at Denib.
Went to Babor next. Ameboid, gregarious 3 foot tall gray lumpy blobs that sense electricity when touching things that have it, three of which joined our crew. They do not like Desri pneumatics. Still wonder if they can tell what our brains are doing when we think really hard.
Both Denib humans and Babor would likely benefit from space whale material for ship building/repair. How to figure out what the space whales would want in exchange? I wish we had a name for the space whales other than that or space slugs.
Explored E75 a little by going in the external airlock; my first EVA. Spent some time on Deneb; Gussie arranged for us to explore by shuttle. Got some crop mutations from the Denebians, the wheat is thriving the corn less so. I’m rigging custom winds for my hydroponics plants.
Freeport moved on to Bavor. The atmosphere is toxic to humans. The Bavorans are kind of like giant amoeba; they can feel electric currents. I enjoyed learning about the art, which can incorporate mild electrical current. Gave some of the Bavorans a tour of Freeport’s engineering section, and a bit of the rest of the station. Three of them may be staying on Freeport for a while.
Dammit, Desri! Attempting to kill everyone on the ship is not ok! Most of us lived, but still. I'm sad about the sharp things Shup not making it. Not sure if we can do anything about the small group of Desri which do not agree with their compatriates.
Met some blimps (actually space whales) who were friendly. That was fun! Also got to borrow James' vac suit and do a bit of welding.
We are at Denib IV and met the humans there, who are somehow from 2050? 6 ships set out because Earth was overtaken by an alien species which wanted it.
Denib IV humans ought to be able to do a corneal replacement if I can find a (real or artificial) cornea for them to use.
I wonder if I can look at the cold floor from the outside?
Neptune-sized gas giant; blimp-life rising. 2-3 days out from our objective. Churning active storms, bluish.
Movie is being distributed. No money coming back yet.
I talk to Te-Kay-Hula about Crab-people martial arts - Belm kung-fu weapons include kama-like short weapons and bill-hooked spears – trips and disarms and grabs. I get a half-point version now and a full point at the end of this session.
We get assaulted by Desri/starfish in a corridor. I gather some Molub up and lead a charge. The short spear/bill-hook is extremely effective against Desri. We overcome 10 Desri and save a Crove.
Oxygen is short, we return to the hospital, close the airlock and crack a bottle of O2; then wet bedsheets and try to seal the air exhaust. James shows up, in a pressure suit and holding another one. The Desri are assaulting the whole station. We rejigger a power-pressure outlet to a regulator and get air pressure back.
I use electrical engineering as first aid on the Crove. It seems that they are multiple computational rings. We have Radio Freeport in the hotel, the Gallifrog restaurant and the hub. Chef knives are excellent weapons against Desri. James says the hotel is overrun. The Molub are generally okay except for one who died when we counter-attacked the ambush.
We start an assault up the ramps, drawing their attention and then letting the Molub and Crove rip them up. We meet Selena and a friendly force at the hotel. Within 12 hours we are in control of the major chunk of the ship.
A shuttle goes to retrieve a chunk of ice from the gas giant's ring.
Celebratory dinner at the Gellifrog restaurant. We discuss airproof patching for the damaged airlocks, and arrive at a plan.
The coffee is undamaged and I spend some time getting hydroponics cleaned up; then I get in more theory, practice and sparring with the Belm. I do a lot of laundry. There's some first-contact stuff going on with the blimp-people, and amazingly I don't get involved.
3 Weeks: Deneb.
The Denebian humans left Earth in 2050, after it was invaded. They have a different skipspace drive. They need a high velocity to get into skipspace, relative to their target. There are at least 2000 of them in a ship that could handle 3-4000, the third largest of six known Earth ships. They think it's 2080. They're in their third generation; 12 person council and a generally military outlook.
They have medical technology, and we have friends who can nano-engineer materials. And they have Wikipedia-2036.
Have moved down to 81 with Dub and Gussie. It’s closer to the murder chickens and, more importantly the Kudzu. We woke up to popping noises, followed by hissing and more popping. Air is getting thin. We woke the Molub, and Odocon, and got out. Air is thin on the ramps too. The ramp up to 79 has been blocked. We went down, straight into an ambush by Desri on 82. One of the Molub died. We managed to get through to the Infirmary on 84. Started to rig some air, and James showed up in a vac suit (with one spare). This was a mass attempt by the Desri to take over the station. They blew charges on the outside of a lot of the airlocks simultaneously. No one has seen Celena; she borrowed a vac suit and vanished.
Celena reappeared with a bunch of Dralen sweeping through the Desri from above, as James, Dub, the Molub & Crov swept up toward the Gellefrug. The groups met near the hotel. Some of the Shup died, including the merchant who sold sharp things. The animals are stressed from all the kerfuffle. I helped patch up the airlocks.
One of the teardrop Blimps came to visit Freeport. Some of the Odocon are trying to interpret the blinking; not all of the lights are in the visible spectrum. I constructed a pair of mobiles/dioramas for Gussie; she’s working with the Odocon to communicate with the Blimps. Which turn out to contain Space Slugs (also kind of like baleen feeders).
We arrived at Deneb. It’s a binary system, a Red dwarf star orbiting a brighter primary. Humans have settled on a planet orbiting the secondary star; it’s a bit on the warm side, but habitable. The Denebian Humans left Earth in 2050, about 2000 of them from the EU. They are restocking their ship in preparation to leave when the planet gets too close to Deneb-Prime. They have a command structure; and are into their 3rd generation (for them it’s 2080).
Turns out baby Dakoob are tiny, and two clutches escaped. Lots of work to round them up, and cull the ones we couldn’t catch. They ate some of the Dangon. I *think* we’ve got it fixed up so that can’t happen again.
Gussie instigated more exploring. we found some useful things (like books, and a medical floor), and less useful things, like a nest of Restorers. The Crov were able to destroy them eventually. We will keep watch in case an escaped.
There are blimps ascending from the lower level of the ice giant. They’re flashing lights at the scouts, but no meaningful communication yet.
To Do: Assuming that the Dangon have not shown any problems with ingesting the kudzu, start using it (along with amended soil from ore processing) to grow other crops. How is the coffee doing? Experiment with Dangon fiber and hides.
That was a lot of fighting. First, there were baby Dakoob which apparently head straight toward loud sounds (not away). It did get them out of where they were holed up, though!
Then more exploring netted a hospital after Carol and Dub fixed the generator, another floor we returned to later with the Crov that had been guarding the baby Dakoob (and then many Crov. “Restorers” are a problem. Hopefully they are all gone…). But that netted us lots of useful stuff! Also, Dub and I made a place to live on 81, although it's not up to the standards of the hotel at the moment.
Also, I have knives now! I like useful presents. I wonder why there are blimps trying to communicate. That's pretty crazy. I learned a tiny bit more about the Athicose: someone was talking about them as if they were a plant species. They said in passing “We don't want to go that way, that's where the Athicose grow”.
In the next week: I'd like to discuss my eyes and burn injuries with Lyra to better understand what the options are there. She may not know, of course, but hopefully she will have some ideas. I'd also like to see about learning how to use a vaccuum suit - it seems like a really important thing to understand given that I'd like to eventually own something like the Molub's flyer.
We establish new quarters in 81.
83: cargo deck, carefully locked together and structured. When we cut into the structure, we hear a chittering noise. Swarm of square-bodied octopedal metallic creatures. The Crove jumps in to eat them. The critters excrete thin wires as building material - then turn it into nets.
Cargo appears to be from a Vietnamese source.
dark flat ground tinted glass; pneumatic tubing, compressors, oscillating alternators… strong plastic bags, airtight containers. 50 bottles of wine.
We assemble a guard team. The critters want to escape. They seal the door.
We repair the generator.
Maybe we need anti-boarding weapons. Anti-docking measures? Airlock changes? Elevator lockdown?
I think I need to start practice with a short staff/machete weapon. Maybe a short spear? Naginata?
I’ve started trying to grow Dub’s hydroponic coffee; about 40% germination rate, ten plants so far. Between farming, and doing engineering work on the station, I am quite busy.
Celena ran across a word none of us know, Athakos; seems to refer to people, but not sure if it’s a noun or an adjective, we should keep our ears open.
Gussie organized us to explore the station a bit more. Floor 77 gave me a splitting headache. Floors 78-80 have a swampy habitat with Yuvilee (aka murder chickens); they have claws, four-wings, and are aggressive. Turns out they are also good to eat. We went back another day and found evidence of French-speakers having lived there at one point (probably from the Deneb IV colony, since that’s what this habitat is emulating).
The Dangon and the Dakoob have proliferated enough for us to cull some. The Gellefrug are going to try cooking the Dangon, and I’m going to try to do something with their hides. The Mollub let me tour a tannery, and I may be able to adapt their methods. The farm has stocked up on feed for our animals, and seed to grow more. I’m experimenting with the Deneb Kudzu to see if it can be used for a substrate; alternately, can our Mollub livestock eat the Denebian flora?
The ship is travelling in the general direction of Deneb IV. Some of the Gellifrug and twenty of the new humans stayed in orbit around Molub II in the ex-Desri ship they are overhauling.
Oh thank _god_ - we'll be passing along the directorial/coordination to Tama, a Shup that Celena either knew or knew of. She seems skilled enough, and had a good suggestion to also add a Shup writer since Shup are one of the biggest consumers of the movies. I can go back to being an active and explory type rather than trying to keep track of everyone and making sure things go well. I'm a stunt person, not a director!
Celena encountered a term with which she was unfamiliar: The Athakos? Worth low key investigation, I think. She also mentioned that the Desri which are sympathetic to our cause may end up murdered by their compatriates. This seems like a problem. No news on the co-writer I hired and then had a lot of trouble firing.
We found murder chickens. Tasty, apparently. More food choices are good, even if they are rather agressive little beasties. They are probably from the same place as the human colony - Deneb - from which we received an invitation (along with Dub's green coffee beans).
We are about to be enroute again - looks like we'll be heading in the right direction to visit Deneb.
Starting to investigate the possibility of being able to see in both eyes. Slow progress is better than none!
New movie in production; we're on the station. We're working out hydroponic coffee farming. Carol and I make seedling trays. 10 plants established.
I bring my spoken Kindra up to “accented” from “broken”.
New movie premiere
Week 1: 7000 credits. Expenses: film editor, 2 weeks X 400
Gross points: 62 = 1% Company: +3050 12 shares of 3050; 1 share = 254
Me: 29254 total
Volunteers are manning switchboards for Radio Freeport
We think the Desri/starfish will be attacking; the Station is underequipped to defend itself. Some station Desri might need to be protected. 10% ok, 10% mind-controlled; 80% evil.
We get an invite from the Deneb colony (along with green coffee beans!)
FTL jumps cost a base amount for the wormhole opening (diameter is important) and then an amount proportional to the square of the jump distance). 20 LY is a very large jump.
Gussie and I go station exploring. First we go shopping: shoes, water bottles…
Floor 61: humans. Little Free Market. 70: water processing 71: grey water 72: village and potential slaughterhouse 73, 74: livestock 75: locked. 76: unoccupied dump 77: smells organic -- bunch of critters. Murder chickens. Swamp.
Movie: 50000 income Expenses: 0 Gross points: 1: 500 Company: +24750 12 shares = 2050 each Me: 31300
Company total: 370800
Gussie wants to step down from running the company in favor of owning it, supplying ideas and working as a stuntperson. One share will go to the new director instead of to Gussie
Harn are willing to fabricate items as detailed as I can describe to them. They are TL9 and will charge.
Movie: 6000 income Expenses: 0 Company: == 373800 Points: 60 12 shares = 250 each Me = 31550
And we head to a new system.
I appear to have started a production/acting company? Thankfully Dub can help with finances, since I'm really not used to having much money. Also turns out Mullub II is not so healthy for humans - arsenic is not fun. Now on chelating agents and for longer than I would otherwise have needed since it's really not plausible to film in freefall.
Kind of funny to be an actor instead of a stunt person. I am tired of only seeing out of one eye, and of the burns. I wonder if I can find anyone to help with any of that - I have no idea what is possible to fix when I'm no longer on Earth!
I started learning the common trade language Kindra because it seems really useful.
I really, really want a Mollub fighter after I flew one to check out the Desri ship. Not likely anytime soon, but at least I took flying lessons! Should be able to fly one now, if I can ever afford it.
Acting is fun! I got to be an action hero *and* kiss Gussie (though it was a short kiss). Still not sure how to acquire horses. Maybe with our newfound wealth! So much has happened in a few short weeks, it's hard to understand it all.
Slowly getting the lay of the land. I still think Jessop Holdings was trying to sabotage Gussie's production, and now I have carte blanche to investigate. I do worry about the concentration of power within Freeport; with the two new factions, things have a chance to schism abruptly. Meanwhile, Carol has been an able student; I suspect she'd have made an excellent low-key agent, given the right time and inclination. Hmm. Perhaps her ability to mesh with followers from all these factions might prove a useful tool for unity…
I helped write a best-seller! Somehow! I don't quite understand why, but somehow people are valuing it, and Gussie tells me it's worthwhile, and the paycheck from Dub (who is managing the numbers now) was truly overwhelming. It gave me a chance to De Precipio Allonsis, which had eluded me for years, but the masterpiece turns out to be impenetrably ornate. Still. Gave me some ideas for this “Juliet and Juliet” story, and that turned out…okay? I guess?
Horace, Sawyer, Gulsvyg, Keenebec - crew on a Molub ship. We get high-gee experience: and our first starship combat. We pry open a tiny wasp-fighter and find a sentient wasp inside. Skerrit? It's unconscious and wounded.
New human ship arrived at Freeport! Mostly southeast Asians - China and India. About 120. They took 2 years to break out of starfish zoos. There are about 50 humans at a station near Deneb.
We work on station repair, and I also do housekeeping, and we're starting Radio Freeport, with nodes at Hub, Hotel, and Gallifrog restaurant.
We make a movie!
company cap now is 359K.
my personal stash: 29K plus.
week 8: 900 1 share = 75 buy second camera rig: 20K
camerabeing salary: 1/5 share. company cap: 339K
week 9: 8000 company cap: 343K share = 666
coffee comes from a human settlement 112 ly away: in about a month we can get green seeds to grow. I go research coffee growing locations.
I invest 5K in coffee research. total personal now 25K.
New writer/critic: 1% of gross.
week 10 end of movie profits. got a -1 sniffle.
week 11 ok script. Found a film editor. $400/week.
week 12 still sniffly -1: it's light metal poisoning. Needs chelation. We move back to the station. Coffee must be grown hydroponically.
week 13 Romeo & Juliet filming. Pick up some Kindra. Next week: movie premiere!
We went out with the Molub to check out the mystery ship. It was Desri, and we recovered a Skirrit from a drone they shot out. A (nearly gutted) Desri ship crewed by Humans (Chinese and Indian from 2014) arrived at Freeport. I have been working on Station upgrades, and am starting a Dangon and Dakoob farm with some of the new humans, and a couple Plove, as part of the goat farm run by the Gellefrug. We have hired a Crov to guard the Dakoob against escapes. I’m looking forward to see what can be done with Dangon fiber. I’m also looking into growing coffee for Dub. It looks like we’ll have to go hydroponic for it; turns out Molub 2 has some metals that we can’t tolerate long term without taking a chelating agent. Which also means we shouldn't eat the first generation of Dakoob; we'll have to raise their offspring separately so they don't pick up the heavy metals from their parents.
No fighting this time! The drive worked! Met even more aliens and got some useful tools and radios. Also put on a play about our experiences with the Desri. Apparently the grey powder were drugs - slight snafu, but things got cleared up and now I do not have them anymore.
I got to fly James' ship a little! That was awesome. Also got to visit an alien planet. Lil left, sadly, but he should have a good time helping the Molub get better at learning.
I spend some time working on hotel housekeeping. In passing I hear that the stat ion has perhaps 100-200K inhabitants. I had previously estimated 80-100K, so this is reasonable. I'm feeling much better.
We volunteer to work on James' new ship, in the hope of rescuing others. The ship is small; the main power source is a washing-machine-sized heart that produces pneumatic pressure. We all pitch in.
On the first flight we get a view of the whole station: about 4Km long, looking like two skyscrapers joined point to point with a big bubble at the hub. There are various ships attached to the sides.
A few trips later – there are humanoid workers outside the starfish section.
Turns out to be the Gallifrogs. They've taken the starfish ship. I ask if they'd like some help working on it. I eventually get to tackle the pneumatic gravity plate system.
The whole station gets reconfigured and rigged to leave.
We put on a play about our adventures. We arrive at Malub 2.
The Gallifrogs invite us to live on their new ship. We get to go down to the planet. I hear tell of another group of humans – maybe folks who have coffee! - - but the Molub are wary that I might be mind-controlled.
Molub technology makes more sense. I ask to see whatever they are most proud of. It turns out to be a canyon-city which they abandoned, because cities make them unhappy in the long term. The next stop is a multi-species university.
We discuss communications technologies and approaches to refit the station. In the end, the advice is to buy it elsewhere.
I finally get coffee. 10 2-cup measures.
Celena is teaching me a little Krav Maga, We helped James overhaul his small ship, and the Gellefrug with the Dezri ship they’ve taken over (we’ve been offered a place there if we want). I went back to help with the station-ship’s engines, and Amar (one of the Lus) has been teaching me some of the things I didn’t understand about engineering here. The Station-ship jumped to Molub 2; we were in 0G for the days it took to transit. That took some getting used to, but had some fun aspects. Gussie organized a play telling of our abduction and escape; working on that made my days even longer, but the station residents enjoyed it, and we earned some spending money. We played tourist on Molub 2, and spent some money at their hardware/craft store equivalents. I also got some clothes that are better for me.
That was a very very long day. We met someone named Marvin who was very helpful and friendly. He was happy to show us around, and since we wanted to see the area we took a ramp-like path instead of the elevator. Since we planned to go to the waste processing area we left our metal at the hotel. This turned out to be a mistake later on! I got a jumpsuit with his help, and have to remember to check my pockets more closely.
Waste recycling people Crov are good at knowing what elements are needed to built a radio? Cool. Gelefrug make good food!
Desri plus Durgu attacked. We did not die. Barely.
Multi-species meeting to figure out what to do about the Desri and their captives. I tried to give Arlene some hints for how to convince people, but I'm not sure how much it helped. I did hear that there are some Desri (starfish) peeps who are _not_ horrible people - I'm curious to meet them.
We meet Marvin, a mid50s retired adventurer. He will take us to the recycling level, East 53. I obtain the loan of a bioluminescent lantern from a Shup, in exchange for tales and perhaps a sharp thing. Marvin takes us to the 53rd floor recycling plant, run by bandsaw-spheres, and then the 48th floor restaurant. The restaurant is run by Gallifrogs. I talk to Bonzo about revolutionary radio. Unfortunately, enslaved Gallifrogs are mind-controlled. The mind-controlling slavers can handle many species, including humans.
As we're departing we get ambushed by starfish. The starfish are supplemented by a 4-armed monkey - a dirgm. I get my rear handed to me, but we overcome. The dirgm are enforcers for the slavers.
Marvin says the dirgm are bad news, and takes the body for show-and-tell. We head back to the hotel. At least two more human survivors have arrived. Celena and Bettina.
I get to work doing housekeeping for the hotel.
The station is split on what to do.
We decided to check out the Waste Reclamation floors to see what sorts of materials there might be available here. We met an older guy, Marvin, who was willing to play tour guide for us. We went through the local market place before heading to 52-53E. We met the Crov who work in Waste Reclamation; they are a little scary, very sharp looking. After that Marvin took us to a Gellefrug restaurant on 40E.
We decided to retrieve our food stores from the escape pod, but were attacked by some Dezri and a Durgoo on the way. Gussie and Dub were hurt badly, but we were able to subdue them. Martin said he’d take care of things, and lent us the currency to use the elevator to get back to the Hotel.
While Gussie and Dub recover, I’m learning how ingredients are different here, and working in the hotel kitchen to earn our keep a bit. At least the techniques I know transfer ok, even if I have to remember a whole new set of “how should this be cooked.” There’s some diplomatic thing going on, and the Lusil gave me some heavy metal seasoning to put in their food (it’s toxic to everyone else).
We did meet a couple other survivors from the ship; Celena is Swedish, and Bettina is German. Maybe Bettina would like to help me practice the language?
If I had to be trapped on an alien spaceship, at least it was with a bunch of resourceful humans? They seemed very surprised to see me, which was odd, but then, they seem very surprised to see everyone, the rail station, even other humans. Perhaps they're just surprisable? It's hard to tell with humans; their mouthparts only move when they're talking…
We found a robot (pneumatic powered?); it eventually managed to learn English and Bheln, and we found out Kekahuna’s name. Salvaged food and water, and left via escape pod. With the robot’s assistance we got enough info on the pod to realize we couldn’t get very far, but that we could dock with the space station the ship we escaped from was docked to. There are humans here! They sound like they’re from Australia. Apparently the station’s light-engines are not functioning correctly, although the sub-lights are. One of the local stars has had a spectrum change recently. I was hoping to help fix the engines, but I’m going to have to learn some more first; they’re using DC for everything! Earth is 800 light-years away. We’re going to be here for a while. I hope someone took care of my sheep.
Acquiring some gesture words for fuzzy; discovered another level. come, stay, yes, no, me, you, them…
Santa-Claus sacks of tv dinners. Escape pod of couches activated. The ship was in serious trouble.
Large sun, small sun, and another binary.
Starfish robot translator/guide.
0-gee fight demo leads to starfish antipersonnel weapons. Electricity is very dangerous for them.
Attach the escape pod to a space train; head up.
Welcome to Freeport. 120 levels. 120 is very heavy. 73 is starfishy and cold. We're at a hotel near the port. Run by ex-Australians, about 4-5 generations in.
1890 point of departure? 800 light years? Rigel A. Blue supergiant.
Dorothy is the receptionist James, her brother, runs the port. Mom: Arlene.
The starfish occasionally enslave people rather than welcoming them to the stellar neighborhood. Whoops. But the total life support failure makes that ship a salvage case.
Electrics are DC-only. The FTL drive breaks a fracture-line of space-time and skids along it?
Trading port: tries to stay neutral. Warehouse, bank, Local peace accord/detente. Weapons to defend the port. Molog (carnivores) like to enfore peace. Opportunities: communication. Little local production.
We can invent vacuum tubes.
We got away from the ship on a lifeboat with the help of a pneumatic robot (which now speaks a little English and a little Bhlen), including some food, water, and the manual. We were apparently on a cruise ship as exhibits. There were a _lot_ more floors than the two we saw. Emry vanished from the freezer, which is weird and confusing. We tried to figure out where we were and where we could get to, and someone noticed that where the cruise ship was attached had some other lifeboats so maybe we could go there. We didn't really have enough distance even to get to a planet, even if we knew which would be safe for us.
So we docked eventually (docking is hard!) and crept forward. Turns out that the dock place is called Freeport and is run by English-speaking humans? Very confusing. They seem to be from the early 1900s (or late 1800s), and the ones we met run a hotel and the dock and are from Australia. They are willing to have us stay if we find a way to work for our living. Since they can't go anywhere until someone figures out what is wrong with their long distance drive, I was hoping to help with that.
Unfortunately, it turns out that I was _way_ more affected by their alcohol than usual - not enough liquid in my body or maybe low gravity had an effect? Not sure. Would really like to help with the long distance drive, but talking to Carol I'm not entirely sure what I could do. I could also offer entertainment or (as always) make stuff out of whatever is available. I'm not sure what they have for tools, but I suspect I could help with improvements.
Lots of possibilities, once I get a better sense of what they need that I can help with.
We would really like to not die. Stupid blue sun. Stupid starfish. I have no idea who the giant alien (can make noises and mimic me!) and the one on my shoulder are, but they seem friendly and helpful. I love that the giant one broke down the door that we couldn't get through! Still need to figure out why the roof is making scary noises. Everyone is hungry, and no one knows what's safe to eat.
Where the heck am I?! This is not my farm. Woke up in a cell. Met Gussie, Dub, Yong, and an Alien who we aren’t really able to communicate with. We broke out, and have been exploring. Lot of Dead giant starfish. Control room that’s way too hot, and what might be a blue sun. Met Emory, and then a not-actually-dead starfish hurt him enough with something like a taser that we ended up freezing him. We smothered a fire, and got up a level, but we still haven’t figured out how to read the language here, or how to get wherever we are away from the hot sun. There are also ominous noises from above.
Kidnapped by alien starfish-things, who were mostly dead when we woke up. They've been to Earth before: they dressed us in RenFair clothing.
There's me, Gussie, Carol, Yung, and Crab-Person, who is clearly one of us even if we don't know much about them and can't communicate much. We just found LittleFurry-Person, who I think will also be one of us. Emory, a Russian, died, killed by the only living starfish we've seen.
The starship doesn't make any sense. It doesn't have a working fire suppression system. It doesn't seem big enough. It has artificial gravity. Parts of it are too hot to survive – are we too close to a sun? We need to figure out controls, but we have basically no chance of that. We need a Rosetta Stone, or a translator, or something.
滚滚长江东逝水，浪花淘尽英雄。是非成败转头空，青山依旧在，几度夕阳红。白发渔樵江渚上，惯看秋月春风。一壶浊酒喜相逢，古今多少事，都付笑谈中。 是非成败转头空，青山依旧在，惯看秋月春风。一壶浊酒喜相逢，古今多少事，滚滚长江东逝水，浪花淘尽英雄。 几度夕阳红。