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[DCE-2] HD 139449 System

Started by Planet of Hats, June 03, 2023, 11:28:28 PM

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Planet of Hats

Stardate: 100421.3
CAPT Jadrys Itana
Level 1 - Open

LOCATION: HD 139449 System

MISSION: Continuing Deep Centaurus Expedition initiative.

OUTCOME: The Copernicus encounters a long-range missile system and makes contact with a major political power in the Loop 1 Bubble.

CAPT Jadrys Itana
LT Sey Cathalc
LT Hussein al-Absi
LT Cassiopeia Huynh
NARRATIVE: This report will serve as an update on the progress of the Deep Centaurus Expedition.

Our passage through the Gould Belt created anticipated communications difficulties over long distances. Copernicus attempted to alleviate these difficulties by deploying three subspace amplifier beacons along our course, but these proved inadequate to carry signals through the high saturations of stellar radiation and interference presence in this very active star-forming region. We are able to transmit now following the successful mission of CMDR Soin and USS Haida behind us to deploy additional amplifier beacons through this area. We hope this will restore regular communications with taskforce command.

Since exiting the dense areas of the Lupus Dark Clouds, we have been under frequent long-range bombardment by what we can only describe as interstellar glide missiles. These projectiles were aimed at Copernicus any time we jumped out of warp within a certain multi-light-year radius. The projectiles, which utilized sensor ghosting and low-diameter transwarp conduits to propel high-explosive projectiles at approximately transwarp factor 40. The first attack was unexpected and resulted in damage to the engineering hull and several injured, but we identified techniques for intercepting subsequent attacks. As the projectiles are shielded from sensors, LT Al-Absi and LT Cathalc identified a means to detect the transwarp signatures generated as the glide vehicles re-entered normal velocity. These signatures could be resolved into trajectories and fed to the tactical sensors, allowing each glide vehicle to be shot down as it decelerated.

Our communication with the source of the vehicles was limited to an automated transmission from a probe, proclaiming a large radius of space a "primitive society protection zone." After several more of these automated attacks each time we exited warp, we identified the source of the glide vehicle fire to be a planet in the HD 139449 system, an F-type star. We set course for this planet to investigate.

LT Al-Absi and LT Huynh worked en route to devise a means to avoid detection by the automated system. En route to the system, Operations and Engineering built up a graviton charge, using it to artifically collapse the ship's warp bubble while flooding immediate space with graviton particles. This allowed Copernicus to "glide" into the system at full impulse while disguising the usual Cochrane smoothing associated with warp deceleration. No missiles were fired at us as we entered the system and identified two planets, both Class B and uninhabitable, along with several large asteroid groupings. The source of the missiles was quickly identified as a large facility orbiting the second planet. Scans revealed no lifesigns but indicated high levels of computer activity.

We were able to establish communication with the facility and, upon intercepting about a dozen more missiles, achieved a response from the facility computer. The system declined to identify itself beyond its initial designation but routed us through several relays, bringing us into communication with an individual resembling a five-foot-tall bipedal ground hornbill in a white and grey service uniform and a headset. The individual appeared startled but identified himself as Captain-Lieutenant Keer ka Hark of the Associated Star Pact Joint Defence Force. After brief introductions, the officer and three individuals of the same species appeared to review several logs before we were informed that the missile system was not intended to target us. Per Captain-Lieutenant Hark's explanation, the system is designed to target vessels associated with the Pyscillian Hierophany, whose "preacher probe" we intercepted earlier in our mission. Pyscillian vessels operate on warp field frequencies within a few nanocochranes of Federation ships, causing the system to mistake Copernicus for a Pyscillian vessel. Captain-Lieutenant Hark issued profuse apologies and assured us the system would be updated to exclude Federation warp signatures.

We took the opportunity to speak with this individual further, who explained that the Associated Star Pact is a multicultural and interplanetary treaty organization negotiated by his own species, an aviform race called the Kanu, and six neighbouring worlds. The Kanu appear to be the most significant power in this alliance, which appears analogous to our own Alliance and to past structures on many Federation member worlds. Defense systems like the one we encountered exist in numerous peripheral sectors and were put into place with the rationale of protecting pre-warp civilizations from intervention by the Pyscillians, whom Hark described as having a history of targeting such planets for conversion and "enslavement." We cannot fully corroborate these accusations but will bear them in mind. Hark's description of the Pact describes a very loose organization based on mutual cooperation in defense and trade among a group of democratically-governed planets.

Star charts we received from our contact with Hark indicate Copernicus is currently on a course that will take us along the edge of Pact member space, specifically passing a star system called Tassh (HD 193238). This system hosts a Pact installation identified as Starhook 47. While this course is at least 50 light years from now and we have a lot of ground to cover before then, I have determined that Copernicus will continue this course and attempt to conduct diplomatic overtures to the Pact in the Tassh system.

RECOMMENDATION: Continue to monitor the subspace relay chain to ensure contact is not lost across the Gould Belt.


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