In the ensuing panic after the pirate hijack broadcast alerting the station to the incoming Clarke’s Endeavour, Erdhart and Ryder managed to quickly cobble together a rudimentary security lockdown to prevent as many opportunists as possible from heading out towards the vessel. Unfortunately, several ships made it out before they could lock the station down, and three were on a trajectory making it possible for them to intercept the derelict vessel;
- The Midnight Scales, owned by the private security firm Lucky Star
- The Midas Touch, owned by the Prosperity Group
- And Swan Song, nominally owned and operated by Starware.
The crew made ready to depart, using Alek Freamon’s The Jupiter’s Edge, with Jay Falon using his expertise with systems to cut the launch time to 30 minutes. During this, unbeknownst to the rest of the crew, the fixer Ilan Redsman contacted the Night Cartel, and in exchange for a full experiential of his experiences aboard the derelict they provided the information that the Swan Song was both linked heavily to organized crime, and that it was definitely headed for the Endeavour.
With this knowledge in mind, the The Jupiter’s Edge launched on a trajectory towards the derelict. Midway there, sensors picked up a hostile vessel that had turned on its trajectory; the Swan Song launched a dozen missiles towards the Pride, but superior maneuvering and quiet running allowed Freamon’s ship to slip past, giving the Firewall team a valuable headstart on the criminal salvagers.
Clarke’s Endeavour was dark and spinning in space, a clear indicator that the crew was in trouble. It became obvious that the errors in the transmitted distress call were due to the message itself being corrupt, rather than attenuation over distance.
The Firewall team docked and boarded the darkened ship. The corridors were twisted and damaged by torque forces, with discarded equipment and detritus floating in the low-grav environment. The team made a beeline for the fore of the ship, hoping to find the bridge.
Along the way, Walker discovered an abandoned log belonging to one of the unfortunate crew, replicated below:
[INSERT RED DREAM LOG HERE]
Continuing on, the Firewall team discovered the command centre of the ship – trashed, with a strange pillar extruded from the roof and fused into the deck plating of both the floor and ceiling, vaguely stalactite-shaped. Brief analysis showed that it was denser on the outside, had a cell structure, and was giving off electromagnetic radiation. Jay Falon managed to rig the emergency lighting system back on, as Erdhart, Zhang, and Walker proceeded to the fore-most door, which was both sealed and heavily pitted and marked with small arms energy weapon fire. Ilan, in the meantime, in an attempt to sabotage any intelligence the Night Cartel would receive from him, was stationed in the main corridor leading to the airlock, purposefully ignoring as much stimuli as possible.
Walker managed to unseal the forward blast door using his plasma cutter, allowing the team access to the pilot’s compartment. Dead in the pilot’s chair, sprawled over the console, was a woman with a blaster hole in her neck – Mary McConaghue, the ship’s medical officer, dead for several weeks at least. Another log was found on her body:
[MARY LOG 1]
More concerning was the jury-rigged organic wiring hooked up to the piloting console and leading into the ship’s AR banks; clearly alien in origin and ‘soldered’ to the console by some kind of slimy secretion.
Disturbed, the team left Jay Falon to take samples and continued exploring the ship, beginning with the medbay. The operating table’s AR was still flickeringly active, showing both Mary McConaghue’s face and a detailed cross-section of a human body. Unfortunately also active was a medical drone, which sprouted multiple scalpels, cutting saws, and needles and jetted towards Erdhart threateningly. Thankfully Zhang was covering the ‘bot with her assault rifle, and two short bursts took it apart. Another log was running on the operating table:
[MARY LOG 2]
Falon was called in to try and discern why the drone was hostile, and Ilan was dispatched to bring Doctor Il’voras to the medbay so she would have the necessary tools on hand in case of crisis.
This did not look to be too far off, as Freamon warned the team that a ship was inbound on an intercept course and had fired a breach bay towards the Endeavour. The Jupiter’s Pride disengaged from the derelict in order to fend off the approaching ship, assumed to be the Swan Song, and the Firewall team, now trapped aboard, prepared to receive the approaching boarders…