Branch of SIGHT Makes Peaceful Contact with Unknown Vessels
January 5th, 3303
At the Prismatic Imperium’s Branch of SIGHT, science and mysteries are the focus. When news reached Cubeo of strange interdictions in the Pleiades Sector it was greeted at the Emerald Observatory with much enthusiasm. For years now the Branch of SIGHT has probed the depths of our galaxy from the Formidine Rift, to the Conflux and Hawkin’s Gap. From massive barnacles on otherwise barren worlds to crashed unknown vessels, not to mention ancient ruins, SIGHT has been there. And so with these sudden and strange events happening SIGHT rapidly put together a scientific expedition to the Pleiades Sector. The intent? Find these unknown vessels and make peaceful contact for the betterment of all humanity.
“With the Colonia initiative having just concluded phase one we were rather thin on the ground. But we put our first contact protocols in place and outfitted what ships we could. As always, the Prismatic Imperium proved to have the most dedicated Commanders around.” -Lord Headmaster Rogue949
But it wasn’t as simple as grabbing some ships and going. Specialized scientific equipment needed to be purchased and installed. What’s more, the scientific team was heading into the unknown with little idea of what to expect or even what might lead to first contact. Still, with the can-do attitude that typically infuses all PI Branches, the Branch of SIGHT managed to launch an expedition of three ships within hours of the original broadcasts becoming known to the galactic community. Founder of the Prismatic Imperium CMDR Jeff Ryan, CMDR DarthSeaBass, and CMDR Rogue949 winged up and departed Cubeo. With the knowledge and skills of dedicated explorers they managed to make record speed to the Pleiades Sector. Rogue949, the newly promoted Headmaster of the Branch of SIGHT, who recently took over from the exemplary Lord Headmaster CMDR Locnor, had been researching the strange encounters throughout the trip.
“We needed a game plan. Was it random luck that drew these unknown’s attention? Were they looking for something specific? Was it a specific behavior that we needed to copy? We just didn’t know.” -CMDR DarthSeaBass
“That’s where Rogue came in. How he managed to fly and sift through all that data I’ll never know.” -CMDR Jeff Ryan
But CMDR Rogue949 did sift through that data. And everything pointed to vessels having interacted with other unknown objects as the criteria most likely to attract attention.
“Really the data was pretty thin. But when you coupled the ongoing barnacle, artifact, and probe activity in the sector with this new threat it just sort of made sense. We needed to be carrying alien tech. In effect we were going fishing, with unknown artifacts and our own ships as the bait.” -Lord Headmaster Rogue949
The Branch of SIGHT keeps an extensive library of all strange happenings in the galaxy. Quickly the trio of heroic explorers isolated likely systems that might hold unknown artifacts. But there was now a new added danger. Not all of Sight initiatives were piloting ships which were properly engineered to carry these dangerous items. UA’s, as the community calls them, have an immediate and extreme toxic and corrosive effect on ship modules. The exploration team was willingly damaging their vessels for nearly four hundred light years from home on a hunch.
“Jeff and I found them first. Rogue was out of position. And by out of position I mean he was in the wrong system all together.” -CMDR DarthSeaBass
DarthSeaBass has a hint of smile as he speaks. But Rogue949 did have his reasons.
“If all three of us were in the same system, and there were no UAs there, then we were wasting time. So I spread out to nearby locations to enhance our odds.” -Lord Headmaster Rogue949
But CMDRs Jeff Ryan and DarthSeaBass were in the right location. And within minutes CMDR DarthSeaBass had a UA in his cargo hold.
“Then we discovered an issue with how quickly we planned the expedition. Neither Rogue nor I had any cargo space. So even though we had another UA right there in front of us, we couldn’t pick it up.” -CMDR Jeff Ryan
The decision was made. The explorers would jump to Maia separately, but near each other in case CMDR DarthSeaBass attracted any attention. Upon reaching Maia, Jeff Ryan and Rogue would outfit with cargo racks and return for UAs while DarthSeaBass continued random jumps near Maia. The outfitting and return for UAs went off with out a hitch.
“I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely happy with the plan. The Prismatic Imperium would not have been happy with me if I returned home to Cubeo having lost our Founder to an alien ship!” -Lord Headmaster Rogue949
In any event, all three ships now had UA’s onboard.
“So we went fishing.” -CMDR Jeff Ryan
All ships plotted an economical route toward Maia and began jumping.
“Those UA’s pack a punch. Within moments of picking up the UA I had damage to subsystems. And it seemed like every second jump more damage would occur.” -CMDR Jeff Ryan
He took the venerable Diamondback Scout on this mission and he glances through the viewing port toward his ship as he speaks.
And so the expedition continued. Jump after jump, and alarm after alarm indicating damage to subsystems.
“I lost mine first. The corrosion damaged my cargo scoop and between jumps it just opened, dumping my UA out into Super Cruise.” -Lord Headmaster Rogue949
He communicated that the damage to his Anaconda was a personal affront.
CMDR Rogue949 kept jumping. Perhaps simply having had a UA onboard recently was all that was needed?
DarthSeaBass needed to make repairs. The team was getting frustrated. Hours upon hours of searching and jumping and alarms of concern for the unknown were beginning to have their impact.
“We were running out of patience and ideas. Ship damage is never something to be taken lightly. It looked as if we were going to find nothing. But Rogue is always thinking. And he had a stupid idea that turned out to not be so stupid after all.” -CMDR Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan looks at the other two and they nod in unison.
Rogue949 states now as if it was a certainty all along. Of course, it wasn’t anything approaching certain. It was a shot in the dark that proved inspired.
“Merope is where the UA’s point. It has long been at the heart of whatever the barnacles and UA’s and the recently discovered Unknown Probes are. And yes, Maia is right next door. But we had yet to go to Merope. So that’s where we jumped.” -Lord Headmaster Rogue949
CMDR Rogue949 reached Merope first. Nothing. Not a single thing out of order. After a couple of drinks he described that jump as to be so routine and boring that it was almost spooky. DarthSeaBass arrived next and, with not much else to do, the two CMDRs in Merope turned to discussing the odds on favorites for the next Prismatic Imperium Moon Golfing tournament.
“Failure leaves a bitter taste in the mouth and we were down to just the Founder, and just one jump before we headed home to Cubeo.” -CMDR DarthSeaBass
DarthSeaBass clenches a fist as he says this.
The three explorers lean over the table as Jeff Ryan begins the tale of Sight’s triumph.
“The jump initiated normally. No indication at all of anything out of the ordinary.” -CMDR Jeff Ryan
The three explorers are grinning from ear to ear.
“Our first clue that something was happening was over our wing voice comms. Jeff’s voice suddenly got very tense and a little higher in pitch.” -Lord Headmaster Rogue949
Rogue turns to DarthSeaBass who continues the story.
“He tells us that his hyperspace conduit is degrading and unstable. In all our countless days and months in space, exploring our galaxy, that’s something we’d never heard before.” -CMDR DarthSeaBass
Jeff Ryan resumes.
“The conduit went, well, wonky is the best term I have to describe it. First a deep reddish tinge started to highlight the normal cotton candy look of witchspace. Then my ship began to uncontrollably pitch and yaw. When the conduit collapsed I was braced for the violent spin you sometimes encounter when being interdicted in Super Cruise. But that didn’t happen. It was gentler then that. And then my ship’s systems went offline.” -CMDR Jeff Ryan
Miraculously visual spectrum recording equipment remained operational on the little Diamondback.
“It was magnificent. Like an eight-pointed star gracefully jaunting through space. It came from directly overhead my cockpit, the light it gave off refracted off the ice beginning to form on my canopy. Then it turned toward me, the center of the ship like a giant eye in the middle of a strange space-going starfish. My ship’s computers interpreted much of the activity as noise. Noise that we are now analyzing. Then there’s a flash of brilliant green light. I’m certain it scanned me! After that, and seemingly not interested anymore, it headed off on a new course. Space itself seemed to fold behind it! My ship’s systems suddenly rebooted and I followed as best I could scanning with every sensor I had. It vanished into what I can only describe as a wormhole similar to what our capital ships generate. Every reading I pulled from it was the same, ‘Unknown’.” -CMDR Jeff Ryan
The other two members of the expedition raced to the location of the event. But it was too late. By the time they reached their fellow, the ship was gone. But SIGHT classifies this event as a success. Nobody was hurt. Only minor damage to ships occurred. And the astounding was encountered. All data from the event has been returned to Cubeo for analysis. The Branch of SIGHT is now running continual operations in the Pleiades Sector in the hopes that future encounters will occur, and mankind can reap the benefits.
Would You Like To Know More?
- Article written by the expedition members.
- Axton J. Rodney voices his concern about government use of scare tactics regarding a hoax involving alien vessels discovered in the Pleiades Sector to encourage young citizens on Cubeo to join the scientific community in the Branch of SIGHT.
“It is no coincidence that the Branch of SIGHT is doing studies on alien interactions when clearly they manage all education in Cubeo. It’s indoctrination!”
- Article written by the expedition members.
- A team of radicals calling themselves as the “Law of Ladd” were arrested today by the Administration of the Overseer. While many Senators consider the radical movement to be a joke, High Overseer Ottesius insists the public that there is nothing humorous about “LOL”.
- The Prismatic Imperium’s colony, Aurora, has a strong foundation but requires more work.
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