Posted by Commander Shedda Mal’athar (Executive Officer) in SIM Intro - The Lost Latinum Mine of Terra Nova
Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Sovrk (Chief Science Officer) in SIM Intro - The Lost Latinum Mine of Terra Nova
Posted by Gamemaster Wookius Furrius (Senior Gamemaster) in SIM Intro - The Lost Latinum Mine of Terra Nova
Posted by… suppressed (15) by the Post Ghost! 👻
The small ship drifted in space, tumbling end over end in a lazy, eternal nod to momentum’s laws. As ships go this one was old. A Beretta Rim-Runner, a ship used by small time mercantile operators, prospectors and those operating not precisely above the law - or all three - or other uses. She was a general purpose small, sturdy ship. Not so fast without being enhanced, and not so large to carry cargos of significance, this was a specialized ship class that had seen most action of its class a century and a half ago. It’s decline came in with upgraded, well, everything that made the Rim-Runner’s obsolete and used only by those tenaciously hanging on to the past, those unable to afford the upgrade, or small corporations that needed a sturdy small ship to run goods between worlds or flit about taking samples in an asteroid belt.
This tumbling Rim-Runner sported no power emissions. A blackened area of her aft hull near to her port storage bay was open to space, an ugly scar along her rust colored hull that didn’t entirely cover up the name emblazoned on the side - identified by optical scans - as the Red Dwarf. Some 44 meters long and half that in diameter, sporting many rounded ‘bulbs’ a meter or so wide about it’s upper hull. The underside, flatter than the top held landing gear and, curiously, the rack that denoted an external torpedo launcher. It was empty. The ship boasted no portholes apart from a single thin strip on either side of a raised half deck that spanned 10 meters wide and a half meter high. The only other external ports were at the pilot’s forward area at the fore end of this raised half deck. One of said two forward ports was cracked.
This curious vessel was detected by accident by stellar cartography which had been mapping a region of space and had initially flagged the Red Dwarf as a rogue asteroid, at least until a secondary analysis noted it as having refined metals in its makeup. This find was routed to the science station of the bridge of the Manhattan …
Sovrk sat at his station on the bridge keeping an eye on the long range sensors and monitoring quietly when the datapacket came in. He frowned as he reviewed the data. He quietly tapped on the console and started to work on getting a location of the ship. Making sure he knew the distance and bearing before he spoke up.
Once he had the data he needed he looked up from the console turning towards the captains chair. “Captian. We have a small problem.”
Lt. J.G. Sovrk, CSO
At this point the ship was 1.35 light years away, pretty much a hop skip and jump away on a galactic scale.
“Only a small one, Lieutenant?” Cochrane quipped from the center seat. “Maybe our luck is changing for the better. What have you got, Mister Sovrk?”
Sovrk looked to the Captain. “A stellar cartrographer was mapping out a section of the quadrant when their sensors caught an oddity. At first they thought it was just a rouge asteroid… however more intensive scans revealed that the metals in that were refined.... an even closer look revealed that the asteroid was no asteroid at all. Instead it seems to be a small ship, a Beretta Rim-Runner, designated the Red Dwarf.... and well… something blew a hole into it.”
Lt.J.G. Sovrk, CSO
After a brief pause Sovrk added “It is 1.35 lightyears away at bearing 241 mark 112.”
Cochrane’s attitude shifted slightly to the more serious. “Helm, set a course. Warp seven. Stop us just inside sensor range. Operations, run down anything we have on the ship. Mr. Sovrk, scan for life signs and the surrounding area for anything out of the norm upon our arrival. Engineering, ready a probe.” He tapped the comms and said =/\= XO and Security Chief to the bridge. Sickbay on standby. =/\=
=/\=On my way.=/\= Mal’athar’s voice came back over the comm.
Sovrk nodded and added. “The sensors from the cartographer read no power outputs, no life support; that’s why when they first found it they thought it was a rouge asteroid. Depending on how long it’s been there we may not find anything alive Captain.” He said as a matter of a fact before he set to adjusting the sensors for maximum range when they dropped out of warp.
Lt. (J.G.) Sovrk, CSO
Shortly after the comm call, Fayth stepped out of the lift and onto the bridge. “Captain.” He said, both as a greeting and a question as to why the call as he took his regular place on the bridge. A glance at the main viewscreen told him it might have to do with a small ship of some kind.
~ Fayth, COS
Shedda stepped off a lift on the other side of the bridge a moment after their new security chief. Hearing the implied question in his acknowledgement, she held her own. She waited for an update as she took the seat to Cochrane’s right and turned on the LCARS display attached to the chair.
“We have a derelict vessel with no life signs and severe damage a little over a light year away.” Cochrane said to the new arrivals. “We have identified it as a Berreta Rim-Runner named Red Dwarf. Ops is researching the ship now, and Science is scanning the are for anything out of the norm. Mr. Fayth, have a Security Team suit up for space operations and on standby for boarding. Helm and Science. Are there any other vessels in the area? And is the space claimed by any goverents that we are aware of?”
“Of course, sir.” Eilah said, then spoke into his comm to his security team. When he was finished, “A team will be ready in ten minutes. When the time comes, I can join them or I can stay on the bridge, if you prefer.”
~ Fayth, COS
Cochrane gave a small smirk to Mal’athar and then said “You are the Security Chief, Commander. I trust you to make such decisions.” without taking his eyes off the screen.
Shedda returned the look. Fayth was new and still feeling the rest of the senior staff and the captain’s personality. Some COs controlled everything, the best ones trusted their senior officers. It was no secret that Cochrane was one of the best COs in Star Fleet. He wouldn’t be all the way out here if he wasn’t.
Shedda watched the screen as they waited for responses to the sensor scans.
The Beretta Rim-Runners were listed a sturdy general purpose ship that filled a niche where larger vessels were simply unnecessary at a time when exploration was at a peak. The surveyors had swept through mapping this and that and after that came the colonists and prospectors and corporations seeking to start new, find new or build new. In the end the Beretta’s were simply outclassed by newer models. Mechanically they also had issues with their air filtration units that often caused odd odors at random times and required constant tweaking, or that their impulse engines as they aged tended to overheat. Once again this resulted in ‘tweaking’ making each such vessel unique in some way.
This particular Runner, the Red Dwarf had a notorious past, for what was actually logged about her. Being a civilian ship over a century old they didn’t get much attention in Starfleet computer cores unless held some notoriety. In this case it did have some …
2239 - Commissioned as the ‘Rubble Rouser’ under the Captaincy of one Ferdinand Helland, Ferdinand did close Asteroid belt prospecting until he sold in 2246. His area of operations was in known core systems but conducted prospecting in tight asteroid belts which his ship could navigate better than those larger. He was often contracted to a company known as the Concorde Group.
2246 - The Rubble Rouser was headed by a person whose only record was an alias of ‘Winkie Bowers’, probably of Winkler Bowers, a petty criminal who was in and out of trouble with the law on Tellar, Earth and the Centauran colonies. His principle operation was, in the vernacular, rum running, and he had the Rouser’s engines and systems enhanced to outrun local law enforcement. Nobody knew precisely what happened to Winkie but, in 2255, the Rouser was found in a scrapyard and purchased at a bargain price.
2255 - Refitted (kinda) and renamed the ‘Red Dwarf’ the ship was then captained by one Jake Moran, who was, coincidentally both a dwarf and red haired. Flamboyant and free with his credits, Jake frequented gambling establishments with modest success, sustaining his habit from gains made in prospecting of which he, in spite of his size and uncertain qualifications, was successful. Logs showed he kept active several claims on different systems. He and the Red Dwarf disappeared in 2261.
Speculation was in the media for a short time until more interesting things came up and no further news of Jake emerged. Some suggested he ran afoul of the mob. Another that Winkie had caught up with him wanting his ship back. Still another was that he had run afoul of the usual suspects that prospectors on the rim could run into. Another was that, shortly before his disappearance he had won a ‘treasure’ map as payment in kind and had disappeared in looking for whatever was on it.
Cochrane reviewed the history and said “Hmmmm… interesting. Ops. XO. Anyone? What was the Red Dwarf’s last known location?”
That part was unknown. No flight course had been filed that was in any records. There was a star map listing of four of his claims that Moran had kept up and the location of his then favorite gambling spot being on a world simply called ‘Chance’. It had been a frontier town community with a general location that suggested space trade routes could make Chance a nexus for trade. That did spur activity, a space station being constructed out of nominal resources in that system - its principal draw was agricultural and medical with the potential of tourism along many equatorial island chains. However, another system, the Genoan system, a dozen light years away became the primary world with the space lanes and, after a few decades, coming up to the early 2300’s, Chance had lost its chance and was in general decline. Equatorial storms quashed or at least dampened any tourism hope and the agro business was just not sufficient for it to thrive but only to be a feeder to the Genoan system and others in the region. The frontier town that started it all still remained, named Lodestone, though was a fraction of its size even in Mason’s time with the Tavern/Gambling spot still standing, the Kicking Tooth Tavern. The main agro port, named Fairhaven, was on the opposite side of the planet where it maintained the space port, agro facilities and the space station in stationary orbit overhead. It had a travel advisory for any travel outside of the Fairhaven regions and especially to Lodestone that held a poor reputation for under the table transactions, all stakes gambling and other hinted at but never proven criminal activities.
Sovrk briefly glanced at the information himself as he awaited the sensor sweep. He had set them for maximum range and was looking for warp signatures, as well as he kept an eye out for a weapons signature, or ionic residue that could lead to a determination that would have caused the torpedo launcher to explode. If he had gotten the signature of the cartographer, then he would have set the sensors to filter out their signature.
Lt. (J.G.) Sovrk, CSO
Long range scans didn’t show anything that was surprising. Any ‘hits’ were locals with identifiers. Thermal scans on the Red Dwarf would indicate that it was the temperature of ambient space around. It had been that way for some time. Years perhaps. Any residues or additional forensics would need to be done on site for more clarity.
Shedda scanned the information, “There is no known final flight plan filed. He had stakes along the rim and was known to frequent the frontier planet ‘Chance’. Maybe there is credence to his treasure hunting? Maybe he got caught in a similar way as Voyager and ended up out here?” As an archeologist, Shedda knew that even the most fantastic stories usually had some basis in perceived truth. Or at least enough clues to point the way.
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