Posted Feb. 10, 2023, 10:43 a.m. by Gamemaster CockRoach (GM) (Robert Archer)
With the probe launched it took a few minutes for it to get on station nearer to the asteroid ship. The ‘asteroid’ on scans by the probe were on first result fully given over to showing it was an asteroid made mainly of iron and other such general minerals like those around it in the belt. The ‘asteroid’ did not make any hostile or corrective movements when the probe was obviously when its range of influence by 200 meters or so.
Visual scans also showed what seemed a normal iron made ‘asteroid’. But it was finer details now up close which over the next half an hour gave little hints at the true purpose of likely some kind of really well made camouflaged ship. Someone had taken great effort to clearly build a ship as naturally as possible that even on a closer scan would likely pass for a natural asteroid at a quick glance. But being studied now as it was the crew could see small bumps or ‘crater’ holes which given their alignment were clearly carefully made RCS thruster jet holes which would account for the minute burn effect they had seen earlier by a freak chance. Given the positioning of these thrusters they soon could devise a rough shape of likely the ship in some form.
From what could be told someone had indeed at some point in recent months or a year or two at most taken actual local asteroid chunks from within his system. They had then carefully lined some kind of rough spherical/angular rectangular hull with said rock chunks, and taken extreme efforts to then build natural colored and rough shaped hull for everything else to maintain the rough spherical natural asteroid shape. Given the size output of the RCS thrusters and the rest of the structure probably there were at most 4 or so people if any on board the ship. There was no sign of defenses or weapons either at present nor the outlines of what might be considered such in the natural slopes of the rock. It was clearly though not capable of warp travel, nor likely of much more then limited sublight speeds if at all. Its destination was still it seemed either the sun, or if it made the course change to come the northern pole of Vok III
Rand listened as the information was relayed. So not anything more than what they already knew, or could surmise with the given data. She looked at Kovan, “Let’s send another probe out, into the field and see if someone is watching over them. If not....” she looked at Morgan at tactical, “Morgan can we tractor that thing?”
Tracy turned to look at her, “The Sentinel has 2 tractor beam emitters located aft dorsal and aft ventral on decks 1 and 12. The dorsal emitter is clear of the ship’s nacelle pylons for a full 180 degree area of lock. The 2nd emitter is located ventrally on deck 12 providing the same 180 degree area coverage. Both emitters have a maximum range of 10,000km, depending on local relativistic and delta-v conditions, as well as a towing capacity of 20,000 metric tons each. That 4 person ship is well under the 20,000 metric ton limit. Unless they did something to make the mineral composition of their hull heavier than anything we know.”
Rand nodded and looked back at Kovan, “If we don’t have a second ship to deal with, let’s go capture a fake asteroid.”
Looking over things on the surface it should easily be possible to tractor said ‘ship’. With the second probe then launched and sent out of the system it seems someone in Vok III’s orbital platform had taken notice and was hailing on audio with an inquiry of what was going on. =/\= Vok III space control to USS Sentinel, care to explain why you are launching probes? Something to report?” a male voice asked over the open channel.
Rand rolled her eyes. Really? Open comms with hostiles in the area. These people had no sense of self preservation. =/\=Vok III space control. We are simply following orders. My Commander tells me to get updated astrometric and stellar readings, I do it. Anything to report will be handled through Cmdr Alden given to your governor. Sentinel out.=/\=
=/\= We see Sentinel. Well you could have informed us of this event. Vok III space control out. =/\= the male voice said closing the comms with a slightly huffed attitude.
It took Alden a while to find time to respond to Rand’s message. The code meant she must want it private. Finally, his voice came over the comm, =/\= Alden here. Requesting to be beamed aboard ASAP.=/\= Judging by the tone of his voice, he had received and understood Rand’s coded message.
~ Cmdr Alden, XO/CSO
=/\=Aknowleged Cmdr. Stand by for transport=/\= Rand breathed out slowly and nodded to Kovan. Better than a code. She hit the comms for the ship and relayed the request to the transporter room. A moment later the chief had completed the transport. “Welcome back, Cmdr.”
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