TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

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Far beyond the edge of the inhabited universe lies the Silent Planet, a fertile but isolated world rumoured to be the final resting place for a number of lost interplanetary expeditions. Despite the planet’s deadly reputation, legends of riches, vast resource deposits, and lost alien technology tempt those brave, or foolish, enough to take the risk. Will the Silent Planet’s latest batch of colonists quell its dangerous wildlife and hostile inhabitants, or will they end up as another in a long line of expeditions that have simply ‘gone silent’?

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TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby Calvin » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:53 pm

“And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.”
― C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet


Faster than light travel was a huge achievement for mankind, turning dreams of exploring distant galaxies into reality. The only problem with faster than light travel is the the term doesn’t specify exactly how much faster than light it is. Space is unimaginably vast, with distances being often being measured in light-years, though technically, parsec is the official unit for distance used for space travel. At very least, parsec sounds a bit less lonely. A few mega- or giga-parsecs distance between galaxies sounds better than thousands or millions of lightyears, where civilizations can rise and fall, new species can evolve, and planets can be rendered uninhabitable, before the light from them reaches you.

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The journey to Plato-12898c, or, as it’s more commonly known, the Silent Planet, underscores the vastness of space, and makes it clear why most corps opt to build self-contained facilities or terraform nearby planets instead of building on habitable planets, instead selling off plots to self-sufficient colonies. Even starting the journey near the fringes of what is commonly referred to the inhabited or ‘civilized’ universe, the cluster of planets and space stations where most commerce is conducted, it takes multiple jaunts on starships and interplanetary shuttles, moving between endless planets and space stations, before finally boarding the freighter that will take the remnants of the Mallory family to the planet that claimed their parents’ lives.

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The freighter, a bulky starship nicknamed the Goshawk by its captain, perhaps ironically, is not normally designed for passengers, containing quarters only for the captain and crew. However, most of the essentially functions on this particular ship have been automated, leaving only its captain and one SV-3T utility droid. Freighters travelling to distant and sparsely populated corners of the universe have to cut every expense possible to turn a profit, though not everyone is equipped to handle the solitude of deep space travel, with only a droid to keep you company. Renting out the crew quarters to passengers is a common practice aboard deep space freighters, providing a few extra credits and a bit of company. The Goshawk travels frequently to this part of the universe, making supply runs to distant colonies, including those on the Silent Planet, and, considering how few freighters work this route, it’s captain is most likely the one who stumbled across the ransacked colony and reported their parent’s disappearance.

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As the aspiring colonists settle in to their cabins or relax in the lounge, the ship’s droid emerges from the floor hatch near the lounge and floats through the corridor leading to the cockpit, to greet them.

“Greetings. I hope the accommodations are to your satisfaction. We are currently on route to… Plato one two eight nine eight cee.” The droid has a robotic and vaguely feminine voice. Though more sophisticated vocal synthesizers are available, most customers still prefer their robots to sound, well, like robots. “Can I offer you a refreshment? We have… water… available for your consumption.”

The droid pauses for a moment, scanning those present, a blue beam appearing from its ‘eye’. “My apologies. I do not wish to sound impolite, but you are not who we were expecting. It appears as if Rostec-Aldori has provided incorrect, or inadequate, information. Recalculating…” The droid pauses for a moment, motionless. “My condolences for your loss.”

Goshawk Map | Show
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1. Loading Bay
2. Cargo Hold
3. Storage Room
4. Secret Cargo Hold
5. Aft Cargo Hold
6. Portside Corridor
7. Escape Pod
8. Bridge
9. Crew Cabins (Rented to passengers)
10. First Mate's Cabin (Occupied by captain)
11. Offices
12. Captain's Cabin (Rented to passengers)
13. Lounge
14. Bathroom
15. Airlock
16. Drive Chamber
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby PMiller » Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:00 am

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Caitlin made her way to the ship's lounge, calling to her younger brother, "Jaden, after you stow your gear you can meet me in the lounge."

On the way she encountered the droid. She replied, "Some water would be fine." She thought it was probably best that they not drink anymore alcohol. They had done more than their share of that as of late.

"Thank you for the sentiments... just who were you expecting if not us Mallorys?"
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby LMiller » Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:01 am

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"Okay," Jaden Mallory replied to his sister who was going to the lounge. He opened the door to his small cabin, and sighed as he looked around. There was not much space for his technological items he had brought with him. The boy unpacked all his stuff, put them as neatly as possible, and fed his pet gerbil Cee Jay. Jaden kept the furry animal in a metal cage for now while it was nibbling on a small nut.

After unpacking, the boy walked to the lounge, and met his sister talking to a floating droid. He rushed toward it, amazed. "Hey, I've never seen this kind of droid. Cool!"

Jaden listened to the droid as it spoke to Caitlin. He wondered as his sister asked a question. "Who were you expecting, a different group of people, or some other family members?"
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby Rian Mallory » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:55 am

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“Water is a requirement for our continued existence,” Rian Mallory said.

He spoke in a low, even tone, his tone pleasant and modulated, like the simulated speech of a computer.

Some would say he was technically not Rian Mallory anymore. The entity that was once Rian Mallory thought it was likely he would not pass a DNA scan; his genetic structure had been forever altered during their merging. A test would reveal human and alien DNA in nearly equal portions.

He still looked like Rian Mallory, however, so he kept the name, as that was easier, especially for the humans that were Rian Mallory’s kin. He looked like a dark-haired human with fair skin and dark eyes. He stood tall, like Rian Mallory’s older brother Delvin, but Rian was bulkier, broader-shouldered, more muscular. His hair was cut in unruly twists that fell across his brow. His smile, which he had cultivated carefully, was curving and friendly, almost at odds with the intensity of his dark gaze.

He stared too much, but it was hard not to. There was so much to look at in the world.

Now, he stared at the droid. Its flat black eye stared back.

“It would be appreciated,” he added.

Rian Mallory looked at the other Mallory siblings. They shared DNA with him, so he went where they went. Now, they were heading to Plato-12898c, to colonize it. It seemed as worthy a thing as any to do. He had access to Rian’s memories, so he knew what Rian knew about them, but years had passed since Rian had been with them. They had surely changed. Perhaps not as much as he had, but he could not be certain he could accurately predict what they would do in any given situation.

This, he reflected, would be a good way to learn.

“The droid is referring to our biological progenitors,” he said. “It did not have updated information on their demise.”
Last edited by Rian Mallory on Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby Delvin » Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:33 pm

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Delvin flopped himself into one of the chairs in the ship's lounge and pinched the bridge of his nose as he tilted his head back. The last few weeks had been rough on the young man. Word of mother and father's deaths, finding Rian, meeting up with his other siblings, and hashing out the will of their parents. It was stressful to say the least. Guilt has paid its visit too, sending Devlin to the bottom a bottle on quite a few occasions.

The older brother looked at the droid as it greeted them, and then glanced puzzling at Rian. The lost brother had changed. Well, all the Mallory siblings changed. But Rian more so than others. Delvin hadn't spoken to Rian in detail, but what he had heard was horrifying. It would take some time to reconcile what had happened.

"Eh, are there any other options?" Delvin asked the droid.

"Well, at least it got the memo now, " the older sibling added in reference to their parent's death. The reminder of those deaths was still fresh.

"What's our ETA?"
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby Calvin » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:53 pm

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The droid reacts with enthusiasm to Rian’s note that water is required for their continued existence. “Yes, water is clearly the superior beverage. Everything else is superfluous, and frankly I do not see the purpose.” This last comment seems addressed to Delvin, and his question about what other options are available is left unanswered. The droid looks from Caitlin to Rian. “I will provide you both with water.” The droid heads to the lounge's fridge, using it’s graviton beam to bring two bottles of water back, one for Caitlin and one for Rian.

When Jaden remarks that he had never seen that type of droid before, it responds as if it were a query. “I am an SV-3T class utility droid, built for the maintenance and repair of small to mid-sized starships, equipped with a light graviton beam and extendible multi-tool. I have an fourth generation AI Core, currently linked to the Goshawk’s systems to ensure smooth operations and its safe arrival on Plato one two eight nine eight cee.”

The droid opts to answer Delvin’s more straightforward question first. “ETA is 25 hours and 42 minutes. I could provide more precise information on our time of arrival since my calculations are accurate to the microsecond, but such information would be outdated by the time I am able to transmit it to you.”

Without pause, the droid then turns to the prior question. “As for who I was expecting, that is less straightforward a question. I was not expecting anyone in particular, but it is the purpose of your journey which does not match my expected parameters. Family was unexpected. Perhaps not impossible, but improbable. Adjusting my parameters to note that the purpose of your journey is to colonize raises the probability of family, and the Mallory family in particular, to 84.6%, but this contradicts data provided by the Rostec-Aldori Group. And as for your biological progenitors, I am unfortunately quite familiar with their demise. We were on a supply run to their colony when Oleg…”

Before the droid can finish, the door to the bridge opens and the Goshawk’s Captain strides into the lounge, reaching out to shake the hand of the first person he comes across.

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“Oleg Leveton, captain of the Goshawk and sole remaining crewmember. Aside from Svetlana of course.” He nods in the droid’s direction. “She does most of the work these days.”

Oleg look around the room. “Did Svetlana offer you a drink?”

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“I provided them with water.”

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Oleg shakes his head at the droid. “A mean a proper drink." He turns from Svetlana to the Mallorys. "I’m afraid our selection here is somewhat… limited. There’s vodka, some cheap moonshine - not exactly something I’d recommend trying, and I’ll drink anything,” he adds with a laugh, “and whiskey that I’m sure that thief who sold it to me watered down to nothing.” He curses under his breath. “It barely even tastes like whiskey anymore.”

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“I fail to see the purpose of alcoholic beverages. Ethanol adds no tangible benefit and impairs motor and sensory functions, as well as causing gastrointestinal distress, unconsciousness or even death in sufficient quantities. It is more accurately classified as a neurotoxin than as a ‘proper’ drink.” The droid’s robotic voice sounds almost sarcastic, addressing the comment to Oleg. “It is also carcinogenic and highly addictive.”

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“Ah, you’re no fun.” Oleg waves his hand dismissively. “Oleg don’t drink, Oleg you should really eat healthier, processed meat causes cancer, Oleg don’t practice your shooting in the cargo hold, Oleg don’t smoke, it causes cancer and those fuel cells you’re standing by are highly flammable.”

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“You wouldn’t know what to do without me Oleg. All alone on these long journeys, it won’t be long until space madness sets in.”

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“Space madness isn’t a real thing, and you know it.”

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“Oh really Oleg? Or is that just the space madness talking?”

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Oleg laughs, and turns back to the Malloys. “Perhaps Svetlana is right though. Best to leave the alcohol until after the firefight, yes? I mean, I’m not here to tell you how to do your jobs, but I’m pretty sure that’s how you mercenary types do things. All serious and business-like beforehand, but after…” He trails off. “Tell you what, teach those pirates not to mess with Oleg Leveton, then drinks are on me.”

Oleg pauses for a moment, scratching his chin. “I’ll be honest, though, you don’t look like any mercenary I’ve seen, but I guess that’s sort of the point, yes? Lull them into a false sense of security, then… BAM!” Oleg mocks pulling the trigger of a handgun, his grip and angle at which he holds the invisible pistol suggesting that perhaps he would benefit from a bit more target practice in the cargo hold.
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby LMiller » Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:04 pm

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Jaden listened to the droid as it talked with Rian and Delvin, his older brothers. He was fascinated as the droid used his gravitational beam to bring two bottles of water.

As the droid announced the ETA, the boy was relieved that the trip wouldn't be as long as he thought.

When the captain came, Jaden shook hands with him first, introduced his name, and listened to the conversation of Oleg and Svatlena. "I guess the only thing I'll be drinking is water," he mumbled silently as Oleg talked about the drinks on the ship. He smiled as the droid picked on the captain.
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby Delvin » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:33 am

Devlin eyed the droid and captain as the two bantered back and forth. The older brother did not bother to get up from this seat, but he did sit up straighter and nodded to the captain. It was a bit funny to watch the droid lecture Captain Leveton. Even tho Delvin could side with the captain on some of the aforementioned fun, he did wonder if the loneliness of space was getting to the man.

"Firefight?" Devlin repeated with a quirked eye brow. This was the first he heard of it.

Devlin wasn't a stranger to danger. He after all had been doing the sort of jobs that required the use of firearms since leaving the family freighter. He had some close calls that had tested his mettle.

"I think some one neglected the detail of pirates when we signed up for this..."

Devlin looked around at his other siblings.
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby PMiller » Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:23 am

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Caitlin had not changed her mind about the water and gave her younger brother a smile of approval as Jaden had not changed his mind to indulge in the Captain's rotgut alcohol. "Yes, I too shall stay with the water."

She found it curious that the droid's programming came with some heuristic processing for adaptive humor and interaction that came across as rather natural. She wondered if there would be an opportunity for her to open it up and study the inner workings and circuits. As it was, she found herself a bit distracted when the last part of the conversation mentioned pirates and shooting.

"Um, yes, what is this business of pirates? All we had planned for was passage to the colony to pick up where our parents had laid claim."

"Are they responsible for killing them, by chance?" Caitlin asked with her voice becoming hard and cold with the prospect of already dealing with the cause of their family's grief.
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby Rian Mallory » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:09 am

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“Yes, lulling others into a false sense of security is a good tactic.”

Rian paused, then smiled hugely.

He accepted the bottle of water from the droid. He twisted off the cap, and took a long swallow. He continued to drink without pausing to take a breath. The water was gone in a few moments.

“Thank you for the water.”

Rian put the bottle away in a recycling receptacle, because that was the responsible sentient thing to do.

He agreed with the droid in principle; there was little purpose in consuming anything other than water. However, he also understood that humans were irrational, so it followed that they wanted to do irrational things.

His other siblings had been quite interested in the matter of the pirates, as was he. But the captain had mentioned a detail he found interesting. He looked at Captain Leveton attentively.

“If it is permissible to ask, what happened to your other crew members?”
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby Calvin » Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:53 am

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“You are welcome.” Svetlana responds when Rian thanks the droid for the water. “Thank you for recycling.”

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“Yes, firefight.” The captain seems taken aback when Delvin and Caitlin express surprise about the presence of pirates. “What kind of mercenaries walk into a job without expecting a firefight?”

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Svetlana attempts to interject. “Oleg.”

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The captain continues, seemingly obviously to the droid's attempt to enlighten him. “What exactly did Rostec tell you about the job? They told you it was a combat job, yes?”

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“Oleg.”

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“Yes?”

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“They aren’t mercenaries. These individuals are the Mallory siblings. Since their parents have been declared deceased, the colonization rights pass to them, and reestablishing the colony is the likely purpose of their journey. My records indicates that the oldest male sibling, known by the name ‘Delvin’ has been previously employed in such roles, but is not currently contracted by the Rostec-Aldori Group for mercenary work, meaning that he, like his siblings, is here for the sole purpose of colonization.”

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“Ah…” Oleg seems unsure of how to respond. “I’m... sorry for your loss. From what I saw… it wasn’t pretty. They…” He stops himself. “Sorry, you don’t need to hear that.”

He shakes his head when Caitlin asks if the pirates were responsible for her parents’ deaths. “I don’t know for sure, but it certainly seems like a possibility. The colony was ransacked when I arrived, and I don’t know who else besides the pirates could have done that. Everything of value was taken. They never found most of the bodies either.”

Oleg shrugs when Rian asks him about the rest of the crew. “Couldn’t afford to keep them. Have to save money where you can, yes? Even gave up my old cabin and took the smaller one; I can charge a bit more renting that out to passengers.”
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby PMiller » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:13 am

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Caitlin glanced at her brother who was likely used to mercenary work at the droid's mention of his previous experience. They were not on board for such a contract, but there was that possibility of learning what happened to Mom and Dad.

"Well, I know were were not hired as mercenaries, but the way you mentioned about fighting the pirates it sounded like you expected a confrontation. Is there a high probability they will attack us here on the ship? or were you planning to seek them out?"
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby Rian Mallory » Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:04 pm

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“They…what?” Rian Mallory asked, bluntly.

He paused, glancing at the others. It occurred to him that perhaps the more human of his siblings would be upset by the question, but it had him curious. The captain had seemed to trail off, as if the details were so unpleasant they could not be spoken aloud. But asking would provide more information.

“Is that typical behavior for these pirates, to ransack the places they raid? To mutilate bodies of the people they kill? It does seem unnecessary to do so, if the goal was merely to steal supplies.”

He considered more questions.

“Do they have a name for their organization?”
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby Delvin » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:25 am

Devlin caught his older sister's look. He merely nodded slightly as his own expression went dark. He was very curious as to the captains answer on rather an attack was expected or not.

"Indeed. A name would be a good place to start. " the older Mallory brother said darkly.

He had not heard the exact details of their parents death and gruesome discovery. The mutilated bodies disturbed him and made vengeance an ever more pressing thought. But without so much as a name to start, acting out on that vengeance would have to wait. If they ever found a trail, however....

Devlin thought to the pistol in it's holster. It was one of few possessions of his fathers that he kept with him all these years. It was a reminder of family past, and now might be a symbol of retribution. THe brother leaned forward and looked hard at the captain and droid for the answers.
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Re: TSP: Ch. 1 - Into the Silent Planet (IC)

Postby LMiller » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:40 am

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Jaden kept quiet as the older siblings talked about his parents. It always made him feel sad.

The boy glanced up as the captain talked about pirates. He had a feeling that they want to attack this ship.

"Could the pirates come and attack us? Will we be able to stop them?" he had too many questions he wanted to ask. This was definitely something he should listen and remember.
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