Stellar Travellers

Tangential Investigation

Ship's status log entry by Echols

After the “fun” of the interrogation, we decided to look back into that star that had exploded several months ago in a system CIC had a station in. Double checking the charts, it’s a bit concerning that it happened between Pirlahn, Fayad, CIC HQ, Udina, and Surmak. Not quite perfectly centered, but close enough. CIC was good enough to give us a copy of the data we recovered as long as we signed NDAs on it. Most notable was an unknown drive signature and massive burst of power just before the sensors were fried.

Arriving there, we find that the star is now solid iron. And that someone has set up a mining operation on it. The (probably forked?)AIs running it were surprised to see us at all, but quite happy to find out we were interested in buying a significant volume of ore. After that we visit their site at Polar north to look at the bore hole that was already there. There are two things that stand out: 1: As far as anyone can tell, the former star is impossibly pure iron. This definitely doesn’t happen naturally, the best is usually Hematite, which is 30% oxygen. (and here I thought all of dad’s talk about work was boring…). Not even a sign of exotic matter from the rapid acceleration of the star’s fusion. 2: Whatever did this – based just off of what could bore and maintain a hole this size in this much iron – is beyond the scale of any known weapon by at least two or three orders of magnitude.

We were at least able to backtrace the entry vector and borehole against stellar drift and narrow our point of origin to one of 5 systems spinwise and rimward. The first was occupied by a massive civilian mining operation dismantling the planets, so nothing we were concerned with. The third had clear signs of the exact same weapon being used on an inhabited system a couple thousand years ago. The race that lived on the planet is unknown. And on the fifth is a system inhabited by possibly billions of cloned Insae. And their ships match the drive signature.

And we notice a group of Brinaw departing, and lure them to our ship with a fake distress call to talk discretely. Apparently they had no clue the Insae were testing superweapons like that, and the one mainly talking was pretty hostile to Ruis. He told us he was just doing his job, and to take it up with his boss, Luko Brak Nam a’Speaker, and we let them off again.



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