I decided we’d head off to the Empire planet I’d received an invitation to and meet the ambassador. I figured it was a good spot to try and find out more information.
But before we could get on our way, our systems began sputtering and shutting down. It turned out we were emitting some kind of electromagnetic field, and it was gradually growing. Our scientists deduced the field resembled the readings they get from a coronal mass ejection in a star. And engineering found a machine attached to our FTL drive which had turned on and was slowly charging, and which they couldn’t identify. The machine was labled ‘Scimitar’, and more researched showed this is a weapon that had been activated by a transmission we’d received.
This weapon causes a star to emit a coronal mass ejection and then jumps the ship to the next system, repeating this process every six hours.
So I has my team try and remove this device.
In the mean time our sensors detected a battle at the edge of the system, and some time later our ship was boarded. These soldiers had approached unnoticed and put up quite a fight, but we managed to beat them. One died on the spot and we took five prisoners. These guys were soldiers from the PAN; our very own people. They didn’t want to give any information. I was stuck with the dilemma of what to do with them. After much deliberation I decided to go by the military code. My reasoning here:
1) after the Troodon attack we’re at war until further notice
2) these soldiers belong to a mutinous faction who broke their oath to uphold the constitution of the PAN and to defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic
Given these facts I decided it’s within my right as commanding officer of this vessel to condemn these men to death. And seeing we don’t have the resources to keep them locked away indefinitaly I did as such. So I started spacing these men.
The last soldier to be spaced started pleading for his life, and wanted to talk. He gave me more information, and I’ve spared his life for the time being. He remains locked in the brig for the time being.
After this we made our way to that remote system and I asked for an audience with the ambassador.
He agreed for us to be there, and I used one of my bottles of Whiskey as a present, which seems to have been appreciated.
He even agreed for our wounded to be treated in a local hospital.
We stayed there a time, giving me the opportunity to gather more intel; ansd alowing our wounded to heal up.
I learned some disturbing news. The empire is over 60 milion years old. It orriginated on Mars; and when that planet became uninhabitable humanity spread across the galaxy. Sol system has always been off limits because the cradel of the empire is private property of the emperor. They just never bothered to make contact because we were incapable of FTL.
The emperor has died, and now the empire is ruled by the chancelor while the princess is missing. Tradition holds that the chancelor is succeeded by his son or daughter (which has happened); he too will be succeeded by a descendant who then will become next emperor.
I also learned that the ship used to attack us is specifically used by the imperial guard. They have been eliminated by the chancelor because they remain loyal to the princess and wanted to continue searching while he wanted to move on. Figuring in the fact that one of her guards was taken out of cryo, I have to wonder what our military has been doing.
It seemed like things were going allright for a change. And that’s when Shade had to fuck it up. He found Imperial guard symbols on houses in the slums. And, instead of reporting to me he went to the princess of all things. And he told her everything. So now I had to come clear and tell her what we knew and what I was planning. I told her I hadn’t informed her because I wanted more intel; and i asked her not to leave the ship before we had had a chance to gather that intel. because once she left the ship, the secret would be out and we would loose the advantage. At least she saw the wisdom in that.
I honestly don’t know how some of these people managed to make it through basic training. There is little or no sense of duty among them, let alone some basic knowledge of tactics or some adherence to the chain of command. Shade left me no choice but to react to this act of stupidity which could have cost us dearly. So this time I punished the entire ship except him. Everyone is confined to quarters when not on duty, except for him. And I broadcasted who’s to thank for that. Maybe in doing so I can bolster the team spirit on this vessel. It is a tactic used at military academies for hundreds of years.
We decided to investigate, but before we had a chance to find anything, disaster struck. it came in the form of an all out nuclear attack on this planet, by the PAN military. They sent an unmanned probe armed with numerous nuclear launch tubes. It rained its deadly payloadon the surface and effectively wiped out the planet. We managed to hack it, but too late. We did however manage to prevent it from broadcasting its intended message.
The current head of the PAN military declares a non flying zone, and threatens to wipe out entire planets if his demands are not met. Madness!
i decided to investigate another system, one where the imperial guard would have been strong. i wanted to make contact and see what they want. But we found an entire fleet gathered there, including the PAN ship Titan. I ordered an immediate retrat and doing so avoided capture.
So i decided to try a core planet. It was a gamble, but I didn’t see any alternative. We were greeted by another fleet. All empire now. I went aboard their flagship in hopes of a diplomatic solution. And I took the princess. At least they were willing to listen, and I think I managed to convince the local fleet commander. He agreed to send a message to the imperial guard and ask for negotiations. Now we wait.
Our adversaries managed to etablish long range communications with me and tried to convince me to join forces with them I must say, they do make some good points. And I would be tempted if not for one detail. they crossed a line when they tried to kill us earlier. They had their chance at that point. I was not questioning any orders and would have been on their side. Now, it’s all uncertain. So I have no choice at this point. I’m commited.