Wednesday, May 17, 2023

MINIMODULE 4: The Doom That Came to Ypsilon

via NASA

Prior minimodules


THE SETTING: The mining station on the asteroid YPSILON 14.

THE HOOK: The vessel CSV Alexis exited hyperspace three weeks ago and has been drifting toward the station on apparent autopilot. The only response to radio hails has been automatic identification - CSV Alexis 0780-9913-8172-101K requesting safe harbor. The mine is under legal obligation to comply with the refuge request, though most of the miners believe that the Alexis' crew is long dead.

THE OPENING SCENE: It's 0700. Mike was on 3rd shift last night and he hasn't checked back in. Sonya has gathered everyone in the Mess for an emergency meeting.

NOTE 1: The 10-cryoberth SMCV Mule-33, a skeleton-crew supply ship, is two weeks away. It is bound for a string of six more SEBACO mining platforms before returning to the settled world of Agaran four years from now.

NOTE 2: The SMVC Heracles is warp-capable and fit for space, but has only 3 cryoberths and is command-registered solely to Dr. Giovanni.

NOTE 3: The Alexis is in desperate need of repairs, but as it was declared lost 106 years ago, it is considered first-come-first-served salvage. 30 cryoberths containing 40% still-living inhabitants.

NOTE 4: Giovanni has been carrying out inspections on behalf of SEBACO, but hasn't left his ship since returning from the mines yesterday. He is a prime suspect in what happened to Mike.

NOTE 5: Dr. Giovanni is a citizen. No one else on Ypsilon is. There will be an investigation into his death or disappearance, and though it might take some time, it will catch up with anyone connected to Ypsilon-14.

NOTE 6: The Alpha Gaunt and the Creature are rival apex predators forced into the same space.

NOTE 7: Gaunts cannot be tracked with thermal imaging. Cold as corpses.

NOTE 8: Death Worms cannot infect humans that are already infected with the Yellow Slime.

NOTE 9: The Gaunt are here to infect more host bodies and bring them back to their hyperspace crypts.

NOTE 10: The Creature is deep behind enemy lines with no support and no means of retreat. It does not know that the ancient war against carbon-water life has ended in failure.

NOTE 11: The Alexis' warp core remains linked to the Gate, and if activated will draw the ship back to the Dead Planet. Pander and Kranot might have more information, but it will need to be actively pulled out of them if it exists.

NOTE 12: Ypsilon-14 is, in fact, a lithic warship built by the civilization that created the Creature and the Yellow Slime. The mine has been harvesting the metals of its outer armor: There are dormant mechanisms further below. They knew of the Gaunt in their day.