While the party is gathered over the body of Petty Officer Jenkins, a brown-out kils the lights ship-wide. Captain Millet informs the sleepers that the primary power plant was only provisioned to provide a trickle of power to the ship, and that’s not enough to keep turning things on.
The party splits for a number of purposes. The marine unit heads to the primary plant room with Captain Millet, Becker and Mitch head to the senior officers’ deck, and Stella heads to pilot country, where she finds her locker (and decently-preserved box of cigars) but no logs or evidence helping with anyone’s memory. She proceeds to the Echo squadron launch deck and finds solace in her fighter.
When Millet enters the plant room, she looks up at the K-F drive and has a vivid flashback:
When she recovers she sets about brining the plant up to full power, but notes to the rest of the team that the K-F drive filament was burned out in the misjump.
Meanwhile, Becker and Mitch find that they’re locked out of most of the senior officers’ quarters except for Tokugawa’s – whose quarters seem like they’d been ransacked. On the wall, painted in red calligraphy ink is the phrase “All of the warriors, none of the poets”.
The increased power returns the lights and other systems to normal. Before returning to the CIC, the party begins the 36-hour revival process on Major Cottle’s pod. Upon returning to the CIC, Captain Millet informs the team that the RCS thrusters have all been test-fired (one exploded in the process), but without the main computer on-line, the ship can only be maneuvered manually from a tiny control room at the front of the ship meant for use while in dry dock. Stella and Mitch go forward to the control room and maneuver the Agamemnon so that it is no longer in eminent danger of drifting into the asteroid field.
Millet and some other members of the party head down to the computer core to try to gain access to the ship by bypassing the vessel’s security countermeasures at the hardware level. When they arrive in the core, they find, much to their surprise, that the hardware hack that Millet was intending to perform had already been done – it appeared to be a masterwork of electrical engineering, and was sealed with security tape, seemingly initialled by Millet herself. Not looking a gift horse in the mouth, she resets the user accounts of the team so they can gain control of the ship’s main computer. The hack has the unfortunate side effect of leaving the ship’s core functionality extremely vulnerable to intrusion.
The party spends several hours reviewing officers’ logs to reconstruct what had happened. They learn that the ship was sabotaged, burning out the K-F drive filament, making it impossible to jump the last 14 light years to Persephone. There was some small bit of dissent on the ship, and several suicides, but Admiral Tokugawa, Colonel Becker, and Colonel Vail of the 101st Armored Regiment kept control. Major Cottle devised a way to cryogenically freeze the entire crew, which required collecting large volumes of industrial chemicals and medical supplies as well as the incredible undertaking of fabricating the pods themselves from spare parts. The crew pointed the ship to intercept Persephone’s gravity well, burned the last of their fuel, and entered cryogenic sleep roughly three months after the misjump.
The party separates to their individual berths and sleep.
The next morning, Stella and Mitch head to the dropship bay to examine the Thermopylae, the Overlord-class dropship docked there. In the muster room outside of the bay they find memorials for the crews of the Marathon and the Cynae – the two dropships and associated battalions who were lost in the jump.
Back in the ship’s kitchens, there is some discussion over the provisions (or lack thereof), and Colonel Becker lays down some ground rules, as well as discovering that while they did not necessarily overestimate the remaining provisions, there is a complete lack of proper nutritional balance, so in reality the stores will not last nearly as long. During the kerfuffle, Sergeant Stimson attempts to gain access to the sick bay computers, but fails, and Captain Ives performs research into the Persephone system and calculates plots to the different planets of the system.
The session ends with an uncomfortable fast-breaking in the Agamemnon’s kitchens.
Captain Becker’s log, 3020, May 18th
This is not going to be easy, but I knew that.
Let’s see, what is the situation?
Rear admiral Tokugawa was murdered, and someone had written, in red ink, on the wall. If it is a message to others than him, I have not yet figured it out. Or we might be dealing with an absolute lunatic here. “All of the warriors, none of the poets.” Of course, it might make perfect sense had I just remembered our past. I might be jumping to conclusions, but it might well be the same person who killed the rear admiral. Dangerous to assume, but how many mad murderers is it possible to have on board a ship at once?
Note to self: I need to find out who was on the two ships we lost. The Cynae and the Marathon. It might or might not be important.
Never mind. Stupid question. The logs we managed to get into, after captain Millet somehow managed to reset the passwords, indicate that the potential is there for quite a few.
So, we have a ship that might be full of crazy murderers, some of whom may well be awake right now. I am pretty sure I am not one of them, and from the logs, it seems I wasn’t back before we went to sleep either. Comforting. Of course, had I been one, would I even have known?
We at least have sufficient water for a while. If we don’t wake up many more, we have water enough for months. Food, however, is a problem. Possibly our biggest, definitely our most urgent, now that the engines and computers are working, and we can make certain that we don’t crash into an asteroid or a planet.
I don’t, quite, blame sergeant major Janks for ignoring my orders when he and his men went looking for food. It had been better had he asked permission first, of course. I am less certain about captain Ives. She just sauntered in and grabbed something without even seeming to think about it. As if she didn’t care at all that I had given quite clear instructions that we were rationing.
At least lieutenant Casey seems solid, that is a relief. Same with captain Millet. The rest, I’m not sure about yet. The marines are, after all, marines. Sometimes, it seems they think that every possible problem can be solved if only the weapons are big enough.
I think perhaps colonel Vail should be the next to be woken up, if things don’t look up. Not that I remember him, but according to the logs, he, the rear admiral and I were the ones who kept things together. However, he is not ship’s crew, so that will most likely raise some questions about chain of command. And I want to raise as few as possible until the food issue has been resolved. Not to mention that it will send the entirely wrong signal to the men. They have to believe that this is a situation I can handle.
Our food situation is close to desperate. Oh, we still have something to eat, but I am not sure it will be sufficient. It is simply not enough of the right food. It is fully possible to starve to death with full bellies. And if we’re not very very careful with our food, we might learn just that from first-hand experience. So I cannot accept that people think they can eat whenever they want to.
The real problem, of course, is that we are too few for this, and the situation is too desperate. Behaviour like that can end up killing us all. So until we have the situation under control, I suppose I will have to play the bitch and hit them hard whenever they step out of line. Because the one thing that might still save us now is discipline.
Then we have the dead people. There will be more than one pod that failed, and there will most likely be several pods that fail as we open them. I have to come up with a way to store the bodies until everyone is awake. If at all possible, I am not going to ‘bury’ people until everyone is awake to be there. With so few links to our past lives, I am not going to take that away from them.
Also, some people simply won’t make it, and might, by design or accident, take others with them. This one _is_ worrying. I do not _think_ that is what’s up with captain Ives, though, it seems too casual. Most likely, it is the usual pilot arrogance, thinking rules don’t apply to them. Under normal circumstances, it would be captain Webb’s job to deal with it. As it is, I guess I need to have a talk with the good captain Ives.
The logs were not as meticulously maintained at the end. Not really surprising; I’m more surprised that rear admiral Tokugawa’s logs stopped when they did, more than half a year before the misjump. Or for some reason, they were either deleted or he logged them elsewhere. If he had suspicions about the saboteur even before the jump, it might make sense, if the ones he suspected were in command or engineering or someone too close.
He might even have discussed it with me, without me remembering. Or suspected me. Though I should not have been able to access his private logs unless he was dead, and if so, I’d be in command, and it wouldn’t matter anyway. So I’ll start out by believing that he did not think me involved. And I’ll start out by assuming I wasn’t the one who did it. If nothing else, then only to keep myself sane.
If my calculations are correct, we should have gone to sleep around September 26th, 2785. I might be off by days, weeks or even months, but counting back from when we woke up, using the timer and the error message, taking into consideration the leap years, and the leap years that don’t occur – that should be two – that would be about right.
I suppose that makes sense, we would have spent some time trying to figure out what to do, according to the logs, it did take some time before we went to sleep, with rationing, people becoming more and more unstable, all the rigging we had to do to make it work and so on. It is not impossible that September 26th 2785 was when the last one went to sleep.
So lack of proper food, possibly a traitor on board, and a bunch of possibly unstable men and women who might or might not still be sane. And that’s only the beginning.
Even should we manage to find somewhere inhabited by humans, we have nothing to pay with. Nothing to pay for repairs and restocking with. The army we were a part of might no longer exist. Politically, things _must_ have changed. I just hope it is to something we can still identify with, work with. Still, I have no idea right now on how we will manage to pay for what we need. In fact, I do not know whether we will be welcome at all; we might be considered enemies and shot down before we even get close.
Then there is the time aspect. There is a very strict limit on how long we can manage to keep sane if we have no anchor at all. We need a purpose or a goal. Without that, we will fall apart. Right now, it is all new, but once people start _thinking_ about our situation, they will need something to reach for, something to look forward to, a hope.
I cannot explain my orders every time I give one. This is another problem. I could of course tell them the whole truth about the situation we are in, how serious it actually is. But all _that_ is going to accomplish is most likely more panic, more people snapping, more suicides. And I won’t lie to them, except by omission. Which means I will just have to be a bitch about it. I know that it means there is a very real chance I might provoke a mutiny, if we do not get something more substantial within a very short time. I suppose that is a chance I have to take.
What I really need now, is to find someone I can promote to my second-in-command, someone with enough sense to understand why I’m doing what I do, and who can carry on should I die. Cheerful thought.