ISR – Age of Unification
After their shopping spree, they went onto the ship again. They saw a ship that was the Black Order appear and disappear. Appropriate channels were notified of the change.
Odessya asks Abraxas what the plan is. He suggests that they do not undock for a bit. They plan to wait in the station until it is clear.
Odessya is too busy equipping her new purchases. Allein is busy with prepping for undocking quickly. Kiara is looking, and she sees a shimmer go over the station. Valeera and Abraxas see a cloaking signature hovering above the station. He asks her if she is familiar with it.
He tries to contact the people he talked to earlier. He is unable to contact them because the cloaked ship seems to be jamming them. Abraxas notifies the captain who asks him where the ship is and if they can contact them.
Allein suggests that they contact the station and send the data. They ask if the data (about the ship signature) is a blip or anything. The station says there is nothing there.
Abraxas suggests that they launch a drone to investigate. Allein asks him if he wishes to control the drone.
Abraxas takes control of the drone and sends it upward. It scans the area, going in a circular pattern. It pings as well to see if there are any echoes. The drone impacts something and goes offline. Abraxas sends Allein the data and confirms that there is something there.
They see a tight-beam break the jam. A ship warps in and has “Combat Division” written across it. Allein tells everyone to go to combat stations. Odessya takes the guns. Abraxas goes to scanners. Kiara is on security duty. Harvey is at engineering. Valeera is at navigation.
It starts to ping to try to flush out things. A Matrix Ascendancy vessel also warps in, pinging that the unidentified ship should identify itself or be destroyed.
Abraxas tries and successfully contacts the Matrix vessel. He sends him the coordinates of where the drone contacted something and was lost. A cannon emerges from the ship. A beam is blasted at the coordinates. The first beam doesn't bring anything to light. The second scrapes and breaks a bit of the cloaked vessel.
The cloaked ship moves and launches torpedoes in every direction. Then it starts to move, and the “Combat Division” ship heads after it, like a hunter after its prey. Kiara confirms that the ship is a Black Order vessel.
Abraxas contacts the Matrix vessel. He asks if they can send messages and get through the jammers. They respond that it is possible. Abraxas tells them to inform the Forgeborn of the situation, otherwise they might try to come in full force. The ship attempts to convey the message, but they are blocked.
Abraxas asks if they should tether to the Matrix vessel for better survival. Allein undocks from the station.
Valeera asks to buy a swarm rocket for the ship before they undock.
When they are near the Matrix vessel, he asks to beam over. The captain says that it might not be a good time for that. Abraxas says that he has the communicator. After some talk with the captain, he sends out the communicator to the Matrix vessel (he was only aware of that one, because Kiara did not mention the other).
...Transmission had a blip...
The Black Order ship sends out a EMP blast, and the Division ship drifts off, clearly having lost control. The Black Order ship starts to head their way. Abraxas tells Allein to head off. Allein starts to warp off. They open up a warp point. As they do so, the ship fires a torpedo at them. The warp closes behind them, and the torpedo disappears.
Abraxas goes to Kira and tells her what he has done. He realizes she is not telling him everything as she responds to his news that he sent the communicator out to the Matrix captain. She informs him that they have another communicator. She tells him that it is shut down and unable to be used. Abraxas contacts the captain and informs him of the change in the situation.
He tells Allein that they have another communicator but that this one is not tracking, as far as he is aware. Allein tells him to make sure it doesn't start to. He asks if there is anything valuable on it.
Abraxas tries to access the tablet and finds that any data on it has been erased, except the text that says: “Traitors will be killed on sight.” He sees that it is not useable. He tells him that it is useless. He starts to leave Kiara and as he exits realizes he still has the communicator. He returns it to her. (He had almost forgotten to return it.)
They return to the bridge. They are half-way to their destination. Allein scans if there are any ships following them.
They are hailed, and Abraxas converses with them. Abraxas goes to the cargo hold with Twike without letting anyone know. Kiara goes to seek out Twike to see what he is thinking. Twike seems okay with everything, although he reels back at the sight of her.
They drop out of warp and enter into the space. It is an empty open space. There is a field that Allein sees near the center of the space. The field seems to lighten and darken. When he points it out everyone else of the bridge, they see it. The lights seem to resemble those at the ring. Allein also sees another ship in the system that is an Alliance vessel. It is scanning the area. He tells the others.
They are hailed by the ship. Allein addresses them. The Alliance ship asks if they see it. The other ship requests visual. A black-winged Genoan appears on the comms screen. The suave captain introduces himself as Nova. Abraxas asks what Nova is doing (Transcriber's Note: Nova was one of his cyrogenically frozen crew mates). Nova seems a bit more charismatic than he remembered him being.
There seems to be different timeline fragments appearing and disappearing in the strange field. They seem to be intermingling with each other. They do not detect any life signs. A signal coming out of the field seems to be rising and falling, with each high point being higher than the previous one.
The Alliance goes around the anomaly and sits near them. Nova comments that they feel safer. Valeera asks if Abraxas and Nova know each other. Abraxas tells her that they were on the Tinagong vessel together. Nova comments that he has made friends with Avon and Leyla in his conversation with Abraxas when he is asked why he was working with the Alliance.
Nova says that he is there because it was a meeting location with Walen. They are in a ship graveyard. He contacts Lenier.
They decide to send out a drone into the anomaly. It disappears inside, and all contact is lost with it. A ton of data hits the scanners, like a back wave. Abraxas sends out another probe, only this time it skirts along the edge of the anomaly. The drone gathers a lot of information as it does. Parts of the anomaly seem to harden in a place, and a ship starts to appear to pull itself out of the anomaly.
He informs the captain of it. Abraxas asks what else the drone is equipped with. It has a tractor beam. He uses it on the ship. It tractor beam pulls on the ship, but as it does so the ship seems to be pulled back into the anomaly. The effect on the ship is the reverse of what he wants it to do. He stops the drone's beam. Glitches appear and then disappear on the drone's body. The drone scans the ship, and it discovers that it is an old Unity pirate vessel.
It appears that the anomaly is disrupting his Matrix connection a little bit. He tells Nova about the incidents.
The drone sends that there is fracture energy there. The second drone reappears out of the anomaly. It relays back all the data it had gathered while inside. It shows 20 or so ships glitching within. The ships seems to be caught in time. Some are mid-explosion, constantly being pulled apart and pulled back together as if stuck in time that is being rewound and played and repeated. It detected life signs in there. The drone vanishes again.
The third drone (They have four drones on the ship. The fourth was lost in the anomaly.) flies to another ship that has started to appear. It has no identifiable materials, but there is a symbol. Abraxas asks Nova if he sees the transmission. The ship is pre-Earth empire.
Nova goes a bit closer. Abraxas tells him that he should wait for him. Abraxas, Odessya, Valeera, and HARVEY decide to beam across to his vessel. Kiara also goes with them.
Allein suggests that their ship stay outside in case something happens during their investigation.
Abraxas goes to Twike before he leaves. He hands him another grenade and Twike responds with an acceptable gesture.
Nova welcomes them aboard. Nova welcomes Kiara aboard. He seems to be warm toward her, and Kiara is thrown off by his non-killing Shen-Jen attitude. He says he will trust her for the time-being. He does say that if she shows the tendency of her race, he is not unwilling to remove her. Until then though, he sees no reason for hostility.
Odessya asks about how Walen contacted Nova. Nova responds that it was two days ago that Walen had contacted him to meet them there. He came and was met with this.
The anomaly starts stretching out toward them. They back away a little. The ship starts to be pulled in. Fragmented glitches appear to pull off of the ship, as if the ship were slowly being torn apart. Valeera uses her power to try to keep the ship in place. Odessya sees the glitches and fragments and suggests they go inside the anomaly instead of resisting it.
Valeera feels all her energy that she is gathering to hold the ship in place vanish. Nova wonders what she is doing and why. Nova locks eyes with her for a moment. He shifts the ship forward, and they are sucked into the anomaly. The glitched structure of the ship re-merges with the ship as it is pulled in.
Allein sees the ship start to be torn apart as it reverses and be put back together as it goes into the anomaly. Twike is biting his fingers as he watches. Allein makes a drink.
From within the anomaly, the space seems to be calm. The ships there are the ones found before: the old Unity pirate group and the pre-earth Alliance ships (falcon logoed). One of the ships is ramming the other.
Kiara and Valeera are noticing that there was a battle here. Odessya is wondering why Walen is there, why the old ships are there, and what she can get out of the situation.
Abraxas sees all the vessels are in some form of battle. He sees that there is a central ship, and a rip in space seems to be pulling energy out of it. This central ship is in pieces. The ship is recognized as the one Walen was in. Abraxas goes to Nova and nudges him. The other ships seem to have been fighting around them, only whatever weapons they were using seem to be frozen in time. Bullets and beams frozen in the air. Abraxas tries to talk with him over the net. He is unable to. Abraxas pulls him aside and asks why Walen called him. Nova repeats his story.
Nova scans, but finds that is not working. It is minimally functioning.
The vessel seems to be slightly more mobile. It can move slowly. The drone is still the anomaly. Abraxas tries to connect with it. It doesn't move much and then ceases to move. Abraxas suggests that they continue toward their goal.
They feel resistance on the ship as they push toward the ship Walen was on. They are pushed till they are forced to stop. They end up deciding that they will have to space walk in order to reach the ship.
A ship breaks against the barrier. Outside the barrier, the ship appears, and a beam flashes across the space. He notices that the anomaly is becoming more visible and solid. Allein goes into silent running mode.
Allien backs the ship up. The anomaly is expanding. As he does so, more of his ship is being pulled into the anomaly, like the other one was before. Allein fires the ship forward when he realizes what is happening. He cautiously edges toward the anomaly.
Allein joins them in the anomaly. They are unable to communicate with each other, but they are getting signals from the drone. Odessya suggests that they bounce comms off the drone.
Valeera tries to bounce her message off of the drone. Instead, she gets a signal from Allein. He asks them how much time has taken place. Valeera tells him of their plan to do a space walk for Walen's ship.
They prepare for their space walk. They equip their armor. Allein asks for the information on the ship they are going to. He tries to tractor beam the ship. The beam goes out and stops in place. Allein then preps for his own spacewalk.
As they leave the airlock, there is no need to pressurize. They are walking as if through water, only it feels like cubes pressing on them.
Allein sets an orange on the beam pad and tries to beam it. It splits apart, hovering into space. He is glad he did not use Twike for the test.
The exterior of the vessels seem to be affected more by the anomaly. They find that they can jump between two other ships to get to the central one. They drift to the first ship. Harvey is having more issues with movement than the rest. It latches onto the ship and starts to cut through it.
Valeera touches the ship's hull and registers several hundred degrees from it on her gloves. She is surprised. They find an airlock door. They open it.
They hear chatter in the ship as they board it. The chatter seems to be normal. Abraxas motions Nova to join them. Abraxas suggests that these ships might also be trying to get out as well.
The voices sound humanoid. The comms seem to indicate that they are aware of their situation and are trying to contact others.
Abraxas mimics them and hails them. The captain says they are stuck. The captain says they are from the United Earth Federation. He doesn't recognize the Tiandong faction. He says that they were around many years ago. Abraxas asks who their leader is and what year it is for them. They state that the Tiandong were several thousand years ago.
Valeera notices that the ship's interior looks like an older version of another ship she has seen in her time. Valeera asks of any recent historical events.
Abraxas asks about the Forgeborn. Abraxas asks them about NOMAD.
They respond that they are unaware. Abraxas tells them that they might be on different timelines.
They tell them that they had expanded Earth's territory and made a conglomerate. They say that they were caught in the anomaly when a ship exploded.
The captain tells them to go to the bridge so he can tell them what ship exploded. Abraxas shows the man only his eyes as they enter the bridge. Nova looks at everything.
The captain says they they have been in the anomaly for a week. They find out that it follows the timeline they were given about Walen.
Abraxas persuades the captain to spare five men to go with him. Abraxas asks how many rations the ship has. The captain tells them that they have enough for another week, but they have been rationing rather heavily. They realize it will be an issue if they remain in the anomaly for longer.
They go to the next vessel. The next one is a Unity pirate vessel. Allein and Kiara do not want to enter it. Allein practices his pistol. The bullet freezes when he fires it. Allien does a selfie with the frozen bullet. He and Kiara play cards.
Abraxas asks Nova to go with him. Allein tells them they will play cards (“Go Fish” to be specific). Abraxas uses HARVEY to cut their way through the ship. They climb into the floor of the ship. Its interior is definitely old Unity. It is not well-kept and clearly repurposed. They hear shouting down the hall.
Abraxas yells if anyone is there. Someone responds. Whoever replied walks over to them. Abraxas tells them that they are stuck in a ship just like them. The other one whispers to the speaker. They ask for HARVEY.
He talks with them. They explain that the people on board will either die there or they will survive if they help them. The people on the ship insist that they give them HARVEY to the point it seems they would do so even by force. Abraxas reminds them that they are trying to help, and they are trying to mug them. They are asked to leave. They do. They end up sealing the ship after them.
Abraxas sets a singularity grenade on the ship and also on the thrusters. Odessya comments that she was surprised by their resistance to helping.
Atraxas drops a live grenade into the ship as they seal the ship. They make their way over to the main ship as the grenade goes off.
Valeera is on the central ship now. She can see the crack in space. The space seems to be tearing apart. Valeera shouts for Walen and scans for life.
She sees the fracture with two people frozen in space. One is yelling, "Walen". The guy's back appears to be torn as it had touched the fracture. His interior back is exposed to the space. She takes a picture of the fracture and notes that the fracture is in the center of the ship and disintegrates whatever touches it. It seems that a torpedo is what caused it.
There is some firing. Three groups are firing at each other. One group's bullets are fine. Another group seems to freeze if they miss.
One group is wearing tattered uniforms. Clearly they seem to be the pirates. The other has the Earth Alliance uniform; and further back there is the Alliance. One guy is wearing utilitarian armor. He seems to fit the profile of the man they are seeking. Valeera shouts for Walen.
The pirates in front of Valeera turn at her. She fires at them. The rest of her group joins her.
...Battle ensues! The details of it are rather garbled in the transmissions. Was unable to accurately record...
Odessya attacks the guy with her knife. He is able to knock her knife out of the way. She then fires into his side. She damages him a bit.
They notice that time is accelerating. They also realize the heat is increasing on the ship. They start to run as oxygen is going out. The Fracture is expanding in the ship.
Abrazas yells at Walen. Walen is going in the opposite direction. The big guy ends up trying to grab Abraxas and throw him back toward the fracture. They fight. HARVEY rescues Abraxas in order to escape. He doesn't receive a reply from the person he talked to. As he rides HARVEY, he fires at the two resurrected pirates who are running away. One ally is engulfed by the fracture. They successfully get into the bridge. Walen closes the door in time for the pirates to not enter. They are in the bridge.
Around them, ships are attacking each other. There is massive weapons fire. They check the comms with the UTF ship. That particular ship is engulfed in flames. There are 10-12 UTF ships in the area. The fracture rises, thins, and vanishes.
Abraxas hails Lenier.
Valeera looks out and sees where the anomaly was. She sees a golden energy gleaming around a single machine-like entity. She sees it, and the the entity and the light vanish together. She tells everyone that it was the Verge.
Abraxas tries to contact Lenier, and he sees that the net is gone. He cannot answer. He doesn't feel the usual oneness that he has when he is connected to the Matrix network.
There is a larger fleet of Terran ships around them. He begins to think that Allein's fear was right and that by going into the time anomaly they got trapped in another timeline. Everyone he knew was gone.
Allein won the game of Go Fish on the top of the old Unity pirate ship. (And, yes, we rolled for it.)