015. Brink of Destruction


[Undertake an Expedition: Wits - 5 + 3 vs 4 | 5 STRONG HIT]

Once more into the Drift, another quick nap. You get used to Drift naps as a Spacer.

[Progress: Get to a new sector *--------- ]

[Sighting: Stellar Object: Smouldering red star]

They exit the Drift, to see a small red star.

[Explore waypoint - 1 + 3 vs 9|4 Miss]
Space Peril: Nearby settlement calls for help
Settlement: [[Brink]]

And around that star, a gas giant, of swirling violet and orange clouds, and a distress beacon - somewhere in that violent looking atmosphere. There looks to be a permanent super cell of a storm, 10,000 klicks in diameter, and in the dead centre, at the eye of the storm, a cloud base, broadcasting the signal, moving with the storm.

Wayfinder says "we're responding to that distress call, right?"

Mongoose looks incredulously at Wayfinder "of course! Spacer code. Let's find out what the trouble is, before we risk that gravity well, and those storms."

"Cloud station, this is Mongoose, aboard the Ultraviolet, responding to your distress beacon. Come in"

Silence for the longest time. As she goes to activate comms again to repeat the message, a response comes in.

"This is Brink base. State your primary purpose. We are armed, and we ain't easy pickings"

"Chillax friend, Ultraviolet is a scav ship, full of parts, ready to lend aid. You do want help, yeah?"

There's a couple of voices arguing on the other end of the line, and woman's voice comes on "Thanks for answering our call UV, I'm Circuit, come on down. Be careful as fuck - the Gs and the winds make landing an adventure - try to come in on the approach vector I'm transmitting now"

"Uh, before we risk that landing, what do you actually need?"

"You mentioned parts? We need shielded cabling, power converters, air scrubbers - we're hanging on by a thread here."

"OK OK, coming down."

[Face Danger - wits - 3 + 3 vs 10 | 10 - miss with a match]
Pay the Price: You are delayed or put at a disadvantage

the double 10 makes me think something worse should happen...
Planetside Peril: Lifeform lairs here

The approach is going OK, at first. The course matches the direction of the storm, with the Ultraviolet coming down in a spiralling route. But the turbulence is astounding, especially to the half-brick shape of the ship, and the thrusters needed to fight the intense gravity are really being strained. Also, visibility is down to a 50 metres, which is not great when you're screaming through the atmosphere at 1000 km/h. And that's when they hit something - somethings - from the remains on the windscreen it's hard to tell, but some sort of creature - a balloony gas-filled body, covered in rock like plates, that fortunately seem to be a pumice like weight and strength, so the reinforced windshield doesn't crack, but UV goes into an uncontrolled spin, and by the time the attitude thrusters get the ship under "control" - it has dropped several klicks below the approach vector, and Circuit is yelling over comms

"Fuck, where are you going? Accelerate! You need speed, you need to climb! Im calculating a new route - just don't fall further or your dead!"

Flying purely by instruments now, Mongoose tries to fly with the storm, doing as Circuit said

[Secure an Advantage - Edge - 3 vs 10|7  Miss]
[Pay the Price : Risk Memory]

Sudden turbulence points UV's nose off course, and the goes into another spin.

Mongoose is in a panic - "Can that A.I. fly this ship??"

Wayfinder looks very worried - "Wha... maybe! But it was made to control cruiser class ships"

"Get it! Plug it in! I can't save us!" Mongoose struggles but can't seem to keep the ship straight, and the ship keeps descending into the denser atmosphere, where the pressure could crush them.

Wayfinder get's the core, looks at Mongoose, removes the nav computer, and slots in the AI core

Power goes out, and the ship plummets. Then, power comes back on "ship! Ship! A.I! Please get us to Brink station safely." Nothings happening, and Mongoose tries just pointing the nose of the UV straight up, and using main thrusters

[Face Danger - Edge - Strong Hit]

The ship is climbing, the nose is being battered around, but Mongoose fights to keep it pointed up, and the Ultraviolet starts rising and rising - interference clears up and Circuit's new course comes through. The winds die down as the get level to the cloud base, an ugly spire with bulbous spherical rooms attached like boils, and radar dishes and sensor arrays, and 3 landing pads splayed out like clover leaves, no other ships are present. Each pad appears to have grav dampeners build in, so that when they finally touch down, it's not too bad. And then a crackling energy shield engulfs the whole pad.

Mongoose stands unsteadily, grabs the AI core, takes it out, puts the nav computer back in.

Wayfinder watches silently. "That was a big risk, with the AI. Did it help get us out do you think?"

Mongoose shrugs, dejected. "I don't know - the stick was jumping all over the place - I assumed it was the storm, but it could have been an AI fighting to get us to safety. Either way, I've just exposed all of Ultraviolet's systems to a dangerous A.I"

Wayfinder smiles "Well, we're alive? And UV's systems - processing power couldn't support a full independent AI, surely?"

"Well, good think we're looking for an A.I expert. Now they have to clean Ultraviolet too. Let's go meet who we nearly died for. What a laugh it's going to be if I don't have any parts they need."

[Mark Progress - connection with Wayfinder - 10]
[Progress Roll: :Strong Hit = 10 vs 3 | 8]

Marked a bond with Wayfinder