The Adventures of Detachment 2551
This document is written to inform newcomers on the adventures of the play-by-email campaign titled "Detachment 2551". It contains a condensed history of the game up to the present. For readers new to the Star Frontiers game setting, it is advised you do some additional reading on the Frontier setting and its rules before proceeding. If you are interested in joining our game as an observer, simply send an email message to email@example.com with the word 'subscribe' in the body of the message. Also, you can email the referee, Albin Johnson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the adventure not covered here, consult the documents located at
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One such Mega-Corporation named Pan-Galactic Corporation, or PGC, is reputedly the largest and most powerful of all Mega-Corps in the Frontier, but by no means is it all-powerful. Mega-Corp warfare is as common as political disputes. And for all the benevolent work PGC has done for the Frontier, including founding a common tongue for the diverse alien cultures to use when interacting called Pan-Gal, it is not above the questionable devices of a capitalist machine.
Our story begins on Bastion Station, a space station orbiting the planet Morgaine's World in the Prenglar star system. Pan-Galactic Corporation has issued a general posting for six freelance operatives for an investigatory mission. On Stardate 1110908 radio contact was lost with Outpost Calas, a supply and refueling depot located on moon 'G' in the Scree Fron system. Calas appears to have limited commercial value but immense tactical value to PGC, since it serves every PGC ship passing through the Yazirian arm of the Frontier. It is suspected that Streel, a rival Mega-Corp, was involved in the blackout and an investigation is needed.
Jurgen Saribalis, head of Resource and Materials Research Division for PGC, is in charge of the Calas site. He authorizes the hiring of six recruits from the several dozen freelancers that have arrived at Bastion Station for the job. For corporate security purposes, they are collectively designated Detachment 2551 (insert ominous music here).
The mission objective and briefing can be found in the separate document found on this site titled Mission Briefing. Time is listed in loose stardate format with notation indicating year, then month (out of a standard 12-month calendar), and day (out of a standard, 30-day month).
- V'Sndyk accesses O.T.T.O., the ship's main computer. Running a diagnostic on OTTO, he finds that there are gigabytes of extraneous data for which OTTO cannot account and which are encrypted. Some of the files seem to have originated after departure and alter OTTO's programming command structure. V'Sndyk dumps the files into a portable memory module for safe-keeping then purges them from OTTO's banks. However, new mysterious files seem to appear without explanation every day.
- While running a test of the ship's subspace radio, Rubadel detects anomalous background noise on a specific frequency that interferes with operations. He responds by having OTTO make a record of the noise while filtering it out so the frequency is free for use.
- Cymon conducts detailed analysis of the viral strain under suspicion on moon 'G'. He learns that Dr. Merma Gayam, a noted Dralasite microbiologist, has been working on the same study on moon 'G' and findings reveal five strains, designated Alpha through Epsilon, whose exact natures, modes of transport, and effects are still unknown.
- Marcus has OTTO run an analysis of docking and communications logs for
- Outpost Calas: the storage facility on moon 'G'
- Osiris Station: the research station orbiting moon 'G'
- the Driddiam: an exploration ship assigned to Osiris station
- and the Fasil: a PGC freighter that made runs between moon 'G' and Prenglar
Findings reveal that for the last four years the only ships to travel to and from Outpost Calas were the Fasil and the Driddiam, which is odd for a storage and refueling depot that is designed to service PGC ships passing through the Yazirian arm of the Frontier. The Fasil's records show it's only interstellar journeys were directly between Prenglar and Scree Fron, once a month every month. The Driddiam was assigned to Osiris only three months ago.
Also, Marcus learned that the Driddiam's prior record of service saw it charting stars near Prenglar, but on stardate 1080919 Jurgen Saribalis was appointed administrator over the Calas project and requisitioned the Driddiam for use there. Docking records show it resided at Bastion station orbiting Morgaine's World for almost three years with no record of maintenance. Concurrently, the Resource and Materials Research Division had on file six different expeditions involving the Driddiam during this time.
On 1110615 the Driddiam is officially assigned to Osiris station for short-range exploration duty. On 1110717 the Driddiam departed from Osiris station on its third foray. On 1110724 radio contact was lost. No further sightings of the Driddiam are on record since that time, although an incident on the planet Pale in the Truane's star system on stardate 1110816 turned up six corpses whose DNA samples matched those of the crew. In addition, a derelict discovered by a salvage ship near the Timeon system closely matches the markings of the Driddiam.
- Marcus also studies the ecology and topography of moon 'G'. His studies reveal a primitive society of four-armed, mono-ocular bipeds called the Quatros. He draws up a plan for first-contact with the Quatros.
- Breanna stays with the ship and oversees the overhauling of the engines.
- Upon landing, Cymon is approached by a fellow Yazirian named Chodua asking for medical attention for his friend in the West Quarter. Chodua reveals himself as a member of the Crimson Pirates, the largest criminal organization in the Yazirian arm of space. Cymon, determined to honor his role as healer, agrees and is accompanied by V'Sndyk and Mrylinax. V'Sndyk takes the memory module with him, hoping the criminal element will help him crack the files he found.
- Marcus and Rubadel head into the North Quarter of Gulriddar Port's Bazaar to requisition personnel communication equipment and survival gear. Along the way, Marcus is unwittingly drawn into a local festival's dancing ceremony. He comes close to insulting the local population by misunderstanding a female dancer's request for a kiss, but escapes. They resume their mission at Ziewei's Curiosity Shop and order their equipment.
- Chodua leads Cymon and company into the West Quarter and a bar called the Moonwatcher's Cave. There Cymon meets Gardus Ch' Holo, infamous for being a leader of the Crimson Pirates, the most powerful syndicate of pirates in the Yazirian sector. Gardus warns Cymon about the conspiracy surrounding Detachment 2551. Meanwhile, V'Sndyk enlists the help of the bar's owner, Boss Frigga, in cracking the encryption in the memory module.
- Gardus tells Cymon that moon 'G' in the Scree Fron system was once known as Amradar to the Quatro people that live there now. The Quatros are four-armed cyclopses who live in primitive societies and whose origins are a mystery. Their writings somehow intertwine with early Yazirian myths and refer to an apocalypse that will one day engulf the moon. It is said that the sun of Scree Fron will one day be born again on Amradar. Gardus gives Cymon an ancient gold Zamra, a bladed throwing weapon of the Yazirians. The gold Zamra has strange glyphs upon it and purportedly carries significance to the myths of Amradar. Gardus uses it as his seal, and so gives it to Cymon to let other Crimson Pirates know that Cymon acts under Gardus' blessing.
- While Cymon is in the back of the Moonwatcher's Cave, Mrylinax watches the front door and V'Sndyk talks with Boss Frigga, a local crime lord, about securing deciphering services for the mysterious files retrieved from OTTO's memory banks. Frigga's computer hacker, a Yazirian named Snakklie, sells V'Sndyk an encryption program. He also confides to V'Sndyk that Detachment 2551 is big news in the underground. Word has it that someone big and unidentified has put a HUGE bounty on their heads and that the infamous bounty hunter Berdax, a Humma, was on their tails. Snakklie sells V'Sndyk a tracking device that can home in on Berdax' position. It seems that one of Berdax' targets managed to plant a tracer on him without his knowledge - the tracking device, warn as a wristband with five lights indicating his proximity, is a well-kept secret of the criminal world. Frigga has placed a large bet on the Starplay Gambling Register that Detachment 2551 will make it to Amradar, and gives the device in hopes of protecting his investment. What he doesn't say is that the odds against the team are already listed on the register at 20-to-1.
- Gardus warns Cymon of the mysterious activities that have surrounded moon 'G' for the last three years, and the role Detachment 2551 seems to occupy in the mystery. Pan-Galactic's facility seems out of place, Crimson ships have been turning up pulverized by powerful armaments, and a well-connected conspiracy seems to threaten anyone related to the planetoid. In fact, a large bounty has been placed on Detachment 2551 by an unknown party and for unknown reasons, and all artifacts related to Amradar's history have been snatched up by unidentified buyers. Gardus fears a sinister plot and that his time is short. He hopes that Cymon and his companions can find the truth, so he trusts him with:
- an ancient tome, The 'Den Qritsa' or Tome of the Dens. This is supposed to be the sacred writings of the Quatros about the 'Dens', god-like beings who are featured in their creation stories. It is hoped the book may provide clues in the investigation.
- a memory wafer that contains information stolen by Crimson pirates. The information comprises thousands of unorganized files related to financial transactions that may help them trace the identity of those seeking to destroy Detachment 2551.
- Rubadel continues to get sicker while Marcus haggles with the shop's proprietor over an order of provisions. Marcus contacts Cymon for medical advisement and decides the information Gardus has imparted may suggest trouble for the two teams. He immediately scoops Ruby up, trashes the address he wrote down for delivery of the goods, and leaves the shop. As they are leaving, Ruby suddenly recalls seeing a strange piece of equipment in the shop with the label 'Detachment 2490' on it. The coincidence is enough to make Ruby adament about going back, but Marcus refuses in light of the trouble they may have after them.
- Just as Gardus urges Cymon to depart, he informs him that the Yazirian clan Hooris is known to deal with larger powers, selling their skills for mercenary jobs. The Hooris clan is a secretive, militaristic clan on Exib whose members wear bright orange, hide their faces with veils, and who are rumored to be without souls. They are master assassins, earning the vile name 'Doghan' from fellow Yazirians, and highly feared on Exib. Fearing the worst, Cymon tries to raise Breanna in the Vercingetorix, but only gets static. Things look grim.
- Cymon says farewell to Gardus and returns to the front of the Moonwatcher's Cave just as four Hooris Dohgans enter the bar and begin gunning down everyone in sight. In seconds most of the crowd has been killed. Cymon, Mrylinax, and V'Sndyk manage to dig in and counter the attack, eventually turning the odds in their favor. But once the last Dohgan falls, the sound of a timer can be heard and the heroes barely manage to escape the bar before the entire block goes up in flame. On his way out, Cymon manages to see the dead bodies of Gardus and Chodua in the back, apparent victims of the Hooris hit squad. Outside, Cymon receives an update from OTTO that unknown assailants boarded the ship at the landing pad before Breanna fought them off and engaged an auto-pilot sequence putting the ship into a holding pattern outside Gulriddar Port. In the fight, however, Breanna was killed.
- Meanwhile, in the North Quarter, Marcus carries Ruby along the back alleyways to avoid attention. Soon he notices several Yazirian following them. Staging a diversion to throw them off the trail, he ducks down into the city sewers. But after a few hundred meters a strange beast begins to hunt Marcus and Ruby, somehow filling their minds with random thoughts of past events as it emits a haunting howl. The chase ends at a movable grate that blocks the way south. Their attacks seem to be futile against what seems to be an invisible beast, but at the last second an unknown human appears from behind the grate and blasts the creature. Marcus and Ruby are too desperate to question the assistance, and welcome the human's companionship, who identifies himself as Tiberius Grogan. Ty explains he and his partner were freighter pilots who lost their ship to a mutinous crew who abandoned them and framed them with stocks of contraband. Desperate for a pilot in the face of Breanna's death, Marcus hastily offers Ty a job piloting their ship despite his dubious appearance. Ty accepts.
- Cymon leads his team away from the burning ruins in the West Quarter to avoid any more Dohgan attention. They make their way into an empty temple. But somehow the forces out to get them convince Cheela Haincho, a prominent seat holder in the Exib Planetary Council, to call a Khukaree, an ancient Yazirian custome that in effect portrays Cymon and friends as enemies of the people, a title that throughout history has incited the primal wrath of Yazirians everywhere. In addition, OTTO reports that his transponder has somehow been switched back to its original setting, no longer broadcasting its identity as that of the regular Pan-Gal freighter that ran the route to Scree Fron, but alerting everyone of its true identity. And if things couldn't be worse, the news feed indicates that all five members of Detachment 2551 have been identified and are reported as having criminal records, including the theft of the Vercingetorix.
- The mob forces them to climb to the temple's bell tower and hole up there under the Dome of Khoshu, where an outer catwalk provides an adequate position for air extraction. But things get worse. OTTO informs them that he's being jammed, that he can only attempt a landing at the original take-off site using only the auto-pilot, and that all Starlaw and local law enforcement forces have been fed a story that Detachment 2551 is a renegade hit-squad responsible for several deaths.
- Ty uses his knowledge of the sewer systems under Gulriddar to gain entry into one of the port's central pumping stations. There he rigs the controls to set off alarms that bring the guards running. Ruby quickly improvises an escape by acting delusional and running into the guard room with a detonated doze grenade. It works. Once Ruby comes to, the three make their way up to the ground level of the port to meet with Groogash, Ty's Yazirian co-pilot and partner.
- Cymon, Mrylinax, and V'Sndyk listen as the haunting howl of the Hooris clan clears the streets of angered civilians. In their wake a circle of Doghan close in on the bell tower. But the team fights back, shooting down a flit board, an air transport, and even destroying an enemy jetcopter before the Hooris deploy commandoes on the roof of the dome. Battle-weary and severely injured, the trio prepares to face an enemy that outnumbers and outguns them, all the while hoping the other team can get to them in time.
- Ty and Groo use holoscreens to get by the checkpoint to landing concourse B, where the ship is parked. On their way out, Ty plants a P-bomb, an illegal device that disrupts all electronic equipment within several meters. When the P-bomb goes off Marcus and Ruby make their way outside as well. There they find the ship being guarded by a security squad of one Yazirian and three robots. The robots are dispatched quickly.
- Finally, the Vercingetorix lifts off, with the authorities in hot pursuit. Ty brings the ship to a hover next to the domed roof of the temple, after Groo mans the belly turret and picks off all the Doghan perched on the catwalk that rings it. Then Cymon, Mrylinax, and V'Sndyk scramble onboard as Marcus and Ruby lay down cover fire. With everyone safely aboard, Ty swings the ship around and punches the thrusters, evading the heavy laser emplacements and dodging Exib atmospheric vessels in hot pursuit. His sensors show two frigates approaching from the nearby planet Yast, but the irradiated Golon Zone in Athor space once used for nuclear weapons testing is jamming their sensors. As they prepare to circumvent the zone, Ty ponders how to use this advantage and void jump before being intercepted.
- Minutes pass and Ty notices something on the master control panel labelled 'Deep 6'. Among smugglers this is a term for any device that'll help in the ship's escape, usually a cargo-dumping contingency or an explosive device that is released just before Void-Jump to simulate the vessel's destruction. Ty gambles on the latter, banks hard into the Golon Zone, punches the Void Drive, and drops the Deep-6 just before he estimates the time for Void-Jump. In an instant, the vapor-trail from the Vercingetorix is the only evidence that the ship was ever there.
- Safely onboard the ship, the crew discovers the body of their fallen comrade, Ms. Breanna O'Shaughnessy, who died defending the ship from intruders. Three Yazirian bodies in shabby clothes are also here, apparently the intruders and all wearing the marks of the Crimson Pirates. Their bodies carry a strange ampule device behind each ear, containing an unidentified chemical. A solemn funeral for Breanna follows and the mood of the crew grows dark as they remember the precarious nature of their situation.