Ethereal Skies

The Drums of Narukami

Episode 4

With preparations in full swing for the Upeo meeting the Legion has been stretched thin so Commander Owosu commandeers Ash, Machiko, Leah and Summer to investigate a Nipponese Raidan class ‘lightning rider’ civilian craft that is headed for Saturn but has passed a Legion outpost in the Trojan asteroid belt without answering to comms.

The team requisition the fastest scout ship on Callisto – The Puck – and head out along with it’s co-pilot, Oliver Knight and the detachment’s hardtech specialist Jinpochi Shimura. On reaching the solar sail powered ship, the Narukami, the Puck starts to loose power and only Summer’s instinctive piloting stops it from crashing into the side of the Narukami. Attempting to get the engine back on line Shimura is thrown violently against a bulkhead by the turbulent shaking of the ship and he suffers a skull fracture. With Oliver staying behind to watch over Shimura the rest of the team suit up to explore the Narukami which has vented most of it’s atmosphere into space – the only exception being the bridge and the massive jury-rigged hydroponics bay at the top of the ship. Investigating life signs within the engine room they find an engineer in cryostasis on a damaged lifepod which failed to eject along with strange power fluctuations which route up to the bridge. Arriving at the bridge they are greeted by the ship’s agent Shiro who is only too happy to let Ash take command of the ship but appears far too eager to get the ship and it’s cargo of terraforming biomass to Titan. Having found the body of Captain Takehiro in one of the unejected lifepods, killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Summer lets her senses roam to the biomass holding area where she sees the bodies of most of the crew and passengers chopped and spread among the planting. In an attempt to discover what has happened she interfaces with the ship’s system to try to force a way into the ship’s hololog which Shiro refuses to show them, only to be almost overwhelmed by the contact. Recognizing the start of a Mindshare she rips the biotech interface off telekinetically by instinct, saving her from the intrusion.

The ship now recognizes the team as a threat and shuts down life support, trying to kill them as well as sending up maintenance robots to reclaim the bodies to feed the biomass. Hoping to shut down the computer Summer interfaces again but this time Shiro is ready for her and she is taken over by the agent’s programming. Leah starts cutting through the floor down to the agent’s CPU while Machiko tries to unplug Summer without killing her with a massive electric shock. Ash takes down half the maintenance bots with an impressively precise attack while Machiko electrifies the other door to stop the rest getting in, just as Leah burrows down into the CPU housing and cuts the wires for the ship’s AI.

Freeing the other crew members still in cryosleep Machiko discovered that they, too, had the strange mental biorhythms that characterized Summer’s brain activity while she was controlled. The ECT treatment removed these anomalies but the crew were left with little memory of the trip. The Legion took control of the Narukami and destroyed it in case of Taint but not before their engineers took apart Shiro’s control system and found a pirated Orgotek agent system proudly noting that it was ‘Provided by Yamabushi’.

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Jashyr

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