Tuesday, October 18, 2005


The low thrum of electro-stimulants coursing through your body was the first sensory stimulus you remember. That and the vid screen with the blinking green message, “Your name is CHARACTER NAME. you are a crew member of the U.N.S. Savior Exploratory Vessel.... Confirm.” You stared for a long time before you realized that this wasn’t a dream. The realization came along with the slightly stinging and rapidly diminishing cold of the cryochamber. The ships computer was awaiting the passcode that would somehow convey your mental stability after 22 years in a weightless icebox.

During the small party just before the return trip you and the rest of the crew discussed the prospect of forgetting your passwords. Slowly going insane while trapped in a cold metal tube was not anyones idea of a perfect ending to an otherwise successful mission. Supposedly even if the entire crew were quarantined to their cryochambers a beacon would alert mission command of their return and a rescue mission would be launched. Still the crew unanimously decided to... sidestep mission orders with the simple use of a black, wide tipped sharpy.

As it turned out the minor crime was unnecessary. Reaching up with cold, stiff fingers you punched in the code and, “Confirmation accepted” blinked back at you. Hundreds of tiny electro-stimulant cables withdrew from plugs on your cryosuit at the same time that a quiet “snickt” and momentary pain signalled the withdrawal of the intra venous from you neck. After float-stumbling around the antechamber and into your flight suit you made your way to the main deck to see how your crew members had fared. All in all you don’t feel too bad for a 60+ year old.

The U.N.S. Savior is a deep space exploratory vessel. Moderate gravity is achieved via two long arms attached to a central shuttle and reactor hull at the cost of minor nausea with extended exposure. At the end of one arm is a laboratory and all purpose main deck. The other arm-end serves as crew quarters and supply storage. The central shuttle contains the reactor, the cryochambers and the centrifugal and navigational thrusters - as well as a small crew cabin, loading bay and cockpit control deck. In the loading bay is a small utility shuttle and two space-walk suits. The Tracker, a military sensor array satellite is also stored here.

The Tracker Satellite was the key instrument used in your scientific mission to the edges of the solar system. It’s a highly secretive piece of equipment capable of multiple functions of scanning. In its more militaristic role its thermal and optical capabilities are used for superb spying and targeting. Its sensors can peer through large quantities of solid matter and pick up particular lifeform signatures or specially designed Tracker “bugs” planted by ground crews. Advanced sensors and links with hundreds of other satellites allow pinpoint targeting for ground or air based missile attacks. The operational computer deck is a hand held briefcase with passcode and retinal scanner. When the satellite is powered down, its power supply is shielded in such a way to be all but undetectable while in orbit.

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