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Source Melchizedek.0294 Shuttle 004
Near β Hyi
Ascension 00h 25m 45.07036s
Declination –77° 15′ 15.2860″
Distance 24.33ly
Equinox J2000.0 SOL
Year 3782, QEC adjusted

[Relay detected from Shuttle 004]
[Autotranslator enabled...]
[Voice recording initialize...ON]
[Crew autodetection...ON]
[Narrative mode...ON]
[Autodisconnect after 5 minute silence...ON]
:::

** audio recording mode auto activated due to vocal stress    **
** detection. relaying audio to Melchizedek.0294 base station **

[Voice detected: Jerome Somerset Pasani, Auxiliary Investigator]

Pasani:

  --that damned thing up! I can't hear myself think.

[Voice detected: Sandy Kroups, Phytology]

Kroups:

  Just about--

[Internal klaxon suppressed]

  Got it. What did we hit?

Pasani:

  Hell if I… That, that makes no sense. Sandy, do you see--

Kroups:

  What the… [sotto voce] my God

Pasani:

  Steer us closer, and get those shutters down. We should be able
  to see this--

Kroups:

  Captain, recorder kicked on.

Pasani:

  So it did. So it did. Guess this one gets saved for posterity.

  We're transmitting from seed ship Melchizedek, serial
  aught-two-nine-four, shuttle aught-aught-four, en route from
  Beta Hydrii where the primary mission has begun for systematic
  exo-panspermia. Today is--what is today

Kroups:

  Monday?

Pasani:

  [audible sigh] Um, year is 3782 local. Recorder insert date
  stamp. [3782-101102-481553293] It's a god-damned Monday.

Kroups:

  Sorry

Pasani:

  We left the β Hyi system to backtrack our approach route. We're
  investigating the loss of crew en route and looking for whatever
  caused it. We had a few options for paths. Sandy, can you log
  that part?

Kroups:

  Oh, sure. Um, the anomaly that killed the doctor happened in
  route, but we can't be sure exactly where in space it is now. If
  we move backward along our route in absolute space, with
  reference to cosmic microwave background radiation, that
  position has been drifting by about 360km/s. If we assume the
  anomaly is relative to the local galactic system, planetary and
  stellar movement still push our target as much as 220km/s off
  our original course. There's the risk that it's not stationary
  which further complicates--

Pasani:

  That's good. It's a shot in the dark. We're out here kicking
  over rocks hoping we find a toad.

Kroups:

  Some toad.

Pasani:

  We chose a galactic-centric pathway and assumed a stationary
  anomaly.

[PRESSURE LOSS DETECTED, overriding klaxon suppression]

Kroups:

  SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT--

Pasani:

  Get [inaudible] offline! KROUPS! KROU--

Kroups:

  Got it! Damn [inaudible] snapped.

[Pressure systems stabalized]

Pasani:

  I'm kicking on the sensor readouts. [sotto voice] stay on top
  [inaudible]. There we go.

[Systems voice feedback initialized. Suppressing log annotations.]

SysVoc:

  Systems voice feedback initialized. Suppressing log annotations.

Kroups:

  That's not gonna get annoy--

SysVoc:

  Gravity systems offline. Pressure systems report damage.
  Pressure stable. Radiation levels above normal. Suggest chemical
  intervention. Sonic abnormalities in hull.

Kroups:

  Ugh, system, set feedback to change detection only.

SysVoc:

  System voice feedback set to change detection only.

Pasani:

  Did it say sonic? Like, sound? In space?

Kroups:

  The field must be buffeting the hull and causing vibrations.
  It's probably not--you want me to energize the shield?

Pasani:

  No, no. We don't know how it would react. Let's get eyes on
  things first.

Kroups:

  The log, captain?

Pasani:

  I'm gonna get these shutters down. Fill in the rest while
  I work.

Kroups:

  Sure thing. Ah, we, um, traveled back along the path, adjusted
  for galactic stellar movements, like I said. We didn't encounter
  anything unusual after the incident, so on the way back we cut
  an angle to meet back up with the point. You know like this.

Pasani:

  The damn ship can't see your hand gestures, Sandy.

Kroups:

  Right, well, I mean it can, right? Sensors and--nevermind. We
  are heading back to the point of origin, traveling on
  a hypotenuse, if that hypotenuse was also curving as space
  continued to shift. Like a curvy triangle.

Pasani:

  Reuleaux triangle

Kroups:

  Is it? I mean, the sides don't all have the same curve.

Pasani:

  Oh screw it. I don't know. Curvy triangle then. Can you release
  coupler--yeah that one.

SysVoc:

  Stability unit coupler A13 disconnected. Warning, stability unit
  failure.

Pasani:

  Okay, not that one.

SysVoc:

  Stability unit coupler A13 engaged. Stability unit coming
  online.

Kroups:

  Sorry.

Pasani:

  Try the other--

SysVoc:

  Port external shutter locking coupler disengaged.

Pasani:

  There we--AHH!

SysVoc:

  Warning, unsafe levels of visible light detected. Recommend
  engaging external shutters.

Pasani:

  You don't say! Motha[inaudible]. SYSTEM engage filter, high
  band. Let's see what's left.

Kroups:

  My…God… It's a fucking star. How is, where, why aren't we
  picking it up on sensors?

Pasani:

  Ship log, we aren't quite back to the original incident point
  but we think we've found whatever caused the trouble. Our
  shuttle is parked not fifty million kilometers from a star.
  Sandy, you know what class that is?

Kroups:

  I mean, if it showed up on the fucking SENSORS maybe. It's
  a ghost. I'm staring at it, but it's not--where the hell is it?

Pasani:

  It's bright as hell, it's knocked out our gravity systems just
  like any normal star, but yeah, you're right. I'm not picking up
  any heat. Let's widen the net on the sensors. We can see it so
  there's electromagnetic energy coming at us. What are the
  readings?

SysVoc:

  Sensor net set to wide-band electromagnetic spectrum. Storing
  readings in one minute poll.

Kroups:

  Jerome? Ugh… I think it's moving.

Pasani:

  Don't worry. Stars all move.

Kroups:

  No… I mean it's changing direction. Look. It's coming closer,
  isn't it? Or it's getting bigger. I'm not sure which is worse.

SysVoc:

  Sensor reading complete. No energy detected.

Pasani:

  What?!

Kroups:

  What?! Holy. There's nothing here, Jerome. The sensors don't see
  it, only we do.

SysVoc:

  Sonic hull abnormalities have increased.

Pasani:

  Well the ship sure FEELS something, doesn't it?

Kroups:

  I don't like this. I don't like this at all.

Pasani:

  No. Not one bit. Look, Sandy. We thought we were off course
  because of some drift in the gravity sheer. That's what
  triggered the cryo interruption, right? Well, what if it wasn't
  us? What if this thing did it all?

Kroups:

  I mean, that sounds good and all. Very interesting, but a star
  that our ship can't sense is creeping its way toward us. Maybe
  we get out of here and talk about it somewhere else?

Pasani:

  I came here for answers.

Kroups:

  Yeah, and I'd like to deliver those answers to the others while
  we're alive.

  Captain?

Pasani:

  What is it doing here?

Kroups:

  Oh come on--

Pasani:

  No really. We didn't see this en route. We can't see it from
  β Hyi. We didn't even see it when we woke up. But it's here, and
  it looks like it sees us, doesn't it? Something in there can
  think.

Kroups:

  It's a star--

Pasani:

  Is it? Look at that. It's hiding from the machines but showing
  itself to us.

Kroups:

  Hiding?

Pasani:

  It's intelligent, Sandy. It's trying to--shit. SHIT. Oh my god.
  Sandy, oh god. [inaudible] [sotto voice] pipe it through--

SysVoc:

  System reroute: Interpreting hull vibration through ship public
  address system.

PA:

  [Static]

Kroups:

  What are you--

Pasani:

  Shh... one [inaudible]. Just need to [inaudible].

SysVoc:

  Pattern search enabled, applying heuristic. Success.

PA:

  JEROME? JEROME ARE YOU THERE?

Kroups:

  What. The. Fuck.

PA:

  JEROME CAN YOU HEAR ME?

Kroups:

  Jerome, what the fuck is that? How does it know--

Pasani:

  Moussa?

[System anomaly detected. Unable to maintain stream.]
.