Monday, March 29, 2021

Get Jumpin'

The solar system was dying. And not just the solar system - two galaxies were colliding, and their effects were already becoming apparent, as another solar system hurtled towards them. They didn't have a lot of time for the next step of Eliza's plan, as laid out by NOA: get to the planet, and steal the portal technology.

There were three planets to choose from; one was a wasteland, razed from an ancient war. The other two were populated, or at least had been - the planets were nearly empty, evacuated before the collision. The crew elected to visit the second planet, at a science facility, hoping that would have the answers they were looking for - and that it wouldn't be as well-guarded as the military base.

On the surface, they ran into a leathery creature, its folded wings rustling in the breeze. It was roughly humanoid, though with twisted, demonic features. It seemed to be pushing some sort of cart; when it saw the group, it began waving its arms. Rodney, taking this as a challenge, immediately smashed it into paste, crushing it beneath his mighty hammer! Take that, homeless scum!

It didn't take long to find the military base, and start searching for the technology; after a quick run-in with a very mobile thief, and a very, very tough thief, both of which were taken down with the combined might of Rodney's power hammers and Elise's new disintegration rifle, the plans were found, uploaded, and the planet evacuated. With little time to spare, the Dark Horizon enabled a one-shot program, utilizing the J0 drive and a lot of difficult math, and jumped backwards in time - a thousand years, give or take.

Unlike the Tempus Frigate, which was designed for precise travel through time, though constrained to the range it could travel to, the Dark Horizon method of time travel was more akin to drinking a bottle of something you found behind Wal-Mart and waking up in Tibet. That is to say, it was neither conventional, nor comfortable. Even the droids had to avoid glitching out; upon arrival, the ship was fraught damaged electronics, and a number of minor injuries among the crew. As they raced to repair the ship, a handful of corvette-class ships picked them up, and headed in pursuit.

As Elise split her focus between getting the ship working and manning the guns, the others fired everything they had; the shields grew dangerously low as the other three ships pounded them with laser fire. As the shields flickered out, a lucky hit damaged the jump drive! Elise scrambled to contain the leak, as Nix managed to hit a ship in the reactor. Finally, the battle was over; the Dark Horizon was badly damaged, but the enemy ships were no longer a threat, and there were no other ships in the area. They were able to take a few hours to repair the ship, and carefully place the Biothanata in the asteroid field, where it would consume and grow, and eventually, wipe out the entire system.

Of course, that would take time, and there were still pieces of the plan that needed some action. Now that the orbiting space station's defenses were lowered - no ships left to protect it - the Dark Horizon was able to sit back and lob high-velocity rocks at it to "soften it up".

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