The Let's Play Archive

Escape Velocity: Nova

by Decoy Badger

Part 10: Polaris - Part 10 - Sept 25, 1178NC: Rampage

Sept 25, 1178NC: Rampage

Time for a new ship! I head to the nearest Nil'kemorya station to buy a Striker.

Nil'a Ca posted:

The Nil'kemorya maintain their war headquarters here. The warriors on this station hold themselves ready to deal with any large-scale threat to the sovereignty of the Polaris. The only time this base has been put to its maximum use was during the first and only Polaris Civil War, when Iusia, the leader of the Nil'kemorya at the time, led the warrior caste in a seven-day campaign which crippled the capacity of the warring castes to make war on each other. The battle leader of the warrior caste, titled Iuso, meaning 'disciple of Iusia', resides here.

Nil'a Ca's Bar posted:

When you walk into this establishment you see several young warriors sitting around various tables in serious discussions about various problems. None of them appear to be drunk, and every single one glances at you when you walk in and gives you a practiced once over before you take two steps into the room. You cannot help but feel slightly overawed.
With our trade-in, it's a cool 750,000 credits.

The new ship comes with a funky new sidebar:

Click here for the full 194x768 image

I buy Gravimetric Sensors and an IFF Decoder, standard outfits for any ship. The Striker comes with Biorelay Lasers and Wraith Cannons with Wraithii. Both will shred any Federation, Pirate or Auroran ship with ease. It also comes with the best missile jammer in the game. It's about 80% effective.

Nil'kemorya Jammer posted:

Unlike their civilian counterparts, the ships of the Nil'kemorya are forced to deal with hostile forces quite often. To help them deal with the problem, P'aedt scientists and Ver'ash engineers have come up with this system that detects the electron movements common to most guidance systems and then shorts them out by creating an electromagnetic field in the surrounding space that is directly inverse to the fields of the incoming missiles.

Wraithii posted:

The polarons for Wraithii are harvested by deep-space mining scoops run by the Tre'pira. These polarons are then shipped to P'aedt facilities for encapsulation in the mar-graviton field that will hold them until they impact at a speed of greater than 20 kilometers an hour. Needless to say, the final packets are handled with kid gloves. It is a testament to the Tre'pira and the P'aedt that no accidents with Wraithii have ever occurred.

Wraith Cannon posted:

Wraithii are tiny capsules of polarons contained in a mar-graviton field. A Wraith Cannon fires these capsules via simple biomechanics, and the capsules burst on impact, releasing a powerful kinetic force. These guns are mounted as standard on the Dragon, and can be retrofitted to most ships on the market. And now that they have been modified to allow them to shoot while the parent ship is cloaked, they are even more effective. The Nil'kemorya keep a careful eye on these weapons, however, and only the most favored of outsiders are ever allowed to buy them.

Biorelay Laser posted:

The BioRelay is a thin laser beam weapon mounted in the framework of Striker and Manta vessels. The BioRelay is a series of cellular storage capacitors that discharge linearly to provide a steady power curve for the beam. As such, the heat generated from the laser body is minimal, which keeps the size down for the Manta and Striker, and yet packs a punch compared to packeted weapons such as the Federation blasters.
Wraithii are quite expensive, at 1000 credits apiece. Given the amount of pain they can dish out, it's usually worth it on larger targets. I blow the rest of our money on a hundred of them.
Now is the part where I am finally left with a ship powerful enough to use my most favourite tactic: Flying right up to an enemy ship and unloading in their face until they die. I go on a three month-long rampage, looting and pirating all the pirates and hostiles unfortunate enough to get in my way.
I love the part of the game where you first become a death machine.
At the end of it, we're a few million credits richer and have managed to fight our way to Sol. I land on Earth to recharge.

Sigma Shipyards Delivery posted:

As you look around the various vessels on offer you are tapped on the shoulder and turn around to see Rodney, the Sigma Shipyards representative.

"I have a mission of some urgency for you," he begins, quite seriously. "It involves travelling across most of the known galaxy, picking up a cargo that isn't strictly legal, and returning here.

"Before you answer," he raises his hand to forestall your reply, "be aware that you may well come under intense fire in a place far from where we will be able to help you, but also be aware that if we cannot trust you to take this mission, we cannot trust you with any of our more sensitive corporate secrets.

"Are you up for it?"
Of course!

Sigma Shipyards Delivery posted:

"Good," he relaxes, looking visibly relieved. "The cargo we want you to pick up is 20 tons of palladium from the planet Kont in the Kontik system, which is in the far Southeast of Auroran space. The Aurorans won't be happy with you taking it to bring here, but that may be the least of your problems. Recently, some sort of pirate group has blockaded the planet, and none of our ships have been able to get through.

"Now," he continues gravely, "once you have secured the palladium, you need to return here without being scanned by the Aurorans. If you do get scanned, you may as well dump your cargo and not bother returning here, as we will wash our hands of you. At the end of the day, we have legitimate operations in Auroran space that we cannot do without, and we are not prepared to risk those over a single shipment of palladium.

"Do you have any questions?" he asks, and you shake your head. "Good luck then."
We've been to Kontik before, so the route this time is no different, save for our higher energy reserves necessitating only a single refueling stop.

Kymonthia posted:

Kymonthia is one of the few worlds in the Empire to remain virtually untouched by pollutants and human habitation. This is because many of the naturally occurring chemicals and bacteria on this planet are extremely useful in the production of many different medicines. Because they govern this system, Tekel House has the lowest death rate of any house, as they use slightly more than half the products. The rest is traded out to the rest of the Empire.
No bar here.
We jump into Kontik and are met by a welcoming committee of pirates, boasting an Auroran Cruiser amongst them. I welcome back harder and manage to pirate 100,000 credits for my troubles. I land on Kont proper.

Sigma Shipyards Delivery posted:

You land under heavy fire, and the workers on the ground grimly tell you that they are capable of holding out against the pirates, as the pirates aren't prepared to bombard them from orbit because they do not want to destroy the mining infrastructure that has been set up.

"But we are more than a match for them on the ground," the operation commander informs you grimly. "The trouble is that they just sit in space, and every ship that takes off gets beaten to hell. So far, every ship that has managed to land has been disabled and boarded as soon as they leave the atmosphere. Good luck out there."

With a sigh, you head back to your beloved a'P'os'trophy.
We're met with a goodbye party as well, bearing gifts of plundered credits. Given that we have to avoid Auroran scans, I take the long route, cutting north through Polaris space on our way back to Earth. For what it's worth, assuming that the shipment is pure palladium, we're currently hauling $USD 386 million worth of the metal at present-day prices.

Sigma Shipyards Delivery posted:

As soon as you land you sigh with relief. The last few weeks have been pretty stressful, and you are glad to have made it back in one piece with your cargo intact.

"Well done," congratulates Rodney, when he drops by as you are unloading. "This load should keep us going for another couple of months."

You tell him the news from the small mining operation down there, and how they can hold out.

"Well that is good news," he mutters thoughtfully. "So the only problem we have is shipping through the blockade. I think we can do something about that.

"In the mean time," he concludes quietly, "keep an eye out around here, as I may have another mission for you in a month or two. Why don't you recuperate for a little while; if you check your account, I think you will find that you have a little bit more spending money now... "
What now? Both of our current missions have us on a countdown timer, so there's nothing to do except more rampaging. I fly to Honor and pick up three bounties at once, because I can.

Honor posted:

The first thing you notice about Honor is the weather. While extremely changeable, the rains are never extreme (more like sun-showers), and the hot days never too bright or too hot. Honor is seen by the Taoists as the perfect example of balance, and there are many temples of that philosophy here, as well as Shaolin Buddhists. Honor puts one in mind of a picture perfect day in the ancient Middle Kingdom on Earth, and certainly many of the population are oriental in background. By general unspoken agreement, Honor is fairly low tech, with any areas that must be modern discreetly hidden from casual view. The spaceport is often missed by tourists from the air.

Honor's Bar posted:

On entering this bar you see a number of young Shaolin monks drinking heavily. You are about to question why when the bartender tells you that they are attempting to train in some style of drunken martial arts. You find this idea amusing, but you decide not to push the issue just in case.

Three months later and 3.5 million credits richer, we check in with Earth when we're met by the Sigma Shipping rep once more.

Sigma Shipyards Delivery posted:

Almost as soon as you enter the shipyard you run into Rodney, the Sigma Shipyards representative.

"I'm glad you stopped by," he begins, very seriously. "I have a mission of the utmost secrecy for you. I can't really tell you any of the details, but if you do accept, it might be some time before you can return here.

"Are you up for it?"

Deliver New Hypergate Codes posted:

"You may or may not be aware," he explains after nodding at your acceptance, "that we have the capability to use the old hypergate network; the parts of it that work, that is."

He leans forward conspiratorially.

"We have remained in contact with our former CEO, Donald Chick," he informs you in a near whisper, "and as we rotate the codes, we pass them on to him."

You raise your eyebrows in surprise. According to rumor, Donald Chick has become a part of the Rebellion against the Bureau. No wonder Sigma Shipyards wants to keep this a secret.

"We need you to take him the new codes," he continues quietly, passing you an encrypted message pod. "He is currently located on Rebel II in the Koria system, north of Federation space. To help you on the way we will upload them into your navigation computer, and you can update them any time you check into a Federation MissionBBS. This means that you too will have access to the hypergate system..."

He pauses as what he just said sinks in.

"While you are out there, avoid being scanned at all costs," he adds after a moment, "as we will wash our hands of you. We cannot afford to have the Bureau start investigating our business dealings too closely.

"Finally," he concludes quickly, "when this is all over, you might want to lay low for a while. I'm sure the Feds will be looking for you to explain your voyage into the galactic north. Good luck."
And now we have access to the Hypergates!

Hypergates are a remnant of the old Colonial Council, a network thousands of years old that is at most half-functional today with many gates destroyed. You can jump far distances without expending any energy, but the most important feature is that they are instant - you leave the instant you came in. Hypergates can be landed on, and provide a special overlay on the normal map.

Hypergates link together all Auroran, Federation, Rebel and former Vell-os space. The Polaris are completely severed from the network by choice, having deliberately destroyed their gates.

With our access, Rebel II is a single jump away, as it lies directly on a hypergate node.

Rebel II posted:

This station is the forward operations base for the Rebellion. It is here that all Rebel ships and agents are given their final mission briefs before entering Federation space. It is one of the busiest ports in Known Space, which makes the secrecy of its location somewhat of a counter-intelligence coup against the Bureau of Internal Investigation. This probably is a result of the handiwork of General Cade 'Sundown' Smart, who was the former head of the Federation military, and also Frandall (code-name), who was the former Head of Federation Intelligence before the Bureau took over that role. These two, as founding members of the Rebellion, have spared no effort in looking after the military and intelligence sides of the Rebel operation.
As mentioned, Chick, Smart and Frandall are heads of the production team. Frandall and Smart in particular are the infallible protagonists of several storylines, while Chick simply hangs around, being "brilliant."

Rebel II's Bar posted:

You enter a happily noisy establishment where returning rebels toast their own efforts and wish luck to a number of outgoing operatives. You are given your own space, and a drink is placed in front of you with a welcoming smile.
We really need to get some sort of electrified ship skin, this is just ridiculous.

Deliver New Hypergate Codes posted:

As soon as you land a group of soldiers surround your vessel and demand that you unload your cargo. You do so, taking great care not to provoke them in any way. When you bring out the message pod, they quickly whisk it away.

"You have our thanks," states the detachment commander, "and please do not be offended by the way we have conducted our business with you. By way of apology, we have transferred a fair sum of credits into your account, however I'm sure you can appreciate our need for security."

With that he gives a signal to the troops around him and they quickly withdraw, leaving you standing there wondering what just happened.
That's it for the Sigma Missions, we've got everything they could give. It's been the better part of a year since Mu'Randa told us to keep an eye out for her, so I head back to Polaris space. Landing at the old hangout of Ver'a Se, we're greeted by someone else.

More experiments posted:

You are not surprised to be once more greeted by P'Jeena and Ver'Lliana when you step off your ship.

"After watching the sensor readings we have gotten from the Wraith," P'Jeena begins in his quiet, somehow formal manner, "we discovered that they were tunnelling into hyperspace rather than wrapping hyperspace around them before moving. The end result is that they can enter hyperspace much faster than we can.

"Once we realized what they were doing," continues Ver'Lliana in her exuberant fashion, "we were able to begin experimenting with growing different organs to duplicate the effect.

"Would you be prepared to help us out with our experiments again?"
But of course!

Make fast-jumping available posted:

"Thank you," exclaims Ver'Lliana with grateful exuberance. "We have grown a few Tunnelling Organs and have seeded them in different ships to observe their effectiveness. We have kept one here for you.

"When you are ready," she continues pleasantly, "go and grab it from the outfitting area."

"Once you have it," P'Jeena adds with bookish exactitude, "if you could go from here, head over to the Kania system, making sure you land on Port Kane (so that we can get a grounded reading), and then return, it should give us enough readings to be able to safely adjust the organ to differing ship types.

"I guess we will see you when you return."

Tunnelling organ posted:

By observing the Wraith, the P'aedt learned that instead of projecting hyperspace around them and then moving, they tunnelled directly into hyperspace, allowing them to hyperjump without stopping. Now, with the experimental Tunnelling Organ, the Polaris are seeking to emulate this capability.
We jump to Port Kane.

Tunnelling Organ posted:

As you go about your usual post-flight routine you take special care to check out your new Tunnelling organ. It appears to be fine, and you can appreciate just how effective this little organ could be in terms of both combat and general efficiency.

With a quick nod of your head you decide to conclude your business here as quickly as possible. You need to get back to Ver'a Se to return the information the P'aedt and Ver'ash there need to start mass farming of these organs.
There and back again.

Tunnelling organ posted:

You quickly go through your post-flight routine, knowing that all the P'aedt and Ver'ash will be eagerly waiting outside your ship. As soon as you finish you step out of your hatch and they bow to acknowledge your efforts on their behalf.

P'Jeena and Ver'Lliana come over as the many P'aedt and Ver'ash begin swarming all over your ship taking readings.

"Thank you once again," P'Jeena begins respectfully. "This might have seemed trivial to you, but I assure you the ramifications of this technology are enormous."

"Yes," agrees Ver'Lliana smiling. "But it won't stop there. I already have a few ideas of how to use this technology in other ways. Keep an eye out around here. We may need you again."
Someone else has need of us. I spy a message in the Mission BBS:

ATTN: Jack Burton posted:

Message to: Jack Burton
Message from: Mu'Randa

We have recently intercepted some radio traffic which suggests that the Federation may be looking into launching a raid on our defenses in an effort to gain some intelligence on our capabilities. We would like you to head over to the Kania system and see if there is any buildup of forces there, before returning to Nil'a Mjolnir in the Mjolnir system with any intelligence you might have.

Good luck!
A week later, we arrive in Nil'a Mjolnir to restock before continuing on to Kania. There is indeed a force buildup, and they're not too subtle about it, identifying themselves as "Fed Task Force."

We head back to Mjolnir with the information.

Defend Polaris Space posted:

As soon as you land your hatch is opened and a gray-cloaked Nil'kemorya warrior bursts into your ship.

"It appears that the reports of the Federation probe were accurate," he begins seriously. "Apparently they either saw you and tailed you to this system or they were coming here and left not long after you did. Regardless, they are about to jump into this system.

"We could certainly use your help, Captain Jack Burton," he informs you quietly. "Are you prepared to help defend the Polaris people?"

Defend Polaris Space posted:

"Somehow," he nods approvingly, "you begin to fit the legend more closely the longer you stay amongst us.

"Meet us in orbit," he finishes, leaving you with a thousand unanswered questions, "and together we will show the Federation that we will not be treated in this manner. If you survive, return here and you will be recompensed."
We lift off, and three Fed Carriers warp in. They're immediately outnumbered by the Polaris. It's hardly a fair fight. I pull anti-fighter duty as the Polaris capital ships take apart the Carriers. The fight lasts about 20 seconds, and then we're back on the battlestation.

Defend Polaris Space posted:

After completing your post-flight routine you head out to see if you can find a few answers. You are met by the same warrior who talked with you before the battle.

"Do you realize," he asks rhetorically, "that you are the first outsider in around six centuries who has helped us defend our borders? Maybe what they are beginning to say about you is true.

"Regardless," he continues, speaking more directly, "the Polaris give generously to those who help them. Your account has had a total of 100,000 credits transferred into it in payment for your courageous service."

With that he bows and begins to move away, but turns back after taking a few steps.

"I am honored to have met you," he says, almost nervously. "If you do become the one spoken of in the legends, I will be a glad man, for you have a good heart."

As he walks away, you find yourself left with more unanswered questions than ever.
We earned 100,000 credits for our efforts. Not bad, but pirating the three carriers instead would have earned us about 1.5 million. There's another message for us in the Mission BBS.

Return to Ver'a Se posted:

To: Ory'hara
From: P'Jeena

We have made some advances in the design of the cloaking organ and we were wondering if you were interested in helping us with our testing? If you are, there is a ship waiting to escort you.
We are, and there is an Arachnid waiting to whisk us back to Ver'a Se. It's nice to be escorted for once.

Test new Cloaking Organ posted:

Upon exiting your ship you are greeted by P'Jeena and Ver'Lliana.

"Ver'Lliana has come up with a new design," P'Jeena begins in his quiet, somehow formal manner, "that incredibly reduces the energy signature of folding space/time. It should leave no trace for most sensor types to pick up."

"Of course," continues Ver'Lliana in a much more animated fashion, "we have to do a series of comprehensive tests before we can start growing mass organ farms.

"Would you be prepared to help us out again?"

Observe Cloak-Ship posted:

"Thank you," exclaims Ver'Lliana with grateful exuberance. "We have removed the old cloaking organ from a Zephyr and grown a new one with the new capabilities.

"When you are ready," she continues pleasantly, "if you could take off from the station and try to observe it as it flies around the system cloaking and un-cloaking. When you have observed it for a while, return to the station."

"As with the last experiment," P'Jeena adds with bookish exactitude, "we will be loading the very same holo-scanning technology on board your ship as you were carrying last time.

"Anyway, we will be ready when you are."

The easiest mission in the game. I didn't even move around this time, just went and grabbed a drink.

Observe Cloak-Ship posted:

You take your time going through your post-flight routine, knowing that all the P'aedt and Ver'ash will be eagerly waiting outside your ship. As soon as you finish you step out of your hatch and invite them to begin their work with a smile and a nod to acknowledge their new-found manners.

P'Jeena comes over with an elderly gray-cloaked warrior in tow.

"This is Iuso," P'Jeena introduces the lean man with obvious respect, "he is the leader of the Nil'kemorya, and wants to have a word with you."

"I have heard quite a lot about you," he begins smoothly. "From what I've heard about you from Mu'Randa, Bis Andreya and P'Jeena here, you are a fairly resourceful man, and you are the closest thing we have to an expert on the universe outside Polaris space. There is a fairly important scouting mission going to occur soon, and I'm going to recommend that you be the one to take it.

"In the mean time," he adds significantly, "I've removed my objections to you having access to some of our more basic warrior technology.

"I want you to keep an eye out," he finishes quietly. "I'll be keeping an eye out for you."
New toys! I buy a fusion reactor to allow us to go much longer without returning to dock, and a cloaking organ because they're fun.

Fusion Reactor posted:

While the basic design of the Fusion Reactor has remained unchanged for nearly three centuries, it still enjoys widespread use in the ships run by all castes (except those of the Nil'kemorya) as it more than fills their energy requirements. When asked if Polaris freighters and pleasure craft will ever require greater power sources, members of the Ver'ash shrug their shoulders and answer that if that day ever comes, there are already more advanced energy reactors being used in warrior vessels which could be relatively easily converted for non-military applications.

Cloaking Organ posted:

The Ver'ash, working with the P'aedt on data recovered from encounters with the Wraith, have managed to duplicate their 'cloaking' capabilities. There is still an energy signature that can be easily be read by most sensor systems, but any ship with the Cloaking Organ is invisible to the naked eye and is extremely difficult to target.

Sometimes you'll spot a staff member self-insert flying around. Some of them are ridiculously overpowered, but you can capture (most of) them and get their ridiculous powers for yourself.

Having more time to kill, I return to the Pirate base at Scheall and spend quite some time killing all the pirates in sight. It's quite profitable. I'm in K'ar Kasi in Polaris space recharging when some more plot appears.

K'ar Kasi posted:

The Polaris government maintains an administrative outpost on this planet. The surrounding sector of space is basically governed from here. The most amazing part is that some 380 Polarans seem to be all that is required to perform all the necessary administrative tasks that come with governing an entire sector of space. The fact that all of the inhabitants are over a century old seems relatively innocuous by comparison, especially when the average life expectancy for the Polaris is 205.9 years.

K'ar Kasi's Bar posted:

You walk in to see a number of older-looking, brown-cloaked Polarans eating the midday meal. You are somewhat startled to realize that the youngest person in the room is over 150 years old, and the oldest is some 270 years in age. They explain that the life-expectancy of a member of the Kel'ariy is some 247 years, and that it is not that unusual for people to live to see their fourth century.

Scout Wraith Space posted:

You spot the deep auburn hair and slender figure of Mu'Randa as soon as you leave your ship, and you make your way over.

"Oh! You surprised me," she jumps a little when you tap her on the shoulder. "But I'm glad you did, I've been trying to track you down for some time.

"Now that Wraith space is open to exploration," she explains, her cheerful grin returning, "the P'aedt are beginning to send ships out to the nearest systems to begin researching the area. Unfortunately, they believe in slow steady progress, which makes good scientific sense, but is not necessarily so good in terms of politics or security. The Council and the Nil'kemorya want to know more about the further reaches of the region to see if there is anything they need to know about, in case they have to deal with it. Because while it is wonderful that Wraith space is now open to us, we have also opened our space up to the Wraith, and we don't know if that will cause any problems.

"Are you interested in going on a scouting mission?"
But of course, my dear.

Scout Wraith Space posted:

"Thank you, Captain Jack Burton," she tells you gratefully, "we have been a little worried about this ever since our talks with the Wraith. We really need to know if there is anything out there that might affect us in any way, so that we can prepare ourselves for it.

"If you could explore the far Western edges of Wraith space," Mu'Randa continues, "and perhaps even a little beyond, it would give us a large amount of information about the outside universe. We are actually less interested in what lies within Wraith space as in what lies beyond it. So much of space north of the Federation is unknown to us. If you find anything that needs our attention, report back to us on Mu'ar Haro as soon as possible.

"Well, good luck," she finishes, with a devastating smile. "I hope to hear from you in a few months."
If you're female, the game changes "devastating smile" to "enormous grin." We take off and skim the northern edge of Wraith space as we pass west. However, this time the Wraith are exceptionally hostile - and their weapons hurt.

We end up finding Rebel I, a small Rebel-controlled backwater. I kill a few Pirates on the way in.

Rebel I posted:

This planet is the headquarters of the Rebellion. The people here are all very friendly, but a little reserved and very busy. They are without fail willing to sit and chat about their beliefs concerning the role of the Bureau of Internal Investigation within the Federation. They have lists as long as your arm of crimes committed by the Bureau, and they have statements of witnesses and huge files of evidence to support their accusations. However, they quickly clam up when they are asked for specifics about their operation against the agents of the Bureau, which is understandable considering the intelligence-gathering capabilities of their enemy. Most of these people seem to be young, energetic and far too serious for their age. They have all obviously seen something that matured them long before they were ready.

Rebel I's Bar posted:

A number of what appears to be high-ranking rebel officials seem to be making themselves at home here. They give you a warm if somewhat reserved greeting and allow you plenty of room at the bar.
I go further west still, ending near the western edge of the galaxy. Has it been sufficiently explored? I take the Hypergates and jump back to Polaris. Apparently not, as nobody shows up to meet me. I head out once more and this time start my search in Koria, home to Rebel II.

Rebel II-wait what posted:

You are greeted by several armed guards when you land, and a vaguely familiar man wearing a general's uniform.

"I am General Cade Smart," he introduces himself. "We have scanned your vessel repeatedly, and I believe that at least some of your technology is Polaris in origin?"

You nod, careful not to move overly much, as the soldiers with their weapons trained on you look ready to fire at even the smallest untoward twitch.

"If you are a friend of the Polaris then we have no argument with you," he continues quietly, "but I must ask you to leave. This station is an outpost of the Rebellion against the Bureau of Internal Investigation, and although we have no desire to start any other conflict, we must maintain our security. I apologize for treating you in this way, but I'm afraid that if we are to succeed in our war with the Bureau, we have little choice."

You are bundled back onboard your ship and left alone. It does not take much deduction to realize that the Polaris will want to hear about this.
So landing on the actual headquarters and talking to people in the Rebellion isn't considered newsworthy, but *not* landing or talking to anyone isn't? The first time I played this, I thought they meant that the Rebels were suddenly shutting off contact with the Polaris, given that they have technology bought from them and get ongoing support. The truth is more ridiculous. We head back to Polaris space.

Scout Wraith Space posted:

You are greeted by the auburn-haired Mu'Randa in what looks like her official black-robes when you land.

"We inducted twenty new Mu'Hari today," she explains almost sadly when she sees you eyeing her robes quizzically. "Now they too must begin to try to wipe aside our shame."

You eye her askance, wondering what could cause such a happy, ebullient person to become so melancholy. "The Mu'hari caste is the most shameful of castes," she tells you in response to your unspoken question. "We were born as a result of a civil war, we enter our caste because we cannot make it into any other, we must serve all other Polaris wherever we can, but we have the overwhelming duty of standing in judgement over our fellow citizens if necessary. We are the faithless servants who must betray our masters for a perceived greater good. That is why we wear black, as a mark of our shame and to remind us that despite any powers we might have, we are not worthy to call ourselves Polarans."

Scout Wraith Space posted:

"But enough about us!" she explains, her smile returning to her face again. "What did you find out in the nether regions of the universe?"

You quickly recount the events of your landing on a station called 'Rebel II' in the 'Koria' system off to the West of Wraith space. Mu'Randa listens intently to your report without interruption until you finish.

"This is interesting," she muses thoughtfully. "You have discovered something that could affect us greatly. Anything that might destabilize the Federation would have an enormous effect on all Known Space.

"I will download your sensor data from your ship," she continues seriously, "and transmit it to the Council on Kel'ar Iy for them to have a look at. Once they have viewed it they will come up with some sort of decision regarding a plan of action, and then we may have to get things rolling pretty quickly. Keep an eye out around the place, as I may need to urgently make contact with you at some stage."
I'll cut if off here. Next time: Diplomatic intrigue!