The Let's Play Archive

Escape Velocity: Nova

by Decoy Badger

Part 11: Polaris - Part 11 - Sept 24, 1179NC: Discrete Insertion

Sept 24, 1179NC: Discrete Insertion

Yes, it's been a full in-game year since we set off to explore Wraith space. Hyperspace really eats up the time. There are more egregrious timesinks in store - for something that players never pay attention to outside of shipping missions, they sure took it seriously. We fly to Ar'Uso and are met by a protagonist.

Ar'Uso posted:

This is a forested, mountainous moon circling Ar'Bis Usoca that has a small population of Mu'hari, as the 'casteless' caste are called. The Mu'hari ensure the preservation of the pristine environment on Ar'Bis Usoca, and protect it from any outside incursion, warding it against all ships except for those piloted by the new leaders of the Polaris. Ar'Uso is a small green jewel of a moon.

Ar'Uso's Bar posted:

This tiny bar has a few black-cloaked Mu'Hari drinking in it when you arrive. As soon as they see you they immediately all make sure that your every need is taken care of before returning to their own drinks. You have never seen a group of people more concerned with your welfare.
It's a planet full of Nice Guys.

Meet with Rebels posted:

As you step off your ship you catch a glimpse of deep auburn hair out of the corner of your eye and you turn to see Mu'Randa step into the bar. As if she could somehow sense you looking, her eyes turn to meet yours and she makes her way over with a smile.

"I'm glad I caught you!" she exclaims, waggling her finger at you in mock anger. "Otherwise I would have had to chase you all over the place to chat with you.

"The Council has decided," she informs you more seriously, "that they will send an envoy to meet with these 'Rebels', as they call themselves, as in recent years the Federation behavior has become increasingly disturbing. If nothing else, we might be able to learn of a few places to go and find out more about what is actually going on inside the Federation hierarchy.

"And there are no prizes for guessing who's the new ambassador," she continues, waving her finger at you again. "Unfortunately, this ambassador needs a lift, and she was wondering if you would be kind enough to offer her one."

Meet With Rebels posted:

"Oh, thank you!" she gushes with a sincere smile. "If you had said no I would have been forced to try to get another pilot who had never been there before to help me out, and that could have turned into a VERY long trip.

"All we have to do," she explains simply, "is go to Rebel II in the Koria system, and the 'Rebel' leaders should meet us there as we have already sent a message to them telling them to expect us.

"From there the plan gets a little more vague," she chuckles slightly. "Since we know next to nothing about them, we will have to play it by ear a little and see what we can find out.

"Anyway, that's quite enough talk," she decides firmly. "When do we leave?"
We fly to Koria and land on Rebel II, dealing with a Pirate marauder on the way in.

Meet With Rebels posted:

As soon as you exit your ship, General Smart steps forward and introduces himself and the rest of the Rebel leaders alongside him. You suddenly remember where you have seen him before, recalling back to the early days of the last Auroran War when the Federation was getting massacred due to the incompetence of its military leadership. It was only when General Smart took over the reins that the tide turned, and with some brilliant leadership he saved the Federation from a potentially cataclysmic defeat.

You are equally impressed by the men he introduces as the rest of the Rebel leadership. In short order you have shaken hands with Mr. Donald Chick, the former head of Sigma Shipyards - the largest corporation in Known Space; Professor Barri Williams, former Vice-Chancellor and lecturer in political history at the prestigious Kane University; Cardinal Vardy de Valera, the Monseigneur for Theological Studies in the Church of Krim-Hwa; and Dr. Oriallo Pentecost, a former Federation Councillor representing Port Kane.

Meet With Rebels posted:

After all the introductions are made you are led into a large board room with a table surrounded by eight chairs. In one of them sits a man operating a small computer terminal. He introduces himself as Geoff Daniels and explains that it is his job to make a recording of the meeting.

After talking for several minutes Mu'Randa comes straight out and asks the Rebel leaders what are they rebelling against and why.

"We are upset to the point of rebellion at the actions of the Bureau of Internal Investigation," explains Dr. Pentecost. "They have usurped power away from the democratically elected Council, and they now run the Federation. We could list to you their criminal actions for hours, but I would suggest that you look through our library and go and confirm it all for yourselves."

Mu'Randa nods, and motions you over.

"Meet me in the bar in the morning," she whispers. "I want to find out how sincere these 'Rebels' are, so I'm going to do a little snooping around to see what I can find out."
As a default, the Rebels are being helped out by the Polaris. The insistence that the Polaris are completely clueless as to their existence really isn't helped by all the Rebel Dragons floating about. Having Polaris-tech Rebel ships only appear after a few years in-game probably would have been a better solution.

Return to Kel'ar Iy posted:

You are somewhat surprised to see Mu'Randa wander into the bar looking fresh, because you are fairly sure that she spent most of last night exploring the Rebel station. Once again she seems to react to your gaze and turns to meet your eyes before coming over.

"I want to get back to Kel'ar Iy as soon as we can," she tells you, her voice far more urgent than her smiling face would indicate. "Last night I had a look around and everything I've seen tells me that these 'Rebels' are indeed genuine about their intentions, and about the accusations they have made about this Bureau. If this is all true, we will have to rethink our policies towards the Federation in a hurry.

"So let's take our download of their library," she tells you in a slightly louder voice, "and say our farewells to our new friends."

You are beginning to wonder about Mu'Randa's abilities. She seems to not only be a consummate diplomat, but also a very capable spy. You shake your head and follow her as she leaves the bar.

Return to Kel'ar Iy posted:

Mu'Randa leads you to the conference room where you chatted with the Rebel leaders yesterday. You see the five of them and Geoff Daniels sitting in discussion when you walk in.

"What you have told us is very disturbing," Mu'Randa informs them without preamble. "We will be returning to Polaris Space immediately to inform the Council of the events here, and they will no doubt begin investigating your allegations against this 'Bureau of Internal Investigation' and the Federation in general. If, as a result of our investigation, we find that your accusations are justified, we will recontact you, and may offer you our support."

"That is all that we could ever ask of you," replies Dr. Pentecost. "Would you like a copy of our library file on the Bureau to aid you in your research?"

"I have already obtained a copy," Mu'Randa shrugs at their surprise. "Our technology is more advanced than your own."

"Well, in that case," Dr. Pentecost replies politely, "we thank you for taking the time to meet with us."
Blast off! Back to Polaris space we go, destination: Kel'ar Iy.

Kel'ar Iy posted:

This is an M-class planet with an enormous artificial ring which the Polaris found intact. The best theory on how it was constructed is that the materials were taken from the relatively small gas giant also in the system, which used to be much larger. The haze surrounding it, which is thought to be around 500,000 years old, and will last another 1.5 million before collapsing, is the remains of that process. This is both the capital of the Polaris and the homeworld of the Kel'ariy, the leadership caste. Interestingly, the Kel'ariy come from all the other castes and have to be chosen by the members of their own caste; the only criterion is that they be over a century old. The ruling council has four members from the Nil'kemorya, six from the Ver'ash, eight from the Tre'pira, five from the P'aedt and one from the Mu'hari. In addition, there is the leader who is given the title Bis.

Kel'ar Iy's Bar posted:

This bar is filled with a number of brown-cloaked members of the leadership caste. You notice the presence of eight gray-cloaked warriors standing in pairs in a rough diamond around one of the Kel'ariy. Despite their air of relaxation, you notice that they seem to be aware of everything, and you feel their gaze bore into you whenever you make even the smallest of moves.
Welcome to the capital. The devs had a tragic misreading of Ringworld. How does that thing not collapse on itself?

Return to Kel'ar Iy posted:

You are met by Bis Andreya and the leaders of the four other castes.

"Are they a danger?" asks Iuso without preamble in the musical Polaris tongue which you are starting to get used to.

"I don't believe so," Mu'Randa replies in a slightly deferential tone, "but they may have revealed to us something else that is."

"And just what is this other hazard?" asks Bis Andreya after looking at the leader of the warrior caste in rebuke for his lack of protocol in speaking first. He looks slightly chastened.

"The Federation," Mu'Randa answers in the same deferential tone, "or more specifically, the 'Bureau of Internal Investigation' which, according to the Rebels, have taken over executive power within the Federation. In fact they told us in no uncertain terms that they were not rebelling against the Federation, but against this Bureau specifically."

"And you believe them?" asks Bis Andreya with slightly narrowed eyes.

Mu'Randa nods.

Return to Kel'ar Iy posted:

"I will have to call an emergency session of the Council," Bis Andreya continues thoughtfully. "All caste leaders will be asked to attend, and I would suggest that you all make every effort to do so, as we will be deciding on policies which may well affect Polaris society for many centuries to come.

"And of course," she continues after turning to face you, "once again we have to thank you for your role in this affair. You seem to be proving your worth as a friend to the Polaris people with an almost monotonous regularity. It would almost seem that you are somehow always the one who manages to be there when we have need of somebody outside our normal patterns of knowledge."

At this three of the caste leaders jerk their heads slightly in surprise, but both Mu'Randa and Iuso nod their heads, scrutinizing you thoughtfully.

"I have made sure," continues Bis Andreya, "that a sizeable sum of money has been transferred into your account to use as you will. Know that you have my thanks."
200,000 credits. Not bad, but keep in mind that's about 2 minutes of cannon fire. We fly around a bit more, but it's not long before duty once again calls, on the planet Tre'ar Zalom.

Tre'ar Zalom posted:

Tre'ar Zalom is a relatively small world covered by a great archipelago that has been cultivated by the worker caste, known as the "Tre'pira", as a center of aquaculture. The many seafoods produced on this planet are served and enjoyed by many throughout Polaris-controlled space, and are highly sought by all. Rumors of the delicacies produced on Tre'ar Zalom have become near-myths outside Polaris borders, and many a young merchant has attempted to sneak into Polaris space, in order to reach this fabled planet.

Tre'ar Zalom's Bar posted:

You are somewhat excited at the thought of eating in this place and you are not disappointed. From the first bite to the last, the food served in this bar is simply beyond description. The food produced on this planet deserves to be venerated, for there is none better in the galaxy.

Take Mu'Hari to Port Kane posted:

When you step off your ship you are slightly surprised to see Mu'Randa standing not more than thirty meters from you chatting to a similarly sable-garbed man. You again get that eerie feeling when both Mu'Randa and her fellow Mu'hari turn to meet your gaze as if they can somehow sense your eyes on them. Mu'Randa grins and makes her way over.

"How's everything going?" she asks cheerfully. You mutter something noncommittal to which she laughs before turning back to her companion. "I've never met anyone quite so closed-mouthed before.

"This is Mu'Evlin," she continues, indicating her fellow Mu'hari. "Mu'Evlin, this is... hmmm... we'll call you 'Ory'hara' for now."

You cannot help but notice that not only Mu'Evlin, but several members of the worker caste in the area look surprised when Mu'Randa introduces you as 'Ory'hara'.

"Mu'Evlin needs to get to Port Kane in the Kania system," Mu'Randa tells you without further explanation, "can you get him there?"

Take Mu'Hari to Port Kane posted:

"If you haven't already guessed," Mu'Randa explains seriously, "we are sending out feelers into the Federation to see if we can turn up anything on this 'Bureau'. The sooner we can get people in place, the better."

Mu'Randa starts to get up to leave, but you stop her with one word.

"Ory'hara?" you ask quietly.

Mu'Evlin grins slightly and looks away, but Mu'Randa looks at you for a moment, obviously contemplating something.

"If you are going to be moving in and around the Federation," she explains somehow sadly, "you will need to be known by something other than your birth-name, to protect your identity in the event that any of our people are caught. And somehow I think the name will come to fit you better the longer you wear it."

As she walks away you realize that her somewhat cryptic response brought up more questions than it answered.

"So, ah, when do we go?" asks Mu'Evlin, breaking your train of thought and bringing you back to the present.
I think we just called a racial slur. Regardless, off to Kania we go. There's a handful of Federation ships there to see us off. They don't last long.

Take Mu'Hari to Port Kane posted:

Over the course of the flight you get to know Mu'Evlin quite well, learning a lot about his life and the Mu'hari in general. He tells you that the word 'Mu'hari' literally translates as 'servants of all,' but that the Mu'hari themselves think of it as meaning 'casteless,' as they are the 'casteless caste.' You learn that Mu'Evlin originally trained as a Ver'ash in his youth, but failed the final tests to become a fully-fledged member, and so began his training as a Mu'hari.

You are very surprised to hear that it took him slightly more than five decades to complete the training to finally become a Mu'hari, but when he tells you that he had to train to be conversant in physics, chemistry, laboring, engineering, biology, medicine, all forms of trade, mathematics, soldiery, mechanics, police-work, intelligence and counter intelligence, law, diplomacy and all forms of combat, you begin to realize why. But no Mu'hari ever goes on to master any particular discipline.


Oddly enough, the Mu'hari serve as judges over the Polaris so that disagreements cannot get out of hand, as they did at the start of the Polaris Civil War several centuries ago. It surprises you to hear someone speak so sadly of having to stand in judgement over their peers. It seems to you that the Mu'hari have a deep-seated sense of shame at their shortcomings, and at being placed above other Polarans. Perhaps this, and the fact that any Mu'hari must give aid to any other Polaris if asked (in fact many Mu'hari spend their lives wandering around Polaris space helping out wherever they can), was an intentional effort on the part of the people who originally created the Mu'hari to keep them from ever abusing their position of power within Polaris society.

"Meet me in the bar in a few hours," Mu'Evlin tells you after thanking you for your help in getting him to the Federation. "I need to make contact with other Mu'hari posted here before I can give you a return message to take back to Mu'ar Haro."
Before I hit the bar, I pick up a few Marine Platoons to help capture ships for resale - more cash flow is always better, and you can't get these guys in Polaris space.

Marine Platoon posted:

The leader of these hard-looking men tells you that he is capable of increasing your chances of capturing any vessel enormously.

"And we don't need continuous cash flow," he explains in his deep voice as his men watch on with casual alertness. "We have all the equipment we need, and we take small amounts of profit by foraging on every ship we board.
Humans safely stowed beside the Wraithii ammo container, I go to meet Mu'Evlin.

Return With Message posted:

After wandering the station for a few hours you enter the bar and after a couple of moments peering around you spot the jet-black hair and light blue eyes of Mu'Evlin sitting at a table not far from the door, wearing casual Federation-style clothes.

"Tell Mu'Randa that I have made contact," he says after you exchange greetings, "and that so far nobody has heard anything detrimental about this Bureau, but plenty about these Rebels. But we will continue looking into the situation more deeply rather than relying on media reports for our intelligence.

"Also, pass on that in all probability," he continues quietly, "I will have to call for further Mu'hari to be brought to the Federation in the future to liaise with Mu'hari in different areas of Federation space.

"And finally," he finishes sincerely, "I wanted to thank you again for your help. You are becoming known throughout Polaris space as someone that can be turned to at any time for help, Ory'hara."

It really is a slur posted:

As he shakes your hand you ask him if he can tell you anything about the name Mu'Randa gave you.

"There is something of a legend behind you now," he smiles quietly, rising from his seat, "and there is an even bigger legend behind the word 'Ory'hara'. But I do not think that it is my place to inform you of it, and I doubt that any Polaris will do so for similar reasons.

"Do not worry," he tells you in his reserved manner, "in time the legend of Ory'hara will be revealed to you, and you will understand how much it means, and why you now wear the name you do."

As he walks away you shake your head, realizing that without saying much, Mu'Evlin has raised your curiosity even further about the name you have been given. It appears that there is some sort of story behind the name 'Ory'hara', and that it somehow can be applied to you.

You shake your head again, deciding to ask about it further when you get to your destination.

We get the royal treatment on our escape as well. Once again, we kill off all enemies save one Patrol Boat, which I capture thanks to the Marines. It'll fetch a pretty penny on the black market and is a solid combat escort, being one of the best variants out there.

The escort accompanies us back to Mu'ar Haro. We land without any trouble besides an errant Pirate in Federation space.

Return With Message posted:

You step off your vessel to be greeted by a young woman wearing the normal black-robes of a Mu'hari, but with a gray collar.

"I am Neela," she introduces herself shyly. You guess that because she does not have the 'Mu' prefix the gray collar signifies that she has not yet finished her training to become a full Mu'hari. "Mu'Randa told me to wait for you when she was called away to serve elsewhere. She told me that you would have a message?"

You look at her for a long moment before passing on the information from Mu'Evlin.

"I will make sure that Mu'Randa receives this information," Neela tells you seriously. "She asked me to pass on her thanks, and said that you should check the Mission BBS's, because if more Mu'hari need to be taken into Federation space, she will post news of it there."

As she walks away, you cannot help but smile at Mu'Randa's absence. You wonder if she somehow arranged to be elsewhere so that she would not have to avoid answering your questions about being called 'Ory'hara'.
While planetside, we receive a message to defend Mjolnir once more. The raiding force is dismantled before I even get into range. I settle for capturing a Fed Viper. While searching for a planet with a shipyard that will take the escorts off our hands, Mu'Randa sends a message via Mission BBS.

ATTN: Ory'hara posted:

More evidence has been uncovered by Mu'Evlin and his team, unfortunately it requires another Mu'hari to be sent to a different part of the Federation to follow it up.

ATTN: Ory'hara posted:

Message to: Ory'hara Message from: Mu'Randa Mu'Evlin has managed to pass on some information that I believe requires another Mu'hari to be transported to Earth in the Sol system to follow it up, and I have chosen Mu'Yana to do the job. She is currently located on Kel'ar Heper in the Kel'hepera system. She will provide you with any further details you need.

Good luck!
It's not too far.

Kel'ar Heper posted:

Kel'ar Heper is the administrative headquarters for all the surrounding Polaris-controlled space. While the planet is under the sway of the Kel'ariy (as the leadership caste are known), the Tre'pira, the working caste, maintain a fairly large presence here to both support the Kel'ariy and to cultivate the extremely rich soil of this world. Kel'ar Heper is a mountainous, somewhat volcanic, yet still extremely beautiful world.

Kel'ar Heper's Bar posted:

This bar has a large number of Tre'pira eating and drinking here as well as a few of the brown-cloaked Kel'ariy. You notice that the Tre'pira have an attitude of deference about them whenever dealing with them.
Nice place.

Ferry someone somewhere ugh posted:

After going through your post-flight routine you head out of your ship to meet this Mu'Yana. You start to worry when 20 minutes pass and she fails to show. After an hour you are about to try calling the port authorities to see if they can locate her when a short, slim woman with messy blond hair walks up dragging a bag full of what appears to be clothes.

"Hi!" she smiles in greeting. "I'm Mu'Yana. Sorry I am late, but a Ver'ash asked me to help him out with an experiment, and it took a bit longer than he anticipated."

You are about to tell her that she should have told the Ver'ash that she was required elsewhere, but then you remember that no Mu'hari can refuse to help if asked. So, although she was probably agonizing over it, her social conditioning as a Mu'hari probably prevented her from saying any such thing.

Instead you just smile and wave it away, telling her that it does not matter. After helping her onboard, you head back up to the cockpit to start prepping your ship for a long flight.
Welcome to Earf! There is a RAGE gunboat present this time - they're much more dangerous than the normal ones but die just the same.

We are the legendary taxi driver posted:

As soon as you land, you head back to help the slightly disorganized Mu'Yana to get ready to infiltrate the Federation. To your surprise, when you reach her room you see her all packed up and dressed in common Federation clothing, ready to go.

"Once I reach a terminal," she tells you with a smile, "I will authorize some money to be transferred into your account; it is the least I can do to repay you for all your help. No outsider has ever done so much for our nation, and very few Polarans have ever done so either.

"A lot of people have been questioning whether Mu'Randa made the right decision," Mu'Yana continues with a small shrewd smile on her face, "when she called you 'Ory'hara', I must admit that I was one of them. But now that I have seen you in person, I can see that she may very well have made the right call. Still, there is much to be done before you can prove yourself worthy of that name, but you may just be able to do it."

No space-email? posted:

"If any further Mu'hari require transport into Federation space," she tells you finally, "Mu'Randa will place a message for you on the various Mission BBS's throughout Polaris space."

As she walks away, you realize that her initial disorganized appearance was some sort of test, one which you somehow passed despite not knowing its exact nature. You have never misjudged someone so completely, and then it dawns on you that this just demonstrates the levels of training that the Mu'hari have achieved.

Still, this question of why you have been named 'Ory'hara' continues to hang over your head. The more comments you receive about it, the more questions it raises. Obviously it is something fairly important, at least to the Polaris as apparently a fair few of them have heard about you receiving the name, and have been discussing whether or not you are 'worthy' of it.

You resolve once again to ask Mu'Randa about it when you next meet her.
That'll be a while, as we have yet another taxi job to run.

ATTN: Ory'hara posted:

Message to: Ory'hara
Message from: Mu'Randa

Mu'Evlin has managed to pass on some information that I believe requires another Mu'hari to be transported to New Babylon in the Nesre Primus system to follow it up, and I have chosen Mu'Dren to do the job. He is currently located on Tre'a Do in the Tre'olepia system. Any further details will be provided when you pick him up.

Good luck!
The cool part about this system is that it rather closely orbits a neutron star. I have no idea what the graphic is supposed to represent, aren't neutron stars extremely uniform?

Tre'a Do posted:

This Tre'pira-run station is used to absorb and funnel the unique radiations emanating from the neutron star named Tre'an Olep. These radiations are then used to alter the crystalline structure of pre-fabricated metal ship frames. The end result is a much stronger and more flexible material.

Tre'a Do's Bar posted:

This bar is actually located in the outer areas of the station up against the outer walls. Part of the charm of this place are the occasional low, almost inaudible groans of the bio-organic outer shell of the station slightly shifting position to better shield the occupants from the high levels of radiation outside.

That's not the only almost inaudible groan posted:

As soon as you open up your hatch, you are greeted by an intense-looking gentleman with inky-black hair and incisive ice-gray eyes. He steps forward and shakes your hand.

"I have heard a lot about you, Ory'hara," he begins with a kind of intense casualness, "all of it good. Thus far Mu'Randa's naming of you has been proved right."

You look at him for a moment to gauge his temperament before asking him if he can enlighten you about the importance of this 'Ory'hara' business. He looks at you for several seconds before replying.

"No, I don't think I can," he tells you quietly. "I want to give you every chance of proving yourself worthy of the name given to you, and I don't think that you could do that if you were forewarned and forearmed. Not that I actually know that much about your trials to come: the future is far too fluid and prophecy is such an imprecise art, not even the Vell-os ever mastered it completely.

"In the meantime," he asks, changing the subject, "when do we leave?"
It's a hop, step and jump to Nesre Primus once we reach the Hypergate network. We're met by the requisite interception squad and dispose of them as usual. Landing is unimpeded.

New Babylon posted:

According to myth, when President Nesre retired from public life, he settled on the first planet colonized under his administration, New Babylon. Located in the Nesre Primus system, New Babylon has always been the home of the Federation elite. Nesre himself was the exception to the New Babylonian rule, living in modest surroundings after his term of office, and people today still take pride in living on the same planet where the greatest hero of the Colonial Council ended his days. There are any number of hawkers and street guides who will tell you their theories about his assassination, or show you the "location" of his grave, but most are obviously implausible. The real location of his final resting place has been lost in the growth of seven hundred years of civilization...

New Babylon's Bar posted:

This bar claims to have been the final drinking place of former Colonial Council President Nesre. His portrait hangs with sartorial elegance over the bar and, if you are prepared to listen long enough, the barman will tell you at length his theory on how he died which involves Auroran spies, poison and a pint of Nibos beer.
Hopefully this is the last of the taxi missions.

I think it is posted:

On your long journey to New Babylon you get plenty of chances to talk to Mu'Dren. You learn that he is one of the oldest serving Mu'hari alive, at 185 years of age, and that he has been a full Mu'hari for over a century. He tells you a lot about some of the things he has done in his lifetime. You are impressed by the absolute selflessness of his existence, and you tell him so.

"It is not enough," he tells you, his intense gray eyes growing sad, "my shame is still yet unpaid."

You press him a number of times to tell you more about being called 'Ory'hara', but each time he gently puts you off. Finally, in disgust, you give up and ask him instead about his comments regarding the 'art of prophecy' and the Vell-os.

"Many Polaris are telepaths - I am one, as is Mu'Randa," he explains quietly, "although none of us could ever rival the Vell-os in power or skill. Some telepaths are actually capable of looking into the future, although it is still misty and a little vague. This what we call the art of prophecy."


"Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, few telepaths have this ability," he continues explaining, "and no Polaris has ever been able to deliberately seek a prophecy, although it is believed that some of the ancient Vell-os could. However, even the prophecies of those ancient Vell-os masters were always vague and usually hard to understand, and very little is understood about how the art of prophecy actually works. The P'aedt have been studying it for centuries, and thus far seem no closer to an understanding than they were when they started."

Mu'Dren shakes his head slowly with a quiet smile, as if quietly laughing at the nature of life.

When you finally get to New Babylon he helps you with your post-flight routine, before shaking your hand and saying goodbye.

"Thanks for your help," he tells you with quiet sincerity. "You have become something of an irreplaceable resource with all your skills and experience. I think that you will yet prove worthy of the name 'Ory'hara'."
The flight back to Polaris space is quite eventful - our Patrol Boat escort dies off, but is replaced by a captured Pirate Valkyrie and a Pirate Starbridge. I also manage to disable and plunder another Manticore and Pirate Carrier.

We get another message from Mu'Randa. This time, it's not a taxi mission!

ATTN:Ory'Hara posted:

Message to: Ory'hara
Message from: Mu'Randa

Mu'Evlin's investigation is coming up with a few too many blanks. It is almost as if somehow evidence is being deleted faster than we can find it and follow it up. I need a new approach. Interested?


Message from: Mu'Randa

In the past I have occasionally gone into the Federation myself to scout for various things, and whenever I found myself drawing a blank, I would always go and see one man who somehow would, without fail, push me in the right direction. His name is Eamon Flannigan, you should remember him from your time with the Wild Geese. Very few people are as well travelled (As you may already know he is called 'Archindar' by the Aurorans and is acknowledged by them as a warrior and master of the Heron style of martial arts), or as knowledgeable about the political state of the Federation.

I want you to find him and ask him if he can help us out with any information regarding the Bureau. Chances are he won't tell us anything straight out, but he might suggest a way for us to find out what we want to know. I'm sure that I don't need to tell you to treat him with utmost respect as you would know that he is one of the most skilled warriors around. Even the Nil'kemorya speak of his deeds with open admiration.
If you aren't a Knight of the Red Branch, the dialogue is a lot more bare, with a little explanatory line thrown in. We head off to New Ireland, spending the new year in Polaris, appropriately enough. This has been a much more eventful year than the previous one, yet all we've done is play Combat Taxi, sadly. Next time: Auroran Surprise!