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Old November 8th, 2006, 11:06 AM

ExplorerBob ExplorerBob is offline
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Default AAR: Military Mission (Darkstar-A)

AAR: Military Mission

Captain's Log: 22.1.4590, 10929 days to go.
It's still hard to believe. I received a call a little over two weeks ago to report in to Brass's office. Strange chap, if you ask me...in any event, my wish has apparently been granted.

Terran Command's given me control of a Frigate called the 'Darkstar-A' -- no word on what happened to the *last* Darkstar. Apparently, they want me to fly around, talk to people, and get little techno-toys for future use. A waste of a perfectly good starship, if you ask me. It should be interesting, anyway.

The entire bridge crew is staffed with amateurs. Apparently Command doesn't think I deserve much better. Jerks. Anyway, I finally got around to looking over this ship's weapon systems -- they left much to be desired. We've taken off all of our old weapons and traded them in for a Gauss Cannon and a Fusion Rocket Launcher, systems I expect will be marginally more powerful. It took three weeks, but we're finally setting sail to the "Vulpeculae" system. It's as good a place to begin as any.

Captain's Log: 31.8.4590, 10708 days to go.
Ugh. I can't believe I just spent the last month of my life traveling here.

That short a time, you say? Well, relativity comes in handy -- real time's zipping along, but we're not much older than we were at the beginning.

Anyway, we get here, and there's just one desert planet.

Get this. 222 days of real time, wasted. A month of my life gone. All for one pathetic little critter. We named it the "Chaos Weevil" after the blasted thing tried to crawl into our drive. I am getting rid of this beast as soon as I can.

Anyway, our next destination is the "Bootis" system. Hopefully it'll be more rewarding than this dump. Hmph.

Captain's Log: 9.2.4591, 10546 days to go.
We just arrived in-system a little while ago. The trip here wasn't as bad as the last one; I only lost about four weeks of my life.

What we found on this planet was interesting. Though the world itself -- a little place called "Sepulchre" -- was pretty much dead, we found an interesting little place on the far west. Scanners confirmed it as "Epsilon Station".

I remember hearing about that just a year or two ago -- some military facility stopped reporting in. We've only found out now that the place is deserted. Apparently no survivors -- I've sent the exploration log back to Command.

One interesting side-note -- one of our biologists found a life-form containment field in a little corner of the station's supply bay. He unlocked it and found a bizarre three-headed creature...I wonder? We've put it in the same place we stored the Chaos Weevil. It's apparently intelligent enough to respond to some basic commands, but we're keeping it under study for now.

Next destination -- the remote star of "Jem".

Captain's Log: 7.1.4592, 10,214 days to go.
Almost a month and a half since I've last sat in this chair! Time goes by, doesn't it.

We bumped into another mostly barren world. I hope we get a planet with some greenery soon.

We were about to leave the planet when a redshirt saw an interesting thing -- and shouted to me as such. "Captain, I just saw an interesting thing!"

And apparently he actually did. It's this bizarre "block" of material -- we can't tell what it is! A rad-team got down to the surface and picked it up, at my command. Its value is inestimable.

We're heading next to the star of "Zelazny". I hope whatever's there is good; space travel is getting boring. I've already set several "Tetris" records.

Captain's Log: 18.4.4592, 10113 days to go.
A little over two weeks gone, and we're already coming up on another world. It looked to be another boring desert planet.

And indeed it was. But a bioscan revealed one particularly fascinating life-form. A strange 'crab monster' -- we lost several good crewman fighting it before the thing finally went down to our stun blasts.

We've locked the evil creature up in our strongest stasis field. I can't wait until we can get rid of all these freakish animals. There's a difference between exploring space and bumping into monsters. I did not sign on for the latter.

Next stop, Calix!

Captain's Log: 9.12.4592, 9878 days left.
Remind me to fire my navigator.

The incompetent little fool steered us into the course of a black hole -- it was a pretty good distance off, so I decided to risk it. Then, just a little while later, we bumped into *ANOTHER* one, right in our path!

I felt we had little choice but to head back to Zelazny. We'll try to go to this other place, "Beryl". Let's hope we don't get another black hole in our path.

Captain's Log: 29.8.4593, 9625 days left.
We've found our predecessor.

A hulk was drifting around near this planet (*finally* a decent one, by the way). Sensors confirmed it as the Darkstar -- battered almost to pieces.

The ship was almost entirely exposed to vacuum, but the bridge was secure enough to risk going in. The former captain was slumped over his command chair -- back broken, whole nine yards. Other crewmembers were laying dead in various positions.

His log was too battered; we gained no information from it about just what hit him. The one intact piece of equipment we found from Darkstar was a "Nebular Extent Calculator" -- it apparently is supposed to give you a clue just where the nebula clouds are intense enough to slow down your flight. It took about ten days, but we installed it and are now preparing to go to our next destination, Beryl's sister star Inferno. My report to Command about the Darkstar should be there by then.

Captain's Log: 8.12.4593, 9514 days left.

We just arrived in Inferno...to spot the largest battlegroup in Earth history. Could this be what did Darkstar in?

I guess not. Contact revealed them to be glorified slugs -- the "Muktians" -- and apparently isolationists. They gave us this threatening little speech saying "Leave or die", and considering the firepower we'd be going up against, I opted for the latter. Back to Beryl...

Captain's Log: 19.3.4594, 9413 days left.
Not much to say, this time around. We're going to visit that star we were going to, Calix. and see what it has.

Captain's Log: 13.9.4594, 9235 days left.
Why do we always get the desert planets?

That said, we fond one interesting thing. This winged lizard apparently knocked out a good division of our away team. We just now stunned it with our lander's gun. Once those crew wake up, I'm going to have them haul it in to join the crab monster. Have them fight it out, maybe. Survivor gets traded away, we dine on the loser.

Next system: Pale.

Captain's Log: 3.2.4595, 9092 days left.
...

I was speechless when I found that we had bumped into *yet another* black hole. That navigator is the newest addition to the sanitary crew. Maybe he'll learn his lesson this time.

Our best option left is "Haze", a star near Inferno. Let's hope it doesn't have more of those slugs near it.

Captain's Log: Who even cares what time it is.
Thanks a lot, "Black Hole" Richard.

I don't know why I ever brought that navigator back to the bridge. He's just steered us into disaster, for the last time. I didn't bother to stun him; we're all going to die anyway. Pointless not to see the last moments of your life.

Hrm. The clock's slowing down. Oh, great, that means --

*****

From: brass.TSC.hope.gov
To: reports.hope.gov ("Report Box")
"Suitability of Starship Name/etc."
Sent 6.9.4600
We've lost contact with the Darkstar-A. As it's been almost five years since it went missing, it's highly likely it's gone for good.

I suggest not to use the "Darkstar" name for any more ships exploring that general sector -- it disappeared around the same place as the original Darkstar. Navy superstition spreads easily.

Also, please inform Captain Leyland of the -904 credit loss we took -- it threatens to seriously damage future operations in our sector, and we need him to pick up the slack.

Brass
Major, Terran Navy


PostScript:
I've played a few games before, but this was the first one I decided to write a report on. I'm kinda glad that I died such an early death -- it would've been a huge amount of time spent playing through and writing stuff if it was a full-length game! Perhaps I'll try another one sometime.