THARGOID MAYHEM IN MAIA
28 DEC 3304 Palin Research Centre (Maia)
I must admit that Professor Ismail Palin has quite an operation running here in Maia. He tells me that he used to work for the Federation, but when his research programme was abruptly terminated, he decided to establish by himself to study alien artefacts, meta-alloys and anything related with the Thargoids. He was able to set his base of operations in Maia, far from human space and regulations, thanks to the contribution of an anonymous benefactor. And quite a benefactor that might be, because Palin Research Centre lacks nothing. Professor Palin is devoted now to the development of new defence technologies against the Thargoids, and to help the pilots that can afford his services with the thrusters of their ships.
We talked. I told him that my true reason for being there, besides improving the thrusters of the Hyperion, was to ask him about the Thargoids, and their interest in collecting the scape pods of the ships they destroy. I explained him that my father disappeared in Merope four years ago, that his ship was found adrift with no life signs on board and no scape pods. That I had seek for answers in the Alliance Defence Force with no success. Professor Palin said that, despite our efforts, we still know almost nothing about the Thargoids and their motivations. The first reported encounter with a Thargoid ship in the Pleiades after the first Thargoid war was one year ago, but there have been finding Thargoid sensors since three years ago. Nobody knows what the Thargoids do with the bodies they retrieve. That is the nightmare of the xeno-hunters. The Thargoids have existed for millions of years and their hyperspace capabilities are well beyond ours. The could even be from another galaxy. Professor Palin says that maybe my father found by chance a Thargoid ship before anyone else and, if that was the case and the Thargoids abducted him, I should abandon all hope.
The Hyperion in Palin Research Centre (Maia)
And that was it. After all these misadventures, I gained an enhancing in my thrusters and the losing of my hope. I departed Palin Research Centre feeling very depressed, with no idea of where to go from there.
Meanwhile, Maia system is a mess. Mayhem reigns. The war with the Thargoids is rampaging and one could say that there is no safe place in the Pleiades. There are non-human signals everywhere. It looks like the Thargoids are taking over the whole sector. Right after my departure from Palin Research Centre, I caught an SOS. It came from a nearby Sanchez Class Science Vessel. They were being attacked by the Thargoids. I head there and jump out of super cruise and what I saw was devastating. The megaship was orbiting out of control in the dark side of Maia A 4. Green fumaroles everywhere, unmistakable sign of the outrageous Thargoid attack. I can hear the evacuations signals and, then, an explosion in the main deck contrasts with its red fire against the green smoke caused by the Thargoids corrosive weapons. Several other ships must have heard the SOS and come to dock with the vessel and help with the evacuation. I fly around looking for any scape pod that I might rescue. Suddenly, my HUD gets blurry and I hear the taking damage warning. I turn around and find myself facing a Thargoid. From the Thargoid emerges some short of swarm of autonomous attack drones that start to fire at me. Damn, these things can trespass shields. I boost towards the cloud of drones and engage the frame shift drive. The drones are super agile and avoid me. 3,2,1… engage. I leave the megaship and its rescuers to their fate.
A Sanchez Class Science Vessel Megaship attacked by the Thargoids in Maia
I fly in supercruise with no aim, thinking in the doom of the ships that were docking with the megaship. And they say that the Thargoids are getting closer and closer to the core worlds in the Bubble. I detect another SOS signal, but this time it poses no threat. I drop out of supercruise and find the remnants of another battle. This time the Thargoids have destroyed a Beluga Liner. A cruise ship here. Probably it was evacuating civilians to safer places. I search among the debris and find a damaged scape pod. I collect it and decide to take to the nearest port. If I am fast enough, maybe there is a chance to save to the life of the poor soul in the pod.
The Hyperion rescuing a damaged scape pod in Maia
The search and rescue official in Darnielle’s Progress told me, as soon as I landed, that the passenger of the scape pod was death. It seems that the pod was corroded. No wonder, I found it floating in the green cloud that the Thargoids leave after their attacks. This day is getting even worst. I aim for the nearest canteen in hope of finding some Lavian Brandy. No way with this war and the supply lines compromised. Well, any whisky will suffice.
Darnielle’s progress is a planetary outpost with nothing particular except for the fact that is the only place in the galaxy where you can legally buy meta-alloys. Its commerce is legal but heavily restricted. Darnielle’s Progress recently gained even more public attention because of the theft of a great amount of meta-alloys. The perpetrator was said to be the notorious former senator of the Empire, and now terrorist, Kahina Tajina Loren, also known as Salomé. They said that this Salomé also crossed admiral Denton Patreus, almighty commander of the Imperial Fleet, and even tried to assassinate him. In the end, she found her demise at the hands of one of the most dangerous dreaded bounty hunters in the galaxy in very strange circumstances. I never bought the official version. That young girl is considered to be some kind of messianic figure by many explorers. I have heard pilots talking about her with true devotion. The Empire, the Federation and their conspiracies. Who may know what really happened. And talking about conspiracies. I have just come back to my ship after drowning my despair in some horrible synthetized whisky when I saw I had a message from professor Palin in my console. He wants me to go to a Thargoid installation and retrieve some Alien materials. If I comply with his request, he promised that he will release some sensible information he has found about my father’s disappearance.
The Hyperion approaching the Thargoid Structure in Pleiades Sector MX-U D2-63
A Thargoid Complex. I am travelling to a Thargoid complex. I have heard about them. Pilots talk in the canteens. But I did not know about their emplacement. I had to visit Palin Research Centre again before departing in order to get the coordinates and to equip the Hyperion with a corrosion resistant cargo hold. And now I am about to land in what looks like a huge planetary outpost build by these critters. I have been in barnacle sites before, but this is totally different. The place is huge, and its core seems very alive, pulsing with lights at more than 10 km height. This is very unsettling.
The Thargoid complex in Pleiades Sector MX-U D2-63
I landed as close as possible to the core of the structure and could see what looked like some kind of drones, not clear if mechanical or biological in nature, roaming around and collecting materials. They were not hostile. Indeed, they ignored me. The place gave me the creeps. In the middle of the structure there was like a small hill, crowned with petals and looking biological in nature that seemed the centre of the activity. It was not a good idea to land here at night. Maybe I should have waited. I remained seated in the cockpit of the Hyperion watching the drones coming and going while scanning the place looking for the samples Palin wanted. I did not want to run around in the SRV among these drones more time than the necessary. Soon I found what I was looking for. Two kilometres away, behind one huge tentacle structure that I would have to surround. Damn luck. No way to land close. I decided to risk with the scarab.
Jav Marlo collecting samples for Palin in Pleiades Sector MX-U D2-63
As soon as I collected the samples with the SRV they started to corrode the systems. I could not lose them, so I ran to the Hyperion jumping between the tentacles of the structure. The low gravity helped. I parked under the ship and transferred the cargo to the new corrosion resistant rack. All systems nominal. My ship was not corroding and the SRV had just taken minor corrosion damage. I was about to embark when I saw what looked like an entrance to the core of the complex. There was a way to come inside. I approached slowly and carefully with the scarab. There was a tunnel coming inside the structure, but it was blockaded. At the bottom there was some short of door, but it looked like heavy damaged. Like if the ceiling behind had collapsed destroying it. If only I could find the way to penetrate this structure. Who knows what lies in the interior. Frustrated, I returned to the Hyperion and departed heading straight to Maia again.
Jav Marlo in the entrance of the Thargoid structure in Pleiades Sector MX-U D2-63
I was coming back to Maia as fast as I could, jumping from system to system without even scooping, and checking the cargo hold every five minutes when, in the last jump, I experienced something that definitely killed the little morale I was holding. In the middle of the jump the controls went crazy and I was pulled out of hyperspace. And right after that, all my systems shut down leaving me floating defenceless in the middle of nowhere. Alone in the void. I was punching every console and screaming to the COVAS with no success when I realized what has happened. In front of my inert ship there was a Thargoid scanning me. This damn thing was able to interdict me out of hyperspace. How can they do that? I thought that was impossible. And after the interdiction it had disabled me with some kind of energy pulse. For a moment I thought that I was going to share the destiny of my father. I prepared to die but, suddenly, all systems came back to life. I boosted reaching more than 450 meters per second thanks to the enhancements in the thrusters made for Palin and activated the frames shift drive. I was mass locked by the Thargoid, but gaining distance. 3,2,1, engage.
Jav Marlo being hyperdicted by a Thargoid
I landed again in Darnielle’s Progress as instructed and delivered the Thargoid samples. As soon as I collected my payment, Palin contacted me and asked to visit him in his base. I landed in Palin Research Centre and was surprised when I saw the professor himself waiting for me in the landing pad. He asked to come inside my ship. That was weird. He said that the walls have ears and what he had to said was just for me. It seems that after my first visit, he checked the logs about the incident of my father and discovered something. According to the report, the ship was found adrift intact. There was no indication of corrosion marks on it.
The Hyperion approaching Darnielle’s Progress in Maia
Palin said that, if I wanted to know the truth, maybe I was asking the wrong question. That maybe it was not about what happened to my father, but about what was he doing there. What was his mission. He suggested that I should talk with two persons: Lori Jameson and Bill Turner. They both will not be easy to reach. Before he departed me with no more explanations, he said something more: -Mark my words. Do not believe everything that Bill Turner tells you, if he tells you anything at all. He is more than he seems-.