DECIPHERING A THARGOID MYSTERY
30 DEC 3304 The Hyperion. Landed at the Thargoid Complex in HIP 14909
After my secretive encounter with professor Palin, I came back to Darnielle’s Progress in order to decide what to do next. Without noticing, I walked around the planetary outpost and ended back in the same canteen I have been in my last visit, drinking the same horrible synthetized whisky. This time I mixed it with the local ale. Palin had given me a totally new perspective to my quest. He implied that my father’s disappearance in Merope may not be linked to the Thargoids. There were no corrosion marks on his ship. He suggested that I should investigate what was his mission. What was he doing in Merope. And he gave me two names: Lori Jameson and Bill Turner.
Jameson and Turner. These were not common names. Lori Jameson is the great granddaughter of Commander John Jameson, the most famous member of the Pilots Federation that ever existed. But she is secluded in her own base in the Shirarta Dezhra system. Headquarters of the Pilots Federation. The main Orbis Starport there is named on her notorious ancestor. And only the Elite pilots have a permit to go. It is one of the most restricted places of this galaxy. Way out of my reach. Bill Turner, on the other side, is from the Alliance and based in Alioth, where I have a permit to fly. Bill Turner claims to be the son of Mic Turner, the legendary explorer, one of the leaders of the revolt against the Federation and founder of the Alliance of Independent Systems. The Capital of the Alliance, Garden City, is in Turner’s World, in Alioth, named in honour of Mic Turner. But the most intriguing thing about the idea of getting to meet Bill Turner is the warning that professor Palin gave me: -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-.
Well, the first step is finding him, so it is time to come back to Wolf 406 and ask around how to get to Bill Turner. Anyhow, I would not like to end the year in this forsaken place in the middle of the war. But before that, there is one last thing I want to do.
The Hyperion landed in Darnielle’s Progress in Maia
Since my visit to the Thargoid Complex in Pleiades Sector MX-U D2-63 I can only think of getting inside of it. There must be a way to open the door I found last time, and if somebody knows how he must be in Donar’s Oak in Delphi, headquarters of Aegis Research. Aegis is a multinational research initiative that is financed by the Federation, the Empire and the Alliance. Its goal is to gather intelligence on the Thargoids and coordinating humanity’s defence against them. The base of their research division is in Donar’s Oak, and I have worked for them before.
As Maia, Delphi is a hotbed of Thargoid activity. Almost every installation there has been attacked. Most civilians were evacuated long ago. If you are in Delphi now is because you are a Xeno-Hunter, a trader doing dangerous supply routes, or a pirate taking profit of the mayhem. First thing I catch on my sensors when I arrive to the system is a huge SOS signal coming from the orbit of Delphi 6, an ammonia world. I head on that direction and, when I arrive, I cannot believe what I see. I have seen the Thargoids attacking megaships and small fleets destroyed by them. But this time they have managed to destroy a full Federation Task Force. I can see the remnants of several Corvettes and Assault Ships scattered around and, in the middle of them, the wreck of a Farragut Battle Cruiser, the most powerful and heavily armed ship ever build. Its two kilometres of hull adrift expelling green smoke in the places where it was pierced by the corrosive weapons. And there was not a single signal of survivors. Not a damn single scape pod. The SOS message was in a loop. I just hope someone managed to scape from this inferno.
The Federation Task Force destroyed over Delphi 6
A scientist of Aegis Research in Donar’s Oak has told me that nobody has been able to penetrate the Thargoid Complex in Pleiades Sector MX-U D2-63, but there is a complex in HIP 14909 which interior has been explored. Inside, there is a big chamber containing a device that appears alive. When activated it generates a holographic star map marking different systems across the galaxy. It also emits a sound signal with a map embedded that can be seen with a spectrograph analysis. This map has not yet been deciphered. And few pilots have been able to behold these phenomena due to, that in order to enter the structure and activate the device, a Thargoid probe, sensor and link are needed.
Thargoid probes and sensors are found in non-human signal sources. The problem with them is that there are little chances of finding one, and a lot of chances of finding a hostile Thargoid ship on the process. Lucky for me, the dirty drives thruster enhancements that professor Palin installed in the Hyperion allows me to outrun most dangers. Time to put them to test.
I spent the next twelve hours visiting the leftovers of Thargoid attacks, looking among the wreckage of fleets from the Empire and the Federation for any sign of a Thargoid probe or sensor. Sometimes I find survivors in scape pods and collect them. On most occasions, I find Thargoids and have to run for my life.
The Hyperion observing an Imperial Cutter attacked by a Thargoid in Delphi
It seems that the megaships in Delphi have been attacked too. I received the SOS signal of a Hercules Class Bulk Cargo Ship and came to help. The ship had been severely damaged and was expelling cargo to the void. The rescue party arrived seconds after me and managed to complete the rescue of the survivors in minutes. They were not attacked by the Thargoids on this occasion. I could not help but I watched the whole operation with great satisfaction.
The rescue operation of the crew of a Hercules Class Bulk Cargo Ship in Delphi
I was able to find a Thargoid Sensor among the remnants of an Anaconda that was obliterated, probably, trying to retrieve the same sensor. These things are worth more than three hundred thousand credits. And, finally, my sensors captured the signal of a Thargoid probe floating between the wrecks of an Imperial fleet. That was it. Just when I thought I could not stand more shipwrecks and deaths. I opened the cargo hatch and lined my ship to collect the device.
The Hyperion collecting a Thargoid Sensor in Delphi
I approached my objective carefully at one quarter impulse when, suddenly, the HUD of the Hyperion buzzed, the whole ship trembled and I heard a horrible guttural sound resonating inside my head. I checked the sensors and saw an unidentified signal. But this time it was different. I controlled my nerves and collected the sensor crate and then turn around in order to leave the green gas cloud and run out of there as soon as possible. And right in front of me, blocking the path I saw a huge and menacing Thargoid ship. It was different that every Thargoid I have ever seen. Its petals ended in vibrant red spikes, and it was surrounded by an incredible dense swarm of remote drones. It attacked me without a warning. I pulled the stick and boosted out of there hoping to avoid the mass lock and jump, but the critter was almost as fast as my super modified Diamondback Explorer. And it kept firing. By the time I gained enough distance to activate the supercruise my hull was down to less than thirty percent.
The Hyperion in front of a Medusa (Delphi)
I did a last stop in Donar’s Oak to repair and refuel before my trip to HIP 14909. I also proudly delivered to the search and rescue division five scape pods with survivors inside and some black boxes from the derelict ships I have been exploring. I got ready for my trip.
The Hyperion approaching the Thargoid Complex in HIP 14909
From the sky, the Thargoid site in HIP 14909 looked similar to the one in Pleiades Sector MX-U D2-63. My Aegis Research contact says that more than two hundred of these complexes have been discovered in the last year and a half, but few of them still operative. The function and purpose of these sites is still unknown. I landed as close as possible to the central structure and transferred the sensor and the probe to the scarab. They rapidly started to corrode the systems. I had little time. The tunnel and the door were right in front of me.
The Hyperion facing the door of the Thargoid complex in HIP 14909
On this occasion, the door at the end of the tunnel detected my SRV and opened. Some light electromagnetic interference disrupted my HUD, but it quickly passed. I found myself in an organic-like corridor that leaded to a huge chamber with a strange device in the middle. That must be it. There were what looked like eggs lying on the ground and several remote drones seemed to be nourishing them. Very unsettling. The drones ignored me, like the last time. I approached the middle of the chamber and dropped the sensor and the probe close to the central device. Some energy laces picked them up and kept them floating in front of the device. I still was missing the Link, but the scientist researcher said that there are usually plenty of them inside the structures. I scanned the place and found them in a nearby chamber. They were attached to some kind of pod, so I had to use my plasma repeaters to detach them. But the drones in the installation did not like it and became hostile. It is clear that these things were not engineered with a defensive purpose. They shoot some kind of corrosive liquid but pose no real threat. They are more annoying than dangerous, and very easy to destroy. I came back to the main chamber and dropped the link. According with the scientist in Donar’s Oak the device should be ready to work.
The Unknown Device in HIP 14909 ready to work
I scanned the device and, something that I can only describe as incredibly beautiful happened. The device projected a starmap, with thousands of stars spiralling around the chamber.
After all the deaths, all the wreckages and all the mayhem, I was beholding what only few explorers have seen. This is the last clue in the mystery of the Thargoids. Its message, the last piece of the puzzle, unsolved yet. The ultimate milestone. For now. There are rumours of entire sectors of the galaxy blocked by the Pilots Federation. They exist, but the navigation systems of the ships can not lock them to jump there. Secrets and conspiracies. Always secrets and conspiracies. And I still have one of my own to solve. I left the structure as fast as I could trying to avoid destroying more drones.
The Unknown Device in HIP 14909 projecting the starmap
I am Commander Jav Marlo, recording this log in the Hyperion, landed in the first moon of the second planet of system HIP 14909. My father disappeared in the system Merope four years ago. His ship was found adrift, but there were no signs of him. Given for dead. Since the Thargoids started to invade the Pleiades, one year ago, I have been thinking that they were responsible of the lost of my father. I even thought that they had abducted him. Now I am not so sure of that. Since I got my Pilots Federation license, I have been trying to figure out what happened. I sought for answers in Alioth, but the Council of Admirals would not receive me. I have spent weeks in the Pleiades, looking for clues and studying the Thargoids. Now these clues lead me again to the Alliance. To Bill Turner. I am coming back. To Wolf 406. To my new home in Hamilton Gateway. To seek for answers.
Jav Marlo signing out.