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General Kaamada Sani
General Sani is a middle aged woman whose predecessors came from the Indian subcontinent. She is always dressed in a very proper military uniform. While she is in charge of the overall functioning of the ship she is not condescending to those that are not close in rank to her. She was raised on the ship as was her father, he never got as high in the ranks as she has. Kaamada knows that the ship is not in a good state. Things have gone down since the last generation. The spiral is getting worse.
Kaamada has started to make small changes to find a place for the people on the ship to call home. It is not easy since the issues surrounding the crew and families are getting worse by the month. The last three planets that were looked at while hopeful ended up not being something that could be used. A very big issue is that all projections can not give an accurate count of the people on the ship. She wants to find a place that can be used to refit and resupply the ship so that they can get on to the planet that is the original destination. Though she isn’t sure that that is a reasonable idea the more time goes on. In the end the crew is more important than the ship no matter what the old timers say.
Back in the old days of cinema when it was 2D and non-choice driven there was a series of movies that had planets that were only a single environment. It was so unrealistic even at the time. We had hardly reached our local moon. This concept was tossed away as not realistic even when a close neighbor was very much that. The number of other planets that we have seen since that time are so high that to say they were like that is very small. But Planet 28543 is such a planet.
The planet known as Planet 28543 is a mono environmental one. The planet does something unlike any other that we have seen. It does not have a constant angle tilt with a dedicated north and south polar regions. This planet is a massive jungle of vegetation. It is able to do this in a way that we haven’t quite figured out yet. But one thing we do know is that the whole planet has a short and unregular day cycle because it spins in ways that are not right. It is always moving the direction of North. So every part of the planet seems to get an even distribution of sunlight and warmth. The rain patterns make no sense either since it is always raining but there are almost no ice caps. The oceans are big for the planet though. More study needs to occur to figure out how this all works.
The Polyglot Knot
Language is a barrier that has divided mankind almost as much as the color of their skin or the gender that they are. So early on in the prospect of traveling between stars the idea of a standard language was one that came up a lot. No government involved could get enough clout to have their language be the language of the ship. So what do you do as a member of the Council of Stars? You bring in scientists in a few disciplines to ask what can be done.
After a few months of debate and discussion the idea of an implant in the body is proposed. One that is connected between the ear and the part of the brain that interprets language. Some bit of technology that is AI and cybernetic. Not a big AI just enough to make you understand all recorded languages. While the idea was still a bit away at the time they had time to make it. The ship was still in the early stages of being built. After a few failed attempts the tech was found to work. It was also capable of learning things like expressions and colloquialisms. This might even be able to learn alien languages given enough time. So the Polyglot Knot was created. All children born were implanted with it after they had time to come to understand a language. Now everyone can communicate in theory.
To keep the ship running, effective communication is essential. Enter Rosetta. And yes she’s completely aware that her name is a bit too “on the nose”. Rosetta, from a young age, had a knack for linguistics. She does prefer written word to spoken though, due to an unfortunate accident as a child which left her vocal cords paralyzed. She has slowly been combing through all the documents (digital and analog) aboard the Eden and translating them. There is an enormous backlog, due to the rushed launch. And she works through what she can in her spare time. Which is pretty rare.
Currently Rosetta has been spending most of her time compiling various translations and dictionaries of the languages that the crew has encountered thus far. Not just words but grammar, linguistic quirks, and “unspoken” rules of etiquette (which has served the crew well during diplomatic negotiations.) She’s explained that her own limitations in communications allowed her to fully analyze and absorb the art of conveyance in all its forms. If she had to speak, she had to get her point across in only a few words. If she had to write something, there could be no ambiguity. And her efforts has earned her admiration from the crew as well as respect from other races. Maybe not full trust (as humanity is indeed strange), but she has been asked to translate and transcribe various star charts and scientific documents provided by various other interstellar races. And to her absolute delight, all of her efforts are their own proof, so she really doesn’t have to explain herself when delivering the final translation.
Rosetta is a valuable asset to the crew, but due to her limited ability to speak, it has been difficult for her to effectively pass on her knowledge and techniques. And as each year passes, it becomes more and more obvious how much her skills are needed. Computers, while they are competent in basic language analysis and translation, are wholly unable to grasp the nuances of language and communication that Rosetta instinctively intuits.
We always longed to go to the stars. As brave explorers charting the unknown and little by little expanding our sphere of knowledge. However the race to launch the Eden lead to a scramble to gather as much data and resources in a very limited time. While there was a lot of astral information, it was spread amongst different systems, countries, and private corporations. All with their own storage and security requirements. At the time, saving as much data as possible was the priority. Only after the launch, was their shortsightedness made manifest.
Only the data that was saved for configuration with the Eden was readily available. The amount of time and processing power to simply convert the data, put strain on the ship’s resources. So conversion and consolidation has been slow going. Retrofitting old technology (and the scarcity thereof) has also slowed the consolidation of data. And dedicating processing power to brute force crack security protocols has been slow going (which is the understatement of the century).
However progress has been made, as each bit of data reveals itself, it’s added to what is colloquially called “The Chart.” It originally started as a hodgepodge of whatever astral data was available upon launch. Then over time it was augmented with real time data and whatever archived data was decrypted. It has grown more detailed and comprehensive. Despite the name, it’s more than an astral map. It is a dynamic interactive program with information on every type of stellar phenomenon. Location, atomic makeup, gravity strength, and much more are conglomerated in “the chart.”
As to the reason for its name, many survivors say the same thing. That it’s more than a map to the stars, it’s a map for humanity’s survival and its future.
The Dragon’s Eye Nebula
Some of the most gorgeous nebulae were formed after the most destructive stellar event, a supernova. The horsehead nebula, cat’s eye nebula, and the crab nebula have been described as some of the most beautiful. But a recent discovery of a new nebulae has had the ship’s crew enraptured. The Dragon’s Eye Nebula.
A year before the ship launched, earth’s telescopes picked up a seemingly standard type II supernova. Always interesting, but at first blush, nothing unique. But years later, when Eden “was in the neighborhood” as it were, its true splendor was discovered.
The Dragon’s Eye Nebula is truly a stellar marvel both aesthetically and scientifically. One crewmate stated “it’s like the holographic projection of a dragon’s eye.” Normally when we observe a nebula, we see it as a flattened image against the interstellar medium. If we looked at it in 3d space, the illusion fades. The horse’s head disappears, the crab vanishes. However this nebula is different. While initial images were stunning, seeing it in “person” was breathtaking. The nebula had the appearance of a dragon’s eye…in 3 dimensions. It turns out that there were two undetected neutron stars in a polar orbit around the supergiant prior to the explosion. And when the star went supernova, the gravitational influence of neutron stars stretched the explosion into an ellipsoid. At least that’s the current theory. But what’s keeping the nebula in a static shape is still a mystery. And whatever it is, it’s not making its presence known.
The Eden ship has returned many times to the Dragon’s Eye Nebula. To take measurements, study the weird gravitational and electromagnetic forces at play, and let the crew take in the majestic view. There is much to be learned here. And sometimes the lesson is simple; that even in the unforgiving blackness of space, there is beauty.
Binkie Doodle Prime
It is a luxury in the world of the Eden ship, but children love their toys, Binkie Doodles are a popular collection of doll-like drones. Collection may be a bit generous as these are creations that are pieced together by individual artisans from whatever scraps they can scrounge. The Binkie Doodles respond to simple voice commands, are clothed in approximations of what everyone on the Eden ship wears, and cross all class lines in their acceptance. From the most ragamuffin moppet to the scion of the greatest family of the Command Section, every child wants, has, and plays with a Binkie Doodle.
Binkie Doodle Prime is a Binkie doll that doesn’t seem to have an owner. It turns up in the background of a number of events the PCs have dealt with over the last several months.Dressed in a combination of command and military garb, the Binkie Prime moves without the herky jerky tendencies of most Binkies as if it is a well oiled and well maintained toy. It seems to have a life of its own as it watches from the shelf, incongruous with the other items there but also invisible in its ubiquity as a Binkie.
Surely, someone will adopt this precious toy. This precious toy drone. This toy drone that keeps showing up.
Klimt keeps a well maintained little place just around the corner from the main thoroughfare. A simple repair shop on the outside, it is one of the bastions of technohacking and experimentation going on in the sector. The back room is always filled but thats became Klimt keeps the shop stocked with doodads, knick-knacks, and every little thing that could be needed to solder, code, or subvert some existing tech into a new fun toy, It isn’t a surprise to anyone that Klimt is old friends with Felix Chin.
Satoru, as Felix would call him, was one of the best explorers of the Civilian Welfare sector before he lost his spark. As Felix likes to tell it, once Satoru had saved Felix’s hide three times, it was too close a call for him since he had a boy back home. He couldn’t take the chance that the next time, it would be him that took the bad step instead, so he ‘retired’ from running into hazards and EVA suited walks to run a little shop.
A little shop that never seems to be short of funds. A little shop located right by a main data trunk line … with talented and eager young hackers looking to test their mettle.
Wild Wetlands (LS Bay No. 3X7-*)
Nestled in the Life Sciences section of the Eden ship, the Wild Wetlands is a favorite destination for escaping the drudgery of the daily life for the muddy and boggy feeling of a vibrant ecosystem. It is easy to overlook just what the smell of greenery, even with mud or especially with mud can do for people who spend all their time in the sanitized world of the Eden ship. Even a park looks like something safe and sterile, so when the chance comes along to visit the Wild Wetlands, the colloquial description for Life Sciences Bay No. 3X7-*, most people will jump at.
It isn’t interesting that GAIA has maintained a swamp or fen like ecosystem. That is to be expected. It matches other bays, like The Great Expanse, but like the Great Expanse there is a lack of records or clarity about just how big it is and what it contains. The interminable starving of resources and exposure to radiation has left parts of the LIfe Sciences Section without clear readings. Too much life, too much interference … too much mutation. The Wetlands have the eternal mystery of a swamp but coupled with what can only be described as the cheerful protection of an AI.
GAIA needs the organic matter inside LS Bay 3X7-* to be maintained to ensure biocompatibility after all.
Zendead – Sit down and read a book. We always have a library episode with lots of options, maybe swing out and check out a book from one of those episodes. Episode 8, Episode 25, Episode 53, Episode 98, Episode 144, Episode 157
Guard-a-Manger – Transatlantic. On Netflix, this stylish and well made period piece about escaping Nazi occupied France recently dropped. It is a lot of moody and evocative cinematography with a well adapted story.
Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae
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