Silas and Kit-Kaat continued their exploration of the Redshift Rapture, the derelict the party discovered in the last episode. The ship was still powered down. After finally finding main engineering and the human corpse of Chief Engineer Quyn Jett with a hole blasted through him, they found maintenance tunnels that led back to a manual override for the horizon reactor. With Quyn’s security multipass Silas managed to power up the ship.
In the meantime, iZac pulled the ship around to the open cargo bay and using vaccsuits they scavenged from the Rapture’s airlock, Kavita and Tor proceeded to explore the bay. They discovered dings and scrapes and bits of scraped paint like something blasted out of the hold. The doors were severely damaged where they met the hull.
Inside, Silas saw that systems displayed as nominal except for cargo bay 1 and the hyperdrive shunts. He continued to explore the derelict with Kit-Kaat. They discovered internal holds with rations and water and in cargo bay 2 a large cylindrical tube with a faint power and vital statistic readouts. Three of the seven state rooms looked lived in. One was apparently left quickly, the other two belonged to the two crew. The captain’s stateroom contained his ID, a dolmyranth named Kuarom, and a title to the ship in his name. They moved back upstairs and forward to the control room. There they discovered the corpse of Captain Kuarom with a hole blasted in the back of his head. Curiously, he carried a second ID with the same hologram of him, but the name Derenthi.
In the cargo bay, Kavita and Tor went to work trying to close the bay doors (, HAL). Kavita found the manual override lever and managed crank them shut about a third of the way with brute force. Tor found that hacking the systems were no use, the doors need a mechanic. Between the two of them they forced the manual override lever to budge and got the doors mostly closed but still not enough to pressurize the hold.
In the control room, Kit-Kaat happened to notice a sensor blip. After further examination he determined that it was a small, fast, and heavily armed ship about 20 hours out from the Redshift Rapture’s position. The party scrambled for ideas. iZac laid in a long course back to Finally in their rental shuttle and Tor overrode the autopilot controls to send it off away from their position unmanned. After a quick graviton impeller burst that sent the Rapture in the opposite direction, the team suited up and shut down all systems but passive sensors. After several long hours of pinochle to pass the time they determined that the mystery ship was pursuing the shuttle and powered up again heading back to Finally.
Kavita examined the mysterious cylinder in hold 2 and determined that it was a cryo-hibernation chamber. From the vitals she also determined that it contained a living ki’tik that appears to be much larger than average.
iZac managed to deftly make reentry, even with the damage bay doors, and land the Rapture at the starport in Halcyon on Finally. The ship is in need of repairs and that will probably get expensive. How in the stars will the party pay for it? For that matter, will they be able to even claim salvage rights?