En route to Mars and still a couple of days out, Silas noticed that Hivesovereign Ki’kist’ac had been a absent for some time. He found it in the Redshift Rapture’s cargo bay 1 adding the finishing touches to a fresh paint job applied to the cryo-hibernation chamber the party had found her in. The job was professional. Sleek white with gobban medical markings and text reading “scientific equipment & biological samples”. Clearly the work of preprogrammed spray cans.
The ki’tik explained that in order to get it through customs with the heroes would would need the disguise and a manifest on a chip it had in its possession. Silas asked when that needed to happen and Ki’kist’ac said that any time before they reached Mars orbit would be suitable and that the team’s “medtech” would be needed to initiate the process… never mind that Kavita is more butcher than doctor.
A couple hours later and Kavita went to work programming the tube. The ki’tik explained to her that the process was fairly automated after the initial sleep induction and freeze. In fact a big, red, button would be the final step to initiate the masquerade for the tube. The process took three hours and Kavita did have some trouble but managed to make her way through the process. The display on the tube now showed as gobban equipment and biological samples and matched the manifest provided.
Ares Marshals and Sol Defense Forces were considerably denser than usual on approach to Mars. In order the maintain the charade Tor hacked the ship’s transponder renaming the Redshift Rapture and giving it a new — false — registry. And with a brilliant success, the newly named continued her approach to Mars.
To follow through with the plan, Kit-Kaat went for a walk on the hull in vacuum to paint over the name and expired New Charon registry on the Rapture’s hull. With that, the ship was transformed, the ‘Kobayashi Maru’ was born.
Only one more minor detail to attend to, two corpses courtesy of the Sons of Hera. The party through the hapless boarders in the airlock and freeze-dried them and then fed them in chunks to the horizon reactor. A macabre affair, but effective.
An hour out of Mars, Sol Defense Forces Control hailed the Kobayashi Maru. After some fumbling at the comms, iZac skimmed the cryo tube false manifest and finds a contact name of Athrol Zol. After a long pause control directed our heroes to bay 723 at Xanthe Starport… their landing escorted by four ships, three SDF gunboats and an Ares Marshals corvette.
After landing as directed the crew was confronted by synthetic dockmaster Three-23 and three armed Ares Marshal escorts. Inspecting the ship and the cryo tube they surprisingly find nothing out of the ordinary. Though some doubt is sown as he nearly turns around with another question on the way out of the bay.
With a quick hyperweb search the crew discovers that Athrol Zol is a prominent Martian xenobiologist. Kavita polished her CV and reached out to Zol’s office to possibly lie her way into a an internship. Zol’s implacable zaal assistant Rothan Besh put her off that trail with impeccable manners. It seemed that Zol had no knowledge of any possible delivery of materials biological or otherwise.
Tor recalled that the last time he was tasked to get to Aquaria Playland that the only sub captain that would take he and his colleagues there was Cap’n Ron Sturgin of Sturgin’s Submersions. The crew made there way there and on the way saw public postings everywhere asking for information leading to the capture of Laya Bogana and Ki’kist’ac. They also noticed an unreasonable amount of police, Marshals, and SDF troopers on the street for a resort town.
At Sturgin’s Submersions the team learned that Ron had died and that his son, Ron Jr., was now running the business. They cut a deal before the party saw the hunk of junk that Ron sails, the ‘Lady Miss Yolanda’. He reassured them that “she’s got it where it counts” and after some logistics involving a rental truck the cryo tube was prepped for transit by Silas and Kit-Kaat and loaded aboard. They were ready to set sail for Aquaria Playland.
Supercavitating its way to the submerged abandoned pleasure park the Lady Miss Yolanda was attacked by a mysterious enemy. Our heroes dove behind a large reef but not before massive damage to the hull caused a small explosion that drove a metal fragment through Ron’s skull, killing him.
Upon reaching Aquaria the party saw that the large central dome was utterly destroyed. iZac managed to maneuver the damaged ship into the only remaining bathysphere docking slip. Two subs were smashed in the slip next to the Lady Miss Yolanda. The team disembarked and unloaded their living cargo. In the creaking bathysphere dome, plant growth and mold draped the ceiling, and the smells of brine and death filled the air. The team now face a large pair of locked double doors.