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Fast Light 3 - Starforged Journal

Updated: May 15, 2022

Grayson and Aeronia return to the hauler, The Endurance. They encounter the leader of the evacuated space station that demands recompense for the loss of the station.

 

3/2/2022


INITIALIZING STATUS CHECK…

GRAYSON DACKERMAN “Grin”

AERONIA MITHORNE

Health 4/5

Spirit 4/5

Momentum 2

Health 5/5

Spirit 2/5

Momentum 2

AZUREBOLT 5/5

TOTAL SUPPLY 4/5


LOCATION near Aurora, Sulaco Maze, Outlands

 

Grayson pointed out the location of The Endurance hauler to Aeronia on the monitors, “This is the hauler I work on. We should head there for the time being.”


The two of them had just escaped the derelict ship aboard the Azurebolt. They needed to get their bearings, especially given that it seemed like Aeronia was new to the Forge.


Instead of setting course for The Endurance, Aeronia swiveled in her chair to face Grayson.


Azure Block, is that the only ship you picked up out here?”


Azure Block? That must be the name of that ship,” Grayson got a nod of affirmation from Aeronia. “That was the only ship we picked up on our sensors. Otherwise, Aurora, a small station, is generally the only thing you find out here in this area of deep space. Are you thinking more of your people would be nearby?”


“I don’t know,” Aeronia leaned back in her seat. “I don’t know what happened that led to this situation.”


Aeronia’s gaze shifted to the false windows of the cockpit. The windows looked indistinguishable from real ones, but were actually monitor displays showing the view outside the ship. Real windows were structural weak points for starships.


Outside, the balefire raged on, the Azure Block no longer in view.


Azure Block is one of many.” Aeronia said. “It was one block of hundreds on The Valiant. The FTL generation ship was designed modularly, in blocks. Each block was designed to sustain a couple hundred people and, if necessary, detach from The Valiant in case of emergency.


“I was in stasis. I don’t know what happened to The Valiant. I need to find it and the other blocks.”


[Aeronia’s background vow: Find The Valiant and her people]


Grayson recognized the hard determination in Aeronia’s expression. “I understand and I’d like to help you. For now, we should make our way to The Endurance and get an update on what’s happening here. Then we can figure out what to do from there.”


[Grayson - aid your ally (+heart)(+leader)

4, 1 vs. 1+4+1 = strong hit

Aeronia +2 momentum = 4 momentum; +1 on next move]


[Aeronia - hearten

8, 5 vs. 6+2+1. Result: strong hit

+2 spirit = 4 spirit]


“Okay. Let’s do that.”

 

3/7/2022


Back on The Endurance, Grayson led Aeronia to the bridge. As the door opened, a feeling of tension leaked out.


A man with high quality robes adorned with a bright red sun stood before Captain D. He held an intricately designed red cane. “Certainly, there’s more you can do for us, captain.”


Captain D’s somber face looked tired.


“It’s just difficult to see it lost,” the adorned man said. “The members of the Scarlet Flames have poured all of our resources into building Aurora. It is our temple and home.”


The Scarlet Flames were one of many religions that had spawned after people had witnessed the miracles of Ascendancy technology. The Ascendancy is how people referred to the precursor alien civilization that once spanned the Forge. Now, only vaults and ruins remained of the civilization. They appeared to be much more advanced than us. Many believed that Ascendancy technology would help them transcend reality.


The Scarlet Flames, in particular, meant to harness Ascendancy technology to build their own paradise. So they had built a small station, Aurora, and sat out here in deep space where an Ascendancy vault was rumored to appear and disappear.


The head of the Scarlet Flames continued, “I understand that you are currently hauling parts and supplies for the engineers on Wellspring. Surely, those supplies could…”


“Let me stop you there,” Captain D raised a hand. “Those supplies are the property of the Wellspring Union of Engineers.”


“Captain, I, the Prophet of the Scarlet Flames, will bear full responsibility for the use of these supplies.”


“You say that, but as the Captain of this hauler, the responsibility falls to me, regardless of your intentions, Prophet.”


“You have the means to save us! How could you just abandon us in this situation?!”


“We're not abandoning you,” Captain D had a deep scowl now. “We’ve evacuated you and yours from Aurora and will see you to safety. That is all we can do for you.”


“Very well, captain. I hope you don’t come to regret this.”


With what seemed like a threat, the prophet confidently strode toward the door relying heavily on his cane for a smoother stride. His gaze briefly brushed over Grayson and lingered on Aeronia. “You. You’re from the ship that doomed us, aren’t you?”


Aeronia stoically stared back at the prophet without saying a word.


“I hear you escaped the derelict aboard a fine ship. It’s not enough to compensate us for the damage you’ve done, but it’s a start.”


“Now hold on,” Grayson interjected and stepped between the prophet and Aeronia. “I understand that you’ve lost a lot, but so has she.”


The prophet gestured towards Aeronia with the butt of his cane. “It was them that collided with us. It’s only right that we be compensated. Our home and everything we’ve been striving for is lost and now we have no way to continue our work.”


“That’s not fair,” Grayson retorted. “Aeronia was in stasis when the collision happened, she had nothing to do with it. That ship was her home and she’s the only survivor. Two hundred people died there.”


“Yes,” a sympathetic smile crossed the prophet’s features, “we’ve both lost.”


He looked past Grayson at Aeronia. “Forgive me, I should not have taken my frustrations out on you. Aeronia, is it?”


The prophet had smoothly side stepped Grayson to stand before Aeronia. “Perhaps we could work together. It won’t change what happened, but we could make things better, for both of us.”


“How so?” Aeronia asked, her expression unreadable.


“You see, we of the Scarlet Flames seek enlightenment through the Ascendancy. We were out here seeking access to an Ascendancy vault that appears from time to time in the region. It just so happens, that with the arrival of your ship and this balefire, the vault has appeared.”


“What?” Captain D and Grayson spoke in unison.


“That’s right. All this time we’ve been waiting for a sign and it has finally appeared. Though it brought some tragedy with it. We no longer have the means to access the vault, but you do with that ship of yours. Were you to investigate it and bring back any data or artifacts you find and give them to us, we would be willing to drop any pursuits for compensation. Better yet, you could join us.”


Aeronia didn’t quite understand what was meant by “Ascendancy” or “vault”. But she was clear that vault meant some sort of structure that could be entered. The fact it was something that appeared and disappeared stuck out to her, and it had appeared with Azure Block. That didn’t seem like a coincidence.


“Hold on. She…”


“I’ll do it,” Aeronia cut off Grayson.


[Aeronia: I swear to investigate the Aurora Ascendancy Vault and bring back anything valuable I find to the Scarlet Flames. Formidable.]


[Aeronia - swear an iron vow

1, 5 vs. 2+2 = weak hit

+1 momentum = 5 momentum]


“Wonderful,” the prophet had a conniving smirk plastered on his face.


“Aeronia,” Grayson grabbed her by the elbow and stepped close to her to speak quietly. “You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. Vaults are incredibly dangerous places.”


“It appeared when we…” Aeronia swallowed hard, “Azure Block did. There could be clues about where to find the rest of my people. I have to go, even if it’s dangerous.”


Grayson peered into Aeronia’s eyes for a moment. “Then I’ll go with you.” He turned to the prophet and Captain D, “I’m going with her.”


With deadlines to keep and nothing else to keep them here, The Endurance was set to continue to Wellspring with the refugees of Aurora. The Captain seemed bitter about Grayson going on this reckless delve into an ancient Ascendancy vault that could disappear at any moment with them inside. But he didn't stop them.


Once you agreed to do something, you saw it through to the end. It wasn’t just ambition and promises that tied you to see these things through. It was the black iron implants everyone had for safe space travel. Every time you found the determination to do something and completed it, the black iron implants would surge with energy, making you stronger.


Once they were aboard Azurebolt, Aeronia asked Grayson about the Ascendancy. Like he’d thought, she didn’t know about them, but had agreed to enter one of their vaults anyways.


Grayson explained that they were an ancient, dead civilization that once spanned the Forge. They left behind their technology and vaults, things that people lacked the ability to understand.


“How did they die?” Aeronia asked.


“No one knows,” Grayson answered. He noticed the shadow pass over Aeronia’s face at that answer. He was curious about her reaction, but thought better of pressing her about it.

 

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