This section was composed by Deus Siddis for Starflight III. It contains the text of Director Phexipotex's mission briefing, which will be part of the game's manual and will be available to the player prior to the onset of the game. THIS PAGE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS.
Interstel Coordination Briefing
Chaired By: Phexipotex, Director of Interstel Advanced Operations
Phexipotex: I would like to express my warmest welcome to all of you here. It has been such a long time since we have sat around the same proverbial table that it brings moisture to my photon receptors. To our new recruits joining us today, I offer you thanks for embarking on such a dangerous mission. Those of you who survive will undoubtedly lead future generations of starship crews by your shining examples. For those of you who will not survive, just remember that not everyone is cut out for space travel so don't beat yourselves up over it.
Years back, after the New Council forcibly purchased most of Interstel's ships, starports, and the logo for use in the Imperial Navy, many said that our days of glory were over and that we would be relegated back to the role of a civilian astromining corporation. But we answered this unfounded skepticism by proclaiming such would not be the case, that Interstel would instead rise to accomplish greater tasks. Shortly thereafter, the New Council decreed that Interstel would no longer involve itself in matters aside from astromining AND commerce with Imperial allies, so the skeptics were obviously wrong. Regardless, recent events have forced a reconsideration of regulations. . .
I'm sure you have all heard the rumors that a new inter-sectoral flux has been discovered. This is true. One year ago, an Imperial scout ship detected an uncharted flux near the dead zone of the Alpha Sector, a good distance downspin of the Earth colony. Much like the one discovered in 4638, this flux is a nexus to a distant sector which we believe to be coreward of Arth. The Imperial Navy designated this new area as the Beta Sector and began construction of Outpost 2 there. The outpost was nearly completed, when the Navy lost contact with it less than a month ago. A fleet was dispatched to investigate, but it found no one alive on the damaged station. The remains of the station's logs made it clear that it was attacked, but by what we do not know. Shortly after this tragic incident, a significantly greater disaster occurred. . .
As you all know, Shyneum became the only interstellar fuel source for Arth and her allies after the Endurium Ban was put into affect. Our only known source of this substance has been a world within the Cloud Nebula fittingly named the Shyneum Planet. For years this world and its resources have fueled the prosperity and growth of the New Empire. The problem is that as of one week ago, the Shyneum Planet is gone. The Umanu say that it was somehow destroyed in a colossal explosion. Our scientists have theorized that the unstable make up of the world could have been to blame.
The good news is that we should have enough stockpiles to continue operations for a few years, maybe more. If a new superphotonic fuel source is not found in that time, the Empire will undoubtedly collapse and we will go out of business. Now, the Navy has had to significantly step up its forces along the border with the Gazurtoid due to a recent spike in their aggressive forays. Thus, the Empire has not been able to devote many resources toward finding answers to these recent challenges. Instead, the New Council has given Interstel this duty and reinstated our old diplomatic and exploration freedoms. Your mandate is to:
- Explore uncharted space and learn the truth about the great mysteries of the Universe.
- Contact new races and establish relations with them in the name of the Empire.
- Collect relics and devices to further our quest for knowledge.
- Discover what it was that attacked Outpost 2.
- Locate a new fuel source.
- Keep from getting brutally killed.
To aid in the pursuit of these goals, the New Council has given Interstel the technical know how to construct ships and systems that represent the pinnacle of modern Imperial technology. Sadly, the manufacturing costs come at a very high monetary price, so you will all have to purchase them from us with your own funds. To raise funds you can mine valuable minerals off of planets, trade, and log colonizable planets, just as many of you have done for some time now.
Do any of you have some things you would like to ask? Captain Ssyrrahhh-Hrrasss, you have a question?
Captain Ssyrrahhh-Hrrasss: Yesss, Dirrectorrr Phexipotexx. About thiss Beta Sssectorr that you mentioned, will therre be any rressourrccesss or alliesss therre to aid uss durring our explorrationsss?
Phexipotex: We have already managed to bring Outpost 2 back online. While it is under manned and still suffers from some battle damage, it will serve as our base of operations in the sector. In addition, we have established relations with a race known as the Harsyrak, who seem to be both friendly and knowledgeable. We recommend that you contact them, though you may have some trouble understanding their encounter protocol; it has tried the skills of some of our more gifted diplomats. Captain O'Hare. . .
Captain O'Hare: Without the Shyneum Planet, will our fuel be rationed or will the Endurium Ban be lifted?
Phexipotex You will have full access to Shyneum, but if no replacement is found, there will be severe price increases in the future.
As for the ban, the council has already ruled that it will stay in place permanently. Those of us who lived through the days of the Crystal Planet can understand why, I am sure.
Captain Anifaril. . .
Captain Anifaril: Some of us have heard whispers that the legendary Numlox dwell in this new sector. Is it possible that they attacked the outpost?
Phexipotex: There is no evidence to suggest that the Numlox even still exist, nor do we know much of what happened to Outpost 2. The damage to the platform was extremely unusual, some exterior sections were mostly intact while others in the core of the facility were twisted and partially melted. There are no weapons that we know of that reap such a bizarrely destructive effect. We are counting on all of you to find the answers. I believe it is fair to say that the Beta Sector has proven to be particularly hazardous. More cautious captains may wish to avoid this sector until they are well equipped with defenses and escorts. Remember to report back to Operations whenever you dock at a starport, any updates we have for you will be posted there.
Good luck, good hunting, and may the Rock of Truth shine brightly upon your paths.