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Escape Velocity Nova Polaris Storyline Diplomacy Branch Transcribed

Take Sample

As you sit sipping your drink you see the slim, somehow bookish figure and brown hair of P'Jeena enter the bar. You have to wave to attract his attention before he makes his way over to you.

"You are all freshened up?" he asks in his polite manner and you nod. "Good. Well then, to explain your mission, many P'aedt are searching specifically to find ways to cleanse biospheres of unwanted agents. Seeing as we have virtually destroyed the environment of P'ar Aed in our early days, many of us feel quite passionate about it.

"We have recently discovered that certain compounds," he continues explaining, "which are given off by dead and dying Wraith corpses can actually absorb vast amounts of noxious chemicals, but the amounts we have are relatively small.

"That's where you come in," he nods in your direction. "We need someone to go and pick up a sample so that we can continue our work while we look at ways and methods of synthesizing the material in question.

"Are you prepared to help us out?"

"Excellent!" he exclaims with a smile in his first break of decorum. He continues more seriously. "At the furthest limit of our exploration to the North-West into Wraith space we have located a gas giant which we believe that they use as some sort of 'home base', although we have no idea why. It is one of the busiest systems in the region, and so it is the most likely place to find a Wraith corpse.

"When you have picked up the sample we want," P'Jeena informs you seriously, "return here and we will ensure that you are financially recompensed for your troubles.

"Also," he tells you formally, "we have come to an arrangement with the Nil'kemorya so that you can purchase some of our ships which have a much longer range than your Federation technology vessel, which will be more than a little handy on this mission. I suggest that you get one.

"Finally," he warns quietly, "the Wraith have a history of attacking ships without warning or provocation, so keep your wits about you."

Mission Log Entry
Find a Wraith corpse and take a sample to provide the P'aedt with the materials they need before returning to <RST> in the <RSY> system.
Upon landing you are greeted by several blue-robed Polaris scientists who begin poring over the sample you took.

"Well done," P'Jeena congratulates you. "Very few have ventured into Wraith space and survived. They are possibly the most aggressive life-form we have ever heard of."

You raise your eyebrows and tell him that you had absolutely no trouble with them at all, and that they basically left you alone.

"What!?" he exclaims, drawing the stares of several of his colleagues. "Are you sure?"

You tell him to check your sensor logs if he has any doubts. Which he does, looking very surprised.

"This is most unusual," he tells you, looking slightly shocked. "We will have to explore this phenomenon further. Meet me in the bar in a few hours, and I will have something more for you."

Explore Wraith Space

You are sipping your second drink when you see the slim frame of P'Jeena enter the bar.

"Your sensor logs have caused quite a stir," he informs you after making his way over and sitting down. "Always before the Wraith attacked every ship that they saw, and the only difference that we can see as being definitive is that you are not a Polaris pilot.

"More than that," he goes on with quiet excitement, "we now have concrete proof of Nil'kemorya claims that the Wraith have been folding space around their ships, in effect 'cloaking' them from sight. We will have to take this data and examine it much more closely.

"Anyway," he sighs after his slightly excited outburst, "we want you to conduct a more thorough exploration of Wraith Space. Specifically we want you to see if there are any other systems in their space that have planets in them, especially gas giants.

"Are you interested in helping us?"

"If you need to recharge your ship," he continues, "or you want to reach different parts of their space, I suggest that you attack it from the South, launching from Federation space.

"The other course of action," he tells you with a wink, "is to buy yourself a reactor of some sort, although I think that the Nil'kemorya are only prepared to allow you access to the fusion reactor at this stage. You know how warriors are, always super-concerned about security and so on.

"To help us gather more information," P'Jeena explains , "you will be carrying our latest in scanning technology. It will just sit in your cargo-hold and record information regarding mass and energy fluctuations in any system you are in.

"If you do find another gas giant somewhere in Wraith Space," he informs you seriously, "return here immediately so that we can download the information out of the holo-scanner."

Mission Log Entry
Explore Wraith Space looking for another gas giant. If you find one, return to <RST> to allow the P'aedt to look at the data gathered by the holo-scanner.
Dropping Cargo
As soon as you land your ship is overrun by the blue-robed scientists who pay you and your ship scant regard. In irritation you throw them all off your ship, telling them that the ship comes first, and that their data can wait a few more minutes. Many of them look very ashamed as you pointedly upbraid them about their poor manners. Out of the corner of your eye you think you catch a gray-cloaked warrior smile slightly, but when you turn in her direction her face is without expression.

"Please accept my sincerest apology," says P'Jeena, stepping forward. "We meant no disrespect, our only excuse is an eagerness to view the data held in the holo-scanner. We are sorry for any inconvenience we caused."

You nod and tell him that when you have finished your post-flight routine you will allow them full access to your ship, but not before.

You take your time as you shut your ship's computers down, as you want the P'aedt waiting outside to know just how much they offended you. As soon as you finish you step out of your beloved <PSN>, and indicate with a wave of your hand that they may begin.

"Thank you for doing this, Captain <PN>," says P'Jeena contritely, "and thank you for pointing out our poor manners and etiquette. We are all truly sorry for the irritation we caused, and are grateful that you brought it to our attention, so that we might learn to conduct ourselves better.

"I have made sure that your account has been suitably recompensed," he continues quietly, "and I will make sure that we do not harm your ship in any way. Keep looking in the bar from time to time, because once we have analyzed this data, we will be needing someone to gather more data for us. Also, keep an eye out in the mission BBS's around the place as I have heard that Mu'Randa may have something for you before too long."

Drop By P'ar Aed Bar

Mission Log Entry
Keep dropping by the P'ar Aed bar in the P'aedt system to see if P'Jeena and his team have finished analyzing their data.

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Broadcast Message

You spot the bookish, and currently quite hunched figure of P'Jeena sitting in one of the far corners of the bar when you walk in. He looks up and excitedly waves you over.

"Because of the data from your last mission, we have been able to learn enormous amounts about the Wraith!" he exclaims after you sit down. "We believe that they are actually quite intelligent and form a kind of 'tribal' society of sorts. We also believe that they communicate with each other by subtle variations of holo-level frequencies.

"Are you and your ship available at the moment?" he asks, as if suddenly remembering that you do not quite share his excitement at scientific advancement, and that you are more than prepared to dress down people whom you believe are acting improperly. "We need someone to travel into Wraith space with a holo-scanner set to broadcast a specific message to the Wraith. We want to invite them to talks with us. Will you help us?"

"Oh, thank you!" he gushes, suddenly all smiles. "Go to the Hot'A'Tanius system and fly around to let the modified holo-scanner emit its message for a while before returning here.

"When you return we will read over the data the holo-scanner will be recording," P'Jeena explains, "to see if any of the Wraith replied to our message. Hopefully, at least one will agree to meet with us and we will be able to actually talk with it! The possibilities are enormous! We could learn so much!"

You casually point out that you could also try to find out why the Wraith keep attacking the Polaris, and perhaps sort out the problem.

"I didn't even think of that," says P'Jeena, taken aback. "We will have to get the Mu'hari and the Nil'kemorya in on this, won't we?"

You shake your head at the scientist's naivete, and leave him muttering to himself as he tries to figure out all the possible ramifications of the hoped-for meeting.

Mission Log Entry
Go to the Hot'A'Tanius system to broadcast a message on the holo-frequency level to the Wraith using the modified holo-scanner before returning to <RST>.
You take your time going through your post-flight routine, knowing that all the P'aedt will be eagerly waiting outside your ship. As soon as you finish you step out of your hatch and invite them to begin their work with a smile and a nod to acknowledge their new-found manners.

P'Jeena comes over with an elderly gray-cloaked warrior in tow.

"This is Iuso," P'Jeena introduces the lean man with obvious respect, "he is the leader of the Nil'kemorya, and wants to have a word with you."

"I want you to be present on Tre'ar Erma in the Tre'erman system when this meeting with the Wraith goes ahead," he begins smoothly. "From what I've heard about you from Mu'Randa, Bis Andreya and P'Jeena here, you are a fairly resourceful {G "man" "woman"}, and you are the closest thing we have to an expert on the universe outside Polaris space. Keep an eye out there, and when things start to get on track, that's where we'll contact you."

Drop By Tre'ar Erma Bar

Mission Log Entry
Keep dropping by the Tre'ar Erma bar in the Tre'erman system to see if the meeting with the Wraith has been organized.

Watch Wraith Talks

As you step out of your beloved <PSN> you spot a smiling and waving Mu'Randa standing about forty meters away. You make your way over, wondering if she will have news about the Wraith.

"I'm glad you dropped in," she begins with a smile, "I was hoping you would check in soon, as we wanted you to do something for us.

"A single Wraith recently dropped into the J'fhor system," she explains, "and passed on a message to the A'j Do listening post there. The general gist of the message was that our offer to talk was accepted, and contained a query concerning directions. We replied, giving directions to here, and then saying that he would then be escorted by a slightly familiar vessel to Kel'ar Iy.

"Seeing as you are the only person with whom the Wraith have had any non-violent contact in our history," Mu'Randa continues with a grin, "we would like to know if you would be willing to help us out by escorting the Wraith from here?"

"Thank you," she tells you gratefully, "we really appreciate it. The Wraith's name is <SN>, and from what we can gather from his limited transmissions on his way here, he is by far the oldest Wraith alive, at 206 cycles. Now, if these cycles are based upon the orbit of the gas giant in the Hot'A'Tanius system, that would make him a little under 1100 years old. He should be arriving in this system in an hour or so, and then he will follow you to Kel'ar Iy. All five of the caste-leaders and the Polaris Ruling Council will meet him there.

"And, if possible," she adds with her usual grin, "I wouldn't mind a lift back to Kel'ar Iy myself."

You nod, waving it away, telling her that it would be no problem.

"One last thing," she warns seriously, "not that anything should happen in Polaris space along the way, but if this Wraith should die while in our custody, our relationship with the Wraith would go downhill rapidly, so try to keep him from harm if possible.

"How long until we are ready to leave?"

Mission Log Entry
Escort the Wraith <SN> to <RST> to meet the Polaris Ruling Council and the leaders of the five Polaris castes.
Dropping Cargo
As soon as she is allowed, Mu'Randa hurries off your ship to meet the leaders of the Polaris people. When you notice that there only seem to be four non-brown garbed people present, with Mu'Randa being the fifth, you start to get suspicious about her position within the Mu'hari. When <SN> is introduced to everybody present and Mu'Randa is introduced as the Mu'hari caste-leader your suspicions are confirmed.

In person the Wraith is an awesome being to look at. Standing taller than many ships, and speaking in its clipped Polaran from the imperfect translator gives it a mysterious and powerful aura.

The actual talks begin when <SN> refers to the Polaris, and the translator translates it as 'the aggressive ones'.

"Why do you refer to us as aggressive?" asks a member of the Ruling Council. "We have no wish to make war upon you or your kind."

The Wraith replies that nearly 100 cycles ago, two young Wraith tried to feed off a Polaris ship, and were destroyed for no reason.

You laugh quietly at this, realizing that the whole 'Wraith vs Polaris' story began over a misunderstanding. When both the Polaris and <SN> demand an explanation for your laughter, you tell the Wraith that the Polaris would have viewed this attempt to drain energy from their ships as an attack, and would have acted accordingly. Then you explain that you were laughing at the irony of the whole situation.

"There have been incidents of young Wraith exhibiting this sort of behavior," confirms Iuso wryly. "We always thought that it was some type of Wraith attack, and responded with what we thought was appropriate force."

"I think that's enough for today," announces Bis Andreya after a long silence. "We will reconvene tomorrow. In the meantime we have a great deal to think about," she turns to you. "If you could wait around for a day or two, we will get you to escort <SN> back when we have finished here. You have done us all a great service with your insight."

Return From Talks

As soon as you step into the bar Mu'Randa grabs you and almost drags you in the direction of the spaceport.

"The talks are over," she says smiling by way of explanation. "We need someone to escort the Wraith back to the edge of Polaris space."

You comply with her insistence, but shake your head at her enthusiasm. Before long, you find yourself joining another gathering of the Polaris leaders and the enormous Wraith. They are concluding pleasantries as you arrive.

"We have agreed to cease attacking the Wraith in general," Mu'Randa explains in a whisper so as not to disrupt proceedings, "and not to react when young Wraith try to gather what they call <food/energy> from our ships. In return the Wraith have agreed to cease attacks on our ships, and to try to keep their youngsters in line, with the proviso that, kids being kids, they will still probably try it at some stage."

"This mission is more for show than out of any real concern for <SN>," explains Iuso quietly after coming over. "Just escort him back to <RST> in the <RSY> system. I very much doubt that there will be any trouble.

"We must make sure that news of these talks reaches everyone," he ruminates thoughtfully. "Mu'Randa, could you see to disseminating this information as widely as possible?"

"Of course, Iuso," Mu'Randa replies in an oddly subservient manner, "The Mu'hari are always ready to serve."

"I know," Iuso replies respectfully, "and I have always respected you all the more for it."

Mu'Randa turns slightly red with embarrassment, although you could almost swear that she feels slightly ashamed by it all. Iuso turns to you.

"You have done well, <PN>," he praises you seriously. "You have managed to continually impress me with your insight and resourcefulness. I'm going to be keeping my eye on you, young {G"man" "woman"}."

Mission Log Entry
Escort <SN> back to <RST> in the <RSY> system after the first Wraith/Polaris talks ended successfully.
<SN> follows you down through the atmosphere and greets you when you leave your ship.

<you have shown good face to us and taught us many details about 'all-time and all-space'>

You take a few seconds to realize that he is thanking you for doing the right thing by them and for explaining to them a little about how the universe outside of their perceptions works. You reply that you did little but point out how differing peoples might view a single incident differently. You explain that everything else came from the intelligence and goodwill of others.

<you say too small of your act> <we treat you like us for your act to us>

You bow deeply after realizing that he has just accused you of too much humility before informing you that his people will think highly of you because of what you have done for them. Without waiting for a response, <SN> slowly heads for open space and back to his people.

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Nova Polaris
Castes: Kel'ariyMu'hariNil'kemoryaP'aedtTre'piraVer'ash
Polaris Ships: Manta (v) (i) 250k, Sprite (v) (i) 500k, Striker (v) (i) 1M, Dragon (v) (i) 1.1M, Zephyr (v) (i) 2M, Arachnid (v) (i) 2M, Cambrian (v) (i) 2.5M, Scarab (v) (i) 7M, Raven (v) (i) 10M
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