Fungus Among Us
While in dock at the Terminal, Glack begins really investigating the extent of conversion being caused by the alien fungal drive.
It appears that the more power is applied to the alien drive the faster it converts adjacent materials to fungal analogs. While retaining all the same essential properties, the converted materials are fully connected to the drive. Glack removes a converted deck panel from the ship and experiments with Strig’s help by connecting the panel to a battery cell providing unfiltered current to the plate. Once the battery is expended it appears that the plate was attempting to connect with and convert the work bench but apparently didn’t have enough power conversion to accomplish any lasting effects.
It seems that while the drive is active and receiving an increased and steady flow of energy from the ships power core it’s using the energy to increase the rate of material conversion. This leads Glack to test the atmospheric systems of the Oranos only to discover that spores from the growing fungus are present throughout the ship. Bosho decides to review crew medical records only to discover that all the crew members also have traces of fungal spores throughout their systems. This would likely account for the reduced effects while using the drive.
Battle of the Voidwalker
Thanks to the increased threat alert from the Oranos’ visit to the Voidwalker, the ship activates conventional drives and begins to increase its pace toward Ara Arcturus. Apparently they’re even more determined to start the fight now.
A short time later the Voidwalker reaches the system security screen and stops short. Small gate generators are deployed and opened. Through the open gates pour small and medium craft that form up on the Voidwalker and the gate generators. Finally, behind the Voidwalker, a new structure is being built. It appears to be more significant gate through which larger vessels could emerge.
During this time, Dominion forces begin probing the defensive screen of the solar system. Several of the medium class ships begin to use some type of disruption technology to weaken the security field, essentially drilling pathways for fighters to breach the defense field. The defense fleet is keeping these incursions at bay but can’t easily reach the ‘grinder’ ships to eliminate the threat.
What’s the plan?
“The Dominion’s super gate cannot be allowed to open,” says Zier. “To this end we would ask the Oranos to deliver a payload of hyper explosives capable of vaporizing at least part of the gate’s super structure. Hopefully this will end the fight before it even begins allowing us to clear out their smaller ships and cripple the Voidwalker.”
The Confederate fleet, supplemented by the impending arrival of Oryx, Banshee and Vigilant forces will engage in a two pronged skirmish just beyond the security field. Meanwhile the Oranos, loaded with a specialty launcher, will transit behind the Voidwalker and launch the cloaked bomb. The bomb is a laser guided projectile so the crew will need to maintain a line of sight on the target while the bomb approaches.
The Oranos’ drives are now nearly entirely composed of fungal composites as the captured drive tech has increased its conversion process with each progressive use. This could provide the Oranos with an effective mask against being immediately detected behind enemy lines.
Into the Crucible
The Confederate fleet moves into attack groups. The forces dispatched from the Terminal approach from outside the security field and begin to draw enemy forces away just as the Confederate fleet launches through the field. The brawl begun and all forces committed, it’s the Oranos’ turn.
Strig calculates the target coordinates and engages the drive. Mere minutes later the Oranos appears in position. Bosho attempts to lock onto the super structure of the gate while Strig and Glack scan the area for hostiles. It appears the enemy forces are fully committed to the skirmish zone leaving only sentry drones to guard the gate construction and Voidwalker.
Bosho achieves target lock and the bomb launches beginning it’s journey toward the target. A few tense moments later the bomb explodes shredding the gate structure and vaporizing anything smaller in the blast radius. The force of the blast causes the Voidwalker to shift position and seriously damages the gargantuan ship. Strig recalculates coordinates and returns to the Confederate side of the security screen.
Suddenly radio chatter and sensors indicate the Voidwalker is potentially going into reactor overload. Instead, the ship begins to discharge energy across its hull which gathers at the tip of the ship and blasts a massive, dark energy beam toward the skirmish zone. All smaller ships scatter but the beam wasn’t intended for them. It hits the Confederate security screen and, like a giant soap bubble the screen completely collapses.
The Voidwalker engages conventional thrusters and begins to move toward the solar system. The enemy fleet increases the pressure on the defense fleet and also makes a push into the system.
Salt on the Wound
The crew decide to press their advantage and return to the Voidwalker. Strig initiates the jump and on returning to normal space the crew begins firing torpedoes into the decks exposed by the bomb. As Strig executes strafing runs and attempts to avoid defensive fire, Bosho and Drax lock and fire repeatedly bypassing shields and armor exacting more internal damage on the massive ship. Glack manages the shields and sensors while the enemy defenses chew away at the Oranos’ shields. After three volleys the capital ship launches defense fighters.
Drax shifts to the turret mounted canons and begins targeting the small fighters. Bosho continues to pummel the Voidwalker with torpedoes. A second wave of fighters launch. With one torpedo launcher expended and shields close to failing, the crew decide they’ve softened the target enough for now. They retreat behind the skirmish line and boost shield regeneration. By the time shields are back to full the skirmish zone has been pushed back to the Voidwalker and the combined defense forces appear to be mopping up the enemy fleet. The Voidwalker, while still firing their defensive batteries, appears to be losing the battle.
The crew decide it’s an ideal time to scan for salvage. Strig discovers a few candidates. Enemy ships that are more disabled than destroyed. They approach a large ship that appears to have been disabled. Strig maneuvers the Oranos into docking position with an external hatch, connects the ships and cracks the hatch. The crew enters the enemy ship.
Boarding complete they appear to be in a central hall filled with acrid smoke from some kind of internal damage. They move toward the aft of the ship heading for engineering. The first large space they enter is full of racks lined with ordinance and the deck has what appears to be bomb bay doors. Moving on they reach a smaller cargo area where they discover three alien bodies. It appears they were killed by a power overload which resulted in the now extinguished fire. The next access door is closed and sealed with only a palm reader. The crew use one of the dead alien hands to open the door and discover four more aliens franticly moving around the compartment attempting to repair the ship. A few quick exchanges of fire later and the Oranos crew clear the newest addition to their fleet: a Manta-class Bomber
The crew tethers the liberated ship to theirs and start a long haul toward the Raveg stellar dock.