Casual Play Astrogation

Lambda Tulloch Calav 51j (Lycaeus)

Between-space quakes, shivers, swirls open and drops you back into the starry void of normal space-time. The first thing you see is a star, a blue-white sun nestled in the middle of a cloud of debris. No planets, nothing bigger than a dozen meters across. Your ship's integrated intelligence starts scanning immediately, picks up a single metallic signature– a ship, running silent, hiding out in a dense pocket of ice and rock.

Curious, you home in on it, close the distance between your vessel and it. You don't get far, get maybe a dozen kilometers before a power spike in the ship's readings slows you, stalls you. A second later, a bolt of plasma goes roaring across your bow, shakes you with the force of its passing. Full stop comes reflexive, immediate. Your ship's integrated intelligence spins red and panicked in your mind, but no more shots cross the void to crackle within a half-meter or so of your hull.

For a moment, you wait, just wait. When you start toward the ship again, you catch another spike in power readings, stop and half-turn away. There's no shot– just the readings. Power levels on the ship's weapons stay high, stay hot. A moment passes, lingers, and it's not until you turn away, put some distance between yourself and the ship that the weapons start to cool, power levels dropping slow, trickling back toward zero.

The message is clear. Whoever is aboard the ship wants to be left alone. There's no point in pushing your luck– anyone without a reason to stick around would be smart to jump back to between-space, check out another system, other worlds. Briefly you consider hailing the ship, hesitate.

Maybe it would be smarter just to leave.


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