The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Marvelous, Magos, marvelous! Truly a splendid discovery. Hmm, I wonder what the writing says. Let's see... Old Gothic was never my strong suit, I'm afraid. Dreadfully boring stuff, if I do say so myself. A thought for you, Magos: would it be possible to copy this data to our ship's cogitators? While we will of course return the device to Captian Jonell, having this information could prove immensely useful.

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    Linguistics (High Gothic): (1d100)[60] vs 38

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by PotatoGolem View Post
    Marvelous, Magos, marvelous! Truly a splendid discovery. Hmm, I wonder what the writing says. Let's see... Old Gothic was never my strong suit, I'm afraid. Dreadfully boring stuff, if I do say so myself. A thought for you, Magos: would it be possible to copy this data to our ship's cogitators? While we will of course return the device to Captian Jonell, having this information could prove immensely useful.
    'If it's not easily copied then perhaps Jonell would agree to share access to the map. At least as long it's still here.' There was always the possibility that Jonell would prefer to sell it on. 'It's a big Expanse and he can't explore all of it by himself.'

    To Colburn, 'Lieutenant, whether or not you're going to dig up the rest of this complex, I suggest you be careful mining around this area. The map is obviously extremley valuable by itself, but there may be more archaeotech buried around here and I would hate to see it broken.'

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    ++Its not the STC i was hoping for but this will be of significant use++

    ++Not easily, no. great risk in trying to copy such data to a machine of our age from one of the Dark Age++
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  4. - Top - End - #124
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    "Do you think there might be more of this down here?" Colburn asked. "We could dig out that cave-in no problem, put in a few braces to keep things stable... I don't think the Captain would want us to drop the regular mining to focus on this entirely, but we could spare a shift and have the rest of it cleared out over time. Unless you think it might be dangerous. I'm a bit surprised nothing happened when you turned that thing on."
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  5. - Top - End - #125
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    ++Undoubtedly more down that passage as the cables come from there and with careful work further wonders should be uncovered++
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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    "Clever, soldier-boy. Always scout the location properly first. How about it Magos, can you detect anything like a security system connected to the map projector? I'd hate to be down here if the whole room's gonna blow up when we start shifting that rubble."

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Anika has stopped adjusting the map and has gone to stand in front of the cave in to see if she could hear anything. 'Dangerous? That depends. If they have a security system to set off perhaps there's an alarm going off somewhere to set guards on us that have been dead for centuries. Or if they have automated defences would they still be working after all this time with no one to maintain them? How long does a servitor last anyway?'

    She has some idea about how quickly things could go bad in these situations, but this was hardly the same. She had at least a chance of understanding old human tech.

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    ++Might not be a servitor as we know it, Dark Age held so much that we have lost and if this relic is still active much more could be aswell++
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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    "Alright, I'll take that as a 'be careful.' We're pretty good with typical mining hazards, but I wouldn't want the colonists to run into anything they have to fight. Just clearing out the rubble ought to be fine. I'll issue a standing order that nobody touches anything that looks valuable, and if anything moves we block it off with the biggest rocks we can find." Colburn gestured to the cube. "You going to take that one with you? The Captain will want to see it, I'm sure. With the blockade cleared out, I can start getting the colonists moved back down to the main buildings, and we'll help get all the supplies stowed away."

    As the Lieutenant was talking, their commbeads crackled to life. Macharius' men had swept the colony, and found no trace of Quinn's search parties. They must have all returned to their ship before the Sting had arrived.
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    During the two weeks of high orbit Ravia splits her time between organizing further repairs to the Talon and working in the lab on both servitors and siphoning as much information from the box as possible that is relevant to her studies
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  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Macharius ordered the Talon hauled in for repairs. With the system empty now that Quinn's blockade was gone, the two ships entered station above Jonell's colony and set about the dual tasks of patching the worst of the holes and giving the crew some much-needed shore leave. They worked in shifts, directed by Ravia, scurrying over the Talon in void suits. For days, the flash of welding torches could be seen all across the hull. The hull breach was covered by plates pulled up from storage, and the damaged systems were brought back online. There was no repairing the void shields, which had taken a direct hit from one of the Sting's missiles. Still, there was work that could be done. Shorn beams were hacked off, debris removed, hookups capped... in the end the space was largely empty, ready to recieve a new generator once they had acquired one. Until then, the Talon couldn't be considered truly voidworthy, but she could transit warp and fight if she needed to.

    The rest of the crew were not idle while the work was going on. Pytho sent a message to Jonell, telling him they'd picked up his artifact and would be on hand to deliver it at the appointed place. Anika divided her time between the colony and the Librarium, overseeing mining work and digging up old records. The miners worked quickly, but the cave-in turned out to be quite significant. By the end of the two weeks they'd cleared much of the initial corridor, shoring up the tunnel with beams cut from the local forests. The room they'd stumbled upon looked to be part of some larger complex, perhaps a fortress or waystation. Excavating the whole thing would take time, but the initial results were promising.

    The results from the Librarium were interesting, if perhaps less promising. There was still nothing detailling where the ship had been built, the earliest entry Anika could find in the logs picking up with her already in operation. She'd spent some time as a pirate vessel, been captured by a Rogue Trader from a family she'd never heard of, and then been sold when the fortunes started failing. Time as a chartist escort, time as a cold trader, bought, sold, eventually ending up as part of Quinn's fleet. Nothing looked especially untowards, though there were long lapses in some of the record keeping. The ship had spent most of its life in the Expanse, rarely entering the Imperium proper. Interestingly, the Hymn-casters seemed to predate the early log entries, meaning the ship had probably been built with them installed.

    Macharius himself spent much of his time in the Laboratorium, going over map data with the Navigators. They were joined by Father Ornstein, the Sting's surly Confessor, who turned out to have quite the talent for tracing lost branches of High Gothic. He informed the Lord Captain that many of the labels and notations on the map were explanatory in nature, the result of long-range augur scans and sample analysis. There were quite a few good-looking worlds in terms of mineral wealth and exotic beasts, but many were too dangerous to plant a proper colony on, or had already been rediscovered and claimed. Some, though, had almost certainly not been. Macharius noted the locations, and the Navigators noted the routes, to reach some of the best ones, including one frozen world that had registered very high concentrations of prometheum-grade ice.

    Finally, Ravia declared the repairs as complete as possible given the time and resources at hand, and the two ships made ready to leave.




    The journey through the warp was rougher than usual, this time around. The immaterium beat against the gellar fields, battering against the Sting and the Talon. They arrived together, in the empty patch of space they'd selected to meet Jonell. They were a little early, the rough ride having translated into increased speed, and the other Rogue Trader had yet to arrive. They were alone in the void.

    Despite the solitude, the bridge was still busy. It was never a good idea to drop guard, even when you were apparently alone. The Expanse was a dangerous place, after all. The crew kept quiet, focusing on their work. A few hours after arrival, Macharius noticed that the crewman at the auspex console had turned to look in his direction.

    "Sir? Picking up a distress beacon on the long range. Imperial."
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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Macharius looks concerned.

    Any indication of who it is? What are they saying? Perform long range auspex sweeps- we don't want to fall for our own false signal trick.
    Last edited by PotatoGolem; 2018-05-04 at 08:52 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    'Or of who is doing the attacking for that matter? Although it might be poetic justice for someone to trick us in turn, they still need to see us coming.'

    Anika will think for a moment of Rak'gol and the rumours surrounding them, but she won't mention that to the others.

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    On phone, so I'll probably roll detection after work.

  14. - Top - End - #134
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    "Just because there's a distress beacon it doesn't mean anyone has to be attacking, you know. Could just be an accident of some kind. But just in case, Lord Commander, now would be a good time for the Sting to go to silent running. The Talon can be our bait - she may not be in any fit state to fight, but she's as fast as we are and her sensors are even better, so if this is a trap, she can draw in the attackers and the Sting can ready a counter ambush."

  15. - Top - End - #135
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    "It's a cargo hauler. Torgan's Pride? The signal's faint, but..." The crewman flipped a switch on his console. "General request for assistance. Their ship's been... hit by something, maybe? I'll put it on the vox."

    The bridge's address system crackled to life, playing the recording. "...is Torgan's Pride. There's been a mishap. Captain's down. Requesting help from any Imperial vessels in range at these coordinates. Message repeats."

    It didn't sound like they were under attack. The message was too calm for that. It didn't sound like they were saying everything, either, but that was only prudent given the nature of the beacon. Pretty much anyone could have picked up the signal.

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    Waiting to see a Detection roll before I give you more
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  16. - Top - End - #136
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    'A mishap. That doesn't sound so bad. Perhaps they hit an asteroid.'

    Anika will watch the augary for sign of any ships in their vicinity.

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    Rolled augary in the ooc thread. Failed unless it's easier then challenging or I'm getting assistance.

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    'Vicinity' was perhaps an overstatement. Jonell had picked this patch of space for their meetup because it was empty and far from, or supposed to be far from, anything else. Anika worked the augurs, cycling through the various sensor suites available. Finally, she picked something up just over half a million kilometers away. It was far enough out that even at the Sting's speed, it would take them over two hours to get there. The scans picked up one ship, about the right size for a transport, and one very large object. It looked like it could be another ship, but the readings that should have been there - drive emissions, oxygen content, thermals - weren't present. Whatever it was, it was big and metallic, and surrounded by a number of smaller metallic anomalies. Debris, maybe. Or a small asteroid field. The readouts were full of strange sensor ghosts, flickers of heat and gravitational fluctuations causing spikes and valleys to appear on the screen. It was too regular in shape to be an asteroid, too small to be a space hulk, and there had to be a reason for the transport to be near it.

    There did not, however, seem to be any other lurking surprises. The transport was the only ship on the charts, apart from them and the Talon.
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  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Anika will pass on this information. 'Maybe they collided with each other, or else the transport thought that it was something worth boarding. Could be a structure of some kind. Although I don't know what it's doing out here.'

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    Forbidden Lore (Xenos) vs. Int 53
    To have heard of ship's that resemble that

    (1d100)[80]


  19. - Top - End - #139
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    "Everything looks to be made of Imperial standard alloys, so whatever it is, I don't think it's xenos," Hannabel offers. "I still think we should make like a ghost and then close to visual range. Let the Talon move in a bit ahead of us and answer the distress call, and we can float along in her wake, all nice and quiet. And with our auspexes, we can keep an eye open for any ambushers without giving away our position."

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    Orders were issued, and the Talon went on ahead. The Sting followed behind, augurs active. For a couple of hours nothing changed, the backdrop of stars against an endless ocean of black barely even shifting as they sailed through it. Slowly, a pair of shapes resolved against the stars. One small, one large. Once it reached visual range, the Talon hailed the cargo vessel. They had orders to relay the conversation back to the Sting, and the comms officer kept the channel open so they could hear what was going on.

    "Torgan's Pride from House Absalom vessel Talon. We've recieved your beacon and are moving in to assist. What is your situation?"

    "Thank the Emperor! We're glad to see you, Talon. Don't get too close to the big wreck, there was some kind of discharge and our engines are fried. Haven't been able to get them running again. The reactor works, so we've got power, at least."

    As the Sting got closer, and they were able to bring up the two objects on the exterior cameras, they saw why the augurs had been having so much trouble with the large one. It was a huge starship, or it used to be. It was badly damaged, some long-distant battle having practically gutted one side. Entire decks were crumpled in, ragged wounds in the hull trailing debris as it drifted slowly through void. Miraculously it seemed to still have some power, as a handful of lights remained on, but for the most part it looked dark, cold, and dead. The proud figurehead was still intact, a lonely sentinel on the vessel's silent journey.

    "Do you have anyone on board with experience repairing Jovian 1's?" the cargo ship was saying. "Our techpriest thinks some of the plasma couplings might have burned out, and that's why we can't get power to the engines. Also, our captain's... well, he's missing. He took a shuttle down to the wreck with a crew, to try and identify the valuable parts. We were getting some weird flickers on the auspex, and he wanted to be sure. We lost contact, though, haven't heard from him for a couple of hours."

    That, combined with the massive clamps visible hanging under the superstructure, made their purpose here somewhat more clear. This was a salvage ship. They'd probably been trying to attach to the larger vessel when the accident happened, which also explained the extra debris floating around.
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  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by rax View Post
    "I still think we should make like a ghost and then close to visual range. Let the Talon move in a bit ahead of us and answer the distress call, and we can float along in her wake, all nice and quiet. And with our auspexes, we can keep an eye open for any ambushers without giving away our position."
    'Seems like common sense to me. I don't think there's ever a reason not to do that. Unless we're worried about living up to the Sting's reputation.' Anika did not care about the sort of people that might judge them based on their ship's reputation, but she assumed that Macharius at least thought differently.

    As they got closer to the transport ship Anika will press her face closer to the augary to see what she could make out, 'Well it's not an ambush. Is that thing even Imperial?'

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    vs. Per 38 (+20 Sting's detection)
    (1d100)[23]


  22. - Top - End - #142
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    That looks... worrisome. Mostly because it's not destroyed, whatever it is. The power is on and the weapons are online....

    He turns back to face his officers. His orders come sharp and fast.


    Helmsman! Keep us away from the wreck. Don't get any closer to that Throne-forsaken thing than necessary. Master Enginseer! Ensure that our shields are at full power.

    Magos, Doctor, what in the Emperor's name are we looking at? Can you identify anything about it? Mistress Shanx, any other signals out here? The Fist should be here soon, and I don't want anything else creeping up on us. Master Pythonissam, what does the Warp show? Is that thing tainted by Chaos sorcery?


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    The Sting's helmsman responded to Macharius' orders at once, turning the ship on a course oblique to the derelict instead of straight at it. Pytho responded as well, reaching out through the warp. "I can't sense any corruption," he reported after a moment. "There's some background noise, but something that large would stick out if it was tainted, and it doesn't."

    Anika dialed down the augurs, focusing in on the wreck. It looked Imperial, though of an older pattern than the common Lunar-class. The sensors played over its surface, probing its secrets. There was a strange flicker there, now that they were in closer to it. Almost like there were two ships, overlaid on top of each other. There was clearly only one, though. Interference, maybe, from interstellar radiation. Anika increased the gain to compensate, and the flickers coalesced into one image. The data from the scans scrolled by on the augur screen, reading more like a casualty report than something you'd get from a functional starship. The engines were gone, destroyed long ago, and the life sustainers were gone as well. Nearly everything else was in various stages of disrepair. Multiple decks were open to void, and there was a gaping rent in one side where macrobatteries should have been. The gellar fields were still online, though, powered by a set of auxiliary generators. Likely not enough juice for the thing to fire its weapons, if there was even anyone alive over there. The augurs were picking up a few faint lifesigns, but that was probably the other captain and his salvage crew.

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    You got three degrees of success, which is enough for everything on the wreck. Here's the full laundry list:
    No plasma drives
    Miloslav H-616.b warp drive (damaged)
    Warpsbane Hull
    Repulsor Shield array (depressurised)
    Fleet Flag bridge (unpowered)
    No life sustainers
    Cold Quarters
    Auto-stabilised Logis-targeter (damaged)
    Portside: Hecutor plasma broadside, Hecutor plasma battery
    Starboard: Hecutor plasma broadside (Damaged), nothing
    Prow: Best-Craftsmanship Godsbane Lance (Damaged)
    Auxiliary Plasma Banks
    Field Bracing (Damaged)
    Munitorium (Damaged)
    Teleportarium (Unpowered, Depressurised)
    Tenebro-Maze (Depressurised)
    Last edited by Destro_Yersul; 2018-05-08 at 03:27 AM.
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  24. - Top - End - #144
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    ++Its a very old design now more commonly associated with the Archenemy than with Imperial Navy, it was then what the Lunar class is now++
    Last edited by Leon; 2018-05-08 at 03:43 AM.
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  25. - Top - End - #145
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    'The ship looks mostly dead. I wonder what killed them? Might be recoverable eventually but I assume it would take a lot of work.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    ++Its a very old design now more commonly associated with the Archenemy than with Imperial Navy, it was then what the Lunar class is now++
    'But the Archenemy ships were once loyal weren't they?' Anika does not sound sure of that. 'So either this is a survivour from those times that did not become tainted, or it was wrecked even earlier. The Navy might have an idea if anyone would. We should see if we can find out it's name.'

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    "Oh, she's definitely Navy, alright. See the sigil over there?" Hannabel says, pointing out a winged sigil. "And that icon near the bow says she belonged to Battlefleet Solar. Don't know what battlegroup though," she continues, chewing on her lip as she stares at the augur screen in concentration. "I don't think she was always Navy, though. Looks to me like a lot of the Navy iconography was added later, so she was probably commissioned by... other interests... before the Imperial Navy took her over."

  27. - Top - End - #147
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    'But the Archenemy ships were once loyal weren't they?'
    ++Yes, not all of those ships from the now tainted classes fell when the others did but they are no longer used given the reputation of the ones that have, the damage to this one makes any guess at its age or what happened hard to judge beyond the lack of obvious corruption. That the Gellars are still active is worrisome that they are holding something back++
    Last edited by Leon; 2018-05-08 at 05:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC

    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    ++That the Gellars are still active is worrisome that they are holding something back++
    'And something seems to have found the Pride's captain and his people. Assuming it's not just a matter of their vox being broken.' To Macharius, 'Assuming we're going over there to take a look we might want to let the Pride know we're here. Wouldn't want any misunderstandings.'

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    Going over to take a look? He stares levelly at Anika for a good amount of time, then turns back to the rest. Here's what we know. The augurs are picking up two ships superimposed on each other. The heraldry is Navy on top of something else, and it's of a class used almost exclusively by the Archenemy. It somehow fried out the Pride and disappeared the salvage crew. Finally, the Gellar fields are still up, even when everything else is dead, indicating that this was the most pressing and urgent need. This stinks of Warp-witchery to me. The Emperor smiles on the bold, but he frowns on the foolhardy. Let's not all jump to have our sols ravaged by the warpship, shall we? Magos, can you attach sensors and a relay to a servitor team, so that we can send them to explore. We may as well tell the Pride we're here, though.

    He turns to the inter-ship vox link. This is Lord-Commander Macharius Absalom of the House Absalom flagship Manticore's Sting. We have received your communication and are approaching to assist in the Emperor's name. We will maintain our distance from the Hulk. Relay all information you have available on the Hulk- it looks unpowered now, but we wouldn't be overly surprised if it was far from harmless.

    He turns back to the auspex crew.

    Just to be on the safe side, perform an extended scan of the Pride and keep weapons and shields ready until it completes.
    Last edited by PotatoGolem; 2018-05-08 at 08:36 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #150
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC

    Turning the augurs towards Torgan's Pride, Anika started a scan of that ship as well. They had a Jovian Class 1, like they'd said. It looked alright from a distance, but the engines were powered down, so something was definitely wrong there. Burnt plasma couplings was one of the possible culprits. The Warp Drive was an Albanov, which meant the Pride would be slow, but about as safe as warp travel could get. Someone had evidently wanted to save power, though, and had opted for a Gellar-void integrant. It was a thoroughly terrible decision, even with the safer drive.

    The voice on the vox sounded surprised to have a second ship show up so closely behind the first. "We're grateful for the assist, Lord-Commander. We took some pretty detailed auguries before we moved in to attach. I'll have those sent over."

    There was some shouting in the background, and information started scrolling down the communications consoles a moment or two later. It was mostly the same as what they'd picked up from their own scans; extremely limited power provided by the auxiliary generators, nearly everything broken or otherwise offline. The augur arrays, Teleportarium and lance were pretty clearly the most valuable components. The arrays and teleportarium were priceless pieces of archeotech, and the lance wasn't far behind. The portside batteries were undamaged, but the Pride clearly hadn't taken a hit from a plasma macrobattery; that would have left more than a couple of scorch marks. There wasn't anyone left to fire it, either. A power surge wasn't out of the question, though, or an arc from the comprimised warp drive. If a charge had built up in the hull, contact through the Pride's salvage clamps...

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