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Burnination
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PostSubject: Revelations   Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:53 pm

The Burninite foreign embassy in the University of Planet fails to open. It remains shuttered as it was left the night before. None of the Burninite employees show up. Not even the soldiers.

An extremely powerful transmission is picked up by anyone with the capability of receiving transmissions from an obscure group of stars in Burninite controlled space. Most of it appears to be code, not decipherable. But the beginning is quite clear, and it follows proper codes for transmission to most of the major powers, including the Centauri, and the Rheans -- "Do not return to Burnination. We are betrayed by the betrayer. Code zeta-zeta-grip-six, EEI 2.15.9663." From there it devolves into organized beeps, like old dial-up internet, for about two minutes. The entire message repeats three times, broadcasting strongly enough that it must be going beyond the bounds of the Korel galaxy. Then, it promptly ceases.

The entire Burninite civilization is gone. No merchant ships, no scheduled contacts, no embassy staff. Gone.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:46 am

The personnel of the University of Planet are quite shocked by the sudden disappearance of the Burnites from within their midst, as is the Planetary Governate in general for the sudden disappearance of a galactic power. It is a worrying thought in that such a technologically advanced people could just... vanish as they did. And betrayed by the betrayer? What did that even mean?

Immediately, Lal and Zakharov create a team to begin investigating the incident, comprised of a mixture of scientists, soldiers, and Probe Team members. Their first action is to force entry into the Burnite embassy at University Base, while some of the others investigate the transmission, looking for unusual patterns or embedded codes.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:25 pm

The Centauri find the Burninites at their quarters in the embassy, all dead. Autopsies reveal death by brain aneurism in exactly the same place on the brain in each Burninite.

And as for the message, it's clear that there were patterns and codes embedded. It's not clear who they were meant for or what they were intended to convey. Perhaps if there were a way to get the decoders, the process of figuring out what it says would be made faster. But as it is, the team the Centauri assemble to figure it out is processing it.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:23 pm

"Betrayed by the betrayer. Yes, betrayers tend to do that. Hmm. Curious. Most curious. Well, get on investigating what the Hell just happened." Thus spake Carducci. And with that a message is sent to the Centauri and Bastians asking if they've found anything while a few frigates are sent to the message's origin point. The Bastian response is that they know nothing but are also dispatching ships to investigate.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:12 am

Ships that go to the origin of the message find an odd cluster of 5 quasars perfectly still in space with a large planet suspended in the center, exactly held in place by the conflicting gravitation of the surrounding quasars. The Burninite fleet lies derelict above the planet. There are many ships, possibly too many to do a full headcount, but The Spotlight is missing, as is one craftworld. So at least 99% of the Burninite fleet here lies adrift in orbit above that planet.

There are no life signs aboard any of the vessels, and ships report that the planet is liveable.

Centauri decoding teams note, unfortunately, that the Burninite codes can be translated to entirely pointless words, like "Code brown red red green brown blue, do not trust other foliage, but more importantly, do not go towards the light, as painful as the urge might be." The same message is played in slightly differing wording after a slightly differing code sequence twice, and that's all that was in it.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:18 am

The University dispatches a sensor vessel to the location of origin, and meanwhile they send the decoded message to the Rheans, asking if they can make any sense of the message themselves. In the meantime they continue to investigate whatever Burnite systems they've retrieved and examine logs that might tell part of the story.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:42 pm

Their response is that the best they can make of it is that they shouldn't approach the quasars. They will not be approaching until they can perform further scans and send a small team to investigate.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:15 pm

Scans of the planet indicate life, though nothing very large. There is vegetation and there is small moving life, but nothing that that seems to be large, sentient life. That said, the Burninite fleet is orbiting the planet. Scans of the energy emitted by the quasars reveal nothing harmful. There are some strange readings, but there are also 5 bright quasars in perfect geometric pattern with a planet perfectly balanced in the center. In any case, it is perfect growing conditions on the entire surface of the planet at all times. You could probably feed an entire civilization just with agriculture here, given these conditions.

That is, in sum, what sensors and scanners pick up.

Oh, all the Burninite ships are functioning and have viable life support. There are a few with minor damage, but nothing to suggest a struggle.

The small sensor teams involved here do find the light of the quasars compelling. It's soothing and healing. They convince themselves that small cuts or blemishes they had on their skin were cured by the light. There's nothing that would explain this that the sensors can pick up, but the light certainly is pleasant, like the light that breathes life into a forest. Whether the crews would react to these emotions by moving closer or by reporting them despite their lack of evidence is entirely up to them.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:21 pm

Being that the sensor vessel is equipped with all manner of sensors, the unusual feelings are reported by the Psych sensors as an anomaly. The vessel stays put: there is little desire to risk approaching a potential cognitohazard, and there was plenty of warning from the Burnite message not to approach the light. The suggestion of sending an unmanned probe is floated to the Rheans, however.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:42 pm

They accept that proposal and send out a probe droid to investigate.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:14 am

(OOC: To the planet?)
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:26 am

(OOC: And the ships.)
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:48 pm

(OOC: Yes. To both.)
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:03 pm

Probes sent to the ships just confirm sensor readings. The ships were set to orbit the planet, then left there. They're just orbiting, empty, and totally functional.

The probes sent to the planet note that it is indeed a garden world. They find countless dead Burninites, no sign of a struggle, but their skins have been turned blue. The bodies are scattered across the picturesque landscape, borderline becoming homes for new beds of flowers.

All dead save one, the body of Teresa Trimbalt, which, according to the probe, is unconscious / in a coma, but not dead.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:10 pm

The University team looking at the probe's findings is incredibly surprised, not only at the fact that somehow Teresa is still alive but also at the fact they somehow managed to find a single person on such a massive planet. Considering the whole scale of the situation, they considered it a more difficult undertaking than finding a needle in a haystack. Nevertheless, they send another message to the Rheans, suggesting that they deploy a retrieval drone to recover Teresa and possibly revive her into a conscious state in order to further acquire information on the matter.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:59 pm

(OOC: She was in the important building you'd check first :p. She's important, remember :p. I'll wait for panpan.)
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:26 pm

They agree but desire to keep her in isolation until they have discovered what killed all those Burninites. The probe droid sent out is destroyed to prevent any contaminants picked up on that planet from spreading to their ships.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:51 pm

Teresa is retrieved without a hitch, and there are no contaminants, according to the probes.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:08 pm

Regardless, they remain cautious. They keep her in isolation as they attempt to revive her.
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:57 pm

When removed from the light of the quasars, Teresa revives with very little effort. She seems unharmed, though the irises of her eyes are enormous right now.

"Hello?"
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:15 pm

Doctor Nataliya Fedorov, who was previously present at the first contact with the Gar"zhog, is on the scene of Teresa's revival. Once she awakes, she says to Teresa, "Hello, Madame Teresa. How do you feel, right now? Can you note any anomalous thoughts, feelings, or symptoms that you currently have or that may have transpired?"
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:57 pm

"Teresa Trimbalt," Teresa says, seeming exhausted and perhaps a little disoriented, "Burnination, rank 6E47. It's all you're going to get, even if you do have the guts to try torture. Who are you and why have you kidnapped me?"
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:36 pm

Quickly scribbling a note on her datapad, Doctor Fedorov says in reply, "Duly noted - that certainly provides some insight as to her current state of mind. As for who we are and what we 'kidnapped' you for, you might want to take a closer look at us through the isolation field."

Gesturing around her, she continues, "I am Doctor Nataliya Fedorov of the University of Planet, and these around me are my Rhean colleagues. We are here in order to investigate the widespread disappearance of the Burnite race and an unusual transmission sent from this system. When we arrived, we dispatched an autonomous probe to the planet you were found on, along with a large number of dead Burnites whose skin showed a blue hue. You were unconscious and to our knowledge the only survivor."
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:31 pm

"You went there?"
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PostSubject: Re: Revelations   Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:49 pm

"No, but like I said, we did send a probe."
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