In the year 2119 I.S.C. the Unified Empire spans thousands of planets, all stitched together through transition point routes discovered over the course of thousands of years. As humanity expanded, so too has the need for new frontiers. expands, the Unified Empire has found those dedicated few who would choose to travel to new star systems, to explore and investigate, and to stake humanity’s ever growing claim on the universe.Naturally, on many if not most of the worlds of the universe, the Imperial Survey is seen in a romantic light.
The truth is… someone less romantic than this.
What the Imperial Survey needs, more than anything else, is that one in ten thousand person who can absolutely get along with the small number of people crewing their ship, while having absolutely no need to see any other sentient being for perhaps years or even decades at a time, all while also being an absolute expert in their field.
These weirdly social introverts travel in the Survey’s ships, following unmanned drones which pass through newly discovered Transition points to star systems only observed by passive (and speed of light limited) sensors. There, they seek out strange, new worlds… and then spend months or years performing exhaustive tests and observations, working out all the resources that a star system has to offer an Empire that’s always hungry for expansion.
Of course, you won’t know if a new recruit, no matter how promising or how well they perform on the psychomathematical, has that temperament until you get them in the field and see how they do. Which is where the H.M.S. Dicuil comes in.
H.M.S. Dicuil is a small but fully capable Survey ship, with a crew of seven or so at any given time. Those seven change from mission to mission, as the Surveyors who demonstrate the right stuff move on to larger ships, teams and work, and those who don’t end up spending the rest of their terms of service in the Imperial Survey working in the bureaucracy back home.
Now, the latest crew of the H.M.S. Dicuil has been sent to a fringe far out at the edges of Anterior Realm. Twelve transitions out from the last Imperial starpoint, five transitions from the last inhabited base, and three since they’ve even seen another Survey team, the crew of the Dicuil has already spent close to nine months on this mission, just in the arriving.
Their destination? The twenty-fourth system charted by the Hilarri Project. A system passive sweeps and unmanned probes expects to be unremarkable, with potentially exploitable mineral reserves and other resources that different Imperial corporations may find useful. There’s a world in the biozone, which could make this a decent system for later colonization. In other words, it’s perfectly run of the mill. Absolutely ordinary. A great place for a new team of surveyors to try their luck.
After all, it’s not like there’s any great mystery involved, right?
Hosted and narrated by:
Eric Burns-White (demiurgent)
Scenes played: 2
License: Community License