This information is for operatives with CASE SUNTOUCHER BABYLON clearance only. Do not share this information outside of your immediate team or in any non-encrypted communication media.
Greetings, Team. As you may be aware, we have been tracking an object of non-human design hiding in the corona of the star in the Babylon system. The object, codename RASCAL, has proven resistant to any attempt to board or study it. A recent find at our dig site in the Babylon system has provided us with potential access. We need to move on this before opposing factions learn of the find. Deploy to Babylon immediately via the Pandora Gate, make contact with the dig coordinator, Dr. Haskill, and make every effort to access and study Rascal.
Based upon our projections there is a high likelihood of terminal failure and we would normally be reticent to put you in this position, but the opportunity to study this object/ship/organism is simply too great to pass up. We have appended all the information we have on Babylon and Rascal to this message. Good luck.
The Babylon gate opens on to an unremarkable moon in a tidally-locked orbit around a scorched terrestrial planet quite close to a yellow sun. The second extrasolar location to be explored, the moon was named after the mythological city once known as the “Gateway of the Gods.” Initial studies by Gatekeeper researchers found nothing of interest aside from some oddities in the shape and patterns of the impact craters scoring Babylon’s surface.
Later, the Martian Gate was also found to open here, and shortly after Babylon became headline news. One of the study teams brought to the moon by Pathﬁnder had the luck of detecting an unknown object orbiting within the star’s corona. Further analysis determined that it was most likely a spacecraft of unknown origins.
Despite the launch of several probes to investigate the object, further attempts to study or even reach it have been largely futile. The craft maneuvers away from approaching spacecraft and seems to employ cloaking measures that enable it to effectively hide deep within the corona. The probes that have gotten close have been disabled, presumably destroyed by unknown defensive systems. Gatekeeper initiated one recon of the object with a team of explorers sleeved in sundiver morphs; these were all destroyed. Further efforts to reach and study the ship are underway by both Gatekeeper and an inner system hypercorp, Sirius Surveys. Recent maneuvering has taken the ship closer to the star’s chromosphere; should it be able to take shelter there, it will remain out of our reach.
None of the planets or moons in Babylon’s star system seem likely candidates for having developed life. Though it is possible the makers of the craft originally accessed this system via the gate, building the ship here, it remains a distinct possibility that the craft originated from another system and is indeed capable of interstellar travel.
TypeTidally-Locked Rocky Moon
Primary StarG4V (Yellow Dwarf)
Gravity 0.09 g
Diameter 950 km
Atmospheric Pressure Negligible
Atmospheric Composition Trace Oxygen and Helium
Surface Temperature (Min/Mean/Max) -150 C / 60 C / 450 C
Day Length 1.5 days
Orbital Period 1.5 days
Gate Access Martian Gate, Pandora Gate
Impact Crater Analysis[Begin Excerpt from Sirius Surveys Report on Babylon Surface] I am now reasonably convinced that the atypical and precise nature of the scoring marks over the surface of the satellite are inconsistent with the original micrometeorite impact theory postulated by Dr. Edhino. It is easy to see why it would be the prevailing assumption, with the obvious similarities to Earth’s moon and the fact that mysteries require more work and thus a longer stay here—and who wants that? I have begun to suspect that they actually indicate weapons ﬁre, though why someone would be using this moon for target practice is beyond me. Well, unless they’ve been stationed here as long as I have, in which case “boredom” strikes me as an adequate reason.
Note these samples. Here we have multiple sites found with deep scoring, sand fused. The average depth reaches five meters below the surface, with some going as deep as thirty meters. As suggested in advanced modeling, sites are invariably parallel. The spacing between glass furrows is consistent. It almost looks like straﬁng runs.
Also of interest are the atypical silicates found at thirty-nine impact locations. These samples match each other within a 7.05% variance. We have not found any evidence of the silicates at other (more traditional) impact sites or as part of the moon’s crust. Though precise calibration is difficult, the youngest of these samples I estimate to be around thirty years standard, accounting for surface erosion, which is minimal. I’d place the oldest at three thousand years minimum, possibly far older. It is quite possible that more ancient samples may be undetectable due to erosion and other environmental factors.[End Excerpt]
Incident Debriefing ReportSubject: Obano Bunuel, Operations Agent, Cyan ClearanceAssignment: Babylon Rascal Project[Begin Transcript] We took a nice, slow approach and followed all of our standard operating procedures to the letter. We made a sweep of the area ﬁrst, establishing that our ship was the only one in the immediate vicinity, not that we expected much to be out there. We analyzed the coronal environment carefully to make sure there were no hidden surprises lying in wait. We measured the star’s output against our records to ensure consistency. We tracked Rascal’s position and proﬁle for any signs of response.
Everything was exactly as we expected to find it. Any deviations were well within accepted tolerance levels.
Satisfied that all was according to plan, we steered ourselves on a gradual intercept course. When we were about four hours out, Fernanda initiated the scan sequence. We knew to expect some interference from the solar EM, but we ﬁgured it was a safe range from which to start. We were wrong.
Thirteen seconds into our scans, Rascal’s telemetry suddenly changed. We saw a ripple along the outer hull and ﬂuctuations in the outer shell. Seams appeared where there had never been any before. We were all so excited. Rascal was online, and we were receiving pings. It was scanning us back. I think Zander was the only one with the sense to be afraid.
I was watching Rascal through the long-range sensors as it turned and a series of long narrow ﬂanges or doors of some kind opened on one end. We actually started receiving some data on the interior, but I couldn’t make a lot of sense of what was on the monitors at ﬁrst. Then I realized: Rascal was organic. It was alive.
That’s when we were hit. I’m not sure what the pulse was, but it took out both Fernanda and Zander and crippled my systems. I had just enough time to egocast back out. Then I woke up here.
I know from the review that those last sensor readings we received didn’t make it back. But I remember, right before I evacuated, that the scans were picking up some intriguing energy patterns from inside Rascal. Possible lifeforms?[End Transcript]
Hosted and narrated by:
Craig Smith (DrColossus)
Scenes played: 1
License: Community License