Part of a convoy lost in hostile space, the crew of the freight vessel Vast Beyond struggles to keep calm under stresses for which they were never trained, nor expected to face. With pirates and anti-Alliance factions an ever-present danger, there are also mysterious, seemingly random problems plaguing the rest of the convoy. Time is not an ally, and even allies may not be trustworthy.
Your Captain, Eric Stark, is doing what he can to help find the way back into friendly space. Your task is to keep safe your mysterious cargo while trying to survive the constant threats of hostile space. There are many questions and too few answers here: Why did the Earth-based Alliance Navy hire civilian shipping contractors for such a secretive cargo? How did the entire convoy end up going adrift in hyperspace, sending you god-knows how far off your intended course? What is the cause of the strange maladies affecting both the ships of the convoy and their crews? Can Commander Abelson of the Alliance Corvette Greatwall be trusted? Can you survive long enough to get any answers?
The Vast Beyond is a mid-sized freight ship, with a crew of about ten, including the Captain. With limited space, especially with a full hold, the ship can get rather cramped at times. It is up to the crew members to decide if they will band together like a family in these harsh times, or turn on each other.
Ships of the Convoy
The Vast Beyond
The Vast Beyond has earned herself a good name in Alliance space. Your average civilian may not know of her, but anyone with need enough to hire freight haulers comes across her eventually. Captain Stark has carefully groomed his reputation as a someone who gets the job done on time, with minimal expenses. This reputation is, no doubt, how he got a contract with the Alliance Navy to ship some secretive goods between military bases.
The Lady Madeline
A ship of similar size to the Vast Beyond, the Lady Madeline carries yet more of the Alliance’s unnamed goods. Her captain, Susan Freeman, is the daughter of Adwell Freeman, one of the biggest names in the interstellar shipping industry. While Susan herself is relatively new to the business, her father’s reputation got her a place in the lucrative contract offered by the Alliance Navy. While she is the least experienced of the captains in the convoy, she was raised on and around freight vessels, and the core of her crew is comprised of veteran haulers loyal to her father and his dynasty.
The first of the four civilian ships hired for the Alliance contract, the Stonevault is captained by one Mason Goodwell, formerly Rear Admiral Goodwell. When he retired from the Alliance Navy, Goodwell took up hauling as a shipper of hazardous and high security goods. His is the largest of the civilian ships, but has only about as much cargo space as the Vast Beyond and Lady Madeline, opting instead for heavier weaponry and defenses. Resting on the legal limit for armaments on civilian ships, the Stonevault is a tough target for even the most reckless of pirates.
The April Dawn
Classified as a Heavy Freighter, the April Dawn is almost twice the size of the Vast Beyond. She has an enormous cargo capacity, and is responsible for the bulk of the Alliance shipment. Captain Leslie Preston is the most experienced hauler in the convoy. He’s worked with the Alliance before, though never on such a secretive shipment, and never with so many other civilian ships involved. He is on good terms with Commander Abelson, though they know each other mostly via reputation. The April Dawn has been the primary target of attackers since the convoy was lost, no doubt due to its size and obvious design as a shipping vessel. She is holding up well, but no ship can withstand such assaults forever.
The Longsword and Broadsword Alliance “Minnow”-Class Escorts
The “Minnow”-Class of escort ships carries two short-range snub fighters and an advanced reconnaissance suite designed to detect possible attacks and give as much warning as possible. Commander Welsh of the Longsword comes from a military family with a history of exemplary service, and is primed for a long and fruitful career, should he return to Alliance space unharmed. Commander Westhaver, of the Broadsword, on the other hand, lacks any natural leadership skills. What he does have is tactical brilliance in abundance. While some of his crew respect this, others have been grown resentful of his command.
The Alliance Corvette Greatwall
The largest and most imposing ship in the wayward convoy, the Greatwall acts as command center and primary defender for the lost ships. Carrying six snub fighters and boasting top-of-the-line military grade armaments, she is a sight to behold, and perhaps the most prominent reason why the convoy has survived as long as it has. Captain Helena Abelson is young, but a natural-born leader who is respected by both Alliance personnel and the civilians now under her command. Despite her skill, however, guiding this convoy through unknown, hostile space will be perhaps the greatest test of her skills she may ever face.
Further Info on the Vast Beyond‘s Layout
The Alliance cargo is stored mostly in space-grade shipping containers, which would look like sci-fi versions of modern day shipping containers. There could be a few smaller units as well. Everything’s in sealed containers (which the crew cannot open - they don’t have the access codes), but feel free to get creative with the size and shape of containers if you want to.
The cargo bay itself is basically a large, open room. With a full load, the space is fairly cramped, but two crew members would be able to move around comfortably.
As far as ship sections go, there’s the Mess, and of course the Cockpit, and the Captains Quarters, which are located close to the Cockpit. Between the Captains Quarters and the Mess is a small Med bay. On the other side of the Mess are the crew quarters. Each crew member has their own small-but-cozy room. There are four rooms on either side of the ship. Towards the back, after the Crew Quarters area, is where you can find the maintenance/engine room. Underneath where the crew cabins are is the cargo bay. There are access stairs in the Mess area and by the Engine Room.
There are access hatches to maintenance crawl-ways in the engine room. Most things can be fixed from inside the engine room itself, but if shit really hits the fan, the engineer might have to squeeze in to the crawl spaces to get at the engine/hyperdrive unit innards.
Hosted and narrated by:
Erin Edwards (CrimsonSaint)
Scenes played: 5
License: Community License