SYZYGY

Sedona, Day 0000+49
Captain's Log 14

We arrived in Carrack, and one of the first things Aurora noted was that there were explosions occurring on the surface of Sedona. It seems the holy war is in full swing, though it feels less dramatic now that we know one side is the Banshees in disguise. I almost feel sorry for the Truthers.

Once we got close enough to the planet, Aurora contacted the sisters and High Sister Agata answered. She directed us to land in what appeared to be an open clearing, but turned out to lead to a hidden underground base. There, Aurora received a promotion (for knowing the true identity of the Sisters) and we were led to the entrance of the pretech temple.

The temple was not much to look at, for all we could see was a very large door with a lot of scientists outside of it. It did, however, have the disconcerting effect of making us see manifestations of dead acquaintances. Agata believes that it has to do with the psytech inside the temple going haywire after almost 1000 years of being left unattended.

Aurora gave a suggestion about how to penetrate the temple doors using some sort of special light. It didn’t mean much to me, but Agata seemed to think it was a good idea. Other than that, it was a fairly uneventful trip.

Farah was also allowed to… have some fun with the Truthers, under the condition that she bring back a few bodies for me and Remi. I tried not to think about what happened to the poor bastard who had 13 stab wounds and evidently died later of suffocation.

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Firebrand, Day 0000+45
Captain's Log 13

The fuel bunkers are installed, and we are ready to go. I was planning for our next stop to be Crorix, but Aurora suggested we make a stop at Sedona along the way. It seems there is a pretech temple under the beach that the Sisters are investigating, and we may find something interesting. I decided it was worth looking into.

Before heading out, I took another trip to Paradise and caught Clear as he was heading home from work. It has been over a year since I last heard from Nala, and I could not miss the opportunity to ask about her well-being from someone within Glass Tech. Clear told me that she recently got a promotion, and she has been doing well other than the occasional reprimand for less than ethical behavior.

That sounds like her all right. I’m glad she is doing well.

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Paradise, Day 0000+35
Captain's Log 12, supplemental

[OOC Note: Kiki is not dumb enough to put anything about Clear in writing; this entry is just for keeping track of stuff.]

With plenty of time to kill, we headed down to the surface of Paradise. The moment we entered the atmosphere, I could sense that there was a Former on-planet. Only one though, which is very unusual.

I followed the feeling of his presence, and what we found was a man in a very nice suit being harassed by a group of teenagers. We intervened before the situation could get bloody, and the man, who introduced himself as Clear, led us to his apartment so we could talk. His gigantic, extremely nice apartment.

We quickly learned that Clear is a Shadow, and he had assumed that me and Remi were as well. We explained that, while not Shadows, we are still associates of Kin. He found this somewhat odd, but it did not seem to bother him.

When asked about how he had managed to get such a nice place, Clear calmly explained that it had belonged to the man whose identity he had assumed. The original owner, named Lincoln, had been “repurposed” when he refused to submit willingly. Clear assured us that he had not been a happy person, which is only mildly reassuring.

It also seems that Lincoln worked as a very high level executive at Glass Tech. A job which Clear has taken over. Which means that Kin has a plant that listens in to every one of Darren Wilson’s important board meetings. Though the situation leaves a bad taste in my mouth, I cannot help but be somewhat impressed.

Alas, Clear would not tell us any secret information he had learned from Wilson’s board meetings, but I’m not sure it would be anything useful to us anyway. Maybe we can ask Kin if anything pertinent has come up.

Speaking of Kin, it seems that Clear sends him a report every 2 weeks, and we asked him to let Kin know we would be stopping by soon. Clear was very agreeable.

He seems nice, other than his tendency to eat people who cross him.

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Haven, Day 0000+35
Captain's Log 12

Thomas is the new first mate, and has been impressively competent at it so far. Despite his rather flippant attitude, he can be serious when it counts.

When Farah nominated him as the next first mate I initially thought it ridiculous, but it is true that the job should be left to someone who will stay with the ship whenever there is a ground mission to be taken care of. And Thomas already knows most of what goes on in the war room thanks to his room in the officers’ quarters, so he is already in a better position than most to deal with the weird shit we always get ourselves into.

John left in the Divine Rite as soon as we exited drill space. At least our goodbyes were civil enough. Despite everything, I do hope he takes care of himself.

Our next mission is to contact all of the powerful leaders we are acquainted with, and convince them to attend a summit of sorts to discuss fighting back against the Endless Cycle. It was one of John’s last suggestions before leaving us. The sector stands no chance unless it is united.

Our first stop was to be Purgatory, but the planet was surrounded by ships and we were ordered to halt as soon as we began to approach. Aurora got into contact with Darren Wilson, who informed us that minions of the Endless Cycle had taken over 3 of his ships and orbitally bombarded the planet, which is why it was now closed off.

We gave him our message about the meeting, and asked if he could pass along the information to the Angels, since we are still banned from their space. He agreed, and he also asked us who the current leader of the Banshees is. When we told him it was Hachiko, he asked if she was the one who had killed his second in command. I did not want to say yes, but I had a strong feeling that lying would only make the situation worse. I did not explain why she did it. He seems to be unaware of the nature of her relationship with Mikoto, and it is not my place to share it.

I told Wilson we wished to install a Fuel Bunker on the Firebrand, and he offered to arrange to have it installed for us while in space, for a fee of course. We took him up on the offer.

It seems we will be in the system for over a week. It cannot be helped.

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Firebrand, Day 0000+32
Captain's Log 11

John was not pleased with my decision, as expected. He is exceptionally good at making me feel terrible about myself. Not that he’s necessarily wrong, but I believe I do a good enough job of guilting myself without the outside help.

He’s leaving anyway. As he was never paid as the first mate, he is demanding backpay in the form of one of the fighters. I agreed to hand over the Divine Rite. No one had any objections.

I ordered he remain confined to his quarters for the rest of our jump, until we arrive in Haven. I want to at least make a show of protecting the crew from him, even if I personally know he would not harm anyone without good cause.

Why must everything be so complicated.

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Firebrand, Day 0000+31
Captain's Log 10

John is insisting I kick him off the ship to ease the fears of the other crew members. I suppose he thinks himself a martyr, acting the part of a killer to focus the fear on him instead of me. I wish he had talked about it first.

I don’t enjoy having my hand forced. How can I kick him off in good conscience with the horrible things I have done myself?

He insists it is what Drake would have done. I am not convinced, but it doesn’t matter anyway because I am not Drake.

This is my ship. This is my crew. The guidelines were set by me.

I. Am. Not. Drake.

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Firebrand, Day 0000+30
Captain's Log 9

The crew knows.

Someone anonymously sent a video to every member of the crew, showing us entering the dome and causing havoc within. But it was cut to make us look like the aggressors, and shows plenty of disturbing footage of Remi and I feeding. This is not going to be easy to recover from. It had to be Seven. One of them, anyway.

John rounded up 14 crew members who had been planning a mutiny, and tied them up in the cargo hold. I tried to talk them down, but one in particular refused to be cowed. He was ultimately put down, a decision I do not feel good about.

The entire crew was called down, and we had them watch the entirety of the footage we had of our time in the dome. There are definitely parts I am not proud of, but at least this way they can make their judgement based on a less biased source.

The night was tense, but the mood seemed to improve once enough alcohol was imbibed. But I know this can’t possibly be the end of our trouble.

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Firebrand, Day 0000+29
Captain's Log 8

Another mission completed, another night spent wondering where it all went wrong. I feel as though no matter what we do, nothing ever feels right or good.

People keep reminding us that the entire fate of the sector does not rest on our shoulders, so why does it feel that we get blamed for everything that goes wrong? Is it our responsibility or isn’t it? Why are our mistakes always made out to be so much grander than our successes?

We found a cloning facility underneath the dome in Promia. They were making Sevens, hundreds of them. The ones we found were “rejects” with no psychic abilities, planned to be destroyed with the entire facility around us. But we learned that there were 15 successes. 15 clones of Seven, all with powerful psychic abilities. “Michael” is dead, and we killed another in the facility, but that leaves 13 left to terrorize the sector.

Every day the chances of the sector surviving seem more grim than the last.

It seems that the Endless Cycle has also weaponized the Former pathogen. One of the “bug ladies” shot syringes at several of the crew members that caused them to immediately begin to turn. Theyrn was able to stop the spread with a quick amputation of his foot, and I was barely able to stop Joseph from transforming, but by the time I got to Remi it was too late to stop it. It was all I could do to keep her from losing herself.

We sold our revivitus sleeve to the Sister’s. In exchange, Remi gained upgrades to her eye, Theyrn got the bomb removed from his neck, and we received 500,000 credits besides. Perhaps we could have gone for more, but we managed to upset Mask in the process of negotiations so I did not want to press too hard. I hope we do not regret selling it.

John is threatening to leave again. He was not happy to see the Former population of our crew doubled.

He suggested we try to bring the sector’s leaders together to discuss banding together to stop the looming threat. I am willing to try, but we seem better at making enemies than friends.

I am worried about Mehiri, but I am reminded that my companions do not share the depth of my concern for their wellbeing. As captain I could give the order to go there first regardless of what the others say, but I cannot afford to have everyone upset with me.

Every day I feel more and more as if I just want to go home and wait for it all to end, but I am not even sure where home would be at this point.

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Promia, Day 0000+26
Captain's Log 7

Tonight in dreams, the vision came again.

It is dark now, darker than it has ever been. The stars are gone. Remi is dead, Micah or Icarus is dead, Kin is dead. Mortdecai, Hachiko, and Spade are dead, and Wilson is there with a gun at their backs.

Aurora and Joseph are alive, but not for much longer. The wolves tear at them still.

And there I still sit, able to do nothing but cry as the galaxy turns to ash around me. I am different, but nothing has changed. It seems I am doomed to look on helplessly as everything I care for is destroyed before me.

The others had the dream as well, including Hachiko, who is here. She also revealed that the Banshees and the Seven Sisters are one and the same. It seems not even Aurora was aware.

It was mentioned that the Banshees/Sisters have eyes on Mehiri in the form of satellites that still orbit from when the planet had human inhabitants. It sounds like things are going well there for now, which is a relief, but the vision still worries me. In the vision, a shadow passed over Kin’s half-eaten corpse. It sounds like one of his own may turn on him.

Mask offered to have an operation performed on Joseph, something that would… “fix” his brain and make him better at relating with others. After a discussion, he decided he wanted to go through with it. I hope he does not regret it.

They made another offer as well. Mask wants a chance to observe the creation of a Former. In return, she would give Remi the advancements to her eye that she is wanting, and also remove the bomb from around Theyrn’s neck.

Remi wants to take the offer. She wants to become what I have become. I don’t like it; I don’t know if I can do what Kin did, and keep her from losing herself in the process. Nobody wants it to happen but her. I know I must seem a hypocrite for refusing to play along, but the situation does not sit right with me.

But it seems my hand may have been forced. Mask “threatened” to do it without my help if she must, using far less reliable means. And Remi seemed willing to go along with it.

I convinced her to at least wait until our mission is complete, but given we both survive I do not think I will be able to delay it longer.

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Promia, Day 0000+25
Captain's Log 6

Promia has been a disaster, and I wish I could say it surprised me. It did not occur to me that walking into a building owned by ExoGeni would be a terrible, almost fatal idea. Of course they have a way to detect the Former.

When the alarm was sounded I tried to lead them away from the group, but it was too late, they knew we were together. It was only a chance encounter with an unexpected ally that saved us. Mask, she called herself. A member of the Seven Sisters, which are far more technically advanced than I ever suspected.

She brought us to their hideout where they tended to our wounds, and even provided sustenance for me (though they watched me eat and took notes, which was rather unnerving).

Joseph had a few choice words for me. He only just learned what I have become. I wasn’t sure what to say to him. I never expected him to understand my reasons.

Huxtable is here as well, a face I have not seen in a long time. He was not very thrilled to see us, but I cannot say I blame him. He wants to speak with us tomorrow about how we can finish our mission. For now, all we can do is rest.

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