Author Topic: Adaptation 101  (Read 672 times)

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Adaptation 101
« on: May 03, 2014, 07:48:24 PM »
Adaptation 101;sa=view;down=231

Scenario Name: Adaptation 101
Author: Darsnan
Date of original posting: 10/26/08
Original host site: Apolyton

BACKDROP: In MY 2433 several factions discovered the wreckage of a
Progenitor interstellar spaceship on the farside of Nessus. After much
investigation it was determined the ships star charts were intact, and
that the hyperdrive engine could be cloned.
By MY 2452 the first fleet of scoutships had been built and sent out
with a mandate to investigate all of the habitable planets catalogued in
the ancient Progenitor ships star charts. The results were mixed: some
scoutships returned with exciting news of “Eden-class” planets, while
other scouts returned with tales of planets which had degraded over the
eons. Still other scouts failed to return at all…
By MY2475 the "Diaspora of Man" had begun in earnest, with interstellar
colony ships being sent out to the far reaches of the Milky Way as fast
as they could be built. However with this explosive growth it soon
became apparent that not all of the far-flung settlements were
completely self-sufficient, and that to prevent catastrophes from
occurring on newly founded colonies, a series of supply transports were
desperately needed to keep the remote colonies supplied with all the
The Nirvana’s Dream was such a ship: built by Morgan Interstellar, it
was leased by the United Nations for the sole purpose of re-supplying
outposts on the fringes of the ever-expanding bubble of human-controlled
space. The ship was crewed by peoples from various factions, each
contributing his or her own expertise, and this included one Peace
Keeper by the name of Shilpa Sanservanni, whose occupation was Resupply
Specialist. In this most mundane of jobs Shilpa was very good: she
processed supply requests from various outposts, and ensured her ship
was stocked with the correct supplies, and that everything was sorted
correctly into the supply shuttles assigned for each outpost.
On this day just like every other Shilpa sat down to her terminal and
began by reviewing the requests which had come in during her
sleep-cycle. Shilpa methodically went down the list, processing some of
the requests herself, delegating others to her staff, sending replies to
others asking for clarification on certain points. Approximately
halfway through her list she came across a message from a specific
University colony which caught her eye immediately. She selected the
attached requests list and began skimming down it. Approximately halfway
through she came across an entry “Hammer, 1, Multipurpose”. Shilpa
immediately selected the embedded comlink to contact the person who had
sent her the message, and in short order the visage of a University
technician was before her. Shilpa, the personae of the Peace Keeping
bureaucrat well in place, immediately came to the point “Yes, I have
here a request for one hammer, multipurpose, but you have failed to fill
out the data fields regarding to how the device will be used, nor where
in your colony you would need such a device. These fields must be
filled out before I can process the order for you”.
The technician on the other end of the transmission began replying in
the same mundane bureaucratic language, and to all those around them on
either end of the conversation it appeared to be just another supply
request being finalized. But between Shilpa and her counterpart there
were key words being transferred back and forth, verifying both of their
authenticity of being Data Angels, and initiating a conversation
between the two. The key words they transferred back and forth became
sentences, and the sentences became a conversation:

Shilpa: DataJack Hammer here: you have need of me?
DataJack Cosmos: Yes. We have located a new Morganite colony which for
some reason doesn’t show on any official records. About all we know is
that they appear to have located some new artifacts that seem to be
economically related. Currently you are our only agent in this sector.
Shilpa: How urgent is this request?
DataJack Cosmos: very. As you are aware a lot of our infiltration and
probe actions are economically entwined. Therefore if the Morganites
have discovered some new variant in the economic alghorhythms which
control society, it behooves us to find out what they are, and the
sooner the better.
Shilpa: send me the coordinates of this unknown colony and I will see what I can do.

Shilpa leaned back in her chair and reflected for a moment: in order to
execute this mission, she was going to have to throw away this persona
she had maintained over the last few years. She smiled inwardly at
herself at the choice: continue on with the mundane existence of a
Resupply Specialist, or once again assume the job (and the risks!) of
being a Data Angel operative. There really was no choice. Shilpa keyed a
comlink to one of her operatives onboard the Nirvana’s Dream, and in
the same coded language she had used earlier set the wheels in motion:

Shilpa: Hello Rathmani, could you be a dear and get me a cup of Dalgali
Bay Special Blend [I need you to hose the Maintenance Workstation, and
force the operator to reset the console]
Rathmani: ah yes, Dalgali Bay. Would you like cream and sugar in that [do you want me to hose it real good?]
Shilpa: yes, please [yes, hose it good].

Shilpa cut the comlink and sat back, thinking about what her next moves
would be. First, she needed the Maintenance Console reset in order to
activate some replacement coding she’d put in place for just such a
situation. From there, well, things would become a little more dicey…..

Janjouri was a Maytag repairman. He didn’t know exactly where that
phrase had originated, however he did know that it applied to someone
who serviced equipment that didn’t need servicing, and that was his job
on the Nirvanna’s Dream. On a day in and day out basis Janjouri sat in
his office, doing very little if anything. Every now and again the
monotony was broken by the Maintenance Console computer telling him that
he needed to replace a widget somewhere onboard the ship. This would
take a minimum of time, and then it was back to sitting in the office,
doing nothing.
Only today was different: because that clumsy oaf Rathmani had dumped
his special blend tea into the central Maintenance Console, Janjouri was
now having to go through the console replacing it circuit by circuit.
Worse, it appeared that the extra cream and sugar which had been in the
drink had really hosed the main console good! Janjouri cursed as, step
by step, he rebuilt the entire maintenance console circuit by circuit.
Once this was finally completed, Janjouri performed a manual reboot of
the system which monitored all of the ship’s functions. Janjouri sweated
while he worked: this was much more complicated than anything he had
ever had to do before on the Nirvanna’s Dream.
After what seemed an eternity, which included several missteps by
Janjouri, the system slowly came back online. While not an overly
religious person, Janjouri prayed to what gods he knew that he had
followed the steps in the aged manual correctly, and that the system he
had rebuilt would work as expected. Janjouri watched as the Maintenance
Console ran self-diagnostics, first on itself, then on the interfaces
with the various sensor clusters throughout the ship, and finally on the
main systems which monitored the engines and life support. Janjouri
held his breath as the final sets of diagnostics ticked off the last of
the sensor reports, and then surprised himself by exhaling loudly when
the system turned green, signifying all was functioning as expected.
“All in a days work” he exclaimed to those who had clustered around to
watch the maintenance tech work, and then he headed back to his office.
A couple hours later the maintenance console reported that the B-Deck
recycling tank had a malfunction, and that the main nutrient filtration
unit would have to be replaced. Janjouri cursed: there was almost no
worse job than to muck around with than the recycling tank equipment!
Janjouri labored long and hard in the recycling tank, wading through the
half-filled tank several times with different componentry, before the
maintenance console finally told him the recycling tank was back online.
Janjouri stumbled back to his office, and still covered by the muck of
the recycling tanks, collapsed into his chair, letting the fatigue of
the days events overwhelm him. Never had he ever had a day as bad as
this one! For the briefest of moments he thought he heard giggles coming
from the Resupply Specialist’s station. Well, what would she know of a
hard days true labor? Her job was probably the most boring on this tub!
Janjouri had a pounding and throbbing sensation at the front of his
skull from all of the day’s work and frustrations. Just as he was
reaching for a sedative the maintenance console chimed again. Janjouri
cringed as he turned to view the readout, wondering what the problem was
now, and then felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end: the
maintenance console was reporting that one of the reactors was
overloading! Janjouri, being the good Maytag Repairman that he was, did
exactly as the Maintenance Console told him to do: he hit the emergency
evacuation button.

Shilpa smiled inwardly to herself as the emergency claxon sounded,
signaling that everyone needed to move immediately to the ship’s
emergency evacuation pods. It had been all too easy to dupe the
maintenance technician into thinking there was a critical system
overload. Now, armed with a portable console, all she had to do was wait
till everyone was in their escape pods, then she could link into the
main network, lock everyone else out of the system, and then the ship
was hers. From there it would be a simple matter of taking this ship to
the coordinates given her by Cosmos and performing her probe operation
against the Morganite colony. The captain and his crew wouldn’t like
being locked up in their escape pods for weeks while this happened, but
it couldn’t be helped. And besides, the pods were well stocked with the
supplies for the colonies they were bound to visit.
Shilpa sat down into the comm seat of her team’s escape pod and jacked
her portable console into the net. The console screen came to life, and
Shilpa entered her backdoor command in order to gain access to the
ship’s operation console. The password was accepted, and the screen
changed to that of the ship’s main operation console. However almost
immediately the screen blanked, and then was replaced by a commlink
window. Shilpa, taken aback by this unexpected turn of events, stared at
the person in the comm. window. “Captain?” was all Shilpa could manage.
The image smiled at her and pointed to his ear where there now resided a
small skull and crossbones earpiece. “Pirate”, Shilpa stated flatly, a
hollow feeling starting to grow on her insides.
The captain of the ship, Captain Rassmussen, smiled malevolently out of
the commlink “Probe Team Fail!” he exclaimed, before continuing more
matter of factly, “I’ve had my eyes on this ship for quite some time
now. And when I finally came upon a method of commandeering her by
rewriting some code, what should I find but someone else had already put
in place such software”. Captain Rassmussen smiled again, “and so not
knowing who had put that code in place, I had to wait until they made
their move. And now here we are”.
“Here we are”, Shilpa agreed, not saying anything more for the moment: what she didn’t say couldn’t be used against her.
The captain smiled again (damn that smile was getting annoying, Shilpa
thought!), “I have to admit, I never figured it was the resupply clerk.
But I guess it fits: someone who had way too much time on their hands,
and who had constant access to the ship’s computer network. Tell me
Datajack, what were you going to do with the ship once you hijacked it?”
Shilpa, seeing her opening, coiled seductively in her chair, “something
that might be worth your while, if your interested….”, she let her
words trail off.
The captain ran his eyes slowly over Shilpa, “while I find the offer
intriguing, I think I would be too worried that the environmentals to my
cabin would stop working some evening.”
Shilpa, seeing that her gambit wouldn’t be picked up on, tried a
different tack, “so what are you going to do, make us walk the plank?”
The captain laughed out loud this time, “you’ve been watching too many
Morganite recvids: we’re not the cold blooded killers they make us out
to be. And besides, your too well stocked in those escape pods for us to
wait you out”. The captain motioned to someone offscreen before
continuing, “however there is another old pirate tradition that matches
more closely with what we plan to do to you and the rest of the crew”.
“And what is that, praytell?”
“We’re going to strand you on what amounts to a 26th century desert isle”.

Shilpa looked up into the sky where the ship that had almost been hers
was departing orbit. So close, she thought, so close. And how different
the turn of events were that ended up with her and her team here on this
small planetoid! The captain hadn’t been lying when he had compared
this worldlet to a desert isle: what little water there was here all
seemed to be locked away in the strange xenoflora which grew everywhere,
and there was hardly any atmosphere at all. Shilpa could also tell the
gravity was significantly less than a standard G: this worldlet was
definitely going to take some getting used to!
Idly Shilpa wondered how the other groups who had been marooned here
were faring, and how well they would be able to adapt to this world.
Yes, Shilpa thought, Adaptation was going to be the name of the game on
this world, and if her faction were to survive, she and her people had
better learn to adapt quickly in this new environment!


1) In your alpha centauri/Scenarios subdirectory create a folder called
"Adapt", and download and unzip the attached files into it.
2) Start up SMAX, then select "Scenario", "Play Scenario", and then go
to the subdirectory "Adapt" and choose the scenario. The game will
automatically load up with the Data Angels.




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