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The Kalutauri Encounter (Paladin)

Mission Brief

As you know, the DENEB to INDRI VIII Highway is an example of a "warp Highway." Along that route, which begins in DENEB and runs out to INDRI (nearly 25,000 LY across the Alpha Quadrant almost to the Galactic edge), warp engines effect a relative velocity which is increased by an order of magnitude. Along that route, there are several thousand systems which would take as many decades to explore and chart were it not for the highway. As it is, it'll take centuries. There is also, as many of you know, a tremendous risk to exploring these systems by leaving the highway. Put simply, you might not be able to get back on. At DENEB, the highway accelerates and decelerates from normal space almost as if designed for starships to ramp up and ramp down from use. I know there are several belief systems which embrace that an ancient species did in fact design the system. In any event, entering or leaving the highway at either end is safe; trying to slip into or out of it is not.

The Federation's lost 18 starships over the last hundred years or so; 5 were fleet, 13 were merchants, explorers and privateers, allied or non. We have records of only three ships which were successful in leaving AND reentering the highway safely; ENTERPRISE-D, the Orion Syndicate Privateer ALEA's EYES, and USS BUCKINGHAM ten years ago. Otherwise, there have been no settlements along the route, because until we devise a way to safely hop on and off, any settlement established would be effectively cut off from the Federation, the further along the route from either end it was. All ships which have so far charted the systems along the route - and there are some real gems, believe me - have done so with probes, while the capital ship station keeps on the highway.

The Federation is now interested in taking a bold step in attempting to "tame" the DENEB to INDRI highway. Apparently, the white coats at R&D are convinced that they've figured out a way to use our newest engine designs to "skip" into and out of the highway. We're heading to DS23, near PROXIMA DENEB, where the highway starts officially. There, we accept some gadgets and some fiddling with our engines.

We will head out to coordinates we've been given to a spot where we will use our new gadgets and equations to depart the highway. We will proceed best speed to a cluster of systems with a great deal of promise (Sector 9881) where we will perform such scans, mapping, surveys and cultural studies as we deem appropriate. Then we will use the same tricks to re-enter the highway, turn around, and come back to DS23.

Mission Summary