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by Idiot/Savant

Before the Collapse, Carbuncle was a stellar observatory devoted to studying the system primary, an M2 II. The observatory was situated underground on an airless ball of rock in the star's inner zone, and was almost totally dependent on regular supply ships. The station was temporarily evacuated during the early stages of the Final War, reoccupied after the region stabilised under Solomani rule, and was finally abandoned for good during the Hard Times immediately preceeding the Collapse, the 320 observatory staff returning to Wulfe. Ships continued to visit every six months or so to collect data packages and perform maintenance on the now-automated observatory, the last such visit occuring in early 1131.

Late in 1131, the base was again visited, this time by a refitted ex-Tukera lines freighter crowded with refugees. A small crew reactivated the mothballed habitat, the refugees were shuttled down, and the freighter (_Cumulus_) departed for the system's gas giant to refuel. It never returned. Soon after Cumulus was declared overdue, the overcrowded habitat began to suffer from a worsening series of hardware glitches and computer failures, culminating in a total life-support failure. Locked in the dark, with no heat, light or air, the refugees perished.

THE OBSERVATORY: The observatory has a working (but inactive) TL-15 fusion power plant and astronomical sensors, but no working computer - the Virus long having destroyed them in its suicide. The rooms and corridors are crowded with the dessicated corpses of a little over a thousand men, women, and children, as well as a few (full - Ewwww!) vacc suits.

Cummulus was already infected with Virus when it docked at the observatory; the crew became aware of the infection during the refuelling operation and attempted to excise it from the computer. The Virus retaliated by overriding the life-support system and flushing the crew out into space. The few who tried to escape in the shuttle perished when it plunged into the gas giant's atmosphere after being crippled by laser fire. However, the crew were at least partially successful - they managed to disable Cumulus's maneuvre drives, thus preventing the ship from attacking the refugees or infecting others.

Currently the ship is drifting around the gas giant, sealed up, with mostly empty tanks and minimal power. The Virus is dormant, but will awaken if it is boarded, or if it detects radio traffic.

System Data

Primary M2 II
Secondary K0 D

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