Inviolate was only supposed to be the first stop. That was the ship’s schedule. Drop off the Inviolate’s relief crew, pick up the weary employees ready for their holiday, perform routine safety checks, head out again. Stop off at a couple of other asteroids while in the Belt, do the same for the other passengers, then a long drop inwards back to Mars. So routine as to be unremarkable. Lisa Steele-Haines, captain and pilot of the Canyon Forge, didn’t relish stopping at the asteroid 16 Psyche. It had a reputation. Nothing anyone could pin down or quite explain. When a facility operating this far from Earth deals in the transfer and manipulation of minds for profit, people talk. Perhaps the Inviolate PR team were just too cheerful, too polished. Maybe too edited the grapevine said, with a knowing wink, though in reality it knew no more than anyone else did. When messing about with the inside of heads was involved, rumour and innuendo were rife. Something about that damn place was unsavoury.
Back in the passenger quarters, some of the Inviolate relief crew knew that something was up even before the ship docked. Normally the handover began a week before the physical arrival of the ship, once the time delay on the radio comms became tolerable. That was the time to get updates from the outgoing crew, what equipment trouble’s they’ve had and are having, intermittent glitches to watch out for, procedure changes to be aware of. Updates. Best practices. Gossip. Whatever corporate fad the management are agog about. Oh, and avoid Sector 27 because it went radioactive over the weekend, don’t ask. Then the comms chatter stopped. But the lights were still on and so Lisa assumed that the main dish had failed. Not unprecedented, but still concerning. Comms chatter resumed, only now the responses were… odd. She thought to turn the Canyon Forge around, if it were possible, but that would mean docked wages. On final approach, Inviolate’s autoland system failed to kick in at the same time as the lights went out. Only by being so superstitious was she ready to invoke emergency procedures, manually landing the ship in the hangar bay by sheer skill. Not enough skill. Her first time out and she’s killed some passengers, injured others and written off the ship. But it could have been worse and the survivors wait in the hangar for the emergency crew.Who don’t appear. In fact there’s nobody around at all. Which, as they shortly discover, doesn’t mean Inviolate is empty.
The asteroid (16 Psyche):
Inviolate is located on a 200km asteroid named 16 Psyche.
Not that the asteroid facility was Inviolate’s to begin with.
From being mined to being rented out to failed defence contractor startups, from being sold to the Government and kitted out with engines and then privatised again when the budget ran out, this remote location has seen everything.
Bought wholesale by Inviolate for a bargain-basement price, it turns out the asteroid has one remaining secret which might just kill them all.Asteroid map sections – coming soon.
Transportation network overview – coming soon..
“Welcome to Inviolate, where we keep you in mind!
Choose from our comprehensive Brain Banking™ options.
Our starter packages range from a full cognitive backup (data only), or select from the depths of your soul to give your loved one an anniversary ring containing the memories of how you met.
Or why not go for the top package to become fully Cybernated™? Replace those inefficient, fragile neurons, axons & dendrites with patented Neurosynthetics™ with a customised fantasy experience (price upon inquiry). Inviolate is fully licensed and security certified. Caveat emptor. Process is one-way, undertaken at own risk.”