The crew is on a long orbital slingshot around the sun to gain speed and reach Jupiter. Instead of increasing it's orbit's arch, something is causing The Mistress's orbit's telemetry to shrink rather than expand, causing great alarm for if they don't get this maneuver right they will burn up in the Sun.
Give Me Your Hand
During a routine dish adjustment outside on the ship's main communications array Tannoy, the ships communication's engineer, almost plunges deep into space due to a malfunctioning safety harness. Quickly Rethan saves him by snapping off his own oxygen tank and using it as a propellant.
The food replicators break down and only produce Hot Salsa for two weeks. Strange things start to happen when the salsa all becomes rancid and the crew starts to mass hallucinate. The replicators are fixed, but something is still off with the food. Strangely everything now has the smoky bite of Chipotle and the crew is wondering of it is really safe to eat the food again.
During a water harvesting run it is discovered that the readings for near-ship asteroids masses are off from what they should be, based on actual grappler arm load readings. Lara runs diagnostic calculations on the parametric phase-shifting control modules and finds that the pressure readings are off by over 30%! It is then discovered that the virus that initially infected the guidance control systems re-calibrated the Parametric Pressure gauges to cause the decaying orbit. Lara re-calibrates the pressure gauges and re-engineers the control system fixing the orbit. By using information from the transmission she is able to re-configure the Ion Drive, creating the most efficient and powerful drive to date.
Landing Near The Center
The Crew, finally able to harvest water from local asteroids, lands a scouting party on one with an irregular orbit to investigate some extremely bizarre readings: carbon, frozen water and amino acids. They gather samples and barely make it off the asteroid before it suddenly veers off course, almost as if it was piloted, and disappears in a trail of water vapor and star dust.
Searching For Clues
Having sling-shot around the sun and traveling at unheard of speeds, the crew makes it to Jupiter in record time. Now that they are at Jupiter, the transmission has stopped and they can no longer triangulate the transmission's location.
Captain Doepfer and the crew of The Mistress launch a probe in the vicinity of the transmission's origins and let it collect data while they dock at the Jupiter Orbital Observatory for some much needed R&R, repairs and ship maintenance. That damn food replicator certainly needs some adjustments.
released January 9, 2009
now with an additional 'special edition' bonus track.
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