A couple of weeks ago, while I stopped by my hab in Orison for a few days to resupply, I got an invite to meet up with an old friend of mine from back on Terra, Sam Lexand. She was in the city and had something of interest to discuss with me, and suggested we could meet at Voyager Bar to share some stories and drinks. A few evenings later, while finding the bottom of Trise Cordial bottle and enjoying the view out on the terrace, Sam told me that she had travelled some routes through the Nyx system lately. She had done some traderuns for Clair Rios, providing goods to the cafe in Levski. During her latest stop there she had been at the Grand Barter Bazaar to do some shopping. There she overheard a conversation between the landing zone operator Eslin Macken and a couple of freight-runners:
- Eslin Macken: "What do you mean, 'you lost everything'? Where are the supplies?"
- Freight Runner 1: "We were on location and had met up with the Xi'an group. We had just verified the supplies and paid them, and were about to move the crates…"
- Freight Runner 2: "Man, the Xi'an arrived in a huge Railen-looking ship, they had so much stuff to trade!"
- Freight Runner 1: "Yeah, I don’t think we’ll hear from them again after this … listen Es, we were leaving their ship and moving the crates over to our ship, when the ground exploded around us!"
- Eslin Macken: "Shit, what happened!?"
- Freight Runner 1: "It was XenoThreat!! They had found us, I don't know how, we were so careful! The Xi'an took off and left immediately, they probably didn't see a reason to stick around in that rain of fire after we had payed them."
- Freight Runner 2: "We had to drop everything and run for it to get to cover inside the ship. They had a Hammerhead and several Buccaneers, all opening fire on us!"
- Freight Runner 1: "As we closed the hatch, we saw the supplies that we had to leave out on the ground getting pulverized. We barely had time to lift off and escape before we would have followed the same fate."
- Freight Runner 2: "Another ship that was landed next to us blew up right then and there! We ended up quantum jumping around half the system to loose the trail of the Xeno's, before plotting a course back here."
- Freight Runner 1: "Our Corsair is a mess, we'll need extensive repairs."
- Freight Runner 2: "And I think we can safely say that our trading location is burned!" [holding up a piece of paper before curling and throwing it on the ground]
- Eslin Macken: "Well darn it, we needed those supplies! Alright, I will instruct the hangar crews to take care of your repair needs, and I need to talk to Recco and find out what our options are. Let’s meet again in Cafe Musain tonight and talk more then..."
Sam finished her purchases while eavesdropping on the conversation - apparently, the People's Alliance have been doing regular supply trades with the Xi'an, and to avoid being noticed by xeno-unfriendly outlaws they couldn't facilitate this in the pirate-infested Nyx and Pyro systems — it sounded like they had a secret meeting point somewhere in another system, where they had regular trade assemblies together with other groups.
Upon turning away from the vendor to leave the market, Sam saw that the group finished up and walked away. On the floor where they had stood layed a crumbled piece of paper. She looked around to check if anyone noticed her and quickly swiped it up, and looked at it — it was full of Xi’an glyphs. She slid the paper into a pocket while heading for the Grand Barter exit.
Sam was mostly focused on trade runs to earn her living these days, and was a lousy detective and even worse in Xi’an. So albeit curious, she didn’t feel competent enough to dig deeper into this revelation. But the situation and this note was interesting and she certainly wouldn't let an opportunity pass. After finishing up business in Levski she had plans to head for Stanton to drop of a shipment of lucurative Banu spare parts at Cousin Crow’s in Orison. And knowing that her longtime exploration friend Kiaran Sheppard, who always had an itch for solving puzzles, was currently resident there, she had sent a message on the Mobi asking to meet me.
During our chat that evening, she told me her story and that she wanted to transfer the information to me, thinking I might be able to figure out what had happened at this meeting place and whether there was anything to learn or earn from it. I told her that I would facilitate my orgs resources to investigate this and keep her updated. I transferred a worthy amount of UEC as compensation for the information and Sam handed me the piece of paper.
Later that night while I was walking back to the Green Circle habs, I was looking at the paper note and had a curious thought; "I wonder what will be revealed when we get this translated?"
- CaptSheppard -
The paper note:
Your mission: Brush up on your Xi'an and get this note translated, then unravel its contents and discover what it will lead you to.
PS: Should you be stuck and need help, click here for some guidance.