The Ambassador is as good as his word, and you are swiftly given access to a shuttle, the Hippocampus
, waiting in a private docking bay. For those with the engineering chops and an interest in ship design, it looks to originally be a Ringworks Wanderer mode, heavily modified for security use. Everything from the armor, defenses, and shields have been visibly upgraded, along with a turret-mounted coilgun sitting pretty on the top.
The skeleton guards escort you to the ship, and then you have it to yourself. The Hippocampus's
thrusters take only a couple of minutes to warm up, Absalom Traffic Control gives clearance for takeoff, and in a moment you are accelerating into the dark of space. The ship's computer is pre-programmed to take you to the Acreon
, so no navigation necessary. Along the way you get a good view of the exterior of Absalom Station, as well as the so-called "Armada", the endlessly moving fleet of independent ships that surrounds the gigantic space platform.
On the way over a couple fighter ships peel off from the anonymity of the Armada to try to prevent the party from making it to the Drift Rock, but the gigantic laser arrays of the Station begin to track them, and they peel off to live another day. The message is clear - Absalom Station will not be messed with right now. The Quarantine Zone is in effect, and you're the only ones allowed near.
is an old prospecting and mining ship that has seen years of hard use in the asteroid fields and hard vacuum of the Pact Worlds and beyond. It's a boxy and ungainly ship, and its patched and repatched outer hull bears the scars of countless micrometeorite impacts and is faded from exposure to the radiation of space. The Acreon
floats alone in space, far from Absalom Station, its only companion the misshapen asteroid called the "Drift Rock", which is tethered behind the ship on long tow cables. The Acreon's
transponder broadcasts a repeating message that the ship is under quarantine by order of Absalom Station security, warning away any curious onlookers and would-be explorers.
Quig is quick on his paws, and scans the Acreon
with the Hippocampus's
sensors. The sensors are unable to get a good reading of any life signs that might be present on the ship. However, the aft airlock is open, exposing the interior to the harsh emptiness of space. There are two more airlocks (port and starboard), but those are closed as would be normal. The Acreon
is armed, but none of the weapons are currently active. The power core is outputting minimal energy - enough for things like life support and gravity, but little else.