An errant wormhole opened in a deeply folded pocket of typically unreachable space, though which a probe was sent by MLF scientists. Not long after, the probe returned with unimpressive images of an ancient monument floating within the Milky Way. When they scrutinized these grainy images further, MLF astronomers immediately contacted Hannibal Decca.
Working with the famed warlord on numerous political initiatives, the MLF reaches out to Decca whenever certain opportunities arise that may not necessarily align with the official war effort. This was one opportunity that couldn’t be overlooked.
The Matari Liberation Front, a corporation of militants waging a war twenty thousand years in the future from their perspective, had found an unusual wormhole. Unable to divert any exploration vessels for reconnaissance, they notified Hannibal that there was some strange anomaly, through which there was completely uncertain data. Immortality emboldened him; having traveled through a series of wormhole chains every week to restock ammunition, he ignored the warnings of spontaneous dimensional tearing and pressed on.
Such strange and mysterious wonder rippled and shimmered with a thousand points of swirling light, originating somewhere behind an imperceptibly small magnetic turbulence. Without hesitation, he entered. Perspectives merged and flipped as light paths curved into nonsense before somehow righting themselves. When the Loki-class strategic cruiser emerged back into a reality, it was far, far from home. There were no recognizable signatures within range of any of the ship’s scanners.
From about 40 AU, a small main sequence star could just be seen, a little more than a point, over the horizon of a large, colorful object floating silently among a sea of boulders, the sizes of which varied in every possibly imaginable concept. A few quick scans revealed that this star had a few such large, colorful objects, floating among other boulders. Electrical activity was discovered on 4 of the planets, but only one of them had any discernible technological activity. A small, blue orb, relatively close to that star in the center of this dark lonely dance of orbs was discovered to be the source.
Slowing from hyperspace, it became obvious that the third planet was “populated;” the civilization there had created a shield of dangerous debris, flashing and shimmering all around the entire world. It was one of the more primitive ways to protect a planet from Amarr-like invasions, but it had apparently worked.
The atmosphere of the planet reduced the shields of the Loki temporarily as it slowed to a speed that stopped the friction from causing EMP damage. Using the sophisticated network of boosters on board, the Loki pointed itself slowly upwards as it fell through the overcast sky. Within seconds, the ship had pointed itself completely veritically and engaged its thrusters in a pattern to reduce it’s rate of descent. as gently as possible. Planetary scanners had confirmed multiple areas of extreme radioactive contamination, toward which the Loki was slowly steered.
In a few hours, the Loki had dropped within 2500m of ground level, at which point the Covert Ops Cloaking Device deactivated due to proximity constraints. A signature as relatively gigantic as a Loki-class cruiser snapping instantly into existence would surely cause a stir on planetary intelligence networks. The only contingency was to cut the engines and let the Loki fall as quickly as possible to 450 ft, at which time the engines violently hovered the ship above ground, just beneath a dense layer of detectable radio waves. Slowly, the throttle was reduced until the Loki sat on its tail in a valley.
Water from the valley below had been vaporized in the descent, thick steam rolling up the long body of the vessel, and obscuring the ship from view behind a wall of slowing clouds. The weather on the ground was clearly effected by landing on this planet, which likely wouldn’t have been attempted at all had there been any sign of stellar vessel that might intervene: CONCORD forbids capsuleers from landing on planets due to the possibility of irreparably damage to wildlife and civilizations. But there was no CONCORD here. There was nothing like that here.
Once it had noisily come to a slow, violent halt on the ground, militants were dispatched in a perimeter to guard the ship as Hannibal and a group of his most trusted officers traveled to Mordhouse.
It’s been well known for millennia that Dethklok is/was the biggest metal band in the universe. They were so popular in their own era, that when the opportunity arose to visit Earth to meet them, Hannibal Decca jumped at the chance. He met with their manager and shared an almost unbelievable tale of time visitation, interstellar travel, eternal politics, and, most importantly, marketing opportunity.
They were met with guarded skepticism by their manager, a man named Offdensen, who eventually agreed for an enormous fee to book Dethklok 20,000 years in the future for a recruiting and propaganda initiative for the Matari Liberation Front. His demands of were extensive, but he was finally convinced by the prospect of access to unlimited resources in a place called “New Eden.” At that point, it was discovered that Earth, where Hannibal had landed, was suffering certain shortages. They needed more resources, but there weren’t enough on their planet to support the needs of all of the inhabitants, or so they were convinced. After a respectful exchange, Hannibal and Offdensen shook hands, with a contract to deliver the relative market price of 15,000m3 of Hedbergite into a privately managed account at an agreed interval rate in exchange for Dethklok’s participation in the MLF publicity tour in YC124.
Hannibal was careful to explain to Offdenson that the only way to return Dethklok to their own time would be to travel back through the wormhole after the show. And technically, there was no real guarantee that the wormhole would be there at any point in the future, but a quick tour through the factional warfare warzone, which has been relatively quiet lately, should be completely safe and uneventful, what with the death of Eve and all.
Shouldn’t be a problem, Hannibal thought, as he led Skwisgaar, Nathan, Toki, Pickles, and Murderface into the valley that the Loki stood on it’s tail. Under cover of darkness, the Loki’s hundreds meter long hull was still hidden behind layers of clouds. The boys mentioned that the ship reminded them more of a building than a boat from the outside, but over the month’s long journey back to Heimatar, they learned how to assist the officers of the ship when it was necessary. There were enough pirate attacks and gatecamp escapes to merit the use of every strong back on board the HK-25L “Predator” without exception. A cruiser has more crew aboard, and any visitors or passengers can be spared any effort in actually managing any of the functions of the ship.
A frigate offers no such luxury, even for passengers. By the time they reached the warzone to play the benefit concert in their smaller ship, they were practically soldiers themselves. Aboard the Liberator, a Firetail-class hull with upgraded defensive capabilities on the way to a friendly outpost, Hannibal Decca was intercepted by a hostile Amarrian Tormentor-class frigate with no intentions of allowing the Minmatar such a public relations triumph. Without heed to interstellar treaties, the Tormentor stood in opposition to the mission; even with the VIPs, aboard, the Liberator had no choice but to spring into action.