Research Vessel Miranda Dorlac
<aside> ❗ This scenario was written by Marc Miller (the creator of Traveller) and Ian Stead - originally published in 1979 and has been popular as an introductory adventure for new Traveller players ever since. We are using the 2011 version from Signs & Portents #93.
❗ (The following introduction was not part of the original.
I stole it - word for word in some parts - from the 1987 sci fi film Nightflyers and merged it with the text of the Annic Nova module*.*)
It began as an expedition in search of a ship that was probably a myth.
A story too good to not pass along, even if maybe you didn't even believe it yourself.
It's been fifteen years or so now since the story first started going around about this ghost ship that appears, stays a few days, then jumps away and then someone else has a story about seeing it.
Oh, and sometimes the story includes the part about the signal - some strange signal it broadcasts that no one can understand, and usually on unauthorized transmission frequencies. Fun story, but no one takes it seriously.
But, the guy who put this expedition together has spent twelve years taking it seriously.
He was an old professor named D'Brannin. He managed to talk the board into a small research grant and use of a ship because of a report in his own neighborhood - namely, the Regina subsector out in The Spinward Marches - a report that tells of a starship of markedly unorthodox design which has been drifting in the Yorbund system for five weeks, broadcasting an encrypted signal on a restricted military frequency. A curiosity, no doubt, but not exactly much potential for the next big scientific breakthrough.
Also not exactly much potential for pulse pounding action. Rumor had it that this expedition was nothing more than a bone thrown to an old man for years of loyal service. https://travellermap.com/?p=-91.791!77.661!7&options=9159
So, he threw together a team and set out for the coordinates. And, if their credentials were questionable, well, so was the mission...
Audrey Zayle was our linguist. Also, she had a degree in non human intelligence. She was hired for both those skills.
Darryl Fontaine was our visual documentarian - there might have been better technicians out there but his skill as a chef was his ticket on this expedition.
Lilly Kent was our cryptologist - a competent scientist, she was more comfortable with machines than people - her job was to decipher the signal the mystery ship was broadcasting.
But if technology failed, D'Brannin hoped to achieve communication through telepathy - he'd hired a class 10 Psion named Jon Winderman