Welcome back, everyone, and I hope your holidays were festive!
Let's take a look at the place you're going to be spending the next four to six months, in-game:
This is a 3d render by Mark Rademaker, based on an actual NASA attempt to develop a functioning warp drive. You can read more about it, and see more renders, at this link.
On the Traveler 1, those rings were a functioning drive system. On your ship, the Traveler 2, they're basically just plastic mockups, used to test the ship's manoeuvring thrusters and its ability to sustain a subspace envelope inside of a test chamber. They're integral parts of the ship, though, and can't be removed to reduce mass and travel times.
The ship's internal volume is roughly that of a yacht or a small house, and the livable area is concentrated in the nosecone and "saucer section" up front. Most of its space is devoted to a toroidal fusion reactor, and its deuterium reaction mass. These power its quad ion thrusters, as well as its internal gravity, the computer needed to run the AI crew member(s), and the cryogenic system which will keep its organic crew member(s) in stasis.
Six drones, called "whiskers," are attached to Traveler 2, and are labeled WSKR-1 through -6 by the ship's computer. The whiskers are basically cameras with engines attached, and move very slowly with nitrogen thrusters. Each one has a set of two claw arms, and a slot which allows them to be mounted with other equipment on an as-needed basis. They do not have onboard AIs, and are controlled via command line.
Traveler 2 is not a military vessel, and is not authorized to carry weapons. It has no countermeasures, and its armour and manoeuvrability are limited, so in the event of an altercation your best defence is to speak calmly and record / broadcast everything that goes on. Unless you're right next to a planet or other celestial body, you should have a direct line of sight (and radio signal) to either Earth or the repeater satellites around Mars and the Jovian moons. Once you're near Saturn, though, expect extremely long signal delays.
High Concept: Hastily-assembled rescue ship
Trouble: "Those don't actually do anything."
Stress Boxes: NONE
Aspects: (Each one makes a different clicky noise to identify itself.)
Skills: Athletics +1
Stunt: Modular Chassis. Each whisker can be mounted with a piece of equipment that gives it +2 to a skill, as appropriate.
Stress Boxes: 1[ ]
Traveler 1 is in a decaying Saturnian orbit near the moon Enceladus. You are to survey the wreck, and try to make contact with *Ascension, the ship's navigational AI. He may be able to tell you what happened to the ship when it entered warp.
There is a Cetacean outpost on Enceladus' interior, called Far Sea. In the event of equipment failure or other catastrophe, you should be able to seek refuge there, using the Traveler 2's underslung life pod. It has been designed to withstand underwater conditions, and to propel itself underwater. The outpost itself should have breathable air, systems compatible with your AI crew member(s), and food that the organic crew member(s) among you can metabolize. We hope you like fish.
Aspect: Mysterious derelict spacecraft
Aspect: Off-world Cetacean dwelling
(Aspects listed as ??? may be discovered during play.)
What are your characters' responsibilities? We know that a copy of *Ascension is Traveler 2's navigational AI, and we're leaving a spot open for sablin27 to play someone in Engineering if the opportunity comes up. Ilaria may have gotten herself assigned to the ship as a mission specialist / drone operator. So is *Adriana formally part of the mission, or a stowaway? If the latter, did she smuggle her hardshell onboard or just her code? (She could probably use one of the whiskers as an ad-hoc hardshell if needed, although she'd need to control it remotely since they're just drones.)
Is there anyone else on the ship? I'll let you all decide if there's a supporting NPC of some kind, and whether or not they're friendly / sympathetic. They could be the mission commander, or one of you could double as the commander and they could be another specialist.
Under whose auspices are you doing this? Right now I'm imagining NASA, in its new role as a unified space program for the Americas. Their policies are largely dominated by cosmopolitan states like Canada and Brazil, and their primary launch facility is in the state formerly known as French Guyana.
Finally, any last words before we head out?