Last Flight of the Calypso

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The Calypso shuttle was a mini-event that took place in December 2014.

The happenings

During an otherwise quiet shift, the crew of Virgo Orbital received a report from central command indicating that an unknown vessel was approaching the station, apparently on autopilot, was not responding to hails, and the distress beacon was active.

Upon docking with the station, the crew's security forces were met by... a crew of clowns. Placid at first, but their expressions turned to confusion, then feral rage as they charged out of the shuttle, swinging bike horns in a maddened, brutal frenzy, and dropping banana peels everywhere as they were cut down by the well-prepared security team. (who then proceeded to slip on their asses as they advanced onto the shuttle, but that's comic timing for you)

Upon boarding the shuttle, the crew found one, single clown on the deck, apparently beaten to death by his own comrades in comedy, clutching a book in his fingers.

As the dust settled, a final command report came in from Central Command:

Centcom have identified the vessel as the emergency lifeboat of the research station Calypso, a clown planet archeological survey station. The station was last known to have been lost with all hands following an apparent engine detonation. We'll try to find out more, but liasing with clown diplomats is somewhat of a longwinded, tricky process.

The tale from the captain's log

What follows is a report from the captain on duty, Greyson Maximus, summarizing the events and the contents of the clown's logbook:

TO: CENTCOM DISPATCH

FROM: GREYSON MAXIMUS, VIRGO ORBITAL

SUBJECT: Arrival of unknown clown vessel

FW: Chief of Security CENTCOM, Chief Medical Officer CENTCOM

Security and medical teams responded quickly to the shuttle arrival. All of the passengers were hostile, and attacked immediately. They seemed to be behaving in an animalistic fashion. Attempts to use nonlethal force resulted in their deaths. Medical staff are examining the bodies right now. We're recording and documenting everything, then sterilizing the shuttle with chems as a precaution. At this time we do not believe there to be a viral outbreak or any known reason for their behavior. I am attaching copies of a logbook found on one fo the survivors. It indicates that whatever caused this may be non-viral in origin, and could be auditory. For now, I have ordered the crew back to normal operation, but Science and Medical are looking into the bodies and how this could have happened. As a precaution, I would like you to ask the NDV Icarus to keep an eye on us. Whatever happened caused these clowns to call for a Code Delta and destroy their station. I recommend caution, but no further action at this time.Please forward us any data on the subject.

Greyson Maximus, Captain V.O.R.E.


THIS IS A COPY OF THE LOGBOOKS AS COPIED BY GREYSON MAXIMUS, CAPTAIN V.O.R.E. NANOTRASEN.

//BEGIN//

Penned by Captain Honkington. 

2554-11-24

Base camp has been established at survey site A and construction of planetside shuttle dock has been completed. The dig team have been waiting for this moment for years, a chance to unearth a monument that has lain untouched for thousands of years. So many secrets, so many lost treasures, and we will be the ones to bring them to the fore once again, to show that our civilisation is not a joke. This will be a momentous occasion.

2554-11-29

The dig team have located a small structure 2.3km SSW of the shuttle dock. Upon further investigation, the entire hill upon which it sits appears to have been artificially constructed! Further survey equipment is en-route, initial scans indicate some sort of vast complex beneath, and the team believe they may have found the entrance.

2554-12-01

Well, they found the entrance. A great stone door with a lead seal. We have yet to translate the markings. Probably telling us to stay out, but since when have our people ever done that? Honk.

2554-12-02

The dig team have reported vast halls filled with writings, huge inscriptions upon the far wall facing the door - the images are truly breathtaking! I haven't seen a translation, but the markings on the door apparently warned of some terrible curse. It doesn't seem to have dissuaded the dig team though. If anything, they're in better spirits than ever.

2554-12-04

Security had to break up a fight in the mess today. One of the archaeologists had a joke to tell and became violent upon being told we'd probably heard it before. Ruffled everyone's feathers a bit, but everyone seemed to laugh it off.

2554-12-07

Security was stepped up to condition blue today. Something about the joke, the crew are getting obsessed with it, graffiti on the walls, smashing windows and screaming over comms. Tooters and I didn't hear what they said, what little we did make out was.. just noise. Medical have been doing what they can, but so far haven't isolated any kind of virus.

2554-12-08:1

Red alert authorised by Captain Honkington and First Officer Tooters. Things have progressed to a full-on riot. Contact with medical has been lost.

It's the joke, they brought them there, passed it on, the doctors heard it. Warden Clankers managed to get the earmuffs from the firing range, we're going to try and make a break for the launch.

2554-12-08:2

Dear god, they got Tooters. Pulled the earmuffs right off his head and screamed in his ears, the poor sod just started.. giggling. Clankers and I got away, we're holed up in the engine room.

We're going to rig the engines to blow. God, code Delta? How did a joke come to this?

Date unknown

Clankers didn't make it. Last I saw, he was shutting off the coolant and pouring plasma into the gas mix, then... nothing but fire. I just managed to make it to the launch before the core blew, didn't even reach the cockpit, just hit the emergency boosters. I have no idea what the hell they found down there, what sort of thing could twist a crew of upstanding clowns into such... parodies of their former selves. I don't know how long I've been drifting, it could be days and I haven't been able to bring myself to even take the helm. I can only hope that whatever horrible secrets they dug up down there died with them.

Date unknown

I just heard a noise. Oh god, please let me be alone.

Date unknown

Oh god they're here. Some of them made it, I can hear them. What the hell did I do to deserve this? I can't even count the sounds, there must be over a dozen of them, dear god how did they fit so many of them into that tiny cockpit?

Oh holy honkmonther preserve me, this isn't funny. This isn't funny at a-

HONK

//END//

To be continued?

To date, diplomatic personnel from the Clown Planet have thus far refused to give Nanotrasen any clues as to the Calypso's mission.