Three sentinels (Anna, Corvus, and Zanzibar) are resleeved into various morphs on the Duke of Heal, a medical tin can hab that is part of the Phelan’s recourse flotilla, which travels around the many small habitats and moons in Saturn’s orbit. Anna and Zanzibar are relieved to see they have received one of their preferred morphs, but Corvus is distressed to find himself in birdform.
After they regain their composure, a Firewall proxie, Tor Dietrichson, informs them of their current situation. They have reverted to six month old backups due to their 3 and 1 1/2 month old backups being heavily corrupted, apparently by either a virus or a talented hacker. Tor tells them that their (future) selves had been investigating a gatecrashing team at the Gate on Pandora (one of Saturn’s moons). The initial readings from the gate showed promising atmosphere and conditions, but also picked up some strange signatures, that Firewall thought might be TITAN related. They sent a Sentinel along with the team, who were assembled and sent in fairly quickly.
Unfortunately, the gate malfunctioned, and was not open for the team’s scheduled pick-up/check-in. When the gate was reopened, a brief message was found, which included a Firewall code phrase that the local proxie, Ben Johanssen, called in. A team was assembled (Anna, Corvus, and Zanzibar) out of nearby available sentinels to find out what had happened. Unfortunately, their results were lost when Johanssen was killed and the server he was using was destroyed in a massive mesh based attack. Firewall managed to track down the team’s backups, finally, but they were heavily corrupted: the 1 1/2 month, when resleeved, began mutating and had to be put down. The 3 month has been violent, but more stable.
The 3 sentinels are sent in to question their future selves to try to extract any further info. Corvus fails spectacularly, sending his future self into shock at the sight of himself in birdform. The other two find out the specific gate coordinates (also lost in the mesh attack) and some info about the original gatecrashers and their activities: they seemed strangely rushed, among other things. Apparently the 3 month backups are from mid-investigation, and the 1 1/2 month backups are from right before the 3 sentinels went through the gate themselves.
The 3 month backups are then destroyed. Everyone experiences some mental stress from this, but shakes it off. Tor tells them that they will take a shuttle from Duke of Heal to Phelan’s End, a large beehive habitat, which serves as a major local port for midsize craft. They will have to find transport to Pandora. Then, they will begin investigating what happened 3 months ago-now. The team boards the shuttle, and embarks.
Midway, they are attacked by 3 synthmorphs, who breach the hull, crash the AI pilot, and do some damage, but eliminated quickly by the alert sentinels. The morphs are noticeably free of markings or indetification, and the sentinels are unable to retrieve any cortical stacks. Corvus tries to take control of the ship and correct their course, but fails. A docking bay AI at Phelan’s End takes over and guides them in, warning them that they must surrender to port agents and lay down arms as the incident is investigated.