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Azimuth Biochemicals was a corporation based in the Chukchan system that was active in the early 3100s. According to available records, it was eventually acquired by a rival corporation, Pharmasapien, but both companies seemingly dissolved long before the 34th century. Azimuth sought to uncover alien technology in order to produce and sell powerful new weapons, and to that end it dispatched deep-space probes to various regions including the Coalsack Nebula and the area around Barnard's Loop. The corporation was also rumoured to maintain its own private army. The discovery of Project Seraph and its ties to Black Flight in August 3307 provided evidence that Azimuth's acquisition and dissolution may have been a deception orchestrated to allow it to continue its work in total secrecy, and it is possible the corporation still exists in some form.

In 3111, Azimuth contracted a scientific team led by Professor Penelope Carver to survey the Coalsack Nebula. When Carver's expedition encountered Thargoid technology on Musca Dark Region PJ-P b6-1 3, Azimuth dispatched a megaship, the Adamastor, to retrieve the team and their samples and transport them to a secure facility. The Adamastor was not seen again until October 29, 3306, when it reentered Chukchan on autopilot, devoid of any traces of its crew.[1][2] Azimuth also owned a second megaship, the Hesperus, which disappeared after setting out for the Barnard's Loop region in 3113 and was found in Perseus Dark Region KC-V c2-2 on April 10, 3307.[3] The Proteus, a limited-range exploration craft carried by the Hesperus, discovered both Thargoid and Guardian artefacts in Trapezium Sector YU-X c1-2 in July 3113, but was unable to contact Azimuth or return home. Independent pilots located the Proteus on June 11, 3307 after following the Hesperus's original travel route at the direction of an individual known only as Salvation, who believed Azimuth's findings could prevent humanity's extinction.

Timeline

22 SEP 3307

  • The anonymous 'man of science' Salvation has claimed responsibility for the Thargoids' unexplained departure from the Cornsar system. Salvation had predicted their attack, but his claim was discounted by Aegis and other authorities. After a few days the Thargoid vessels fled abruptly, leaving behind wreckages across the system. The following message was transmitted on public channels: "This is Salvation. The Thargoid invasion of Cornsar has now been repulsed, thanks to prototype anti-xeno weaponry that I have been developing for some time. I have achieved what Aegis could not – an effective deterrent against the alien threat. Refinement of this weapon is at a critical stage, so I cannot reveal any details. I only regret that my warning was not heeded in time to save everyone on the two starports. This triumph was only possible thanks to those loyal pilots who answered my call. Rewards will shortly be available from the Bright Sentinel megaship in the Mbooni system." Salvation's identity and capabilities remain unknown, but he has established a reputation as a rival to Aegis. He is also knowledgeable about Azimuth Biochemicals, a research company connected to the earliest recorded encounters with Guardian and Thargoid artefacts.[4]

09 JUL 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    The dredger belonging to the Scriveners Clan has left the Perseus Dark Region KC-V c2-2 system, where the Hesperus megaship is located. The 200-year-old 'ghost ship', once owned by Azimuth Biochemicals, was discovered in April when the nomadic clan began salvaging it for materials and data. Erik Gunnarson of the Wallglass Investigations Agency speculated: "When the Scriveners laid claim to the Hesperus, I expected only a cloud of fragments would remain. But their salvage operation has been prematurely abandoned, after stripping the megaship's innards and leaving behind a mostly intact hull. Why have they done this? Perhaps because this particular dredger clan avoids outsiders. Public interest in the Hesperus inspired thousands of curious travellers to see it for themselves, potentially drawing more scrutiny than the secretive tribe could bear. Alternatively, the Scriveners detected richer pickings elsewhere – either fresh resources for the dredger to consume or new information for their 'Knowledge Core'. In theory they could still be tracked down as their vessel's hyperdrive has a similar range to modern-day fleet carriers. We know very little about the Scriveners, and even less about other clans. However, with the recent appearance of the Blue Viper Club dredger at Kumo City, I'm hopeful more may be revealed about these roaming societies."[5]

18 JUN 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    An Anaconda from the Hesperus megaship has been found at a historical battlefield on the moon Trapezium Sector YU-X c1-2 1a. The discovery was made by pilots who tracked down a series of signal beacons, following instructions provided by the anonymous 'Salvation'. The beacons were deployed by the Hesperus during its voyage nearly 200 years ago. The Anaconda, named Proteus, was one of the megaship's secondary vessels and had been outfitted for long-range exploration. It was used by an Azimuth Biochemicals science team to flee the Hesperus after the megaship was overtaken by saboteurs from rival company Pharmasapien. Upon landing, the Proteus was converted into a research facility to study the ancient structures and wreckage on the moon. The proximity of both Guardian and Thargoid technology suggests this was the site of a battle fought by the two civilisations over a million years ago, although in 3113 neither species had yet been identified. Professor Alba Tesreau of Aegis Research gave this statement: "This is a significant xenoarchaeological find – physical evidence of the war between the Guardians and the Thargoids. Our advance teams are conducting preliminary surveys, and a megaship is being prepared. Following the Alexandria's tragic disappearance, we hope this may serve as a fresh source of Guardian artefacts for our anti-xeno research programme."[6]

11 JUN 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    Commanders in the Chukchan and Perseus Dark Region KC-V c2-2 systems have reported being contacted by 'Salvation'. The anonymous individual is known to have an interest in the Adamastor and the Hesperus, the 'ghost ships' within those systems. Both of the derelict megaships were operated 200 years ago by Azimuth Biochemicals. Commander Tyler Thorsen told Vox Galactica: "I was taking some sightseers on a trip round the Hesperus, and getting as close as I dared to the Scriveners Clan dredger. I scanned the tourist beacon for them, and suddenly received a direct message from this 'Salvation' guy. He asked me to track down some old signal beacons, which are listening posts configured to retransmit long-range comms. Apparently these could help locate the survivors from the megaship. But the Hesperus is ancient history. Surely there can't be anything or anyone left to find?" In April, 'Salvation' unofficially recruited independent pilots to locate the Hesperus, and to deliver its surviving logs to Taurus Mining Ventures. The Pilots Federation is running an inquiry into 'Salvation' and his associates. Commanders are being cautioned against undertaking tasks for what may be an illegal enterprise.[7]

27 APR 3307

  • Francesca Wolfe of the Wallglass Investigations Agency examines the Hesperus megaship and the Dredger Clan that caused its recent discovery. "When the Adamastor derelict received a strange signal, smart money was on it originating from its sister ship, the Hesperus. Both were owned by Azimuth Biochemicals and had vanished 200 years ago. After a united effort to decode and trace the signal, independent pilots located the Hesperus in an asteroid belt around the second star of the Perseus Dark Region KC-V C2-2 system. Like the Adamastor, it was devoid of life – but not alone. Alongside it was a dredger, whose proximity had triggered the Hesperus's mayday. This was a rare sighting of a Dredger Clan, one of the nomadic tribes that Gunnarson recently discussed. The Scriveners Clan was originally a fleet of research vessels for a long-forgotten academic consortium. Over centuries they became a self-sufficient society, constantly acquiring materials and information. They're not aggressive, but shun outsiders and jealously guard their 'Knowledge Core'. I'm fascinated by mentions of research-sergeants and lector-generals, suggesting their culture is a merger of scholastic and military. With the Hesperus claimed as salvage by the Scriveners and its drives stripped, all chance of learning more was lost. Luckily, four encoded data files had resisted upload, and a gap in the dredger's antiquated firewalls allowed pilots to hack them. The decrypted logs have now been preserved for posterity in a nearby tourist beacon. They tell a disturbing story of corporate rivalry, murder and revenge, but also leave many unanswered questions... We know that survivors abandoned ship to continue searching for 'alien artefacts'. Did they all die in space or did they find something? What did Azimuth's probes detect back in 3113? And who the hell is 'Salvation', the shadowy figure who contacted pilots to find the Hesperus?"[8]

08 APR 3307

  • *Pilots Federation ALERT*
    The Adamastor, a 200 year old 'ghost ship' in orbit around Chukchan 5 b, has received a mysterious encrypted signal. The derelict vessel has been undergoing investigation by Alliance Salvage Guild teams since its discovery last October. They released this report: "Months ago, we cut open one of the Adamastor's damaged cargo holds to find an undeployed communications beacon. We managed to power it up, but it contained no data and had never been used. This beacon has now automatically activated, and is receiving and rebroadcasting a long-range signal. The transmission's source cannot be identified, but is definitely of interstellar origin. Its encoded content has yet to be deciphered." The Adamastor vanished in 3111 after an incident that may have involved the first historical encounter with the Thargoids. It reappeared in 3306 when it entered the Chukchan system at sublight speeds on autopilot, with no sign of its crew. It was recently learned that in 3113 the Adamastor's sister ship, the Hesperus, also disappeared. Both were owned by a corporation called Azimuth Biochemicals, which was absorbed by a rival named Pharmasapien. Little is known about either company, but it is believed they were competitors in the field of xenological research.[9]

10 MAR 3307

  • Erik Gunnarson and Francesca Wolfe, two detectives from the Wallglass Investigations Agency, examine the background of the Adamastor megaship.
    Gunnarson: "When Wolfe and I started this project, we knew this case would come first. We're both protégés of Benjamin Chester, creator of the Wallglass Archive. He retired years ago, but that old spark kicked in when a 'ghost ship' turned up on his doorstep! The Adamastor is a 200 year old derelict that drifted into the Chukchan system on autopilot. It's still there, with the Alliance Salvage Guild poking through its guts. Chester investigated its owners, a super-secretive company called Azimuth Biochemicals. We don't know what they were searching for, but what they found was possibly the first recorded Thargoid encounter. I've since tracked down evidence that the Adamastor had a sister ship – the Hesperus – which in 3113 was sent to… somewhere! Neither ship returned, but we only know what happened on the Adamastor mission. Of course, Wolfe had to go see that with her own eyes."
    Wolfe: "Musca Dark Region PJ-P b6-1 is a busy system nowadays, but was unexplored when Professor Carver's survey team were there. Listening to their logs from two centuries ago while examining the research base was chilling… ghost voices from a ghost ship. There was evidence of blast scars, but I've seen enough battlefields to know what exchanged gunfire looks like. Azimuth's mercenaries weren't just firing at Thargoids, but at someone who shot back with laser rifles. Gunnarson tells me Azimuth was swallowed up by a rival called Pharmasapien. Did they infiltrate the Adamastor and try to take over? Or did the thing that Carver captured drive everyone insane? This is a seriously cold case, even for us. But maybe one day, more tantalising clues will emerge. And that’s what we live for."[3]

29 OCT 3306

  • A private investigator has uncovered some background to the derelict megaship that recently arrived in this system. Little is known about the Adamastor, which returned on autopilot after two hundred years with no sign of its crew. But an experienced detective has come out of retirement to tackle this mystery. Local resident Benjamin Chester, who was a founding member of the renowned Wallglass Investigations Agency, told journalists: "I convinced the Alliance Salvage Guild to pass on some serial numbers that they discovered inside the Adamastor. Then I started scouring databases, interviewing sources and, well, doing my old job. The megaship was owned by a corporation called Azimuth Biochemicals. This was taken over by a similar company called Pharmasapien, but both were liquidated long ago. No mission records exist, but service crew reports mention that the Adamastor's passengers included scientists, engineers and some kind of military. Eventually I unearthed a flight plan, logged in October 3111. It plotted a course toward Barnard's Loop with fuel for approximately 370 light years, and was scheduled to pass by the HIP 39748 and HIP 33386 systems. I'm way too old to head out there myself, but l hope someone can use this info, and help satisfy my curiosity about what happened all those years ago."[10]

References

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