HIP 8396 Distress Call

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HIP 8396 Distress Call

An Unregistered Comms Beacon can be found in the HIP 8396 system, orbiting body 2. 

The transmission times of this beacon are believed to be on the hour, every 4 hours, with transmissions reported at: 00:00 / 04:00 / 08:00 / 12:00 / 16:00 / 20:00.

The transmitted message is the following:

14 15 23 9 3 18 25
(repeated four times)

Decodes by letter positions to:


This message is the decryption key for an encoded Galnet article in the local Herald:
(Note: this Herald is no longer available – March 3310 / However, an archived image from March 3303 is available – THE HIP 8396 HERALD)

25 Oct 3302

***Compromised Carrier Signal***

X-ray 7 7 3 Echo Hotel Uniform Uniform Delta Bravo
Sierra Kilo Delta Hotel Kilo – Quebec Bravo Echo Hotel
Victor Delta Bravo Alpha Hotel India 1 – Sierra Delta
Foxtrot Hotel Victor Kilo Hotel Romeo India Whiskey
Uniform November – Sierra Kilo Foxtrot Delta Quebec
Bravo Whiskey Uniform

The message consists of a series of words that can be interpreted as the NATO phonetic alphabet, yielding the message:


Applying a Keyed Caesar cipher with the key of NOWICRY taken from the beacon yielded the message:


This leads to a “Distress Call” signal source in the V773 Cassiopeiae system, orbing body AB 1. This appears to be a permanent equivalent to the Distress Call (Threat 4) signal source sometimes seen in other systems.

The Distress Call contains a disabled Federation controlled Farragut Class Battlecruiser “FNV Formidable“, along with a number of pirate ships, the Farragut transmits one of the following messages to all ships in range:

Naval Priority Message… Mayday! We have been sabotaged and find ourselves stranded. We require any navy ships in the area to assist us until our support team arrives.

Encrypted Message…To all pilots in the vicinity, we are in need of assistance. We have taken heavy damage. Please assist us until our support team can arrive.

Naval Priority Message… Support, this is Frigate Omega Four. We are adrift and expelling fuel and oxygen. Please assist, we have hostiles incoming. Repeat we need assistance and have hostiles incoming.

Encrypted Message… Mayday! Mayday! We are under siege and have taken heavy damage. Please assist. Mayday!

Another Farragut Class Battlecruiser will arrive, this one Pirate-controlled, and attack the Federation-controlled one. Should the Pirate-controlled ship be driven-off, Federation support ships will arrive.

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