Cockatrice was supposedly the name of a Betsy that launched from Alaska Zone during the worst days of the population crunch. Some 300 souls were aboard, all pilgrims from Earth. The final destination varies by the telling.

At any rate, the ship fell out of Jump early, victim of an aborted injection sequence (back in the days before redundant injectors made it less of a crapshoot). They found themselves alone in empty space, with nothing but the hiss of the Big Bang around them. Order began to break down, and once the stores of food ran out…

They say that a rescue ship found them before the last of the passengers had died. The rescue ship was later found, floating derelict. Investigators found traces of saliva on the walls inside. Someone had licked them clean. Of the rescuers, however, there was no trace.

They say if you find yourself in deep space outside of the uncharted systems, be careful when you turn on your help beacon. You never know if you'll be noticed by the Cockatrice and its hungry crew.

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