Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 5c.32 of the Vortex telecom space opera campaign, which met via Skype on Sunday, 28 April 2013. We’ve been using FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures /Mindjammer, Bulldogs, and an online dice roller.

In one future, humanity has begun to colonize the Sol system, but environmental degradation, population pressures, and internecine conflict persist. The rediscovery of mystical abilities and open and official First Contact with galactic societies, themselves at war, threaten Terra’s very survival. Can heroes rise to the challenges ?

FATE 3e “Vortex: Terra’s Pride” (Team 3/5c) telecom Player Characters, as of spring 2013:

Crew of the refitted yacht Pina Colada:

  • Capt. Jasmine [Sara F., primary ]-female Martian Felinoid “Synth” (“Uplifted” tiger), former pit fighter and crewmember of the Appomattox, now captain of the Pina Colada searching for a homeworld for her people
  • Hector Chavez [Beruk A., primary ]-male Terran human, former spy and crewmember on the Appomattox, cautious engineer and communications expert
  • Chris McKee /Agent Prometheus” [Josh C., primary ]-male Terran human, former assassin for the eugenicists at Black Box Security Co., sniper and seeker aboard the Blackbird and Pina Colada
  • Orion Starchaser [Geoff C., primary ]-male Pomuyan (blue telepathic humanoid alien), irrepressible mystic and thrill-seeking galactic hitchhiker
  • Dr. Srinu Pahul [Byron V.O., primary ]-male Terran “near-human” (genetically modified) xenobiologist, curious and confident planetary patriot; with robots MEGAN and PEPE
  • Lt.Cmdr. Kevin Reese [Bruce K., primary ]-male Terran “near-human” (cyborg), former Interplanetary Patrol officer and member of the Blackbird and Dauntless crews; defender of the homeworld
  • Chiron [Dexter V.H., primary/absent ]-male (secretly android) pilot, assigned to assess and protect humanity

Crew of the experimental scout ship Blackbird:

  • Lt. Sebastian Growlick [Bruce K., secondary ]-male Felinoid “Synth” (“Uplifted” lion), elite soldier and acting commander of the refitted Blackbird
  • Tela [Sara F., secondary ]-female Tharian (gargoyle-like alien), escapee from the Encegulans (slug-like slavers), fond of humans; engineer with boyfriend Kedar and robot Dr. Bucket
  • Tariq Asrad Saladin [Beruk A., secondary ]-male Terran “near-human” (mutant) wanderer with a past, investigator
  • Lord Wallace Tubbington III [Josh C., secondary ]-male Olvar (arboreal, mammal-like alien) swashbuckler and diplomat for the Kharvamid Alliance
  • Sgt. Nathan A. Jessup [Byron V.O., secondary ]-male Terran human, gung-ho member of the North American Aerospace Marine Corps
  • Enkidu Aristheon [Dexter V.H., secondary/absent ]-male Seranen (pale empathic humanoid alien) exile, wilderness survival expert curious about Terrans and the Zarkonian threat; with sphinx-like companion Glaucon

See other records for the previous crews of the Blackbird, Appomattox, and Gryphon.

“1 to 3 August 2195 A.D./C.E. or 1 Terran Galactic Era:” After rescuing two ships from a cloud-like energy entity that zombified their crews, the “Terra’s Pride” task force went to the Wolf 359 outpost to uncover a Zarkonian spy.

Posing as the disgraced acting commander of the Dauntless, Lt. Sebastian Growlick had gotten assurances from Cmdr. Hasdrubal Guitterez and the mysterious Ms. Helen Gastmeyer that mutinous officers would be taken care of. Sebastian and Capt. Jasmine, a.k.a. “Lt. Jessie,” stay in Gastmeyer’s luxury suite “for their own safety.”

Meanwhile, Lt. Brun Bearhammer and Jasmine’s former boyfriend Darcy slip from the Blackbird to the base’s mess hall. The Synths (“Uplifted” animals) drink and gamble with Lt. Mireille “Skeets” Rubio, a space marine, and Morgel Toph, the Cestolar (badger-like alien) engineer of courier ship Unquith. Pilot Chiron waits in his quarters back on the Pina Colada.

On the Dauntless, Hector Chavez is disguised as “Lt. Mike Weston” and checks on the repairs conducted by engineers Lt. Han Lao Bing and Spc. Guntur Adi Raharjo. Dr. Srinu Pahul and Orion Starchaser go to sickbay as bait “Lt. Sridan Baatava” and “Dr. Phil Philips,” respectively.

Chris McKee, also known as “Agent Prometheus” and “Sgt. Frederick Morrison,” stays in the empty barracks to keep watch on Sridan and Phil, who had told Cmdr. Guitterez of their intention to testify at Lt. Growlick’s court martial.

Lt. Han broadcasts a warning that functions such as artificial gravity may be temporarily affected by ongoing repairs. As the lights flicker, Hector detects an intruder using a forward airlock. A red plasma sword ignites.

Orion draws his yellow plasma blade, and Srinu fires an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) gun. The would-be assassin taunts Orion for “picking the wrong side” and slashes his arm with her weapon.

Chris runs from the barracks to sickbay, while Hector makes his way to an auxiliary control station for the “Dauntless.” Pretending to be lovers, Sebastian and Jasmine find and cover surveillance devices in their room.

Pomuyan wanderer Orion manages to put up a psionic shield in time to block another blow from his Olvar (arboreal, mammal-like alien) assailant. Dr. Pahul runs back to his robots MEGAN and PEPE and orders them to shoot.

Sniper Chris arrives and fires his blaster pistol, but Orion’s attacker twists out of the way. Orion telekinetically shoves the Olvar into a wall. Hector identifies her via cameras as Velanna Loquieth, captain of the Unquith.

Cautious Hector overrides compartment controls to lock Lt. Han and Spc. Raharjo in engineering. The “burned” operative also reduces their oxygen level and jams transmissions.

Over in the Terran outpost, Sebastian and Jasmine break down the door to Ms. Gastmeyer room and are confronted with another red plasma sword. Lt. Growlick is shaken by a mental blast, but Capt. Jasmine picks up a chair and steps forward.

Velanna uses cyrokinesis to hurl shards of ice at Orion, who levitates her. Chris destroys her stealth suit with a well-aimed shot, and Srinu fires a submachine gun into the hallway. The injured infiltrator still manages to dodge flechettes from MEGAN and PEPE.

Sebastian shoots at Ms. Gastmeyer with a blaster rifle, but she moves with inhuman agility. Jasmine has more luck with her chair, knocking the saber-wielder back. Helen cuts the furniture in two.

Velanna struggles to get free, but Orion telekinetically pins her legs. The alien blocks shots from the robots, but not bursts from Chris and Srinu. Orion tries to talk to the enemy mystic, but she impales herself rather than be captured.

Ms. Gastmeyer wounds Lt. Growlick and narrowly misses Jasmine. Hector calls his friends to tell them to try to keep her alive for questioning. Sebastian shoots, both to incapacitate and to distract, and Jasmine comes around and uses a wrestling move to knock out Helen.

Hector recommends an immediate and covert extraction as Jasmine ties up Ms. Gastmeyer. Dr. Pahul gives Sebastian advice on binding his wounds, even as he treats Orion. Chris goes to engineering to restrain the personnel sent by Cmdr. Guitterez.

With assistance from nurse MEGAN, Dr. Pahul sets up containment in the sickbay and scans Velanna’s body for nanites (microscopic robots). He is relieved to find no trace of the Zurmiz Krott, the biomechanical probes of the approaching Zarkonian Armada. Orion helps with a telepathic scan and takes his fallen foe’s weapon.

“Lt. Weston” goes out to help Jasmine and Sebastian. Hector pages Brun and Darcy, who end their card game with Skeets and Morgel even as alarms are raised.

Brun notes that something is wrong with the station’s commanders, and he manages to persuade Skeets and her partner, Lt. Kamar “Buster” Olekunde, to take their time responding. They then run through the station.

Jasmine wraps Helen in a blanket, and Hector wonders if she’s another Olvar in disguise. Sebastian searches the suite and finds some tools, business documents, robes, alien writings, and cred sticks. He also takes her plasma blade.

Jasmine, Sebastian, Hector, and Helen head to the Dauntless . Combat droid Kurang shoves into Jasmine, but the Felinoid manages to rein in her temper. Hector uses sleight of hand to slip a stun device onto the robot, which experiences difficulty as they walk away.

Cmdr. Guitterez and security chief Lt. Fenris Ironclaw hail the Dauntless and ask it to stand down in light of alarms. Sebastian replies that some of his medical team has been attacked.

Once everybody is aboard, Lt. Bearhammer prepares the corvette for departure. Lt. Growlick joins him on the bridge and orders the ship to brace for breaking free of its moorings.

Hector restores ship systems and reviews surveillance recordings. Dr. Pahul sedates Ms. Gastmeyer and scans her financial documents. Jasmine has an awkward reunion with ex Darcy, especially in light of her recent activities with Sebastian.

Chris explains to Lt. Han and Spc. Raharjo that Cmdr. Guitterez has betrayed the Union of Solar Nations by working with Zarkonian agents Gastmeyer and Loquieth. Orion goes to his quarters to begin combining plasma weapons.

Lt. Olekunde and Lt. Rubio launch their Raptor-class fighters, but the Dauntless makes a Transit (faster-than-light) microjump to the far side of the star, where the Pina Colada, Blackbird, Sovereign, and Crazy Horse wait in orbit.

Lt. Growlick and company report to Lt.Cmdr. Kevin Reese and the rest of their homeworld security task force. They debate how to interrogate Ms. Gastmeyer, whether to return immediately to Earth, and what to do about Cmdr. Guitterez….

Good luck to “Terra’s Pride” as you figure out how to deal with the mounting threats! Remember that we won’t be playing this coming weekend because I’ll be busy with “Iron Man 3” and a Cinco de Mayo party. We’ll probably continue our adventures on Sunday, 12 May 2013, but note that it’s Mother’s Day. I’ve posted separately regarding our calendar.

In the meantime, I also look forward to Jason E.R.’s “Barsoomian Adventures: the Tenth Ray of Mars” planetary romance and my “Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Circus” fantasy campaign. Josh, I hope that your “Steam Wars” group is doing well. Be seeing you, -Gene