Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 5c.36 of the “Vortex” telecom space opera campaign, which met via Skype on Sunday, 9 June 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 ?
Acting crew of the experimental scout ship Blackbird:
- “Capt. Kevin Reese” [Bruce K., primary ]-male Terran “near-human” (cyborg), former Interplanetary Patrol officer and leader of the “Terra’s Pride” homeworld security task force
- “Lt.Cmdr. 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
- “Lt.Cmdr. Brun Bearhammer” [Geoff C., secondary/absent ]-male Martian Ursoid “Synth” (“Uplifted” bear), former wrestler, pilot
- “Lt. Nathan A. Jessup” [Byron V.O., secondary ]-male Terran human, gung-ho space marine and fighter pilot
- “Tariq Asrad Saladin” [Beruk A., secondary ]-male Terran “near-human” (mutant) wanderer with a past, investigator
- “Chris McKee /Agent Prometheus” [Josh C., primary ]-male Terran human, former assassin for the eugenicists at Black Box Security Co., sniper and seeker
- “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
“18 to 21 August 2195 A.D./C.E. or 1 Terran Galactic Era:” After rest and reassignment, the “Terra’s Pride” homeworld security task force sets forth on three missions. The Pina Colada, Sovereign, and Tigress head back toward Wolf 359 to find and lure cloud-based energy entities as obstacles for the approaching Zarkonian Armada.
The Dauntless and Crazy Horse leave the Ilokar battle group in the Asteroid Belt to retrieve allies around the Sol system. The Blackbird pursues the primary mission of infiltrating Zarkonian-held space.
Capt. Kevin Reese leaves orders for the Crazy Horse, which is to be covertly deployed as a decoy filled with prisoners disabled by Dr. Srinu Pahul, to rendezvous at Sirius in about a week (of Terran “game time”).
Lt.Cmdr. Brun Bearhammer pilots the Blackbird to 61 Ursa Majoris, about 10 parsecs from Earth. Lt.Cmdr. Tela activates the scout ship’s cloaking device. Tariq Asrad Saladin scans the system but finds no signs of life.
Lt. Nathan A. Jessup and Chris McKee release a probe to hide among asteroids orbiting the yellow star and gather information about passing ships. Enkidu Aristheon and Glaucon remain alert but sense no presence.
Capt. Reese then orders Lt.Cmdr. Bearhammer to set course for Sirius, or Alpha Canis Majoris, a binary star system. The Blackbird finds more uninhabited planets and readies another probe. However, a squadron of eight long-range fighter craft with missiles patrols nearby space.
Pilot Brun makes evasive maneuvers, and engineer Tela makes sure that the ship remains stealthy. Officers Kevin and Nate ask some ensigns to help them in the cargo hold as they manually swap an asteroid for the sensor buoy.
Wanderers Tariq and Enkidu detect numerous bogeys entering the system. Gunner Chris readies the Blackbird ’s beam weapons. They look on in surprise as a gamma ray laser strikes the unidentified fighters, leaving all of them adrift.
Capt. Reese and Lt. Jessup wrestle the asteroid aboard and release the probe. Lt.Cmdr. Bearhammer brings the Blackbird around, hoping that Sirius will protect the experimental Olvar (mammal-like arboreal alien) vessel from hostile scans.
Mr. Saladin reports that 3,000 ships are approaching, and Mr. Aristheon positively identifies them as a wave of the armada, including huge Zarkonian (crustacean alien) capital ships, Encegulan (slug-like slaver) allies, and swarms of Zurmiz Krott (biomechanical scouts).
Tela has a flashback to her time as a captive of the Encegulans, and Chris doesn’t activate targeting solutions lest he alert the Zarkonians. Tariq recommends retrieving one of the drifting fighters for further examination. Kevin agrees.
Brun swoops toward one fighter, even as Zurmiz Krott begin swarming the rest of the squadron. Tariq calms Tela so that she can help Kevin and Nate in the cargo bay by turning off artificial gravity.
Kevin tries to rally his crew, and Chris replies, “In the future, whenever we want to think we’ve been in a tight spot, this is the moment we should think of.” Enkidu maintains psionic defenses, as Tariq blocks some Zurmiz Krott transmissions.
As soon as the alien fighter craft is aboard, Capt. Reese gives the command to “punch it” and jump to Transit (faster-than-light travel) to leave Sirius….
Geoff and Dexter, we missed you at this past weekend’s game! Let me know if any of you won’t be available for a “Vortex” session this coming Sunday because of Father’s Day. Note that I won’t be able to run on June 23. Remember to update your characters on Obsidian Portal, and good luck to “Terra’s Pride!”
In addition, I enjoyed Rich C.G.’s Star Wars: Edge of the Empire one-shot this past Monday, and I look forward to Jason E.R.’s Star Wars miniseries this autumn. I’ll see some of you for Man of Steel, Free RPG Day, and next week’s “Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Circus” fantasy campaign, -Gene