Vortex

D20 "Vortex: Exodus" Update 6.1
Rescue at Beta Canum Venaticorum

Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 6.1 of " Vortex: Exodus," which was held on Thursday, 23 March 2017:

In one future, Terran humanity and its creations had colonized the Sol system but still struggled with environmental degradation and internecine conflict. Open and official First Contact with extraterrestrials brought new allies and challenges. The Zarkonian Invasion killed billions, leaving rag-tag fleets of refugees to roam the galaxy, as explorers search for safe worlds….

Player Characters for Gene D.’s D20/D&D5e " Vortex: Exodus" telecom space opera, spring 2017:

  • “James Verian/the Wayfinder” [Dexter V.H.]: male Terran human scout and Ecomancer (Explorer/Mystic), with an “Uplifted” tiger
  • “Sprocket” [Beruk A.]: male Martian cyborg Technomancer and engineer (“near-human” Mystic/Trader)
  • “Xena” [Sara F.]: female “Uplifted” velociraptor archaeologist and medic (Explorer) from Henson IV/“Boobulon”
  • “Tom Hicks” [Bruce K.]: male Terran human space navy officer and pilot (Trader/Warrior)
  • “John ‘Mundungus’ Smith” [Byron V.O./absent ]: male human stowaway, scrounger, and lethal survivor (Trader)

“1 April 2197 A.D./C.E. or 2 Terran Galactic Era:” Zurmiz Krott, advance forces of the dreaded Zarkonian Armada, attack the Beta Canum Venaticorum system, about 8 parsecs from occupied Earth. A new team is sent to evacuate the science station on Henson, a habitable planet orbiting the stars Chara and Asterion.

Martian cyborg “Sprocket” arrives at the station and finds the civilians in a panic. The onetime anti-megacorp hacker and consultant to the Union of Solar Nations space navy checks sensors. As an orbital battle rages, the Zarkonians are closing in on the ground.

Meanwhile, an “Uplifted” velociraptor finds herself in a locked cell as panicked scientists hastily gather their belongings. Henson, also nicknamed “Hefner” or “Boobulon,” is home to descendants of ancient Terran species that were relocated by long-forgotten aliens. Some humans had experimented on these creatures, including “Xena.”

Outside, a Terran Ecomancer hikes through the jungle to assist scattered civilians. “Wayfinder” realizes that the landing zone is back toward the base, so he and his genetically engineered tiger gather some colonists and direct them.

Overhead, a squad of armored space marines jumps out of a drop ship. Terran pilot Thomas Hicks grabs a bystander for directions and orders the troops to spread out to protect the station.

Sprocket sends data to the marines, but the Zurmiz Krott then jam further transmissions. He detects swarms of nanites, or tiny robots, that that the biomechanical monsters have emitted. The quick-thinking Technomancer disables them with an electromagnetic pulse, but he burns out the station’s systems in the process.

Although she is behind transparisteel doors, Xena makes her escape by cutting through the adjacent wall with her claws and hotwiring them. The dinosaur also frees three other test subjects: an “Uplifted” squid named George, an “Uplifted” chimpanzee named Nigel, and a partially disassembled android called 6O97, or “Sonny.” The departing scientists don’t try to stop them.

Wayfinder, who lost his family in the Zarkonian Invasion of Earth, tries to calm the evacuees. However, his tiger senses something coming, and soon all can hear something crashing through the trees.

A triceratops with a mass of nanites clinging to its frill charges! Wayfinder drops his vibrospear and fires his rifle, briefly slowing the possessed beast. James Verian also extends a Mind Shield to protect the civilians from the Zarkonian probes.

Elsewhere on the battlefield, the space marines lay down suppressing fire with bursts from their slugthrowers. One of the Zurmiz Krott shifts into a spiked black ball and rolls toward them, and Hicks steps forward to meet it.

The Zarkonian attacker dodges a grenade and extends a spear-like projection at Hicks, but his armor absorbs most of the damage. Other troops aren’t so lucky.

The navy consultant recalls seeing enemies approaching an undefended area of the station, so he runs to plant explosive charges behind the evacuation. On the way, he is surprised to run into Xena, George (in a bucket), Nigel, and Sonny. Surprisingly, the “Synths” agree to help him….

A few years have passed since the rediscovery of mystical powers, First Contact, and the crews of the Blackbird and Pina Colada first wandered the Sol system. About a year [of “game time”] has passed since the voyages of the “Terra’s Pridetask force and the arrival of the Zarkonian Armada….

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FATE "Star Trek: the U.S.S. Sacagawea" timeline
Updated continuity for the game so far

Timeline:

  • Late 20th to early 21st centuries: Terran nation-states fight “brushfire wars” by proxy; early eugenics and robotics efforts end in disaster; humanity nearly self-destructs.
  • 2063: Zephram Cochrane’s faster-than-light experiments lead to open and official First Contact with Vulcans (First Contact, 1996).
  • 22nd century: Terrans unite and rebuild, begin colonizing Mars.
  • 2151 to 2155: Capt. Jonathan Archer helps found the United Federation of Planets (Enterprise, 2001 to 2005).
  • 2156 to 2160: First Earth-Romulan War; Neutral Zone established.
  • 2233 to 2259: One alternate universe splits off (Kelvin timeline: 2009 Star Trek, 2013 Into Darkness, 2016 Beyond).
  • 2245 to 2265: The Constitution-class cruiser U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC 1701, under the command of Capt. Robert April and Capt. Christopher Pike (Discovery, 2018 to 2020, Strange New Worlds, 2021).

  • 2266 to 2269: The first voyages of the Enterprise under Capt. James T. Kirk in the Alpha and Beta quadrants (original Star Trek television series, 1966 to 1969). The U.S.S. Rustam goes on missions.
  • 2269 to 2270: The remainder of the Enterprise ’s first five-year mission (The Animated Series, 1973 to 1974); journeys of the U.S.S. Eagle, NCC 956 (SUNY-Binghamton, 1988) and Constitution (Virginia, 1993).
  • 2273: The V’ger incident (The Motion Picture, 1979).
  • 2285 to 2286: The command crew of the refitted Enterprise defeats Khan Noonien Singh and Klingons and goes rogue but saves Earth (The Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock, Voyage Home, 1982 to 1986).
  • 2287 to 2293: The NCC 1701-A is retired after several successful missions (The Final Frontier, Undiscovered Country, Generations, 1989 to 1994).
  • 2344: The Ambassador-class NCC 1701-C, under Capt. Rachael Garrett, is destroyed, leading to renewed peace talks with the Klingons (TNG “Yesterday’s Enterprise”).
  • 2355 to 2359: First Federation-Cardassian War. Ferengi traders challenge the Federation, as Jean-Luc Picard takes command of the U.S.S. Stargazer.
  • 2364 to 2370: The Galaxy-class U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC 1701-D, conducts diplomacy under Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (The Next Generation, 1987 to 1994). The U.S.S. Venture thwarts Orion pirates and rescues personnel at Xerxes Station (2d20 Star Trek Adventures, Boston, 2017)

  • 2367: The Borg destroy much of Starfleet at the Battle of Wolf 359.
  • 2369 to 2375: The Federation first explores the Gamma Quadrant and is involved in the Klingon Civil War and the Dominion War (Deep Space Nine, 1993 to 1999).
  • 2371 to 2379: The Sovereign class NCC 1701-E fights the Borg and Remans, among others (Generations, First Contact, Insurrection, Nemesis, 1994 to 2002); the Voyager is stranded in the Delta Quadrant (1995 to 2001); first five-year mission of the Excelsior class U.S.S. Tempest, NCC 2094-B, under “Capt. Tzu Tien Lung” (Virginia, 1994 to 1997).
  • 2380 to 2409: The Alpha and Beta quadrants attempt to rebuild after several core worlds are badly damaged and interstellar states fragment (Picard, 2020; Titan novels and various fan films).
  • 2409 to 2417: Starfleet resumes expansion after another war with the Klingons and Orions, as well as Undine incursions (Star Trek Online MMO, 2010 to present).
  • 1 May 2412 A.D./C.E. (Stardate 889332.7): The Curiosity-class U.S.S. Sacagawea begins exploring the Alpha Quadrant (FATEStar Trek: Restoration” telecom crew, 2020).
  • 2418 (Stardate 95248): The refitted Ambassador class U.S.S. Rotha, NCC