Fellow role-players, here is my update for Session 5c.31 of the Vortex telecom space opera campaign, which met via Skype on Sunday, 14 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/absent ]-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/absent ]-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.

“29 to 31 July 2195 A.D./C.E. or 1 Terran Galactic Era:” While on a routine patrol of space near Earth, the Dauntless and Sovereign had encountered a cloud-based entity that turned Union of Solar Nations (U.S.N.) personnel into zombielike drones. “Terra’s Pride” found a way to lure the hive mind away and attended to the survivors, aided by the Crazy Horse.

Crew members from the Pina Colada and the Blackbird then helped devise a covert mission to the Terran outpost at Wolf 359 in the hope of flushing out a possible agent for the approaching Zarkonian Armada.

Lt. Sebastian Growlick plans to bring the Dauntless to the Wolf 359 station and say that Capt. Helena Cain died in action. The disgraced survivors will look for a deal that’s better than facing a court martial.

The leonine “Synth” is accompanied by Capt. Jasmine as security officer “Lt. Jessie,” Hector Chavez as “Lt. Mike Weston,” and Dr. Srinu Pahul as nurse “Lt. Sridan Baatava.” Orion poses as fellow Pomuyan “Dr. Phil Philips,” and “Agent Prometheus” and Chiron are also be aboard the crippled corvette.

While the rest of the homeworld security task force waits on the far side of Wolf 359, Chiron pilots the “Dauntless” to the U.S.N. base. The corvette is hailed by rookie communications officer Spc. Harvey Littwak, who dispatches two Raptor-class fighters to escort it.

Hotshot space marines Lt. Kamar “Buster” Olekunde and Lt. Mireille “Skeets” Rubio bring the Dauntless to dock and board it for an initial inspection. Most of the bridge crew disembarks, except for “Lt. Weston” and Chiron.

Lt. Growlick reports to the spit-and-polish Cmdr. Hasdrubal Guitterez, saying that Capt. Cain and most of the crew perished in their encounter with the cloud-based creature. “Lt. Jessie” compares notes with security chief Lt. Fenris Ironclaw, a fatalistic Canid “Synth” (“Uplifted” wolf). As “Sgt. Frederick Morrison,” Chris checks out the base’s weaponry.

“Dr. Philips” eagerly accepts Dr. Roberto Torkas’ offer to meet over drinks at the mess hall, but the alien wanderer is disappointed to find that it is small. “Lt. Baatava” goes along, both to assess the cheerful chief medical officer and to keep Orion from getting into trouble.

Cmdr. Guitterez orders overworked engineers Lt. Han Lao Bing, Spc. Guntur Adi Raharjo, and robot Cubbie to assist the Dauntless. Hector covertly monitors them and notes any problems with communications.

The base commander also invites Sebastian to dinner with some colleagues, including a few civilians. Srinu scares his companions by asking for a private meeting with Cmdr. Guitterez. Meanwhile, Jasmine bumps into a belligerent droid, Kurang, while walking around the station.

Dr. Torkas asks “Dr. Philips” for the bodies of those slain by the energy entity, but Orion explains that they’ve been disposed of because of fears of contamination. The alien mystic senses someone trying to conduct a telepathic sweep but is able to resist any mental probes.

Roberto introduces the newcomers to Lugh Astrophel, curious co-pilot of the Olvar (arboreal, mammal-like alien) trade ship Unquith. Lugh and Srinu become fast friends. The Olvar says that “Jessie” shouldn’t worry about Kurang, who is part of the crew of the Bloody Prince , a Jovian transport owned by Capt. Dino Neustadt.

Sebastian asks Jasmine to join him for dinner with the commander. Cmdr. Guitterez and Lt. Ironclaw introduce Lt. Growlick and “Lt. Jessie” to Capt. Velanna Loquieth of the Unqhith, Capt. Neustadt, and Ms. Helen Gastmeyer, a traveling businesswoman. Hasdrubal excuses himself to meet with “Lt. Baatava.”

Srinu and Orion tell Cmdr. Guitterez that they believe Lt. Growlick is no longer fit for command, ordering the destruction of still-living crew members affected by the energy entity. “Sridan” and “Phil” say that they plan to testify against Sebastian at his court martial. The commander recommends that they keep their grievances quiet for now.

Sebastian tells Helen that he knows of her from his brother Castillian and Brother Nelvin, whom he met at the United Ecumencial Movement temples on Mars’ moon Phobos. He doesn’t say that “Terra’s Pride” uncovered Brother Nelvin as a Zarkonian cultist. Helen asks each person what they want most.

Hasdrubal rejoins his dinner companions and tells Sebastian of the potential mutiny. Helen offers Sebastian and “Jessie” power and the freedom to escape any dishonor, in return for unspecified allegiance. Cmdr. Guitterez warns Lt. Growlick to bring to the station any crew members he wants to avoid “any unfortunate accidents.”

Orion and Srinu eventually rejoin Hector and Chiron on the Dauntless. “Dr. Baatava” sets himself up as bait by making an appointment with Spc. Littwak for time on the long-range transmitter, giving the corrupt commander and Ms. Gastmeyer a deadline.

After dinner, Sebastian and Jasmine warn their companions to expect an attack. They bring “Freddie” and “Mike” back to the Wolf 359 base “for their own protection” and accept Helen’s offer of hospitality in her luxury module.

Chris sneaks back to the Dauntless to help protect Orion, Chiron, and Srinu, who orders robots MEGAN and PEPE to be alert. Later that night, Lt. Han Lao Bing announces that systems such as life support and artificial gravity will fluctuate as repairs continue.

Lights flicker on the Dauntless , and a would-be assassin floats in, igniting a red plasma sword….

It’s interesting to note that both theVortexand “Vanished Lands: Vistel’s Circus” groups have taken a turn toward intrigue lately — good luck to both adventuring parties! Note that my campaigns won’t be meeting this coming weekend, because “Vortex” alumnus David I.S. will be visiting for the Boston Comic Con.

Josh, I hope that your “Steam Wars” telecom game goes well, and I look forward to Jason’s “Barsoomian Adventures: the Tenth Ray of Mars” resuming in two weeks. Take care, -Gene