“Vortex” Team 2, Update 5b.10 — Space sleuths

Note: As I continue migrating and updating my various blogs for consolidation here, some posts will be mirrored. This is the first entry here about my face-to-face role-playing group.

Buster Crabbe
Classic "Flash Gordon"

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 5b.10 of the “Vortexspace opera campaign. Team 2 met on 21 February 2011, and is using FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures/Mindjammer, Diaspora, and Limitless Horizons.

In one future, humanity has begun to colonize the Sol system, but ecological degradation and internecine conflicts persist. Open and official First Contact with Galactic societies, themselves at war, threaten Terra’s very survival. Can heroes rise to the challenges?

After encountering regional warlords, extraterrestrial probes, and things man was not meant to know around Karachi and Ghanki Station beneath the Arabian Sea, the adventurers stole spaceship components from a Lunar warehouse. The crew of the General Lee then towed medical supplies to Venusian colonies, where disaster again struck….

>>”VortexTeam 2 Player Characters, crew of the General Lee, as of spring 2011:

-“Gabriel” [Paul J.]-male North American Terran near-human with telepathy, underworld courier

-“Hector Chavez” [Beruk A.]-male Latin American Terran human, “burned” operative and communications expert

-“ARTHERR (Advanced Resonance Theoretical Heuristic Exploration and Research Robot)” [Greg D.C.]-Explorer in beta created by megacorporation Vimeco

-“Jasmine” [Sara F.] female Martian Felinoid (Synth, “Uplifted” tiger), former professional pit fighter

-“Dr. Richmond Garrett” [Dave S.C.]-male Southern American Terran human, space snake-oil salesman and social climber

18 to 21 August 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Galactic Era:” After visiting the Lucifer’s Hole mining operation on Venus, the General Lee‘s crew returned to Kardikea Station, where tens of thousands of workers had gathered for medical aid. A massive hull breach beneath Hephaestus Stadium killed numerous colonists, prompting investigations by various authorities.

Gabriel returns to the Gen. Lee after piloting rescue craft, and Hector monitors communications between the orbital city and the surface. ARTHERR reassures himself that as many victims as possible have been saved, but Jasmine is unhappy that the arthritis-like plague and stadium tragedy have affected lower-status people such as “Synths” (genetically engineered humanoids).

Dr. Richmond Garrett is summoned by Operator Ivanov to the central committee of the Venusian Finance Union. Chairman Orion Stefanov puts the newly appointed surgeon general in charge of the relief efforts and makes him liaison to the United Earth Authority (U.E.A.) quarantine and inquiry team.

ARTHERR readily agrees to coordinate distribution and synthesis of more medicine, and Gabriel, Hector, and Jasmine plan to help with the search for the cause of the structural failure. But first, they meet with the delegation from the U.E.A. amid tensions between Terrans and the Venusian regime.

Capt. Amelia Saviola, commander of the destroyer U.E.V. Sphinx, and “Capt. Doug McDonnel” [Erik B.L./Non-Player Character], of the crippled aid ship Parsifal, are escorted by a platoon of armored space marines. They warn the members of “MarSoupAiL” (Mars Soup Aid Lenders Ltd., “Richmond’s” shell company) to stay out of their way and to beware of Sefanov’s intentions.

Dr. Garrett, who wants to break the U.E.A. blockade, learns that his predecessor as surgeon general has been sent to the mines. Capt. McDonnell says that he’ll lead the search for causes of the stadium disaster from the inside of Kardikea Station while the “Gen. Lee” examines the wreckage from outside.

The Interstellar Patrol veteran also offers to continue helping ARTHERR to distribute medical treatment. Richmond admits that he gave Orion the idea of gathering the ill at the stadium, and Gabriel senses that Doug is a fellow telepath.

Sometime later, Gabriel stops by an apartment to deliver a teddy bear from Lucifer’s Hole to the young daughter of Kirun, an underworld contact who gave him a lead on faster-than-light (FTL) engines from the Ru’ulok (heavy-gravity reptilian aliens). The courier begins looking for FTL-capable ships in the area [see also Team 1 notes].

Jasmine moves supplies in the “Gen. Lee‘s” cargo bay so that Hector can evacuate the hold that carried hundreds of refugees and ARTHERR can sterilize it with a flamethrower. The robot also exchanges infection and inoculation data with Xi Laboratories and Morningstar Consortium doctors across the Venusian colonies.

Richmond finds that station security forces withdrew from Hephaestus Stadium shortly before the hull breach. The command came from one Sergei Malenkov, whom the snake-oil salesman electronically frames for collusion with Morningstar.

Gabriel pilots the Gen. Lee to examine the wreckage. He boldly follows Hector, ARTHERR, and Jasmine in extravehicular maneuvers, while Richmond conducts his computer research from his luxury cabin.

Hector scans the support beams and determines that they were deliberately weakened, but not by explosives. ARTHERR notices robot parts and retrieves them, while Jasmine helps move debris and corpses. Capt. McDonnell later reports that there are no signs of sabotage from within the stadium.

Four Vimeco battle droids emerge and attack the search party! ARTHERR recognizes their design and evades their blaster firing patterns, while Gabriel acrobatically maneuvers to twirl one away. Hector is hit and “gimped,” forcing Jasmine to pull his tether back toward the Gen. Lee.

Richmond slowly moves through the yacht’s passages in low gravity, as ARTHERR notes that the debris is interfering with his brethren robots’ communications. The assassin bots damage ARTHERR and Gabriel’s suit, but the “near-human” destroys one by swinging it into another. Hector tries to hack into the enemy systems, but is initially unsuccessful. Jasmine opens a hatch and looks for weapons.

The enemy robots’ aim is further spoiled by rubble, and ARTHERR uses small thrusters to close in. Gabriel pushes off of his opponent and smashes it, and Jasmine finds a fire extinguisher to fly with. Hector reprograms the penultimate droid to shoot at its ally, and Richmond saunters toward the cockpit.

ARTHERR fires his Taser while Gabriel distracts one foe. Jasmine uses wrestling moves to decapitate the remaining robot. Richmond gets to the “Gen. Lee‘s” command deck just as his companions finish gathering their evidence and come back aboard….

Paul, remember that you have some of my Pathfinder books, and let me know if you’re interested in any of the other D&D3/4e books that I’m selling! Beruk, I look forward to seeing you virtually at next Sunday’sVanished Landstelecom game, and Greg, don’t forget to post your serenade from the previous session.

Weather permitting, “Vortex” Team 1 will meet on Monday, Feb. 28, and prospective player Rich L. plans to sit in. Jason R./”Aughest-vor” will be absent, and we’ll be doing some troupe-style role-playing for certain scenes. I hope to see Team 2 on March 7! In the meantime, take it easy, -Gene

>>”VortexTeam 1 Player Characters, crew of the “Blackbird,” as of spring 2011:

-“Syzygy” [Brian W.]-Trinoid (trilateral amphibious alien) xenologist assigned to observe Terrans immediately after First Contact, with an organic laboratory and a pet cat named “Mr. Sniffles”

-“Tela” [Sara F.]-female Tharian (winged reptilian humanoid alien) refugee and mechanic, fond of humans

-“Chris McKee” [Josh C.]-male North American Terran human sniper working for Black Box Security Co., a shadowy eugenics organization

-“Lt. Kevin Reese” [Bruce K.]-male Terran cyborg human, burned-out officer and explorer in the Interplanetary Patrol

-“Aughest-vor” [Jason E.R.]-male human from the Lemuria orbital city, disgraced scion of a wealthy family and solar-sail regatta racer