“Vortex” Update 5a.13 — Leaving space dock

"Daemon" deck plan
T.K.V. "Blackbird" interior

Fellow role-players, here are Josh C.’s notes for Session 5a.13 of the “Vortexspace opera campaign. Team 1 met on Monday, 14 March 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 evading xenophobic attacks at the Rio “beanstalk,” New Miami, and Lemuria Station, two alien explorers and their human allies visited the Moon and the Martian Confederation. After obtaining passage to the Asteroid Belt, they prepared to leave the Sol system together for the first time….

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

-“Syzygy” [Brian W.]-Trinoid (trilateral amphibious alien) xenologist with an organic laboratory and a pet cat named “Mr. Sniffles”

-“Tela” [Sara F.]-female Tharian (winged reptilian humanoid alien) escapee from the Encegulans, engineer

-“Chris McKee” [Josh C.]-male North American Terran cyborg human sniper working for eugenics conspirators at Black Box Security Co.

-“Aughest-vor” [Jason E.R.]-male human from the Lemuria orbital city, onetime dilettante, solar-sail regatta pilot

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

-“Gombo Shisel” [Rich L./absent]-male Mongolian/Martian human, former horse rancher and wilderness survival expert

>Field report of Agent Prometheus, “30 August to 4 September 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Galactic Era”

This report is brief but positive. After our interviews, including a grilling of former playboy pilot and would-be politician Aughest-vor by the United Earth Authority (U.E.A.), my companions and I waited for approval for interstellar travel. Most of us spent this time productively.

Syzygy prepared his living lab and cat “Mr. Sniffles” for another move, while Tela looked over the specifications of the Olvar (mammal-like arboreal alien) scout ship Morifaiwet. Lt. Kevin Reese talked up Capt. Wu Hanbei of the I.P.V. Babieca; I believe he was trying to get advance information out of the council deciding its decision.

Aughest-vor took on the quartermaster duties, making sure that our refitted ship would be provisioned and that his solar sail craft and the Tiger Hawk Sandstorm ground-effect vehicle would be available. We still need a small drop ship/shuttle. Aughest also remembered that he had a piece of Ru’ulok (heavy-gravity reptilian alien pirate) technology from our raid on the Martian domestead. Further reports are pending on investigation.

After a few days, the Olvar Star League and the U.E.A. awarded us possession of the Morifaiwet, which was rechristened the Terran-Kharvamid Vessel (T.C.V.) Blackbird. During a brief boarding ceremony, Adm. Raul Xinshang, commander of the Musashi battle group, put us on a shuttle from Ceres Station. Lt. Reese relived the stationed guards, and we took command!

Upon inspection, we discovered that the experimental starship was in top shape and came with unrequested features, specifically, an astrogation/mechanic robot we named “Mr. Bucket.” I suspect that the droid is aboard to report our activities back to the U.E.A. In addition, engineer Tela found an area called “the Hive,” filled with biomechanical spiders. They’re apparently part of the ship’s automated maintenance and repair systems.

Scientist Syzygy checked the ship’s computer, which contains Terran and Kharvamid Alliance databases and a holographic interface. I examined the beam weapons system and long-range sensors, and we assigned crew cabins, including one for newcomer Mr. Shisel.

The U.E.A. space navy issued orders to inspect an extrasolar body named Tyche that is emitting radiation. Pilot Aughest-vor took us out of dock, and we are on our way….

>[Josh’s out-of-character notes:] Hi guys, here are additional details not in “Chris McKee’s” report. We finished the troupe-style interrogation of Jason (see previous update for the review rosters), since he was absent last time.

-U.E.A. review committee: We have thought further about Aughest-vor. Since we are unable to arrest him or toss him out an airlock (as Capt. Wu Hanbei recommended), we reluctantly approve him to accompany Lt. Kevin Reese.

Kharvamid Fleet panel: After reflection and discussion, we have decided to approve the humans for deep-space Transit. We feel it may not be the best time, but their blundering into Galactic politics is now inevitable.

We also spent a good chunk of the session building our new ship. Now that’s the Blackbird refit is completed (see write-up below), we look forward to exploring the Milky Way Galaxy, making new friends and enemies, and shooting as many Ru’ulok as humanly possible. ;) -Josh/”Chris”

>>Starship name: the “Blackbird

>>Crew: Team 1 (“Vortex” 5a)

Pilot/diplomat: “Aughest-vor…” [Jason E.R.]

Engineer/scout: “Tela” [Sara F.]

Scientist/medic: “Syzygy” [Brian W.]

Security/diplomat: “Lt. Kevin Reese” [Bruce K.]

Gunner/communications: “Chris McKee/Agent Prometheus” [Josh C.]

Wilderness survival/medic: “Gombo Shisel” [Rich L.]

Astrogator/mechanic: “Dr. Bucket” [Non-Player Character, United Earth Authority robot]

>>Ship Aspects (5, using FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures)

Scale/size, type/class: Large cutter/scout ship

Origin: “Morifaiwet” — Olvar Star League, Kharvamid Alliance

Condition: Experimental vessel

Systems/customization: It’s life, but not as we know it (biomechanical subsystems)

Reputation: Storied past

>>Skills/components (16 points for general, defensive, and offensive systems)

2 Good (+3): Advanced Sensor Suite, Hyperdrive (REM, 1 parsec/day)

3 Fair (+2): Ablative Armor, Maneuver (STL), Repair System

4 Average (+1): Beam Weapon, Cargo Hold, Flight Bay, Ship Systems

>>Stunts (and related skills/crew; includes bonuses from Starship Systems)

-Advanced Med Bay (Ship Systems/Science; Syzygy, Gombo)

-Afterburner (Maneuver/Pilot, Engineer; Aughest, Tela)

-Atmospheric Entry (Maneuver/Pilot; Aughest, Kevin)

-Autorepair (“Hive drones”; Repair System/Engineer; Tela, Syzygy)

-Blind Jump (Hyperdrive/Pilot; Aughest, Kevin)

-Knowledge Base (Ship Systems/Academics, Investigation; Chris, Syzygy)

-Point Defense (Beam Weapon/Gunner; Chris, Kevin)

-Research Computer (Ship Systems/Science; Syzygy, Gombo)

>>Fate Points (Remaining Refresh): 6


Structural Stress: 4

Systems Stress: 4

>>FATE Diaspora Stats

Skills (TL2, 17 build points)

–V-shift (maneuver): 4 (6 build points)

–Beam: 3 (4 build points)

–Torpedo: 0

–Electronic Warfare: 2 (2 build points)

–Trade/maintenance: 3

Consequences (Minor -2, Major -4, Severe -6, Extreme -8)




>>Image Links (may need to copy and paste if clickthroughs don’t work):

-Olvar exterior (includes Ablative Armor, +2): http://www.bwafer.com/starwars/breen.html



-Human-refitted interior (see key below): http://www.yourgamesnow.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2786

>>Interior Key:

-1. Advanced Sensor Suite (+3)

-2. Bridge (pilot, astrogation, and Ship Systems stations)

-3. Main computer (+1, research and knowledge base, holographic interface, training/entertainment archive)

-4. Communications suite

-5. Airlock (to secondary pod, docking hardpoints)

-6. Galley/dining room/lounge

-7. Head/bathroom

-8. Lt. Kevin Reese’s cabin (w/ Farrah Fawcett poster)

-9. Syzygy and Mr. Sniffles’ customized cabin (w/ immersion unit, spectrum lamps)

-10 a. Chris McKee/Agent Prometheus’ cabin (w/ gun rack)

-10 b. Aughest-vor’s cabin (w/ racing trophies)

-10 c. Tela’s cabin (w/ tools)

-10 d. Gombo Shisel’s cabin (w/ equestrian, Martian images)

-11. Fuel tanks

-12. Autorepair systems (+2; Dr. Bucket and drone hive), starboard hatch

-13. Advanced Med Bay and Syzygy’s xenobiology lab

-14. Afterburner (Yoyodyne Overthruster)

-15. Hyperdrive (REM Transit system, +3=1 parsec/day)

-16. Ship Systems/ (+1, life support, gravitics, and Tela’s biomechanical shop), aft hatch

-17. Maneuver Drive (+2, Beryllium spheres, sublight and power)

>>Secondary pod (see Breen/Olvar exterior, not in “Daemon” plan):

-18. Flight Bay (+1): Small drop ship (to acquire)

-19. Beam Weapon (+1, Chris’ gunner’s turret; to install-secondary or multifire controls)

-20. Flight Bay (+1): The “Tiger Hawk Sandstorm” ground-effect vehicle and Aughest’s solar-sail racing craft (to stat out)

-21. Cargo Hold (+1)

Thanks, Josh, for the update, and I look forward to seeing Team 1 on Monday, March 28. Rich met part of Team 2 at last night’s “Vortex” game (notes to come), and he plans to sit in on more sessions of both groups to meet everyone. In the meantime, please remember to post to Jason’s and my posts about minis and books for sale if you haven’t already. Be seeing you, -Gene

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