“Vortex” Update 5b.25 — Deal or no deal

Shadow vessel from "Babylon 5"
Spidery starship

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 5b.25 of the “Vortexspace opera campaign. Team 2 met on Monday, 19 December 2011, and is using FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures/Mindjammer, Bulldogs, 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. Will heroes rise to the challenges?

A band of grifters and near-humans retrieved dangerous samples from a battlefield north of Karachi and the Ghanki undersea station. It stole starship engines from a lunar base and an orbital city and was involved in medical disasters in the Venusian colonies. After finding a dimensionally displaced derelict, the team made inquiries into its cargo amid religious turmoil on Titan….

>>FATE 3e “Vortex” Team 2 (5b), crew of the “Appomattox:”

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

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

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

-“ARTHERR” [Greg D.C./absent]-Advanced Resonance Theoretical Heuristic Exploration and Research Robot created by megacorp Vimeco

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

-“Dr. Dieter Klein” [Rich L./absent]-male European Terran human, semi-retired physician, altruist and thrill seeker

-“Nero Bartholomew” [Non-Player Character]-male Terran human, former owner of the “Fortune’s Fool,” ship’s cook

-“Averki ‘Deep Dish’ Dyashenko” [N.P.C.]-male reptilian Synth (genetically engineered humanoid), onetime Venusian miner

>>”8 to 14 November 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Terran Galactic Era:” After side trips to colonies on Venus and Saturn, the Appomattox delivered items from the Vatican museums to Epsilon Eridani, about 10.5 light-years (ly) from the Sol system. There, it met the Kazador, a trade vessel of the spider-like Nolath.

Hector Chavez briefs Jasmine on internal and external security precautions. Gunner Jasmine also checks on the yacht‘s missiles. Capt. Gabriel Adams, who distrusts the Nolath, scans for other ships in the area but finds none.

ARTHERR bids farewell to Titanian gynoids Tanya and Galia, who stay behind at Epsilon Eridani B to prepare for the Chengdu, a slower-than-light Terran generation ship. Richmond Garrett stalls for time, asking Capt. Stroja if he is interested in “Talosian wonder ointment.”

Engineer Hector customizes a missile to be remotely controlled and to carry a warhead to deliver an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Burly Jasmine watches for potential drone boarders. Gabriel scans the Kazador and finds particle-beam weaponry. The pilot also sets a retreat course back to Earth.

Robot ARTHERR notes that the arachnid aliens may merely be intermediaries for someone else, who might be waiting at Luyten’s Star, a relatively close and potentially inhabitable system. Con artist Richmond instructs crewmembers Nero Bartholomew and Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko to rearrange the cargo bay.

Hector asks Jasmine to pose as captain to continue negotiations with the Nolath, but the tiger Synth declines. The former spy recommends backing out of the deal, and Gabriel agrees. Richmond, who accepted the mission from fixer “Ramon Sanchez” [Josh H./Greg/N.P.C.], sees no reason not to take payment of the remaining 20,000 credits (or NeoYen, kilocalories, or U.E.A. dollars).

ARTHERR argues that turning over cultural artifacts to the Nolath may not be in humanity’s best interests. Capt. Adams tells Capt. Stroja that his manifest does not match the cargo, so there must be a mistaken identity. The Appomattox goes to faster-than-light (FTL) Transit before the Kazador can scan it again.

During the week’s journey back to Earth, Hector considers diverting power from ship systems to improve the Appomattox‘s Ru’ulok (heavy-gravity reptilian alien) Transit drive beyond 1 ly per Terran day. Jasmine is disappointed at having to return to human space, and Gabriel wonders if his underworld contacts can help him find a proper recipient for the Vatican relics.

ARTHERR suggests the United Earth Authority or the United Ecumenical Movement, while Richmond entertains the castaways from the Razorfeather shipwreck — Olvar (mammal-like arboreal extraterrestrials) Maj. Mohing Lankel, Lt. Doina Claren, and Mr. Kares Mussur, as well as Cestolar (badger-like) envoy Yiushef of Geruno.

Hector and Jasmine warily watch the guests, since Yiushef warned that one is likely a saboteur. Gabriel asks his companions where in the Sol system they should go next….

Greg and Dave, we missed you at the last regular game of 2011! Weather permitting, Team 1 (the crew of the Blackbird) is scheduled for Monday, 9 January 2012. “Vortex” Team 2 will meet again on Jan. 16.

A makeup session for the Pathfinder/Skype: “the Vanished Landsfantasy telecom team is planned for Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, and various one-shots have been proposed for next week and beyond. I hope that all your holidays are safe and happy, and I look forward to our adventures in the coming year! -Gene