“Vortex” Update 5b.26 — Back to Earth

New Caprica
Futuristic city

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 5b.26 of the “Vortexspace opera campaign. Team 2 met on Monday, 16 January 2012, 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

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

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

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

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

-“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

>>”14 to 21 November 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Terran Galactic Era:” After rescuing some castaways and reneging on their deal to deliver items from the Vatican to the arachnid Nolath near Epsilon Eridani, the Terrans headed back home.

Capt. Gabriel Adams wants to get paid for the hot cargo and to keep a few souvenirs. ARTHERR recommends hiding it somewhere in deep space “for the good of all mankind.” Jasmine would prefer to return the artifacts to the United Ecumenical Movement (U.E.M.).

Richmond Garrett, who accepted the relics from fixer “Ramon Sanchez” [Josh H./N.P.C.] months ago, is initially disappointed at not being able to complete his mission. The con man is reluctant, however, to return to Earth with the items. Hector Chavez recommends inquiring with the United Earth Authority, but he is outvoted.

The crew of the Appomattox ultimately agrees to leave the containers in interstellar space, where it’s very unlikely that anyone else would find them. ARTHERR makes a note of their position.

Pilot Gabriel switches the yacht’s false registry from the “Heaven’s Gate” to the “Gabriel’s Rebellion” as it reenters the Sol system. ARTHERR suggests checking at the Vatican Museums to reveal that some items are forgeries. The Vimeco robot believes that this would increase the value of the original items and flush out potential buyers.

Onetime wrestler Jasmine sends a message to her boyfriend Darsii on Mars. Missing the comforts of home, Richmond goes to the southeastern coast of North America to look at mansions for sale. Former spy Hector goes to meet his handler Max.

As his distrust of nonhumans hardens into intolerance, Capt. Adams talks with Yiushef of Geruno, the Cestolar (badger-like alien) who attacked him in the wreck of the Razorfeather near Epsilon Eridani.

Yiushef explains that the Olvar (mammal-like arboreal alien) crew had tried to carry out its trade mission to the Gustrall (antlered, orange-furred, raptor-like warriors). He still suspects one of his fellow survivors, including Maj. Mohing Lankel, Lt. Doina Claren, and Mr. Kares Mussur, of being a saboteur. ARTHERR uses tranquilizer gas to keep them from tampering again with the ship’s systems.

At a trattoria in Rome, Gabriel meets fixer Lillian Morrissey. She confirms that a team from Systemes de Recuperation Executif Cie (SRE, or Executive Retrieval Systems Inc.) is among those looking for his crew. Central Asian despot Col. Raj, disgraced Venusian oligarch Orion Stefanov, and angry Ru’ulok (heavy-gravity reptilian alien) ship captains are among the enemies of “MarSoupAiL” (shell company Mars Soup Aid Lenders Ltd.).

Using “Dr. Garrett’s” credentials as onetime surgeon general of Venus, ARTHERR schedules an appointment with glory-seeking professor Dr. Vlad Perkovic for a private museum tour.

Capt. Adams takes Jasmine to the Martian outback. They find Darsii on the run from rival factions of the Synth Liberation Front. On the way back to Earth, Darsii asks Jasmine for help breaking out comrades from the U.E.M. chapels on Phobos.

The Appomattox picks up Richmond and goes to Rome to meet with Dr. Perkovic at the Vatican. Gabriel, Jasmine, and Richmond find the professor talking to news reporters about his recent archaeological digs. They discreetly usher him away from them to a gallery where they “just happen to notice” that certain works of art are replicas.

The grifters offer to let Dr. Perkovic take sole credit for uncovering the conspiracy in return for keeping them out of the publicity. He readily agrees and leaves to contact his agent.

To celebrate their scheme, MarSoupAiL returns to one of the estates that Richmond looked at near Atlanta. Once they verify that the owners aren’t home, the rogues invite some friends over for a house party.

Lillian tells underworld courier Gabriel that Col. Raj is looking to hire his team to retrieve family members from U.E.A. custody. Hector watches the Olvar and Cestolar prisoners before being dispatched to scan the mansion for surveillance devices.

ARTHERR helps crewmates Nero Bartholomew and Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko set up a toga party per Richmond’s demands. Jasmine and Darsii wander off to explore the Terran wilderness.

Capt. Adams invites Ru’ulok pirates Rabak Porset and Gorvek Beezo, who arrive with vodka fresh from their dealings with the Slavic Commonwealth. Unbeknownst to his companions, Gabriel privately trades the Olvar and Cestolar castaways in return for passcodes to the Mozarik system in Ru’ulok space. He also asks about downgrading the Appomattox‘s missiles and boosting its Transit drive to a speed of 1 parsec per Terran day.

Rabak and Gorvek order robotic henchmen to bring Yiushef, Maj. Lankel, Lt. Claren, and Mr. Mussur to their shuttle. In the meantime, some of Nero’s lady friends arrive as Richmond gets drunk and brandishes the blunderbuss he took from the Dawn’s Retreat.

Gabriel takes two of the women to his ship’s cockpit. ARTHERR scans them and confirms that they are human rather than gynoids. However, the probe droid soon identifies them as Jeanie Belveaux and Lisa Panko, members of an S.R.E. retrieval team!

Hector finds that he is being jammed from somewhere in the mansion, while Jasmine and Darsii notice the Appomattox taking off. Intoxicated Richmond jumps into a swimming pool, missing Deep Dish.

Shrugging off the effects of a gas attack, Gabriel fights off Belveaux and Panko and narrowly evades a pursuing S.R.E. craft. With help from ARTHERR, the pilot manages to land the Appomattox in the manor’s tennis courts, and he locks the two repossession agents in a cabin.

The partiers try to figure out what’s going on, and Gabriel still hopes to impress the two women for their interplanetary casino. ARTHERR finds Hector, while Deep Dish carries Richmond out of the pool. As they return from the woods, Darsii reminds Jasmine that he needs MarSoupAiL’s help on Phobos. The crew of the Appomattox gathers to plot its next moves to get paid and again avoid local authorities….

Sorry for the delayed update — I’ve been busy with work, and I just found out that I’ll have to move sooner than expected. In the meantime, I look forward to the next Pathfinder/Skype: “the Vanished Lands telecom fantasy game. Weather permitting, the next regular “Vortex” Team 2 session will be on Monday, Jan. 30. Be seeing you, -Gene