“Vortex: the Gryphon” Update 5c.4 — the malls of Mars

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 5c.4 of my “Vortexspace opera campaign, which we played via Skype and an online dice roller on Sunday, 22 July 2012. We’re using Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment (FATE) 3rd Ed.: Starblazer Adventures/Mindjammer and Bulldogs.

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” Team 3 (5c) telecom Player Characters, crew of the Gryphon (as of summer 2012)

  • Hector Chavez” [Beruk A.]-male Latin American Terran human, former spy and communications expert/engineer of the Appomattox
  • Jasmine” [Sara F.]-female Martian Felinoid (Synth, “Uplifted” tiger), former professional pit fighter and onetime crewmember of the Appomattox, now apart from the grifters in “MarSoupAiL” and with boyfriend Darcy
  • Chris McKee/Agent Prometheus” [Josh C.]-male Terran human cyborg, former sniper for the North American Aerospace Marine Corps. and eugenicists at Black Box Security Co.; onetime crewmember of the scout ship Blackbird
  • Jax” [Robin H.]-male human from the Asteroid Belt, vain space pirate and pilot of the Slipstream and Gryphon
  • Orion Starchaser” [Geoff C.]-male [blue humanoid alien] outcast, irrepressible mystic and adrenaline junkie
  • Dr. Srinu Pahul” [Byron V.O.]-male Indian Terran “near-human” (bioengineered) xenobiologist, shadowed by scandal and confident in survival skills
  • Jim Delaney” [Robert A.S.]-male Terran “near-human” gambler and psi
Domed habitats on Mars
New Shanghai

>>”16 to 28 February to 2195 A.D./C.E. or 1 Terran Galactic Era:” After its arrival at the Mars Confederacy, the crew of the Gryphon explored the area around the Hadriaca Paterna terraforming station while waiting to deliver machine parts.

Jax, still nursing a hangover, brings coffee to Hector Chavez in the Gryphon‘s cockpit. Security scanners detect someone at the airlock. Jim Delaney asks to come aboard and offers his services as a professional gambler.

Swashbuckler Jax is more interested in piracy than in grifting, and burned op Hector is unhappy that news of the yacht‘s arrival has spread through nearby settlements. They let the well-dressed young man talk to the rest of the crew.

Jasmine is wary of con artists because of her experiences on the Appomattox, but Orion Starchaser senses no ill intent. The friendly blue alien carries a feather from a bioengineered Martian species. Chris McKee asks Jim who or what he’s running from, and Dr. Srinu Pahul asks to examine the newcomer.

Hector relents and says that Jim can join the crew if he successfully acts as “face man” for the cargo drop. Orion happily accompanies Jim as he returns to subterranean cities, and Hector and Srinu tail them.

Jax and Chris initially stay behind on the Gryphon, and Jasmine and Darcy prepare to meet with Olun Gor, a Garth (“Uplifted” gorilla) in the Synth Liberation Front. Irdana, an Olvar (mammal-like arboreal alien) passenger, heads to the capital of Hellas Park.

Jim and Orion go to a town of dusty domesteads deep in the Martian outback. At the Lucky Badger Saloon, they look for fellow gamblers and hitchhikers. Hector and Srinu watch their backs, and the doctor learns that both he and Jim are looking for servant robots.

Impatient pilot Jax takes the Slipstream to New Shanghai, where he sees holograms of Shocho, the omnipresent mascot of the ruling Tenryu Party. Jax goes to a disreputable neighborhood, where he meets smuggler Harry Chu.

Back at the Lucky Badger, Hector tries to find out if anybody on Mars besides the Tarsis Terraforming Directorate would value the machine parts. The supporters of Green Gongen are opposed by the preservationists of the Rust Coalition.

Chu tells Jax about politician Han Wubing, but the “best pirate in the Sol system” is more interested in potential mark Maria Chan, who is having a luxury vessel built in the Utopia Planitia shipyards.

Orion chats with Slazim, a Trinoid (three-armed amphibian) xenologist. The extraterrestrials have difficulty understanding why humans would voluntarily poison themselves with alcohol. Slazim offers to put in a recommendation with the science bureaus on Orion’s behalf as an independent contributor if he’ll continue traveling with Terrans.

The rest of the Gryphon‘s crew eventually makes its way to New Shanghai, one of the largest colonies on Mars. Hector remotely monitors locations and communications, and Jasmine and Darcy watch out for bounty hunters.

Chris is more worried about his former employers at Black Box Security Co., but Dr. Pahul makes inquiries about unusual biotech research possibly related to the Zarkonian threat. Srinu also orders supplies for the science lab/sickbay — and robots Medical Emergency and Group Assistance Synthetic Nurse (M.E.G.A.N.), as well as Personal Executive Prototype-Version E (“Pepe”).

Jax asks Chu if any advanced equipment is being installed on Chan’s ship. Jim schmoozes and learns of remote landing sites used by smugglers, as Orion observes to Slazim that Terrans’ diversity and factionalism is part of their charm….

I hope that all of you had a good weekend while I was out of town visiting family. Josh and Sara, I hope that your latest move and unpacking have gone smoothly. Beruk, Rob, and Byron, let us know your availability in the coming weeks.

Geoff, can you resend me the document where you wrote up Orion’s species and background? Robin and company, remember to look over the “Gryphon’s” specs for future modification. Note that I’ve updated the calendar and contact database in the “Vanished LandsYahoo/eGroups site. I look forward to resuming “Vortex” this coming Sunday, 5 August 2012. Take it easy, -Gene

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