Archive for the ‘uncharted worlds’ Tag

Uncharted Worlds: Faraday’s Folly: Episode 3   Leave a comment

New Neptune (c/o nationstates.net)

New Neptune (c/o nationstates.net)

The Folly landed on New Neptune, a once thriving industrial world, covered from pole to pole in automated manufactories, that was now sparsely populated. Returning to civilized space, the Folly received a bunch of backlogged messages from the Flotilla, since they were about six weeks behind schedule. The final message came from a new contact, Saihong Oo, not the person who’d hired them. Doc Kovacs sent his apologies and asked for delivery coordinates.

Cpl. Cho looked for a place to stow the “Chosen” evacuees from Sirrus. An old buddy, Asaf Biton, said that he needed some unskilled labor to reactivate an abandoned manufactory – but a shipful of Carnac’s Corsairs were squatting there. Cho volunteered to clear the place out. Elsewhere, Doc Kovacs traded in the server carts from Sirrus for some high-quality maintenance drones.

Kovacs brewed a low-density neurotoxin that they could pump into the manufactory’s air vents to knock the Corsairs out. They went to the manufactory and climbed up forty flights of stairs to where the Corsairs had docked their ship. Kovacs triggered a fire alarm to distract a hovering security drone, then loaded the toxin to take out the Corsairs one story up.

Kovacs and Cho loaded the unconscious Corsairs into an abandoned office, pausing only to round up a last few Corsairs who hadn’t been around at the time. They balked at the idea of murdering the Corsairs en masse, so they made a call to the Ariel Mutual Prosperity Sphere. Ariel was more than willing to send a local factotum – Charvin Kised, economic enforcement officer – to pick up the wanted pirates.

While he had the crew handy, Kised grilled Kovacs on their wild jump from Carthage. Kovacs admitted to firing on the Dusters but denied any involvement with the tank theft. This satisfied Kised, especially when Kovacs agreed to take on a job for Ariel: transporting a prisoner, Mason Brooks, to Persephone. Mason Brooks was the Flotilla resident whose whereabouts were being tracked heavily by the last occupant of the tank Kovacs had just stolen, but Kovacs didn’t mention having heard the name before.

Having taken two irreconcilable jobs – deliver a tank to the Flotilla, keep Mason Brooks away from the Flotilla – the party split up. Cho and Brooks chartered a flight to Argus Station, an asteroid mining station. They stayed over for a couple of days, with Cho begrudgingly paying off some AFFM thugs in an extortion racket.

Meanwhile, Kovacs rendesvouzed with the Flotilla itself in the Hieronymus system. He met his new contact, Saihong Oo, aboard the Arc of Descent. While they inspected the tank, Oo offered him another job – retrieving a ship that had been separated from the Flotilla on a prior jump, the Instant Gratification. Kovacs accepted. His attempt to sell the maintenance droids from New Neptune fell through, though – there was a tempting new cargo to trade, but it was on the other side of the Flotilla, and Kovacs didn’t have the two days to wait.

Persephone (c/o starwars.wikia.com)

Persephone (c/o starwars.wikia.com)

Kovacs picked Cho and Brooks up at Argus and continued on to Persephone, a water-covered planet known for manufacturing pharmaceuticals. The starport was jammed with people trying to evacuate: news had broken that Carnac’s Corsairs were one jump out of system. Brooks spotted some Flotilla heavies tailing them from the airport. The crew reached their destination, but got pinned down on a skybridge by automatic weapons fire. Both Kovacs and Cho took severe wounds, but got Brooks to safety and dispersed the goons chasing them.

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Posted October 8, 2016 by John Perich in Uncategorized

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Uncharted Worlds: Faraday’s Folly: Episode 2   Leave a comment

EPISODE 02

The Folly docked at a mining camp on the stripmined world of Carthage, in search of Chobara Entresi and her impervious survey tank*. The crew split up to gather information in various ways: Corporal Cho checking in with a mining recruitment officer, Dr. Kovacs scanning SectorNet for logs of mining crew activity, and Zeke jury-rigging a surveillance drone to hover through the camp and eavesdrop.

They uncovered the following:

  • Carthage was divvied up almost entirely between member worlds of the Ariel Mutual Prosperity Sphere: Persephone, Ariadne, and others.
  • However, there was a sizable patch at the south pole that no one had laid claim to yet, occupied by wildcat miners. Entresi and her crew were last logged as exploring a claim there.
  • To disperse the miners, Ariel had called in Captain Reynolds and the Dusters**, a cold-blooded crew of mercenaries. They were loading up for the south pole.
carthage

Carthage

The crew promptly returned to orbit and relocated the Folly to the south pole. They fast-talked their way past Ariel Orbital Control, claiming they’d suffered a major hull breach. Orbital Control graciously offered to send some techs to help them fix it, forcing Zeke to create an actual hull breach after they landed.

They snuck up on Entresi’s crew at the base of a massive strip mine crater. Zeke rigged an explosive and snuck it next to some industrial waste stored at the far edge of camp. Dr. Kovacs hacked into the survey tank using the computer in his suit and climbed inside. The industrial waste exploded, causing a distraction, and Kovacs drove the tank off, ignoring the miners’ small arms fire.

Unfortunately, the Dusters were inbound to scatter Entresi’s camp. Zeke opened fire on them from his spider-tank, drawing the attention of a few tanks and APCs. Kovacs charged them in his invulnerable tank, opening a wedge for Zeke (with Cho riding on the back) to follow behind.

The crew made it back to the Folly and sped through the repairs, which Ariel’s techs hadn’t been able to finish. While Zeke patched the ship, Kovacs cracked the encrypted datastore within the tank. Someone had recently used the tank to surveill Mason Brooks, a ranking Flotilla arbiter, on the industrial planet Hephaestus. As the Dusters appeared on the horizon, the crew quickly lifted off.

Orbital Control was waiting to intercept them, given their unauthorized landing at the south pole. Unwilling to wait for a customs team to inspect their ship, Cho punched in a wild jump. The Folly fell out of the galactic disc, spiraling into a realm of impossible perspective, before slamming back into real space at unknown coordinates. Some diligent searching of star charts revealed the nearest known system – Sirrus 2160-A20, populated only by a research station around a gas giant that had been abandoned over a century earlier.

Exploring the research station for some needed deuterium fuel, the crew found the feral descendents of the station’s last inhabitants. Cho got shot with a nailgun trying to parlay with them. He retreated to the ship and studied a fragment of their recorded warnings, deducing the ancient language it had derived from. Returning to the station, he worked out a trade: the Folly could take as much deuterium as they needed, but they’d have to bring six “Chosen” members of the tribe with them. Six volunteers were escorted aboard, while Zeke left them a laser-light show “Captivator.”

* which I stole from a G+ thread; wink wink.
** I watched Firefly once, over a decade ago, but this didn’t click with me until after we’d cemented it into the setting. Ah, well.

Posted September 19, 2016 by John Perich in Uncategorized

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Uncharted Worlds: Faraday’s Folly: Episode 1   Leave a comment

Dr. Kovacs was waiting in a boarding queue at the Symbaroum* starport, a vial of smuggled mutagen tucked inside his coat. Security guards conducted spot checks along the line. Kovacs tucked the vial into the bag of the woman ahead of him, foiling the guards. The woman sat in first class on the shuttle from the starport to the docking satellite, but Kovacs managed to “stumble” into her later and retrieve the vial.

Aboard the satellite, Zeke Pendergast was attempting to load the legit cargo – three giant stone tablets of dubious cultural relevance – onto the Faraday’s Folly. A steward representing the AFMM hit him up for a bribe. The guileless Pendergast fetched his remote-controlled spidertank to load the tablets himself. In retaliation, the Movers suited up into half a dozen heavy loaders (think Aliens) and flanked the Folly.

In the city, Jason Cho bailed out a former comrade, Specialist Yamato, from a night in the drunk tank. Leaving the Hall of Justice, they were surrounded by the thugs Yamato had offended the night before. Cho made short work of a couple, but the remainder ganged up on Yamato and beat him down pretty hard. Cho hustled Yamato to the starport and fast-talked him aboard the shuttle to avoid further complications with law enforcement.

Aboard the satellite, Cho spotted an old friend among the Movers, and sweet-talked her into letting the crew bribe their way off-system at a reasonable price. The Folly debarked to meet their buyer.

On Caliban Station, Kovacs handed off the vial to Mirada Kith, an arbitrator with the Flotilla. Impressed by his capability, Kith asked a favor of Kovacs: retrieving a highly secure exploratory land vehicle from Chobara Entresi, who’d borrowed it from the Flotilla and run off. So long as the tank was retrieved intact, Kith didn’t care whether subterfuge, persuasion, or force were used. Kovacs agreed.

Pendergast’s attempts to unload the tablets were not as successful. His local buyer pretended to offer him some assets of similar quality, but secretly went to call Tomahna Tomar, a ranking lieutenant in Carnak’s Corsairs who specialized in fine art. When her goons took the tablets without paying, Pendergast attempted to bluff a trade, then tried pulling the pins on two goons’ flash-bang grenades. The net result: Pendergast waking up, concussed, in Tomar’s shuttle.

After Pendergast wrecked Tomar’s shuttle in the process of trying to escape – rigging his pocket torch with a plasma battery – she ordered her goons to drag him off to some alley and execute him. Dr. Kovacs, thankfully, spotted Pendergast and ambushed the goons. The doctor got gutshot in the ensuing firefight, but Pendergast tripped an old fire suppression vent to give them some cover to escape. Cho covered their retreat to the ship with his heavy breaching armor, and the crew made it to the Folly safe, if not intact.

* no relation to the Swedish fantasy RPG of the same name. I knew I was stealing this from somewhere, but couldn’t recall where.

Posted September 13, 2016 by John Perich in Uncategorized

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Uncharted Worlds: Faraday’s Folly: Episode 0   Leave a comment

This is a recap for our Uncharted Worlds series. It follows the crew of the Faraday’s Folly, a light unsanctioned freighter, as it trades cargo and favors between all corners of the civilized galaxy.

The Folly is crewed by:

  • Zeke Pendergast (Colonial Industrial Explorer): an ambitious engineer who dreams of uncovering the secrets of the cosmos;
  • Dr. Lukas Kovacs (Advanced Clandestine Academic): a “special investigator” who’s retired or fled from the covert service;
  • Cpl. Jason Cho (Crowded Military Starfarer): a veteran space marine, specialized in retrieving spacecraft and the persons on them

They do their best to survive in a galaxy dominated by the following factions:

  • The Ariel Mutual Prosperity Sphere (Popular Political Network): a loose alliance of worlds bound by treaties enforcing their joint economic interests;
  • The Flotilla (Brutal Anarchist Society): a lashed-together mass of ships, drifting from system to system, where the strongest hold sway;
  • Carnac’s Korsairs (Violent Starfaring Fleet): the most feared pirate fleet, operating with no code of ethics, ruled with an iron fist by Victor Carnac;
  • Alliance for the Free Movement of Materials (Controlling Criminal Society): a/k/a “the Movers”, a star-spanning union of teamsters who’ve insinuated their influence into countless governments.

Posted September 10, 2016 by John Perich in Uncategorized

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