Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Redshirts: The Three Sisters (And Broken SCIENCE)

Wednesday's Stars Without Numbers game began with the scouts being woken up from hypersleep in the Three Sisters' system. Lieutenant Commander Gonzales informed them that they had not intended on drilling to the Three Sisters, but there had been a misjump because a forklift had been attached to the outer hull at the time.  Because of the misjump, the Reprieve had burnt out an A3-500 Transducer.  While the ship could jump without one, there was a high risk of burning out the spike drive while doing so, which would end the mission and their chances of ever getting back home.

There was another problem - the ship had been forced to leave Perimeter Station Nine before it was fully stocked.  Thus, while the Reprieve was looking for hydrogen to fill it's tanks, the scouts would take a Blue Ghost Reconnaissance Shuttle out and reconnoiter the system for an A3-500 Transducer and a food source.

Before leaving, the party discovered that 1) Commodore Halberta Clarke had found a tiny metallic scorpion in one of the ship's corridors and was freaking out about it, and 2) the deceased AI named XC-OM was less than deceased because his AI matrix had been stored in an AI phylactery and had been installed into the party's shuttle.  Neither boded well.

Lieutenant Taylor (played by Merwyn) was assigned as the CO and the party jetted off into the Three Sisters' system.  It was immediately apparent that something very wrong.  Sometime after the Scream, the three red giants comprising the system had gone supernova, leaving vast nebulae of gas strewn about the system, and at its heart spun three pulsars emitting copious amounts of gamma radiation.

The party knew there had been a habitable planet in the system from charts created 600 years before, so they continued on.  Suddenly the sensors indicated an object close by, so they approached.  It turned out to be a frozen, desicated creature, bigger than the ship.  It looked like a brontosaurus with the head of a donkey, and XC-OM identified it as a native species to the system's habitable planet, Three Sisters Prime.

(This is where I SCREWED UP THE SCIENCE.  No, not the whole animal floating in space thing.  But timewise, it's off.  Per SCIENCE, a supergiant's lifespan is about 14 million years.  That is not nearly enough time for complex life to develop on a planet.  Or heck, for a planet to even cool down from the formation stage.  And I was looking for a planet that had had 10 billion years of evolution on it, creating a rich web of diversity and intelligence.  But nooo.  After the game, I was doing some research and realized that I had confused the lifecycle of a red giant with that of a red supergiant.  Damn my faulty remembering of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram!  So you can't have pulsars with a 10 billion year old planetary evolution cycle. Well, unless you do something weird.  I guess I'll have to do something weird.)

The party continued on through the wisps of gas, finally arriving at Prime to find a cracked and scorched world with its atmosphere blown off and its oceans boiled away.  But in orbit around the blasted planet was an ancient spacecraft  with the words BIOTONICS ARK 3 emblazoned on its side.

Now, some of the players know Biotonics Amalgamated as some sort of unholy union between the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, Aperture Science, and the Umbrella Corporation.  And they are right.  But the current characters don't know anything about it, except that records indicate that Biotonics Amalgamated was a altruistic, galactic-wide organization devoted to the betterment of humanity through biotechnology and clean living.  Well, that is what the Biotonics pamphlets say, at least.

They were a bit nervous. :)

The hull of the spacecraft was scorched and melted, but from deep within, power fluctuations could be detected.  A huge hole was visible on the side of the craft - the only discernible way in.

So, imagine this - a tiny shuttle, crammed full of sweating scouts, lit by three pulsars flashing asynchronously in purple patterns that would set off epileptic patients, flying in orbit around a cracked, dead world, and approaching a battered, ancient ship, slowing, and entering a dark, gaping maw ringed with rended metal teeth on it's side, going towards signs of activity in a ship that has been abandoned for 600 years, labeled a space ark by an extinct biowarfare company.


- Ark


  1. Now, some of the players know Biotonics Amalgamated as some sort of unholy union between the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, Aperture Science, and the Umbrella Corporation


    1. Well, not according to the players . . . :)

      - Ark