Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Redshirts: Banyan Trees of Mars

The inspiration for last week's Stars Without Number's game came from photos beamed back from the Mars Global Surveyor.  They caused quite an uproar a decade ago, as they appeared to show gigantic trees thriving at the Martian poles.

The images looked very much like banyan trees.  Whatever they were, the shapes looked very organic.  It caused quite a stir.  Even venerable Arthur C. Clarke thought he was looking at a new life form.  NASA disagreed.  New World Order conspiracy nutjobs came out of the woodwork, proclaiming that NASA was hiding the BIG SECRET from us all, and the Banyan Trees of Mars were final proof.

Alas, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, with it's much better imaging system, showed the Trees to actually be cracks in the polar ice.  Bummer.  

The image of gigantic black trees contrasting against an icy, white landscape on an alien world has been burning in my mind for over a decade now.  So, in my mind, I made that planet.  I populated it with strange creatures that fit into the ecology of the Trees.  Then I sent the Redshirt crew to the planet and tried to kill them with it.  Ahh - good times. :)

Our intrepid documentarian Adelaide took notes on the adventure, as it happened:

  • Six months have passed since more hell went down; some of the crew is still in the sleep pods - Nick Scryer and “Doc” Davies to be specific.
  • The rest are left on an asteroid to mine out a base before kicking the crew off so they can use it for pirating.
  • While the group was mining Lt. Commander Gonzales and the ship received a signal from an indigenous species that contacted them and asked for assistance getting off the Skorpios invaded planet. In return they will assist in destroying the Skorpios.
  • The group is to take a gun printer to the world and they will be dropped off there. They each need to drop most all of their items to do so. (the party must walk for two days with a heavy load. -ark)
  • The planet is very shiny white except for around the equator, which is black. There is very strange plant life around this planet.
  • Doctor Daktan scans the trees and thinks they are elephants, and Professor Ramapudi thinks it is actually aardvarks. Owlicious knows they are alive and that they are made of graphite and they are very efficient at surviving. She also sees no animal life just plant life.
  • Professor Ramapudi uses his drill to grab some DNA from the trees and see’s that they will work well as raw materials for the gun printer. Owlicious cuts down a bush and notices it starts to bleed a tar like substance.  
  • The group continues on and the sun finally sets, the planet cools down.
  • Lt. Five gets attacked at night by a black mass and tries to attack it with a butt of his gun. He fails and whacks himself instead. The black mass rips out his intestines while he screams in pain.
  • Everyone wakes up suddenly; Kal Kek rushes out to search for Lt. Five. He only see’s the shadow moving away and a bloody trail but nothing else. He fires his thermal pistol at the shadow and see’s he’s shot what looks like a four legged, eight foot tall “bush” and Lt. Five dangling from its “mouth.”
  • Professor Ramapudi bioscans the creature and see’s that is it an animal.
  • Owlicious fires at the creature but misses, Loranzo also misses, but luckily Doctor Daktan teleports Lt. Five safely into the snow in the group. 
  • Lt. Taylor rushes out and angrily runs up to the monster and punches it into the ground. In his boxers. Holy shit.
  • Doctor Daktan Laz patches Lt. Five successfully bringing him back from the dead. For the third time in Lt. Mark Fives existence.
  • Professor Ramapudi and Owlicious gleefully dissect the creature. Professor Ramapudi programs the bioscanner to detect these creatures (FOR SCIENCE) and Doctor Daktan notices it’s registering 35 different once surrounding them.
  • Lt. Taylor orders everyone to reenter the campsite and no one is allowed to leave, they also close off the opening. 
  • The next morning Doctor Daktan’s bioscanner detects 5 creatures following from behind.
  • The group decimates them and then Lt. Taylor sets up his compad to constantly signal Russian chatter to him so he always attempts to know where they are.
  • They find a domestic “dog” just sitting in the street and the group waits to see what it’s going to do. It leaves and they continue.
  • As it starts getting dark the group starts to see something shiny under the canopy and they find that it is a building. There are 12 foot monsters under the canopy as well.
  • These creatures look like thorny silverbacks. It has a belt and a sword on its side. Lt. Taylor has a staring fight with it and 19 others come out of the canopy.
  • Lt. Taylor opens his compad to try to communicate with it but the voice over the compad says he is not the gorilla creature and to stay calm.
  • Another gorilla comes out and says thanks for bringing the “medicine” and to come with him.
  • The group proceeds to show the gorillas the gun printer and then follow the gorillas into an underground tunnel.
  • In a room the group sees that there are lots of random human items there but also a dissected human on the wall.
  • Everyone proceeds to talk some bullshit until they ask for some medicine and they find out Lt. Mark Five is infected with a toxin that he is then given an antidote. It makes him puke a bunch but he feels better.
  • Everyone decides to test out the gun printer to make sure it works and Owlicious suddenly screams “WE USE MY BUSH” while excitedly holding up the bush she slaughtered earlier. The men whole-heartedly agree.
  • Lt. Taylor manages to talk what seems to be the main priest into letting the group into the silver temple. While the rest of the group gets carried (Especially Owlicious because she offered up her bush and deserves to be treated like a fucking princess) Lt. Taylor gracefully climbs the steps much to the gorilla’s amazement. At the bottom they see an altar and everyone offers up their branches.
  • Professor Ramapudi does a scan and can see that the alter will move and there are areas underneath it.
  • Lt. Taylor bullshits with the priest some more trying to get him to leave them there alone. It works and he stomps off but then dogleader speaks up and seems nervous about the group setting off explosives.
  • Loranzo finds a switch and tells Lt. Taylor while he stupidly attempts to force it open. They open the altar and see stairs leading down and near the stairs there is a bowl.
  • As they go down all the signals jam, at 50 meters they get to a platform that is held in place by the stairs and then there is a drop. Kal Kek drops a glow bug down there and it lights up the walls slightly. They see more drawings on the walls and see that there are three legged creatures that seem to be much larger than the gorillas that are petting them like they are just dogs.
  • At the very bottom there are four disks about forty meters across a piece and look a lot like flying saucers.
  • Lt. Taylor presses a button and the platform disconnects from the stairs and starts going down.
  • They open a ship and stand on a slab that came out of the ship and the group goes into the ship except Kal Kek and Doctor Daktan who stayed behind.
  • Lt. Five sits in a large uncomfortable seat and sees a button near him which he presses and it lights up the entire inside and the inside group can see outside the ship now and a camera narrows in on Doctor Daktan and Kal Kek with red squares around their image. Doctor Daktan wanders off down a hallway as Kal Kek enters the space ship.
  • The group inside the ship realize once they need to go find Doctor Daktan that they are stuck inside until Loranzo finds a picture button to open the ship again. 
  • Doctor Daktan encounters a giant robot hand grasping for him when he opens a random door down the hallway and screams.
  • Lt. Taylor, Kal Kek, and Loranzo left the saucer to try and save Doctor Daktan but Loranzo runs back to warn the rest of the group to leave.
  • Owlicious presses a button and the three left in the ship as well as the ship shoot upwards and stay stuck against the ceiling as Professor Ramapudi hacks into the wifi system.
  • Doctor Daktan, though he ran, gets captured by the robot.
  • Lt. Five points at the red circle that was on the robot and the image got much bigger with data charts coming up that seem to be about the robot.
  • The robot shoots a beam of light straight into Doctor Daktan ‘s head but doesn’t seem to be in pain.
  • The three in the ship see the red circle on the robot flashing as the robots light grows brighter and Doctor Daktan passes out and his eyebrows and hair light up. 
  • Lt. Five makes a gun symbol with his fingers at the robot on the ship and the ship fires a light beam at the robot hitting it. It drops jimmy and Loranzo hides in another ship. It makes a fist motion at the ship with the scientists and Lt. Five.
  • Owlicious decides it would be a good idea to make the fist action back at the robot. Lt. Taylor drops unconscious but Kal Kek stays standing. The robot bursts into flames. Doctor Daktan is dead.
  • Kal Kek picks Lt. Taylor up and brings him to the lift where they ascend. 
  • Professor Ramapudi finally hacks the space ship and is able to drive it out with no problem.

So, after escaping from the giant three legged robots, the scouts ran all the way back to the shuttle and high-tailed it off the planet.

Next session is tomorrow. :)

- Ark


  1. Replies
    1. Doc did split the party, so yes, we say farewell to him.


      - Ark