Interstellar Exports Game 5


Game Master: Andrew
Game Edition: Traveller (Mongoose Publishing)
Players: Jeff, Elijah
Ages: 37Dys, 380Yrs


Quote of the evening:
"You are the kindest life-form I have ever encountered, and I consider you a friend." -Caesar, speaking to Krunt.

Introduction

A new character and a new body: Krunt M'Quasood (Elijah) and Caesar (Jeff)
With Captain Dry and the Hornby sailing towards System 0505, we jump a week back in time to shortly after we left Caesar drifting in Sector 0506 on board the S.S. Exodus. Without any power on his ship, he had no way of leaving the desolate system he ended up in, and also no way of knowing that he was not alone.

The truth is out there.
For, in the dense asteroid field that drifted in the distance outside the Exodus' cockpit, a strange alien species had set up a base and a fuel refinery. It was just what Caesar needed to get his ship powered back up.  If only he had some way of knowing it was there.

Scene 1 Sentience Returns.

On one of the asteroids, a slug was waking from its hibernation period one standard year ago. It had been a peaceful sleep, full of increasingly carnal dreams as the effects of the intelligence granting algae ran its course through the slug's system.

When it awoke from its slumber, and for a few blissful moments thereafter, the slug was nothing but an unintelligent animal. That was until an automated food tube was stuffed into its mouth. Hungrily, and with understanding of what it was doing, the slug consumed the algae and sentience slowly returned.

It remembered it's name: Krunt M'Quasood (Elijah) and that it was the sole attendant of the Slugulon refuelling station in sector 0506. The station spanned four asteroids, connected by transporter pads.

Krunt had been asleep for year. There would be much to do.

Introducing Elijah's new character: Krunt M'Quasood.
Krunt's first step was to go to the command section and determine station's status. It expected some minor mechanical issues but they should all be fairly routine. After eating some more algae from the food tubes that hung from the ceiling in the habitat section. Satiated, Krunt left the through the sealed door into the rocky tunnels separating the different sections.

The hall way was full of the strange subterranean life that inhabited the asteroid. Several species of lizard scattered before Krunt's form as it rolled past different strange species of flora and fauna. As the slug rounded the corner he encountered another one of the asteroid field's inhabitants: a primate-esque species that the Slugulons had dubbed fuzzbears.

It's a fuzzbear!
Upon seeing the approaching the slug the fuzzbear fled back into the smaller tunnels that were riddled throughout the asteroid long before the Slugulons arrived. The fuzzbears were a fairly common sight in the tunnels, and being only animals, Krunt paid them no mind as he continued to the the command section.

Inside Krunt quickly ran through the internal sensors, only half paying attention as the fog of sleep and its animalistic self were replaced with thought and self-reflection. It took a moment for Krunt to even realise that the internal sensors were reading a long list of mechanical failures. Too many to have been caused by the usual wear of time. The main drill in Asteroid 4 had gone offline, there was damage to the Hydroponics bay on this asteroid, the Main reactor on Asteroid 2 was offline, and the secondary reactor on Asteroid 3 was offline. Station power was being maintained by the tertiary reactor also located on Asteroid 3, but its power signature was fluctuating. It would last 2 weeks, maybe a month before it gave out.

Krunt considered what to repair first, eventually deciding to investigate the hydroponics bay, while it finished running through the daily protocols. After an internal scan, the next step was to preform an external scan of the sector for any ships, anomalies, etc. Krunt didn't expect to find anything since only the Slugulons knew about the station and they weren't expected for another 15 weeks. So it was a surprise when the scans detected an object floating in open space.

Just a ping on the scope.
It appeared to be a ship, but it had no power signature, and no life-signs of any kind. It was however repeating a distress call.

While most of Krunt's species would have hailed the object, and upon receiving no response left it alone. Krunt, however, was a little different. The algae gave it a curiosity uncommon to its kind, and the unidentified ship became all it could think about.

Krunt had to find out what it was, and why it was there.

Scene 2 Docking with the Exodus.

Krunt left the command section and headed towards the shuttle bay. The lizards and another fuzzbear living in the tunnels scattered before the slug and out of sight, as it moved through the tunnels towards its goal.

Once inside, Krunt checked over the shuttle to ensure it had not sustained any damage over the last year. The craft was in fine condition, and the gauge was reading a full tank of fuel. All Krunt had to do was pilot the craft out of the shuttle bay and towards the unidentified vessel.

Resting its hands on the controls, Krunt had a moments hesitation. He had helped construct this shuttle, but he had never had to fly it before. It was going to be a bumpy ride.

Concept of a Slugulon Shuttle by Kid Grit.
As Krunt got used to the shuttles controls, it piloted the shuttle in an erratic pattern towards the drifting vessel. Controlling the shuttle was more difficult than Krunt thought it would be, and it took almost an hour before the unidentified vessel loomed into view.

The ship was an Interstellar Union (IU) Scout ship. Krunt had never seen one in person, but had read about them in the Slugulon's catalogue of alien species. These vessels were apparently common sight through out the galaxy, and Krunt felt the anticipation of meeting a new species grow inside. But first the Slug would have to synchronise the shuttle with the spinning Exodus' airlock.

Krunt's lack of piloting experience made synchronising with the awkwardly rotating Exodus a nightmare. Around and around Krunt's shuttle went, as the slug desperately tried to match the Exodus' spin.

A difficult task, as any astronaut will tell you.
Meanwhile, on the bridge of the Exodus, Caesar had turned switched to hibernation mode, maintaining only minimal sensors, in order to save power. The repeating shadow of the Slugulon shuttle passing by the bridge view-ports was enough to alert him that something was hovering around the ship. He activated himself and head over to the emergency comm to hail the object.

Transmitting audio only, Caesar asked the shuttle to identify itself. Krunt, however was in no condition to give a cohesive reply. The constant spinning around the Exodus was making the slug nauseous, and its emotions over took it.

"HEEELLLP!" A strange voice cut over Caesar's comm.

"Hello?" Caesar Responded. "Who's there?"

"I am stuck circling your vessel, please help me!" The voice responded.

As the Krunt's craft passed the view port again, Caesar recognised the shuttle, and realised this might be his ticket out of there. Calmly, Caesar helped calm the voice over the calm down, and walked it through docking with the Exodus.

I picked a bad week to quit sniffin' glue.
Once Safely on board, Caesar and Krunt introduced themselves to one another. Krunt thought it was odd that Caesar, a mere robot, was the captain of the vessel, but being a kind creature, the Slug accepted it, and offered to help him in what ever way it could.

Caesar was equally surprised to see that the his saviour was a giant slug, and quickly searched his database for any information on their species. It turned out the IU database he had downloaded from the Orion XII Station, had very little on the Slugulons. What was there was largely based on assumptions, and often paranoid ramblings. But being the only information available, Caesar made use of.

"I understand your species is quite violent." Caesar blurted out with his usual charm.

Krunt corrected him. explaining that they were quite docile, and again asked how it could help. Realising he had little choice in the matter, Caesar explained that his ship was completely out of fuel, he had only two days worth of battery left, and he had some severe damage to his android frame.

Krunt explained that it was an engineer and would be happy to help repair Caesar, and find a new power source. It also went on to continue that it was in control of a refuelling station in the nearby asteroid, and that its shuttle was more than powerful enough to tow them into position.

Still not entirely trusting the Slug, but having little other choice, Caesar agreed and boarded the shuttle.

That about sums it up.
The shuttle ride back to the station was a harrowing experience as Caesar and Krunt, argued over who was the better pilot. In the end Krunt finally got the hang of operating the shuttle, and was able to tow the exodus within range of Asteroid 4's fuel pumps, and dock safely in the station's shuttle bay.

Scene 3 Repairs.

On board the station, Krunt took Caesar to the Storage room, and there, using some of the exterior plating and several parts from a Slugulon Engineering Droid, the slug it was able to repair Caesar's exterior damage. His left arm however was still non-operational, and would require a part that Krunt did not have but he was in better shape than before. Krunt then gave him extra power cell and replaced Caesar's current battery. It would give him another five days of operation.

Thanking Krunt for repairs, Caesar enquired as to the state of the of his ship. Krunt replied that it would be happy to give him the fuel he needed, but first they would need to bring the station's main reactor back online.

Captain, I don't know how much more emergency power we can take before we start to break up!
Caesar agreed to help, and they entered the tunnel leading towards the transporter pad. Again, another Fuzzbear ran before them, and Caesar enquired about what the creature was.

"Just some animal." Krunt Said. "Pay them no mind."

Caesar shrugged it off, and the two entered the transporter section.

The place was a mess. Panels had been ripped from the walls, wiring had been torn out, and several components were missing from. Caesar asked what had happened, and Krunt was at a loss for words. It had no idea.

Thinking for a moment, the slug and robot went back to the storage locker, grabbed a set of tools, and Krunt's laser pistol... Just in case what ever caused the damage was still there.

The games first laser pistol.
Out of the six transporter pads, Krunt was able to repair two of them, using components from the other four pads and the various tools in the its kit. The job took about two hours, and all the while Krunt and Caesar chatted about how the transporter pads worked, and swapped stories.


All of Caesars stories were about these two.
When the work was done, the two stepped onto the pads and beamed to Asteroid 2.

Scene 4 A Toothed-Blob. The Main Reactor. Following a Fuzzbear.

The transport pad on Asteroid 2 was untouched, but in the tunnel they travelled through to get to the main reactor held one of the asteroid fields more uncommon creatures. What the Slugulons called a toothed-blob.

Yup... looked like a gibbering mouther.
Toothed-blobs are the alpha-predators across the asteroid field. They are roughly 3ft. in diameter and will attack anything on sight. They are normally not much of a bother, but this one upon seeing Caesar and Krunt, this one rolled towards them snapping it's various teeth.

Before Krunt could even raise its laser pistol, Caesar flipped his right into a gauss rifle and fired a burst at the toothed blob. The projectiles ripped through the blobs mass', killing it instantly, as it collapsed into a pile of slime and teeth on the floor. stepping around the two pushed on to the main reactor section.

It looked even more depressing than this fella.
Inside of the Main reactor room was a disaster, as again the place had been torn apart by some mysterious force. After studying the room for an hour, and tiding the debris, Krunt  was able to determine that there were three major problems with the main reactor. First the Computer Console had been almost completely gutted, and would need to be replaced and recompiled. Second, the reactor casing was damaged as if something had been pounding on it; it would need to be replaced. The final issue was a pressure build up in the coolant system caused by a blockage. Looking inside the open and empty coolant tank revealed nothing, it would require either a plumbing droid or the replacement of the pipe section.

Not having the necessary components or tools in the reactor room,  Krunt and Caesar left for Asteroid 2's cargo bay.

Can we fix it!?
While travelling through the tunnels towards the cargo bay, Krunt and Caesar encountered another fuzzbear, but this one was holding a bundle of the station's wire in one hand, and a computer chip in the other. To Krunt's knowledge the fuzzbears had never been interested in the stations components, and it had no idea what the creature was doing with them. Seeing the slug and robot coming towards it, the fuzzbear darted into the tunnels, with Krunt and Caesar following closely behind it.

Eventually the fuzzbear lost the pair in the tunnels, but it did not sway Krunt or Caesar's resolve. They pushed on into the winding tunnels, until the signs of a primitive civilization appeared: a basket, a trap, and patterns scrawled on the walls. After 10 minutes of searching, the tunnels opened up into a large chamber,. In the centre of which sat something beyond belief: the fuzzbears had a village!

And the Referee had a crude pencil sketch!
The fuzzbears fled into their small stone huts as soon as they saw Krunt and Caesar. It looked like the fuzzbears had created the village out of the natural surroundings. Rocks had been stacked and secured with mud into small huts, about 10 ft. wide, and no more than 5ft. high. Around the fire in the centre and several of the huts, there were various plants and lizards that were being cooked, or dried.

Aside from the natural elements of the fuzzbear village, the place was also covered in various components from the Slugulon station. Metal bars supported tanning racks and cooking spits. Wires were used as decorations, rope, and were woven into bowls. And all round the village computer chips were used as decorations.

Despite having lived in the asteroid field for near 200 years, Krunt had no idea the creatures were this intelligent, and they had certainly never raided the station for parts before. Something strange had happened over the last year.

Caesar tried to communicate with them, but their language was too foreign for his translator software to handle. He figured if he had special computer and about two weeks he could fully decipher their language. But not having a sufficient computer, the two continued to the cargo bay.

Scene 5 Repairing the Main Reactor.

Asteroid 2's Cargo bay had an extra length of pipe and some sheet metal, however neither Krunt nor Caesar could find the components they needed to fix the main computer. Deciding to deal with one issue at a time, Krunt lugged the pipe and sheet metal back to the main reactor room, and then it and Caesar went to engineering in search of the necessary tools.

The main reactor room. Classic Sci-fi scene.
Engineering was in worse shape than the reactor room. Work benches had been dismantled, entire panels were ripped from the walls exposing cut wires, and most of the storage lockers had been ripped open; scattering what they housed across the room.

Krunt was able to find the tools it required to make the repairs (there sadly was no plumbing droid) while Caesar searched through the wreckage. In the corner Caesar found, a Hover Mule that needed new anti-grav plates. It was an interesting if useless find for the time being.

At least it was pretty cool! And familiar...
Tools in hand, Krunt and Caesar returned to the main reactor room and began repairs. First Krunt cut through the section of coolant pipe, and found the remains of fuzzbear crammed inside. Setting the poor thing aside, Krunt slowly replaced the section of pipe and and reactivated the coolant system. It then set to wielding the sheet metal over the reactor crack. It was a temporary measure until more serious repairs could be made, but Krunt figured it would last for about one standard year.

They still required a functional computer system to control the reactor, and hopefully the components they need would be in Asteroid 3.

Scene 6 Asteroid 3

Upon entering Asteroid 3, the transporter pad shorted out, and it took Krunt the rest of the day to fix it.

We all remember the outcome of a malfunctioning transporter pad.
Once the repairs were complete, Krunt and Caesar left for one of Asteroid 3's three cargo bays. Asteroid 3 was sort of a "plan-b"" asteroid; featuring the secondary and tertiary reactors, 3 cargo bays, a secondary hydroponics bay and a backup Habitat. 

Krunt was sure they would be able to find what they needed for the main reactor in Cargo Bay 1, and so it and Caesar headed there.  As they travelled through the tunnels, they encountered another fuzzbear, but this one holding a glinting piece of metal.

The little bastard!
Annoyed with what the creatures had done to its station Krunt pulled out its laser pistol and fired at the creature. Its shot missed, startling the fuzzbear, who, in an uncharacteristic act of bravery, threw its sharpened piece of metal at Krunt. The blade landed short, clattering along the stone floor, and Caesar then finished the creature off with a burst from his gauss rifle.

Fuzz Bear Down!
Worried that the other fuzzbears may find their fallen companion, Krunt and Caesar considered hiding the body, but resolved to simply stuff it into one of the smaller tunnels, and continue on.

Cargo bay 1 had the necessary components to fix the main reactor, but before they left, Krunt wanted to check on the secondary reactor, and why it was reading as offline.

As it turned out, the Secondary reactor was operational, but the main output cable had been chewed through, and there was a dark burn on the floor where it happened. Whatever did it had been fried by the live current.

Replacing the wire was a simple enough task, but in the process Krunt was electrocuted, and burnt quite badly. He needed to go to the habitat to recuperate.

 Scene 7 Habitat 2. Repairing the Main Reactor

At the secondary habitat, Krunt sealed him self in a bio-chamber, which sedated the slug, and began repairing its tissue. While Krunt was healing, Caesar took the time to familiarise himself with Slugulon computer systems. He learned a lot about them in the two hours he had while Krunt was restored to full health.

What is this strange technology?
When Krunt emerged from the bio-chamber, it consumed more algae from one of the tubes, and then they two returned to Asteroid 2 with the computer panel.

Reinstalling the panel was a simple matter, but recompiling the operating system was another. Thankfully, Caesar's skills with computers meant that it took him only a day to rebuild the system and bring the main reactor online.

While Caesar worked, Krunt tried to solve the android's power issue by constructing a rechargeable power cell. The work was fruitless, but Caesar was touched by the gesture. So much so, that as the two returned to Asteroid 1 and headed towards the command section, Caesar turned to Krunt and uttered our quote of the evening.

"You are the kindest life-form I have ever encountered, and I consider you a friend."  Caesar Said.

Moving.
Krunt also told Caesar that it also considered him a friend, and the two happily returned to the command section to check on the station status.

The repairs had been effective, and the Main reactor was back online. Station power had been stabilized, and the secondary reactor was reading as normal. The Tertiary reactor had gone back into stand-by, and was still in need of repair. But that was less pressing now.

Krunt had expected the main drill to come back online with the stabilization in power, but a closer sensor check revealed that the drill had been damaged. It had probably been scavenged by the fuzzbears, and Krunt didn't have the parts to repair it. To make things worse, there were only 10 tons of fuel in the storage tanks, a fraction of what should have been there!

Scene 8 Refuelling the Exodus. A Monster!

Caesar recommended that they refuel the Exodus, and travel to the next system.
There they could refuel his ship completely, and get the parts needed to repair the drill. It would only take them little more than 2 weeks.

Krunt was a little unsure about leaving the station, but only having 10 tons of fuel wouldn't prove of any use to the Slugulon ships that came by, and the drill did need repairs...

Thinking it over, Krunt agreed, and the two transported over to Asteroid 4, which housed the active mine, the refinery, storage tanks, and refuelling control.

fill 'er up!
Asteroid 4 was in worse shape than the others, and though surprisingly still functional, the transporter section had been almost stripped of extra wire, and plating.

The tunnels between the sections were almost completely devoid of life. Even the usual scurrying lizards were absent. The only sign of activity was that the smaller tunnels that lead to the inner parts of the asteroid had been barricaded with piles of stone and stations components.

Sums it up.
Cautiously, Krunt and Caesar headed towards fuel control. It was a long journey, that having the Hover Mule would have shortened, but soon the refuelling control section was in sight. But something was wrong.

Throughout the rest of the station, all of the doors to each section had maintained their seals. Even the ones that had been damaged by the fuzzbears, had still been operational. This door was open.

Krunt and Caesar stood in front of the portal. There were dents and scratches around the edges, as if the door had been bashed in. Inside was still dark, Despite having restored power, and neither the slug nor the robot were going to walk blindly inside.

Fumbling in its tool kit, Krunt found a flash light and shone it into the room. The place was a mess, but amassed in the middle of the room was an undulating form that it couldn't quite make out.

As the light hit the mass, it let out a chittering growl, the same sound that the toothed-blobs made when they reared up for an attack.  Krunt and Caesar readied their weapons as the blob rolled towards. The creature was massive, and at 20ft. in diameter it was almost seven times the size of an average toothed-blob.

You're one ugly mother fucker!
Wasting no time, Krunt and Caesar opened fire at the creature, but their first volley wasn't enough. The toothed-blob's mass surged towards  the robot, reducing his android body to a pile of debris.

Krunt cried out, and finished the blob with a blast from its laser pistol. The toothed-blob cried in pain, and oozed into a pile dead mush on the ground.

Despite the thrill of victory, Krunt was more concerned about his friend. Hurriedly, it dug through Caesar's remains searching for his hard drive. It hoped
the robot's personality had survived the blow, and that he could recover it; maybe build his friend a new body? 

Luckily, Caesar's hard drive survived the attack, and Krunt rushed back to Asteroid 1.

Scene 9 Caesars New Body. Preparing the Exodus.

Krunt took Caesar's hard drive and its tool kit back to the storage room on Asteroid 1. its idea was to put Caesar into the engineering droid's body, but not being a robotics engineer, it was going to take some time.

Only pausing to eat, Krunt worked tirelessly on on the robot for seven days. The process involved meant scrounging parts from all over the station, but the work paid off. At the end of the standard week, Krunt turned Caeasr back on, who asked confusedly what happened. Krunt explained that his old body had been destroyed and that it had put him into a the engineering droid it had used to repair him earlier.

Nice?
Trying out his new body, Caesar found that he was now full of useful tools. He had a access port that could easily connect to any computer system, a welding arm, a manipulator arm, and he could even plug into any power source and recharge his battery. Thoroughly impressed with his new form, Caesar thanked Krunt, and the two headed towards the command section.

From there Caesar, interfaced with the Slugulon computer system. It was a strange and alien experience, as the subjective reality of the computer system replaced all other senses. After a moment familiarising himself, Caesar was able to interface with the remains of the refuelling computer and activated the the reufulling sequence.

Outside Asteroid 4, a refuelling hose guided by a rocket launched itself towards the Exodus, connecting with the fuel port.

Best picture ever.
While the ship was being refuelled Krunt went about preparing the Exodus to accommodate its needs. Since Slugulons sleep for one year every ten years, Krunt did not need a stateroom to sleep, but it did need a bio-bed to grow the algae, or else it would revert to its animal state once more.

Caesar told Krunt that it could set up what it needed in Stateroom 3, which Mr. Peaches, the lizard Dry had purchased weeks ago had already destroyed the upholstery in. After clearing the room, it took a day to set the bio-bed up and start the cultures of algae. During that time Caesar began running scans of Asteroid 4. The internal sensors read another 6 large Toothed-Blobs. 2 were roaming the halls, 4 were nestled agsint the fuel storage tanks.

The size of creatures was certainly strange, and Krunt and Caesar would have to deal with them when the returned.

Scene 10 To the Stars.

After finishing modifying Stateroom 3 to support Slugulon life, and securing the station. Krunt and Caesar boarded the Exodus, and began plotting a course to the nearest system: 0505.

With Krunt at the helm, Caesar finished the equations, and the Exodus smoothly jumped to hyperspace.

And that is where we left off for the evening.

Conclusion.

Another fantastic game of Interstellar Exports! With Elijah's new character Krunt introduced, and Jeff's character Caesar again in a new body, we tied up so loose ends, and started some new ones!

Next game Dave's character Dry will arrive in System 0505 two days before Krunt and Caesar do, so Dry will have some time to explore before Krunt and Caesar arrive.

Dry is currently acting as a transport for four space pilgrim's on their way top a religious festival in the system. The group seemed harmless enough, but things aren't always what they seem.

Written by: Andrew Gregory
Interstellar Exports Game 5 Interstellar Exports Game 5 Reviewed by Jade GamingNews on 3/29/2015 11:58:00 am Rating: 5

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