Astra Obscuri

3 - Big Trouble in Little China

The PCs formed a group of Shenzhou citizens drafted into the Space Assault squads that became notorious in the Falon-11 Border War. The group was a diverse lot as the members hailed from very different social classes.

" The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. "
- A Chinese Proverb

The oldest member was a former administrative labor engineer, Tong, responsible for directing labor assignments for hundreds of thousands of workers on Quanzhou, a Shenzhou world in the Falon-11 star system. After an incident leading to the death of five thousand workers, Tong was sent to the army.

Kang used to be a succesful businessman who worked as the main trade ambassador of Shenzhou on Langarra space station. Unfortunately he managed to botch up his affairs and caused a serious conflict among the political factions on Langarra. Due to his hasty trading agreements, the Ayser family was violently removed from power and all business between Shenzhou and Langarra ended. This later allowed King Bart to seize the underground on Langarra and become the ruling kingpin. Kang fled back home and was instantly sent to the grinder.

Park was a clone. One of the many born to the civilisation farms on Henan. On Henan, the Shenzhou government breeds whole civilisations and when needed they are sent to colonize new worlds. Park, however, did not enjoy the meaningless life of waiting and was depressed. Thanks to the self-preservation program that weeded out potentially unstable citizens from the growth blocks, Park was given a choise to leave Henan. In a way he got to choose his destination and future too: it was just that his choises were either the army or the army.

" Don’t waste good iron for nails or good men for soldiers. "
- A Chinese Proverb

The leader of the squad was sergeant Jutang, a professional soldier. As he did not fare well in school during the first ten years of his life, he was assigned to the career of a soldier. It was common for untalented children to be sent to the military school. The Shenzhou upbringing system is almost completely institutionalised. Children stay with their parents for the first five years and after that they are sent to the early childhood education facilities. When the children turn ten they are evaluated, chosen a career, and sent to specialized schools according to the dedicated occupation.

The PCs boarded their vessel that was piloted by a strange child-sized pilot donned in full environmental armor and equipment. Just before launch, the ship received new orders and the ship was reaimed towards the Union ship HFS Pepper, that had suddenly appeared to harass the flanking Shenzhou battle ships. Due to the immense amount of space debris left by the three destroyed Shenzhou battle ships, the DDB jump failed terribly. The PCs were torn out of their ship and sent flying out into the cold space. Due to sheer luck, they managed to survive intact and stabilize the transport rack they were attached. Unsure what to do, the group headed towards the floating hulk of HFS Pepper.

The PCs managed to board the vessel and received new orders from another Shenzhou vessel Luyn, that was also heading towards HFS Pepper. Luyn’s mission was to evacuate dr. Sandra L. Williams, an agent of the Shenzhou. The PCs eventually helped the crew of Luyn to achieve this objective, but they were later slain by two cunning Union officers – the player characters from the previous scenario!

CRYPTED MESSAGE /// B-NET:32.17.99.7.7. #43611-Ψ
SENDER: Sandra L. Williams
RECIPIENT: ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ name.poll.567; ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ name.poll.425; ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ name.poll.911 – ERROR!

Nǐmén hǎo,

As you probably know, my first mission parameter did not work out: the rogue Human colony was destroyed. It would have been easier if you had allowed me to kill mr. Palakinous, but I do not wish to question your reasons for this nor for why you wished me to kill the Azerian assistant 13° instead. I did, however, manage to delay HFS Pepper’s arrival to Falon-11 and that worked out just as planned. Commodor Sherman acted just as we expected. I might add that the way I played my part will leave anyone looking for evidence dumbfound! … PARTIAL DECRYPT ERROR!

…Did plan B work out for the colony? I understood that the Magician made it back with souvenirs?… PARTIAL DECRYPT ERROR!

…I’m currently with Captain Lee and on my way to the Dome. He told me that Captain Lang succeeded in his mission, but did not make it alive.

Regards,

Sandra

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2 - Deus ex machina

Orbiting over Palmas, HFS Pepper and its crew faced serious complications after they decimated the planet. Soon after his return to HFS Pepper, Fred Palakinous barely survived a sinister plot to murder him. His faithful Azerian assistant 13° and a hangar engineer on duty were sucked into space as the hangar airlock gates were overrided and opened.

The players, acting as commanding officers on the ship, formed an investigation team as ordered by Ian B. Sherman. During the investigation the PCs found out that one of the crew members, SP3 Luca Vincelli, had been possessed by a deviated ROM persona after he had plugged in to it through a recreational sensie neural interface. Vincelli had done this to perform a favor to his friend, SP3 Jemina Croft, who had asked Vincelli to carve a picture of her father John Croft, who’s persona was written on the ROM.

For unknown reasons the mixed persona of Luca and John orchestrated a complicated murder plot against Fred Palakinous and used Vincelli’s secret lover SP3 Hiram Salman as an accomplice. After the murder plot failed, Hiram began to hesitate and soon Luca/John neutralised him to cover his tracks. For unknown reasons Luca/John also tried to murder the ships therapist, medical lieutenant Sandra Williams. This attempt, however, failed as the PCs managed to save her.

Eventually the PCs linked the evidence and seized Vincelli. At the same time Jemina Croft succesfully loaded her fathers ROM persona back to his body: it was revealed that John Croft was in fact on one of the ships coma decks as a lobotomised shock grunt. The revived John Croft apparition began to wreak havoc on the coma deck killing a dozen other shock grunts. John Croft began to proceed towards the hangar where Palakinous and his ship, Verus, was stationed, only to be ambushed and killed by the PCs. The motive behind the murders was never revealed.

After a short break to cool things down – as suggested by medical lieutenant Sandra Williams – HFS Pepper launched itself to a sequenced DDB jump route to Falon-11. Immediately upon arrival the crew was aggressively revived from the travel coma by adrenaline therapy. The commanding officers quickly gathered to the command deck and saw that the system was under attack by a vast Shenzhou battle force – this battle was later known as the Falon-11 Border War. Too far to reach the battle by conventional engines, HFS Pepper prepared itself for yet another DDB jump, this time with the crew wide awake. Before the jump commodor Ian B. Sherman received precise arrival coordinates from admiral Huntzberger, the commander of the kilo class cruiser HFS Lucy and the defensive flotilla in Falon-11.

HFS Pepper arrived just where Huntzberger had planned: in the middle of a Shenzhou cruiser formation trying to flank the Union flotilla. Commodor Ian B. Sherman immediately unterstood the situation and what he was expected to do. He commanded HFS Pepper to ignite maximum acceleration towards the outermost cruiser and direct the exhaust stream towards the other cruisers. This bold move was decicive in the battle and without it Sun King, the main space station on Revolver asteroid belt, would have surely been destroyed.

CRYPTED MESSAGE /// B-NET:43.33.11.5.6. #32256-Ψ
SENDER: Tia-Bella Kitamori
RECIPIENT: ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ name.poll.566 – ERROR!

Greetings Honored Brother,

Attached you will find my full report on the expedition. I regret the fact that I trusted my conscience to lieutenant Shimura as he forced me to destroy all documentations of our expedition. I have written down everything from memory and fear that I might have forgotten important details about the religion and culture we encountered…. PARTIAL DECRYPT ERROR!

…thus I decided to keep my eye on ms. Williams. Indeed I found it weird that she had that much contact with mr. Vincelli. I believe Vincelli gave the ROM persona to ms. Williams so that she could assure him that it was safe to plug into. As I followed her through my P.A.B.L.O. I saw her plug into it herself. As I did not wish to cause another incident with ltn. Shimura or the other officers, I decided to keep quiet about it. It was weeks after that I remembered this and realised that she must have had something to do with the corruption of the ROM persona. Whatever the motivation behind this was, it did not really accomplish anything else than delaying the departure of HFS Pepper. This all seemed quite irrelevant then… PARTIAL DECRYPT ERROR!

…I checked it a few days later and was shocked to see it. HFS Lucy was utterly destroyed ten minutes before HFS Pepper arrived in to the system. Therefore it was impossible that admiral Huntzberger could have coordinated the plot to destroy the flanking Shenzhou cruisers. I double checked this from the battle report few days later and the timings had been changed. I did, however, download the original log reports the first time and they still have the original time stamps.

You are the first person that I have told about this and I seek advice on what I should do now. In theory the event of mixed timelines is a phenomenon that could be classified as divine. Should I seek more into this or should I leave it be?

I wait to meet you and discuss this further.

Humbly,

Tia-Bella Kitamori

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1 - Operation Snow White

The events took place on an uncharted planet called Palmas in the Uncharted Space 12 sector. It is a planet with a separated Human community of Scientologists. According to the community’s lore they were forced to abandon Earth nearly a hundred years ago and after a long trek they formed a new prospering community on Palmas. Unfortunately, they were followed by body thetans and half of the people who arrived to Palmas betrayed the faithul ones and formed a rivalling nation on the planet. The nations formed were called Huberonia and Clambake.

The PC’s were high ranking members of the Huberonian nation and faced grave danger as a messenger from space bringed forth a message that the ancient tyrant, Xenu, had escaped from his prison and reigned terror in the galaxy. On top of that the threat of Clambake was becoming more and more severe. Luckily the faithul people of Huberonia had been contacted by a wizard who lived on the north pole of the planet. This wizard had granted the Huberonians with great gifts of science and the leader of Huberonia sent the PC’s to retreave this technology. Mysteriously, the messenger from space warned the Huberonian leader that he should not delve into this technology.

-

In the end Clambake began its invasion against Huberonia, the PC’s get to the north pole only to find themselves betrayed and captured, and the planet gets bombarded with antimatter bombs from high orbit. Not a single soul survives from the immensive devastation cast down from space. Except the ones on the north pole…

-

FILE NAME: Fred’s Log
Q-CRYPTING STRING: Lillian’s Little Teddy Bear Likes To Travel Light
HU-DATE: 12122261

It feels so good to win.

I have waited for two months in that God forsaken military ship devicing my scheme. The Commodor is a prune and offers little entertainment. Infact, I think he doesn’t think too fondly of me either. The only person who has provided little entertainment is that goody-two-shoes scribe Bella. But well, to be frank, I think she dislikes me just like that Irish fossil.

But the scheme, let’s get to that! For the past six weeks I have landed several times on the planet Palmas and met with the leaders of the non-religious faction called Clambake. The religious faction, Huberonia, is a country filled with religious zealots who follow this ridiculous religion that has long since disappeared from Earth. I think they call it Scientology and that’s the reason Tia-Bella is here. Anyway, I spent a lot of time convincing the leaders of Clambake to attack Huberonia and gave them numerous tips and even helped them a bit with technological ideas – I think their technology was quite near 20th century Earth. Finally, I managed to convince them to start preparing for a massive surprise attack.

But the beauty of my scheme didn’t end here. Half a year ago, when I was informed of the existence of this planet and the fact that I should have to deal with it, I met this old Lasha pilgrim whom I managed to hire. I sent him (or her, I’m not quite sure?) to travel to Palmas and to slowly begin giving Stellar class technology to the religious faction. For exchange the Lasha just wanted to have four living subjects for himself to experiment – a cruesome reward but what do I care? While on the planet, the Lasha managed to use an old story told by the natives of a wizard living on the north pole of the planet. He set up a base there and began his secret correspondence with the leader of Huberonia, Dale Miscavige.

By the time I arrived here with the battle ship that had been subordinated to me, Huberonia already had their secret program for DDB tech. When it finally became time for Clambake to attack, I landed once more on Palmas, but this time I met the Huberonian leader. Just as I had planned, the cocky dictator couldn’t resist the chance to show of the new technology his scientists were researching. He even arranged a show for me and his most trusted people. During the show I got all the evidence I needed. For humor I also planted a bug on one of their high theologists while he was in the men’s room and threatened the leader of Huberonia that he should not delve into the technology he was showing us. I had also listened closely to Bella’s description of the religion and used it against him to agitate him further: I threatened him with this imaginary despot called Xenu and told him that Xenu had been released from his prison and was steadily conquering the galaxy. From this conversation I gained even more evidence, or at least after a little editing, on the fact that the community was not suitable to join the Galactic community.

Funnily I also followed the events that happened around the theologist I had planted the bug. It turned out that he was one of the four people the Huberonian leader sent to the Lasha. I think I might use that material for evidence too. At least the conversation the Huberonian leader had with the theologist and the other three who were sent to the Lasha.

Anyway, now, as Clambake finally began their siege, I have the evidence to prove that the people on Palmas are warmongering fanatics with Stellar class tech and that they posed a threat for the Galactic community. And that I have taken care of that threat with the antimatter bombardment that just leveled the continent they lived on. It looks so much better on my résumé than checking out a harmless Uncharted Community.

Alright, now I’m back to the battle ship. I think it’s time to go boast with my victory to the Commodor.

/// LOADING TEXTPLEASE WAIT ///

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