Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 5b.9 of the "Vortex" space opera campaign. Team 2 met on Monday, 7 February 2010, and is using FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures/Mindjammer, Diaspora, and Limitless Horizons.
In one future, humanity has begun to colonize the Sol system, but ecological degradation and internecine conflicts persist. Open and official First Contact with Galactic societies, themselves at war, threaten Terra's very survival. Can heroes rise to the challenges?
After encountering various hazards around the Middle East, one party of adventurers had escaped into interplanetary space. After obtaining ship components at the Lunar Free State, the crew of the Gen. Lee towed the Parsifal and urgent medical supplies to Venus…
>>"Vortex" Team 2 Player Characters, crew of the General Lee, as of spring 2011:
-"Gabriel" [Paul J.]-male North American Terran near-human with telepathy, underworld courier
-"Hector Chavez" [Beruk A.]-male Latin American Terran human, "burned" operative and communications expert
-"Advanced Resonance Theoretical Heuristic Exploration and Research Robot -- ARTHERR" [Greg D.C.]-Explorer created by megacorporation Vimeco
-"Jasmine" [Sara F.] female Martian Felinoid (Synth, "Uplifted" tiger), former professional pit fighter
-"Dr. Richmond Garrett" [Dave S.C.]-male Southern American Terran human, space snake-oil salesman and social climber
>>"15 to 17 August 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Galactic Era:" The crews of the General Lee and the Parsifal prepare an armored drop ship to take medicine to miners beneath the hostile surface of Venus. Meanwhile, leaders of the Finance Union arrange for public distribution aboard Kardikea Station.
Gabriel takes the drop ship's controls, with Hector as co-pilot and ARTHERR as engineer. Jasmine and Richmond strap in for a bumpy ride through sulfuric acid storms. All are wearing space suits against potential contamination.
Factory foreman Yakov Nikolevsky accompanies them, but "Capt. Doug McDonnel" [Erik B.L./Non-Player Character] of the Parsifal radios to say that his crew has become ill (Richmond dined with them the previous evening) and won't be able to come.
The drop ship is damaged during its rapid descent, but it arrives at a designated landing platform and is greeted by pilot Olenka Ryzhkov. She gruffly welcomes Gabriel to "Lucifer's Hole" and asks what transportation is required for the medical supplies.
Hector coordinates aid distribution with DARIA (Deep Atmospheric Recollection Intelligent Automaton), a multi-armed robot mechanic. As they unload crates, Jasmine chats with fellow "Synth" (genetically engineered humanoid) Averki "Deep Dish" Dyashenko. The reptilian miner asks for help getting offworld.
Olenka takes Dr. Garrett, ARTHERR, and Yakov to see how the plague has affected Oromax and other megacorp operations. She asks Richmond, newly appointed surgeon general by Orion Stefanov, for doctors, better living conditions, and unfiltered access to signals from Earth. The snake-oil salesman delegates the tasks to ARTHERR, who begins working on the last item.
Gabriel learns of a fellow underworld contact named Kirun and visits him at his quarters in the labyrinthine tunnels. He claims to have avoided infection thus far but gives the suspicious courier a teddy bear to bring to his daughter in the orbital city. Gabriel puts it into a plastic bag.
Hector hacks into local communications and finds that DARIA has been watching his companions and reporting back to the 12 families that control the Venusian colonies. Deep Dish invites himself aboard the drop ship, and Jasmine asks if he can join them in leaving the mines.
After some negotiation, Richmond agrees to hire the Synth as a "maintenance engineer, guard, and assistant chef" (to Nero Bartolomew), and ARTHERR prints out a modified Vimeco contract to sign. Richmond continues to treat the entire crew of the Gen. Lee as his hirelings, and Jasmine and Deep Dish joke about "wishboning" him.
To help the miners get unblocked transmissions, ARTHERR woos DARIA, and they interface [see Greg's notes]. Gabriel contacts Kirun to help distribute bootleg transmissions and entertainment recordings. Kirun says that interstellar engines are available from certain Ru'ulok [see Team 1 notes]. Hector is unable to hack into official channels but keeps a line open to the United Earth Authority (U.E.A.) medical blockade.
While trying to attain escape velocity, the drop ship encounters more turbulence and technical difficulties. Gabriel struggles to keep it aloft, while Hector and ARTHERR handle damage control. More bad news arrives once the group is in orbit -- the U.E.V. "Sphinx" says there has been a disaster at Kardikea!
Apparently, the outer, industrial decks below Hephaestus Stadium collapsed as tens of thousands of lower-status workers gathered for medical treatment (as Dr. Garrett suggested to Stefanov). A massive hull breach in the toroidal orbital habitat has led to initial reports of thousands of casualties.
Gabriel and Dr. Garrett ask Capt. Amelia Saviola aboard the destroyer the Sphinx for permission to break the U.E.A. quarantine of Venus in return for lending aid. But ARTHERR and Jasmine say they should try to save as many people as possible immediately.
Hector, ARTHERR, and Richmond take the Gen. Lee into the hull breach, while Gabriel follows with Jasmine and Deep Dish on the borrowed drop ship. They manage to maintain their composure as corpses collide into their hulls, and they see the magnitude of the destruction. Air vents into cold space.
The Gen. Lee closes in on sealed compartments and fills its cargo hold with 600 refugees at a time. The Parsifal, Sphinx, and other ships also try to rescue victims amid the debris, despite delays from Kardikean authorities. Jasmine and Deep Dish wrestle with wreckage, adding up to 200 people at a time to the drop ship.
The efforts to find and rescue the sick people who had gathered at the stadium continues for a few hours until the U.E.A. and Venusian Finance Union call them off because of the decreasing likelihood of survivors....
Please note that Team 1 won't be meeting on Valentine's Day and will reconvene on Feb. 28. The next Team 2 game will be on Feb. 21, and the Pathfinder/Skype: "the Vanished Lands" fantasy telecom group is scheduled for Feb. 19.
>>"Vortex" Team 1 Player Characters, crew of the Blackbird, as of spring 2011:
-"Syzygy" [Brian W.]-Trinoid (trilateral amphibious alien) xenologist assigned to observe Terrans immediately after First Contact, with an organic laboratory and a pet cat named "Mr. Sniffles"
-"Tela" [Sara F.]-female Tharian (winged reptilian humanoid alien) refugee and mechanic, fond of humans
-"Chris McKee" [Josh C.]-male North American Terran human sniper working for Black Box Security Co., a shadowy eugenics organization
-"Aughest-vor" [Jason E.R.]-male human from the Lemuria orbital city, disgraced scion of a wealthy family and solar-sail regatta racer
-"Lt. Kevin Reese" [Bruce K.]-male Terran cyborg human, burned-out officer and explorer in the Interplanetary Patrol