Outlaw Star: Distant Star Era

Episode 22

 

Sharna Marsh-Marsh 
Monster/DIC 
Faj Smash-Smash 
The One
Khalef Kokotl 
Altuunius 
Brynhold Swiitner

The story begins with an orbital bombardment by the chieftan of the band of Kei Pirates, the Dread Pirate Shoffield, sending Kokotl, Dump, Faj Smash-Smash and the pirate Rolf in a circle.

Faj farted in distress after Dump oozed on his face.

"Would you like to fuck any of us?" -Brynhold Swiitner
Kokotl presents a novel plan to use the parley to hijack the dreadnought, but Kokotl knows nothing about ship operations and his map is totally wrong. Swiitner manages to convince Rolf to correct the blueprints and giving a crude map of the layout of the Tyrantius, but Rolf being a new recruit knows nothing about the higher level operations of the dreadnought.

Monster-DICC goes to check on the state of repairs, finding that the Oneship's landing gears are damaged and decides to go find a mechanic. Joan the Gorovian tells the crew that his "cuzzin" could repair the ship within a day and a half. The ship is repaired.

Kokotl corresponds with with Shimi, who has arrived early. A message from the Dread Pirate Shoffield confirms this and tells the crew will be allowed to enter the ship unmolested.

The Oneship under the pilotship of the DICC flies into the Tyrantius, docking safely. Altuunius and the One slink off into the Tyrantius without notice.

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Episode 21 - Let Me Speak To Your Manager!
A Remote-Controlled Farting Space Pirate?

<u>ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS</u>:
Sharna Marsh-Marsh 
Monster/DIC 
Faj Smash-Smash 
The One
Khalef Kokotl 
Altuunius 
Brynhold Swiitner

Faj Smash-Smash is holding on to Monster as the two crews have been negotiating. Brynhold Swiitner regains consciousness, emerging from a pile of crates.

"You really ought to secure these things." – Faj Smash-Smash

"I think I've suffered a space concussion."

Bill and Flo have given the crew directions to the UPS Processing Center, and they're heading back to repair their ship before they make another run on the blockade. They refuse to surrender one of their parcels of Gorovian death-slugs to the crew.

The pirate who they've held hostage after the last fight is now being held duct-taped to the ceiling being supervised by Faj.

"Don't forget to feed the fish!" -Brynhold Swiitner
"Oh shit. I didn't know you had a fish!" -Faj Smash-Smash

Our options:
☐ Support the UPS in their efforts to run the blockade
☐ Go to the UPS and get custody of Wong's shipments
☐ Go into the swamp and find some slugs ourselves
☐ Commandeer the Space Pirate juggernaut. 

Bill also mentioned that the Space Pirate gear has been likely been scavenged from a mining colony from the planet over that has lost contact recently.

The crew recounts what they know about the Kei Pirates, currently occupying the monstrous juggernaut stopping all the shipments to and from Gorovia. Once a powerful and terrifying force in space, the Kei Pirates have been reduced to a petty band of criminals. Altuunius and The One discuss with the crew the history and rumors surrounding the Kei Pirates. Khalef Kokotl is busy with their data pad while this is all going on.

Kokotl, in private correspondence with Shimi, is eavesdropped on by the DICC who for some reason is not happy with it.

The crew arrives at the closest Gorovian outpost, a strange combination of Mos Eisley Cantina and Degobah meets a vacant lot. A strange frog creature, a Gorovian, jawing on a reed is sitting on a chair.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwA8-tbmD8Q

"Hunnerd credits fer the day."
"Frog's rude." -DICC
"Cat rude." -Jyownwo (Joan)
"Hello sir!" -Kokotl
"Bird's talking." -Joan

Kokotl pays Joan 150 credits, satisfying him. The Monster/DICC tries to make small chat with Joan, talking about the nature of the Gorovian death-slugs and their taste and preparation.

"When ya snap'em, ya gets the flavahs in dah meats." -Joan

The Gorovians are an amphibious sapient race which tend to be antisocial and stinky. They are capable of space travel, they just don't really like people and they tend to be very set in their ways and see no purpose or thrill in exploring.

The crew makes their way to the UPS outpost hub, passing over squishy unpaved roads with no curbs. 

"I am wet." -Sharna Marsh-Marsh, annoyed

The town has not a few Gorovians about, as well as some members of Terran species milling about. Most folks that are not Gorovians are wearing UPS uniforms or seem to be otherwise affiliated with the UPS. The crew makes their way to the front desk of the UPS Hub. The person at the front desk begins to go into a spiel, which Kokotl circumvents with some corporate nonsense and essentially hijacks the front-desk person's programming chip and has them lead them to management. Monster jumps onto Koko's shoulder and snags their claws into Kokotl's sweater.

"YOU WANT ME TO COME WITH YOU meow, YOU DON'T WANT ME TO MAKE THIS A BIG DEAL!" -Monster
"I don't know what you're talking about!" -Kokotl

As Monster and Kokotl continue to squabble, they come to a quick understanding between each other. 

"WE HAVE IT UNDER CONTROL." -Kokotl & Monster-DICC

"You people are a circus." – Brynhold Swiitner

The crew is lead into an executive room with the Regional Manager for the UPS Hub, a man by the name of Zwoodawg. 

"Greetings! I am Khalef Kokotl, of the Kokotl Combine. I am here on behalf of our mutual acquaintance, Wong of Wong's Famous Noodles. We're here to help you with the blockade!" 

"Oh. Uh. Okay." – the manager

Kokotl has Sharna sign the forms transferring control of the shipment of Gorovian death-slugs to their custody. Swiitner asks more about the nature of the behavior-adjustment chips, and the manager explains what it's for, with Kokotl's help:
 

"The chip is a regular anti-theft measure designed to enforce, um…" -Zwoodawg
"Corporate compliance." -Kokotl
 "Yes, uh, thank you." -Zudog

Zwoodawg is humanoid in shape with very prominent cheekbones and a strong nose-ridge and is quite flustered with Brynhold Swiitner. He offers to take the crew on a tour through the Hub, explaining the company and their technology.

Active Question: Tour the UPS Hub.

"I'm gonna take my lunch. I'd love to give you a tour of the facility." – Zwoodawg
"I would be flattered." -Swiitner 

As the crew goes through the facility, plans go into effect. Kokotl and DICC conspire to infiltrate the UPS Hub systems and scuttle the ships, hoping to get the juggernaut to send out all its Zwoodawg goes into a long and excited chat with Swiitner about the nature of the behavioral chips, what they're for, and why they're good. Kokotl takes firm hold of Monster while the DICC attempts to infiltrate the UPS security systems with no luck. The corporate AI notices the infiltrating DICC, who attempts to negotiate with it. DICC convinces the AI to let it go.

Red security lights come on briefly and turn off as the DICC reintegrates with Monster. Kokotl covertly messages Swiitner to ask Zwoodawg to find out the mainframe password.

"This has all been so fascinating. Hey, what's your password?" -Brynhold Swiitner
"Ha! Ha ha ha! Hahaha!" -Zwoodawg
Everyone laughs.

Zwoodawg explains that the blockade, though not "officially" happening according to the UPS, has been doing on for a month. The UPS is paying extortionate rates for allowing some shipments to pass, but the UPS has trying to make runs anyway.

Meanwhile, at the behest of the DICC and Brynhold Swiitner, Altuunius slips away and is able to steal one of the behavioral-modification chips, plus the relevant gun mechanism needed to embed and remove the chip. The tentacled thief is able to do this without detection.

Kokotl offers to engage with the Kei Pirates, if Zwoodawg would scramble the UPS frigates on the planet to offer a cover. Zwoodawg, though interested, ultimately decides that the loss of material and to a lesser extent the number of casualties would not merit the cost of breaking the barricade at present. Zwoodawg says that the Kei Pirates can be reasoned with or at least bribed off, and that the larger UPS organization is currently negotiating a payoff sum that would convince the Kei Pirates to lift the blockade. That is, assuming nothing untoward had happened.

"You didn't…kill any of them, did you?" -Zwoodawg
"No, we just had a…hostile negotiation." -Kokotl
"Oh! I was afraid you'd have killed them. Can you imagine the retribution?" -Zwoodawg
"Ha ha ha! They'd burn this place to the ground!" -Kokotl
Both laugh.

With this, the tour of the UPS Hub facility is completed. Regional Manager Zwoodawg tells the crew that the remaining four crates Gorovian death-slugs has been loaded into the cargo bay of the Oneship while the crew was on tour, and Wong will receive a return payment for the loss of one of his crates.

Quest complete: Tour the UPS Hub.

As the crew leaves the facility, Kokotl receives urgent and stressed communications from Zwoodawg, telling them that the Kei Pirates are…not happy. Kokotl sends a perfectly tailored boilerplate response basically saying that mistakes happen and it's not their fault and you can't sue us and you can forward any complaints you may have to our PR department head Brynhold Swiitner before ending correspondence.

"Some guy called. I let it go to the message hub. Your fish was a bit hungry. I fed him. He's under your bed right now. It's fish-ish and pretty upset. The pirate is not dead. He's duct-taped to the wall. The fish was not happy with him either…" -Faj Smash-Smash

"I don't have a fish, Faj." -Brynhold Swiitner

"Oh. Well, you do now." -Faj Smash-Smash

In Brynhold's bunk, there is something rampaging behind the door. Faj opens the doors and a aquatic monstrosity resembling a cross between a coalecanth and a gila monster scarpers up. It has extending jaws, like a goblin shark. This mud-colored moaning monstrosity runs up to Brynhold Swiitner and is, surprisingly, immediately smitten with him and affectionately nibbles on his shoe.

"I'm gonna name him Dump. He's not gonna be hungry for at least another whenever." -Brynhold Swiitner

There's a message from Shimi on the Oneship dashboard.

"Per our discussion, I've set up a small parley aboard the Tyrantus. You will be afforded safe passage on the Tyrantus. This meeting will be held in two days." -Shimi
A pregnant pause.
"WHAT DID YOU DO?" -Sharna Marsh-Marsh
"We're just e-mailing, Captain Sharna. We're pen pals." -Kokotl

Faced with this sudden revelation, Sharna Marsh-Marsh attacks Kokotl, lifting it off the ground and starting to tear its sweater. As Sharna Marsh-Marsh launches into a barrage of questions, Kokotl tells the crew that it had been in correspondence with Shimi since their last encounter on Plavagun. 

"Why have you been talking to this guy?!" -Sharna Marsh-Marsh
"Oh, I don't know, Captain Marsh-Marsh. Maybe to keep us from BEING SHOT OUT OF THE SKY?" -Khalef Kokotl

Sharna Marsh-Marsh unravels Kokotl's sweater as the questioning gets increasingly hostile; Kokotl stands its ground and insinuates that the only reason that the Chaz Zabrick was able to be returned to Hoseki Station at all is because of the positive impressions that Kokotl managed to foster with Shimi.

The DICC, slipping out of Monster and into the computer's mainframe, reveals to the rest of the crew that the disembodied intelligent nanoswarm had accessed the communications logs between Shimi and Kokotl back when Kokotl allowed it to access its datapad to upload and replicate the schematics for the Bloat vaccine, and had been hoping to leverage this information against Kokotl, but was not sure exactly how to blackmail the shiltolvian. This shocks and wounds The One and Brynhold Swiitner, who are surprised that the DICC would withhold that kind of information from them.

The shouting and interpersonal squabbles continue to escalate; Faj Smash-Smash prepares some popcorn which he shares with Dump and the still-captive Kei Pirate still duct-taped to the wall. 

"Do you really believe that we would have been able to separate Mr. Zabrick from his entourage and throw them off our trail? No. It was a business negotiation, same as always." -Khalef Kokotl
"You lied to us!" -Sharna Marsh-Marsh
"Did I, Captain Marsh-Marsh? Did you lie when you spoke to Vekna?" -Khalef Kokotl

At the mention of Vekna Fang-Fang, Sharna Marsh-Marsh rips Kokotl's sweater clean in half and tearing it off his body, deeply distressing the sweater-savoring shiltolvian. As Sharna Marsh-Marsh pulls Kokotl's favorite pink sweater out of storage, preparing to store it, Faj Smash-Smash asks who Vekna is.

"Who even is Vekna Fang-Fang?" -The One

"Vekna Fang-Fang? Oh yeah. That guy. Good fighter." -Faj Smash-Smash

"…I know who Vekna Fang-Fang is. He works for us." -the pirate

Finally speaking up, the Kei Pirate who has been duct-taped to the wall reveals that Vekna Fang-Fang recently approached the Kei Pirates offering his considerable fighting prowess to the service of the pillaging private post plunderers. He had offered to do this in exchange for a relatively small favor: a shipment of Gorovian death-slugs.

"He said he needed it for a dowry. For some Ctarl-Ctarl lady he was bethrothed to. Come to think of it, I think her name was Marsh-Marsh, like yours…" -Rolf
"WHAT?" -Sharna Marsh-Marsh
"What?! You were engaged before me?!" -Faj Smash-Smash
"We were NEVER engaged!" -Sharna Marsh-Marsh
"Well good! Because I'm NOT a homewrecker!" -Faj Smash-Smash 

Sharna Marsh-Marsh, horrified, drops Kokotl's favorite sweater to the ground, causing Kokotl to get in a brief struggle with Dump before the scrappy shill can get the sweater away and put it on.

The rest of the crew's attention focuses on the pirate, who reveals that his name is Rolf. An aspiring actor before falling in with the Kei Pirates, he explains the situation on the juggernaut Tyrantus. It is crewed by a force of at least 90 pirates. The Kei Pirates also have a similar juggernaut vessel in relatively close proximity similarly manned, with another several hundred stationed on the nearby mining colony. To attack the Tyrantus head-on would be suicidal.

"Oh, okay then. Well, we have another plan." -Brynhold Swiitner

Swiitner embeds the behavioral-modification chip that Altuunius had stolen from the facility into Rolf's head. Swiitner and DICC reveal their plan to use the poor privateer as a sleeper agent, taking control of him to wreak havoc on the Kei Pirate forces. 

They realize, immediately afterwards, that they have failed to program the chip before embedding it in Rolf, and programming it while still inside him would be…difficult.

"Oh well. We might as well have some fun…" -The One
"I like this kind of fun." -DICC


The crew briefly debates what horrible fate lies in store for Rolf. The DICC uploads itself into the chip, programming Rolf to blow a raspberry whenever anyone utters the word "pirate" and to begin every sentence with the word 'Brynhold' and end it with the word 'Swiitner'.

"There's more where that came from. If you don't wanna shit your pants every time someone says the word 'and', you listen up."  -Brynhold Swiitner

Thus a cockamamie conspiracy is commenced: the crew begins to scheme on how to use the remote-activated farting space pirate to somehow break the blockade.

It's going to happen.

Active quests:
☐ Escape the blockade with Wong's death-slugs shipment.
☐ Rendez-vouz with Shimi on the Tyrantus.

Other quests:
☐ Deal with Errannius and their retinue.
☐ Skabis and Ashlee are still at large.
☐ Find out who has stopped the "special shrimp shipments" to Wong's Famous Noodles.
☐ Steal Melfina Khan's research.
☐ Investigate the Ctarl-Ctarl empire purges.
☐ Discover the nature of "The Plan" that Chaz Zabrick and George Luo has.
☐ Obtain a "big fuck-off body" for Reggie, who is still locked in a firewall in Reggie's ship.
☐ Seek the Galactic Leyline. 

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Episode 20 -

The crew is in space, receiving a recap from George Luo. He is pleased with the work everyone has done – transferring 40,000 credits into everyone's joint account. A message is received from Wong, stressing the urgency of the death-slug shipment and the "very special thing" that Sharna Marsh-Marsh promised him. Fortunately, they're on their way to Gorovia – home of the titular Gorovian Death Slugs.

As everyone remembers, the smuggling consortium that have been providing Wong with his supply specialize in "exotic" tastes. 

Monster/DIC does a Navigation check – 5 – and a course is charted for Gorovia, with arrival expected within a day.

Sharna Marsh-Marsh and Faj Smash-Smash have been engaged in increasingly desperate and petty games of skill and chance, which Sharna is consistently losing, driving her into deeper mania and desperation. Faj Smash-Smash decides to put the games on hold, growing bored. The One after soaking in their tub, joins the Ctarl-Ctarl in their games. ​​In one particular game of space-jax, 

"Oh, that was good." -Faj Smash-Smash
"Thank you." -The One
"See, Sharna? That's what you're doing wrong. You're not doing it good." -Faj Smash-Smash
"sigh…Faj? Will you be my sensai?" -Sharna Marsh-Marsha
"Okay. Uh. First. You look at the ball. Then, you drop the ball." -Faj Smash-Smash

Sharna Marsh-Marsh gains a +1 advantage when playing jax. DIC observes that Faj is preternaturally good at games, and is curious as to know why. Statistically, he should not be winning this much; the DIC's high-powered mind has a broad suite of statistical data owing to their raw number of gameplay and concludes that Faj Smash-Smash is some kind of anomaly.

Khalef Kokotl has been writing e-mails. Altuunius is busy doing research on what their sibling Erranius is up to through the PRIME databases with no luck. Brynhold Swiitner is admiring himself in the mirror, getting his outfit straightened out and his teeth brushed.

The One and Sharna interrogate Faj about his past. He reveals that he had a troubled history with his father; discussing it is depressing.

The planet Gorovia is a Terra-like planet with a breathable atmosphere but a very humid and swampy environment. There doesn't seem to be anything actually stopping anything from getting in and out. There's even another transport ship in low orbit.

"You'd think there'd be a blockade, right? An actual…blockade?" -Altuunius
"Oh! It must be over!" -Khalef Kokotl

As they approach the planet, three small pod-like ships materialize seemingly out of nowhere. They look to be grappler pod-ships made out of re-purposed mining equipment wielding melee weapons, favored by pirate bands such as the Kei Pirates.

"These are pirates. I think we've found our blockade." -DIC
"I don't like pirates. They have no honor." -Sharna Marsh-Marsh
"They don't even BUY anything!" -Khalef Kokotl
"Captain. Do you want to engage?" -DIC
"Hey yeah. I'm feeling it today!" -The One
"Okay. I'm going into the computer. Make sure the cat is safe or I'll send you all crashing into this planet below. Thanks!" -DIC

The DIC is piloting the ship, The One is taking charge of the grapple arms. Altuunius is on the jammer. Sharna is on the turret. Kokotl has seated itself in the captain's chair. Faj is with Monster, whimpering in the supply closet. Swiitner is preparing his guns. The crew engages the enemy.

BATTLE START

DIC ship operations: 18
DIC piloting roll (6+6+6+5) = 23
Enemy ships, three: <4
Transport ship: 6

"Kill one. Hail the others." -Kokotl
"Wait. No. We need information." -DIC
"You need information; I need murder. That's why we're killing one." – Kokotl

Geodude

A rough approximation of what the pods look like.

The DIC maneuvers the ship in close, seizing one of the pods and locking it in place. Sharna Marsh-Marsh cleaves off one of the pod's grappler arms. One of the other pods is using a gigantic chainsaw to cut into the ship. Kokotl sends a message over the comms, attempting to hail the ship that's been seized:

"Seasons greetings! Not to engage in some disarming conversation, but who do we have the pleasure of speaking to?" -Khalef Kokotl
"…who the hell are you?" -some other guy

Kokotl accidentally pinged all of the ships. The other two ships attempting to break into the cargo ship turn to face them.

Altuunius breaks into the communications system of the other ships' with ease. The cargo transport was sending out mayday alarms. The pod that has been seized by Oneship is in a state of panic, while the pod with the chainsaw is chastising them:

"They came out of nowhere! They cut off one of our arms!" -pirate
"Pull yourself together! You're a pirate, not a space-puss!" -pirate
"Oh, it's on now!" – Sharna Marsh-Marsh

The chainsaw-wielder, which seems to be the leader, breaks away from the ship to turn and face the Oneship. The third pod breaks off the cargo ship's spindly little arms.

The One draws their Oneship's weapons: a gigantic vibra-axe and a gigantic space cannon.

DIC rams the Oneship into the chainsaw-wielder's side, seizing control of the grappling arms from The One and slamming its vibra-axe directly into the cockpit.

"Fuck those guys in particular."

 "Oh! My ancestors!""You guys wanna see what I see?"
A gigantic battleship, several times larger than the Oneship, appears from behind the astrogation buoy. 

☐ Do something about those pirates. <s>Uncover the origin of the blockade on Grovian Death-Slugs to help Wong.</s>

"We're gonna need a bigger axe." -Kokotl

"Hear me out. We can either take the cargo ship and run to the planet and hide. Or, we can chase the pod back to its main ship and acquire it for ourselves with a combination of business saavy and murder." -Kokotl
"…the comms are still on." -DIC
"Well, I never turned them off." -Kokotl

The DIC pilots the Oneship right into the cargo ship. The One puts the weapons away back into the Oneship, putting one hand over the life-support device to make an impromptu airlock and severing the third pod, causing it to spin away. The One then activates all thrusters, pushing themselves and the cargo ship towards the planet. 

"We push them to the ground, then we talk!" -Kokotl
"Sounds good to me." -The One

"Please! Please, let us go! We'll lead you to a rendezvous point! We'll take damage if we re-enter like this! PLEASE!" -unknown, terrified voice
"EXCUSE ME? WHO'S THE LEADER HERE? NOT YOU, IT'S ME. WE'RE GOING TO THE PLANET." -Kokotl

Altuunius hacks into the cargo ship and sets up a hard-line into their systems. The scene on the ship is…interesting. The cargo ship belongs to the UPS – the Universal Parcel Service. There's a couple dozen crates arranged as makeshift barricades. The pirates who boarded seem to have been defeated. One of the crates is overturned, revealing the contents – a bunch of deceased and putrid Gorovian death-slugs! The UPS crew, brutalized but surviving, are coughing from the stench.

The crew briefly discusses whether or not they're going to release the cargo ship. Despite Kokotl's protests, the One agrees to release the cargo ship. Grateful, the cargo ship rights itself and activates a tracking beacon. The Oneship follows the UPS vessel to the surface.

"…and that's when I lost my jax. But don't worry, I found them again." -Faj Smash-Smash

Bill, the leader of the surviving UPS crew.

"Your cat is talking. Your cats can talk?" -Bill

"He's actually useful for some stuff. He re-built a yeti." -Sharna Marsh-Marsh, on Kokotl

Kokotl is doing structural damage assessment on the ships to determine how much damage has been dealt.

Sharna Marsh-Marsh and the DIC attempt to negotiate with Bill. Bill tells the crew that there's still four crates of Gorovian death-slugs. Bill explains that the Kei Pirates have been raiding the systems around Gorovia, interrupting trade. His partner Flo is guarding one of the Kei Pirates that they've knocked out on the ship.

"You didn't have tiny little nerd arms." -DIC

"Nobody has respect for the mail." -Bill

Bill goes into the standard UPS spiel. Kokotl realizes that Bill, as a low-tier grunt has been mentally programed and embedded with a computer chip that regulates his behavior. 

Active quests:
☐ Commandeer the Space Pirate juggernaut. <s>Obtain a bigger ship.</s>

Other quests:
☐ Deal with Errannius' and their retenue.
☐ Skabis and Ashlee are still at large.
☐ Find out who has stopped the "special shrimp shipments" to Wong's Famous Noodles.
☐ Steal Melfina Khan's research.
☐ Investigate the Ctarl-Ctarl empire purges.
☐ Discover the nature of "The Plan" that Chaz Zabrick and George Luo has.
☐ Obtain a "big fuck-off body" for Reggie, who is still locked in a firewall in Reggie's ship.
☐ Seek the Galactic Leyline. 

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Episode 19 - No More Bullshit Side Quests?
Never stop! Never stopping!

PREVIOUSLY, ON OUTLAW STAR DISTANT STAR

Deliver the strain of Bloat to "public" George.
Bring the original sample of Bloat to the FASF.
Figure out what to do with Izzy and Tiny.

Altuunius, held at gunpoint, is being marched towards a hovercraft by a mysterious rat-faced shape-shifting assassin. Altuunius has the Bloat sample. Altuunius tries to negotiate with the assassin, who is not down to conversate. 

"They said you was not to be killed, but not that you wasn't to be maimed." -shady assassin boy

Altuunius learns from the assassin that they have been hired by a fellow Jaguardian to have a chat 'under extreme duress.' The driver of the car is some kind of Saurian cyborg man – a manborg, if you will – the first Saurian seen on Hoseki Station. Altuunius tries to read his mind, but comes up against a mental block.

"I wouldn't do that. " -the mysterious Saurian
"Say no more, I'm going with you." -Altuunius, on comms
​​​​​"WHAT DO YOU MEAN, 'she's going with him'?!"  – Khalef Kokotl

The assassin reveals that it cost them a lot of money and took them a lot of time to find Altuunius. They begin making their way into the higher-end spacedocks. The duo reveal that they have been sent to recover Altuunius for a specific party: Erranius, their estranged sister. Altuunius has been relaying all this information over to the crew through their comms. Before the assassin notices that Altuunius is doing this, Altuunius overwhelms him with a barrage of psychic ennui. This causes the shapeshifting assassin to have a sad time and completely drop his guard, and the Saurian stops the car.

"What did you do!?"  - a confused and angry Saurian
" WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" – Khalef Kokotl, over comms

Back at the FASF base, the resistance troops are a little bewildered as to where their promised disease sample might be. They are a bit more bemused to find that the search and recovery party has returned with an entirely different quarry than expected: the erstwhile Shiltovian scientist Iztlactli, bloody and bruised, and the Tepitizin, the four-armed albino Shiltolvian abomination.

The party is not in great shape. Kokotl's arm has just begun to regenerate. Sharna Marsh-Marsh and Faj Smash-Smash have been exposed to the Bloat. They're currently ensconced into gigantic mobile isolation chambers – which are basically just enormous hamster balls with angry sick kitties in them. Sharna is doing her best to resist scratching the hives caused by the Bloat, which spreads it. Faj is not having such luck.

"We need the cure for Faj!" Brytner Swiitner 
"And me!"  
Sharna
"You're resisting it so far, you'll fine!" -Brytner Swiitner​​​​​
"We need to save Altuunius…but more importantly, we need to save me." -Sharna

Sharna is restless but fatigued (-1); Faj is too incapacitated to move (-4). The DICC has decided that they are going to stay behind and anaylize the course of the disease in Faj and possibly try to cure them. 

"If Sharna does not survive, please return her body. It would be very nice to have some more…samples." -DICC

Khalef Kokotl's left arm is slowly regenerating. Tepitizin - Tiny – is busy tending to its 'father'  - Izzy - while Benny tries to help. Swiitner tries to persuade Tiny to come with them and complete the mission and make its father's life easier. Tiny wants to stay with its father now, but seems willing to help out later.

In order to make their way over to the docks as fast as possible, the crew commandeers the ice-cream truck that belongs to the ice-cream parlor that the FASF have commandeered for their base. The ice-cream truck has a springy Silgrian's clown head on a spring on the top.

The One is driving, Kokotl is in the passenger seat seated on Swiitner's lap. Sharna is crammed into the back in her iso-ball, rolling around helplessly in the back and getting spattered in ice cream. 

One cruises right on up the station roadway, while Kokotl makes phone calls. Kokotl successfully manages to order the shut-down of the upper-class spacedock, claiming that there is a possibility of pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Saurian man-droid has pulled a scatter-railgun on Altuunius and has told her to stop.  Altuunius Taunts the Saurian, telling him that it knows that he can't kill it (+11). Enraged, the Saurian tears the seats separating them open to glare. Altuunius screams its "girliest scream" and bombards the assassin with chauvinism.

"I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M GOING TO DIE IN THIS KIND OF CAR AT THIS SPECIFIC INTERSECTION!" -Altuunius

Skabis, a bit overwhelmed, dives in front of his comrade Ashlee to try and talk him down. Altuunius tucks and rolls out of the car. Altuunius looks up to see a giant springing Silgrian head in clown makeup speeding up the roadway, blasting Clair de Lune at an incredibly accelerated speed.

The truck nearly mows down some old grandmother in her shitty floating car.

As the ice-cream hover-truck speeds by, Sharna Marsh-Marsh flies out in her iso-ball and launches straight into the air as Altuunius steps in. One and Ashlee make eye-contact as Kokotl uses Swiitner's Caster gun to blast the mercenary's car away with a beam of piercing light. Sharna Marsh-Marsh bounces harmlessly to the ground, and rolls back into the floating truck. The old grandma screams and swears at the truck, which immediately speeds off.

Kokotl reports that the old grandma and the damaged truck are the suspected pathogenic sources, but Swiitner tosses the babushka a cup of ice cream, which she seems to appreciate.

"What's with your sister?" -Sharna Marsh-Marsh
"We don't have gender. My sibling, however, is a backstabbing bitch." -Altuuinius

The crew drives away to head back to the FASF base, having recently reunited.

"You don't understand. For the last few years of my life, I haven't been able to trust anyone." -Altuunius
"Oh, Lady Altuunius. We don't trust you either."  -Koko

Altuunius reveals that there is a "public" and "private" George Luo. The "private" George Luo has been secretly manipulating the different Shiltolvian liberation fronts. This information causes Kokotl to have a minor crisis of identity. 

"We side with whoever can heal me the fastest…" -Sharnas

Swiitner does a brisk business out of the side of the ice-cream truck. Where is the crew going to go?

  • Benny's Best ice cream parlor, the base of the Fourth Archeropteran Shiltolvian Front 
  • George Luo's private laboratory

Altunnius connects to George on his private line, who expresses his concerns for Altuunius and the safety of the crew, giving them the directions to the private laboratory. The crew decides to go to George Luo's private laboratory, where they are greeted by the cybernetic Yeti and a few scientists and personnel that they do not recognize. George's science staff synthesizes a cure for the Bloat in about an hour, while the crew recuperates.

☑ Deliver the strain of Bloat to "public" George.

Kokotl eats a tremendous amount of meat by itself in the kitchen, regenerating its arm completely.

Upon being administered, the cure makes Sharna Marsh-Marsh cry like a baby. A medic named Mike administers the cure to Sharna and gives a copy of the cure to Kokotl, who uses a medic check (+7) to copy the chemical compound and will not be able to replicate it at will. Sharna Marsh-Marsh is liberated from her bubble.

The crew returns back to the FASF base. Faj is not in good shape; he's too weak to even eat ice cream. Kokotl administers the cure to Faj, who does not cry, much to the chagrin of Sharna. Kokotl shares the cure synthesis information with Benny, telling them that it was all its doing.

☑ <s>Bring the original sample of Bloat to the FASF.</s> Bring a cure for the Bloat to the FASF.

He immediately feels better! Kokotl also tricks him into signing a document that he will not ask for additional wages, and that he is classified as a "bodyguard", which is set to an incredibly low "competitive" rate, that will be paid out "quarterly." Sharna Marsh-Marsh, embarrassed and horrified, challenges Faj Smash-Smash to various games. He wins them all, handily, turning out to be a savant at games. Enraged, Sharna Marsh-Marsh punches Faj Smash-Smash in the face.

"OH, REAL MATURE. GLAD WE DIDN'T GET MARRIED!" -Faj
"The feeling is mutual!" -Sharna

The DICC returns with blood on its paws.

"Today has a been a good day for learning." -DICC

Kokotl presents the information on its datapad about the Bloat cure to the DICC, who "inadvertently" downloads all the information on Kokotl's datapad. One and Kokotl have a brief conversation in secret.

Altunnius uses their street smarts to learn that their sibling is lodged at the Nebula Hyatt penthouse. Altuunius also learns that Skabis and Ashlee were not found on scene, and that the old driving grandma is being detained and supervised by security forces.

Izzy and Tiny have been cooperating with the forces of the FASF. Tiny occasionally waves coyly at Swiitner whenever it sees him.

Altuunius announces that their sibling has closed in on their location, and maybe that the crew should deal with them or flee the station. 

"I don't think that will be a concern right now…" -Kokotl
"Which is why I think it will be a concern right now." -One 

Kokotl proposes that the crew make their way to run Sharna Marsh-Marsh's errand. The crew makes their way to One's ship.

Now what is there to do?

The current quest is:
☐ Uncover the origin of the blockage on Grovian Death-Slugs to help Wong.
 

Other quests:
☐ Deal with Errannius' and their retenue.
☐ Skabis and Ashlee are still at large.
☐ Find out who has stopped the "special shrimp shipments" to Wong's Famous Noodles.
☐ Steal Melfina Khan's research.
☐ Investigate the Ctarl-Ctarl empire purges.
☐ Discover the nature of "The Plan" that Chaz Zabrick and George Luo has.
☐ Obtain a bigger ship.
☐ Obtain a "big fuck-off body" for Reggie, who is still locked in a firewall in Reggie's ship.
☐ Seek the Galactic Leyline. 

View
Episode 18 -

OBJECTIVES:

<input name=“Deliver the strain of BLOAT to &quot;public&quot; George.” /> Deliver the strain of BLOAT to "public" George.
<input /> Figure out what to do with Izzy. 
<input /> Attempt to track down Tepitzin, the Shallot abomination.

The battle is won. Brynhold Swiitner loots three scorched Caster shells from the body of Johnny White.

Kokotl and Patch have a brief exchange about the merits and necessity of hunting the Tepitzin. 

"Do you smell what Turock is cooking?"
"Turock is a fine hunter, but I see no reason why-"

Kokotl convinces Patch that it'd be more prudent to return the BLOAT vial to the Fourth Archeopteran Shill's Front.

After ​​​​​​Faj Smash-Smash has hog-tied the shiltolvian scientist Izzy, Sharna Marsh-Marsh takes him away and properly ties the scientist before returning it to Faj, causing the bewildered behemoth to believe he's been subjected to a marriage proposal. After some miscommunication and lots of hurt feelings, Faj throws down the bound and bloodied Izzy and runs off down the tunnel, inadvertently running after the abomination. Koko challenges Patch to pursue both Faj and the abomination, causing Patch to sprint off ahead in a hunting frenzy. Kokotl picks up the bound and gagged scientist and hoists it over its shoulders, hurrying behind. Swiitner and DICC hang back, encouraging the One to take the initiative on this chase. Sharna is chasing Faj to try and calm him down.

Patch finds a break in the trail and stops to smell the road. Faj has run to the left, going to cry; the abomination has run to the right. Patch chases after the abomination; Sharna goes after Faj. The One relays her instructions to Brynhold and Monster/DICC.  

"Follow the tail juice." – The One

Koko slices off Izzy's tail – it's probably fine – and uses the blood from the tail to distinguish between the two paths, using crude stick figures.

Meanwhile, Sharna and Faj are having a heart-to-heart. Faj is curled into a ball, sobbing hysterically. 

"I thought we had something special!"
"Maybe one day! A long, long, long, LONG day away…in the future."

Sharna offers to help Faj find an ideal mate, while also persuading him to continue protecting Kokotl and serve as his meat shield. Sharna will even write him a letter of recommendation! Faj believes that he has now been hired on as part of the crew: now he thinks Kokotl needs to pay him.

"Let us run, yes?" -Faj Smash-Smash

One arrives just in time to witness the Tepitzin absolutely brutalize Patch, having thrown him in a wall. When Kokotl attempts to negotiate with the Tepitizin, it notices that Koko's carrying its "father" — and proceeds to brutalize Kokotl [2 wounds] as well. Swiitner, impressed with the strength of the creature, applauds it and asks what it wants. Tepitizin develops a huge crush on Brynhold Sweetner, because of course it does.

"I want to be left alone…why do you hunt me!?" – Tepitizin

One takes advantage of its distraction to jab it with her Stun Injector, throwing the Tepitizin off its game. 

"Oh, you all came into the same hole."
"We sure did."

Faj and Sharna arrive to the mayhem. Faj goes over to check on/harass Kokotl. Swiitner attempts to use its stun gun on Tepitizin and manages to knock it down. Sharna attempts to punch it in the face, but its tiny arm catches her fist. Tepitizin flings Sharna into Swiitner, inflicting a wound on Sharna and knocking out Swiitner entirely. The One lands a slicing blow on the Tepitizin, inflicting a sizable wound on it, and Sharna tackles it with her energy claws, but the thing JUST WON'T GO DOWN.

Koko manages to stabilize Izzy, causing the Tepitizin to stop attacking everyone and calm down. Somehow, Kokotl convinces the Tepitizin – "Tiny" – to carry all of their unconscious comrades back to the surface.

En route to the surface, Sharna Marsh-Marsh and Faj Smash-Smash are exposed to the Bloat. They'll probably be fine, but right now they're very sleepy.

Benny and the rest of the Fourth Archaeopteran Shill's Front are suprised and horrified, but Kokotl explains the situation to the bewildered revolutionaries as the Ctarl-Ctarls are put in isolation. Sharna is able to resist the urge to scratch and spread the infection; Faj is not.

"Koko…"
"Yes. Sharna?"
"Kill me…let me die with honor."
"Later, Sharna."

 

 One of the FASF's doctors explains that the Ctarl-Ctarl will probably be fine, because they have the sample, right?

Meanwhile, back on the ship, Altuunius is enjoying a nice cup of Space Coffee, waiting for George's contact Boxter to arrive. He does, but he looks anxious. Altuunius reads his mind to learn out that he's actually Skabis, a mercenary for higher. Though Altuunius tries to emotionally overload him and then shoot him, Skabis is able to get one over on her and 

Monster/DIC
One
Altuunius

View
Episode 17 - Viva Las Plague-us
A whirlwind of death and failure!

PREVIOUSLY, ON OUTLAW STAR DISTANT STAR

The FASF - the Fourth Archaeopteran Shill’s Front – is licking their wounds, literally and figuratively. Benny appraises the crew of the situation, explaining that the initial assault forces have met with some stiff resistance through the tunnels. Benny mentions that he would have preferred to have abandoned the tunnels entirely, but will hold off on securing them until things go thoroughly FUBAR.

Benny hands off the access tunnel map to Kokotl, who uploads it for the rest of the crew. The secret lab, it is revealed, is found at the back of an abandoned Mr. Chippy's Restaurant.  Benny, as a messenger and speakeasy operator, declines to join the crew on their mission. A small contingent of Shiltolvian rebels has been <s>coerced</s> convinced to lead the crew to their destination.

Private George would like a sample of the Bloat, in order to synthesize a cure for it. But otherwise, if the Bloat must be destroyed…somehow.

"Do we know how to destroy it?" -Monster/DIC
"Not one bit." – Benny
"How do we handle it?" - Sharna Marsh-Marsh
"Don't." – Benny

The crews have been equipped with special hazmat suits to keep them as safe as possible. One's suit has been filled with water, allowing her to operate at peak physical efficiency, but inhibits her natural Notice [-2].

"Private George said Public George shouldn't know about things and also mentioned something about…um…pass it directly to…private George, and not Ibast. I don't know how, I don't know who, so…welp!" -Benny

Benny exits the scene. Kokotl, rolling a 7 Intimidate, has inspired the Shiltolvian escorts – Patch (regenerating an eye), Stumpy (regenerating his tail), Righty and Lefty (both intact) – while embarrassing the rebels remaining…with one exception, a meshugge with a yellow crest. He's probably fine and definitely not bitter about it.

As the squad makes their way towards the two main paths leading to the laboratory, Kokotl and Patch notice that there's less vermin in the sewer than there ordinarily would be. Brynhold Swiitner can hear scrabbling off in the distance: for no vermin, there's a surprising amount of visceral sounds coming from the right and that the left path has fewer lights.

Stumpy, growing frustrated, teeters off to the left and Lefty and Righty go off to the right while Swiitner tries to explain the situation. Faj and Koko form the Tower of Power – Kokotl jumps on Faj's back –  to lead. Patch, who has a deep and bassy voice for a Shiltolvian, follows behind while Faj reminisces about his glorious time as a meat shield for the Ctarl-Ctarl Empire. The DIC notices that some of the lights have been melted in an unusual way, but believes they must have been mistaken…

-I say sir, there seems to be an unusual circumstance regarding the lighting fixtures; I'd fancy an opportunity to examine… 
-Do be quiet, whelp! I care not for what you fancy! Attend to our task at hand!

~Patch and Kokotl, a conversation in Shiltovian 

Patch tries to tell Kokotl that there's something wrong with the lights, but Kokotl ignores it and tells them not to touch anything. Shortly, Stumpy's body is discovered. Kokotl and Patch have a brief discussion about the oncoming Bloat, but something else is wrong…

Is…nobody noticing our melting suits? – Swiitner

Patch approaches the body with a glow-stick, finding an aerosolized cloud in front of it that seems to have deteriorated Stumpy's suit and killed him. Throwing the glow-stick into the cloud, more bodies infected with Bloat can be seen. Some of the shiltolvian corpses, aside from being infected with Bloat, also seem different. They're more reptilian, scaly, and bigger than normal shiltolvians; their skin is marked with patches of absent pigmentation, not unlike vitiligo. Unlike Stumpy's body, which has violently exploded with the Bloat and been smeared all over the walls of the tunnel, these bodies are simply enormously large and misshapen, pulsating with pustules that seem to contain active aerosolized Bloat contagon.  

DIC disengages from Monster, which immediately begins to paw at its suit trying to get it off, before being stopped by Sharna. DIC interfaces with the ventilation system in order to clear the tunnels of the Bloat gas. As the Bloat gas passes over plastic items on its way out, such as the glow-stick, it deteriorates them.

Moving on ahead, the crew gets their first sight of the White Shallots. They are decidedly not normal shiltolvians. They are bigger – five feet, compared to the four feet of the [tall for his race] Khalef Kokotl. Their features are less avian and more reptilian: their bodies, instead of covered with the rich and gaudy plumage of normal shiltolvians, are covered with scales and a downy discolored fuzz. They display none of the neuroses or anxious tics that define normal shiltolvians, composing themselves with a reptilian patience and calm.

The Shallots…they see themselves as true shiltolvians. Their scientists went through and took all the…[what's the word?]…trash out of their genetics. -Patch

Huitzltzadik, they're hideous. – Kokotl

One of the Shallots sniffs the air, possibly noticing them. The One and Sharna, leading the pack, attempt a hasty and stealthy withdrawal into the shadows while activating their weapons. Unfortunately, Sharna's energy claws make a distinctive whirring sound, and light up in the dark.​​​​​​

Those favoring a stealthy approach might consider disabling the factory settings on your NRGYKLAWZ™. But why would you do that? They sound AWESOME!!! – Section I.3, "Activating Your Energy Claws", NRGYKLAWZ™ Operations Manual

This obviously attracts the attention of all of the Shallots, who prepare themselves for a fight. Enter combat.

Faj. It is time. -Kokotl
Oh yeah, I'm feeling it. -Faj Smash-Smash

The fight begins with Faj pushing Sharna back and out of harm's way. Faj then spins around the corner and hurls Kokotl, spear-ready, right into the chest of the lead Shallot.

Qa'pla, old bean! – Kokotl, translated from Shiltolvian, followed by cackling

Altuunius makes a hasty retreat down the hallway past the combat and into the ventilation system, successfully avoiding the sight of the Shallots and combat altogether. The One plunges her swords into the second Shallot. The third Shallot rushes Faj, who is able to keep it at arm's length with no effort considering the massive size advantage, and Sharna is going for the flank when Swiitner takes a shot with his Caster gun, configured into sniping mode, and blasts the third Shallot into the wall.

Unfortunately, these Shallots are tough little brutes. the first Shallot grabs Kokotl's face, stopping its bloodthirsty cackling, surprisingly not dead despite its massive injuries which are already beginning to heal. One and the second Shallot become locked in fearsome grappling, despite its grevous wounds. Slumped in the corner with a monstrous hole in its stomach, the third Shallot begins to heal immediately, fixating its gaze on Swiitner with murderous intent.

It turns out that the Shallots heal much faster than conventional shiltolvians. It doesn't matter, though: Sharna plunges her energy claws into the shot third Shallot, through its big dumb face, decapitating it entirely. The hole in its stomach stops healing.

At last. – Brynhold Swiitner, space deviant

As Altuunius advances through the ventilation system, she notices three more Shallots preparing for combat and an albino shiltolvian - one Johnny White - who is arguing in the Shiltolvian language with another shiltolvian - Iztlactli, or "Izzy" – while holding onto a chain attached to…something big, that remains just outside her field of vision.

Swiitner and One brutally dispatch the second Shallot, while Faj trips and nearly falls on top of Patch in an effort to assist Kokotl. Sharna advances on the remaining Shallot, the one grappling with Kokotl, and punches past Kokotl's head to explode the Shallot's face with her energy claws, denting the floor.

Thank you, Captain Sharna. -Kokotl
WHAT'S YOUR ANGLE? – Sharna Marsh-Marsh

Kokotl takes a bite out of the charred flesh of a Shallot, revealing a nasty metallic foul taste.

The One kicks open the door to the next room, to come face-to-face with four Shallot reserve forces, Izzy, and Johnny White, who is holding the leash of a shiltolvian abomination: an albino behemoth seven-feet-tall with two sets of arms; it has one set of tiny Shiltolvian arms that seem adapted for finesse and dexterity, and a set of gigantic gorilla-esque muscular arms that fold behind its back in a manner similar to bird wings and allow it increased mobility and general carnage. The mutant covered in downy white feathers with an enormous crocodilian maw chained shut by a muzzle, but that muzzle looks like it's about to come off any minute now.

Altuunius and the DIC, watching from the shadows, decide to take action while this chaos unfolds.

Please hold on to this fucking cat, meow. – DIC

The DIC disengages from Monster as The One immediately dispatches one of the four reserve troops, slicing its arm off and slicing it clean in half, while winging another one. It glares at her, preparing its energy claws as its wound heals…and Kokotl appears behind it, impaling it through the back of its head, and electrifying its corpse. Its remaining comrade, enraged by this attack and the sight of the khalef, leaps at Kokotl, plunging its fangs into Kokotl's shoulder, tearing apart…

MY SWEATER! -Kokotl

Brynhold Swiitner takes aim with his Caster, loading one of his antique magical shots. He fires a solid beam of energy at Johnny White, exploding in a blast of staggering light – disorienting the One – and a powerful shockwave, which knocks away both the monstrosity and Izzy.

Chaos! – Brynhold Swiitner

Johnny White has been damaged quite badly, but it slowly emerges from the wreckage of some computer banks, regenerating and pulling bits of glass and metal out of its alabaster body…

Swiitner.

Sharna attempts to attack the Shallot attacking Kokotl, barely missing. Izzy, recovering from the initial shock, makes a beeline for the fridge. Johnny White, getting his bearings, draws a Caster carbine from his back and takes aim…

FOOLISH PEEEEEOPLE! – Johnny White, first and last words

…and with a single shot the Caster carbine, having been damaged in the blast [critical fail], accidentally sucks Johnny White's entire top half – and the gun itself - into a black hole.

The Shallot monstrosity, completely disoriented from the blast, runs straight for One…and runs straight past her and tears straight through the wall to her right [critical fail, again].

Meanwhile, the DIC goes straight for a computer bank and attempts to interface with it. As Izzy tries to grab something out of the fridge, DIC turns on the incinerator and obliterates Izzy's arm and half his face. This naturally causes Izzy to fall over and away from the fridge in pain. Altuunius steps over Izzy's mangled self and snatches the Bloat sample.

In this pitched and bloody battle, the crew managed to defeat Johnny White and his Shallot forces…and the only casualty was Kokotl's sweater. 

After looting Johnny White's body and discovering three Caster shells, Swiitner looks into the tunnels, where the Shallot abomination seems to have wandered off…

End combat.

See you, space cowboy…

View
Episode 16 - Dine Another Day?
As the station goes, so goes Wong’s!

Dine Another Day

The story starts with a zoom-out from the beady bloodshot eye of Kokotl, who is watching the doors of the banquet hall swing open. The banquet hall opens with George Luo sitting at the head of the table. Ibast is on his right side, Reyna on his left. Chaz seated next to them. There's four corporate types wearing dark suits and sunglasses standing behind them. Everything is totally fine and not nefarious. 

Notice rolls.

Koko: 7
Sharna: 12
Swiitner: 5
The One: 6
Altunnius: 4
DICC: 6

The security cameras in the room are covered; there's no feed going into this room. Ibast is packing heat. Chaz does not look as bad as he did, he's "maintaining" on some chump tier shit but he's coasting a'ight. "Space drugs, these things happen." There's a lot of activity behind the door in the far room, which Koko thinks smells amazing.

Altunnius rolls a Psionics check of 11 to check mood of George, who is decidedly not happy, despite his stone-faced appearance. 

Koko cavalierly enters and sits at the far end of the table, directly across from George, as the rest of the crew filters in behind him. Faj sits down next to Koko. The crew sits down around the table. The doors close behind them.

George Luo extends his warm regards to The One, and promises to transfer the money owed as promised. DICC and Luo have a brief dialogue in which Luo becomes interested but Chaz expresses his displeasure for DICC.  

George asks <Captain> Sharna and Koko why things got botched. Koko rolls an Administration roll of 10 to provide a perfect bureaucratic spiel — a half-hour production — to completely baffle George and Chaz to dissuade their respective rages. 

"When you can't beat them, bore them." – The New Adam Smith Bible, Krugman 5.11

Aster the guard claps for Koko. ​​​​​​Sharna is able to tell Luo that two of Chaz's bodyguards – Vekna and Amaranth – won't be a problem. Reyna whispers into Luo's ear, enough for Sharna to hear, that Vekna's got a contract on his head and that he won't be a problem. Sharna rats out Chaz's relationship to Crabfingers to Luo. Luo is surprised to see that Shimi is somehow still alive and indifferent to Viridian's absence-by-sacrifice.

"Oh yeah, he's definitely dead." -George Luo on noble sacrifice

Swiitner rolls a Notice to get a precognitive flash on how this could pan out: a flash of guns or dinner comes out. George asks Swiitner if his relationship with Crabfingers will be a problem. Swiitner answers no. Dinner comes out. Kokotl immediately starts devouring food. Regional delicacies are placed in front of everyone. The One has their regional delicacy – grey gruel – placed in front of them, a dish that displays a remarkable texture that is sensually pleasing to consume. Swiitner gets a series of tubed vegetables, his personal favorite, but this brings back bitter flashbacks to the Meeting That Went Awry. DICC gets a platter of undifferentiated meat product, which Monster likes but prefers that it had been alive. Faj loves his spinach puffs. Koko has some living food on his platter, which Monster tries to steal…

Koko rolls a 5 for Fighting and DICC rolls an 8, allowing them to steal some of Koko's food. Before Koko can eat DICC, more food is placed before him to pacify him. George Luo and Chaz Zabrick make their exist, not without Chaz cussing out DICC and Sharna flirting with him to distract him.

No drugs in the meal…this time. Dinner goes off without a hitch. The use of the entire banquet hall for the evening has been left to them.

QUEST COMPLETEOBTAIN CHAZ ZABRICK

"Ctarl-Ctarl do not eat spinach puffs." -Sharna Marsh-Marsh, continuing to hurt Faj Smash-Smash's feelings. 

Melfina Khan works for PRIME, a Terran peacekeeping exploratory group that boldly goes, with a defining characteristic of deadpan sarcasm. As the reader knows, should the One find Melfina Khan for Crabfingers, The One's debt to Crabfingers will be absolved and The One will fully own their ship.

All feline paws in this universe smell faintly of Frito's. Swiitner smells faintly of sandalwood and cinnamon.

After reading the headlines of a newspaper, Kokotl passes it along to distract the DICC while pulling The One aside to make a "generous" offer to work together to reach common goals. The One later reports this to her coworkers, to the consternation of Swiitner and DICC. Meanwhile, Kokotl tells Sharna that he was able to convince The One's crew to help her on her noodle quest, and actually thanks her for her help, which obviously makes Sharna very suspicious.

Altuunius excuses themselves to take another personal call. Notice checks.

Only The One notices Altunnius leaving, and informs the DICC to see what that discussion is all about. Monster is left to wander around the table, nibbling scraps. DICC rolls a Repair of 4 to get up into the vents and head in the right direction to just in time to not overhear Altuunius's short conversation, and notice her leave, which DICC reports to everyone. 

"I'm not saying I don't want us to go, I just want us to be terribly anxious and have a bad time."

Altunnius mentions wanting to go to an ice cream place and wants the rest of the crew to come with. Koko says that they should all accompany Altunnius to this place, saying that it would serve as an excellent team-building exercise, even as Altunnius desperately tries to distance itself from her. Faj helps convince everyone to help, and off they go. The Silgrian running the ice cream shoppe is being very generous, setting out ice cream, which Koko conspicuously does not eat. Altuunius melts Koko's ice cream for him with a brûlée torch, while Faj just eats tons of ice cream.

Notice rolls were made. Sharna notices that the Silgrian - Benny – is quietly getting other customers to leave. The shutters are going down on the storefront and Benny is getting very nervous. Altuunius eats some ice cream and it makes her head sex organs palpate with delight. Benny attempts to force-feed Koko some ice cream which ends up with Kokotl being drugged while still being aware and Benny getting his hand mangled. Faj is catatonic. Turns out the ice cream is dosed with something.

Benny explains the Bloat

"The Bloat is not a disease, it is a design." Benny explains that Altunnius works for the Shiltolvian Liberation Front, as he binds Koko's limbs and mouth. Altunnius is one of their best agents. There has been a recent schism within the Shiltolvian Liberation Front: The Fourth Archaeopteran Shill’s Front (FASF) and the Shiltovian Front of Archaeopterix IV (SAFA4). The SAFA4 is headed by an albino shiltolvian named Johnny White, a zealot who leads an elite force known as the White Shallots [ha ha get it]. Under his leadership, the SAFA4 has taken on a decidedly shiltovian supremacist bent.

“I fight for equality, not surpremacy.” – Altunnius
“That’s cute.”  - DICC


Benny explains that the Bloat is a special bioweapon commissioned by the SAF4 designed to kill non-Shiltolvians. However, the scientist who engineered the plague accidentally made it affect everyone, but particularly Saurians, Silgrians, and shiltolvians. Since then it has quickly spread out of control and threatens to doom the entire station, and perhaps ultimately the entire shiltolvian race. Would our intrepid adventurers lend their aid?

“That depends, meow. Are you going to pay us?” –DICC
“The cat’s a mercenary!” –Benny
“They’re ALL mercenaries.” –Altunnius

It seemed like they weren’t going to help. “As the station goes, so goes Wong’s!”

With a mental blast of 8, Altunnius tries to convince the crew to go along with it.

“I know it’s annoying, but we have to stop this genocide! Jesus, we’re Prometheus.” – Swiitner

Sharna, embarrassed at being made to feel pity, tries to escape before DICC challenges Sharna to stay. Faj frees Kokotl, who very reluctantly agrees to assist the cause and stop the Bloat. Benny is surprised that a khalef would assist, and Altunnius mentions that he works for “public George”.  Public George vs. Private George is apparently a thing.

Benny talks the squad though two tactical options to infiltrate the hidden lab to destroy all Bloat bio-data and cultivars before the SAFA4 can get their hands on them. The two options are:

1) go through the relatively unsecured main access to the quarantine zone, encountering few Shallots and mostly quietly avoiding hidden tunnels, avoiding those infected with the Bloat

2) go through the network of hidden tunnels and access ports known by the SLF, likely encountering the White Shallots who will be using those same tunnels to reach the laboratory themselves

Naturally, the squad chooses the latter route. In an uncharacteristic display, Kokotl volunteers to serve as bait for the White Shallots, believing that the zealots will not be able to resist the opportunity to dispatch a khalef. The shiltolvian rebels are split between admiration and contempt for the bureaucrat, and the chapter comes to a close as a sea of hissing space raptors raise their voices in a chorus of screeches and hisses, zooming in on the wide and bloodshot eye of a shiltovian revolutionary…

SKREE RAH RAHH
HISS AAKRAH AANAGH
SKREE SHREE SHILL AAAAH

-Shiltovian love sonnet

 “Love Wong’s and prosper!”

“Two Wongs don’t make it right.”

"Las Plague-us"

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Episode 15 - Shil Problems? or Shil Solutions
Slippery Jack's family will go hungry this day because of you!

Players: Aron, James, Jess, Maya, Rich, Skylar
Experience points: 2
Bonus xp for entire party: 1

En route to station, Chaz's requests for a party went sadly unsatisfied for perhaps the first and only time in his life. Slippery Jack's many children will not eat this evening.

Altunnius received communiqué from a mysterious source about a mysterious subject, and overheard was the mysterious voice of a famous shill scientist, who everyone thought was and is definitely dead. They weren't having a good time. Anyway, Captain Kokotl heard that voice and proceeded to <s>threaten</s> carry out a trust-building exercise with Altunnius about trust and loyalty. A peaceful resolution was reached and everyone walked away happy and on the same page.

Ibast and a handsome Yeti intern stopped by as the crew arrived to put Chaz in a box and quietly whisk him away, and thus mission was accomplished. Word has it, however, that George Luo is not terribly happy with the total absence of subtlety with which the mission was executed.

Word further has it that the space station has come down with a nasty case of The Bloat, whatever that is. I guess makes exothermal creatures get all bloated, then like…ruptured?  I forget what happens after that. I'm sure they get better. It does something else to ectotherms.

Kokotl immediately set off to <s>save face</s> clarify the situation. The One, Brynhold, and DICC followed in close pursuit to <s>get paid</s> provide moral and ethical support for their beloved captain. 

Meanwhile, Sharna went off to check in with Wong, and the pressing urgency of the noodle situation was given grave new urgency.

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Episode 14:

Players: Aron, James, Jess, Maya, Rich, Skylar
Experience points: 2

Coming soon…

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Episode 13: Let the chips fall where they may...
Insurmountable odds, yada yada, teamwork, let's do it, etc, etc...

Players: Aron, James, Jess, Maya, Rich, Skylar
Experience points: 1

When we last left our heroes things had gotten very interesting….Viridian was doing psychotropic shots with Chaz while being watched by Amaranth, Koko and Faj were face to face with Shimi, and Sharna was falling to her possible doom off a balcony.

In the midst of all this a new team of independent contractors, mercenaries taking their ease after finishing up a previous job , were contacted by George Luo with an offer. Hearing of some complications from Radar and getting reports of rioting and explosions from the resort, George took it upon himself to call in some reinforcements. Both teams were sent basic info and images of the new team, some taking the other being called in as insulting, others oblivious to the new players because they were busy falling.

BUllet points…will flesh out later.
Dic fanned out, found Chaz while Brynhold was distracted. Maya and Skylar spotted each other.. a tad rude. leave the turkish sector.
sharna stopped decent and u turned out for blood.
koko tried to calm the situation down.
shimi put Faj through a window…party stops…and then tossed him off the balcony. He passed Sharna on his way down to the pool.
Sharna gets a hit off but it is reflected by forcefield. he jumps off balcony and fades away, promising to see you again soon.
Brynhold takes a stunner and temporarily drops Amaranth.
Everyone decides to flee. Some parting shots but mostly running.

While running down hall, explosion behind you. Amaranth summons red troll beast.
Koko bolts.
Viridian summons his sword wielding brother, Celadon, and runs toward troll
Maya turns to fight
Dic shuts off the lights and sets off sprinkler (and also kills the elevator)
Sharna also turns to fight
Brynhold is handsome (and also tries to rally everyone together)
Altunius strips.

Dic makes an ied…knocks Amarnth to the floor
Viridian tells everyone to leave, he’ll handle Amaranth. Celadon vaults over Troll and tackles Amaranth through a wall.
Altunnius takes her stealth suit and stuffs Chaz in it
Koko drags him to stairs while calling Zig for an extraction.
Zig calmly mentions that Crabfingers may take issue with that…being that he is there.
Sharna wounds Troll by crippling its arma fter it missed smashing her.
Brynhold invokes the power of theme songs and poitive thinking to encoutage his compatriots
Maya slashes Troll…full on sliding fatality.

The group runs dwon the stairs, mingles with other fleeing guests, and manages to get out of Sindrome Hotel as Security is starting to swarm the area. Green and red lightening and fire can be seen coming from the penthouse floors above them.

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