D&D in Space

An excerpt from the book, “Stars in the Fog” by Chet AY188309987

              I floated in my ship before the lost artifact. It was a massive space station, floating in space, light years from any celestial bodies. It was as close as I thought I would ever get, as a mysterious ship attacked me. I sent out an SOS and powered down, just as my ship suffered a catastrophic hull breach.

              But to my surprise I was awoken aboard the Archon, a private vessel in the command of an enterprising young captain named Yolanda Starsword*. I told her of my research into the Bright Ones: The aliens who first created the Galateans. And I told her that the mysterious space station they now orbited had been eluding me for the better part of four centuries. Her ship had taken serious damage fighting off my attackers, so she docked at the station, left behind some crew to repair the ship, and then she, her engineer, and another officer joined me in a quick expedition of the ship. Or… at least I thought it would be quick.

              A few things that should be noted. Yolanda’s engineer was a Galatean like me, although newer, and of odd design (he claimed Trox though I don’t believe him). His name was Falon. The other officer was a Kaldreth, a rare sight indeed. Their name was Tick-Tock Wollybog.

              Aboard the station we encountered two creatures, surrounded by warm yellow bioluminescent fog, mouthless and smooth skinned, much like a Kaldreth actually. They approached us and made shapes in the fog. Spheres with bumps and indents. These shapes were their language, and they did not make any sounds. We took some time to try and communicate, to little avail. But we learned that Tick-Tock, the Kaldreth could create with prestidigitation a small orb much like theirs and they could shape her illusion like the fog. It was delightful to watch. It began to sink in that these were the Bright Ones at long last.

              Then, my day grew quite strange and quite long.

              After exactly 15 minutes, we suddenly stood at the airlock once again. Falon, the Galatean, and I had a full recollection of the last 15 minutes, but not Tick-Tock nor the captain. We met the Bright Ones again and again tried to communicate. I explained that we had jumped back in time for the first of many, many times, and the captain decided we should explore the station. We found one locked door with a great many spectral purple fingers on the other side, and decided to go the other way. In another room we met more Bright Ones and were assailed by a large construct of some sort. Possibly Galatean, but massive in size and fury. It quite nearly killed us.

              Then we were back at the airlock again as 15 minutes had passed.

              I will not bore you with the details here, but suffice it to say that we repeated this loop many many times and discovered the following: This station was housing a prisoner, identified as “The Great Old One” and the machines attacking it were attempting to free said prisoner. The Bright Ones had invented a strange emergency security measure. They used a short range time-hiccup device in case nothing could be done to stop the Old One escaping. Then they floated through space in the hopes that one day someone would find them and repair the prison for them.

              Another thing that happened. Tick-Tock, the Kaldreth aided me in an experiment where the two Dreth evacuated the Kal host and let the host spend time with the Bright Ones. I had intended this only as a means of calming the panicked Kaldreth but it had an unexpected consequence. The host, Wollybog, was remembering. And she was learning the Bright One language. At this point, we had been repeating the loop for ten straight hours.

              But with a proper translator at our side we managed to talk to the Bright Ones who were manning the time repeater and they gave us a password to get in the contained part of the ship, to repair it.

              Then in the Purple Finger door we went and soon discovered that the floating fingers were more deadly than they appeared. Our first attempt lead to my death as well as Falons, but our second attempt was more tactical and we managed to find a console very close to the spinning purple orb that was The Great Old One and reconstructed the prison.

              Doing so freed us from the 15 minute loop.

              Yolanda Starsword decided that they best escort the station to Galatea and I concurred.

 

 

*For security reasons, the crew’s names have all been changed.

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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN

The United Worlds has accepted its newest world into the fold. The planet previously known as Danube 5 has been formally admitted into the United Worlds as New Bigsby. Its United Worlds Representative will be Clippers Wargeenoodle of the Refugee camp. This news has absolutely stunned the intergalactic community, with the Ardin Diplomatic Center in an uproar. But the decision is final and New Bigsby is under the guiding hand of a former refugee.

This announcement comes on the heels of a major scandal from the capitol city of Sea Spire. The Mayor of Sea Spire turned himself into authorities and is now testifying against the cities religious leader, Feren Sinblind. As of today, Sinblind, his wife Softouch and the city’s head peacekeeper, Goshen Quickeye, are all missing and wanted by authorities for crimes ranging from corruption and bribery to attempted murder an war-profiteering.

In other news, General Blackfin of the Machran army made his first appearance in court yesterday. He said in his opening statement:

              “What is done cannot be undone. But I stand here to answer for my sins and offer any explanation I can for my heinous deeds. I will explain every motivation, every context, for every horrendous step along my path to ruin. My hope is that other monsters like me will see this testimony and know what misery is to follow when chasing unreasonable power. I do not deny the charges levied against me. I will accept the truth of those I wronged. I will accept any punishment.”

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From the notes of Lucy, UW Observer

 

I boarded the Archon on 08.05.4016. Our trip from Agora Station to Danube 5 took three weeks in total, delayed by several engine malfunctions. I discovered that the crew was somewhat unorthodox for a UW escort vessel. The captain was the least authoritative leader I’d ever met, content to busy herself with the practices of helming the ship and socializing with the crew. The X.O. Drottr was the more obvious authority figure, more interested in tactics and procedure. The rest of the crew presented many intriguing mysteries. The Kaldreth navigator, Frithrik, seemed oddly outside of the chain of command. Sledge, the Corsa chief of security, wore a terrifying exterior but was really quite thoughtful. Allen was of a familiar demeanor for a Galatean but curious design.

We arrived on Danube 5 without much incident.

We met the leaders of the local refugee community. Clippers and his brother Barge Wargeenoodle, the village elders. Lassie Stinklater, head of security. And three Corsa of the Wayward clan, Damage, Stud and Target. These three Corsa defended the camp from pirate raids.

The camp was in disarray, but the Jaxeans were happy to show us what they had. Amusement centers, community theater, arts and leisure. Clippers provided a sense of normalcy to a terrified community under constant threat of pirate attack. While Damage, Stud, and Target provided some much needed security.

The crew set out to investigate the town and talk to the elders, learning about the community.

Soon after our arrival a group of pirates attacked. At this point, defenses were assembled, and Captain Sunspear came up with a bizarre and inadvisable plan. She and Frithrik would dress as pirates and attempt to integrate with their ranks. Drottr advised against such a reckless tactic but Sunspear was incorrigible.

The attack was easily rebuffed and somehow, Sunspear managed to integrate with their ranks.

At Drottr’s insistence, the crew captured a pirate. Jack was his name. He was integrated and gave up that he was paid to harass the refugees and that he lived in an abandoned terraforming tower. Jack asked that no matter what happened to him, could someone check on his wife Cynthia, who lives on Trafalgar station.

Drottr was respectful and did not harm the prisoner. Afterwards, Jack was left in the custody of the Jaxeans.

The crew helped repair the town after pirate shelling, spending time with Damage and Lassie, bonding with the community.

I finished my review of the Jaxean camps and made my way to the Ardin city of Sea Spire, the capitol of the Ardin settlement. The crew, Clippers, and Damage accompanied us. There we met an archbishop of Palor, Feren Sinblind, the mayor of Sea Spire, Harper Blue, and chief peacekeeper, Goshen Quickeye. While Drottr, Allen, and Sledge went to The Great Spire, a local attraction, I investigated Harper, whose finances were anomalous. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that he turned himself over to Drottr to testify against Sinblind. It seems Sinblind had been paying the pirates to attack the settlement, in an attempt to sway my judgment.

Ardin Security attempted to waylay the mayor, but Sledge made exceptionally quick work of Goshen Quickeye, and the rest of the peacekeeper force was no match.

We met up with Sunspear, who had stolen a shuttle from the pirates and escaped. She told of a rousing adventure, meeting the pirate chief, Hunter, being forced to walk the plank (an upside-down balcony in the frigid snowy air) and scaling an upsidedown terraforming tower.

Having concluded my investigation, we went into orbit. While in orbit, eating dinner with the crew, Sunspear made a slip of the tongue and accidentally referred to Damage as Blackfin. And, as it turns out, Blackfin was the Corsa’s real name. Blackfin, the notorious war criminal of the Machran war.

After some tense discussion, it was agreed that Blackfin would return to the UW to stand trial for his crimes. Clippers was quite upset with this decision, having only known Blackfin as a friend and defender of the Jaxeans. It seems Blackfin was attempting to repent, in his own way.

In the end, the crew of the Archon showed strength, guile, ingenuity, and immense nobility. All in all, it was a frightfully entertaining excursion, though I cannot recommend this particular crew as escort for those wishing a smooth ride.  

 

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