I finally have some time to sit down and write out the first chapter of our game. I’m really late getting all this up, but we are about to start a new chapter, so this is a good chance to sum up where we have been so far. So, sorry this is so long.
Chapter 1: Guardians of Kerchak
We began with Captain Fitzhugh and Beryl on their trade ship, on the next to last leg of an all to familiar trade route. There was some crew on the ship, but there wasn’t much chance to get to know them. As soon as the ship pulled into the Totes system, they discovered that Julia was the new customs officer there. She started hassling her old nemesis Captain Fitzhugh, and only agreed to let them dock if they could prove their official status, claiming that their codes were out of date. Once docked, the engineer put the ship in for some minor repairs, Beryl went shopping, and the Captain went to straighten out Julia.
Not only did Fitzhugh prove that he had up to date codes for docking and trade through the Totes system, when the officer in charge of their mission got in touch with them, he put Julia in her place in no uncertain terms, and decided she needed to join them for their mission to Kerchak. Julia was miffed, but reluctantly obeyed.
Meanwhile, Beryl realized she was being followed. She let the Captain know. The Captain and Julia made contact with a very nervous agent who let them know that they would have to leave quickly, and let them know where their temporary ship would be waiting for them. Beryl lost her tails, and met up with the Captain near the temporary ship’s dock. Julia went to pack her things quickly. Beryl and the Captain noticed the ship was being watched by two others, much like those who had been following Beryl.
As a GM I expected them to confront the watchers. I did NOT expect them to sneak up behind them, and kill them instantly. Ah well. They quickly carried the bodies onto the ship, the nervous agent bolted away once they were on, and Julia joined them soon after, wondering what had happened. A quick search of the bodies revealed nothing, no insignia or odd signs. The bodies were dumped into space before the ship left the system, heading for Kerchak.
The situation on Kerchak was volatile, as usual. But they had a particularly touchy mission this time. A tribe they had formerly had little contact with, was willing to trade something unique to them, in exchange for rather precious resources from Xantium. The team had been given a special container to keep the goods in for transport, and Julia had received the resources they would be paying with while on the station.
The team landed, and cautiously came out of the ship, to find six gorillas, four armed and two looking very official, waiting for them. Julia went forward to conduct the trade. But it turned out to be an ambush. One of the armed gorillas turned on the silverback who was conducting the trade, and fired, while another set off an explosion under the ship.
The team managed to get under cover mostly, but the silverback was wounded. The two rebellious guards were gunned down by the team and other gorillas, and the whole troupe headed for the cover of nearby mountain jungle, hoping to reach a neighboring tribe for medical help, as the silverback would not make it back to his own people in time.
The Captain, Julia and Beryl hid the special container in a cave in the mountains, and headed down into the lands of Mack Blackback, an old friend of the Captain’s. Once news of their arrival spread, both Mack and James (the spy chimp) arrived. The silverback was given medical help, but getting help for the team was a bit harder.
Finally, in exchange for some superior surveillance equipment, James agreed to show the team where the closest Xantian communication tower was. Another trek through the jungle followed. They reached the communication tower just as a rival gorilla tribe did, and were caught in the crossfire. They managed to squeak through that, with some help from James who called in a group of his own secret service chimps (or something like that). They made contact with a Xantian ship and arranged for a pickup.
On their way to the pick up site, they noticed that the gorilla settlement that had helped them was now in ruins. And they found one non-ape body there, significantly like the men that had been following them on the station. Worried now, they went to retrieve the special container, only to find it completely missing.
It appeared that the container had been taking further into the cave, not out and into the jungle, so the crew descended to try and find it. The cave was marked with ancient writing, mostly warning about Omens and the end of the world. The crew recorded what they found, but kept going.
The first large chamber they reached was being guarded by Kerchak’s human population, mostly like Neanderthal cave men. They set off some sort of alarm before running away from the party as fast as they could. Undeterred, the party did what they could to turn off the warning, and continued down into the caves.
They discovered a large underground lake, as well as another of those strange humans that had followed them at the station, and who had appeared dead at the ruined village. When they began talking to it, however, it was clear that it was full of preprogrammed responses, and only partly understood what they were asking it. It identified itself as a Guardian, and asked them if they knew the proper order. Now the group was very confused. After some more questioning, they gathered that the Guardians were there to protect the special substance, something that caused “enlightenment”, from any who could not prove that they knew the “proper order”. The proper order could be found in the “life” of the inhabitants of Kerchak, shown to be their DNA.
So off our intrepid party went, determined to figure out the proper order, though they did search other parts of the cave on the way out, and found some interesting weapons of a technology level none of them had ever seen before.
They met up with their ship, but before they could really plan much, another warning broke out in Mack’s tribe’s territory. They went down to find an interesting situation.
There was a spring, surrounded by an outcropping of rock. There were several kinds of apes, chimps, etc. trying to get to the spring. But something was shooting at them from the rocks to keep them away. Mack climbed the rocks to find a Guardian, mind controlling two of the cave men, who were shooting at anyone coming near the spring. It seemed also that the Guardian was scanning the water with a strange device. Mack grabbed the Guardian and flipped him off the cliff, which scared the cave men so much they dropped their weapons and ran. Mack took the chance to snag himself a new gun, and then climbed back down . . . AFTER drinking the water!
The rest of the party questioned the somewhat damaged Guardian (who now had some parts of bioelectric circuitry showing), and it seemed that some of the stuff that causes enlightenment had leaked into the water, and they were attempting to control it. Once they get the water, and some DNA samples from the other natives of Kerchak who happened to be around, they head back to the ship.
While they are analyzing the water they learn that Mack has been affected by the nanites in the water, and has become suddenly leaps more intelligent and able to process volumes of more information than the others. Not really knowing that such technology was possible, Mack affectionately deems them Bananites. Armed with the knowledge that the substance they are after is neuron enhancing Bananites, as well as the code held within the DNA of the peoples of Kerchak, the crew heads back down into the caves to talk with the Guardians.
The Guardians release the container of nanites to them, as well as the knowledge that the code they have turns them on and off. They very carefully contain them, and also learn that apparently, all the systems have been seeded with nanites, all from the source, the system no one has had contact with ever. Xantium has sent explorers to Fel, but nothing has ever returned. The nanites were spread out in hopes that someday they would be able to heal the source.
So the party decided not to inform Xantium of their discoveries, to return to the Totes system and get a less traceable ship, and explore the Totes system for the next step in the puzzle.
So, hopefully that story made sense. I know I didn’t get into the mechanics of how all this happened. So far this story has been a blast, and we are all having a great time playing.