The Lucanii Drift - Session 3

Game Session 3

James as Ens. Theresa White-Linen, Commanding Officer and others
Lord Bodacious as Ens. Dr. Zangor, Counselor and others
quelleGachi as Ens. Chemisa Rojas, Chief Navigator and others
BlueLightning as Ens. Tintarella di Luna, Chief Communications Officer and others
also featuring
Ens. K’taath, XO and Fire Control Officer
Sp. Etienne Roland, Sp. Pam of Luna, Sp. Phaedrus Berria and Sp. Shiv Gristle (Security)
Sp. Bloort Ben Sloot (Engineering)
Sp. Xox (Science)

Mission Date 142-143
Ens. White-Linen selects the social unrest on Gateway Colony as the most pressing matter on Space Fleet’s mission roster. Ens. Rojas lays in a course at warp four for Lucanii Nu 1-3, and the Endeavor makes the two-day journey without incident.

Mission Date 144
Entering standard orbit around LN 1-3, the Endeavor opens a channel to the Colony Administrator. She is relieved to that Colony Services has finally sent someone to handle her problem: miners, and one miner in particular, one that has kidnapped one of the colonists!

White-Linen forms an away team of her commissioned bridge officers, Sp. Bloort Ben Sloot (recovered from his injuries on LN 6-2) called up from engineering, and strong backup from the security staff. Sps. Etienne Roland, Pam of Luna, and Phaedrus Berria report to the shuttle bay, two beam pistols between the three of them (Space Fleet is notoriously stingy with equipment).

Gateway Colony is a typical stage-one Confederation colony – a few habitation domes surrounded by farming fields. It is also the “showcase” colony for the Drift, meant to attract colonists with its peaceful setting and room for expansion. As the shuttle maneuvers toward one of the pair of landing pads, the crew can see most of the two thousand people out in the fields or repairing equipment. Also noticeable is a large circle of sonic generators around the colony, about half a mile in diameter. These are meant to discourage the large dangerous beasts of this planet from coming near the inhabitants.

As the crew disembarks the shuttle, Dr. Zangor kneels and samples the soil in his mouth. “Fertile, rich in nutrients, Captain.”

The colony administrator greets the crew at the landing pad. She gives them a brief tour as she explains the situation: “Miners from Scoop City and Henderson’s World – that’s two of the other colonies in this sector – they come down here to trade for food, and drink conduit gin or whatever they brew. The colony voted that they couldn’t get drunk while they’re here, but they don’t listen to the will of the people. They usually spend about a week before they take off again, and they whoop it up and harass our youngfolk, looking for brides and such. We’ve voted about that too, and it was a unanimous ‘no,’ no brides for the miners. We thought that was the end of it, but this one miner…

“Rogan… like no miner I ever saw. Usually they’re skinny, wiry little folk having to squeeze into little ships or craters all their lives, but this one! Eight feet tall, flowing hair down his back, lantern jaw and perfect teeth. Like I said, t’weren’t like no miner I ever saw.

“He lands with his crew, they’re all the usual sort, but he struts off, says nothing, minds his own business. Then one day he’s gone, and taken young Loiz with him! Her parents are beside themselves of course, she didn’t say nothing about nothing to ‘em. We take a vote to form a search party, search party goes out, they find this Rogan got himself a cave and a herd of local critters, says he’s the Khan of the valley. Well, the search party took a vote and said, ‘no’, no he was not Khan of the valley, and he should let Loiz go home. That’s when he crushed a rock with his bare hands. Search party voted to come back and send word to Starbase Keppler for help.”

The crew enquires about any friends Loiz might have, and the Administrator points out Cora, who’s weeding in the legume field. Dr. Zangor’s alien appearance frightens the child, but Ens. Di Luna connects with her. They learn that Loiz had never mentioned Rogan, but that she did here a voice in her dreams, telling her how "she should be queen," and "she should rule over all." The crew decides to fly the shuttle to Rogan’s cave and confront him.

Ens. Rojas flies the shuttle low over the valley. The crew can see the herd of “critters,” eight-legged buffalo sized spider-creatures with mammoth trunks (which the crew dubs “spammoths”).

Rojas buzzes the herd with the shuttle, and scatters them to the far sides of the valley, away from the cave entrance. Rogan emerges, absurdly magnificent as the administrator described.

He greets Rojas’s fancy flying by throwing a boulder into the shuttle, damaging its repulsor circuits. As the ship reels, Dr. Zangor, trusty jet-pack on his back, opens the hatch and takes to the sky. Rojas manages to land the ship without injury to rest of the crew, but still slamming into the ground about three hundred feet from the cave. Rojas turns to the shaken White-Linen. “Captain, we’ve made it.”

Ens. di Luna and Sp. ben Sloot go to work on repairs to the shuttle. Zangor lands near the mouth of the cave. He initiates contact with Rogan, who is charmed by the small flying lizard-man. White-Linen, Rojas and the security staff disembark from the shuttle, and prepare themselves for attack should negotiations go poorly.

Rogan calls for Loiz to bring stone cups of spammoth mead. Loiz emerges from the cave, looking nothing like a farming colonist, but a seven-foot tall goddess with an impressive beehive hairdo. Rogan speaks with a voice that seems amplified throughout the valley: “I am the great Khan of this valley. My bride Loiz and I will found a tribe that will sweep across the planet and claim it for our own, as we are destined to do!”

Zangor diplomatically compliments him on this awe-inspiring achievements, but he also notices that Rogan has a statuette on a pendant around his neck, similar to the one they found aboard the derelict freighter MX-319. Perhaps remembering his own disturbing dreams since his encounter with the statuette, asks, “Did a voice in your dreams tell you what to do?” Rogan looks Zangor in the eyes, and says “Yes… and I think you’ve heard it too.” He touches the statuette hanging from his neck, and Zangor shudders with a strange new impulse in his head… freedom… he must free… he must free Loiz!

Zangor grabs the necklace-statuette and attempts to launch into the air with it. Rogan grabs Zangor by the ankle and slams him into the ground. The security team begins running toward the melee, trying to get in beam range. Rogan hurls boulders at them. Zangor slips Rogan’s grip and flies up the rock face, calling for Loiz to run, to escape, be free! But once the beams start striking Rogan, Loiz refuses, and stands by her man to throw boulders.

Rogan takes an inhuman number of shots without disintegrating, but he is weakened by blasts from Rojas’s spring rifle and Berria’s and Roland’s beam fire. With a great bellow that echoes throughout the valley, he calls, “Come to my aid, my herd of mighty spammoths!” The herd responds, and the cascade of eight legged beasts stampedes toward the cave, toward the grounded shuttlecraft, toward the vulnerable crew.

White-Linen gets on the comm to the Ens. Di Luna. “Ensign, we’re going to need to take off fast! How are those repairs coming?” The console flares and sparks in di Luna’s face. She replies, “…Progressing?”

Rogan and Loiz retreat into their dark cave. With their foes inside, Sp. Berria uses his superior Daelan vision to find them hiding behind a stone loveseat. The crew places their beam pistols at the entrance to the cave on continuous illuminative fire, so Rojas can get a fix on Rogan with her spring rifle. “Leave us alone!” he shouts. “Leave us to our kingdom!”

Dr. Zangor implores Loiz, “Come with me! I can set you free from this! We will wrestle out your problems together! He is not a proper mate for a queen like yourself!” This stirs something in Loiz, and she begins to break free of the mental hold on her. “Yes, yes, I will come.” Rogan cries out in rage, and hurls a boulder into Loiz’s back. She falls, terribly injured. Rojas fires at Rogan. Zangor throws his body over Loiz, and White Linen orders the two of them beamed up to the Endeavor.

Aboard ship, Loiz is brought to sickbay, but Zangor seems intent on freeing her. Ens. Shiv Gristle knocks him unconscious to avoid any further trouble. [LB – This isn’t quite how it went down, is it? I didn’t take notes on this part. Do you remember? –skidoo]

The spammoth herd closes on the shuttle. Di Luna and ben Sloot finish repairs, and the ship lifts off. As ben Sloot pilots, di Luna rigs rappel lines for the crew to climb into the ship on, since there will be no time to land before the herd is upon them.

The crew runs from the cave, leaving their beam pistols inside. They hurry toward the rigged escape lines, as the herd stampedes toward them. There will be only seconds to grab the line or be trampled. Di Luna calls for a transport lock on them, in case they can’t get to the lines on time. Rojas reached the line first, quickly shimmying up. Sp. Pam of Luna finds the rappel line, Sp. Roland too…and then Sp. Berria and Captain White-Linen miss their grip. Di Luna calls for the emergency beam out, and the transporter engages… just after the captain and the security spacer are trampled by eight legged hairy horrors.

Aboard ship, Captain White Linen is stabilized but grievously injured. Berria is less fortunate. He is mortally wounded, and put into cryogenic freeze. Only upon return to Starbase Keppler will the crew learn if he can be successfully cryo-revived and healed. Most tragic of all, the crew realizes that their only beam pistols were left in the cave.

On the bridge, Ens. K’taath assumes command. Pam of Luna, furious at what Rogan has done to her captain and crewmates, supports annihilating him with ship’s beams. Others are less certain of what Space Fleet’s response would be to this. The crew does decide that a selective shot to collapse the cave entrance would be appropriate, and K’taath orders it so, personally taking the difficult shot. He does his station proud, and collapses tons of rubble at the cave entrance. Naturally, the colony administrator is immediately screaming on the channel about the ship firing on the planet. K’taath attempts to mollify her as the remaining officers gather in the lab.

With Zangor safely resting in his quarters, the crew considers the statuette found on the derelict ship, which seems to have a mental grip on him. They deduce that it is connected somehow to Rogan’s statuette, because of Zangor’s response when Rogan touched the pendant. Di Luna is also able to determine that the rune-script at the base of the statue corresponds to words in other languages generally meaning “freedom,” and that Rogan’s pendant had a word corresponding generally to “magnificence.” In sickbay, Loiz appears to be reducing in size and beehive, free of the pendant’s effects. Perhaps Zangor can be freed as well?

The officers decide to have a crew member with a strong psionic profile make contact with the statuette and attempt to control it. Going through the personnel files, it turns out that Ens. Roland, even though he has no psionic abilities, has an innate psionic strength. As a precaution, Sp. Xox and Berria stand near him with tranquilizers. Roland takes the statuette in his hands, closes his eyes and concentrates. When his eyes flash back open and he starts crying out “Freedom!” Xox and Pam of Luna quickly sedate him. They breathe a sigh of relief. The attempt may have failed, but at least no harm was done.

Meanwhile, Zangor, in his quarters on his rock under a heat lamp, sits up suddenly, a wild look in his eye. Naked, he reaches out for his old wrestling belt and puts it on. He is a champion, and he WILL free them… the voice is telling him… he will free them ALL.

Dr. Zangor is fully possessed by the strange alien statuette! But free whom? And how? Will he be freed form the statuette? Will Ens. White-Linen recover in time to take command? Will Sp. Berria live? Will the Zangids or the Caeliferans attack again? What of Rogan, buried in his cave? What of Ens. Katzenjammer, locked in a cosmic bond with an alien robot ship? Next time, on Starships&Spacemen: The Lucanii Drift!

Prev: Intersession 2, Mission Date 139-142

Next: Session 4, Mission Date 145-157

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