Operation High Risk First Contact
Note: Usual caveats apply — this is mostly from memory, so please let me know in the comments or by email if I need to make any updates, corrections or if I missed anything important.
Session Milestone: Intergalactic Diplomacy
1xp. Make a contribution for Earth on the study of anatomy and physiology of alien species.
3xp. Do something to make Beckham proud.
10xp. Cure hunger and bring peace to all on earth.
The team starts in a limo on its way to the Department of Homeland Security, to meet with General Beckham about the events of the alien invasion in Boston.
Going through a series of hallways and hidden entrances, the team finally arrives in Beckham’s office, deep underground, despite the fake windows.
Beckham “meets” with the team from a screen on an automated chair — unwilling to be in the same room as Sym (among others), given the security risks. The team is miffed that their ‘in person’ meeting wasn’t as advertised, but she promises they didn’t come to DC in vain since it would be their point of departure on a top secret mission.
The mission, which the team accepted, would be to accompany IG1 (Inter-Galactic 1), a special ops team focusing on first contact diplomacy, to Reklyn Darus — the planet of a species at war with the Boston invaders. From there, the team could figure out what to do with the alien invader POWs and perhaps seek out an alliance with the Reklyndars.
We also learned that the alien invaders were the Gornendorfs, a species with advanced technology and prodigious numbers, dominant throughout the galaxy.
There was some debate over whether Aramis should come, but ultimately Beckham favored it given Aramis’s experience with alien environments.
The team was sent to a secret underground facility at Reagan International Airport — Terminal U, (U for underground), via a secret access tunnel in an airport parking garage. It was a giant top secret facility designed as an actual airport terminal. There were hundreds of staff present, from security to engineers to scientists.
As the team “checked in” they met Captain Jim Reynolds, head of IG1, as well as his team of Lt. Sarah Harrington and Lt. Terry Chung, along with five IG1 mooks. The team escorted the Hub Squad through the terminal to Gate 14, where the Gornendorf sphere could be accessed. A team of scientists and engineers were outside the gate with the ship, preparing for the teleportation.
Just as the team was getting ready to board, there was an explosion. Hundreds of Gornendorfs were raiding the secret facility, some exploding down from cracked earth above, others through the secret entrance.
The Hub Squad itself was confronted by a particularly nasty Gornendorf with noble blood, Lord Schillerzilla, along with some of his mooks and minions . After a little effort — and some serious kick-butt moves from Rona — Lord Schillerzilla was brought down and the Hub Squad was victorious.
Sym used his powers on the unconscious Lord Schillerzilla to find out that the Lord’s noble blood, which could be used to infuse a Gornendorf body with incredible strength and power, enabled him to escape their DC prison — with all the Gornendorf prisoners inside it.
They were the only Gornendorfs who had escaped. Lord Schillerzilla’s noble blood was particularly potent since he was a cousin of the queen. He had also personally travelled with the invasionary force because he saw Earth as a planet with potential as part of his “dukedom.”
Sym realized there could be few prisons capable of holding Schillerzilla on earth.
Sym also learned that Lord Schillerzilla was able to find the facility because he had a smuggled device that had a lock on all the teleportation spheres on Earth — though, luckily, there Schillerzilla had the only one. Sym learned the Lord had a cosmic sense which enabled him to ‘smell’ the Hub Squad and target them from the start.
He also learned that the Gornendorf Queen was sick because of the Noble Blood — each time it was used to infuse strength into the body, it took a toll on that body, too.
It was around that time that further waves of the Gornedorf prisoners were coming — so IG1 decided to hold them back while the Hub Squad escaped through the sphere.
As soon as the team entered the sphere and transported, they arrived at Reklyn Darus almost instantly.
Shepard was the first out of the ship, getting a bird’s eye view of the planet. The environment was a rocky desert with a red sun. The air was breathable, but like breathing in Denver. The gravity was similar to earth — perhaps a tad bit heavier.
Shepard was able to spot a pair of giant wild beasts that looked like the ones which tried to eat Natalie Portman in Attack of the Clones. They were nearby a structure buried partly in the desert. When the animals wandered off, the team investigated — finding a well stocked room inside.
While everyone was figuring if it was safe to go inside, Aramis opened up the heavy stone door and went right in — figuring it was meant for those traversing the desert like themselves. His people had similar locations where he was from, in the Crossroads.
There was a pair of the Reklyndar aliens on a wall painting inside, making a friendly gesture with their middle fingers toward each other. Despite what middle fingers meant where they were from, it looked like a sign of peace on Reklyn Darus.
There was a ton of supplies inside — from tools to food and water to basic weapons — and an area to make camp. There was also a computer and what the team realized to be a universal translator, one so advanced it had a limited telepathy or read brainwaves, able to detect the differences between a black “smith” and Mrs. Smith. The translator could could also scan and read text.
The team was able to use that device to translate the text on the wall by the painting. It said “Peace Friends, and Share. Reklyndar Hostel #01a.”
Aramis was able to discover from the computer that there was an entire network of the desert structures which could lead from one city or location to the next — almost as if there were many wanderers in a Reklyndar desert.
Sym found out from the computer some basic information about the city nearby — Reklyndaria. It was the world’s largest city and structured by over 100 ‘sectors,’ which acted as cities within cities and were dedicated to certain functions, such as science or manufacturing.
Soon after leaving the structure, the team realized their sphere was spotted — and a scout team was sent, led by a militant, distrustful Captain Tivian Aquata — who was ready to attack anyone who came out of a Gornendorf Sphere.
Because the team was able to avoid a fight with the wild beasts earlier and learn about the Reklyndarian sign of peace, they were able to avoid a confrontation with Aquata long enough for a member of the Aqdar Council to come and diffuse the tension.
Councilman Daromas assured the scouts that Earth was deemed “harmless” and Aquata had no right to attack. The team, meanwhile, used the translator to tell the Reklyndarians that they only had the sphere because they were attacked — and were seeking out Reklyndarians for advice, and in peace.
The team learned that the sphere technology was dangerous — and that similar technology that the Reklyndarians developed had damaged their planet to the point where portals opened randomly. Use of the spheres exacerbated the problem.
The team was given a tour of Reklyndaria, the city, by Councilman Daromas. They learned that tens of millions of people lived there. It was massive and alien. There were giant ant-hill-like structures rising into the sky throughout the city, along with other structures that were wide and living, like giant flowers. There were sections of the city on large barges and boats, with skyscrapers rising above them, along with deep caverns under the sea and other undersea structures where Reklyndarians made their homes.
The team learned that most Reklyndarians could breath in air or underwater, though some had recessive traits that only allowed them to breath in one or the other. This was a trait that was developed because for a length of time the leviathans were the apex species on the planet — among other dangerous species in the deserts.
The team learned that the planet, while always desert-like, was once greener. Once, long ago, there was an industrialized revolution that led to the near destruction of the planet, wiping out many of the world’s species — ever since, the Reklyndarians have tried to keep small footprints, to the point where the planet is finally bouncing back in some regards (portal disasters notwithstanding).
Shepard asked around about religion and philosophies and learned that there was once a Shintoist-like religion, but as the species advanced, people thought of it less as a religion and more as a form of naturalism. The whole notion took a beating during their industrial revolution, but made a big comeback once the full damages of the industrial revolution were wrought — to the point where a mix of naturalism and ‘humanism’ is the dominant worldview.
Rona toured some of the science areas in the city and discovered many wonders. While the Reklyndarians wouldn’t share their tech, a la the Federation on Star Trek, they were perfectly willing to share the ideas and principals — the scientific theories — behind them. She was able to learn a lot, but realized they had no great understanding of Nuetralino Energy, as cool as a lot of their science and tech was.
Power Surge, curious about the prisoners of Reklyn Darus, made inquiries about its system of justice and whether or not they had Gornendorf POWs. He learned that there were very few Reklyndarians in environments like prisons — while there were occasionally law breakers, Reklyndarians preferred to get at the root of the problem rather than just send people to prison, directly addressing mental health, poverty and other assorted problems that could lead to a ‘path of crime.’
As for Gornendorf POWs, there were thousands. Power Surge was given a tour of a ‘Gornendorf prison’ and found it less like a prison and more like a separate society. They were buried deep underground in absolutely massive chambers designed to replicate Gornendorf environments, shielded in a way to prevent any Gornendorfs from escaping or making contact with their governments. There was little “guarding” of these faciilities inside the shielded environments — they were largely given the resources to take care of themselves and had a society unto them.
The team learned more about the political structure of Reklyn Darus. Reklyndarians largely lived in giant city states, though there were some small countries that developed. However, while there were a lot of independent states, there was something of a “World Government” in the form of the Aqdar Council, which could set not only policy on matters of defense, but matters important to defense, too — such as making sure there was enough food and resources.
The Council has gained a lot of power and prominence during the war with the Gornendorfs, given the need to have a unified response. It acts as something like the UN Security Council, but with more teeth and far more organization. Instead of just being comprised of representatives from states, there’s a mix of appointments representing not only governments, but professional associations like scientists and the military.
Currently, the dominant view on the Council edges more toward the scientists and diplomats than the military. The council meets in Reklyndaria, making it the world’s de facto capital. They meet in a shadowed hall, which had a very Minbari Babylon 5 vibe to it.
When the team met with the Council, there was interest in the humans since they were able to stand up to the Gornendorfs. Supers were clearly more capable than they had realized.
There was some interest in creating an alliance — but when the team brought up the notion of transporting the Gornendorf prisoners to Reklyn Darus, not many on the council were willing to bite. One of the shadowed councilmen told the Hub Squad that it would be difficult to voluntarily take on additional Gornendorf POWs, because the ones they had already were using up 30% of their world’s energy.
It would have taken a big wartime commitment on Earth’s part to make that viable for them, one that perhaps Earth would be unable to make.
Daromas intervened, bringing another idea. He raised the idea that they could have the Altookians take the prisoners.
The Council then explained who the Altookians were — a race that largely stayed out of intergalactic politics, but was once the dominant intergalactic race before becoming isolationists. Their technology is thought to be the most advanced in the galaxy, though their aren’t many of them.
As the session drew to a close, Daromas did warn the team that they are “weird” and had a weird way of doing things. Since the Reklyndarians weren’t seen to be on the winning side of this war, they were no longer welcome on Altookia — but the humans, who had just had a surprise win, could be just be able to have some success in drawing the Altookians out.
We ended with the promise of heading off to Altookian Prime.