St John's College, Johannesburg, South Africa: eSports, boardgaming, wargaming & all mindsports. Affiliated to Mind Sports South Africa
So, after my long visit to the Procrastination Nation, I decided to hand the reigns of Space Truckers to aspiring GM, Matthew Davies. Realising that face-to-face sessions in the middle of matric prelims et al would be academic suicide, he opted to run the session online over Skype. It was a huge success and everyone involved had immense fun.
Of course, being the chronic procrastinator and RPG nerd that I am, I decided that, rather than study for my exams, I would chronicle the adventures of this rag-tag bunch of space-misfits in what I am now calling:
The Spacetrucker Chronicles
Now, I’ve tried to stay as true to the transcript as possible and this, naturally, has resulted in the story reading like the creative genius of a pre-school kid. Nevertheless, this has not deterred me.
Some may point out that I, playing a character in this game, may be a bit biased towards my character. To those accusations, I have only this to say: History was written by the coolest.
So, without further ado…
The Spacetrucker Chronicles: The Prologue
The Heroes Assemble
The year is 2132 AD. Drifting through space are hundreds of ships; some great and grand, others small and shabby. All are full of bounty hunters: galactic citizens of all species, genders and dispositions united for single, powerful cause – money. Hired to take down the Khasin, one of the most infamous and powerful pirate clans in all known space, the bounty hunters sit in their ships, planning and readying themselves for action.
Aboard one such ship, a carrier class mercenary warship, is a small squad, one of many. Though the chain of command seems unclear in the squad (it being a squad of bounty hunters and all), one thing is certain, Caeln, massive mutant with a rather large, comical tumorous growth on his head, is in charge. New recruits, having just signed onto the mission, slowly pour into the bunk quarters.
“I’m Doc Walker,” said the first recruit, a lanky man with red hair, “a mutant on a quest to become the galaxy’s greatest pastry chef.”
Before anyone could take note of the mutant, a Xenozorg strode into the room. “Hello everyone! I’m Jay. I am the most skilled pilot in all the galaxies!” Even hunched, as all Xenozorgs are, Jay seemed to stand taller than any human, so full of pride was he. “I request,” he continued “to be the lead fighter pilot. I am great.”
Caeln gave a small laugh. “Greetings Doc Walker, I am Caeln, and to you Jay, I am sure we will have plenty of use for your abilities. Please make yourselves comfortable.”
Doc turned his head and noticed for the first time a gruff, well-built man, standing in the corner of the room.
“My name’s Petrus ‘Die Haai’ van der Merwe,” said the man, chewing on a toothpick “I’m a mutant and I can fok jou op met my psionics. But guns are mooi too, hey. Just as maklik to kill with those… I’m a mercenary and I’m ready for service.”
“Ah yes,” said Caeln “’Die Haai’. You come very well recommended with your…uhm, abilities.”
Before Caeln could say more, another mutant entered the room and began pasting small pamphlets to each bed. Although it is common for mutants to sport a tumorous growth or two, Blanco’s appearance was certainly not common, in that he was covered in tumours. Those who have met him often describe his appearance as ‘the love child of Yoda (the lovable green alien from Earth’s pre-contact 20th century) and the rock biter (another 20th century Earth film character from the Neverending Story). Doc turned to face the recruit.
“And you are?”
The mutant halted his pamphlet-pasting for a moment to address the small crowd. “I,” he began, clearing his throat, “am Blanco King, a Mutie rights activist who follows in the footsteps of Biko and Malcolm X. I believe Mutants should not be afraid or shy about their mutations and should fight for independence and Mutie Pride!”
Silence filled the room like a fart.
“Oh, and I’m a psionic too” he added.
The awkward silence was eventually shattered by the entrance of yet another mutant, a woman with a long blonde ponytail.
“Doesn’t she look familiar?” asked Doc.
“Salutations fellow bounty hunters. I am Winry!”
“Yup, definitely” said Blanco.
“A military mechanic,” she continued, oblivious to the chatter of those around her “and maker of all things mechanical…and stuff. I like classical music and not being interrupted.” She glanced at Blanco and Doc, who ceased their talking immediately. “Don’t piss me off. Seriously. Don’t. Piss. Me. Off. That includes” she continued, sending an accusing stare at the men in the room, “not staring at my tits!”
Needless to say, her bosom was left well alone by the gazes of the bounty hunters after that.
“Welcome sister!” exclaimed Caeln, leaping to his feet. “It is great to see so many of my mutant brethren here.”
“Meh,” said Doc “better than that yandere I worked with on the last mission. She tried to stab me because she thought I was ‘eyeing up her senpai’.”
A few hours later, the squad began to settle in. Caeln had left to go and continue planning in the CIC. Doc had just finished baking a cake in the kitchen, Jay was wondering the armoury, Winry was at work repairing a shotgun she had found, Blanco was distributing the last of his informational pamphlets concerning the everyday struggle of the Mutie and Petrus was in the bathroom enjoying some “alleen time.
At this time Blanco began to shout.
“WHY ARE WE YELLING?! LOUD NOISES!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!”
No one could explain the cause of the deafening noise which burst from Blanco’s lips, although some theorists have suggested that, at this very moment, Doc observed Blanco’s momentum and thus, according to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, Blanco experienced a very brief moment where his position was infinite.
Regardless of reason, this shout nearly deafened Winry and sent Petrus rushing from the bathroom, still zipping up his trousers. It was at this moment that everyone noticed Jukuren, an Ikk’tar, clutching his ears in pain and writhing around on the floor.
“Should we help him?” asked Petrus.
“1st Aid Activate!!!!” screamed Blanco, as he rushed to aid the Ikk’tar. Before he could help, however, the Ikk’tar stopped writhing and stood up.
“I think,” started the Ikk’tar “that I’m supposed to be with you guys.”
Before introductions could be made, a redhead woman put her head through the door.
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU MAKING SO MUCH NOISE ABOUT?!”
“Equal Rights?” suggested Blanco.
“Guns” said Petrus, noticing Winry’s shotgun.
“And you are?” asked Jay.
“Max.” said the woman, as she left the room.
Following these events – which, although seemingly arbitrary, will become painfully, and perhaps tragically, more important in the greater scheme of things – the bounty hunters continued to go about their own business. Petrus was oiling his new-found battleaxe, Winry was ogling the Adonic mechanic fixing her shotgun, Doc was training and Blanco was preaching to an enthusiastic duo of mutants with which he had recently become acquainted.
“So, okes?” asked Petrus. “Anyone know what’s happening? Die Haai wants some aksie!”
“Yeah!” agreed Blanco, whose audience, having become disillusioned with the concept of racial pride and identity, and perhaps a little bored, had left him.
“Apparently we are still a year from our destination” added Winry.
“I think we’re basically bumming around until tomorrow” said Doc.
“Speaking of bumming around…” Petrus snuck a suggestive look at Winry, which was returned with one of her patented death stares.
“Uh…” said Petrus, trying desperately to change the subject. “Since we’re here for a while, we might as well get to know each other, hmm? What skills do we all have?”
Doc began. “Psion. Skilled at medicine. One hell of a chef.”
“Psionics, a neat side effect of my mutations. Also, the gross ass boils make me pretty intimidating” said Blanco, taking pride in his mutations. “I also do first aid. I like to think of myself as a practical man.”
“Tech,” began Winry. “I can also navigate, fix things, whatever. I can even driv-“
“Oh no you can’t!” interrupted Petrus, “I drive the bakkies. I don’t trust anyone except myself behind the wheel of a vehicle. I don’t give a shit about spaceships or air vehicles though, so the Xenozorg can do all that.”
Blanco nodded furiously in approval.
“I would love to ride along with a mutant brother who has become adept in his field. I trust you and your bakkie completely.”
Before the others could introduce themselves, the ship lurched. A loud whine, the sound of metal under pressure, sounded through the ship. The lights flickered and went out.