Showing posts from 2016

Aftermath and Begining

"Mr. Xibalboa ... we have a problem," Ranna Morrigen said. She had just administered the antidote to the medical Slow the doctors had used on the Inerzan. She repeated it as the tall man came to his senses and realized she was no longer a statue from his point of view. "I .. don't understand ... I was shot," Xibalboa murmured from under an oxygen tent. He ribbed his face and and realized the surgical scarf he wore like most of his hygiene obsessed culture was gone. He also needed a shave and a toothbrush. "That was a month ago your time. You're fine ... for now. We know what you did ... staging that swell dinner so that those mercs could kill us all," Ranna explained. She doffer her trenchcoat and was wearing a pistol in a shoulder holster under it. She drew a revolver from her coat pocket, checked the cylinder and laid it on a table. Then she pushed the table near where he could grab it and tore down the oxygen tent with a quick angry motion.

Professor Elevator and the Terror on the Thirteenth Floor!

Steen Prigo, widower, restauranteur, and middle aged, ducked behind the brick wall as chips flew and the assassins' guns chuffed again. Silencers were creepy. "Steen, help me up," XIbalboa growled trying to get his feet under him. The tall offworlder's face was masked with a surgical scarf shielding him from stray germs of the ill bred. "Don't worry 'Bo. I'll let you know when I need help," Prigo said snapping off a shot from his revolver that was answered by a stream of bullets. "How many bullets do those guns hold?" "Lots more than your six. Help me up!" "Stay down." "The Hell with that. This pavement is filthy!" The Inerzan got to his knees gasping and held out his laser pistol for the local. "Oh yeah. I forgot you pack a ray gun. Thanks!" Prigo handed the Inerzan his revolver and a box of shells from his coat pocket. Then he snapped a shot with the laser. The beam went through the

Inertron and Slide Rules

I thought about the Satellite I and II for a bit and decided to work them out as they were originally intended. That means using inertron. That means I need to reread Armageddon 2419 (not a bad thing) because aside from repelling normal matter inertron has a bunch of other properties that make it very very useful. For handwavium it was worked out very nicely as I recall. The Satellite series were not constant boost ships instead having a normal cruising speed of 40 kps. Of course the characters say at once point that they can produce food and fuel en-route. Which makes me kind of cry a little. that makes the Satellite as bad as a reactionless drive ship. There's also no word on what powers the dang ships. If it's atomic it ain't fission as we understand it because there's no room for radiation shields. So I get to make some stuff up or translate their 1930's doubletalk to 2016 doubletalk. What's interesting about this setting for me is that aside from lack

Satellite I and II

The first interplanetary vessel Buck Rogers used was the Satellite pictured here. (Image from Atomic Rockets website) It's an interesting design using compressed air to fly in an atmosphere and true rocket propulsion beyond the atmosphere. The blast of the engines seems to pass within centimeters of the hull which gives me problems. The ship also uses inertron which is repelled by normal matter to negate some of the pull of gravity which lets it accelerate more smoothly. These days you'd have a repulsion generator or whatever because negative matter floating away seems silly to some. At the very least if the late Dr. Robert Forward is to be believed neg matter and normal matter will destroy each other utterly. If Raymond McVay did his research right (And Ray McVay does) it would also do weird things with any energy striking it leading to a big boom. Inertron was about as dangerous as press board unless you let it hit you in the face on its way out. It also was a pe

Bringing a Knife to a Raygun Fight

Mezanine or Constance downed the glass of champagne in a single shot tossing her blonde hair in an impressive display. Her blue eyes were bright as she regarded Basement across the table. "So," she said leaning forward a bit. "I told you mine. Now you tell me yours." "My ...?" "Name, handle, moniker, tag -ya stoop. Your mom didn't name you 'Basement', did she?," Madison explained. One hand was twirling a lock of her hair. "Oh. Bullethead," he said cautiously nibbling a little caviar. He made a face, added a little ketchup to it and seemed satisfied with the results. "It suits you. Dance with me, Bullethead," Madison said smiling. "Oh gee ... the dancing ... I ain't so good. I ... big feet ... you know what they say about guys with big feet ... I mean two left feet! I ..." "Oh. That's so sweet. You're shy around women, big fella? I thought so. You want some advice, champ?&quo

Their Eyes Were the Same -Black Part Two of ???

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Consider this a little gift to you. It says you can keep it. Kilroy is in many ways the Phantom stranger, the Keyser Sose of the Second World War. The question of what he/she/it was demands multiple answers. She lost her family to the Nazis and arrived in the USA as a refugee. Her country of origin and any other details before the arrival were classified need to know. It was in a stateside hospital that her talent manifested. The Walking Darkness strode the wards frightening staff and patients alike, appearing and disappearing at will. Seldom glimpsed it was described as a shadow man with green glowing eyes. Several favors were called in mystics and mystery men were brought to investigate. The thing was finally caught in a sub-basement where it held off several costumed heroes until a wizard could trap it in a ward and trace it to its source: the nightmares of a badly abused girl. With occult training the girl learned to project the creature, c

The Haunted

It became more and more clear that supernatural forces were involved in the Second World War as it progressed. One of the more signs was what soldiers would call the Haunted. A soldier would claim to be able to see and talk to a the specter of a dead military man. Sometimes it was someone they knew personally. Other times the revenant was a historic figure, here to help our boys out. Most of the Haunted would have gotten sent to a hospital for shell shock (at least) except for two things: they were completely rational aside from this quirk and they did have vital information they couldn't know by normal means. Ghosts warned their tank commanders of minefields, and pointed out snipers to infantry. They indicated ambushes and traps and saved lives. On very rare occasions something appeared to others and briefly tore into enemy forces evening the odds at the least and destroying all opposition at best. The Haunted The Haunted is always a Tactician (OWB) or Leader (The Front). T

Fear and Loathing in Zero-Gee

Transcript # 12200567 GCS Tesla Cargo Deck (Some hours before the poignant game of peek a boo played in sickbay between the Lieutenant and his Synthetic love interest.) Captain: Tell me again ... Lt.: Aye sir. Telling it again. Ms. GAIA and I went after the NBE that remained on the ship. We tracked it to shipping and then the cargo hold. We used cryogenic sprays to drive it further into the hold and it booked right for the AXA. The NBE managed to open the case of the AXA and ... GAIA: I slammed the lid on it. Lt.: I perma-glued it shut. Then I sealed the entire AXA in perma-plast. That door isn't opening anytime soon barring a shaped nuclear charge hitting it. GAIA: Then we called you to report this. Captain: ... I haven't said this to you in a while but ... good job Technical Officer. Lt.: Sir? Captain: Oh you thought I was going to chew your ass? Heck no! Why did you decide to jam our unfriendly ghost in there? Lt.: ... Sir. The casing of the Rockapongalie a

Robot Jamboree

So Raymond McVay and I were looking over his absolutely gorgeous deckplan WIPs. He asked me for feedback on some stats for a cruiser and I remarked that he seemed to have included a lot of droids for a ship of that size. This led to a few insights (for me anyway). Those led to a table for you today. Where the #$%* Is that Robot?! Roll a d20 or pick  reason. 1) Recharging. Believe it or not robots usually work in shifts (and recharge at least part of the day). 2) Defragging. 3) Undergoing preventive maintenance. 4) Performing preventive maintenance (the shop is short handed) 5) Getting a wash (robots get dirty too.) 6) Stuck on a job running longer than expected. 7) Getting a software upgrade. 8) Someone forgot to turn it back on. 9) Broke down and needs a push to the elevator 10) Swapping new code with another robot. 11) Distracted by something on the interweb. 12) Suffering from conflicting orders and needs a human to resolve a logic problem. 13) Has a virus. 14) Plann

Their Eyes Were the Same -Black Part One of ???

He was one. He was one of many. He was American. He was an expat German. He could walk through walls. He lived in shadows. He was that fleeting glimpse when you turn your head suddenly. That cold finger stroking your cheek when you lie half asleep. As awesome and terrible as the Green Man and Frankenstein's monster were they were all too real. This was a walking shadow, a scrap of a nightmare spun into lethal reality briefly then returning wherever he came from. Gestapo and S.S. men went mad seeking him. Some were found dead in locked rooms. Plans were stolen from unopened safes. Each scene had a crude drawing drawn or scratched on a wall and the words 'Killroy Was Here.' Option 1 A Killroy is a highly trained though human operative. A mystery man if you will.  This elite unit operates outside the chain of command, known only to the highest echelons of command. A Killroy's training gives him the following advantages Level       XP          HD          BHB      

Checklist for Determining a Free Trader's Route

1) Get a map of the subsector or general area you want to run cargo and passengers in.   a) there isn't a lot to worry about here. Honestly you can get a paper print out map in the starport lounge. Go ahead. Why are you so paranoid, like every item on my lists is a crisis? Geeze. (1) 2) Eliminate the Restricted worlds. (2) 3) Are you planning on running contraband? Eliminate the B starports. they have a low volume of traffic compared to the A ports and nearly as good technology to spot shady stuff. 4) Are you skipping? Eliminate the A starports. Too many law men there. Too many AIs checking paperwork. 5) Doing anything else illegal? Avoid Zaonia unless it's in their interest too (trust me!) 6) Got a Free Trader? Make sure you can land on a size 8+ world and make orbit again (ask your referee). If not eliminate all size 8+ worlds. 7) Have you got a fuel refiner? If not eliminate systems with a D starport or worse. 8) Have you got a bunch of gun bunnies in your cre

Now You See Her ...

GAIA Personal Journal  #391256 GCS Tesla's Medical Section Lt.: How's she doing? GAIA: She is still unconscious, resting. Her vitals are steady and normal for her at rest. There is a slightly faster heartbeat. Nothing indicative of cardiac trouble. Do you want to see her? Lt.: Sure. You're a good daughter. GAIA: <Peck> You're a good maker. Lt.: The hell! GAIA what happened? GAIA: I don't understand. Lt.: Were you watching her? GAIA: Yes. I have kept a constant scan of her biometrics. What is wrong? Lt.: I but she's ... hang on. Give me your remote control please. GAIA: ... okay. Lt.: I want to show you something. GAIA: Schaeffer, where did  you go?! Who are you?! Where's Ma'am?! Lt.: Hang on. I shut down your facial recognition software. I'm re-engaging it now. GAIA: Oh! There you are. Toff used to play peek a boo with me like that. I made him stop. Lt.: Look at Ma'am please. GAIA: ... that isn't Ma'a

Taking It to the Top!

Post by Special Guest Professor Elevator follows. Being a crook with a theme is a tough road, even on Zaonia. Why would people do it? Hubris, ego, obsessive compulsive disorder, and Dunning Kruger Competency Syndrome all come to mind. I will discount those because those reasons lead to a brief career and a long fall interrupted by a short rope. In my case, as is typical of my imitators (I say imitators because really, I have no peers), I have a message to get out. The Tech Knights are a bunch of Fascists who restrict technology for their own enrichment. Every time I pull a job off I want everyone to know who did it, to see how ineffectual that band of militaristic handymen are. That's my message. If you use it please give credit. Being a name criminal mastermind can be a benefit. Everyone knows what you're capable, in my case a lot. You get the first pick of henchmen, people leave your territory alone, I even get favorable deals when I subcontract part of an evil scheme (

Swamp Monsters

The Frankenstein monster became a walking nightmare tearing through partisans in France and the Low Countries. Amid fears that Hitler would soon unleash a horde of similar creatures to aid in the invasion of England, that they were already marching under the waves with no need for oxygen a school of British druids was enacting a desperate plan. Theologists of every stripe knew this was not merely a war for living room or oil or power. It was a fight for men's souls. The druids were inserted into the Netherlands by small planes at night at hidden airfields and laboriously made their way to a rendezvous. A similar plan involving the rabbis of Prague had already failed when many of them were rounded up and shipped to death camps. The Swamp was carefully chosen and remote. Even so the S.S. and Gestapo were close behind as the ceremony continued. The Reich's undead and invincible monster appeared as it concluded and the High Druid died immediately but the working was completed

Mystics and the Military

True magic users were rare during the Second World War. Fortunately most of the Axis wizards were merely schooled in ritual or used artifacts collected by the Ahnenerbe. True magicians were categorized by their ability to create virtually any effect using magic on the spot without using rites or methodical magical procedures though the range and duration of their spells varied. There were several mass magic workings attempted during the war. Soviet operatives attempted to summon and inflict waves of gremlins on the Luftwaffe. English druids manned the white cliffs to send lightning bolts and hail at German bombers raiding Britain. The Ahnenerbe used several massive rallies held for the Party to attempt to conjure incredibly powerful beings to aid the Reich (including the Aesir and Vanir). These rallies were thankfully disrupted by Allied agents and spellcasters. Magic also had several hard and fast limits. 1) The magician always has an object or action to cast their spell. Whethe