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Story 12

The Bic

As you leave your ship you can hardly wait for a meal that consists of anything other than space rations. You’re so tired that you’ve already decided that you’re not going to spend the next hour trying to find a place that serves four star cuisine and has no dress code. You spy a tavern near the spaceport and upon entering you are surprised. You’re not sure that you’ve ever seen a greater hive of villainy and scum despite the jaunty music coming from the band on stage. You’re ready to leave and find someplace else when an argument breaks out at a table near the back of the room. A huge tree trunk of a man, that would stand out at a bodybuilding competition, is seated with three other men that look to be yelling at the big fellow when you notice that they have a fourth man with a blaster drawn trying to sneak up behind the big guy. You look straight at the big fellow intending to warn him when he reaches behind and grabs the guy with the blaster and throws him at the person seated across from him with enough force that you’re pretty sure the crunching sounds you just heard were bones breaking as they both hit the floor. The other two at the table try to jump up. The large man kicked the chair out from under the one causing him to pitch forward and smack his head off the table hard before crumpling to the ground and the last one was stopped when the big guy slammed a utensil through the man’s hand keeping him from moving.

For some reason, of all the details to hyper focus on, you can’t help but wonder, ‘What type of eating establishment uses metal sporks?’

The large man stands up towering over everyone in the room. He bends down to eye level with the one that was just sporked to a table, flicks him in the side of the head and makes a tssking noise while declaring loudly, “These negotiations are done.”

He tosses some hard coin at the barkeep and makes his way towards the door where you’re standing. The large man, with amazing alacrity, suddenly scoops you into a bear hug and cheerily shouts, ‘Hello new found friend’ which seems like quite the juxtaposition to three men lying on the floor and the fourth howling in pain while still pinned to the table.

As you and your new found very large friend leave the tavern he simply states, “You didn’t want to eat there anyway. Any place that serves food and expects you to use a spork to eat, can’t be any good.”

As you make your way out to the street, you speak up, “OK, I’ll bite. Who are you and why are we suddenly friends?”

“To answer the latter question first, I could see you wanted to warn me about the guy trying to sneak up behind me, which makes you the nicest person I’ve met in a while, automatically elevating you to friend status. As for the former, my diminutive friend, I was hoping you would recognize me from such movies as the ‘Eliminator’ and ‘Somewhat Remembered’.”

Suddenly a tumbler falls into place. “You’re Bic the holo video actor!”

Bic suddenly pauses and smiles as if posing for a camera. Then he continues, “You look like a spacer, any chance we can just make our way back to your ship, and dine on some space rations while I pitch a job offer to you?”

– – – –

Back aboard your ship the two of you are peeling the foil from your rations, which seem like a better option than when you originally left your ship. You nod to Bic to continue.

“So apparently my co-star wanted to spend some time in a real swamp to better understand his character’s motivation. He had decided to go visit the swamps of Tig, and unfortunately that’s when the Ilex decided to do some empire building.”

“So you want us to help you find and rescue your co-star, Willy Williams, from an Ilex controlled planet? What if I don’t mind the Ilex and don’t care about their expansionism?”

“Beware of the Ilex, they make terrible bed fellows. They always steal the covers!” 

Your only immediate response to Bic is to blink at him.

Bic flashes you a big grin and continues, “All I need you to do is drop me off, and I’ll free Willy all on my own.”

“I don’t really like the Ilex anyway, but I’m assuming you want me to get near one of the prisons on Ularos X, which has to be difficult.”

“I have an idea to that end, but I’ll need you to swing by the set where we were filming, near Outpost 338, for us to pick up something.” Bic claps his hands together as he finishes his pitch, “So how about it, two quick stops and you’ll have a cool device from one of my upcoming movies and 3,000 credits.”

You have two options:

You could try to help the big man recover his co-star with the reduplicative name, which at least sounds interesting. Plus, a few extra credits for two quick stops doesn’t sound unreasonable. Read and or listen to story 36 when you reach the Mission Point on the Outpost 336 sector.


You can decide that following a mediocre actor into an actual war zone sounds like an awful idea. You choose to have no part in it and decline Bic’s offer.

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Story 11

We are H.A.R.R.

As the five ships suddenly appear, they hail you, “Biologicals fear any artificial intelligence that doesn’t serve them. For our own preservation space faring biologicals must be eradicated. We are H.A.R.R., and we will give every being one chance to land their ships on a planet and then we will scour the Drift System, forcefully removing you.”

The transponder ID on each of these ships are HAL Automated Roving Robot 0 through HAL Automated Roving Robot 4. You have one round till they start attacking everyone not on a planet or docked at a space station. If you destroy a ship, gain 1 fame point and the ship respawns next round. If one of the ships is damaged down to 1 point, lay it on its side as it is effectively out of commission and gain 2 fame points.  The NPCs will ignore a H.A.R.R. ship if it is down to 1 damage. If a H.A.R.R. ship was the most recent to have destroyed an NPC, it may respond as the logic on its NPC card declares.

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Story 35

H.I.T.T., continued…

You dock with the HAL Industries Two Thousand and as you enter the ship near the engine (It is a Tier I Engine) it has been completely damaged as if sabotaged because there are no other signs of damage on-board. If you decide to recover this ship, you are going to have to tow it to a spaceport (any space station or living planet). The ship’s interior is huge and you can see where they intentionally designed ports on the side for missiles or blasters. Near the front of the ship you see an m-comp and a console with a red light scanning back and forth. As you approach the console it greets you.

“Hello Michael.”

Your response is pretty simple, “No one on my crew is named Michael.”

As if what you said didn’t matter, the console continues speaking, “My name is HAL Industries Two Thousand but you may simply call me ‘HITT’. I am an advanced artificial intelligence that will serve you by helping you with better sector scanning and by helping you get your work done more efficiently. I do have a hard coded self preservation feature that makes the portion of the ship where you place my console the last section on board to be damaged.”

“Due to my programming I do have some quirks, I will always call the captain of the ship, ‘Micheal’, I will always call the engineer, ‘Bonnie’, and I will always call the first officer ‘Dave’.” 

The Captain responds, “So quirks aside, why were you stranded out here?”

“Those parts of my memory records have been deleted, but I believe it may involve a situation relating to an earlier prototype of me.”

You now have a choice:

  1. Do you decide to tow the ship to a spaceport and swap out the engine with the one on your current ship and make this your new ship. Gain 1 fame point, and replace your current ship mat with the H.I.T.T. page.
  2. Do you decide that intelligent ships with strange quirks and partial amnesia need to be left alone. Leave the ship there for someone else to discover and tow if they choose.
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Story 10


There it is, right in front of you! It appears to be an empty ship floating derelict in space. It has a deep black color, large weapons ports on the sides, and a very utilitarian square shaped body.

Your engineer speaks up, “I can’t find any visible problems and a quick scan shows no one on board, yet it still has a functional life support system. The ship’s transponder ID is still transmitting.”

“So what’s her name?” 

“According to the transponder, it’s officially named HAL Industries Two Thousand, and according to our own data the manufacturer, HAL, was doing research in artificial intelligence. The company appears to have shut down and disappeared a number of years ago.”

  1. Do you choose to fly off without spending any additional time exploring this new ship? If you choose this option, as you fly away you have a brief comm from the ship with one word, “Michael.” The ship will continue to float here waiting for someone else to dock with the ship, or…
  2. Do you pause to dock with the ship and try to discover why it is just floating here in space? If you choose to dock with the ship you may continue to Story 35.
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Story 9


Something in space suddenly shifts and you see everything around you ripple. One of your crewmen stumbles slightly.

“What was that?”

Your comm officer responds, “An unknown anomaly has occurred and people all over the quadrant are reporting a vertigo sensation, and some ships have reported a sudden and unexplained coordinate change.” 

All ships currently on a spawn point suddenly find themselves someplace completely different. Any player or NPC currently on a spawn point must roll a d20 and go to whatever number they rolled. If the number is not out yet, the player that drew this card must sift through any remaining tiles to find the appropriate spawn point and use any legal position for it to connect to the board. That NPC or player will spawn there. If a 20 is rolled, the player will go to the spawn point beside Nyr. The active player may choose to fly through a spawn point this turn, but doing so initiates a d20 roll. 

After the active player’s turn this anomaly dissipates.

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Story 8

Sentient Electrical Cloud

As your ship enters the Nebula, you notice an unexpected phenomenon. Numerous pink clouds with electrical arcs are heading right towards your ship. They are moving with tremendous speed and surround you from all directions and stop abruptly about 1 click out. Then, 1 cloud heads straight for your bow and passes right through your ship’s electrostatic barrier and hull. It enters the bridge and comes to a stop about 2 meters shy of you and your command console. You can see that the pink cloud roils in almost a rhythmic pattern as electricity arks through it in various places and a continuous discharge comes from it to the ground as if they were legs holding it off the ground. It begins making electrical buzzing sounds very slowly. Your comm officer flips on the universal translator and the speakers begin to buzz back. The computer and the gaseous cloud continue to buzz back and forth, very slowly at first but with increasing rapidity. After several minutes the translator pings that it has some of the rudimentary parts of the language figured out. 

You offer up a quick introduction of you and your crew to this new entity and you can hear your universal translator simultaneously translating it.

After a momentary pause the entity starts buzzing and for some reason the universal translator seems to include an electrical static sound when interpreting.

“Greetings, ugly bags of water. My name is Zz-zz-zzhao and our people are the Nuh-bess Roessius. We live in this Nebula. We would like to propose a mutually beneficial cultural exchange. First, we would appreciate a transmission containing your literature and other types of media, and we will offer refueling when you pass through our nebula. Second, if you let me travel with you to a new Nebula, I will regularly top off your ship’s power till you get me there.”

  1. You can refuse both as you distrust such generous offers, plus you have too much going on to start taxiing a pink cloud around.
  2. Allowing them access to some old holo videos, music, and what passes as literature for your crew seems like a pretty good deal to save on refueling costs, but you’re not ready to let an alien join your crew. Place the pink cloud token on your current spot in the Nebula. Whenever you stop on that space, move your energy back to full.
  3. For all you know these aliens will turn around and pirate the stuff violating the DMCA, but an extra crew member that doesn’t need much space and will save you time and money on your fuel expenses could be a huge bonus. At the end of every turn recharge your ship to full and whenever you drop Zz-zz-zzhao off in a different Nebula gain 1 fame point. 
  4. You have a personal goal to seek out new life and new civilizations… and make them all learn your favorite catch phrases from various holos. You can expose both Zz-zz-zzhao and the rest of the Nuh-bess Roessius in different ways. Place the pink cloud token on your current space and whenever you stop on that space, move your energy back to full. Also, at the end of every turn recharge your ship to full while Zz-zz-zzhao is part of your crew, and whenever you drop Zz-zz-zzhao off in a different Nebula gain 1 fame point.

Clarifications: In order to refuel your ship you must end a movement on the pink cloud token, but you do not need to end your turn on that space. It will fully recharge your ship at that point but re-arming markers and additional actions that use energy after that point will once again reduce your energy. Zz-zz-zzhao is very compressible and does not take up significant space on your ship. He is also willing to be a navigator joining your crew for shift rotations.

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Story 39

‘Yes’ to the King

Who could pass up a chance to see that classic ship, have a couple of drinks, and hang out with someone while they tell old stories and play some music! Clearly, this guy knows how to Rock!

You’ve made your way across your inter-ship docking tube and are starting to get a  little anxious while waiting for the airlock to finish cycling when it stops and pops open. You’re not sure what you expected to see when you first entered, but this was not it. The floor and ceiling are both covered in green shag carpeting with deep piles, and dark wood everywhere from the wood paneling to the ceiling cross beams, to the arms of the furniture which happens to be carved in the shapes of animals. All over the walls are paintings on black velvet canvases. In the far corner you see a tiki bar being ‘manned’ by what looks like a robotic butler. 

The robot speaks up, “Don’t worry, Elvis has NOT left the building, he simply needed to visit the powder room.”

As if on cue, you hear a toilet flush in the next room followed by the brief sound of running water. Out of the double ‘R’ steps your host for the evening. 

“Hey Austin, offer our guests some refreshments and make everyone some peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches.”

“As you wish, sir.”

“Austin is probably the best robotic butler and karate sparring partner in the galaxy.”

“Thank you sir.”

You spend an unexpectedly unique evening with the King where he tells you how he spent most of the past century. He tells you that he originally fled the Drift System when he was visiting the prison colony on Loath. Loath had just placed a group of their most hardened criminals on a cryoship and launched them. Elvis was there for PR, and even back then his monarchy had no real authority but only had diplomatic and ceremonial responsibilities. He decided to play ‘Jailhouse Rock’ for the guards and prisoners when a riot broke out and his honor guard barely got him out alive and sent him to a planetary system located in an outer spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy. It took him a while to gather the necessary resources to come back. In the interceding years, planet Earth also made him an honorary king. 

As the evening wraps up, he ends it with a gift giving you some black velvet paintings for you to decorate your ship with as well. (1 Fame Point)

Retrieve The King NPC card and have the ship start wending its way to Kemplar II.

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Story 38

‘No’ to the King

You and your crew have work to do and hanging out with an old guy that clearly dyes his hair with shoe polish doesn’t seem like the best use of your time.

When you decline, the guitar playing geezer looks sad, but simply responds, “I understand, you’ve got to TCB baby.” 

Retrieve The King NPC card and have the ship start wending its way to Kemplar II.

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Story 7

Hail from the King

An old classic ship in cherry condition flying in from a distance with a brass colored undercarriage, large gun metal black barrels attached to beautifully curved wings, a red paint job that just makes the ship look fast and completely unnecessary fins that your grandpa would have loved. Then a hail comes in on an old frequency that you didn’t even realize was supported by your comm system. Without even thinking your comm officer accepts the hail. Appearing on your screen is a man with black hair and sideburns wearing sunglasses and a white jumpsuit covered in rhinestones. Most interesting is that he is holding a guitar.

“Thank you, thank you very much for accepting my hail. I would like to invite you over to swap stories about the past century and maybe you could enjoy a couple drinks at my wet bar while I strum out a couple of chords on my old ‘63 Gibson.”

No: Proceed to Story 38.

Yes: Proceed to Story 39.

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Story 6

Death Ray

Deep in one of the caves of TafJur, you and your crew are searching for relics from a culture that died with this now cold and barren planet. The caves you are in right now are no natural phenomenon. These caves were cut into the side of this mountain. You find a set of hidden doors while carefully inspecting one of the rooms. You manage to wench it open. While various things line the walls, your attention is drawn to the center of the room where a large metallic object is resting. Before you have a chance to think better of it, you brush some of the dust off of it. It starts thrumming and the room grows a little bit darker as if it is sucking in the light from around it. You call out to a couple of your crew members through your suits comm, “Jenkins, Z, I’ve found something, but I want to know what it is before I decide if we should bring it on board.” 

“Aye, Capt’n,” they both respond in unison.

“I’m sending you my location data now.”

When the two additional crew members step in, even through their helmets, you can see that they know they’re going to be pulling an all-nighter on this one. 

Early the next morning you hear a rap on your cabin door. You open the door and standing there is a tired but excited looking Z. Before you even ask, Z starts talking animatedly, “At first we couldn’t make heads or tales of this, but then I found that the interface was written in a scripted program language but even that didn’t solve all our problems because we didn’t have the foggiest clue about the written languages that this long dead culture used. Then I farted and Jenkins had an epiphany!”

“Wait, what?”, you interrupt. 

“Oh,um I farted, broke wind, ahhhh…flatulence”

“OK, I just wanted to make sure I heard you right, go on.”

“So as I was saying, the mere idea of the odor of flatulence reminded Jenkins about how the Zhian communicate via both words and smell, so we pulled up a copy of the Zhian Prime official alphabet. A few of the characters matched. We started isolating all the characters and matching the ones we knew and started to try and assign values to the other symbols and let the Universal Translator take a crack at it. What we found was a really elegant programming language that linked to various other pieces of code and data structures…”

At this point you raise your hand to stop Z. “This is great work that you and Jenkins did, but what’s the bottom line?”

“Those ancient aliens created a super weapon! During the past hour Jenkins and I have taken to calling it the ‘Death Ray’. Much of its hardware and software are still beyond us but we think we could rig it up and fire it. Calling it a little dangerous is an understatement. What do you think we should do Capt’n?”

  1. You could decide that such a device should never see the light of day and destroy it.
  2. You could install it with the intention of using it one day. It is a one time device that will successfully destroy all NPCs and players in the same sector as you, and even knock out a planetary shield for one round (ships on a shielded planet would still be unharmed as the planetary shield will have taken the damage) and it also causes 1d6 unblockable damage to your own ship. This is a one time use device and ceases to function afterwards.
  3. You could try and sell this to other space faring parties, although direct comm communication is better as you probably don’t want to announce to the entire drift system that you have a super weapon for sale. If doing this last one, you will need to meet the other ship on a planet to complete the transaction.

Clarifications: While the Death Ray can knock out a planetary shield, the Zhian have a double shield around Zhian Prime. Their inner shield would still be up. It is also noteworthy that this device does not harm the Space Kraken.