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Story 81

Egg-sactly what you ordered

“I’ve just transferred 6,000 credits to your account for a job well done”

“We appreciate the credits, but if whatever is in that egg is related to the nightmarish creature that chased us when we were in atmo on Planet 0, you might want to reconsider the idea of trying to keep that in a zoo.” 

“Do you have any recordings of the creature that chased you?”

“I’ll send the sensor data when I get back on board my ship.”

Gain 6,000 credits and continue your turn if you have any actions left.

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Story 80

It hatches

You leisurely sip your coffee and spoon mouthfuls of spacer’s porridge into your mouth while enjoying a quiet breakfast in the small galley of your ship. You’ve always assumed spacer’s porridge is like hot dogs, and it’s better not to know what exactly goes into making it. At least the coffee is good. Your first officer joins you in the galley, their red jumpsuit catching you off guard.

“I didn’t even know those came in red,” you quip.

“Neither did I Captain, but when I saw it I knew that if anyone could make it look good, it would be me.”

“I do appreciate your humbleness.”

“Thanks for having coffee ready. I just want to grab a cup before checking on our mysterious egg again. It seems to be getting warmer and last night I swear I felt something moving inside.”

“I can’t wait to get that thing off our ship. If it’s anything like the creature that chased us, I don’t want to stick around to see it mature. The owner of the Space Zoo must be mad.”

Trying to change the subject, your first officer looks down at your porridge. “Do you have any idea what that is made of?”

Shortly thereafter, your first officer makes their way out of the galley and a few minutes pass, when a ship wide comm comes on. It’s your first officer’s voice, “Hey guys, we have a problem. The egg has hatched and I can’t find the hatchling anywhere.” Suddenly, there’s a scream and crunching noise over the comm.

You bolt from the galley and as you enter the cargo bay you see that your comm officer beat you there by moments and already has his blaster drawn. Everything happens so quickly but you see it all in slow motion. The monstrous creature is gorging itself on your first officer when it turns its head towards your comm officer with a menacing look. Without hesitation, your comm officer shoots the creature center mass. The blast would have killed you, but the creature only lets out a howl before blasting a hole in the hull with some sort of plasma breath. Before the shields can activate, both the creature and your first officer’s remains are sucked into the vacuum of space.

Remove the egg from your cargo hold, and add a damage token to your ship for where the creature escaped.

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Story 76

That egg has scales on it

As your ship lands on Planet 0 near the data beacon, you take a quick look out of your cockpit. “Well, that was easier than I expected,” you say to yourself when you spot a single large egg just 10 meters away from the beacon.

Your navigator jumps in, “We’re going to need a grav-sled for this.”

You and your crew immediately notice how interesting this egg is. It’s massive in size, requiring an entire standard cargo space on your ship. The egg’s surface is unlike any other you’ve seen before – it’s covered in rough black scales with a reddish tint. As you struggle to get it onto the grav-sled, you can feel its warmth against your skin. Perhaps it’s just absorbing the heat from the nearby sun.

Once the egg is secured in the cargo bay, your crew hears a loud roar reverberating through the air, containing both high and low pitches. The sound seems to penetrate your very soul as you can feel it vibrating within you.

Quickly, you key the overhead comm and say, “Let’s move, everyone. We don’t want to stick around and find out what made that sound.”

As everyone else was busy loading the egg onto the ship, your first officer had the foresight to divert enough energy from the data beacon for an extra engine boost. You’re now hurtling towards the planetary shield at a frantic speed, but you hear that same unsettling roar once again.

“Incoming weapons fire!” your first officer yells from their station.

With no time to spare, you shout for evasive maneuvers. A splatter of plasma narrowly misses your ship’s hull and collides with the planetary shield, causing a disruption. “Navigator, head for that break in the shield!” you command. The gap closes just as you make it through. “I don’t know what just attacked us, but we need to get this egg off the ship and delivered to the Space Zoo.”

Place the egg game token in your ship’s cargo hold. You may take any additional actions that you still have sufficient armed markers for.

At the beginning of every round while you have the egg in your cargo hold, roll a [d20]. If you roll a 1-3 at any point read/listen to Story 80.

If you get all the way to the Space Zoo and deliver the egg without rolling a 1-3 on a [d20] along the way, then read/listen to Story 81.

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Story 29

Checkhov’s Egg

You give a curt nod to the comm officer as you receive an incoming hail from the Space Zoo. On the screen, a distinguished looking older man with a white beard and hair appears. “Greetings, Captain. I am offering a job that pays 6,000 credits for retrieving an egg and delivering it to me. The only catch is that you must sneak through a planetary shield.”

After a brief moment of consideration, you reply, “I’m intrigued. Can you provide more details?”

The old man nods and continues, “Planet 0 is nearly untouched by modern technology, save for a data beacon and shield generator. It is teeming with unique flora and fauna that may never be discovered due to their ban on xenobiologists and botanists. However, as someone who has been monitoring the planet’s data beacon, I have noticed a large and fascinating creature laying an egg right next to it. If you can retrieve this egg and bring it to me, I will compensate you generously. And if we successfully hatch the egg, your name will go down in history as the first person to bring back a zoological specimen from Planet 0.”

If you accept the job, read/ listen to Story 76 when you get to the mission point on Planet 0.

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Story 71

General Ein-Dahr on Ularos IX

As you arrive at a military base and disembark from your ship you are surprised to find General Ein-Dahr waiting to greet you. You quickly stand at attention and salute the general.

“At ease, your crew has been making quite the name for itself and this mission that you sent me data on is quite interesting. Our scientists would love to see some of these creatures in person and study them. Giving us a good off world place to observe them is fantastic. We’ve selected some creatures that we think may one day yield military potential, and we don’t think these other milk toast species in this solar system will even look at them that way. We will be happy to send them to the Space Zoo.”

You receive an escort to the DNA cryogenics lab on base and the scientists there provide you with many excellent samples worth 10K when you return to the space zoo.

You have three rounds to return to the Space Zoo with the samples. When you return to the Space Zoo, listen/read Story 55.

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Story 70

Acquiring some more vicious creatures

As you walk into the old man’s office you find him holding a bottle of what looks like infant formula in one hand and cradled in his opposite arm is something that looks almost like a child’s stuffed play thing with black and white white fur. It probably weighs about 250 grams and is approximately 20 centimeters long.

“It is thanks to your efforts that we have this wonderful little guy here, but don’t let his tiny size fool you. When he’s fully grown this Panda of Old Strayos will probably be over 1.8 meters long and weigh a good 150 kilograms. Upon docking I wired the credits to you for your latest effort as the canisters pinged me with data about what they contained. Truly this is going to be marvelous. I am sure your notoriety will continue to grow as word of these new displays attract attention.

“One point eight meters and 150 kilograms! Is this guy vicious when fully grown? If so, there are those on my planets who would pay handsomely to go on safari for such a creature.”

“Alas, you would find this guy less of a challenge. He spends almost his entire life just eating a plant called bamboo and is not renowned for his prowess at hunting or in combat. However, I have heard that your people keep DNA samples of a wide array of dangerous animals from numerous worlds your people have visited or conquered.”

“This is true although we have only rarely released a non-native species on a different planet. It tends to wreak havoc with the ecosystem.”

The old man smiles, “Well, we would like to provide an environment outside of any planet to bring some of those creatures into the Drift System as most of your planets are in other solar systems. I’m sure we could accommodate some of your people to at least observe these animals and see just why they are so dangerous. Besides all that I would pay you quite well for some rare specimens.”

He sets down the formula bottle and pulls another shaving cream canister out of a drawer and sets it on his desk. “So are you up for one last mission?”

No, then walk away and gain a fame point for all that you’ve done to this point.

Yes, then travel to the mission point on Ularos IX and listen/read Story 71.

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Story 69

I like pandas

As you dock with the colony ship you ping the biologist in charge of the cryogenics lab and send her the data about your job offer from the Space Zoo.

Dr Lock-coo greets you with a warm smile as you enter her lab. “When it comes to excitement, you and your crew certainly don’t disappoint.”

“We aim to please.”, you quip while lobbing the shaving cream can in her direction.

She deftly catches it and unscrews the bottom. “This is a rather unique design, but it looks pretty easy to work with. As long as none of the bureaucrats on-board object too much I should be able to get this loaded up pretty quickly. I am definitely going to include panda DNA as that was my favorite as a kid.”

Dr. Lock-coo quickly got to work, expertly extracting genetic samples and carefully storing them in the compartment of the shaving cream canister. As she worked, you couldn’t help but admire her precision and dedication to the task at hand. The colony ship hummed with activity around you, the low thrum of the engines mixing with the gentle beeping of various instruments in the lab.

After what seemed like only a short while, Dr. Lock-coo straightened up with a satisfied smile, indicating that she had successfully collected all the genetic material needed for the Space Zoo. “All done, and I even received clearance back from administration for this task.” she announced cheerfully. “Now, all that’s left is for you to deliver this to the Space Zoo.”

When you return to the Space Zoo, listen/read Story 50.

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Story 68

Exhotic Exhibits from Old Strayos

You express your interest and he reveals that there are actually three jobs available. He opens a drawer and pulls out a metal box containing a can of shaving cream.

“I know Strayons don’t typically shave,” he chuckles, “But this isn’t just any shaving cream. The bottom screws off to reveal a cooled compartment for storing genetic samples. There’s enough coolant in here for three strands once activated, and customs won’t suspect a thing.”

He sprays some of the shaving cream onto his fingers and explains that he wants you to take this on board the Strayos Colony Ship and collect genetic materials from your home world for various animals your people are considering bringing to their new planet. In return, they will fund your efforts to bring abundant life to your new home. If all goes well, he will provide details for the next job.

If you take the job, read/listen to Story 69 when you dock with the Strayos Colony Ship.

If you don’t take the job leave the shaving cream and continue on your way. Discard this encounter card.

Clarification: Three stands translates into three rounds. You would have three rounds to return to the Space Zoo after completing the task of collecting the DNA samples.

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Story 67

Exotic Exhibits the Offer

“How much are we talking about, and how flexible would my morals have to be?”

“These are victimless crimes, but these are technically crimes. However the remuneration is quite generous for all three jobs. If you do well enough, they could earn up to 20K and sleep well with the knowledge that they have enhanced the lives of visitors to our zoo for generations to come.”

“I’m at least interested so what’s the job?”

The bearded man opens a drawer and takes out a metal box, opening it to reveal a can of shaving cream.

“Sorry, but that’s not my brand.”

“This isn’t just shaving cream.” declares your potential employer. “The bottom screws open. It’s cooled and compartmentalized inside to hold various DNA samples. There’s enough coolant for three stands in this canister once activated. Customs can even inspect it.” While declaring this last bit, he sprays some shaving cream onto two of his fingers. “What you need to do is take this on board the Strayos Colony Ship and obtain a set of genetic materials from their home world for various animals they are considering to populate their new planet with. The more material you can obtain the better.”

“How are we supposed to get on board?”

“The Strayons have been in space for a long time. While they have a rich past, they are looking for cultural exchanges and entertainment. You could probably come up with something along those lines to get on board their colony ship. Once you’re onboard, it’s up to you to figure out how to obtain the samples.”

If you take the job, read/listen to Story 49 when you dock with the Strayos Colony Ship.

If you don’t take the job leave the shaving cream and continue on your way. Discard this encounter card.

Clarification: Three stands translates into three rounds. You would have three rounds to return to the Space Zoo after completing the task of collecting the DNA samples.

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Story 55

Exotic Exhibits, Conclusion

As you enter the old man’s office, you notice a large aquarium tank that has been added. His back is to you as he is looking intensely at some type of turtle that is nearly half a meter long with large claws and green algae growing on top of its head and shell. It also has bright, almost luminescent, blue eyes.

“I am glad that the rumors of your demise have been greatly exaggerated. Come look at this amazing specimen.”

You move alongside the old man, “This remarkable fellow can stay underwater for three days.”

“How does he do that?”, you inquire.

“Why don’t you give me your best guess, first”

“Does the algae growing on him help him to filter oxygen out of the water?”

“Excellent guess! Wrong, but excellent guess. This guy actually has bimodal respiration and can breathe through his cloaca when under water! It’s an amazing adaptation. This creature probably went extinct more than half a millenia ago, and thanks to your willingness to retrieve this guy’s genetic material on the Aether Processing Station here he is living and breathing once more.”

“Apparently through his genitals.”, you quip.

“I have wired the rest of the money to you, and know that your fame for helping us acquire so many rare, and even extinct, species will give you renown within certain segments of societies for generations to come.”

Receive the credits promised to your ship and crew along with 3 fame points.