Monday, September 27, 2021

Curiosity Fired the Scientist, but Satisfaction Hired Him Back

Reggie used his fancy suit to look like a scientist, and headed down a hallway marked "Gravitics". There, he met a tech, Dr. Arnold Gundersen, who not only looked entirely frazzled, but also claimed to sleep but a single day a week. Reggie convinced him to change a delta symbol to "a circle", and left him to his devices... Heading directly to Dr. Gundersen's boss, Dr. Gerontius Wegberg, Assistant to the Director of Gravitics Oversight. Wegberg was a short man, hiding behind a tall desk, with chairs set up specifically to make those speaking to him appear small. He was easily flattered, and when Reggie told him that Dr. Gundersen had screwed up some data, called the poor man in and had him immediately fired.

The rest of the crew, having seen poor Arnold walk past, get a sandwich, run past the other way, then finally slump past with his head down - and having had a quick update from Reggie - flagged him down, and asked if he was willing to have a job interview. They showed him pictures of the whiteboard they found at the Hercules Research Station, and he... froze up completely. It'd been a long day. Given a second try, he rallied, and realized he understood the majority of the equations.

Reggie, meanwhile, visited Dr. Abraham Konstyantyn, Director of Gravitics Oversight, a jolly fellow who looks like Santa in a nice suit. He's a lot nicer than Wegberg, and promises Reggie some equipment, as long as he fills out the right forms. "I'd rather everyone just get some rest if you're waiting on equipment. Have a mini holiday. Science is better when you're rested!"

Rejoining the others, Reggie hands Arnold the remote; he pushes some buttons, musing that he believes he understands what it's doing - but hands it off after getting it fully primed. The crew (plus Arnold, who they have now hired, poor man) head back to the ship, and get well clear of the planet before hitting any more buttons. Elise, remembering the blue button, hits it again... and something happens! The planet below shudders, a section hinging open like an iris on a camera, and a brilliant white burst of energy fires into space - abruptly vanishing into a portal of some kind!

Racing to investigate, it seems that the inside of the planet is hollow; some sort of device is transforming the power of a spinning neutron star into vast amounts of energy, and is now pointing that energy into... well, some sort of machine. The beam itself is a good hundred miles across, and the portal it vanishes into is filled with machinery, as far as they can see. After getting some great readings - Arnold is overjoyed, and says that he's got at least six papers he could write about this - they leave the planet behind, heading to Vularius - another two week trip.

And, the stats for your new crew member, Dr. Arnold Gunderson:

Agility d6, Smarts d12, Strength d4, Spirit d6, Vigor d6 (Toughness 5, Parry 2)

Notice d8, Investigation d10, Knowledge: Gravitics d12+2, Knowledge: Electronics d8, Knowledge: Physics d10, Knowledge: Jumpspace d6

Edges: Professional, Expert (Gravitics); Hindrances: Anemic, Curious

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