Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Getting the Hell Out of Dodge

 After some discussion, they crew decided on gathering all the systems together at the Cube; even if they don't have everything figured out, there is at least safety in numbers. The first order of business was the colonies at hand - they first visited the Felzerzet Enclave, and after rudely interrupting the meeting, showing the video of Rodney murdering cultists and police officers, and leaving some burns on the carpet from Reggie/Gaius' energy whips, managed to convince them that indeed, the threat was real, and that their ship was the best way out.

The Enclave agreed, and began disassembling their mushroom vats and packing up their chickens; hearing that, Mortalis Rex swarmed the SunSport, seeking safe passage. Realizing it would take days for the area to be cleared, Elise stuck around to help the Fairy Princess install a new JumpDrive - or rather, the old drive from the SunSport - Rodney stayed behind to help out where he could, and the rest moved on to Tunatchi Base.

Once the various factions have gathered their stuff and their people, the SunSport will be just above half capacity - 500,000 men, women, and children. As well as a few robots.

Meanwhile, at Tunachi base, the crew was bombarded with messages from several groups claiming to be the "true rulers" of the moon base - the Water Conservators, the Fungus Farm Regency, the Mechanics Alliance, the Republic of Health, the Miners Guild, and the single member of the Taxi Liberation Army. The Mechanics Alliance, occupying the engineering and docking bay, welcomed them with open arms, inviting them to join them. They... didn't seem all there. They laughed at the idea of "healing" someone, saying it was old-fashioned, and explained normal bodily functions like sleeping or using the bathroom as if they were strange and foreign. Weirded out by the brash-and-bravado group, the crew moved on to the Republic of Health. Three (male) nurses, burly fellows in light blue scrubs, welcomed them, and asked if they could just scan their fingers to get the "process" started. Rodney, reliably, smashed the first scanner to pieces. The nurses were horrified, and after some back and forth, asked why he would destroy the only way for them to have babies. You know, new people? Rodney, and indeed everyone, was very confused. Finally, Elise agreed to act as a demonstration, and had her finger pricked by the machine. It whirred, clanked, gurgled, and opened to reveal... another Elise, dressed in a simple outfit. Rodney, overjoyed, demanded a turn. While his clone was decanting, the nurses tut-tutted about "lil Elise", and how "he had some strange growths" and didn't look like very good genetic stock. "lil Rodney", however, came out looking just fine. Elise realized that maybe... they had no idea what a woman actually was. Reggie tried the machine, and being an android coated in synthetic skin, only managed to create a blobby, soggy, disgusting mass, wrapped in a simple outfit. It slid out on the floor and immediately began to decompose. Horrified, the nurses suggested ending his genetic line right away - it was clearly used up!

Somewhat upset at being called genetically inferior, Reggie had Gaius lasso two of the nurses, and try to strangle them. The strangle didn't work so well, but they died nonetheless, leaving the third nurse to run screaming.

It was at that point that a fellow named Gerald popped his head out. Going a bit grey, but still looking rather more healthy than the people the group previously met, he offered some explanation of what in the world was going on. It seems that the cloning vats would be used by a group of clones to make more of themselves, then circle around, taking over each group's base - nearly dehydrated by the time they reached the water storage, starving when they reached the fungus farms, and much depleted when they made their way around to the hospital/cloning center again. Round and round, they fought and argued and slowly lost genetic diversity.

Gerald felt old, but knew he finally had purpose again - he was a single line of clones, stretching back 2000 years, watching his creation turn humans into disease-ridden slime. When Rodney smashed the cloning pod, he realized he didn't have to wait to let it fade from existence - and, having heard about the oncoming feral deader horde, was willing to reconfigure the machines to produce clones that would only last a day - an infinite supply of bodies, but ones that could never make it off the moon. Hopefully, that would slow down the deaders enough that it could buy time for others.

Also in the system was the Liberator - a huge battleship, stripped of guns, but still capable of sustaining life; there used to be two colonies aboard, but the human colony was destroyed by a sudden invasion of ferals, and the second colony, that of normal deaders, had to destroy them all. They pledged to help hold back the ferals wherever they were needed - and suggested the crew head back to their home base, New Life Point, for more information.

On the way back, the crew contacted the SunSport and sent it towards to Liberator, to get it fueled up and ready to go, then hopped on to New Life Point. They met with the four leaders, and were informed - without having asked - that the deaders were willing to lay down their lives to protect the humans. Taken aback, Reggie said they didn't really need to do that, that maybe they could be saved too, but the leaders refused. They had been given life by the humans; they fully intent to repay that debt.

The Elise and Rodney clones have the same Strength, Agility, Vigor the same; d4 Smarts, d6 Spirit

Disintegrator pistol: 3/6/9, 3d10, HW, RoF 1