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Fast Light 2 - Starforged Journal

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

Grayson awakens the only apparent survivor of the derelict ship.

 

2/23/2022


INITIALIZING STATUS CHECK…

GRAYSON DACKERMAN “Grin”

???

Health 5/5

Spirit 5/5

Momentum 8

Health 5/5

Spirit 5/5

Momentum 2

TOTAL SUPPLY 4/5


LOCATION derelict ship near Aurora, Sulaco Maze, Outlands

 

Grayson pressed a hand against the hard casing of the stasis pod, trying to get a better look at the girl inside. The display read that her vitals were all good, but he needed to make sure that there wouldn’t be an unseen problem should he try to wake her up.


She appeared to be in perfect health as waves of gentle light washed over her.


Stasis pods were rarely used. The chemical cocktail and implants a person needed to use them, could be volatile. They were initially used on the arks that brought humans to the Forge. The effects of traveling at fractions of the speed of light on the human body and mind led to strange things. So during jumps, people would go into stasis and then come out while the drives recharged during the two and a half millennia-long journey to this cluster.


However, this stasis pod seemed different than the ones Grayson had seen and heard of before. It had field generators on it creating what seemed like hard light fields and shields over the occupant, suspending them in their own pocket of space and time.


Words formed on the casing in front of Grayson’s face. He pulled back at the unexpected display. It read, “Human detected. Initiating waking sequence…”


The lights in the pod became brighter and more rapid. They peeled up like layers of sheer curtains. Some of the light even seemed like it flowed directly into the girl.


The seal on the pod released with a small hiss and Grayson stepped back as the lid opened automatically.


The girl’s chest rose with a deep breath and her eyes opened. They were a vibrant blue color that almost seemed to glow for a moment. Her body and hair started to gently float without gravity.


The girl pulled herself upright smoothly, quietly taking in her surroundings. When her gaze fell on Grayson, she remained silent.


“Uh,” Grayson started. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but you seem to be the only survivor. The people in the other pods, they… they’re gone.”


The girl’s eyes narrowed ever so slightly. Her motions practiced, she glided to the nearest pod. She stared blankly at the corpse within. Then her gaze swept over the others, before she faced Grayson.


“What happened?” her voice was hushed, but steady.


“That… I’m not sure. I’m a crew member of the Hauler The Endurance. We were on our way to Wellspring, stopping here by Aurora along the way. It seems like your ship collided with Aurora station. And there was a sudden flare of a balefire.”


The expression on the girl’s face was concentrated, as though she was trying to piece together what Grasyon was saying. “Where?”


“Aurora station, Sulaco Maze in the Outlands.”


Silence ensued between the two of them.


Grayson was about to speak when the girl pushed off of the wall, her trajectory directed towards him. He was ready to catch her, but she slid past him, her eyes glued to the lockers across the way.


“Ah,” Grayson took a few steps with his mag-boots. “We don’t have much time. We need to evacuate.”


The girl opened a locker and started pulling on an environment suit over the bodysuit she was wearing in the stasis pod. She started tapping at a device on the suit’s wrist and light screens hovered above her forearm.


“I need to get to operations before I can leave,” the girl angled for the exit without waiting for a response.


“Wait,” Grayson followed after her, “I don’t think you understand. There’s a huge energy storm out there threatening to engulf this ship at any time.”


“Then leave,” the girl stated as she floated down the corridor.


Instead, Grayson continued after her, “What’s so important that you need to get to operations?”


The girl’s hand latched onto a handhold, swinging herself around to face Grayson. Understanding his words had been an obstacle. She could glean most of his meaning, but after who knows how many generations, the languages had changed, evolved.


But that was a sign. A sign that they’d… she’d reached the intended destination. The 2nd Vista Expatiation ships had survived the journey to this cluster. People survived here, lived here. And they needed to be warned. To do that, she needed the data to prove it.


More importantly, she needed to find out what had happened to the rest of her people. She cobbled together the words she felt this man would understand, “Data, I need it to save my people and yours.”


“Okay,” Grayson stated. “Lead the way.”


The girl nodded, then turned back up the corridor. Grayson followed behind her, disengaging his mag boots to keep up. “I’m Grayson, by the way.”


“Aeronia,” the girl glanced back at Grayson briefly.


[Aeronia - undertake an expedition (+edge)

8, 8 vs. 4+4 = miss with a match]


[Aeronia - pay the price

-3 spirit = 2 spirit]


Aeronia spotted the damage before they even reached the computer core. She didn’t want to believe at first, but as they entered the room it was clear that the computer core had been decimated. The whole thing was scorched, machinery toppled and broken as though an explosion had gone off.


Aeronia looked for anything that could be salvaged. She picked up components, shuffled drives between ports.


Nothing worked.


It was gone. The data on The Valiant’s path and where the other blocks were, where her people were. The data on what exactly had happened that had caused The Valiant to engage emergency protocols and disperse the blocks. The data on the Rupture and Rupthoir.


It was all gone.


Aeronia had lost her home, her family, her friends. Had abandoned what was left of her home. The others in this block were all dead. She had no evidence of the inevitable enemy. No clues as to where to find the rest of The Valiant or her people.


Aeronia had nothing.


“I’m sorry,” Grayson offered sincere condolences.


Aeronia stuffed down her despair. There would be time for that later. “You said there’s an energy storm. We need to leave.”


“I saw a ship in the hangar bay. It’ll be quicker than waiting for our ride to come pick us up.”


“The Azurebolt.” Aeronia turned away from the destruction around her. There was still something she had after all.


[Aeronia - aid your ally (+wits)

10, 2 vs. 1+3 = weak hit

+1 to Grayson’s next move]


[Grayson - undertake an expedition (+wits)

9, 2 vs. 2+3+1 = weak hit

+1 progress = 8 boxes

-1 health = 4 health; -1 spirit = 4 spirit]


The pair made their way back through the ship towards the hangar bay. The route was made easier with Aeronia giving directions.


Without warning, the ship shook violently and shifted sharply. Grayson slammed into a bulkhead, knocking the wind out of him. While Aeronia somehow managed to angle herself so that she didn’t impact anything.


The emergency lighting flickered as surges passed through the wiring.


“That must be the edge of the balefire,” Grayson remarked with a grimace. He repositioned himself and re-engaged his mag-boots.


This whole situation was awful, Grayson thought to himself. He couldn’t even begin to imagine what Aeronia was going through, but he felt for her.


“Balefire? Is that what you call energy storms?”


“Yes,” Grayson responded automatically. Then he caught it. That’s the term everyone in the Forge used for energy storms in space. How did Aeronia not know it?


And this ship, it’s design was more advanced than what was normal for the Forge.


“Are you not from Forge? From here, I mean?”


“No,” Aeronia replied, passing through the doorway to the hangar. She was starting to pick up more of the linguistics that had developed in this isolated region. “I’m from our homeworlds.”


The revelation blew Grayson’s mind. He was face to face with someone that had seen the homeworlds directly. There wasn’t a person alive that could say that in the Forge.


The ship shuddered again.


Grayson could ask Aeronia questions later. They needed to get out of here sooner, rather than later.


The two of them approached the Azurebolt. The starship responded to Aeronia and opened up immediately, letting them board. It was clean on the interior, reflecting the exterior.


Grayson followed Aeronia up to the cockpit. Aeronia took the pilot’s seat, the ship seemed to respond to her biometrics and access codes. Grayson sat in the copilot’s seat, the cushioning adhering to his shape comfortably.


[Aeronia - aid your ally (+edge)

6, 5 vs. 6+4 = strong hit

Grayson +2 momentum = 10 momentum]


[Grayson - fulfill your vow: search and rescue the odd derelict starship, the Azure Block

9, 2 vs. 8 = weak hit; burn momentum = Strong hit

momentum reset = 2 momentum

+2 ticks on quests legacy track]


Under Aeronia’s guidance, the Azurebolt launched free of the hangar bay.


Behind them, the Azure Block was being swallowed by the balefire. Plasma blitzed off of the hull of the ship in a spectacular display and lights resembling colorful aurora shimmered around it.

 

It's a bit unconventional for a solo campaign, but I did envision this game with two protagonists from the start. Grayson and Aeronia both feel equally important to the narrative of this campaign. As such, I didn't feel that making use of the companion asset was adequate and chose, instead, to run two characters myself through this solo campaign.


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