Science Fiction The Sigma Event
#1
I'm running the Fate Supplement Ghost Planets with some borrowed themes from the supplement Prism, an Off-screen NPC Emulator, off screen fate dice, and a quick adaptation I made to make Fate solo. I basically matched the different roll results (Poor, Good, Superb, Ect.) with one of the 'Get Answer' buttons so my skills still mattered while using this GM simulator. 

This character is adapted from a different fate play I did, so as a bit of background, my character is Damara. Damara is a character who was a carpenter in Columbus, Ohio during the days of the Oregon Trail. While living in Columbus she was turned into a vampire by a hive mind, but due to the fact that she was a witch she turned into a Soulbound vampire, who's effectively a classic vampire aside form the fact that they can walk in sun just fine. She traveled the Oregon trail to catch the only boat to the Northern Isles, where she lived out many centuries as a Storyteller. Now, in the far far future, she abuses her vampiric immortality to perform dangerous expeditions and such in space to further research and protect humanity. (From the Blood on the Trails and the SO the Story goes Fate suppliments. All available on RPgdrivethru as pay-what-you-wants.)

Without further ado, here's 'chapter 1:'

In the 23rd century, travel time through space was reduced to hours and days rather than months, years, and decades it once took to travel between planets, between systems. What did humans find among the vast planets and stars? Remnants. Ruins of civilizations, evidence that life once existed outside our little planet. Some of the planets have a clear-cut reason for extinction, plague, war, or similar. Yet, once you get further out, the civilizations disappear without a trance. The ruins stand, but there is no evidence and no explanations for why they died out. This became a habit of several planets, and these planets became known as the ghost planets, the space around them the graveyard, and the event that wiped them out was labeled the Sigma Event. The World Council believed and feared that these civilizations were wiped out by the same event, and so they founded the Xenohistory Corps to research these places to understand how they were destroyed and how we can prevent it from happening to us.

The Sigma Event could occur to us in years, months, days or hours, so every minute spent in research is precious to the survival of the human race. I finished my training as an Empath for the Xenohistory Corps just a couple weeks ago, and almost immediately they set me up to travel farther than any person has ever travelled, and I was set to go alone.

“Your mental and physical status outweighs every scout and researcher here. We have no one else to spare for this mission, but we are in full confidence that you are capable of handling this expedition,” Xenocorps told me. In other words, ‘We’re getting frustrated that we keep missing the opportunity to get out here and we’re desperate. Good luck.’ Just like that, I was packed into a spaceship with a robotic crew and stores of animal blood of questionable age. I traveled in that metal baseball of a spaceship for five weeks before being greeted by the crimson seas and rusty plant life of Pākurakura.

As the ship landed on the planet, I reviewed the information we had on the planet. The planet was arid with a slightly stronger gravity than Earth but was completely habitable by humans without the assistance of a space suit. The previous inhabitants of Pākurakura were spider-like in appearance, consisting of a spherical body with several slender legs. As with all the Ghost Planets, the race disappeared without a trace, marked by that same triangular pattern that seemed to mark every ghost planet. On the planet was a large set of buildings marked with that pattern and in an alignment that looked like an analog clock from the air. This pack of buildings was known as ‘The Clock’ and it was my destination.

The ship landed with a gentle thump, and I stepped out of the airlock and onto the red planet. The clock was before me, and it was just as dull as the rest of the planet. The central large dome was surrounded by twelve rectangular buildings, reaching out form it like the hour markings on the clock. The walls of all the buildings were made by the same firm purple material and buried in the sand were broken aircrafts that, at one point, likely served to transport aliens between continents. These were all part of the scout’s reports, but one thing I did not expect to see was a vessel that was distinctly human in origin.

I opened my hexwatch and ran an identification on the small ship. The space ship was revealed to be titled Little Winds, and was registered to indie flyers Lucimara Cielo and Aziz Hariri. They had no criminal records, no associations, no records period. I decided to try and contact them on my hexwatch, not wanting to get too close in case they were hostile.

It was nearly a minute before a tan woman with a bright orange mohawk picked up the call.
“Hello! I’m Cielo, Cielo Lucimara. I’m an independent researcher with my partner,  Aziz Hariri. We’d didn’t think Xenohistory would ever actually look into the place, and when we were orbiting we spotted the buildings and wanted to investigate. We were out when a sandstorm swept by. Aziz was still outside when the airlock shut, and I can’t find him anywhere. I had just gotten back from searching when you called,” She explained.


I got a fantastic rating to see if she's telling me the truth. Is she lying to me?

Yes, and...

...The look on her face tells me she knows I know she lied. Though such explanations were common place when an indie is stopped by an official, there was a glaring issue with it I couldn't ignore.

"You say you are a scientist, yet all your records are erased. Care to explain?" I asked.

"My records are erased? Like I said, sandstorms sweep the area several times a day. Sand must have gotten into something while the airlock was closing," she explained.

I got legendary for seeing if she's lying to me still. Do I believe her?

No, and...

...She's getting more visibly nervous as the conversation presses on.

"If your ship is air-tight enough to make it here, there won't be a hole big enough for sensitive equipment to be hit by sand. Even if there was, your records are kept on a quantum-computer. The likelihood of a grain of sand hitting the one spot to wipe it but leave it functioning is pretty slim. You will be in less trouble if you tell me the truth, ma'am. What are you doing here?"

"I already told you. I don't know why my records are missing, alright? I didn't even know they were."

"Celio, I know for certain that you are not a scientist, at least not just. An Independent scientist does not get that many funds, not unless they made the revelation of the millennia. That ship you got there isn't cheap, neither would the supplies to get here, and if you really have a partner like you claim, you would have to have enough for two. Unless you've saved for this particular trip for...ten-ish years, before this planet was even discovered, you would not have the funds to get here. What's your profession, Celio?"

I got a mediocre on persuasion, does she come clean?

No, and...

....She's beginning to get aggressive.

"I saved up for a trip to the frontier, with my partner, with our day jobs. We happened across this planet while exploring, alright? Is that satisfactory for you?"

"Calm down Ma'am, I'm not here for a fight, but it's my legal duty to report suspicious activity and you're not making the situation any better." I began walking back to my airship, making sure I was safely tucked in before finishing my sentence. "Let me put it more plainly. Be honest, or I'm calling the X-Ops."

Her expression changed to one of bitter defeat. "Wait, yes, you're right. In honesty, I'm an artifact collector. Aziz and I would collect alien artifacts and sell them on the market," she explained.

"You say it as if that's legal," I commented.

"I know it's illegal, but hang on a second. It's good money, yeah? Much more than whatever your current job pays, I'm sure. Help me get in there, get more artifacts and you get a cut of the pay 60/30. What do you say?"

I had no reason to believe she would keep her word. My sensors blipped as a sandstorm began to kick up. Her own computer sent off the same distress signal, and she looked at it then back at me expectingly. I gave a look of contemplation and sighed.

"Fine. After the storm clears up we'll head out and try to find a way in. I have to keep some of the artifacts so at least something can actually serve a purpose," I said.

I got Great when trying to deceive her. Does Cielo believe me?

Yes

"Alright, I can live with that," She replied, a sly smile on her face.

"I'm going to do some data review in here. I'll come knocking when I'm good to go. See you soon," I said as I cut off the transmission. I waited a couple moments, and then I promptly sent out a signal to the nearest Station.

"Empath Damara, Xenohistory Corp Officer, reporting from Pākurakura. I've located a smuggler trying to deliver artifacts to Earth for sale. Her name is Cielo Lucimara, owner of the ship Little Winds. We are located by the northern portion of The Clock. As I am here for research, I can not promise I will be in my ship upon your arrival. I have made her believe that I am working with her, so she will not be immediately hostile should I be with her," I reported. I sent the message, though due to the distance it would be several minuets before they receive it, and it will be an additional hour for travel. Still, I wanted to look into these sandstorms while I tried to find the way in, and she would likely be with me the entire time.

After nearly 15 minuets the sandstorm finally cleared. I knocked gently on Celio's door and she came out with a smile on her face.

"I want to study these sandstorms first and foremost. It won't take much more than a few hours, and it may help us get more time to take shelter," I stated.

"You're the boss," she said. "How you plan on doing that? I don't see any tools."

"Memories. I'm an Empath Officer, I can read emotional signals and lingering memories," I explained. "I'll be in a bit of a hypnotic state, so keep watch and if an emergency pops up just shake me or something, alright?"

"Yeah, do your thing," she said. I walked up to one of the walls on the complex and placed my hand against it, feeling the wall. It was rough, like sandpaper, though I got the indescribable feeling that at one point it was perfectly smooth. The bitter sandstorms had made the walls abrasive with time, and the wall at certain spots were stained red and were slightly caved in from repeated impacts. I slowly walked over to the red crevice in the wall, brushing my hand along the wall as I walked. Once I touched the crevice, I became overwhelmed by sensations as the world I saw melted into a world since forgotten.

I rolled Superb on viewing this memory with empathy. Does this research progress without issue?

Yes

I watched Pākurakura as a water-color painting, painted with pigments of pure emotion long forgotten by human eyes. I watched through one of the natives's eyes. He was displeased while staring at the crevice. He turned to his friend and spoke silent words. His friend turned to shades of frustration. His friend looked to the eastern skies. His friend quickly said something, and the entire world was drowned in shades of fear. He quickly fled with his friend into the building. The building was washed out, unfamiliar, unimportant. They talked for a bit. The eastern skies were still scary, they always were-

I jumped lightly as my hand fell from the wall. I blinked twice, and I was sure the memory was over. Celio was staring at me with concern.

"Your expression changed rapidly between at least ten different emotions. What the hell happened?" She asked.

"There...There are colors that the human eye can't see, but they exist. Colors of pure emotion. These colors can linger in the form of memories, and I can watch memories through someone long passed by watching it through those colors. Like, I watch the memories as if it were a movie made exclusively of those colors. The things that the memory owner find important will be highlighted, how they feel about something changes what color it is, if they don't care about it I can't see it, and," I casted a nervous glance towards the eastern skies. "And often times the most intense feelings will linger."

"That's...Baddass, actually. How do you see these colors?" I shook my head.

"No one knows. A small portion of humans are born with the ability and just know how to use it. " She frowned at me, clearly dissapointed. I looked back to the eastern skies again.

"There's something in the eastern skies, something that signals the coming of a storm. I'm going to head back into my pod a second, put the data into my computer, track some shifts in the east," I said. She only nodded, clearly impatient with me. "We can't find the entrance if we get buried like your friend."

"Right." I went into my spacecraft quickly.

"Sparrow!" I shouted. My little robot came rolling up to me. Set the radars to measure pressure and temperature to the east, please." He beeped happily in reply, and with a couple key presses he pulled up pages of measurements and numbers while the radars turned east. I smiled at my robot. "Thank you Sparrow." He beeped again as he slid away to categorize the supplies again. I watched and studied the numbers carefully while recording the skies all the same, waiting patiently for another storm to hit so data could be recorded.

I rolled Fair for Nature to progress this research. Does to progress smoothly?

Yes, but...

...Though a storm came quickly, and the numbers were clear and persice, the X-Ops arrived at the worst possible time and blocked the camera just before the storm, Not only giving Celio ample time to realize they were there, but also ruining whatever data the footage would have given me. After the storm cleared up, I peered out my window to find Celio screaming at the guards as she was being held. A detachment was searching her pod, and another was approaching mine. I decided to open the door to meet them.

"Good evening officer." I held my badge before him to see, ignoring the several cusses and profanities Celio was yelling at me.

"Empath," He tipped his hat. "Thank you for bringing her to our attention, however, due to your affiliation with her we have to search your cabin as well," he said.

"Why? I would understand if I were, say, a soldier, but I'm a researcher. Part of my job is to bring artifacts back to study further."

"We've had a lot of people posing as researchers to smuggle evidence. If you can provide proof of this mission objective, we'll leave you be."

"Of course, Officer." I pulled up my mission description on my hexwatch. "If you read here, it states that I should 'collect artifacts to bring back to Earth for further study.'"

"I see. That will be all then, ma'am. Thank you for your time."

"Thank you for your hard work," I smiled. As he began to walk away, I casted a glance at the skies. It had a strange feeling to it, though I couldn't quite place what it was. It was as if it were moving in the wrong direction. My eyes widened as I realized what was coming.

"Officer! Get everyone on your ship now! A sandstorm is coming and it will bury you!" I shouted as I fled into my ship. Everyone flew into a frenzy, scrambling for shelter. A few moments later, the sandstorm hit. I watched my computer, and bounced excitedly when the data began making sense.

I began a voice recording on my Hexwatch. "The sandstorms on Pākurakura are produced by sudden changes in the air pressure around The Clock. The air pressure will begin to decrease slowly for a time, until it suddenly drops sharply. From the drop, there is about thirty seconds until the wind blows viciously from the surrounding high areas, blasting sand in all directions. Though the cause of the drops are unclear, we can use this information to predict sandstorms almost an hour ahead by watching for the steady decrease in pressure."

I ended the recording. Now that I had confidence that I would be safe traversing the planet with minimal issue, I could begin to focus on the far more important issue: Getting into the building.

And that was it! I'll keep posting chapters as I play them, and once this one-shot is completed I might post further space adventures with her if people are interested.
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