One of our players is moving to Texas, another has gotten a job that might impair his attendance…yes, we’re heading into a possible dry spell on gaming here in Albuquerque.

So we decided to pull a long session on Labor Day and finish out the “season” of our Battlestar Galactica campaign. We completed the last adventure we were playing and launched straight into (and finished!) the finale. The first hour saw the crew do a lot of scientific research and speculation on the findings at the archeological dig site under their deep-range observation post near the Armistice Line. The site appears to have been an ancient tylium mine, and they found human skeletons mixed with very tall human skeletons…and two intact corpses in spacesuits.

One corpse was send back to Picon for the intelligence corps to analyse, while the ship’s doctor and the dig’s archeologist did an autopsy on the other. They had only a few hours to do their work before exposure to the atmosphere caused decomposition of the corpse. What they found: DNA had 46 chromosomes but at least another 5000-10000 gene sequences over humans. It’s a different species, but one that most likely could breed with humans. The next move is to extract mitochondrial DNA and see if it matches that of the 12 “base” mitochondrial DNA sequences that make up the Twelve Tribes.

The height, very dense bones, and tightly packed musculature suggest a very strong and resilient creature. they also found what they think were dogtags in pockets of the suits — disks with the odd writing they’d found on signage and computer-like devices, but with a symbol of Athena on the reverse. Isotope dating put the corpse at about 3000 years old — so younger than the old city found on Sagittaron, but older than the founding of the Colonies.

Their speculation: these giants are Lords of Kobol. The discovery has both emboldened some religious types, and caused serious anome in the crew.

After a bit of episode clean-up, we moved onto the next mission — the recon of the Cadmus system, 3.2 light years on the other side of the Armistice Line. They have a clever plan to use a stealth viper (we’re calling them the Mk VI Cobra) to do a flyby of Cylon positions on a few moons of a gas giant in the system. Two other ships that are part of Operation UNDERTOW are Valkyrie (under CDR William Adama), and Mentor. As expected, things do not go as planned. For Valkyrie, it’s a version of the Bulldog episode from third season (I think it’s third…) Mentor pulls off her mission with no issues.

The players, on the other hand, have serious problems. The CAG is flying the mission and both he and the guy checkin his course goof their rolls. He nearly hit a moon of the nearby planet he’s using to slingshot assist his approach to the planet. He has a 10 hour ride in the cockpit to the gas giant and falls asleep and last minute realizes he’s drifted off course and has to risk a correction. He does his flyby and two ballistic drones capture images and ELINT of a new kind of basestar (the one from Razor the hybrid was on) and another on the surface of a moon acting as some kind of base of operations, as well as a massive tylium and metals mining operation. The Cylons are busy

Mr. Murphy is along for the ride, however, and while the raiders doing CAP over the posts don’t pick up his electronic signature or see him on DRADIS, they get eyes on him in front of the gas giant. He runs for it, pulls off a spectacular escape using the planet’s atmosphere, and flees, sending out a krypter to a nearby observation raptor. Good thing those new, strange looking fighters can’t jump, huh?

He runs straight into the radiers that were chasing him; they’ve jumped ahead of his course. The character’s Cobra gets shot to hell and he has to punch out. A heavy raider — they’ve not seen one before — comes for a pickup and he sees a new centurion inside. That’s when Aegis arrives to save his ass. The ship’s fighter squadron does a number on the Cylons, which are being jammed heavily by the ship to prevent their communicating with their basestar. One of the raiders jumps out.

The CAG is rescued and as another raptor is recovering the black box from his plane, the basestar arrives. A short and vicious battle ensues, but they escape.

The adventure ended with the heavy politics that has been central in the campaign. They find out that the mission was approved but no one expected it to be a success. A main point of the rules of engagement was a zero footprint mission — no contact with the Cylons. Both Adama and Pindarus (a PC and the task force commander) had some kind of contact. Adama wasted his pilot before Valkyrie was discovered. Aegis actually fought Cylons. It could start a war!

The admirals are ready to hang him out to dry, but an impassioned plea for the fleet to start getting ready, that the Cylons are mobilizing, manages to get him “promoted” to a bigger ship. It’s actually a penance tour to slow down his fast rise in the ranks…he’s been giving the soon to be decommissioned Galactica. The Cylon threat is used to coaxed the Quorum of 12 back into session — President Adar will classify the Sagittaron dig that has caused much political and religious strife, and the Sagittarons return to the quorum to allow for the defense budget to pass.

As you can see, I’m using the idea of the “all of this has happened before…” motif of the new show to do a new iteration of the story. Hints that were dropped suggest that last campaign (which was set during the RDM show as a second fleet game) happened in the past. Why have Adama as the commander of Galactica? This time, someone else is playing that role… It puts the characters in place to be instrumental in this next iteration of the Wheel of Time.