Tonight’s session revolved around the investigation of a galleon from Kobol, found orbiting the flux tube between a gas giant and it’s closest moon. The fleet had been looking for tylium to tank up, found it on this small moon that is on the verge of dropping into its parent gas giant — that planet badly attenuated by the nova that had created a planetary nebula around a white dwarf. The nebula has similar radiation signatures to Ragnar that damage Cylon circuitry…but also has high levels of gamma that make it unsafe for the fleet to hang in the area for long. (Inside the upper levels of the planet’s atmosphere, where the moon is scrapping, the magnetic field of the planet protects from that radiation…but the microwave interference is intense. The ship is just inside the atmosphere, and the mission must content with high winds, tremendous energy flows, and landing on a derelict that has a strongly charged hull.

The players stage a mission with the scientists they can find to work it: Baltar (now the new science minister for the fleet), an astronomer, a doctor and a few medical specialists, a deputy marshal with degrees in divinity, literature, and a minor in archeology. One of the PCs is playing Baltar, another one of the pilots on the mission. They have to fly through heavy chop, avoid the flux tube, and land the shuttle while making sure their shuttle’s electrical system is ready to handle the massive shock of touching down on the derelict. The landing is harsh and does some damage to the shuttle, but it’s still operational.

Once aboard the fan out and search a very small area of the craft. The hull is at an angle to the planet’s center of gravity, so “down” is about 25 degrees from the floor, toward the aft. They have to careful and most of the team got minor injuries slipping and falling. The descriptions of this ancient vessel were horror movie-esque: it’s dark, there’s the constant noise of the thin atmosphere outside hitting the hull and strange creaks and groans from a stressed hull and heat expansion and contraction. The ship has damage from millennia of exposure to the atmosphere, but also from weapons hits. They find bodies of the passengers, dead from explosive decompression. They find momentos — pictures, personal effects, all which evoke the same sense of panicked flight and loss as in their own fleet. These were people on the run, as well.

The interior is very stripped down; the ship was a refugee vessel — they didn’t bother with hiding wire conduits, air pipes, etc. They find toolboxes and other implements that are shockingly similar to what the Colonials use — screwdrivers, ratchet wrenches, staplers, etc. They see a large seal on the end of the hangar bay with a Phoenix symbol that is similar, but not the same as that of the Colonies. They find the astronomy compartment and star charts and other important pieces of information — most of it intact enough to take away, but who knows what will happen when it is exposed to air? They find the bridge, which I described to evoke the old McQuarrie design for Galactica from the original show…but sitting in the command chair is a massive figure — a blond man, of amazing physical beauty and proportions — 7 and a half to eight feet tall, well-preserved. He is dressed in black combat armor that has a vaguely Spartan quality to it, and is holding the pistol — perhaps an energy weapon — that he used to take his life. The sigil of Apollo adorns the armor.

They find the machine shops and they are staggering — 3D printers of incredibly advanced design for metal, plastics, flesh. And they find several gold-skinned androids fashioned to look like women, each with a unique face and body — the archeologist posits these are some of Hephaestus’ “golden women” that aided him in his forge. Their myth/religion is coming alive.

Eventually, they have to return to Galactica, which is providing overwatch for the mining vessels going after the tylium on the moon surface and we ended there for the night.

This was a big push episode — not only to push the game in a new direction from the show, but to heighten some of the conceits of the RDM Galactica — that the characters are playing out a variation of a story told over and over again, and how do they break the cycle? I’ve heightened the Greek myth aspects of the show and added more traditional science fiction elements — the Lord of Kobol existed, but were they simply some kind of souped-up humans, were they supernatural, and what was this “Blaze” that was warring on the Lords? Why did the humans have to flee Kobol, apparently guarded by Kobolians/Lord of Kobol? And who are the new humanoid Cylons — did the Cylons the Colonials created make these new fleshy versions (and why, if they despise humans so much?) or are they some kind of creation by Kobol? I’ve also pulled in elements from the old show — including the Ship of Light, which one of the PCs has seen in his visions of Kobol. But what is it — a ship?