i noticed I hadn’t done one of these for almost four months! Between people being away on vacations, work travel, etc., and our Firefly/Serenity A/B test, I’ve been concentrating on other types of posts. However, the group has been playing through a few episodes of the campaign. So — SITREP time!

The first few sessions were mostly “talk about our feelings” episodes where the characters were coming to grips with the loss of a main character, and the players with one of the group leaving for San Francisco, and the addition of a new player. The characters tracked down a group of Cylon “puppets” — people who had been implanted with Cylon tech and were used by the agents in the fleet to do mischief. Other major points was the steadily deteriorating condition of the president (the NPC is father to the PC commander) from brain cancer; the integration of Pegasus and discovering the torture of the Six on board, as well as a rash of sexual harassment toward members of the crew by the men who had aided in the “interrogation” of the Cylon. Lastly, there was the sudden disappearance of the Cylons after the Blaze disappeared.

After a week of recon missions that found no Cylon activity in the systems surrounding them, one of the raptor missions stumbled on a badly damaged basestar that was still apparently under power, but unresponsive and missing its raider complement. Galactica was dispatched to investigate, and boarded the ship in force (or as best as they could do — about 150 people.) What they found: dead skin jobs and toasters. Who did this? They find a small group of skin jobs that are alive — the remnants of the crew — and learn that the centurions, raiders, and other machine life has revolted against the humanoid Cylons.

As in the show, Caprica Six reprogrammed the centurions and allowed them free will. The centurions had been just as impacted by the existential crisis of having their god decamp and leave them abandoned. But where Caprica had assumed their attacks on the Colonies were sinful, many (but not all) of the centurions placed blame on their former masters. There is a full blown civil war among the Cylons, and the skin jobs find themselves in the same boat as the Colonials…the centurions are likely to destroy all of the humans — Colonial or Cylon, humans on Kobol. The characters take the Cylons prisoner and in the middle of discovering the hybrid controlling the vessel then are aggressed by an old-style Cylon basestar.

The hybrid, overwhelmed by the “injuries” sustained to her spacecraft body, panics and jumps back to Kobol, where the boarding party and their captives find themselves smack in the middle of a massive space battle! I cliffhangered this for a while and turned focus to Galactica, which found themselves locked in combat with the old basestar. The air group and the characters managing them did very well — with a kill rate closing on 10-1 — but several heavy raiders landed and placed boarding parties on the battlestar.

The battle was pitched and several of the characters were in grave danger, including the commander, who was nearly taken out by a centurion. During the fight, the Six from Pegasus, who had been transferred to Galactica where they had more success with interrogating the creatures, escaped and had tried to take the CIC with the intent of returning to the fleet to destroy Pegasus (or more importantly, Cain.)

Eventually, the characters on the basestar manage to set a tap on the nerve clusters connecting the hybvrid to the damage control systems, and are able to jump back to meet up with the fleet. The skin jobs are taken into custody, and the ship is raided for the ample supplies, including all manner of luxury goods from the Colonies, ground combat vehicles, and even a few automobiles. they gain access to the ship’s computers and gather a wealth of intelligence on Kobol, the Tomb of Athena’s location, and the fleet disposition of the Cylons as of a week prior.

The last session saw several character elements come to a head for some of the players’ characters. Sikorsky, a vet that had been pressganged by Pegasus into medical service got herself involved with Baltar, who convinced her that his involvement with the Six that released the centurions had been unwitting, that he was terrified of being executed for treason for something he’d not done. The commander found himself overwhelmed by the news his father was not responding to his cancer treatment, and after a creepy dream of his wife coming back to “say goodbye”, finally directly interrogated some of the skin jobs.

During an interview with our version of One, he learned that the Cylon had been an agent in the Colonies, posing as a major politically connected financier (think George Soros), and had been running the commander’s wife as a puppet. This is how they knew the Colonies were starting to take the Cylon threat seriously, and caused them to jump the gun on their attacks. He also hints that it would be a shame for the commander to lose more family, and that in exchange for a guarantee of their safety, they might be able to help him.

The rest of the night were machinations by the commander and the vice president (both PCs) to hide the research  being done by Baltar and the vet character into how the Cylons could aid the president; as well as the beginnings of planning the mission to raid Kobol and get the map to Earth.

The science fiction end of the session dealt with the Cylon physiology — they are, in essence, humans with cybernetic modifications. They learn that the Cylons are unable to reproduce, despite having fully-functional gonads; their sterility is induced by their secondary immune system — microscopic “leucobots” that made the Cylons nearly immune to disease and poison. The Cylons have attempted to hack the system, but as they talk to the Cylons about it, there is a point where the skin jobs fugue and forget what they are doing. Even when exposed to recordings of what they were doing, this happened. The Blaze, their god, apparently buried deep seated psychological blocks to modifying themselves…but why?

Some of the player theories: 1) The Blaze wanted to control the ability of the skin jobs to breed and grow outside their purpose, 2) The Blaze was worried about the skin jobs breeding with the Kobolian humans and created a demigod-like race that might threaten the stability of the Cylon culture, 3) the Blaze, beign an angry and jealous god, wanted to keep the Cylons from developing other priorities that were outside loving their God.

They learned that Kobol was inhabited and had been since the Exodus. These humans had steadily grown and developed until they suffered some kind of large-scale civil war between the followers of the Blaze and other groups. The Blaze returned about 300 years ago and gave them the Twelve — the humanoid Cylons — to bring them back into the fold. After that, the Cylons turned their attention outward to find the last remnants of humanity and bring them home. This led to the Cylons inferring in Colonial society, starting about 100 years ago.

The population of Kobol has been kept artificially low to control the people. The center of this control is the Tower of Dis — a 3 mile high spire that was part of the Ship of Lights, standing on the ground of the City of the Gods and in sight of Mount Olympus, where the Lords of Kobol lived.

Toward the end of the night, the characters had made the decision to try and save the president using Cylon blood transfusions, but telling him the treatment is “based on” Cylon tech to prevent the old man from refusing treatment.