It’s been a while since I’ve thrown up an AAR for our Battlestar Galactica game, mostly due to a series of missed nights here and there, and a plotline that didn’t finish ’til last week. When last I wrote an update on the campaign, we had once again faced down The Blaze, or Hades, who was attempting to regain control over the Cylons and the humanoid “Cylons” or Seraph using an old shard of a TITAN. The ensuing battle was brutal and a lot of people and Seraph from a rogue basestar that the fleet had allied with wound up dead, and one of their vessels, Cygnus, destroyed.
The two surviving ships limped back to Argos, an ancient Kobolian outpost that had been left, more or less, unprotected during the mission. Among the survivors were the Lords of Kobol ATHENA, HERMES, and HEPHAESTUS. The last began directing repairs and refit to the two warships with an estimated time of about two months to finish. This gave us the choice of jump the game two months and get on with it, or delve into the politics and personal responses to battles with gods, three different races trying to coexist in an uneasy alliance, and some sci-fi exploration of the giant city and citadel the Kobolians had been driven out of by the Blaze 3000-4000 years ago. We went for the latter…
One of the main plotline that dominated the next weeks involved the settling on Argos to harvest food and collect food animals, as well as to do archeological work at the citadel. Earlier, the DNA and DNA-storage of memories for the Kobolians had been found, and the bodies of these lords resurrected. POSEIDON is the main antagonist in this mix — he’s trying to get the Citadel up and running, and is generally fixated on trying to recover the Olympian archives from their DNA storage…but the machines of the place are millennia old, and one of the PCs — a computer engineer turned policeman in the fleet — and Dr. Baltar have to cobble together patches to get their machines to read the data. Other Kobolians include the violent, frat boy-ish ARES, Athena’s major domo NIKE, and ARTEMIS, who is mostly gathering women into her own little cult and hunting animals with abandon. Over the course of the adventures, they were finally able to crack the database and find out that 90% or so of the DNA was still legible. Massive amounts of history, technical achievement, and the DNA and memories of 256 Kobolians were recoverable. More on that in a moment.
Meanwhile, one of the PCs, a veterinarian-turned-medic who had been working on the issue of Seraph reproduction (and with Baltar cracked it) has stirred up some animosity between the Seraph of the vessel Resurrection 3 and ATHENA, the prime minister to the interim president. (We’ve already had a coup attempt that killed many of the government officials.) Tensions are high, so that when a strange virus that eats the silica-based circuitry of Seraph turns up — giving encephalitis-like effects and causing data disruption during direct communications between models — things quickly spin out of control.
The characters manage to quarantine the diseased Seraph — the humans are immune, save those with “puppetry” implants — but the Health Minister, Dr. Michael Robert, sees his opportunity to destroy the Seraph once and for all. He infects the vet and clears her to go back to her research on Resurrection 3, where she immediately spreads the infection to several dozen Seraph. After the fleet isolates the ship and shuts down the various Cylon ship networks, they are able to contain the outbreak. However, it becomes quickly apparent this was no accident, and the marshal’s service that handles the civilian policing figures out that Robert was at fault. Under questioning by police, aided by Hermes, Robert admits he tried to commit genocide.
Athena has to take this to the Seraph, who want blood and are ready to spill it for satisfaction. She and the vet are able to talk the Seraph down, but the Fours — who suffered the brunt of the infection — are not pleased with the prime minister’s solution: Robert will stand trial for his actions with a tribunal of Kobolian (Poseidon), human (ADM Pindarus), and Seraph (a Nine — our version of Leoben) presiding. They are expediting the trial, but this is not enough for the Fours, who conspire in their model, and with some help from the Fives (a vicious female model in our campaign) and some Sevens (Ares-like warrior) launch an attack on the prime minister and the Kobolian who had set themselves up on Resurrection 3 to control the impressive biological labs and other medical equipment.
They use cyanobacteria to make tetradotoxin and manage to nearly kill NIKE, but only injure Athena. In a brutal bit of combat, the goddess of war takes down about three dozen Seraph, in our first real look at what she can do when fully armored, armed, and angry. The commander of the basestar, a Three that’s not fully trusted by her people as she was suggested by the Colonials, is trying to hold everything together before they find themselves in a fight with the mostly repaired Galactica; their basestar, on the other hand, is surrounded by flattops and foundry ships working on her…they are in a terrible tactical position.
There was a lot of politicking and trying to convince both sides to stop making the same damned mistakes over and over…allowing their hatred and past to drive them into retributive actions. In the end, they manage to keep their shaky alliance together, especially after the Robert trial finds him — almost by necessity — guilty. This angers a lot of the Colonials who saw him not as a prospective mass murderer, but as a hero to the people. In the end, the efforts to keep the fleet together to continue to Earth have mostly failed, with 40,000 or so remaining on Argos, while 17,000 travel with Galactica and Basestar 19 to that mythic world.
One of the things was saw was the different Seraph, now avoiding the dangerous use of direct electronic communication between their units, starting to take on different characters. Just among the Threes, one self-hating sleeper agent that had helped destroy a major base is now firmly on the side of the Colonials and is even in a love affair; the commander of the basestar is increasingly interested in military camaraderie and a developing friendship with the admiral that started more out of necessity and is now about how alike they are; another is trying to develop a sense of humor and is terrible at jokes… The Seraph are becoming people.
The rump fleet left for Earth at the end of the last adventure, leaving the people under the care of Poseidon’s citadel. The sea god had a number of his fellow Kobolians resurrected using fancy flesh 3D printing, etc…onyl to find out that Athena had convinced one of the techs to bring back one particular DNA signature. Instead of ruling as king here on Argos, Poseidon found himself facing a new ZEUS.
We’re now taking a break to do some Atomic Robo, but the last “season” of our now four year long campaign will focus on the weird posthuman/transhumans of the worlds near Earth, as well as checking in on what happened to Pegasus, which – realizing the Seraph/Cylon war put them in an advantageous position, returned to the Colonies to try and destroy toasters and save more survivors on the 12 Worlds.
We should be getting back to Galactica later in the summer, I suspect.