For the longest time, I thought I was the only one who loved the RPG called Star Frontiers – turns out there’s an entire community out there. Anyway, I remember thinking how fun it would be to convert some of the modules into stories, using characters I have either played or characters my friends played, and mashing it into one big story format. I never got far with it, but figured I’d share what I had (just found). This one dates only to 2010 (so that’s not too far back in the archives!)
ENEMY IN THE STARS
a STAR FRONTIERS story
based on the CRASH ON VULTURNUS module
Written by: Tawmis Logue
A bleak, black, eternal sea of nothingness.
Here and there, scattered planets, moons and asteroids swam deep within its murky depths.
Anyone should be able to hide here. So many possibilities. So many places to go.
That was before the Pan Galactic Operation.
The Pan Galactic Operation has extended their hands into every corner of the expanding universe, seeking to colonize and harvest materials from planets.
His name is Jack Renegar, and he is a thorn in the side of the Pan Galactic Operation.
A human that has spent most of his young life on the streets, Jack’s life took a turn when he managed to steal a space craft that the Pan Galactic Operation was testing. The Warrior Star was a small ship – quick. Fast. Made mostly for scouting missions. The ship was meant to be stolen for a Yazirian crime lord by the name of Tunal’rak – but Jack found the ship to be too useful for himself. He quickly made enemies with both the Pan Galactic Operation as well as the criminal lord, Tunal’rak – but Jack didn’t seem to care.
The Pan Galactic Operation had sent another ship after him – Warprunner. A ship, supposedly, so fast that it create worm holes to travel through. A myth to be certain, but there was no denying the ship was indeed quick – perhaps even quicker than The Warrior Star. It’s design was clearly based on The Warrior Star, but it was loaded with weapons to take down any enemy it encountered.
“They’re coming up on our port side, Captain,” Ewchkin barked. The Yazirian seemed less than pleased with being knocked around within the ship.
“Set shields to port side,” Jack Renegar shouted over the series of explosions that pummeled the side of the ship. “Keep them on our left, and keep turning to our left. We’re going there.”
Jack Renegar pointed at a small blip on the screen. His touch brought up the information onto the screen.
“Kredal?” his Yazirian companion questioned. “Captain, the planet is completely unexplored… the planet is prone to explosive tropical storms… known to cause unusual electric magnetic pulses that can down ships! Those that have gotten within the planet’s atmosphere are often never heard from again.”
“Then they’d be crazy to follow us,” Jack smiled charismatically.
“Crazy’s not the word I thought of,” Ewchkin growled. Jack only smiled and pull the controls of the Warrior Star to the left. Blasts rocked the side of the ship, but the defenses held. Jack then pulled the controls forward, plummeting the ship towards Kredal.
Aboard the Warprunner one of the crew shouted, “Captain! Alert! They’re headed into Kredal’s atmosphere. Should we follow?” His question fell from his lips with hesitant tones.
The Captain of the Warprunner, a Vrusk seemed to ponder it for a moment. He knew Kredal’s reputation as a inhospitable planet that none have ever returned from. “Keep a distant orbit -click- around the planet,” the Vrusk said through his mandibles, “ensure no ship escapes from its atmosphere.”
The pilot sighed in relief, “As you command, Captain.”
Jack Renegar pulled up on the controls as the Warrior Star entered Kredal’s velvet blue atmosphere. Through the front, it appeared as if the Warrior Star was flying underwater.
One of Kredal’s unusual traits was that the planet rotated on its side, with its “Northern Point” tilted at an amazing 97 degrees, thus making its southern hemisphere actually appear to be in the east. The gases on the planet gave the planet a strange, florescent blue glow. There had been repeated attempts at exploring Kredal in the past; but none ever returned. Last transmissions always spoke of sudden thunder storms that were capable of rendering all form of communication impossible.
Ewchkin stood up and gazed through the window, peering over Jack’s shoulder. He could hardly believe his eyes.
What Jack Renegar found was beyond words to explain. The planet’s strange blue haze was a gas that lingered within the atmosphere, hiding the incredible lush and beautiful lands below. Diagnostics from his initial landing showed the air was not lethal to humans – and though slightly thinner than what most humans were used to – it was indeed even hospitable. The entire landscape of Kredal seemed to be nothing but one gigantic rain forest. The strange blue gas that lingered in the air provided the “moisture” that fed the trees and unusual plants that decorated the landscape. The ground was thick with endless roots that seemed to tie into one another, creating a complex knot that – as far as they could tell – circled the entire planet.
“Money to be had,” Ewchkin muttered, standing behind a mystified Jack. “Lots of money, Captain.”
Jack turned his head slightly. Ewchkin was the only person Jack trusted. Ewchkin and Jack had been friends for a very long time. Jack turned to look at his Yazirian friend and nodded his head.
Yazirians were tall, thin humanoids with long arms and legs, and yet slender torsos. Two large flaps of skin grew on either side of their bodies, attached along their arms, torso and legs. When a Yazirian raised their arm, the membrane is stretched tight and forms a form of wing, which, provided the enviromental variables – would allow Yazirians to glide for limited distances. Born with muzzles and high foreheads, surrounded by mains and collar hair, gave Yazirians the the look of an animal – almost monkey like appearance. Unlike humans, Yazirians did not sweat, and thus pant to keep cool. Born with four knuckles on both their hands and feet, Yazirians are capable of incredible grip with their feet – just as easily as they would with their hands.
The Pan Galactic had been seeking to expand – many planets were running out of resources. Refinery plants throughout the solar system were finding themselves systematically attacked. Most suspected the mysterious race known as Sathar. Next to nothing were known about these reptilian creatures, save for their hatred for anything and everything related to the Pan Galactic Empire.
Now Jack Renegar had found what may be the largest natural resource for wood – and if they could harvest the gas into “water.”
That was six years ago.
Jack Renegar became one of the wealthiest men in the Pan Galactic System. His money allowed him the best of lawyers, which easily got him pardoned for his crimes as a pirate. Despite his incredible weath, Jack was only able to settle for several months, before the yearning for adventure crept back into his veins. He stepped before the Pan Galactic and asked to become a member of the Pan Galactic Exploration Team. The Pan Galactic, while able to pardon for his crimes (despite endless appeals, before finally surrendering) could not bare the idea that he would become a part of their enormous corporation. It was bad enough that they were forced to pay him a “finder’s fee” for the resources that he discovered on Kredal. But to make him an actual member of the Pan Galactic – that would be too much!
“Before we approve or deny your request, Captain Jack Renegar,” Senior Judge Eraldin said, “we would like to discuss this in private.”
Jack Renegar smiled charismatically, for which he was always known for, and bowed slightly. “Of course.” With that he turned and left the room.
Senior Judge Tarek looked at Eraldin. “You can’t be considering this…”
“Hear me out,” Eraldin, an elderly human with ice blue eyes said, trying to calm the other four Senior Judges. “There is a mission that’s headed for Volturnus. We have already sent one mission out – our very best – and we lost contact with them. It’s been six weeks since we have heard anything back from Vulturnus Mission One. The last we got was transmissions about a very volatile landscape and a beast they called a ‘Quickdeath.’”
“So you’re saying, instate him into the Pan Galactic Exploration and have him lead the mission to Vulturnus?” Tarek asked, sitting down now, giving it some thought.
“If our best have perished on Vulturnus, what are the chances that Jack and his mission would survive?” Eraldin smiled. “I suspect if we do not instate Jack into the Pan Galactic Exploration, he will resume his pirating ways and once again be a thorn in our side. It would be better to instate him, have him explore Vulturnus, which would be right up his alley – and with any luck – perish on the planet, a name that would soon be forgotten, where as if he resorts to pirating again, he will have many who will clamor behind him.”
“And what if he -click- succeeds?”Senior Judge V’runtar, a Vrusk, asked, clicking his mandibles nervously. “He will be hailed a hero -click- once more.”
“Then the Pan Galactic as a whole is better for it,” Eraldin shrugged. “People will forget his tarnished record. Most already have, since his discovery on Kredal has granted employment to thousands – if not millions – in an economy that was failing until that discovery.”