Empress of Sol

Escape the Kwik Kargo 14!
On or about May 3rd, 2195.

The group wakes up to discover they are in cryo tubes in the middle of some calamity. Almost immediately, they are attacked by armed guards. The guards are quickly subdued.

The groups works out they are on a cargo freighter in the middle of a pirate raider attack. Two of their number have perished. Lenin, the Boar hybrid, didn’t make it out of the tube. A piece of metal shattered the glass of his tube and killed him. Doug, the Rabbit hybrid, apparently grabbed a laser rifle when he exited the tube and attracted the first (and only) shot from the armed guard, killing him instantly.

The group works out there are escape pods nearby. They take the guards with them to the engineering section. There, they force a tech to download a copy of the ship’s manifest onto a memory ring. They exit the ship in a pod, taking one of the guards, a Donovan Jones, with them.

The manifest lists some 25,000 items. Many with few if any details. However, OmniPet is listed as having “Five (5) subjects, live” headed for the Saturn Military Collective. Apparently, they had been sold as slaves to the Saturn Military.

The group removes their implanted tracking devices. The pod lands in a wilderness swamp on Venus.

After a nap. Napoleon leads the group through the woods. Along the way, they are stalked by a large lizard like creature. Myari shoots the creature and then prepares it for the groups’ consumption with local herbs. After more napping, the group is threatened by a party of four human males. The group is able to hide as the males head off toward the downed pod.

Napoleon is able to lead the group to the human’s camp; a simple collection of tarp shelters, a fire and a beat-up ground speeder. Jocelyn is chosen to pilot the speeder away from the camp and out of the woods. The group speeds into the outskirts of the main Venusian colony at New Milan.

The group abandon the vehicle and search for information on what is going on as well as possible work and shelter. A local news printer gives them the fact that a cargo ship was attacked in Venus orbit, but no details beyond this. A job posting for a near-by pub catches Myari’s eye. When she and Jocelyn walk into the “Dew Drop Inn”, they are instantly hired as exotic dancers by the proprietor, Happy Harry. Napoleon pulls the proprietor aside and is able to secure a job as janitor. Even Donovan picked up a few shifts bouncing.

Harry offers you discounted rooms in his no-tell motel a block from the joint. The rooms are disgusting but at least they are inexpensive!

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Life was Good
The opening text to Empress of Sol

Life was good.

For the past 18 years, you have lived in an ideal world – until today.

Your earliest memories were of favorite toys and fields of colorful flowers that stretched out into forever. You ran in those fields and played with those toys. You played with each other. You have known each other all of your lives. You played together, you learned in the same classes in the class circle. You also knew others, but they went away.

Myari, you had a friend named Sara. She had fluffy hair and big eyes. She kissed you under the ancient blue tree. You didn’t like it! You were only seven and it was gross!

Jocelyn, your friend Hiro had orange and black stripes and unforgettable eyes. You and he also had a first under the blue tree – but you were a bit older!

And then there was Napoleon & Josephine. They were best friends for as long as you can remember. Inseparable! If one was missing, so was the other and you could bet your favorite toy they would be found together. The last few years, their feelings for each other changed … and strengthened! Everyone understood, no need to explain. Even the teachers understood, and seemed very troubled by it.

Of your original group, only a few are still around. Sara wasn’t there for your big 8th birthday party. The teachers said she needed to be someplace else. Hiro began acting strangely , he’s not been around for three years.

Josephine went away six months ago. She pulled you all aside and told you she had to go – she couldn’t explain why. Napoleon was heartbroken. He begged her to stay. He begged her to explain. She couldn’t and it hurt her to say that. The next day, she was gone. Napoleon hasn’t been the same.

Napoleon begged the teachers to bring her back. They said they couldn’t and they all looked to one teacher for help. He called himself Bower. Of all the teachers, Bower seemed to get the most respect from the other teachers. He didn’t teach as much as the others, but he spent more time playing with you than any of the others. You all aged 18 years and Bower didn’t age a day – none of the teachers aged. They all looked like humans, just like in the history books. You all looked like animals. Bower and the other teachers said you were special and destined for great things. But, they could never explain the great things that Sara, Hiro, Josephine or any of the others were doing.

Three weeks ago, things changed drastically. No teachers showed up for class. A few more of you disappeared here and there. Now there were only five of you left; Miyari, Jocelyn, Napoleon, Doug and Lenin. A few minutes ago, all went black. The fields of flowers and the library and the class circle all vanished. And just now, you opened your eyes. You feel awful as if you haven’t moved your body in a month. Tubes are in your nose and mouth. Fluid flows through tubes into needles in your veins. Patches of fur and scales have been shaved away to allow electrodes to be glued on. You now notice the flashing red lights. You are in a metal tube with a large window – the lights are coming from outside the tube. There is a lot of flashing lights and some smoke. Then everything around you shudders. You are plunged into darkness. You are sure your arms, legs and torso are restrained. The darkness continues as everything around you is violently shifting. Another shudder – is it an earthquake?

The lights come back on. A loud hiss comes from your tube as outside air and acrid smoke pour in. The top lifts from your tube and your bonds loosen. You hear a klaxon outside the room with your tubes. Sounds of explosions and maybe even beamers are coming from every direction. It appears you are free – what do you do now?

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