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Thread: Babylon 5: Outrageous Fortune
Wednesday, 18th June, 2008, 01:51 PM #1
Babylon 5: Outrageous Fortune
Babylon Five: Outrageous Fortune.
Episode One: All the Dark Places.
It is 2267, five years after the historic founding of the Interstellar Alliance, seven years after the end of the Shadow War. By bringing together many disparate races to end millions of years of Vorlon and Shadow interference, and by driving the despotic Earth president Clarke from office, John Sheridan and his wife Delenn have helped to bring about a new era of interstellar cooperation, enforced, if need be, by the Anla’shok Rangers.
But although the First Ones have gone from the galaxy, they have left behind their toys, their schemes and their loyal minions. It was left-over Shadow technology that allowed the insane Centauri Regent to conduct his provocative war with the young Interstellar Alliance, resulting in punitive strikes by the Drazi and Narn, and the withdrawal by the newly ascending Emperor Mollari (after the Regent’s suicide) of the Centauri Republic from the ISA. It was the discovery that telepaths were created by Vorlons as a weapon against the Shadows that ultimately precipitated the Telepath Crisis by driving the telepath demagogue Byron down his self-destructive path and splitting telepath society down the middle.
As insidious as these events were, none showed how the legacy of the First Ones still cast its shadow across the galaxy as much as the Drakh assault on Earth. The Drakh were loyal servants of the Shadows. Bereft of purpose once their masters had gone they became driven by revenge for those that they held responsible. On the fifth anniversary of the foundation of the ISA they launched their attack on President Sheridan’s homeworld – Earth. The Drakh attempted to employ a devastating planet-killer weapon left behind by their masters but were thwarted by the sacrifice of one of the ISA’s new line of cruisers (itself built using retro-fitted Vorlon technology). As they retreated, the Drakh resorted to Plan B. They seeded the atmosphere of Earth with a bio-engineered virus, designed to wipe out all life on the planet. Fortunately for the people of Earth, the Drakh had neither the time nor the knowledge to correctly configure the virus, making it marginally less deadly.
Tests on the Drakh Plague (as it became known) suggested that it would mutate and adapt to human biology, with a projected timescale of five years before it killed every last human on the planet. Earth was quarantined. The ISA sent out its last surviving flagship cruiser, the Excalibur, on a high profile mission to seek a cure amidst ancient alien technology. But it was not the only such mission.
The call went out from the ISA for experts in every field to join the hunt for a cure. You have all been selected by your immediate superiors, in whatever field or race you come from, to answer the call. Perhaps you are ideally suited, perhaps you annoyed someone and they want you out of the way, perhaps you volunteered out of altruism or perhaps this is a way of piggy-backing onto a different goal that you or your superiors may have. Whatever the true reason, you ended up in a Ranger training camp in the Minbari capital Tuzanor for a quick two week briefing session before being assigned to your team and given your mission.
The Cover Mission
You are to travel to Lison, a fringe world on the edge of the Drazi Freehold, posing as Quantium-40 traders. You are to meet with a man named Duane Kessler, a representative of the local ‘government’, to arrange for the sale and transfer of a small amount of Q-40. As far as Kessler is concerned, you are free traders running small-time Q-40 shipments to the highest bidder, aboard your vessel Outrageous Fortune.
The Real Mission
Lison is close to Tal-Kon’Sha space. The ‘Tal’ are a highly advanced race that could have achieved the status of the other First Ones, but instead chose to divest their consciousnesses into a computer-generated virtual paradise. Their worlds are mostly protected by automated defences but tech-runners occasionally break through to bring back highly advanced levels of cyber-technology. Lison is renowned and notorious for its high levels of individuals who merge technology with their own bodies, often in ways highly illegal in the rest of the galaxy. It may be that one of these tech-runners has found something that may be of use against the Drakh Plague. The Anla’shok have arranged a contact in Tribon City, Lison. You are to proceed to the Black Nebula bar and find the owner, an Abbai male going by the name of ‘Gills’. He will give you further information.
Lison is a tidally-locked world with a burning day side and a freezing night side. Habitation is underground, along the twilight zone between the two faces. It is a lawless world, once under control of the Drazi Freehold (and rumours state that they would like to re-take it but fear reprisals from the ISA). The government, such as it is, is run by a human called Michael Kevik and is known as the Consortium. It is a loose alliance of Q-40 mining companies, security firms, criminal cartels, megacorporate shell companies and alien interests. By playing all off against each other, Kevik maintains a sort of peace since no one party wishes to see any of the others gain a greater portion of control of the Q-40 mines. There are rumours that Kevik has been courting the ISA for membership, something opposed by many parties of the Consortium since to do so would almost certainly bring in more regulations and controls on what is currently a free-wheeling enterprise.
Tribon City is the largest of Lison’s underground complexes, home to roughly 4 million inhabitants crammed together in caves and tunnels. Oxygen is a valuable commodity in the cave cities. It is gathered at great danger in liquid form by ‘oxygen runners’ on the planet’s night side and maintained by scrubber systems. Imports are strictly controlled by the Consortium as the Air Tax is a lucrative way of keeping the citizens in line.
Transport within the city is mostly by shuttle-tube, with a few slow buggies and moving walkways. Communication is conducted through Lison-Web, which also carries the local news channel United Lison News and Q-40 market data.
Humans are common on Lison, but expect to see predominantly League races, particularly Drazi, pak’ma’ra, Llort, Balosians, Grome, Hurr, Vree, Brakiri and many of the minor races not recorded elsewhere.
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