Shot Into the Void

We return to Fiasco by Jason Morningstar this week, this time stepping Into the Void playset by the GremlinLegions. Tonight our cast includes Becca, hereditary CEO of the Vesta Clan Mining Corporation, and her arch-rival King Oswald Octavius VIII, the elected monarch of the “These Eight Arms of Mine” mining operation, who are contesting control of a young black hole that has recently taken up residence near their disputed asteroid mining fields. A close ally of Oswald are the Cephalows, who keep the sacred texts of Mars, in particular their Martian seer Olo of the Pi tribe and her puppet Octopus, Gornthrob the Destroyer, from whom she receives her visions. Olo is married to Commander Adina Peet of the Martian Interplanetary Navy and chief military officer of the Olympus Mons Space Elevator Fleet. Adina secretly desires Gornthrob and hopes to steal its heart away from the Martian. Adina’s Executive Officer is Robin Spears, who has known little but the regimental life of military school and the Martian navy, but she has forgotten she once was of the royal house of Ganymede before she and her twin sister Judith were kidnapped and raised as commoners by republican rebels determined to end their family’s rule. Judith, meanwhile, was raised on the opposite end of Mars, recently graduated from an Assassin’s apprenticeship, and has now been hired by Oswald to eliminate Becca, a job to earn enough to purchase a clone of herself on which to satisfy her lusts.

Into the Void cover showing an unknown planet, a satellite in orbit, and a body falling through space.
Image courtesy of the GremlinLegions.

Our story begins with Oswald bringing Judith to a meeting with Becca aboard a platform near the young black hole being mediated by Commander Adina Peet. Becca argues that the black hole is distorting the asteroid distribution across the line of demarcation, while Oswald insists that the young black hole prefers his claim, but the Commander cites the Orion treaty, which limits the legal weight of black holes who haven’t demonstrated clear evidence of sapience. The meeting concludes when Judith is arrested after failing to stab Becca. In the station’s brig, Robin and Judith discover their uncanny similarity and likely sisterhood, and Judith reveals she has a hereditary disease that will kill her before she turns 30. Back at their home, Adina shows great solicitousness towards Gornthrob despite the bleakness of the visions that it gives Olo, who continues to insist that her work is more important than such mundane concerns like employment and rent. After the failure of mediation, Becca determines to take more aggressive action and loads her ship with sanctioned laser weapons in order to rearrange the asteroid field more to her liking, but her ship is impounded and she and her crew detained by the Commander when they dock at the Olympus Mons station. Meanwhile, Olo and Oswald meet to discuss finding the fabled last copy of the holy book, Paradise Lost, which they believe to be on an asteroid drawn here by the young black hole. Oswald gives Olo a live octopus named Charles to pair with Gornthrob in seeking the books exact location.

After the tilt, Becca easily hires away Judith from “These Eight Arms of Mine” with the bribe money refused by the Commander, and they orchestrate a jail break. During the escape, Judith searches the naval archives to discover the truth about herself and Robin, who catches up to her in the archives. After trying to convert Robin to her cause of retaking Ganymede, Judith slips away to the clone emporium while Robin argues the minutiae of regulations with Commander Adina. Afterward, Adina sneaks in during Olo’s ceremonial vision trance to find the lost book, and romances Gornthrob away from her with Charles serving as a distraction. After much soul-searching, Robin commandeers Becca’s ship and intercepts and joins Judith on her Quixotic quest to Ganymede. Becca, hidden away on the ship, agrees that the Vesta clan will join their coup once the twins plus clone convince Becca of the profit to be made from exploiting a newly monarchical Ganymede. Olo learns that only Paradise Lost can save them from the apocalypse in her visions and finds the Dear John letter left her by Gornthrob. Oswald appears with news that the he believes Gornthrob to be the Great Deceiver told of in stories about the book and whisks them all off to Ganymede. When they intercept the Vesta fleet preparing to invade the planet, Oswald threatens to destroy the planet in order to reclaim Paradise Lost from its core, but Judith explains that the royal family’s disease also gives them the ability to slip through the crust of Ganymede straight to the core, and Robin agrees to be shot out of a particle cannon at the planet to retrieve the treasure. A stupid plan, executed to perfection.

In the epilogue, we see Robin Spears shoot straight through the crust of Ganymede, pass the core, and fly out the other side, never to be seen again, lost in the vast emptiness beyond. Betraying the plan, Oswald Octavius VIII fires his missiles in Robin’s wake and the shockwave destroys his ship and leaves him stranded drifting in space until the Martian Interplanetary Navy picks up and incarcerates him for attempted genocide. The turmoil instigates war between Earth and Mars, which leads to the destruction of the Olympus Mons Space Elevator and Station, and Gornthrob leads the disgraced Commander Adina to the young black hole and sacrifices her to the underdeveloped anomaly. Gornthrob then returns to Olo, Martian of the Pi tribe, and leads her off to another system for a repeat performance. During the explosion, Becca, CEO of the Vesta Clan Mining Corporation, cloaks and shields her ship and slips away unscathed. In the aftermath, she takes over mining territory formerly held by “These Eight Arms of Mine” and, unknowingly, carries the final copy of Paradise Lost away in the asteroid slurry in one of her ships. Judith, oh but Judith, escaping with the Vesta fleet, lives on and learns that the disease she thought certain to kill her may not, only to be murdered by her clone when she decides there can only be one true Judith.