Feeling the Laser Time Warp Again

Tonight we gathered for a session of Lasers & Feelings by John Harper to form the crew of the Consortium star cruiser Raptor, equipped both with fighter craft and a cloaking device, but seriously understaffed and whose grim-faced Captain Darcy is now confined to a medical pod. We remaining crew are intrepid soldier Lt. Dag Lively, the wily pilot Haley S. Comet, a savvy explorer named Derek Everstar, the ship’s dangerous staff scientist Hex Berillium, android doctor still seeking a medical degree Qx4G76, and hot-shot stowaway Xandus Max.

We start on a mission to the void to gather void crystals and study the strange energy they emit. While Hex, Derek, and Haley discuss how best to harvest crystals without endangering the ship, a sleek, swift vessel swoops through the void field and sucks up a hoard of void crystals in its tractor beam before heading out of the sector. As Haley tries to pursue, the Raptor is caught up in a swirl of void crystals, which clog the ships engines requiring the ship to be cleared before we can pursue. Meanwhile, the evasive maneuvers dislodges stowaway Xandus from his hiding place in the ship’s ventilation tubes, dropping his directly at the feet of security officer Dag Lively, who refuses to be bought off and escorts the scofflaw to Qx4 for examination and decontamination.

Once Derek and Hex have successfully cleaned the ship of any lingering void crystals and brought their booty aboard, Haley takes off after the pirates guessing their heading based on their last known trajectory. After landing us on Acaridiun 4, Dag, Derek, Haley, and Xandus head into the local drinking establishment looking for signs of the pirates who raided the crystal fields. At the bar is pirate queen Zor raising a toast to her crew and disparaging the name of the Consortium. After Dag announces our presence and is forced to back down when the entire bar turns out to be pirates, Xandus has a heart-to-heart with Zor, who used to be his lover, and manages to pick her pocket to secure the security beacon to her ship. As the crew fly back in their shuttle, Xandus whizzes by in the Zormobile and waves before landing with them on the deck of the Raptor.

Hex comes rushing out saying they have discovered that when a critical mass of the void crystals occupy enough space together, they can warp spacetime. As the group discusses what to do with this information and their very large concentration of crystals they now possess, the warping of spacetime begins and we find ourselves in new circumstances. Each of us finds ourselves as the opposite of what we were before and aboard a large pirate vessel bearing down on the Raptor, where we can see ourselves still standing and talking on the deck! Dag is now an unattractive quartermaster, Haley the ships lunch lady, Derek a museum curator, Hex an accountant, Xandus a stay-at-home dad, and Qx4 is the ships weapons array AI. We try a number of things to undo this madness and return things to normal, including trying to destroy the Zormobile, but Qx4’s programming won’t let him hit his target. Hex tries to buy us time by inciting dissension among the pirates by pointing out errors in the divvying of previous loot, but these pirates have discipline. Back on the Raptor, our old selves scramble to action stations and launch her drone fighters while Xandus boards the Zormobile and flies directly at the pirate ship. Qx4 fires another missile volley in an artistic arrangement, leading Xandus to realize that he doesn’t have to sacrifice himself and instead drops the cargo of crystals into the explosions from the missiles. Once the crystals are destroyed, the vortex collapses and the pirate ship disappears as we snap back into our old selves about the Raptor at our action stations.

Relieved that we’re out of danger and no longer possess enough crystals to set off another time warp, the crew relaxes, but Hex muses that all good experiments have to be repeatable, and Qx4 hovers ominously toward the Captain’s medical pod.