Stardust Voyage of the Selene

Tonight we return to Final Voyage of the Selene by James Mullen for an online adventure on that doomed interstellar starship. Our story starts as we meet our cast beginning with Lt. Kazarian accidentally joined the crew of the Selene after being discharged from the service when he signs papers to book passage that instead institutes a new service contract. Ambassador Masiri boards from the planet Selassia where he has just successfully negotiated a peace treaty between the Selassians and Gargantia, their longtime rivals in the system. Juve Mahler sneaks aboard the Selene disguised as a technician when it docks at Tetan in search of ancient artifacts he’s heard are available on Earth. Professor Carris leaves Earth to find new avenues of research and books passage aboard the long-haul ship out of scientific curiosity. Chief Pryce joined the crew twenty-five years ago, fresh out of the Academy, to help out his best friend with his first captaincy and has been here ever since.

In the first Act, Juve Mahler talks to everyone he can about the interstitial dust that lines the spaceways in the Void through which we travel from one node to the next. Chief Pryce and Lt. Kazarian dismiss his talk as old wives tales, but Prof. Carris is intrigued by its promise of cellular regeneration. If only they could harness the ship’s neusmatron beam to harvest dust in great quantities, but the Chief shuts them down when they try. Carris tries again with Chief Pryce suggesting that they could go into business together collecting the dust if the Chief built a ship specially kitted for interstitial harvesting. Meanwhile, the Ambassador seems unhealthily obsessed with news of the election now ongoing back on Earth.

Act Two begins with Lt. Kazarian interrogating Professor Carris about his past experiments and confiscating his stash of the interstitial dust, claiming that it’s too dangerous to leave unguarded, but when Chief Pryce asks Kazarian where the dust is, he denies knowing anything about it. He plans on keeping the powerful hallucinogenic stardust for the exclusive use of the crew, but Juve Mahler keeps talking about the necessity of working with the crime syndicate if you want to deal in illicit goods. When Ambassador Masiri discovers them prepping the drug in the ship’s kitchens, they offer him information on his wife in exchange for his silence with the captain. As the act ends, Mahler is explaining how you can mix the stardust with the baobab plant to create metamorphic effects. Could they create a doppelgänger of the captain?

As the final Act dawns, Ambassador Masiri confronts Juve Mahler about the latest election news from Earth. Impressed by Mahler’s initiative and enterprising nature, Masiri promises that they can do great work together on Earth and places his hand on the youth’s neck, where Mahler gets a strange scurrying sensation. Mahler later finds a vorpian spider and believes this is what he felt racing across his neck, a vorpian that the Chief confirms could scuttle the ship if it runs loose through its systems. When Chief Pryce asks Professor Carris about the missing creature, they firm up their plans for a business venture in the future, but the Chief rebuffs the romantic overture from Carris, who turns out to have been one of the Chief’s teachers back at the academy. Smitten, Carris easily forgives the Chief when he confesses to having stolen adamantine serum from his lab back in school. When Lt. Kazarian arrives at the lab and tricks Carris to confessing that his research is based almost entirely on the advice of adolescent Mahler, the vorpian spider’s work is done and the ship crashes out of interstitial space.

Everyone makes it to a life-pod in this slow-motion disaster film and we see their fates play out. The Chief is dragged to an escape pod by Prof. Carris and builds the harvesting ship Carris needs to create his rejuvenation formula from the interstitial stardust. Carris becomes famous and rich, while Chief Pryce retires to write safety manuals. Lt. Kazarian makes it off the ship but never makes it to Earth, not ready for planetary life. Ambassador Masiri returns to Earth and is selected as the Vice Presidential partner of the winning candidate from the election. Juve Mahler escapes carrying the alien viral infection given him by the Ambassador to join the criminal syndicate. Will the alien intelligence inside him fight or focus his illicit ambitions?