Death on the Selene

Tonight we played Final Voyage of the Selene by James Mullen in which we sail from node to node through substitial space on board the interstellar vessel The Selene. We begin our story seeing Lieutenant Kazarian awaking from a nightmare about a military squad in danger, drenched in sweat, and ordering a booking aboard the Selene. We see ambassador Masiri attending a wedding, accompanied by his wandering wife, between an Epsilon and Omicron, a joining that would cement the long-sought peace he had brokered between the two warring species, before boarding the Selene. In a montage, we watch Professor Caris board the Selene with a handful of plant specimens, then years later, staying on board because she feels close to a breakthrough, then more years later, again determined to make her breakthrough refusing to leave the ship, and again throughout the years. We see Chief Pryce, a cyborg engineer, getting dismissed from ship after ship, until the merchant marine office gives him one last chance aboard Selene. Finally, we follow Doctor Tsien getting spurred out of his dorm room and general dissipation to answer a job ad for a medical office aboard the Selene.

Act I begins with Chief Pryce visiting Doctor Tsien in the Med Bay and jacking himself into the Doctor’s medical systems and complaining about how his internal systems leak and the interface between organic and inorganic parts don’t always mesh well. Professor Caris sits down with Ambassador Masiri in the Lounge to partake of the flavored oxygen, enjoy the lively theremin music, and talk about the mysteries of the universe that she’s learned from her studies of plant life while sailing on the Selene. Later, the Ambassador visits Lt. Kazarian at the security office to assure her that the death threats against him by an Omicronian sect are very unlikely to come to fruition. Kazarian reports to the Med Bay as ordered to get a prescription to help with the nightmares so she can sleep, but the Doctor only half-heartedly listens and agrees to say he’s seen her when the captain asks even though she leaves without any meds.

In Act II, the Chief interrupts Lt. Kazarian searching the Ambassador’s suite when he comes to repair the sonic showers. She keeps rifling through things until she finds something on a datapad and leaves. Later, after having hacked the ship’s systems to see what she was up to, Chief Pryce confronts Kazarian about the unwarranted search and learns that Kazarian suspects the Ambassador of having betrayed her unit during the Earth-Omicron war at the Battle of Antares 3. Meanwhile, Doctor Tsien calls the Ambassador to the Med Bay to inform him that he appears to have an allergy to travel through the interstitial nodes and that if he continues making jumps he could die, so provides him with a powerful alien medication to help him stay awake but that can have devastating consequences if used incorrectly. Professor Caris meets with the Ambassador again and offers a number of natural remedies that could aid with his condition, but makes a point to explain the truth of her findings, that there is no god and nihilism is the only true creed because nothing we do matters. Distraught, Ambassador Masiri flees until next we see him calling Kazarian because he found his wife’s body, in pieces, in their suite, apparently an accident with the Doctor’s prescription.

Doctor Tsien begins Act III sitting at the bar nursing a drink and lamenting how his prescription caused a woman’s death. Chief Pryce sits with him and suggests that if he wants to do good, to make a difference, he has to actually make an effort to do something, anything, instead of sitting around bored all the time. Professor Caris corners the Ambassador and Kazarian in her cabin to discuss the life of plants and the reality of nihilism and in his grief, the Ambassador agrees that nothing matters, and storms out. Before he can escape, however, Lt. Kazarian confronts him about the information she discovered about the unexplained large deposit of Epsilonian credits to his account just before the Battle of Antares 3. The Ambassador explains that his wife came into a mysterious inheritance about that time, and Kazarian realizes that she may have blamed the wrong Masiri. Finally, we see Chief Pryce jacked into the ship’s engines siphoning off energy until some…thing goes from his systems back up the jack and into the ship itself. When this happens, the Selene lurches out of substial space and begins to break apart.

In the epilogue, Lt. Kazarian manages to drag herself and Ambassador Masiri to a lifepod, but the Ambassador dies from his exposure to the pure nodal energy during the crash. Doctor Tsien also makes it to the lifepod and goes on to develop a cure for nodal allergies. Professor Caris does not make it to a lifepod, but uses her plants to protect her and land safely upon a nearby moon, where she continues her research for hundreds of more years as she learns to use the plants to prolong her life. The last image we see is Chief Pryce floating among the ship’s debris, still jacked into the engine.

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