This week, we played Lasers & Feelings by John Harper as the crew of the small Consortium scout ship, Raptor. With our Captain incapacitated by an unknown psychic entity, the crew are on our own. Our cast includes: Ensign Zul, a genderless alien explorer from a water planet who looks like an ambulatory sea monster; the android diplomacy envoy P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A. (Prediction And Calculation Intelligence For Initiating Conflict Avoidance), designed to use logic to negotiate an end to conflicts; Troy McVenture, well-known star of Intrepid Love and Adventure Forever, who has come aboard to audition for a role in a series about the adventures of a starship; Dr. Aak the bipedal cat and medical officer, out to prove what an orange cat can do on a starship; ship’s engineer Lt. Cmdr. Leah Brahms, who just love tinkering with Consortium toys; and the most senior crew member still conscious and security officer, Cmdr. Kaz Ardor, who just wants to keep everyone safe until the captain can be revived.
Our mission begins with Brahms greeting Troy McVenture when his shuttle docs with the ship and, misunderstanding when he starts talking about his vid-series pilot, escorting him to his station at navigation as the ship’s new pilot. In the med bay, Ardor is working with PACIFICA and Dr. Aak to attempt to communicate with the entity possessing Captain Darcy, since Dr. Aak has not found any way to remove the entity without harming the captain. PACIFICA is able to make rudimentary contact with the entity, learns to refer to it as Monsieur, and suggests they might be able to convince Monsieur to move to a new host under the right circumstances. Ensign Zul receives a distress call from the starship of the Queen of the space pirate brigade, and we plan how to approach the touchy and dangerous pirates; Troy pilots the ship for the first time on this trip.
As we approach the pirate starship Archipelago, the first minister of the pirate brigade denies sending any distress beacon, but after muting himself and crying out to his crew, the beacon stops. The minister admits they had been attacked by a Consortium ship before a fleet of pirate vessels surround us, forcing us to activate the Raptor’s cloaking device to escape without damage. Cmdr. Ardor orders Zul to escort Troy to the med bay for a psych evaluation since he keeps insisting that we’re on a television set. After Dr. Aak examines him, he’s confined to quarters with a security detail stationed at his door. In engineering, Ardor has Brahms boost the range of the ship’s sensors to search for the Consortium ship the pirates claimed had attacked them. After some technical wizardry, Brahms reports there is a Consortium ship stalking the pirate vessel, a ship that matches the markings of the USS Saber, commanded by Captain Clarke.
Putting the ship on alert status, we intercept the Saber when PACIFICA and Ardor begin parleying with Capt. Clarke, who is unrepentant about his attempts to attach the pirate Queen and start a war. As we continue verbal jousting, Troy appears on the bridge of the Saber and lunges for Capt. Clarke. We attempt to teleport the two of them back to the Raptor but somehow we get Clarke and strand Troy on the other ship. While the crew and Troy keep the crew of the Saber occupied, PACIFICA and Ardor take Clarke to the med bay where PACIFICA convinces the entity Monsieur to leave Capt. Darcy and possess Clarke instead. Monsieur can now communicate clearly through Clarke’s voice and takes command of the Saber to end the pirate war crisis. Darcy returns to the bridge as we escort the Saber back to Consortium Command for debriefing.