Saturday, March 23, 2013

082: The Breach

ENTRY 082: The Breach

Spinning lazily through the inner Oort Cloud is a dead habitat, a formerly self-sufficient ice-mining outpost that processed water, methane, and weird hydrocarbon compounds from the abundant planetismals. Alive, Far Horizon Station was a sizable brinker outpost capable of supporting up to two hundred morphs. Dead, the habitat is a blazing radioactive cenotaph. No one knows exactly what caused the death of Far Horizon, but visuals suggest that up to a quarter of the station was destroyed in a single catastrophic event centered on the reactor core, larger than would be expected from any standard breach. Composite data from probes and the last remaining transmissions from Far Horizon suggest excessive amounts of ionized radiation, contaminating over 90% of the station materials.

Many Exhumans have a strange fascination with Far Horizon, though the distance (nearly 2,000 AU from Sol) prevents most from going there directly. Conspiracy theories on the nature of its destruction, the uncharacteristic size of the explosion and the resulting radioactive contamination, and its true purpose abound. The most popular of these fringe theories comes from exhuman astrophysicist Gul Von Vander, who claims that he has recorded signals from Far Horizon have many characteristics in line with cosmic microwave background radiation—if the universe were a few billion years younger. Von Vander’s conclusion, naturally, is that this microwave source is a breach into a parallel universe.

Visiting The Breach

Given the distance, visiting the broken shell of Far Horizon Station is possible but difficult. Station-to-station transport would require the PCs to be egocast to waiting synthmorphs either at the station itself or a nearby vehicle from a mission sent years ago. Light-speed communication means that each leg of the farcast itself take at least three to four months just in transit; though the PCs wouldn’t be aware of the time difference until they get back. Given the distance, limitations, and expense, actually visiting the Breach might be better as a one-off adventure, something that the PC’s fork can go off and do while the primary ego does other things, and then eight months later the fork will return and reintegrate with the PC’s ego. The high radiation levels in the dead station itself will generally restrict the PCs to radiation-resistant (and disposable) synthmorphs that can operate in vacuum.


  • Gul Von Vander is raising money for a full research expedition to Far Horizon Station, but isn’t above “salting the well” to encourage investors. Von Vander offers to hire the player characters to plant false evidence that support Von Vander’s theory in a variety of digital archives; concurrently, potential investor Jun Minaka offers to hire the PCs to do investigative research into Far Horizon. If the PCs play their cards right, they can work both angles and get paid from both while figuring out the real secret behind The Breach…secrets someone might be willing to kill to keep secret.
  • An auction house in Extropia is offering the archives of Far Horizon Station, recovered at great cost by a stalwart crew of mercenaries and data archaeologists. Bidding is expected to hit the at least half a million credits, with any number of interested parties willing to hire some local talent to tip things their way, if the PCs are interested.


  1. I love this. For some reason it stands out. Maybe because of the isolated location? In a setting where near-instant travel (of ego, at least) and communication are so ingrained, a remote location like this promises mystery and terror. Great stuff!

    1. Danke. I do like it because of the remoteness, which can be something you lose in EP, and I think it offers some good potential for stories - the abandoned station, far from any help, &c.

  2. The isolation aspect is pretty sweet, much like the Void Station entry. I struggle a lot with the distances in EP: I like them a lot but it also means that it's insanely hard to "drop in" on a location for a mission. As you say here, getting to Far Horizon takes four months of egocasting. Even considering an ideal situation (a friendly presence on-station or nearby that you can egocast too) means that for a simple 48 hour mission any other ongoing plots progress more than eight months without your players.

    On the other hand, this made me think of a pretty cool scenario for a campaign. You do a few missions and seemingly wrap things up, then your hypercorp/Firewall/Argonaut patrons want to send you to recover and reestablish the valuable Far Horizon station. You spend a few weeks fighting off exhumans, purging the database of exsurgent computer viruses, etc., then egocast back home nearly a year later... Only to find that the system is on the verge of war, the Factors of carpet-bombed Extropia, there's a massive quarantine effort to contain a TITAN outbreak on Venus, or something equally awful. The PCs are thrown into the middle of a situation and have to find out what's been happening over the last ten months even while time is ticking down.