Tuesday, November 19, 2013

323: Uno

ENTRY 323: Uno

"Oh fuck, I think I stepped on something."
- Fuckup; 34:256:11:29 remaining on on their sentence

A step through the Pandora Gate brought the 'crashers to an alien paradise garden. The air smelled like cinammon, with patches of bitter almond that turned out to be clouds of cyanide gas. The whole place moved; the carpet-critter scoured the ground for feces left by the undulating gasbag plant, leaving bioluminescent slime trails eagerly slopped up by the five-tongued starfish-snail. Nothing attacked the transhuman tresspassers; nothing seemed carnivorous. It was a weird ecosystem, and deserved a lifetime of study.

Until one of the gatecrashers accidentally stepped on a finger-crawler. Damage done, the team scraped it into a sample bag and took it back home, initial survey complete. Analysis of the finger-crawler showed signs of an engineered organism - immortal cell-lines, no recognizable reproductive capabilities, ridiculously specific digestive system, something that looked like a serial number encoded in base 13 under one gill-flap. Reviewing the recordings of the survey further reinforced this hypothesis; none of the analysts could see two of anything. Each creature appeared to be unique, with its own niche.

The subsequent team came back to a devastated ecosystem. Things were starving, dropped dead in their tracks. A whole section of the garden's food chain had broken down, critters starved or suffering from micronutrient deprivation, others overburdened and poisoned by waste products that they couldn't rid themselves of naturally. Emergency rescue measures met up against an ecological prime directive, but a last-ditch 24-hour Mesh campaign raised enough funds to overcome the eco-conservatives and at least make an effort to save as much of Uno's ecosystem as could be done.

As for the gatecrasher who killed the finger-crawler, their punishment was set for bid during the fund-raising campaign, and the winning vote was that their name be officially changed to "Fuckup" for a period of 35 years, with all traces of their former name being erased retroactively. Fuckup wasn't exactly contrite or cooperative with the sentence, but eventually submitted to psychosurgery under duress, and henceforth until time is up will be known as Fuckup.

Using Uno

Transhumanity has a nasty habit of unbalancing ecosystems; it's just rarely as blatant as what happened with Uno. That said, even with its dying ecosystem, Uno needs to be explored - there is every indication that this group of alien lifeforms was built, not naturally evolved, and there may still be evidence of the extraterrestrial sentients that created them around there somewhere. Likewise, gatecrashers are needed to help in the recovery efforts, bringing sick and starving critters back for treatment and study, then re-introducing healthy specimens along with feeders that approximate the functions of some of the lost critters. It's a weird world, and the xenoecologists want to keep it that way.


  • Fuckup approaches the PCs, trying to hire them to recover their original name. The PCs will have to do some serious digging if they accept the job, and face a number of reasonable-sounding transhumans that will non-violently hinder them, as they believe in the justice of Fuckup's sentence.

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