Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Omega House: Captain Amargura

Art by Juan Ochoa

This is the first in a series of posts featuring the crew of a Quetzal-class Rapid Intervention Vehicle, the OHV Iboy. The Quetzals are the workhorse vessels of Omega House, the chartered imperial organization responsible for developing resolutions to many dangerous situations on the frontiers of the Empire. Omega House assets are usually the last ones to evacuate dangerous places where an exurgent crisis has developed. Omega House brings things to an end

But of course every omega has its ourboros-like ontological ties to a prior alpha. Omega House teams are often the first resource deployed to explore unusual or potentially dangerous phenomena. They're a safe bet, because Omega House teams are usually successful. And they have enough ordinance to cover most of their mistakes.

They also have good PR. Omega House's alpha-flight explorations often trigger crises, although they never, ever admit to that. When reinforcements arrive, they pose as the Empire's first responders. They clean up - or at least try to do so.

Captain Amargura is one of the operatives of Omega House. She's a Captain, in fact. Her current assignment is the Quetzal-class Omega House Vessel Iboy.

Something of a promotion, especially for a Witchfinder-class android.

Amargura had one previous assignment. Back then, she was known as Medical Officer Stillwater of the OHV Jaguar Mantle. That last mission had not gone well.

The Mantle had been assigned to investigate an inky ultraglassine ziggurat on a bleak moonless world orbiting a brown dwarf.  The Captain of the Jaguar Mantle decided to land the vessel directly on top of the ziggurat. The structure seemed made for that and had an intriguing central 5 meter-wide shaft running into the ziggurat's interior from the "landing platform" on top of the structure.

The Captain and the rest of the crew suited up and prepared to descend into the shaft. They used a belts-and-suspenders approach, wearing AG harnesses and a superstrong cable/winch system, which depended from underside of the Mantle. Stillwater remained onboard to monitor drones and safeguard the ship.

Drones went in first of course. Both Stillwater and the descending crew were monitoring the drones; no one detected anything of concern. Unfortunately.

Twenty seconds into the crew's descent, they just weren't there anymore.  Neither were the drones. Within seconds, Medical Officer Stillwater sent a second flight of drones down the shaft. Those returned just fine. In fact, the drones carried extra data packets back up the hell-shaft with them: the recorded screams of the terrified crew in their last moments, along with a jumble of random memories from crewmembers.

Stillwater defied standard orders and immediately took the Mantle to the R.U.R. shellworld called Rainhaven. Unfortunately the R.U.R. Intelligence known as Drowned One said there were not quite enough memories for the R.U.R. to reconstitute the crew.

Stillwater took the Mantle back to Omegapoint. She was surprised to find herself praised for taking initiative and heroic measures to save her crewmates. Omega House offered her a promotion.

Stillwater first took a leave of absence to reflect on what had happened. She blamed herself and changed herself. As a sort of penance, she tore off every bit of synthflesh covering her hardcase sheleton.  She reprogrammed herself as well. Deleted useless Medical Officer programming. Mastered strategy and tactics. Changed her name to Amargura.

Then Amargura went even further, reprogramming herself to constantly relive those 20 seconds of terror when she lost her crewmates. The events cycle through her processors, in full fidelity, every three minutes. She'll never forget the incident. She keeps it fresh. It's an accident that should never be repeated, and that is Armagura's responsibility.

She stores the crew's remaining memories too - someone has to remember them.

The crew call Amargura the Cold Restart, but never to her face. They have no idea what she is capable of, or what she is planning.

When the Iboy's crew are ready - when they finally meet Amargura's exacting standards - she has a detour planned.  Amargura is going back to that cold Ziggurat to find out what happened there.

Captain Amargura
Captain of the OHV Iboy

  • High Concept: Embittered, hypervigillant Captain of the Iboy
  • Trouble: The wound is still fresh
  • Aspect: Mistakes must not be repeated
  • Aspect: Sometimes a Cold Restart is necessary
  • Aspect: "Proceed with caution"
  • Careful: +3
  • Clever: +2
  • Flashy: 0
  • Forceful: +1
  • Quick: +1
  • Sneaky: +2
  • Logic Prevails - Take +2 to Clever Approach when Create an Advantage in a battle situation.  
  • Omega Sniper - Take +2 to Careful Approach to Attack an enemy who is three zones distant, using a ranged weapon 
  • Sheleton - Take +2 Forceful Approach to Defend against melee and projectile weapons.
  • There's A Safer Way - Once per session, you may identify a way in or out of a situation that is safe from one kind of Attack (i.e., close-in, ranged, energy, automated deathtraps, mines, etc.).

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