Space Voyage 2245 Season Five
The breakthrough hit Space Voyage 2245's fifth season, with teasers:
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- The future does not belong to men...: Yrgoa is saved from total annihilation by the Vanguard, but as the Yrgoans pick up the pieces of their shattered society, the orderly Jihad takes an unexpected turn. Back on Earth, Prime Chancellor Gorin Oskarsen it seems, has made himself Rector Primae of the Jihad in Vanguard's absence. As Vanguard patrols the limits of the Yrgoan system, they discover a derelict human ship, with a passenger whose knowledge bodes ill for the future.
- Evil draws men together...: Warning systems are under construction at all edges of Condominium systems, but the Science Bureau is hard pressed to find all stellar bodies and crew the stations, and Dr. Lundgren realizes all too-soon there will not be enough personnel but to staff the primary star-systems. When Dr. Lundgren informs Captain Spitzer of the events, the plight of the Condominium grows grim. Into this dark come the Beshree, with promises of a treaty with the Krchna, a technocratic race, but at a terrible price...
- Man is by nature a political animal...: Rector Primae Oskarsen moves to quell the fears of the Condominium by restructuring the Parliament, dismissing all but a handful of hand-chosen Senators for his Jihad Council. A bloody revolution portends, and Captain Spitzer and the crew intervene to see the Parliament change to a two-body system...if they can convince the representatives in time...
- The soul never thinks without a picture...: Xu Ai Nu, lone survivor of an Assassin attack, awakens suddenly from his coma, screaming. As Doctors Rasmussen and Ssaqueanyal do their best to remedy his ailments, it becomes clear that to decipher his crystal-clear vision of the future, saving all humanity, and to save his life so he can share the vision, they must submit to the R'Zikk and their demands, once more.
- A Friend is a Second Self, Part 1.: Dr. Lundgren seeks to increase his output as he works on a critical component for the newest array of scanners against the Assassins. As he activates the Duplicitor he is split on the atomic level into two beings, each of them veritably identical to the other. But as work continues, Dr. Lundgren finds himself becoming confused, and Birko, as his clone is called, begins suffering phantom pains. As the work presses forward despite his failings, Dr. Lundgren and Birko realize that they must be joined together again, or die. As they set up the machinery, the Vanguard is attacked by the Queliqot, and Birko is taken away captive ... can the crew find him in time?
- A Friend is a Second Self, Part 2.: Vanguard swiftly follows the Queliqot and are sucked into the kisqav vortex, where they are taken to the Queliqot Vinculum, referred to in awe by the Queliqot as the Ever-Hive. In the outer fringes the crew wait, powerless. But as they wait they hear the hissing and complaints of Worker and Forager Queliqot of the Shroud-Men, which can only be the Assessors, hard at their "work". As Dr. Lundgren slips into a coma, will the crew save him in time?
- To perceive is to suffer: Escaping from the Queliqot Vinculum the Vanguard gets lost in the heart of a reflective nebula, effectively blinding the sensors, but just as they get their bearings, a Queliqot flotilla surrounds them. In the heat of negotiations for their lives, the Assassins appear.
- The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet: An R'Zikk ship appears in front of the Vanguard as it patrols Condominium space, and offers them the opportunity to learn of the Assassins, on condition that one of the crew agree to live the rest of their life with the R'Zikk. While the crew wrangles with the decision, Chief Scientist Aquico Yamamoto, traumatized by the death of her father in the attack on Hoppas VII, goes to the R'Zikk of her own volition...
- The law is reason, free from passion.: Efforts are made to resuscitate Aquico Yamamoto, but to no avail. Captain Spitzer is charged with negligence in the death of Aquico Yamamoto, but rather than submit to an injunction and trial from the Starmada she requests that Mistelsbog to be judge and jury in her case...
- Friends have all things in common: The R'Zikk offer a possible help to the crew of the Vanguard, this time without any strings attached; through their intermediary, the crew of the Vanguard will be given a gestalt mind, with Captain Spitzer as the head of the crew. As they ponder the option, the R'Zikk suggest that the command crew test it first, and the psychic union is made, but with strange results...
- The eyes which are the windows of the soul: The R'Zikk, eager to make amends after their last attempts offer another gift, the Jiraoz Slates, a collection of mystical slates serving as mirrors of the future from the present, when the R'Zikk use them. When the humans use them, each member of the crew is sucked into a world centered on them, and their deepest, darkest desires. Can Mistelsbog save them before they destroy themselves?
- No evil can happen to a good man, neither in life nor after death: The Vanguard stumbles on a Luddite society near the most frequently attacked regions of space. Warning the inhabitants of the Assassins' coming, they are ignored and even rebuffed, until the landing party falls ill, and awake to realize that nothing in the world matters, as long as Marnax holds sway...
- Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?: The Assassin onslaught is redoubled and world after world is decimated. A volley is launched at Hrithga V, only to disappear. Vanguard is sent to investigate, but a second and third attack are likewise averted. An investigation is begun into the "Little Death" that is saving the Hrithganians from the Assassin's efforts.
- There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.: Dr. Lundgren is shot with an Assassin energy bolt, but at first all appears well. In days he loses his grasp of reality and begins working on a plan the Assassins have given him...in his madness, can the crew stop him?
- Democracy Passes into Despotism: Rector Primae Gorin Oskarsen draws still more power to his office, and when he hears of a threatened Parliamentary motion to strip him of office, the Rector Primae exercises his power and disbands the Parliament. He commandeers the few ships of the Starmada in orbit to form the base of the new Imperial Fleet, but can Captain Spitzer and the crew avert disaster?
- Death is not the worst that can happen to men.: With Rector Primae Gorin Oskarsen dead, the government of Earth and the Space Condominium is in massive disarray. As the Political process struggles to restore itself the Assassins attack three key worlds, to massive destruction.
- Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.: With the destruction of Khra, Ptrios, and Manakami, the already tenuous Condominum Accord fractures. The Kulofi Confederacy breaks away, taking 5 of the most inhabited worlds with them. As more worlds express their desires to fend for themselves, it seems the Great Experiment is at an end...
- False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.: A coded message is received from Earth, but as Captain Spitzer reviews it, a trojan horse within the data unfolds, bringing her into hypnotic submission. It seems the Kulofi Confederacy are not satisfied with their destructive efforts, and have their sights set on the Vanguard.
- Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods.: Rationing on Earth and other Condominium worlds reaches a crisis point. At this moment the new religion of Viriditas comes to play, seeming to strengthen the crumbling Condominium.
- Time crumbles things...: The R'Zikk return to speak with Captain Spitzer, warning of the crumbling of all civilization in the galaxy if events are not handled properly at this crucial point in time. But their enigmatic story is only further muddled by prophecies of the future that seem to conflict, suggesting that civilization must collapse for Utopia to be truly born...
- No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth.: Xu Ai Nu speaks in gnomic haiku at the sight of the ruined world of Khra. His words spark contention among the survivor colonies orbiting the decimated world, and is soon the subject of further assassination attempts...
- Can any man be courageous who has the fear of death in him?: Xu Ai Nu is taken by the Vanguard to the R'Zikk, who ask him to complete a mission for them, and in repayment, they will heal his fractured mind. But as Xu Ai Nu and his fellow travelers seek to complete the quest the ship is disabled, and he alone is left awake to restore all to rights. Fighting panic attacks, Xu Ai Nu fears that he will never finish in time.
- Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.: A final draft of the new Condominium Constitution is at last ratified, yet so very quickly set under the scrutiny of parliament. As the citizens scream in outrage, the Vanguard must bring quick resolution or face open rebellion and the end to the galactic civilization.
- We must as second best take the least of the evils. : The Monfareen come, offering peace and alliance if the Condominium will but help them fend off the attack of the Zmorite Hordes. Yet the Zmorites reveal that this attack is not offensive, but retribution to redress wrongs of the Monfareen, and Vanguard is left to choose which side to ally with in the face of the Assassin's onslaught.
- The Diaspora will surely eliminate you ...: Vanguard shepherds a fleet of colonists, called the Bolt-Hole fleet toward the vast Antilles Cluster and a world that will serve as a protected enclave of Condominium Culture. But all is not well as the Kulofi Confederation launch wave after wave of skirmishing craft to dissuade the creation of this Redoubt. (Followed by Mariner "Rendez-vous")
- Rearguard: The Vanguard escorts the Bolt-Hole fleet alongside the Mariner when they are beset upon by Itsho Wasp-class caravelles. In a desperate measure Vanguard enables the "Clôture Device" a weapon of last resort, and prepares for the final face-off with the Itsho. (Followed by Mariner "En Route")
- The Final Curtain: The Qromaxi appear as Captain Spitzer is about to deploy the "Clôture Device" and rout the Itsho. With a burst-message they inform Vanguard of trouble for the Redoubt colony, and Vanguard ekes out what little power is left in their space drive. Arriving in tight orbit, Captain Klausfelder explains the discovery of a cloaked vessel in orbit. This vessel, barely detectable seems to be the cause of the discord on the planet's surface. As Vanguard charges its weapons, the cloak disappears, revealing an Assassin Queen-vessel with enough fire-power to decimate the star system. Yet this vessel is barely staffed and the Vanguard crew discover this vessel is not the only vessel in their quadrangle of the galaxy, and there are Queen-vessels in orbit around all major planets, seeding unrest.
Just as all seems lost, the Vanguard discovers a critical clue. This is no mere Queen-vessel, but is actually the Empress-ship, and its destruction could mean the end of the Assassins. Three Phlog-bolts are fired against the Empress-ship, and the Assassins begin attacking, the Vanguard leading them away from Redoubt.
On Redoubt Professor Gideon succeeds in activating the ancient device, and discovers that this planet once served as a launching point for Assassin forays into the galaxy, and that the Empress-ship contains in itself a floating wormhole, connecting the Assassins to their home galaxy. He tries to reach the Vanguard but they are out of range.
Circling a large gas giant, the Vanguard deploys the "Clôture Device", and as the Empress-ship descends upon them, Captain Spitzer orders its activation.
In a blaze of light that blinds sensors for light-years the Vanguard disappears, along with the Empress-ship and the gas-giant. Within minutes the Queen-vessels self-destruct, and the galaxy seems freed from the threat of Assassins, but at what cost? For Vanguard is no where to be seen, and it may well be the end of this Space Voyage. (Preceded by Mariner "Mise en Scène")
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