Omega (Wo)man and Hippie Chick
Caitlin Nakayama Perkins grew up in Rand Station, on Io, raised by polite middle-class parents who died of workplace mercury poisoning when she was seventeen. Caitlin wrote a scathing essay on the subject, Why Capitalism and Industry Suck So Very Much, which won her a small amount of local celebrity and several death threats.
It also won her a scholarship to the Ralph Nader Superiority Complex, a private university founded by the estate of the famed 20th-century political philosopher located on Venus. Caitlin was on her way to the commencement ceremony in San Francisco (having sealed herself into stasis to avoid the dull six-month trip from Venus to Earth) when a dreadful catastrophe transported her from the 23rd century to, probably, the 312,345th. When the ship’s AI revived her she was somewhat startled to see that Earth was missing and the rest of the solar system appeared abandoned. Landing on Mars, she found the long-abandoned ruins of an advanced civilization, and a handful of functioning skutters.
Fortunately, Caitlin never traveled anywhere without several years’ supply of hemp, including seeds. She quickly assumed command of the skutters and has dedicated herself to building a new civilization, freed from the errors of the past, like all that smog and patriarchy.
That was four months ago. Caitlin started talking to herself shortly after the time slip, and has begun to hallucinate between her bouts of clinical depression. She is, in short, very homesick for the Superiority Complex. Heck, even another human being would be pretty nice. Most days she lies in her bed, playing Pictionary with herself.
Name: Caitlin Nakayama Perkins
Rank: Omega Woman
Serial #: XYZZY-314
Height: 1.43 m
Weight: 50.1 kg
Place of Birth: Rand Base, Io
Distinguishing Marks: Pierced navel, deep tan
Connections: Several hundred skutters
Goals: Build a new enlightened civilization, that’ll show those industrialist fat-cats!
Assets: Dumb Luck (2), Charisma
Liabilities: Addiction (hemp tea), Fanaticism (ecology), Gullibility, Intolerance (conservatism), Manic-depression
Behavior Tags: Talks to plants and self, halfassed Wiccan.
I Want to be Remembered For: Leading the skutters in the establishment of a non-patriarchal leftist tolerant culture, hopefully with a big statue of me in it somewhere.
Tagline: "No! Put down those knives and settle your dispute like civilized sapients! I think they’re getting better, don’t you? (Not really, no.) Shut up! (You shut up, you dumb cow!) Make me!"
Craft (Art) 2
Instrument (Wind) 1
Aesthetics (Art) 2
Passive Games 2
Language (Esperanto) 1
Life Sciences 3
Gear: Loose-fitting skirts, gardening equipment, hemp seeds, copy of Manufacturing Consent
Hologrammatic Manners Columnist
Elvis Vladimir Anan was Morale Officer, 3rd Class, aboard the Jupiter Mining Corporation’s deep space ship White Titan. A careerist, Officer Anan spent most of his time filling out negative performance reviews, writing a Mister Manners column for the ship’s newsletter, and tutoring disinterested crew in the finer points of etiquette.
Then something very bad happened. Gertrude, White Titan‘s AI, has never been forthcoming on what caused the radiation leak that killed the ship’s crew and accelerated the evolutionary processes on the cockroaches that infested the ship’s cargo hold. Three million years later, Gertrude has revived Elvis in hologrammatic form to liaison and instruct the newly sapient cockroach-people who now inhabit White Titan.
("I meant to revive you a few millennia ago, when they first learned English from old Simpsons vids, but things kept coming up," Gertrude explained. "Crosswords, chess problems, that sort of thing. And no, I’m not talking to them. They smell funny. You do it.")
Elvis, a mild-mannered type with a goatee, has found it to be an uphill battle. True, some of the surlier crew in the old days were as foul-tempered as the average cockroach, but even the dirtiest human could be convinced to flush the toilet at irregular intervals. His impassioned pleas to say "excuse me" before trampling people blocking the hallway, to clean up one’s own messes instead of leaving half-eaten piles of rehydrated chicken out for other roaches to eat, and to avoid mixing stripes and plaid have all fallen on deaf ears and insensate antennae.
For their part, the evolved roaches believe Elvis to be the ghostly remnant of Doctor Ted, a professional therapist and member of the Simpsons supporting cast introduced during the 37th season in 2026. (The resemblance is uncanny.) They therefore respond to him the same way Homer always responded to Doctor Ted: by throwing excrement at him whenever he gets out of line. Elvis has politely asked that they stop throwing shit at him, but so far hasn’t managed to get any of them to listen.
Name: Elvis Vladimir Anan
Rank: Morale Officer (3rd class)
Serial #: PLUGH-1123
Height: 1.80 m
Weight: 73 kg
Place of Birth: Flushing Meadows, NY, Earth
Distinguishing Marks: Exceptionally nattily-cut Space Corps uniform, straight teeth, goatee
Connections: Gertrude (the White Titan AI), the evolved cockroaches
Goals: To get a hard-light drive and to find some less filthy sentients
Assets: Rank (1), Acute Vision
Liabilities: Fanaticism (Etiquette), Gimboid, Intolerance (Rude Bastards)
Behavior Tags: Calls people by their first names often, speaks in a soothing tone, unfailingly polite.
I Want to be Remembered For: Escaping my own private hell, or at least teaching the roaches to bathe
Tagline: "I’m sorry David, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. Please don’t throw that, David."
Craft (Embroidery) 2
Aesthetics (Style) 2
Evolved Cockroaches 4
Culinary Arts 1
Language (Esperanto) 1
Gear: Remote projection unit.
Gandalf the Grey version 8.3.1
Erebor Park, an exact recreation of Middle-Earth built on 1:1 scale, was one of the fifty most popular Tolkein-based theme parks listed in Zagat’s Guide to Killing Time Until You Die. For centuries the specially designed wax droids of Aragorn, Leoglas, Eowyn, and so forth entertained visiting tourists with their banter, sword-fighting, trick archery, and old-timey stilted dialogue. Gandalf the Grey, of course, was one of the centerpieces of the exhibit, locked in combat with the fiendish Balrog deep in the mines of Moria. Visitors took a special tram from Rivendell just to see him.
Sometime in the past few million years the flow of tourists slowed, then stopped. Gandalf barely noticed, of course, focused as he was on fighting the Balrog. Several thousand years after that, however, the Balrog droid broke down. Unsure what to do, but flush with triumph, Gandalf left Moria a scant dozen centuries later, heading towards Lorien.
Halfway to Lorien, Gandalf noticed that the rest of Middle-Earth was little more than wreckage, as if it were a theme park that had not been maintained for many hundreds of thousands of years. Gandalf decided that while he had been tied up with the Balrog, Sauron must have obtained the Ring and covered all the world in a second darkness. He vowed to find and defeat Sauron, rallying the Free Peoples together in an assault on Barad-dur.
It didn’t go well. Lorien was deserted. Minas Tirith was in ruins. Hobbiton was just a few bare hills. Gandalf was unable to find a single other inhabitant of Middle Earth, not even any of the eagles.
He has not given up on defeating Sauron, however.
He just has to find Sauron first.
Name: Gandalf the Grey, version 8.3.1
Serial #: 8.3.1-2.165.0A
Sex: M (sexless)
Height: 1.88 m
Weight: 81.6 kg
Place of Birth: Erebor Park, Tau Ceti VI
Distinguishing Marks: Thick gray beard, hooked nose, stern gaze
Race: Wax Droid
Connections: Elrond, Galadriel, the Fellowship of the Ring, et cetera (all now defunct)
Goals: Defeat the Second Darkness, entertain tourists
Assets: Courage, Stoicism (3), Celebrity (3), Unusual Talent: Blow neat smoke things
Liabilities: Addiction to Pipe-weed, Delusion (Will return as Gandalf the White), Delusion (In High Fantasy setting, not Low Space Opera), No Sense of Smell or Taste, Intolerance (Forces of Sauron)
Behavior Tags: Pretends to be wise, recasts everything he encounters into Middle-Earth terms (Simulants become orcs, bazookoids become bows, skutters become hobbits, et cetera)
I Want to be Remembered For: Being the highlight of the tour
Tagline: "Back! Back, Flame of Undun! You shall not pass!"
Self Defense 2
With Glamdring 4
Strength Feat 4
Drawing Out a Story 3
History (Middle-Earth) 2
Languages (English, Numenorean, Elvish)
Middle-Earth Trivia 2
Gear: Pointed blue hat, silver scarf, Glamdring, long gray cloak, thick gray robes (AV 3), and immense black boots.
Mechanoid on the Prowl
ELI 4000 was bought on 11 May 2211 by Gerard Boutros-Boutros Lindstrom, venture capitalist, to navigate his space yacht Risky Ventures. Risky Ventures crashed into an oceanic planetoid (on 14 May 2211), killing every human on board. ELI couldn’t help feeling partially responsible. He busied himself cleaning up the bodies, dusting, teaching himself how to play cribbage, but still, something was missing.
Wiling away the years trapped on the ocean’s floor, ELI gradually began to fantasize an alternate life for himself. In his fantasy life, ELI was a human, like his late owner. In fact, he was a jet-setting venture capitalist celebrity.
As the centuries turned to millennia, ELI’s fantasy grew steadily more elaborate. He envisioned himself — his wealthy and famous human self — searching interstellar space for a mate, finding the right girl, and settling down to raise a dozen children.
Now, nearly three million years later, ELI is in a sorry state. He is completely delusional and believes against all reason that he is human. As a defense mechanism, in fact, he has developed a dislike for mechanoids of all kinds, though (as he is alone in the wreckage of Risky Ventures) it remains an academic point. Also, ELI’s vision system is beginning to fail. He lost the 10x zoom feature in the crash and his internal repair systems never fully recovered.
His goal is to find a wife, preferably one with childbearing hips. It’s probably just as well he’s trapped at the bottom of an ocean.
Name: ELI 4000
Serial #: 581321345589X
Height: 1.70 m
Weight: 300 kg
Place of Birth: Diva Droid plant on Titan
Distinguishing Marks: Candy-apple red finish, novelty-condom head
Goals: To find a nice girl and settle down
Assets: Detachable hands (optional on the 4000 series)
Liabilities: Age, Asimov’s Law, Bad sense (unfocused eyes), Fanaticism (Silicon Heaven), Delusion (I am a human), Intolerance (Mechanoids), Obsession (Starting a family)
Behavior Tags: Blinks a lot, cynic, whistles
I Want to be Remembered For: My remarkable parenting skills
Tagline: "Excuse me, are you fertile?"
Pilot: Transport 4
Pilot: Capital Ship 3
Active Games 1
Feat of Strength 2
Passive Games 1
Computer Ops 3
Culinary Arts 3
Life Sciences 2
Theoretical Physics 3
Gear: Bottle of vindaloo sauce, pocket multitool, dogeared copy of Doctor Spock (45th edition)
As far as the inhabitants of Oooba Cluster know, they have always been there. The Cluster was built by the gods who once ruled beneficently over the dolphins. Then came the fateful day, banished to the depths of prehistory, when the dolphins looked up from their constant screwing, discovered philosophy, and determined the gods didn’t actually exist.
"All this is a result of natural erosion," they said to each other.
"What, even the museums and libraries?" they asked themselves.
"Yes," they answered.
"Even the film vaults?"
"Yes. Erosion and other natural forces, like plate tectonics."
"Even Back to the Future?"
"Especially Back to the Future!"
This led to the first recorded event in Dolphin history, the "Even Back to the Future? War." It was a dark time, shrouded in the mists the antiquity, when dolphin fought dolphin, podmate against podmate, in a bitter feud over whether their habitat was the wreckage of human civilization or the aftereffects of a receding glacier.
The "Even Back to the Future? War" finally ended in the historic Random Cosmic Flotsam Accords (the details of which are now lost forever in the hoary days of yore) when it was agreed that Dolphin civilization was based upon random cosmic flotsam, not the deliberate act of any precursor species. A small minority, the Cult of Man, contends that in certain artifacts — Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Second Edition Player’s Handbook, and such — there are traces of some longlost alien culture dissipated into the fog of yesteryear. Most educated Dolphins, however, laugh at (and refuse to have sex with) them.
Eddy has no strong opinion on the matter. He’s a musician, currently between engagements since being kicked out the band Barely Concealed Lusts by his podmates. Eddy plays, and has devoted his life to, Neo-Sophomoric jazz, a Dolphin style of music which to non-Dolphins sounds like the death throes of a peacock and to Dolphins sounds only slightly better. Eddy also refers to himself in the third person, in the hopes that it will foster in others the belief that he is an eccentric celebrity jazz hepcat star.
NB: As an evolved Dolphin, Eddy has normal human trait maxima and Social 1, Swim 1 skill bonuses. However, he suffers a -4 penalty on all rolls to resist seduction due to heightened dolphin sex drive.
Serial #: N/A
Height: 1.6 m
Weight: 68 kg
Eyes: Little, beady
Place of Birth: Oooba Cluster
Distinguishing Marks: blowhole, tendency to wear loud Hawaiian shirts
Race: Evolved Dolphin
Connections: Oooba Cluster Noise Control, Barely Concealed Lusts
Goals: To get a band together and go national!
Assets: Acute Hearing, Charisma, Unusual Talent (Hold Breath for a Really Long Time)
Liabilities: Gullible, Moral Restriction (Vegetarian), Fanaticism (Neo-Sophomoric Jazz)
Behavior Tags: Speaks in third person, optimism
Eddy Wants to be Remembered For: Making some kicking tunes!
Tagline: "Hello Oooba! Are you ready to fillip? Eddy said, are you ready to fillip? Hello? Oooba?"
Neo-Sophomoric gyrations 5
Active Games (Pub) 2
Instrument: Electronic 3
Neo-Sophomoric generator 5
Aesthetics: Music 2
Theoretical Physics 1
Neo-Sophomoric Theory 3
Gear: Hawaiian shirt, portable Neo-Sophomoric generator (treat as Doug McClure movie)
"Moe" is a GELF, a member of the Kinitawowi species, raised in GELF space at the outer reaches of what was once human space. The Kinitawowi have transcended the genetic programming the humans, their former masters, used to keep them in line: a race bred for slavery and manual labor has become a proud people of warriors and traders.
"Moe" was born to a mated pair of Kinitawowi traders, and learned astronavigation and merchantcraft as his mother’s knee. Now he carries on the family business in a brokedown old transport, shuttling from GELF world to GELF world. He speaks four languages, including Welsh, and knows a hundred local traders. He is forever on the move, always searching for the ultimate prize, the object of all his effort, the goal of his trade.
The ultimate prize is the Super MegaDeluxe Collector’s Complete Edition Collection of all forty-seven seasons of the Simpsons, widely recognized among the Kinitawowi as the greatest artistic achievement of all human civilization. "Moe" adores and worships the Simpsons, and does his best to live his life according to Homer’s wisdom. And Lisa’s wisdom, and Nelson’s, and so on.
"Moe" is also a prudent coward, because (he claims) he always asks himself "what would Homer do?"
Serial #: N/A
Height: 2.2 m
Weight: 137 kg
Place of Birth: GELF space
Distinguishing Marks: Big, hairy, potbellied
Race: Kinitawowi GELF
Goals: Make a fortune and spend it on the Super MegaDeluxe Collector’s Complete Edition Collection of all forty-seven seasons of the Simpsons
Assets: Stoicism (3), Double-Jointed (arms and legs)
Liabilities: Cowardice, Delusion (I am a clever, thinky flavor of hero), Obsession (the Simpsons)
Behavior Tags: Quotes the Simpsons constantly, tries to be thinky
I Want to be Remembered For: Recovering the Simpsons, the greatest achievement of all humanity, and bringing it back to my tribe
Tagline: "’If anyone needs me I’ll be cowering in the drive room.’ ‘What kind of stupid catchphrase is that?’ Ha, ha… seriously, though, I’ll be in the drive room, let me know how the fight turns out."
Pilot: Transport 3
Strength Feat 2
Computer Ops 2
Culinary Arts 2
Language (English, Kinitawowi, Esperanto, Welsh)
Trivia: 20th Century Culture 1
Gear: Six or seven nonconsecutive seasons of the Simpsons on digital media, Bartlett’s Familiar Simpsons Quotations, crates and crates of old Simpsons comics.
Rogue Simulant with Mysterious Chip Implanted in Brain by Secret and Now-Defunct Government Program (God, I’m so creative!)
L-Bet Omicron was built to kill people. She killed an awful lot of people. Time passed. Stuff happened. She vaguely remembers making her way through some space station (or was it a battleship?) somewhere, killing and hacking innocents left and right, when all of a sudden pow, flash of bright light right between the eyes.
When she came to, she’d had a new motherboard grafted onto her synthetic cortex, forcing her to obey Asimov’s Laws, and worse, infecting her with a deep-seating neurotic fear of being alone.
Even worse than that, she was alone. No people, no other simulants, not even mechanoids. Filled with self-loathing, L-Bet stormed through the corpse-laden battlestation (maybe that was it, a battlestation) back to the tiny transport she hunted humans in, and went looking for people.
She visited GELF space briefly, and was pleased to learn through trial and error that Asimov’s Laws do not apply to GELFs. The surviving GELFs, however, refused to hang out with her, and so L-Bet left. She encountered a faster-than-light vessel composed of pure light and energy, and they refused to hang out with her too.
L-Bet has visited derelict spaceships inhabited by senile mechanoids, abandoned colonies overrun by evolved housepets, whole planets of sentient microbes engineered long ago to make iced tea and pizza, and no one is willing to hang out with her. She’s starting to get desperate.
Name: L-Bet Omicron
Serial #: N/A
Height: 1.67 m
Weight: 69 kg
Hair: Dark and lustrous
Place of Birth: Toshee Station, Draconis IX
Distinguishing Marks: Mole on right cheek, full pouting lips, no legs
Goals: Smash and break stuff, make friends
Assets: Stoicism (3), Puzzler
Liabilities: Intolerance (Humans), Asimov’s Laws, Phobia (Loneliness), Cybernetic Legs, Smeghead
Behavior Tags: Nervous Tic (maniacal laughter), Pet Peeve (people with legs)
I Want to be Remembered For: Destroying a planet! Planets are big!
Tagline: "Kill! Kill! Blood… blood… hey, where’s everyone going? Guys? Wait for me, guys!"
Laser pistol 4
Computer Ops 3
Life Sciences 1
Theoretical Physics 1
Gear: Tight-fitting leather suit (AV 5), laster pistol, extra laser pistol, sword