The Wild Side Launches


These are the voyages of the Wild Side, a lightweight in-system cargo ship carrying a crew of 4:

  • Captain Lou Judson, a tall drink of a woman with a death wish. “I can never walk away from a dare.” (Forceful, but not careful)
  • Pilot Justin “Boost” Harper, a descendant of the earliest pioneers to settle this region of space, and a hot-shot pilot with only slightly less of a death wish than Captain Judson. (Flashy, but not clever)
  • Doctor Julia Sutton, a capable, competent caretaker of the crew. (Clever, but not flashy)
  • Ashleigh Hawthorne, a dilettante with way too much money and not nearly enough judgement. Miss Hawthorne is the recent owner of the Wild Side, and has spearheaded its restoration and redecoration. (Flashy, not careful)

Last night, we began our first session, with character and ship creation, of our “space western” campaign using the Fate Accelerated Edition rules. We had 4 players. One player, Lee, already knows her participation is uncertain, due to her work schedule, so we bounced around some ideas for a non-essential role she could play.

“How about some kind of medic?” suggests Brian, the GM.

I happen to know that Lee always plays the healer. She doesn’t mind, but it gets tiring to always be the medic. I know this well– I usually play the healer and/or leader, and while I love it, I know sometimes it’s nice to be something else. D&D 4th edition leader classes are pretty much my wheelhouse.

Ultimately, she went for a rich, spoiled debutante named Ashleigh. This is a great character, because she can be absent as needed, but also has an important role in the ship.

Carl is playing Boost Harper, who he said is more like Wash and less like Han Solo, when it comes to command. Alicia volunteered to play a medic, Dr. Jules Sutton. Which left me as the captain.

“You could be a crew without a captain,” Brian suggested.

“Please. Have you met me?” I replied.

After Lee described how she wanted to paint the ship, we all had the same mental image of the Futurama ship with pink zebra striping…. and so it was done.

The adventure began with us on Harper Planet, the closest planet to this system’s sun. It’s a nice enough place, and we were there to resupply and get jobs. Captain Lou, unfortunately, has a gambling problem, and headed for the casino. It wasn’t long before I was 20,000 credits in debt and chatting with Mr. McReary about a very simple way to repay that loan.

It seems there was a “clerical error” with the cargo manifest for a shipping job my pilot was currently picking up, and we’d be taking on an extra three palettes of crated goods. Not a problem– I did a quick run-down of questions about the danger level of the goods, but it all seemed safe enough. Delivery was to the person accepting the main goods. Seems fine to me, and I appreciated not being roughed up in the recruitment phase of this job.

I returned to the ship to explain the situation to Boost, and we cleared the cargo hold for our incoming deliveries. And then we cleared them again when Ashleigh’s shoe delivery arrived… by forklift. She was still shopping at a boutique store… one that apparently likes to provide “enhanced snacks” to its patrons.

The doc returned and alerted us to the fact we had two tails on our ship– one a set of red-headed kids (the McRearys) and the other looking quite a bit like a cop without his uniform. Just as we were discussing the job and the tails, we decided it was time to pull off.

“Anyone seen if Ashleigh’s on board yet?”

At that moment, the doc’s medic-alert bracelet went off. This was an entirely sensible measure the doc had taken to ensure the safety of our least responsible crew member (and I say that as someone with an aspect of “With great power comes even greater explosions…”) in which, should Ashleigh be overcome with drugs, alcohol, or any kind of poison or toxin, the bracelet would alert Jules to the situation.

Jules and Boost headed off to collect our wayward girl. As they were putting her into our runabout, a paparazzi snapped a rather revealing shot of Ashleigh and Boost, his hand way too high up her thigh and her definitely seeming to enjoy it. This photo will make it out-system before two turns of the planet, I am sure.

With everyone on board and Ashleigh safely sleeping it off, we undocked and headed for the open sky. Our next stop is one of the “slingshot” stations that will accelerate us further outward. We take each of these out to slingshot Harper 0, where our delivery drop is waiting. After that, collect a few credits and be on our way.

After all. What could possibly go wrong?