Khiron’s Chronicles: Everything went to Hell in a Handbasket
So much has happened since I last sat down to write I barely know where to start, at the beginning I guess. We, Mr. Dwight and I, the newcomers Olis, Thorne, Marcell and Gabriel, travelled up the Tennessee, recovered the materials we needed to create the Gate and were on our way back to Gateway City when the unexpected happened. We had recovered a blue wedge from agents sent by Cavile. I am not certain how but something Thorne, it is always Thorne, caused us to be transported to a spaceship in orbit around the 8th planet, Uranus. We managed to jump the ship back to Earth orbit but in overcoming the demon who had taken it over somehow triggered the ship’s Skip Drive to activate again. Being improperly calibrated the thing jumped to another universe far removed from my own or to the far future, or past, I am not certain which.
In this new Universe Man had made the jump to the stars but had become complacent and indolent. They lost the knowledge of the technology they had made and started treating it as religious icons with the resultant inevitable effects. Ignorance, stupidity, confusion, idolatry, everything those of us in New Manhattan had sought to avoid. Somewhere along the line Marcell became an alternate version of himself named Arden, Mr. Dwight managed to avoid the transfer to a ship called the Venture and Olis lost his spear and magic helmet and starting kicking people. Oh, and we picked up a new companion, Carter, who was once female but isn’t now, or it was his sister and her ship or something, and he can walk through walls. Between that and Thorne’s constant gender switching and histrionics I sort of lost track of most things in any regards for a while. There was a lot of teleporting, random teleporting, three maybe four times, and Universe hopping, or time switching or whatever, lost track, do not care anymore.
Anyway the “new” “Universe” we found ourselves was in orbit around a planet named Daneana or something, it was such a miserable pit that the locals actually bathed in nuclear radiation of the “Star Hearths” AKA barely controlled nuclear fission piles of Uranium and Plutonium, as Holy Light to cleanse themselves. They used these things to power 3-D printers as well as warm their bath water and wondered why they were mutating, going sterile and dying off. Oh, and they had enslaved sentient trees called the “Woose” and sought to exterminate beastmen who they called the Couj. Oh, and there was lots of sex, they liked having sex, except with Thorne, which was amusing. And murder, of teenage girls, about inappropriate child rearing practices and Olis, and orphans and creepy stuff involving candy.
I sort of just let most of this stuff slide off until I found the warm shower locked inside the High Priestess’s painting, just before the zombie hordes attacked and we escaped using the mostly broken shuttlecraft with a demonic curse on it. This all sounds nuts, because it is. Nothing makes sense anymore from the football shaped transport ship that Carter hates to the genetically doomed Hawkwoods who believe themselves the surviving royal family of the Phoenix Empire of Man and their sacred pornographic woodcuts, while we are the Offworlders who will lead them to Ascension! Really, I cannot make shit like this up.
We finally find a clue, something involving a “Woodhenge” and magical brouhaha that seems mostly delusional chemical inspired nonsense but we made it off the planet and back to the Venture, hot meals, hot showers, decent food and beds not filled with lice. We has some bee line to a Portal/Gate something 3 AY out and have the key for it, I think, when we get there but along the way we need to stop at a some ship in orbit at the L-1 point of the planet and the sun because Olis or the new Marcell, err Arden, sure, what-the-ever, says that dead people wanted to get the Key we have, a cylinder with Runes! RUNES! TM! to Crucifix Station, or something, or some such for reasons. REASONS! He travels in time, and dimensions, which all suck and were destroyed so he ought to know! Yes! Do that! So we pilot a course near it to check it out before headed out to the way off the elliptical Portal/Gate 3 AU out.
While Carter and I and trying to rig a way to get over to the rather derelict looking Crucifix Station, which, it turns out is a torus with a central spine tidally locked so that one side always faces the sun, Thorne teleports him/her/zer/they/I-do-not-care-what-the-f***-pronoun-it-is-using-anymore self and Olis over to the ruined docking bay on the station itself. Did I mention the station is miles long and millions of times our volume in size? Opps.
Anyway… as soon as they do so bugs, lots of bugs, pill bugs with twelve legs and nuclear powered heinies, hereafter known as “space-bugs” come swarming out of the darned thing. The “space-bugs” try and hump Olis’ legs… and either mate with Gabriel or try to clean his spacesuit with ionic acid goo, not sure which, while somehow Carter, who was trying to pull the Venture, away only managed to nearly instantaneously dock with the station instead. Opps?
Bugs, here, bugs there, bugs everywhere. Carter and I manage to push the things off the ship while Olis avoids mating and I duct tape Gabriel up so he doesn’t die from the ionic bug sperm. Carter manages to order the Venture out to a safe distance and somewhere somehow Thorne managed to get insert-pronoun-of-choice-self back to the ship while complaining about many, many things.
At this point some wisdom is used and we use the three dimensional printers on the ship and my skills to make a reconnaissance drone to explore Crucifix Station. We discovered that the ship was centuries old, or older, it had been retrofitted eons ago by people who did not know how it worked to work using the Star Hearth technology that the locals used to stay warm and ruin their sperm, which had been stripped from it along with nearly anything else useful (to build what the locals called their society) that the ship was a hulk in space, would never move again, and was missing nearly all its cargo pods, supplies and materials and, oh, yes, somewhere along the line became a home for “space-bugs.”
I tried to convince my companions to leave the darned thing alone and that we should go off to the Portal/Gate whatever but they decided that genocide against the “space-bugs” was not morally repugnant because “CHOGMA” and “space-bugs!” made sense somehow. I have tried to dissuade them of their folly and that we should leave the nice explodie space-bugs to the derelict ruin of a spaceship and live and let live but no… Carter seems to delight in using his ship’s rail gun, the science truck’s only real weapon to kill “space-bugs” while Thorne is somehow convinced this is the ship that will save the people of what-the-fuck ever. I have tried to reason with them but reason has failed. I will just go an make myself a sandwich. Seesh. “SPACE-BUGS!” Oh, and Thorne REALLY, REALLY want windows on spacecraft. Really, it’s a thing!