As planet Thordis rises to sector prominence thanks to its peerless mastery of gene splicing, two rival sects of the Gospel of the Helix clash over the relic of a saint.
With school out, I took advantage of the boredom to arrange a game of Laserblade with my kids. I showed them my whole sci-fi collection and had them each pick any ten models they wanted. They chose based on looks alone, so each team featured an eclectic mix.
Thordis is one of two inhabited planets in the Teciboe star system. Based on its random attributes I decided this skirmish would represent a localized sectarian clash there. The crews would fight over the sole graven likeness of a holy figure common to both sects. Dr. Okoye pioneered the genetech so critical to both the faith and fortune of Thordis. His statue has been discovered in the reclamation zone, and both sects claim it as their own.
These factions disagree about the philosophical purpose of genetic manipulation. The Extendants believe genetech is for enhancing and developing our inherent humanity, while the Transcendants believe in shedding humanity in favor of what lies beyond.
The team that picked up the statue and carried it off their own board edge would likely win, but this required starting their turn with a model touching it. Dr. Okoye’s statue stood in the open in the middle of the battlefield, so this fight became a meat grinder.
Turn after turn the faithful rushed forward and died, until finally Roki got its hands on the statue and lived for a moment. Tombari and Akitola rushed forward to address the situation.
Seeing its comrade in peril, Yntymak rushed headlong and smashed into Akitola, spewing neurotoxin mist from its tear ducts. This was Yntymak’s own special formula, and even Akitola’s enhanced antibodies were no match. Akitola soon dissolved into a lumpy puddle.
After so much carnage, watching Akitola dissolve proved too much for Tombari and Suliat, who fled the battle but can never escape their shame.
Tombari’s cowardice left Roki an opening to retrieve the statue and begin to retreat. It hunkered down behind rubble as Baatyr moved up to support.
Meanwhile, Adesegu sprang forward to repay Yntymak’s cruelty, as Chiwetei took aim through the ruins. His advanced optimization-treated neural network steadied his hand.
Chiwetei’s hyperblaster discharge found its mark, abruptly ending Roki’s moment of triumph. Adesegu made short work of Yntymak nearby.
To its team’s dismay, Baatyr decided to flee, joined by Storm. This set the stage for a final last ditch “debate” between Adesegu and Joomart.
Joomart won the initiative roll and moved up to the statue. If it could survive the coming attack from Adesegu, the Transcendants would win the day. The Extendants had just one die roll to change the outcome.
The rivals met at the base of the statue to decide whose faith would prove worthy of claiming the prize. Adesegu delivered his argument with a pair of horrific talons, while Joomart advanced its reasoning with a giant power-sledgehammer. Their discussion was brief.
We all held our breath as the final die was cast…
…and Joomart fell, and the surviving Extendants hauled off the statue to their holy temple to stand witness for all eternity to the rightness and certainty of their beliefs.
I had great fun hosting this battle between my kids, and hope I can talk them into doing it again. Meanwhile, stay tuned for my coming adventures in solo play, featuring Five Parsecs From Home.
Footnote: the daughter I mention is a foreign exchange student from the Kyrgyz Republic. She has a special love of board games and competition, so she enjoys a round of Laserblade. The names she gave her Transcendants each have a meaning in the Kyrgyz language, and they are:
- Baatyr: hero
- Arstan: strong like a lion
- Joomart: smart
- Almambet: a heroic historical figure of the Kyrgyz people
- Azamat: good guy
- Sabr: patient guy
- Yntymak: nice guy
- Kylych: sword
- Roki: her dog’s name back home
- Storm: her other dog’s name