In the fourth session of our sci-fi Microscope game we exposed more background on Fleet Admiral Nakamura’s distrust of psions and where that led. If you need to catch up, read sessions one, two, and three. LL and I each took turns acting as the lens. My chosen focus was Fleet Admiral Nakamura, LL’s was The Psion Revolt.
Here’s a summary of the new history we created during this session:
- During the Consolidation Wars, then Rear Admiral Omar Nakamura was commanding Task Force Altair, charged with bringing wayward border colonies into line. During the Siege of Neu Essen, the T.F. had largely destroyed the colony’s defenses and Admiral Nakamura was preparing to order the landing of troops to secure the colony.
- As he spoke to his T.F. commanders via holo-presence from the bridge of his flagship, T.C.S.1 Heinlein we watched a final salvo being fired from the colony. The incoming fire struck the cruiser T.C.S. Asimov and penetrated its bridge, killing its captain and several other officers.
- We learned some details about the psion that caused the destruction of Neu Essen: Asimov’s psionic navigator, Ensign Lucy Pietro, was engaged in a romantic relationship with Asimov’s captain. Her uncontrolled psionic reaction after his death resulted in the total destruction of the Neu Essen colony.
- Back aboard the Heinlein, we see the hologram of Asimov’s captain wink out as status boards go wild and the explosion of Neu Essen lights up the bridge. Nakamura shouts for information from his crew and commanders, “What just happened? Goddamnit, who fired? What the hell just happened to the colony?” As information comes in and he assimilates it he issues an encrypted order to his fleet commanders telling them to keep all shipboard psions under close surveillance from this point forward.
- The investigation of the destroyed colony turns up DNA remnants of the dead colonists and visitors. Among the casualties is John Nakamura, a member of the Separatist movement, who was visiting Neu Essen at the time. He was survived by his wife and infant daughter, Allison.
- Despite what amounted to treason against the Terran Confederation, Admiral Nakamura loved his son dearly and had hoped to bring him back to the light of reason. After John’s death, Nakamura held a memorial service aboard Heinlein and invited several officers, most of whom had known John from childhood.
- Later we learn that Nakamura around this time made a personal log recording that included the statement, “I don’t trust psions, and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy.” (MA: Sorry. Had to be done. Amirite?)
- After the construction of the Retreat, Nakamura has put into effect the Omega Order and his forces are secretly seeking a source of the Omega Compound, the psi-negating substance known to those-who-survive-by-going (TWSBG) as white-blank-curtain.
- The scouts find an asteroid field rich in Omega Compound in an uncharted system and initial mining operations begin. After a quantity of the substance has been gathered and refined, Nakamura’s experts tell him that they can construct a starship using an alloy of Omega and standard hull materials to create a design that is proof against psionic detection and attack. A group of amoth engineers, now part of the conspiracy, have created designs that can elude TWSBG sensors. Nakamura orders the construction of a light cruiser designated CLX-0001, the T.C.S. Lamar, designed to these specifications. The Lamar is built and commissioned and its test cruise is a stunning success.
- Nakamura institutes full-scale mining of the field, via a number of front corporations that are actually owned by the Terran Confederation government. In addition to Omega, the companies extract billions of credits worth of other ores, making the operation a resounding success…and a secret the corporations are willing to keep.
- With Omega production running at full-tilt, Nakamura commissions and staffs a small but powerful fleet of Omega-shielded and TWSBG-stealthed warships.
- An unknown, at the time, force attacked and destroyed the Retreat. The attack was a complete surprise and the facility was a total loss. Later we find that Fleet Admiral Nakamura and his collaborators were behind the attack.
- The destruction of the Retreat wracked the minds of psions throughout the Known Worlds. All had visited the Retreat and had become interconnected with the galactic psi community…and its destruction caused what had become a tightly woven tapestry to disintegrate into broken strands. Many psions went insane, others devoted their lives to figuring out what had happened and, when they learned it was a deliberate act, to finding out who was behind the cowardly attack.
- Psions throughout the Worlds just walked away from their lives. The first hints of this came as law enforcement agencies synched up on a sudden spike in missing persons reports to realize that all involved were psions. By then it was too late to stop the exodus as most had already gone underground. The Confederation, TWSBG, and amoth civilizations suddenly lost a mass of essential personnel in the areas of navigation, communications, and other vital roles.
- From hiding, the psions continued their search for the Destroyers. When they found a co-conspirator they often took matters into their own hands.
- Fleet Admiral Nakamura’s role in the incident was first learned by a psion called Tanner Bruce, who chanced into an encounter with Nakamura’s former adjutant on a world called Dessan. Captain Liam Stevens knew the full details of the plot and after Bruce caught a hint of Stevens’ guilty subconscious he went deep, probing for the information. Stevens did not survive the “interrogation”.
- TWSBG psions began to suspect amoth involvement and tried in vain to wade through the minds of amoth they could reach. The amoth, due to their genetic memory and ancestral voices, have a natural defense against psionic attack and probing. The TWSBG psions, who had always simply maintained surface contact previously, tried to pry information from their amoth subjects and paid for it with their sanity.
- The psions re-emerge, present their case, and Fleet Admiral Nakamura and his co-conspirators are brought to trial and convicted. The excerpt from Nakamura’s personal logs is heard across the Worlds by a now-sympathetic populace.
- Later, the Psionic Suppression began. We don’t know much about the period yet but we do know that a key figure is “Colonel” Allison Nakamura, grand-daughter of Omar Nakamura and daughter of John Nakamura. She leads the Free Human Front against psions throughout the worlds.
1 – T.C.S. stands for Terran Confederation Starship.
And, there you go. Another exciting episode of our “Psionic Scream” sci-fi history game. You know, as much as LL and I try not to think about the story when we’re not playing, it’s inevitable that it crosses our minds and we think of some item or other that we’d expect to see emerge in the game. What is amazing is that, once were playing the game, most of that falls by the wayside and we take the history in directions neither of us ever expected.
Sure, I introduced Nakamura thinking he’d be a bad guy and that he might hate psions or maybe even all aliens for some reason. I never expected, however, that the reason for his hate might be the death of his son (combined with true fear of the power of psions). I do not think that when LL introduced the Psion Revolt focus she expected me to give Nakamura up so easily (I turned Stevens in to Bruce and brought Nakamura before tribunal). As the final move of the game, I introduced the “Nakamura Legacy” legacy and the Psionic Suppression period.
I’m interested in seeing how our little war between psions and normals turns out. I’m also interested in what the TWSBG are going to do about their amoth problem. Did the amoth sell them out? Did the TWSBG deliberately destroy the amoth home sphere to create a client race? Who knows? I guess we’ll find out as we develop our history further.