Campaign of the Month: December 2016
Gamma World 2754
3rd generation android from the late 25th century
Name: Titus Andronicus | STOSS Program Aerospace Engineer / Daedalus Program Astrogation Officer
Android | Date of Birth: 2471
(see team equipment sheet)
In the decade before Daedalus was moved to moon orbit, Titus worked on the Daedalus project Surface-To-Orbit Shuttle System (STOSS) team, but is familiar with other non-classified aspects of the program as well. Titus was ultimately aiming for an astrogator position with Daedalus Starship crew. Titus holds the equivalent of a double-PHD in astronomy and aerospace engineering and is a trained STOSS pilot and interstellar astrogator. This translates into a ‘PILOTING’ skill unattainable by natives of the 28th century. Though not formally trained in other areas, Titus has enough familiarity with 25th century technology to warrant significant ratings in several other 28th century skills areas.
- PILOTING – 120
- COMPUTERS – 80
- REPAIR – 60
- ROBOTICS – 50
- SURVIVAL – 40 (learned while a chattel slave of the Wizary)
- ENERGY – 25 (learned from experience and training in 28th century)
- MEDICAL – 20
- ZERO-G Rank 4
- Android (25th Century): + 2 radiation resistance, + 1 poison resistance.
- Pre-apocalypse Native: + 6 attribute when checking to gain benefit from ancient books, videos, etc.; + 2 figuring out all artifacts; + 4 figuring out unknown vehicles.
- Daedalus Crew: + 10 team bonus when navigating Forward or Propulsion Sections (+ 5 everywhere else).
- Naivete: Speech and Barter checks are 1 step easier vs. Titus.
Titus can operate all common 25th century artifacts such as communicators, lights, tools, terminals, etc. This familiarity translates to Shadow Years technology. Titus has little knowledge of ground vehicles, having never learned to drive, and even less of combat. He is entirely unskilled in martial arts and in fact does not know how to use any weapons, explosives, armor or other military technology.
- STOSS Vehicles
- VTOL/AGRAV vehicles
- Military Ground Vehicles / Alcohol Engine / Wheeled
- Xarmid Scoutcraft; Xarmid Transport
Like androids manufactured in the Shadow Years, Titus is an organic being grown in a nutrient tank around a metallic armiture. Unlike androids produced by the ‘Created’ Cryptic Alliance of the 26th through 28th centuries, Titus and others of his generation were intended to be full participants in human society. Titus has a fully developed human-like brain, complete if muted emotions, and a human male body with standard facial features (yes, his naughty bits are functional, though sterile). Like all androids of his generation, Titus is fully ‘human’ with goals, desires, hopes and dreams. Titus is a highly competent fully mature adult in his areas of specialty, but strangely naive and emotionally immature when it comes to affairs of the heart and similar non-technical subjects. He does have a sense of humor though. If asked about his name, Titus will relate that his mentor was a fan of ancient playwrights and reflect that the name could be worse: one of his siblings was named “Oedipus”.
Androids were very expensive and time-consuming to produce so never considered a replacement for people, which numbered over 12 billion by the end of the 25th century. Only a few tens-of-thousand 3rd-gen androids were ever created. Most were assigned to very specialized tasks difficult for humans to perform. A number were assigned to the Daedalus project. An unknown number of 2nd and 3rd gen androids were produced for ‘black’ projects, or for military uses, though such activity was banned worldwide by 2460. Most publicly-known androids of the 25th century were legally recognized as ‘sapients’ with equal standing in human society. The term ‘sapient’ widely replaced ‘human’ toward the end of the 25th century as the need for a more expansive definition of person-hood became evident.
Titus after interrogation by the Created
Titus was discovered in an unknown pre-ww3 bunker by a salvage team from the android rebel base some time before 2754. Titus is not exactly sure how long, but suspects several decades. Initially all he remembers is waking up in a hypersleep chamber staring into the ‘face’ of a monstrously inhuman android. The androids confiscated an access-card from a pocket of the unfamiliar gray and blue jumpsuit Titus woke up wearing. Titus recognized the card as his ‘fathers’ high-security scientific team ID for the Daedalus Starship Program. He does not know what happened to the card. The last thing Titus remembers prior to waking up in the hypersleep chamber was speaking with his father, a Dr. Fernando DeSoto, in his offices at Utah Polytechnic University. The war was entering it’s 6th year and the world was on the brink of a final destructive conflagration expected to start literally any day….then Titus went blank.
The androids transported Titus and the hypersleep chamber to their base in the UWS Heavy Robotics Factory 13 ruins just west of the ancient Nevada-Utah border. Titus recalls they were using the exact Raptor VTOL that his rescuers escaped with. The Androids attempted to extract information from Titus, who realized these beings were murderous rebels and refused to cooperate. The androids were unsuccessful and placed Titus back in suspended animation until such time as they could figure out how to extract intact information from his neurocortical helix. Some years later Titus was rescued by a team of post-apocalyptic scavengers from a tribe called ‘Eagle Clan’. As his memory slowly recovered from his long hypersleep, he recalled more details. Titus answered all questions as best he could.
Titus recalls the 25th century in great detail and amazes all with stories of this legendary time when humans reached the highest pinnacle of science, in fact were finally reaching for the stars, before the sudden inexplicable decline into chaos toward the turn of the 25th century. After a few days associating with his rescuers from the 28th century and learning they are not raving savages, Titus experiences some kind of psychic episode:
- “Wait a moment…please stand by…I’m receiving a recorded message from a hidden part of my neurocortical helix!”
Titus’ eyes go blank for 10 or 12 seconds, slowing coming back into focus, then in a wondering voice:
- “Dr. DeSoto spoke to me…he said I am to go to a place called ‘Black Mountain’ and use his special Daedalus-Project L4 Clearance card to transmit the coded sequence required to access ‘Global Hyperspace Array Element Number 3’…then he gave me the card and the code-sequence, but that’s all: the Doctor was interrupted by something or someone and the message ended abruptly. I can only assume that this ‘Global Hyperspace Array’ had something to do with the Doctor’s research for the Daedalus Starship program, but I don’t know why he should ask me to go there. I have no idea where this place could be and I certainly no longer possess his L4 security card!”
A few days later Titus is able to recall the approximate location of the base or bunker he was extracted from by the rebel androids and is willing to guide a team there. It should be located high on the slopes of a mountain range 150km northeast of the now-destroyed Heavy Robotics Factory 13 (200-220 clicks northwest of New Salt City).
Even more interesting, Titus recalls that this bunker must have had something to do with a secret side-project his father worked on, something called the ‘Omega Project’. Although half-blind and in a stupor as he was dragged from the bunker, Titus spotted the tell-tale Omega letter enclosing the number “4”. The Raptor VTOL insignia is obviously related, though Titus has no idea why this VTOL exists and never saw it during his life in the 25th century. In fact Dr. DeSoto never discussed this ‘Omega’ project with Titus. However due to their close familial and professional association, Titus picked up bits and pieces of information over the years, mostly starting in the mid-2490’s, though Titus is pretty sure the project actually started sometime in the 2480’s when he was still a teenager at university. Titus somewhat sheepishly admits that he managed to sneak a peek at DeSoto’s unsecured PDA a few times.
- “When the Dr. went on sabbatical or vacation, I knew he was working with some kind of organization called the ’Omega Project’ – something to do with preserving a remnant of civilization through the apocalypse the Dr. believed was inevitable, years before the war even started (2495). The project was well funded, but privately and probably by an industrial magnate from Holland named ‘Thyssen Vandermonde’, who visited the Dr. at his house a few times”.
The Dr. became more and more obsessed with his private side-project, until eventually he was ostracized by his peers in the scientific community and pushed ever farther to the margins of the Daedalus Starship program. By the mid-2490’s DeSoto held no more than a token post in the great world-wide project. In the late 2490’s certain aspects of the ‘Omega Project’ became public, subject to popular news media scrutiny and ultimately ridiculed as a crackpot organization or even outright pseudo-scientific cult. This public scorn and professional rejection shocked and deeply saddened Titus, who was never privy to his father’s strange obsession, but DeSoto was utterly unaffected and in fact proceeded with total confidence, as if nothing was amiss. Titus still burns with curiosity and a desperate desire to understand and share in his long-dead father’s bizarre obsession…though whatever the goals of this ‘Omega’ project were, it would seem to have failed judging by the results of the 28th century.
Incidentally, Titus knows the Doctor’s PDA contained a wealth of information about this Omega Project…which of course now he could have no qualms about inspecting. For various reasons Titus thinks it highly likely that his father would have died at his university offices, given that he practically lived there by the turn of the 25th century. Titus says he could probably locate the remains of the ancient Utah Polytechnic University and possibly even the building where his fathers office was located if able to survey the ruins of Salt Lake City by air (such as aboard the Raptor VTOL).
- In relation to Titus’ knowledge of the STOSS sub-program of the Daedalus Starship project:
The STOSS cargo shuttles initially delivered material and personnel to earth orbit in the early years of Daedalus construction, until the Bifrost Space Elevator project could be completed and Asgard Station came online. The Bifrost project dealt with construction of a titanic ‘space elevator’ located about 180km SW of Salt Lake City. Asgard Station is the geosynchronous space station that was eventually anchored to the terminus of the elevator in low-earth orbit. After the Bifrost Space Elevator and Asgard Station became operational and the Daedalus was moved to moon orbit (2490), the STOSS shuttles served to trans-ship material and personnel from Asgard Station to moon orbit and the Ariadne Moon-base. Only a few shuttles still performed launches from the earth’s surface.
Titus knows the approximate locations of all the STOSS launch facilities (five worldwide). By far the closest STOSS launch facility to Utah is located a short distance south of Albuquerque New Mexico, just over 800km from the ruins of Salt Lake City. Of course Titus knows absolutely nothing about present conditions there or if anything at all is left. He thinks it unlikely that even if a surviving shuttle is found, it could be made operational or fueled, though he is familiar with most aspects of the program and an expert pilot with 16 missions under his belt. In any case, the STOSS shuttles do not have the range to reach moon orbit directly from an earth surface launch…a refueling stop is required at Asgard Station. Given the fact that the Bifrost Space Elevator is obviously a shambles, Titus doubts Asgard Station survives – on a clear night the station should be visible to the naked eye over Utah, but Titus sees nothing there…
- Titus’ ‘father’, Dr. Fernando DeSoto
Dr. DeSoto was Professor Emeritus of the theoretical physics department at Utah Polytechnic University and a key contributor to the Starship Communications Team (SCT). This was a highly classified program which Titus was not privy to, but obviously dealt with the theoretical and practical problems of communication between earth and a future interstellar spacecraft.
Third-gen androids were born into adult bodies and hyper-educated by time-lapse VR, but for full socialization in human society, still required a kind of abbreviated childhood and adolescence under the tutelage of a human foster parent or parents. The unmarried Dr. DeSoto was such a parent to Titus. The relationship was more professional than anything, but Titus loved DeSoto deeply and feels he was loved in return, though in an odd transposition of roles, DeSoto was probably the more logical and unemotional of the two: a true scion of science, monkishly devoted to a life spent exploring the deepest secrets of nature.