This is the RBX - 888 "Vanderov" --  A "Crab" Multi-role tug built by Badger Engineering in 2252.  In its run, it has been attacked by raiders, taken over by terrorists and computer viruses, trapped it a time vortex, dropped underwater, buried in thirty feet of sand, almost run over by a 5 kilometer tall building and its crashed six times.  Through all of that, one thing always remains:  The way the crew comes together in the end to intelligently solve their problems in total harmony with the least amount of violence...

...oops...sorry....wrong ship...

This section is broken up into it its respective chapters because the total files would be too large.  Below is the introduction to the story and characters.  After is the game broken up into its respective seasons.  The game only lasted three of its planned five season.  The first three are actual adventures that took place.  The last two were the proposed future adventures...

    The Vanderov name is erroneous and doesn't really mean anything but as one player stated, "It shortens to the Van, which just sounds cool."  The Crab was chosen because of its versatility.  The Snark was a backup choice but as time went on, the original choice was justified.  When it finally left the mind of the Players and reach game use, it had already endured significant modifications...
WEIGHT: 8075 tons.
MASS:  6850 Cubic Yards.
MAIN DRIVE:  Improved High Power Plasma Drive.
SPEED: Hypertransit:  2.2 parsecs / hour.             Sublight:  2.2 G.
RANGE / FUEL CAPACITY:  10 000 parsecs.
CARGO: 6 000 tons, 6000 cubic yards
PULL FACTOR:  120 000.
ARMAMENT: 1) Heavy Particle Accelerator        2) Heavy Missile Launcher    3) Sonic Accelerator, 2 laser Lances
DEFENSE:  Plastisteel and depleted uranium Armor.  Class 3 Force Field.
MODIFICATIONS: Landing outfit. Side Scanning Sensors, Cavitation Sensors,  Underwater  adaptation, 3 Gravpods, Level 3 Stealth, Signature and Reverberation Sensor packages, 2 pulling  nets, Holographic projectors.
COMPLIMENT: 4 Cable cutters, 1 Space pod, 3 Escape pods, 2 Micro Tractors,  1 Exoskeleton, 2 Laser  Carbines, 5 Rocket Carbines, 8 Laser Pistols, 11 Hideaway Holsters,  Standard Medical  Equipment, 7 Exploration Suits,  8 Medium Scrambled Communicators, 8 Medkits, 8 Pocket  Packs, 100 Burners, 80 week people of fresh food, 40 week people of packaged food, 80 week  people of rations, Cleaning Robot,  Portable Shop, 1 Automated, Diagnosis Table, Medscanner, 50  doses of Quickheal.  1 Foldable Sealed Cargo Grav Pod, 2 Cargo Grav Pods,  200 000 rated  towing beams. Full tractor Beam - 200,000 ton capacity, Stealth - +3 Evade
VEHICLES: Crawler, Sand-Storm, Luxury Car, Blast Boat, City Car, Interceptor Air Car
ARMORY: 1 Hector Combat Drone, 1 S&W 14 mm (2 clips), 1 AT Gallant (1 clip), 1 Alphatech Max, 2  Alphatech Streaks, 2 Badger Dart Stunners (6 clips), 1 Sabo Stick (3 clips), 1 Sabo-Light (3 clips),  2 Avery Pulse Laser Pistols, 2 Avery Pulse Laser Rifles.

Born: February 23, 2633
Siblings: None
Position:  Commander
Lifepath:  The Interstellar Queen her parents were on (Flight 229 from Osborne to Esque) vanished.  All  Heather remembers is being shoved into an escape pod.  When the search teams came, they  found nothing.  Scavengers rescued her.  They took care of her.  Bjorn, her Uncle at the military at the time, found her years later.  He had been searching for some time.  He became  her legal guardian.  They co brought the Mule "Vanderov" together and assembled the crew.

        Heather has few friends outside the Ship.  She values her surrogate family with the Scavengers and she holds valuable information because she is one of the few people that can locate their deep space shipyards.  She hopes to someday find her parent's missing flight but after so long, she has lost faith.  She is intelligent, yet detached.  Not headstrong, she thinks things through and has maintained authority through the worst of times.

Born: September 6, 2617
Siblings: One Brother...Johnathan, Heather's Father (Mother was Marsha Ranston).
Position:  Security
Lifepath: Entered service (TMA) out of high school.  He became the youngest man ever to reach the rank of Colonel.  He searched and found Heather after her parents were killed.  Bjorn is on reserve status when he took the security position on the Van.  He still has friends in the TMA as well a one in the Death's Head, populated mostly by ex-military personnel.  He knows that if he must, he can contact the Death's Head and ask for a favor, making Bjorn a dangerous man to the corporations.  He is protective of Heather and soon realized that his old peers in the TMA might not be all that they seemed.  After a few years with the VAN, he all but denounced his military roots.  He has expert military training in covert intelligence and warfare with locations of the some of the most secret bases in the Authority.  He butts head's with his old comrades still in the service but his connection with the principles of power prevent any physical action from being taken.  That and the fact that the Van never stays in the same place for more than a week.

Born:  May 10th, 2631
Position: Sensors / Cook / Crypt analysis
Lifepath:  Max was raised in on the large world of Pavilion.  Max's Parents, diplomats,  were murdered by the Cleaner (an assassin he has yet to identify)  long ago.  Many of his parent's missions dealt with the old colonies of the Commonwealth.  When they were killed,  He was raised by his Aunt and Uncle on Ergo.  After being sent to private schools, Max rebelled by committing petty crimes.  This rebellion might have been the reason Max joined up with the The Hand.  He was never directly involved with major acts of terrorism but when the Hand was broken up and raided, Max ran.  He found refuge with the Van as a good place to hide out.  What better place than with a ship that moves between all the governments with impunity.  (GM Note:  I didn't choose the actor)

Born:     December 26,2626
Position: Pilot / Acting Captain
Lifepath: Rio lived a very colorful life.  He was a broker on the stock market, a mercenary, and a Ballast Runner on Storren.  He was born on Earth in Sydney.  Despite what many might think, Rio has had a relatively harmless childhood.  Both parents are still alive; so is his older sister.  Good wholesome family, so it is unusual that Rio would leave his secured life for the insecurity of space.  Upon leaving Earth, Rio joined up as an escort pilot for ConAer.  He lost a girlfriend when she crashed on Finnegan's Folly.  Rio moved on.  He left ConAer for Storren, running odd jobs in the Dagtal Swamps.  He then tried his hand at the stock market on Tower and found amazing wealth investing in Badger Engineering when they released their highly successful Snark design.  He was forced to leave when he thwarted and assassination attempt on a government official but ended up being blamed for the attempt.  Rio decided it may be worthwhile to return to Sydney.  There he continued his money management.  He also met Sarah Rourque, a pilot with Avery Astronautics.  They married soon after.  However, her ship vanished in the Kapteyn's star system.  Her fate coincided with the the Vendetta, which she was investigating.  This event changed Riordin for the worse. He became quite disinterested about most things after this loss.  He joined up with the Van with similar reasons as the others.

Born:  Sept 26, 2572
Position:  Fighter Pilot / Passenger
Lifepath: Gabriel is not eighty years old.   After his short attempt at officer training for the Authority's army, Gabriel found something worth spending his time at.  Piloting.  He had spent a great deal of time in his youth piloting small planes for his father's business, as a tour-guide for hunters.  Gabriel enjoyed the time after he dropped off the groups of rich hunters, all alone in a plane.  If there had been stunt competitions in that time period he would have entered.  The air was like a second home to Gabriel, and when the opportunity arose to fly a space-fighter, he jumped at the chance.  His marks in the officer training guaranteed him a rank of Lt and his skill earned him a spot on any flight-team that he wished.  The first three years of his tour went perfectly, 28 kills and no major damage to his bird.  Preferring the occupation of test pilot, Gabriel took a job at Avery Astronautics, but that was curtailed soon after the TMA flagship, Vendetta, required his services.   They were working on  a top secret mission, flying a prototype fighter known as the Raven.  However, upon on the Chaos mission, the Vendetta vanished and no one was ever seen again...
    The Vanderov encountered Gabriel's Raven and rescued the pilot from hypersleep.  Decades have passed and Stewart felt obviously out of place. He was assumed dead.  He thought he was as well.  All of his friends were on the Vendetta, including his fiancee, Julie Monroe.  After being updated on the history of man since the disappearance, Gabriel realized his existence might not be a welcome sight to the Government.  He has not much memory over the incident...except a flash of light, and being knocked unconscious.  Gabriel, with his perfectly functioning prototype fighter, has stayed on board the Van to stay hidden, and piece together his past.
NOTE:  Gabriel became a major character even though he wasn't introduced until the second year of play.

Born:    July 9, 2616
Position: Chief Medical Officer
Lifepath: Dr. Willas Bryce shouldn't be on the Van.  Like the others, he hides something to the world.  Bryce has P.H.D.s in five different fields including biochemistry, genetics and physics.  He is also a master neurosurgeon.  The joke around his graduation class is that he could cure cancer with a Bunsen burner and bisquick.  He graduated at the top of his class and was quickly snatched by the Genetic Designers Office, working in the advanced realm of combating the world's deadliest viruses.  However, a controversy exploded when it was discovered the GDO was taking kickbacks from the military to design the next generation of biological warfare.  One such hidden experiment involved a contest in the GDO for its members to create the deadliest virus possible.  They would exist entirely in the computer but they had to be possible.  Bryce won when he re-wrote the book on viruses and created the Stage 5 virus "The Mangler" -- A modified retrovirus that attacks the human body with manufactured viruses contained in its RNA instead of reducing one's immune system and waiting for naturally occurring bugs to kill the host.  After discovering the Mangler was created for real by the TMA Bio-weapon's division, Bryce left and went to work for the Committee for Disease Control.  By this time, Willas wore down his fourth wife by lack of interest and found himself single again.
         During his tenure at the CDC, Bryce had led the fight against the bugs and bacteria that popped up.  However, one time a military craft came in carrying 30 infected personnel infected by an unknown virus.  The crew was dying and all turned to Bryce to save the day.  However, his ego got the best of him and he rushed into finding a quick cure.  The wrong anti-virus was administered and half the crew died.  The real virus, the Rosie-Proto virus, was diagnosed later and six men were saved.  Bryce was formally brought up on charges and had his license suspended.  For years, he stayed in seclusion.  When his record was reinstated, no on would employ him.  He bounced from ship to ship until finding home on the Van.  There, he learned to justify his existence again.

Born:   February 1, 2633
Position: Chief Engineer
Lifepath: Very little is known about the very private engineer. The truth is, the super intelligent engineer was a GENCON - a Genetically Controlled human being.  These were a fad that popped up every few decades where parents would skewer their children in certain fields and increase the intellect in that field.  Some parents wanted doctors, some wanted lawyers.  Booth's parent's wanted an engineer.  In the time where high-end engineers were paid more than neurosurgeons because of the need of a military technological edge during the war.  However, the constant side-effect with GENCONs are their tendency to have genetic faults.  Some became psychotic.  Others, like Fin, were born with physical abnormalities.  Finland measures less that four feet tall and has a problem walking.  He doesn't limp but has problems bending his knees.  His parents gave him up for adoption.  Of course, his intelligence was still high and he still had a desire to be an engineer, but without the support to go the big schools, it was impossible to get the laurels needed for an esteemed career in Engineering.  Finland instead went to community colleges and self-taught himself.  He was the top of every class and he finally entered the service on a technician contract.  An explosion on a super carrier was linked to him and he was kicked out of the TMA.  He found his way onto the Van, and keeps working...

Born: May 21, 2628
Position: Weapon Control / Engineer's Mate
Notable past events:  Jesse was once a police officer on Breaker's Yard until she was struck down by a severe illness that no one could diagnose.  The medical examiners station there realized it wasn't a new virus, but and old one.  By the time, the Polio was eradicated from her system, Jesse had already lost most of the use of her right leg.  She was forced to utilize a cane from then on because of her stubbornness to use cybernetics.  She left Breaker's Yard and worked in orbit around the Mars Shipyard were she met and fell in love with her future husband.  An officer in the TMA, he was later killed by the Rosie Proto Virus -- as it was learned, in the same encounter where Dr. Bryce had accidentally killed half the crew with the incorrect anti-virus.  She was devastated and moved from place to place as a weapon's technician until she found a home on the Van.  She doesn't work well with people and always dresses down the occasion. She operates as their weapon's officer and even though has limited use of her right leg, has proven more than effective as backup security.   She has amazing weapon's skills and has uses her stainless steel black cane to her advantage.

Born:   September 2, 2639
Position: Rock Gopher / Medical Assistant
Lifepath: Brooklyn was raised in a very spoiled household.  Her father was the famous Captain Nemo.  When he vanished, she took her mother's name and went to Stasco where they lived in the towers for many years.  It was later that Brook decided to venture off into space, in search of adventure.

        She hopped from ship to ship for years, including a tour as a medical assistant on a Conestoga carrier.  The ship suffered a major reactor leak which killed many crew members and left the ship without power for weeks.  Some got away in escape pods but the ship wasn't located for another month.  The Van was the first ship on the scene but not the only.  In the end, Brook was rescued and the Van was forced to beat a hasty retreat when a Mule gang known as the Confederated Rigger arrived and muscled their way into the salvage.  Brook stayed on board.



   The Cleaner's real name is unknown.  His past is shrouded in secrecy.  He doesn't appear often but has influenced many.  It is unsure who he works for.  It is assumed he works for an organization working for the government.  If there is a problem, the Cleaner solves it.  His past is checkered.  The man himself, was usually very gentle.  He had a quick temper but when his little sister was killed by the son of a rich family, he watched his rage increase.  He uses that rage and vented that to people he would sublet for the killer, who lived on to be a big success.  However, his loyalties waver to his mood and even though his employers believe him to be loyal, he constantly fights his demons, in hope of overcoming his pain.  One of his first kills was eliminating the two diplomats parents of Max Steele.

        Conrad West served the TMA Engineering division for more than fifty years and retired with honors at the rank of Colonel, the highest rank available for the TMA Engineers.  No one was really sure how a military engineer could attain such a high rank.  West earned it by single handily cracking the biggest technological mystery of the 27th Century.

    Conrad found ways of piecing fragments of tech from history and from designs of craft unknown to history to a new line of spacecraft unparalleled in advancement.  This became the Viper Project for which the Raven was the ultimate evolution.  Of course, he was a young man when he did that.  Still alive, he lives in peace, always curious to where his designs ran off to.  Like so many advancements in history they exist, only in the memories of an old man.

   Miles Dekker was once a Lieutenant Colonel in the TMA and made many friends in high places.  He was a man with a future in the TMA.  For some reason, however, he give it all up.  Some say that the privileges of rank allowed him to see parts of the military and the government no man should ever have to see and not come away permanently disillusioned about the objectives of one's superiors.  Miles must have uncovered something drastic, because soon after, he vanished without a trace.  It was later determined that he came across in the sensor logs of a scout ship, the location of a squadron of Mantas.  He picked a large group of men and women he knew would be loyal to him, convinced them of his resolve, and stole the super-advanced ships before the TMA could salvage them.  Dekker and his team, vanished and were never seen for years until military craft on the border were being hit and stripped of supplies.  The ships were identified as being Mantas with strange insignias.  The Death's head was born.  Despite what many are led to believe, they never outright attack any civilian craft and have even come to aid those craft in need of assistance.
    Miles has not been seen in public often.  Sightings have occurred on Breakers Yard on more than one occasion.  He is still in command of the squad and it is assumed he still has loyalists within the TMA and maybe even the Bloc.  Dekker knows something that caused him to betray his government.  The Head attacks military craft seemingly randomly but some have gathered that the Head attacks craft connected to Black Operations and secret projects within the TMA.  One of Miles' closest friends is Bjorn Peterson on the Van.

        RG is still alive.  However, he shouldn't be.  He commanded the Vendetta on its final mission at Kapteyn's Star.  He like, Gabriel Stewart, and the entire crew of that monstrous vessel, disappeared without a trace in the war.  Gabriel was found in cryo onboard his Raven decades later.  It must be assumed that RG, who lead the Raven Project escaped as well on his ship but that would entail he knew about the end in time to leave the craft before it disappeared.  Williamson appears late in the story as the enigmatic leader of a secret allegiance between the Bloc and the Authority called The Union.  To them, and to the crew of the Van for most for most of the story, he was known only as "ONE."

    The Union and The Shop were forceful opposites in the conspiracy that is Pathfinder.  The Shop enlisted the aid of the Van.  Many years ago, the Union hired a similar Rigger to help them in separate dealings.  The man they enlisted was a Alan Berlin, nicknamed the Preacher.  He was the sole crew member on the heavily armed and armored Vandal "Juliet's Ladder."  He was effective as a Rigger spy and could usually be depended on being the first on-scene for any salvage the Union needed.  However, when Berlin learned more and more about the secrets his employers kept from the public, he soon realized the danger their existence served.  He attempted to leave the organization but was considered a liability if he did so.  Alan left anyway.  He knows more about the Union than anyone else outside the group.  As a result, The Union considers him a major security risk.  Unfortunately, they can't find him and those who did, did no live to catch him.  Preacher is hard to find.  The Vandal he flies is super-modified and packs quite a wallop.  Alan makes contact with the Van and tries to convince them to leave the Shop because either side of the coin is still one coin.  No side is better.

    John McKay was a crew member on the Van for almost a full year, piloting a very illegal, heavily armed Shark usually hidden in the cargo bay.  It was unclear what else John offered except perimeter defense but it was very well needed assistance.  When the heat came down from the  Union and the Shop, John kept the Van safe...but he held a dark secret.  John was secretly working for the TMA to find and hunt down the Death's Head -- the biggest risk to the Authority and the Bloc.  When the Van made contact with the Death Head (The 1st Season adventure "Union") John's true motive became known and violence ensued.  McKay was kicked off the ship and was thought killed by the Shop.  He instead, left the public eye and joined up with the Union to continue his work, this time piloting the prototype Falcon Spacecraft.

   Finger, as he is most often known, is a hired gun--or guns--for Victor Vandermeer and the Hive.  His loyalty is only to himself and he has no love for the criminal organization he works for.  It was always joked that he always wanted to be a hero but didn't have the witty repartee to be one.  He claims to watch at least three movies a week with heroic things in them.  He would love to be a good guy but he always finds himself working for the villains.  He looks for a crusade but can't find one.

    When he butted heads with Riordin from the Van, he learned that there was something bigger in the universe and went looking for more information.  He secretly started poking and found holes in everything he assumed was true.  He never joined up the Van but soon helped them out and became a commander for Frank Miller's military arm.

    Monroe was the tactical officer on board the Vendetta.  She coordinated most of the top secret military operations on the vessel and even maintained the Raven squadron on board.  Gabriel and Julie met shortly after his posting to the Vendetta.  Their relationship started slowly - friendly banter over the TacNet that developed into a close friendship after a few months.  They started dating after his first year of service and had been lovers for some time.  They were engaged soon after.

    Only weeks later, the Vendetta vanished without a trace around Chaos.  When she appeared again, no one, not even Gabriel, was prepared for the consequences.

     Alphatech Hardware remained in the background for most of the story and seemed unimportant until Frank Miller's appearance at a military arms convention.  Alphatech revealed its new line of weapons and was the hit of the crowd.  When Miller appeared himself, everyone was witness to the very eccentric president of the company.  Frank avoids most public appearances because his advisors always report a drop in stocks when he does.  Frank has a very low BS threshold.  He works his people hard and let them play hard.  Frank is also a conspiracy buff.  Alphatech has been optioned many times to join the big six interstellar conglomerates but Frank has always declined.  Alphatech has thus become the largest corporation not under control of interstellar jurisdiction.  When a corporation does not have multiple headquarters, it is only governed by the rules of the planet it is based on and since Alphatech only has one major complex on Tower and keep the rest in deep space, it is hard to track the company's movements.  Frank himself, does not have a specific home.  He keeps his collection of antique cars on Tower but lives most of his life on his custom designed spacecraft always on the move.  Frank believes something dark is being kept from the public, and him by the big six corporations and the two big governments.  Something is going on and Frank keeps his corporation vague for security sakes.  Stocks do suffer but the high quality of product keeps the business alive.

        Frank is colorful, very politically incorrect with a very brash vocabulary and a wry wit.  He can be the best friend and the worst enemy.  When he met Riordin McKinnon, another eccentric millionaire (although a much smaller one), Frank found a kinship and brought him and the Van into his inner circle.  Soon, Frank and Alphatech became the spearfront of the movement of truth.

    The two identical men represent the balance of good an evil.  Nicholas Love is darkness.  Jonathan Pyre is Light.  Both exist as a balance.  If nature has two forces of diametric opposites, then everyone can exist in between the spectrum they create.  However, if the neutral point is shifted over, than one force can overcome the other.  Riordin McKinnon is that neutral point and Love was convinced if he could destroy the soul of the neutral point, he could kill Pyre and the universe would be delved into darkness.

    This story took up a part of Season One's plot line.  Both men look the same and are immortal.  They have telekinetic power and have the capacity of entering other people's dreams.