Campaign of the Month: September 2014


Learning to Fly

Tumbrel42 was your bog standard, run of the mill, bulk cargo loader for a large shipping company. Very dull, and kinda simple.

During a cargo run to who knows what planet or system, the ship that Tumbrel was assigned to was struck by what everyone thought was an meteor. It wasn’t. Oh, it might have been debris from a destroyed ship, perhaps a life pod, maybe just jettisoned junk.

Whatever it was, it carried something intelligent, something mechanical, something “alive”.

As the ship Tumbrel was on began to break up and destroy itself from the — accidental? — impact, Tumbrel found himself loosened from his cargo restraints. Naturally, he began to organize the boxes and debris, re-stacking them so the ship would not be off balance as it flew. Tumbrel didn’t know much, but he knew he liked things that flew. Sometimes Tumbrel would even stop loading spaceships at the port and watch as airplanes, other space craft, and even birds flew by. There had been threats within Tumbrel’s vicinity of “reprogramming”. Not sure what that was, but Tumbrel did not like the sound of it.

As the ship fell apart around him, Tumbrel found himself smashed and pinned against a bulkhead, staring out the cracked and wide open side of the ship down to an unknown planet below. He was flying!

Tumbrel’s proximity sensors detected what he thought was another Tumbrel approaching slowly, but he could not turn his head to see. There was an almost electrical shock and Tumbrel’s systems appeared to be failing. Before Tumbrel faded into oblivion, one last warning message appeared before his eyes, an odd message, stating simply…“NEW SKILL PROGRAMMED”

Tumbrel wasn’t sure how he got there, but he found himself on Illiyun. His internal clock showed an inexplicable lapse of time. And his normal, crude labor body had been “repaired”. Tumbrel also found he looked at things differently than he had before, more aware. And, best of all, he was one of the best damn pilots in the system! Piloting, Navigation, Spacial Awareness, he had it all!

Tumbrel spent some years in and around the area, proving his piloting skills when and where he could. It was difficult, nobody expected a tumbrel to be a pilot, even an oddly upgraded one. But he flew! And flew well. Flew so well that there was some backlash from the “human” pilots.

Currently, Tumbrel42 is looking for a new piloting job, and an opportunity to earn enough money to own a spaceship of his own.


Interesting hook for introducing a “Sensient” machine, go from “Dumb” tool to “Smart” drone.

Learning to Fly
Basileus Maesenko

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