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The Saving Throw
Contest Entry Dec. 13, 2006
Gaming moments with multiple endings, but only one is the real ending.

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Pride of Prides
featured on Dec. 13, 2006 contributed by Nwash

This story comes from an adventure in a science-fiction realm created by a friend and myself. The player characters were various crew members on the exploration ship Endeavour, and in this adventure, they had found an old ship with a large number of cryogenically-preserved aliens aboard. The Endeavour crew were able to identify the aliens as being from the Sokar race, and this was instantly cause for concern. They were aware of several different "prides" of the Sokar people; all of them were highly militaristic genetically-engineered conquerors who brutally oppressed nearby civilizations. While each was unfailingly loyal to their own pride, the prides competed with each other and sometimes fought among themselves. Some crewmembers were tempted just to leave the ship alone, but the Sokar were also a mystery. It was known that their homeworld was destroyed long ago when their sun went nova, but their history before that was largely unknown.

Thus, they decided to risk waking some of the aliens. They were pleasantly surprised to find these Sokar, who went by the name Atha, seemed to be civil and polite, professing a philosophy of honor and using strength to defend the weak rather than oppress them. This didn't completely dissuade the crew's fears, though, as some of the Sokar prides excelled in deception. Matters became more complicated, though, when crew members of a sister ship of the Endeavour were attacked by renegades from another genetically-engineered people while investigating an unexplored planet. They ended up getting trapped in underground ruins, unable to find a way around these enemies and unable to fight their way through. The Endeavour left for this world with a large number of Atha aboard, continuing to talk with the Atha as they prepared to help their beleaguered comrades. The Atha would learn of the difficult situation quickly enough. The Endeavour and her fighters had to fight off some attack drones to clear the way to the surface, but after that, they were ready to send down help, but they would soon be distracted.


 Which ending is the real one?

A.

The Atha had escaped from their cells and managed to procure some weapons. Some of the player characters went down to fight with the Atha. The Atha fought back using nonlethal weapons, surprisingly, and quickly knocked out those who went to detain them. The Atha then stole a runabout and went down to the surface. After being revived, the player characters and some security went down to see what happened. They had to fight some of the other warriors on the surface, but they found that the Atha were also fighting those warriors as well. In the end, they found that the Atha had escaped in order to gain the opportunity to prove their good intentions by rescuing those who were pinned down earlier. The crew decided to risk trusting the Atha and brought the Atha ship to this world where they could begin building a new civilization.


B.

Most of the Endeavour's security detachment went to the surface, and after a long battle, they managed to rescue the trapped crew of their sister ship. Meanwhile, the Atha used the opportunity provided by the now-lax security to escape from their cells. They stole weapons from the ship and took a runabout to the surface where they attacked the personnel below. The security personnel and the people from the other ship were forced to run to their own runabouts and leave the Atha behind. They would later learn that the stolen runabout was used to go back to the Atha ship to awaken their people from their cryogenic sleep and bring them gradually to the world they had just taken by force.


Results for this Contest Entry

Correct answer: A. 2 correct, 3 incorrect.
  Macstorm guesses B and earns 2 points.
Leaper guesses A and earns 9 points.
UFJ guesses A and earns 9 points.
Karlinn guesses B and earns 2 points.
Bainick guesses B and earns 2 points.
  Nwash earns 13 points from writing the entry.
Karlinn casts Jump and gains 7 points.


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