The Saga Ends - Finale Discussion & SRP Reflection

Started by Grizz, October 15, 2017, 06:49:11 pm

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October 15, 2017, 06:49:11 pm Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 02:22:51 am by Grizz
The oldest lesson in the universe. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Ten years in the Accobar System came to an end tonight with the final installment of 'Pioneers Ad Finem.' Charles Kort and Denara Clake embraced their ends as the struggle to prevent the return of the Accobi ended not so much with a bang (though there were several of those), but with a moral dilemma.

It had always been a mystery how the Accobi could be so advanced yet come from a planet in ruins and resembling a pre-warp civilization on the surface. In the finale we learnt that there was another power in play. An entity from the stars which fell from the sky and 'graced' a quiet civilization with immense power - a power which corrupt them entirely across generations - leading to the imprisonment of the source of that power. It was a story which had been retold throughout the decades of the Accobar Conspiracy. Sel'tar, G'rath, Vega and Kort all sought power in various forms and it corrupted them and all it touched. The Halkonians leeched off what technology remained on Accobar on their arrival and it drove Clarke close to insanity.

Had things gone to plan, the Gateway would have been opened, the Accobi would have been at full strength - infused with technology still powered by the imprisoned entity - and they would have swept across the Galaxy while Kort (or at least, as far as he believed) watched from the sidelines, with the Federation supposedly spared from the first wave of conquest. As it was, with guidance from Doctor Tobin and the voices of past figures on what Pioneer and its crew need to represent, Mason - presented with a choice many had been robbed of - elected to free the imprisoned creature...

Denara Clarke: We fed off their technology to survive. What else could I have done?

Sel'tar: I had no choice.
G'rath: What choice did I have?
Maria Vega: I did what I had to do!
Charles Kort: I didn't ask for this.

The Truth: Your predecessors were caught up in a game that has been played for a very long time...

Amber Munro: Don't make my mistakes. Don't play their game. You need to forge your own path if Pioneer is to succeed.

Renee Hampton: Pioneer won't work unless we can find a way to do things differently.

Sophia Mason: I don't want Accobar to be associated with death and destruction.

President Taylor: We all share the responsibility that history has placed in our hands!

The Truth: I'm giving you an opportunity to break the cycle.

In doing so, the Accobi were robbed of much of their power and while still a threat - they were vulnerable to attack.

Kort, exposed to their weakness, struck down the Accobi Architect before he could take Mason's life. Despite her intention to take him with her, Mason allowed him to stay behind before the facility could be blown away from orbit. Redemption? No. But a man whose life choices were taken from him, finally realizing that he had backed the wrong horse.

"Accobar falls!"

The Gateway was still almost impervious to the attacks of the Helia, Dauntless and Tomal. However, with its shields now down thanks to the freed entity, it was vulnerable to another form of attack that Mason had prepared for. Signalling out to the cosmos, as the Accobi ships came forth through the rift, the Halkonian Cruiser Orion revealed itself and made for the outer ring of the structure. Following Clarke's instructions, the Helia unleashed the remainder of its nanite warheads on to the Orion moments before she collided with the Gateway. Clarke destroyed the Orion and took much of the structure with her. Now infected, the Gateway was completely vulnerable and soon fell apart, destabilizing the rift and pulling the Accobi vessels back in to the void from whence they came.

The Accobi-Halkonian war was over. The Gateway was destroyed. The mysterious entity was free to roam the cosmos once more. The crew returned to Pioneer as heroes - though the entirety of their deeds over the years will likely forever been shrouded in mystery.

There was still the question of who was ultimately responsible for all that had taken place. But lets draw a line under that. Even if it was definitely Rush. Or Hampton. Or Munro. Or Kort. Or 'The Entity.' [spoiler]Definitely Rush though[/spoiler]

"It's not a mandate to change the galaxy. Just our little corner of it."

'The Truth' was imprisoned and set to stand trial, giving Mason some sense of solace that someone would answer for the Cabal's crimes - even if it was one who had helped her and her crew get as far as they did. The Klingons and Romulans held their ceasefire - setting the groundwork for President Taylor's legacy during the final days of her presidency. The Telosians broke their communications silence - seeking renewed diplomatic ties and allowing Leona Mason to be reunited with her son and husband - with Sophia soon to follow. Vice President Renee Hampton called Mason to inform her of their impending Telosian arrivals - and also to echo the words that Olivia Taylor spoke to her when she was the one sitting in that Ready Room.

"We still have work to do."

With a rare, stable CMO/ACMO partnership alive and well and with a new XO in Alicia Costello, Pioneer once again finds itself as a middle ground for warring and lost peoples to come together and rebuild - as it was always meant to be.

Despite a tremendous amount of setbacks and delays, we ultimately made it. It wasn't how I hoped to cross the finish line, but I'll sure as hell take it. Thank you for being there over the years and making it all possible. I want to hear your thoughts, not just on the finale but the stories of Asteroid Base: Alpha and Pioneer Station as a whole. Relationships have formed. Enemies have been slain. New life has been new discovered. I can't possibly have noticed all of it so let's hear your side of it, too!

Thank you, Accobar. Thank you, all. Send her to the archives, Scott.




... What a ride.

It's really the only accurate way to sum up all of the time spent absorbed by the Accobi and their machinations. I believe the most potent and correct statement that I can make about going through Asteroid Base and Asteroid Field is that it was more of a personal experience than anyone could have expected going into it. For my part, Tim Rogan was a departure from the Andzzy style of roleplaying. At Dauntless's end, I was still CSO Andrew, that bad guy who happened to get away. Eventually, I started to branch out more and during a particularly busy period of my life, I was hearing rave reviews about this cool new SRP "Asteroid Base". After season 1, I decided to jump right into it and yet there was a problem: I needed a character. Now, I have always played a Science Character up until that point. The jargon and the being on the Bridge always appealed to me. This time, I decided it had to be different. It had to be entirely outside of my comfort zone. For this reason, and this reason alone, CMO Tim Rogan was born.

One of my favourite recurring themes in Asteroid Field and Asteroid Base was the notion that at any given time, Tim Rogan was potentially on death's door. After hearing about the previous CMOs, I determined that this new character would do the best he could before his inevitable fate. Indeed, every season I waited for the long-predicted moment when Tim Rogan would draw his last breath. Every time this did not occur, I would adapt a new style for Rogan, adding a new character trait that he didn't seem to possess before. Each time one of these traits was added, it would reflect a trait I'd developed in my personal life in that dreaded yet sometimes wondrous Offline World™. Over time Rogan grew to resemble me, to the point where I knew where his character would be heading almost entire seasons in advance. It's been the most thrilling experience of my life as a result.

RPG-X has the potential to offer experiences and feelings that you simply won't get anywhere else. The very nature of roleplaying means that there an infinite number of ways to express or develop yourself and if you get deep enough into it, you can end up with surprising results. Earlier I mentioned that Asteroid Base and Asteroid Field were personal experiences just as much as they were roleplaying experiences. Opening RPG-X became something of a ritual. I was no longer just roleplaying, I was going to be Tim Rogan, Chief Medical Officer of Asteroid Base: Alpha and then Pioneer Station. I would undoubtedly be playing around with deadly nanovirus materials, and I may even die! There was also always a slight chance that I might get an ACMO for a while, that was riveting (I'm sorry Griffiths!). There were weeks where I planned around Sunday afternoon. People in my real life began to understand that Sunday afternoon meant that I was not going to be available, and that I was not to be disturbed. When RPG-X wouldn't work on two different machines, I stopped using one of them regularly and formatted the second one. In other words, Asteroid Base and Asteroid Field were special to me, more than almost anything.

I believe that Grizz would say that we as roleplayers were the ones who really defined the SRP. Characters came and went, but a couple of them stuck and they will forever be the most memorable characters to me. I agree that the people who showed up and participated were the drive behind many decisions made throughout the SRP. However, in saying all of that, none of it would have been possible and none of it would have happened without the truly outstanding talent and enormous effort of Grizz. As the showrunner, she never failed to deliver stories that kept people coming back week after week, craving more. Character developments were woven seamlessly into several overlapping arcs. If these SRPs had been translated to a different medium, they would undoubtedly receive high praise. I think that more than anything we owe Grizz for helping us develop these characters and environments and experiences, all of which started on a little planet called Accobar III.

The total sum of experiences that we racked up over the years is simply too much to put into words. We survived a horrible act of terrorism that resulted in the death of the President, we exposed whole conspiracies and did our best with limited support to ensure the future of the Federation. We survived as a new form of virus came aboard with great mysteries and continued forward as the whole mission on Asteroid Base: Alpha fell to shambles (sorry Apprentice, we got through it anyway!). We moved forward with plans to make allies out of factions which would never have agreed to sit at the table before. In the midst of all of this, we uncovered yet more conspiracies and ultimately we discovered the horrifying truth about what had occurred eons ago, and what it would mean for the Federation at large.

For my part, I've had more fun in these series' than I have any right to. I've performed neurosurgeries that have filled timeslots, died or vanished on several occasions, accidentally paralyzed instead of killed an ACMO (I'm still sorry Grizz!), I've created bioweapons that Starfleet would never have allowed. I've also been a precocious Klingon ambassador. I know from talking to other people that this has been an equally fantastic experience for them. People who have just joined up in Season 7 looking for Season 8 (btw Season 8 when?). I had a moment to look through all of the condumps and images I've taken over the years. What hit me hardest is that they're spread out over multiple hard drives, spanning many years. Looking at them all, I remember the extraordinary impact that both of these SRPs have had on me not just as a roleplayer but also as a person. Looking back, joining Asteroid Base was the best snap decision I've ever made and coming aboard for Asteroid Field was an absolute no-brainer. I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything in the world.

Thank you, Grizz. Thank you, roleplayers. Thank you, Accobar. It's been absolutely amazing.

December. Cheer for everyone!

Mutatio Nomen

I've only experienced ST:AF alone, and only for the last few years, but I can catagorically say I'll never be a part of something greater in terms of SRPs - this peak will never be hit again, it feels like.

Being one of the relatively new guys on the block, I didn't expect to make a big dent into the overarching story, or become so integral into a whole plot-arc, and for that I cannot thank Grizz enough. It must've taken a lot of trust to put such an important emphasis on a relatively new character, new roleplayer (to TLO), and for that I thank you. It immediatly imparted upon me the fact that while nobody is truly safe, every roleplayer is important to the story, and to the showrunner. The plotdevice that my character became was honestly daunting, because I knew this SRP was of top-shelf quality, and afraid I wouldn't be up to the task. But it also allowed me to really develop my character beyond what I could've ever imagined, and gave McClintock real demons to wrestle with, and moral quandries that still make me wonder 'what if'. It was the most fun I'll ever have on an SRP, and that's all down to the showrunner, and her willingness to make me such a big part of an entire season, and even more. I think we all grew, as people, by playing a character here, no matter how big or small.

The only regret I have is that I wasn't a part of this amazing group of roleplayers - of stories and wonder, or conspiracy - from the very beginning.

While Accobar has fallen, I feel it will live on in our hearts, and the SRP will always continue, in our heads, and dreams.