Lost Eden GOTM: Stranger in a Strange World (SMAC)
A small intro to a new mod, Lost Eden, with a custom faction v. Miriam, and a story.


The GotM has landed once again on Alpha Centauri and this time we have another surprise for you. Of course, we have custom factions, nice graphics and some well-written fiction, as usual. So what's so special about this new SMAC scenario?



Well, the author, Kilkakon (with the help of Buster's Uncle and Buster's Aunt) gives us a glimpse at his very unusual mod: Lost Eden which features new artwork, predesigned units with a wide range of tactical options, redesigned technology tree, original quotes... Well, it's not all in this scenario, but this should give you a small taste, so I should stop here.

So, the January 2012 GotM is called "Lost Eden GOTM: Stranger in a Strange World" and it's a SMAC scenario (no need for the expansion pack - SMAX). You'll step into the shoes of the innocent military genius Brother-General Tristan who fights against the intolerant original AC preacher-lady, Miriam. Hmm.. you've always wanted to teach her a lesson,haven't you? .. Now is the time!


If you remember Poke'mon fondly, or just think the very notion of it crossed with AC is funny, you ought to read the Kilkakon's story and check out the scenario (estimated time of play: 45-60 minutes).



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Lost Eden GOTM: Stranger in a Strange World
by Kilkakon


Tristan and his squad burst into the small room. Meora was nowhere to be seen, but the room was almost completely consumed an enormous Gateway. Tristan's silver eyes studied the instrumentation. The design of this particular portal was alien to him. His pale blue totodile hands tried each of the various controls until he struck gold.

An eerie yellow glow filled the room as the Gateway crackled into life. Tristan looked on with resolve. His cape swept majestically behind him as an otherworldly wind blew out of the portal. The air smelt strange, but the wind was warm against his otherwise naked body.

"Let's move out," Tristan ordered with a flourish, "Meora's attempting to flee and reinforce. But his reign is ending—he's just playing for time." With the pep talk complete, Tristan and his squad of charmanders entered the Gateway.

...


Within moments, it became clear to the party that the world beyond the Gateway was neither Earth nor Eden. They were standing in an apartment of some kind with daring dark wooden and obsidian décor. Strange plants and uncomfortable-looking furniture filled the room. Wogan, Tristan's trusted charmander aid and friend, walked over to the large window that took up an entire wall.

"Tristan, look!" he shouted. Everybody ran over and was equally shocked: this wasn't just an apartment, but an entire city! Large dark brown towers loomed overhead in every direction and hundreds of little floating cars were negotiating their way around them. Twin suns burnt brightly overhead, illuminating an alien sky.

"Where are we?" Tristan wondered aloud. His heart sank as he realised that Meora could be anywhere by now—any attempt to pursue him would be pointless. But there was another problem: they were strangers in a strange world, without any way to return to Eden. "My people, we have more pressing priorities now. We must find information, safety and supplies. Who knows what dangers lay out there? Or the rules that define this new world?"

Tristan was interrupted by the apartment door opening unexpectedly. A woman, middle aged, entered the room, and was shocked to see a dozen or so brightly coloured and heavily armed naked creatures in her living room. Instinctively she hit the security button outside the door before anybody could react.


...


"What?!" Santiago barked. "Hold on, I'll come down", she told the lieutenant. Stepping into the lift, she tried to master her anger at somebody's idea of a practical joke. A busy Colonel has no time for such childish behaviour. Heads were going to roll for this breach of discipline.


...


"You weren't kidding!" Santiago barely stifled laughter. "Is this Morgan's idea of a peace offering? Cute little naked creatures?" She sputtered. The already spooked Spartan guards did not know how to react to her discomfiture.

"Um yes hello?" Tristan spoke up in a funny tone. "We have no idea what is going on!" Recomposing himself he continued, "We are strangers to your world. We came here in pursuit of a great evil—but he seems to have gone. We are sorry for taking up your time and we'll be on our way now."

"Fine!" Santiago responded, finally losing her composure completely, laughing uproariously. "If you are planning to leave and set up camp somewhere, feel free to take one of our obsolete Colony Pods."

"Are you sure that's fine?" the totodile enquired.

"Oh yes; I've been needing to clear the surplus for ages," she snickered.

"Well thank you ma'am. Your gift will be most helpful. Perhaps we can talk about business again in the future. God Bless you."

Tristan's party left Sparta Command, Santiago wiping a tear in their wake. Several mission years would pass, turning Tristan's fledging group into a small community, and turning Sparta and the Realm from being worlds apart into near allies.

...


Miriam gently blew over her stew before taking a small sip. Perfection. Her aides had prepared her favourite evening meal to exacting specifications. She was up late reading newly arrived intelligence reports. Here was confirmation of a Christian group forming in Fort Survivalist! This was joyous, albeit puzzling news; no missionaries had been there since the last set had been turned away years ago. Her fingers swiped the datapad continuously. There were many fragmented pieces of information to consider; photographs, status reports and eyewitness accounts. Nevertheless, the big picture was starting to fall into place.

Miriam's fingers stopped. Her stew fell, barely remaining in the bowl. She couldn't believe her eyes—a close-up of a man-sized orange and yellow monster, a bit of something that looked like a tool-belt around its waist showing at the bottom of the shot, seemingly in conversation with a soldier. It was holding something out… her fingers tapped the area to zoom in on the image.

"The Bible?!" she exclaimed. Her mind raced. Intelligent beasts, Christian ones, in Defiance Freehold? And why were they succeeding in converting the people when her own missionaries failed? She was the leader of the Church, and yet these… things were winning the hearts of the Spartan populace.

It was time to get to the heart of this matter and contact the Spartans. Picking up her datapad, she left her private study and began the short walk towards the communications centre, steeling herself for the upcoming conversation with Santiago along the way. Relations between the two factions had always been strained—and they had deteriorated further over recent decades.

The conservation between Miriam and Santiago that followed was standoffish at best. Miriam was fast to dispense with the formalities of military bragging and technological trade offers and got straight onto the topic of "rumours of intelligent creatures".

Bewildered by Santiago's unusually snickering tone, Miriam walked away with the creatures' commlink for a mere 25 energy credits.

...


Tristan stepped out onto his bedroom balcony and looked out over the base. It had taken some time to adjust to the technological developments of this new world but he had succeeded in creating a Realm colony here in this strange place. Unsurprisingly, however, the greatest challenge was dealing with the people of the planet rather than indigenous life forms.

Wogan politely knocked on the window before stepping out as well. Tristan began, "beautiful, isn’t it? God's been good to us, even in this barren place". Wogan stopped beside Tristan and gave him a friendly hug.

"We're receiving a transmission from a faction leader. Haven't seen their before but from the looks of things they might be Christians!"
Tristan turned to face his friend. "Really? This is great! I'll accept the call immediately. If these are brothers and sisters of ours, we should unite the family and work together as one."

The two quickly dashed over to the communications room. It was basic, being cobbled together from mostly obsolete Spartan components, but sufficiently functional for faction negotiations. Wogan motioned to the operator to accept the call, while Tristan stepped into the centre of the room. The hardware had issues focusing on close objects, so it was necessary to step back from the camera somewhat when taking calls. The viewscreen activated, showing only static while the operator frantically adjusted the various controls. "Come on…" Tristan mumbled to himself.

Eventually, the picture of a middle-aged woman, with orange hair, came into view. "I am Sister Miriam Godwinson of the Believers," Miriam introduced, "I have heard that you have built yourself a small empire on this rocky planet. I plan to embrace the truth of the Lord's Scripture and will brook no interference in this matter…" Her voice trailed off as she looked down upon Tristan's body.

Miriam's eyes widened as she noticed that Tristan was obviously male. How could this be? She'd been following an information trial leading towards intelligent Christian creatures, but this creature seemed to be neither of those. What sort of intelligent being, or Christian for that matter, reveals his genitals in public?

Tristan interrupted her train of thought with a flourish of his cape. "Greetings Sister Godwinson! I am Brother-General Tristan, leader of the Realm of Light. I welcome our meeting, knowing that are not the only people on this strange world seeking the will of God. You stated your intention; therefore I shall express my own: I seek to bring some sanity to this confused planet. I will offer them the Light of Jesus Christ."

"We are the children of God here," Miriam responded firmly, "You and the other naked creatures like you have interfered with our plans for this planet."

Tristan attempted to calm Miriam with a soothing tone. "Rest assured that our nudity is of innocence, not of perversion, Sister. I also fail to understand how we have interfered with your plans. Isn't the highest goal of all the desire to see God's message brought to every person in this world?"

"Yes, but you have corrupted the Lord's Gospel when you sent missionaries to the Spartans. Why else would my missionaries, who preach the true Word of God, be sent away?!"

Tristan looked down. "I understand now, Miriam, why your missionaries failed. Somewhere, somehow, your message has fallen away from love. Without love, it is impossible to please God," he spoke mournfully.

"WHAT?!" Miriam roared.

Tristan spun and pointed at the viewscreen. "Your missionaries presented rules and laws and wanted to give them even more bondage than they already had. We gave them the truth that no one can escape the coming Judgement, but we can let Jesus into our dark hearts and let him set us free. And with his help there is no more fear or condemnation!"

Miriam disconnected.

...


The formal declaration of war arrived two days later. Tristan was uneasy. This was… wrong. War between Christians was the worst possible outcome. Regardless, he resolved to end the hostilities, quickly and without Spartan aid. It was time to exercise his strategic genius again. His goal: capture New Jerusalem with as few civilian losses as possible.





-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




To qualify, you need to capture New Jerusalem to end the conflict. Tristan, however, wants to reduce civilian losses as much as possible. Each population unit in an original Believer base (whether you captured it or not) counts towards score for this Game of the Month.


To discuss the scenario, go here. For the full Lost Eden mod, and discussion of same, see this thread.



If seeing an anatomically correct Poke'mon with no britches on will ruin your day, best not to download this - if your curiosity gets the better of you, you were warned.