Happy National Donut Day! Now that the sugar is flowing through my bloodstream, I wish to present a tribute to both Donut Day and CypherCaster Magazine’s new setting “Sector Agents” (in issue 6, just released on DriveThruRPG.com). As an added exercise, see how many donut references you can spot.
Subsector Precinct Station 18: “The Donut”
|by Logan Garrett, age 13
Precinct Station 18 is one of many space stations that serve as precinct houses for the Sector Agents. The station, fondly known as the Donut, serves the Sector Agents of the region as a meeting place, armory, living space, repair bay, administrative center, and prisoner incarceration facility.
The station doesn’t spin; the need for fighting weightlessness in this old-fashioned manner went away after the development of artificial gravity devices. The Donut is home to about a hundred Sector Agents and staff members, as well as ten police ships (ranging in size from shuttlecraft to light cruisers).
Areas of the Donut:
- The Hole. The inner ring of the station contains an interdimensional tuner that can generate a portal to a small pocket universe connected to our own. The Sector Agents use this pocket universe as a prison for its most dangerous inmates. Attempting to pass through the portal when it is active requires a vessel that has its shields tuned to a specific frequency; without this, any trip in or out of the prison universe results in a fatally krispy ship and crew.
- Landing Bays. The main method of entry to the station is flying a small ship into one of the landing bays. Each of the two bays features sufficient space to house and support a dozen ships. (The west bay was recently expanded, enabling it to hold a baker’s dozen.)
- Docking Ports. Made to accommodate ships that are too large to enter the station via the landing bays, the docking ports are rings on the outer hull that ships can connect to. These ports are useful when the bigger police or naval vessels deliver a large batch of convicts destined for the prison universe.
- Defenses. While the Donut is not a military installation, it was designed to both withstand and deliver high-energy punishment. On the protection side, the station features armored hull plating and heavy-cruiser-level energy shields. And in case any criminals are foolish enough to try and take on the Sector Agents on their own turf (whether looking for revenge or trying to break a fellow crook out of jail), the station is equipped with an array of lasers, missiles, and mines. In other words, any vessel smaller than a police cutter that comes too close to the station without permission will quickly find itself filled with holes.
- Communications Array. This equipment—critical for dispatching purposes—is mounted on raised metal scaffolds to prevent interference from the station’s power systems.
Valorpa Glono, tvornica Chief of Police. Chief Glono is a 3rd generation Sector Agent, and speaks often (and proudly) of its parent and grandparent and their lofty positions in the hierarchy of the Sector Agent command. The chief holds its personnel to the highest standard, hoping that by doing the best possible police work Station 18 will finally be recognized this year in the sector-wide Agent Awards. (Level 5; visual perception as level 1; resists might effects, moves in zero-g, moves underwater, and conducts police work as level 7.)
Sam Marlowe, antarean Space Patrol Captain. Though he is not from Earth, and in fact never left his home planet until he joined the Academy, Captain Marlowe grew up on Terran hardboiled crime dramas. He was initially disappointed to discover that the reality of the Sector Agents is much different than he expected, but like most antareans, the Captain resolved to make the best of the situation, and he brought his favorite fictional trappings with him. Fortunately for Captain Marlowe, Chief Glono doesn’t even realize that the antarean speaks almost completely in archaic slang; since Glono must use a translator to understand non-tvornica, words like “fried” and “dough” are converted to the same tvornica translations as “killed” and “credits.” And as far as Captain Marlowe’s trench coat and fedora, the Chief doesn’t think they look any more silly than “pants” and “shoes.” (Level 5; interrogation as level 6; archaic Earth culture as level 7.)
Than’vo’tok, rekan’choc Detective Lieutenant. Than’vo made a name for himself last year by achieving a record number of busts in his previous position of data-crime investigation. He accepted the promotion to his current position, leading investigations into violent crime, but so far he’s not fitting in to the new job very well. Than’vo sees every problem as an excuse to do some electronic hacking, and this is causing friction with the Chief. (Level 4; engineering and technical tasks as level 5; hacking and programming as level 6, social interactions as level 3; Armor 1.)
Shuff, shardfolk Sergeant. The senior sergeant at the station tries her best to fit into the mold of the grizzled police sergeant, but she frequently slips and reveals her concern for the patrol officers under her charge. Shuff makes sure her people are well-trained, well-fed, and well-armed, and is often hands-on in doing so. Her officers appreciate her skill at police work—her cooking, not so much. (Level 4; social interactions, climbing, police work, and teaching as level 5; cooking as level 2; Armor 3.)
Jack Simpson, human Patrol Officer. Unlike most of his fellow officers, Jack sees the Sector Agent thing as just a job, not a calling. Jack had been happy living on Earth, in Berlin, until his family moved to New Germany with the latest colonization boom. Jack had always been pretty tough, and naturally fell into a job as a security guard in New Bavaria. When he learned he could do similar work on other planets for better pay, Jack signed up with the Sector Agents. No longer identifying as an Earther or a New German, a Berliner or a Bavarian, Jack often feels adrift, like a man without a home. Also, and on a less existential level, Jack is sometimes annoyed by the fact that he’s the only one on the station who really knows what a donut is. (Level 2, tough-guy tasks as level 3.)
Avaroo, kiln Dispatcher. Avaroo is good at her job, but she’s become more excitable lately. The reason is simple: coffee. Avaroo’s coworkers introduced her to the beverage, and she was delighted to discover that coffee produces spectacular color changes in kiln, much different than those caused by drinking water. (Level 2, Armor 1, inability to resist cold environmental effects.)
Zemm Orayu, ponchiki Animal Control Officer. Zemm was a zookeeper for the biggest zoo in the Galactic Union before joining the Sector Agents, so he thought the job of Animal Control Officer would be a piece of cake. What he didn’t realize was that in his new job he would encounter animals that Galactic Union biologists had never even seen before. How can you tell if a pet without pain receptors is a victim of animal cruelty? How do you contain a rampaging helium-beast that can turn into a mist? Should a sentient powdered narcotic be considered an animal or a drug? Zemm would like the answers to those questions, too. (Level 3, zoology tasks as level 5.)
Oliekoek, yanathalaspan Technician. The inhabitants of yanathalaspa are not monkeys, and not every one of them is a programming expert. But because a lot of humans think they look like Terran monkeys, and because a lot of yanathalaspans are programming experts, the nickname “code monkeys” has stuck. Oliekoek doesn’t mind it. He’s happy enough that his skills are so in demand on the station that he’s willing to overlook the occasional joke about his lack of height or his affinity for a yanathalaspan fruit that looks almost exactly like the Terran banana. Sure, his coworkers’ eyes glaze over when he tries to explain his work to them, but he knows they value his work. And maybe the Captain complains sometimes about Oliekoek scratching up the consoles—after all, his fingers DO still bear claws—but the technician doesn’t let it bother him. Where else in the galaxy could he work on secretly solving the problem of keeping a dimensional gate from destabilizing and swallowing an entire star system? (Level 3, climbing and computer tasks as level 5.)
Sprinkles, feline Mascot. Sprinkles the cat has lived on the station since it was built around a decade ago. Nobody remembers when he first arrived, or who he arrived with. But surely it doesn’t matter. When Sprinkles knocks over a drink with his tail, or jumps up on a console and lands with one paw on a specific button, it’s obviously an accident, right? Of course it is. Sprinkles just likes to sit around the station and watch the Sector Agents come and go, come and go. (Level ?)