April 18, 2011: Breaking News From Beyond The Cosmos
I learned of the day's first mystery when an e-mail landed in my staff inbox. The subject line read, "50-Ton Spaceship Illegally Parked." Elisabeth sent the helpful note politely explaining that -- although she wasn't sure whose it was -- the 70-foot starship currently in the parking lot was nevertheless taking up 18 parking spaces. It also spanned the road that leads to the office and was half-embedded in the convenience store across the way (which, she warned, may impair the day's mid-afternoon snack run).
After some inquiries, we came to the conclusion that the spaceship didn't belong to any Steve Jackson Games employee. For one thing, although the 22-foot-diameter armored vessel was well-suited for Austin traffic, it didn't have a Texas plate. It also lacked the amusing bumper stickers that most folks in the office have (like "Isis! Isis! Ra Ra Ra!").
GURPS Traveller guru Loren Wiseman immediately recognized the metal monstrosity for what it was. "That's a modular cutter," he exclaimed. "One of the most versatile vessels in Imperial space!" To prove his point, he loaded up the newly-released PDF of GURPS Traveller Classic: Modular Cutter on a nearby computer. "See? You can read all about them here, or reference any of the dozens of pages of deck plans detailing an assortment of variant module-carrying ships and over 50 alternate modules!" The PDF was a big hit; the history, inner workings, and construction options were all well-explained for GURPS Traveller players, and it was very easy to print out copies of the deck plans for everyone, so we could all take notes as we explored the ship.
And what was within the interstellar vessel? Well, it's there that the second mystery began. From floor to ceiling, reel-to-reel magnetic tapes filled its cargo area. The contents of those tapes? Why, PDFs of issues from the Space Gamer archives. Ten issues total. One issue had an adventure for Toon, another had a caper for Car Wars, still another had units and a scenario for Ogre, yet another had information and ideas for Illuminati . . . the list went on and on.
Sadly, as we were inside the office wallowing in nostalgia for all those awesome issues now made available, someone stole the spaceship for parts. (We think they wanted it for the copper content.)
There are those who will try to conceal the truth . . . those who will seek to ignore the news of our discovery, or suppress it from the public. For as long as we can, we will make this information known: The Space Gamer archives are now complete. Oh, and we aren't alone in the universe.
-- Steven Marsh
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