Ganidiirsi “The Starblazer” Kivarru
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2016 issue.
As a child, Ganidiirsi Kivarru loved to read, anything and everything, but especially real books, written on real paper, bound in cloth and leather, smelling of vanilla and faraway exotic places, and which took up space but lacked handy search and cataloging functions
Gani’s parents encouraged his love of reading. Dared and Pavi Kivarru were a well-to-do couple living in a manicured, well-behaved arcology; this allowed them to leave Gani largely to his own devices. Reading was his constant escape from the humdrum of an advanced society that catered to the every whim. A voracious reader, he was ever hungry for more material. He bought electronic books by the exabyte and haunted old bookstores, indulging his taste for the written word.
As he grew older, and his awareness of the universe extended beyond the printed page, he discovered two things: one, that his parents were the most notorious Syndicate leaders in the subsector. The Kivarrus made their fortune by having their finger in many organized crime pies and by dealing ruthlessly with their enemies. The other thing Gani discovered was the ancient Terran art form known as comic books. While graphic novels had survived into the 57th Century; several of its genres—notably the superhero genre—didn’t. Real life already had stalwarts who could leap tall buildings in a single bound (thanks to grav belts), lift tremendous weights (via exoskeletons), and were perfect specimens of humanity (due to genetic engineering).
Still, Gani was hooked. As he spent time chasing down and devouring the tales of garishly-clad adventurers taking on criminals and madmen, his reality became starker and less complex. And since his grip on rationality had always been a little…loose…he became convinced that his parents had to be stopped. By him.
The Kivarrus, through deft manipulation of the legal and political apparatus and the elimination of witnesses and rivals, had managed to evade punishment. Realizing that familial ties wouldn’t shield him from repercussions, Gani adopted another identity: a mysterious, faceless vigilante that could act with impunity; and quietly set about collecting the equipment he needed.
A month later, The Starblazer broke up a minor gambling racket connected to the Kivarrus, leaving the miscreants bound and waiting for the local constabulary. The criminals easily made bail and disappeared, but Gani wasn’t deterred. His parents were upset that someone dared oppose them, and he secretly couldn’t be prouder.
Since then, he has broken several of the elder Kivarrus’ operations, each time escaping unrevealed, although there have been close calls. The Starblazer has drawn the attention of law enforcement—unfortunately, it’s the attention of being wanted on several worlds on charges of assault, vandalism, and breaking and entering, among others. He hasn’t yet drawn Imperial attention. The Kivarrus have given him much attention, however; they’ve put a Cr100,000 bounty on The Starblazer. So far they haven’t deduced his secret identity, even while he does noticeable damage to their criminal empire. They think one of their many rivals is responsible.
Classic Traveller Character Stats
Ganidiirsi Kivarru 797A9A Age 35 Cr(undetermined)
4 terms Other
Brawling-2, Electronics-1, Jack-O-T-1, Streetwise-1, Tactics-0
Grav Belt, Jack Armor, Hand Computer, Psionic Shield (in helmet), Handcuffs, Tranq Spray, Combat Drug (one dose).
Gani has an affinity for improving on gadgets, with a talent for miniaturization. The plans for some of his kit would be worth a lot of money to certain electronics companies, were he willing to share them. Referees who wish to make the Starblazer even more capable are encouraged to mimic super abilities through such tech as exoskeletons, cloaking devices, etc.
Gani is an average-looking Imperial Human, standing 177 centimeters tall and massing 79 kilograms. His distant Vilani ancestry manifests itself in a dusky complexion and light-colored hair. He dresses stylishly but simply, and can usually be found with reading material.
As the Starblazer, he is of indeterminate build (due to the jack armor), stands 188 centimeters (due to lifts in his boots) and masses 82 kilograms counting his equipment. The Starblazer armor is designed to be noticed; Gani has painted it in a silver and blue pattern with a stylized starburst on the chest and a short cape (chosen for style rather than functionality.) The cape also hides his grav belt. His helmet incorporates a psionic shield and night-vision goggles, and features a reflective faceplate that hides his face.
Views and Outlook
Gani views the universe starkly. Others are either good or evil, with little shading in between. He staunchly promotes good (while ironically performing evil deeds in pursuit of that goal), and sees himself as a friend to law enforcement. He is generous with friends and allies and uncompromising to foes. He refuses to kill but has little problem with beating criminals to within an inch of their life and dumping them unceremoniously on the doorstep of the nearest police station.
He views his mission to bring down his parents and their evil influence as sacred. The fact that there are criminals out there more worthy of his attention is lost on him.
Weapons and Tactics
The Starblazer uses few weapons, and never firearms. He keeps a small canister of tranq spray clipped to his belt for use in subduing evildoers. For times when he needs an edge, he keeps a dose of Combat Drug in a secret pocket. He has used other non-lethal weapons on prior cases, such as bolas and lassoes, glue bombs, and stunners.
When on a “case” (as he calls his missions), Gani surreptitiously gathers as much information as possible, and bases his plans on that information. He also tries to use the environment to his advantage by arranging traps and challenging foes at a time and place of his choosing. When he enters action as the Starblazer, his favored tactic is to swoop down on a group of opponents (hopefully by surprise), strike a heroic pose and challenge the erstwhile adversaries to “cease and desist, or feel the wrath of the Starblazer!” Unfortunately, this tactic usually provokes more laughter than awe, but sometimes he uses the laughing to get the drop on them. If he has to fight, he has learned enough hand-to-hand combat to defend himself reasonably well.
Mostly, he is just lucky. His opponents by chance are usually far less capable and intelligent. He has simply not yet run into a shrewd and deadly opponent; and he manages to (unwittingly) stay one step ahead of the bounty hunters chasing him.
Enemies and Allies
The Starblazer refuses to take on a partner or an apprentice, although he has sometimes made short-term alliances to close a case. Such allies are usually youths enamored of the brightly-clad do-gooder, without thought that maybe his grip on reality isn’t all that tight. He has spawned a few copycats, all of whom have been dealt with by law enforcement.
His enemies, however, are legion. Chief among them are his own parents, who would love to have the Starblazer’s head adorning the wall of their study. They are currently funding several bounty hunters in an attempt to catch the armored interloper, and the criminals he has put in prison have all sworn undying revenge.
Playing Gani/the Starblazer
When playing Gani and his alter ego, the referee should be prepared to assume a dual role: the unassuming, bookish Gani; and the swashbuckling, confident superhero. Gani has become adept in playing both parts; when he puts on the Starblazer armor, his whole personality seems to change. The referee should make the players wonder if Gani (if they discover who he is) has a multiple personality disorder.
The referee also has a choice in whether to play Gani for laughs or in deadly earnest. As a source of humor, playing Gani similar to the late ’60s television version of Batman hits close to the mark; an island of prudishness and derring-do in a world that is twisted just slightly askew and splashed with bright, primary colors. The noir version of Gani might see him as actually suffering from multiple personalities, constantly in danger of permanently submerging into his Starblazer guise, and whose basic sense of morality slips farther away with every case.