At the end of the last session of the Spiral Confederacy campaign, Simon Simon the adherent visited a strange adherent cult in the Bones of Pearl 2, to find out why they were being hunted by the Pearl 2 authority’s mercenaries, the SSA. This was handled in downtime, which is where our group do “unimportant” or non-combatant things through Facebook messenger during the week. In this case things went a bit pear-shaped, they got into a bit of a fight, and one PC nearly had to kill another. This is a report of the full downtime, broken up into its various parts. I have made subsections to make it easier to follow, which are:
• On board the Come as You Are
• At the Coven of the Unredeemed
• The Tale of the Unredeemed
• Emergency at the Coven
• Back at the Come As You Are
• Flight from the Coven
• A classic moment in GM-player interactions that everyone is very familiar with
• In the Combustible Van with Lam and Ahmose
• To be or not to be: Breakout from the Coven
• Escape from the Bones
• Return to Pearl 7
• The Resurrection of the Unbroken
The downtime is reported as direct chat logs, just cleaned up and modified slightly to make them more readable, but they remain vaguely unreadable in that way that chat logs do. This was a long and winding downtime that occurred over a week, so I doubt anyone will want to read all of it. For insight into the magic of the universe, scroll down to the Resurrection scene; for an amusing moment of near death, go straight to To Be or Not to Be, where you can also see the effect of differing technologies between Confederacy and its outlying systems, combined with AI support and a psionic, which should further deepen the mystery of how The Reach has remained independent all this time. In The Tale of the Unredeemed you can learn something of the history of the Confederacy and adherents as a concept.
The chat log starts below.
On board the Come As You Are
GM: By way of downtime for you guys. Everyone is going to chill out now that you have that bone pile behind you. But still alva is a little freaked, and ahmose is in her Grumpy Edgy Captain state.
While Simon Simon is off being interesting you have a dig through the loot. The space ninja’s swords have changed to rusty useless metal. Alvas drone investigated the silver sword and tells you it is silver yes, but it seems too light. The priests notes are written – shock – in his native language. You can’t read it or even recognize it, though some of the diagrams make a kind of hideous sense. To decipher the notes would need access to a major research database of remnant languages, and a few years of research. Or an oracle. On the bright side, you take them to an expert and he or she could tell you where they are from. Which is all you really need to know. Further rummaging will reveal a list of transport options and costs for a couple of star systems, with travel dates 3-6 months from now.
The drone tells you that the bone on the priest’s staff is human. There may be other fragments of human bone inside the staff. Also in the bag there is a stash of about 1000 credits.
Lam: Lam is pretending she didnt hear that. Lam hears the credits jingle though!
GM: It is a leather pouch of coins made in some old fashioned mint, bearing an image of some old chick on one side and flowers and birds on the other. Remnant shit basically. There are a few knucklebones in the pouch. The death priest seems incapable of doing anything without a bit of dead human interfering.
Hmm, I wonder what the pouch holding the credits is made out of? Ooh a very supple leather. You want to keep that Lam? There is also a solid leather sheath that probably contains scrolls. This leather looks like it might be mundane.
Lam: Yay? Lam will look at the shiny coins but is unimpressed with this strange disturbingly familiar leather pouch. She will touch the scroll sheath!
GM: okay, she flicks the finger bone out of its little leather holder to unseal the sheath. It’s a small finger bone, hmmm ….
The sheath opens and reveals three scrolls and one set of scrolls. The three scrolls are sealed in wax with the mark of the death cult, held separately. The scroll set is bound together with a simple coil of ordinary string. Ordinary string!
Lam: Yay ordinary! Is it all in a weird barbaric language?
GM: It flops open to reveal several sheets of paper with maps drawn on them. All are tombs. There are marks on certain tombs. The tombspine is amongst the maps.
Lam: So we have a list of all the tombs that were due to be defiled?
GM: Well, not quite … you have a list you can’t read, with maps you can’t read, for tombs you don’t know where to find. But with the correct work you could find them. If you had a death priest you could even interrogate the dead!
Lam: Lam is satisfied that she has contributed to this mission! Now we need a weird language speaking guy!
Ahmose: Simon should give us a pick up call when he’s done. But we keep the ship ready to leave in case those mercenaries [GM note: the SSA] decide to pay us visit. That’s all Ahmose can come up with before her headache forces her to not think anymore
[GM note: Ahmose was touched by the wraith and is still recovering intelligence, but she had enough brains to warn everyone not to touch the sealed scrolls until they get]
GM: Okay, so you can busy yourselves preparing the ship while you wait for Simon Simon. Anyone want to open one of those wax-sealed scrolls?
Lam: Once she recovers she will search for a language specialist.
Alva: Alva is going to try and decipher the things we found, as far as he is able.
Lam: Open the seal!
Ahmose: Is Ahmose recovering intellect? She will try and stop Lam to contact any language specialist on this pearl! If there are peeps that can speak this language on this pearl, there is a high chance he’s involved with the priest. And I rather not open the seal before talking to Michael, the one guy who might knows what’s going on. Let’s go through all “non-magical” stuff for now.
Alva: There isn’t any magical stuff there. Just stuff that we haven’t logically explained yet. Alva is sure there is some explanation though.
At the Coven of the Unredeemed
GM: To set the scene, the dude lets you in and someone comes up behind you, puts a weapon at your back and demands your guns. Do you hand them over?
Note that with a mere thought you can disconnect your laser rifle from the ships energy so it becomes useless
Simon Simon: “I shouldnt die…” He says tiredly, like they should already know this. Simon will hand them his weapons, at this point there is little point in resisting. He is in their grasp and if they decide to off him he wont stand much of a chance. He leaves them activated for now.
GM: The guy behind you takes them with a grunt and disappears without you really seeing him. The dude with the heavy rifle leads you to a kitchen and gestures to a table and chairs. There’s a middle aged woman at the table with a pistol, a teapot and two cups. Wanna sit?
Simon Simon: Simon mumbles something to himself and shakely sits down. He sits straight with his hands on his knees, tapping softly. He looks around a bit nerveously, then gives a close lip smile to the woman. He looks like he is on an interview. (He, as stealthy as possible, tries to search for any nearby AI’s and systems).
GM: Stealthy. This whole section seems to be devoid of AI attention, something you already started to notice. Maybe it’s too tasteless even for AIs.
“Name is Sue. You? You confederate ?” She picks up the pot and leans forward to pour your tea
Simon Simon: “Sue? Sue.” He nods, Mary Sue he thinks, but holds the thought. “I’m Simon… simon.” He holds his hand out. “No tea, too hot. I need cold, cold shower actually.” He is fear-exhausted and dirty. “I’m… not sure I’m confederate anymore, but im not from here at least, but I’m interesting!” He says slightly defensively.
GM: Unfortunately she is already pouring the tea. Unfortunately because as you start speaking you hear a loud clack! and all the lights go off, plunging the room into near total darkness. You hear her say “Drat! Another power cut” as the lights cut, but you’re fine because your low light vision cuts in. However, she is not and you can see she is now missing your teacup, and a wave of hot water is about to lap over the table onto your legs. Do you move? Moving could risk getting shot; staying where you are risks boiling water
Simon Simon: Are the table / chairs light?
Simon Simon: if the chair is light enough/not attached to the floor he will try to slide back while still sitting, if not he says “Hot water hot water!! I said too hot Mary sue!” and try to move out of the way.
GM: He does the latter. The lights suddenly come back on. Sue says “Don’t bother with the serum, Joe, he’s from the Core” You turn your head to see heavy rifle guy standing next to you with a wicked looking needle.
He stops sticking it towards your neck, and she gestures at the tea. “Low-light vision.”
Simon Simon: He spins about “Wow joe!” he says with wide eyes and raised hands, looking at the needle, he never liked needles. “Been poked enough for a day!!” His face turns to one of worry, and he turns back to the woman. “Serum?! No serum, don’t wanna put me down Mary Sue, I have informations for you, and questions.” His eyes are a bit intense.
Sue: “Don’t worry Simon, it was just a truth serum. Since it won’t work we’ll just have to trust each other. Why don’t we start by you telling me this information?” She gestures at Joe, who puts the needle down out of your reach and starts mopping up the tea.
Simon Simon: He squints his eyes at her and sits back down. “You’ve tried burn and stab me with a needle in the first 5 minutes of our meeting.” Not sure I want this job anymore he thinks. He sighs and is thoughtful for a moment. “Okey I’ll give you some information” He leans foward and whispers “I am adherent, with a Mother, which is nice, sometimes not so much. I know you are adherent without a Mother, how is that a thing?”
GM: Sue waves Joe away. “Joe, best you step back lest our guest get the wrong idea
“We are Abandoned.” Somehow the way she says it has a capital letter on it. “I will tell you the tale, if you care to hear it. But time may be short. First why don’t you tell me this ‘information'”
Simon Simon: He lifts his hands again half way in open surrender. “No ideas, just talk.” He thinks for a moment, looking Sue over. “Fine… but you gotta keep me safe, for a while, I am very interesting and shouldnt die you know. Deal?”
GM: “We’re having trouble keeping ourselves safe at the moment, Simon, and the SSA has spies everywhere. But we’ll try. Look, Joe here is warming to you already!” Joe gives you a nod. He’s a grizzled, muscly dude in his early 30s, broken teeth, looks like a street ruffian. Not very hacker-y at all.
“So, on with the tale, Interesting Simon”
Simon Simon: Simon retreats physically at the idea of warming up to Dirty Joe. He looks back at sue, smiling, joe momentarily forgotten. “SSA! That’s it; I found out about them same way I found out about you.” He looks serious. “They know about this place.. and they are coming. You shouldn’t die either…”
“Oh really?” She arches an eyebrow. “We’re rather aware that they’re after us. How did you know, and how can your knowledge help?”
Simon Simon: (Would simon be able to place a fake report on them with a different location?)
GM: [he might. But what he definitely could do is link up his hack of the security/municipal communications system to their computer, so that they would be able to learn what the security services are doing – remember these guys have no AI and (compared to you) relatively primitive hacking skills so it would be a big boon]
Simon Simon: “How I know? their networks are strong but not invincible; i’ve cut myself a small path in; I guess… I could show you or your computers the way in.” He says thoughtfully. “Are you sure you are aware of them? They know of this place, thats how I found you. They won’t be long coming.”
GM: She takes this news that you can hack their system quite well, and gestures for Joe, who wanders away. There’s a few minutes of awkward silence before he comes back with a tablet and a techie-looking guy.
“Can you install your techniques to work through this? It would help us a lot to know where to move, and when they find our next safe house.”
Distrust appears to have evaporated fast
Simon Simon: “I’ll give you whatever can help you for the now, the current road” He says as he quickly patches in the current SSA reports. “… you tell me why you are you Abandoned and promise to get me out of this place back to my friends and I’ll show you the path for more.” Trust goes both ways.
GM: She grunts what you guess is agreement, and you and the techie get to grips with the clunky old tablet. It only takes a few minutes but that’s a lifetime for a confederate. There are more communications flowing – thankfully none about the place you just raided and none about your ship or your colleagues – but there appears to be some roadworks scheduled for this street in two days’ time …
Simon Simon: Simon stares at the tablet like its an affront to all that is decent in the universe and gives a look of pity to the techie. “No wonder you are abandoned…” he mumbles to himself…
GM: the techie seems really impressed by your skills, including a couple of hacks you haven’t shown him that exploit weaknesses in old systems like this that will take another 50 years to be discovered. Then he scuttles away at a hard glance from Sue.
The tale of the Unredeemed
Sue: We aren’t just abandoned, Simon Simon, we are Unredeemed. We have become a cult of the lost, for the lost. Not just people who have lost, though. We are a home for people who wait helplessly for redemption. Take Joe here, lost his wife to slavery for his own misdeeds. He will never get her back. He cannot redeem himself while she toils in the silicon yards, he is not even allowed to know her status. Likely she is already gone, lost to his folly, so he waits out his days in this coven of the abandoned and the hopeless. And the conditions of our redemption are, well, let’s just say they aren’t the easiest.”
Joe grunts, runs his tongue over a broken tooth
“We started as a cult, maybe 1000 years ago. Not all of us were adherents but some of us were. No one really knew who we were but we weren’t illegal. Our AI was called the Starred One. It set our goals and the patterns of our lives, and we worshiped it, and followed the lead of those who could speak to it.”
“Then one day one of those priests of the Starred One went on a mission to the Gardens. We don’t know why, he would not tell us, but something went wrong. He fled and for some reason he took the Starred One with him. He jumped in a sublight ship with our God and fled this system. We searched for years to find them, because we knew they must be close but we couldn’t find them until they arrived at a system where we could track them, and the closest was 5 years travel for that clapped out old vessel.
“Maybe 30 years later they were found in an abandoned space station in another system, but the priest refused to speak to his followers, and the Starred One had gone mad. It killed anyone who ventured onto the station. So we had to leave them there. The priest died there and we never could approach the Starred One again, because in its madness it refuses to let anyone on board.”
“We could force it, but the priest sent us a dying transmission that reached us years after his death. He told us that one day we would meet more gods, and then our Starred One would become pure again, and until that day we should hold our faith and wait.”
“So we wait.”
Some things that Simon Simon would immediately notice in this story are listed below …
1. The confederacy wasn’t in this sector back then, so either this “Starred one” and it’s “priests” were adherents fleeing from the confederacy or the AI was a random AI that developed separately here and was hiding in the Reach
2. If hiding in the Reach, it’s possible it is a leftover from whatever culture created the Reach
3. If the cult were led by adherents from the confederacy, they could have been con artists. Sometimes adherents go to the frontier to set up cults by impressing people with their “foresight”. It’s unusual for adherents to form groups, and often when they do the non adherent members are exploited by the adherents
4. You don’t know if adherents are that old a thing as to have been around 1000 years ago. There is no history of adherents (or AI) but your best understanding is they are a newer phenomenon. The confederacy is at least 10000 years old (no one really dates it’s start ) but it spent much of that time consolidating in the core, and AI worship only began once there was a coherent wider space for AI to move through, nest in, and be chased around in. So if this cult is at least 1000 years old it’s either one of the first adherents or it was here before and the AI is an ancient one with no links to the confederacy. In either case it’s a novel and exciting thing
5. You have never heard of an AI going mad but there are rumours that it’s possible… How, though?
Simon: Simon stands there with his mouth open in shock. He barely notices when the lady’s speech ends, lost in thought. “So many… new parameters… factors and entities to consider…” he mumbles to himself, he leans back on the chair and covers his face with his hands staying like that for a while. “Oh… Mother… how long have you been here and suffered alone..” He says imagining a single moment without his AI.
Simon wants to do a lot of things. He wants to lead then all to safety. He wants to fuel a rebellion. He wants to take over the Starred One. He wants to never be even slightly close to the Starred One. He wants to blow this whole place. He wants to go hide in a dark space for a while. He wants to ask Mother about this… he doesn’t want to hear the answer. It takes him a while but he absorbs the information as much as he can for the moment, then shakes himself a bit and looks back at Sue. “The Death cult.. the dark priests, they were involved, if not responsible, for the SSA hunting you… do you know why?” He says as he shows her the files he got, how the dates of the authorities hunting them matches those of them protecting the cult’s hideout.
GM: She accepts your evidence about the death cult and SSA hunting them, but knows nothing about this cult or why it would entangle her in its business. Do you tell her about the ansible and the priest’s journey through the tombs of the Galaxy?
Simon Simon: yes, I tell her I saw the cult in the gardens as well, and they are pretty insane themselves. I ask her if she knows exactly where in the gardens their priest went, and if she knows of the tombs; if not I, I tell her what I know
GM: That tale troubles her deeply, for all the obvious reasons. It seems like an awfully big coincidence that the death priest who set the SSA onto her cult should be rooting around in the same place that her cult’s fallen prophet had a calling to
Unfortunately their prophet and his the Starred One didn’t leave any evidence of their plans, and expunged all valuable information about the cult from its storage before they left. So the only way to find out would be to go to the space station and ask the Starred One itself…
Also why are the SSA also attacking the cannibal cultists? As far as she knows they have no special history …
[GM Note: the “cannibal cultists” are another religious group hiding in the Bones, who worship a saviour who was born to redeem humanity, but killed for some crime; they believe that eating his flesh will enable all of human society to transubstantiate and become gods, and they wait the day that their saviour will return for them to feast upon him. They are a completely harmless if slightly tasteless cult]
Emergency at the Coven
[GM Note: there is a bit of discussion between Simon Simon and the GM about tactics to help the coven protect themselves from the SSA. Simon Simon spends some time setting up their computer system to communicate with their accommodation in Pearl 7]
GM: Do you have other questions for Sue?
Simon Simon: Did she tell me the exact location of the starred one?
GM: You didn’t ask. Do you want to?
Simon Simon: Yeah! he takes his time though, he lets the conversation fade in case she has anything to say to him first, then says: “I want to go see the Starred One… if I can get close to it I might be able to cure it.” [Or destroy it…] “Or Mother could make it anew…” [Absorb it for all its worth] “Whatever it is, its ancient, it would be glorious to at least see it…” [Because the last time you ran off searching for things like this you and the whole party almost died…]
GM: She gives you a sharp look at that.
“The Starred One is our failure, our curse. We await it’s return. No adherent has ever suggested they would help us. I would need to discuss it with my council.”
She seems pretty eager actually
Simon Simon: “Ah…” [All of those before you have been smart enough to step back Simon, leave shit alone, why wouldn’t you as well?…] “… you tell them Simon Simon does suggests it, I am very interesting and I shouldn’t die; all should be well, Mother protects.”
He looks around nervously. “All of this.. this is wrong, you shouldn’t die either, you should be interesting as well. I will speak to my … friends? and see what can be done.”
GM: In the hours you’ve been working she has been tapping out messages on a tablet. The gun is forgotten on the table and joe is lounging now, syringe back in its box.
Simon Simon: He finishes uploading the program that will let them detect the SSA raids.
GM: Sue is biting her lip and frowning. “I think that the council of elders have been … I don’t know. They should reply to my messages.”
[you have a sinking feeling that you know where this is heading. Do you have any smart ideas you would like to put into practice now…?]
Simon Simon: – Cameras – Disruption – Confusion
GM: More details might be necessary
Simon Simon: Actually confusion then disruption; simon calls for his Mother, access close by cameras to feel the situation; send a message through the orders link of the SSA saying “ABORT ABORT ABORT”, then tries to shut down/jam any communications.
Mother comes to you closer and brighter than you have experienced before. The lights flicker in the room. You can see everything in the neighbourhood all at once in a kind of rush and suddenly you are inside every layer of communication in the area.
Simon Simon: He also says “Mary Sue, time to pack up.”
GM: There are three wheeled SSA vehicles coming off the off ramp of the spar and a burst of communications between various authorities. You don’t have time to read them all but none seem to concern you. There is a bit about the cannibal cult and a lot about an operation in your area.
Outside, joe is walking over to talk to the Loitering dude [GM Note: The party saw this guy across the road from the coven when they arrived but didn’t question him]
Sue says “where’s joe!?”
You wait until the SSA vehicles are off the spar entrance and then send the abort message, probably won’t work for long
What are you doing next?
Simon Simon: ”They are coming Sue” He says quickly patching through the video. “Joe’s out talking to the bad-guys, if he’s gone bad time for a quick exit, if he’s about to make a mistake call him back.” He stands. “Either way, we gotta go now, I’ve distracted them but not for long.”
(Are there any electronic gates in this place?)
GM: No, these doors use old fashioned keys
Simon Simon: (Also, can I overcharge a transistor outside the place or anything thats flashy to add chaos?)
Uggh, keys? What I am fighting for here? These people are hopeless…
[It’d be funny if I went “keys? oh fuck it all, I’m out!”]
GM: Sue is up now. She calls out and the dude who took your gun and he comes running with your gear. The building is dark and silent, as if suddenly everyone just deserted it. The door is still open and the screen closed and a few young nerdy men are gathered there looking worried
Street lights! They’re old fashioned!! You can blow them all.
Simon Simon: and a transformer! Ever heard one go off? mini bomb, and the whole grid goes with it.
GM: Sadly they aren’t that primitive!
Simon Simon: But they have.. keys!! I’m amazed they have electricity at this point!
GM: These people are poor! The people who own the street, not so much. Hey they get their electricity from the heart of the sun…
Btw it occurs to you (I probably should have mentioned this earlier!) that one possible explanation for a mad AI would be if the defense system of the Reach activated and attacked an AI
You know, if the AI was interfering too much in one of the Pearls
Simon Simon: precious… now you tell me?
“Okey mary sue’s! grab each other’s pants, we going dark!” He says as he takes his laser rifle and checks that its still connected to the ship.
GM: It is
Simon Simon: He says that to the crowd btw
GM: Someone has a heavy rifle, which is reassuring
Simon Simon: Do they look like they have a way out?
GM: The front door. It’s open and everything!
Simon Simon: what? no sewers? fine them! full frontal
“Maximum effort!” He says and goes for the exit, hoping they are following. As soon as he is close to the door he blows the grid. He goes for flashy.
GM: Sue yells “wait!” And disappears back into the house. With a hiss the entire habitat goes dark.
It fades in sections, patches going dark and then the shadows spreading like tendrils of squid ink through the murky slave-ash stinking air.
Simon Simon: “Ah bugs” He says as his eyes activate. “Run Mary-Sues! Run!” He runs after the crazy lady. [Probably using keys made her crazy…]
GM: Simon Simon runs through the newly-lit hallway to a room at the back, and finds Sue standing there with the gun in her right hand, pointed at her head
Simon Simon: <I’d kill myself if I had to use keys ..> [this is a voice in Simon’s head I’m playing with atm] “Ah…” Simon’s eyes widen in shock. “Mary sue… don’t…. you shouldn’t die…” He franctically tries to connect, see if the gun is energy based and connected to anything, but his hopes ain’t high.
GM: It’s a revolver.
“They mustn’t know what I know, Simon!”
“There’s no other way!”
Simon Simon: “What.. are you talking about Mary Sue?” He pleads. “You shouldn’t die, they shouldn’t die, we can escape now, continue, push through… because.. because of fear?” Simon mind is rushing trying to find a solution. He remembered she wanted Joe to stay away when she found out he was an adherent… is it possible these people have the implants?
GM: “But they are coming for what we know! It isn’t recorded anywhere except in our memories, and only I know all the connections .. With you … With the death cult! If I die it all goes with me!”
Simon Simon: “but.. ” groan “….you shouldn’t die; what about all your friends out there? Should I just let them run into the bad guys and get killed? I’m just running if you aren’t coming with me…” “You also haven’t told me of the Starred One, how am I to heal it? Your prophecy just meant nothing? Then what’s the point of all this? Why come till now and kill yourself?” He frowns. “You make no sense..” <Using keys… it fucks with your brain..>
GM: She takes a small step back. “I can’t tell you! Then they can take the knowledge from you!”
She seems pretty sure about this. “At least if I die we remain Unredeemed!”
Simon Simon: Simon is very uncomfortable at the moment. “Sue..” He says and slowly and lazily raises the rifle, what he is about to say might make her jumpy. “If .. if you dont guide me what am I to do if I ever meet the Starred One by myself? If I don’t know what I’m doing I might end up destroying myself, or ruining it, or worse… destroying Mother. And to top it, you are going to leave all of your friends alone to die? After I gave them an opportunity to escape… you are wasting it all… Because… you are afraid?”
GM: “Afraid? No… And you can’t hurt the Starred One of you can’t find it!”
She takes a step back and you have a feeling that she’s going to do it
Simon Simon: “I might not, but Mother will. Eventually. She will survive me. She will survive us all.” He says and aims the rifle purposely. “You could come with me, you could guide me and make sure your God is purified. Or you could do it, take the shot and give up because you were too weak.”
“But choose fast, because your friends life is tickling by.”
Back at the Come As You Are
GM: I’m going to assume that you guys are in the little lounge room you set up in the cargo hold while this conversation is happening. So you are all there in the one place when the alarms start to ring, and the television switches channels.
First it switches to a news report about a complete blackout in The Bones. Then it switches to a grainy camera image of Simon Simon in a small room inside a building somewhere, facing off with a woman who is holding a gun and pointing it at her own head. Once your attention has been caught the alarm klaxons fade and are replaced by a loud, harsh, genderless voice
THIS IS THE MOTHER
MY CHILD IS IN DANGER
Then the automatic food generator clicks to life and starts producing a weird pink liquid
GO TO HIM ALVA
GO TO HIM
Ahmose: “sigh” shotguns down a glass of aspirin, “Lam, are you fit to drive?” And racks her shotgun
GM: NO TIME
GO TO THE CHILD ALVA
Lam: Lam casually takes a drag on her cigar and then stubs it out. She groans as she stands and checks her rifle. “Let roll!” She growls as she limps to the van.
GM: NO TIME
GO TO THE CHILD ALVA
Lam: Fly? Lam’s eyes light up
Can Alva teleport all of us?
GM: No, just himself
Lam: Angry emoticon floats above lams head.
Okay so Alva teleport, we take van.
Ahmose: So Alva goes ahead and we ll follow in the van
Alva: Alva agrees. Well, he doesn’t have much choice.
GM: He doesn’t have to teleport! It’s up to you
Ahmose: If a rifle is to much mass for him to carry Ahomse offers him the Gauss Pistol
Alva: Alva can carry 10kg! If it’s an advanced suit it’s good enough.
GM: It has been a couple of hours so you aren’t in your vacc suit.
Putting on a suit requires time and the MOTHER is yelling in its harsh voice that you have NO TIME
So! Do a quick review of this chat to ascertain the facts and then tell me exactly what you take with you!
Alva: Alva runs to the machine producing the liquid. All the while keeping an eye on the monitor that shows Simon standing there with the woman. “Doesn’t look like HE is in any danger mother.” He grabs the container of fluid and stuffs a lid on, the shoves it in his pocket. “What do I do with this?” He then rushes to the table where his pistol is (slug thrower).
GM: MY CHILD IS IN DANGER
RUSH TO HIM
RETURN HIM TO ME
Alva: Alva rolls his eyes. ‘I thought those AI’s were supposed to be smart…’ He grabs the gun, and glances around to see if there is anything nearby that might protect him from things trying to perforate him.
GM: Nothing you can put on quickly!
Alva: Simon still standing there looking at the woman?
GM: They appear to be yelling at each other.
It’s dark in there, maybe pitch black
Alva: Something Alva can understand, or just shouting?
GM: The image is obviously highly enhanced. You can’t hear anything!
Alva: That’s going to be a fun teleport!
GM: Hmmm if only your psionics were stronger!
Alva: Alva looks at the sickly Amhose, and slightly burned out Lam and sighs. “Come get me if something goes wrong.” And then he tries to focus on the image displayed on the screen to get a better fix on his target (as much as possible), his main objective is arriving behind the woman.
GM: And off he goes !!
Alva: Not without a significant hesitation, a glance at the station outside, that’s still open to the vacuum of space, and a very significant look down at the fact that he’s not wearing anything that will protect him from said vacuum.
GM: Better not mess it up then!
But anyway you have the box of life remember.
[GM Note: the team were given a box each which, if opened, allows them to be resurrected once]
What could possibly go wrong?
Alva: I can revive in a vacuum and then die again? I’ll be lovely.
GM: Of course! As far as you know… Michael said so long as the brain isn’t really badly damaged…
Flight from the Coven
GM: Sue looks at Simon Simon with a kind of hopeless expression that combines pity and disappointment. Then suddenly a figure appears in the shadows behind her, lunging forward. In the split second of that figure’s sudden appearance what do you do?
Simon Simon: Eeeh shoot and probably miss?
Simon Simon: No, he yells. “Sue watch put!!!” then shoots with the intend of scaring the figure, then assess the situation.
GM: You shoot. The person lurching forward doesn’t grab Sue properly, just knocks her arm, and she fires
Simon Simon: and shoot again if its proves to be dangerous
GM: You can’t scare someone with a laser rifle, it’s invisible. You have to aim to hurt or not.
Simon Simon: okey then he shoots not in the head lets say, shoulder if possible and probably miss
GM: Okay! So the figure knocks the gun, Sue fires, and she misses her temple but still blows the back of her head out. She falls over and then you hear a familiar voice yelling “ow! Fuck! Simon! Oh fuck that’s gross”.
And Alva is standing in front of you, his shoulder burnt from your laser and his face covered in blood and brains
Simon Simon: “Alva?” He says shocked. Then sue. “MARY SUE!” Then looks at alva.
Simon’s eyes are wide in surprise “ALVA!” He says and lowers the laser rifle. “MARY SUE!” simon says and looks at the woman. “ALVA!!” he says turning back to the psionic. <Alva, sue, sue, alva. Is always nice to introduce new friends..>
Alva: Alva, drops down to the floor, instinctively trying to go for cover that isn’t there. “Why! I was trying to help you.” Alva takes a quick look around the room to see if there’s any more hidden people with guns he didn’t see in the image.
GM: There’s just a distraught looking Simon. But in the distance down a hallway Alva can hear panicked voices
Alva: Satisifed, Alva sinks down on the floor, and starts to feel his shoulder. For the moment not noticing that there’s brains stuck all over his face, though he absently notes that it means the woman used a slug thrower instead of a laser. His shoulder oddly feels surprisingly intact, if you don’t count the 1cm hole burned straight through it.
Simon Simon: Simon’s mouth is still open in surprise, he is looking at the woman and back at Alva.
“Alva! what… wh… why?!”
<Fuck..> “She… shouldn’t have died!” He says, clearly very frustrated.
He looks down and the gun, and at Alva’s wound, then pulls the rifle down and hides on his back like a child caught doing something bad.
(are cameras still operational?)
Alva: Alva realizes that he hasn’t paid the girl any attention, but when he moves to check her he takes one look at what remains of her head and promptly sits down again. “Why shouldn’t she die? She seemed quite intent on it.”
Simon Simon: “She knew… things!” says simon doing a face palm
GM: Cameras are still operational. I think I hardly need point out to you two that she doesn’t have to die
Simon Simon: He tries to look outside and at the other people in the building see whats happening.
Alva: Of course
Simon Simon: Boxes!
Alva: (Alva merely needs to be given a great reason to give away the one thing that might preserve him if everything here goes to shit ;))
Simon Simon: Simon might
GM: You aren’t carrying the box Alva
Simon Simon: “Boxes! Alva can you get us out of here?”
GM: To use the box you need to get the dead girl back to the ship.
Cameras. Everything in the building is unchanged. Across the street, someone is dead and someone has taken a position with cover aiming at the door.
A classic moment in GM-player interactions that everyone is very familiar with
Alva: Is there a convincing reason why I wouldn’t carry that box at all times?
GM: You can’t tell in the darkness whether the dead person is joe or Loitering Dude but someone appears to have killed someone
Simon Simon: Taking cover.. does it look like SSA?
GM: Because I told you to specify EXACTLY what you were carrying, like twice, and you didn’t specify the box?
Simon Simon: We shouldnt revive her now anyways, she’d be a drag. A living one at least.
GM: Also, if the box is damaged you don’t survive; if you are damaged but the box is intact, no problem. Plus sometimes surgery may be necessary before using the box.
Simon Simon: “Someone is dead outside! and someone is aiming at the door, can’t tell whats what; we gotta get out of here pronto. SSA’s coming”
GM: You have no idea of the dude outside is SSA or not but you’re pretty sure not friendly
Alva: Right. I didn’t tell you I was taking my clothes. Am I naked?
In the Combustible Van with Lam and Ahmose
GM: Alva disappears and then appears on the screen, behind the woman and lunging at her. She shoots herself but he knocks the gun, so she only blows the back of her head out, falls down. At the same time Simon Simon fires his rifle and hits Alva in the shoulder. Alva is now injured and covered in blood. The rest of you run for the combustible van.
[GM Note: Since the PCs are from the Confederacy, they find the concept of internal combustion engines incredibly backward and dangerous. Their van uses a hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine, so they refer to it as the combustible van. The idea that anyone would drive in something so fraught with risk disgusts them].
Lam curses as she sees the disaster unfold on the screen and dashes to the van. She grunts in pain as the door hits her injured side but sucks it up. “Captain! Let’s go!!” She cries out as she starts the van.
GM: Drive baby!
Lam: As soon as Ahmose is in Lam will floor it!
GM: why don’t you tell me exactly what you are carrying. You have time to prepare but I guess you don’t want to spend too long faffing…
Lam: She has her rifle with her and her vacc suit. Other than that she really could grab anything else
GM: Any precautions or activities on the route?
Ahmose: We can’t afford trouble with the mercs, so don’t drive to recklessly. Ahomse was expecting trouble so she’s still in armor, shotgun, pistol and sword are strapped on
GM: Do you do any investigations while driving? Think of this car as a super sophisticated version of a Japanese van. So video, tv, navi, cup holders. But explodey.
Amos: Well, if course watching news and traffic news to get any warnings of things are going down somewhere close to our goal
GM: Basically the only information you get from standard channels is that there is a massive blackout over all of the Bones. All lighting is off, and other functions operating at reduced power.
However. You are flicking through the channels when you hit one that is called “Interesting. Shouldn’t die”.
GM: Yes there is a channel called that.
Lam: Anything interesting on it?
GM: It appears to contain a hack of the communications between security authorities in the Bones. All their movements and intentions appear to be being broadcast on it.
Lam: Okay so will avoid them as best as possible.
GM: At the moment they are in a furious argument with the municipal authorities
Lam: So they are stalled?
GM: The whole of the Bones is affected by a complete blackout that appears to have affected only lights and cameras, but apparently the SSA didn’t arrange it.
Lam: Do we have lights on the party van?
GM: They were converging on the coven but they have stopped because they weren’t ready for the darkness.
Haha this is an orbital habitat. Nobody needs lights on their cars.
But if you drive slowly with lights off using night vision you could probably bypass them. It will take a while though
Lam: Lol! Okay, then Lam can’t do that because somebody has the suit with low light vision! We need to get there fast, so Lam will plan the route according to avoid the projected routes of the security and get to the safe house ASAP.
GM: It’s really dark in there…
But ahmose has her combat armour so can drive
This orbital is so backwards!
Lam: Can Ahmose drive?
GM: Somehow between you you can handle it
Lam: So we drive!!!
GM: But even a good driver with lowlight vision would have to slowly. It’s really dark in there
Lam: Will we be noticed if we just keep the lights on a bit?
GM: And there is a solid squad of SSA wet workers (yes that is what the team is actually called) parked just off the exit from the spar into the Bones.
You will stand out like dogs balls.
The Bones has no external Windows.
So there is not even starlight in there.
Aside from a few completely autonomous red lights in the ceiling of the dome it is darker than the pits of hell.
Ahmose: Ahomse has pilot and flyer, so she’s used to technical stuff. With some guidance from Lam I’m sure she’ll can drive – especially since she can’t go fast.
GM: Even the priests from Ahmose’s tombs would be scared
Okay, to make time you drive really fast down the spar (which is still lit) in your explodey car, then switch drivers at the off ramp
This car has no interface so you actually have to physically swap seats to drive it can you even??
Lam: Lam is appalled by the barbaric conditions. Okay so we switch seats and then very carefully make our way there with Ahmose at the wheel.
GM: The wet works team are standing outside their cars smoking. You can barely see them, parked in a service area about 30m back from the road, except that they have set up an emergency camp torch of some kind. In its faint glow one of them can be seen walking backwards and forwards, yelling into a handset. The others are looking either bored or edgy. They all have slug rifles, jack armour (like flak jackets) and a mean looking attitude.
You have intercepted a new order on the “interesting. Shouldn’t die.” Channel.
The new order is to kill everyone in the coven but to take the leader, Sue, and her visitor alive. The visitor is called Simon Simon and he is from the confederacy.
(This raises the very real possibility that your ship will get locked down once the authorities bother to trace his movements, but currently there is no sign they have done that)
(But still, it suggests you need to get away soon!)
Lam: Lam swears and shakes her head in frustration “First demons from the abyss, then radioactive zombies, space ninjas… I get blown up, stabbed by a ninja and watch a ghost mind fuck my captain…. Now we could get locked down! Captain, I would suggest that we inform the two back in the ship to prepare for emergency departure once we have located and retrieved Simon Simon. By the way, wasn’t that woman’s name Sue? The one who shot herself?” Angry emoticons flash briefly around her dreadlocks, which have shifted from a multi hue to jet black.
Lam: She starts expertly checking the rifle whilst they drive.
GM: Might need it. Those wet workers looked nasty but you reckon you guys have better weapons and armour. You just don’t want to get trapped out here.
Lam: hopefully we can fly below the radar and get to the coven before it gets any worse!
GM: The “I shouldn’t die” channel suddenly bursts to life with emergency comms.
Also a red dot appears on a map on the screen – it’s not near you or your target.
The following is the emergency comms chatter.
• Under attack! Under attack! Man down!
• Where!!? Where?? More lights!!
• There! He got jim! It’s an ambush!!
Lam: Wtf????!!!!! Who???!!!!
• Andys down! Where did he go?!
• Where is the target?!
• There there fire!!
• [sounds of shooting]
• You hit jones! Man down!!
Lam: “C’mon c’mon!!!” Lam mutters as the Van moves along slowly.
• Where is the target!?
• He’s gone !! Take cover! Switch to lowlight and infra red!!
• [followed by emergency transmissions requesting support, stating four men down, and requesting a drone with lights]
• I fucking hit him man! I did not hit jones! Look for blood man I fucking hit him
Lam: Lam looks to Ahmose “What do we do Captain? Head to the building or follow the dot?”
GM: [things have gone calm. You are still driving slowly and cautiously]
• Find blood? Can’t see my own pecker in this fucking murk.
• Was it – wait! There! Movement on the wall!
• Fuck he can climb too? Switch to infrared!
• [sounds of confused yelling and bursts of gunfire]
• Sergeants down! This fucker can fly?!?! What? Behind you captain !!
• Captains down!
Lam: Lam grimaces and looks at Ahmose “Can Simon Simon climb walls?”
GM: [sounds of shooting and screaming]
• Urgent! Seven men down to unknown assailant! Send heavy support and fucking lights to Bones sector 9
• Assailant is wearing stealth gear and a grav belt
• [then a response from the central control system]
Lam: “Do we have access to that gear?” Lam queries as she listens to the madness unfold.
GM: Affirmative wet work 3, mobilizing squad 2 from overwatch duty. Send immediate sensor data for target confirmation
[a brief crackle as what you guess is the last survivor of team 3 fiddles with his helmet]
• It’s … Cold?
[then an image comes through the screen, the sensory confirmation … It’s an infrared image that matches exactly what you saw on Alva’s drone in the death priest’s room]
Lam: Lams face turns pale. “You don’t think its…… I mean…. shit.” Then she brightens slightly “Well at least we know those security guys are going to be distracted for a while! Lets get to Simon Simon and get the hell of this rock.”
GM: Everything has gone dark, so it’s to be expected that the wraith will come out to play
Lam: Its all their fault anyway grin emoticon
GM: [a few seconds later there is a despairing scream and the emergency feed from team 3 ends]
[and then …]
• All wet work teams. Unknown additional forces in contact zone. Initiate action immediately. Do not kill the prime targets!
Lam: sigh….. I wonder if that is us?
GM: Chaos! Unlikely given what you just heard
GM: Btw did anyone think to bring the silver sword?
Ahmose:Not sure, Ahmose wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving it alone with our two NPCs OR dragging it around the city. If she can think clear enough she would have grabbed it I assume …
“See, this is exactly why I wanted to leave right away. This is exactly what I feared would happen! Second time that boys drags us into a stinking sinkhole.” Looks at the screen and shouts “your boy needs a spanking! ” And than she rants in a foreign dialect
Lam: Lam nods along with her Captain, adding appropriate agreement when she can understand what is being said
To be or not to be: Breakout from the Coven
GM: So this brings us to the interesting topic of getting out
Simon Simon: “Where’s the captain oh captain? Why are you here anyways?”
Alva: ”Captain is coming” He looks at the body and shakes his head. “I thought I was here to prevent her shooting herself. Apparently not.” He turns back to Simon. “Mother sent us. Told us there was trouble.”
Simon Simon: <Huh… strange, very forward thinking> Simon nods satisfied. Then looks at the woman. “Yeah she shouldnt have died, how do we get out tho? Can you… ” Waves hands. “Mumjumbo us out?”
Alva: “Do we want to get out?”, his head turns towards the voices growing more excited. “Can you tell me what’s going on in less than a minute?” Alva is still absently touching his shoulder, the wound seems to be closing in around itself a bit, but it’s clearly not anywhere near being healed.
Simon Simon: “SSA Is about to hit the place, I’ve stalled them barely, we don’t have too much time. There is an unknown outside, one of these guys was talking to Loitering guy outside, now there is a dead body on the street and a figure taking cover aiming at the door. We gotta get out; and try and get all the people who are here out as well.” He aims down the hallway. “There is… a bunch of people on the building.” (About a dozen?). “They are all part of Mary sue’s crew” Points at dead lady.
GM: [probs half a dozen now]
Simon Simon: ”Mary sue’s crew shouldnt die… if possible I want to help them.”
Alva: Alva looks a tad surprised, glancing at Mary Sue’s body again. “Mary shot herself because she didn’t want to be captured?”
Simon Simon: Simon nods. “Said she knew too much and … couldnt risk it”
“Tell you all about it later”
“But we need her… body” He shivers
Alva: Alva smirks “Fat lot of good that knowledge is going to do now.” He starts to get up, and quickly grabs his shoulder, obviously surprised it still hurts this much. He frowns. “As far as taking us away. That’s not going to work, I’m running on empty here.”
GM: [if only you had some way to boost your psionics …]
Alva: [yeah, that’d be nice :P]
Simon Simon: ”Oh… front door then, like I was about to anyways.” He says standing up. “Time’s awasting! we shouldnt die.”
Alva: [If it is the glob of liquid I took with me, Alva has no clue as to it’s function, and is more assuming it to be something Simon needs when he goes crazy. Unless he has seen similar things before.]
GM: Simon Simon gets two sudden visions from the Mother
One is a sudden, brilliant flash of pink, an all-encompassing wave of … pinkness … that you feel has some very compelling meaning.
The second is a more detailed vision – a nest of dragons curled around an unseen treasure, sleeping, in a vast chamber with stars in the roof. In the vision they begin to slowly uncoil and one by one life their heads, to gaze directly at you. They have a lethal and prodigious intelligence and although they may not be specifically evil, their motivations are completely alien to you. The Mother has given you some new Grace and right now they can’t see you because of something you are doing that you don’t understand. But they are alert and looking around, and they are very sinister. Also the shadows of the vast space seem to throng with unseen demons.
Simon Simon: ”Pink! and dragons!” Simon bursts out suddenly. “Nice pink flash! and dragons incoming!!” He says holding Alva.
Simon quickly types a message to the techie. (luckily he had patched through before). “Mary sue is hurt, going to take her to safety, run and hide! will contact you later. Be careful! man outside covering the door.”
“Terrible things are a coming Alva! worst than the SSA! worst than.. worst than Mother wrath. Pink it up now, cuz we have no time at all.”
Alva: “What are you talking about Simon?”, he reaches into his pocket to bring out the cup of liquid, “You need this goo?”
GM: You hear gunfire start up in the street outside
Simon Simon: (Is it pink?)
Simon shrugs and takes it, and chugs a bit of it and gives the rest to alva.
Alva: “Pink it up?” Alva looks at the liquid dubiously. “It’s not more magic is it…” but then he shakes himself. “Nah, an AI made it. Should be ok.” He then takes it from Simon and downs the rest of the cup.
GM: nice work.
Simon feels nothing except a slightly numb left front molar tooth
Alva gets an instant, intense buzz, that rushes through him and fills him with an intense sense of wellbeing and overarching knowledge.
Not only does his psionic capacity return but he feels he can … see things … he has an idea that the Loitering Guy across the street is still there and Joe is dead at his feet, and there is a team coming down the street, no back exit, about 8 people near the doorway and one screaming in pain.
This stuff is powerful.
Moments later someone starts screaming in the doorway, in pain. Alva knows where he was shot, it’s a shoulder blow and he should live but the guys coming down the street have no intent to let anyone live except the woman called Sue and the confederate called Simon, who they will take.
So now Alva has the power to teleport again!
But, there is a small problem
He can’t teleport anyone except himself
[This is in the rules!]
He can teleport up to 500kg of non-living material but he can’t teleport sentient things
Alva: [I can teleport organic matter?]
GM: The van is now Distant, so it takes 8 -9 points to get there – the ship is too far.
Yes you can teleport organic matter but it has to be dead
Alva: “Do you fancy dying to escape?”
Simon Simon: He raises an eyebrow. “I shouldnt die.”
“Get the guy covering the street, I run with the small friends!”
GM: In his current state Alva is acutely aware that the car is some distance away, it’s pitch black out there, and there is a team of 6 hardened killers moving down the street.
Simon Simon is getting reassuring feelings from the Mother.
Simon Simon: [How far down the street?]
GM: They don’t extend towards the door!
About 30 m away and closing carefully. Someone has unleashed the heavy rifle on them but is having difficulty firing because Loitering Guy has the door covered.
Once their crowd control gas gets in here it’s all over.
Simon Simon: (couldnt alva teleport out, get the loitering guy, teleport to rooftop and chug a frag in the middle of incoming?)
Alva: Alva has the power to teleport maybe twice, and he has to have seen the place he’s going to. He can sense people but he can’t see places
Simon Simon: (does it have to be physical or can I show him in the cameras?)
GM: Someone yells “I’m hit” and a fusillade of bullets splinters through the physical wall, smashing kitchen implements. You can show him in cameras but it’s pitch black out there.
So nothing to see …
Also, you haven’t been paying attention to some things but you do notice there has been a lot of chatter on the emergency channel you hacked into – it sounds like some violence happening elsewhere too, though you didn’t follow the details
Basically Alva probably has enough points to do two very close teleports, but that will use up all the points this juice gave him so he may not be able to get back inside.
Also he doesn’t have his grenades with him, or any body armour
[did I mention that?]
Bart, can you tell Eddie what t-shirt Alva is wearing? Does it have any cute logos or symbols?
Simon Simon: [I do have mine tho?]. Simon really doesn’t want to die, if Alva can take the guy outside he might risk making a run for it thinking they wont shoot him since they want him alive. Might be enough distraction to allow the peeps to escape too
GM: There’s a real risk that will split you guys, and leave Alva impotent on the roof while they come in to get you
You do know that dying won’t be permanent so long as Alva doesn’t fry your whole brain. The only problem is that you will then lose two of your four boxes – one for you and one for Sue.
Is her information worth it …?
Simon Simon: Simon shouldnt die! He’d never do it
GM: but you both know it’s not really death …
However maybe …
Alva could teleport behind the Loitering Guy and kill him.
Then the door is free of covering fire, so you could throw a grenade into the group.
Then Alva might be able to use this sudden rush of power to fool the group into thinking they’re being attacked from behind.
Then you could all make a run for it.
But it’s very risky and if you get caught it will be a real challenge for the others to liberate you.
Simon Simon: (Is not that, is that I don’t think simon simon who’s catch phrase is “I shouldn’t die” would pull the trigger and trust a box giving to him by a priest (whom he didn’t like from the start)
GM: (his catch phrase could become “I can’t die”)
(And I think there:s a certain beauty to his choosing to die knowing he can come back, even though he thinks he shouldn’t, because the information Sue has is so valuable to him)
Simon Simon: (thats the thing, he doesnt knows he can come back, you are asking a guy who is obssesed with living, technology and AI’s to believe a priest who talks funny and gave him a box; yes he has seen a lot of weird shit lately but its not enough to put a bullet on him; thats what a believer would do. I understand the beauty of it and the leap of faith, but its wouldnt be in him. If Mother would ask him to tho… )
(He doesnt know what happens if he dies, He doesn’t even like the concept of resleeving, would he come back as himself? wouldn’t he die and another thing move on with his memories? What if something goes terribly wrong? He comes back but his body is damaged… What if when he wakes up he is not adherent anymore? What if the Mother in him dies when he does?)
(in his mind there is a high chance the priest is either shitting them or is crazy himself; he has been skeptic about the box from day one, if he ever saw someone come back using it might be he’d change his mind there, but I dont think Simon would risk his life to find out)
(Thats another reason why he doesn’t mind using his box on Sue, cuz a big part of him believes it just wont work anyways)
GM: The mother won’t support a decision to kill yourself. That requires a leap of faith, and she can’t comprehend that.
So you’re going to have to grind it out here in the pitch black until the car arrives
Fortunately Alva’s state means he can pinpoint targets in the dark and tell you where to move.
Will you start by teleporting behind Loitering Dude and putting him down like a dog?
Who will carry the body?
Simon Simon: Plan: teleport behind dude with body of Joe, get rid of him quietly, throw grenade at or behind dudes, as they turn I shoot with lasers and little people run out, I go back in the building and then we pick targets as possible. Thats as far as my brain can come with. Sounds very not good
GM: note that it’s still pitch black out there and most of these dudes don’t have sophisticated gear – you could potentially move away under the chaos of a grenade and a bit of machine gun fire from across the street, and they wouldn’t be any the wiser
Alva: Maybe better to try to sneak out, and then start shooting if shit goes to hell anyway?
I’ll teleport behind dude, dispose of him, and jump away (with sue) if anything goes wrong.
Simon Simon: Dude is aiming at the door atm, shooting anyone coming out. So we gotta get rid of him if we are to try anything.
GM: Then you have the team approaching the door with the intent to kill everyone inside… But in the dark they won’t be able to see the grenade… And if Loitering Dude is down they won’t be able to know when you come to the door
Simon Simon: and I can start shooting from the dark at anyone who comes close to the door, with an invisible laser
GM: The only problem is the poor video of the place Alva has to teleport to.
Loitering Guy is loitering under a street light though – you could ask the Mother to turn on that one streetlight for one second so you can see clearly through the cameras.
Alva can see through your eyes …
Actually scratch that
I will change the teleportation rules so that at short ranges you can teleport using distance information
So in close combat it acts like a dimension door spell … Makes it way more useful
Okay let’s do it
Heavy rifle dude moves real close to you, holding the tablet. “Give me a location and I’ll get us there”.
Of the 8 of the Unredeemed, one is dead, one is injured and being supported by another, two are carrying Sue, one is armed.
They have tied a novelty battery-operated lamp to sue’s body. It’s a voice-activated grenade shape. Say “love” and it glows a soft pink; “happy” and it goes a bright white; “disco” (whatever that means) and it alternates between green and red in 3 second intervals
Simon Simon: Funky
GM: It will give them enough light to walk without falling over but won’t function as a targeting beacon without being inside about 15m. They get ready. You and Alva exchange terse nods and it’s on
Simon Simon: Ask techie foe hideout, I gave him the soft for it. If he cant tell what’s what, the only place I know is full of dead bodies but it might work.” He gives him the address for death cult place xD.
GM: Alva blinks out and you move quietly to the door
Moments later gunfire erupts across the road and you toss the grenade out the door
Simon Simon: <its on!>
GM: The grenade is devastating. The team were moving along close to the wall and the grenade lands at their feet on the base of the wall, channeling all the blast directly at them.
There are screams and a smattering of wild gunfire and you’re out
First you and Alva clean them up, which would be quick but one of the injured is in combat armour rolling amongst the bodies of his dying friends in the murk
You have to fire a lot of times to stop him. It’s loud and unpleasant but after about 10 seconds it is done and the dark silence is broken only by gentle moaning and pleas. The crew leave, heading down the street. Alva has identified another team moving in from one end of the street, and two guys on guard duty in cover at the other end.
The crew head towards the two guys, disco grooving as they move, but two pick up weapons as they pass the dying
You two and Heavy Rifle Dude lay down a vicious hail of gunfire on the approaching team, and they fall back to cover, one dead and two wounded. Then you fall back towards the two men on duty.
Simon Simon can patch into their comms and is getting lots of information. Everyone everywhere is calling for backup. Some kind of intense battle is happening in another part of the dome, the SSA teams are losing badly and its rapidly degenerating into chaos. The two guys at the end of the street don’t know what is going on and urgent messages are being exchanged between them and the injured team.
You move closer and Alva uses (almost) all of his remaining psionics to teleport behind them. More gunfire, one goes down and the other breaks cover to get away, Simon shoots him and he falls.
From the other end of the street there is a massive fusillade of gunfire that goes mostly wild. Someone in the crew grunts and something hits Simon Simons armour but it’s not serious. You duck around the corner, hit the lights for “happy” and sprint for it. Alva directs you to a spot quite far from any teams and you hit the lights. It goes pitch black except for the light of the tablet as Can Opener Dude looks for a safe way to the death cult lair.
Alva has only enough psionics for sensing life. He could use it all to send a message to ahmose or you could try and hack the comms
Simon Simon: Is there comm jamming atm?
GM: Not really! Everything has gone to hell in a hand basket and somehow in the chaos a bunch of security systems have fallen
The Mother is fading now and leaving it to you.
You have persistent feelings of giant dark beasts just out of sight.
Simon Simon: “Whole place is going kaboon…”
GM: Heavy Rifle Dude finds a route through narrow streets and disused factories, and you head out.
It’s going to take ten minutes to get to the death cult lair.
You going to send a message?
Simon Simon: Yes, Simon will hack into their comm system and use it to a message to Ahmose. He is rushing so probably not very secure, but he tries to make the message confusing to anyone but the team : “I’m very interesting, and I shouldn’t die. Meet us where we last saw a kitty poster.”
GM: When you do the hack you discover an interesting thing…
There is a comms channel called “interesting. Shouldn’t die”.
It contains a complete feed of all SSA messages and comms.
It’s owner is listed as “your mother”.
No broadcast location is given.
(It appears that when you call forth an AI, they really do have a lot of power).
You send the message.
Simon Simon: ”uh… freaky” <Mother’s very proactive today, not sure thats good…>
GM: Reviewing that channel, you are able to work out the cause of the big fights you heard. The wraith is out hunting in the dark, and stumbled on the SSA. Also the Slipsiders themselves have taken charge and are going to lock down the whole of the Bones in an hour.
The Mother is now completely gone, probably high tailing it before those sinister monsters in the dark find her. They won’t find you yet because you are being stealthy… But all manner of crazy shit could start happening if they start tampering with systems in here.
Simon Simon: Go wraith! woot! There is nothing to do but trust we make it to the death-house and the captain gets the message.
I try to keep hacking and digital presence to a minimum just in case.
Alva: Alva has been kind of in a daze since the fight started, but now that he isn’t shot at every second any more, he has time to think that that went oddly well for an improvised thing.
Simon Simon:Plan was solid! We had the darkness in our side
Alva: I’m liking the darkness for now. Lets hope we don’t stumble into the ghost.
GM: Don’t worry, in this darkness you won’t know if you’ve stumbled on the ghost until you’re dead
Also you can track its progress through the combat noise and the emergency comms channel. It has moved away from the death cult lair and is drifting from SSA team to SSA team. The teams are moving in to its location and thus increasing its kill rate. They don’t know it’s a ghost and don’t have the tools to kill it, so it’s a very one-sided and panicky affair. If you could get some found footage it would make a great horror movie
Simon Simon:Season 3! if only it wouldnt be so dangerous to be connected at the moment… He does have the audio tho, thats something
GM: on that topic there are a few things you could do …
1. grab a collection of video
2. patch the full emergency comms system into the general communications network of the Pearl so that everyone can see what the Slipsiders were trying to do here and what happened
Alva: It’d be in line with the other sets of videos we have.
Simon Simon: I think I might do 2) as/if we get out of this place
Escape from the Bones
[GM Note: Ahmose and Lam received Simon Simon’s message, and headed for the death cult lair, grumbling the whole way and cheering on the wraith].
Ahmose and Lam arrive at the bone factory first, but after a nervous five minute wait Alva and Simon Simon appear. They are accompanied by 7 random strangers, carrying a corpse with a grenade-shaped object tied to it. The object is glowing red and green alternately. Simons Simon, Alva and two of the random crew are lightly injured, one is seriously injured and starting to sag in the grip of another. Alva looks bone tired and ready to collapse. Simon Simon looks terrified and exhilarated.
Ahmose: Ahmose swallows down a ‘I told you so’, opens the van, and takes position with her rifle. “Lam, I got a bad feeling about this. Take cover and search for anything incoming … Especially from above”
GM: The crew stump exhausted and nervous up to the van, placing the dead woman’s body reverently on the ground.
Everything flows a soft red.
Lam: Lam nods and moves quickly to a position where she has cover and is able to get a clear view of their surroundings.
Simon Simon: Simon leans against the side of the van, resting his head for a second recovering. “Nice of you to make it captain… we have nasties incoming of the AI type… I think. Also SSA is moving to close the Bones in… maybe half an hour now, not sure, lost track of time…”
GM: So there are two options to get out…
Drive along the spar and hope to get out before SSA shut it. Or go to the service level of the spar and hack into a slave haulage vessel. Take that to the main dock and transfer to the ship
Ahmose: How much time has passed? Are we still in the 60min deadline?
GM: It’s maybe 20 minutes … Still plenty of time. The comms channel suggests you could probably still just drive out …
Ahmose: Then I’d say we try to get out in the van. The slave vessel is plan b. (Too many unknown factors – especially when AI s are on out asses!!)
Simon Simon: Sure, simon will keep an eye out for communications just in case.
He will ready a message of “Important package coming through, assistance needed in sector [place of last wraith attack]” just in case they meet any agents on the way.
So you follow Ahmose’s orders, because she is your Captain your Captain, and hit the Spar. The lights are flickering like crazy on the spar but there is nothing going on there. The wet work team that was guarding the entrance has moved, probably because they had to go get slaughtered by a ghost out of legend.
At the far end of the spar there should be a team blocking it but they have hastily abandoned their road block, presumably to go join their friends being slaughtered by a beast that shouldn’t exist.
So you are able to get off the spar and safely onto the general roads of the Pearl – a world of lights, and human beings moving around in the light.
Simon Simon, while everyone’s driving do you want to explain the value of your dead guest to everyone, and the crew of injured people sagged in the back?
Also, why Alva is looking nearly dead with exhaustion, and kind of wild-eyed and weird?
Feel free to chime in Alva
Lam: As the last barrier rushes past, Lam sighs in relief and turns to Simon Simon, “talk” she growls.
Alva: Alva sags against the wall and massages a shoulder that has a slowly shrinking burned hole in it. He looks like he’s debating the virtues of unconsciousness.
Simon Simon: When you look back simon simon has the window down and he is playing with the wind with hands. When Lam growls he meeps and quickly closes the window like caught red handed. Simon nudges foward and sits closer to the team trying to keep the conversation away from the unredeemed, which proves not very effective given they are all in a van together and he only manages to make everyone slightly madder with bumping around.
Simon Simon: “Mary Sue is… hurt at the moment.” He widens his eyes and crosses a finger on his neck in sign of dead. “She wasn’t feeling too brave, but when she comes back Im sure she’ll tell us more…”
“Apparently our friends here” He points to the tagged group. “Used to follow something close to Mother… just much older and currently.. well.. broken.”
“Mary Sue didnt get to tell me all of it before she went to sleep, but she mentioned a connection to the … cult. And there’s this whole thing about it all being connected to the garden.”
Lam: Lam sighs “what’s the green and red boxy thing?” She asks, slightly distracted by the flashing light as
Simon Simon: “And then the baddies came, and Alva wanted me to die, but I shouldn’t die, so we drank some pink stuff and then we blew them up, and there was or are dragons coming from somewhere in the pearl, and we shouldn’t stay here.”
He leans back on the seat, satisfied.
“What?” he looks back. “Oh that! decoration, they have horrible sense…” He leans forwards and whispers. “They were using keys! KEYS!”
Lam: “Dragons??? Like flying dragons from legend?” Lams eyes open wide and awe emoticons glimmer around her. Her hair turns flame red.
Simon Simon: ”How terribly barbaric…” He shakes his head.
Lam: “Keys??? It’s like out of a fantasy novel!” Lam shakes her head in astonishment
Simon Simon: “Well.. not dragon DRAGONS… like… AI dragons? maybe, not sure; Mother showed me, she ain’t good with words.”
Lam: “Can I see one?”
Simon Simon: “Auhmmm… not sure… I could try rendering one out of memory but that would take time… it was a vision… thingy.”
Lam: “Vision…” Lam whispers in awe followed by “dragons…”
Simon Simon: “I … think they are the old AI’s in the pearl system… maybe related to the whole defense system… Mother kept me hidden from them, but now she’s hiding. I don’t think its very good idea to stay in this pearl for a lot more.”
Ahmose: “Yeah yeah that’s all great. But lets cut the important point here: is she … Dangerous? She looks … unstable somehow. And will they be tracked by those iDragons?”
Simon Simon: ”Who?”
Ahmose: “Cause if so we sure has hell will not bring them close our ship!”
Lam: “More importantly does the green red light thingy blow up?”
Simon Simon: “It shouldnt.. less you attach explosives to it. Its just a thing they made out of a lamp and old systems. Its red and green because its in ‘Disco’ mode.” He says the word Disco with a sense of superiority, but he obviously has no idea what it means.
He whispers again. “They cant see in the dark! barbaric…”
Lam: Lam reddens slightly “not all of us have fancy night vision you know” she mutters to herself.
Ahmose: “Damn, can someone tell me something that makes sense here? Alva?!!”
Simon Simon: ”So now you see why I NEEDED to help them, keys and disco… horrible life standards.”
Ahmose: “Here I am having not one but TWO science guys in my crew and no one talks fucking sense!”
“Simon, talk straight or shut up!”
Simon Simon: “I just did! unredeemed, they have their own AI(which is all buggy), but its not here, mary sue knows where it is but she is de-.. sleeping; AI dragons incoming, pink stuff, explosions, pew pew” He waves his hands to add dramatic flare.
Ahmose: Mumbles ‘and here I thought the fucking ghost gave me a headache…’
Simon Simon: ”Oh yeah!! And the ghost is walking around killing SSA agents up and down, its making a gory hell out of them.”
Ahmose: *you here the popping of Ahmoses knuckles as she clenches her fists even through her armor *
Simon Simon: He pulls out a datapad with videos and audio recordings of SSA people dying misteriously and horribly.
Ahmose: *then she relaxes with a sigh, rolls her head*
Simon Simon: He smiles to himself.
“I’m thinking of releasing the videos of the SSA attacks and them dying as we go away… chaos!” He giggles.
Ahmose: ”Sure, give them even more reasons to shoot us down”
“If you have a secure way of transmitting you could tell the folks on pearl 7 that we will rush into their arms and could really use a warm welcome”
Simon Simon: Simon shakes his head. “SSA are mercs.. and I think they werent supposed to be doing what they were doing, if anything the videos will at leat give us cover with confusion.”
Ahmose: “Okay, but keep this as an ace in your sleeve for now”
Simon Simon: “Also no one is nice in this place.. if we show them getting mauled their enemies will pop out to party”
Ahmose: “Okay folks”, looks at the new faces “where can we drop you off?”
Alva: Alva lifts his head to look at Simon for a bit, obviously pained that the explanation made no sense to the others. “This dea-” he glances at Simon, then shrugs and continues. “-ead girl here apparently knows a lot about AI’s in the station or system, but she didn’t want the bad guys to get it so she very practically shot herself in the head”
“That was what we were seeing before on the monitor. I tried to stop her, but only managed to ruin a shirt.” The shirt he was wearing that was originally plain white with something resembling a penguin on the front is now painted a dark red. “Then Simon shot me.” He turns to simon with a frown “Why did you do that anyway? You tried to shoot her gun?”
Simon Simon: He looks at Alva with exhasperation in his eyes, then back the team of rugged people behind, and smiles awardly in failed reassurance. “We’ll do what we can to help sue folks..” He turns back.
“Well… you did come out of nowhere! I thought you was one of baddies or something.”
He points at the wound. “That’s a reminder to call before you visit. People gotta tidy up before visits Alva.”
Alva: ”Either way, we were pretty fucked stuck there until Simon reminded me of the pink liquid mother prepared, which is apparently capable of boosting psionics to amazing heights. And giving great headaches. We then fought some guys, and some more guys, and we made it here.” he motions at the video that Simon has ” The as of yet unexplained physical manifestation helped quite a bit”
Lam: “You shot Alva???” Lam lowers her head to the dashboard. You think you can hear “there’s no place like home.” Being repeated over and over
Simon Simon: ”In my defense it was a bit rude to show up unannounced!” He sulks.
Alva: Alva just closes his eyes again and ignores Simon. He mutters something to the extend that he’ll remember that next time, but there’s not much heart in it.
He just seems too tired to care much.
Simon Simon: Simon mumbles, making sure the group behind definitely cant hear. “I might’ve also been aiming at mary sue cuz I said I might go find the AI on my own if she didnt help me…”
Lam: Lam looks at the captain “so are we rescuing these poor gentle cultists from an untimely demise or just gonna abandon them at their time of disco flashing need?”
Simon Simon: ”I’ll tell you all more when we get to the ship away with… more privacy.” “More importantly captain! these people shouldn’t die. They are Unredeemed and gotta be redeemed! Plus … they SSA might be hunting them and they couldn’t make it outside the Bones anyways. I gave them a way to spot SSA attacks but.. with the dragons coming…”
“‘less they wanna stay…” He shivers at the thought.
Ahmose: “You think they’ll survive on pearl 7?”
“I’d rather not take them on board. We are up to full capacity already. But if they no other place to go we can give them a lift to 7 or the gardens”
Simon Simon: ”Compared to the Bones 7’s heaven.”
Alva: “Maybe rent another ship? I doubt 7 extra people will fit?”
Lam: Let’s take them to 7 at least captain! I mean at least they will be kind of safer.”
Ahmose: “We have to make sure they’ll let us dock with those folks onboard”
Lam: Lam shrugs “what they don’t know won’t hurt em.”
Ahmose: “Have you been there the first time we landed?”
Simon Simon: ”They like us now!”
Ahmose: ” let’s try and keep things clean with 7! We need one place to fall back on”
“Yep, let’s try and bring them in as refugees”
“… And hope that does not equal slaves there”
Lam: Lam grins “okay we gotta fly! Let’s go!”
GM: Once past the mess at the spar it is easy driving. Simon Simon releases the comms data to local media and in the resulting (further) chaos your ship slips away unnoticed. No one cares about a lowly utility ship transferring pearls on routine orders when the government of their pearl is teetering
You squeeze the 7 into the hold, it’s obvious they can’t go back
They are not exactly … Welcomed … On pearl 7 but the authorities grudgingly accept them as indentured labourers (that’s two grades up from slavery).
It will cost you about 14000 credits to free them from their bonded labour.
You might want to do that (see below), and you are able to.
So you are able to get back to your quarters with a dead woman and … Loot.
Return to Pearl 7
GM: Let’s discuss the consequences of this little shit show. Then Simon Simon can explain the implications of what he has learnt more thoroughly.
Let’s go in order.
First, lam and ahmose had to stop at a barricade at one point on the way to meet Simon and Alva
There they found a sniper team … Enervated.
The wraith had drifted through. They found three doses of combat drug (Ahmose’s choice, I assume Ahmose gets them) and a drone-linked over-the-horizon sniper rifle. I assume lam wants that.
Additional benefits accruing to ahmose at this point, for this downtime and other stuff so far
• +1 leadership
• +1 to all combat actions in lowlight
• Knowledge (occult; death) 1
Lam gets: +1 endurance
• +1 psionics
• 1 new discipline of his choice
• +1 adherent skill
• A new grace: stealth
• Leadership 0
• A cult of his own
You all get
A ready and waitin ship’s crew of 7 – once you get a ship they can join you
You are all empathy linked now
Which means that so long as Alva is conscious and has at least one point of psionics ahmose gets +1 on leadership and tactics
It also means that certain psionics attacks will fuck you all
And you probably don’t want Alva to die
I think this means that ahmose now will roll initiative bonuses for all of you all the time – an experienced and closely- linked team acts first.
Finally I am going to introduce a new rule for “invoking AI”.
That’s what Simon Simon did.
In future every such invocation will incur a permanent 1 point loss of pantheon attribute.
But as you see it is kind of useful.
Now Simon Simon, wanna start explaining the situation in a way that makes sense!?
If you revive Sue on Pearl 7 Simon Simon, she is yours body and soul
Sue the Unbroken, fanatic leader of the Cult of the Mother
(You are their prophet and she is your right hand woman)
The cult are useless now but need I point out to you that you don’t need credits when you leave here – you can sink any left over into training them as engineers and gunners and medics for your future ship.
Also Heavy Rifle Dude will make a great soldier.
Simon Simon: (We have like 300,000 credits or something… we can get these people in top notch no problem) So, after we are all back in pearl 7 and have cleaned and rested for a while simon will gather them to explain. (Or rather the captain would’ve forced him to speak since he was merry and happy just to chill and spend time with his new following) After repeating himself for 4th time, Simon Simon’s speech slowly starts to make sense.
[GM Note: There followed a long explanation of what happened in the coven, which the other PCs heard for the first time].
Oh and we need to use a box to bring back sue
Ahmose: What? Give up a box for a person that killed herself???
Simon Simon: That has the knowledge of where an AI millenia old is? yup! Simon has no problem giving his up so don’t fret.
(Actually he doesn’t believe it would work till the moment they use it, then he is a bit distressed)
Also! it would’ve been two boxes gone, but Simon Simon and Alva punched through instead of taking the easy route, which is nice cuz now I also have my cult and we have a crew! Cheap loyal manageable one at that
Ahmose: Crew is great … Also an entire crew consisting of peeps following Simon Simon is really disturbing and maybe not what Ahmose had in mind.
I mean are you sure it’s worth to spend a box for someone who rather kills himself than talk? What makes you think she will talk now?
Simon Simon: but I follow you oh captain my captain! So its all alright. I’ll do anything you want. Unless its hard or I dont want to
Lam: Lam is very impressed with Simons story. She looks to the Ahmose “we need to find that magical AI and get the answers captain! But we need a ship! We gotta crew! But now ship! If we gotta a ship…. Nothin in the ‘verse can stop us!”
Yes I got in a firefly quote
The Resurrection of the Unbroken
[GM Note: The team agree to resurrect Sue using Simon Simon’s magic box, which they got from a priest called Michael]
GM: You call Michael but he just tells you not to worry – put the box on her, open it and wait a minute or so.
He says not to look too closely if the injuries are big because it’s not pretty.
Simon Simon: Simon Simon films it then.
GM: And be ready in case she has lost too much brain and needs to be put down again like a dog. Also he strongly recommends against filming it
Simon Simon: Das fuq?
GM: It’s disrespectful to his religion and also, much as people don’t like to watch other people’s death, they get really testy about knowing someone else is watching their own rebirth
Simon Simon: ((his religion is disrepectful to reality… ))
GM: Keep it simple and pure he recommends
Okay so you gather.
Ahmose is ready to kill any unfortunate resurrection byproducts.
Sue is on her back so you can’t see the brain damage.
Fortunately the bullet when in and out clean so it appears not much brain has leaked.
(No one here is really an expert on that topic).
You get out the box.
It’s about 5cm on every side, held closed by a simple loop of some cord, with a fragment of mother of pearl.
There are delicate carvings of stylized waves on it, and it is graded in color from ash gray on top to dark dark blue at the bottom.
You think it isn’t wood – coral maybe ? It’s actually a thing of beauty.
The waves are small, light and swirly at the top near the lid but become longer and heavier near the bottom, really seeming to recall the pattern of currents in an ocean.
You put it on her chest and everyone stands there looking at each other for a moment.
You aren’t used to this shit
Anyone wanna say any last words? If she wakes up wrong and starts clawing madly for her killer this is going to go from a peaceful rebirth ceremony to a brutal hack fest in the blink of an eye.
So if you want to say anything nice now is the time
(I guess I should have mentioned this a few sessions back…)
(Oops dunno how that slipped my mind )
Simon Simon: ”Become Interesting, What is of the Mother shouldn’t die.” Simon says solemnly.
GM: Everyone nods appreciatively. You open the box.
Nothing happens. You stand there waiting
You were expecting a disco glow of whispered children dying or something.
Simon Simon: Simon Simon takes out a cup of ice cream and sits on the edge of the bed.
GM: Your experience of priest magic so far has involved a lot of cold and dying children’s whispers and existential terror, so this is a bit of an anti climax.
Simon Simon: “Thats that then.” And he nods like he knew this would happen.
GM: Then after about a minute the air starts to smell slightly of he sea
Simon Simon: ”And Alva wanted me to DIE! for the Moth-”
GM: At first you think you’re just trying to fool your own senses. Like after you snort cocaine and you keep thinking the effect has started but it’s just your imagination. But it grows until it’s unmistakable.
Then you start to get this unsteady feeling, like the whole earth is moving gently in some way, rhythmically. Except it obviously isn’t.
And you can faintly hear the sea and feel the sun on your skin, real sun, the sun of two bright stars in a different sky, sunlight that sparkles on the waves and the distant white tiled roofs of the coral village, and dazzles you as you scan the horizon for the spout of the onrushing leviathan, spear ready.
Not this pathetic red mockery of a star.
These feelings take about another minute or two to grow, and you are so engrossed in the obvious strangeness and … Rightness … Of it all that you don’t notice time passing.
Then the sounds and smells recede and you do notice sue’s body twitching and then suddenly she gasps a huge breath of air and sits up mouth agape and her head is completely healed.
Ahmose’s hand twitches, ready, but she looks at you all with obvious comprehension
You just witnessed a resurrection.
“Simon Simon?! Jeremy!? We escaped?!”
Then she sinks back on the pillow
“My head really hurts …”
Simon Simon: Simon Simon just sits there with mouth wide open.
GM: (I guess now you all know the difference between black magic and white magic)
Simon Simon: Ice cream melting on his hand.
GM: When Sue sat up the box fell off her chest. It shatters when it hits the floor, suddenly strangely brittle.
Sue looks at everyone staring at her
“I dreamt I was swimming In a deep ocean, in a cathedral of sunbeams. It was so beautiful”
Simon Simon: Simon moves closer, his face very close to her trying to look for the wound on her back.
GM: It’s gone. Just a small scar. She looks really tired though.
Simon Simon: “… incredible…” He says and looks at her smiling. “You are back Mary Sue!”
GM: “Was I injured ? Sorry for my stupidity back there, I just didn’t think we could escape. Where are we? Where are the rest?”
Simon Simon: He looks at the techie. “See? told you. Shouldnt die” He nods af it all makes any sense.
“You acted silly Sue! But now you are back, you are Unbroken! Unbroken Sue.”
“We are safe now, I told you I would help you all, and I did. Your friends are waiting. Techie is here, and the rest wait outside.” He goes to the door and opens it. “She is back! Easy now crew, no big sounds.” He herds everyone in slowly so they can see.
She greets everyone, shaking hands and hugging carefully. Somewhere in all the confusion the fragments of the box get scattered around the room so that even if you tried you couldn’t rebuild it
Everyone is very happy. It’s not clear she knows she was dead.
You leave her to rest for a while.
After a few hours, you can ask questions …
Simon Simon: (I guess we can wait a day or so before interrogations..)
I do sit down with her and explain to her what happened at the bones, I take my time at it too, make sure its none too rushed
GM: She seems to handle it okay
Simon Simon: At some point I ask her if she wants to see the videos, in case its all hard to believe.
Now that you’re out and she’s safe on Pearl 7 a light comes back into her eyes.
It dies a little after she sees the videos.
But she gets busy with her group and it becomes obvious that they are reorienting as a cult based around the Mother.
They are happy to have an AI back and she has changed her mind about visiting the Starred One.
Simon Simon: How does the Mother react to them?
GM: She hasn’t noticed them. There are more humans than stars in the galaxy.She only cares about one. Why waste processor time on the rest?
Simon Simon: Simon Simon still adds their data to the system so she at least knows of them
After a few days, when he sees she is recovered, he’ll pull her aside to ask her some stuff
1. She mentioned the death cult was related to them somehow before the incident, was there something there she didnt told simon before?
2. Who are/were the Elders she tried to contact? And if they are still alive, where are they?
3. Will she tell me where the Starred One is? What else can she tell me about it? What are her plans now for it?
4. What is the cult going to do now? Anything they want from the Mother? Are you still “Unredeemed”?
5. Could they work for their stay here until we find a new ship? Do they agree to join us as crew? Would they be willing to take on training if we paid for it?
6. Any idea why the SSA was hunting them?
1. she guessed that on the basis of what you told her
2. there are two other Elders, she can give you their names and try and find them, but chances are they’re dead
3. The Starred One is on an observation station called Rocannon’s World, a couple of jumps distant from here. She will give you detailed information so you can go there.
4. follow you, into hell if necessary
5. Yes to anything you say, boss
6. No, but as she realized, it only started a few weeks ago, about the time you say the death cult came to the Reach, and she doesn’t know more than that. But it seems like a mighty coincidence that they are being hunted by people who were willing to let a death priest into the gardens, and their own foundation story is centred on the gardens …
Her best guess is that the cult’s leader and the Starred One learnt something important in the Gardens, and fled the Reach with the information
GM: Well if that’s all, I think our downtime is finished …
you all get 2xp for a) cool stuff and b) burning one of your boxes and c) uncovering some information that may or may not lead to something …
[GM Note: And thus ends this downtime, after about a week of intermittent adventuring]