That’s right readers, we actually gamed last night. Josh was kind enough to put together a 1-shot Deep-Space Exploration Horror session.
Of course, we didn’t know this starting out so we :
a) Started out the session by singing Karaoke Revolution: Country for about 1.5 hrs.
1) Wendy knows too many country songs
b) Upon receiving our 1-shot “character sheets” started filling in character skills as though we were actually playing S.P.A.N.C. instead of “Event Horizon.” (To be fair it was mostly Wendy, Paul, and Mike)
Tone issues? Us? Never. Never ever. No, no, no, no…
Thing A (Wendy) awakens in a strange coffin-like object, and eventually remembers enough to open up her [ed. “Bod-E-Grow” ™] viscous liquid vat and crawl out. After touching various lockers with names on them, it discovers that its name is “Erika Merrill” and apparently is the rank of captain. Captain Merrill then figures out how to use the view screen that is beeping “Alert Captain Merrill”, and reads that the ship has recieved a distress call and has created new bodies for the captain and 4 other crew members. As Download Aphasia starts to wear off, Captain Merrill remembers that she is the Captain of the Farseeker, a deep space exploration ship. Captain Merrill then sifts through her possible team members (there are 13 other consciousnesses that are downloadable) and chooses 3 to aid her in answering the distress call.
Leah Harcourt – Medic
Tomiko Watanabe – Communications
Kurt Bellagio- Engineer
Poor Captain Merrill didn’t quite take into account what the idea of 3 comely women and 1 dumpy engineer on a deep space voyage would bring to mind, however, and thus the tone started going pear-shaped.
Mad-Skillz such as “Seduction”, and “Melee Weapons: Monofilament Whip” were taken, and certain necessary skills were left out like “Melee-Weapons: Ripper Chainsaw”, and “Heavy Weapons: Rocket Launcher”. These oversights would come back to haunt the party later.
The party then coalesced in the Bod-E-Grow vats and the crew emerged, naked and covered in viscous liquid and… wait what are we playing? Tone, right…
The ship dropped out of otherspace into normal space nearby the distress beacon. In the viewfinder was a First-Empire colony ship. A giant sub-lightspeed generational ship measuring 100km in diamater. Oddly, but apparently not oddly enough for the crew to notice, a 3rd Empire (current time) distress beacon was active somewhere on the ship. The crew docks the ship, and exits to answer, wearing Evac-suits, just in case. Of course, Tomiko is wearing a very spiffy tight black number which is very stylish. Leah decides to go with a nice white suit with Pink Hearts and stars, with plush little cat-ears on the helmet. Just a fantabulous looker really… wait, what? Tone, right…
The crew goes through the airlock to find the inside of the colony ship still containing atmosphere and while somewhat unkept, still seems functional. Just… nobody. So the crew starts walking. And walking. And walking. Did I mention that the ship is 100km in diameter? We come across a small transport cart and all jump in, so we increase our speed from 3mph to the immense 5mph speed of the cart. Still better than walking. Kurt sets his scanner to keep track of the distress beacon, while Leah sets her bioscanner to look for any life. Soon the party comes across a human-looking body face down. Leah jumps out and turns over the body to find that it has a skelletal face and its chest ripped out. Eeeew. But as a trained Medic, Leah is able to determine that the large bit of missing chest was not caused by natural causes, but by some sort of violence, shrapnel, etc.
Hmm. Maybe not so much of the fluffy space adventure in store for the party today.
Shortly thereafter, the party was attacked by a large cargo robot bent on the party’s destruction, wielding large claws designed for moving… well… cargo. Due to some deft dodging and precision blaster fire, the party managed to disable their attacker, allowing the engineer to extract its processing core for further investigation when he gets back to the ship. [ed – Note this important plot point]
The party continues down the main corridor following the beacon until it reaches a closed blast door. Apparently there has been some sort of damage to the far side of the blast door that has vented that area to space. Party, miffed but undeterred, backtracks to try and find a way around the obstruction. To aid them, the engineer jury-rigs the cart to go yet faster than its blazing 5 mph to a screaming 15 mph. Steam pipes fly by.
Unfortunately, the extra speed also subtracts from the party’s ability to spot large menacing robots, and one large cargo arm comes out of a side-corridor.. smashing the cart into a pile of rubble and sending the party rolling along the corridor. The party fires, unable to hit the robot in a vital area! The robot swings! Misses! The party fires! The robot dodges… its main power core into the way of a blaster bolt! Cries of “I hit it in the fumble!” are heard from an excited Leah! Apparently everyone should have been putting pink hearts on their Evac-suits.
Hmm. Possibly still having tone issues… 🙂
But not for long. The intrepid adventurers are now rideless, and their vivisected robot brain has been ruined as well, so once again, the party sets out on foot, further into the colony ship to try and get around the corridor damage.
This area is actually lit, so the party de-stresses a bit, opening a large door looking for more (circumfrential?) corridors to take them to the distress signal. Bad Idea. Finding a cargo-hold, unsuprisingly leads to another confrontaton with a killer cargo-robot. This time, the party is not so lucky. First swing by KGR-1 crushes Kurt across the hall, leaving a large gash in his chest and a collapsed lung. Captain Merrill and Tomiko spring into action while Leah tries to stabilize the severely injured Kurt. Tomiko, then sustains a broken arm before Captain Merrill can take out the robot. After keeping Kurt from immediately dying, Leah heals Tomiko’s arm, and really looks at her for the first time and notices that she’s sweating after all that exertion… and… wait, what? Oh, right tone again.
Kurt is unable to be healed without signficant medical facilities, so while Captain Merrill covers the door and Leah contines to minister to Kurt, Tomiko does a little scouting. Further ahead, there is another destroyed robot, surrounded by corpses in armor with heavier weapons. Tomiko returns with the bad news. Merrill and Leah have put together a makeshift gurney out of cargo dollies, and the party moves out, looking to find a medical facility for Kurt.
Apparently the armored men were attempting to defend the local medical medical facility, as just beyond the pile of corpses was the hospital. The party enters, sets Kurt up to start healing, and tries to go through the Medical Logs to find out what happened. The communications officer, not being familiar with First Empire languages, has worked out enough that she’s able to determine the gist of the messatge is “If you can read this, you’re already doomed.” This doesn’t seem to bode well. Kurt is eventually healed up enough to move, and the party trudges back to the ship to try and decode more entries and possibly fly the ship around closer to the distress beacon.
Leah decides that “you’re already doomed” is probably a bad thing and scans Kurt (the only one who’s been exposed to the atmospere so far). Oops. Something bad™.
Fortunately for the party, without a functioning Evac suit, Kurt is unable to traverse the Vacuum to the ship, so the party goes back to the ship and Kurt waits for the party’s immediate return.
Leah runs a full decontaimination on the remaining members before they enter the ship. The party is somewhat distressed by this. Leah expains that Kurt has been infected by Zombex-7. Zombex-7 was a militarily engineered airborne virus which causes its victims to quickly become homicidal. They get to keep their knowledge for a period of a few days before their brain eventually deteriorates and the victim becomes a mindless zombie. The escape of Zombex-7 has been attributed as a key to the downfall of the First Empire. There is no cure. The entire atmosphere of the station is infected.
Discussions go on. Kurt wonders why the party is taking so long.
The scout ship is unable to actually destroy the ill-fated colony, but it might be able to destroy the distress beacon so that it would be unlikely that anyone else would stumble on to the colony ship.
However, should Kurt become homicidal (which he should be doin any minute), he’d be able to use his knowledge of the ship’s systems to kill the rest of us. The plan is formed. We must convince Kurt that we’re dead.
Not a lot of tone problem anymore.
Tomiko, pursuasive vixen that she is, radios to Kurt that we’re under Robot attack. Cries of “Oh, no, it’s awful! Captain! Argh, glurg, blurble… ” convince Kurt that the remaining crew is dead. Its a shame since they’d be awfully fun to kill. Hmm. Where did that thought come from? It would be kind of fun now that you mention it though. Maybe there’s someone else left alive to kill. It’s a large ship, and there is that distress beacon after all. I guess if worse comes to worse, there’s the robots…
Maybe the robots weren’t the killerz after all.
The party waits a while, then flies the ship out of the docking bay over to the distress beacon, which apparently is a 3rd Empire Corvette. The Corvette fires on the scout ship, which deftly dodges and disables the auto-defense fire.
It then contines pounding on the Corvette until the distress beacon stops.
The party slides into the blackness of otherspace.
Kurt begins hacking into the colony ship’s systems…