Other Games Intrepid Actual Play: Extraction Site 8

MartinP

Rune Priest
#1
This is the write-up of a game of Intrepid played at the Edinburgh Indie Gamers meetup on 13/04/2019

We started with one of the players declaring that they were in several fantasy games at the moment, so how about a bit of SF? Another player suggested space opera, to which a third expressed a preference for cyberpunk style gritty SF. We decided that our setting would be 'Hard SF', set on a decaying mining station in the asteroid belt.

Game setup phase:
Taking it in turns through each step, the players write down one theme, one character, one location and one faction, and finish by linking one of their elements to one of someone else's elements. We then each create a Quest that may be followed in the next phase. We finished with the following...

Themes:
  • The station is decaying
  • Psionics
  • Contagion is spreading
  • Thorium miners with new mitochondria
  • The Earth is lost
Factions:
  • Miners syndicate.
  • Space pirates Saturday night poker game: a regular poke game attended by pirates, smugglers and the odd miner.
  • Human Rights Watch: a group dedicated to preserving Human Rights in these uncertain times.
  • Smugglers: they just happen to be the source of the contagion on the station.
  • Station Management: they are all secretly psionics.
Characters:
  • Daedalus: a pilot and smuggler.
  • Veronica: the station’s overworked medic, who is investigating the miners’ unusual mitochondria and whom the station management want to silence.
  • Alan: the A.I. that runs the remote power plant for the mining station. He is also the secretary of the Human Rights Watch group.
  • Icarus: an uplifted Orangutang who makes illegal booze and grows drugs in a long-abandoned corridor of the station. He is the barman for the Saturday night poker games.
  • Korrad: a drunken miner, member of the miners syndicate and player in the Saturday night poker games.
Characters that emerged in play:
  • Vasili: enforcer of the space pirates
  • David: Director of electronic systems on the station, one of Daedalus’ bosses.
Quests:
  • Power Plant Blackout
  • Smuggling Live Cargo
  • The Alcohol Is Missing
  • A Misshapen Miner Under Quarantine
  • The Last Ship From Earth
The Geographical and Relationship maps (relationships at end of play):

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MartinP

Rune Priest
#2
Play Phase:
Each player takes it in turn to select a Quest and a character to advance the quest, frames a scene and asks for another player to direct. The characters were shared around, no-one taking ownership for more than one scene. Named characters appearing in scenes were mostly played by the other players rather than the scene director.

Scene 1: Power Plant Blackout #1
Daedalus is flying his transport pod to the power plant to cause a station blackout. Alan detects his pod and contacts him on the radio to ask why he is approaching. Daedalus attempts to persuade Alan he is authorised, but Alan is unconvinced.
An alarm goes off on the pod, telling Daedalus his oxygen stores are nearly exhausted, and aren’t sufficient for the return journey to the station. While he is considering this, he receives a radio message from his conspirators on the station asking if he is still on schedule. He assures them he is. Alan intercepts this exchange from the power plant.
Daedalus docks at the power plant, and as he steps out of the airlock he sees David, Director of electronic systems for the station (and one of his bosses) walking past his docking tube. David merely nods ‘Evening’ to Daedalus and continues on his way. Daedalus is confused, as neither man is normally authorised to be on the power plant.

Scene 2: Smuggling Living Cargo #1
Veronica is called from the infirmary to The Garage, where a cargo container has been spotted unloading unconscious or dead bodies. She rushes down, and meets Korrad the miner, just arrived from a shift and still in his exoskeleton, who is the one who called her.
Veronica spots some bodies are in stasis tubes, floating in medical gel, with tumours growing all over their skin. She attempts to inspect the bodies, but a man with a strangely smooth, angular face stops her, and two station management guards move to assist him. The man picks up Veronica by one hand and tells her to go away.
Korrad is enraged by the manhandling of the medic, and lashes out at the man and the guards with his plasma cutter, resulting in a minor injury to himself and brutal butchery of the others.

Scene 3: The Alcohol Is Missing #1
Icarus goes to tend his stills and his plants, but when he gets there it is all gone! There are traces of the plants and marks where all the equipment has been dragged away. He calls Daedalus for help, who reminds him that Vasili (the enforcer of the space pirates) will be very unhappy if there is no booze for the poker game. Icarus (armed with a very, very large two-handed spanner) and Daedalus (armed with a zero-g nail gun) go into the abandoned corridors of the station following the trail of missing booze. As they get to a hatch it slides open in front of them, revealing an intoxicated miner covered in the remains of Icarus’ weed.

Scene 4: The Alcohol Is Missing #2
The miner is Korrad, stoned out of his face. He couldn’t find any alcohol anywhere on the station, and so raided the weed supplies instead. Korrad takes Icarus and Daedalus to the miners’ alcohol storage, where the daily rations are kept. The storage boxes are damaged and the alcohol is missing. Investigating, Icarus and Daedalus find some fingerprints. A comm to Alan and the calling in of a favour owed to Icarus gets the fingerprints run through the database, which reveals that Veronica has raided the supplies. Korrad rushes off in fury, bursting into the infirmary as Veronica pours the last of the alcohol into a complicated chemical contraption.

Scene 5: Power Plant Blackout #2
Alan watches Daedalus enter the power plant through the security cameras, but is then unceremoniously dumped from the main computers into one of his emergency robot bodies. He is faced by David, who tells him that someone is arriving at the station and so the power must stay on. David orders Alan to kill Daedalus, which is contrary to Alan’s programming. David attempts to override the programming by using his psionic powers through his implants. Instead, Alan transfers his consciousness into David.

Scene 6: The Alcohol Is Missing #3
Veronica tells Korrad she is mixing a cure for the station-wide contagion, but needed all the alcohol that could be found. Sniffing at a part of the apparatus, Korrad gets drunk on boiling gin fumes and strips naked. While he is distracted, Veronica sedates Korrad and comms Icarus, looking for the molecular discombobulator he borrowed months before. Icarus agrees to meet her at his lab, and Veronica rushes over there. When she arrives, instead of Icarus she is met by Vasili with a spanner, who wants to know where his alcohol is.

Scene 7: Power Plant Blackout #3
Daedalus makes his way through the power plant to the control room, using the override code given to him to get through the doors. The control room is strangely modern and new, not matching the state of the rest of the station or the power plant. Through the glass walls, floor and ceiling of the control room Daedalus sees a massive cavern filled with a swirling green light. Ignoring the warnings from the unfamiliar controls that a restart may not be possible, he turns the output of the plant down to 0%. The swirling light goes out and reveals a small pellet hanging in the centre of the cavern, with huge lasers pointing at it. The control room door is forced open by David (possessed by Alan), who reveals that the station can survive for only 30 minutes without the power plant, and the only way to restart it is using the emergency fission pile, which is in a very decrepit part of the power plant.

Scene 8: Smuggling Living Cargo #2
Korrad has butchered the guards at the dock, with some of the splatter landing on one of the bodies and being absorbed. The flesh briefly looks healthy before returning to its diseased state. An alarm is ringing, and Veronica calls Alan to persuade him to delay the arrival of station management. Korrad grabs one of the stasis tubes while Veronica takes biopsy samples from another. The pair run off to another docking bay before management can arrive. There is a shuttle in the hanger bay, where Vasili (again!) is waiting for Korrad to deliver the body to him. It seems Veronica may have been used as a diversion.

Scene 9: The Alcohol Is Missing #4
Vasili threatens Veronica, who tells him he can have the alcohol (more or less) in half an hour when the first batch of the cure is ready. Vasili demand enough of the cure for himself and his crew of pirates, which is more people than the first batch can cover. As Veronica is about to refuse him, a nail is fired into the floor in front of Vasili by Daedalus, who has just arrived. As he stands off with Vasili, Korrad also arrives, high, drunk, naked and still groggy from being sedated. Using the distraction Veronica runs away to try and find Icarus and the molecular discombobulator. Meanwhile, Vasili beats Daedalus and Korrad bloody and sets off in pursuit.

Scene 10: Power Plant Blackout #4
Alan (in David’s body) leads Daedalus deep into the backup reactor section of the power plant. In the control room the panels have all been stripped out, rendering the automated controls useless. Someone will have to go into the chamber and manually raise the damping rods out of the reactor. Two radiation suits are found, one missing the radiation detector and one slightly damaged. Daedalus is given the choice by Alan, and picks the suit without a radiation detector. In an attempt to prevent the loss of human life Alan uses David’s psionic powers to transfer David’s personality to Daedalus. This causes Daedalus to go temporarily insane, but he will recover eventually. Alan goes into the chamber and attempts to retract the rods, but it is more than he can achieve. David’s body is broken and twisted by his efforts. Within 30 minutes the station loses power, and everyone dies.

End of game at about 11pm, roughly 4 hours playing time with 5 players.
 
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