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In Flames – Game One

The In Flames game started with the players being given a hand out that was there mission brief – investigate why a junk station had not reported in for 2 weeks.

Act One – Junkyard

After receiving their mission brief, the characters headed over to the designated area. Once there they found the junk site was abandoned, all the worker puppets seemed to be absent for some reason. A quick search of the UV scanner showed the place to be crawling with scavengers, most of who were Shalk, a short race of Uplifts (genetically engineered species) famed for their skills as mechanics. The players opted for a non-violent approach and used their vehicles PA system to scare off the scavengers.

In Flames

Once inside the junk site the players discovered that someone had re-opened the mine shaft and had, with the help of some heavy machinery, had been excavating the rubbish on the inside. A Tech roll allowed them to identify that the majority of the junk was an old void factory, the orbital stations where the raw materials from Stone are taken to be processed and manufactured into all sorts of goods. This one looked like a model that had not been used for about 100 years so would not have seen the light of day for a long time. On closer examination they found the computer console on the bridge of this void station had been recently removed. But why would someone go to all this trouble to remove the computer from a void station that is likely to have been scrapped over a century ago?

The players also found several smashed up puppets, one of which they knew would be the simulacra, an artificially intelligent puppet in charge of ensuring the other puppets perform their tasks correctly. They managed to collect 12 potential puppets and began the rolls! Eventually they were able to reactivate the correct puppet (although his head was now dangling by a single wire!), and question it as to what had happened here. The puppet replayed them the last images it witnessed, several vehicles arriving at the junk site, carrying several heavily armed soldiers and one man who look like he was in command. The soldiers were all serim, an aggressive race of Uplifts, however the leader was a human who had distinctive tattoos on his face. The soldiers started to attack the puppets and the last image was of one of the soldiers smashing the Simulcra in the face with the butt of his rifle.

This info was relayed back to their commanding officer, who instructed them to travel to nearby Dome City and see why the local authorities had not pursued an attack on their property.

Act Two – Dome City

Dome city is just like it sounds, a city under a dome. A huge facility created by the Opal Mining Group to provide residence for the organic workers stationed on Stone. Artificial atmosphere is pumped in, but that is pretty much the only expense gone to to provide comfort for its inhabitants. As well as dwelling places for workers (and other unofficial resisdents), a large number of mechanics shops and salvage yards make up the majority of Dome City. Residents scavenge the surface of the planet, raiding old mining operations, junk yards and other sources of material (some enterprising gangs will even target operational mines to claim a bigger haul).

The police force in Dome City is provided by Opal Mining Group, under paid and over worked, many of them find a second source of income turning a blind eye to the criminal activities of the residents. And indeed it was one such corrupt official who greeted the players as they entered the city.

*A note to the readers: This is one of those times when you really can’t predict what is going to happen next in a game. I had played that the officer they met would be off no help to them what so ever, the reason being he was knee deep in corruption and the last thing he wants is Unity sniffing around. The players would get the cold shoulder from him and have to go elsewhere for help. That is unless one of the players managed to make a Heroic persuade roll, and what are the chances of that happening?

When confronted with a couple of Unity soldiers asking difficult questions about criminal activity in the area, the officer knew his time was up and now all he could do is damage limitation. He arranged to meet with the players in an hours’ time (telling them it was when he finished his shift but was actually to give himself some time to clear up his mess before these Unity soldiers discover his business) in a bar called “The Neon Light”.

The players decided to stake out the bar first, one went in while one kept watched from across the street, however being in their full Unity uniform, they were not exactly undercover.

Inside the bar there was a group of Serim wearing the same colours and tags as the ones who attacked the junkyard in the video and they appeared to be waiting for someone. As soon as the Serim saw a Unity soldier enter the bar they finished their drinks and left, only to be picked up by the (slightly) less conspicuous soldier watching from the upper walk way. As that group left, another familiar face entered the room, 45 minutes ahead of schedule the security officer walked into The Neon Light, and his face fell when he saw the soldier waiting for him!

The group of Serim left the bar and made their way to a garage in a rough part of the city, a part clearly not visited often by the local law. The garage was full of serim with similar gang colours, with one who was clearly the leader, barking orders at the others and sporting the most impressive horns amongst the group. The player in pursuit crept up silently and over heard them talking about how their “contact” had betrayed them and had reported them to Unity, the one who seemed in charge was telling them they would have to report it to their “boss” who would not be happy. Wanting to question them further, but not get a solid slug to the face, the player changed into his plain clothes and returned to the garage under the guise of a customer. Unfortunately, most of the gang had already left by the time he had changed his clothes and the ones who remained were not looking for new customers. The scene quickly descended into violence, but Unity train their soldiers well and a couple of junker thugs don’t pose much threat to a combat ready soldier. So much so that none of the thugs were alive at the end to spill the beans, so it was back to The Neon Light to see how his partner was doing with the officer, and what was his part in all this?

Back at the bar, the situation had got too much for the security officer (he was getting pounded with Intimidation rolls from the players, it was quite brutal!) and he was pouring his heart out to his new companion from out-of-town. He, and many others in Dome City security, are being paid off by the serim gang. They turn a blind eye to their dealings and in return they supplement the security officers incomes. However, of late the gangs dealings have start to get bigger in scope and have almost completely seized control of one of beanstalks (the giant space elevators that transport the

The police force in Dome City is provided by Opal Mining Group, under paid and over worked, many of them find a second source of income turning a blind eye to the criminal activities of the residents. And indeed it was one such corrupt official who greeted the players as they entered the city.

*A note to the readers: This is one of those times when you really can’t predict what is going to happen next in a game. I had played that the officer they met would be off no help to them what so ever, the reason being he was knee deep in corruption and the last thing he wants is Unity sniffing around. The players would get the cold shoulder from him and have to go elsewhere for help. That is unless one of the players managed to make a Heroic persuade roll, and what are the chances of that happening?

When confronted with a couple of Unity soldiers asking difficult questions about criminal activity in the area, the officer knew his time was up and now all he could do is damage limitation. He arranged to meet with the players in an hours’ time (telling them it was when he finished his shift but was actually to give himself some time to clear up his mess before these Unity soldiers discover his business) in a bar called “The Neon Light”.

The players decided to stake out the bar first, one went in while one kept watched from across the street, however being in their full Unity uniform, they were not exactly undercover.

Inside the bar there was a group of Serim wearing the same colours and tags as the ones who attacked the junkyard in the video and they appeared to be waiting for someone. As soon as the Serim saw a Unity soldier enter the bar they finished their drinks and left, only to be picked up by the (slightly) less conspicuous soldier watching from the upper walk way. As that group left, another familiar face entered the room, 45 minutes ahead of schedule the security officer walked into The Neon Light, and his face fell when he saw the soldier waiting for him!

The group of Serim left the bar and made their way to a garage in a rough part of the city, a part clearly not visited often by the local law. The garage was full of serim with similar gang colours, with one who was clearly the leader, barking orders at the others and sporting the most impressive horns amongst the group. The player in pursuit crept up silently and over heard them talking about how their “contact” had betrayed them and had reported them to Unity, the one who seemed in charge was telling them they would have to report it to their “boss” who would not be happy. Wanting to question them further, but not get a solid slug to the face, the player changed into his plain clothes and returned to the garage under the guise of a customer. Unfortunately, most of the gang had already left by the time he had changed his clothes and the ones who remained were not looking for new customers. The scene quickly descended into violence, but Unity train their soldiers well and a couple of junker thugs don’t pose much threat to a combat ready soldier. So much so that none of the thugs were alive at the end to spill the beans, so it was back to The Neon Light to see how his partner was doing with the officer, and what was his part in all this?

Back at the bar, the situation had got too much for the security officer (he was getting pounded with Intimidation rolls from the players, it was quite brutal!) and he was pouring his heart out to his new companion from out-of-town. He, and many others in Dome City security, are being paid off by the serim gang. They turn a blind eye to their dealings and in return they supplement the security officers incomes. However, of late the gangs dealings have start to get bigger in scope and have almost completely seized control of one of beanstalks (the giant space elevators that transport the

raw materials from the surface to the void stations). Something has changed in their organisation as they have started to refer to a “big boss” who they all answer to now. They showed him a picture of the tattooed man from the security video at the junkyard but he had not seen him before. The players decide the security officer needed to show him the beanstalk or they would turn him in to Unity, he agreed enthusiastically.

Act Three – Stalk 713

Crossing the rough Terrain of Stone is not easy, and it was several hundred miles to the beanstalk, bandits, junkers and other threats lurk round every boulder. However, this journey went fairly uneventfully.

*Note to the readers: I had planned an encounter for them while on the road but events in dome city had taken a bit longer than expected and I was keen to reach the end point by the end of the game. It is always good when players make more of a scene than you expected, some of the best moments in role-playing are when the game gets taken out the hands of the GM by players getting into their characters.

At the beanstalk, at first all appeared normal, but on closer inspection, Serim gang members could be seen throughout the complex. The area was filled with loading and unloading transports, trucks, trainers and tankers transferring their loads to the huge elevators at the base of the stalk; a huge, towering spindle that dominated the sky line for miles around and disappeared into the clear Stone sky. It was quite an impressive site, and the players could help but debated what would happen if it were to snap.

As they were watching they saw the leader of the serims, the one with the impressive horns, entering the main building of the complex with a few of his men. Minutes later they saw a window of this building smashing as the Serim leader came crashing through and fell several stories to his death, apparently the boss wasn’t very happy. As the players were making a plan of how they should proceed, a man who bore a striking resemblance to the man in the video stepped out on to a balcony overlooking the complex and with his back to the stalk. As he addressed the crowd, a silent explosion popped at the top of the stalk just as it disappeared into space. Seconds later a shockwave hit and the whole planet started to rumble, drowning out the mans final words “It has begun”. No amount of driving rolls could save the players as millions of tonnes of metal came crashing down ontop of them as over 5 miles of stalk fell from the sky. The world for them went black......

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