“Janus” Mothership Campaign – Session 4

Session alternate title: “Cubic Worsening”

The crew this time consisted of:

Aeris (Teamster)
Billy Ray (Marine)
BR3ND4 (Android)

Dr Wilson stayed back on the ship, both because the player was unavailable this week as well as because that’s his nature.

Narrative

The crew finished up some business on Prospero, namely the cyber mod installations for BR3ND4 and Billy Ray. When they showed back up at the Chop Shop, Zhenya showed them to their respective rooms (one next to a surgery bay with QUARANTINE signs all over it). BR3ND4 had a small directional light and a camera installed in her head next to an eye and Billy Ray wanted a Lumetat – basically a special tattoo that looks like a blinking neon sign.

The beds themselves more closely represented highly-evolved dentist chairs with built-in virtual assistants. The displays not only showed manuals and steps for the installation to Dr Babushka while she worked, they also handled most of the patient interaction before and after.

Microsoft Clippy
“Hello! It looks like you are recovering from an installation! Would you like some help?”

Back at the ship, Aeris found another android waiting for her on the dock. He introduced himself as IX-425 and presented credentials demonstrating that he had been assigned by the Drex Corporation due to concerns about their investment in the asset (as in, they’re the lien holders on the ship). The android, who Billy Ray later nicknamed “Icky”, emphasized that he’d stay out of the way as much as possible and that he knew everyone else was more important than him. ((As contractors come with “1 piece of armor, 1 weapon, and 1 tool that would be suited to their profession”, I substituted his chassis, using his appendages as a Stun Baton, and his full complement of maintenance manuals as a tool.))

While underway, BR3ND4 and Aeris both managed to relieve some of their stress now that they were off the station. Billy Ray still had some lingering paranoia and just couldn’t shake that enough to relax.

NB: The rest of this post contains spoilers for the “Silo-15” Mothership adventure in Dissident Whispers.

On approach to Silo-15, they received a burst transmission from “Dave”, who identified himself as running the “Ol’ Timey Meat Emporium” on Station 472. He hadn’t heard from Silo-15 or its management at Bicycle Day Corporation and needed to get his shipment of “pHaRmAcEuTiCaLs” as quick as possible or he’d have customer troubles. If they could bring it to him, then he’d “make it worth their while”.

The station appeared structurally intact, fully powered, and infrared scans indicated that folks were potentially still moving around. They disembarked with the cargo in the single docking port the station provided. Inside the station, the atmosphere was breathable but a bit warm and they could hear a soft whispering sound from elsewhere. Emergency lighting provided minimal illumination for the strands of silky black hair floating everywhere. ((Fear save time! I did not have BR3ND4 take [-] due to the presence of an NPC Android here. More on that in Feedback below.))

The plaited hair of the bog body known as "Arden Woman", also known as "Bredmose Woman".

They entered a large space with flashing lights, pounding dubstep, and hair about a foot long on nearly every visible surface. This time, everyone failed their saves, and Billy Ray realized he really really doesn’t like hair as he panicked. BR3ND4 replaced the music with her own demo tape of space whale songs, the crew more or less pulled themselves together, and proceeded to the next room between them and the delivery area.

The next room had lots of busy computers humming away with bicycle logos on their screen savers and, incredibly, huge lice skittering around everywhere. The five insects took a round or two to notice the group, then started heading towards them. This fight went poorly before the crew managed to disengage; BR3ND4 and Billy Ray both took bleeding wounds from the armor-piecing probosces on the lice.

Finally they arrived in a drug lab where they saw a shipment prepared for “Station 472 c/o Dave’s Ol’ Timey Meat Emporium”. They didn’t really want to return back to the docking port the normal way, although after a moment they saw people outside the room door.

Well, they thought they were people. The door burst open and two things came through, looking like someone had assembled a poor parody of scientists by stitching together clothes, miscellaneous body parts, and various pieces of scientific equipment, using the black hair that covered so much of the station interior. More hair stretched from the walls to control these horrifying puppets and the crew decided that this room was a good place to turn into a new station exit. Aeris panicked a bit and lost confidence in her abilities with industrial equipment.

Billy Ray held them off while Aeris carved a new hole in the station wall with her laser cutter, then he snipped their control hairs and everyone held on while the room decompressed. The spacewalk along the station was secured by mag boots but still caused significant stress.

All told:

  • BR3ND4 took 7 stress total and lost a wound
  • Billy Ray took 7 stress total plus a condition and lost a wound
  • Aeris took 9 stress total and a condition

BR3ND4 fired off a message to Bicycle Day: “We were unable to make contact with any person, but we delivered the cargo to the correct room. Bicycle Day Corporation should send representatives to check on the station. Please send our payment. Okay bye!”

They estimated (probably correctly) that they would have lost a crew member or two trying to go back through the station. No repercussions could possibly come from cutting that hole… right?

Feedback

Before any system testing feedback: Silo-15 is great. From the moment I read it in Dissident Whispers, I knew I’d want to run it at some point. Huge props to Sigmacastell and junkgolem for a fantastic little adventure site with just the right balance of horror and debauchery. I’ll be using more DW material for the next week or two as well.

I still need to tweak Shore Leave some more, particularly in conjunction with the Debt mechanic. The crew finds it just a little more difficult to heal wounds, conditions, and stress than we’d like. It should still create pressure from contract to contract, but at this rate they’ll burn out before they even get to four or five missions.

We also paused for a brief moment on whether an Android takes disadvantage on fear saves when another android is present. I ruled “no” in the moment but made clear I reserved the right to change that for the future once I could think about it some more. That still remains unclear in my mind and I’m going to consult with the broader community, as (at least in our circumstance) there are reasons to go either way.

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