decanox
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Posts: 132
Joined: Tue 04 Jun 2019, 10:14

Re: Suggestions for side missions

Thu 09 Jun 2022, 13:47

The last side mission for now is "Perchance to Dream".

I suggested this mission as a stealth / infiltration job (maybe influenced by many Shadowrun gaming years). PCs didn't know anything about Mishka, Project Morana or any dark job the UPP was doing. They only were sent to Grandhi Domes to investigate a strange UPP company after a UAs informant was MIA. They didn't know that the company is a UPP firm for Project Morana and an android called Mishka has escaped from the building.

I think Grandhi Domes is the perfect location for this kind of mission because: 1) it's not really far from Mount Tithonus base; 2) It reminds me Mars as set on Total Recall 90's movie (and that's really nice for me) and 3) I would use the Hadley's Hope map from the core rulebook as the map for the mission. You only have to suppose that the Hadley colony is a dome where rooms or sections are places for shops, hotels, clubs, brothels, mining companies and the UPP firm.

The PCs spent some "days" investigating the firm and their surroundings. After some questions in shops and pubs they discover that a "strange but beautiful girl" is hidden in a brothel, that some strange men are asking questions with Russian accent and they are looking for someone. Then PCs planned to start moving. They had a brief combat situation (only with small firearms) with some UPP undercover agents while investigating. PCs finally contacted with Mishka and let her go to the spaceport (after some lies). Finally, they infiltrated the firm to steal all data relating project Morana and were discovered by the UPP agents a brief combat ensued and PCs won the day.


All in all "Perchance to a Dream" should be a good side mission to begin (at least as I planned). Difficulty can be managed increasing the number of enemies but as it's exposed on the book (introducing Mishka basically) I would play an easy job here. Some notes about this side mission:

1.- A difficult question is to roleplay Mishka. In my case players were tempted to not let her go because she had a lot of valuable data. Then I had to lie on the fly using some fast talk and her high manipulation value. The lies consisted, for example, in introducing the Ruedi name as high command officer who had an undercover ship waiting for her... PCs were worried about the incoming court-martial and let her go alone.

2.- This mission requires some previous job from the GM. I prepared some NPCs that can be asked by PCs and some results depending on the empathy rolls (similar to Destroyer of Worlds). As I've said this can be a different mission, not mainly focused on combat.

3.- I would use the UPP site as a place to stealth inside rather a place to break using heavy fire. There is a lot of combat in this campaign and I think a different approach is welcome. I used survey cameras, closed doors, etc. to "defend" the site and give some vents as an alternative way to go inside. Something easy but a bit challenging for PCs.

And that's all.
 
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Angelman
Posts: 248
Joined: Sun 11 Apr 2021, 12:46

Re: Suggestions for side missions

Fri 10 Jun 2022, 23:21

I like this a lot, @decanox, and I think I might run something like this after we've completed Blaze of Glory (we're halfway through that one). I love that you use Grandhi here, as that should ramp up empathy for its people for Operation Deep Shaft.

In fact, since my two-players PC group is a bit weird (i.e., a medic and a CBRN specialist, and not at all combat freaks), I might even manage to turn this into an "action doctor drama" kind of thing for my group, which might be interesting. Perhaps, while the riflemen and such are away doing something else on Grandhi, the PCs could be given a special mission to look into something at the dome.

But yeah, I live the original sidemision idea and I love what you've done with it :)
"And the rain sets in,
it's the Angelman.
I'm deranged".
--David Bowie, I'm Deranged
 
decanox
Topic Author
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue 04 Jun 2019, 10:14

Re: Suggestions for side missions

Mon 13 Jun 2022, 10:44

Thanks @Angelman !

As I've said before that's the reason of this thread: the ideas suggested in the colonial marines book are a bit general and sometimes it's difficult to plan anything from a few sentences. I was surprised that nobody didn't have the same problem but with this thread and some really good answers with proposals my problem was solved. So I tell about my side missions now.

It may work, Angelman. It's difficult to play with a medic and a CBRN specialist since they are not focused (only) in combat situations. My "Perchance to a Dream" side mission was intended as a stealth mission but with good companions they can enter the facility and discover important revelations.
 
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Angelman
Posts: 248
Joined: Sun 11 Apr 2021, 12:46

Re: Suggestions for side missions

Mon 08 Aug 2022, 16:53

Hey, y'all!

I've ran a version of Perhcance to Dream with my group and thought I should share my prep work for it. But, I didn't do a full write up before starting play, just enough to get me through the first (of in all three) sessions, and with subsequent sessions I ran this more and more from the hip. So, it starts out as a full and propper write-up, only to descend into random notes and such as the text continues. I'm too lazy to, now that we've finished the scenario, go back and do a proper write-up of it, so my apologies there... In any case, I hope some of you might find this interesting and/or inspiring for your own story.

-----------------------

WHAT’S THE SITUATION, MU/TH/UR?
The USS Tamb’Itam has been patrolling the Frontier for a few weeks since the FUBAR on O’Bannon’s World; MU/TH/UR 9000 flying vigilantly with her crew resting on ice, intermittently awaking the marines for scheduled inspections, maintenance work, or to seek Commander Casados’ advice on issues that the AI is not cleared to make independent decision on. All in all, it’s been quiet on the Borderline front.

At present, the Beta Section has been awoken from cryosleep for their next mission, gathering in hangar bay for their briefing. Also here are Pvt. 1st Class Murphy and L.-Cpl. Schultz, the Alpha Section’s “Bad News” CBRN Team, apparently defrosted for a special assignment away from the rest of their section. Staff Sgt. Szymborski takes the floor:


“Good morning, marines. As you know, the Colonial Marines Corps are at non-war with the UPP, fighting, bleeding, and dying on the Frontier for the peace-loving peoples back home without any additional support or even a thank-you for our efforts. It is a shitty situation that won’t change as long as Defense Secretary De La Cruz and her UAAC are too afraid to declare war on the enemy. But we do not complain! We are marines, not some wimpy pencil-pushers and soft-bellied civilians crying about their rights! We do our jobs without protest, and we do it damn well!

“Can I get an oorah?”

[“Oorah!”]

“While we’re out here fighting this non-war, we’re still obliged to fulfill our official duties, and this one, marines, is one of those… Beta Section, we are approaching the GJ1230AB system where you will make planetfall on Sahara – a terrestrial super-Earth world that is all deserts with 60 Celsius daytime temperatures in the shade and a breathable, dry-heat atmosphere that will slowly boil your lungs. On Sahara, you will test our gear and practice your desert warfare – taking one M577 APC and a Cheyenne dropship, while I commandeer one of the Ridgway tanks that General Vaughn was kind enough to gift us recently. Furthermore, we will also be looking into alledged rogue colonies and pirate groups illegally operating small-scale oil wells in the arid desert.

“And you lot say I never take you anywhere nice…

“Well, here’s some obligatory political bullshit: With the recent Oil Wars having depleted petroleum supplies everywhere, the value of the black gunk has skyrocketed. Sahara is therefore a highly contested world, technically owned by an independent wart-of-a-colony located up on the planet’s only proper moon – the Grandhi Domes Freeport – which, of course, is cushioning up to each and every interstellar super-nation and mega-corporation to stimulate an investment bonanza for the self-governing settlement. The Grandhi Domes Freeport consists primarily of former CANC [Chinese/Asian Nations Cooperative] refugees and UA defectors. They claim absolute autonomy, operating as a freeport catering to any paying spacecraft, an unregulated market open to all, and a sanctuary welcoming outlaws from any nation or company. Soldiers are forbidden from setting foot on Sahara or the Grandhi moon unless expressly invited, and colonial marshals are even denied the power to apprehend wanted criminals anywhere in the GJ1230AB system. The Tamb’Itam has been asked to assist the Grandhi Domes Freeport in hunting down pirate oil-jacks on Sahara as a UA favor to them.

“Of course, with a population of only 1,500 colonists and no military strength to back them, this is all rather ridiculous, as any super-nation could take the moon without breaking a sweat. Doing so, however, would open a particularly ugly can of worms, setting dangerous precedence along the Frontier and breaking a mountain of interstellar treaties. In addition, the colony enjoys a friendly relationship with Weyland-Yutani, who are leasing a large and very profitable sulfate mine called Sonderdatch some 35 kilometers form the Grandhi Domes Freeport. While Weyland-Yutani doesn’t actually guarantee the colony’s freedom, every rivaling oil-hungry faction would hesitate to take any action that could threaten the company’s profit margins…

“So there you have it, Beta Section. We’re doing this by the book, for should particular powder keg of a shitty situation go up in smoke, it’s sure as hell won’t be us setting it off. Am I clear?

[“Sir, yes sir!”]

“As for the Bad News [ i.e., PC band, called Bad News 'cause they're all medics and CBRN specialists only called upon to deal with bad news], I’ve got a special assignment for you. You will visit the Grandhi Domes Freeport itself, carrying only side arms under special dispensation from the colony authorities, to officially assist our dear independent friends with some sticky trouble their struggling with:

“First of all, there’s a flue going around that the Grandhi Sheriff has asked our help with – it’s nothing major, just the common Frontier strain, and in fact it’s only an excuse to get you in the door. In reality, you’ll assist the Sheriff quietly investigating a couple of gruesome murders with a possible UPP connection; yes, the UPP are operating a dream recording plant on Grandhi, producing cryosleep entertainment suitable for space-traveling Progressive Peoples, and apparently there are circumstantial evidence linking the local commies to these murders.

“What’s more, there’s a considerable Church of Immaculate Incubation missionary station operating in the domes, all legal according to local regulations, but in light of the shit you witnessed on O’Bannon’s World, these doomsday cultists are worth looking into. Synth-Roy, who has taken an interest in these religionists, will accompany you on the mission, disguised as a common human grunt and paramedical nurse.

“And finally, you’ll also check in on the local USCMC drafting booth, one of several automated interviewing systems set up all over the Frontier to facilitate our latest drafting initiative – the first one in over twenty years. If we’re lucky, you’ll be able to pick up some fresh recruits for the meat grinder.

“Dismissed!”




WHAT THE HELL IS REALLY GOING ON?
The UPP dreams recording factory at the Grandhi Domes is actually a front for the MSS (Ministry of Space Security)’s Project Morana (CMOM p.174). As a “low-risk” preliminary-stage trial of the proper Morana scheme, the Grandhi plant is secretly testing Xenomorph drone and warrior cryo-dream-recordings on unsuspecting volunteers, to, of course, disastrous effect.

Fortunately, the MSS were not crazy enough to bring a live Xenomorph to the Grandhi Domes Freeport, instead relying on Neuro Visor-recorded dreams, but while there’s no risk of a Xenomorph rampage on the moon, the “volunteer” dream-subjects all suffer catastrophic mental breakdowns, ranging from catatonia to violent schizophrenia to, and in one instance, the complete identity displacement of the subject’s personality by Xenomorph dream-recording’s insatiable hatred for life itself.

Despite the present failures of human psyches to safely endure, and ultimately psychoanalyticaly study, Xenomorph dreams, the Project Morana scientists are not deterred. The work continues by tweaking the dream-recordings and variously attempting to condition the test subjects to better endure the experience, all under the supervision of various UPP synthetics (including Mishka – Weyland-Yutani Ava 8 Series Synthetic Bioterrorist and future leader of the Children of the Two Divines).

Recently, one surviving xeno-dream subject escaped the UPP factory compound during a security system breakdown secretly orchestrated by Mishka. The human psychology scientist synthetic found the test subjects’ reactions to Xenomorph dreams fascinating, and made sure the wrecked woman escaped just to see what would happen. The poor soul – Bak [surname] Son-hwa [f. given name], a UPP flight technician – did not disappoint.

Finding herself recovering from a powerful tranquilizing drugs in a back-alley, Son-hwa could not get the visions of unbridled wrath out of her head. Within the hour, she had bashed to death a low-level ICSC dignitary (one Paul McKenzie, a wine merchant whose only job was to ply whichever Grandhi Dome Freeport official with complimentary high-end wines as a gesture of ICSC friendliness and usefulness), and drowned her pain in the victim’s booze. Sheriff Kramer was slow to react, as in the liberal, near-anarchic colony people are expected to protect themselves from random muggings, so by the time his deputies came looking, Son-hwa had slept it off and was long gone.

By this time, the UPP had taken notice and silent alarms were ringing throughout their compound. Son-hwa’s brother – a SOF (Space Operating Forces) commando named Bak Dong-chul – had already requested and been denied leave to go look for his sister, and soon the frustrated soldier defected the UPP to search for her. By that time, Son-hwa had already killed again, this time strangling to death a random Sonderdatch miner (Axel Young) on leave who happened to be carrying a twin protein-slab burgers (“guaranteed at least 15% actual beef byproduct”) takeaway meal for himself and a mate (Shimabukuro [surename] “Ken” Kenta [m. given name]) – in Son-hwa’s defense, she was very hungry… she even eat some of the man’s face, before finding the takeaway both more delicious and easier to consume.

Having fed, the crazed flight technician hid inside a ventilation duct (where the breathing was good) and slept for a long time, while her brother searched in vain.


LOCATIONS

COLONY SPACEPORT
Each of the three largest Grandhi Domes sits adjacent to a large square-box storage hangar, with an open-air landing pad outside capable of landing ships up to 300 meters in length (so Bisons but not Conestogas). The landing pad is just a level concrete slab with a concrete walkway leading up to the hangar. Grandhi’s microgravity makes transporting cargo from ships and into the storage hangar very easy (a 100 kg container weighs only about 16.5 on the Grandhi surface). In the storage hangars, artificial gravity can be turned on and off, allowing cargo to be moved and stocked in microgravity, and then settled in at higher gravity. The hangar also doubles as a spacecraft repair shop, with spare parts and equipment safely secured along one of the walls.

Unknown to anyone, the murderously insane Bak Son-hwa is hiding in the air vents connecting to the hangar where the PCs arrive. As a UPP flight technician, she feels safe in the familiar environment over the hangar’s spacecraft repair shop.


SHERIFF’S OFFICE
The Sheriff’s Office is literally just an office cubicle with a desk in a small office building downtown. He share the floor with various accountants and corporate types, as various public servants responsible for the colony’s air, water, power, waste disposal, structural maintenance, etc.

Sheriff Richard Kramer (35), a former UA Colonial Marshal who went private 8 years ago (and he has regretted the decision ever since), is the only full-time law enforcer at the Grandhi Dome Freeport. He has a score on-call deputies available on short notice (5 of which are on rotation every week although all 20 could conceivable be called into service in an emergency), usually called upon to deal with accidents and fires.

Adjua (f.) Haynes – Sheriff deputy and “state” employee.

1st victim: Paul McKenzie, 42. A low-level ICSC dignitary here to meet with low-level Grandhi Dome officials about the ICSC desires to lease Sahara for a major oil extraction endeavor. Mr. McKenzie was very well liked around town, as the wine merchant was known to hand out expensive bottles and cases to anyone who let him in the door. Actually, the Grandhi Domes are swimming in quality red, white, and sparkling wines at the moment, along with some very expensive 50-ish year old brandies and Earth cognacs – very pricy stuff. There are no clear motif and no suspects.

Mr. McKenzie appears to have been bashed to death with a rock from the stone-sculpture park (=part Japanese rock garden and part rock sculpture park, depicting happy children playing and smiling adults toiling). It happened in the late evening, 4 days ago, and there were no known witnesses. The rock, which contains the victim’s blood and several good fingerprints (“not in our database”), is not in evidence. Two empty, gift-wrapped bottles of expensive sparkling wine were also found near the scene, (in a nook between some stone sculptures where someone appears to have slept); both bottles were smudged with bloody fingerprints identical to those found on the murder weapon (the blood is McKenzie’s). Nothing else appeared to have been taken from the body, including the man’s fat wallet and expensive watch.

2nd victim: Axel Young, 28. A Sonderdatch miner on leave, killed in the night, 3 days ago. Wayland-Yutani has not claimed the body, instead allowing the Grandhi Dome Freeport to keep him frozen in their mausoleum for the family to possibly later claim him. The company have concluded the case on their end, and are advertising for healthy workers to take over his job.

Mr. Young was strangled to death in a back-alley in the worker district, not far from his rented hotel room (Star Hotel). Furthermore, his face had been mauled, possibly rendered by human teeth (according to Dr. Pisarenko over at the Medicenter). As with Mr. McKenzie the day before, the victim did not appeared to have been robbed, although… according to Mr. Young’s hotel room mate – a fellow Sonderdatch miner named Shimabukuro [surename] “Ken” Kenta [male given name] – Mr. Young had been doing a midnight food run for the pair, but no takeaway was found at the scene. Checking with local food hawkers, Sheriff Kramer quickly established that Mr. Young had purchased two large protein-slab burger meals (“guaranteed at least 15% actual beef byproduct!”) from the Feeding Frenzy fast-food joint nearby.

Circumstantial evidence: Sheriff Kramer suspects UPP involvement: “perhaps a soldier losing his mind and going on a rampage? If nothing else, we know that there was some sort of security incidence at the UPP plant in the hours before the first murder, although they made no effort to warn the public or request my assistance in any way. In the following days, plain-clothes UPP commandos were observed scouring the domes for something; witnesses report them speaking Russian with one another and some of the commandos are well-known as frequent escorts of UPP VIPs and cargo arriving at or leaving the Grandhi Dome Freeport. In fact, the UPP made very little effort to conceal their plain-clothes commandos, perhaps to warn us-in-the-know from staying out of their business. In any case, I am no longer with the UA, but I know which side to lean on if push comes to show… which is why I asked you to come.”


THE GRAND HOTEL
This circular three-story building with a central garden, is where the PCs are lodged, free of charge on the Sheriff’s tab. The name is a (weak) pun on the name of the moon; “Grandhi”. It is also a rather ironic name, as the hotel is anything but grand, just a collection of sleeping capsule “coffin” rooms available for rent. That said, the coffins are rather nice – clean with built-in entertainment screens and lots of storage space underneath (accessed from outside the “coffin”, in the hallway – measuring about 2.5 meters long by 1.5 meter wide and high.

There are ten capsules on each floor, and the PCs are offered coffins on the first floor – numbers 11, 12, 14, 15, and so on (13 does not exist). Unbeknown to the PCs, a central NPC is also residing here, having rented two 3rd story capsules (33 & 34) under a false name (“George Kim”). See the event, “The Brother”.


MEDICENTERS
The Grandhi Domes are woefully understaffed, under-stocked, and underequipped. Originally established by Weyland-Yutani as part of their Sonderdatch Mine leasing agreement, with a single one-room clinic set up in each of the major domes, the Medicenters have since been left to their own devices. Medicines are in short supplies, and the Grandhi Domes Freeport must frequently trade for surplus spacecraft medical gear and drugs, often at exorbitant prices.

At present, a single medical doctor and three assistant nurses service the entire population, and they are all exhausted. Dr. Roman Pisarenko is a 35 year old UPP civilian, who was granted leave to live and work at Grandhi Domes in exchange for sharing medical records with the MSS. Fortunately, the MSS have only requested copies of three journals to date and Dr. Pisarenko is more than happy to get overlooked. (His parents and siblings remain back home, deep within UPP territory, more or less as collateral to keep Roman from misbehaving).

Dr. Pisarenko is desperate for medicines. The latest windfall to the Grandhi Domes brought almost a ton of bandages, disinfectants, and dental hygiene products, but everything from painkillers to antibiotics are in short supply.

Dead Bodies: The Grandhi Domes Freeport does not bury their dead. Instead, they freeze them solid in specially constructed “outdoors”, shadow-crater mausoleum where the temperatures never drops below -120 degrees C. Dr. Pisarenko will let the PCs look at his autopsy journals for the two deceased, but gaining access to the frozen bodies is a bit more of a hassle (requires a successful Manipulation or similar). The deceased are:

1st victim: Paul McKenzie, 42. A low-level ICSC dignitary here to meet with low-level Grandhi Dome officials about the ICSC desires to lease Sahara for a major oil extraction endeavor. McKenzie had been beaten to death on the streets of Grandhi Dome during the night and near a stone-sculpture park, 4 days ago. He was killed with a blunt instrument, presumably the bloody rock found at the site – “You should talk to Sheriff Kramer about that”.

2nd victim: Axel Young, 28. A Sonderdatch miner on leave, was killed the following evening (3 days ago), strangled in a back alley in the workers districts. Mr. Young had also sustained injuries to his face consistent with human bite – “Looks to me like an act of cannibalism.”


PORTMASTERS’ OFFICE
Located in the same building as the Sheriff’s office, but one floor down, the Portmaster’s office has been unmanned for more than a decade (=part of a cost saving initiative). The Grandhi Dome Freeport’s APOLLO AI auto-registers all visiting and leaving ships, but only the bare minimum of details. Any public servant, including Dr. Pisarenko and Sheriff Kramer, can access the Portmaster database from this office. These records include the following data of interest:

USCSS Talaria (see the Taste of Madness side-mission described elsewhere here): This Weyland-Yutani Bison-class freighter was here recently, delivering supplies to the Sonderdatch Mine. Two scientists, Dr.s. Velma Liu (xenolinguist) and Deol Chalwa (xeno-ethnomusicologist), who had partaken in the Geholgod Institute xeno-archaeological survey program (see “The Dig”), were scheduled to leave the Grandhi Dome Freeport aboard the Talaria. The records doesn’t show whether they actually left, but everyone assumes as much. (In fact, they did, and the Talaria was bringing the doctors and some minerals from here to the Anesidora Colony on Pandora when their ship was hijacked during the A Taste of Madness side mission detailed elsewhere. Also see the Frontier War Mission 4 – Operation Go Fish).

It was while working at the Geholgod dig, that Maitland encountered the UPP synthetic Mishka and struck up a kind of synthetic friendship or alliance. In short, Maitland, encouraged Mishka’s interest in Engineer worship and the manipulation of humans through religion. So fascinated did Mishka become, that she started experimenting behind her superiors’ backs, leaking snippets of xeno-dreams to the Stygian Church just to see what happened.

SS Penitent Man: This privately owned Corvus Salvage Vessel visited the Grandhi Dome Freeport for the first time five months ago, staying for a week. Officially, the ship came for a check-up and underwent some minor repairs and maintenance work.

While they were there, their captain, J. R. Fields, visited the Stygian Church of the Final Days, entering into a heated theological debate with Reverend de Oliveira about the finer points of the coming apocalypse and mankind’s role in it – several of the Penitent Man’s crew were also baptized into the Stygian Church while they were here. In addition, Fields visited the xeno-archaeological survey out on the Monroe Plains, surprising the scientists with his layman’s understanding of their fields. While there, MSS (UPP Ministry of Space Security) spies planted in the science expedition took note of Mr. Fields and his seeming understanding of the XX121 species; Miskha was set to analyze the MSS informants’ report and she grew fascinated by this religious community that seemingly worshipped the same alien species that Project Darkstar was studying.

Having first come here, the SS Penitent Man seemed unable to stay away, and the ship returned several times over the following months. Each time, J. R. Fields would visit the dig and argue with the Stygian Church. Three months ago, Reverend de Oliveira discovered some neuro-recordings left on his doorstep, and quickly found them to be both mind-expanding and soul-crushing at the same time; whatever they were, these neuro-recordings gave the dreamer experiencing them glimpses of a terrible divine wrath poised to destroy life itself and bring about the end of the universe. When he brought the subject to Fields’ attention, their row escalated and Fields attempted to snatch the dream-recordings from the Stygian Church, but was unsuccessful.

The last time they visited, Fields learned about Drs. Velma Liu (xenolinguist) and Deol Chalwa (xeno-ethnomusicologist) getting ready to leave the Grandhi dig for Pandora, and Fields hatched a plan. A handful of his crewmembers made a show of breaking with him and going over to the Stygian Church, to infiltrate Reverend de Oliveira’s congregation. They were successful, and soon enough received the “sacrament” of xeno-dreams, which broke their already drug-weakened minds completely. When finally the USCSS Talaria arrived to pick up the two doctors for transport, the “ex”-Penitent Man crewmembers offered to enlist with the Talaria on low-paying contracts (=offers too good to refuse), to orchestrate the Children of the Two Divines’ hijacking of the Talaria
--[PROBLEM: The Children doesn’t know about the doctors! REWRITE! What were they after, really? Just the nerve gas? Perhaps Reverend de Oliveira sent dream-recordings along with Talaria, postmarked fellow Church of Immaculate Incubation cultists? Tweak so that Fields discovers the dig by accident, has a row with and then infiltrates the Stygian Church early on, learns that USCSS Talaria is in cahoots with Geholgod and Weyland-Yutani and plans to hijack the ship once the shipments is usefull, and then has his Stygian Church infiltrators steal the church’s dream-recordings and escape onboard the Talaria (=this takes the recordings away from the PCs hands, which helps retain the mystery – so there are NO available recordings currently). make this elegant and proper Master Mind-y.]
, and no cargo delivery or pickup is listed with their entry. (In fact, Grand Seer Jannes Reudi Fields of the Children of the Two Divines was here for a friendly meeting with the local Church of Immaculate Incubation – see The Stygian Church).


THE STYGIAN CHURCH OF THE FINAL DAYS
This Church of Immaculate Incubation missionary station was established only two years, and is actually one of the first Frontier churches ordained by the fledgling cult. The chapel remains small, however, although it has had some success converting locals to its faith. Pirate copies of Robert Morse’s Space Beast are printed in large quantities at the unregulated Grandhi Domes Freeport, and in fact, this production of cult material is the main purpose of the local cult, their holy mandate, so to speak.

The Stygian Church of the Final Days is run by Reverend Camilo de Oliveira, a UA (=Brazilian) electrician who found religion in the darkness between the stars. Feeling a profound pull towards spirituality, Camilo flitted from religious group to religious group, from cult to cult, for years before finally finding his own truth with Robert Morse’s banned Space Beast book last year. Being well versed in fringe Frontier faiths, it didn’t take him long to find the Church of Immaculate Incubation, and now his life is complete. He serves faithfully as he awaits the coming of the Endtimes, and Camilo is convinced that the recent outbreak of war along the Frontier was the beginning of the end.

Church of Immaculate Incubation
--Adam SOMETHING, the engineer of the USCSS Talaria let himself be bapthized/initiated/whatever, shortly before the ship left for Pandora.
--The priest/minister had a short Xeno-dream recording, left on his doorstep one night (he assumes it’s from the UPP dream-record plant). It was really dark stuff, however, and he was uncertain what to do with it – it could potentially be a holy sacrament of some sort, or it was a warning of the end time. In any case, the recording was stolen around the time when John Adam joined, along with cult material and correspondences with Children of the Two Divines people.
****Recording gets leaked to Church of Immaculate Incubation, news spreads and J.R. Fields soon arrives to investigate, Camilo refuses to turn the recording over to Fields and a row occurs (Fields tries and fails to steal it), later, Fields then instructs Talaria machinist Adam to join the cult and steal the recording, which he manages.

THE DIG
Out on the Monroe Plains, some 13 km from the Grandhi Domes, stretches some curious mound-like geological structures thought to be artificial pre-human constructions. These structures ranges from between a dozen centimeters to half-a-meter high, most stretching straight across the landscape, although some seem to form abstract figurative designs: In particular, the Heavenly Bird or Simurgh (looks like a bird silhouette when viewed from above), the Twin Moons or Sun Boat (resembles a crescent moon and a full moon grouping), and The Axe (a straight line running through an oblong square) are striking examples. Their similarity to the Nazca Lines in the Peruvian highlands on Earth are unmistaken (although the Nazca Lines are bedrock-carvings and not mounds), but the while the scientists all suspect these lines to be “man”-made, an official ruling, or even conclusive evidence, have yet to be made.

The dig is centered upon a parked Bison-class freighter – The SS Ennoia (“thought/notion/design”) – which functions as the scientists’ field base and habitat. Several pressure tents and umbilical corridors extend from the ship’s airlocks, allowing safe access to the Ennoia as well as emergency shelters in the case of accidents. (This is the ship that Mishka will later use to escape the GJ1230AB system and go searching for a home with the Children of the Two Divines).

From here, the pressure-suit wearing scientists and field workers survey the mounds, with three test trenches dug across a particularly prominent straight-line feature.

Dr. Reginald Ferguson. Current science boss.


RECRUITMENT BOOTH
--Lots of prank entries
--Bak Dong-chul offering to surrender to the UA if only they help rescue his sister: My name is Bak Dong-chul, soldier with the UPP. I want to defect to America if you only help me find my sister. The MSS bastards did something to her, destroyed her mind, and now she’s hiding somewhere. Find me at the Grand Hotel, room 33 (i.e. 3rd floor).
--Jonathan Baptiste, Geholgod statistician and site manager at the Monroe Plains dig. Currently under investigation for various illegal activities connected to a rogue Geholgod Institute off-the-books project involving anonymously financed experimental bio-chemical research and human trials. 3WE. (Probably the same project that the Heart of Darkness PC, “professor Birger Hedenström” was arrested for [probably right around now in the timeline]). Knew Drs. Lie & Chalwa, were deeply involved with top secret research initiatives – it was all very hush hush.


EVENTS

THE BROTHER
--Bak Dong-chul (North Korean) claims, in the Recruitment Booth, that he’s hiding out in sleeping capsule number 34 at the Grand Hotel. While he has indeed rented 34, he is actually hiding out in 33, keeping an eye on the neighboring capsule and the stairs and elevator (viewed from the capsule 33 looking hole).
--Knows that the UPP have begun a costly bioweapons program – Project Darkstar.

THE SISTER
--Bak Son-hwa (North Korean). Completely out of her mind (personality destroyed and replaced in parts by the being of pure hate [=XX121 drone] whose dreams she was forced to suffer)
--"I have so much hate inside of me, so much anger and destruction. Like an itch that need to be scratched."
--"I can’t control it! I am destruction!"


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Sorry about anything not making sense here, guys...

My other side-missions, including A Taste of Madness, can be found discussed here:
https://forum.frialigan.se/viewtopic.php?t=9140
"And the rain sets in,
it's the Angelman.
I'm deranged".
--David Bowie, I'm Deranged

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