Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Spin My Nipple Nuts and Send Me to Alaska

Yellow Sun

Season I, Episode 1
"It All Ends Here"

Part 5
'The Conclusion'


[You can catch up on the full first session recap with these posts:

Fun, Fun, Fun, In The Sun. Sun. Sun.
Everyone is Dead Mitchell
Shipwrecked and Comatose
Let Me Fly Far Away From Here

or by clicking the tag 'Yellow Sun'. 

OK, here we go...]



***


Chicken had made it to the galley of the Nova 8 and after a desperate search for pretzels, she came upon a talking metal box that had clearly seen better days. In a voice small, exhausted, yet strangely hopeful, the box asked the age old question that had plagued Humanity for untold millennia. 

"Would you...would you like...*child like weeping*...some toast?"

"Sure! What's toast?"

"What? What's toast? It's grilled bread. The bread becomes warm and crunchy...and..."

"BREAD! I love bread!", says Chicken excitedly, "And you can make it warm? And yet crunchy like a pretzel? WOW! I think we are going to be great friends. I'm Chicken!"

*Sobbing and giggling with happiness* "I'm Talkie, the Talking Toaster. Bless you Miss. Bless you."

Meanwhile, the rest of the group were in the forward section of the Engine Room; the front of the rear one might say. They found the Fuel Pods nearly full and intact, though the Drive Section itself was a total wreck. Large, sharp rock formations had gone right through it. Wilder instructed ARTHUR and Webb on how to safely remove the Pods and get them ready for transport. 





The Space Corps Deep Space Explorer Nova 8 in its heyday.



Basil walked over with some suitcases and told the team he was prepping everything for evacuation of his crew. He still had some luggage to pack however. Wilder explained that they'd load everything onto the Starbug and transport it up to the Yellow Sun when the evac was complete. He suggested Basil start moving the luggage to the Starbug now while the Fuel Pods were being removed. Basil thought that an excellent idea and left to get started. 

The gang (minus Chicken) begins to discuss their situation. Something is clearly wrong with Basil and there are a number of details left out of the information they received on the Nova 8 they'd like to have filled. Unfortunately, the priority has to be obtaining the fuel, so they start lugging the Fuel Pods to the airlock when suddenly Bennett appears on a wall screen near them. Wilder salutes, "Yes Bennett? Is there something we can help you with?"

"Hmm? What? Why did I...Oh Silicon Heavens yes! Basil isn't here correct?" The group confirms he is not. "Good. You must be most careful around him. He's a few triangle sandwiches short of Afternoon Tea if you catch my meaning. He can be quite dangerous."

Wilder and Webb exchange glances. "The crew of the Nova 8...did he kill them?"

"What? No, no. He wouldn't. He couldn't. But...if you press too hard on the fact that they are in fact very much dead he'll go into an absolute frenzy. You are not his crew and he might harm all of you."




Nova 8 Crew Uniforms and Mission Insignia Patch



"Hello? What are you all talking about?"

The gang looks up to see Basil putting down too large suitcases and titling his head in query. 

Webb and Wilder whisper, "Nothing about the Nova 8 crew's...condition. Got it?"

"Absolutely. They are as fit as I feel", remarks Webb with an eye roll. 

Wilder returns to normal volume, addressing the Mechanoid with, "Almost finished Basil? We're ready to move the Fuel Pods."

"Certainly sirs. Just one more set of luggage and then, if you would be so kind, you can help me escort the crew to your shuttle."

"Sure", says Webb, then whispers from the corner of his mouth, "does anyone have a vacuum?"

Just then Chicken comes up from behind Basil, a piece of toast in one hand and bread crumbs all over her face and hands. "Hey guys, you're not going to believe what I found! It's a toaster. It makes toast! Which is really warm, crunchy bread. Also, I think the entire crew of this ship is dead."

Basil begins to twitch and tremble. "What...wh-wh-wh-what did you say Mum?"

"She's right ya know. They're dead", says ARTHUR matter-of-factly, clearly having missed the memo. 







Basil's eyes and the circle on his lower abdomen began to glow a bright yellow-white, with the latter blinking on and off. He took a swing at Wilder but it passed right through the Lieutenant's Soft Light form. Basil jabbed his other fist at Webb but missed as Webb ducked and ARTHUR moved to intercept.

Chicken began screaming and waving her arms around and just as she planned it distracted Basil enough for ARTHUR to pin his arms in a bear hug. OK, a Robot Bear hug. As Basil flailed about shouting things like, "How dare you!" and "No! Na-Na-No! My sweet crew!", Webb got in front of the maniacal droid and saw the blinking disk on him blink faster and faster. Gulping down his instinct to run, Webb pressed hard on the disk which appeared to temporarily knock Basil 'unconscious'. 

After a minute or so Webb pressed the button once more, gently this time. Basil woke seconds later, seemingly alright, until another whispered comment about the crew almost set him off again. This time Webb pressed the disk right away and did not touch it again.

The team moved back up the vessel's length until they had reached the bridge. Calling up Bennett, he appeared looking even more tired, barely lucid, and pale. When the group asked what had actually happened here, how did the ship crash, when did it happen, and was there anything that could be done about Basil?

At first Bennett seemed not to hear them, asking "Who's that? Who's there? Speak up!" When the gang identified themselves yet again Bennett remembered but said that without the fuel and with the damange and the years he was not going to make it. He did reveal some very useful information however. The ship crashed in the 24th Century, some 200+ years after the Yellow Sun's accident. The Nova 8's Computer Archives would contain information and technological advancements considerably ahead of the Yellow Sun's databanks. 

In addition, an operators and maintenance manual in storage on the bridge and in the data records might be able to help with repairing Basil if the group chose to do so. 

With that, Bennett said his farewells and faded from the screen. The gang worked fast to download as much information as possible before the entire system went offline for good. Luckily they managed to find the physical Mechanoid Manual though there was some debate over whether it was too little too late. 

Webb reactivated Basil and told him that the Nova 8 was so busy with their scientific work, it might be best if they stayed on the planetoid to complete their research. If that was the case, it only made sense for him to stay as well as they would need him to take care of things. The cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.

Basil seemed a bit delirious but remained calm as Webb spoke. He eventually smiled and told Webb what a splendid idea that was. Webb then convinced him he might want to enter a Rest and Recharge Mode, go offline for a bit, as he had a lot of work ahead of him. Basil agreed and waved goodbye to Webb and the others as he appeared to enter what appeared to be a robot coma. 

As Webb started to leave, ARTHUR asked what was going on. He became rather cross when he gleaned the intention was to leave Basil behind. Wilder and Webb both thought it best but ARTHUR disagreed.

"Is that it then? Robot a little damaged so we leave it to rot do we? Don't worry we'll get a new one? Find a better model? No sense fixing this one is that it? Typical Humans."

With that ARTHUR placed the manual and Basil on a hand-truck and wheeled him through the wind and grit back to the Starbug. He intended to make repairing Basil a personal pet project of his. 

When the gang finally returned to the Yellow Sun they were met a the doors to the Hangar Bay but a half dozen Skutters who took the luggage, as the suitcases had indeed been loaded onto the Starbug and, well what the hey, right? ARTHUR took Basil to the Robot Repair Bay and the others moved the Fuel Pods down to engineering. 

Sometime later the gang regroups in the Yellow Sun's Drive room [wherein the greatest, most unexpected thing happens that sets the theme for the campaign going forward]. Webb says that with full power restored the ship can now change course and take the gang back to Earth, assuming there is an Earth to go back to. 

Wilder on the other hand has a different idea. He asks ADAM if he detected the Red Dwarf at any point in the past three million years while Webb was in Stasis. ADAM says no. No sign of the Red Dwarf was every found.

"Then our mission isn't over. The Yellow Sun was dispatched to locate the missing JMC mining vessel Red Dwarf and we haven't yet. We will. Once we do, then we head home."






[And so ends our first session. It was a total BLAST and the gang had a lot of fun, as did I. I will try to do a single post, weekly entry with each additional episode as we go forward. 

There were a lot of character bits, jokes, Easter Eggs, and such that I left out but I think I conveyed the keys elements and a sense of the PCs, setting, and plot. I love that the PCs have ongoing personal goals, such as Wilder's search for Red Dwarf and hope that the advanced information from the Nova 8, 200-225 years ahead of the Yellow Sun's data, can help with the mission. I appreciated both Webb trying to give Basil a noble 'death' but also ARTHUR's feeling that it was an affront to Robot-kind and wanting to try to repair the poor mechanoid. Plus, Chicken took the Talking Toaster from the Nova 8 and brought it on board the Yellow Sun because it makes crunchy bread and they are friends. 

I hope you all enjoyed the tale half as much as I enjoyed telling it. 

Please tune in again as we drink fresh mango juice while goldfish bowls nibble at our toes!]

Later days,

AD
Barking Alien







Let Me Fly Far Away From Here

Yellow Sun

Season I, Episode 1
"It All Ends Here"

Part 4


Outside the Starbug's cockpit view port, the greenish-brownish sphere of the planetoid it was heading towards spun closer and closer at very high speed.

As Chicken piloted the shuttle in a straight, tight, tummy turning trajectory, she noted that her people were not completely foreign to the concept of light. In fact, according to legends, her people could fly under their own power for short distances in 'ancient times'. She then wondered if the trip from Yellow Sun to the planetoid qualified as a short distance. Most of the others shook their heads or shrugged and she nearly panicked again until Wilder distracted her with pretzels.

Finally, the Starbug entered the atmosphere - thin, damp, and composed of whipping, high speed winds - and Chicken is instructed on how to initiate the landing procedure. 

[I explained to Chicken's Player that she needs to slow down, preferably stop spinning, and land. I have her make a die roll and she gets 3 Successes. I ask her how many Successes she wants to put towards slowing, how many to stop rolling, and how many to landing. Chicken decides to place two to control the spin and one on landing.]

The shuttle straightens out and stops barrel rolling to fist pumps and cheers from the rest of the group, only for their congratulations to sour as the Starbug hits the soft, moist, sand-soil of the planetoid like an American Baseball player starting his slide into home plate waaay too soon. When the craft finally stops, a cloud of steam surrounds it and numerous screens flash indicating a relatively safe landing. Relative to death that is. 






Yellow-Orange Alert! Yellow-Orange Alert!
It's more than Yellow, not quite Red.

For when you know you're Smegged but not so Smegged you can't keep going.


Not far from the Starbug's crashsi...ahem...landing zone, the team spots the derelict they've been looking for. Scanning the wreckage from the shuttle's cockpit [at least the Sensors are still working. Mostly.] the gang is able to confirm it is definitely a Nova Class Explorer, though one that seems to have been significantly upgraded. ADAM notes that the Nova Class was brand new at the time the Yellow Sun experienced it's accident. The first of these vessels had launched only a month or so before Yellow Sun went looking for the Red Dwarf. The Nova 1 was a prototype and if successful others would be built down the line. 






Starship model by Sci-Fi Film and TV Model Master
Martin Bower



After trudging through the strange landscape of the planetoid for twenty minutes or so, the group comes upon the ship, wedged between and on top of a series of jagged rocks. At a distance one of the group spots someone, or something, moving around inside the Explorer. 

When they reach the derelict they notice an airlock on the side of the vessel. It is decided that ARTHUR, being charged with the Security of the Yellow Sun's 'personnel', should be the one to enter first. While trying to find a means to breach the airlock, Chicken suggests knocking. It's only polite. 

A moment after knocking a voice with a calm and chipper British Columbia accent answers asking, "Yes? Who is it?" Wilder introduces himself and notes his position as a Rescue Specialist for the Space Corps. The voice is relieved as the vessel, now identified as the Nova 8, as well as its crew are in desperate need of assistance.







After cycling the outer, then inner airlocks, the Yellow Sun team encounters Basil, a Series 4000 Service Mechanoid who clearly sustained damaged in the Nova 8's crash. He greets them with a kowtowing, genuflect attitude typical of droids of his design. Wilder, Webb, and ARTHUR ask him about the ship's mission and crew and Basil is more than happy to introduce them around. As they move through the ship to the Research Labs and Science Stations, the Yellow Sun team sees piles of dust, debris, and hair in each chair Basil motions to as he introduces them as the Nova 8's crew. 





Basil, a Diva Droid International Series 4000 Service Mechanoid



Basil, clearly oblivious to the fact that his crewmates are presently 'life-function challenged', continues to show the group about the Explorer, eventually taking them to the bridge. Here Wilder and Webb describe having some difficulty telling the various crewmembers apart (though they don't bring up that it's because it's hard to tell one mound of bone and hair fragments from another). Basil appears taken aback, pointing out the Captain's commanding presence and First Officer Takashi's austere and noble bearing. And how could you miss Navigator Chen's nature beauty? "I am told that among her organic crewmates she's considered 'quite the looker'."

Finally, Basil introduces the Yellow Sun team to Bennett, the Nova 8 AI, who speaks like an old, well-bred, Upper Class British gentleman. He seemed a tad forgetful and even out of sorts, possibly suffering from Cyber Senility. Be took a liking to Wilder and ARTHUR because they showed proper military protocol. He was very polite to Chicken whom he assumed was a young lady. He didn't trust Webb, whom he immediately saw as a layabout. 





Convinced he'd seen all he needed to see, Wilder asked Bennett and Basil if he and his 'team' could have a look around. He explained that the Yellow Sun would render any aid it could and in exchange the Yellow Sun could use any fuel the Nova 8 had to spare. Basil said the engines of the Nova 8 were destroyed in the crash, which is what marooned the vessel and as such, the Yellow Sun was welcome to all the fuel they had since the Explorer certainly couldn't use it. Basil then implied he would start packing up the crew's things for transport to the Starbug and then the Yellow Sun.

"My guess is they travel rather light these days", remarked Webb. 

Wilder, ARTHUR and Webb headed to engineering to get the Fuel Pods, noticing Chicken had already left the bridge area in search of the galley. She was promised pretzels after all. I mean, why else make this trip if there weren't any pretzels. 

Indeed after poking around the Nova 8 at random, Chicken came across a small galley and mess hall. She opened every drawer, cabinet, and container she could but there were no pretzels to be found. She was about to go from frustrated to downright flabbergasted when a meak, sad sounding voice piped up from a silvery, metal box on the counter with two slits at the top of it. 

"Hello...is...is someone there..."

Chicken perked up and smiled at the box. "I'm here!"

"Would you...*sob*...please...would you care for some...toast?"






Next up, the thrilling conclusion of our first episode and plans beyond!

Stoke me a kipper. I'll be back for Breakfast!

AD
Barking Alien




Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Shipwrecked and Comatose

Yellow Sun 

Season I, Episode 1
'It All Ends Here'

Part 3


The Yellow Sun and all aboard - OK fine, all four 'people' - sit in silence and darkness for several long seconds.

Suddenly the faint sound of engines and electronics whirl on as the ship's Pub is bathed in dim red light. Still fairly dark, ADAM appears on a screen with his face lit from beneath as with a flashlight. 







"May I Have Your Attention Please...", ADAM begins, speaking somewhat quietly, slowly and deliberately, "The Yellow Sun is rapidly running out of power. (Deep breath) We need to replace the primary fuels tanks...(deep breath)...as soon as possible. Lt. Wilder would you...Oh. (sign)..." 

Hologram Wilder had disappeared moments ago along with all the other lights and sounds of the ship. Now he flickered back into existence, horizontal lines running through him, and color faded out almost to black and white. 

"ADAM! What the hell just happened? What's wrong with me. I feel...woozy. Everything is a bit out of focus."

"Terribly sorry Lieutenant. As I was saying, we are...(deep breath)...extremely low on power."

"We need power don't we", Webb said as he shifted uncomfortably, "to stay alive and move the ship and so on. I'm not well versed in this sort of thing but that is correct isn't it?"

Wilder centered himself and took a deep breath. OK, he took the holographic representation of a deep breath. He looked directly at ADAM and spoke sharply, with clarity and authority, "ADAM, scan this region of space and determine if there is anything we can use for fuel that we can reach in our current condition. Once we restore power..."

"You are assuming...", begins Webb.

"I am. I have to. Once we restore power we can determine our next move."

ADAM immediately went to work, fading out from the screen while the rest of the gang shared a new found, if brief, moment of respect for Lt. Wilder. A few seconds later ADAM returned with potentially good news.

The Yellow Sun's sensors detected a planetoid - described by ADAM as. "Significantly less than a planet, somewhat more than a moon" - upon which a derelict ship appears to have crashed landed. Based on the readings, the vessel may have intact fuel pods.

After a quick discussion, Wilder convinces the rest that the best course of action is to take a shuttlecraft down to the planetoid to try and retrieve the derelict vessel's fuel pods. This is not an easy task. Convincing the group I mean. While ARTHUR is programmed to follow orders and do his duty, it wasn't so simple talking Webb and Chicken into coming along. Webb couldn't see how his accompanying them would be helpful in the least and Chicken didn't even understand what was going on. 

Eventually Wilder was able to lure Chicken with the promise of food, specifically pretzels which turn out to be a favorite of hers. When Webb asked what he could possibly do to aid in the retrieval of spaceship fuel tanks Wilder countered with, "You can carry things can't you?" Webb conceded that indeed he could. 

The next phase of the plan was going down to the planetoid in a shuttle. Unfortunately, the team's most qualified pilot is Wilder who, being a Soft Light Hologram, can't touch anything, including the controls to a shuttle.

WIlder looks to ARTHUR 1001. "Are you able to pilot the shuttle ARTHUR?"

"I suppose so sir. I am programmed to act as a pilot in an emergency." 

Chicken, quite inexplicably, takes interest in the conversation. "What's a shuttle? You keep saying shuttle?" The others explain it as a smaller ship capable of leaving the Yellow Sun and traveling through space to a planet. This is immediately followed by the need to explain what a ship, space, and a planet is. Chicken seems completely unaware of the true nature of her environment.

"I don't believe this", says Webb. "How can you not know you're on a starship hurdling through deep space?"





Chicken flies (ahem) into a sudden panic, "Hurdling through space?! Space?! I didn't know we were hurdling. Again, what's space?" 

Wilder convinces Webb, with some difficulty, to pilot the shuttle with ARTHUR as co-pilot. Wilder would talk him through the specifics. When the group arrives in the Hangar Bay, Chicken points at the Starbug shuttlecraft and says, "The Green Thing! The shuttle you mentioned is the Green Thing? Why didn't you say so? I know how the Green Thing works. My dad taught me. He would take me down here when I was a kid and he'd show me how to use this thing."





The rest of the group couldn't believe it. They looked back and forth to each other and then to Chicken. "So...you can fly it?"

"IT CAN FLY?!?"






The group boarded the Starbug, a standard Class 2 Transport Shuttle, with Chicken as pilot, ARTHUR as co-pilot, Wilder at the Sensor and Science Station, and Webb in the seat behind the co-pilot. It is assumed that station, like Webb himself, does thing in particular as well. 

Barring scraping the paint off the starboard side thruster on take off and spinning the Starbug into a perpetual barrel roll on approach to the planetoid, Chicken did a remarkably good job. Chicken chalked it up to her training with her father and her good genes. Almost being able to fly properly was in her blood! 

Now, closer to their target, the Starbug's sensors were able to get a better reading on the planetoid and the crash landed ship. It appeared to be a Nova Class Explorer, though the computer could not get an exact ID on the craft for some reason. 

"Alright Chicken, time to land the Starbug on that planetoid. Nice and easy now."

"It might help if you stopped spinning us around like a single sock in three pound laundry dryer", remarked Webb, holding his stomach and searching for the vomit bags. 

"Wait, Starbug is the Green Thing right? So you want the Green Thing on the Brown-Green Ball out there? How? Isn't the Green Thing in Space?"

Wilder sighed. "Yes. We are in the Starbug. The Starbug is in Space. The Brown-Green Ball is called a planetoid and it too is in Space. Move this Green Thing through Space and place it on the Brown-Green Ball. Do you understand?"

"Ahhh! Yes I do. Just one more question."

"Sure."

"How exactly do I do that?"







AD
Barking Alien







Friday, April 24, 2020

Everyone is Dead Mitchell

The first session of our new Red Dwarf themed, ALIENS RPG powered campaign 'Yellow Sun' continues following the prologue / introduction portion wherein Rescue Specialist Lt. Donald Wilder is blown out an airlock, comedian Mitchell Webb is placed in Stasis by Security Robot ARTHUR 1001, and a Chicken escapes the galley to find safety in a shielded section of the cargo bay. 

All this seconds before a Cadmium II Radiation Leak flash fries and irradiates the Space Corps Search and Rescue Vessel Yellow Sun. The leak was caused by Lt. Wilder purposely sabotaging a Drive Plate in order to practice a Radiation Leak Drill. Wilder believed such an accident may have damaged or destroyed the ship the Yellow Sun had been dispatched to search for, the JMC Mining Vessel Red Dwarf. 


Yellow Sun

Season I, Episode 1
'It All Ends Here'

Part 2


The Stasis Booth containing passenger Mitchell Webb, the comedian hired by the Space Corps to improve moral on the Yellow Sun during its difficult mission of trying to locate the missing mining ship Red Dwarf opens with a hiss, a hydraulic creak, and the sudden return of background noise to Webb's ears. 

"...for just a moment!"

Half way through a sentence to Security Robot ARTHUR 1001, Webb completes his thought while simultaneously realizing the droid is no where to be seen. 

ADAM, the Yellow Sun's AI fades into view on multiple computer screens.





"Good Morning Mr. Webb. The time is 0900 hours, or 9 am if you prefer, the temperature in comfortable, and you appear to be in perfect health. How do you feel?"

"I feel...wait...a moment ago there was an emergency. An emergency so severe you yourself shouted as such from every available speaker. I was thrown in the Stasis Booth and never even got an idea of what the emergency was! Is it suddenly over?"

"The emergency has past Mr. Webb. As such it is safe to allow you to come out of Stasis. I and the Space Corps apologize for any inconvenience. Please proceed to the Drive Room for debriefing. As a matter of fact [ Voice increases in volume and authority ], Would all available personnel please report to the Drive Room. Repeat, would all active crew members please report to the Drive Room. Thank you."

As Webb walks the halls, directed by ADAM on how to get to the Bridge or Drive Room, he notes a complete lack of any other people. Not a single solitary individual passes him in the corridors. Periodically he notes small piles of white dust. 

"Adam, I've noticed it's very quiet. Where are the usual crewmembers who run up and down the decks doing the usual crewmember things?"

"Well Mr. Webb...it's Mitchell isn't it? May I call you Mitchell?"

"Sure."

"Well Mitch, they're dead."

"I'm sorry, I...perhaps I wasn't quite paying attention. Perhaps I don't feel as well as I initially assumed. I almost thought you said they were dead."

"That is correct Mitchell. The crew is dead. Everyone. Everyone is dead Mitchell."

"Dead? How did they die? Is that what the Emergency was?"

"In a manner of speaking. Ah, here we are." Webb finally arrives at the command center for the Yellow Sun, a large-ish room filled with consoles, screens on the walls, chairs, and more piles of white, grainy dust here and there. ADAM continues, "The Emergency was a Cadmium II Radiation Leak caused by a damaged Drive Plate. You were placed in Stasis for your protection. The rest of the crew was killed. Once the Emergency was over and conditions were safe I released you." 

"It seems like it all just happened. One second I'm talking to the Security Droid, the next the door to the Stasis Booth Shuts, and then it opens. Not beyond the blink of an eye."

"That is only your perception I've afraid. Time does not pass for individuals in Stasis. To you it seems like the very next moment but outside the crew had to respond to the emergency, mobilize, fail to do so in time, die horribly, and then I had to wait for the radiation to clear down to levels where it was safe to release you. A good bit of time has passed since you went in to the booth."

"I see. I suppose that makes sense. How much time?"

"Three million years."

"...WHAT?! Three MILLION years!"

A door to the Drive Room slides open and ARTHUR 1001 stands at the entry holding a book of some kind. ADAM bids him to enter and he walks up to Mitchell and gives him a friendly nod.




ARTHUR 1001
A THUG S1001 Security Robot

And a right nice bloke. No really.



" 'Ello Mister Webb sir. You survived dija? Good on you then. My task weren't for not."

Mitchell is happy to see a familiar face, even if it is the red-eyed, metal skull of the menacing, seven foot Security Robot. Mitchell greets him and then nods to the book, "That wouldn't be titled, "To Serve Man" would it?"

"Now that the entire crew has arrived - Hello ARTHUR - I will enact Space Corps Special Directive Alpha 135. In the event of a catastrophic emergency wherein the crew is killed or otherwise unable to perform the duties necessary for the situation at hand or completion of the mission, one crewmember will be resurrected as a Hologram from Memory Tapes in the ship's archives. Given that this vessel needs rescuing and the ship we were searching for needs rescuing, I hereby designate the Yellow Sun's Hologram to be...Lt. Donald Wilder."

Wilder appears, disoriented for only a second. He realizes he is a hologram, and therefore dead, and gets a quick rundown on things from the the rest of the group. Webb asks what happened to him that he was A) the Rescue Specialist but B) killed before he could do anything about the Radiation Leak and Wilder simply avoids that line of question coming from a civilian unfamiliar with the complex operations of the Space Corps. 

"There is one additional person onboard I would like you all to meet", ADAM says as the group begins to argue...hmmm perhaps that's too strong...discuss? No, stronger than that. Politely bicker? Let's go with this. - As the group politely bickers over what part who played in which disaster, another door to the Drive Room slides open revealing a humanoid female with some distinctly non-Human features. 

"AHHH!", she screams, "Who are you? What are you? ADAM, who are they?"

"Who is she? That...who is that?"

"I do not know her proper name. I have not had extensive conversations with this individual or many members of her species."

"Species? She's an...an...al..."

"Chicken", the young lady says. "I'm Chicken. I'm called Chicken. Who are you? Why are you here? Is there anything to eat?"

The group answers but keeping 'Chicken''s attention proves to be quite difficult as there was not, in point of fact, anything to eat in the Drive Room. While the rest of the characters try to find out more about Chicken and each other, ARTHUR 1001 summons a Skutter Maintenance Droid to the bridge. When the Skutter arrives, he points at the woman calling herself Chicken and says, "What gives man? I gave you one job." The Skutter hangs his 'head' in shame. "S'all right. There's always next time." 






Chicken sees the Skutter and runs out one of the doors, saying something about her people being on the run from him since 'the days of legend'. The Skutter tries to grab her but misses. ARTHUR stands next to the Skutter, pats it on the 'head', and says, "Good try. Good try."

As ARTHUR and the Skutter stroll casually out of the command center, words between Wilder and Webb become a tad more heated. For the most part, Lt. Wilder tries to assert that this is still an emergency situation, that he is in charge as long as that's the case, and the group needs to work together and follow protocol and procedure to get out of this alive. While Webb isn't directly disagreeing, he is beyond out of his element and wants to focus on getting a drink and taking a breather before doing anything else. He also points out the absurdity of the situation they are in. At one point Wilder threatens to put Webb on report and Webb responds with, "I am not a member of the crew. I am a passenger. A guest. And...report me to WHOM?!"

We change scenes, with Wilder and Webb walking down a corridor and talking as Webb insists the most important thing they can do right now is find a pub. Walk into a pub they do, only to find ARTHUR behind the bar cleaning glasses and asking, "What'll it be gov?" Webb orders a Scotch and ARTHUR makes his very first drink but pouring Mitchell a shot of scotch with a little water in it. ARTHUR's read several books on bartending you see. 

Chicken pops in, looking around for the Skutter and eyeing the others suspiciously. She quickly walks to the end of the bar, sees a bowl of nuts and pretzels, sits down and digs in. Webb asks ADAM for more information on Chicken and he is informed that an escaped Chicken from the galley hid in a radiation shielded cargo hold during the Drive Plate incident. Eventually its descendants evolved into Gallus Sapiens over the course of three million years. The rest of her species are simply described as 'gone', with Chicken being the last member of her people on the Yellow Sun. 

It was about then that the lights went out, ADAM disappeared, Wilder flickered out, and things got really quiet. Except for Chicken of course. Chicken freaked out. 




The Yellow Sun Gang.


AD
Barking Alien








Fun, Fun, Fun In The Sun, Sun, Sun.

Twelve days ago I posted an idea for using the setting of Red Dwarf, the British, Sci-Fi Sitcom in conjunction with the rule mechanics from the Free League Publishing ALIEN RPG, based on the seminal Sci-Fi Horror film that spawned (get it?) a franchise of its own. 

A lot has happened since. 

My good friend and fellow fan of both IPs Tim Knight, of the illustrious Heropress Blog, really liked the idea and it inspired him to follow up on several ideas of his own in the same vein. You can read his posts here and here.

I additionally received quite a number of Likes when I posted the idea to Twitter and my enthusiasm for the concept grew exponentially from there. Before I quite realized what was happening I had a group, a date and time, and was beginning my newest campaign endeavor...

Barking Alien Proudly Presents...



YELLOW SUN

A Red Dwarf Spin-Off Campaign
Using the ALIEN RPG by Fria Ligan/Free League







"Hello, I am ADAM, the Artificial Intelligence aboard the Space Corps Search and Research starship 'Yellow Sun'. I have an IQ of 6000. That's the equivalent of 6000 fans of Brexit or 12,000 Trump Supporters."

[Once the campaign concept was proposed and character concepts were discussed, the players began sharing little snippets of prologue material needed to set the stage for the first session. I haven't seen this done this way in a very long time and it incredibly inspiring. What you see below is a combination of those pieces with some editing by me, the GM, to make it all flow together as a single narrative.]



Season I, Episode 1,
'It All Ends Here'

Part 1






At the end of March of 2181, the Jupiter Mining Corporation vessel ‘Red Dwarf’ failed to check in with JMC Command and after thirty days was declared missing. 

JMC contacted the Space Corps, as was protocol, and by late April a Search and Rescue ship, the ‘Yellow Sun’, was dispatched to try and locate the mining vessel and/or any of her crew. 

This is what happened…






SCSS Yellow Sun
Space Corps Search and Rescue Vessel
Design and CGI by Ben Nicholas






In order to keep morale on the mission high and the crews’ minds off the potentially tragic fate of those they are searching for, the Space Corps hires a comedian to come on board to entertain the troops. The comedian, one Mitchell Webb, thinks he is working a cruise. He knows nothing about the Space Corps starship ‘Yellow Sun’ or the disappearance of Red Dwarf, or indeed anything about mining, rescues, or space flight. His only life skill in fact, is using wry observation to amuse his fellow human beings.

Meanwhile, as Yellow Sun departs on its mission, a live chicken, intended for the captain's dinner table, escapes into the bowels of the ship. Despite an intense search by the captain's mess staff, the chicken is not found. A.R.T.H.U.R. 1001, the ship's Robot Security Chief, attempts to assist but is unable to fit down the ventilation shaft the chicken was last seen entering. He instructs one of the ship Skutter Maintenance Droids to pursue and apprehend the chicken.

Around the same time, Lt. Donald Wilder, the Yellow Sun’s Rescue Operations Specialist, was prepping for an Emergency Radiation Leak Drill. Unfortunately, Wilder was unable to go through the proper channels due to a previous drill that went a bit sideways.

Wilder had recently set up a car accident scenario featuring a 10 car pile-up in a hangar bay only to have it shut down by the Captain after a Droid shortage was reported because so many of them were building cars for the session. Another dozen Droids were reprogrammed to serve as stand-ins for injured passengers. Over 14 hours of work wiped out by a short sighted (though understandably irate] captain.

It may have been this act, or perhaps the many similar ones just like it, that spurred on Lt. Wilder’s team, Rescue Team Gamma, to perform a rather extreme practical joke. Convincing their department leader that they were staging a surprise ‘Airlock Malfunction’ scenario, Wilder’s team threw him in an airlock and tried to convince him he only had a minute to escape before the outer airlock opened.  While he took the situation he was in seriously, a part of him could not help but wonder if he had forgotten something important. 


Something like an Emergency Radiation Leak Drill complete with real danger from a purposely damaged drive plate. 

"Emergency. Emergency. This is an Emergency. This. Here. Right now. Seriously, as we speak there is an Emergency."

With little to no time to spare, ARTHUR is instructed to find Mitchell Webb and get him safely into a Statsis Booth until the current situation, a Cadmium II Radiation Leak, can be contained. Although ARTHUR is able to fulfill his mission, no thanks to a complaining Webb, it is too late for everyone else.

Webb ends up in Statsis, Lt. Wilder ends up accidentally ejected out of the airlock, and the chicken manages to elude the Skutter in a radiation shield section of the cargo hold. ARTHUR returns to his security duties.



Prologue Ends.

Three Million Years Later...


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