The first session of the home campaign that I run. These after-action reports are organized into seasons and episodes. The first 3 episodes contain material that I am currently compiling into a small module.
The RSV Fidanza, a Tannhäuser Corporation research vessel secretly operating in a remote star system, has stopped transmitting its heartbeat signal. No distress signal, or signal of any kind, has been received since. Tannhäuser R&D has dispatched a small crew on a clandestine mission to investigate and recover all test data from the ship.
Dr. Alexander Hardcastle (Scientist): Mission leader. After his last surviving relative — his brother — died, Dr. Hardcastle made his skills available to megacorp employers so he could escape the shithole rim planet that he was born on. But his corporate work visa is about to expire, and if his next review doesn’t go well, he’s going to be sent back home. He grows and smokes a lot of space weed. Patch: “Live Free And Die”.
02BZ “O2” (Android): A fully-robotic android with a laser cutter built into his arm. Tannhäuser Corporation owns nearly all of his body parts. O2 is reckless and crows obnoxiously at his own jokes with an unsettling robotic approximation of laughter: “HA! — HA! — HA!” He is distrusted by the crew, especially Dr. Hardcastle. Patch: “Icarus”.
Sascha Denisovitch (Teamster): Sascha has lived most of his life on assignments out on the rim and has the drinking habit to prove it. He is deep in debt because of a lawsuit filed against him in connection to a previous job, but ███████ ████████, ████████, ██████ ███ ████ ███ █████████ ███ ███ ███. ████ ████ █████████ ███ ██ ██████████ ██ █ ███. Patch: “Actually I am a rocket scientist” (Note: Sascha is not a rocket scientist).
They are accompanied by two Marines:
Olivia Markova (Marine): A sarcastic, hardass marine from the Tannhäuser Protection Corps.
Henk Obowe (Marine): A jovial marine from Tannhäuser Protection Corps, the only crew member friendly with 02BZ.
As the human crew groggily emerge from cryosleep, they find the unsettling android 02BZ informing them that they have arrived in the backwater system that the RSV Fidanza was operating in, and he has already located the missing vessel. Dr. Hardcastle tries to forget his cryosleep nightmares by reviewing the special briefing that only he received: the Fidanza was conducting black research pertaining to psionics, and he is to secure all research data and any surviving test subjects, then scuttle the ship. The crew is, naturally, expendable.
BioGel: An antibacterial, nutritive gel developed by Tannhäuser. Used to preserve organs and prevent infections and rejection of transplants. Can also be used as a foodstuff, but it’s like eating melty vitamin-flavored Jell-O.
The ship seems undamaged, but it doesn’t respond to their hails. They dock and board without issue, and from the flickering lights in the hallways surmise that the ship has developed power issues. They cautiously approach the medbay, and, peering inside, find a horrible scene of gore and viscera: the room is soaked in blood and BioGel. Among the guts splattering the floor, there are 3 corpses, teamsters by the look of them, all with their arms ripped off.
They back away, deciding to take an alternate route that leads them to a dark cargo bay, heavy clanking sounds reverberating through its cavernous gloom. As they sneak through the cargo containers towards the sounds, they encounter an empty cargo loader exosuit that is moving around even though nobody is operating it.
After a brief panic, they hear incoherent gibbering from behind a container and an armed teenage boy with a buzzcut and “01” stenciled on his jumpsuit leaps out at them. In time with his movement, the empty exosuit turns to face them as well. He seems to be making gestures into the darkness as he shouts something about Tannhäuser and how he’ll never be taken back alive. With an unhinged look on his face, he and the exosuit approach the crew in lockstep.
The crew back away, trying to assure him that they’re not here to take him back, but they only manage to anger him further. He opens fire with an SMG as the exosuit charges them. In the ensuing fight, the boy continues to shout about Tannhäuser as he uses the exosuit for cover. O2 is nearly crushed by it as the rest of the crew’s bullets bounce off of its carapace.
In a fit of desperation, O2 unfurls his arm-mounted laser cutter and carves several holes in the cargo bay door, causing the room to rapidly decompress. The crew use magboots and teamwork to barely make it out before the bulkhead door automatically closes. The teenager, clinging to his slow-moving mech, is not so lucky. The boy screams and the mech pounds on the door for a few moments, then they fall completely, utterly silent, in the way that only the vacuum of space can achieve.
To Be Continued…