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REKT: GTD (What would have been)

#1
OKAY, here's the first of the batch. This will recap the events of the first two missions and then wrap up the third mission.




Mission 1 recap
Spoiler:      SHOW
As you guys know, REKT focuses around a large prison ship called the Tartarus. Tartarus is also the name of the company that owns the ship - and the operation thereof. REKT is the name of the relatively small (1 million strong) group of prisoners that are allowed to roam a portion of the ship and take part in missions to retrieve valuable artifacts, such as Anomalous Materials: materials that didn't quite make sense to exist in our universe.


Our story started with the newly-formed Platoon 56 getting blasted down into an impossible mission: at some point in the past, a group of aliens had managed to build a surprisingly heavily-protected outpost (especially for the outpost's size) around a particularly deadly pulsar. Their mission was simple: Destroy at least three of the megaturrets and retrieve the alien artifact that was emitting strange signals. Unfortunately, they suffered heavy losses doing so - some from the pulsar, some from the gigantic megaturrets - but some managed to reach the center of the Area of Operations (AO): the strange alien base.

Meanwhile, Tartarus was detecting a large void of space - Dark Space, as it was called - traveling at an incredible velocity toward the AO. It was a known, but little-understood phenomenon - and it was the first area of Dark Space that anyone had ever seen move at all. Naturally, this was a problem.

SCAMPS (the mission computer aboard Tartarus) warned 56 to hurry it up, and they did so, rushing into the "boss room" where they discovered a strange alien orb, pulsating with energy. It was unlike anything humanity had ever seen, and seemed to telepathically urge people closer, to lay their hands upon it - even despite the swarms of alien drones in the room. Those that touched the orb fell unconscious with strange visions.

Traditional pickup methods were too slow: Tartarus itself flew over the target zone and picked up the prisoners of 56, who only barely escaped with their lives, just before the Dark Space arrived and consumed that entire section of the asteroid belt - practically erasing it from existence. The scientists aboard Tartarus theorized that the megaturrets of the aliens (dubbed "Quantums") had been keeping it away, but that was all they as yet understood.

It was later discovered that the inmates that had touch the active Quantum Orb had gained some sort of "power" from it. Dinosawer, for instance, had the ability to see into the future a short ways, while Squidhead could see into other dimensions. While these abilities were not necessarily useful in most situation, it was nevertheless something Tartarus was extremely interested in, and Platoon 56 had performed well.
~~~

Mission 2 recap
Spoiler:      SHOW
The second mission saw Platoon 56 attacking a small convoy of ships that had stolen an odd craft from the previous mission's AO. The craft was seen to be one of many that flew out of the Dark Space - a large drone-ship, seemingly a fighter of some kind. A rival corporation, Mimir Corp., had captured and stolen it from the same pulsar system as Tartarus had fled the area. Tartarus naturally wanted it too, and it was Platoon 56's objective: retrieve the drone-ship however possible. Of course, this was easier said than done. The science ship that the drone was aboard was heavily protected by both a large carrier and a gunship - but all were understaffed.

As the dropship pilots dropped 56's CASKETs at the AO, they enacted their plan: swarm the gunship to knock it out as fast as possible, then board and take control of the Shieldmaiden-class utility ships providing a shield to the science vessel. Then, they would board the science vessel, retrieve the artifact, and get the hell out of there as fast as possible. They would utilize the beacon that Tartarus had given them to call in a squadron of Warp Ships to pick them up.

The plan went to hell rather quickly. Although the gunship was easily taken out, and the shieldmaidens were (mostly) easily stormed, the Mimir HAMMER-class fighters far outmatched the REKT CASKETs, and several people were killed in the combat. The arrival of several other squads of HAMMERs as they were boarding the science vessel only exacerbated the situation, and one by one, REKT crewmembers began to fall to the enemy. In desperation, they used their captured Shieldmaidens to project a shield around the Science Vessel, keeping the HAMMERs out - but then opened a new can of worms when they opened the upper hangar just in time to reveal a new squad of the enemy, which began to decimate everyone that was left.

Inside the science vessel, the ground team worked their way through the ship, killing any Mimir civilians and soldiers that put up any resistance - until they reached the rear hanger of the ship, where the drone-ship was kept. The resulting firefight inside the hangar was just as glorious as that above - in particular, a strange goat-man-beast on the REKT side sacrificed himself in a particularly awesome manner to save his "friends", and Dinosawer began to master the abilities he had obtained from the Quantum Orb.

After extracting the drone ship, the REKT crew retreated, just as Mimir reinforcements arrived in the system: huge carriers and hulking dreadnoughts to secure the area and keep Platoon 56 from escaping with their prize at whatever cost was necessary. A new barrage of HAMMERs, more than they'd ever been up against, quickly swarmed the REKT platoon. The shieldmaiden went down, people died, and all seemed lost - right until Tartarus Inc. revealed its trap and warped in several massive ships of its own. The warp ships surrounded Platoon 56 and carried it to safety, and the mission ended a success.
~~~

Mission 3: recap
Spoiler:      SHOW
And that brings us to the last mission - the (regretfully) abandoned one, mission 3: Sitatha Canyons. The Tartarus higher-ups had demanded that you guys get sent in to figure out what had happened to a previous platoon, and bring back (intact this time!!) a Quantum Orb. Everyone was given a set of tools specifically designed to work it loose if necessary.

Sitatha is a rocky world orbiting a gas giant (Aerevoh, iirc) within its Roche limit. This means it should've fallen apart and broken into a ring a long time ago, but for some reason it didn't. Something was holding it together - just barely, but together. So you guys made plans to storm the surface as a single group (disregarding the fact that doing that did absolutely no favors for the previous platoon) and check things out.

Fortunately, everybody's dropships got hit by plasma fire from an AA megaturret on the ground, and you got scattered everywhere. You guys got lucky. The creatures in the air? The ones that downed Francis and attacked Dr. Cha0zz's squad? Yeah, those big baddies? They were attracted by larger numbers of people moving quickly over a large area, which happens to be exactly what you guys planned on doing. But it's okay, I had the AA megaturret kill the dropship pilots, so everybody's happy. You got deposited in three different places on the map and forced to regroup. SCAMPS told you to take down the megaturret and get to the base. (SCAMPS was having severe troubles keeping a solid line of communication up throughout the mission.)

Hema's squad landed in a crater, which had some alien tech inside that quickly formed a shield over it. If they'd decided to mess with the shield generator, they could've found another way out, but, they didn't. They instead opted to travel down a long tunnel, whereupon they got attacked by murderous creatures.

Doc Cha0zz and Dino's squads decided to travel north along a valley, where they soon found the other REKT platoon's remains. After salvaging what they could, they continued north. Then they split up, and Doc's squad got half-eaten by angry territorial sky-beast-monster-things. What fun! Even better, they had a huge pack of angry spider-mantis-monster-things waiting for them on the ground, and got forced into a tiny cave. Good on you guys for making friends with local fauna!

Dino's squad continued onward and killed the megaturret as a group effort. Way to go, team!

And now we're to Foreigner's squad. Initially, Foreigner's squad discovered a strange building with a deep shaft inside, and an unusual artifact sitting on a table. They then split up all over the place for god-knows-what-reason and each member did their very darnedest to get themselves killed, to which I would've happily obliged if it wasn't within the first five turns. -.- That's a little too early for me to be wiping you guys off the face of the earth, so I merely beat you around a bit to teach you a lesson.

It didn't work, obviously. Nor did you get any smarter. You continued splitting up - and then found a really evil-looking Tower of Quantum Terror, before proceeding to split up even more... but, I'm not going to try to change the past. Let's see what happens if we go into the future a bit, and find out What Might Have Happened.
Mission 3: wrap-up
Spoiler:      SHOW
Realizing that the Tower of Quantum Terror was an evil mind-controlling thing, Blake Lowe was quickly captured under its control. Outlander himself was loathe to do any damage to it, and, with some quick thinking from his platoonmates, realized that the ToQT was likely controlling the minds of other entities in the immediate area. Blake Lowe was reporting during his brief moments of sanity that whatever was controlling his mind seemed primitive and savage... and Outlander feared it happening to himself, but was fully prepared to valiantly commit suicide to save Blake Lowe by ramming his craft into the tower.

Fortunately, other people in the platoon actually have brains. They pieced together that killing the ToQT would likely keep Hema's squad from getting devoured by bug-things, and Nequebah (their best PSI user) was sent to assist. She managed to get there just in time, going past the ToQT's quantum shield and, with the help of her squadmates, blasted the tower to pieces.

Hema's squad was saved.

Outlander's squad, however, was not, as it was quickly set upon by wild, savage creatures from everywhere - creatures that lacked the common sense and pseudointelligence of the ones that attacked Doc Cha0zz's squad. Though the struggle was real, they just barely managed to repel them.

Meanwhile, Dinosawer's squad made a dramatic rescue attempt to save Dr. Cha0zz's squad from blood loss and suffocation - and Squidhead just barely managed to arrive in time to patch up Kalah Grimm, saving her life. With the two squads in the same place, they continued (quietly) down the deep canyon toward THE ALIEN BASE. (dun dun dunnnnnn)


Hema's squad managed to get past the evil things when they died (they died when the ToQT died, just in the nick of time), and continued through the Tunnel of Impending Doom.

~~~

This solves all the immediate problems the squads were facing. We are now venturing into unknown territory.

Before they leave the canyon, Dr. Cha0zz's squad look at the strange device they've found in the canyonside cave and realize it's a device to seal away and monitor the planet's core - presumably to keep the planet from falling apart. Oddly, though, it seems that something is generating this power rather than using it to create the huge planet-wide shield. About this time they also reach the conclusion that the vast majority of the moon was grown into a natural satellite. This concept leaves people baffled. "Growing a moon? What the hell kind of screwy science are you trying to pull on us? Tal, did you even go to school?" Well, it's Quantums, and they did it, because I said so. (Honestly I would've explained it better than that, but right now, I can't be bothered. Basically, only certain parts of the moon was grown - the caves, bits of the terrain, the foundation of the vast framework to keep the shield operation going, etc, by introducing self-propagating technology not too unlike Quantum Glass (they like crystals).) Before long, they run out of things to argue with the DM about and continue on their merry way.

Partway during their travel down the canyon, Dr. Cha0zz's squad picks up some odd electrical signatures on their equipment. SCAMPS requests someone investigate. Against their better judgment (because Dino doesn't really have judgment, just balls), Dino's squad travels up a ramp out of the canyon to see what it could be, while Dr. Cha0zz's squad continues onward, soon running across the wreckage of Francis's CASKET. This is all mostly unimportant, but they also realize the "glowing chasms" Blake Lowe discovered previously were actually bits of the surface "peeling away" from the subterranean shield. They also see a lot of cool vines on the cliff walls, and are not stupid enough to shoot at them (unlike some people).

Meanwhile, Foreigner & Co. have successfully repelled the invaders (it was scary, but they weren't quite as doomed as it initially seemed), and meet up with Dr. Cha0zz's squad to the north of their initial position - annnnddd find another ToQT. This is both good, and bad. Good: Dino's squad is under heavy attack by the native megafauna (there's a lot more than anybody had expected) and needs some relief. Bad: This probably means that Doc and Foreigner's squads are going to get ambushed after it goes down.

Guess what. They do. Big surprise, but they knew it was coming. Dinosawer & Co. manage to escape alive, and everybody else fights off the beast (which actually retreat in fear after a bit, like a sort of "Screw this, I'm going home").

Hema's squad has discovered some interesting alien tech in their tunnel, and are busy patching themselves up and checking it out, glad to finally have a (brief) respite from combat.

Dino's squad discovers an entire platoon's worth of ships - ships that don't look a thing like either CASKETs or HAMMERs, and naturally SCAMPS isn't around to tell them what's what. They salvage a bit, but continue onward.

Hema's squad lowers a shield around THE ALIEN BASE and everyone meets up in the middle to proceed.

~~~

The alien base is monstrous in size - a kilometer across at least - and the inmates feel dwarfed by it. Some more of the alien-flying-creature-things are swarming around the top, which still has a shield over it. Dino's squad managed to get a visual of it before they entered the canyon.

At this point, I've managed to kill off at least two or three inmates, which was fun, and I felt good about it. The inmates realize fully that anyone can, and will die if they're not careful, so they're being very careful. Also Clara might be dead. Spoilers. (She got bad rolls, I just hadn't told you guys yet. If it makes you feel any better, her superior officer was dead too).

You enter the decrepit structure and realize that it is, naturally, enormous inside. Really, what did you expect? It's a big place. I should find that WIP picture I made of it. Anyway, on the bottom floor, coming out to meet you, you find a wiry, withered old man. He speaks to you - in English (or whatever language REKT people speak, I don't know) - and tells you that he is the current caretaker of the structure - but his time is done. This is pretty obvious: the guy is bleeding pretty bad. It looks like something got him. He offers you a choice. (This is the second major plot-changing choice of the mission. The first choice was whether to try to destroy the device you found deep in the cave off the canyon.) The choice is this: He will transfer his quantum powers into two of the inmates present, in exchange for a favor, thereby leaving the people involved Marked as friends of the Quantums. (He waits to see what you call him and goes with that, so he's calling himself a Quantum too now.) He warns you that the choice is yours to make, and is not necessary for you to achieve your goals, and that it may result in the eventual death of the people involved - and that it will have an extreme effect on your future (Basically in my voice as the GM). Maybe you think he's crazy, maybe you don't - but in this version of the story, you say, "No, we'll trust you, old man. Give us your powers." And two of you steps forward and takes the man's hand. His eyes roll back into his head and close, and rivulets of metallic ribbons races down his arms from his head, much like a reverse effect of the Quantum Orbs, and into the two volunteering inmates (who shall hereafter be known as The Marked Ones). The old man gasps out one last request, and dies.

You ponder his request: "Shut it down. Shut it all down, and destroy this world." It sound a bit extreme, and even The Marked One has some misgivings about it, but you continue deeper into the structure anyway. You soon find an elevator, and The Marked Ones realize their powers: One is capable of holding open a path to an alternate universe for a short period of time, and the other is capable of retrieving objects, bringing them back. You use this to repair a couple devices, using spare parts from other dimensions - including an elevator - and quickly continue deeper into the building, spreading out to cover ground faster (because your time is almost out and SCAMPS is getting impatient).

The REKT crew is still traveling, slowly, toward the top of the winding structure. The main transportation system seems ruined, but you guys are getting some loot, so it's all good... but you realize that something's not right. You never learned what hurt that old man - why he was slashed half to ribbons. Well... soon you do. One of you disappears, near-instantly killed. Even the description you get of the death is that something leapt out of the shadows toward a careless straggler. All you find is a mangled corpse. Another REKT soldier soon dies the same way - one of you, not an NPC - but from behind. You know something's out there, but you have no idea what.

If you have any sense at all, by this point you've all formed tight-knit groups and are continuing to progress while keeping sharp lookouts in all direction - and fully utilizing your helmet lamps. This is about when you get a true glimpse of your attackers: mutated, naked humanoid-ish creatures covered in some dark, foul material. Their arms and legs - indeed, all their muscles - seem terribly unnatural, and even their teeth seem to be made of steel. I'll summarize the following combat sequences with this: If there's one thing I force into your skulls this mission, it'll be to watch the fukcing ceilings. Anyone that fails to learn this lesson dies... and maybe even one or two that do.

Remember those ships? The ones Dino's squad found? Yeah, if you remembered to ask SCAMPS and told him about the symbols painted on them, he would've hesitantly identified them as a cultist group - classified information. Those monsters you're fighting are people that the Quantums have mutated to fit their purposes. It isn't much longer before you're at the top of the tower, and are ready to remove the orb. Ten of you (particularly Dino, if he's still alive) manage to obtain new powers from it before it swirls down to a dim glow, refusing to interact with you further. You figure it's about time to take it apart.


As you're doing it, Nequeba uses her new-found powers to look at the little device she's carrying - the little metal doodad she never could figure out.
It's a message recorder that splits its output among multiple universes, and now she has the ability to see it. It seems to speak directly to her brain, bypassing auditory communication, and the message details what happened on Sitatha... to a small extent. The old man recorded it - he was far younger then, perhaps several hundred years - he seemed hardly past 40 - but he had willingly begun to share his body with a Quantum host. Sitatha was in ruins. The old minds that once controlled the place had died; the life pods that the facility used to hold had been destroyed by an agent - an "Enemy" agent - yet it speaks no further of who this "Enemy" is. Forced from their hosts, the Quantums therefore needed to find new ones... and could find nothing more than the insect and plant species native to Sitatha.

Over a period of millennia, the Quantum minds began to mold and adapt, becoming feebler as they adjusted to the poor intellect of their hosts. They became more savage, less thinking - they lost who they were. They stopped truly understanding anything, except the basest desires to defend their home at whatever cost was necessary - the driving force behind their entire operation.

The recording ends with the newly-made Quantum saying he would try to put things right.

You finally manage to detach the Quantum Orb, and begin packing it up, getting ready for a trip back to the landing zone for Tartarus's troop transport carrier... But things are never so easy.

~~~

Remember how everything attacked you guys when the Towers of Quantum Terror fell? This happens - but on a MUCH larger scale. EVERY creature that had ever been controlled by a quantum mind suddenly loses control and does the only thing it really knows how to do at this point in its evolution: it attacks the intruders.

Remember those vines? Remember how they were capable of throwing rocks at people? They're also capable of intertwining themselves around huge swaths of terrain and ripping it out of the ground. The REKT crew has an awesome action sequence as they defend each other and try to help each other get back to the exit zone in record time. At least one of you dies valiantly holding off the hordes while the others retreat (probably an NPC, that feels a little cruel for a human), annnnddddd you make it back alive. Tartarus's ship picks you up and takes off.

As the lander hooks back up to the orbiting carrier, the entire planet begins to drop away. Its surface cracks - the shield is gone - it warps slowly, lava erupting from massive crevices in its surface as the crust of the planet bends.

That's when things take a turn for the weird. Sets of thrusters appear on the dark side of the world, propelling it even faster toward Aerevoh, and just as the Tartarus carrier begins accelerating to warp speed, you see an enormous magma-like appendage stretch out from beneath the surface, flinging bits of crust aside as it goes...

~~~

After the mission, you learn a few more important things from the loot you collected. The Quantums did indeed remake Sitatha to hold it together, and altered its orbit as well. Strangely, though, Sitatha itself actually seemed to be (judging by the rock samples Dr. Cha0zz gathered) from a different universe entirely. The Quantums literally brought a whole planet over from another universe. Analysis of images of the rock strata and formations provided also suggests that the moon wasn't always so close to Aerevoh - that it was intentionally maneuvered there at some point. Unfortunately, this is all you can get out of Tartarus's scientists.
Next I'll tell what would've happened in mission 4, given this timeline. In the meantime, feel free to pepper me with any questions or comments.
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Re: REKT: God Throws Dice (Main Thread)

#5
With all those expected deaths, I have a feeling that my character would not have made it out of that mission alive.

Thanks for writing this up Talvieno. It makes me kind of wish we could have played though this; though it would have easily taken 3 or more months just to finish the mission. Do you have any estimates for how long all 10 missions were supposed to take? It would seem like two to three years of content or so just by judging by the first 2 missions.
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Re: REKT: God Throws Dice (Main Thread)

#7
Ok, first thing: WOAH :shock:

Second: Oh dear, you sure you're not overly optimistic with those predictions :shock: You know wer'e good at killing ourselves.

Third to last in no particular order:

Do you have a rough overview over when everyone in Squad 3 would've died prematurely? Just out of interest...?

Wait, the NPC-Squads had such severe losses?? When was the last time again that I talked to them D: *Sad*

I also still wonder how Nequeba would've managed to take out the tower, btw ^^°

Could we have just destroyed the Core-Integrity-Thingy and just picked out the Orb and stuff from the rubble when the Moon fell apart? :ghost: (I just read the conclusion with the magma-tentacle-thingy...yelp)

So Nequeba's Trinket was indeed a recording Device? ...darn...we really were equipped totally wrong for this part of the mission :(


Much thanks for the writings :D I'm quite sure that I'll re-read the missions again sometime just to laugh at our inept antics XD
Apparently, sometimes stuff might happen.
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Re: REKT: God Throws Dice (Main Thread)

#8
BFett wrote:Thanks for writing this up Talvieno. It makes me kind of wish we could have played though this; though it would have easily taken 3 or more months just to finish the mission. Do you have any estimates for how long all 10 missions were supposed to take? It would seem like two to three years of content or so just by judging by the first 2 missions.
Probably two or three more years, if I managed to stay on top of things. It would've lasted a long time.
Dinosawer wrote:But did Dino survive so he could keep his brain? :ghost:
I was actually initially imagining Dinosawer would survive all the way to the end. This was, of course, before he went and lost his body. :ghost:
F4wk35 wrote:Do you have a rough overview over when everyone in Squad 3 would've died prematurely? Just out of interest...?
Hmm, dunno. I don't really care about deaths per squad, I just care that enough people die to make you guys realize that people are going to die. :ghost:
Fawkes wrote:Wait, the NPC-Squads had such severe losses?? When was the last time again that I talked to them D: *Sad*
NPCs always take heavy losses. They're the easiest to kill because I don't have to worry about an unhappy player.
Fawkes wrote:I also still wonder how Nequeba would've managed to take out the tower, btw ^^°
It could've been one of those, "Haha, take that, Talv! Tricked you again!" things where you guys had Nequeba fly close enough to the tower for a Quantum-controlled ally to fire at her. She'd dodge, the shot would hit the tower instead, kaboom. That or she'd ram the tower, get someone to hack the tower, do a perception check to find a good place to pull out a few cables - you get the idea. There would've been a way. Squad 3 was not on top of things, though. :lol: As DM, I can only guide you.
Fawkes wrote:So Nequeba's Trinket was indeed a recording Device? ...darn...we really were equipped totally wrong for this part of the mission :(
That's the best part, though. :) I liked making you guys adapt. It was fun to see you invent new strategies. I tried (not always successfully, but I tried) to give you guys a lot of leeway in that regard so you could come up with creative ways to save yourselves from seemingly impossible situations. You usually did, too.
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