A random prize in a bag of CrunchyTym Algae Chips reads:
ATTENTION CITIZEN: You have been randomly selected to serve Alpha Complex as a Troubleshooter! Rejoice! For your mission briefing and outfitting, report to the Briefing Office and PLC Outfitting Center in [Printer Error Type 41325] Sector. The computer has kindly arranged transportation for you! Board the Transbot at platform 43 in FUN sector, and it will take you to your destination! Failure to report to the platform within ten minutes of reading this note will result in a small fine, followed by death. Remember, Citizen: When life gives you [CENSORED], make [CENSORED]ade!
Transportation to "Briefing Room":
A small, two man Transbot pulls up at the station. There is enough room to squeeze four people into the cab, if they all sit on each other, and for one person to cling to the outside. After the inevitable argument and probable bloodbath concerning who gets to sit in the one seat, the Transbot will depart (it is activated by a Big Red Button on the dashboard). Soon after departure, something strange happens. Gravity appears to shift 90 degrees to the right, so that the Transbot "falls" against the right wall, probably crushing several Troubleshooters, skidding along the wall for several hundred feet, then crashing spectacularly when gravity reverts to normal after several seconds. Several Troubleshooters will be dead or maimed at this point, and the cab of the Transbot is twisted in such a way as to trap whoever is inside. The next platform is about two hundred feet away, and after a few seconds, someone notices the smell of smoke and the flicker of fire coming from the wreckage of the bot...
Once the Troubleshooters (or whatever's left of them) reach the next platform, only two buildings are immediately apparent - a building with a partially destroyed sign that now simply reads "Office o-" and a PLC distribution center which is closed for "Service Group Appreciation Day".
The office looks very busy, but nothing ever gets done - Careful inspection shows all workers are passing the same papers back and forth quickly. The front desk clerk dreams of being a vidstar and will try to talk about his aspirations at the slightest opportunity. A huge line of citizens waits to fill out forms - it looks as though some have been there for months - many have set up makeshift campsites and a miniature INFRARED market has formed.
The PCs are eventually directed to a "briefing office" in a disused basement room of cubicles (the floor is sinking and the ceiling falling in and there are no lights), at the bottom of a broken staircase behind a bathroom which, itself is being used as a makeshift office (the clerk wants a bribe before he'll let them past). The "briefing officer" is a YELLOW bureaucrat who is literally buried in paperwork (he's made a little fort out of all the files, from which he peers out at the Troubleshooters). He is teetering on the brink of insanity, and simply wants the PCs to go away. He will randomly give them papers from the stacks, and nods along with whatever they say.
The first piece of paper he gives them is a request for volunteers to help out at the Bright Vision Re-education Center in REM Sector . He the follows this with a reciept for 500 cans of Bubbly Bouncy Beverage and a half-chewed invoice for something. No other information is forthcoming except for the occasional bit of incomprehensible mumbling.
Despite it being closed, activity can be seen inside the PLC center, and, if the PCs shout long enough, someone comes to the door. He refuses to let the PCs in, but it doesn't matter. Whether they convince him or not, another gravity shift results in the door they are facing becoming "up". The Clerk falls through the door, opening it forcefully (he's a very large man) and becoming a semi-lethal projectile to any troubleshooters in his way. Anyone not quick enough to grab onto something will also fall towards the opposite wall (which is now the "floor"). Several items (from knives to Plushie Scrubbots for Junior Citizens) also fall through the open door. Inside the PLC center, at the back of the room (that is, on the "ceiling") are several cavernous Delivery Corridors, leading to "DIY Sector", "PBJ Sector" and, wouldn't you know it... "REM Sector". The following items are piled haphazardly against the wall, as are a large number of disgruntled looking Clerks wearing party hats:
(2) Six man tents, 4 full sets scuba gear, case (1000) butane lighters, (14) Hammers, (7) Chainsaws, (1000) Flourescent Light Tubes, (300) Wingnuts, (2) Notebooks, (1) Vidcam, (50) Rolls of Film, (5000) Shrinkwrapped data-disks from sector AOL labelled "Version 73.6", (5) Sunglasses, (4) Parkas, (58) Toothbrushes, (58) Tubes Toothpaste, (1) Kitchen Sink, (1) Pair RocketSlippers, 288 Boxes of Vita-Yum Meal Substitute Bars, (12) Large, Unmarked Steel Crates, (1) Dead Clerk crushed under an Unmarked Steel Crate, (5673) Ball bearings, (1) Forklift, (47) Black Socks, (5) Tubes G.L.U (General Liquid Unifier), (600) INFRARED-Clearance coloring books, entitled "The Computer is the Only Friend I Need", a huge number of unused foil Crunchee-Tym Algae Chip bags, left over after the flavor "Extra Zesty Stawberry and Cheeze" was pulled from the market, (1) Cone Rifle, (6) Laser Pistols, (6) Red Barrels, (2) Orange Barrels, (1) Yellow Barrel, (6) Hand Grenades.
The PCs are free to take whatever they want (if they can), but the Clerks will not be happy about it. After about five minutes, the Gravity stops being pointed 90 degrees to the left and instead shuts off entirely. This lasts until the players are a fair ways away from the room, at which point gravity reverts to normal. At this point, the lights also go out for several minutes (This Mission's "Dark Room").
The BrightVision ReEducation Center
Set into the wall of corridor 7 in REM sector (a slightly dingy place, stinking of old Bubbly Alchohic Beverage and Various Bodily Excretions), the BrightVision ReEducation Center consists of a large INFRARED clearance waiting room (the walls are peeling white plaster, with a black security band) and is lit by many fluorescent lights. About a hundred disgruntled citizens of all clearances (except VIOLET and ULTRAVIOLET) sit on uncomfortable plastic seats, while Glee-Adjustant PsychBots dole out Mandatory Medication and horrible Muzak plays in the background. Against the far wall is a clerk behind laserproof glass and a door that looks like it leads to a Broom Closet or something. In the center of the right wall is a YELLOW door, and in the center of the left wall is a INFRARED one. Occasionally, ReEducation specialists will emerge from the YELLOW door, and patients will occasionally be dragged through the black one.
If the players arrive at the BrightVision Re-education Center, the following complications can present themselves at the appropriate times:
- The staff have no idea why they're there.
The patients organize a revolt.
One patient becomes violent. He is VIOLET clearance.
The toilets are clogged and the scrub-bots mutiny.
The Glee-Adjustant Psychbots keep Psychoanylizing the PCs, giving them drugs, and demanding that they smile all the time. If necessary, they will affix HappyFun Smile Enforcers to the PC's heads.
Backup clones are sent before the players are dead, and the Computer isn't happy.
Gravity is erratic.
When re-education experts show up, they mistake the Troubleshooters for patients and attempt to drag them through the BLACK door.
An ORANGE citizen walks past, looks at a random player and says "Are you the one who... oh. Right. We're not supposed to talk about that..."
The Broom Supply Hub is a vast Broom Closet, the size of several sectors, which supplies Janitorial Equipment to PLC workers across Alpha Complex. It is a multi-leveled, some say extra-dimensional space, cyclopean in size, lit by endless dingy, bare lightbulbs. Over the generations, uncounted PLC workers have walked into its depths never to be seen again. Today it is ingrained in all new Firm Members - never, never go into the Hub alone. But by now, the lost PLC workers have formed a self-sustaining community, maintaining themselves on a diet of rats, cockroaches, and food left as offerings for safe passage by the PLC Janitorial staff. They have been cut off from Alpha Complex for generations, and have forgotten the teachings of Friend Computer. About a week ago, a raiding party was sent out of one of the doors opening into REM Sector. They quickly became lost, and stumbled upon the Gravitational Equalizer (which Equalized Gravity for all the adjacent sectors). Not knowing what it was, they fiddled around with it, pushing buttons, pulling levers, and dropping mobs and drain-cleaning fluid into the works. They caused horrifying damage in the five minutes or so it took for them to become bored and wander off. There are several entrances to the Hub in REM sector, one of which is in an out of the way corner of the BrightVision ReEducation Center.
The debriefing officer stands behind a massive, blast-shielded podium flanked by Vulture troopers with large, nasty looking guns, while the PCs sit in brilliant interrogation spotlights that look disconcertingly like bullseyes. He asks the following questions:
"Was the supplied equipment adequate for the mission?" (If No, explain why The Computer would allow you to be sent on a mission with inadequate equipment?).
"Your outfitter reports that you never arrived. Explain why."
"What tactical discoveries did you make concerning the location of the weapon?"
"How many rounds, approximately, would you say you fired?"
"Which Member of your team was least helpful?"
"How, precisely, did you deactivatevate it?"
"What were the motives and objectives of PURGE, and how did you thwart them?"
"Were or are any members of your team guilty of treason? If so, explain and give evidence."
"What was your favorite part of the mission? Would you do it again?" (If no, explain why not).
Service Group: Housing Preservation Development & Mind Control
Service Firm: Version Control History Purifiers
Mutant Power: Hypersenses
Secret Society: PURGE
Secret Mission: You find instructions printed on back of your toiletry ration. They read: "We think the computer can maybe track Alpha Complex citizens by smell, probably. We want you to test this by keeping everyone on your team as dirty and smelly as possible. Prevent the Hygiene Officer from doing his job at all costs. We expect a full report on the effects of the experiment. Also, you'll find a large black hat on your bunk. Take it with you wherever you go for the next week, and WHATEVER YOU DO... don't drop it." When you return to your bunk, there is indeed a large black hat on it.
Service Group: Armed Forces
Service Firm: HappyDaze Glee Quota Adjusters
Mutant Power: X-Ray Vision
Secret Society: Sierra Club
Secret Mission: When passing a ventilation duct, you hear a man whisper to you from inside it. It's your SecSoc contact, and he gives you the following instructions: "Destroy power generators in the sector and distribute these miniature flame generators (candles) among the citizens to teach them the pleasure of "roughing it." Also, swap The Hat with this Other Hat." Bring the original hat back to us, and WHATEVER YOU DO don't drop it. He then gives you sixty candles and a large black Hat, and crawls away.
Service Group: Central Processing
Service Firm: HerdEmUp Volunteer Collection Agency
Mutant Power: Teleportation
Secret Society: Anti-Mutants
Secret Mission: You find a stain on floor, which appears to be patterned in such a way as to contain the code agreed upon at your last meeting. The code seems to read: "All the members of your team (except you, of course) are mutants. Discover and record the nature of their powers. Also, get The Hat and bring it to us safely - and WHATEVER YOU DO don't drop it." Something like that, anyway.
Service Group: Research and Development
Service Firm: GooBeGone Goo Cleanup
Mutant Power: Puppeteer
Secret Society: Communists
Secret Mission: You find a note hidden in the assembly line at your Heat Resistant Mittens Manufacturing Sweatshop. It reads: "Prevent your team from achieving their objective by any means necessary, but don't allow your cover to be blown. Also, destroy The Hat, but whatever you do, DON'T let anyone see you doing it. Power to the people, Comrade!"
Service Group: Technical Services
Service Firm: Hooked on Futonics Bedding Services
Mutant Power: Pyrokinesis (Registered Mutant)
Secret Society: Mystics
Secret Mission: In a crowded dining hall, a man bumps into you and slips you a PlastiLike bag filled with what appear to be strange food capsules of some sort. They are spongy and soft, with red, domed tops and brown stems. Inside the bag is a note. It reads: "These are called 'mushrooms'. They have been procured at great expense from the Outside. When eaten, they bestow temporary Enlightenment, allowing the eater to see the Truth of Reality, Unreality, and Everything Else and how The Mystick Goddess relates to All Sorts of Things. Administer them to others when the situation calls for it - but be careful! There are only twelve mushrooms. Also, take several yourself and report on the effects."
So. What do you think? Do the secret society missions fit together well? Do they allow for enough inter-group conflict? Are there any glaring holes in the mission, or things that could go horribly wrong very easily?
Also - I'm not quite sure how to integrate the HyperDimensional Broom Closet people into the rest of the adventure. I like the idea of them "helping" at ReEducation center, but it seems like if that's the mission's focus, then the Gravity/Broom Closet just becomes an add-on.
Which brings up another point - what are BrightVision Centers like? I have a pretty good image in my head (of the waiting room, at least), but what would be its day to day operations? What could the players get in the way of/destroy beyond recognition/find excuses to kill each other over?
Any advice is greatly appreciated.