Security Theatre 3000


Cosmic Mongoose
Just wanted to say thanks to Gareth Hanrahan - I sprang Security Theatre 3000 out of Signs & Portents 88 on my hapless 4-player group last night. If you like Paranoia and haven't used it yet, do so! It's incredibly good fun, and fun is, after all, mandatory.

The results, as ever, were faintly ridiculous.

The Mission started badly. The statement "we have now started, there is no such thing as 'out of character' from this point..." clearly didn't register with all the players; having explained the whole colour-equals-clearance concept, the first thing to occur was that Kathy-R reached over and started eating from a packed of skittles. Some accusations of treason later...

The mission alert recieved, the intrepid troubleshooters were directed to their mission briefing room. Except Amy-R, the one player who'd had the sense to write down their destination, had got it the wrong way round and hadn't realised. Instead of briefing room 747, floor 64, she confidently announced at the transbot station that they were en route to briefing room 64, floor 747.

Instructing the transbot they were in to take them seven hundred floors up, Kirk-R then pressed the Big Red Button without sitting down and strapping himself into one of the seats first, and before Amy-R could do so either. Some blunt force trauma later....

Arriving at the transtube station on the seven hundred and forty seventh floor, Kirk-R dispensed pills to Amy-R to cope with her concussion and self-medicated. This resulted in significant hallucinatory side effects. More importantly, staggering with a broken limb, he tripped and fell getting out of the transbot and was electrocuted on the rails. The rest of the troubleshooters stepped out, and then seconds later the transbot was disabled and crashed into the rails (smooshing Kirk-R's corpse) by a Gauss Pulse Bomb hidden on the transbot by Kathy-R - a Frankensteinien Destroyer who took the first opportunity the game offered to kill a bot. Whilst Amy-R and Kathy-R investigated the wreckage, Kirk-R and Phil-R reported the problem with the Transbot to a friendly computer terminal, and a repair team was dispatched. Since they neglected to mention the transbot was disabled in the middle of the station, or that the maglev rails had failed as well, the arriving repair team's transbot crashed into the back of the first transbot - killing Amy-R and Kathy-R. Some bad words later....

The team's consternation increased on discovering that floor 747 only had sixty rooms on it, numbered 01-60, in order. Finally thinking to check with Friend Computer, they discovered that they were six hundred and eighty three floors above where they were supposed to be. And late. And the Transtube platform was now closed for several hours.

"Friend Computer?"
<Yes, Citizen Kathy-R-2?>
"Is there any way down to floor 64 other than the transbot line?"
<Yes, Citizen Kathy-R-2.>
"Other than six-hundred-and-eighty flights of stairs?"
<Yes, Citizen Kathy-R-2. The Emergency High-Speed Personnel Descent System>
"Accessible at our security clearance?"
<Yes, Citizen Kathy-R-2.The Emergency High-Speed Personnel Descent System is RED clearance>
<That information is not available at your security clearance.>
"I see...."

The Emergency High-Speed Personnel Descent System turned out to be a lift shaft which hadn't had the lift carriage installed yet. The troubleshooters stared down into several hundred floors of blackness for several moments before Kirk-R finally decided to just jump and see. Much to his surprise, he found himself caught at the sixty-fourth floor by a giant airbag and redirected into the corridor, taking quite a few bruises in the process (although helped secretly by a Rubber Skeleton mutation). Kathy-R and Amy-R joined him. Phil-R missed the airbag. Sixty-four additional floors later.....

Finally at the right room, on the right floor, the troubleshooters marched into briefing room 747, noting that it had been reduced from GREEN to RED specifically for this meeting, and was all swanky and comfortable. Getting into the actual briefing area, they were confronted by two automated Sentrybotguns demanding a recognition code from the mission alert. Fortunately, AMY-R had written this down too. Unfortunately, she'd written that down in the wrong order as well. Some laserfire later....

Alerted by the sound of heavy-yield energy weapons fire outside his office that someone had arrived, Dirk-G, the briefing officer, came out, invited them in and gave them their briefing.

Given that they were expecting something after the fashion of 'Change a lightbulb' again, they were a bit shocked by the actual briefing:

"The Travel Hub is equipped with the most advanced security systems in all of Alpha Complex. We believe it is utterly impossible for any Commie Mutant Traitor terrorists to penetrate these layered defences without being terminated in the most hideously painful and thorough way imaginable. Your mission is to test the defences of the Alpha Complex Travel Hub. Here is a bomb."

Phil-R's face was a picture. The team was then issued with a selection of R&D hardware to make the test more stringent. Only two of these - the Travel Pillow and the Armour-in-a-Can - got used. Amy-R immediately fitted the Travel Pillow and went to sleep (so she claimed), being scuttled along the floor by the facehugger-like pillow. Dirk-G had, without thinking, switched off the lights in the room as he'd left. Inevitably, a laser got fired - specifically at Kirk-R, who - being no fool, had passed me a note saying "I duck!" as soon as the lights went out. The lights were swiftly switched on again, to find the startled Travel Pillow staying true to its facehugger-like appearance and trying to disappear into an air vent. Which it would have fit into, were it not still clamped around Amy-R's neck. As it happens, she was left wedged up to the shoulders and thoroughly stuck as a paintbot came around the corner, steadily erasing the RED clearance markings. The rest of the team, obviously seeking to comply with security classifications, left the area, leaving Amy-R stuck. Eventually, she was yanked out of the vent and found herself staring up at a trio of GREEN clearance IntSec Jackbooted Thugs. Some strenuous interrogation later....

Arriving at the transit hub concourse and collecting their tickets (persuading the ticket machine to play along with the use of a Simulated Terrorism Termination Waiver filled out in it's serial number), the troubleshooters were disconcerted to find the whole place on security alert (after a transtube bombing on floor 747!) and this left them taking far too long to get through security. Phil-R was pulled in by IntSec after the bag (swapped with Gavin-Y's 'replacement bag' after some agonising) set off the gateway detectors. A bit of bootlicking and a Simulated Terrorism Termination Waiver later, he wasbeen released, but Kirk-R had also been pulled in as his B3 can bomb had been picked up. He'd forgotten he was carrying it, and when the IntSec Goon picked it up to inspect it, it (inevitably) went off, destroying the IntSec field office and heavily wounding Kirk-R.
Being carried through a security access on a medical stretcher, Phil-R was moaning in pain as he passed the door where Amy-R was passing through the scanners - and she decided to set off her tooth bomb. The second bomb still didn't kill Phil-R, but it did kill the IntSec personnel carrying his stretcher, leaving him with a broken arm as well and heartily sick of being blown up.

Making their way to the check-in desk, the troubleshooters successfully failed to read the check-in form correctly, with only Amy-R reading that the form asked you to check the fact that you were NOT carrying any of the following. Having therefore owned up to carrying sharp objects, explosives, treasonous materials and illegal drugs, the other three troubleshooters then took their boarding cards and confidently set out for security. Some termination booth visits later....

Getting to the flybot gate was very difficult - they didn't have enough mission time left to walk, and the transtube cars were all full. Kirk-R's daring plan to medicate an ORANGE-clearance citizen and fake a 'medical emergency' was not a bad idea to clear space, but was thwarted by the fact that neither his pharmatherapy skills nor his intimidation skills were up to scratch. So what he actually did was assault and lethally poison a high-clearance citizen in front of many witnesses. One IntSec intervention later....

The backup plan was a (remarkably successful) hardware roll by Phil-R to recalibrate an unused flybot launch tube into a catapult to get them to their gate. Kirk-R was first to be fired in the right direction, landing safely-ish, (again thanks to his rubber skeleton). Phil-R did not, his heavily injured form being unable to achieve any form of acrobatics and ending up smeared over the flybot gate roof. The bag with the bomb slid down and clocked him on the head as he stepped out of the clone-o-matic booth. Amy-R and Kathy-R made it. At the final security gate, the particle scanner started to sweep through luggage - Phil-R, who was still responsible for the bag, went with the plan of spraying himself with the Armour-in-a-Can and rushing out to move the bag from the 'in' pile to the 'out' pile without passing through the scanner. This hardened and locked him in place on the conveyer belt just before he could reach the bag, and he was vapourised by the beam. His next clone rushed out of the clone-o-matic to try and re-attempt the feat. One critical failure later...

Somewhat annoyed that he'd lost two clones in as many minutes (but still, as he himself said through gritted teeth, incredibly happy), Phil-R's final clone tried to hand off the bag to Kathy-R, who wasn't keen on the idea. At final security, the nano-tech tank checked everyone and didn't cause any problems - except for Kirk-R, who was disintegrated into a nanotech soup. One clone delivery later....

The four exhausted clones slumped down in their seats on the flybot.
"So. How are we doing for time? We must be -"
One tactical nuclear detonation later......

The nuke took out most of the transit hub, along with Phil-R's final clone. This made the debriefing much, much easier for Amy-R, Kirk-R and Kathy-R, who were able to paint him as the terrorist mastermind whose evil organisation they had heroically infiltrated. Kirk-R, sadly, faced a final termination and deletion for murdering an ORANGE-clearance citizen, leaving Amy-R and Kathy-R as the mission's only survivors.
Thank you - it sounds like a fun session. I'm very fond of that scenario - it's up there with Sweep of Unhistory in my list of missions that I got right.
Hmm..... always happy for recommendations. Which book is Sweep Of Unhistory in?

We've had to cancel the game this thursday*, but we're looking at carrying on next week. I was probably going to run...err....can't remember the name. The OCN sector one with the nuclear missile sub in it.

*No game was ever booked this thursday. Any suggestion otherwise is treason
Sweep of Unhistory is in Alpha Complex Nights - it's the 'you're reckoned again and again in future versions of Alpha Complex' one.