Previous to this session: The player characters make contact with a group of refugees and fugitives from a machine cult that cybernetically augments its operatives who are currently living in an old radio station in the middle of nowhere. Their communication happens online, and unfortunately something terrible lands in the chat room, causing irreparable damage to one of the fugitive’s neural augmentations, requiring immediate medical attention. Being one of the few groups with air transportation (tiltjets), they fly over to visit and arrive just in the nick of time.
Session Begins: The player characters arrive to meet a group of suspicious individuals who nonetheless need their help. The surgeons and an engineer are immediately put to work replacing the neural augmentation. A process they have to role play out using a brain prop with circuitry glued to it which they must scrape free of goop. Shortly thereafter, one of their own people have a stroke due to prior exposure to psychic infohazards and a new medical emergency must be managed.
While this occurs, the fugitives and the player characters size each other up and get to know each other. There’s a bio-locked safe (represented by an old walk-in freezer) that contains unknown items. There are secrets being held that the fugitives haven’t told the refugees, and vice versa. And to make matters worse, a local scavenger drops by to add more chaos to the mix with his growing paranoia. Eventually they get access to the safe and find alien technology hidden within, including a 3-ft high alien device with markings alongside the side that a few start to translate using a code they had found earlier.
A mutant psyker shows up but it looks more like an augmented person as its mutations are subtle and mainly neurological. Its face is damaged, showing the metal skull that shows its been cybernetically augmented. It just stands there, staring at them, seeking an alien device that sits on a table, unseen by the creature just yet. The creature ignores their attempts to converse with it, to see if it’s still a person. One of the fugitive’s nerve breaks, and he shoots the creature, which then attacks.
The creature heals all wounds, and it’s only when someone hits it with a shock baton, left discarded on the table by another character, that it shows any real pain and finally flees. Sensing that it may well return, the characters set about giving each other first aid, moral support and armour repairs. A few even start ammo reloading, which is an in-game mechanic where you can turn two spent bullets into a live (i.e. usable) round. Used NERF darts are dropped into a container to keep it separate. In this way, available bullets slowly dwindle over the course of the session.
Other events in this session:
- A morse code message was found to be regularly received by the radio tower that mentioned a pre-apocalypse general still being at large.
- People were infected by a mysterious agent that caused the development of worms in their body. This infection progressed through four stages. In the first stage, their blood could be tested for eggs. In the second stage, they could find maggots and would become suspicious and hungry. In the third stage, they could find worms (represented by spaghetti). In the fourth stage, they would become fully infected and lose themselves to the domitor worm. Each stage’s worm infection was physically represented by something.
- The scientists and their assistants found ways to beat back the worm infection to earlier stages, using a variety of scientific mini-games and testing agents on the infected. Only after they completed a test, were they informed of the results.
- One of the player characters agreed to undergo a conversion into an alien species while infected, in the hopes that the transformation would kill off the worms and create antibodies they could use to cure the infection. This was successful.
- There were attacks by a different hunter psyker that could be killed, a zed randomly ran into the hall and almost took out a character, infected characters attacked others in their hunger and had to be restrained, and the scientists had to monitor the life signs of the one undergoing the transformation.
- The power went out and they had to keep the powerful mutant psyker distracted as they couldn’t yet kill it.
- The powerful mutant psyker returned and was finally killed when the engineers finished construction of a device that would boost the power of a shock collar and baton owned by another character. They constructed a literal device using a toy build kit previously bought from Savers.
In the end, there were no fatalities except for the paranoid scavenger, but their situation was precarious throughout the game. The session ran for five hours, including opening speeches, and was billed as a survival horror session in a campaign that ranged between the genres of post-apocalyptic action, sci fi thriller and horror.