Friday, September 9, 2016

Mynock Squadron Recap # 11 [RPG]

[4.6.11 ABY]

While maintaining position outside the asteroid field, Kero begins transmitting a situation report. She's interrupted in the middle of the transmission by the arrival of a New Republic fleet. Mynock Squadron is immediately ordered to slave their ships to that of the fleet, and when this is done, the ships together jump into hyperspace. During the jump, the pilots talk about what they did before joining the military. Waric divulges that he was an Imperial TIE pilot of some renown before learning the hard way that life under the Empire wasn't what the vids claimed it would be. Kero says all she ever wanted to be was a doctor. Keth says his life prior to service was rather mundane. Torga talks a little bit about the great hunt, but it's clear she's not feeling well. Stavros remains quiet the whole time, and when the concerned pilots contact his vessel's R2 unit, they discover he hasn't input any manual controls for some hours.

[4.6.12 ABY]

When the slaved vessels finally emerge from hyperspace, they see a large New Republic medical frigate nearby. They're ordered to land in a cleared hangar bay, where special quarantine measures have been taken. With Stavros still unresponsive, his astromech unit is ordered to land his Y-Wing alongside the others. When everyone exits their cockpits, they realize Stavros is unconscious and suffering from the delayed effects of the injuries he suffered at the hands of the NIF pirates aboard their freighter. Before exiting the hangar, each pilot is required to pass through a full body digital tomography scan to search for the presence of the nanovirus. Torga fails the test and is taken away for treatment. Stavros is free of the virus, but is taken to a medical ward for treatment of his wounds. The Nishrian taken into custody as a protective measure also proves to be free of the virus, and arrangements are made to return him home.

The others pass through without incident and are taken to a secure room to write full reports on the mission. Kero writes a particularly persuasive justification for her actions, and then makes small talk with Waric. She asks him about his prosthetic parts, noting that she's taken up studying cybernetic surgery in her spare time. Waric says the prosthetics were implanted by a trauma team, using a droid's neural net, after an explosion.

A few hours later, Lt. Tuvolo appears. He says that the pilots made the most out of a bad situation, as no one expected them to be pressed into a full field operation on their own. He says that Torga has been put into cryosleep for the time being, as the rapidly advancing disease cannot be halted by any known means and only cold seems to slow the nanovirus from spreading. Waric tells Tuvolo about the "Second Empire Protocol" uttered by the Nanoformed, and Tuvolo says he hopes that the encrypted files found on the freighter can be sliced for more information. He warns the group that, given the serious nature of the nanovirus and the competing orders given, a formal inquiry has been called by the Provisional Council and that the pilots should expect a visit from an investigator shortly.

Soon after Tuvolo leaves, Szo-Dano arrives to greet her squad mates. Waric speculates that the Second Empire Protocol may be a way for Imperial remnants to mobilize a massive army by infecting a population and transforming them into super-soldiers. Kero does some research and realizes that a prominent scientist of nanobiotics named Jindd Rheim was kidnapped last year on Ithor by a crack Imperial commando team. She suspects Rheim may have been forced to put the finishing touches on the nanovirus, but his present whereabouts are unknown. The pilots share this information with Tuvolo, who promises to look into it.

[4.6.13 ABY]

The next day, Waric, Keth, and Kero are summoned to a meeting with the investigator sent by the Provisional Council. He seems quite skeptical about the pilots' story, and implies that they lacked sound judgment in the making the decisions they did. Kero explains that boarding the research station was justified as an attempt to track down the source of the virus, but they had no choice but to withdraw against a superior force of unknown origin when the Nanoformed appeared. The investigator criticizes Waric for handing an innocent Nishrian a blaster pistol potentially laced with the nanovirus, but Kero defends him, stating that he had no way of knowing the virus might be transmitted that way. Both Keth and Waric are the subject of repeated questioning about the state of their ship, which was heavily damaged in attempts to traverse an asteroid field that seemed to pose no problems for Stavros and Kero. Keth says he was just following orders, and Waric says the ever-changing nature of an asteroid field means that they are unpredictable and always dangerous. The investigator doesn't seem satisfied by the group's responses to the various questions, but eventually dismisses them.

Some hours later, the three pilots are summoned to a ready room near the bow of the ship. When the doors open, they see Tuvolo, Major Dei, and (for the first time) the rest of Mynock Squadron. Those assembled applaud, and Tuvolo explains that apart from some flack for poor care of requisitioned equipment, the inquiry cleared Gamma Flight of any wrongdoing. Holding up a glass of synthale, he toasts the group: "To Gamma Flight: the greenest bunch of nerfherders ever to save the galaxy."
Director's Commentary (September 9, 2016)
The conversation about the beginning about what the PCs did before they joined Mynock Squadron was one of my occasional attempts to get some RP going about a topic that might not naturally arise during an adventure but that helps flesh out the characters.  I usually do this by saying something like "While you're travelling, the conversation turns to [subject]" and having each person go in turn.  Sometimes this works out better than other times, but I still like the idea.
Alas, no Stavros.  His player was a mainstay in my previous Clone Wars campaign so I assumed he would be quite reliable, but he dropped out rather unceremoniously from this one which was disappointing.  I'm not sure if it was the campaign, the growing demands of family life, or the early wake up calls (I ran the game from Australia, online, so it was really late at night for me but really early in the morning for the North American contingent).
There wasn't any combat this session, but I remember being pretty pleased with it as a pure RP epilogue to the group's first "real" mission.  Everyone did a really nice job with their interrogation by the investigator, and the research and speculation about the "Second Empire" was spot on.
This campaign often took a backseat in my mind to the Forgotten Realms campaign that I was running simultaneously, because it was biweekly instead of weekly and online instead of in-person, but looking back on it there's a lot I'm proud of.

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