[Pocket Danger Patrol hack at Gamestorm 2016] The Star-Spores of Mykonn

edited March 2017 in Actual Play
Pocket Danger Patrol by John Harper
Ultra-Threat-O-Matic by Mike Wight

The Players:

Caroline H. as Angel the Psychic Detective, a plucky new recruit
Special Abilities: Telepathy, Arcane Magnifying Glass (the "Eye of God")
Relationship with Dr. Hologram: Niece, concerned for his well-being, tries to cheer him up

Marc H. as Dr. Hologram the Two-Fisted Professor, a grouchy physicist
Special Abilities: Know-It-All, Atom Smasher
Relationship with Max: Ex-mentor, very disappointed that he pursued adventure instead of science

Seth M. as Max Meson the Atomic Commando, a Danger Patrol redshirt
Special Abilities: Radium Rifle, Atom Jacket
Relationship with K'all: Friend and tour guide, teaching him Earth culture and showing him the sights

John M. as K'all the Alien Explorer, a strangely upbeat visitor from another planet
Special Abilities: Ultra-Sight, Travel Chrono-Log
Relationship with Ace: Drinking buddy and documentarian, fascinated by his anti-heroism

Nick as Ace the Mystic Agent, an unorthodox vigilante crossing over from his own successful TV series
Special Abilities: Fedora of Invisibility & Teleportation, Mystical Crossbow with Exploding Bolts
Relationship with Angel: Very protective, possibly the first person he's ever truly cared about

The Threats:

Fungoid Mind Control (GM: Caroline), an extraterrestrial infection slowly enslaving Rocket City

Robotic Swarm (GM: Nick), a mechanical army built from scrap metal by mind-controlled citizens

Psychic Hitman (GM: John), "Sporaxis," a pale fungoid avatar sent to kill any who resist control

Ancient Conqueror (GM: Seth), "Mykonn," an undead tyrant en route to Earth within a fungal asteroid

Solar Parasite (GM: Marc), a plague of super-spores polluting our sunlight to allow Mykonn's approach

The Game:

Flashback 1: In our last episode, downtown Rocket City had been engulfed in a huge cloud of mind-controlling alien spores and the citizenry was running riot under its influence. Max Meson and the Danger Patrol defense squad quickly moved in and pacified the crowds with their stun rifles, eventually confronting the alien fiend Sporaxis in a downtown plaza. Max's Atom Jacket was able to repel the spores but provided no defense against the creature's psionic attack. All seemed lost until a gas-masked Dr. Hologram emerged from the mists carrying a makeshift anti-psi helmet. Clamping it to Max's head, the doctor quickly led the surviving Patrollers to safety, before the final shot revealed that his gas-mask had been damaged in the battle and that he was now himself Infected (3d4).

Flashback 2: In a much earlier episode, K'all had been working with the scientists at Danger Patrol HQ to monitor recent solar disturbances when he noticed a faint fluctuation in the Ultra-Visual wavelengths. A moment later, Mykonn awoke the Solar Parasite and the resulting blast of radiation caused most of the display panels in the room to explode. Luckily, Max rolled plenty of hits, rescuing K'all by tackling him to the ground and adding the 3d8 overkill dice to the Parasite. We decided that this represented the useful data gleaned from the final anti-solar images burned into the cracked monitor screens.

Flashback 3: In a scene from the pilot episode, K'all met with Ace at a roadside bar to discuss their independent investigations into reports of mass hallucinations and weird hypnotic behavior. Hearing faint voices whispering in the backs of their heads, they turned to find themselves surrounded by a menacing mob of silent bar patrons. The pair quickly fought their way through the front door and escaped in K'all's vehicle but couldn't avoid the Complication, "Marked by Mykonn."

Flashback 4: In a recent episode, Angel investigated several seemingly mind-controlled suspects and quietly followed them to a local junkyard. There, they met with other dead-eyed citizens to continue the construction of a weird tower of scrap metal and salvaged electronics. A crunch of broken glass betrayed her location and a swarm of robots suddenly rose from the landfill behind her. Appearing from nowhere, Ace called out a warning and unleashed a barrage of exploding crossbow bolts to scatter the metallic horde. The heroes eventually evaded the pursuing machines but the revelation of Ace's unexpected concern for Angel revealed a new Complication / motif for this season: Emotional Vulnerability.

Flashback 5: At the end of our last episode, Angel found Uncle Hologram working late in his lab, experimenting on his own infected cells and attempting to communicate directly with the mysterious hive mind of the spores. Paralyzed by psychic feedback, the doctor (and audience) sees visions of a fuzzy fungoid asteroid hurtling towards Earth, closer and closer, and the dim grey throne room within. The decaying face of Mykonn emerges dripping from the darkness and speaks to the camera, "Earth shall be ours and you can do nothing to prevent it, Doctor." Rushing to his side, Angel reaches out mentally and breaks the connection, but not before yet another Complication is added: "Mykonn is Watching."

End of Round, Threats vs. Terrestrial Life: The Ancient Conqueror hits. The asteroid crests the horizon, a hideous second moon growing over the city and corrupting the night sky. The Fungoid Mind Control hits. As the people on the streets of Rocket City look up in silent horror, the infected among them take advantage of the distraction to move through the crowds and spread the contagion.

Comments

  • Turn 1: As the season finale begins, Dr. Hologram is working on the top floor of the Danger Patrol observatory, completing the conversion of his solar telescope into a gigantic laser crossbow. When his communicator suddenly goes dead, the rest of the team races to the scene only to find the doctor and his device covered in fungus, at the mercy of Sh't'ki, another fungoid minion of Mykonn. Max sprints and dodges through masses of fast-growing mushrooms, eventually reaching the creature and knocking its head off with a single uppercut. Unfortunately, his Emotional Vulnerability to the sight of his helpless ex-mentor unbalances Max at a crucial moment, allowing the body of Sh't'ki to grapple and drag him down as it dies. The remains of the creature liquefy and splash onto the floor and Max seemingly falls straight through the puddle, vanishing completely. Dr. Hologram cries out in distress ("Max, no!"), shrugs off the fungus-induced paralysis and runs to the control panel. The team watches as he targets the sun and activates the gigantic laser, destroying the parasite and restoring the color of the sky.

    Turn 2: Dr. Hologram theorizes that Max was not actually dissolved but merely displaced via some sort of "myco-scopic tele-spore-tation" technology. Quickly taking their positions in the Dangermobile, our heroes burn rubber and track his faint transponder signal back to Rocket City. Suddenly, a wave of weak and malfunctioning drones intercept the vehicle, swiftly merging into a single giant robot and opening fire with twin cannons. Weaving and dodging between its legs, K'all uses his combat driving expertise to trick the machine into shooting its own legs out from under it and destroying itself in a huge explosion.

    Turn 3: As the team is surveying the wreck of the Dangermobile, the smoke clears to reveal the form of Sporaxis slowly walking down the street towards them. Angel clutches her head and screams in pain as the villain begins his psychic attack. Ace grits his teeth and his theme music kicks in as he steps forward, leather boots crunching on gravel. Despite the danger of abandoning his loner anti-hero persona and revealing his true feelings, he stands his ground, draws his crossbow and yells, "You don't hurt my friends!" A bolt sinks into the alien creature's forehead and its black eyes widen just before the explosion completely obliterates it. We speculate that the actor playing Ace was in contract negotiations this year and that the ratings on his own TV show weren't doing so well, so his agent got him a couple of cameos on this show and the fans loved him. He'll definitely be returning next season.

    Turn 4: Sporaxis' death triggers an extra-sensory shockwave and, for a moment, everyone in its proximity is telepathically connected. This brings even more raw emotions to the surface but also confirms that Max is indeed still alive, held prisoner by the spore-slaves in the center of the fortified junk tower from Flashback #4. Dr. Hologram hotwires a nearby car and in moments the team is crashing through the junkyard gate while Angel projects psychic disruption waves in an attempt to liberate those within. Max hears her faint voice and breaks out of his dream-prison, battling his way through the tower alongside a growing mob of free and angry citizens. Unfortunately, Mykonn is Watching Angel and her actions bring a further Complication, as she is now fully ensnared by The Mind of Mykonn (2d4).

    Turn 5: Our heroes breach the tower doors and join forces with Max and his new deputies to fight back a wave of quick-growing mushroom monsters. Dr. Hologram activates his Atom Smasher gauntlets, switches to Element 133 ("hologramium") and spins into an awe-inspiring combat maneuver best described as a hand-to-hand death blossom. Alien fungus flies in every direction, vaporized by the transuranic radiation, as he pushes through to the heart of the tower and unleashes a double hammer fist haymaker upon its energy core. The feedback overloads the core and defeats the threat but the doctor is Taken Out in the process, instantly teleported to the only receiving station left on the alien network: the asteroid's control chamber.

    End of Round, Threats vs. Terrestrial Life: The Ancient Conqueror misses. As his withered and shaking hand reaches for the Omega Lever to detonate the asteroid and defile the Earth, he is interrupted by the sudden arrival of Dr. Hologram. He turns his gaze upon the intruder and seizes control through the infection still lingering within him. Their faces both twist into smiles, and we cut to commercial.

    Turn 6: The team quickly puzzles out the teleporter controls and follows the signal to the villain's lair, only to find Dr. Hologram passive and unmoving by the alien's side. The fungal infection has taken complete control and he now stands ready to replace Sporaxis as the right hand of Mykonn! Screaming in rage, Max dials his Radium Rifle to Element 133 and opens fire, releasing the doctor but also fracturing the asteroid, causing multiple semi-explosive decompressions and putting it into a "Decaying Orbit" (2d4). Max blames his poor education for this disaster, and Dr. Hologram reluctantly agrees.

    Turn 7: Unable to escape The Mind of Mykonn, Angel dives deep and discovers that even the Conqueror himself is a victim of the horrible fungus. For thousands of millennia, it has kept him barely alive to carry its spores to countless worlds in an endless cycle of mindless enslavement. Calling upon the faint glimmer of the alien's only true desire, she draws it up to the surface and Mykonn shrieks, "Free me!" With the last of his strength, he alters course and slingshots the crumbling asteroid towards the sun. As the fungus forsakes him and he begins to dissolve, Angel realizes that he cannot complete this final mission alone. She activates the teleporter, returning the rest of the team to Earth, then takes his skeletal hand in hers. They fall into the solar corona, and Angel throws the Omega Lever.

    Terrestrial Life Status: Saved

    Epilogue: The people of the world celebrate their narrow escape and a statue of Angel is unveiled in downtown Rocket City. There is much speculation about the details of her inevitable return next season. Dr. Hologram settles into his new office as chancellor of Rocket City University, and a newspaper on his desk confirms, "Hologramium Serum Cleanses Last of Spores from Earth!" At the Danger Patrol HQ shooting range, we see Max studying his old science textbooks when he should be working on his aim. Ace and K'all return to the roadside bar from the pilot episode and finish their drinks, reflecting on the year's events and declaring the whole emotional journey of near-extinction to have been "worth it."
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