After barely escaping the convoy ambush in last episode, the PC’s ship requires repairs that can’t be made while drive is running. The crew has the choice of shutting down in deep space and having to use vac suits to make the repairs or they have the range with their damaged drive to land on a partially terraformed uninhabited moon that has a thin atmo and normal gravity, but nothing else except for automated terraforming equipment.
The deep space option is perfectly acceptable especially since it allows the ship to go in any direction rather than the single course available if the moon option is selected. The downside of the deep space option is the difficulty of doing heavy repairs in space suits. All repairs are made suffer a two step penalty. PCs working outside also have to make one AGL + Athletics to safely move outside. Failures will be simply amusing, a Botch on the other hand is dangerous as they have slipped free of the hull. If they can make a Formidable AGL + Athletics to save themselves with a desperate grab. Another PC can attempt a Hard AGL + Athletics to make the same desperate grab if the floating PC fails. If both fail, then this will require the use of a shuttle to rescue the drifting character. The crew will have to make three Hard INT + Mechanical Engineering rolls to fix the damage to their ship.
Landing on the moon avoids all those spacesuit problems. The thin atmosphere has enough oxygen that breath masks aren’t even needed, but any lifting or running tasks have a one step penalty after five minutes, a two step after five, and unless the PC can make a Hard VIT + Athletics roll per round, they will black out.
Regardless of option, when repairs are nearly completed but while the ship is still powered down and can’t move, an Average INT + Computer Operations roll will detect a ship approaching. If this roll fails or no one is manning the sensors, the Neo-Browncoats signal the PC’s ship. With the drive disabled, the opportunity to flee is impossible. The rebels have located the ship via tracker Cindy activated at the end of last episode.
The Neo-Browncoats arrive in force, but do everything in their power to avoid a fight. They make it clear they intend to seize the ship and do not want to harm anyone. If a fight ensues, they use minimal force, but there are twenty heavily armed experienced combat troops on their ship and they will not be denied.
Once it is clear they Neo-Browncoats are serious, the PCs can fight if they wish, it will be a glorious futile fight, but one the players are welcome to make if they choose. Cindy is the wild card that will get the drop on the rest of the crew with her SMG from behind if they resist too much. After the fight is avoided or over, the ship is boarded and the crew is searched, disarmed, and placed under close guard, but not bound or treated inhumanly. If fact, their captors do everything possible to treat the crew with dignity and actively make recruiting attempts to their cause. All during this process, Cindy is seen conferring with Montag and makes it clear she has made her choice. She is uncomfortable around the other PCs but states that this is the time and the place to make this stand.
After the ship is firmly in rebels hands, the repairs are completed and the ship gets under way. The PCs do not have any idea of their course as the bridge and the engine room are under heavy guard at all times. The crew is kept in the double passenger cabins also under guard. The only way out of the cabins is to get their captives to believe they have joined the cause. This will require a Hero INT + Influence roll to get to a one on one interrogation. To convince the leader of the Neo-Browncoats, Stephen Montag that they are serious converts to the cause, they have to beat three opposed rolls of INT + Influence versus his INT D12 Interrogation D10 skill. Any result other than three successes, keep the PC a “guest” of the rebellion.
The ship travels for three days before making planet fall. Once on the ground, the crew is forced to work as stevedores on their own ship to unload the cargo they took on in Bellerophon and now seized by the Neo-Browncoats. The backwater landing field base of the rebels does not have enough power load lifters and most of the cargo has to be done by hand. Unloading the ship this way takes three more days. The crew is held in a solid block house style building along with several other crewmen they recognize were in the convoy.
Each day the crew is subjected to long work hours and
indoctrination by the Neo-Browncoats. The rebels are extremely friendly and the
recruiting is very effective playing on the destiny denied of the Unification
War, the treachery exposed by the Miranda broadcast, and the years of neglect
The players have several choices at this point. They can choose to actually join the cause, they can pretend to join, or they can choose to be stubborn and wait for a chance to escape on their own. GMs will have to play it by ear based on the choices of their players. If they sincerely want to join the cause, they are interviewed by Montag one more time and allowed to join with an Easy INT + Influence roll, only a Botch will fail to convince the rebel leader of their sincerity. If a Botch is rolled, then that PC will have a guard assigned to him until such time as the GM deems the PC to have passed his probation.
If they pretend to join, they will each have a one on one interview with Montag as above, but since he is busy with several things at once and the immediacy of the PC’s capture has passed, the character only has to beat him in the opposed INT + Influence roll to conditionally convince him, they will no longer have guards, but they will not be allowed on the bridge or in the engine room of their ship without an escort.
If they refuse to join, they get to stew in the blockhouse as the only captured crew left holding out. If they are, once the ship is unloaded, they are hustled aboard and placed in the same passenger cabin under guard. As they board their ship, they see dozens of Neo-Browncoat troops boarding as well.
Regardless of their status, after the ship lifts, they hear a broadcast from Montag, the “fleet” is going into battle.