The first scenario I ran at Historicon was Sundiver – ostensibly a rescue mission with a bit of shooting at each other on the way. The players play as rival HMOs (Atena and SigHealth), and their mission is to rescue more survivors than the other HMO can (PR will clean up the mess).
My convention players had other ideas, however – from the first they were on each other quite viciously, and in short order the Atena forces had lost a ship and had another crippled with little damage to SigHealth. Since it was so early in the game I threw in another ship to reinforce Atena (and also to ensure that I didn’t have a player out of the game in round 2, which would be no fun), and both forces started approaching the edge of the sun aggressively.
As they sped towards the objective, it became apparent that they were going dangerously fast and caution became the order of the day – several ships either chose to warp or reverse thrust before entering the zone which would start fires, and the two sides re-engaged each other while hovering just above the danger zone.
This time SigHealth caught the worst of the battle, two of their ships lost an engine and wouldn’t stand a chance of rescuing themselves if they tried going in for the rescue. These near-cripples then turned and did all they could to avoid being pulled closer to imminent doom. Another SigHealth ship (the Apothecary) lost both it’s main weapon and its transporter, making it nearly useless for the rescue attempt (or so the player believed). Only SigHealth’s Hermes remained in relatively good condition, and as Atena’s vessels closed in to pound on the two ships (The Foreman and the Grenada) that were struggling to keep themselves aloft, the Hermes boldly dipped into the danger zone to try to break through the Sundiver’s shields and start transporting civilians off the stricken vessel.
Things did not go as planned for the Hermes. The dice went cold, and repeated attempts to break through the shields succeeded in only one hit on the Sundiver – unfortunately that one hit damaged the AI core that was running the ship, which quickly resulted in the AI shutting down. With nothing to run the ship, the engines shut off and the Sundiver began it’s descent into Hell.
With the shields all still up.
Meaning that nobody was getting off that ship via transporter.
The civilians were left with no option but to use the escape pods – a desperate last-ditch measure, as missing the rescue vessel with a launch meant a fiery end, but still they came.
The Hermes continued to brave the heat and brought herself alongside the Sundiver to catch the pods. She was swiftly joined by the Apothecary, bruised and flaming but not yet broken. Together these two SigHealth vessels did their utmost to save the doomed survivors, and for some of them it was enough. Of the twenty-two souls screaming toward the inferno, they managed to save nine.
But it was not over yet. Seeing the sudden fall of their objective, the Atena ships abandoned their attack on the Grenada and the Foreman (Now clearly doomed with one engine destroyed and the other hull breached) and set a suicidal course for the heart of the sun in a desperate bid to either destroy or capture the SigHealth rescue ships – the objective of the scenario suddenly loomed large, and their rampant thirst for blood had cost them.
The Hermes escaped before the Atena vessels could arrive, but the Apothecary was boarded and a fight ensued for control of the ship as all four of the Atena vessels plunged to their doom. Though half the vessel’s compartments had been destroyed, by some miracle both the reactor and the engines had survived, and she rose above the fire while the battle raged within.
SigHealth crew now fought with tenacity and fantastic rolls, soon bringing the Atena invaders to their knees and retaining control of the ship. Furthermore, damage control teams aboard the Foreman managed to restore functionality to one of her destroyed engines.
In the end, all four SigHeath ships, bloody but unbeaten, returned with survivors. Atena’s ships were never seen again – until SigHealth’s PR department released carefully edited footage of the event showing the brutal, unprovoked aggression of Atena’s fleet during the rescue, going so far as to recklessly fire small arms within a vessel carrying survivors. Soon after the footage hit the airwaves, Atena’s stock crumbled, and the company would follow soon After.
SigHealth had secured for themselves a bright future in the Healthcare industry.