It was a blur going past the sleep chamber. The blue of a shirt and shorts reminding Dexter of the Great Blue Herons that would occasionally fly far enough from the lakes to visit his home in Virginia. He poked sat “up” to peer out of the sleeping chamber to see the feet of Shirley VanHousen flinging down the length of the ship at a faster speed than was safe for herself or the delicate equipment surrounding her.
“Um, Shirley?” Dexter pushed himself out of his personal cubicle, not really caring he was only wearing shorts, his small, partially atrophied body of little concern. He floated after the Doctor, continuing to shout her name, hearing only the hums of the ship in reply.
Dexter rounded the corner to see Shirley floating in the middle of the corridor, a wild look on her face, her hands holding on to a wrench like a bludgeoning weapon of destruction.
“Is, is something wrong Shirley?”
Shirley looked at Dexter, not seeming to recognize him right away. “You, you didn’t see anything?” She said softly.
Shirley’s eyes close and she let’s out a long sigh. She begins to shutter as if about to weep, and then stops suddenly.
Jessica’s player just played the Fear card for Shirley, and that fear is Vulnerability. She’s looking awfully Vulnerable in front of the Scientist right now. That adds 2 Story Points to the pool, but it also adds a black die to the Threat (back up to 2).
It’s at this point that Alison floats up behind Dexter, looking back and forth between the two. “What is going on here? Shirley, are you okay? What were you going to do with that wrench?”
Dexter merely turns to face Shirley, hoping to hear an answer as well since it appears their doctor is losing it.
“Well,” Shirley says, her voice now perfectly steady, “you can never be too careful out here. You’ve got this guy floating around practically naked and he hasn’t touched a woman in months. What am I to expect?”
Dexter is taken aback. “W- what?”
“Where are your clothes, Dr. Pendragon?” Alison says, cooley.
“This isn’t about me! I came out because I saw Shirley racing towards, um, something.”
Alison does not look convinced. “Is this true, Shirley?”
“Okay, yeah, I guess I was sleep walking, or sleep floating, okay? I don’t know what the hell was going on. But I woke up next to a naked man and…can we just let this go, please?”
Dexter nods and pushes off of the wall to go back to his sleeping quarters to find his clothing. Alison looks like she might stop him, but decides to let him go. She simply follows him, leaving Shirley alone.
Shirley spins back, looking in all directions and clearly listening for something. She floats slowly in each direction, hoping to see or hear something out of the ordinary, but finds nothing. Was it really nerves?
The dice were good to us during that last Threat, but did not generate any 6’s for the Event Pool. We did, however, get 2 more Story Points from the play of the Fear Card and added another Black die, making 7 total against our 2 White dice. I might need to hit the next threat hard to get some 6’s onto the Event Pool as it will only take 3 more dice before Act II starts. But let’s get to Alison’s scene:
Alison’s scene is a solo scene in Alison’s sleeping chamber where she finds a patch of hair falling out of her head. It would appear that the radiation medication isn’t working as well as we, the audience would hope. She begins to sob quietly, her own mortality finally hitting, as well as memories of Jessica. Outside we hear Dexter’s mumbled voice, “Alison, are you okay?” She quickly starts rubbing at her eyes and quiets her breathing, but makes no sound. “Alison?” he prods again. She again merely remains silent, though now her brows knit together, her expression changing to anger. “Alison, we really should open up with each other and-”
She couldn’t take it anymore.
“DAMMIT DEXTER, THESE ARE CALLED PERSONAL SPACES FOR A REASON!” The sadness has changed to rage, but the rage is quickly changed to numbness. No sounds come from outside the door anymore. She takes the tuft of hair and tucks it behind the small mirror attached to the wall that also has the picture of the four crew members from the training facility tucked cleanly behind it, smiles on all faces, oblivious to what is in the future.
The emulator gave me “Overthrow Victory” so I had to make something that was good earlier into a failure, so we have more radiation damage again. But we also were able to play Alison’s Crazy card against Dexter to get 2 more Story Points. We actually have quite a few built up, which may get us through this mission. (Famous last words)
The Armstrong making adjustments during flight was nothing new for the crew. While floating freely, you would notice a wall, floor or ceiling moving towards you slightly, you would push yourself or anything floating nearby to correct for it and then continue what you were doing. It was like small earthquakes for people in LA. But it became strange when Alison noticed the floor float up, she adjusted for it, and then the ceiling floated down. And then it floated down again. And then the floor floated up AND the wall floated to the left. It was like the ship’s BAC was over .08 and should pull over.
Floating to the MIM was difficult as the jerking of the ship became more and more erratic. The rest of the crew was already there, worried looks on their faces.
“The autopilot has no idea what to do, and I can’t even figure out how to turn it off!” Shirley shouts.
“Because if we do, it knows we’re going to hit an asteroid that’s a few million miles ahead of us and turn us into dust! But it’s so big we can’t get around it without-” Shirley’s words are cut off as the ship again pulls a different direction quickly. “-without pulling 8gs, which is way out of its safety levels, because that will likely kill us.”
“So it keeps trying different ways around the thing,” Dexter explains, calm dread in his voice, “and then aborting when it hits the safety limit. We’re either going to shake ourselves apart, or hit the asteroid in a few minutes.”
And then silence. The unspoken words of “Jessica would know what to do,” floating between them.
“Fine,” Shirley herself is surprised by the strength and confidence coming from her voice. “We all took this training too, either help me with this computer, or strap yourself in, we’re going to be taking a hell of a turn.”
I just can’t bring myself to bring the 6 into the event pool! Why did my other dice have to stink so bad?
Alison and Shirley get through the autopilot’s safety systems. Dexter finds a crash couch and begins to strap himself in.
THAT’S what I’m talking about. 3 Story points gone, but a white die into the Event Pool, but we still win.
The turn begins. The pressure felt on the three is amazing. For someone who hasn’t felt the tug of gravity for months, even when the meter was registering .4g, discomfort was palpable.
Shirley was smart enough to program the autopilot to turn on once the ship was past the asteroid because it wasn’t long before the entire crew was unconscious. Shirley was the first to wake, and everything seemed normal. It was a serene sight, the stars in front of her and her crewmates sleeping peacefully behind her. A quick check of their vitals shown that they were okay, though the soreness in all their bodies will probably persist for hours.
Only two more dice into the Event pool and we’re onto Act II! My dice never seem to roll 6’s, so this is a much longer game than normal, I would think. I wonder if anyone from Magpie is reading this and can confirm that.