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[LP] LKG: Combat Command – The Omega Rebellion
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Which?
Bio of a Space Tyrant
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
Starship Troopers
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
Star Colony
33%
 33%  [ 2 ]
The Legion of Space
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
The Chronicles of Amber
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 6

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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:55 pm    Post subject: [LP] LKG: Combat Command – The Omega Rebellion Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

For my return to the realm of running gamebook LPs, I'm going to the alphabetically first of two series that adapted pre-existing sci-fi and fantasy properties – essentially a choose-your-own-fanfic. The Combat Command series leaned strongly towards sci-fi and also had a focus on mass combat. The other series... I'll get to later.

I find it amazing just how divergently popular the IPs involved in Combat Command are. Even before the movie, Starship Troopers was widely-known; I'd see it propped-up in libraries next to a sign like 'Sci-Fi Classics.' The Chronicles of Amber has cachet in the circles of sci-fi/fantasy fandom, but not really outside of it. Bio of a Space Tyrant is one of Piers Anthony's second-or-third string series, and I know fans of Piers Anthony who have never heard of it. And I had never heard of Star Colony, Hammer's Slammers, or The Legion of Space before.

Anyway, let me know which you'd like to delve. I have no idea if these are any good, if the one we try turns out to be at least okay, we can try another.
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"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"


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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Something I will mention is that almost all the books have an introduction by the original material's author. The exception is Heinlein, who was probably prevented by health issues, and they got Gygax to do his. The author intros are like little mini-portraits of the writers.

• Anthony spends the first quarter of his just being a smug douche before getting around to any setting details.
• Gygax is a carnival barker for the whole gamebook genre, and works in a little self-promotion as well.
• Zelazny rambles about Amberite succession minutiae with a few nods towards the difficulties of primogeniture when multiple variant time-rates get involved.
• I don't know Jack Williamson at all, he seems to be a real old-schooler (given that Legion of Space is from 1933), but his little essay on the literary pedigree of space opera is very cool.
• I also don't know Keith Laumer, but he seems like a pro, because his intro is completely impersonal and very tight, presenting both his conspiratorial setting and the cast it puts on the CYOA format.
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"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

angelfromanotherpin wrote:
• I also don't know Keith Laumer, but he seems like a pro, because his intro is completely impersonal and very tight, presenting both his conspiratorial setting and the cast it puts on the CYOA format.

When I was a kid, I used to have a huge "sci-fi classics" random mess of a collection, and the only authors who stood out were Laumer, Sheckley, and Simak. (Plus there was that one spaceopera-ish story that ended with a showdown at the portal to God's realm or something which I can't track down that might as well be Laumer's.) So he gets my vote.
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vagrant
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Gygax, baby, cause he's the only name besides Zelazny I recognize. (And I hate Amber.)
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm curious to see Starship Troopers: The Gamebook.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It looks like either someone misvoted or didn't vote in the poll, because I see two votes for Starship Troopers in the posts, but only one in the poll; meanwhile there's zero votes for Legion of Space in the posts, but one in the poll.

So, I'm going to give that decision a bit more time. In the meantime, here's the system info (which is the same in all the books AFAICT), short version.

You command one or more units, these units can be made up of spaceships, infantry, atomic tanks, whatevs. Each unit has five stats: Manpower (how many individual ships/grunts/tanks are in the unit), Ordnance (ranged attack), Melee Strength (hand-to-hand attack), Stealth, and Morale. Stealth and Morale seem to be tested against as FF SKILL (roll equal or under on 2d6).

When a fight breaks out, each side has an Attack Strength, calculated for each unit by multiplying its Manpower by either Ordnance or Melee Strength as relevant. Sides then take turns rolling 2d6 and cross-referencing the result on one of the A-G charts, where the 'A' chart means you have excellent circumstances and the 'G' table means you have terrible, terrible circumstances (the textual example is spears against tanks). The result is the number of losses caused to the enemy, and losses reduce Attack Strength immediately, so initiative order can really count for something.
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Honestly, the whole thing reads like an 80's hex'n'chit wargame, which I suppose it more or less is. The combat charts have some eccentricities that prevent ready simplification, but I think you could accomplish something very similar in a lot less space if you just used one chart and then said that a side was fighting at '+/- X' hits or column shifts or something. Anyway, the charts eat a lot of space and the system involves more multiplication than most gamebooks are comfy with, but the whole thing is actually pretty simple and looks basically functional. I guess we'll see.
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"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"


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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The results are now even more confusing, but I'm going to go with the poll, which was for:

The Omega Rebellion


The writer of the gamebook is Troy Denning, who wrote a lot of Forgotten Realms fiction, co-created the Dark Sun setting for TSR, and has also put like a baker's dozen of Star Wars EU books under his belt. Not too shabby.

I'm actually going to cut Laumer's intro short because it gets pretty spoilery about half-way through.

Quote:
With Earth's population at ten billion in 2050, and increasing, living space is at a premium. The young must await their parents' demise before inheriting an apartment, which they will even then share with various relatives – or even with total strangers assigned by the government.

Government, to keep order in this high-pressure situation, has become increasingly authoritarian. Strict classification of all people into one of four social classes is rigidly enforced. Many people live an entire life-span without ever venturing outside their tightly-packed living quarters. The police, with wide summary powers, are ever-present, and old-time ideals of personal freedom and individual liberties have perforce been abandoned. The challenge to society is simply to survive.

In this delicately-balanced situation, the news of the discovery of another habitable world has been totally suppressed, since it would tend to upset the equation and thereby the impregnable power of the four magnates known as the Star Lords– who have, however, been able to exploit the new planet, Colmar, while allowing a trickle of emigration.

It is into this explosive situation that our hero, Gasper Newlin, must survive. For years, he has worked as a junkloader in the Hillgrove Production Complex. Because of the intense competition for jobs among people of Gasper's age, the government has imposed strict fairness-in-employment regulations to insure that those who most desire employment have the best chance at securing a job.


Quote:
–1–

As Gasper Newlin steps into the Thirty-One Level corridor, he sees a dozen security cops ahead. Although he immediately turns to leave, the lift has already sealed its door and sped away.

Gasper's heart begins to pound. He hasn't committed any crime, but security cops sometimes detain even innocent citizens, and he has little time to spare before his work shift begins. Gasper is a junkloader in the Hillgrove Production Complex. He values his job because, when taken into consideration with those of his brother, father, and cousin, it entitles Gasper and eleven relatives to a three-room flat in the Gradapt Complex. If Gasper loses his job, his family must move into the Municipal Dormitories.

Gasper stands motionless, considering his options. The cops hide behind pillars and in doorways, so that a person approaching from the opposite direction cannot see them. If they have noticed Gasper at all, they show no sign. Gasper cautiously reaches behind and presses the call button for the lift. With luck, Gasper can leave before the cops notice him.

As Gasper nervously awaits the lift, a tall woman with waist-length black hair steps into the other end of the corridor. She carries a large bag slung over her shoulder. A red polyester vest and brown nylon pants only serve to highlight her figure. The black eye patch over her right eye complements the sharp, striking lines of her face.

She smiles and waves at Gasper.

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

Gasper warns the woman about the security cops.
• Gasper ignores the woman.


A couple of notes. First, this is an unusual start for a Combat Command book, where you usually begin as, well, a combat commander, not a vulnerable civilian. Usually you get your unit's stats before section 1. Also the opening is very economical, other books in this series spend like four pages on their first section introing the setting and situation. The tactical maps are usually not this kind of personal scale, either.

Also, while the dystopia is a bit cartoonish, I like that we're thrown into a perilous situation where the stakes are both personal and relatable (police stop, job risk, family responsibility), while also being sci-fi unfamiliar (living four-to-a-room is the better situation). It's good storytelling on a number of levels.

Finally, the book isn't in second person, bucking the CYOA trend. This is common for the CC series, and a lot of them are also in past tense to feel more like a novel, though this one plainly isn't (maybe the original book was in present tense?).
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"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Talk to the eyepatch lady.
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Pick up lady.

Also, ignore my vote for 'Bio' as I did not realize Piers Anthony was involved. Eurgh.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Several security cops turn toward Gasper, their handguns raised to their lips in the universal sign for silence. The lift chime rings behind Gasper, and he hears the doors open. He backs into the lift, frowning and shaking his head from side to side. The woman stops in her tracks and turns to run. The security cops jump from their hiding places, half of them chasing the woman and half coming for Gasper.

The lift doors close just as shots begin to ring out. Gasper punches the button for Forty-Two Level. His heart beats rapidly and his stomach aches with fear. He realizes that the fear he harbors is irrational; the security cops could not possibly have identified him in such a short time. His greatest problem now, he tells himself, is that the Forty-Two Level route to work is five minutes slower than the Thirty-One Level route; he just might be late.

The lift doors open on Forty-Two Level. Ten yards down the corridor, a dozen men carrying handguns run toward the lift. They are probably rebels, Gasper realizes, for only rebels would dare carry weapons openly.

"Hold that lift!' the leader cries. "Does it go to Thirty-One Level?"

• Gasper holds the lift for the rebels.
• Gasper closes the lift door and goes to Fifty-Three Level.

Well, something is certainly happening in the town today.
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"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hold the lift.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Be considerate to the rebels and hold the lift. Joining the rebels sounds more fun and Gasper is probably going to end up working with them anyways and you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

^ This.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Buckle down, it's a long ride ahead.
Quote:
Gasper presses the hold button, and the rebels rush into the lift. They all perspire heavily and gasp for breath. Gasper presses the button for Thirty-One Level, and the lift doors close.

"If you're looking for the one-eyed woman," Gasper says, "the security cops are chasing her down on Thirty-One Level."

"It was stupid to stay in the lift," the rebel leader remarks. "Now the cops will think you're one of us."

Gasper shrugs.

The rebel leader reaches into his jacket and withdraws an extra pistol. "You'll need this," he says. "Point it at the cops and pull the trigger – but for Pete's sake, don't hit one of us!" He hands the gun to Gasper.

The weapon feels heavy in Gasper's hand. A knot of anticipation twists his stomach. Whether he likes it or not, he reflects, he is now a rebel – that is, if he survives the upcoming conflict.

"You know the territory," the leader says. "You take command."

"Me?" Gasper squeaks. "I've never been in a gunfight!"

"Neither have we," responds the leader.

Gasper sighs. What seemed like a foolish adventure a short time ago now feels like an awesome responsibility. "Okay," he says. "They were chasing the girl when I stepped back into the lift. That means most of their attention is going to be focused in the other direction, but they might have left one or two men to guard the elevator – especially if they're expecting you fellows."

"Let's hope not," the leader comments.

"In any case, when the doors open, let's have everybody come out shooting. Then we'll take off down the hall and, with any luck, we'll catch them from behind."

Before the leader can voice his consent, the lift doors open. Everybody fires a shot, but there are no security cops waiting. The staccato sound of automatic weapons fire echoes down the hall.

"She must be cornered!" says the leader.

Gasper leads the way down the hall, expecting to feel hot lead strike his body at any moment. Finally, he turns a corner and sees the backs of twelve security cops. The one-eyed woman crouches behind a barricade of trash barrels. She holds a smoking submachine gun in her hands.

Gasper ducks back around the corner and outlines the situation for the rebels.

"Your plan's working so far," the leader says. "Let's get 'em!"

Quote:
Gasper is now in command of a group of twelve rebels.
Manpower: 12, Ordnance: 5, Stealth: 8, Morale: 9, Melee: 5

The rebels attack using Chart B. The security cops have a Manpower value of 12 and an Ordnance value of 5. They attack using Chart D.
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

• Gasper and the rebels wipe out the security cops. √
• The rebels' Manpower is reduced to four or less during the battle.


Well, surprise and some luck counts for a lot, it seems.

Quote:
The rebels jump around the corner and open fire on the security cops. At first, the cops have no idea what is happening. As their fellows drop, the surviving cops intensify their fire at Tita.

Finally, the cops realize they are being attacked from the rear. Several cops turn and fire at the rebels. Gasper ducks back around the corner, hardshot whizzing past his head.

"They're sitting ducks!" yells the rebel leader. "Great plan."

"Since when do ducks shoot back?" Gasper asks.

He and the leader lean around the corner and pull their triggers. Two more cops drop, then Tita unloads a burst from her submachine gun that makes the survivors duck their heads. With Tita keeping them pinned down, Gasper and the rest of the rebels pick off the last of the cops with ease.

Tita wades through the smoky hallway toward Gasper and the rebels, her submachine gun held carelessly in her left hand. "Hi," she says. "Lucky for me you fellows happened along."

The leader smiles. "I'm sorry we were as late as we were. Hald an hour before the rendezvous, we found out that a stoolie had spilled his guts to Banshire's boys. We had to pick up a few guys."

Tita smiles at Gasper. "I like this one the best," she says playfully.

"Sorry," the leader says. "He's just a citizen. At least he was until a few minutes ago. Now, I'd say he's a fugitive."

"Fugitive?" Gasper protests.

"You betcha," Tita says. "Banshire's boys are sure to do a molecular scan on this whole area. They'll know the identity of everybody involved within three days. Welcome to the Organization!"

The rebel leader nods his head. "It's like I said in the lift – you're a rebel now, like it or not. And I'm going to give you your first assignment as a rebel. You are to protect Tita here at all costs – even your own life. Do whatever she orders and ask no questions. She's on a mission of the utmost importance to the Organization."

"And if I refuse?" Gasper asks.

"Don't," Tita says. "You're much too handsome to fall into Banshire's hands."

Gasper shrugs his shoulders. "Okay, boss. What do we do now?"

Everybody hides their weapons and Tita leads the way to the subway. On the subway, she explains the rest of their mission. "We're going to the Newark airport. I've arranged to sneak us aboard a transport flight."

"To where?" Gasper asks nervously.

"You'll see," she says.

At the airport, Tita leads the rebels to a freight gate. A guard opens the gate without speaking and the rebels scurry inside. Tita confers quietly with the man and then leads the way to one of the ancient jet planes. Gasper breathes a secret sigh of relief – at least their destination is on the North American continent. If they were going overseas, they'd take a transcontinental rocket.

Tita loads them into the cargo hold and tells them to remain quiet. Several hours latter, the plane takes off. Even though it is the first time he has ever flown, Gasper quickly falls asleep in the dark hold. The rapid current of events over the past few hours has worn him out.

When Gasper awakes, the plane has already landed. Although its cargo door is opened, the rebels are still huddled inside the hold. The sun is beating down harshly upon the plane, and the hold has grown stiflingly hot.

"Where are we?" Gasper whispers.

"Mojave Spaceport," Tita answers. "We'll get out of here after dark." She pulls a canteen out of a nearby box. "Have something to drink."

Gasper gulps the water eagerly, then settles back to wait in the terrible heat.

Fourteen hours later, an hour after the sun has gone down, Tita finally climbs out of the cargo hold. Gasper and the others follow her cautiously, their pistols cocked and ready to fire. Tita points toward a tower of lights rising off the desert floor. A tiny rumble rolls from the tower.

"That is the starship Saretta," she whispers. "Your mission is to sneak me aboard it."

"That doesn't look like any starship I've ever seen," says one of the rebels.

"It's ten miles away," Tita answers. "The nose stands nearly a thousand feet off the ground."

Nobody answers.

"They're preparing to launch it tomorrow," she says. "The noise you hear is an engine test; luckily for us, that will continue all night. Nobody will hear the gunfire when we meet the guards."

"How many guards?" Gasper asks.

"I don't know," Tita answers. "But they'll be armed with assault rifles, I'm sure." She starts toward the starship.

An hour and a half later, the roar of the engine test is so loud that the rebels have all stuffed bits of cloth or paper into their ears. The roar still hurts.

Tita suddenly motions for everyone to hit the dirt. Gasper crawls up next to her. A hundred yards away, six men wearing the uniform of Lord Banshire's marines stand in a circle. They are passing a pad of paper from hand to hand, writing messages.

Gasper scratches a message in the sand, 'Sneak past?'

Tita nods her head. Gasper returns to the others and points toward the guards, then begins crawling. The rebels nod their heads in understanding and follow suit.

Roll two dice.
• The number rolled is equal to or less than the rebels' Stealth.;
• The number rolled is greater than the rebels' Stealth.

The roll is 9. Uh-oh.
Quote:
Halfway there, one of the guards turns toward Gasper and points excitedly. The others unsling their guns and start gesturing wildly. The muzzle flashes of their automatic weapons inform Gasper beyond a doubt that his group has been spotted.

Gasper and his group attack using Chart C. The guards have a Manpower value of 6 and an Ordnance value of 7. They attack using Chart C.
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)

• Gasper and his group perish.
• Gasper and his group prevail. √

Quote:
Gasper starts firing at the marines, crawling closer as he shoots. His first shot finds its target, and a marine falls. Two more fall immediately afterward. Gasper continues to crawl forward, targeting his pistol on the muzzle flashes of the automatic weapons. Marine after marine falls until the last one is cut down.

Gasper and the others make sure that all six marines are dead, then continue walking toward the spaceship.

Quote:
Half an hour later, the Saretta rises before the rebels like a solitary skyscraper. The earth trembles in anticipation of the mighty ship's liftoff.

A few wooden shacks, recently constructed and apparently not intended to stand long, are scattered around the base of the ship. Occasionally, a technician wheels a gurney into a door at the base of the starship. After studying the situation briefly, Tita graps Gasper by the shoulder and motions for him to follow her into one of the buildings. She turns to the others and waves them away.

Gasper and Tita sneak through the night to the building's door. Immediately after a technician leaves the building, Tita grabs Gasper by the wrist and enters it. Inside, they stand in a plain wooden hallway. The walls are insulated with noise baffles, and the engine noise is only a dull roar, although the floor vibrates.

"What are they doing?" Gasper asks.

"It's a colony ship," Tita respons. "They're putting people into Coldsleep and loading them aboard. I'm going to stow away. You're coming with me."

Gasper shakes his head. "We got you here; that was the deal."

Tita shakes her head. "I'll need your help. Besides, what are you going to do here on Terra? You're an outlaw."

Gasper does not respond.

"The freedom of the Omegan colony depends on the success of my mission," Tita almost shouts. "And besides, don't you want to see the new world with me?"

Gasper shrugs his shoulders. "I guess you're right."

Tita smiles and leads the way into the next room. Five women wearing the white gowns of lab assistants labor over operating tables. They look up curiously.

"We were told to report to Nurse Harrow," Tita says.

One of the women, her face covered by a surgical mask, nods her head. "Oh, yes!" she croons. "The governor's niece. I've been expecting you. This way."

Gasper gives Tita a strange look and follows her to the nurse's work station. "Take off your clothes," the nurse says. She motions the nervous Gasper to get up onto the table. "You'll awaken several months into the voyage," she says. "We've hidden cold-weather survival gear for your team in space CC-100 of your hold. Got that?"

The woman holds up an air-hypo. "Repeat it," she says.

"CC– ..." The woman pricks Gasper with the hypo. "Ow!"

"One hundred," the nurse finishes for him.

Gasper's thinking grows difficult. "What's happening?" he asks. The nurse leans over him. Her face seems elongated and unnatural. "CC one hundre-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-d-d-d-d-d," she says. Gasper closes his eyes and feels as though he is falling from a very great height.

In his dream, the ground gives way like a feather bed when Gasper strikes it. He has fallen over a hundred miles, expecting to die when he hits the ground. Instead, the earth swallows him, burying him in deep folds of cold.

The folds begin to squeeze and Gasper chokes. Suddenly, the sun shines hot and bright directly into his eyes.

"Wake up, sleepy-head," says a comforting voice.

Gasper coughs violently and feels something shoot from his mouth. His lungs burn with the raw sensation of breathing normally again. He blinks several times, then stares up into a flashlight.

"How do you feel?" asks a woman's voice. It's Tita.

"Terrible," Gasper says. "What happened?"

"We're in transit," she says. "You're the last to come around. Put this on."

Gasper feels a heavy suit laid across his body. His memory returns in a flood. "But we were supposed to sleep for months!"

"Three months and four days, so far," says a man. Gasper struggles to see him, but it is too dark.

He slips into the heavy jumpsuit, then shivers as he realizes how cold he is. "How are we going to survive in this?" he asks. "I'm freezing."

"It'll get a little better as you come around," Tita says, "but we won't have to stand it much longer. We're going to take over the ship."

Gasper whistles. "Can you fly one of these things?" he asks disbelievingly.

"That's not the point," Tita responds. She helps him off his gurney. "Watch your feet, it's slippery."

Gasper and the others pass the next three days getting to know each other and walking between rows of Coldsleeping colonists. Although Gasper feels weakened, he is amazed at how rapidly his strength returns. By the fourth day, he is jogging through the dark, frozen hold and doing push-ups. By the fifth day, he is desperately bored.

"How long are we going to wait?" he asks. "I'm as scared as the next man, but I say we get this mutiny on the road – before we go crazy in this frozen cave!"

"Which way is the front of the ship?" Tita responds angrily. "We don't even know that. I suggest we explore our environment before we unleash our pop-guns."

"You mean you don't have a map of the ship?" Gasper exclaims. "I thought you had this thing organized."

"I did the best I could!" Tita snaps.

"Hold on," interrupts Kershaw. Although he has the face of a boxer, Gasper has already learned to respect Kershaw for his careful thinking and patience. "You weren't around when we planned this thing, Gasper, so you don't know how difficult it was to put together. But you're right about one thing – none of us expected to be shoved into a cargo hold and locked up tight. Maybe we should have thought about it, but we didn't. Tita and I have been walking this hold for over a week now, and we haven't found sight of anything that looks like a hatch. It appears we're stuck in here."

"Great," Gasper sighs. "For how long?"

"Five years," Tita answers quietly.

"What?" Gasper shrieks. "Five years? We'll go crazy!"

"That won't be a problem," Kershaw says evenly. "We'll starve long before that."

"I don't believe it!" Gasper shrieks. "I save her life and look what she does to me!"

"At least you'll die free," Tita snaps.

Gasper shines his light in her face and growls. A moment later, the absurdity of the situation strikes him and he says, "I suppose we could eat a few of the colonists."

They all break out in tension-relieving laughter. Finally, Kershaw says, "Look, if there's an emergency in flight, the crew must have a way to get back here. All we have to do is find it. We obviously haven't found it so far because we're looking for a hatch. Instead, it's got to be something like an air vent or a garbage-way. I propose we start a methodical search of the entire hold. We'll examine every piece of metal on every wall, and we'll find a way out of here."

"Agreed!" Gasper responds. "Now let's eat. All this talk of starvation has made me hungry."

After a sparse meal of dried rations, Kershaw assigns each person to search specific quadrants of the walls and even the ceiling and the floor. Gasper is assigned to search the floor. He starts in the far corner and begins shining his flashlight over every square inch of the icy floor.

Eight hours later, he reaches the middle of the floor. He pushes his thousandth gurney aside and nearly faints with excitement. A hatch is located squarely beneath it.

"Bingo!" he yells. "I've found a hatch."

The others scurry over. Gasper opens the hatch and jumps down throught the opening into another room below. It is about twenty feet high and the same size as the cargo hold. It is filled with hundreds of crates. Gasper opens one of the crates and finds a dozen assault rifles.

"Hardshot!" he exclaims. "There are thousands of weapons here."

Kershaw jumps down and opens a case. "Field rations! At least we won't starve."

"The rations I can understand," Gasper says. "But why do they need all these weapons? There's enough firepower here to equip a batallion."

"How rough is Omega?" Kershaw asks. "Is there a war going on?"

Gasper shakes his head. "They wouldn't send colonists to fight a war, unless they wanted to lose."

"And if they wanted to lose, why provide all this equipment? It doesn't make any sense."

"But think about how well this hold is hidden," Gasper says. "We would never have found it if we weren't desperate. They're smuggling this cargo!"

Tita ushers the remaining rebels down into the secret hold and shuts the hatch. She starts handing out assault rifles to each rebel. "We've just solved the problem of how to get out of here," she says. "There's company in the main hold."

Tita briefly instructs the rebels in the use of assault rifles, while Gasper gets a boost up from Kershaw to peer into the main hold and observe the company. Two men have entered the hold from an access panel bolted onto the far wall. They are carefully inspecting each colonist.

Quote:
Gasper is now in command of ten rebels (not including Tita, who does not participate in any battles).
Manpower: 10, Ordnance: 7, Morale: 9, Stealth: 9, Melee: 5.


• Gasper orders the rebels to ambush the two men.
• Gasper remains in hiding, hoping that the two men will leave before discovering signs of the rebels' presence.

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"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ambush them.
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ambushing has worked better for us than hiding in the past, and I see no reason to change tactics.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
They're bound to find signs of our activities," Gasper says. "We'd better attack." He instructs the rebels to turn off their lights and make their way toward the two men inspecting the colonists. "Open fire when I do; we can't let those two escape, or we'll have the entire crew down here after us."

The rebels nod, then silently leave the hidden hold and crawl toward the two men's lights. As Gasper inches along the freezing floor, he hopes he is doing the right thing. After all, the crewmen's absence is bound to be noticed eventually. On the other hand, they have shown the rebels the way out of the hold, and Gasper is eager to grasp this opportunity.

When he is within ten feet of the men, Gasper stops.

"Hey, McDonnell!" calls one of the men. "This gurney is empty!"

"It is?" answers McDonnell in disbelief. "Note the number and we'll report it to the chief."

Gasper flicks off his rifle's safety. Nine soft clicks tell him that the other rebels have done likewise.

"Did you hear that?" McDonnell asks.

"Yeah," answers the first man.

Gasper opens fire.

Gasper and the rebels attack using Chart D. The two crewmen have a Manpower value of 2 and an Ordnance value of 5. They attack using Chart E.

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• The two crewmen survive the firs round of combat.
• The two crewmen perish during the first round of combat.

While the crewmen are a minimal threat, it takes a fairly good roll to cap them both in round 1. We just made that.
Quote:
The rattle of automatic fire echoes through the dark hold. A few seconds later, all is quiet. Gasper walks over to the dead crewmen.

"Put them on gurneys," he orders. "Maybe we can disguise them as colonists."

"That was almost too easy," Kershaw says. "Let's get ready for the next batch. They'll probably send a couple of men down to investigate when these guys don't show up."

"What?" Tita exclaims. "You want to wait for them here? I say we go after the bridge now, while we have the element of surprise on our side."

• They wait in the hold.
• They go for the bridge.

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"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

We just barely handled two unaware guards. I don't see anything good happening as a result of us waiting for a more numerous group specifically expecting trouble. Go for the bridge.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Tita's right. Let's go for the bridge," Gasper says. "There's no sense giving them a chance to get organized."

"I'm glad you agree," says Tita. "I'm coming with you this time."

"No," Gasper replies sternly. "I'm supposed to protect you, not drag you into a firefight."

"I'll stay out of the way," she says. "But I'll be safer with you than back here. Once they know what's happening, they might open the cargo holds to the vacuum."

"You do have a point," Gasper agrees.

Gasper leads the way into the access tunnel. Barely three feet high, it winds upward toward the nose of the ship at a steep angle. It is filled with pipes and ducts. "Now I know why we haven't seen much of the crew," Gasper says. "This is impossible to move through."

"They must make the holds difficult to reach to keep the crew out of the cargo during long voyages," Kershaw says. "I'll bet things can get out of hand after four or five years aboard a starship."

After forty-five minutes of crawling and duck-walking, the accessway opens into a room. The access panel has been removed, and a man stands outside. As the rebels work their way toward the opening, the man hears them and looks down the tunnel.

"Is that you, Chief?" he calls.

"Yeah," Gasper answers. "Give us a hand."

The man leans inside. Gasper greets the surprised fellow with the muzzle of his assault rifle. "Now back up very calmly and very slowly. If you so much as sigh, I'll pull the trigger."

Gasper and the rebels crawl out of the tunnel. The surprised man, who has the name "Kirby" stitched above the jacket of his jumpsuit, leads them along a rising, spiraling corridor towards the bridge. As they pass a doorway, he brushes against a red button.

"What was that?" Gasper asks.

"Nothing," Kirby answers nervously.

A siren begins to whine throughout the ship. "The alarm!" Gasper calls. He takes off up the corridor at a dead run, dragging Kirby roughly along. As he passes each intersection, Gasper peers down the long corridors, expecting to see a group of security guards bustling toward them. He sees nothing, and that worries him.

Finally, he rounds a bend in the corridor and comes face to face with eight security guards. They begin firing immediately. Gasper steps back around the corner. "There ought to be more than eight guards," he says. He presses the muzzle of his rifle against Kirby's chest. "You've already crossed me once," he hisses. "How many guards are there on this ship?"

"Sixtenn," Kirby answers.

"That means five are coming up behind us somewhere," Gasper says. As if confirming his speculation, five security guards round the bend behind Gasper. "We'll have to fight our way up to the bridge," Gasper says. "Unless you know a better way, Kirby?"

The frightened man shakes his head.

Gasper and the rebels attack using Chart C. The security guards have a Manpower value of 13 and an Ordnance value of 5. They attack using Chart B.
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• Gasper and his men prevail.
• Gasper and his men perish. √

D'oh!
Quote:
As Gasper rounds the bend, he squeezes his trigger and hardshot spews up the corridor in front of him. The security guards retreat toward the bridge, then the pair of steel doors slowly begins to close. "Hurry!" Gasper calls. He charges faster. The muzzle of a gun peers around the corner. Gasper sees it flash too late, then feels the slug strike him in the chest. He slumps to the ground, unable to draw breath.

The other rebels hesitate, and the guards pick them off at leisure.

THE END


Bummer. Shall we accept this fate, or try again from an earlier juncture?
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"Now that we've determined that up to π angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine the specific number (or fraction) of angels dancing?"
"What if angels from another pin engage them in melee combat?"
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

(Or we can decide to reroll until we win, but that'd be cheesy.)

Go back a juncture and wait in the hold.
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What Starmaker said.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
"Let's wait," Gasper says. "I bet they send a couple of more guys down here to investigate." Tita stomps off toward the rear of the hold, but everybody else expresses agreement.

Two hours later, the buzz of a power wrench echoes through the hold. Gasper gathers the rebels, and they move toward the access panel. The panel clangs to the ground, but Gasper does not see the lights he expected. A second later, the main hold lights blink on.

"Get down!" Gasper hisses. The rebels drop to the floor immediately. Fourteen security guards rush out of the accessway, their pistols drawn. Gasper flicks his rifle safety off and gives the signal to attack.

Gasper and the rebels attack using Chart B. The security guards have a Manpower value of 14 and an Ordnance value of 5. They attack using Chart D.
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• Gasper and the rebels prevail. √
• Gasper and the rebels perish.

Quote:
Gasper squeezes the trigger, and a burst of hardshot finds its mark in the security guards. The hold erupts into gunfire. Bullets whiz past Gasper's head and ricochet off gurneys, occasionally thumping into the body of a Coldsleeping colonist.

Gasper signals to his men to spread out and move up. He hopes to keep the security guards bunched together. As they advance, Gasper pours a relentless stream of automatic weapons fire into the guards. Although the guards attempt to return fire, their pistols are no match for the rebels' assault rifles. Eventually, the retreat toward the accessway.

Gasper stands and charges, spraying the access panel with fire. "Don't let them leave!" he calls. The other rebels follow Gasper's lead, and the security guards fall in the resulting hail of hardshot.

After the battle, Gasper gathers the rebels. "This is it," he says. "If they don't know already, they'll know we're here before long. We'd better move now."

"Agreed," says Tita. "And I'm coming this time."

"No," Gasper says. "I'm supposed to protect you – not drag you into a firefight."

"How do you know I'll be safe back here?" she argues. "They might open up this whole place to the vacuum."

"You've got a point," he says. "You can come, but stay out of the firing line."

"Agreed," she says.

Gasper leads the way into the access tunnel. Barely three feet high, it winds upward toward the nose of the ship at a steep angle. It is filled with pipes and ducts. "Now I know why we haven't seen much of the crew," Gasper says. "This is impossible to move through."

"They must make the holds difficult to reach to keep the crew out of the cargo during long voyages," Kershaw says. "I'll bet things can get out of hand after four or five years aboard a starship."

After forty-five minutes of crawling and duck-walking, the accessway opens into a room. The access panel has been removed, and a man stands outside. As the rebels work their way toward the opening, the man hears them and looks down the tunnel.

"Is that you, Chief?" he calls.

"Yeah," Gasper answers. "Give us a hand."

The man leans inside. Gasper greets the surprised fellow with the muzzle of his assault rifle. "Now back up very calmly and very slowly. If you so much as sigh, I'll pull the trigger."

Gasper and the rebels crawl out of the tunnel. The surprised man, who has the name "Kirby" stitched above the jacket of his jumpsuit, leads the rebels along a rising, spiraling corridor towards the bridge. After five minutes of climbing the steep incline, he stops. "It's just around the bend. There'll be about five officers on the bridge," he whispers. "If it's all the same to you fellows, I'd just as soon they didn't see me leading the way."

Gasper sneaks a peek around the bend. As Kirby promised, a doorway leads into a room bustling with ship's officers. Two bored guards stand outside the doorway. Gasper dismisses Kirby, then flicks off his rifle's safety. The other rebels prepare themselves, too.

After taking two deep breaths, Gasper charges up the corridor toward the bridge doors.

Gasper and his rebels attack using Chart B. The crew have a Manpower value of 7 and an Ordnance value of 5. They attack using Chart D.

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• Gasper and his rebels perish.
• Gasper and his rebels prevail. √

Quote:
Gasper opens fire as he rounds the corner. The guards fall immediately. The other rebels surge past him onto the bridge, spraying lead as they go.

On the bridge, the officers are just starting to reach for their weapons. "Don't!" Gasper orders. "You don't stand a chance, and I'd hate to tear up this place with automatic weapons fire." The officers accept his advice, and the rebels disarm them.

Afterward, Tita explains her mission to Gasper. "A few years ago, a group of rebels blackmailed His Lordship Banshire into opening the planet Omega to colonization."

"Blackmailed? How?"

"Banshire had known about Omega for years," Tita backtracks. "He'd kept it secret in order to bleed its resources and solidify its hold on Terra. The rebels discovered this and threatened to publicize what he had done unless he organized a colonization program for the planet. With the overpopulation problem on Terra, Banshire would have been ruined – probably torn limb from limb – if what he'd done became common knowledge. So he agreed.

"But Banshire's not a good loser. He decided to try to take over Omega's government forcefully. To that end, he's been sneaking marines onto the planet every time he sends an envoy vessel. He's got a whole battalion on Omega now, which would be more than adequate to overthrow the government – if they had the equipment."

Gasper looks at the assault rifle in his hands. "The equipment that we found?" he asks.

Tita nods. "There are also eight hovertanks somewhere on board. To make a long story short, the Organization discovered Banshire's plan and assigned me to make sure that those weapons never reached the marines. We've succeeded."

"We sure did," Gasper says.

Five years later, under threat of death, Captain Weingar lands the Saretta near Omega's capital. Tita and Gasper take great pride in presenting Taliaferro Tey, Nat Grail, and the other planet leaders with not only five thousand new colonists, but the means of protecting them from His Lordship's sinister plans. In return, Tita, Gasper, and the other rebels receive homesteads on a free planet.

THE END

Well, that was short. Literally four choices to the end, and we didn't get to see any of the other command maps or anything. Now, I suspect part of the reason for this brevity is that there are a lot of paths in the book that don't really cross. Let me put up the spoilery intro segment.
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As you can see, we seem to have found one of the least interesting and conspiracy-ish of the paths through. It's possible one of the others has more choices and more satisfying suspense.

Shall we try another path for Gasper? Or see if another entry in the series is of better quality altogether? Or abandon this series and look at the other obscure-licensed-setting series?
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I want to see the "bizarre alien that looks like a floating intestine."
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Restart and try the alternative path.
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