Friday, May 1, 2015

[Actual Play] Fiasco: The Ice - Ghost Cube

On Tuesday night, all but one of my Firefly group joined me for a one-shot of Fiasco (Honi needed to buckle down and study for the upcoming exams). We played The Ice playset and it took a bit of a turn towards the supernatural from the very first scene (Craig was apparently drawing inspiration from the film Thirteen Ghosts with the elements he brought in, but I've never seen the film myself). While there was certainly room for continuing the game using Trainwreck Mode, we decided to just leave it as a one-shot.

Instead of doing a Fiasco campaign, we'll be taking a break to do some tabletop card/board gaming next week, then I might try running Misspent Youth after that, depending on whether or not I can get a couple more players to join in (since Martin will be joining Honi in exam land starting next week).

Garry Fitch (played by Martin): Helicopter pilot for the outpost who smuggles contraband in for the employees there, such as the marijuana that JJ smokes.

Josh 'JJ' Jackson (played by me): A security guard with anger management issues who relies on the marijuana supplied by Fitch to keep him calm and controlled. Regularly works together with Burt as his patrol partner. He has a crush on Anne Marie, one of the researchers on the outpost.

Alfred 'Al' Lester (played by Craig): One of Anne Marie's fellow researchers and oldest friends. He came to the outpost to work alongside her because he has had a life-long crush on her and wanted to stay close to her. He's more than a little obsessed.

Burt Russell (played by Peter): A security guard who is secretly a corporate spy, working for a rival research company to steal secrets from the outpost.

The game starts with JJ in one of the huts, smoking some marijuana as he stands guard over the body of Anne Marie, whose body was found by Fitch and Russell in the underground cavern where she took ice core samples from. While guarding the body, JJ experiences an apparent hallucination in which Ann Marie gets up from her casket and tries to strangle him with an icy, life-draining grip. He manages to push her off and, when he does, he finds she's lying back in the casket as if nothing happened.

Shaken, he angrily drops and crushes his joint underfoot before going to give Fitch an earful for giving him bad weed. After doing so, he spies Lester out in the ice, talking to someone in research clothing who isn't wearing proper survival gear. It looks like Ann Marie. Russell also sees him talking to the figure, but doesn't recognise them from his position. The two guards confront Lester and ask who he was talking to and, when he denies talking to anyone, they decide to lock him in the storeroom for interrogation since he shouldn't be talking to unauthorised personnel. Russell takes him into custody, while JJ goes off in search of the figure he was talking to.

JJ eventually arrives at the research and storage hut, where he finds a mysterious puzzle-cube thingy that's rotating and glowing all by itself. He also hears voices whispering from inside it. Spooked by this discovery, he runs away.

Meanwhile, Russell locks Lester in the storeroom and leaves him there, after listening to him ramble on the way there about Ann Marie coming back and that she must have been there because both JJ and Russell say they saw him talking to her. Not long after leaving Lester in the storeroom, Russell hears a bang from that direction and finds the lock on the storage cage he left Lester in broken, and the man himself missing. Moments later, the power cuts out in the main outpost.

JJ runs into Fitch and tries to convince him to come back to the research and storage hut with him. Unfortunately, JJ is so rattled by what he's seen that Fitch thinks he might have been right about the bad weed after all. With Fitch trying to worm his way out of going anywhere with JJ, the unhinged security guard draws his gun and forces him to accompany him at gunpoint, needing someone else to see the cube to confirm that it's real.

When they arrive at the hut, they find Lester there with the cube, which is now spurting fire and setting the hut ablaze. Lester confesses that he killed Ann Marie to activate the cube so that he could 'be with her forever'. Enraged and already disturbed by the things he's seen and heard so far, JJ shoots Lester dead in an act of revenge. Unfortunately, all this does is allow the cube to consume and regurgitate Lester's soul, for which the newborn ghost thanks him because now he and Ann Marie could be together forever, just like he wanted. At this point, Fitch and JJ - both terrified - flee the hut, though Fitch splits off from JJ after having just seen him murder Lester.

Fitch flees to the main compound, where the power is down, because Lester embedded a fire axe in the generator after breaking out of the storeroom. The outpost is also now overrun with malevolent ghosts and there is screaming coming from all over the place. Fitch and Mitch (the engineer) are grabbed by Russell and locked in the generator room 'for their protection' while they try to fix the generator. He then decides to use the chaos breaking out throughout the base as cover while he gets the files his employers want. Having downloaded the files to a flash drive, he heads for the sub pen to make his escape.

Meanwhile, Lester's ghost finds Fitch and Mitch in the generator room, then freezes and shatters the lock with his ghosty powers, leaving them to fend for themselves. While they are trying to flee, Mitch is possessed by one of the ghosts and turns on Fitch with the fire axe they had pried loose from the generator. Fitch manages to dodge his attacks and flees to his helicopter. However, not daring to take off in the stormy weather, he instead opts to hide inside until the chaos dies down.

Down in the sub pen, Russell discovers a second sub docked there, when there should only be one. He recognises the markings on the second sub as the calling card of a rival operative who goes by the name Pierre and hides to avoid getting caught out in the open. JJ, who also had the same idea as Russell about escaping in the sub, shows up in the pen shortly afterwards. Unfortunately for him, the ghosts play with Russell's perceptions so that he sees his fellow guard only as a shadowy figure in combat gear. Russell shoots the apparent intruder and only realises who it really is afterwards. JJ stares at him incredulously before falling to the floor, dead.

Before Russell can fully process what just happened, he is attacked by Pierre, and a tense gunfight ensues in the pen. As Russell exchanges shots with Pierre from behind cover, he is taunted by the ghost of JJ, whose spirit had been trapped and twisted by the cube like the others. JJ eventually drives Russell to try and shoot him, but since he's just a ghost, the shots hit a gas tank instead, causing an explosion which takes out Pierre and traps Russell inside the pen with no other way out except the sub.

JJ uses his ghost powers to freeze the hatch open as Russell clambers inside, and then uses them to make the sub start diving on its own. Russell is able to pull the hatch shut in time so that the water only reaches to beneath his waist and pilots the sub away from the facility.

JJ's soul is sucked back into the cube to be tormented and twisted even further. Lester is reunited with Anne Marie's ghost, but she is not happy with him for killing her and does not reciprocate his feelings. He spends the rest of his time in the cube being torn apart by her, over and over again. Fitch is found by the rescue party, nearly frozen to death inside the helicopter and driven to insanity by the incessant wailing of the ghosts and the screams of their victims throughout the night. Russell is rescued in the sub and wakes up in a medical facility run by his secret employers. Unfortunately the flash drive he stored the files on did not survive exposure to the water that got inside the sub and his employers felt disinclined to give him more than basic medical care. As such, he finds that he has lost both of his legs to frostbite. The cube, dormant once again, is discovered by investigators after the incident and taken to an undisclosed location for study.


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