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 The Shattered Earth 
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:38 pm
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Post The Shattered Earth
This is a write-up of a Darwin's World - Savage Worlds Game that I'm running for my son Ben and his two friends on a Monday night. Any comments appreciated as I'm always looking to improve my writing/GM'ng style.

The Shattered Earth


Episode One: The Bunker

Prologue
A cold metal room, dimly lit in blue light, filled with a drifting white mist. Ranks of glass and metal cylinders line both sides of the room. Panels on the cylinders have various lights on them. On some of the panels the lights are green, on some they are amber. On a few they are red. On most of them, they are dark.
From somewhere comes a faint electronic chatter and a screen on the wall springs to life. A face, blurred by static and interference appears briefly, then lapses to swirling electronic fuzz. On three of the cylinders, the green lights start to blink, gradually getting faster. The cylinders crack open...

Three male figures, naked except for a pair of briefs, stumbled forward into the room. Vague, half-remembered memories flooded into their minds, they were soldiers, members of a unit, stationed here for... what?

Exploring the chamber, it contained a set of twenty steel and glass cylinders. Greg examined some of the ones where the panel lights were dark; they contained dead human forms. The ones where the lights were amber and red were clearly dying. Only inside the three left with green lights were the human forms still fully alive. Greg and Harry tried to see if there was some way to open the cylinders but deduced that they were computer controlled.

At the north end of the chamber was a sliding doorway, opened by a touch panel. Ben opened it; an alarm sounded and a synthesised voice announced "Hibernation Chamber opened - Please exit immediately - Hibernation Chamber opened - Please exit immediately". Ben, Harry and Greg ran out of the chamber, the door slid shut behind them. There was no obvious way of opening it from this side. There was a door on the east side, a flatscreen on the facing wall and a row of pegs holding one-piece coveralls in military green. The got dressed; at this point the flatscreen came to life. Blurred, streaked and distorted with static, a man wearing a military uniform spoke, the sound heavily distorted:-
""Units you have been activated by now the worst of the trouble has passed you will proceed with routine assignments as given in initial briefing"
The screen went blank. Harry tinkered with it and it came back on, repeating the same message. The man looked familiar, but no one could decide on his name. It was obvious that there were large gaps in their memory.

Moving into the next area, it was some kind of control room, with a computer / monitor bank along one wall. Harry tried to activate the computer bank; whilst Ben experimented with a decontamination chamber. Harry succeeded in getting some information; "This is The Bunker. You are designated the 14th Mid-State Tactical Division". It was obvious that there were large gaps in the computers memory. Whether this was deliberate or due to damage was impossible to determine.

The next room was a central conference / meeting room. A large central table with twenty chairs; the table had flat pad computer terminals at each seat. In the ceiling was a large communications hub, with several flatscreen monitors spaced around it. Several doors led off this chamber, one was marked 'Armoury'. Greg investigated the east door and found it led to a mess hall, again with seating for twenty. Auto vending machines on the east wall dispensed sealed MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat), complete with isotonic water in a sealed flask. Kept sealed, the MRE's and water would keep indefinitely.

South of the mess were living quarters; again set up for twenty occupants.

Harry returned to the computer room and attempted to access the computer again; he succeeded in opening the armoury. Inside, they found a range of weapons, grenades and armour. They tooled up and then decided to tackle the final door, which they rightly surmised might lead to the outside.

The outer door to the 14th MST quarters led onto a wide corridor, sealed at the east end by a set of blast doors. They could find no way of opening these. Opposite was another blast door, labelled "16th MST". They tried to open the door but the locking mechanism was buckled. Harry tried to fix it, but without the right tools the task was hopeless. Heading west, they went up a steep incline to another set of blast doors; these were six inches thick. Opening these by means of coded keys they found by the doors; they gazed out onto a strange landscape.

The sky was a swirling kaleidoscope of colours; reds, blues, greens, and everything in between. The air smelt of hot metal and burning. The light seemed brighter, hotter somehow. The Bunker stood in an area of cleared ground, surrounded by a rusted chain-link fence. In the southwest corner of the compound was a bomb crater, the fence had been destroyed and the southwest face of the Bunker scorched.

They set off to explore, following an overgrown trail from the compound. The outer gate had a faded, rusty sign reading "WARNING! DoA PROPERTY. KEEP OUT!"
The trail led north, gently downhill into a stand of needle leaf trees. Some way into the trees, they noticed some buildings off to the east; looked like a small village, with a larger building at the centre.

The first house they came to; they searched. The windows were smashed and the door hanging off. Inside, Greg found a half-eaten human body; which didn't move even when he kicked it a few times. Ben and Harry went in and searched the house; looking for anything useful (Ben wanted to repair the damaged fence back at the Bunker). It was during the search that a shadow fell across the front of the house, followed by one at the back. Looking out, they saw two Giant Scorpions!

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Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:50 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:38 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: The Shattered Earth
The Shattered Earth

Episode Two - The Hole in the Sky

Matthews looked up from his examination of the body, which was wearing a military uniform similar to theirs. He saw Ben and Harry readying weapons and caught a glimpse of the scorpion out of the rear door to the building. He ran and dived out of the side window of the building. Ben and Harry opened fire with their M16 rifles; finding that the scorpions were quite tough. As a distraction, Ben grabbed the body off the floor and threw it out of the window, where it landed near to Greg. The scorpion at the rear of the house made a grab at Harry, then caught sight of Greg peering round the corner of the house and stalked off towards him. It grabbed him in one pincer and squeezed, leaving him Shaken. Ben rolled a grenade at the one at the front of the house; it was off-target but still caught the scorpion. Harry ran to the next house along and checked for more scorpions. Greg recovered and managed to get free of the claw; Ben lobbed another grenade and took out the scorpion at the front of the house.
The scorpion having missed grabbing him, Greg dived in through the window, drew his pistols and pumped round after round into the creature until it went down. He then went out and kicked it for good measure. As he did so, his attention was drawn to something on the north east horizon; looking like a frozen flash of lightning, stark white against the kaleidoscope sky.

The next building contained two wheeled beds with medical diagnostic equipment in the ceiling above them. Nothing here was usable. The next building was the same, but a body lay outside. This was a male human, clad in animal hides and carrying two spears made from sharpened pool cues
(GM: the PC's haven't sussed this yet). He was swollen and purple; cause of death was a scorpion sting in the left shoulder. One unusual thing was that instead of arms and hands, he had tentacles! They took the spears and checked out the remaining buildings; they found another body in military uniform, stung to death; Greg checked out the insignia on the battledress; it read 'Support Services', and another mutant with tentacles instead of arms, also stung. The body in the battledress carried a magnetic coded key, which they took.

Finally checking out the central building; Greg observed that it read "Outer Ring Medical Facility Alpha". All of the windows were smashed and the outer doors were hanging off their hinges. Exploring the building, they found it contained some large machinery, none of it working, but unearthed some pressure injectors containing Accelera, Scorpion venom antidote and Pain Reducer. Greg used his medical knowledge to try and identify what the drugs did, he didn't know so he injected Harry with a dose of Accelera ("to see what it did"), as far as they could tell it did nothing. At this point, the rear wall of the room was torn down to reveal the biggest scorpion of the lot; its stinger dripping a vile purple venom.

The scorpion grabbed hold of Harry with both claws, leaving him Shaken and Wounded, and prepared to sting him; Greg pulled off a superb Called Shot with his pistol and shot off the stinger. Harry recovered from being Shaken and shot the scorpion at point-blank range, Ben stabbed it with one of the spears, struck deep and it went down.

It was growing dark; the sky was fading to blackness. No stars were visible; only a white blur with a faint haze stretching out from it. They returned to the bunker and found that the key found on the body opened the inner blast doors. Inside was a large command centre, a briefing room, a garage / workshop containing four All-Terrain vehicles, more quarters, a stores and a mess area. Panels in the command centre indicated that the power was being supplied by an ionised calcium fusion reactor; currently running in standby mode. Harry used his techno skill to get the power up and running; the batteries in the ATV's started to charge up.

Whilst the batteries were charging, Harry worked the computer to open the door to the 16th. It took two of them to work the damaged manual locking wheel; they got inside to find that most of the area was caved in. In the conference centre had been a massive explosion from below. Greg investigated but couldn't find any evidence to link the explosion to the crater on the outside. It looked like something had tunnelled in from underground, although the tunnel had now caved in.

In the stores they found flashlights, light rods and power cells. They also found two Geiger counters; these showed higher than normal background radiation (around 10 Rads) Outside the bunker, the radiation soared to 30 Rads.

The following day, they used one of the ATV's to head northeast towards the lightning flash; which was still visible (but only during the day). On the way, they stopped off at Scorpion Town to pick up a metal filing cabinet and hospital trolley bed that Ben wanted to turn into a vehicle (don't ask). Harry was driving the ATV through a small stand of needleleaf trees.

Suddenly, Harry slammed on the brakes and slewed to a stop. The sky had come down to meet the ground a few hundred feet in front of them. Ben poked at the 'sky' with one of the spears and found it was solid and translucent; the light source was from outside. Moving down to the lightning flash; it was a crack in the wall of the sky; letting in a bright yellow-light white.

They crawled through the crack, to see an endless vista of sand dunes, rocky outcroppings and distant, misshapen hills, with a harsh yellow-white sun blazing overhead. The Geiger counter chattered and climbed even higher...


Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:53 pm
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