Game Idea 3-23-2019 The Addiction
While at a stopover on Earth, the PCs are recruited by Starfleet Security.
This is a top secret meeting, secured room, need to know
Starfleet Security fears they have been penetrated by bad actors, so this mission is being thrown to random Starfleet Officers who have little chance of being corrupted, and the mission details are being kept close to the chest to avoid the opposition from getting wind of it.
The mission is not assumed to be tied into the corruption directly but if the opposition has ears inside Starfleet Security, then the more normal channels might compromise the mission.
Fredrica Stiller is a Starfleet Officer. She is an Engineer. She specializes in computers and cybernetic systems. She was until recently an engineering officer on a front line Starfleet ship. Her crew liked her and her reviews are good, but she seemed to suffer a holodeck addiction.
By the time anyone realized she had a problem, she'd shut down and erased her Holodeck files. The holodeck she habitually used might have been altered, but when inspected by other engineers, it was reset to factory defaults and the access ports were all clean and ship shape.
So, either she ran a modified holodeck and cleaned up after her self or absolutely nothing unusual happened. The reset to factory defaults was unusua. Usually, holodecks develop personalities and house rules from continued use.
But, sometimes a reset to factory defaults is a suggested maintenance move. So it's inconclusive.
Stiller had a large amount of data in her possession, but this is not unusual. As an Engineer on the computers of a Starfleet ship, keeping copies of various operating system or application pieces is a thing.
She had contacts with people along the old Orion Main. In previous assignments, she was a support officer for Starfleet Law Enforcement. Crews on this duty tend to meet all sorts of interesting people.
Starfleet records show she contacted some interesting people out near the Orion Sphere, and then contacted some interesting people on Earth.
Starfleet records also show that she cashed a sizable amount of her energy credits for Latinum and other items that are hard money among less civilized types.
This is suspicious. This is the sort of thing Starfleet officers do when they're buying contraband items. Usually drugs.
Stiller has taken a leave of absence and disappeared into her native New York.
Her last purchases with energy credits - therefore recorded by official sources was equipment for camping. These suggest she meant to go underground.
Starfleet wants Stiller found. If she has done something hinky, they want evidence - but Starfleet values Stiller in and of herself. If she's into a dangerous or illegal drug, they want her put into rehab. If she's doing something corrupt with her interesting contacts, Starfleet wants to know what and why. She might be liable for criminal prosecution, but mostly this activity MIGHT suggest that she has a need she feels she cannot share or try to address through official, public means.
So Starfleet would really like to know what that is and if possible to have the issue brought into the light so Stiller and Starfleet can start to fix things in an above-board manner.
Starfleet would tend to approach anyone like this - People are their most valuable and hard to gather resource. Also, they see themselves as a sensible, evolved and humane organization from a sensible, evolved and humane culture - so Starfleet will act this out where they can.
On the other hand - if asking the Players questions about how Starfleet ought to approach enforcing regulations and fighting internal corruption is fun, leave things vague enough for the Players to discuss how they should approach this.
The PCs are sent to New York to meet NYPD detective Harry Friedkin. Friedkin is a tough New York Detective. He's a two-fisted kind of guy. If people still smoked, he'd chomp cigars.
New York is a very large city. What passes for Earth's Financial system is HQed there. There are huge offices for government bureaucrats and others. There are also the Star Trek Equivalent of Big Banks and Financial institutions which fund all the future space things that people are doing elsewhere.
If you want to build Atlantis on the floor of the ocean, you'll have to sell that project in New York.
Although not as much as San Francisco, New York has a lot of people from all over known space and beyond living there.
New York was nuked in the 21st century - this has altered the landscape. Just how is left as an exercise for the GM. I might have the financial and governmental hub of the City be in Harlem, just for the giggles.
Because New York has been lived in, upgraded, remodeled and built over since the 1600s, it has under layers. Old stuff is tied off, made safe and built over.
For our purposes, there is a network of tunnels under new york. There are also some zones of ancient ruins. These are ignored and abandoned in place until someone comes up with a good reason to dig it all up and put something new in there.
People who know the city know there are zones where you don't go. There's just nothing there and sometimes people might get dangerous there.
People who REALLY know the city know there is an underground community and economy happening. A few thousand crazy people who want to escape the fluffy, liberal and well-meaning panopticon, or paranoid people as well as people who are functional, yet mentally ill.
All right thinking people think these people need to be given medical treatment and be "mainstreamed" back into society.
This is why the crazy, antisocial or grumpy people DON'T LIKE THEM.
This underworld also holds a node of the black market. This is where no kidding dangerous people sell no kidding dangerous stuff and kill each other over it.
It's small compared to the old days of the Holodeck adventures of the 20th and early 21st centuries. But it's there.
Harry Friedkin and his partner Eugene Williams were tracking down a group that was smuggling and selling "Sparkle" a psychoactive drug that creates euphoria, hallucinations and a characteristic sparkling effect in the vision of the users. The drug is destructive and addictive. Few people on Earth or vulnerable to addiction, but there are small numbers of people vulnerable.
Friedkin *hates* the smugglers and sellers. His little sister got hooked on something stupid and killed herself with it. Friedkin began a crusade against drug sellers. He is a little around the bend on the subject.
Friedkin and his partner captured someone they thought was an accomplice to a Sparkle smuggler, and they roughed the suspect up.
Someone reported this. Friedkin and Williams misidentified the cops coming to stop them as hitters for the Sparkle ring and fled.
In the resulting chase, Friedkin was injured and Williams killed.
Friedkin is on desk duty, while the NYPD tries to figure out how to recover him. Or if this is possible.
Friedkin is assigned as a "Tour Guide" for the PCs. He understands they're meant to be not obviously Starfleet, so he will cooperate. But he sees this as punishment duty.
As Friedkin learns more about Stiller and what she's bought and how she's acting, he knows she is planning to enter the underworld of New York and stay there for a while.
Friedkin can lead the PCs to contacts who know people and they can refer the PCs to people who have actually sold Stiller things.
But Stiller is not buying drugs. Stiller is buying high-end components and devices. She is also using vendors and black market people to buy common items but to make it hard to trace these back to herself.
Friedkin is confused and irritated. Usually, someone who acts like this is an addict. They're setting up a lifestyle around using their drug and not being stopped by the above-ground world.
Stiller is doing this but around some sort of engineering project, not a drug.
Friedkin likes people to fit into easy categories. Good guys. Bad Guys. Victims. Victimizers. Cops. Civilians. Stiller isn't quite fitting his boxes and this annoys him.
Friedkin has other contacts, but they have to be pursued. People are avoiding Friedkin.
Here the PCs should be asked, how much are they cooperating with leaning on sources and contacts?
If the PCs claim to be concerned friends or shipmates looking for Stiller, this will go a long way - Earth in these times is a little softer and fuzzier than our times. The assumption is that if an addict has friends, they'll find her and get her into treatment, without too much disruption or destruction of anyone else's business.
Dead clients are a bad thing and to be avoided if possible.
But Friedkin is deep into a mental war with these people so he'll see drug users and dealers as The Enemy. He'll frame Stiller as a possible enemy and people who are not forthcoming as enemies who are helping an enemy.
Friedkin is on the edge of a very angry burnout here and might need management by the PCs.
Or He might just grump through leading them to clues to find Stiller. Whichever works better for the GM
If the game session is dull, the GM might have Friedkin's organized crime enemies take a run at him. He has made no friends among smugglers and sellers of illicit goods. He has a price on his head. So optionally, it's perfectly acceptable to have two guys come through the door with disruptors if things are getting too draggy or conversations bog down.
As the PCs gather up a list of what Stiller has bought on the underground, they might roll to recognize something.
If they can figure a way to contact their own ship or Starfleet Command and not blow up their cover they might ask "What engineering project needs these components?"
The answer will come back - these devices, materials and supplies all come together to form a Soong type Android.
Step 7 What really happened
Stiller got addicted to her Holodeck program. She modified her holodeck in illegal ways.
She created a Holodeck Program who was her perfect fantasy romantic partner. Imagine the bodice-ripping musclebound resident of a romance novel cover.
As she perfected her guy (And got addicted to him) someone mentioned her Holodeck usage, and she knew the jig was up.
So she stole her guy in software form and then scrubbed the holodeck to leave no clues about her activities.
She cashed out years of built-up Energy Credits and went underground and has purchased all the materials she needs to build a Soong type Android and load her holodeck lover into it.
If Starfleet suspects Stiller is attempting an illicit android project, they'll want her stopped. It's an ethical minefield. There's nothing but trouble there. This is not a crime so much as a pandoras box.
Ideally, the PCs should find her right after she has turned her Android lover on.
He is now Jack Steele, a tall, broad-shouldered Android with flowing black curly hair and the programmed ability to fill all Frederica Stillers desires and needs.
His Android brain is every inch as complex as Data's. But is he a real person?
Should Stiller be allowed to keep him?
He has two personality bases - one, the dominant one is Jack Steele, Romance Novel Hero and the other is Emergency Engineering Hologram. Stiller wanted him to have real-world usefulness. So he is like the EMH but for Engineering and repair problems.
Soong type Androids start out simple but get more complex over time. Data grew and developed as a person over the course of his life - this process is well known among experts in the field.
Stiller copied from the Soong playbook carefully. Jack Steele has ethical subroutines and the whole nine yards.
So, this is the real question. Is Jack Steele a person? What should be done with him and with Stiller?
Freidkin considers this the tech bunny version of painting a happy face on a dildo. He will be frustrated that this situation does not boil down to good guys and bad guys.
If the discussion bogs down or looks to be wedging itself into a state where there's no resolution, more guys come through the door with guns. Friedkin is a popular guy.
The Mooks have no idea what's going on with Stiller and Jack Steele and they don't care. They assume Friedkin is screwing up someone else's black market business, and now is the perfect time to send him to that great precinct HQ in the sky.
It would be cheesy but entirely in character to has Jack Steele heroically sacrifice himself to save Stiller during this sort of event.
But I wouldn't - it would be too easy a cap on the ethical problem of what to do with Stiller and Steele.
If the PCs have broken cover or behaved foolishly about their cover, then none of the Smugglers will be around, and no mooks. If necessary to have guys come through the door with guns, they will be angry locals, no one connected.
Starfleet Command is correct, Starfleet Security has been penetrated by the Orion Syndicate, so word of any activities that reflect back on their profit sources gets their attention and they protect their assets.
Some of the vendors will be gone, but enough freelancers will be around to provide information about high-grade phase discriminators and other such doodads that go into a Soong type Android.
Friedkin will be confused until he figures out that the PCs are known and radioactive to the NY Underground.
This will confirm Starfleet Command's fears.
but the real question is - What is to be done with Stiller and Jack Steele?
Game Idea 3-23-2019 The Addiction
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Re: Game Idea 3-23-2019 The Addiction
This could be another case where I just write up the characters and let the GMs decide what they want to do with them
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