Saturday, March 15, 2008

Captain, My Captain - Episode 1?

While waking up I came up with some ideas for the first episode of the potential show.
I don't know if this is too much preparation as Director for Primetime Adventures, but it is worth a try.

As we remember the pilot ended with the Headquarter giving over command to the veterans (see last entry). Actually we had the captain been abducted to get rid of an hierarchy, so obviously this can only be a temporary set up.
The question is: why should the cook and looser assistant been allowed to take over? Obviously there has to be more to them as it seems. (Add: they are the nemesises of 2 of the characters.)

As we decided they are veterans from the Freedom Wars. And it is quite possible that the captain was one too.

As I want to have some planet exploration in the next epsiode, it would make sense that the new commanders head to one.

So why not have some mystery from their past being there. As the players failed to put a tracking device on the Federation's ship there has to be some hint on the whereabout of the captain there. I guess the question the new powers in charge ask is: why would someone abduct the captain?

Could be that he is the only one to have access to a super dangerous weapon there - out of the Freedom Wars.
I introduced the Federation to have higher technology than the humans, but also that there was not known too much much about them. The later makes it a little bit hard to pull off my favorite interpretation of the moment: Earth was a colony of the Federation till the Freedom Wars.
But it could be that after in a Propaganda move, the humans tried to unedacte their children about them. This seems highly unlikely. So I guess, I will just retcon the sentence about them being unknown out.

So how about this: the captain - back then a young genius - notice the parallels to our very own Dougie? - build this ultimate weapon with his crew and this way humans were able to blackmail themselves out of the Federation. The weapon is still stored on this storm planet.
So if the Federation (or a hardline military branch/commander of it) tries to get in charge of this doomsday device, having the captain would be really useful.

But how come the young genius ends up being commander of a small exploration ship? And his assistents turn in even bigger loosers - an old assistent and a cook?
I can imagine the weapon makes you go mad and the creators just stared to long at it. It is something like a post traumatic stress disorder maybe. They saved the earth, but the best you could do to them was send them off in regions where they could not harm anyone...
Still the captain is the hero/mentor of at least some characters, so still must be quite nice. While the nemesises turned more psycho.
To add some spice the veterans don't like to talk about the war. So nobody knows it was really them, saving Earth.

But there is still one hard question: how come the Headquarter does not send a fleet to stay in control of the situation? This is actually very simple to solve: space travel is quite slow and the Federation took the captain near the planet.
How come there is not a whole fleet around the weapon? Maybe the Headquarter does not even know where the weapon is, but only the veterans? They made a secret out of it.
But that creates the question why the Headquarter puts them in charge. We don't have to know for sure... YET.

Still the protagonists' ship has to be there before the Federation. So the Federation probably does not know where the weapon is and has to get this information out of the captain first - if they are really interested in it and not in something completely different. (I have pictures in my head of a planet where protagonists find gigantic statues of the Captain and maybe those are worshipped by the locals.)

The veterans have the fear that the Federation has the weapons and head straight there. It can't be an coincident that they are near this planet, can it? To make it more of a cliché it could also be a trick by the Headquartes to find out where the weapon is, as the veterans burried it (see the pirate metaphor?) .

The two veterans have to stay the evil guys in the end. It could rock if you know that they achieved a lot and are heroes to be treated as such, but are just to fucked up to come along with. They sacrificied their sanity for the humans after all...

How it really plays out I want to keep open anyways. Even if the Federation with the captain arrives in the last act should dependend on if the players like the direction it is going.

The first scene will probably involve the new commander haven just taken the ship to VENTURUS, and pointing the protagonists toward this ship wrack from 20 years ago down in the sand storms. If they don't want to go, they could tell that this is the best place to find a hint on the captain and that the Federation will come with him here soon most probably to pick up this very dangerous thing.
There has to a plot device that stops them from telling too much too early.

The weapon should be intelligent - a character. You should get mad by looking at it and maybe it should be able to heal some minor character. It got a little bit strange for being alone for 20 years, but should be definitely bigger than human. Maybe a giant glowing mole? We won't see it anyways...

Furter complications could be: barbaric stone people, the storm itself and maybe children of the weapon.

And then there is still the video crytal with the shape changer spying...

Addendum - 21st March 2008 - 12:34

Some more thougts: obviously I do not want to enter a new post everytime I have some more ideas for this episode, so I add it straight here.

The first scene takes already place above the planet VENTURUS. This takes a little bit of power away from the players, but a soon as they notice they don't have a signal from the Federation ship, it should be okay for them.
Their new commanders tell that it is most probable that the Federation took the captain to come here, because there is something on this planet under the clouds what only them and the captain know.
The commanders set up a landing mission to a ship wreck down there where a safe has to be retrieved. They can't destroy the weapon in there because it could cause a catastrophe.

This weapon is the Heart of Change and if it is blown up it will turn everyone in a thousand light years distance mad. With it the captain blackmailed the Federation in the Freedom Wars. The only problem is that whoever stays near it too long turns mad even if the Heart is not blown up.

Inside the 1 km long shipwreck and around it in caves live psycho crew members left there 20 years ago and there incest offspring. (Potential inspiration Borges' immortals and the splatter hillbilly crowd...)
Inside the ship you can find pictures of the captain and his old crew.

Addendum - 26st March 2008 - 07:50

The Heart of Change should be renamed H.E.A.R.T. (Hyper Energy Anti Rationality Transmitter) . The ship is known as the RETALIATION.

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