â€Itâ€™s not going wellâ€
Jude and Leah had, um, retired for the night when Kay came running to get Marcus. â€œJared needs you right now,â€ she said. So Marcus ran after her. Kay didnâ€™t take her to the office; she took him to Jaredâ€™s quarters.
There was blood everywhere.
Jared is pacing back and forth, helpless. â€œSheâ€™s in labor, but itâ€™s not going well. I donâ€™t know what to do. You have to help me.â€ Beth came in close on Kayâ€™s heels. She had spent several years living in the library, so she knew what was going on.
Honestly, I know enough about birth and pregnancy to know that things can go quite badly. Crystal knows a lot, so I asked her for some appropriate medical technobabble. She obliged quite nicely. Beth looked in on Eve. â€œShe needs a caesarian. We need to cut the baby out.â€
Beth needed supplies from the nearby hospital. But, of course, thatâ€™s inside Bigelow Boy territory. By this point, word has spread. Joseph turned up and asked Marcus what was up. When he found out, he said to Marcus, â€œWell, letâ€™s go.â€
Kay wanted to go to help. So, as twilight crept across the city, the three of them crept out into the ruins.
When I saw that it was possible to run missions in the real world, I wanted to give it a spin. Everyone at the table had known that we would eventually do some sort of raid, but I donâ€™t think that any of us were ready for the intensity of the situation.
Not even me.
(A real world mission)
(must be done in order)
Enter hospital without being seen
If failed, fight Bigelow Boys and fail â€œReturn to base without being seenâ€
If failed, â€œLocate Medical Suppliesâ€ failed and character harmed
Locate medical supplies
If failed, Eve dies
Return to base without being seen
If failed, fight Bigelow Boys
If failed, character harmed
This sheet was sitting in front of Gabrielle, since Marcus was the pilot on the mission. The simple statement â€œEve diesâ€ gave an incredible intensity to the mission.
And did you know that a real-world mission doesnâ€™t have a lot of dice? We agreed that, once at the hospital, we could call on Beth for dice, but to get in and out, the only dice available were from Joseph and Kay. Just for clarity, thatâ€™s four dice, with no anchor rerolls.
So, any significant failure, and Eve dies.
I ramped up the tension, too. As they headed north, they found an eight-year old boy, nailed to a wall, with the interlocked Bs of the Bigelow Boys carved into his chest. Marcus found Kayâ€™s hand and held on tight.
Soon they arrived in front of the hospital. Out front was a major gathering of the Bigelow Boys. It was utter savagery. I said that they were turning â€œsomethingâ€ on a spit over the bonfire, but left most of the details implicit. Later, we agreed that they were eating a person, not for ceremonial reasons, but because it was the available meat. There was probably gang rape going on around the fire, too. We never actually said any of this until later; our minds filled in the horrors.
Now, roll to see if we get caught.
Iâ€™m the GM, but Iâ€™m on edge with everyone else. Itâ€™s like I put the situation into motion earlier in the game, but now Iâ€™m just as much a victim of it as everyone else at the table.
We pick up some stress, but we get past the Bigelow Boys.
Normally, our missions are loud and boisterous, with loud gunfire and nasty alien creatures. This time, weâ€™re quiet, huddled around the table, hoping that they wonâ€™t hear us, praying that the dice wonâ€™t betray us.
Now to find the medical supplies and get out. We easily find what we needed, but as we prepare to leave, we hear a noise outside the room where we are.
Joseph moves to the door and looks out. He gestures to us to follow. We slip down the hall, then wait as Joseph slips ahead. There is a wet gurgle from the darkness ahead and a quiet thump. Then Joseph reappears, cleaning his knife and gesturing us forward. We slip through the darkness, stepping over the body of the Bigelow Boy that Joseph killed, and escape into the safety of our home base.
We had the supplies we needed, but no one had the courage to actually perform the surgery. Finally, Joseph stepped up and did what needed to be done. Beth held down Eve, while Kay held her head and sang in her ear. We gathered around her bed and held them up as they walked through this dark valley.
Her name is Hope.
At the end of the night
Jude and Leah are away. They donâ€™t know what happened tonight, except that they are together. Intimacy Building.
Marcus is curled up with his wife and daughter. They arenâ€™t talking; they are just holding each other. Beth and Renee are asleep, while Marcus is still awake, watching them sleep. Trauma Relief.