Actual Play – Blue Gene – Pointing Fingers (2/6/2013)

PTADirector: Leonard Balsera
Cast: Rich Rogers, Scott White, and Sean Nittner
System: Prime Time Adventures
Show: Blue Gene

The was the twist in the episode (end of act 1, beginning of act 2) where uncertainty is abound. All of our compasses (moral, political, philosophical) were pointing in different directions, specifically at each other, and branding the other our enemy.

Act 1 – Scene 3 – Siddig

It’s Sloane’s episode so I wanted to bring up his issue myself. I see Siddig and Sloane as really having very similar goals: putting away bad guys. But their motivations are different, as are their means. For Sloane, due process matters. It separates the BPD from vigilantes. Siddig doesn’t care about that shit, he wasn’t to get the job done. Both of them are deliciously flawed.

The scene was simple. Siddig showed up at Sloane’s apartment and presented him with a private investigator’s license and a case. Ms. Jacob Alarcon, who still wants to make her husband miserable for not appreciating her enough. Plenty of retired cops become PIs, so long as they were suspected, what was to stop them? I had been thinking about that pitch for a week, as I knew it would get under Sloane’s skin and kick him right in the issue “respect for the law”.

The flip, Lenny hardly puts up a fight and Siddig wins Sloane over (with a bit of help from Danielle). We’re going to bust this case open, as civilians if we have to!

Act 2 – Scene 1 – Sloane

District Attorney Malory Feliciano’s office. Sloane and Siddig walked in with swagger. Malory had done us wrong, tried to destroy the BDP (last season finale), now she was going to make good on it and tell us who she was working for. Really, that’s it. That’s all we had, some bravado and hopes that she was at least somewhat human inside. “It’s the system that’s corrupt Sloane.” (a not unfamiliar line). “You can’t fight it as long as you’re part of it. I’ll help you, but first you have to cut off all ties with the BPD.”

The flip, and holy crap in retrospect was it a big one (will Sloane go rogue), Sloane wins and convinces Mallory to give up source.

The scene ends with Sloane telling Siddig the dirt. Mallory has agreed…and he’s placed a bug on her just in case. He’s no rookie.

Act 2 – Scene 2 – Frank.

Action! Yeah, we needed some. We see Frank Hunter, trying to keep up the work of the BPD on his own. A drone, remotely piloted by Indraa hovers above him doing surveillance, when a man bursts through a wall. Clearly re-sequenced, he blasts past Frank in a flash and boom, the are in pursuit. The perp is moving, of course, incredibly fast, but Frank knows a few tricks, and with the help of his gear, is able to stay on this heels. Just as the man burns from an alley in to the street he is hit with a SWAT van…almost as though Frank was being watched.

L.T. Niel Garret and a handful of SWAT cops come pouring out of the van to take down the gene freak, using maximum possible force to apprehend him, and he is still giving them the a hard time. As they wrestle to get a shock collar around his neck, Frank catches his breath and steps in to re-assert his authority as head of the BPD. He talks to the man civilly, explains the situation and tells him that if he comes peacefully, nobody needs to get hurt. The perp’s head drops and he appears to submit but at the last moment he tries to pull Franks own gun on him. In a heartbeat Frank cracks him in back of the knee, tases him with 200,000 volts, and has the cuffs around his writs before he guy can stop spasming” One of the SWAT officers sniggers that he dropped that gene freak like Cujo would.

Oh the flip? Could Frank re-asset his authority. Fuck yeah he could.

Act 2 – Scene 3 – Siddig

We hadn’t seen any of Curtis or Dr. Cross this episode, so I wanted to go poke that sleeping dragon. Curtis has said he could offer Siddig an immunity to Cross’es neutralizing agent, but to do so he’d have to get in the lab himself. Siddig and Curtis broke into the lab together, and from the looks of their insane data throughput to each other, their genetically enhanced cerebral functions, had to have been designed to worth together.

Though they defeated all the security flawlessly, Cross was waiting for them in her lab. It was hers after all. Siddig started by trying to buy time for Curtis to sneak in an develop the antidote. His bluff, however, turned into a real discussion about who was in the right. Cross, determined that Sophie (although she didn’t know her identity) was trying to sabotage her efforts as a way to separate Cross from Siddig and get him to turn away from the law. Siddig demanding some personal privacy, not as a her test subject, but as a person. And just as they were about to have that very real moment of connection and trust… the flip. Lenny destroyed me and Curtis blew Siddig’s cover. They were there all along to sabotage yet more of her work!

Act 3 – Interstitial Scene

We see Mallory in an alley, looking suspiciously over her shoulder. From the shadows comes Danielle. “You’re not taking Sloane away from me again. He’s a good cop and you’re trying to ruin him. I’m not going to let you do that.” At which point Danielle proceeded to beat the ever living hell out of Mallory, leaving her bloodied and bruised…and missing her appointment.

Somewhere else a shady white guy was wondering where Mallory was and sent a brutish thug to find out.

Thoughts on this game

As players we need a bit of tangibility here. I know, I’ve done this myself as a GM. I’ve had all kinds of shadowing conspirators always telling half truths. But as some point the protagonists want to know they have something solid to go on (even if maybe it turns out to be wrong later, it feels solid in the now). Lenny has assured us that some some people will prove to be right, and other full of shit, soon enough, and I trust him on that, so I’m quite happy for our cast to be confused for the now. My guess is by the next act we’ll be polarized and focused on a target.

I like seeing Frank bust out his moves. I was very glad Scott put an action sequence in there!

Somehow, somewhere, this line became the quote of the episode “he’s not a ‘brain freak'”.

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