The Big Smoke, Part 2

MacraUnperturbed the Inspector maintained he was a secret planetary inspector, carrying out a surprise inspection. The security guard still wasn’t convinced, unsure of the logic of carrying out a surprise inspection at the same time as a planned inspection.

This led to a presence+convince check with enough story points spent to ensure success. The security guard congratulated the Inspector on doing something that no one would expect and after scanning them for weapons showed them around the space port.

While they walked they questioned the security guard about living conditions on the planet, learning that things had got worse since the air scrubbers had been shut down and that Corbin was making more money by charging tenants of his apartment buildings to have their air purified and their oxygen supplies replenished.

Reaching the Corbin Wilon cargo hanger they encountered his rifle wielding, helmeted security personnel. Their bright red uniforms clearly indicated they were dangerous. The Inspector announced his badge gave him the authority to enter the hanger.

The head of security contacted Corbin, who was with the planetary inspector at the time, by radio and confirmed that the Inspector was imposter. They gave them to the count of ten before they opened fire forcing the time travellers to make a quick escape.

Still determined to make the most of his fake credentials the Inspector next dragged Phillipa to the Corbin Wilon corporate building where he told the receptionist that he had an appointment. When she couldn’t find a record of this he used his sonic screw driver to amend the details and get them clearance to the top floor where Corbin had his private office.

There they found themselves face to face with Corbin, a fat man in an expensive suit and a pencil thin moustache. The Inspector accused him of poisoning the planet and that he’d use his (fake) powers to shut him down. Unfazed Corbin said he knew he was an imposter and that was currently with the real planetary inspector.

It turned out that the Corbin they were speaking to was just a hologram, broadcast from his true location, in one of his factories. He explained that his security forces were on the way up to deal with them and that their identities could always be established from dental records or their DNA.

With the lift already moving towards the top floor the time travellers didn’t have long to act. The Inspector wanted to use the remaining charge in the sonic screwdriver to do a multitude of things, including; shutting down internal security, stopping the lifts, accessing all computer records, tracing the holograph broadcast and cutting power to the building.

All of which was far to much for a single story point so I insisted he choose one thing. He decided to stop the lift and used ingenuity+technology to find where Corbin was. A ‘Yes But’ result meant he got the location but the computer shut itself down, detecting the security breach.

Meanwhile Phillipa had been searching for an exit. Failing to find the stairs she did discover a one man escape pod, designed to be used in emergencies. Both of them entered and hit the big red button as the security forces entered the room from the stairs.

Over weighted the egg-like pod arced across the sky, bounced across several roof tops before plummeting into a former parking lot, now a make-shift shanty town, destroying several tents but luckily not injuring anyone.

Flying security hover cars were already heading towards them, their search lights sweeping across the streets. Sticking to the alleys they managed to make it to Hibson’s hideout, without being spotted.

Although it was late they could see a light was still on in the back room. Despite knocking several times there was no response. Borrowing a hair pin from Phillipa the Inspector was able to pick the lock.

Inside they found a terrible mess, something had apparently burst through the floor, revealing steam pipes that ran beneath the street. Hibson lay dead nearby, Phillipa confirming that his body had been crushed.

The Inspector realised this was the Macra’s handiwork and explained to his companion how the crab like aliens enslaved others and would desire the polluted atmosphere of the colony.

Before they could discuss this further the building was surrounded by the police. With little choice they escaped into the tunnels. Phillipa was none to happy about the possibility of meeting one of the Macra within the enclosed space of the tunnels.

Her worst fears came true when they stumbled into the path of one at an intersection. Luckily the crab wasn’t very fast (I gave it only 2 points of co-ordination) and escaped from it in the tunnels, although the Inspector almost fell under its influence.

Now knowing what they were dealing with they decided to head to one of the air scrubbers.  On the way they caught a news report that revealed a clearly mind controlled planetary inspector giving the colony a clean bill of health and indicating that Corbin would be given funding to open similar factories on other worlds.

At the air scrubbers they were able to sneak past the red suited security forces and make their way up a lift to the automated control room. Looking to educate Phillipa the Inspector guided her through the steps needed to reactivate them, giving her a +2 to her ingenuity+technology check. Alarms sounded but the Inspector had time to lock the security systems, requiring anyone else to make a difficulty check of 33 or above to shut the scrubbers back down.

Hiding they waited until the security forces passed before they escaped from the area and back into the city. On a large television screen on one of the streets (always a handy way to deliver exposition) they saw that Corbin had released Macra from his factories. As the air cleared the giant crabs began to slow and collapse.

Learning from the report that Corbin and the planetary inspector were already at the space port, fleeing the tragedy, the time travellers go there just in time to see Corbin’s cargo shuttle begin to take off.

Moving as fast as they could the Inspector and Phillipa got on board, finding that the cargo hold held several crates of Macra eggs. Proceeding into the passenger section the time travellers used presence+convince to free Corbin and Avin from the Macra influence.

Corbin revealed how he’d discovered the giant crabs and how he’d seen them as the natural inheritors of the worlds they ruined. Avin, shocked at the infestation, decided that steps needed to be taken to lower pollution on all colony worlds to prevent them from taking hold there.

Reaching the upper atmosphere of the colony the Inspector used the shuttle controls to open the cargo hold, letting the eggs burn up upon re-entry. The clearly confused pilot then took them back to the planet where the Inspector and Phillipa could leave in the TARDIS, just as the air became fresh enough for the clouds to part and the sun to shine for the first time in years.

This was another adventure the players enjoyed and they did well, apart for the Inspectors insistence on maintaining his false identity, even when people clearly didn’t believe him.

As a reward for their actions I gave the Inspector an extra point for subterfuge and Phillipa gained a point in technology to represent the training the Inspector had given her. The Inspector is hoping that Phillipa will return the favour at some point and teach him how to drive a car.

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