Adventure 3: UNIT/Alien Invasion
UNIT have been an important part of the Doctor Who universe and should be represented in a celebration of the shows 50th anniversary. With this in mind the focus of the adventure should be an alien invasion for them to defend the Earth against.
Following the lose ends of the last adventure the group should be heading towards 21st century Earth to discover how a UNIT science pod ended up in the past. If you didn’t use that adventure their arrival during the current crisis could just be a coincidence.
Those following the search for Susan will find that her signal is being transmitted from this era. To lock on to her exact position they’ll need to find the source of the broadcast. Once they arrive they’ll find they have bigger things to worry about.
The Earth is currently under attack. Beams of chronoton energy cut through time, sending anything they hit into the past or bring things into the present. UNIT is on red alert as their defences are vanishing and the past crisis are made real again.
There are Yeti in the underground, Cybermen are in the sewers while dinosaurs roam the streets of London. This is a chance for the player characters to relive the greatest hits of the UNIT episodes.
Making contact with UNIT they learn that a fleet of alien ships of unknown design are moving towards the Earth. They are apparently responsible for the blasts of chronoton energy. Experts suspected that they belong to Gallifrey although the Doctor or any other Time Lord PC can confirm this isn’t correct.
UNIT is readying a secret space mission, organised by the largely unknown British Rocket group. The PCs are invited to join the mission, travelling with elite members of UNIT. This can include members who were pulled out of retirement, allowing such characters as Mike Yates or Benton to make a reappearance.
Players might be tempted to use their TARDIS to travel directly to the alien fleet but their weaponry creates too much interference. Anyone trying is likely to end up in the distant past or far future.
The launch of the rocket should be a tense affair. Scientifically minded PCs should help with the launch calculations while other characters deal with the time displaced alien invaders, make contact with friends and family in the 21st century or gather equipment from Torchwood.
Just as the countdown begins another alien threat is brought to the present and begin attacking the launch site. The Axos could try to drain energy from the sites generators, Daleks could swarm the area or giant green maggots might erupt out of the ground.
The PCs can only watch the chaos as they rush to ensure that the rocket takes off before it can be damaged. This will hopefully reinforce the danger that the Earth is in and impress upon them the stakes they are playing for.
It takes several hours for the rocket to reach the alien armada, chronoton beams flashing past them and striking Earth. Once within range they should dock the rocket with one of the ships, not an easy feat.
Breaching the outer hull they encounter no resistance. In the airless interior float the skeleton remains of a humanoid race. Identifying insigna and symbols have been eroded by time, raising a question mark over who they are.
The ships are controlled by automatic equipment. Studying this reveals that rather than an attack the ships are trying to save Earth. A time wave is rapidly approaching the planet, that threatens to erase Earth completely.
The original plan was for the alien armada to fire a concentrated blast of chronotons, shifting the whole planet forward a split second in time, allowing the time wave to miss it completely. An error in programming resulted in the beams firing out of synch.
Without anyone to co-ordinate the effort each ship in the armada has being trying to fix the mistake on its own, only making the situation worse. If Earth is to be saved the PCs must make sure they fire all at once.
This will put them at odds with the UNIT personnel, who have orders to destroy the ships. It will be hard to convince them that they need to fire the ships ‘weapons’ all at once. The PCs will need to get the UNIT soldiers to trust them.
Carrying out the plan is difficult. The ships are flying in close formation so it is possible to space walk between them, although a frightening experience. You may wish to have each ship carry a shuttle that can be used for short trips or a remote system that can be repaired so that the armada can be networked together.
If they are able to unleash a concentrated blast of chronoton energy the Earth vanishes before their very eyes. This is about the time the Time Wave catches up with the armada, causing the ships to loose cohesion and start breaking apart.
Escaping in the UNIT rocket they should race back towards the location of Earth, ahead of the wave. Just as they enter the planets orbit they strike the lingering effects of the chronoton blast and pass into alignment with Earth, escaping the effects of the Time Wave.
The rocket breaks apart, a capsule carrying them into the ocean where they are soon picked up. They learn that time has returned to normal, with everything being returned to its proper place. Some of the damage caused has even been reversed.
Memories of the events are fading in the general public, with only UNIT retaining knowledge of what happened. Wreckage from the alien ships entered the Earth’s atmosphere and UNIT scientists are excited at the prospect of studying the technology.
If you decided that the bald headed men from the earlier adventures are human Time Lords from the future this can be where their time travel technology begins. As such they’ll ensure that the technology is protected, even if the PCs think it should be destroyed.
The PCs are left with the mystery about what caused the Time Wave, who were the creators of the alien armada and what alteration were they trying to protect the Earth from?
Without the interference of the alien armada Susan’s signal can be picked up from the Pharos Project. If you’re using the rogue 1st Doctor storyline a message from the Doctor is being picked up from there instead.
In both cases the Pharos project can be used to locate the source of the signal. They find it is being broadcast from the same galactic co-ordiantes as Gallifrey! Could the homeworld have been restored?
The PCs will have to travel there to find out.