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The Saving Throw
Contest Entry Sept. 20, 2006
Gaming moments with multiple endings, but only one is the real ending.

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Framed
featured on Sept. 20, 2006 contributed by Nwash

This adventure comes from the science-fiction roleplaying realm I've been working on for some time. This wasn't with the same characters used for most adventures in this realm. Instead, this adventure focused on the crew of the Vendetta, who are far more roguish, dangerous, and dark than the other characters we have. The Vendetta is a small ship with a crew of six. The captain, Vincent, is a cybernetically-enhanced human war veteran, and his most trusted crew member, Anya, is a former resistance fighter from the same war. Along with Cobalt, the dwarf-like Drafel who fought in that war as well, these three have a lot of unresolved anger and harshness from their experiences. They are joined by Nathan, a human computer and technical specialist, Rebecca, a naive young medical specialist, and Ironstrike, a mentally-unbalanced Clayton engineer. The Claytons are a large, rock-like race that has formed close ties with humanity.

The crew of the Vendetta lives on a little on the edge. While most of what they do is technically legal, it is often barely so, but they still must evade law enforcement as the Vendetta is a stolen attack corvette. As a result, they were in hiding when Anya received a message from an old friend asking her to meet him to discuss an important job. This friend, Alex, a former Marshal, had been in prison for many years after having been convicted of murdering his wife. Anya convinces the captain to come out of hiding to hear Alex out, as she doesn't believe he was guilty of that crime.

Indeed, the job Alex says he wishes to hire them for is to clear his name so he can return to the life he had before the conviction. In prison, one of his old sources gave him information that suggests that his wife is still alive under a new identity and with altered genetics, using his family fortune to finance her own criminal organization. He is asking the crew of the Vendetta to help find her and capture her, believing that forensic scientists will be able to decipher her original genetic code and probably identify her, proving that he'd been framed. They accept the job, and with some investigation and a little luck, they learn where his wife, Eia, spends most of her time: a bunker underneath her corporate headquarters. Learning of a secret entrance to this bunker, they manage to infiltrate it and defeat the various deadly security systems in one way or another until they finally find the paranoid Eia in her office.


 Which ending is the real one?

A.

At this point, Alex reveals his true intentions. He no longer really cares about clearing his name, as he has served the time for murdering his wife. He cannot be legally touched anymore, and he has become bitter and hateful at the betrayal and the use of his family's money to finance a ruthless criminal organization. He lied to the Vendetta crew to provide them legal protection, as they honestly didn't know what they were helping him to do. Eia objects, not believing that Alex is truly capable of murdering her, but she underestimated how much her betrayal affected him. He draws a gun and shoots her with an entire clip as she tries to get away, knowing that her organization will collapse without her. The crew of the Vendetta doesn't object, even though Rebecca is somewhat horrified by what she has just seen.


B.

When they find Eia, it becomes quickly apparent that they have walked into a trap. Alex and the Vendetta crew are soon surrounded by a group of Eia's security forces. Eia reveals that she was the one who arranged for Alex to get the information about her genetic adjustment to draw him here. She knew that Alex wouldn't give up on clearing his name, so she knew she had to find a way to get rid of him. Since they are in her office, it'll be easy for her to claim self-defense upon killing the party. She underestimated the combat experience of Alex's friends, though, as they attack her security just as she orders them to fire. While the Vendetta crew takes some injuries, they defeat her security forces. Eia tries to attack them herself, and gets shot by Anya for her trouble. Badly injured, but still alive, she is subdued and brought out of the bunker in a running firefight. They eventually get her back to the Vendetta, where her injuries are treated and she is turned over to authorities. For all of his trouble, Alex gets an official apology. He and the crew of the Vendetta are also officially pardoned for breaking, entering, and attacking Eia's bunker.


Results for this Contest Entry

Correct answer: A. 3 correct, 2 incorrect.
Bainick guesses A and earns 7 points.
Karlinn guesses A and earns 7 points.
Leaper guesses B and earns 2 points.
Lightshard guesses B and earns 2 points.
Macstorm guesses A and earns 7 points.
Nwash earns 10 points from writing the entry.


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