I'm currently running an Eclipse Phase one-shot which may or may not result in an actual campaign if the players like the game. As time for preparation was short, the players settled on the pregenerated characters from the Core Rules (the Extropian Smuggler, Lunar Ego-Hunter, and Ultimate Mercenary, respectively). Unfortunately, the time for me to prepare the actual adventure was short as well - we had only decided on doing this five days in advance, and I realized that I had forgotten how many of the game's subsystems worked since I last read it (which was last year...). Thus, the first part of the adventure was very hastily improvised. I'd like to do better for the next part, which we will play on Monday and which will take place on the Venusian habitat "The Shack". For this, I want to work out the habitat in a bit more detail - hence this thread. Basically, I will just post my ideas and plans as they come to me, and you can give me your thoughts and feedback.
But first, some information on what happened so far:
The adventure started on the Venusian orbital habitat "Gerlach", where the Extropian Smuggler (the leader of the cell) was contacted by his router and informed of a disturbing new local development: A new form of petals named "Sun Dreams" was making the rounds on the habitat which included fragments that strongly hinted of basilisk hacks - and in the last few weeks, those "fragments" were becoming more pronounced. Firewall thus had concluded that someone was trying to spread basilisk hacks via petals, and understandably they wanted this stopped with extreme prejudice.
After some digging, they discovered that a local representative named Natasha Wei of the Night Cartel, with whom the Smuggler had done business before, was selling these petals - quite openly, too, as petals aren't actually illegal on Gerlach (thanks to the habitat's strong Extropian/Libertarian leanings). They met her (ignoring the Mercenary's suggestion that they should just kill her, as she probably had been infected) and informed her of the Basilisk Hack elements - which were a surprise to her, but they managed to give her some second thoughts about her wares. She didn't tell them who her supplier was (she only said that she "had to make some phone calls"), but after some covert surveillance of her managed to track her source down - a local petal design company named "Power Flower, Inc." They kidnapped the CEO and sufficiently intimidated him into cooperation (the "Suggestion" psi-sleight also helped...). They learned that the petal was the work of a new employee of the company named "Manuel Canado" who had recently moved here from The Shack, a "real workaholic". The CEO in tow, they went to the company facilities where they jumped him and the Mercenary managed to take him out of action with a shock glove - but not before Canado managed to hurl a weird "gravitic wave" (a psi-epsilon power...) at him which missed the Mercenary but seriously damaged the ceiling. Unfortunately, they don't manage to switch off Canado's mesh connection quite quickly enough to prevent him from warning his "friends"...
Then the Lunar Ego Hunter decided to delve into Canado's mind to get some answers. Unfortunately, Canado was an Exurgent transformed by the Haunting Virus (which later led to "Never do a mind meld without condoms!" jokes)! Before the connection was broken, he has the following vision:
He is in the basement of a very old house - a 21st or 20th century upper-class house on Earth. He then goes up into the second floor and passes through the master bedroom, where a "middle-aged" couple lies in the bed with their throats slit. Then he goes further upstairs and comes to a window.
He looks through it at the sky. There he beholds a vast creature in the shape of a slightly rounded cylinder with stubby protrusions "swimming" in the sky, though he can barely behold it because it moves before a vast sort of some sort of "radiance" - like trying to look at some object in the direction of the sun, only larger and with a color of "dark orange". He has an intense sense of imminent revelation - but then he manages to break the vision off.
(Basically, I had this vision in a nightmare two nights before, and thought that this imagery was too good not to use...)
He is understandably rattled, and not able to describe what he saw coherently - so they decide just to take his data, kill the guy, and retrieve his cortical stack for Firewall analysis. They are also nervous about possible Exurgent infection of the Ego Hunter (well, the Ego Hunter was nervous - the Mercenary kept making suggestions about "reverting to an earlier backup"...). But some conferences with their router later and a through brainscan by a competent friendly psychosurgeon they determine that the Ego Hunter is not infected after all... probably, but with all the mutations of the Exurgent virus popping up all the time, who can really know for sure? (The Smuggler is given "instructions" in case the analysis is wrong). Their router also determines that they should proceed to The Shack with all possible speed and eliminate the problem at the source, wherever that "source" might be, while a cleanup crew descends on Gerlach to figure out if anyone has actually been infected by the Haunting Virus via the petals, and eliminate them...
So what awaits them on The Shack? Well, I haven't come up with too many details yet, but Conado wasn't the original exhuman. The infection spread via (non-petal) Basilisk Hack over a private simulspace called "Endless Skies" which was originally created by bored programmers and technicians on the habitat to pass the time. So far has operated on "invitation only" principles to help keep the secret. There is an inner core of infected exurgents running the show, but most members of the simulspace have been infected with the Haunting Virus and have developed psi powers.
And now they know that someone has come after Canado - and that possibly their secret is out as well. Their priorities will now shift to stopping those who have discovered them, spreading the basilisk hack, and if all else is lost, create as much mayhem on the habitat as possible, perhaps even wrecking it entirely (which would of course be a huge setback to Venus in general and the Morningstar Consortium in particular, as it's the only habitat on Venus capable of creating more areostats). It's the task of the PCs to stop all this before it all goes out of control. But can they pull this off?