“Brigitte Bardot is the assassin!”
Several days ago I sent a teaser to my players to get them curious about our Friday night Eclipse Phase session. But by the time the end of the week rolled around, the three of us were all pretty wiped out from work and various other things. We eased our way into the game session, all of us suspecting that we might not be able to finish the brief adventure I’d planned.
As fate would have it, we managed to pull off a fantastic game session. Our two intrepid heroes were tasked by Firewall with stopping an assassination at the exclusive orbital hab of an absurdly wealthy playboy who also led a double life as a strong supporter of Firewall. Derivative, I know. But if it works, it works.
The gazillionaire, a man by the name of Sharpan Wisla, was famous for his exclusive parties, to which only the cream of the inner system could ever hope to attend. The people who show up at Wisla parties are hypercorp executives, famous artists and actors, powerful politicians, and so on. The theme of this party was 1950s entertainers, the idea being that each attendee would have to obtain a morph of a famous screen actor, musician, dancer, or comedian from that era, and impersonate him or her for as long as possible.
Firewall had strong reason to believe that one of the guests would be out to kill Wisla. Killing him would not do any meaningful long-term harm to him as a person, but it would affect his influence. If he were killed, particularly during an exclusive event such as this, it would make it more difficult for him in the future to mix and mingle with the elites, and carry out his secret agenda of maneuvering the wealthy and powerful into assisting Firewall without knowing they were doing so.
Wisla’s security team was suspect, so the player characters had to go in alone. Another odd twist: the premise of the party was strictly enforced. No mesh access or other information transmission beyond good old fashioned human interaction would be allowed. The security system inside the hab monitored this continuously, and anyone disobeying would be bounced out of the party.
Furthermore, Wisla did not want the party disrupted. He did not want to know who his Firewall protectors would be. Part of the fun of the party lay in not knowing who was who, so while Wisla had a guest list, he did not know how each guest would be morphed.
The players chose to show up as Steve Reeves (the muscle man who played Hercules), and Jimmy Stewart. The adventure was a fascinating mix of the players attempting to suss out the motivations of the characters they encountered as they chatted with a host of alter egos ranging from Frank Sinatra to Sophia Loren and James Dean to Kim Novak. We had a lot of fun with it, and as you might expect in a party of high rollers, there was a fair amount of debauchery.
The whole while, the players were narrowing their suspect list down. It looked for a while like the Indian actress Nutan was the assassin, but at a critical moment, Brigitte Bardot pulled a straight razor on Jimmy Stewart, who fled in terror, screaming out, “Brigitte Bardot is the assassin!” The ensuing scene is difficult to describe in detail, but it wound up with Sophia Loren in custody and Bardot in a huff stomping off with Marlon Brando.
It was only later, as Steve Reeves and his new friend Marilyn Monroe watched Elvis tear into a second, blistering set, that Bardot took a leap toward the stage, straight razor in hand! Muscle man Reeves managed to stop Bardot in time, and he and Stewart took Ms. Bardot and Ms. Loren back with them to their Firewall handler, who would determine exactly who these two really were, and why they would want to kill Wisla.
All in all, it was great fun. I’m thinking of writing up the setting and some of the characters as a loosely-defined scenario that any Eclipse Phase GM could use (with any of dozens of 1950s icons being the assassin or assassins).