Science Fiction The Pod
Here is my first story starting from a totally random start I didn't even have a genre in mind. Loving the site and will post more shortly.

You are currently in a pod attached to a planetary base.

Is it dark outside?

No, but...

I peer through the small round window in the pod and outside it is pitch black, rain is pouring and visibility is very poor. Across the room is the body of my friend Space Marine

Ditzy Paperhanger.

We used to laugh at his insane name but I wasn't laughing now. We were the last survivors of the dropship everyone else had been wiped out. The mission was to infiltrate the base and rescue the research scientists if they had managed to survive. We didn't realise that an alien species had taken refuge in the research centre until it was too late. Now Ditzy was dead I was alone and needed to plan my next move. I check my equipment to make sure everything was in working order.

No, but...

I found my body armour was mainly intact but I had no energy cubes for my plasma rifle. I still had my standard issue combat knife so exploring the pod and finding ammo was my first goal then a decision would need to be made if taking the aliens was an option. Is it dark inside the pod?


Do I have a torch?


I switch on the small but very bright light built into my body armour and scan the room. Does Ditzy have any ammo?


I gingerly move the rifle and check the mechanism it's empty I guess he went down fighting. Does Ditzy have anything else of use?


I check for anything else that might come in handy and find some nutri-cubes and a flask of water, need to keep my strength up if I'm going to survive. I check the room. How many exits can I see?

1 = 1[d4]

Only one exit a sealed blast door. I move to check it out. Can I open it?

No, and...

I check the door pad it's in darkness and has no power. I try moving the door and it's shut tight. That explains why the aliens didn't follow the door must have shut tight and now their waiting. Can I hear anything behind the door?


The door is cold steel and I can't hear anything on the other side all the windows in the pod are toughened glass so I need to find either some way to open the door or some other exit. I move back into the room checking the floor and ceiling for any possible exits. Do I find anything of interest?


Is it in the ceiling?


As I move across the room I notice a hatch in the floor in the far corner. I grab the handle and it opens, at last some luck. I peer down into darkness. Attached to the side wall of the shaft is a ladder and hopefully my escape route. I wave a last goodbye to Ditzy and start to descend.

More to come as I descend into the darkness.
Here is part 2 a bit more explanation. Please comment and let me know if your enjoying the story.

Before I continue recounting my experience I will give you some info so you know who I am and why I'm in this situation. My name is Patrik Vanda and I'm a member of the Iron Spectres chapter. We are based on the planet Kovis in the Escora sector and our job is to get in and out as quickly as possible with minimum casualties.

Four days ago we received a transmission from Yulia which is on the outer fringe it's a very inhospitable world and the only inhabitants are research scientists studying the unique environment. The research outpost checks in frequently to confirm all is fine, but the last transmission received was worrying.

Does the emergency involve aliens?


The transmission was very poor but it sounded as if the research outpost had been compromised by an as yet unknown alien species. Due to the nature of Yulia it was thought that something had come from elsewhere for reasons unknown.

The decision was made to send a squad of 20 experienced marines to investigate and neutralise any threat and save the research team if at all possible. The Hawks Faith transport craft was readied and arrived in orbit of Yulia without any issues. The dropship was then loaded and proceeded to descend to the planets surface. We had very little intel and no idea what awaited us on the planet below.

Did the dropship have any problems making planet fall?


As we descended a major solar storm enveloped the planet and all communication with the Hawks Faith was lost. We also lost navigational instruments and had to descend blindly. The small dropship was buffeted as we made planetfall.

How badly damaged was the dropship?

Severe Damage: Incapacitating and may become Critical if not addressed.

We almost made it but at the last moment the storm took out one of the engines causing the craft to spin. We had a few minutes of panic but thanks to the skillful pilot we made it.

1 = 1[d20]

Miraculously we had only one casualty a young marine called Bradley Kane who was nearest the engine when the storm took it out. All other personnel were fine with a few scratches and bruises.

Do any navigational systems on the dropship work?

No, and...

We had no idea where on the surface we were and still had no way to communicate with Hawks Faith.

Has the storm finished?

Yes, but...

Outside the dropship the storm had died down but the air was still charged, it would take a few hours before we could safely leave the ship and get some kind of bearing. After checking the gear we had time to kill so myself, Ditzy and a few others played cards while we waited. All the while Commander Reeves tried to contact Hawks Faith.

Did we manage to regain contact?


All we could receive was static.

Does the emergency beacon work?


To add to our predicament the emergency beacon on the dropship was also out of action so the Hawks Faith had no way to know where on the planet we had landed, rescue didn't seem likely so the only thing to do was continue the mission and hope the research outpost had a way to contact the Hawks Faith.
After four hours Reeves called everyone to the operation room on the ship, the decision had been made to split into two groups and cover the immediate area outside the ship. I was in the group of nine with Ditzy, we checked our weapons and prepared to leave the ship.
(07-26-2013, 08:00 AM)Hyfrydle Wrote: Please comment and let me know if your enjoying the story.

I'm enjoying it. You've captured a good space theme feeling. The writing is good and the use of the tool is good.

Good job Smile
Thank you for your kind comments I'm really loving the tool it makes rpg's accessible to me again after such a long time away. Love the unpredictable nature and how the story can really go off at a tangent.
Here is part 3 really enjoying the adventure now!!!

Still no joy getting the communications working the solar storm must have really fried the system. We lined up in two groups on the rear ramp of the dropship as it slowly opened revealing the planets surface.

The planet Yulia is a temperate planet with a surface that mainly consists of a jungle like environment with some mountainous regions. The air is not breathable so all marine suits are equipped with breathing apparatus which can convert most hazardous gases to a breathable substitute. Very little is known about the plant and animal life although it's thought that no intelligent life is present.

The research scientists were studying the plant life on the planet to help move human research forward in all areas.

The hydraulics lowering the ramp stopped and we got our first glimpse of the surface. We had landed in a clearing in the middle of a dense jungle area.

Any signs of life?

(50/50) No, and...

We all walked down the ramp and spread out around the dropship with plasma rifles at the ready, all was quiet and the trees towered hundreds of feet above us so we had no view of the sky. We had to reach high ground so we could see the sun and hopefully get some bearings.

Commander Reeves assigned Nick Hawkins as the commander for our group of nine and we set off northwards into the dark jungle. Commander Reeves took his group southwards and we kept in touch through our suit communicators.

Our group consisted of myself, Ditzy, Nick Hawkins, Basil Mckee, Bud Lee, Brain Perry, Milo Shephard, Cruz Mccoy and Gus Barker. Reeves had picked well we all had a long service record and had been involved in numerous engagements it was a good company and we worked well together.

Nick took point and Milo covered the rear, getting through the thick undergrowth was difficult and this was made more difficult due to the battlesuits we all wore. Luckily each suit was fitted with a cooling system which kept the body temperature at a comfortable level.

We moved northwards for an hour and the ground was steadily rising.

Do we have any encounters?

(50/50) No.

Does the other group have any encounters?

(Somewhat Likely) Yes.

We had no issues apart from the terrain making things difficult. The other group were not so lucky.

Was the encounter a plant?

(Somewhat Likely) No.


(Likely) Yes, but...

As they moved south they came across a strange creature blocking their route forward.

89 = 89[d100]

It was a giant serpent.

40 = 40[d100]

With eight eyes and it immediately attacked the lead marine.

Did the serpent surprise the group?

(Unlikely) Yes.

Even with their combat readiness the group were taken by surprise the serpent was well camouflaged.

3 = 3[d100]

41 = 41[d100]

Also the creature seemed to have enhanced senses and was aware of the marine group well in advance.

Is Reeves the lead marine?

(Likely) Yes, and...

As the serpent lunged Reeves dived to the side.

Did Reeves evade the serpent?

(Somewhat Likely) Yes.

Reeves only just got out of the way but the marine in line behind Reeves wasn't so lucky. The serpent grabbed him instead and began to shake it's massive head from side to side slamming the marine against the trees.

Can the marine get a shot off?

(Somewhat Unlikely) Yes, but...

Somehow whilst been shaken and slammed into trees the marine got a shot off.

Did the shot hit the serpent?

(Somewhat Unlikely) No, but...

The shot misses but seems to surprise the serpent the creature drops the marine to the ground. The group are now prepared and all open fire on the beast.

How many shots hit?

4 = 4[d8]

Out of eight marines 4 manage to hit and the serpent writhes in pain.

Negligible: Nick/Scratch/Bruise.

But it's thick scaly armour means the blasts have very little affect. It does move back.

Does the serpent retreat?

(50/50) Yes.

As suddenly as it appeared the serpent is gone and the group regroup to check the marine prone on the ground.

Severe Injury: Incapacitating and may become Critical if untreated.

It's not good the serpent has badly crushed the marines body and only the armour has kept him alive. The decision is made to take him back to the dropship for medical treatment.

Meanwhile we continued northwards heading upwards we were moving into a mountainous region.

Do we have an encounter?

(Likely) Yes.

Is it plant?

(50/50) Yes, but...

As we reach the lower slopes of the tallest mountain the trees start to thin out and movement becomes much easier. We are now walking through tall spiky grass with red bulbs at the end of each stalk. The bulbs pulsate like small hearts.

Are we surprised?

(Somewhat Unlikely) Yes, but...

Suddenly Milo screams and disappears swallowed up by the ground. We all stop and head towards Milo's last known position.

Do any other marines disappear?

(50/50) Yes, but...

As we move Bud screams and also disappears, this is not good Nick screams "Halt" and we all stand still. As we stand a large area of spiky grass begins to rise and the red bulbs pulsate quicker the bulbs are in a circle and in the centre a mouth is opening in the ground. This is like some kind of sick venus flytrap and we are the prey.

It seems like the bulbs pulsate when they detect prey.

Are we far from the edge of the spiky grass?

(50/50) Yes, and...

We are a good distance from the edge of the grass and the pulsating around us has slowed now that we have stopped moving.

The decision is made to concentrate all our plasma fire on the visible mouth.

We take aim and fire as one.

Does the concentrated fire have any affect?

(Somewhat Likely) No, but...

The blast is powerful enough to cause serious injury but has no noticeable affect on the mouth. Then the ground starts to rumble and the mouth opens and expels the remains of Milo and Bud in a bloodied heap. We have no choice but to make a run for it.

Do any other marines get devoured?

(Somewhat Likely) Yes, and...

We are almost there when Gus screams and disappears we can't turn back and tears begin to well up, we have lost some good friends. We dive out of the grass and land on the stony ground at the foot of the mountain relieved to be out of that killing zone. We are now down to six and the situation is becoming more desperate by the minute....
It's been quite a while but I have decided to continue this story and see how things turn out.

Here is part 4:

The six of us crawl away from the killing field and the red bulbs stop pulsating no longer able to sense any pray. We check for any other injuries.

No, but...

We are all mostly intact but shocked at the loss of our friends, the training we took to prepare us for this kind of situation was intense but nothing truly prepares anyone for the reality.

Nick gives the order to try and contact Commander Reeves and give an update on the situation, Basil is in charge of the short-range radio and sets about trying to get a signal.


After a few tense minutes Basil finally gets a signal and learns that the other team are back at the dropship due to an attack by an alien fauna. Nick relays the events at the killing field and asks for an update on our mission status.

Should we continue heading for high ground?

Yes, but...

Reeves confirms that the mission to reach high ground and try to to triangulate our position is still the priority but we need to take care as Yulia is not as uninhabited as was first thought.

Is the time before midday?

Yes, but...

As we sit on the rocks at the base of the mountain recovering we see the dull red sun of Yulia slowly rising into the sky above and to our south we can see the thick jungle hiding the clearing were the dropship crashed. We took on water and prepared ourselves for the climb ahead, Nick gave the order and we all set off up the rough rocky side of the lower slopes of the mountain.

Do we have any encounters on the lower slopes?


We move slowly up the side of the mountain and the cooling systems in our suits keep us comfortable, the air as we move higher begins to thicken until we are walking through a thick reddish fog.

Is visibility compromised?Is visibility compromised?


Even as the fog becomes thicker our suit visors keep visibility crystal clear and we make good progress. We reach a small outcrop on the mountain side and pause to survey the route ahead.

Do we spot any obstacles ahead?

Yes, and...

The next stage of the journey up the mountain looks perilous as we are met with a cliff side we will need to rig the climbing gear to move further.

Do we have any issues whilst setting up the climbing gear?


Are we attacked?


Introverted anarchist

Logical female peon

We set about attaching the ropes to the cliff surface as Ditzy begins to move slowly upwards.

Is this NPC someone from the research centre?


Is she wounded?

No, but...

Ditzy disappears from sight and Cruz begins to ascend the cliff. Suddenly we hear a shout from above it sounds like a woman.

Has Ditzy reached the top?


We can hear what sounds like a scuffle and the woman seems to be screaming, Cruz has now disappeared from view. We all start climbing up the cliff as we climb the sounds from above cease.

I like to leave each part on a cliffhanger wonder what's going to happen next.
I love how this thing is basically spun out of whole cloth, using the RPG Solo engine to provide all the narrative scaffolding. I wonder if I'm doing mine wrong.
(02-11-2018, 02:39 PM)Sam Wrote: I love how this thing is basically spun out of whole cloth, using the RPG Solo engine to provide all the narrative scaffolding.  I wonder if I'm doing mine wrong.

Thank you for your kind comments I don't think there's a right or wrong way to play and I always wonder if I'm not playing correctly. I recently purchased the Libre Solo Roleplaying system and it is very intriguing it includes rules to provide unexpected twists and obstacles to keep solo roleplaying interesting.

I hope to try and have a playthrough using Rpg Solo soon once I've digested the rules.

I'm also going to check out your play reports as we all play the game slightly differently it is useful to see how others play.
Any headway on Libre? I heard about it again this morning, and it reminded me you were looking into it.
The story continues:

We climb the sheer cliff heading up in the direction of the sounds we heard. Nick calls out hoping for a reply from Ditzy or Cruz.

(Likely) Yes, and...

We are relieved when we get a response from Ditzy he shouts down saying they are both fine and we should come up and see what they have found. By this time we are half way up the cliff and can see the jungle of Yulia stretching off into the distance, from this height the clearing with dropship can be seen through the red mist a distance to the south.

Do we make it to the top without any further mishaps?

(50/50) No, but...


Excellent cloak

Nick is in the lead with Basil behind they both reach the top this leaves myself and Brains still climbing the cliff.

Is their an issue with the climbing gear?

(Likely) Yes

I reach the top and pull myself over the ledge, as I get to my feet I hear a cry from below and look down, Brain is pushing himself away from something protruding from the cliff face.

What is causing the issue for Brain?


As I look down I can see that some kind of creature is moving over the cliff it has the head of what looks like a horse but the body is spider-like with suckers at the end of each leg. As I watch it seems to flicker and then just disappears.

Is Brain able to get past the creature?

(50/50) No, and...

Brain is swinging on the rope trying to move away from the creature I can see him fumbling to get his plasma rifle in a position to fire.

Can Brain get his plasma rifle readied?

(Somewhat Unlikely) No

Does he drop his rifle?

(50/50) No

His rifle looks to be lodged and he can't get it freed to take a shot the creature seems to have disappeared.

Brain continues the climb keeping a close eye on the rock but the creature seems to have vanished.

Does Brain make it to the top?

(50/50) No

Brain is a few feet from the top when the creature reappears and starts moving upwards heading for Brain.

Do any other creatures appear?

(Somewhat Likely) Yes

How many?

2 = 1[d4]+1

Brain is moving quickly as another creature appears close to his left side. Both creatures are heading towards him as he frantically scrambles upwards.

Do the creatures have any weapons?

(50/50) Yes

The creature closest to Brain pauses and it looks to have a growth on the top of it's head from my position it looks like it's taking aim. I take aim with my rifle and loose a shot.

(Somewhat Likely) Yes

The beam hits the creature and it lets out a guttural scream.

How badly hurt is the creature?

Severe Injury: Incapacitating and may become Critical if untreated.

The beam has taken out the legs on one side of it's bloated body and it is desperately clinging to the rock face.

Does the creature fall?

(Likely) Yes

The creature is struggling to grip and suddenly it falls landing with a sickening squelch at the bottom of the cliff.

Does the other creature react?

(Somewhat Likely) Yes, and...

The remaining creature below Brain let's out a high pitched squeal and disappears. Brain takes this opportunity to continue upwards and I reach down to grab his arm and manage to pull him over the ledge.

We both roll back from the edge exhausted as the rest of team run over. Cruz unhooks the medi-scanner from his belt and give us both the once over.

Do we have any injuries?

No, and...

By some freak of fate we are both fine a few scratches and the odd bruise but otherwise in full working order.

As I sit on a rock recovering I notice Nick is not with the group. I ask Cruz Nick's whereabouts and he motions towards a clearing a little way from the edge. I can see Nick and he has his weapon trained on what looks like a wonman.

We gathered the climbing gear and moved into the clearing, the woman is obviously very scared and Nick has her secured.

Is the woman from the research post?

Yes, but...

Is she the only survivor?


How many were based in the research post?

22 = 20[d20]+2

How many survivors?

8 = 8[d10]

Cruz managed to give the woman a mild sedative and she finally started to calm down she explains that she was part of a team of 22 scientists based at the research post studying the fauna and flora of Yulia. Her name is Lola Torres and she worked along side Harold Banks their speciality was the flora of the planet.

Does Lola know if Harold survived?


Lola explains that herself and Harold were in one of the large greenhouses studying a new breed of plant that they had genetically engineered when they heard an explosion. They had both run towards the main building and found a scene of devastation to add to this the power in the research post was fluctuating. Harold had led her into an escape shaft designed to be used in emergency situations they managed to seal themselves in a storeroom and had access to food and air-breathers.

Does Lola have any idea what caused the explosion?

Yes, but...

After what seemed like an eternity they had both ventured out and the research post was in darkness and eerily quiet. As they moved through the corridors it was clear that few had survived. The walls were scarred by laser fire and the main entrance had been blown open using an explosive and this was probably the explosion they had heard. On inspection they noticed that six air-breathers had been taken from equipment locker so surmised that six more had survived and left the building.

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