Our Battlestar Galactica campaign returned last night after a week’s hiatus, and launched straight into a fast-paced push episode. Our Colonial Security Service (our analogue for the FBI) discovered a link that they had disregarded for more time-sensitive ones — that the thirteen suspected Cylon agents they had picked up had all attended a science-fiction convention on Leonis. Researching the event, he found out it had the venue moved from he usual 2 star hotel convention hall to a swanky high-end spa on the outskirts of Luminiere, the capital of Leonis.

This is immediately suspicious, as the spa is one of those 300 qubit/night places…hardly the place that they would move a convention. The spa is isolated, high-end, and has all manner of the therapeutic treatments for stress and injury. The place, to him, “feels” important, and the photo of the owner is familiar to him, but he can’t place where. It’s a weekend, and the leadership of Operation RIPTIDE is not in for the day. Realizing the link is very tenuous, but he has this gut feeling is very important, he convinces Commander Pindarus (another PC) to get them a loaner raptor from his soon-to-be new command Galactica. (There’ a fleet tradition that if you’ve been assigned, but haven’t officially taken command, the current CO will loan you non-mission essential gear.)

The characters grab a few of the Colonial Marines that are attached to RIPTIDE but haven’t left for their weekend travels yet, snag a raptor, and jump to Leonis to check out the lead. They arrive at night and we get a view of Luminiere, the “City of Lights”. The “Old City” is very Parisian, with old, elegant buildings, a river with bridges, everything lit with old style streetlamps. The rest of the city is a riot of neon, holo-ads, reactive streets that illuminate with traffic info to supplement the heads-up on your car. It’s like Shanghai, but without restraint.

The spa is in a forest preserve outside of town, and the officer characters, Pindarus and the Riptide lawyer CPT Querro, go in with the CSS agent, Chaplain, as patrons (expensing the trip.) Their four marines, one of which is SGT Cadmus (another PC). they set up in the trees on a bluff overlookng the facility ad have a few run-ins with the guests, pretending to be other patrons of the spa. While they’re out in the rain, with the mists from the hot springs and cool rain (very atmosperic), the officers tour and enjoy the facility while Chaplain hacks the mainframe and finds a wealth of information on the Cylon operations — the kind of technology they’re using, the people they’ve used it on, and he manages to snag much of it and dumps it to a cloud drive on the LeoNet, with a timed forward to his CSS email account. He goes to find the officers and when he opens the door, there is a moment where he faces off against the wife/surgeon side of the couple that run the place.

Pindarus and Querro question the male half, a physical therapist who looks a lot like Rick Worthy. They find him pleasant and seemingly authentic, and they get him to give them a tour of the new medical facility where guests will be able to get cosmetic surgery. There they link up with Chaplain, in some sort of daze while the firmware that the Cylons put in him ten years ago during his car accident (and the inspiration for his fantasies of being abducted by aliens) — he’s been the information link that has been allowing the Cylons to stay ahead of Riptide. He has actively worked for them; they just monitor his senses and short-term memory and collected data through him — a human camera or bug.

The place is part high-end, minimalist aesthetic surgery, as advertised, but the wealth of creepy biomechanical tentacles equipped with surgical instrumetns and clusters of senors added a good creepy quality. They also see the other surgeon here…a twin or something of the owner! They quickly realize the danger they are in and the fight ensues in which we get a taste of the speed and strength of the Cylons. Even these non-combat models do a pretty good job on the characters and I had an initial worry of a total party kill. Pindarus gets pretty badly banged up, Chaplin a busted nose, and Querro — the man that almost never gets range time as a legal officer — saves the day by using a dropped pistol during the fray to drop one of the Cylons. (Chaplain got the woman.) the other surgeon escapes.

Outside, the marines get aggressed by a copy of the woman and a pair of highly-professional, but oddly robotic moving men. She drops two of the marines using a crossbow, the men have suppressed P90s that do a good job on another, leaving Cadmus alone to fight them. He takes a bolt in the ass, manages to wrestle away the P90 but it jammed (botch roll), and he wound up using the body of one of the men to catch rounds, then rolled with him down the hill they were on and off a 20′ cliff into one of the hot springs below. The woman follwed, leaping into the pool, and he stops her with a well-places underwater shot to the head (deafening himself in the process.)

The PCs link up outside the medical facility and run for their car in the parking lot. Minutes later, the medical facility (not the whole spa) blows itself all over the place in a mighty explosion. The characters inform the local CSS branch and local cops and beat a retreat to CSS HQ, where Chaplain is adamant about being debriefed immediately, the others go for medical attention.

End of play for the night. There’s a few obvious issues for the characters: What was going on with Chaplain? Pindarus is paranoid enough that this will definitely play out next session. Is the information he uploaded safe? What about the people they saw — two pairs of twins? What are the chances of that? Can the Cylons clone people? Or were they machines with flesh covering? How will the brass — already peeved over other high profile mistakes in the last few sessions — going to handle a major explosion with at least a half dozen civilians injured and off-duty three marines dead? (Not to mention to officers injured…)