This week’s game saw the pressure and speed of the plot continue to ratchet up. Coming off of the cliffhanger in which the CAG/oracle character (a PC) found himself toe-to-toe with a Cylon masquerading as an Eleusinian priest named Iblis (a little 1970s fan service!) and lost the fight pretty handily, I had to scramble for a realistic deux ex machina to save his ass — a much less offensive move in a universe where there is actual divine intervention happening.

I kept the player hanging for the first 15 minutes by starting with an “earlier that day…” and followed the early morning activities of one of the Colonial Marshals — a player character — who is collared by the aide to the security minister. The aide — a Cylon who has “gone native” — has been tracking the movements of people in the fleet, trying to find the unidentified Cylons in the fleet in an attempt to keep himself safe and continue to hold his rarified position in the government. He spins a story about Iblis taking too much of an interest in Lucky (the CAG/oracle.) Iblis had placed a call to Galactica requesting a meeting to talk about some of the visions Lucky has been having and the aide suspects this might be a ruse; Cylon activities have targeted important scientists, investigators, and now with a confirmed oracle in the fleet…he’d be a prime target.

This leads to the showdown between the marshal and aide versus Iblis, but not before Lucky (the oracle) witnesses Iblis try to murder his 19 year old chaplain’s assistant. In the middle of choking her, the young girl bursts into a brightly-glowing, winged vision that blinds the Cylon temporarily and which berates Iblis — stating that the events in motion cannot be stopped. Lucky has a destiny — to destry the Blaze, the Cylon “god.” Iblis drops her and she falls to the ground unconscious, the angelic vision gone. At this point there’s a bit of skirmishing, and the arrival of the Marshal and aide leads to Iblis being shot by the aide, who gives the credit to the marshal.

The incident is reported to the military and Admiral Cain dispatches marines to investigate, leading to a verbal showdown between the admiral and the security minister (also a PC) who manages to convince her to work with the civilian law enforcement, and points out that there is a functioning and legitimate civilian government to which her oath of office still applies. Due to good player character moves and rolls, Cain — while still a new, belligerent, and ambitious force in the fleet — is more quickly being brought to heel than she was in the show. Partly, this is because of established connections between Galactica‘s commander (a PC) who served under her when she was a commander, and knew her socially; and the president, who was a military man, a defense minister, and is a person she has respect for (unlike Roslin in the show.) Cain has a history with these folks and I figured this would give her a quicker sense of duty to them.

Another change made was the character of LT Thorne, the rapist interrogator from the show. He’s still a jerk, still committed the offenses against the Six they have, but he is portrayed by the crew of Pegasus in the show as this heroic figure who’s save lives and earn respect of the men — this doesn’t jive with what we saw onscreen. So i made Thorne less a monster, and more a man who views the Cylons as machines and his duty to his crew as paramount. He’s a jerk, but is quickly won over by Lucky during his interrogation, who realizes the man is scared, hurting from loss, and unmoored from his morality — much like many of the survivors. While a confrontation over the interrogation practices in Pegasus are most likely in the offing, there is the chance that this may play out differently due to the connections the characters are making emotionally with Cain and Thorne.

The marshal, meanwhile, is tracking down the personal effects of Iblis and planning on questioning his followers. These leads will be directing them to another threat in the fleet.

Introducing Cain early was not originally in my plan, but the nature of our Kobol — apparently inhabited, modern, and well-defended by the Cylons; watched over by some kind of supranatural ship or creature (the Blaze) — and the introduction of the resurrection ships led me to believe this was a good time to amp up the pressure with a new set of issues, but it also gives the fleet more firepower for a confrontation. The introduction of more supernatural aspects — angels (?), a ship or creature that is the Cylon god — make the Kobol mission more of a real showdown between the fleet and the Cylons than it was in the show. Additionally, according to some of the players, the constant revelations surrounding the history of the fight between the Blaze and the Lords of Kobol, and the possibility that this “story” has been told over and over again, has added more of a sense of exploration and discovery than we saw in the show.

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