One of my favorite players, alias Odysseus Jones, real name [redacted] writes up these amazing AARs for his Mothership games (run by Jarret Crader, I believe). Below I’ve compiled Debriefing Communicades 00820-19 through 08820-23 which is presumably five sessions. One of the great things about sci-fi RPGs is this kind of stuff that they inspire.
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Can you tell me in your own words, Pilot Burtnolds, what exactly happened?
Rey Burtnolds: Well, you see they sent an ace pilot, a helluva mechanic, and a couple of nerds on a suicide mission when they should have sent a whole platoon of commandos. Me and Rat broke through the cargo hold doors and when the team settled in we found a creepy old statue and a bunch of burned up dead guys. Already, this thing was going bad. I immediately tried to get reinforcements from the Captain, as per Protocol 945-36, but we were only able to belatedly get two dumbass space marines. Not that I needed them or anything but I couldn’t sleep at night, if I walked out of here, covered in gore with the memories of two dead nerds and a hotshot mechanic on my mind. Anyway, those two marines damn sure weren’t enough because they soon wound up up deader than a doorknob when these alien bug thingamiggers jumped out and started ripping folks apart.
Anyway, after killing a few of those things, we searched the ship, found some more of these alien bug things but somehow we were able to take em out. Professor What’s-Her-Tits kept trying to keep the damn things as pets or something. She wouldn’t let me kill them, even against my best judgment. It’s a damn good thing she had me to take care of her, too. If there was ever a man for that job, it’s me. You see, I’m what they call an Alpha Male, a cocksure kinda guy, if you get my point. I’m like the biggest bull in the pasture, you know… [redacted for rambling irrelevancy]
Rey Burtnolds: Anyway, back to the point, Rat got the life support and the engines going. We scavenged the lab room but no dice on any explanation. Also, the crew chief looked like he may have committed suicide and was into some weird shit. Luckily, I got his pistola right cheer. We were about to head to the bridge when our transport ship started going down in flames taking us with it. That was when…
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Pilot Burtnolds, can you please continue?
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Oh yeah, where was I? Anyway, after Rat jury rigged up an electric chair for some of those bugs, we made it to the bridge where my ace piloting skills came in handy. There were a couple of androids up there kinda holding things together. Good ol’ Rat got them Andys to cook up some kinda Al Gore rhythm to help the ship somehow. I dunno, but then this Moby Dick sized harpoon came shooting up outta the planet. Luckily, my ace piloting skills saved the day and I dodged that sucker faster than a hippie dodging the draft board!
As we were touching down near the ship, we noticed another larger ship and this freaky fucking plateau. It sure gave me and the Doc the creeps. I kept it together but the poor Doc was a little freaked out. One glance at my handsome visage and manly chest helped calm her hysterics down knowing that a real man was here to keep her safe.
After we touched down, we set out to explore the nearby wreckage of our original ship. I drove the front end loader while Rat rode on the back in the Exo-Suit. I was getting comfy driving and stretched out a little in the cab, the Doc snuggling up to me, so’s I could keep her safe. I kept wishing this thing had some sweet tunes like Keith Whitley or maybe even some Aerosmith. I started to pop the top on a Cosmic Cold Beer when the Doc kinda freaked out and threw my cold beer out the window! I guess maybe her daddy might’ve been an alkie-holic or sumethin’. Anyway, that bad karma started a whole chain reaction where the ground gave way into a sinkhole! Ol’ Rat jumped off the back and lassoed us with a cable and I put her in reverse and gunned it. We were all able to leap free but the damn loader was lost in that sinkhole forever along with that precious cold beer. Sad times, I tell ya. Sad times.
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Pilot Burtnolds, please continue.
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Thanks for the cigarette, by the way. I kinda needed it for what I have to say next.
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Mechanic Jimmy Johnson, you mean?
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Yeah, Rat. He has this wild idea of being the “King of Space” or some such shit. I dunno, I think the crash gave him a concussion or something. He takes off with these two andys, Funk Bot and Dove Bot to do some explorin’. We lost comms with them after what sounded like some heavy shit went down.
The next thing I know, one of the escape pods from our ship…
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: The Alexis?
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: No, man. The Defiance. The rescue ship.
Anyway, out pops three geeks, an andy, and a fellow teamster. The andy, 44, turned out to be pretty helpful when some weirdo from the wastelands comes outta nowhere dragging an antique car hood. This freak is moaning and waving his goddamn arm. No. Not like that, ya idjit. He’s waiving around his dismembered arm. Ya know, come to think of it. That might not have been a he. Anyway, whatever it was, it was creepy. All greyskinned and pleading for death. Well, that’s what it got. One of those goofy engineers freaks out and starts blubbering like a baby. Then either another engineer or maybe that other teamster shoots the damn thing right in the face with a flare gun. Damnedest thing. Anyway, it turns out it was hauling around three kids. But they wuddn’t like any ol’ kids I ever seen. 44 starts to take care of them along with Doc. This was against my advice. They had some kinda space cooties or Astro mange or somethin’. They wasn’t right. The oldest was dying and the Doc… Well, the Doc… she… she had to… handle the situation… Fella, you mind if I have another cig?
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Are you saying Doctor [redacted] murdered the child?
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: No… No… nuthin’ like that. The kid was dying and the Doc just… put it out of its’ misery…
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: I would say that is murder, Pilot Burtnolds.
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Now look here, ya pantywaisted Rear Echelon Motherfucker! There was a lot of screwy shit going on at the time! Folks screaming and all hysterical and shit! We were getting blown away by a dust storm and with hardly any supplies! We didn’t have enough supplies for the healthy normal folks much less this jawless, dying freakazoid. A split decision had to be made and I think the Doc made the right one. You weren’t there! You were home safe and sound, sleeping the sweet sleep of the fucking ignorant. You know what? Fuck you!
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: I am glad to see you have calmed down now, Pilot Burtnolds. Would you please continue?
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: [murmuring] Yeah, it’s amazin’ how a beatin’ with a baton will do that to a fella.
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Excuse me? I don’t think I caught that.
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Nuthin’. Nuthin’. Anyway, back to the story; a dust storm was startin’ to blow in and we decide to take the two kids with us back inside. It was me, 44, another andy named GHO57 - but we called her Ghost - Harold, a fellow teamster, and Hassan the engineer.
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Wait. Where did these others come from?
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: You know, now that I think about it, that’s a good question. I don’t know where they came from.
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: So these others came aboard the ship and you have no idea where they came from?
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Yeah, pretty much. Listen, partner, maybe if your goons over there weren’t so quick to scramble my fuckin’ brains with a billy club then maybe I could do a better job of rememberin’.
Hey, easy fellas! I am not sayin’ I don’t wanna tell ya! I seriously can’t fucking remember! I think maybe there was another escape pod nearby or somethin’. Holy Space Jesus, fellas! You can’t expect me to remember every little detail. Especially with all the shit I’ve been through!
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: [motioning] Continue, Pilot Burtnolds.
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: As I was sayin’, the Doc and some of the others were a little stressed out and went inside to calm down. Dovebot drug up Funkbot and Rat from outta the wastelands. Rat was in bad shape. In a coma, I think. Once we had him inside and stabilized, I took a Sharpie and wrote “dipshit” on his forehead. Hot damn, that was funny! Once he woke up, he couldn’t get that shit off for like a week! Lol. Later, the self proclaimed “King of Space” bitched about it, but I told him at least I didn’t draw a dick on his forehead. Then we could’ve called him “King Dickhead of Space”. [laughter from subject]
Anyway, so me and these new crew members took the kiddos inside. That’s when we realized they were like super strong; like they had super retard strength.
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: I believe that’s called “special needs strength.”
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Yeah! Anyway, I started trainin’ them like bulldogs. See, that’s how I train my women and, apparently, kids also. Works great. Treat ’em mean, keep ‘em keen, I always say. So I started feedin’ these kids treats when they were good and would sit and stay, play dead, etc. Then I went to take a leak and when I got back some of the others had started rubbin’ their faces together and BOOM! They got them to fighting! Woo wee! What a fight! Anyway, I break up the Mongo brothers and we put them back on their leashes.
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: So you had them restrained?
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Ehh, kinda. Anyway, Hassan the engineer and 44 start workin’ on the life support systems. They did a helluva job, too. I like those two. You can count on ‘em, when you are in a bind. Not one to waste time loafin’ around, I decided that me, Ghost and Harold would take the Mongo brothers for a walk around some of the unexplored areas of the ship. You see, I am a Man of Action by nature. Things don’t happen to me - I happen upon things. A true hero is like that, ya see… [redacted for rambling irrelevancy]
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Could you please get on with the story, Pilot Burtnolds?
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Oh yeah. Where was I? [long pause] Oh yeah, so we go up the elevator - myself in the lead, of course - knowing that the Med-Bay and Archaeologist’s Quarters were crawlin’ with those weird alien cockroach lobster things. I wanted to avoid those two rooms like the plague. I may be a gen-u-wine Man of Action, but stupid I ain’t. So we start searchin’ some of the other rooms. Now, it turns out, we didn’t really think this through. The crew’s quarters were filled with bodies. Pretty gruesome, but the kids didn’t care. Hell, they didn’t pay them a lick of attention other than to play with the corpses. So while searching the lockers, we find some guns, a bass guitar and, unfortunately, some old porn. Normally, finding porno mags is like a stroke of good luck, but it turns out that these kids sure were horny! They liked them big titties! They snatched up that porn and run off slicker than alien snot! Well, Mongo was making a beeline for the Archaeologist’s quarters where I knew bad shit was. I hollered over the comms to lock down those two rooms. They managed to get one locked but that little weasel slipped right into that other room. And guess what? It was filled with eight of those damn aliens! Anyway, Mongo started fightin’ them, a club in one hand and a copy of Big ‘Uns in the other. Damndest thing. We ran over there to help him out. Ghost tried openin’ the door some more for some dumbass reason. She got shocked for her troubles. I think that is when she started malfunctionin’. Freaking androids, man. Anyway, me and Harold had to do all the manly work and shoot all the bugs. Just between you and me though, partner, I think Harold pee peed his pants a little bit cuz he couldn’t hit shit. Being the dead eye, stone cold alien eliminator that I am, I shot all those bugs. Like my granddaddy always said “Ain’t no step for a stepper.” You see, I come from a long line of heroes. Men of Action, if you prefer…
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Please, can you continue with the story, Pilot? I only have so much data storage.
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Sure thing. So we make short work of the bugs and I search the archaeologist’s cabin. That guy was plenty fucked up. He killed hisself by slammin’ his own head against the desk. What a weirdo! Anyway, his journal had some strange shit in it and it all pointed back to that creepy ass statue.
While I was doing that, the Mongo brothers slipped off again. One of them had found a fucking arsenal. Flamethrowers, RPGs, SMGs, everything. Him and his brother locked themselves in some rooms. Hassan had the brilliant idea of cutting off the air supply to the rooms by uppin’ the carbon dioxide levels and causing them to pass out. We had to do this to get the guns away from them. They were a danger to us and themselves. One of them was dying so I had to give him CPR. Now, I want to be very clear on this: I ain’t trained in CPR but being a Man of Action, I had to try and save the kid. God, it was horrible. His breath smelled like a cat shit sandwich. Unfortunately, he died on me and as soon as I walk out in the hall, Ghost goes all haywire on me and tries to shoot me with a tranq gun. Thanks to my catlike reflexes, she misses. That’s when my ninja instincts kick in and I open up her head like a canoe with my trusty ol’ revolver. She went down like a ton a’ lead. The other kid we tied up and took them back to the bridge to see about getting them both some help. Damn andys are fucking weird, man. One minute they are on your side, the next thing you know they done flipped a switch.
Well, anyways, about that time some of the folks had fell asleep from exhaustion. Havin’ terrible nightmares too from the sounds of it. Not me though. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. You see, a hero such as myself doesn’t need much sleep. We live on caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and action. Yessir, mere mortals such as yourself have a tough time reckonin’ with us He-Men types, ya know. Men of Action, ya see… Why, there was this one time…
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Burtnolds! Will you please stay on track?!
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Oh yeah! That reminds me! Anyways, after that badass dust storm, Harold, Mongo, Dove Bot, and myself decided to go scavenge for some jump drive parts so’s we could get the hell outta there. The GPS grid was all kinds of whacked out. Like the XY table on our map was backwards and the numbers didn’t line up. I dunno, man. That’s what they get for buying those cheap ass McCoy brand GPS units.
Anyways, that’s when I had to use my superior tracking skills! Yep, even after that massive dust storm I could follow the trail from that sled. You see, I got eyes like an eagle, man. I can see a mile off. Us hero types have that natural ability. It’s genetics, ya know. Superior breeding. Speaking of superior breeding, let me tell you about my awesome love making skills! There was this gal in Sector 9…
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: I don’t want to hear about your supposed “love making skills, Pilot Burtnolds. Please get on with the story.
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Suit yourself. You had your opportunity to learn at the foot of a master! Anyways, we discovered that weirdo’s body that was waving his arm that we had killed earlier. I took that arm and stuck it in the ground as kind of a marker. That’s when ol’ Mongo started digging. Man, that kid is like a truffle pig. Except instead of truffles, it’s guns, drugs, and porn! He dug underneath the body of that dead dude and, lo and behold, a locker was buried under him. This locker was the type smugglers use with the beacon lights. We open it up and it had a Berenstein Bears book, eighteen bottles of painkillers, some MREs, a shotgun and ammo and some dirty old socks in it. That kid grabbed all the good stuff and lit out. Left me with the MRES and old socks! That got me to thinking; what are the odds of this dude dying on top of a buried locker? Sumthin’ just didn’t add up. Nobody else thought about it, but I’m always thinking outside the box, see. Get it? Outside the box?
Well, anyways, we take off walking through the wastelands. Until, with my keen eyesight and innate sense of direction, we find an old luxury cruiser buried cockpit first in the sand. Those rich bastards sure didn’t have as good a pilot as myself. No sir. If they did, they wouldn’t have crash landed as haphazardly as they did. Nope. But, of course, rare is the pilot that can fly as well as myself. You see, I’m an ace pilot. The best of the best. They just don’t get…
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Goddamn it, Burtnolds! Get on with the story, damn you!
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Alright! Alright! Simmer down!
So we decide to check out this luxury cruiser. The Perennial Tyrant is what I think it was called. More like Obnoxious Assholes, if you ask me. Anyways, Mongo was the first in, with me right behind him, flashlight and pistola in hand. We come across this locked door and the boys had to cut it open. That’s when Harold decided to step aside and let us manly hero types do the dangerous work. Ya see, most folks ain’t cut out to be a hero. It takes a rare breed such as myself to tackle such dangerous work. Harold probably grew up hiding behind his momma’s apron strings, but not me. No-sir-re-bob, I came outta the womb ready to fight! It’s all in the genetics, ya see.
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Just get on with it already, Pilot!
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Alright! Alright! So, there I was, the lone hero of the group! I swung open the door and peered into the darkness with my flashlight. That’s when I nearly lost my shit, man. The whole fucking room was covered in blood and guts and viscera. It was fuckin’ horrible. Then these three fucking eyeballs come rollin’ up on the floor to me. They were fuckin’ watchin’ me. I shit you not. Then the vocal chords of some of the dead folk start hummin’ and flappin’ about and all you can hear is the creepy chant of “Kill us. Please kill us.” Fuck me, man. I still get the chills just thinkin’ about it. Hey, mind if I have another cigarette? Thanks.
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: You mean to tell me these… body parts started speaking to you?
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Not just to me, Lieutenant. To all of us. I wasn’t the only one hearin’ that shit! For a second there, I thought that maybe I had swallered all eighteen bottles of those painkillers. I’ll have to admit though, the others weren’t quite as freaked out as myself. But seeing as I was on point, I think maybe it fucked me up a little bit more. Anyway, we sent ol’ Mongo in to crush those skulls and pop them eyeballs. Man, the sound of them eyeballs poppin’ still kinda gives me the heebie jeebies.
Anyways, we make it past that hellish room and get to work on scavenging the sublight drive. It took us a while but we got the first one out. About the time, we had it dismantled and was wonderin’ how we were going to get it back to the Alexis, when whaddya know but ol’ Rat comes crawlin’ up riding a fuckin’ spider robot he built. I’ll have to admit, ol’ Rat is the best mechanic this side of the galaxy and a helluva redneck engineer, too! I sure was glad to see that mangy ol’ wrenchturner. He still had ‘dipshit’ wrote on his forehead, too! I had to sleep with one eye open after that! Anyways, he helped us get it back to the Alexis. That night, we got some strange signals but couldn’t locate them and, to be honest, we weren’t sure if we should contact them. So the next day, we set out some receivers to triangulate the signal while making tracks back to that lux cruiser. We got the jump drive and brought it back to the Alexis where we started installing it. I snuck out while on break and, right behind the Alexis nameplate, I spray painted ‘Texxxass’. Get it? The ‘Alexis Texxxass’? No? Huh. You must not watch much vintage porn, do ya?
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Pilot Burtnolds, please continue.
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Shit, you just think this whole mission was a clusterfuck already? Get a load of this: I forgot to mention there was a couple of folks in the cryo-chambers that finally thawed out. This big Marine named Flick was one. And If I’m rememberin’ right, she had “mud flap” written on the butt of her britches. Or was it a back patch on her jacket? Shit, I can’t remember. I do know that gal looked like she could whup a bear with a switch. Big ol’ gal, that one. The other person was Frank, a fellow teamster. You know us teamsters, man. Us and cockroaches will be the only thang to survive. Anyway, we all start workin’ on the ship. Rat is workin’ on the hull and I’m workin’ on the jump drive along with Hassan. I was doing real well until someone forgot to tie up Mongo and the little rascal came in there and fucked everythang up. Mongo bumped into Hassan and he dropped his end of the damn jump drive on Harold, crushin’ his leg and severin’ his foot! Ho-lee she-yut! It was a mess. It ain’t like Harold is much use anyway but, damn it, we needed him intact. I start tryin’ to lift the jump drive off the poor fella while that big ol’ Marine stands there eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. There she was, just starin’ at us like a cow lookin’ at a new gate. Anyway, I holler at the jarhead to help us out and you know what she did? She finished her sandwich first. That’s what she did. Finally, she helped us lift that jump drive offa Harold. He’s screamin’ like the little bitch that he is and Flick then starts to drag him off. I was like ‘Damn it, Flick! The Med Bay is thataway!’ But she kept draggin’ his bleedin’ ass the wrong way! All the while I’m tryin’ to staunch the wound and then Hassan slips on the blood, knockin’ me down in the process. I’m hollerin’ at the jarhead, asking her if she has any first aid trainin’. Nope, not a damn bit. Apparently, Space Marines are only trained to kill. Fuck me. Anyways, she decides to cauterize the wound using -get this - a fuckin’ flare gun. Yeah. Well, I have to duck for cover because who the fuck knows what is goin’ through her mind. She hits the wound perfectly. Too bad it meant Harold started a-screamin’ again. Flesh a-burnin’ and stinkin’ up the whole ship. It was a mess. We finally get Harold to the med-bay and the Marine stimpacks his ass. Twice. Then we couldn’t find his leg to sew it on. Turns out Mongo ate parts out of it and hid it. We couldn’t find it until later when it finally started stinkin’ bad enough that we tracked it down.
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: That is one heck of a story, Pilot. What happened next?
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: You remember that goofy sitcom Flammable Hospital? That was what I felt like I was in. Anyways, after that mess, Rat convinced Dove Bot, Frank, Flick, Hassan, and Mongo to go check out these creepy religious messages we were receivin’. I had had enough for the day and went back to work on the ship. Got the jump drive, thrusters, and hull fixed up while they were gone, too! But that ain’t no step for a stepper like me. Now, I ain’t the mechanic that Rat is, but when I put my mind to it, I ain’t half bad either. You see, us manly types can do things like that. Fix stuff. Fight stuff. Fly stuff. Fuck stuff. You know? Manly things. Hey, do you happen to have a beer? I’m mighty thirsty.
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: I will have one of the guards get you a cup of water.
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: I guess that’ll have to do. Thanks, pard.
Anyways, those guys go off to investigate the source of the messages. I’m watchin’ and listenin’ from the comm room. They had to camp out there at night and somehow fuckin’ Mongo finds a duffle bag of Cosmic Cocaine. Those idijits all get higher than giraffe pussy on that stuff and uh… I mean… maybe they did… I dunno for sure. I wasn’t there. Is coke legal in that sector? Or in this sector?
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Pilot Burtnolds, this is a military debriefing, not a criminal investigation. As stated earlier, we need every bit of information you can give us. Legal or illegal, nothing will be held against you or your crew mates. All information in this debriefing is strictly classified.
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Well… Alright. That’s kinda good to be reminded of anyways because the next thing that happens is a little… rough.
So the next day, the crew finds the source of the religious incantations and it is coming from inside a crazy amalgamation of old ships and debris. Rat has a hunch that they are some kind of death cult and launches an attack on their place. Dove Bot throws a grenade in the door, blowin’ it to smithereens. It immediately sucks the air out of the chamber killin’ somethin’ like sixty fuckin’ people inside. Mongo then comes running through the door and Rat caves the roof in with his spidermobile, crushin’ poor ol’ Mongo…
Lt. [redacted], Intelligence Officer, 1st class: Are you okay, Burtnolds?
Pilot Rey Burtnolds: Yeah, yeah… I’m alright. I just need… another glass of… water.
You know, I knew I should have went with Mongo and Rat on that expedition. Ol’ Mongo may have been nuttier than a squirrel turd but I kinda liked the kid. He had a helluva lot of guts. Maybe if I had been there, I could’ve held Mongo’s leash and kept him from rushin’ in there. I dunno. I dunno…
Poor ol’ Mongo. In the end, he had only one arm and was just layin’ there, dyin’; a copy of Space Jugs clutched in his hairy little hands. Ol’ Flick, bless her heart, had pity on the poor bastard and gave him one final handy. His first and last release, I think. Kinda poetic in a twisted sorta way.
Anyways, Rat killed off their leader and discovered they had somehow been raising goats. Rat thinks it was for some kind of sacrifice but I dunno. Why not eat the goats and sacrifice people instead? Ya know?
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