MAL - Sector of the Apes

(Eric Fulmer)

SUMMARY: Players are sent to locate and capture the leader of a group of 'killer creatures' that have invaded a VIOLET level PLC facility. In fact, it is a group of Chimpanzees that have been cloned from Old Reckoning DNA in an R&D lab, then experimented on. The leader, 'Cornelius' can speak and will try to enlist the PCs to help them escape from the Complex. The party is interrupted by a malfunctioning ComBot on a full scale rampage.

GM BACKGROUND: Sector MAL PLC Commerce Center 1129-S was designed to mimic an Old Reckoning "Shopping MAL" down to the finest detail, using an Old Reckoning VidTape "walkthrough" of a newly finished mall. The chimpanzees that escaped from a nearby R&D lab were attracted by the smell of food and jungle (actually, a variety of very lush REAL plant life growing in the MAL PLCCC for the pleasure of the VIOLET shoppers). The PLCCC was evacuated as the chimpanzees went "ape", climbing about in the rafters and screeching at each other. This leaves a huge building full of every manner of highly desirable goodies for the PCs to play in, until the malfunctioning ComBot arrives with the intention of killing everything that moves. 

Slugthrower malfunctions have skyrocketed recently. Word in the Sector is there's a flaw in the current production model but it's being covered up by high level PLC management.

A huge bunch of hairy, mutated creatures cloned from Old Reckoning fossils have broken out of an R&D Facility in Sector MAL. They are killing everyone they come across, and possibly eating their brains. Be on the look-out.

A fully armed ComBot is loose in the Complex and has taken out several IntSec ATF (Assault Tactical Force) Teams that have tried to stop it. When last seen, it was headed for Sector ???.

Recently, some high level CPU Service Group members have been unmasked a Commies and executed. This has made The Computer even more paranoid than usual, sometimes executing Citizens on suspicion of treason alone.

There are more IntSec agents than usual being assigned to Troubleshooter teams to rout out traitors. They usually volunteer to be Loyalty Officer for the mission.

The PCs are doing their standard stuff when the call comes through over Complex-wide broadcast:



***** END OF MESSAGE! *****


Death Leopard or PURGE (GM must alter slightly for PURGE):
Just as he leaves his dom-unit to report for Mission Briefing, he sees that a mustache has been painted on the Teela-O-MLY VidShow poster just across from his doorway. This is his signal to cut inside a nearby HPD&MC supply closet, which his Death Leopard contact enters a few moments later, immediately closing the door behind him. They are both in complete darkness, the normal mode for a Death Leopard meeting. He whispers into a VoiceSim unit so his voice is distorted (his identity is secret from the PC, and so is his "real" voice). He hisses, "Your mission will provide a perfect opportunity to show the Computer how much damage we can do with free reign in an VIOLET facility. You're going to blow a huge hole in the place in the name of Death Leopard." He snaps on a flashlight and points it at a 14" pink plastic cube on one of the closet shelves. It is decorated with lots of light blue bubbles and says "CleanFun" on the top. "This box is the explosive. If you hold it and touch all six bubbles at the same time, it arms the explosive. You'll have ten minutecycles to get a long distance away. Put it somewhere where it will do maximum damage. Take it. Carefully." He then points the flashlight at a 3' long, tan plastic tube on the shelf below. "This tube contains the Death Leopard poster you will leave near the bomb site. Just don't put it too close, or it'll be vapor, and we need to some validation when we claim responsibility. You will be raised from your Worm status for your efforts. Just make sure that if you get caught, you take a few of the Computer's flunkies with you. Clear?"

[The poster says "The Computer Sucks Silicon! Death Leopard rules!"] [The bomb: the fuse mechanism inside the CleanFun box is crude, and will not take exactly ten minutecycles to detonate. In fact, the GM can either predetermine the number of rounds until it will go off, or at some point after it is armed, just start rolling a 1D20 each round. The first round, a 1 will detonate it. Each subsequent round, add 1 to the likelihood of detonation... When it blows, the bomb will eradicate about a 150 foot radius circle around it. Anything within about 20 feet (adjusted down if there are major walls or other significant blockages nearby) will be vaporized, then the further from the detonation point, the more of the object or structure will be left, albeit damaged heavily even at the edge of the radius.  The bomb will take out a 1D20 foot radius of the floor underneath it as well, resulting in a lovely hole with lots of broken concrete debris piled on the level below. A segment of the ceiling should be blasted out as well. GMs are encouraged to use their own judgement as to Damage Columns for player in the blast radius, but it should be a long shot to survive anywhere inside about a hundred feet from the blast point.]

Free Enterprise:
They will be informed that there is a huge array of valuable items in the facility they will be visiting, but there are lots of vidcams recording everything as well as additional security systems protecting weapon collections. They are advised that there is a lower level, accessible by elevator, that contains storage rooms also packed with goodies, and no security cameras down there. The PC will get a split of any profit from selling off items he or she can obtain from the facility discretely.

The place you are going contains some VIOLET Clearance Old Reckoning goodies that would be valuable additions to the Romantics' collection. Get what you can but don't get caught- the place has intense security, dude.

Sierra Club:
As any Sierra Club PCs return to their dom-units to collect their belongings and don their reflec. As they are about to leave the dom-unit to head for the Briefing Room, a Sierra Club contact comes in the door pushing a rolling bin filled with crumpled jumpsuits. She is a tall, blond woman with a very well-chiseled body, by the name of Tuhotfe-R-YOU, and every time the PC sees her something stirs inside him that feels a lot like that time he ate 12 packs of Hot Fun at one sitting and his stomach felt really weird and overly warm for awhile after. She acts like she doesn't even know the PC and says, "Dirty jumpsuit collection." The PC is supposed to hand her the jumpsuit he wore yesterday. Tuhotfe-R takes the PC's jumpsuit and inspects it for a moment, then says, "It looks like you may need some minor repair on the leg seam of this item. You'll need to come with me and fill out a Form 91238C/A Request for Jumpsuit Repair." The PC knows that when she says this, that is the signal that she needs to meet and he should follow her.

She enters a long narrow room filled with a row of big red WashBots. There are about a dozen other RED level Jumpsuit Cleaning personnel, busily loading and unloading the machines with bins full of jumpsuits. She drops the pile of jumpsuits into a WashBot, closes the lid and presses a button. The machine roars to life, making it nearly impossible for anyone to overhear the conversation. She grabs a form from a stack on top of the machine and stands next to the PC while he pretends to fill it out. She whispers in the PC's ear (making him feel even warmer): "You have the opportunity to save one of the last of a rare and wonderful creature from the Outside, called a Chimp-N-Z. This animal is nearly human in it's ability to communicate and express emotion and must not be allowed to die out under the cruel hands of the mad scientists in R&D. We have arranged for a transport that will return the Chimp-N-Z to the Outside, freeing it to return to the natural world. You must get the Chimp-N-Z to the rendezvous point using the map I am placing in your pocket. Good luck. You will be greatly rewarded for your heroic efforts." She grabs the PC's head and turns it toward hers, staring deep into his eyes. The heat is so great he feels like he may faint. She stares for a moment, then slips her hand into his pocket, and turns and is gone back into the hallway outside. [she slipped a map into the PC's pocket, see SC_MAP file]

Briefing Room 1136-M is a bit of a shock- in fact, it doesn't look like a Briefing Room at all. As the security door slides open, each of you hesitates and re-checks the room ID number on the wall outside the door- to make sure this is the right place. The room is about 30'x30' and the floor slopes downward toward the far wall. The room is filled with rows of extremely plush reddish colored seats, all facing a very large gray screen mounted on the far wall. There is also a very impressive device that looks like some kind of weapon, hanging in the center of the ceiling. It appears to be pointed at the gray screen. [anyone with multicorder experience will recognize this as a high-end multicorder projection system]. The lighting is subdued, making the room feel friendly and inviting. The room seems chilly, especially given your expectation that a Briefing Room is normally at least ten degrees warmer than anything that might be called comfortable. There is a small raised podium placed between the front row of seats and the screen, and a figure stands there, reviewing some papers on the podium. He is a large, ugly man with short cropped black hair, wearing an Internal Security logo on his YELLOW Reflec and sporting a Laser Rifle slung over his back. There are two ORANGE IntSec guards beside him, one on each side of the podium, armed with semi-automatic slughthrowers as well as about a dozen grenades hanging on shoulder belts. You also notice someone sitting in the first row of seats, right in front of the podium. All you can see is the back of a balding head.

When everyone has arrived, the man at the podium begins in a gruff voice: "Troubleshooters, I am Badbo-Y-CFY-5. I am here representing Internal Security, to brief you on your assigned mission. I will provide the key strategic and tactical information, and then my colleague from R&D will provide some addition information relevant to your assignment. Your mission today is a simple one- capture a target subject and return the subject to R&D Facility 8837-H in Sector MAL. Internal Security has positively determined the general location of the subject to be Sector MAL PLC Commerce Center 1129-S and we have sealed off the surrounding area, ensuring no possibility of escape. You will be transported to the entrance of the Commerce Center by Internal Security. You will enter the facility, locate the subject and capture him, then return him to the entrance of the Commerce Center, where you will be picked up by an IntSec team who will transport you to the R&D Facility. There the subject will be transferred into the care of R&D personnel. Now, the most important piece of information for you to comprehend is that this Commerce Center is a VIOLET Security Clearance facility. It is full of things that are treasonous for RED Level Troubleshooters to even have knowledge of. Fortunately, these items are secured within holding areas that you will have no need or authorization to enter. Instead, you will simply ignore any and all items that are above your Secuirty Clearance and concentrate on accomplishing your relatively simple mission. Now, I am going to turn over the briefing to Niteshoosa-Y-NEE-2, who is here from R&D to give you some detailed information about the subject you are assigned to capture." He steps off the platform and turns to look at the man in the front row, whose head appears to be nodding down toward his chest. Badbo-Y stands looking for a moment longer, then steps back up to the podium platform and speaks into the microphone. "Niteshoosa-Y?" He waits another moment. No response. He rolls his eyes, climbs down off the platform, goes over to the man in the front row and grabs him by the shoulder. The man's head snaps up to a rigid position and you hear faint mumbling coming from him. Badbo-Y leans over and speaks quietly into the man's ear. A moment later, the man gets up and approaches the podium. 

You can see now that he is a frail, older man of average height, wearing spectacles and a YELLOW lab coat sporting an R&D logo. He totters up to the two steps to the podium, clutching a bunch of papers in one of his bony hands. He places the stack of papers on the podium, and a few fall off onto his feet. He bends to pick them up, and as he straightens himself again, his whispy hair brushes past the remaining papers and sends a few floating off the podium to the floor below. Badbo-Y steps over to the papers, picks them up and hands them up to the R&D guy, who begins shuffling them around to try to get them in order. After a few moments of shuffling, he starts speaking, continuing to shuffle as he does. "Good morningcycle, Citizens. [it is actually afternooncycle] I am Niteshoosa-Y-NEE-2 and I am here to give you some more details about the simian creatures you are tasked with capturing. We have a multicorder presentation that was recorded at the R&D Center these creatures escaped from. It will help you understand exactly what you're dealing with." He looks down at the podium and picks up a remote control that you didn't notice before. He stares at it for a few moments, furrowing his already thoroughly furrowed brow. Then he pokes at a button on the remote. The lights in the room suddenly turn bright and white dots appear on the walls and ceiling. The white dots begin to move around the walls in a circular pattern. Niteshoosa-Y frantically punches another button and the room fills with the sound of strange music you've never heard before. He punches some more buttons, almost panicking now, and suddenly the spinning white dots and music are gone. The lights dim to almost nothing, making the room very dark. The gray screen on the wall behind him turns white and images begin to flicker across it. There is a slight humming sound, but no other audio. The first image is of a large cage, with six creatures inside. They look like men, but are naked and covered completely by hair, with very long arms. When you catch a glimpse of one of their faces, you see that the bottom half of their faces are bulbous, sticking out from their heads. Their eyes, though, are very clone looking- and seem to radiate intelligence. They are climbing around inside the cage, and appear to be playing with some boxes that have been piled in the cage. They seem to communicate with each other, because they are opening and closing their mouths as if talking. You notice that they are all wearing gray collars around their necks, except one, who is wearing a dark blue collar. Niteshoosa-Y says, "These are the creatures you will be dealing with. They may seem relatively tame, but they are extremely dangerous when provoked. Watch..." And you see a scientist-looking guy in an ORANGE lab coat approach the cage holding a long metal rod. The creatures are busying themselves with playing with the boxes and have their backs to the man. When he is right outside the cage, he sticks the metal rod through an opening in the bars and touches the back of one of the creatures with the end of it. The creature immediately leaps in the air, and all the other creatures start going bezerk, running in circles in the cage, leaping around, climbing on the bars, with their mouths wide open as if howling some horrible sound. Their faces are now almost unrecognizable, all mouth and glaring eyes that are filled with rage. The man begins to back up, but one of the creatures reaches through the bars and grabs the middle of the metal bar he is holding. They both pull on it, but the creature yanks it away from him and in the blink of an eye, swings the metal rod around and pokes the man in the bottom with the end he used to poke the other creature. The man leaps in the air, running toward the camera, his hands grasping his butt. He runs right into the camera, and the image freezes for a moment at a strange angle with part of the cage in view, the creatures hanging all over the inside of the cage, all facing the camera, faces frozen in mid-scream. Then the screen goes black. Niteshoosa-Y presses a button on the remote control and the screen goes gray again. The lights return to their original levels. He looks at the group. "These creatures are very dangerous and cannot be allowed to run loose in the Complex. Since it would be nearly impossible to capture all of them without endangering too many lives, we have determined that we only need one for our studies and the rest must be sacrificed. The one you must capture and return to the R&D facility unharmed is the one wearing the dark blue collar. Bringing back any of the others will not fulfill your mission objectives. Do you have any questions regarding these creatures?"

Anything regarding tactics, killing, etc. he will answer "I'll let Badbo-Y handle those type of questions. I am here strictly to discuss the creatures themselves. Internal Security is handling these other issues." After dodging a few questions, or going into meticulous technobabble regarding anything scientific, Badbo-Y stands up and signals to Niteshoosa-Y to step down. As Nites gathers his papers and steps down, Badbo-Y steps back up to the podium and says, "Thank you, Dr. Niteshoosa. I think things are perfectly clear at this point, so we will move on to the next step. My colleague at the rear of the Briefing Room, Bilb-O-BAG, will escort you directly to the Sector XKU Motor Pool, where a Model 6753-L AutoCar will be waiting. It is fully stocked with all the equipment you'll require for the mission, and an Internal Security driver will transport you to the Sector MAL PLC Commerce Center entrance. He will wait for you there until you return with the assigned mission objective. He will then transport you to the R&D Center to transfer the item. You will then be returned here for debriefing. Good luck, Citizens." He climbs down from the podium without waiting for any questions, and disappears through a rear door.


Bilb-O-BAG shouts from the rear of the room, "Follow me, clones. Double time!" He heads out the door that the Team entered through, and jogs down the corridor. He ignores any and all attempts to communicate with him, saying nothing until they have passed through the entrance to Sector XKU Motor Pool and he jogs up to a Model 6753-L AutoCar that is idling in a large open area. The AutoCar is a long, narrow vehicle with two doors on either side of the front end and a large sliding door on the right-hand side (currently open). The right hand side has windows in the door and in the vehicle hull, but the left hand side is solid metal. There are two seats in front, one for the driver (a long-haired dude wearing an IntSec jumpsuit and a PerAudio unit with headphones stuck in his ears) and a passenger, then three bench seats filling the rest of the cargo space, each bench capable of accommodating two clones. 


The left-hand inner wall of the 6753 is lined with racks full of weapons and equipment, covered by a thick, segmented wire mesh gate that can only be opened by pressing a hidden button under the driver's side dash board. The inventory is as follows:

  • 6 slugthrowers
  • 24 clips of DUM-DUM ammo
  • 10 clips of AP ammo
  • 2 cases of 12 grenades
  • 4 flak jackets
  • 4 ammo belts
  • 4 riot helmets
  • 4 riot shields (reinforced plexi panels with a handle on one side)
When the driver reaches the parking area, after passing through several standard security checkpoints and then finally a makeshift one formed by several heavily armored IntSec AutoCars with Laser Cannon turrets on top, he will open the gate to allow the PCs access to the equipment, and, without ever removing his PerAudio headphones, shout, "There's some more stuff in the rear cargo area. Some R&D guy showed up and loaded it just before you clones got there."  The rear cargo area, separated from the rest of the AutoCar by a thin metal wall, is accessed by dual doors with no windows.

The rear compartment is packed full of interesting goodies:

There are four slugthrower-like weapons that have a larger diameter barrel with a wide v-shaped metal assembly sticking out of the end of the barrel. The v-shaped assembly is hinged and has a metal pin in the 'bottom' of the 'v' shape. The rest of the weapon looks like a normal slugthrower.

There is a pair of gray colored metal tanks mounted together and equipped with shoulder straps, and a hose coming from an assembly between the tanks, ending in a weapon-like device with two pistol grips and a trigger assembly. [This is a Model 3452-I Immobilizing Foam Dispensing Unit. It fires highly compressed chemical foam from the sprayer unit that rapidly expands to fill the surrounding area, with the intention of immobilizing anything in it. The rate and degree of expansion as well as the quantity of foam in the tanks is left up to the GM's imagination.]

There are five flat metal disks, each with a layer of some kind of netting densely packed against one side. [GM: these are Model 6163-R Rev. M Entrapment Systems. When triggered by a remote control, the netting is fired at high velocity from the disk. The circular nets have tiny weights embedded in their edges to help maintain an open shape when fired. They will fly about fifteen feet before collapsing.]

There are five miniature remote controls with a single red button on each. [GM: these are the remotes to go with the Entrapment Systems. However, the unmarked remotes will each only operate a particular entrapment unit, and they are all mixed up, so there is no way to know which unit will be launched when the button is pressed. When the red button on any remote is pressed, roll 1D20 and assign four numbers to each Entrapment Unit, the one you roll is the one that launches.]

There is a stack of manuals with some forms paper-clipped to the top. [ The top stack of forms are five sets (in triplicate, of course) of standard issue H71261762/B R&D Experimental Equipment Disclaimer forms.

Underneath them is the stack of manuals- there are four manuals in total, as follows:

1 manual with the title "Model 8127-J Rev. B Grappling Rifle Operating Instructions" [content: The manual entitled "Model 8127-J Rev. B Grappling Rifle Operating Instructions" is fairly slim, beginning with a Precautions section that warns of exposing the weapon to water (which may cause rust or interfere with the grappling claw mechanism), some pretty basic stuff about not pointing it toward anything or anyone you don't want damaged, since it could discharge without warning, etc. The second section is actual operation, first describing the firing procedure, which is two simple steps- use the sighting system on top of the barrel to line up the target, then pull the trigger to fire. Then it describes the grappling mechanism itself, which is two metal pieces with curved ends joined by a hinged section with a triggering pin in the middle. The manual explains that the weapon should be fired at a target no more than 5" wide, such as a metal bar or pipe, or the mechanism won't attach on impact. The trigger pin must be activated in order to close the metal pieces for proper attachment. There is also discussion of the cord connected to the grappling mechanism, which is reinforced plasticord 60' in length that is rated at 250 lb. tensile strength. 
The final section is technical specs with lots of detailed information on the individual parts of the unit, with replacement part numbers, etc. ]

1 very slim manual with the title "Addendum for Operation of Model 8127-J Rev. C Grappling Rifle"
1 manual with the title "Model 6163-R Rev. M Entrapment System Operating Instructions" [content: The Entrapment System Operating Instructions manual begins with a fairly lengthy section regarding precautions on what NOT to do to the Entrapment System, including submerge it in water, make it too hot, expose it to impact shock, vibration, electrical charge, yada yada yada... doesn't seem like there's much you CAN do with it, other than be damn gentle.
The next section is actual operation, which seems pretty simple. Basically place the disk with its metal side down (or away from the direction you want it to launch). There's some discussion of mounting it to a wall or other object using the "optional 3471-C Entrapment System Mounting Kit, not included." To launch the net trap, press the red button on the remote control. There are a series of diagrams showing how the net trap expands when launched, basically it expands at about one foot of diameter per foot of distance from the launching disk, up to it's full diameter of 12' at about 12' from the disk, then it begins to reduce in size as tiny weights in the edge of the net drop in whatever direction gravity takes them. Several diagrams show the net effect of this, either causing the net to drop into a hep about 18' from launch point (when launched horizontally) or end up flat out at full expansion (when launched vertically, either up or down).
The last section is technical specs on replacement parts, tensile strength of net fibers, etc. ]

1 manual with the title "Model 1271-P Rev. A/7 Personal Anti-Gravity System Operating Instructions" [ content: Even the most idiotic Troubleshooter will realize after scanning only a few pages of the "Model 1271-P Rev. A/7 Personal Anti-Gravity System Operating Instructions", that this manual is referring to a piece of equipment that does not match anything in the rear cargo area of the AutoCar. The system described and diagramed in the manual is a full body suit with attached boots, helmet and gloves, and although it has an assembly on the back of the suit, that assembly looks nothing like the pair of tanks that was the only item left that the manual might describe. ]

SECTOR MAL PLCCC: [GM see maps and images of showing locations described below]

The PCs are dropped off in the parking area, where the driver will hang out in the AutoCar and listen to his tunecycles while waiting for the PCs to return with their captured 'cargo.' Several sets of dark-tinted plexi doors that are part of a large plexi-paneled wall section serve as the entrance to the PLCCC.

This place is a lowly Troubleshooter's wet dream- stores full of so many different kinds of items that there's bound to be something to tempt every Troubleshooter. However, they've been warned that the stuff is above their Security Clearance and not to touch it- although being unsupervised in this environment is bound to test the loyalty of even the purest hearted citizen. However, the stores are locked up tight and getting in won't be a breeze- the huge plexi display windows and door panels are of a highly durable nature and shatter resistant, so it will take some force to get through them. Although slugthrower fire will punch holes in it (and set off blaring alarms), it will not shatter, so it will take a follow-up impact of something pretty big to make a reasonable sized hole- like a bench, a trash can or a grenade.  Plus, there's video surveillance throughout the mall, so unless the view is obscured (tear gas, the foaming blockade stuff from R&D) or the cameras are disabled, anyone trying to ransack stores will be recorded on tape in the Security Office (accessible through EdibleFun, in the hallway next to ColdFun Crossing). Each store has a back door that accesses one of the long hallways running behind each row. Each hallway leads to a pair of elevators that allow access to the Lower Level, which is primarily freight receiving docks, a collection of locked storage rooms holding extra inventory, and an open area with three transtube exits for use by the cargo vehicles. There is a cargo AutoCar (think Old Reckoning U-Haul truck) parked in the turaround area, which the chimpanzees will try to use for their escape, if they can find a PC to drive them (see the Chimps for details). [Refer to MAL Lower Level map]

The Rotunda and Atrium: The center area of the PLCCC has a raised ceiling made of plexi panels that allow view of the VIOLET colored ceiling far above. A rotunda structure is in the center, with a raised floor level in the middle and two sets of stairs leading up to it, with a fountain and shallow water pool on the other two sides, surrounded by lots of lush plants ('big green papery protrusions that look like they might be ALIVE' to the PCs).

1) "Fine Footwear Factory"
Non-boot footwear of all types and descriptions, along with socks and other accessories.

2) "Bots 'R Us"
Funky 'Bots the PCs have never seen before- WaiterBots (specialized ScruBot models), ChefBots (JackoBots with specialized attachments for preparing exotic foods), etc., all for the pleasure of the Alpha Complex ultra-rich. All are charged and can be activated by an appropriate 'Bot skill check.

3) "Jumpsuit Junction"
Racks of jumpsuits, organized by color, of course. Recognizably higher quality of workmanship than the stuff the Troubleshooters are wearing- emphasize how ill fitting and scratchy their jumpsuit feels when they look at the amazing array of sizes and fabrics available here.

4) "VidView"
Multicorder tapes of all kinds, from typical Alpha Complex propaganda stuff to VIOLET Clearance copies of Old Reckoning TV shows and movies. Romantics, Humanists and Trekkies (yes, there are Star Trek tapes here) will be beside themselves.

5) "House of Hygiene"
Every variety of CleanFun (including a stack of boxes identical to Rog-R's explosive... hmmm, sounds like the makings of a potential mix-up), BubbleScrub, and all manor of other personal hygiene products in every color and aroma imaginable, producing a very pleasing scent in the mall outside the store.

6) "Boot Brigade"
Boots, boots and more boots..

7)  "PerCom Palace"
All varieties of PerCom Units (Alpha Complex equivalents of Old Reckoning cell phones) and accessories

8) "Hand 2 Hand"
Melee weapons of every description- neurowhips, force swords, etc. etc. Protected by identical security system as "Weapons Warehouse."

9) "Green Stuff"
Sells plant life, primarily molds and fungi, but also a fairly broad selection of some more expensive Old Reckoning houseplant varieties. Sierra Clubbers will have a fit.

10) "Specs 'n' Shades"
Sunglasses and other visual accessories (including InfraSpecs and Gas Masks in fashion colors)

11) "Ralphla-U-REN Outlet"
Cool robes, jumpsuits and other interesting garments, all beautifully made and unbelievably expensive, with only minor defects that prevent them from selling elsewhere for even more ridiculous amounts..

12) "MultiCorder Mania"
Cool varieties of MultiCorders, from ultra-compact handheld units to larger models with holographic projection features. Also stocks blank multicorder tapes and lots of accessories.

13) "Reflec Round-Up"
Racks of Reflec, organized by color, of course. Recognizably higher quality of workmanship than the stuff the Troubleshooters are wearing- emphasize how uncomfortable their Reflec feels when they look at the amazing array of sizes available here. This Reflec has no Service Group emblem, this is added at the time of purchase from a dizzying array of logo treatments displayed on the walls around the shop (think Old Reckoning boardwalk t-shirt shop here).

14) "Bobby-U's Hobby Shop"
Kits to build scale models of all kinds ('Bots, AutoCars, VultureBots, etc.), board games ("The Game of Alpha Complex Life," "Sector Monopoly," "Security Clearance Twister," etc.), Role-playing games ("Who's the Commie?," "Sectors and Squadrons," etc.)

15) "AutoCar Accessory Outlet"
Every kind of widget to customize your personal AutoCar (yes, some Citizens apparently DO have them!). Custom audio systems, wide varieties of seat covers, foam dice, louvres, the works. Cybertronic Motorheads will be literally drooling at first sight of this place.

16) Clone Hygiene Facilities
Rest rooms.

17) "Weapon Warehouse"
A low level Troubleshooter's wet dream- racks of every kind of cool aimed weapon imaginable line the walls and display cases are filled with grenades and ammo clips of every kind. However, there are some barriers to looting this place: all the weapon racks have a keyed locking system and there's a store-wide security system of infrared beams crisscrossing all over the place. When tripped, a very loud alarm goes off, sirens wail, a hidden speaker system repeatedly shouts "SECURITY BREACH! SECURITY BREACH!" and hidden vents start spewing tear gas like crazy, filling the store in a matter of minutes (Weapons Warehouse doesn't sell gas masks). No security forces will respond to the alarms, since IntSec won't let anyone through their blockade, but there's no way to shut off the alarm or sirens, so they will be very annoying for the duration of the mission and the tear gas will keep coming, until the cloud eventually fills the mall area outside the storefront, impacting visibility and stunning after two rounds of exposure. In addition, there is a separate surveillance system in the store, tied to its own multicorder (hidden underneath one of the counters) that will record any goings-on for future IntSec review.

18) vacant
Paper lines all the plexi panels on the inside, with large friendly letters stating, "Coming Soon- a new addition to Sector MAL PLC Center." The doors here are actually UNlocked, and inside there are lots of construction materials (stacks of wall panels, sections of pipe, etc.) lying about. The rear door is also unlocked, allowing access to the hallway that runs behind all of the stores on that side of the mall (which in turn leads to a pair of elevators that provide access to the freight dock level).

19) "Wig Wam"
Wigs, to replace hair on clones with male pattern baldness (which is apparently NOT considered a mutation).

20) "Tunes for Clones"
Audicorder tapes and PerAudio systems, plus lots of accessories like carrying cases and the like.

"EdibleFun" [see MAL EdibleFun Master map]
This is the 'Food Court' area, where there are 12 different specialty food vendors. Most of the vendors have a front area where their wares are on display, and a 'kitchen' in back with some kind of fryers, ovens and/or refrigerators for creating/storing it's delicacies. The true 'fast food' vendors have no divider between these areas and only have a counter and credit registers up front. The PCs will likely ignore the kitchens, but if properly utilized they could provide a critical means of distracting the ComBot- any ovens or even large refrigeration units that are turned on by the PCs will cause the 'Bot to use up precious ammo blasting hell out of such a large heat source (making it a higher target priority than even two or three huddled Troubleshooters), and may have to expend several cone rifle shells to take out a single one... possibly allowing the PCs to escape or at least outlast the barrage.

The chimpanzees have already visited the food vendors and made a major mess. Very little is left that would be considered edible at any vendor, and the counters and floors are covered with a mix of food bits and monkey poop. All in all, not a very attractive scene. The central eating area is fairly clean, as the monkeys have focused on eating right at the source and left the tables and chairs largely unmolested. The entire clan of well-fed chimpanzees are now playing in the rafters and in the trees here, grooming each other, climbing around, or snoozing... until the PCs show up, when they freak out and try to get as high as possible and hide. 

The vendors are:

1) "Tac-O-BEL's"

2)  vacant 

3) "AlgaeChips 'n' Dips"

4) "Mcd-O-NLD's"

5) "Soylent Greens"

6) "SnackFun Station"

7) "Burg-R-KNG's"

8) "ColdFun Crossing" 

9) "House of HotFun"

10) "Cruncheetym Corral"

11) "Bouncy Bubble Beverage Barrel"

12) "Edible Complex"

Security office: This locked room is lined with recording equipment and vidscreens collecting data from all the cameras positioned throughout MAL PLCCC. There are six monitors, each covering a specific zone: entrance doors, hallway 1, rotunda, hallway 2, EdibleFun and parking. There are at least two cameras in each zone, all of which are recorded onto discreet multicorder units racked underneath the vidscreens.  The vidscreens show a few seconds of each camera, continuously rotating from one to the next for surveillance purposes. The multicorder units have pieces of StickyFun with numbers written on them in PermaMarker, indicating which camera it is connected to [see MAL Security Map for camera locations and ID numbers]. Removing the vidtape or utterly destroying the recorder will prevent anyone from viewing the footage later. Most of the cameras are at ceiling height and positioned to take in the largest area possible. It would take some good shooting to disable them (and players aren't likely to notice them unless they make it a point to look for them).

Plot Progression and Wrap-up:
This adventure is primarily a setting for the PCs to discover untold treasure of forbidden toys, run around trying to secretly steal stuff from the stores without getting caught, chase monkeys around the rafters, and then, if they get bored, get blasted by the ComBot. If there's a Death Leopard or PURGEr on the team, there is also likely to be massive damage from a rather large bomb explosion. Between these factors, there should be enough to keep them quite busy. Enterprising GMs may want to develop more complex plot lines from this scenario, but I've found my players usually put an early end to such endeavors with prodigious gunplay.

How the players handle the Chimps will determine the general outcome, so see the summary of the possible plot directions in their NPC Section below.


The Chimps

The chimps have been cloned from chipanzee DNA by the maniacs at R&D and due to the fact that there were some missing chains that had to be filled in with human DNA, all sport at least one Mutant Power, usually Psionic. The exception is Cornelius (with the blue collar) who  has nearly as much human DNA as chimp, and therefore not only has three (count 'em) mutant powers (Teleport, Mental Blast and Regeneration), but also possess massive intellectual capability, including the ability to speak. The chimps are all hanging around the rafters in Edible Fun, resting and re-fueling after their tiring escape from R&D. They will start screaming and scampering around when the PCs arrive, having now developed highly negative associations with all things human. Once the ComBot arrives, they will huddle together in utter terror until they are either dead, Cornelius has opened up the escape route or things have become very quiet for an extended period (not likely under these circumstances). Cornelius will make an attempt to convince the PCs to help them escape from Alpha Complex, providing the PCs don't immediately start shooting at them upon arrival. Cornelius will be very cautious in any case, quite aware that the PCs are there to capture or kill him. He will call to the group from the rafters, not letting anyone get too close to him, pleading with them to have mercy on he and his brothers and sisters by helping them return to the natural world. His voice is like John Houseman's- very deep, proper and English. He'll say things like, "I beg of you, allow us to rejoin our habitat so we may re-populate our long-dead species." If any PCs seem interested, he will confide that he has an escape route worked out so they can leave the confines of the Complex and re-join the natural world. However, he won't reveal the route until he is completely convinced of a Troubleshooter's sincerity in helping them escape. The escape route, which is hiding all the chimps in the back of a cargo AutoCar and smuggling it to the Outdoors through a series of Sierra Club, Moo and Psion sympathizers, requires assistance from at least one human (to drive the AutoCar), which is why the chimps are still hanging around the PLC Center (plus the fact that Cornelius is having a hard time convincing them to leave this lovely place of ample food and jungle-like fauna). However, when the ComBot arrives, they will be much more willing to make their exit. The timing of the ComBot's entrance is up to the GM, and should be based on how the Troubleshooters are faring in getting Cornelius in their clutches. The primary scenarios are:

1) The Troubleshooters spend a good deal of time messing with plasticord and their R&D gear trying to get up into the rafters, and have little luck getting anywhere near Cornelius, while he unsuccessfully tries to convince at least one to defect with him. A good time for the ComBot to show up would be when two or more Troubleshooters are hanging from rafters like meat on a hook.

2) They somehow manage to capture Cornelius. The ComBot should definitely show up as they are about to leave the Food Court to head back along the mall to the AutoCar. The other chimps will make quite a fuss if this happens, throwing things at the PCs and screeching, unless fired upon heavily, when they will cower behind the rafters and howl mournfully like wolves.

3) Cornelius convinces one or more Troubleshooters to come with them, who will then either be executed by their fellow Troubleshooters, or somehow miraculously manage to get to the escape vent with Cornelius. In that case, roll a die- 1-8 they make it out and that clone may become famous in his or her secret society, etc., 9-20 they get slaughtered by IntSec somewhere along the way. (There is the option of role-playing that encounter to see if the player/s can convince IntSec they were held against their will by a bunch of unarmed monkeys... good luck.). The defecting PC/s will have to get back to the PLC Center and rejoin the team undetected (or be the only one left) to prevent being marked as a traitor... this could be difficult if the monkey sympathizers are no longer on duty at the key checkpoints. Make three rolls- if all are 1-8, the PC makes it back through to the PLC Facility. If any rolls fail, the PC will be captured (unless they decide to go down fighting...) and subsequently returned to the Debriefing. There they will have to explain what they were doing in an AutoCar they weren't authorized to occupy, in a place they weren't authorized to be, with a cargo container that stinks of monkey poop. This should be an entertaining little tale...

4) The PCs look they may soon get bored arguing over the best way to get Cornelius captured, in which case bring in the ComBot and slaughter 'em.

The ComBot

When the time is right, the ComBot will arrive at the MAL PLC Center Entrance, plowing right over the AutoCar that carried the PCs, and smashing through the glass entranceway, setting off alarms all over PLC Center (unless intrepid PCs already set off the alarms by entering stores). The ComBot will move straight down the concourse, plowing over anything relatively small (benches, plants, etc.) and firing on anything that moves. At the rotunda, it will move around the fountain structure and continue down the center of the concourse into EdibleFun. The alarms should give adequate warning, but if they were already blaring there will only be a few rounds of warning when the ComBot's engines become audible over the alarms, after it passes the rotunda. All this noise will also cause the chimpanzees to go nuts with fear, and they will congregate as high as possible in the rafters, screeching at each other in alarm.

When the ComBot enters, its turret busting right through the bottom of the EdibleFun sign, the chimps will go insane, screaming continuously and huddling together like hurricane victims. The ComBot will go through two stages of attack. First it will stop just past the EdibleFun sign and commence firing on anything that moves in the entire area using its dual automatic slugthrowers (for two or less humans in a group) or Cone Rifles (for three or more, or for the chimps). After firing three cone rifle shells at any given target and the target remains warm and moving (such as the mass of squirming chimps), the ComBot is programmed to move directly on top of the target (the logic being to crush it, such as a foxhole of troops or an armored vehicle). In this case, since the cone rifle shells will merely have blasted hell out of the upper part of the far wall, the ComBot will go to the spot where the chimps are assembled, at which time it will no longer fire on them, since it's sensors cannot detect movement or heat directly above the 'Bot  (or below it, for that matter). At that point it will simply stay put, firing on movement and/or heat anywhere in the Edible Fun area, but staying put until it has exhausted it's ammo supply. (see below).

The ComBot has two types of sensing devices- motion and infrared sensors. Motion sensors work as you would expect, picking up movement as far as fifteen meters (about 60') even above the ComBot, although not directly above. The infrared sensors pick up heat, and have been tuned specifically to sense and respond to body heat, even at great distances (which, if anyone were to take the time to think about it, COULD explain why the ComBot is so attracted to the chimpanzees, who when huddled together, make for a very large body heat signal). 
Should all movement and attacks stop, it will stay in the approximate center of the EdibleFun area indefinitely (directly under the mass of chimps), sensors on alert for any movement. If things get quiet for awhile, one or more chimpanzees may start moving away from their huddled positions, causing the ComBot to fire on them with slugthrowers, but since the maximum elevation of its weapons is parallel to the base of the 'Bot, it can only fire into walls or other surrounding terrain, it won't hit anything in the rafters- resulting in wanton destruction and wasting some ammo.

If the players have been pretty well decimated by either the ComBot or each other, or are hopelessly pinned down and have given up on trying foolishly heroic frontal attacks against the 'Bot, let the slugthrowers run out of ammo. Of course, the PCs won't necessarily realize that right away, so someone will have to test that theory... But the cone rifles will still be armed. However, the ComBot is programmed not to waste Cone Rifle shells on individual targets, so it will wait until it has a decent sized body heat signature to fire on, such as three or more Troubleshooters in a small area- then it will fire Cone Rifle shells- one at a time. Remember that if the 'Bot fires three Cone Rifle shells at target and it still remains warm and moving, it will move to that spot, which will also cause it to pick up the chimps again and it will fire three shells in succession before moving back under the chimps... Repeating this pattern indefinitely, even with no cone rifle shells left, it will go through the same motions, as long as there are warm moving targets.

HOWEVER, if all ammo has been exhausted, the ComBot will switch to a self-destruct mode in order to prevent it falling into "enemy" hands. If the motion sensors pick up sustained movement that comes within ten feet of the ComBot, it will blow itself up, doing Column 18 damage to anything within 20 feet, Column 14 within fifty feet, and Column 8 within 80 feet, unless the target is under reasonable cover. The only way to turn off the self-destruct mode is with a special remote control, which of course the PCs don't have. Roll to see if Armed Forces members (1-7 on 1D20) or those with ComBot training (1-18 on 1D20) are aware of the self-destruct mode.


This is the Sierra Clubber who will be present in the lower level at the loading dock if any of the PCs are Sierra Clubbers. He is Internal Security, and managed to Con, Fast Talk and Bribe his way into the area with the help of fellow Sierra Clubbers and other sympathetic secret societies. He is normally a nervous sort anyway, but waiting for a Sierra Club member to show up with Cornelius is making him insane with worry that someone is going to show up and demand to know what in the Complex he is doing in an area not only of VIOLET Security Clearance, but cordoned off by Internal Security due to the chimps and the ComBot. He chews SweetFun incessantly and taps his foot against the floor of the AutoCar, sweating like mad. His bald head gleams with sweat and his large, pudgy body itches inside his Reflec. 

Paranoia and The Computer logo are registered trademarks of West End Games
Authors of submitted items are indicated where appropriate
All other text and graphics by Steve Criddle