What if Star Trek had been Gene's role-playing campaign... (Part 2)

Since the previous session, KBEX-TV had started a new run of classic horror movies, and Gene had started to watch them with the idea of getting inspiration for new plots. He'd honestly thought that he might have accidentally self-destructed the 'Star Trek' campaign, and was slightly surprised when it turned out that actually, no-one really remembered the last session too much. This gave an odd twist to the next batch of episodes, and he had to do some hasty conversion – his plans for a horror campaign would have to be rapidly switched around. Rushing to find inspiration, he was fortunate enough to get a phone call from Bill. Apparently he was doing a term paper on 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde', and he wanted to really get 'into' the character by playing it in the campaign.

Bingo. What's more, the Spencer Tracy version of the book was playing the night before. As it turned out, his pre-session preparation for what would be called 'The Enemy Within' pretty much consisted of...watching that movie. Not to worry, he threw in some stuff about a wield alien civilisation with the power to divide men's souls, principally to give George something to do – he figured that the guy deserved to have a good story this session. Of course, that went wrong after George announced half an hour in that he had to go home...leaving that whole arc in the dust. Aside from George, Grace, Bill, Len and De all managed to make it to the session; the latter three had tremendous fun – though Gene wasn't particularly happy when during the 'role-playing', Bill and Grace began to make out. Once again, his plan to get laid through role-playing was working well for someone else.

The next session, 'Mudd's Women', Gene realised – diplomatically – that he couldn't make. Fortunately, an old friend of his called Roger volunteered to sit in as GM for a session; though his attendance was slightly less popular with the group. His session ended up being dominated by his GMPC, who spent his time cavorting with a trio of chemically-enhanced beauties...and the worst part of the session turned out to be when one of those 'beauties' attempted to romance Bill's character, not a performance that was particularly appealing. There was a group consensus that they would rather not have any guest GM for the moment – better the devil they knew!

Then came 'What Are Little Girls Made Of', written as a 'Majel' episode. Gene had attempted to schedule the games to coincide with her amateur dramatics group, but they didn't meet every week, and she was eager to get back into a game. In an effort to distance her from Len this time, he decided to beam her down to the planet, where he got to play her 'lost love'. His hope and expectation was that she would end up staying on the planet with him...in order to distract Bill, he invited him to bring his current girlfriend of the hour, Sherry, who actually dressed in character to the amazement of the rest of the group. (De was later rather annoyed that he'd missed that session.) Len got stuck on the ship with rather little to do except gawp...though the opportunities for that were quite extensive. When the session ended with Majel staying on the Enterprise, her lost love shot by Sherry...he realised that he was probably stuck with her in the group for a while.

The next one was just a horror plot, loosely based on 'Lord of the Flies' – what if all the adults were killed and the children went feral. Looking back, this would be remembered as a pretty good episode; Bill, Len, De and Grace got to mess around with some murderous teenagers, and once they got the idea that they couldn't simply phaser everything that moved, the session went pretty well. For once they managed to light on the critical cue, a 'life prolongation' disease that got out of hand. Much fun had by all.

And then it turned out that Bill was the only one who could make the next session. Which he announced by showing up when Gene had managed to convince one of his girlfriends to come over, Majel believing that he was 'gaming that night'. Annoyingly, Marianna leapt right into it, throwing herself into the part Gene improvised for her as a psychiatrist. (At the time, that was her major; she was able to throw in some pretty convincing psychobabble.) She really got into her scenes with Bill... to the point that when he went home, so did he.

For the next session, Gene decided he was going to bring in a big recurring enemy, and the whole gang showed up for 'The Corbomite Manoeuvre'. By this point, he'd drawn up some proper floorplans for the bridge, and even picked up a few 28mm figures to represent the PCs, so to make use of them he decided to set almost the whole episode on the bridge. The enemy was the 'First Federation', a race of midgets with highly advanced technology, such that they could only be defeated by great improvisation. The problem was that Gene had been a bit vague on what organisation the PCs belonged to...and somehow, they got the idea that they were working for the 'Federation'. The midgets did not go down well, generating rather too much humour – by the end of it, he'd decided that he would go with the flow, and that he needed to re-think his bad guys.

To be continued...

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