Over the course of January and February I played in the Blade Runner RPG Starter Set introductory adventure, entitled Electric Dreams. So, this write-up contains spoilers for a relatively brand new published product from Free League. Spoilers beyond this point. Read with caution.
- Willem Novak, Human, Inspector – me
- Fenna 9-2..39, Replicant, Doxie – Dan
- Oelsen Bakker, Human, Enforcer – Ivan-β
and Ivan-α as the Game Runner.
PART 1 – DEAD NEXUS 9S TELL NO TALES
15th May 2037. Morning.
I am Willem Novak, Blade Runner. When the Blackout fell, I was a young LAPD cop. I remember what the Replicants did. Nexus-whatevers.
I was having a steaming bowl of Indomie when an LAPD spinner set down. She introduced herself as Fenna 9-2.39, a Nexus-9 Blade Runner. She tells me we’re needed back at LAPD Tower. Sorry, steaming bowl of Indomie.
We enter Deputy Chief Holden‘s office. He tells us there was in incident with two LAPD Nexus-9 Blade Runners at a night spot known as the Snake Pit. One is dead, Sandor, and another, Leah, disappeared into the wind. But not without getting imaged by the Esper network cams in the street as she got into a cab. We are to find out why, locate the missing Leah and keep this investigation quiet. Wallace Corp who supplies Replicants to the world, even Fenna to the LAPD, does not want this investigation to affect their bottom link.
I don’t like this one bit.
Fenna is made my partner for this case. I don’t like it. But I don’t sign the paychecks.
At the RIT Crime Lab and Morgue, Coco shows us the dead N-9 Sandor’s corpse. He has a huge hole through his torso. That settles it then: he had a terminal case of being dead. Coco confirms that there is nothing else to the corpse.
Later, as our spinner was flying towards the cab company, we get a call from Wallace Corp. No saying no to them, so we head to their huge corporate headquarters.
The corridors are both dark and light. Orange light are always on the move, never stationary. Then, Quell the Wallace Corp VP of Public Relations are before us. Or we are before her. She waxed lyrical about the importance of this case and is aloof to me. With Fenna however, she is more personable; happy even. I don’t like this one bit.
Arriving at Metrokab, Fenna starts talking smoothly to the shift dispatch. Taken by Fenna, he tells us the missing Leah was dropped off at Animoid Row.
I drop off Fenna to investigate the Snake Pit crime scene while I return to the LAPD Tower to scan Esper network vid for more clues to Leah. I find nothing after some hours, and decide to head back to the Snake Pit.
Turns out it’s what I should have done earlier.
As I was scouring the database, Fenna was talking over the crime scene from the beat cops, I read later. I know she talked to witnesses and got the name & description of a suspect named Styles. I know she spotted Styles and chased after him.
However, I do not know that Fenna lost a lot of stability as she chased after Styles. She must have pushed too hard during the chase and went off the rails. Losing it, Fenna fired off her sonic rounds wildly. Thankfully no one else was in the alley and single round struck and dropped the suspect.
A moment later I arrive to arrest Styles & take an unresponsive Fenna away.
PART 2 – INTERROGATION WITH STYLES
15th May 2037. Late night.
I consider taking Fenna back to my apartment to recuperate, but decide against it. Soon I am landing at the LAPD Tower motor pool with medtechs prepared to take Fenna away to repair.
I return to Holden’s office where Oelsen Bakker, a vet and Replicant sympathiser, is waiting. Holden assigns Bakker to our case. It’s the three of us now, if Fenna recovers.
She does. (Fenna regains 1 Resolve.)
Bakker and I interrogate Styles who said that night some Replicant haters was harassing Iris the dancer on stage. A brawl erupted and then Sandor was dead.
Bakker presses on. As a Replicant sympathiser, Styles opens up to her more. He says he knows Leah. Leah was going to meet with him, then saw a Sandor approach and Leah shot him.
We know he’s still holding back information.
Meanwhile, Fenna is patched up and succeeds in her Baseline Test. LAPD clears her for duty. We all meet at Holden’s office and told him Leah shot Sandor.
Fenna decides to interrogate. Styles told her that Leah drinks a lot. She did drugs too. She was also looking to escape from LA. Styles got her into contact with the Replicant Underground: the Aurelian. He has a shop in Animoid Row.
It is time to gear up. I requisitioned the PK-D M1887 20 gauge, zip ties, undershirt armor. The others also went shopping at the armoury.
Soon, the three of us arrive at the busy Animoid Row early in the morning. Then, we notice the sensationalist anti-Replicant KILL Magazine headline. The news is out. Replicant murder at the Snake Pit!
There goes keeping this quiet.
PART 3 – STREET FIGHTERS THREE
16th May 2037. Early morning.
We all head into Animoid Row looking for the Aurelian. While eating at a Indomie ramen stall discussing Replicants in society, a trio of armed, black-clad men alight from a black spinner in the street & begin shooting at us.
We take cover behind the ramen bar. Their initial shots miss. I return fire as Bakker calls for backup, successfully overcoming jamming. Fenna tries to sneak around to flank them.
I shoot one, shattering his hand. Avoiding another’s fire, Bakker hits another. Fenna sneaks behind one and her sonic round shatters his femur. The ones Novak & Fenna shot turns, despite their smashed hand and broken leg, puts bullets through Fenna. I take Mr Smashed Hand down.
The hovering black spinner fires a tactical missile, misses, hits the turtle shop behind. Poor animoid ninjas. I switch to a shotgun and take a chunk off the spinner. Third guy starts running. Bakker’s bullet rips his ear off. Fenna bull rushes him & takes him down. I don’t like that one bit.
The damaged spinner looses another missile and hits Fenna & her captive, killing the assailant. Fenna is down, bleeding. The black spinner flees as LAPD vehicles arrive. Bakker gives medical aid to Fenna. Medics take over and soon she’s back on her feet. She quickly requisitions an undershirt armour from the cops while we each take the assailants’ Ender rifles. From the dead assailant, I confirm that they were Nexus-9 Replicants.
Then, we all walked to the Aurelian’s shop nearby. Bakker waits outside to spot any hostiles following them.
Inside is a blind old man fixing some animoid butterflies. We introduce ourselves & ask about Leah. He gives me the runaround. Fenna, sensing he’s hiding something, tells her she’s a Nexus-9. He admits that he sent Leah to a safehouse & gives her an address.
We then return to the shot up ramen bar. While Bakker alone is having prawn ramen, the trio consider who just tried to kill them and why. How will Wallace Corp react to a killer Nexus-9 on the loose? Should they find out why Leah ran?
PART 4 – MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS
Late night of 16th May 2037
After being fixed up, Fenna returns to her apartment to rest with her cat. I ask for the cat’s name but get no answer.
After being unable to dig further about Leah at the LAPD Tower, Novak decides to climb up the stairwell to the 13th floor to investigate Leah’s apartment. Neighbours say the skin job has no friends. Novak gets a custodian to open her door. Novak finds a William Blake poetry collection book. By Leah’s bedside is a little girl’s photo, & at the back is written “Doc Badger”.
Meanwhile, Bakker, staking out the abandoned safehouse building, sees the Aurelian arrive. She follows the blind man up into the empty building & he disappears into an apartment.
I arrive at the safehouse. While mulling over things, the door opens & the Aurelian invites them in. The interior, unlike the exterior, is comfortable & well-lit. He tells us that Leah should have been waiting here. There is a postcard of the Hollywood sign on the coffee table. When pushed, he mentions arranging an offworld shuttle to come for Leah behind the Hollywood sign just outside LA. Soon after, a well-rested Fenna arrives.
While Bakker retreats to rest & Fenna waits at the safehouse, I meet with Doc Badger after wasting some time looking for him. Greased with Chinyen, the doc says that he printed out the photo of the little girl from Leah’s memories. He does not know where the memory is from, but Leah believes it is real. I don’t like this one bit.
I call Wallace Corp to ask about Leah’s memory implants, only to connect with Quell’s answering machine. Soon a person calls, saying that Lilith Tyrell sculpted Leah’s memories.
Morning of 17th May 2037.
Bakker returns to the safehouse at dawn.
Then LAPD informs us that Leah has been to Lilith Memory Labs to kill Lilith & abduct her daughter Sarah. We have been a step behind Leah. I don’t like this one bit.
There, a wounded Replicant employee named Terry confirms that the abducted girl Sarah resembles the girl in Leah’s memory printout. There was a photo of Sarah on Lilith’s desk. Terry also heard Leah whisper to Sarah if she has been to the Hollywood sign?
Accessing the building’s security systems, they find external camera footage of Leah & Sarah entering a ground car.
While Bakker diverts to stake out the Hollywood sign, Fenna arrives at the lab & cracks Lilith’s computer. She unlocks a hologram recording of an artificially sculpted memory of an violent home attack resulting in a dead daughter. Leah possesses this traumatic memory.
This tracks with the magazine headline about Lilith Tyrell sculpting memories for Replicants by giving them false trauma. This trauma has caused Leah to snap. It was the reason why she had failed two Baseline Tests in the last year. Presumably, she believes the real Sarah is her own daughter even though Nexus-9s have been alive for only a year.
The trio converge at the Hollywood sign with weapons loaded to rescue Sarah.
PART 5 – HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD
Skies are cloudy over the Hollywood Hills. Fenna and I are en route towards Bakker, who is staking out at the Hollywood sign. I park the spinner and we all hide behind the Mt. Lee transmitter tower.
17th May 2037. Late morning.
Bakker spots people walking up Mt Lee Drive, a child among them.
Fenna decides to infiltrate the group, stealthily walks over to them, intending to visually confirm Leah & Sarah. I prep to shoot Leah while Bakker covers Fenna’s approach. I don’t like this one bit.
“Who are you?”
“The Aurelian sent me, I want to escape with you.” (Manipulation roll, 1 success after 2 pushes.)
Although she mentions not seeing Fenna on the bus, Leah suspects nothing.
I try to sneak closer, but fails (at Stealth with a push). Bakker, in full riot gear, runs into some garbage cans (also a Stealth failure). A spotter yells, “The cops are here!”
Leah’s bullet punches through my shoulder. I drop & take careful aim at her. Meanwhile, Fenna takes cover with Leah and Sarah to enforce her infiltration.
Three other Replicants join the fray with clubs and knives, attacking Bakker. Somehow, Bakker is stabbed through her armour & immediately killed. They start beating up her corpse & loot her body for weapons.
Another trio rushes at me. I break my aim at Leah, turn to the Nexus-8s and fire. The autofire flares up. A bullet hits one Nexus-8’s shoulder and knocks him back. I fend off the other two with the butt of my Ender rifle successfully.
Fenna puts a surprise bullet through Leah, smashing her fingers. Sarah screams as blood spurts from this Replicant who resembles her mother. Enraged, Leah turns on Fenna.
I drop the Ender rifle and draw my PKD. The shot misses. The skin jobs slash at my arm. I try to retreat, but a blow to my head knocks me out. They start beating me up and loot my unconscious form for weapons.
Later I read that Fenna’s undershirt armor took the brunt of Leah’s close range shot to her. Twice! But Fenna again suddenly lost it and went into an uncontrollable frenzy, gouged her own eye out, and then collapsed. Leah was surprised, and was aiming her blaster at Fenna’s head to finish her off when an orbital shuttle appeared from the clouds above.
The last thing Fenna saw as she collapsed was Leah running off with Sarah Tyrell in hand. The report says that the runaway Replicants boarded the shuttle and disappeared into space.
Soon after, LAPD arrives. Medics take Fenna & I, with Bakker hauled off in a bodybag. The op exposes the Replicant Underground. Styles is arrested and retired. The Aurelian, we hear, disappeared further
underground. Will we see Sarah or Leah again?
Later, Fenna and I inform Holden that the LAPD needs a better-trained, better-armed unit to handle the Replicant Underground. One skin job is more than a handful. A whole crowd of Nexus-8s can be devastatingly lethal to humans…
Willem Novak, Inspector, RDU, LAPD. 2050 hours. 17th May, 2037
- Oelsen began in Part 2. Ivan was unable to play him in Part 5, so we NPCed him.
- This takes place 12 years before Blade Runner 2049.
- Novak apparently needs no rest, unlike the others thanks to his Smokes specialties.