written by Peter Bogdasarian
Silver BPN* Contact Dept. of Third Eye News * Training Packages Recommended : Kick Murder * Promotion of Third Eye Monopoly. Undercover work essential to completion. Contact Treblinka Dachau at Third Eye. * 250 c per operative.
- T H E - S P L A T T E R - C I R C U I T -
The Splatter Circuit is Twilight and DarkNight's latest combined effort to thwart the rule of SLA Industries. They stage a variety of brutal hand-to-hand fights in scenic locations around Downtown, and broadcast it via Channel Resistance. The primary advantages are (a) the fact that your average Downtowner can actually attend one of these fights, (b) the amateur nature of the fights makes them much more fun to watch then the smooth, precision Contract Killers and (c) you can always scream "I could do better!"
Of course, what DarkNight and Twilight enjoy about the shows is that they (a) get people used to attending illicit, SLA-prohibited gatherings, (b) familiarize people with DarkNight propaganda through the commercials, (c) gain an image of DarkNight as their friend (it gives me entertainment, just like my vid), (d) people watch other Channel Resistance programming because its on after their fight and (e) it irritates the hell out of Third Eye.
Splatterers (as the fighters are known) fight without powered weapons (or MAC & Crescent Knives), powered armours or missile weapons. Most of them abuse Shatter (glamorizing its use for kids at home) and wield bizzare weapons such as straight razors, ice picks and flat boards with nails through the end. They are generally brought to the scene of the fight, kept in a semi-sedated state, and then pumped up with Shatter and kicked into the ring.
Once in the ring, they can face anything from another Splatterer, to a SLA prisoner (Who is always mildly sedated, so that the Splatterer will wreck him. These are DN's favorite programs to broadcast, as Mort civilians watch one of their own rip some operative apart.) and the occasional Carrien or Carnivorous Pig.
The fight is always brutal. Blood flows steadily, limbs crack, skin is torn away and hurled into the ground, castrations are frequent : all the pain that can be inflicted is.
The spectators are EXPECTED to gamble - anyone who doesn't stands a good chance of becoming an outcast.
This is designed as a vicious, violent, gory adventure, and woe to whomever runs it as a Martial Arts fest. The fights should be gory to the point of insanity, with such lovely effects as eye gougings and teeth getting caught in someone's knee after they use it as an instrument of blunt impact trauma on another fighter's face. Get some Death or Thrash Metal (Dismember, Immortal & Strapping Young Lad all recommended) and play it during all the fights. Remember, Blood Must Be Shed.
(Recommended Reading : "Bloodsport" by Del James and Jazzbeaux's fight against the DAR in Route 666 by Jack Yeovil)
- D R A M A T I S - P E R S O N A E -
Use Serial Killer stats for the Splatterers - modify as necessary to produce some challenge for PCs. Other NPCs can stay pretty close to their stats in KARMA.
The DarkNight Interceptor in charge of the Splatter Circuit Operations. It is a proven fact that all Dino Interceptors name themselves after ancient Conflict War Barbarian Tribes. Honest.
Alemanni generally stays in the background and leaves the film work to Channel Resistance Specialists and the "Twilight at Dawn" people. He insures the security of the operation by maintaining an active role : targeting operatives in the vicinity for assassination, buying off Shiver units, etc.
Treblinka's hired hand, this Brainwaster has been with him for a long time & is aware of his employer's cold & cruel nature, except in Treblinka's dealings towards himself. Dingo sees himself as Treblinka's confidant, a foolish move on his part which will in all probability get him killed one day.
Treblinka first picked Dingo up after all of his other squad mates were chosen for Cloak service, but him. Dingo's entire life has been the near-miss of learning truths, never quite learning this or that secret, always the guy out in the dark. With Treblinka, he gets to feel like he is the guy in the know, the one with whom everything is always shared. The fact is, Treblinka would never let him learn too much, but Dingo remains unaware of this, entrapped in what he has come to believe as the truth.
The Mandarin is one of the top Splatterers, fighting with talon-like nails that cut as well as knives. He is one of the few Splatterers who does not take Shatter, and he fights with a blank face. He is managed by a gentlemen from Orienta, who may or may not be Trang, depending upon your campaign.
"The Mandarin leapt on the other Splatterer, tripping him up with a leg sweep. His silver talons raked the other fighter's face until they came to the eyes. Here they dug in like scoops, plucking them out and blood came fast and freely as the fighter screamed.
Through it all, the Mandarin, amidst his brightly painted silks, did not change his expression."
Midnight Glory is a female Splatterer, and is heavily linked to DarkNight, which sponsors her Shatter usage. She is being considered as DarkNight's answer to Amelia Steelheart, SLA's iconic female operative, and has a promising future ahead of her. Whilst Splattering, she prefers her Totentanz Products Straight Razor, which has a rather grisly history, often recounted after each fight.
"There was a piercing scream, and I turned my head to look at the white-faced Operative fighting the Splatterer. He was clutching his groin, and dark blood jetted between his fingers. A bloodied lump of cloth - and something else - lay about a foot before him.
The Splatter held her bloodied straight razor in her left hand, pirouetted and layed his face open to the bone. The operative staggered back, his voice still echoing in my ears, as she moved behind him and slit his throat. He slid to the ground amidst a cloud of arterial blood as she howled her triumph."
Tango is the leader of the Props employed by Channel Resistance to provide perimeter security. He is a very good dancer, and this is mirrored in his fighting style. He prefers his Crescent Knife, but is perfectly capable of using a DMA Blaster shotgun when he runs into operatives.
("Always Treblinka, please")
The producer and director of the SIC episodes, Treblinka is utterly unforgiving in his exploitation of human misery. "People are there to be sold things - emotions, lives, whatever." Treblinka was a former associate producer of the 13th Victim television show. (He produced an episode on a serial killer known as London Bridge, whose speciality was pushing Downtown women to their deaths. The case is still unsolved.)
Treblinka does have a large self-interest in seeing the Splatter Circuit shut down - he attended one of the performances, and was photographed by Alemanni. Alemanni is currently attempting to blackmail Treblinka into giving him the necessary codes to suborn Third Eye broadcast satelittes for Channel Resistance use. Treblinka's hope is that the operatives will eliminate Alemanni and destroy the evidence against him.
D E L I V E R Y
(I've deliberately left this part vague, so that you can tailor it as you wish. What I've done is attempt to address various fixed bits to assist you in your quest and to let you do the rest.)
The players get the BPN and then (presumably) go to see Treblinka. He informs them that they are to help maintain "Third Eye's Monopoly on Televised Violence" by working to eliminate the Splatter circuit. Their mission is to infiltrate the circuit and assassinate its leaders. (Hence the need for Kick Murderers)
Treblinka informs them that they'd best leave their big gats, thick armour and deathsuits behind, along with all their SLA Indentification and paper work. SLA does not have an immediate location as to the next fight, but a canvas of the Tavern Sector might pay off with such a spot.
2. I.A. Blues
Just before the players can achieve something worthwhile, IA picks them up for questioning about their briefing officer. They are grabbed on the street by a pair of IA men, shuffled into cars, taken Uptown, seperated and questioned.
The IA men ask them about their own lives (to check for hidden guilt), their past BPNs, what they think the objective of their BPN is and their opinion of Treblinka. The IA is fishing for information on Treblinka here, as it suspects that he might be meeting with DarkNight and selling out Third Eye. The charges will eventually be defeated, unless the players say something really stupid.
After they're done pumping the players, IA dumps them Uptown. Hope their vehicles aren't "somewhere Downtown."
3. Approaching the Fights
The fights are always secured by the props (who do perimeter work) and the Dinos (who do crowd control and internal security). The local Shivers have been bought off, and some of them may be attending the fight. This would be a good point for a chip scanner (if you've got ops with finance chips) or for a Shiver enemy ('Wasters always seem to have these) to spot a player and point him out.
The first fight is held beneath a highway underpass in the Industrial Sector (known as the "Driveway" to those on the circuit). Its close proximity to numerous factories allows a large number of workers to gather for the evening's fights. It is a claustrophobic setting, people packed shoulder to shoulder, gathered around a small circle scrawled in red paint on asphalt. Cars roar overhead and sound echoes off the walls, making it difficult to hear anything. At least it's dry.
The second fight is held on the roof of a factory, amidst a series of very hot smoke stacks (known as the "Hot Spot" to those on the circuit). The footing on the fighting floor is treacherous, and the superheated steam can be an amusing way of finishing an opponent. Large puddles have gathered on the roof, some of them over a foot deep. Metal spars and struts jut out, perfect for impromptu impalements and there is the ever popular move of throwing people off the edge of the factory.
The third fight is held on the walkway from the Wilkins Shopping Mall to the Edwin Randle housing block. The crowd gathers on nearby buildings to watch the fighting. Local urchins might just be used as early entertainment before the main proceedings (two streetkids with switchblades grappling for a handful of unis). This is a difficult fight due to the small area in which it occurs - there is little room for maneuver and trickery and brute force are important.
Players who wish to pose as Splatterers will be told that they must take Shatter after their first fight (or else). Whether or not they do so is up to them, but if they do, the Company isn't going to like it, and if they don't, the DarkNight people might go to extra lengths to help their opponent. Should the players be extremely successful and rip through all the opposition, ask them to appear at one last fight and put them up against a Manchine which DN captured for the occasion.
4. Closing Wrap-Up
The players are grabbed by Cloak Division after the inevitable blood bath occurs, and are herded back Uptown again. Cloak rigorously interrogates them about (a) DarkNight tactics and propaganda, (b) Rival Company recognition, (c) any of the Splatterers who escaped, (d) the workings of the Splatter circuit and (e) any unorthodox methods they might have employed.
Depending upon how successful they were, they get paid, and Treblinka makes a note of their usefulness in his personal files...