The Bedlam Extraction
This article originally appeared in the March 2014 issue.
Synopsis: The adventurers are hired to break a young woman out of the mental institution in which she is held prisoner.
Requirements: “The Bedlam Extraction” is intended for 4-6 Classic Traveller characters of varied career backgrounds. It is assumed that the group has been working together for some time prior to the adventure. The setting can be any convenient world. No particular skills or equipment are necessary for the adventure.
The adventurers are approached by a distraught and restless young man. Durang Mamadi explains that he needs their skills to rescue his sister, Sukai, who disappeared several weeks ago. Through many comm calls, buttonholing of officials, and calling in of favors, Durang learned that she is being held against her will, along with some disturbing information: her boyfriend, Arvin Gaetan, has ties to local organized crime. When Sukai tried to break things off with him, Gaetan had her locked up in a mental institution. When Durang subsequently tried to go through legal channels to free her, he found out the hard way that Gaetan has friends in high places.
Sukai is not insane. Durang is certain that Gaetan is trying to drive her so as retaliation for daring to leave him. He’s also convinced that perhaps Sukai learned something about Gaetan’s operations, so the gangster wants to insure that she can’t testify against him in court—should things come to that—by destroying her credibility.
Since the legal route is out, Durang wants to hire the PCs to break Sukai out of the hospital and get her to the starport, where he will have a ship waiting to get her offworld. For their help, he will pay Cr50,000 and (if they don’t own a starship) one middle passage each. He gives them the location of the asylum, enough information to identify Sukai, his commcode to contact him on completion of their mission, and information on Gaetan so they know who they’re up against. Gaetan is a local businessman who made his money in real estate and investing. His ties to organized crime are not public knowledge; as far as anyone knows, he’s an upstanding citizen.
The adventurers’ destination is Akavrin Psychiatric Hospital, a private 120-bed facility 50 km from the starport. Akavrin has a generally respected reputation, and regularly passes its government inspections with flying colors.
To spare the referee the chore of spending lots of time finding or creating floorplans, an abstract representation of Akavrin Hospital is provided. (Click on the small diagram at the right for the full-sized version.) Areas accessible from each other are connected by solid black lines. Lifts are denoted by circles with arrows indicating the direction of travel from the main floor. Stairways can be assumed to accompany the lift shafts. Symbols indicate the location of supply rooms and nurses’ stations. The numbers inside the area blocks are DMs applied to the throw to determine if an area has a comm system or a computer, respectively (see below). If a room indicates lack of either of these devices when common sense dictates that it should be present (for instance, a computer terminal in the Admissions office), the referee can rule that it’s perhaps malfunctioning or is tied up in some way. Area entries in bold on the map denote areas open to the outside or to the public. Other areas can be assumed to have varying levels of restricted access.
The representation should not be taken as the size of the facility or even the exact layout. The referee can scale or alter the map to suit the adventure, add areas if necessary, or substitute whatever ready-made floorplans (s)he has available.
The hospital currently has 20D patients, with a nurse/patient ration of 1:6—including three Head Nurses—and a doctor/patient ratio of 1:15. The nurses staff the facility around the clock; the doctors are only available during planetary business hours, with at least one on-call after hours. Two orderlies staff each ward around the clock, as well. Other staff members (office workers, nutritionists, pharmacists, etc.) can be added as needed. Security is provided by a staff of nine guards; three of which are on duty per eight-hour shift. One typically mans the monitors in the Security Office, while two others patrol the grounds. They are armed with auto pistols loaded with tranq rounds and stay in constant radio contact.
To locate a computer or a comm in a given map area:
ROUTINE; DMs per the text.
To locate a supply closet in an area other than where indicated on
DIFFICULT; INT; 15 seconds.
REFEREE: The closet is locked on a throw of 8+.
To locate fire suppression equipment or an emergency escape (neither
indicated on the map), or a comm in an area other than where indicated
on the map:
EASY; INT; 1.5 seconds.
REFEREE: Emergency exits typically trigger alarms when opened. Fire suppression equipment can mean anything from a handheld fire extinguisher up to computer-controlled systems depending on tech level.
To locate a computer in an area other than where indicated on the
ROUTINE; INT; 15 seconds.
Admissions: the main intake area of the hospital during business hours. A large circular desk manned by a disarmingly-friendly receptionist dominates the area. Several private discussion areas are nearby. If trouble occurs, the receptionist can easily hit a panic button that summons Security and puts the entire complex on alert.
Administrator/Director: the hospital administrator runs everything from this plush office. He is only here during business hours unless there is an emergency. His computer holds incriminating evidence that he is taking payments from Gaetan to keep Sukai prisoner while chipping away at her psyche. The computer is protected by software:
To defeat the computer defenses:
FORMIDABLE; Computer; 1 minute
REFEREE: Only three attempts may be made, with a cumulative DM of -2 after the first.
Pharmacy: The hospital pharmacy is well-stocked with drugs (heavily skewed toward psychoactives) totaling into the hundreds of thousands of credits. At least two people staff the area during business hours.
Doctors’ Offices: uniformly sized but differently-furnished, there is a maximum of 8 offices here, typically staffed during business hours (throw 7+ for a particular doctor to be making his or her rounds). The computers in each office hold various patient records. These computers are also protected; use the procedure above to access them.
Atrium: a large, open, well-lit space with tasteful décor and lush plants, this area is the heart of the complex. It is typically unstaffed, but sees a lot of foot traffic from staffers, patients, and visitors.
Clinic: this serves as the first point of contact for many of the hospital’s patients. It is staffed at all times, although much more lightly during the graveyard shift. It handles all the outpatient functions of the facility.
Wards/Patient Rooms: these are largely self-contained areas consisting of identical single-occupancy patient rooms off a nurse’s station and a shared day room. There are a maximum of 120, 30 per ward, comfortable but Spartan. If the tech level is high enough, each room is computer-monitored at all times, with anomalies reported to the nurses immediately. Otherwise, the nurses make rounds once an hour. Which rooms are occupied is up to the referee, per the total number of patients as determined above.
Psychological Triage: an acute-care area geared toward intervention of severe psychotic episodes. It contains at least one stereotypical “rubber room” and at least one room dedicated to last-resort techniques such as electroconvulsive therapy and neurohacking. If this room is staffed, it is due to a treatment underway.
Scanning: an area dedicated to scanning devices such as EEGs, MRIs, or meson scanners (depending on tech level). As with Psych Triage, this room is only staffed if a treatment is in progress.
The referee can place Sukai in any of the wards. To find her, the adventurers will have to either access her patient records or conduct a physical search. Her records indicate that she has been admitted due to deep and long-term psychosis. This is, of course, a lie. Since Sukai was admitted to the asylum, the director has ordered psychosis treatments for her over the objections of her doctor. The treatments have been chipping away at her sanity and she is close to the breaking point. Once her final mental barriers come down, she can be declared permanently unsound. Meanwhile, she is extremely disoriented and paranoid, and may make attempts to escape from the PCs.
Another complication the group will encounter are spies that Gaetan has inserted in the facility to make sure Sukai stays there. One has gotten himself hired on as an orderly, and another has replaced one of the security guards. Between the two of them, they keep constant tabs on Sukai and make regular reports to Gaetan. Once the PCs put their rescue plan in motion, the spies will alert Gaetan, who will send goons to stop them. These opponents—numbering one more than the PCs and armed with auto pistols—arrive 6D minutes after they’re summoned. Meanwhile, the spies will do whatever they can to hinder or kill the adventurers.
If fighting breaks out in any of the wards or moves to those location, the patients may get involved. Some are being treated for PTSD and various psychoses and the stress may trigger violence. 20% (round up) of the patients will attack PCs and goons alike using whatever they can pick up (treat as cudgel or dagger). Patients not entering combat will attempt panicked escape, creating chaos. Combat throws will suffer an additional DM of -2 within the wards due to the tumult.
Assuming the group is successful, as soon as they contact Durang, he tells them where to deliver Sukai. Once they do, he hurriedly pays them off, thanks them profusely, and hustles his sister aboard a nearby starship. The PCs may have to fight a rear-guard action against pursuing criminals to allow them to get away safely; remember that the starport authorities frown on gunfights in the concourses.
The referee should determine the flow of subsequent events.
Other; 886797; 1 term; Age 22; Cr5,000
Nadharuk Bruck, Orderly
Other; 848574; 1 term; Age 24; Cr1,000
Bruck carries his pistol hidden at all times. When trouble starts, he attempts to get surprise on opponents.
Gerhardt Roland, Security Guard
Ex-Army; 379659; 1 term; Age 23; Cr1,000
Auto Pistol-1, Electronic-1
Auto Pistol, Short-range Communicator
Since he is actually working for Gaetan, Roland secretly carries a clip of live rounds for his auto pistol. When trouble with the PCs starts, he takes the first opportunity to switch out the clips.