A Supernatural Fiasco

This week we returned to the foundational story game Fiasco by Jason Morningstar using the Supernatural Files playset by Bug McBride. We didn’t complete our story, only completing one sequence of scenes, so consider this a pilot episode for a miniseries. Our story is set in New York City and environs, centered around Finders Keepers, a curiosity shop on the Lower East Side run by an elderly seeker and collector of the old, the odd, and the unexplained named Alphonse and his protégé Jebediah. Jebediah was raised in an upstate community that forsakes modern technology and remains out of step with the rest of the city. He doesn’t realize it, but Gemma Stone, a shy patron of the store, carries a brightly burning torch for him. Her fascination with the supernatural brings Gemma not only to FK but also to an occult group that seeks to learn the truth about a legendary curse. The group’s leader is Vincent Everett, a charismatic megalomaniac who dresses only in white suits with black silk shirts, a red tie, and matching round sunglasses. Vincent has squandered his family’s fortune on building his network of followers and in his search for a horn-tailed snarl, the key to unlocking the mystery of the curse. Crystal Everett is the estranged sister of Vincent and an artist whose paintings of cryptids and other impossibilities have found an audience in NYC’s underground art scene. Unbeknownst to most, Crystal shares something with Alphonse: an obsession with uncovering the truth about the death of their mutual cousin Samantha in the woods far upstate by an unknown assailant. The death was attributed to an animal attack, but no wolf or bear or cougar leaves injuries like what Samantha suffered, and they believe something more insidious may be to blame.

Fiasco - A game about powerful ambition and poor impulse control from Bully Pulpit Games
Fiasco poster from Bully Pulpit Games.

We begin with Alphonse returning to the store from a curio-finding expedition upstate with a unique object, a hand-made book purportedly written by the nineteenth-century psychical researcher Erastos. Alphonse shows Jebediah a page in the book describing a creature called the horn-tailed snarl and drawings of the creature’s mouth, pointing to the unusual teeth with their strange shape and serrated edges. He believes these teeth match one associated with Samantha’s death and sends Jebediah crawling through old stacks for other Erastosean items in the store. Across town, Vincent has gathered his followers at his art-themed nightclub and announces that Alphonse has found a book with information on the horn-tailed snarl they seek. After exhorting and exciting them, he tasks Gemma with infiltrating the store and securing the book. Realizing that this is the store where Jebediah works, she goes to the park to spy upon him when he appears to feed the carriage horses, as she often does. Today, she speaks to him and gives him a gift, a book on Dragonology that she says she thought he would enjoy. They walk together back to the shop, and inside she convinces him to let her take the Erastos book. She clutches the book and leans against the door, sighing loudly, over-the-moon with their interaction.(Alphonse’s eventual reaction: “Wait, so you just gave her the book?!”)

In her studio, Crystal paints in the afternoon sun streaming through the loft windows when Alphonse rings her buzzer and comes upstairs. He shows her the page about the horn-tailed snarl taken from the Erastos book and tells her of his suspicions regarding Samantha’s death. As he reads her Erastos’s verbal descriptions, Crystal draws multiple versions of the snarl from all angles, each one depicting a slightly different beast by emphasizing competing details. Is one of these a true likeness of the creature? When Alphonse leaves, someone follows him back to his shop and reports back to Vincent by phone once they arrive. Vincent pays a visit to Crystal, who is not happy to see him, and he asks her to give or sell the snarl drawings to him. Suspicious of his sudden interest, she deflects his inquiry but claims to have reference photos she took when the creature appeared in the alley behind the loft. When Vincent tosses money at her and tries to leave with the drawings, Crystal convinces him they need time to cure properly or they’ll be smudged, so he leaves saying he’ll return tomorrow. Later, Vincent plants himself in the alley wearing night-vision goggles, waiting to see what she photographed.

Family-Friendly Fiasco

This week, we tried another online session of Fiasco by Jason Morningstar, but this time we used the Insta-Setup from The Museum playset by Angela M. Webber and Richard Malena and skipped both the Tilt and the Aftermath tables to speed up play. We chose to set our story during a school sleepover/lock-in at a science museum. Our collection of school kids include troublemaker Steve and his reluctant accomplice Ari (teacher’s pet) who need to find out the truth about a creepy teddy bear that keeps appearing all over the museum. Steve, who brings all the Lasers, doesn’t get along with Gregoria and all her Feelings, but Gregoria and her online BFF Katie are determined to get revenge for mean comments on the videos of their favorite YouTuber, costumer and cosplayer Corynne Thorn. Katie is from a different school but knows Ari and her brother Ron, who answers to Spock as readily as his own name, from summer camp. Katie carries a secret torch for Spock while Ari has roped her brother into playing the recorder to accompany her singing in an upcoming talent show.

Our story begins with Gregoria and Katie meeting in real life for the first time as all the kids are filing into the museum’s cavernous entrance. Gregoria has profiled Corynne’s bully online and believes that she will be able to identify her if they fly their fandom flag and watch people’s reactions, but when they watch a Corynne video, a teacher confiscates Gregoria’s phone. Next Steve visits Ari as the kids are setting up sleeping bags in the atrium and talks to her about the mysterious teddy bear appearances and how it moves about the museum, convincing her to assist in the search for it but agreeing to wait until after band practice. At band practice, Ari must persuade Spock again to participate, but he agrees when she reminds him about the extra-credit, so they run through her number a few times with Steve waiting in the wings to begin the search. After practice, Katie catches up to Spock while he’s in the Egyptian wing of the museum in front of the famed empty sarcophagus. Spock explains all about grave-robbers and other facts about the exhibit while Katie manages to flirt without frightening him away.

Drawing of two women: girl Gregoria Spring in her school uniform and woman Corynne Thorn with multi-colored hair and platform shoes.

As Ari and Steve begin their search in earnest, they try to track the bear based on its previous appears, checking the Rocks and Minerals exhibit, the Egyptian room, and the Fossils and Dinosaur exhibits, but don’t find it until they go to the Air and Space room. Unfortunately, a teacher finds them, leading Steve to stuff the bear behind the seat of a plane, and carts them off to the administrator’s office, where Steve provokes the teacher to give him detention by constantly talking back. Gregoria shows up later in the same administrator’s office looking for her phone so she can confirm the online bully’s identity, but when Steve hears about her plan, he makes it clear that he thinks her whole plot is dumb—bullies are best ignored and not given attention.

The next morning at breakfast, Ari is talking with Gregoria about what it means to stand up to bullies and whether dropping laxatives in her drink is really the best way to teach her a lesson. Ari makes it clear that none of us think what she’s doing is right, but that we’d all support her if she wants to confront the girl and tell her how her actions are harmful. When she agrees, Ari lends Gregoria her phone to make the confirmation: the preppy-girl Karlaygh. Spock is sitting nearby and threatens to tell a teacher about their plans, but they convince him to back down once he understands that they won’t be playing any tricks, just talking. When Katie shows up and learns of the change in plans, it’s time to act because, as Spock points out, there she is. With the whole gang (sans Steve) behind her, Gregoria goes up to Karlaygh and confronts her on what she’s been doing online with Ari chiming in that these kinds of comments are wrong. Gregoria explains that Corynne is doing good in the world, raising money for charities and that when you attack her, you’re also attacking all those who love her and need her. Karlaygh tries to explain how she was having a bad day, but Gregoria points out the comments are on different days. Karlaygh backs down and says she’ll stop trolling for fun, but Gregoria says it’s okay to troll some people like politicians but regular people with followings don’t deserve it.

Later, once the teacher’s give the kids some free time, Steve leads the gang back to the Air & Space room where they find the bear but moved again, this time sitting in the pilot’s seat of a plane. Steve plans on cutting the bear open with his pocket knife to discover the truth but hears a small voice saying “No, that’s my bear” as he grabs it. Sitting behind the bear in the plane is a small boy about 4 or 5 years old, the son of a museum administrator who lives upstairs and often comes down to play in the evenings, even though he’s not supposed to. Steve makes him promise not to leave his bear around anymore so it won’t frighten the museum visitors. In epilogues, we see Ari freeze during the talent show, leaving Spock on stage to perform a recorder solo. Afterward, Spock thanks Ari for getting him up there and consoles her for not being able to perform. Much later, Gregoria goes to a meetup with Corynne and relates the whole story, but Corynne tells her not to worry about the haters and gives her a shout-out in her next video.

Unfinished Fiasco

Tonight we played, or started to, a session of Fiasco by Jason Morningstar using the “Saturday Night ’78” playset by Will Hindmarch, Wil Wheaton, and Jason Morningstar. Our big crew consists of former child star and world traveller Daisy and her sister Cassiel, who resents her sisters fame and now holds incriminating surveillance footage of her; Peter a poor and disillusioned bartender at Studio 54 who is secretly pining for small-time hood and completely oblivious motor-mouth Billy the Kid; Billy’s partner in crime and muscle is Tony, who desperately wants out of this life of crime and believes that he can find it by dancing with Penny, an incredible dancer who used to be appear on Daisy’s show back in the day but has never gotten much direct attention or respect her talent deserves.

Fiasco - A game about powerful ambition and poor impulse control from Bully Pulpit Games
Fiasco poster from Bully Pulpit Games.

Our story begins with Peter and Cassiel in Studio 54 complaining about Billy and Daisy and how they keep getting ignored. They’re ready to run away together to San Francisco to start over. Tony convinces Penny to enter an upcoming dance contest after they come off the dance floor. Later, Daisy approaches Penny about dancing with her in a publicity stunt that could get Daisy another shot at a show. Daisy suggests that the relationship with Tony is holding Penny back. That same night, Billy takes Tony with him to the docks to shakes down a security guard to find out when the big shipment is coming in, and while Tony uses his fists as requested, Billy never cottons to how easy it would be to bribe the guard for the info. A day or two later, Cassiel accosts Penny coming out of Daisy’s place and tries to convince her that Daisy is bad news and that Penny should stop letting the little twerp walk all over her. Penny doesn’t know what Cassiel’s game is, but agrees to make a visit to Medallions one night alone to see if “people recognize her.”

We finish up for the night with the story unresolved after Bill overhears Peter talking on the phone about a big shipment coming in for the club next Wednesday. Peter gets very confused after Billy says he and Tony are partners, but Tony acts like he doesn’t like Billy at all. Billy offers to let Peter join their crew, but Peter just walks away shaking his head.

Montage picture of Cassie dressed in 70s fashions including bell bottoms, platform shoes, and a peasant blouse.

Fiasco at Hangin’ with Jesus

Tonight we played the new second edition of Fiasco by Jason Morningstar on Roll20 using the Poppleton Mall play deck. Our cast includes Andre, employee at Muscle Logic and fellow church parishioner with Sarah. Sarah loves the Lord and knows that through hard work and clean living she’ll find success and riches, so she’s opened a religious poster shop called Hangin’ with Jesus with her sister. Megan, Sarah’s sister, not only shares her drive to succeed through posters but is also a fitness enthusiast who regularly shops at Muscle Logic.

Fiasco poster from Bully Pulpit Games.

Our story starts when Andre and Sarah discuss their respective businesses at Sarah’s house until Andre goes upstairs to talk to Sarah’s young cousin Barry about his human growth hormone. At Hangin’ with Jesus, Megan and Sarah discuss how slow business has been and the need to move merchandise if they’re to meet their goals. The next day, Sarah helps Andre pick up the spilled contents of his bag as they’re coming into the mall and realizes that he’s taken Barry’s medicine. Andre visits Megan at her store and orders twenty posters to promote a sale at Muscle Logic; the posters show Jesus suffering as “Before” on one side and a buff Jesus triumphant as “After” on the other. Before Megan goes on a run in her Holy running outfit, she brags to Sarah about the big sale she made that day without telling her what actually sold. Later, Sarah leads Rev. Huntberry from church to Andre’s home to confront him about the stolen HGH, and the reverend makes Andre promise to tell Barry’s parents what he’s done before that week’s Bible study session.

The next day, after service, Andre explains to Bart, Barry’s dad, how he traded a video game for the HGH because he was using it to help people in need to get bigger and offers to buy more from him for $50 a dose. Megan meets Andre at Muscle Logic, buys mega-dose vitamins, and promises to have his posters ready for him the next day, even though the sample she made has gone missing. Back at home, she discovers why it’s gone missing, when Sarah scolds Megan about the cross-promotion posters that fail to mention their poster shop and that will cost them way more than they take in after all the extra photoshop and printing costs to create the composite picture. Earlier that night, before he’d returned to Muscle Logic, Andre was at Bible study with Sarah, who’d seen him shaking hands with Bart, not realizing that they had just settled on the terms of their drug supply trade. Once the posters are up in the mall, Megan manages to get arrested by mall security when they catch her writing Hangin’ with Jesus on a poster to fix things with Sarah. For her part, Sarah arrives later that day to find her store empty but wide open (where’s Megan?) and spends the day watching waves of people mobbing Muscle Logic to take advantage of the sale.

In the aftermath of this, Andre discovers he miscalculated and gave too large a discount on the sale and too favorable terms to Bart, so he not only loses money but must close down Muscle Logic. Megan ends up having a vitamin induced seizure when in the custody of mall security and the store ends up the butt of jokes in memes on TikTok. Sarah, despondent at the failure with the store, starts spending more and more time at church until Rev. Huntberry convinces her to go on a missionary trip to the Amazon rainforest to convert the entirely indifferent indigenous peoples.

A Ghost Fiasco at Sucker Creek

Returning to the Sucker Creek playset for Fiasco by Jason Morningstar, we played a touching if disturbing ghost story about three small-town guys trying to make a way for themselves. Pete Camey is an older man obsessed with an abandoned cabin deep in the swamps, a big fan of the Manhunter YouTube channel, and a father still paying off his son’s 4WD truck. Gator Camey is Pete’s son, known for his deep emotional involvement with his XUV truck and his longtime rivalry with Rico Sanchez, who he always contradicts. Rico Sanchez is a second-generation monster-debunker known as the Manhunter whose YouTube videos debunk local legends about monsters and the paranormal.

Cover of Fiasco playset The Beast of Sucker Creek

Our story begins with Pete trying to talk Gator into finally taking responsibility for his life, but Gator is more concerned with taking apart his truck, putting it back together, and having a good time. Then we meet Rico out in the forest trying to film one of his videos to debunk a local legend about werewolves, when Gator arrives to heckle him and ruin the shot. We also see Gator antagonizing his father with his loud music of various genres while driving and dropping Pete off in front of a creepy cabin in the swamps. Next time we see Pete, he has tracked down the Manhunter at the local sporting goods store, where the celebrity is endorsing fishing gear, and he exhorts the hunter to prove that ghost stories about the old cabin where he last saw his wife aren’t true. Pete puts Gator up to driving the Manhunter to the cabin. When they hit an unseen stump in the swamp and his truck’s tire goes rolling away, Gator pulls the truck to a drifting stop and tells Rico and his cameraman they’re on their own. Rico makes his way to the cabin and begins to film at what he’s learned is called Wallover cabin, but as he explores the property, the atmosphere gets more and more surreal as fog rolls in, sounds echo through the house, and doors creak open and closed unbidden. We cut to black after the two run away in fright from the old haunted ruin.

As Act 2 begins, we find Rico at the local bowling alley interviewing Becky, Gator’s ex, who gives him a clue to the cabin’s history. Did a murder happen there? Back at their house, Gator talks with his father about his mother, learning how much she resented Pete for trapping her into marriage with a child, and decides that Dad is right: he should take charge of his life. After that tough talk, Pete walks alone to the cabin where he sees Jessica, his wife, who accuses him of never having loved her and only ever caring about the kid. She promises Pete a painful future as a rusty old cleaver falls from its hook and embeds in the floorboard. Rico returns to the cabin to come to terms with his fears and doesn’t see or hear Jessica’s taunts as Pete pleads with the Manhunter to finally prove the house isn’t haunted. Gator arrives just in time to hear Rico falling through a hole in the stairwell while exploring the house. Asking Pete to call 911, he confronts his friend about their long rivalry and carries him back upstairs to safety. Leaving Rico out front to wait for an ambulance, he finds his father talking to no one upstairs. Gator hears Pete in an argument with what must be his mother, hears the older man resigning himself to death, but Gator confronts him, trying to convince him that it’s okay, that they can get help. Pete confesses to having accidentally killed his mother in this house all those years ago, but Gator is ready to forgive and rushes to prevent him falling out a window that opened itself.

When Gator crashes into Pete, the two of them fall out the window onto Gator’s truck, both injured but alive. Pete is arrested to stand trial and plead guilty for Jessica’s murder, and Gator is left on his own for the first time, the son of a murderer with no future and a lost past. Rico recovers and makes a video explaining how he now believes in ghosts and is driven from the internet by the backlash from his fans.

Fiasco in a Vegas Pizzeria

Sitting in a pizzeria tonight, we played Fiasco by Jason Morningstar using the Vegas playset from the Fiasco Companion. Our cast includes George Campari, a former mobster who long-ago retired by purchasing a gas station on the wrong side of the exit from the interstate into Vegas; George’s son Bill Campari who pulls small-time grifts off the strip at older casinos like the Paradise; and Alec Sanders, an attorney who resents having a soul but remains a good friend of George and his family.

Back cover of Fiasco stating "Fiasco, a game of powerful ambition and poor impulse control."
Image courtesy of Bully Pulpit Games.

Our story opens with Bill waltzing into Alec’s office dressed like a bum to see if there is anything he can do to get back at Jack, owner of the Paradise Casino, who’s had Bill blackballed from his and all the older casinos. Alec agrees to take the case and shake some cages by threatening a defamation case. Later, George comes to Alec in desperation because he found a very old Cadillac abandoned at the gas station with a body in the trunk. Is it related to his old days in mob or just bad luck? Alec goes back to the gas station with George to investigate and see the Caddy arrive with another car that leaves right afterward, providing the evidence they’ll need to prove George wasn’t there.

That night, Bill goes home to check on his old man, but George turns the conversation back to Bill’s job prospects and whether Bill will ever get himself straightened out. The next day George and Alec are being questioned at police headquarters, but the sergeant taking their statement reveals they have strong leads of mob involvement that puts George in the clear, for now. Afterward, Alec takes George with him to see Jack at the Palace about the situation with Bill. They confront Jack and Alec leans on him hard, never having forgiven him for switching his story in an important case. With enough threats, Jack agrees to bury the beef and let Bill back in the neighboring casinos as long as he doesn’t come around to the Paradise anymore.

In the final scenes, Bill is accosted by a pair of mobsters in the parking garage of the office building where he took a job to please his father. They break his nose and take him away to see the boss. George gets a call at dinner from the boss demanding that George bring one million dollars to him or else Bill will suffer an accident. George grabs his gun and spare ammunition, and heads out into the night. Later, George arrives at Alec’s home with Bill having busted into the storage facility and killed several men to free Bill, and just as Alec has decided this is going to far and he’s got to call the police, more mobsters come screeching to a stop in front of his house.

In the aftermath, we learn that when Alec opens the door to talk his way out of this mess, the mobsters open fire and he’s killed. George is taken away by the mobsters and pulled inexorably and forevermore into their orbit. Meanwhile, Bill finds himself back on his own in the gutter trying to eke a living as a small-timer with no guts.

Fiasco Camp Death

Rick, sister Emmie,
nurse Hildy and staffer Meg
at Camp Fiasco.

Silhouette of a man holding a bloody knife with the moon setting behind and reflected in a forest surrounded lake.
Camp Death cover art courtesy of Camp Death playset author James Gabrielsen

Act 1

Meg tells a story
about Suzy at mess hall
and PB sandwich.

Hildy meets Jenny,
Camp Director, for review.
Pot rendezvous set.

On trip into town
Hildy, Meg, Nicole get bounced
trying to enter bar.

Meg is lake lifeguard.
Emmie tells spooky findings.
How many swimmers?

Rick is an asshole
about Emmie’s spookiness
obsession—Sloane’s dead.

Hildy and Rick HIGH
on the ropes course. She slides down,
but he jumps, rope breaks, and falls.

Nurse Hildy sets
the broken shoulder but Meg
distracts with kisses.

Jim dies in montage
while Meg searches for her flask—
Blood stains the water.

Act 2

Hildy woos Meg with
bad fan fiction poetry.
Finds Jennifer dead.

Nicole plus Meg row,
Emmie joins looking for clues.
Nicole dragged under.

An outhouse stakeout!
Tommy is bait sent inside—
Slippery When Wet!

Rick confronts Meg
to protect Emmie somehow.
Let’s send her to town.

Hildy threatens lake
if it goes near Meg. Sheriff
dies in fire on dock.

Camp’s Billy goes with
to abandoned hist’ry shack—
Oija board spells “Boo!”

Em’s conclusion? Must
plug other-dimensional
portal with boulder.

Final scene? Rick thinks
it dumb to drop rock in lake.
We follow Em’s plan.


Paranoid man Jake,
Hildy’s survivalist friend,
is gruesome killer.

Meg haunted because
she failed to protect the kids
entrusted to her.

Hildy does hard time:
Manslaughter of Sheriff Joe
and Meg breaks her heart.

Emmie gets lots of
attention, not for wisdom,
but for ghostly obsession.

Rick falls into lake
with Tommy in avalanche—
Imprisoned for death.

Shot Into the Void

We return to Fiasco by Jason Morningstar this week, this time stepping Into the Void playset by the GremlinLegions. Tonight our cast includes Becca, hereditary CEO of the Vesta Clan Mining Corporation, and her arch-rival King Oswald Octavius VIII, the elected monarch of the “These Eight Arms of Mine” mining operation, who are contesting control of a young black hole that has recently taken up residence near their disputed asteroid mining fields. A close ally of Oswald are the Cephalows, who keep the sacred texts of Mars, in particular their Martian seer Olo of the Pi tribe and her puppet Octopus, Gornthrob the Destroyer, from whom she receives her visions. Olo is married to Commander Adina Peet of the Martian Interplanetary Navy and chief military officer of the Olympus Mons Space Elevator Fleet. Adina secretly desires Gornthrob and hopes to steal its heart away from the Martian. Adina’s Executive Officer is Robin Spears, who has known little but the regimental life of military school and the Martian navy, but she has forgotten she once was of the royal house of Ganymede before she and her twin sister Judith were kidnapped and raised as commoners by republican rebels determined to end their family’s rule. Judith, meanwhile, was raised on the opposite end of Mars, recently graduated from an Assassin’s apprenticeship, and has now been hired by Oswald to eliminate Becca, a job to earn enough to purchase a clone of herself on which to satisfy her lusts.

Into the Void cover showing an unknown planet, a satellite in orbit, and a body falling through space.
Image courtesy of the GremlinLegions.

Our story begins with Oswald bringing Judith to a meeting with Becca aboard a platform near the young black hole being mediated by Commander Adina Peet. Becca argues that the black hole is distorting the asteroid distribution across the line of demarcation, while Oswald insists that the young black hole prefers his claim, but the Commander cites the Orion treaty, which limits the legal weight of black holes who haven’t demonstrated clear evidence of sapience. The meeting concludes when Judith is arrested after failing to stab Becca. In the station’s brig, Robin and Judith discover their uncanny similarity and likely sisterhood, and Judith reveals she has a hereditary disease that will kill her before she turns 30. Back at their home, Adina shows great solicitousness towards Gornthrob despite the bleakness of the visions that it gives Olo, who continues to insist that her work is more important than such mundane concerns like employment and rent. After the failure of mediation, Becca determines to take more aggressive action and loads her ship with sanctioned laser weapons in order to rearrange the asteroid field more to her liking, but her ship is impounded and she and her crew detained by the Commander when they dock at the Olympus Mons station. Meanwhile, Olo and Oswald meet to discuss finding the fabled last copy of the holy book, Paradise Lost, which they believe to be on an asteroid drawn here by the young black hole. Oswald gives Olo a live octopus named Charles to pair with Gornthrob in seeking the books exact location.

After the tilt, Becca easily hires away Judith from “These Eight Arms of Mine” with the bribe money refused by the Commander, and they orchestrate a jail break. During the escape, Judith searches the naval archives to discover the truth about herself and Robin, who catches up to her in the archives. After trying to convert Robin to her cause of retaking Ganymede, Judith slips away to the clone emporium while Robin argues the minutiae of regulations with Commander Adina. Afterward, Adina sneaks in during Olo’s ceremonial vision trance to find the lost book, and romances Gornthrob away from her with Charles serving as a distraction. After much soul-searching, Robin commandeers Becca’s ship and intercepts and joins Judith on her Quixotic quest to Ganymede. Becca, hidden away on the ship, agrees that the Vesta clan will join their coup once the twins plus clone convince Becca of the profit to be made from exploiting a newly monarchical Ganymede. Olo learns that only Paradise Lost can save them from the apocalypse in her visions and finds the Dear John letter left her by Gornthrob. Oswald appears with news that the he believes Gornthrob to be the Great Deceiver told of in stories about the book and whisks them all off to Ganymede. When they intercept the Vesta fleet preparing to invade the planet, Oswald threatens to destroy the planet in order to reclaim Paradise Lost from its core, but Judith explains that the royal family’s disease also gives them the ability to slip through the crust of Ganymede straight to the core, and Robin agrees to be shot out of a particle cannon at the planet to retrieve the treasure. A stupid plan, executed to perfection.

In the epilogue, we see Robin Spears shoot straight through the crust of Ganymede, pass the core, and fly out the other side, never to be seen again, lost in the vast emptiness beyond. Betraying the plan, Oswald Octavius VIII fires his missiles in Robin’s wake and the shockwave destroys his ship and leaves him stranded drifting in space until the Martian Interplanetary Navy picks up and incarcerates him for attempted genocide. The turmoil instigates war between Earth and Mars, which leads to the destruction of the Olympus Mons Space Elevator and Station, and Gornthrob leads the disgraced Commander Adina to the young black hole and sacrifices her to the underdeveloped anomaly. Gornthrob then returns to Olo, Martian of the Pi tribe, and leads her off to another system for a repeat performance. During the explosion, Becca, CEO of the Vesta Clan Mining Corporation, cloaks and shields her ship and slips away unscathed. In the aftermath, she takes over mining territory formerly held by “These Eight Arms of Mine” and, unknowingly, carries the final copy of Paradise Lost away in the asteroid slurry in one of her ships. Judith, oh but Judith, escaping with the Vesta fleet, lives on and learns that the disease she thought certain to kill her may not, only to be murdered by her clone when she decides there can only be one true Judith.

Regina’s Fiancé’s Wedding Fiasco

We broke out Fiasco by Jason Morningstar tonight and stepped into the wondrous world of Regina’s Wedding to see how, or if, the bride finally takes her vows. Our cast includes Stephanie, an anarchist 90s riot grrrl turned petty criminal who dumped her then-boyfriend Ted when she felt he wasn’t committed enough to the cause but is now working with Brian Dobbs, a tech bro with massive hacking skillz. Brian is helping her steal the files for printing hundreds from the Philly mint while secretly trying to win back his high school sweetheart, Regina. Regina dreams of becoming a tap-dancing star and hopes her Daddy or Daddy’s money can get her onto Margaret Wakefield’s variety program to showcase her talent. In the meantime, she is about to marry George-Alan not knowing that he dresses in drag to host the very show she admires so much. Margaret Wakefield’s biggest fan is George-Alan’s friend, Grills, whose dedicated his life and built a quasi-religious following around Margaret Wakefield and her show. He also harbors a very intense resentment of the biological father he didn’t until recently know, the officiant and Catholic priest, Father Ted. Ted once played in Stephanie’s punk band but when God punished him for cheating on her by sending her away, he decided he had to go straight and joined the priesthood to bring others back into the fold.

Back cover of Fiasco stating "Fiasco, a game of powerful ambition and poor impulse control."
Image courtesy of Bully Pulpit Games.

Our story starts with Father Ted meeting with George-Alan and Regina to discuss the ladies shoes that she has found in his closet. Father Ted is convinced by the size of the shoes that George-Alan has purchased them for when Regina becomes pregnant and her feet swell, a certain sign of his immense love for her. Earlier in the week, Regina and George-Alan meet Brian and Stephanie at the Four Seasons and Regina reveals her great love of horses but can’t fit the other couple into the wedding plans. On the morning of the wedding, Grills meets Regina in the hotel coffee shop and they discuss their mutual love of Margaret Wakefield. He points out how few friends she seems to have besides her beloved horses. Afterward, Grills walks into the business center where he interrupts Stephanie and Brian using the hotel computer to complete their virtual heist. To keep him occupied and save the caper, Stephanie accompanies Grills to his room to fix the cable, but they run into Father Ted in the elevator. He is amazed to see Stephanie after so many years but even more discombobulated by Grills’ animosity. She plays the two off each other then fixes the cable, which just needed to be plugged back into the wall. Father Ted recalls how earlier he had discovered the happy couple trying to drink the sacramental wine to retrieve George-Alan’s cufflinks. Their ignorance of basic Christian and Catholic tenets so appalled the circumspect priest that he was hardly prepared for the emotional scene in Grills’ room.

After the turn introduces “secrets are revealed” and the “truth will out”, Regina runs into Brian after he’s finished in the business center and the two decide to go horseback riding together that morning. Afterward, Grills convinces Brian that he shouldn’t miss the opportunity during the ceremony to speak his piece and declare his undying love for Regina, which has persisted since they had pledged to stay virgins together until marriage back in 10th grade. Before the ceremony, George-Alan goes to confess to Father Ted that the enormous shoes they’d found earlier weren’t for Regina’s pregnancy but were his own, from when he performs as Margaret Wakefield. Ted asks for a number of prayers and extracts a promise from George-Alan to tell Regina the truth as his acts of contrition. During the ceremony, Father Ted has lost his grip on sobriety, having started drinking after his morning encounter with Grills and Stephanie. First Brian interrupts to declare his love for Regina, but before anyone can react, Father Ted confesses his to being Grills’ father, highlighting his compound failure as a father, an anarchist, and as a man of the cloth. Then George-Alan finally reveals to Regina his dual-life as Margaret Wakefield, and the ceremony is never completed, despite Brian’s call for dual weddings between himself and Regina, and Grills and Margaret. After the ceremony, the police arrive with lots of information from the hotel’s computer and security systems, and although Stephanie hides the thumbdrive with the stolen goods inside the wedding cake before sneaking away, Brian is arrested and Regina gives the police a piece of cake to take with them, the very piece with the hidden evidence.

In the Epilogue, we learn each of their fates. Grills is eventually arrested for fraud around the cult that he forms to honor Margaret Wakefield. Given how impossible it is to be defrocked in the Catholic Church, Father Ted remains a priest but becomes the poster boy for the unit at his seminary on “What not to do when tending your flock.” Although Stephanie initially gets away, she is eventually arrested when visiting Brian’s trial and joins him in prison. Brian’s term ends up much longer than hers when it’s proven he’s guilty of numerous other, unrelated cyber-crimes. Regina refuses to answer his calls from prison, but having rejected him after the wedding fell apart, she decides that she’ll have to go crawling back to George-Alan to advance her dreams of tap-dancing. Margaret Wakefield has such a large following the she can begin again with a whole new life and a whole new show.

Fiasco at the Museum

It was supposed to be a run of the mill field trip to the museum for Mr. Chess’s 7th grade class. Windy Charles, Jesse’s mother, had agreed to join the class as a chaperone and all arrangements had been done with the museum’s facilitator Derek. To the surprise of everyone, one of Mr Chess’s students, Etheldred (a 16 yr old time travelling woman from medieval times) happened to be online BFFs with Windy due to their constant conversations on the CatHolic forum.

Upon arriving at the museum, things were looking bright as there was a new Pompei exhibit…but at the edge of the exhibit there was a mysterious secluded room containing a shrine to a Teddy Bear. Derek had warned the adults that this room was out of bounds as it was under investigation. Windy and Mr. Chess kept on disregarding this warning though; Mr. Chess was fascinated by all the historic artifacts it contained, while Windy was looking for a secluded place to seduce Mr. Chess. In the middle of the room, a Teddy Bear was carefully placed, surrounded by 5 candles.

The field trip included an overnight stay at the museum. Mr. Chess woke up in the middle of the night, finding the Teddy Bear next to him. And as he lifted it up, he got covered in blood, which scared him greatly. He returned the Teddy Bear to the shrine and noticed that a candle had been put out.

Meanwhile, Ethelred was approached by the time police as they were looking for a time traveling criminal from Bearsalot that had escaped.

Later that morning, Derek was looking for his keys in the shrine room. And while looking for them, the Teddy Bear came to life and revealed itself to be Ted DeBoer, a time traveling being that was seeking a new host to possess. Luckily for Ted, Derek was right there.

Afterwards, Mr. Chess and Windy continued showing the museum to the kids, paying particularly close attention to the 12th century French literature section. There they were chased by Ted/Derek who attempted to slaughter everyone with a dull knife. Mr. Chess was holding the door closed as Ted/Derek pushed to get into it. Etheldred was touched by this act of selflessness of her teacher and used her ukelele to set back time, saving everyone from the possessed Derek.

Derek went back to the day before, just before the school buses show up. Maybe he will be able to keep the shrine secured this time?

Mr. Chess actually goes into the future, where word got out of how miserable the field trip was. He is shamed by the PTA and the school principal, forcing him to quit.

Etheldred went back to medieval times, where she was considered a witch.

Windy Charles went into the future as well. Her ex learned of the danger their son had been exposed to, so Windy ended up losing custody and alimony. She was rejected by Mr. Chess, and to make life even worse, her online BFF never logged back on.