Since this was the players' first experience playing the game, I gave them a quick basic introduction to the game mechanics, but told them they'd have to learn the combat system "the old-fashioned way". They were so ready, that we got right into the game.
Naima Saab (KathyB) - Trailblazer (Scout)
Zouma Abid-Arif (Ellie) - Stowaway
Tafik Shouaraz (Mark) - Scientist (Archaeologist)
The "scenario" started somewhat in media res, the player characters (including Zouma) being aboard their shuttle heading for the surface of Mumtaz IV (Schadi), a world with an interesting set of what might be alien ruins on the edge of (Third) Horizon space. The players began with Naima and Tafik discovering the stowaway, Zouma, aboard the shuttle. The young girl tried to sweettalk the two others, but Naima is no pushover, and though she felt sorry for the girl, she wasn't about to let it interfere with their current job. Tafik pointed out that they couldn't just head back to the Ruby Flower and leave her alone and unattended on their ship, so Naima reluctantly told her that she'd be "accompanying" them down to the surface.
Once on the surface of Schadi, the three characters were impressed with the alien-ness of the world, highlighted by the orange-gold light of the star it orbits, the monolithic ruins stretching out to what appeared nearby mountains. The crispness of the air didn't bother them, but it was a bit thin. Naima handed out the filter masks ("the sensors showed contaminants," she says), as well as small oxygen cylinders, warning them that they had a limited time on the surface before they had to get back to the shuttle.
Tafik led them out of the shuttle, and consulting the holomap he had of the planetary survey, led them off in a seeming random direction. As they approached one of the seeming basalt monoliths, towering some 20 metres into the air, Naima noticed what appeared to be ruined structures around it. Tafik confirmed that these ruins were their destination. Zouma pointed out what appeared to be small, rodent-like creatures, but Naima warned her that they were quite toxic to human life. They moved cautiously into the ruins, though Naima thought she saw something moving in the ruins, but brushed it off as tricks of the (sun)light.
As they entered a dark, somewhat dusty ruin, it was Naima who caught the glint of orange light, and with a shout of "Down!" threw herself towards the nearest cover, as the sound of a slug weapon echoed in the quiet. Tafik cursed, shouting that he just knew that Rostami had beat him here. A voice called out, telling Tafik that if he and his friends left the ruins, they'd be permitted to leave; he wasn't going to allow Tafik to make the discoveries that were to be found here. At her question, Tafik told Naima that Rostami is his rival, a fellow archaeologist of dubious skills and quite devious means, who'd been dogging him ever since a discovery in the jungles of Kua on his part had robbed Rostami of fame. Asking him whether he knows where the item that he's seeking in the ruins is, Naima said she'd cover him. Then they noticed that Zouma was gone.
A burst of gunfire aimed at another part of the ruined chamber told them where the stowaway had gotten to, and Tafik couldn't help but grin. Naima cautiously made her way to where she thought Zouma was, leaving Tafik on his own. Getting to where Zouma was, she saw the girl had been hit by the gunfire, and was bleeding somewhat. Seeing Naima, the young girl pointed at what appeared to be a pile of rubble. "Under there," she breathed, and Naima caught sight of what the young girl had found - what appeared to be a pendant of some sort, partially buried in the rubble, a gold gleam the only sign of what the rubble held so tightly. "Thank you for finding it for me," said an echoing voice, and the two turned to stare at a figure in an exo suit, pointing a large rifle at them...
A quick, short session of the Coriolis - The Third Horizon RPG that ended on something of a cliffhanger, and which left Ellie screaming, "Noooooooo!!!!" Lots of fun, a bit of something for everyone, and I have to say that it was kind of neat to get to run this game, even without the rulebook proper.
One of the things running this one-shot (sort of) of the game brought home to me was how simple the mechanics are, how easy combat works (despite what I thought might be a bit complicated of a system, I should have known better), and how great the Darkness Points mechanics are! hehe All three players agreed that we have to play this again, and they'd be content keeping these characters as their campaign characters, depending on what DavidM and Angela have to say on the matter.
Overall, a fun session of the game, and I'm really looking forward to running this game in campaign. The Darkness has obviously claimed me. ;)