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My Ideal Intro for Ice Station Zebra 24

You know how I mentioned in the last post that I reckon it'd be a good idea, if / when I next GM "Ice Station Zebra 24", to start in media res? And how I wanted to do a Federal Network style opening tothe game for the session I did on Saturday?

Well, here's the sort of thing I had in mind. To have it work really well, I'd probably need a laptop with PowerPoint connected to a big screen, but I can see myself doing it with a stereo loaded with the Starship Troopers movie soundtrack, dextrous use of the volume control, and colour printouts as storyboard-style flash-cards.

Eh-em:

BLACKOUT. AUDIO FADE IN on the drum opening of the FedNet March.

HORN FANFARE! IMAGE: "FEDERAL NETWORK"

CUT TO:
EXT: PARADE GROUND. Regiment of power-suited MOBILE INFANTRY in parade formation.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.): (Cue GM's hammy voice over quieter march) All around the world, young people are joining up to fight for the future!

RAPID ZOOM on a TROOPER.

(GM makes picture-frame hands at each player in turn, hoping like heck they have seen the film and get the idea.)

TROOPER 1: (Player 1) I'm doing my part!

FLASH-PAN to TROOPER 2.

TROOPER 2: (Player 2) I'm doing my part!

FLASH-PAN to TROOPER 3.

TROOPER 3: (Player 3) I'm doing my part!

FLASH-PAN to TROOPER 4.

TROOPER 4: (Player 4) I'm doing my part!

CUT TO:
IMAGE: SICON LOGO

ANNOUNCER (O.S.): Join SICON - the Strategically Integrated Coalition Of Nations - and save the galaxy. Would you like to know more?

CUT TO: SPLIT SCREEN: EXT: Action shots of MI TROOPERS. Superimposed: THE MOBILE INFANTRY: TOMORROW'S ARMY TODAY!

CUT TO:
EXT: EXERCISE YARD. MI SERGEANT in DRILL FATIGUES stands in foreground.

SERGEANT: (GM doing best R. Lee Ermey impersonation) When the vids tell you the Mobile Infantry is the best-trained, best-equipped fightin' force in the history of Mankind, they ain't kiddin'.

CUT TO:
EXT: MI TRAINEES in tees and shorts tackling an ASSAULT COURSE in a BLIZZARD, being "encouraged" by similarly-dressed DRILL INSTRUCTORS who look at home in the weather.

SERGEANT (O.S.): When you're assigned to Infantry Training, you're in for your own personal six-month slice o' hell. But if you stick through, you'll be ready for anything!

CUT TO:
INT: BARRACKS. Tight close up on Sergeant's face.

SERGEANT: And then...

CUT TO:
INT: QUICK DRAMATIC CUTS of a TROOPER donning a POWER SUIT.

CUT BACK to tight close up on Sergeant's face. ZOOM OUT to wide shot of Sergeant in POWER SUIT.

SERGEANT: You get to wear one of these! The M-1A4 Power Suit: every trooper's best friend! You'll be stronger...

CUT TO:
EXT: Trooper lifting a METAL STORAGE CRATE.

CUT TO:
EXT: Trooper being SHOT by ANOTHER TROOPER wielding a pistol, throwing sparks from the first trooper's armour.

SERGEANT (O.S.): Tougher...

CUT TO:
EXT: Trooper firing a burst with a MORITA RIFLE. SNAP ZOOM on a distant target silhouette with a very tight group of bullet holes in the centre of its head.

SERGEANT (O.S.): Able to shoot straighter...

CUT TO:
EXT: Trooper crouching, then JUMPING, flung up into the air by the power suit's JUMP JETS.

SERGEANT (O.S.): And jump higher!

CUT TO:
INT: BARRACKS.

SERGEANT: And you'd better be ready: SICON needs you!

SNAP ZOOM on Sergeant's face.

SERGEANT: On the bounce, soldier!

A MOUSE POINTER zips across the screen, selecting "FEDERAL SERVICE", then "OTHER OPTIONS" from a MENU BAR that APPEARS at the top.

CUT TO:
EXT: STARFIELD. Superimposed: THE EXPLORATORY SERVICE: CHARTING THE FEDERATION'S FRONTIER

ANNOUNCER (O.S.): No matter what branch of Federal Service our volunteers are assigned, they will always face challenge, danger, and opportunity.

CUT TO:
EXT: CRATER MOON, NIGHT. A large ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE rumbles across a night sky dominated by a green PLANET.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.): The Exploratory Service is dedicated to explanding the wealth of knowledge and resources at the Federation's disposal.

CUT TO:
EXT: CRATER MOON, NIGHT. The ATV is stopped, and a rear-mounted CORE DRILL is drilling a sample as two spacesuited SCIENTISTS observe.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.): It's hard work.

CUT TO:
EXT: TROPICAL PLANET, DAY. A team of EXPLORERS hack their way through DENSE JUNGLE.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.): Tough work.

CUT TO:
EXT: DESERT PLANET, MIDDAY. Another team of EXPLORERS stand in the middle of a dune field and take instrument readings under the glare of three suns.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.): Dangerous work.

CUT TO:
EXT: ARCTIC PLANET K-1138, DAY. A rock-climbing ARCTIC SCIENTIST goes sliding out of control down the face of a CLIFF, to be grabbed by ANOTHER SCIENTIST who remains secured to the cliff face by pitons and rope.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.): But together with the best minds in the Federation...

CUT TO:
EXT: ARCTIC PLANET K-1138, DAY. An ARCTIC ATV drives through ROUGH WEATHER toward a squat, rugged OUTPOST. Stenciled on the side of the outpost is the SICON LOGO, and below it, "EXPLORATORY SERVICE - ZEBRA 24".

ANNOUNCER (O.S.): You'll earn your citizenship...

CUT TO:
INT: ZEBRA 24 MAIN LAB, DAY. A wide shot of the active lab as our two Arctic Scientists enter from a set of automatic sliding DOORS at the far end, which SLIDE CLOSED behind them. They're all smiles as the one who slid down the cliff puts a BATTERED ICE HANDAXE down on a table.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.): And make friendships that will last a lifetime!

ZOOM AND TIGHTEN on the handaxe. As the Scientists move out of frame, we fast-forward through several days' worth of time in a handful of seconds: the illumination from the internal lights FADES, replaced with dim red EMERGENCY LIGHTING, and the handaxe rapidly GROWS A LAYER OF FROST. Something has definitely gone wrong.

TRACK from the axe across to the DOORS the scientists entered through. They SHUDDER, then slowly SPLIT OPEN. We see in the corridor behind, silhouetted by the emergency lights, THREE YOUNG MI TROOPERS, WEAPONS AT READY.

Now, assuming you're about to play one of those troopers, do you reckon that'd get you up to speed (say, if you'd only seen the movie, or not even that)? How do you reckon you'd put it together for viewing?

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