I did a fair bit of planning for this session, if only to come up with a satisfying situation to throw at the players. My idea was to draw inspiration from The Tempest by way of The Forbidden Planet (natch) and combine it with the the iconic pinup of the Dr. Grordbort books.
It all started with a wedding.
I encouraged the players to create characters who were guests (invited or otherwise) or hired help at a celebrity wedding between Baron Brannigan Blunt (of Blunt n' Lee Exploitable Commodities) and the mysterious Moon Mistress.The Moon Mistress was a relatively new phenomena among the Empire's social elite, having arrived from her hidden lunar paradise to cries of "We hate the Moon but we love you!"
The player characters were:
Rocky Johnson: Cub Reporter (4), Amateur Detective (3), Crack Shootist (2), Chivalrous Gentleman (1).
PP-69: Tin Can Robot With Heat Ray Eyes (4), Master Tactician (3), and 3 undefined cliches that never were assigned (I made use of just-in-time character creation to great success).
Biff Poww: Good Looking Guy Who Always Looks Good (4), Spaceship Captain (3), Shootist (2), Stupidly Successful Pickup Artist (1).
Tosca Kys: Professional Femme Fatale (4), Glamorous Socialite (3), "Yes, I Can Do That In Heels" (3).
Professor Alexander Sloan: Man of Science! (4), Consulting Detective (3), Planetary Explorer (2), Antiquities Dealer (1).
Wilhelmina "Willie" Wilder: Ace Pilot (4), Acid Tongie (3), Greese Monkey (2), Undefined Cliche (1).
Among the player characters, only Professor Sloan and the glamorous Mis Kys were invited guests. Captain Poww was almost certainly not on the guest list but it didn't seem to matter and young Mr. Johnson was covering the event for some sleazy gossip rag. Miss Wilder was hired to drive the bride and groom away from the wedding reception at the Chateau du Snoots (in the Venusian highlands), as she was having a hard time earning a real position as a rocket ship pilot due to her unfortunate gender issue (i.e. being female). PP-69 was a veritable genius among the mechanical marvels commandeered to serve drinks to the who's who of Venusian colonial society.
Image captured from Dr. Grordbort's Infallible Aether Oscillators Promotional Video
Cutting to the heart of the matter, the wedding reception was interrupted by an assault of Moon Soldiers, who seriously wounded the groom and absconded with the bride in a rocket car. Men and women (and appliances) of action, the player characters leapt into the fray and mowed down Moon Soldiers, picked up the dying Baron Blunt, and initiated a cross-country chase through stifling, fog-shrouded jungles to a secret Moon Soldier base. Arriving too late to rescue the Moon Mistress, they commandeered one of three remaining rockets and gave chase towards the direction of the Earth-Moon system (at astounding speeds that would get them there in just three days).
Their plan was to "fly casual" and attempt a stealthily boarding action but the two remaining rockets gave them away and the party was forced to daringly eject themselves from their own disabled vessel toward one of their pursuers. That was actually the second of three rockets that were stolen by Ace Pilot Willie Wilder over the course of the session.
Through cunning and strategic use of Science!, the Moon Soldiers were evicted from their craft without alerting the remaining rockets. The party then completed the trip to the Moon while discussing their options.
Arriving at a secret Moon base, the party hastened down the gangway disguised as Moon Soldiers, hoping to rescue the Moon Mistress as she was ferried into the Moon Soldier facility. But when she emerged, unharmed and undistressed from the rocket in full command of her Moon Soldier minions, the party knew they had been had. The Moon Mistress was really after the majority stake in Blunt n' Lee, who were coming dangerously close to her own supplies of Phlogistonium ore. Having been raised in a "Lunar Paradise" by her mad scientist father, Duke Torgano, she naturally was predisposed to assume the worst about Terran imperialists.
Anyway, Captain Poww jumped the gun and tried to affect a "rescue" while the party was surrounded by regular Moon Soldiers. A vicious battle ensued, with PP-69 obliterating scores with his heat ray, Professor Sloan employed his Goliathon-88 to disintegrate with great deliberation, and Rocky and Tosca did their best to survive the scrum. Willie had climbed into one of the undamaged rockets and used a turret to fire into the crowd, "accidentally" atomizing Captain Poww. Partially disfigured in the blast, the Moon Mistress slipped away down an exhaust shaft while the entire party escaped via the rocket that Willie had commandeered. The entire party, that is, except Professor Sloan, who followed the wounded Moon Mistress to swear allegiance to her cause, and the cause of her deceased father (who, as it turns out, was the professor's scientific mentor in his youth).