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SLA Industries: An Introduction

Copyright Tim Dedopulos 2000

OVERVIEW

The capital of the World of Progress - that part of the universe owned and run by SLA Industries (and that's "Slay", not "ess-ell-ay") - is Mort City on the planet Mort, a roughly circular sprawl some two thousand kilometres in diameter. The planet is similarly vast; the city is all but lost in the concrete expanses of the factory wastelands, blasted test areas and warped production zones that pave the globe. It is also totally dead. Pollution and development killed all natural life long ago. The same pollution also destroyed the atmospheric system. The planet is always wrapped in thick, black clouds. The rain never stops. Never. Mort is the black jewel in the tarnished crown known as the World of Progress. A city where serial killing and prime-time carnage are the best career options. The heart of SLA Industries.

Mr. Slayer's office building dominates SLA corporate HQ, set in the gleaming splendour of the district known as Central. Only SLA's corporate employees and Operatives can be found here. Elsewhere, violent criminal gangs, mass-murderers and nervous civilians scuttle through the filthy, labyrinthine streets of Downtown and the revolting spaces beneath. Outside the city walls lurk the hellish Cannibal Sectors, terrifying areas of devastation packed with deadly inhabitants.

For you, the Operative, it's just like the adverts. You're a hero, a media darling, saving the world and climbing the ladder to the top. Doing well in the World of Progress means following Mr. Slayer's Big Picture and oh, what a picture it is! Life is so "pleasant" for the bulk of the population that SLA have employed you as part of their special troubleshooting forces. There are millions of you for Mort City alone, elite agents trusted to make sure that everything runs smoothly, and the Company doesn't get... embarrassed.

The capital of SLA Industries is resplendent in its decaying glory, a planet where a frantic struggle to survive is the only way of life. Life is cheap here; knowledge may cost you more than you can possibly imagine.

PLAYING THE GAME

SLA Industries is designed to support many different styles of play. As an Operative, a lot of options are open to you:

Horror. Although you're skilled and well-equipped, you'll be isolated and often outclassed on and below the streets. Monsters, maniacs and monitors can all take down an entire squad without blinking, and evil has a master-plan... Unexplained supernatural menaces, hideous abominations, unseen stalkers and horribly tortured civilians will test your nerves to breaking point.

Action. Sometimes, your enemies will actually present a clear target. You might find your squad running sweep-n-clean in a hostage situation, in a frantic sewers battle with a pack of carriens, shooting it out with DarkNight, or going hand-to-hand with a serial killer. Either way, it'll be fast and deadly.

Revelation. SLA Industries is not particularly benevolent, and many of the things you're instructed to do will feed your taste for power, but sap your soul - evicting the elderly out onto the streets so a housing block can become a casino, for example. In time, you may come to doubt. The Truth hidden by SLA Industries could bring the company down forever - but at what bitter cost? Where will you go to learn about White Earth?

Contract Killer. Constantly on camera, with lives made up of enemies, cool equipment, gorgeous clothes and little green Hunter Sheets, Killers are the superheroes of SLA Industries that every kid wants to grow up to become. Your Killer won't be doing BPNs like those other saps - you'll be finding and taking out subversives, fighting other Killers to the death for the cameras, and making sure your sponsors get good airtime. Once you become known, you'll find yourself immersed in a lethal world of fame and glamour, where the booze and drugs are yours for the taking, and there's eager babes and hunks round every corner desperate to screw you, kill you, or both. If you survive your first week, that is.

Street-level. If you fancy a real challenge, why not play as a civilian gang-member? You only get half the character creation points, cash in unis, no advantages/disadvantages, and you have to be human, but it can be fun going up against the Shivers, running scams and deals, defending your turf from other gangers, and generally being one of the bad boys.

Cognate. For a truly dark playing experience, the group can take the role of a cognate of serial killers (generated more or less as usual). As one of the monsters, you'll have a chance to explore your own dark side. Outwitting the Ops, stalking prey, and just surviving on the streets is a real challenge.

Influence. The political world can be just as deadly as the streets. Competition within SLA's ranks, between departments, rival sub-companies and even colleagues is fierce, and you'll be the target of endless intrigue, as your fellows do everything they can to bring you down, while defending themselves from your manoeuvres. Mr. Slayer applauds the use of all sorts of political techniques to get ahead - including murder - just so long as you don't get caught.

RULES SUMMARY

Very briefly, roll 2D10, add your skill, and subtract the difficulty. If the total is over 10, you've made it. There, that's not so bad now, is it?

MORE INFORMATION

For more information on SLA Industries and Nightfall Games, please visit http://www.nightfall.co.uk

Editor's Note

Please post your comments on this article on the Other Worlds Discussion Board.

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