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Need some help on a Sci-Fi adventure (D20 Modern)

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  • Need some help on a Sci-Fi adventure (D20 Modern)

    KK, so really wanting some help and from a place my players aren't a part of

    The game is gonna be D20 Modern, so the D&D 3.X engine more or less. Mostly on Mars.

    The story from 40,000 feet:

    The year is 2632, the players will have jobs waiting for them on Mars. Earth is run down, people living in bio-domes, so getting to live on Mars is a new opportunity for prosperity. To get there, you have to have a job waiting.

    This flavor info should explain it better: To get a visa to go to Mars generally requires a job, and/or other accommodations waiting for them, including, but not limited to family, school, military posting, mail-order-bride/groom/other, homestead, business venture, or prison. If someone ever loses their means or ability to maintain their accommodations, they can petition for transport back to Earth as the trip back can cost less resources in the long run. Returning to Mars after such a petition may require that the trip back to Earth first be paid off, and well as evidence of a certain threshold of assurance of your new accommodations.

    ^Isn't meant to affect the players in anyway, but just to give background flavor

    Getting there from Earth is session zero. As they get there, the jobs waiting for them are gone and they're put together on some make work jobs guarding a pop star who's come to Mars to throw a concert and shoot some videos.

    Also going on is a group being called a bunch of terrorists, 'Mars First'. These are the 'antagonists' and things are going to otherwise look like Blade Runner/Bubblegum Crisis as they fight 'hyper-capable' bad guys.

    More flavor info:

    (Pretty much all high impact sports are no longer played "in the flesh" anymore, including non player to player impact/high body stress sports.

    For over 400 years now, they are played by the athlete 'jacking-in' to a Sport-Frame. The two types of Frames are Reflex, in which the more physically capable the athlete is, the better the Sport-Frame will perform, and the Neuro-Frame, in which mental acuity is the key to getting the greatest amount of performance out of the Sport-Frame.

    Neuro-Frame athletes are also sometimes called 'Gamers', a term over 600 years old now when manually operated video games got their start)

    So this is to look 'innocent' enough, but then is used for combat, even military grade ones can show up, so the players will face foes, and should guess they are Mars First, but why? (It's to distract them from the pop star while she's being debriefed by a Mar's First agent.) But will also know little about them at first, so now they have the mystery of who they are facing to look into. And what are they really up to.

    Behind the curtain:

    The Pop star is actually part of the Mars First group, and the 'Mars First' group are not really terrorists in any traditional sense. They're genetically converting people to be 'Martians'. What they become are not technically Martians on two levels. Mars here is just an outpost of a larger ancient civilization. And the converted will start hiding their eyes as they go solid black. Just a small physical change, but now mentally part of the new race. So this could be the end of the human race as we know it. Not necessarily a bad thing for the species, but who wants to join the 'Borg' so to speak? We'd still be a thriving civilization, but giving up who we are and our culture as we know it goes against our sense of humanity and individuality.

    The 'Mars First guys' are trying to establish their race in this Solar System. Pros and Cons to joining the galactic community in this way, but that's a dilemma for the players to wrestle with. So these guys are expanding their community and will include races they find.


    So the question(s) I have, and I do have the beginning events laid out, but what kind of stealthy acts can the Mars First guys do? Like the beginning of any horror movie, weird things are gonna get noticed and investigated, but no clear cause motive should tie things together for awhile
    The stealthy stuff should be key for awhile, lots of stuff to puzzle over before the bigger picture begins to emerge. Kind of like Benedict Cumberbatch/Sherlock Holmes first putting some plot together. The concept here is they are steering things so events unfold to convert everyone, but in unnoticeable ways so that by the time things do get notices, it's too late, not that I want the players to fail, but that's THEIR goal anyway.
    Stage two and three which may be in either order, or even at the same time is finding a way to reverse or immunize against the change, and stopping Mars First from succeeding at converting the human race to their race.
    After all that plays out, we could continue the campaign as they go in search of the ancient civilization and see if they want to make more proper contact, or make sure this won't happen again.

    So I got more developed, but don't want to make this too long to start off, but will certainly answer any questions and provide more info as needed.

    Other thoughts: I'm aiming a bit for old school hard sci-fi, I mean, that's in my thoughts, but I'm not worried if that doesn't come across, just that that is where I'm drawing this story from