I crashed the initial setup and asked if I could sit in as Audience on a game. I didn't know beforehand how much fun it is to just play Audience in Shock; I just really wanted to see a game of Shock in the wild since it was one of my first indie games bought.
The group split into the two games. The game I played Audience in was set on Jupiter's ice moon Europa, a prison colony of Earth. The Issues were displaced persons, water rights, and reproductive rights. The shock was contact with genetically-compatible aliens.
For protagonists we had:
- Momma Sarah, a Europan settler who was the worst of welfare-mom stereotypes and whose aim was to become the brood mother of the human/Europan-blob-alien hybrid species
- A communications technician living in a frigid shack on the surface of the Europa who'd gone off the deep end since the communication with Earth broke down, and whose story goal was to end the inferior genetic lines of unhybridised humans and Europans
- Ephraim Cog, a bigoted frontiersman type who owned the largest protein farm at the water/ice interface below the miles-thick Europan ice, whose goal was to drive the Europans from the interface
As Audience I was less embedded in the stories, but had a great time. I'll leave it to others to give a detailed summary of their protagonists' story arcs. The highlights were:
- a massive explosion on the protein farm when a mistargetted torpedo lit acres of oil-digesting bacteria
- a sterilisation serum used on Momma Sarah while she was pregnant, which mutated into a virus lethal to humans
- the enforced* reproduction of the protein farmer by the Pansexual Polyamorous Anarchists, and the beautiful squiddy-headed kids he came to love
- contact with a military force from Earth that quickly succumbed to the virus, only to have a single automated lander take off from Europa for Earth with its diseased pilot
- the protein farmer bringing war to the Europans to protect the hybrids and his children
- the protein farmer learning that his love of his children was only induced by pheromones, and the genocide that ensued
- the virus and a tiny Europan blob getting back to Earth, wiping out humanity and seeding the blue planet with the beginnings of a new, oceanic civilisation