Infocom Stationfall Science Fiction Game

by Steve Meretsky

Planetfall Cover Plot

Following the events on Resida in Planetfall, the player's character received a promotion from lowly Ensign Seventh Class to Lieutenant First Class. The life of an officer in the Stellar Patrol is no better than that of a humble enlistee, however. Five years after the thrills of saving an entire planet from destruction, the character is stuck in a boring desk job that demands piles of tedious paperwork instead of menial cleaning duties.

A typically boring assignment comes in: accompany a spacetruck to a space station and pick up a load of "Request for Stellar Patrol Issue Regulation Black Form Binders Request Form Forms". To make things even more dull, spacetrucks are fully automated, so it will pilot itself once the proper coordinates are entered.

But the task does authorize the use of a robot assistant, and coincidentally enough, Floyd, a beloved companion revived at the end of Planetfall, is one of the choices.

Once the player and Floyd reach the space station, they find it largely deserted. There are two living things on board: an ostrich and an Arcturian balloon creature, both apparently in perfect health. There are plenty of automated devices. It is unclear where the people have gone. The mechanical hull welders also seem intent on inflicting serious harm, which is unusual behavior.

Cargo Bay Entrance
   The desk twelve corridor ends here at the entrance to the cargo bay, to starboard. A smaller leads fore.

Robot Pool
   This is where a lieuntenant First class would come to obtain a robot for use on an important assignment. Also for a trivial assignment like yours. The only part of the complex robot authorization equipment this is visible to you is a slot (for inserting your form) and a keypad (for typing your selection). You can exist aft.
   In the first bin is a bulky robot, obviously intended for heavy lifting. A brass plate on one of his preumatic arm lifts says "Rex."
   Bin number two holds a spindly little robot, a specialized model designed for bursting and decollating multi-port forms. a tiny name plate on her perforating extension reads "Helen."
   You can't see the robot in the third bin very well, because he's crouched in the corner. He's a short robot, and he seems to be playing marbles.

Time passes...
   The third robot looks up from his marbles, jumps to his feet, and starts waving wildly. It's Floyd your robotic companion from Resida! (Footnote 3) You've seen him only occasionlly since he opted for assignment in the Stellar Patrol those five long years ago.