We started by confabulating together, with Ian asking us each to add various details to a fraction of an image that he seeded us with. It was an interesting process, as it slowly spiraled out from concrete detail into character, dialogue, and ultimately a 'situation' that needed to be addressed, a 'plan' (ha!) to address it, and a roster of characters to execute the plan.
I'm always leery of you-had-to-be-there war-stories, but there were lots of excellent moments. I despair of even setting up the situation so it would be comprehensible. It would take five paragraphs to explain why it seemed like a minor victory to get two characters correctly sorted into appropriately gendered bathrooms (though it was a very very minor victory since the porcupinoids were pretty well and truly screwed).
But hey, Des pulled off the heist, got well rewarded, and there was only Lin left to share with by the end. Des may even remember to send a few credits Marissa's way, unless the diversions of the pleasure planet distract him too much. But yes, in all honesty Des' happiness is colored with a twinge of regret at seeing Gilly sacrifice herself like that... mainly because Des was trying to work it so that the porcupinoids would take the fall.
Of course, the epilogue made it clear that Des might not get to enjoy his life of luxury without at least one more future meeting with his erstwhile companions.
Yay Ian! Yay us! We are the tellers of the story. We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.