Last time on CMU trav:
We’re on lotus, and we realize things have mass… Oh No!!!
We close down the modern art exhibit; there exist three suspicious people who are suspicious.
They want to buy this for the local psionics university; it speaks to them.
I investigate them; they’re legit. Let’s loan it to them until we get the other pieces. Will they also share their research? (They also take Brook – she’s not too keen on going to Imperial space)
Let’s escort them back… With our non-existent concealed weapons. Nothing goes horribly wrong.
Anything else for us to do? Not at this tech level. Let’s head from TL 14.
to Highport: 4 weeks of training.
XV 17: Nope.
Narval: Council of Pirate captains and their 9 pieces of 8 (anything that happened to be in their pockets at the time.)
Highport: Cue the imperial march.
There are a number of beacons: “This system is under imperium interdiction: get fuel, and get out. (Do not accept any incoming communications from civilian vessels.)”
Let’s skim, and then decide what to do.
We get a signal from another ship. We try to intercept it covertly.
“I don’t know, talk casual.”
It’s a general distress call. Let’s go look… casually.
Comms: Radio Silence has fallen
Sensors: It’s a subsidized merchant, dead in low orbit. The hull isn’t damaged, but power’s down.
NAS the bridge: I dropped it (Sensors fail), but there’s something alive over there.
Let’s suit up and get over there.
Jared’s on the guns, but the reactor’s dead.
Alan and I go over, Crick and Bones stick with the ship. (I thought Crick came over on the first wave…)
What’s the air like? Stale, but not obviously poisonous.
Nobody comes to greet us; it’s dark and kind of cold.
Cargo Bay: there exist boxes, and a very distributed dead guy.
The Body: 0+2+1+9: the guy got mauled by a large animal; probably a bear.
The boxes: Spare parts.
Recon; assume it’s in the room with us. It’s not. (Or you just can’t see it…)
Heading to the aft cargo bay. Has boxes?
Has lock: Alan tries to open it.
Crick: Unless we’ve found the next level of warp critter, it’s still in here with us.
We apply C4 vigorously.
Recon on the aft cargo bay.
2 bodies, one of which has been mauled, the other of which has been stabbed with something – looks like knife wounds. The mauled body has a knife.
Engine compartments: Manual override. We should have used that before.
It is dark… particularly dark.
Recon: Bones hears something behind him; he left the doors open. (Retconned to “He sees a shadowy form on the Endeavor’s security cameras… it’s headed for the engines”)
Simultaneously, a different one jumps us three.
Military Tactics: 13
- +5 to all init (Serious bonus is serious)
The critter: Shadow Beast of Doom.
-Claws, teeth… All the better to maul you with.
-Giant scaly weasel.
Broadsword!!! 17 damage!
It is leaking, but still very angry.
It is full of holes, and goes kind of etherial-ish, in an annoyingly similar manner to the warp creatures from XV 17. It’s gone. (Discorporated)
We’re a little scared that there exist warp creatures; there may exist warp tech.
Issue: the entire planet’s quarantined… I think I know where the warp tech is.
The core: It’s not warp tech, but there exist runes…
The problem: The stardrive looks like it was modified (via runes) to open a warp rift. (To pull things from the warp into reality; not quite the same as a rift, in the same way that Summon Monster != Gate)
In addition, there exists a Malnar rune; ancient mental virus. (Mutated version of Loknar encountered during second exploration of the XV-17 Derelict)
Let’s disable them.
Meanwhile, back at the ship…
Unbeknownst to us, Bones has a warp demon in his head that he can ask questions in exchange for rads.
-How does he know this? He read the fine print. (One round of combat with your head in the warp feels like a lot longer than you’d think)
Demon’s purpose: He must tell Bones all things knowable. (That is a gross misrepresentation of the demon’s purpose… but whatever you choose to believe…)
The shadow dude: Magical Omniscience says that the guy we just fought (An Ixathil; minor shadow demon) isn’t dead, and there are two more out there.
The shadow thing is going toward our engines. We should follow… NOW.
We need to disable the drive and replace the runed components.
I’m guarding Crick, who’s disconnecting the jump drives.
Crick breaks the engines; “here. Give me that.” (But he breaks them very quickly)
Alan heads over toward the engines. It’s chewing on the engines.
Alan does damage. It is not amused.
It pulls a Tomo nagae on him; he is not amused. He is in fact, disarmed. (Man, you guys suck at grappling. Just saying.)
Tim picks him up and throws him (But sometimes dice > skills). It is still not amused. This could get ugly.
It bites him. Hard bite is hard. Combat armor is harder.
My init: 9
Crick gets bitten badly (It shadowported from Alan’s shadow into Cricks, then bit Crick from behind for pretty serious damage)
I apply the greatsword vigorously. It mistifies, and goes away.
Let’s make sure that Crick doesn’t die. He doesn’t but needs cryobirth now.
More NAS for humans: There is definitely one human on the bridge, and definitely one non-human, not on the bridge (Upper deck of the Fat Trader).
These thing teleport by shadows, and there’s one more on the upper deck. Let’s get the power back on and kill it.
We reactivate power: Bones gets a 12, and has new edu (Another side effect of The Deal)
NAS: Xenology roll 13. It’s moving toward us, pausing when the lights go on.
I apply the broadsword vigorously. It phases through it, GOD DAMNIT!
It bites me: Oh corks… I now has no endurance, but am not
Tim shoots it. HE MISSES AND HITS ME!!! INFINITE LOLS (Friendly Fire is not friendly when it’s coming at you…)
I am now rather useless in melee.
It grapples, but does not bite me!!! (I think he actually tied it; it rolled snake eyes. Would’ve been a kill but for snake eyes…)
BONES!!! BRING IT DOWN!!!!!!!! (Full auto gauss pistol is effective)
Medic: I’m back to full. Thank you, bones!!!
So… The bridge. The door is locked.
The guy is catatonic.
When did this happen?
-2 weeks ago…
Suspicion: the ship was supposed to jump out of the system, and it didn’t. Then things started going wonky. The engineer had been talking to a very strange person who looked like Joachim, then the engineer went wonky right after they dropped off Joachim.
Metagame: We have brain anti-virus for Malnar. We should get it to the Imperium. (Actually a brain-patch; Crick fed Malnar to Loknar, who ran it in a VM and developed a patch)
DAMMIT!!! No shopping trips for us…
Joachim contracted them to carry a thing. It’s a big thing (An unmarked metal cargo container of about 10 tons). We should get on this planet.
We’ve got a ship that isn’t exactly safe to jump (The Fat Trader). What should we do? (They decided to leave it in orbit, but took Morris the Steward with them)
We need to get the anti-virus patch to the Imperium, and probably also the scouts.
Get a message to Mjolnir without the Imperium blockade knowing. We need to get closer. It’ll take them at least a day to figure out what’s up.
Problem: their ships have jump drives, and we don’t know if the navy’s functional. John doesn’t know if the navy’s functional (God does too play dice with the universe…).
It’ll take us a week to get to Highport. Can has training!!!
Bones re-negotiates his demonic contract. We need knowledge (I’m not recalling the amended terms… hm.)
-The lizards regenerate (in 13 days), btw, unless you kill them with fire.
-The Physicist (Joachim) is still on the planet.
-The Imperium has functional ships
-Malnar probably hasn’t left the system, since he sabotaged the engines of the last ship that tried to leave. (I think they inferred this one, rather than asking Cherubael)
-Spread the antivirus as far as we fweaking can.
-Don’t get shot by the Imperium. That’s pretty likely to happen.
There exists a carrier group. We try to avoid it. We avoid it. (Game in dark to the ice caps)
The carrier group is conducting airstrikes for ground combat, not orbital bombardment. There exist fusion cannons, but the Imperium is losing. The planet is undergoing zombie apocalypse (kinda).
Laser transceiver to Mjolnir: No one picks up
Lets hack the planet-wide internet to project the anti-virus. It would take another computer (Read: Strong AI) to do that, and all are co-opted by Malnar. (You’re fighting a sentient planetary internet, and trying to hack it? At meatbrain speed? Good luck… You’re like one wee little viral cell, except that the immune system you’re up against is more intelligent than any human who has ever lived, and has complete control of all of its parts.)
We comms the remaining imperium forces.
I persuade him. I persuade him very well… I persuade him to buy something that he really needs. (He’s a research professor; during the week of travel, he wrote a paper for the Journal of Xenoarcheology and prepared a poster.)
He (The Imperial field commander for NorSec) distributes the image to his troops, and informs the Imperium about Malnar (and sends the patch up the chain of command).
-There’s a zombie army attacking them, and the computer networks are commanded by a renegade AI.
There’s a guy called Joachim Steuben. He’s got a thing we need to blow up.
-Sry (never heard of him).
Have you heard anything about crazy critters?
-Dammit!!! (That was a “Yeah, the grunts are uppity about shadows that bite, but reports are entirely unsubstantiated.” Besides, plasma weapons count as fire damage for the purposes of non-regenerative death of Ixathil, and they basically can’t hurt troopers in Battle Dress. The Imperium is not horribly concerned.)
We can actually give you one…
-NOO!!! Thank you!!! (Umm… I’m pretty sure they were going to take you up on that, actually. Not sure where you got NOOO from.)
To the spaceport (for the shipping records on the Large Metal Box)!!! We need to find him and stop his device.
Ask Bones’ demon? Not at this time. Let’s get the info from the database. (There was actually quite a bit of debate on this point.)
The Spaceport: It’s pretty quiet, but the defenses are active, and firing on the Imperium fighters.
Chaining: We do well, even against a crazy AI. (Gunnery, Engineering, and Sensors all chaining to help Alan’s Pilot check to avoid being shot down by the AI-manned turrets. He got like effect 6, so he didn’t get hit at all)
We land: The starport’s deserted.
Lock the ship as tight as possible (Including arming Morris with a shotgun); we’re moving out.
Recon: If it’s there, we see it.
Actually, it sees us; there exist cameras. We shoot them; there do not exist cameras.
Our plan: If we can kill them, we kill them. If it has battle dress, we run.
More movement, more recon. There are 3 security drones (One with a laser rifle, two with ACRs). One of them nearly killed us… (In Eye of the Ancients) They’re coming our way.
2 options. Hide and let them pass, or set up an ambush.
Tim grenades the hell out of them
Crick pwns the laser guy
I destroy the laser rifle :)
That cover we were interested in… They can go 66 squares/round… (40 kph on low-friction gravitics, man.)
The laser-armed one rams me… With box cars (on the ramming roll). Oh corks…
I dodge… (pile of damage anyways) BONES!!!
The rest of them are not happy. They shoot Alan. (Sprayed with ACR fire. No damage… curse you, Combat Armor! Would’ve killed any other PC…)
+2 to hit
Bones auto-fires: The robot’s City of Delusion is destroyed.
Crick hits computer; beep beep… Kill Shot (UT Announcer Voice: Head Shot…)
I broadsword the one that hit me. I hope it doesn’t explode IT FWEAKING EXPLODES!!!
I am still alive. We’re all still alive. Bones works his magic. We are very alive.
Note to self: pick up the drone on the way back.
We be stealthy. I be not.
We get to the computer room; the door is thoroughly locked as in bomb-proof bank door.
Crick hacks the door; it opens. There exists a server closet. He hacks the server closet; it opens.
A few things happen. We get info on Steuben. We get the turrets to shut up. We get the drones to shut up.
We have enough drone pieces to make a complete drone. Let’s do it. We did it.
We let the Imperium know that the starport is now shut down, so they can do things.
We get back to our ship, with combat drone _(and no further encounters)
Steubens took the box to warehouse 8 (This number brought to you by 2d6). Go!
It doesn’t look like it’s warp land; we feel hopeful
NAS: There are 17 dudes in there, probably Malnar zombies, standing in a circle.
What do ship lasers do to warehouses?
We open the roof. The physics demonstrations don’t have it this good. This is a very bad idea.
While we’re arguing, we hear hissing.
I’m on sensors. We have a fuel leak… Alan and I checks it out.
There’s an expanding hole in the fuel tank, as if something is trying to get out. And then it lights on fire. Tim gets hit in the face, but it’s not a problem.
Actually, he gets hurt. Oh fweaking hells. We should probably land, or at least open the cargo doors and spend all of our SFX budget. (Reference to a previous discussion that venting the burning oxygen in Out of Gas spent all of Firefly’s special effects budget)
We drop the roof on them, and the hole stops getting bigger. NAS: There’s nothing in there. There’s a thing down there. (Just not a sentient thing)
Bones patches up Alan and then patches up the fuel tank.
What the hells just happened?? There is an object of some power down there.
We land in (er, through) one of the warehouses; 1 hull damage.
Crick goes reconning. He recons, if not stealthily <he>. He hears himself, and not really much of anything else
Bodies: We just dropped a roof on them. But, they also look mutated. Extra eyes, stigmata, demon marks. Mazel tov.
The Big Honking Thing: It’s about a third of an annulus, but it’s green; probably corrupt. You’re betting this is what popped your fuel tank. The researchers will be so happy. It’s also floating.
Loknar: The new artifact gives big migraine. Symbols: Its been effaced with new symbols.
The Map: The map is pointing back to the psionics institute, and the map is pointing here, rather than south-west.
Demon Oracle Thingy: (Bones only gets four questions a day before the rads start to add up permanently; 25 rads / question, and only 1 dose of anti-rad drugs per day)
-What did they do to this?
-They marked it.
-How do we undo this?
-What does marking it do?
-It is a focus for a ritual of demonic ascension.
-Where is Joachim Steuben?
-He is in the tunnels beneath the imperial cathedral on this planet.
Tim lugs it back to the ship; combat armor is good. (For preventing exposure to its Radiations Most Foul)
We take off, broadcasting a message to the imperium, saying that the guy is at the cathedral.