CMU Traveller

FINAL REPORT ON INCIDENT 4250109 CODENAME: ASCENSION

CLASSIFICATION BLUE

FINAL REPORT ON INCIDENT 4250109 CODENAME ASCENSION BY 496EC7-CRICK-B-CRS-1

1113-ILR18-A left with university on world 0307, attached tracking device on frequency ███.██. Cover agent 473E97-BROOK-O-2 left to ensure artifact’s safety.

During a sortie into Imperium territory to acquire materiel, cover group 496EC7-CRICK-B-COVER-6 encountered an Imperium blockade and a derelict ship. Ship structure was unharmed but only one crewman survived due to sabotage by ship’s engineer – jump engines coated with unknown symbols related to dimensional anomaly found in XV-17, codename WARP. Activation of engines apparently resulted in reactor drain and creation of extradimensional entity [SEE DOCUMENT WARP-294A9C-B -DIRECTOR]. Extradimensional entities were exterminated, surviving crewman was rescued. Sabotage believed to be the work of a mental infection by a derivative of memetic AI system designation 000FF7-LOKNAR-2, designated 000E8F-MALNAR-1. AI 000FF7-LOKNAR-2 suggested a memetic “patch” to block infection by 000E8F-MALNAR-1.

Certain information was gained from apparently extradimensional entity possessing cover group member 984AE8-BONES-I-MCS-1. Entity evidently under contract to deliver strictly true information in return for doses of radiation damage. Information empirically determined to be highly accurate – retrieval of 984AE8-BONES-I-MCS-1 and memetic infection would be highly valuable. Internal tracking device planted, frequency ██.██.

Patch transmitted to Imperium blockade – planet apparently overrun by memetic AI 000E8F-MALNAR-1. AI disabled in computer core at space port. Information from computer core indicated location of another artifact, designated 1113-ILR18-B. Warehouse roof destroyed by ship weapons fire, interrupting a ritual of some kind. Humans around artifact were mutated. Artifact had additional symbols layered over Illurian symbols, changing the nature of the artifact and the energy emitted.

9745BC-STEUB-K-PHY-1 traced to catacombs under capitol city – believed to be highly corrupted by WARP influence. Target eliminated; however, his death instigated some kind of reaction with artifact 1113-ILR18-B and attempted to create a large extradimensional entity [SEE DOCUMENT █████████████ -DIRECTOR]. Entity created but contained by memetic inscription. Revealed that 1113-ILR18-B can be restored to functionality by re-inscribing symbols. Inscription requires catalyst mixture of living WARP entity “blood” and blood from dead “innocent” human. Testing on “innocent” inconclusive – Imperium priest blood used to good effect. Artifact restored to functionality and used to destroy entity ███████████████. However, artifact 1113-ILR18-B lost to Imperium agents. Audio bug and tracking device on frequency ███.██. Confirmed that Imperium has remaining portion of entire device. Map designation 1113-ILR18-M appears to track locations of all pieces.

Usefulness of cover group 496EC7-CRICK-B-COVER-6 deemed low. Recommend capture of ship, 1113-ILR18-M, and 984AE8-BONES-I-MCS-1. Will be passing through 0307 in three or four weeks – engines and stardrives will be disabled then. Equipment will be sabotaged as much as possible. Full details of cover group in document 496EC7-CRICK-B-COVER-6. Agent 496EC7-CRICK-B-CRS-1 requesting transfer to Infiltrator status to re-acquire 1113-ILR18-B and related artifact pieces.

Memetic “Patch”, catacomb blueprints, and tracking device details included in Incident document 4250109.

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Ascension

Last time on CMU Trav: Freaky Deeky shit happened.

-We have a radioactive tainted artifact and a mad man heading for the cathedral.

To restore the artifact, we need to mix the blood of alive demon and the blood of a dead innocent to make mystical paint remover.

Problem: get the paint remover; we need an innocent. There’s an AI massacre going on. We need a demon: One’s about to pop into existence in the cargo hold.

Problem: What do we write once we’ve used the paint remover.

Problem: There’s a nut with a cathedral…

Cathedral kind of wins… (D’oh… I’d expected them to at least ask more questions about the relic first. Oh well…)

The Catacombs!!! (N.B: There may exist imperium forces…)

The capital is mobbed by AI slaves. Imhotep… Imhotep…

The Cathedral: Fortress cathedral: damn big, damn tough, and the imperium holds it. We has clearance to land in the southern chapel of celestial ascension (the glass windows open)

We rig the starship lasers to fire from the outside. The Imperium is happy.

We land: a group of marines and a priest (probably important; he’s got bling). We’re slightly unnerved.

Inquisitor Weiskopf:
-Thanks us for the malware patch; why are we here?

The guy’s in the catacombs.

That shouldn’t be possible, but we have a mad AI and a teleporting bad guy on the loose.

Now, we go to catacombs, kemosabe. You follow.

The catacombs; there are a bunch of creepy things under the cathedral
-Fusion reactor
-Life support
-Reliquary
-Computers

Possible targets; fusion reactors, reliquary.

We have no clue where he could be; let’s try the main door.

It’s guarded by a few marines; let’s question them
-They didn’t see anything; they’re happy with not being shot at.

Any psy influence?
-I felt hungry…

We head down, with Sister Bertrille, the flying nun. (She can’t really fly; there’s no wind)

It’s dusty… too dusty…

There exists computers; let’s check them.

Investigate: I find footprints; there were people here recently. Footprints going in, none going out. Few go to reactor, lots go toward reliquary.

Big boom is big, but if they get another one of the artifacts, we’re screwed.

Security cameras in the reactor area? PROBABLY!!!
-Get to the reactor room, NOW!!!

There send the marines. If they don’t kill it, we’re toast.

Reliquary: We head towards it; it looks like we have two armored (not battle dress) and two unarmored individuals.

We catch up to them a bit before the reliquary.

MAKKAN IS BACK!!! (Obviously… it had to happen.)

init 12

Tactics: 12

They still get surprise.

We have: Rognath the barbarian, Q , and MAKKAN!!!

Crick: Grazed Makkan

Alan: Nades!!! (Makkan and Q dive for cover, minimal damage)

ALAN GOT HIT… for one damage. Lol.

Alan is angry. The barbarian is more so.

Makkan is pissed. Makkan fires an RPG (RAM grenade). Alan tackles it (he used a reaction an d an athletics check to jump into the grenade and spare the rest of the party). He is just fine. Makkan claps, Q runs.

I hit the barbarian with the greatsword. HE PARRIES!!! Lol. (Wrognath was on combat stimulants for an extra reaction, and had saved it for parrying in honorable single combat).

I get hit by the barbarian. I’m not happy, but I’m alive. I’m at 6 Dex and no END

Crick: for the love of god, shoot him. He does; Rognath is not happy. (By which we mean unconscious)

Alan shoots Makkan. MAKKAN TAKES DAMAGE!!!

Crick shoots Makkan. Makkan isn’t real happy.

Alan shoots Makkan. Makkan REALLY isn’t real happy.

Bones shoots Makkan. (They were hitting him for like 2 damage per shot. He had TL14 Combat Armor and 3 subdermal)

Makkan Shoots Bones. Ouch.

Crick shoots Makkan. It bounces.

Alan drops a grenade. I didn’t say it was armed. Crick now needs to get the grenade. (the plan was for Crick to throw the grenade to get Makkan to dive for cover, and then for Alan to throw another grenade for effect)

Alan shoots Makkan. He is less happy than he was earlier.

This is the longest trav combat yet… (So much armor…)

I am STILL OUT OF IT!!!

Crick… PICKS UP THE GRENADE!!!

Alan shoots Makkan… again…

Makkan shoots Alan… again… Alan is not happy; we need to end this now.

I suppress Makkan!!!

GRENADES!!!

Crick: It scatters… like mad… but not into us!!! (Snake-eyes and untrained.)

Alan shoots Makkan. It bounces.

We run away. RUN AWAY!!!

wait… what happened to the nun…?

Makkan shoots me. Headshot. (Seriously… 27 out of 30 possible damage on 5d6, plus effect. That would’ve killed anyone in the party.)

ANOTHER ONE OF MY CHARACTERS HAS DIED!!!

It’s not my turn now.

Crick: GT-ing the F O!!

Tim: RUN AWAY!!! (Cutscene: Alan sees himself fighting Makkan to the death, but realizes that since the rest of the party is gone, he wouldn’t be protecting anyone, and that he can do more good by surviving to kill Makkan later than dying to not-kill him now.)

I’m sort of down a character. Sister Bertrille, The psychic laser-rifle toting… nun…?

<from>

I am the abbot of the catacomb dwelling monks.

We need to get to the reliquary.

_(Meanwhile, Bones patched up Crick, Alan, and himself (though he realized that as a result of his pact, his blood had turned corrosive, halving the effects of Medic and drugs as it ate through stitches and otherwise counteracted things).
Crick stealthily followed Makkan’s blood trail deeper into the catacombs, finding and disarming a tripwire grenade and finally taking a shot at him from hiding.
Makkan survived, and hid behind a pillar.
Alan was informed, and subsequently came forward noisily. “The difference between you and me, Makkan, is that I have friends. Friends with medical expertise.”
Alan tried to dislodge him with a RAM grenade, but rolled terrible damage which was soaked by armor.
Alan then ran forward and shot at Makkan at short range… rolling snake-eyes. We think he was still using the trigger on the grenade launcher.
Makkan aimed and shot Alan one more time with the laser rifle before dying under a hail of gauss pellets which continued to fly until Alan ran out of ammo, at which point he was reduced to stomping until Bones pulled him away to tend the laser-wound.

Conclusion: BBEG Down.)_

We hear a rather large boom from down the hall. God freaking… Curses.

Radiation is up. The reliquary has been vaporized by a small nuke. (It was actually the Clint pocketnuke; Joachim’s copy of Loknar knew its location)

We sneak. They don’t see us. Who and where are they.

Joachim is standing with his back to the entrance, working on something…
Q is watching the entrance, but does not see us.

Crick Headshots Joachim. That about wraps that up…

I smite Q.

Joachim’s pieces start glowing. That would be bad…

Radiation levels are rising, by kind of alot.

Let’s ask the demon:
-What’s going on?
-Malnar’s demonic ascension: “Killing the follower of the demon <bam> is NOT one of the ways to reverse the spell, and will in fact immediately bring forth the fear demon!”
-Can we stop it?
-If we could implode the warp rift, then we could stop this. Loknar…? There is the artifact…
-The demon can teach us to make a binding diagram in blood. Thankfully, we have a lot of corpses lying around; draw swiftly, and draw well. (Bones used Medic + Dex (justification: drawing really really precisely is a lot like performing surgery), rolled 11.)

I start praying very, very fast.

Our prayers are answered; Bones rolls well. The fate of the world rests on a sketch.

A green, glowing… 40 ft tall… made of spikes… figure materializes, and is bound.

Never, ever, ever enter this room, AGAIN.

There exist rads; it’s made of radiation, and it’s made of meme. The nun goes insane. Crick has a patch.

How do we get rid of this?
-An uncorrupted relic could be used to destroy this.

The imperium; there exists a demon.
-They aren’t surprised; evil religions always know about the demons, and never tell people until the demon’s trying to take over the planet.

We GTFO away from the radiation. There was an artifact.

The artifact; it’s a fragment of one of the annulus pieces… In an imperial reliquary.

We have or know the location of 2/3 + epsilon of an annulus.

Trip to blood bank; “we need type O-negative that has never killed someone…”

Let’s try for an on-planet solution. We need blood, demon blood, and a psychic.

We leave. The Inquisitor:
-We caught the guy going for the reactor.

There’s a radiation demon in the vault. It’s bound. Don’t touch the binding circle… it was there when we got there…

-How did you know?

Bones: someone’s probing his brain. There is a psychic on the planet.

They’re aware of the artifact; they probably want more answers.

It looks like we can use the giant green glowing thing in our ship to get rid of the giant green glowing guy in the basement.

Problem; we need a psychic… And did any nuns get caught in the crossfire?
-Umm… Deception? Given the setup, we succeed marvelously.

Better plan: Where’s your morgue?

We have blood.

Question: You’re handling the radiation-blasting demon situation pretty well…
-One of the revelations of the first prophet that’s been kept hush-hush is that these things are out there. That’s why the church and the Imperium exist; it’s the watcher council with nukes.

How do we subdue it without killing it? (The Shadow Demon in the ship’s hold)
-A boatload of stun grenades.

We have the Inquisitor’s full cooperation.

One more thing: this is a piece of annulus. What’s it doing here?
-Me: It’s a gift of the Ancestors.
-Inquisitor: While we have the rest of the artifact, the rest of it isn’t here.

Incidentally; 98% of the population is dead. Let’s go shopping.

Let’s get stuff.
We has stuff.

We have a snoring demon that needs to visit the red cross.

We mix blood of the dead innocents and blood of the live demon. We have mystical paint remover.

Apply mystical paint remover, and re-carve symbols.

Imperium: We’ll take it from here. There must be bugs.

They play with it for a while; they wind up putting it in the vaults, after banishing the demon.

There’s chanting, some screaming, more chanting, and then silence.

I have a problem; the monks are inquisited.

Let’s get the hell off the planet before the imperium decides to inquisit us…

We have the map; where’s the last piece of the artifact?

The last piece is deep in imperial space. Let’s just get the hell out of there…

We have survived the Memeplague and rise of demons. What happens next, will probably involve hawaiian shirts and sand.

(DM’s Epilogue:

Dr. Reinhart’s body was returned to his homeworld and buried with ceremony.

Crick returned to infiltrator status with the assumed identity “Juan Carlos”, probably after selling the remaining party members out to Mjolnir for interrogation.

Bones and Alan stuck together, mainly because they couldn’t agree on who would keep the ship if they split.

Makkan didn’t stay dead this time, either – he’d made a pact with a daemon to not rest until Alan was dead.

The rebels of New Mars won their independence due to their equal training and superior armaments.

The Malnar Cults that Joachim propagated on Clint, Hamilton Station, and Atoll between his infection and his attack on Highport continued to exercise malign influence.

Brook remained at the Psionics Institute on Lotus. They used the artifact’s psionic ansible capabilities to help coordinate the Rebellion’s efforts.

However, the Imperium, with two pieces of the artifact, was probably able to crush the Rebellion and the Shapers within another decade or so…

Barring further action from our, or other, heroes.

Roll credits.

)

View
Memeplague

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)
-Sure.

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.

Welt: Nada.

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)
init 15

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.

Gauss Rifle!!!

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.

What happened?
-LIZARDS!!!

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)

2 goals:
-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?
Damage.

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?
-<answer>
-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.
-Mazel Tov.

View
Houston, We Need Yardgard...

Last time on CMU Traveler:

We gather here today to mourn the passing of John’s third PC kill. We will put his bank account to good use.

We have a lot of salvage, Commander Winston Havelock along for the ride, and a rescue mission on XV 17.

Recon checks: There are five crates that are ticking (er, beeping). We should probably get these off the ship soon… There goes our C4.

We watch the fireworks; the mercs in lifepods are disappointed.

About the lifepods… They can probably make it to XV 17.

To the research station (!planet hell) to investigate Joachim Steuben.

In orbit; they’ve expanded the base in light of the fact that there’s a FWEAKING BIG ANCIENT ARTIFACT right there.

First stop; director to announce our presence, and the new head of security.

Security Dude:
-Steuben took a ship, but they don’t know where he went. No clues in his stuff; his alarm clock was still set. They could NOT crack his computer.

We go to his room. Alan Recons the room, Crick Recons the computer.

Recon: Alan finds some mathematical notes, but they’re pretty theoretical physicist.

Loknar recognizes some of them as ancient symbols, but some are totally foreign; it looks like he’s making up his own notation. He probably got his own copy of Loknar.

Computer:
We find copies of the notes we took on the derelict, and a download image of Loknar.

2 and 2: the only other thing in the system is the Ancient derelict, and a hell of a lot of moons.

Scan for the cutter’s transponder/ the cutter around the derelict.

If he’s there, he’s either in pieces or in possession of knowledge that we don’t have.

He has a dream journal; the warp reactor features prominently in them, but they eventually degrade to madness.

It looks like he may have contact with something from the other side; if he destabilizes the core further in some kind of summoning ritual, it could be bad.

N.B: How long has it been; about 4 (Months? Weeks? Even I don’t know anymore). How are we doing on life support?

We notify the head of security of our suspicions.
-They couldn’t spare the men to search the derelict.

At the derelict: I <winston> use sensors.

We get close; it’s pretty clear that the warp field is going crazy; the cutter’s in the front landing bay.

We should probably land there, too, with guns facing Toward the ship so we can apply the deeps vigorously in case of space panthers/worms/boobs.

Let’s check the cutter… with guns drawn.

The space worms have eaten the fusion drives, so it’s no longer mobile.

Said space worms aren’t still around; good. Let’s make the ship go dark.

Brooke; do you want to come with us? NOPE!!!

I now have zero G AND vacc suit!!!

Let’s poke around; we have a brain scanner (NAS stolen from Mjolnir Special Project Division), so we can see things before they eat us.

There are no human brains, but there are animal intelligences floating around (fading in and out of reality).

The guy isn’t in the immediate vicinity, but our range is limited.

Let us go forth!!!

Winston: You have very interesting lives…

Crick sees something on his über goggles; he picks up from radiation from the corridor ahead; looks like it’s coming from the space warps. It’s about 60 rads an hour; we’re getting 10 rads an hour, which is still fatal after 5 hours.

Isn’t any worse than inhaling random gasses; consult your doctor if space panthers attack.

Let’s go forth and see if it gets any worse.

The corridor is wibbly-wobbly.

The ship isn’t terrifically wide, so we’ve got NAS cover across the cross section.

The radiation starts going up… 30 rad/hour. Anti-Rad drugs can make up the difference, but we should get out of here fast… Wait. We don’t have anti-rad drugs…

We’re at 10 rads, and it’s getting hotter.

The radiation is due to random encounters; we try the other corridor; miraculously, there is no radiation.

That’s wrong; there exists radiation; 20 rads/hr. Bones can treat that medically with medicine… if we had any. (I believe this note was due to confusion previously, where they failed a sensors check to determine the level of radiation in the other corridor, and got a lower estimate than the actual value. I don’t think there was more radiation in this corridor.)

Let’s get to engineering; the guy was a warp engineer dreaming about the warp core.

Space starts doing the samba; we get lost for only 10 minutes due to Crick’s amazing mental trans-dimensional physics. (There was a warping of space, and Knowledge (Theoretical Physics) could be used to escape the Kleinbottle)

Engineering (50 rads, 3 hrs of air)

At this point, we’re feeling woozy.

3 damage; 4 end.

We’re looking for a big room with a big fweaking sphere in the middle and a big fweaking hole in the sphere.

There are no maggots, but there are symbols written in a green ichor of an unknown origins.

Ichor: Bones tastes it… Not really (Good thing for his health, too). No fweaking clue. We take a sample.

The symbols: Looks like the stuff from the notes, and it looks something like the stuff that was the floating bones we found before.

Hypothesis: Something in the warp doesn’t like our universe. It took over an Ancient engineer, but that guy went nuts before he could bring the demon through to this reality.

Also: Evidence of gunfire. (There was some debate about whether gauss weapons leave shell casings, so we ended up going with the more general statement0

Recon: The ichor starts moving; it starts boiling; and then there are maggots.

There are about 15 of them;

Combat:

11 init

Winston; let’s see what kind of damage a shotgun does to them.

19 damage before armor; to shreds, you say?

It’s disabled; 2 maggots left… In that group.

5 ammo.

Alan throws a grenade… we DID ask what crazy thing he does…

now THEM!!!

Alan and I now has maggots in our squares.

I apply the shotgun very vigorously; they’re made of goo; they explode.

Tim applies grenades vigorously; he misses. How do you miss with a grenade?

Alan throws the grenade true, but it goes through it a tiny wormhole, and lands… right next to crick. (Ah, warping of spacetime… is there anything you can’t explain?)

he’s okay. (After last session, we looked up the rules for dodging explosions…)

Bones, on the other hand, gets picked up by the maggots and dragged to the warp core…

I get grappled by a maggot… Dammit, man!!

Alan also gets grappled by maggots. Now he isn’t.

endurance 0, Str 5; I don’t care

Next round of shotgun: TO SHREDS YOU SAY!!!!

Alan uses… Another grenade. The maggots are now very much dispersed.

Bones; while you were in the warp core, did you see anything?
-I saw EVERYTHING!!! You really should stick your head in there!

Hypothesis: I have a very good idea as to what happened to Steuben.

Radiation: The geiger counter is clicking out the prime numbers.

While we boogie back to the ship, what about the closet with the bones. The bones are gone, and the symbol is different; do we have any dim people in the room?

Loknar runs anti-virus on the new symbol: it’s going to take a couple hours, so back to the ship. Let’s not take a picture of this one…

GTFO back to the ship.

Random encounter: Space boobs!!! Just keep walking… Just keep walking… (Don’t remember this one… maybe I rolled “Flee” on the Random Creature Reaction table)

80 rads.

More radiation.

The other corridor is clear, but we need Crick (More warped space; he doesn’t roll so well this time). Takes us about 2 hours to find our way out. We’re fine, but we need to breathe funny air… (Causing basically more nausea; -1 to all rolls. They give extra air to Crick so he can keep navigating; everybody else is on the local atmosphere)

More random encounters: We stagger out of the corridor into the landing bay, and there are 3 space boobs in our ship.

They’re not necessarily hostile; let’s try shooing them off our ship. Two shoo gracefully, the third bites Crick. That happens a lot around here.

I shotgun the hell out of it. IT’S STILL ALIVE!!!

Tim misses, and Bones destroys it.

I don’t really care what happened to the physicist guy; why the hell did we come back here?

What did Bones see: The whole of space and time; the warp core is acting as a gate to somewhere…

We still haven’t checked the bridge.

Let’s scan the bridge; we can get within 500 meters (NAS range). There is definitely stuff in the bridge; there exist many panthers.

We spend a week in Rio, and by Rio I mean Rehab.

What’s the ship doing? Getting worse. We’ve had to move out further to avoid it.

5 days into the week, it implodes and disappears. Well, that about wraps it up for Steuben.

The science station is surprised.

Did the telescope see anything? Nothing more than we did, but 2 weeks have passed in the rest of the universe for our one week next to the derelict.

We give up on this system; We’re tired of getting bitten by space boobs.

Jump to the gun-running planet; a week of training.

We’re at the gun-running planet; 0305

New Mars (Nuevo Marte): Primary planet is a small, airless rock. Mainly a mining system, but with rebels. Yep, it’s mars.

We land; it’s a fuel pump with a crane (Class D starport). We need it, since we took hull damage and structure damage from the trader ship.

Hull is just spare parts and time, but structure is a 500k.

I get 200k from Tsilri’s account… <as><retcon:>t know about it before.

We need TL14 vacc suits; to Highport, you say!

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Concerning Explosives

Last time on CMU Traveler:

What didn’t happen?

Makkan is dead, we have a large levitating psy amplifier, and… we’re off the map.

The Ancient map so far; We’ve hit the east-ish location, and still have the south-ish and west-ish location

5 weeks back to Vega. Crick gets a message that we don’t see.

Bones meets a short fat Italian & a tall thin German guy by failing his streetwise roll; Guido and Hans. They are very curious about a certain shipment of porn.

He persuades them they don’t want it back. They are interested in our ability to make cargo and ships disappear (Ships referring to the Bane of Heathens; since it was last seen pursuing the rather outgunned Endeavor, and it’s no longer pursuing, they inferred its destruction). They have a piece of cargo disappeared… to a certain buyer.

They’re actually members of a rebellion; we’re a spy, a war criminal, an almost-nuclear terrorist, and a very shady doctor

Alan gambles… Alan gambles a lot. The gods of gambling rolled terribly; he’s happy.

So… about money. We assume we’re picking up enough passengers to keep us in dough; anything extra is extra.

I’m shopping for replacements for the supplies I got resurrected with (Medicinal slow and whatnot), and I hobnob with the duke.

Crick talks with the scouts and checks out the missing persons rosters… he’s not on it…

#define he… (Mystery! Suspense! Suspicion!)

Tim has a mission; the scouts want Alan to find a missing person… This is the exact inverse of what he normally does.

Joachim Steuben: A physicist who was last seen in the XV 17 research outpost.

Who is he?

Do we know if this is actually a scouts mission…? nope. Crick could be setting us up.

He actually has marginal success; something’s rotten in Vega. (Marginal success at deceiving the party)

Back on the ship: we now have two jobs.

Logistics of stealing: We need to intercept and somehow divert a shipment that’ll arrive in another system in 2 weeks; we can get there in 1.

Problem; fooling them would be very tough; lots of faking.

Possibility: They load the ship, we get them off (aw yeah), and then we steal it.

Possibility: They pass through XV 17 to refuel; we could jump them there.

The Plan we like: I get the crew off and keep them amused. The people with pilot get on and take the ship out of there. Crick sabotages Monster.com so that there aren’t any passengers or other innocent bystanders. Alan flies the ship out and takes all blame if we get caught.

1 week of jump, 1 week of waiting…

The Planet: Law Level 8… Me porting out in case of danger might be dangerous…

Level 8 law, industrial and high population; it’s Space China!!!

Crick does an epic job of kaboshing their passenger system; only Bones gets accepted.

We’re onboard, crick’s on board… and the mercenaries are on board.

DAMMIT!!!

Mercs: Combat armor, auto weapons…

Brooke and I apply the 60s vigorously

There exists party cat:

Bones not only gets zonked, but he also finds the best spot within walking distance.

DRAT!!! The crew runs off the ship, but the mercs are divided. Two of them are stoners, but the rest are dry… DRAT!!!

We’re down to 3 mercs.

Bones: “4 mercs on shp”
Alan: “lol”

Query: how much are these dudes getting paid?
-The company’s getting 500k. We’re really not bribing them.

How’re we gonna play this…

Alan, Crick, and I take down the guards. Brooke and Bones go party.
-Everyone at party is very drunk, and Bones is out…

How do we avoid getting known?
-Helmets!!!

Battle time!!!

Actually: A plan. Hack the starship’s main computer and evacuate the air. Problem; they have combat armor.

Trigger a fake alarm on the upper deck and open the doors.

Marginal failure: we trigger a hacker alarm… on the upper level!!

Clairvoyance: I see them (two of three mercs) run upstairs.

We open the doors!!!

Alan tries to stun-grenade the combat armor person… (doesn’t go so well…)

I try to brain rape the guy… Of all the mercs in the world, I had to pick the einstein; int 12!!! (All merc stats rolled randomly, in order. The dice have spoken)

I’m switching to pistol.

He auto-fires RAM grenades… OH CRAP!!!!!!!!!! (Again, the dice. There were three mercs, two with gauss rifles and one with a RAM grenade launcher. I rolled a d6 to choose, and RAM came up)

And, we’re all Scooby-doo-ed in one square… OH FWEAKING CRAP!!!

I am very unconscious and am very much about to die.

AND that was only the first grenade; I am very, very dead.

<note>

Concerning the merc: he is very dumb and about to reload…

We’re getting the hell out of here.

So… New plan.

While they’re partying, they meet Commander Winston Havelock!!! He saw a party, and decided to join in!

He’s kind of out of work due to his drinking problem…

Metagame; what do we do about the artifact? That’s why Brooke is here.

We still need to worry about their ship

We still need to worry about Alan; he has been perforated (significantly; still ambulatory, though).

Back at the bar; Bones meets Commander Winston Havelock (me), the captain of the ship we just tried to steal… He manages to convince him/me to join their cause.

I volunteer to sabotage the jump drive once we get there.

This is where we make our exit in vacc suits with Bone’s scooty-puff junior?

Mercenary Einstein is probably onto us… Didn’t my last incarnation brain rape him?

Doesn’t matter; there exist escape pods.

“Leave the ship, or we will add your ship to this gas giant’s derelict collection.”

They may or may not have a turret; their response is a laser blast.

Do a barrel roll!!!

They still get off a hit, but we has armor. Our maneuver drive is hit. It’s disabled. Dammit. We jury-rig it; less dammit.

They get hit for a fuel leak: they have no fuel and can’t refuel, AND they can’t possibly hit us.

Dodge: They missed already, but we used our point of thrust

They shoot at us again; effect 0
-hull damage; 3 hull, 4 structure.

We hit them: 2 hull hits.

Alan takes over piloting from me; I go help with gunning (using sensors to task chain assist gunnery).

Gunnery got a bad roll, but we’re shooting an immobile barn door.

WE HIT THE HULL!!! AGAIN!!!

We’re sort of out of hull; it hits the bridge.

DAMMIT!!

I get hit: DAMMIT!!!

End reduced to 0.

Bones heals me; I’m back to full.

Dammit, man!

Crick carves a big “Z” in the enemy ship from a safe distance.

The mercs aren’t being paid that much… (they finally pop the escape pods once it becomes clear they can’t fire back)

Priorities

1) Get the cargo
2) Repair the ship
3) salvage?

I fix the ship.

Get the turret: tough.

In 2 hours, we get the weapon.

Let’s take the turret; it’s worth 1.5 mill!!!

We eject 3 tons of guns; turret’s probably worth more.

Their ship is formidably damaged; this is a score on Alan’s dread pirate sheet. (Arrr! He now qualifies for membership of the Council of Captains of the Narval System in the Corbron cluster.)

DONE!!!

We refuel… Notice that we’re next to the planet where the missing person was.

Hi there, research colony.

They’ve done a lot of expansion since we were here, but they don’t have a real starport.

TO BE CONTINUED!!

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On the Run

Last time on CMU Traveler: After a near-stint at nuclear terrorism and uncovering a body-snatching operation by Crick’s semi-former employers, our intrepid heroes are now paying a visit to the Ruling Party of the planet Vega – namely the one held by our friend the duke. After breaking up another, semi-unrelated body-snatching operation, our heroes are now considering using the previously-nearly-used nuke on the second body-snatching operation.

The question; do our heroes know where the pirate base is? It’s not monolithic. The system has an asteroid belt, and the pirates have hollowed out a few of them that the duke allows them to keep as long as they don’t disrupt his ruling party.

So, it can’t be taken out by our nuke. That doesn’t mean it can’t be taken out by US…

We should offer to take them out and replace them with other pirates that don’t suck.

Problem: We don’t have another group of pirates.

We give the ninjas, and we theoretically get paid. Er… patents of minor nobility valid only on Vega. Open carry on your weapons, at least.

Now… Do we keep someone else’s ship, or do we take the mindcraft version of the millenium falcon?

Warning; the Millenium Falcon may have quirks

It has smuggling compartments: it IS the Serenity! But with a pulse laser

Brooke decides to stick around; she wants me to teach her more skillz.

Sooo… The Far Trader is damn expensive. Let’s go smuggling… The duke likes stimulants…

How much is left on life support? 4 more weeks. Let’s get a job.

Let’s return the scout ship to the scouts; we has our own ship!!!

We remove the labels!! Ship is ours! It has a randomize transponder code button on the dashboard

We return the ship to the Scouts, and tell them about the Relics of the Ancients, and Loknar. We don’t tell them about the map; the map is ours, or the abandoned space station; we don’t really know anything about it.

About the pirates… We’re not exactly an assault force… Oh wait! Yes we are! The pirates have multiple operations, so it’s not necessary to take out the whole base; just the body-snatchers.

We head out to the pirate bases of the Torrent Belt; they’re advertising. This isn’t a terribly lawful system, is it?

It’s law level 0… Aww… I forgot my bomb back on Clint.

Crick wants Intrusion Software

Bones canvases the area/internet. We hear a lot of people talking about how the Not-For-Hire was late… Oh, wait! That’s the ship we stole. Oh crap!

Bones wants to eavesdrop; let the noodle of glory do the work for you.

Alan gets 3500, and is ?… he finally made money gambling, but not sure where this sentence was going

Read surface thoughts: I gather they (scruffy looking crew Bones found in a bar)‘re business rivals of the Not-for-Hire, and don’t exactly have beneficent intent toward said crew. Oh boy.

I can pretend to be a missionary!!!

This involves read surface thoughts, telempathy, and persuade. Oh my dear and fluffy lord. Intent; to find out just what kind of pirates these guys are.

Actually, Bones just gets them drunk. C’mon guys, they’re pirates. You don’t even have to try to get them drunk

Interrogating the pirates

What do you do?
-They smuggle things.

What kind of things?
-We don’t ask

How’s it going?
-Yick. Imperium’s being annoying. Missed a contract

They’re not the body-snatchers.

About the contract…
-So, they didn’t get a contract with Trevor.
Who the hell is Trevor?
-He was paying nicely to move some cargo from clint, and they didn’t get it.
Wait; didn’t we get some nice paying cargo..? Oh boy.

Who got the contract? You seem pretty competent
-Captain Arnesen of the Not for Hire (wait, I thought Arneson was the captain you were talking to… memory fades, though)!! Oh boy.

We know that there’s someone called Trevor. He’s the one we need to pay a visit to.

-He’s got an office 3 asteroids over…
That was easy.

We all meet back, except Alan runs into someone… Bom Bom BOOOOM!!!! Bah da DAH! Bah da DAH!

He bumps into this due. This dude is Valdo, the guy I brain-punched back on the lava world.

Red tried to go kill Makkan.

GREAT! How’ve you been?
-He’s signed on with an underground cybernetics clinic. When Red didn’t come back after two months, Red is probably dead…

Soooo… How’s the clinic going for you?
-We do combat implants, mostly; they’re usually illegal.

Do you guys need any shipping done? We’ve got a cargo ship…
-I might know a guy. I’ll give you a call.

NOW back at the ship… We share info. There’s a guy three asteroids over who’s the next step in the body-snatcher organization.

Should we get the nuke now? Alan’s getting antsy. Let’s get the nuke.

Wait… We delivered 5 tons of cargo. The NFH has 64 tons… 64 > 5… What else is in there?

20 tons of basic consumables (foooood. Or maybe just standard nitrogen-oxygen mix). We find a buyer. We sell it for 48K! HOLY SOKAR!

It took us a day to find a buyer. It would take us a month to find the bomb, so let’s not…

We head to Chez Clive… Er… Trevor. (the offices of Trevor & Clive, LLC)

We find the office… in a strip mall. It’s actually more of a warehouse with an office upstairs. The warehouse isn’t full.

There’s a couple ways we could handle this.
-Pose as buyers/sellers
-Lean on Trevor with our massive arsenal and hope he doesn’t have a bigger one.

We also hope we have both of them in front of us.

Let’s ask the local barflies if they know anything.

Bones finds Trevor (curse you, 12s!). OKAY! I try to brain-probe him. with effect -1. You get a read, but he realizes something’s up.

“Don’t worry; it’s just the absinthe.” We convince him it’s a conspiracy. He dons his tin-foil hat. DAMMIT!!! It actually works!

So… That failed. Let’s follow him/tap his comms. Crick cracks his comms.

He’s called the office; something’s up. The office has found our ship. They are now suspicious.

Let’s hack his computers: we get into his facebook page. We’ve found body-snatchers inc.

Do they appear to have higher-ups? Nope.

We could try to letter-bomb his contact list, but that would be bad…

It looks like it’s a family business; there’s no-one else in the business.

Is there a local bounty-hunter board? We’d like to if Trevor/Clive have any death bounties. Let’s also see if anyone has a bounty on us.
-Nope.

Do they have security on payroll; a couple of dudes.
-Enough to deter thieves, not a frontal assault.

We also hack the security cameras. At some point, they are both in there with a buyer. We storm the place.

In the warehouse; there are crates and palettes of crates, and a creepy little suspended office.

Let’s just apply 60s (telempathy: chill) and bullets to the guards, and a RAM grenade to the office.

I Project the 60s: They immediately whip out the weed.

Bones stun grenades a lot of them, but strangely, they don’t go down (Armor, b*tches).

Crick shoots one.

Brain Punch: he’s out.

The inhabitants of the office have been randomized with a uniform distribution.

SAFE!!! CRATES!!!

Bones does his medic thing, (failing miserably and) killing both of them (the guards who had been shot), and Alan gets a phone call.

Safe: Alan sends the safe into the next county (Gotta love worlds where explosives are readily available). Recon check to find the safe?

Money and Secret documents.

50K and something interesting. Buyer’s lists, acquisitions agents, and bribed people.

The local leos would like the lists.

It’s bad for business to have neighbors explode. Let’s boogie.

Wait… We have a majority of naked women in a warehouse on a pirate planet.

We rent a Uhaul. It’s the guys we met in the bar. They’re kind of happy we blew up their not-so-employers.

We have the girls on the ship, and now take the message from Valdo.
“Oh god! He’s HERE!!! <bang> Hello, Alan”

Oh, crap. It’s Makkan.

This is a situation where we want to check the ship for explosives and then get the hell out of there.

Bones and I go looking for more cargo, Crick is talking to Brooke, and Alan’s supervising the movers/freaking.

Cargo Land: We’re in some of the seedier parts of seedyville.
We’re looking for in-system cargo. We buy 40 tons of cargo at 8000K to go to the Duke’s planet (erm, are contracted to move 40 tons of cargo to Vega Prime. This distinction is important later.).

In the future, let’s ask the women if they’d like to go home.

Let’s get the HELL OUT OF HERE!!!

We head back to Vega, carefully randomizing our transponder code

We use sensors to see if we’re tailed. We’re being tailed by a corsair.

HEY ALAN!!! PEDAL FASTER!!!

Let’s man the guns, but have we sent the “don’t shoot us, we’re pathetic message?”

“This is the Bane of Heathens. Prepare to be boarded” Oh shit. (Ship names for the ages…)

We’re not going to out-ship them. (The corsair pulls 3g, the trader pulls only 1g. Also much better armed) We’re going to have to out-think them.

PILOT!!! STARBURST!!!

Astrogation: 16

Time: 2 minutes!

They get 1 round of shooting. 3 beam-lasers. This isn’t good.

Our turret is hit, but our jump-drive is okay!!!

Jump: 8! We STARBURST!!! TO 0805!!!

What the hells is at 0807???

Actually, It’s an imperial system. CRAP.

It’s a planet of Utah, with a lot of disagreeing religious sects.

We don’t want to spend ANY more time here than we need to.

We beat them to the system, but they’re probably not far behind.

We have numerous problems.

1: Makkan; do things quickly
2: The women: We’ve landed in Utah; there’s got to be some charity that could help them. Let’s talk to them first.

-Mix: A few were trying to get to Vega, but most were just on the run.
18 want to get dropped off, and we find some nice place for them. The other 6 are actually trying to get AWAY from Utah, or some place similar.

We thank the hyper-nuns at the St. Anslem’s Roadside Convent before proceeding out of orbit to refuel. (This has to be a recurring place. Strictly obligatory)

We’re heading back to Vega as soon as is frigging possible.

6 hours to skim, 1.5 to drop off the ladies.

The Bane of Heathens jumps in-system before we finish refueling. It’s 3 hours of distance, but we changed the transceiver codes.

They don’t make a b-line, but they are doing active scans. They’re a million miles away; we are fine. Hold it: How do WE know where they are?

Let’s GTFO!!!

Choices:
1) Vega to drop of Porn (the cargo was determined by Law of Reasonable to be porn and porn accessories) / rest of women.
2) Follow the ancient map to fortune and glory!
-We have locations for the Ancient’s Homeworld (extra-galactic), two mystery points from the map, and an Ancient outpost.

Locnar: Can you make anything of this?
-Not really; he’s hot off the presses, and he’s an engineer, not a navigator.

There are points east, south, and west.

How are the ladies? (Actually, we have 3 guys and 3 girls.) They’re just along for the ride.

We’re going to wind up with a flying harem, aren’t we?

We head south-east to 1008. We don’t care about the physical characteristics.

1008: Civil Service Bureaucracy: We’re at the communist post-office planet.

Distrust travelers; we’re hitting a class-c starport/space station.

They pay taxes to the Imperium, but it’s not a big problem.

Let’s try to sell the Porn. Oh boy.

Let’s refine fuel BEFORE we try to sell this stuff to the commies, okay?
We fail to sell the porn. ALL 40 tons of it????
We take a LOT of time to fail to sell the porn!! (like… a week. And then Crick goes "Not willing to wait a week; we failed because we left after two days.)

Jump to 1109.

Representative democracy, law level 7:
-Space Britain.

AT WAR with the Imperium; they’re kind of under siege.

They’re losing, but they’ve got representatives of just about every organization.

The scouts: They give us gas, we get refugees. NOT MORE REFUGEES!!

Jump to 1111:

Representative Democracy, population 50K.

Refugees and former sex slaves, you can get off here.

Brooke decides to stay; she’s been studying to be a steward (Among other things. Low skill totals are awesome).

WE FINALLY SELL THE PORN!!! HOW MUCH EFFORT DOES IT TAKE TO SELL?? (About a week’s time.)

ONE MILLION CREDITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHHAAAAAAAAAAATTT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

SHOPPING SPREE!!!!!!!! WE’RE ON A TECH LEVEL 11 WORLD!!!!

1113

10 people, Representative democracy, Class B starport?!?!

What… What…

They have weird eating customs. WHAT…?

We avoid the cannibals with can-openers, and the red line keeps moving.

We buy maps from the map-vending… robot?

We buy a sickbay. Bones can actually help people.

_RETCON ALERT:
This world does indeed have a population of 10 people and a more or less representative democracy. Cultural quirk is not odd eating habits (though they might have those as well), but Shaper. It’s a shaper outpost devoted to cybernetic and robotics research. Planet name is Western Garden; small moon about a gas giant terraformed by shaper terraformers about three generations ago, since used as a research base as well as a kind of enclave for shapers who leave shaper space.

Also: Contact: Speaker-With-Foreigners, Shaper Anthropologist._

Jump to 1115: I HAS GUN COMBAT!!!!!!!!!
Hilarity ensues and gets lit on fire.

Not a lot here, but it’s where the map said to go…

There’s a gas giant and some icy rock-balls.

Let’s skim for gas and look for Ancient ships/things. We’ve had good luck before…

That’s no moon… That’s an Ancient Outpost.

Good thing; it’s not operational… Or so the Bothan spies tell us.

Let’s check it out… after we’re done skimming. We approach the moon; the equator isn’t attached; it’s hollow.

We go inside. We find Engineer Scott. (wut?)

Really. Inside the sphere, there’s a ziggurat built into the interior surface of the sphere.

Loknar: is this common for them?
-Nope; this is probably some kind of secret-base-thing.
It’s made of the same stuff as the telescope. Crick gets a brainwave; the metal of the telescope magnified energy… What ELSE does amplified energy do? Oh boy.

We land near the Ziggurat… It’s REALLY big. You may think it’s a long way to the chemist, but listen!

Energy signatures: There’s a giant-ass power source in the ziggurat.

Giant doors; can has control panel? Can has. There’s a big open button on it.

The doors still work… after a very long time…?

Into the Ziggurat!!!

A REALLY long, cathedral-esque chamber. This is odd, since the Ancients weren’t really religious; guess anyone can appreciate good archetecture.

At the end of a (REALLY) long walk, there’s a raised altar, with what looks like a 1/3 ring (stargate) floating above it. It has inscriptions.

Inscriptions: They are in Ancient, but it’s made in some kind of white material.

-It’s fractured at the edges, but it’s big enough that it takes a while to read. It’s something about “weapon of the saviors and unite the successors” Oh hell. OH HELL!

It’s big, but we can fit it in our ship. Loknar has no clue.

We get our first good look at an Ancient; they’re a bit odd looking. (Still looking for the image I have in my head. If I find it, I’ll upload it)

Hold it; there’s 1/3 of a ring here, and we’re at stop 1 of 3. Oh boy.

Ah, well…? Let’s try to move this. I can probably levitate it, barring the freaky deeky shit that’s going to go down when I do.

Zooming out: any other interesting locations (in the cathedral)? Nope; it’s pretty flat.

Let’s try it. Actually, let’s get the ship in here. We start picking up human-type energy signatures approaching. Crap… CRAP…

We have this laser… There are about to not be too many human-type energy signatures.

Comms: It’s Makkan and the Imperials, one night only at the Ancient Ziggurat.

Alan crashes the ship, but yay, It’s a ship. (cosmetic damage; scratched the paint)

Crick mans the turret, and we keep backing up.

P.S: Our ship is now the Troublesome Venture; we JUST decided to name it that.

We’re concerned that they’re here, and concerned that they followed us. We’re concerned on many fronts.

Consolation: No heavy weapons or armor.

They hail us: “We require that you cede the artifact to the Emperor’s Holy Inquisition!”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Crick tells them to go to Mjolnir. He’s going to try and persuade them that it’s beneficial that Mjolnir gets the artifact… Or we will blow another crater in this tiny little moon.

IT’S AN INQUISITION!!! They don’t buy it. (“You know not what powers you meddle with!”)

We apply deeps vigorously (Did you name the laser cannon Deeps?). They start taking cover in the divots we blow in the floor, others get vaporized.

I grab it with my mind, but things get REALLY funky. I start tripping; my mind falls into it.

-Maybe psionics is not totally unknown to the Illyrians.

I get visions: I see warp beasts, I see them destroying the Ancients, and I see the Ancients seeding Earth with life, among other places. I sense other psionics in a large vicinity; the Imperials have some, Brook’s mind is unprotected, and everyone else is just completely open (I believe “chimps” was the word I used to describe the nonpsions in the vicinity).

It seems like an amplifier of psychic power, but it will take a lot of study.

Small problem; with my enhanced power, will I drive it through the ship?

I manage to get it onto the ship, but I’m REALLY drained.

The imperials see us coming, and start closing the doors.

PILOT CHECKS!! Alan and Bones get spectacular rolls.

I’m guessing there are more ships out here… No ships inside, probably because they wouldn’t fit. Oh, CRAP!

We can’t jump out because too close to the gas giant’s gravity well. But that leads to an interesting notion; if you actually build a Dyson sphere in the middle of nowhere, the gravity at the center could be 0, so you could safely jump out. Hmmm…

Sensors:
2+1+8 -2 = 9: It looks like just the corsair.

Our psychic may or may not have ascended; let’s just go.

Brooke comes to look at the artifact. It does something strange; it’s largely the same reaction, but also networks us. We are now unbeatable.

Makkan is on the ground, and is very irritable.

Pyrokinesis: Ignite the fuel tanks!!!

17: Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!!!!!

To shreds, you say!

The back half of the ship (corsair) is gone, and the front crashes into the ship (… moon, you mean. I think).

Brooke and I are both out cold. We have int and probably endurance damage.

Brooke goes into the cryoberth, and I’m hibernating.

We jump towards parts unknown… once our fuel refines.

We get 5 weeks of training. (See Interludes for some stuff which has happened in the interim. Coming soon to an Adventure Log near you)

We need to pick a destination
-Shaper-space: interesting people
-Back to the Imperium: Why?
-More ancients: One at a time!

We want to go shopping. Next TL13 planet.

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Alexlog, Part 2

Begin Session 4: A Tangled Web

Last time on CMU Traveler: We found a derelict ship of the ancients. After fighting off Space Worms, Space Panthers and Space Boobs, AND meeting an extremely friendly instruction manual, we are now heading the hell out of this god-forsaken system, and heading… somewhere.

That somewhere is 0207, otherwise known as Clint. We’re going to offload our technical specs on the Ancient Stardrive (to Mjolnir).

We get there. We head into Clint Prime; it’s about earth-size (assuming earth is the usual case), 30% surface water, an atmosphere like Hong Kong. No-one lives on the surface.

Starport is in a big pit. We’re out into the happiness that is Clint Prime; it’s really warm. (surface temp 315K)

Nothing fancy here; C-class. We’re in the world. What do we do?

We have a lot of drugs… They’re made for the Ancients. Let’s not take anything with us except guns for now… It’s law-level 3; even I’m allowed.

It’s like a toasty kind of Hoth; rooms are drilled out of the rock.

Crick’s contact is somewhere in the industrial district… or we could try the interweb.

Coded comm channel?

Bones tries to sneak around to find them; they have an office.

Alan tries to find hidden comm-lines; he knows exactly what everyone’s doing for dinner, but nothing much; it’s a feudal technocracy; they don’t need to talk to each other.

Crick gets an appointment. What do with the spam? We tell people to pick them up.

They’ll call us… Either that or Alan’s hitting on the secretary.

Gambling Halls!!!!! For asteroid miners and idiots. We are wanted men, though…

Crick puts a tracking device on the ship, unbeknownst to us… Bom Bom BOM! Bah Da Dah! Ba Da Dah! Or not; this world’s tech ain’t that great.

Alan gets grenades, Bones buys them for him without attracting too much attention.

I wonder where we could get a grenade launcher?

I set up Professor Tsilri’s Magic Show: I make 75 credits. Mazel Tov.

I open my mind to the psychic ether, and something speaks to me!

It tells me to meet it at 133rd and Epsilon in the upper Bosborian Hive at Evening Meal.

Meanwhile, the other three are meeting the Mjolnir dude over the Ancient artifacts.

We (well, Crick) get 5% royalties on the next gen of stardrive. Mazel Tov.

We’re going about our business when one of the porters offloading the ancient spam blows himself up.

Bones finds someone who needs 5 tons of cargo moved discretely. Where to? Anywhere but here.

Really, 0607. Bones gets 50k. Holy hells! AND half now, half later.

Back to the bomb; there exists a terrorist organization that opposes the ruling government and occasionally blows themselves up.

We bring this up with Mjolnir. It turns out that the surface dwellers are pissed off that things got industrialized; Mjolnir sort of caused the environment problems.

Upshot; They have a leader. They’d like to talk to him.
The Surfacers (Wastelanders, in my notes): They have villages, but they move and satellite intel isn’t great. They do know they have some kind of rogue telepath.

The psychic: He’s definitely a telepath, and possibly capable of teleportation. Depending on if he’s my contact, we could be in business.

We meet back at the ship; I’ve had the message, but I haven’t gone to drink the koolaid yet. Alan’s dealing with the exploded spam, Bones has 5 tones of something, and Crick has a mission.

I’m going to need to try and get myself into the organization, assuming it’s the right organization.

Somewhat worrisome: these people have detect magic.

I go to the meeting; it’s the local psionics institute: they know I’m a master at teleporation, and they have a job, but the location is insufficiently secure.

I go back with them. It’s in an outlying part of the town toward the surface; it’s a safe-house in a slum.

Basically, the issue is that Mjolnir has been buying the local government and been shipping psions off to the imperium.

THEY’VE BEEN SHIPPING OFF TELEPATHS!!! They did blow up our ship, but MJOLNIR’S BETRAYING TELEPATHS!!!

They want me to use a nuke on their (Mjolnir’s) headquarters.

Better to ask forgiveness than permission… That’s never been used in relation to a nuke before.

I could at least use that completely useless life-sciences skill I have to see if Mjolnir’s hiding something; I’d like a better option, but I don’t have one.

I fail to convince them (rest of the group) that I’m not under duress; they follow me out to the wastes.

I land at a wastelander camp; how do we know this, there’s water.

The others are sneaking up to rifle-not-penalty range. They roll stealth.

The car sets down in the middle of what looks like a Jawa camp.

Alan hears our conversation. I go into the chief’s sand crawler. I don’t come out.

Pocket nuke’s not a problem to port, but city is WELL outside my port range.

Mjolnir is sending Rods from God. Oh Shit.

I starburst out of there, Bones picks up the other two.

Things fall. Other things are unhappy. I had the forethought to put my helmet back on.

Let’s reconvene, and discuss what just happened. I can’t help but feel that we were used.

Om mani pad mé I need a lift now.

I’ve got a bomb; please try to stop me.

Let’s do the smart thing and investigate… and if everyone is evil, THEN we can use the bomb. We won’t use the bomb.

Let’s find a nice rock to hide this under, and only let Loknar know where it is.

I recommend that after we expunge any use for this thing, we have a REAL nice fireworks display in the outer system.

Crick’s seen this before; some Mjolnir execs go rogue and seek out this telepath bounty for fame and fortune. This is where Crick’s job as a corporate “troubleshooter” comes in.

All the telepaths I knew of just got squished; let’s go disable their psi-detectors… with C4.

OR, if we could find evidence that it’s a sideline, we don’t need to wait for the head office.

1) Find and destroy the psi detectors. Keep at least 1 is evidence.
2) Find evidence as to who’s doing it.

2 ways to get in; go in under cover of darkness, or go in as people expecting a meeting. Problem with #2 is that people will expect us.

We still have to have the meeting; going to accounting would give us the best idea of what’s what.

We still have to get IN. There’s a motor pool above and a diamond plant (factory producing synthetic industrial diamonds) below.
Lets see if the plans are on file. Nope.

Wait… They’re trafficking people, and we just got a lot of cargo… I’m putting 2 and 2 together here.

Life detection: sleeping people!

But they have tamper-evident seals… Let’s break them open…Later.

We found a drunk guard. Bones slips him the micky from hell, and he’s out (as in, out to the hospital). Damn.

We found ANOTHER drunk guard. We know the layout, special projects harms small animals, and he’s seen the backpack psi-detectors. (Crick uses authority to convince hospitalized guard to feed him data.)

Bones slips him a micky for good measure.

Getting into the building: Yeah…

We get tranq rounds. (Mechanically, probably broken. These might need to be reexamined for balance.)

Life detection: Not a whole lot of people in the building.

Telempathy: Hit them with the 60s, which is +2 to their stealth.

They make it to the elevator, and hack the the key pad; the elevator opens.

Proceed to security. Nothing can go wrong…

We head to accounting; we’ve pretty much zonked all security at this point.

We hack into the accounting system. We have recorded information that Mjolnir was taking kickbacks for delivering psychics to the empire. I warned you! I warned you!

Special Ops: No one’s there, but it’s kind of locked. Hack fest.

Good; we find the psi detectors, they hack for more info.

Info: They had info on the villagers, traitors in the camp. All of them got rocks dropped on them; they’ve pretty much exhausted the population. The project was going to move off-world to continue the project on the other industrial planet; the one with the space station.

No research on their own; empire must be paying them oodles.

We find an anti-psi armory with detectors, flak vests, and anti-psi drugs. They also have very strange gauss rounds made of purple goo.

We disable the NAS detectors and gauss pistols. We’re done here.

Back to the elevator and BACK OUT!!!

Check for security logs of us; there are. We nuke them.

Everyone is happy, except Alan; he didn’t get to shoot anything.

LET’S GET THE HELL OFF OF THIS PLANET!!!

We kept 3 psi-detectors; one to use, one to sell, one to study.

Hold on a second; we got bugged. We sweep the ship. They bugged us.

We got to jump, and now we have some slightly interesting boxes to open.

Let’s head to 0607 (Vega) by way of 0406 (XV-17).

Gel is a pretty-standard anti-psi drug.

We crack the seal (on the crates o’ people); They’re pretty out of it. A box has also been opened recently.

The missing life-sign is in engineering.

Telempathy: We’re dealing with psychics: I get blocked.

we use the NAS: this is a frigging smart person and powerful telepath.

We get them fairly calm. They’re not coming out, but they’re calm.

Story: Female, Attractive, Naked, Blind. Does not know why on the last one.

Bones fails as a doctor; she contracted for low-berth to get off Clint. She contacted a disreputable transport agency. It turns out she was given lower-than-low berth.

We open all the crates; only one is a psychic, the others are just attractive, female, and naked.

Life Sciences: I speculate that she’s psionically aware (subconscious application of Awareness skill to control metabolism), which protected her from the drugs.

They’re asleep for three weeks; we’ve got life support for eight people; they’re not coming out.

Just so we’re clear, we’re not making the drop.
-We could make the drop, with Alan reenacting Thor’s Wedding.

BTW: her name’s Brook.

0607: Also Known as Vega: High population Industrial world. Also parties, thanks to the duke, and pirates, thanks to the pirates.

RANDOM ENCOUNTER!!! It doesn’t make sense, so it doesn’t happen (Seriously, how many alien derelicts can you reasonably expect to find in one system during the course of a single month?).

Within the day, Brook gets her eyesight back. She was just trying to get out, so she’s not really sure what to make of all this. She’s not real sure what she wants to do.

About the drop we DO NOT intend to make. The bad guys in Vega are just looking for a drop; they’re not looking for OUR ship.

The correct sequence of events
-Land the ship
-Go to the local leos (law enforcement officers), or better yet, the duke.
-We’re willing to help with some kind of sting operation.

Find the duke; go to a party.

The nobles laugh, but I’m a baron. They stop laughing. I have an appointment in the near future. #define near future; we need this to be tomorrow; we’re invited to his party in three days.

WE ONLY HAD THREE DAYS. We had jump-drive problems. And pirates… lots of pirates… And terrorists… LOTS of terrorists.

We go to the party. I can party… barely, Bones gets a bit too drunk, Alan punches out a noble (and gets very, very drunk), and Crick stays in the ship polishing his rifle.

The first rule of parties is that there must be ninjas. (No, really. First Law of Parties in RPGs: if you have to leave your weapons at the door, expect ninjas to attack.)

Where do they come from? The skylight.

The “ruling party” of the planet can’t maintain a defensive perimeter.

The ninjas are there; they’re the guards. They’re there to keep the pirates out.

And now for something completely different…

I am sober enough to talk to the duke. Bones might not do too well, and Alan is out cold.

The Duke… Is partying.

Hey! Duke! Mind talking about the sex trade?

Possibilities: The duke likes parties a lot, enough to pay for them now they’re here, or not enough to not help.

End result: We get knighted for the bust (patents of minor nobility on Vega; relatively exempt from weapons-carry laws, for example), and allies (ninjas!) when we go do it.
Preferred MO; they’re ninjas; they’re all for sneaking. So are we.

Plan: Ninjas form a perimeter, we get info on the drop, and then ninjas.
=> Allow them to take the crates back to the lair, and then out comes Alan.
=> We could use Brook as a lure, but so could I. The point is, we need girls in crates.

OR: the duke probably has female guards.

Okay. We make the drop. Empty crates.

Let’s deal with the jagoffs first.

We go to the drop site; it’s in the mountains in the middle of nowhere. We have ninjas.

Alan plays thor. There’s another ship, and some dudes. They’re waiting. There are 7 of them, and – including the ninjas – 7 of us.

We rig the crates with stun grenades. We reenact Caddyshack. (Nine crates with stun grenades, and one full of Angry Marine with Gauss Rifle.)

We’re there, we deploy the ninjas out the airlock using their Freaky Deeky Ninja Magic.

Let’s Draw! We land the ship such that one of the airlocks isn’t apparent.

The ninjas and Crick deploy out the side.

There’s a pilot in the ship, because it makes things more interesting.

Two possibilities; they take the crates without asking, and Tim wreaks havoc. OR, they open a crate, and we’re committed to the channel.

Crick’s on the roof, Bones and I are walking to meet them, and Tim’s in the crate.

“Soooo….”

There exist seven dudes, one in the ship.
-Captain, first officer, 3 cargo guys, noble-looking personage who was not at the party.

They Picked ALAN! That guy didn’t stand a chance. Combat ensues.

Pyrokinesis!!!!

The first officer is now on fire and takes 1d6 fire damage, but it’s negated by the combat armor. That said, he’s not happy.

Tim nails the guy in the combat armor, everyone else goes in short order. Let’s get on the ship before they go. There’s a pilot on the ship.

His response; They don’t pay me to get shot at.

Let’s do the math.

Captain’s out, Mooks are out (except for crate boy… Sorry) First Office is conscious and on fire. He’s not conscious any more; we get a can-opener.

We have prisoners, and… A BIGGER SHIP!!!

The ship: We have a 200-ton far-trader! WOO HOO!!!

I succeed at the brain probe:
Are you a decision-making manager, or just a lacky for the higher ups?
-They are the actual guys. They’re actually part of the local pirates.

Let’s go get the pocket nuke.

Where’s the pirate base
-On board a space-station; it’s either mobile, or the local leos are corrupt.

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Adventure Log
A blog for your campaign

Back Story:

The Divine Imperium: We haven’t met any aliens as we go into space. The Prophet arose on earth, badmouthed telepaths, and then started a war that got him killed and the imperium started.

Me (Tsilri): I was a lab experiment for a corrupt company durring the days before the Divine Imperium. Company got nuked during the siege of Terra; I managed to get a lot of people out, and stole an alien artifact. I’ve been working with them since.

The Map: It’s a weird alien map to some solar system that we haven’t quite made it to yet.

The Imperium isn’t nice. We’ve sort of been on the run on a merchant liner with Capt. Handy. We’re in orbit around a volcanic planet; we’re out of fuel (and the jump drive on the liner’s shot. The scout ship’s is OK, but there’s not enough space for everyone in it).

The planet: Small, volcanic moon w/ magnetic anomaly. We know where it is. There’s a planetside Imperium research station. Crikey!

We land the merchant liner on the opposite side of the planet and take our scout ship in to examine the anomaly. We need respirators (thin, tainted atmosphere). Ship’s locker.

The Artifact: Not natural, but not human. There’s an entry 10 meters up.

(Found an ancient defense drone that had been activated by the scientists from the research base. Between Alan’s assault rifle, Tsilri’s telekinesis, and plain good luck on Bones’ part, they disable it with no casualties)

There are 3 of us, the noble (Duke Chandreshakar of Vega), and 4 dead scientists, and 4 hours of air. Noble wants salvage, may know a friend back at research station. I DON’T WANNA GO!

Begin Session 2: Eye of the Ancients

We go to base; their entrance to artifact is not 30 ft up.

We have air. Scientists are sad. We meet the security guy (James Crick). Jared has character.
We heal.

Sun comes up. Back to ruins. Yay.
Bring extra air; we have 12 hours of air, 6 now and 6 stashed at the intersection where we met the robot.

There’s a door behind where the robot was. What’re we going to do about it?
-Weird control panel; the door opens.

We’ve converted from stone passages to metal passages; we’re inside the artifact.
-Interior: It’s built in a series of concentric rings, sloping down toward… something.

Encounter: We have supply closets. They’re full of stuff.
-We find tanks. They’re full of gas. Bones tries huffing it.
-Nothing really happens, but he feels weird.
-We find spheres of organic material; someone’s lunch?

We wants air. We gets air. Tell the station to bring more air.

We go back to the inner ring, and get blocked by the cave-in. We speculate lava-flow.

Try the other way; we see phosphorescence along the walls. It’s worms; 2-foot long worms.
-Bones pokes it. We have found the amazing farting space maggots.

Back to the central corridor; we air up. We now have 2 sets of reserves.

WE HAVE AIR!!!

We get to THE CORE!!!

There’s a door; it’s locked.

Microkinesis: I opened the panel.

The door opens; there is very hot air inside.
“What do you see? I see wondrous things”

It’s big, it’s glowing, and it’s talking to us.

Life Detection: There’s nothing alive in here.

Not necessary; the computer starts talking to us.

We start talking to it; the area is safe.

It takes us 6 hours to talk to the computer. (To teach it English, basically)

What’s your purpose?
-Monitoring station 42. Monitoring this area of space. This area of space is pretty damn big, and it’s not amused that people are wandering through its mountain-sized telescope.

-The ancients were here; last ship from home was zillions of years ago.

The computer updates the map artifact, AND shows us the homeworld of the ancients; it’s far outside the galaxy.

What were you monitoring?
-Observed stellar development, planet formation.
Is their life-support?
-Nope.

Map of the facility; as we thought.

There were other monitoring stations, but they were lost.

Nothing to repair a jump drive.

We get a copy of his data; it’s a couple million years of astronomical data.

Signal from Dewy (Merchant crewman left on the scout ship to monitor sensors and comms); ship incoming 12 hours.

6 hours back to the scout ship.

Incoming ship; it’s the resupply ship for the station.

We could use parts from the scout ship.

Bones fails epically; the scout ship is in pieces. We need parts, or passage for 18 people.

We should request passage; the duke may or may not be inclined to help us.

The duke’s inclined to help us, but a few of the traders look like they recognize us.
-The group:
-Jance: the sniper
-Valdo: the medic
-Grip: the thug
-Red: the leader
-Appear to be planning;
-Jance is on nearby hill w/ rifle, others are around the ship.
-They know we’re in the research team’s modules.
-They want to kill us; there’s a half-million credit bounty on us.
-We need to get the captain on our side, and

I head back to the ship by a way they can’t see.

Combat ensues. One’s dead, one isn’t very happy, and the other’s about to get real talkative.

Psi-Probe Red
I am now completely out of psi.
Who do they work for?
-They got a tip from the bounty hunter Makkan. Alan knows him
-Give Makkan a message; we’re not to be frelled with.
-We’ve already killed one; keep them busy.

Now that’s over, Bones and Crick get on the far trader and buy the jump drive parts (They booked passage on the supply ship to hex 0408, an industrial world. Bought spare ships parts, and some other things. Bones barely avoids getting caught by the police while sneaking C4 into the starport. Then they bought passage back to the research station.).
I spend a lot of time shooting up lava flows. I may even graduate to the inside of the barn door.

I now has my psi again.

Before they jump, they notice a derelict space station.

Back on the rock:
Prisoners are out of here; goodbye Handsy.

Let’s try this again; we’ve now got two jump drives to fix.

Fixed the scout ship AND the merchant ship; we have 1 ton of jump drive parts to sell (or keep around for next time something breaks…).

We bid the gnomes (er, merchants) farewell.

We’re refueling in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant, and find a derelict ship in tidal lock. No rad, no life-signs.

We get closer, and we come under the impression that it’s not human in origin; this might be the intergalactic supply ship from the Ancient outpost.

Begin Session 3: Ghost Ship

Getting on board. Port?

We use Vacc suits. There is happiness.

We get through the airlock in 3 minutes.

We’re in the spaceship. There is an atmosphere, but it’s not all that great.

We dock in the front so that we can clear areas as we come to them. We see cargo areas; there’s stuff.
-Containers: We get them open; ancient spam, and something that’s not spam; looks like MREs.
-We spend an hour hauling crates; we want as much as we can get.
-We take a representative sample.
-Open the MRE; we think they’re drugs. Medical, Recreational, or Combat?
-Bones does drugs (Thought he just ran tests on them; not horribly toxic to humans), we haul crates.

We look around. No corpses in the launch bay…
Grid layout by compartment.

Tim goes off by his own.

We’re walking along, and there’s something inscribed on the ceiling; it looks like it was written; it looks almost like a fractile. We (Crick) takes a picture with his iphone. It’s probably a psi effect, but like nothing I’ve ever seen; other people get headaches.

I pull a counselor troi and open my mind to it. I see it expand infinitely around me (like a fractal,) but I can’t fathom its meaning. It’s not trying to kill me, but I can’t understand it.

We look around; we’re in living quarters. We find cryo-pods. One of them was forced open from the outside. Bom Bom BOOOOOOOOOOOM!

The cryo-pods are about human-size. Hmm.

The rooms themselves look like whoever left did so in a hurry, but not mary celeste style.

We find a computer… Several computers, but they’re out of power.

Let’s look for main engineering. We’re heading aft, and find some disabled elevators. We walk down the elevators.

We head into engineering. We open a door; it’s kind of a galley/eating area. There exist tables… Floating tables. John is drawing a map; it’s combat time (Hmm… fine, next time I won’t). There are a couple of glowing green spheres that are just floating.

Tim pokes one. It’s warm and fuzzy. Tim (Alan) squeezes it; it starts moving, and goes through a wall. It’s not strictly corporeal, or the wall isn’t strictly corporeal. We test the wall; it’s pretty solid.

The globes start glowing brighter and pulsing more. One shoots lightning at Crick (When he tries the same thing Alan did).

Tim (Alan) shoots it. The bullets go through it, and it turns translucent. It’s still chasing Crick.

BRAIN PUNCH!!! It’s not happy. It’s not happy all over the place.

Let’s not touch another one of those, ok? (And thus ends the infamous ‘space boobs’ incident)

Alan finds something interesting. He finds liquid that is probably booze for these people.

Let’s keep going. We get further into engineering; things look wrong. The corridors look out of proportion and skewed. Honey, we shrunk the Aurora. The corridor is doing the samba in no perceptible pattern.

We do a test; objects don’t move in a straight line; creepy, but things are good.

The comms work, but they’re scratchy; less good.

This is getting screwy; let’s go to the bridge. Alan/Bones keep going, we go to the bridge.

Crick starts seeing things out of the corner of the eye. Let’s not worry about it.
The bridge is… A bridge!!!

Any messages? Someone was scratching something into the workstation, but they left off mid-symbol.

Corpses!!!! What do they look like? After this long, not a lot. (Dust. Wind. Dude.)
Equipment!!!! They have PISTOLS!!! Look like some kind of disc launchers! 4 of them.
-Nice guns. They have a cylinder of metal.
-I CAN HAS ONE!!!
-Not sure what the ammo capacity is.
-The ammo clips look partially depleted; they were shooting at something.

Rest of the bridge is dead.

Meanwhile, back in the twilight zone…

Alan/Bones royally fail to see something. Something bad. It’s black, and made of fangs. IT MISSES!!!

Alan/Bones fail init. Alan takes MAD damage…. #define MAD 3. (Grr combat armor)

They get a good look at it; it’s BIG – panther size. Not sure how it came out of nowhere.

Combat is happening.

It flees (After Alan unloads on it and it goes incorporeal), going through the corner between deck and wall. This causes the corridor to shift more.

We catch up with them; they’re arguing about silencers.

We are in the twilight zone. We’re looking for engineering to fix the drives.

I know EXACTLY what happened! “We got cabin fever! We got cabin fever!”

We keep walking; the ship is REALLY doing the samba.

We come to a blast door. We hack it! We hack hacking it!
-It makes a bit more sense than it should; something is manipulating our (er, Crick’s) brains!

The door is open. It is THE REACTOR CHAMBER!

The reactor is cold, but space is trippier than woodstock.

In the room, there are about 20 of these white, worm-esque things floating through the rooms. They’re small size. Alan pokes one. Nothing happens.

We go back to the ship. We get air. We’re confused by the trippiness.
I’m back to P14

We move the ship to an airlock closer.

We’re in a different section of engineering; we’re in the drive chamber.
-The Intergalactic stardrive!!! Problem is, it’s doing the samba.
-We take spare parts, fuel, and document EVERYTHING. There’s data that someone will want.

life detection: There are minds, but not standard minds. I’m getting animal intelligence signals, but they’re fading in and out of existence. Bottom line: We’re not alone.

I try to scan for comm signals; I’m getting transmissions, but I can’t fix a location; it’s coming from everywhere.

Head back to the reactor core, and try to avoid the worms.

We’re wandering; we find a room with a door that’s been welded shut. How much this helps against the spirit worms is questionable.

Life detection: There’s nothing alive inside the room. Bring out the fusion torch!

First impression; there are things in the air. Small room, floating things.

Lots of little bits of bones with things carved in them. Doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen. And, on the wall, bigger fractal. It makes us (Crick) hallucinate a humanoid that starts talking to us (well, him).

It introduces itself – in english – as Loknar. It’s a self-aware meme that was created by the ancients and propagated amongst their engineering crews to help with their tech.
-Psychic AI
It asks Crick (only he can see it) to propagate it discretely.

It doesn’t know what happened to the ship; it’s an image in time, so all it remembers is being written on the homeworld.

It can tell him that the ship suffered a warp-core failure.

Read Surface Thoughts: I’m in on the conversation.

The floating ghost things are native to whatever dimension the warp core operated on.

The warp core is toast.

Symbols on the bone; not a variant on ancient. Maybe there was an intelligence here that I couldn’t detect.

We ask it about the guns. They’re cool. More damage. (See the item listing Shuriken Pistols for details)

Back to the bridge; let’s see if we can translate the message left on the console.
It’s probably something the ancients wanted found; it’s probably why the meme initiator was scribed on the wall.

It’s something about a mutiny on the ship. Say WHAT!?

Theory; the warp core explodes, something comes out of the warp core, and people started getting pissed.

NB: The Ancients weren’t psychic.

We’d like to find what happened; let’s see if we can run power. Let’s do jumper cable.
Run a cable to a place near the warp core. How the hell will the worms react to a live ring main?

We get to the junction box. There exist floating worms, mostly around the core itself.

Tim tries feeling it up. He has a good time, but is now bleeding out of various orifices.

We roll recon: Bones gets jumped; he rolled a -3; he has to get jumped. (Strictly obligatory)

What does he get jumped by? it has a LOT of teeth. (Another of the Warp Panthers, as they’ve come to be known)

BRAIN PUNCH: I killed it with my brain!

ANOTHER one comes out.

Alan kills it (I think Bones actually downed it; Alan just wrestled with it because it jumped out of the wall into grappling range with him); I need to medic someone. It takes 5 minutes; I hope nothing jumped us.

We get the boxes in order. To the Bat Bridge!

We’re at the bridge; let’s copy down the logs.
We copy them down, and the power dies. This has many possibilities, none of them good. Let’s go back to the ship…

The ship appears to be fine… That means something’s wrong with the junction box.

The worms are chewing on the wire… LOTS of worms. There were 20 worms. There are more of them. They are multiplying.

We disconnect the power. We GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE (Er, purple and GTFO?)

Recap: We’ve got meds, spam, guns, and a sentient meme. I think that went well.
We have jump fuel. Where to?

0408: high law-level, but DERILICT SPACE STATION!
0406:This system has researchers who might be interested in our junk.
0306: Nice people.
0607: Research and Scout, but we don’t want to go there; advanced tech is the sole property of the king.
0207: High Industry, law level 3.

0207 to off-load our stuff, then to 0408 for SPACE STATION!!!

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