All A Shambles

Another session of our weekly Traveller game on Roll20, as the PCs continue their examination of the Deepnight Endeavour. Contains spoilers for the adventure Great Rift Adventures 2: Deepnight Endeavour.

With Zanobia still safely on the ship, Khadashi, Shinzaro and Laura continue their EVA across to the science section. Though the ship is tumbling, it’s doing so slowly enough that I don’t make anyone make skill checks. They all have a Vacc Suit skill, so they can manage it. If they hadn’t had a skill, then I would have required a check of some kind.

It was then that they got a weak radio message from somebody nearby, who identified themselves as Trennance Zedhehlale. Since Khadashi has a skill in Languages, I allow him a check to see if he notices Trennance’s accent, but he fails.

I decided to play Trennance as a stereotypical stiff upper lip British officer – he was in a bit of a sticky situation, and could do with a bit of help, that sort of thing. Keeping reasonably calm, since panicking never helped anyone. He was one of the science team, but had got cut off from them some time ago. He had heard the PCs radio messages earlier, and risked coming out of his normally safe hideout in order to find the parts to put together a radio transmitter to contact them.

However, we was now trapped by one of those shambler things, and could really do with some help. Zanobia checked his name against the crew list, and found that there was a Darrian named Trennance Zedhehlale.

It was then though that the jamming started up again, and the EVA team lost communication with both Trennance and Zanobia. After some effort, Zanobia is able to get text messaging working, but for a while they are out of communication.

So they decided to head onwards to the science lab and check that out before trying to rescue Trennance. Since he really was in a spot of bother, I decided to leave it to fate to see what happened to him. Whenever I felt that enough time had passed, I’d roll 2d6. When I’d accumulated two 6s, then I’d assume that Trennance had been killed.

The science lab had some lights on but looking through the windows there didn’t seem to be anyone home. There was an airlock though that had been decked out with paint and lights. The PCs weren’t sure whether theis had been set as a trap, as a warning that it didn’t work, or so it could be easily found by the crew.

In the end Khadashi risked entering the lock, and was met by a couple of members of the science team, wearing vacc suits and equipped with snub carbines pointed very much in his direction. The fact that he’s managed to operate the airlock and is talking implies that he’s probably not suffering from late stage infection, but they want to be certain. One of them removes a helmet to show that she’s not showing obvious signs of infection, then Khadashi removes his Vacc Suit, and they take a blood sample just to be sure.

Dr Jarla Kleine introduces herself as head of the science team, and after basic introductions goes on to explain what’s happened over the past year.

Meanwhile, Shinzaro and Laura head over towards engineering to try and rescue Trennance. I’ve made several checks for his safety by this point, and so far he’d been really lucky.

They enter the engineering section, to find some signs of combat in the area, but head in the vague direction of where they think he might be. It’s then I roll a double 6 and Trennance’s luck runs out. They hear shouting and shooting from down the corridor, so rush in that direction.

Trennance gets very lucky. He’s trying to fight off a shambler – a heavily infected human (or maybe vargr) that looks more like a shambling mound out of D&D than a human. Every attack from the shambler misses, and Shinzaro and Laura open up with it with their laser carbins. Both hit, and together they quickly incinerate it. Lasers are pretty nasty against unarmoured creatures.

He is grateful, but suggests that they keep away just in case he has been infected. He’s keen to be rescued though, and gives what knowledge he can. He reckons that “Guns”, the weapons officer who turned the ship weapons on the fuel cache is responsible for the jamming. He suggests that she might be the only sane one aboard the ship, and may have tried to prevent them from getting home in order to prevent the spread of the infection. He thinks he knows where she might be.

Khadashi meanwhile is finding out what happened from the science team. Apparently one of their scouts didn’t return from exploration of a comet in the Anundarluu nebula, and the rescue team that went to find them came back infected. The infection spread through the crew, and when the decision was made to return home, their astrogator deliberately set a misjump. After the incident at the fuel depot, the bridge and engineering teams came to blows over what to do next, which resulted in most of the ship systems being shut down.

She believes that all the ship weapon systems have been disabled, and “Guns”, the weapons officer, has been jamming any attempts to send out messages. The science team have been trying to work on a cure, and though they’ve got close a few times, they haven’t succeeded yet.

By this point Zanobia has got comms working again, and there is an agreement to share what information they have. Dr Kleine is also willing to provide some samples to be taken away just in case they can’t get off the ship. Maybe somewhere back home can find a cure. She recommends the company Intuitive Biomedics based on New Colchis as a decent place to take things.

Khadashi and Shinzaro both take their respective data back to the Sex Thing, leaving it outside the airlock for Zanobia to collect and take inside.

There is discussion about whether Dr Kleine can be trusted, and whether she is seeking to use the infection as a bioweapon, selling it on to the company she suggested. Zanobia intends to look over the medical notes and try and see if there’s anything obvious in there that has been missed.

We called a halt at that point, and I’m not sure what the PCs are planning to do next – especially since looking over the biological notes will take some time. They’re still paranoid though, and trying their best not to bring any infection back to the ship, which probably good practice.

Samuel Penn