After their briefing last session, the crew of the Sex Thing have arrived as staging point alpha just outside the Anundarluu nebula, along with the scout ship I Mean It This Time and the fuel tanker Clean Up Your Own Mess. The plan was that the Sex Thing and I Mean It would jump in to the investigate the comet, spend up to a week there, and then jump back out. The Tanker would remain at the staging point for four weeks, giving the scouts an extra week in case of emergencies.
They run over their final plans with the scout crew, including biological safety procedures and what their initial plans will be when they come out of jump – keep back from the comet and do long distance scan until they’re certain everything is safe. They know that there is potentially an alien craft to investigate, plus the scout ship Widdershins Explorer which was left there by the Deepnight Endeavour after the crew were infected by the entity.
The jump should have been relatively quick, but a small complication I added ended up taking up the entire session. Which was fine, because people seemed to enjoy it. The Anundarluu has a number of reputations, amongst them the issue that people sometimes have strange dreams when they’re in there. So on the first night of being in jump, I had the players roll 1d6. Khadashi rolled a 6, as did the NPC Trennance, so they both had something happen.
Khadashi woke from a dream of something going through his memories, along with the rapidly fading thought that something else had happened. Madeleine told him to go back to sleep, but he got up and went to disturb Zanobia for her to give him a brain scan, or something. After a couple of hours of medical checkups, she gave him a tinfoil hat and some electrical sensors and he went back to bed.
The following morning, the crew have a discussion about it and Trennance admits to have been woken to the feeling that he was being watched. He just went back to sleep though. There is a lot of discussion about whether it could be telepathic defences from the Entity on the comet, but that was a long way away. They went out ship sensor records, but the only oddity was a slightly ‘rough’ ride from the jump drive – but nothing outside usual safety limits.
During the conversation, there is talk of being able to scan people’s minds to try and find out what they really remember, and Zanobia gets a “Do you need a telepath?” message in her head. She heads back to her lab, and is met by the latest crewmember, the Vargr Alfred. He admits to her about being a telepath, and that he could look in people’s heads if she thought it was necessary. But it wasn’t something he wanted to do unless it was necessary, and he didn’t want others to know. At least not yet.
Zanobia is of course more than happy to do weird science experiments, so hooks up both Alfred and Khadashi to various EEG machines, and tells Khadashi that with the machines will allow Alfred to sniff out his thoughts. Being Vilani, Khadashi simply believes the doctor, though finds it a bit odd.
Khadashi’s surface thoughts are a bit random (the player does some good roleplaying of the sort of things going through his mind), then Alfred tries a deeper probe, but fails the check by one point. He starts pushing deeper into Khadashi’s mind, then sees something looking back at him, and quickly drops out.
Khadashi, thinking there might be something aboard the ship that was looking in his head, goes off to do a sweep of the ship. Apart from a dead rat hidden in a deep recess of the engineering section, he doesn’t locate anything. The fact that they have had rats on the ship though is a major distraction for the crew for a while.
Zanobia and Alfred have a discussion about what could be in Khadashi’s head, though in hindsight Alfred thinks that he came across a memory that Khadashi had, rather something that was active then.
The second night goes without incident, but on the third night Madeline is woken by what she describes as whale song. Over the next nights there are no more dreams, but various attempts to check the ship’s scanners and jump drive data to look for anything unusual.
The dreams was something I put in as background flavour, and hadn’t expected it to take up most of the session, but the players seemed to enjoy it. And they didn’t even get to the really interesting dreams. But now they are concerned that either the Entity has been doing things to them, or the nebula itself has been doing things to them.
They come out of jump to find that the I Mean It This Time has been here for six hours, and that they’ve started scanning the comet. Both components of the comet are there – the main body and the smaller companion which is in a synchronous orbit around it. Rather worryingly, the ice ‘fingers’ on the main body seem to be larger than they were when the original expedition got here.
They have discovered the two ships, plus there seems to be some formation on the smaller cometary body.
Life signs are… indeterminate. The scout’s scanners doesn’t seem to be certain whether there’s no life there or a lot of life. Give that it’s a comet with a large amount of carbon compounds, it could be getting confused by the non-living organic matter on the comet. Then again, it could be something else.
The crew of the I Mean It This Time had also had problems with dreams – Dr Juuma Rusasa and Maia Arrich both had strange dreams. They’d also done some sensor scans and hadn’t discovered anything unusual, though their scans had been more complete than the crew of the Sex Thing had managed. Maia had had the worst – feelings of hands all over her body, and through her body.
They are now in a position though to start exploring the comet, and seeing what information they can find about the nature of the deepnight entity here.
This session had quite a bit of roleplaying between the PCs, which was good. Now that Zanobia is aware that Alfred is a psion is also good from my perspective, since it means he’ll have more opportunity to make use of his skills rather than having to hide them from the rest of the group.