Dicing the Moon

In the previous session of the group’s Deepnight Revelation side quest, the Travellers had delved down into the mountain on Goblin’s Planet and found the dead bodies of previous explorers as well as some aliens sealed away in crystal berths. They’d just opened a door to some high tech installation where we ended the session.

Beyond was a large, 100m diameter spherical room, with a walkway running around the outside level with the door. A second door was visible directly across the room, and what looked like consoles were positioned on the railings halfway around on both sides. The room was lit by machinery that was floating in the middle of the room. It was sliding up and down, with no visible means of support – though given the prevalence of anti-grav technology this wasn’t too surprising.

Some examination of the consoles managed to bring up some information that suggested that they were monitoring energy systems, with nine different energy sinks. The controls though, whilst holographic and pretty, weren’t entirely clear. There were also some controls which suggested movement, and playing with those caused a feeling of being rotated.

The door on the far side opened at a touch – merging into the surrounding wall much like the first door had. This caused the first door to close shut. Beyond was a similar spherical room, but this had the bottom half filled with water. It is exceedingly cold in the room, and a lump of ice floated in the middle of the room, in which there seemed to be a humanoid figure – possibly human. A rope was tied to the railings, but covered in ice. Dipping a stick into the water caused ice to freeze around it. It was almost as if the water was in a state of super-cooled, freezing around nucleation points, but the ice wasn’t spreading much beyond those points.

There were more controls here for turning the room, but they went directly ahead. As the Travellers were to figure out later, there were nine different rooms, connected to each other in a not entirely euclidean fashion. This was Ancient technology, well beyond what Imperium science could understand. Turning rooms would allow them to connect to each other in different combinations.

The next room was a hemisphere with a flat floor, and the centrepiece seemed to be a large brain in a jar. Well, possibly a brain-like organism inside a large geodesic dome surrounded by consoles and monitors, with pipes connecting it to large cylinders filled with liquids. Several of the pipes had been cut, and an axe had been left on the floor. There were signs that someone had tried shooting the geodesic dome, but hadn’t done much damage. Whatever was inside was alive, but until Zanobia came in to take a look they weren’t sure of the details.

Fiddling with the controls (fiddling with alien controls you don’t understand is always fun), she determined that it possibly wasn’t in a great state. There were some video feeds of something – they seem to cut randomly between different scenes, and seemed to be from the point of view of people in the village. The quality was poor and distorted. Briefly there was a scene from the Prowling the Outdoors, the Aslan ship in orbit, and another of Alfred and Shinzaro aboard the Sex Thing where there seemed to be some signs of aggressive activity. Zanobia reduced some of the inputs on the controls, but it didn’t have immediate effects.

At one point they double checked that they could get back, and noticed that two more of the crystal casings in the corridor outside were broken, but there were no signs of the aliens.

Beyond the brain room were what they determined to be targeting consoles. One of them was highlighting the Sex Thing, but there were also options for the Rainstorm, the Prowling the Outdoors, the village settlement and the planet’s moon. With a bit of random fiddling, Khadashi managed to bring up a small nearby asteroid as well.

This was going to be an opportunity for the PCs to do some very bad things if they weren’t careful. Exploration of other rooms eventually allowed them to guess that there were two different weapon systems – a gravity slicer and maybe the power drain. The power drain couldn’t reach the moon, but the gravity slicer could. They didn’t try that combination, but did try them on the asteroid. The power drain had no effect (it’s a lump of rock), but the gravity slicer broke it apart and the sensors seemed to show parts of it impacting on the upper atmosphere. They decided not to play with it anymore, and did their best to deactivate things as best they could.

I don’t want to dice the moon.

— Khadashi

There was a dead human in this room, as well as two six limbed alien corpses. Shotgun casings littered the floor, and there was a bloody cutlass as well.

The weapon rooms had large pieces of complex machinery floating in the centre of them. One looked like someone had tried to hook up some explosives, but the detonators required electricity to work and were non-functional. As well as a garden room, and a big empty room with a ‘flame’ burning in the middle in zero-gravity there was a room full of stasis berths. Many were empty, and there were bodies and signs of violence in the room.

Khadashi went into the room, and there was the sound of a berth opening – maybe a couple. He quickly retreated, getting a hint of movement in the darkness between the berths. He got back to the previous room and they closed the door before anything went wrong.

They headed back to the Sex Thing to get some rest and plan their next move. Apparently there had been a bright light show in the sky whilst they were away – a large meteor breaking up in the atmosphere. Teeka had also become very ‘agitated’ at some point and needed sedating.

The next plan seems to be to return and investigate the room with the stasis berths. There could be danger there in the form of the alien creatures, so they plan to go with the full crew and weapon up as best they can. Which probably means I need to read up on the combat rules again, just in case. We’ve had very little combat in this campaign, and when we have done it I’ve tended to lean on the narrative side of things. From my perspective it would be good to get comfortable with this and get an idea of how it flows, since I still don’t have a good grasp of what could be dangerous and what isn’t.

For a group that avoids combat though, they’ve definitely stocked up on heavy weapons and armour to ensure that they have a huge advantage if it ever does happen. Here though, they can’t use their high tech gear, so it will be more of a balanced (and therefore dangerous) fight if they get into one. We’ll see what happens next session.

Samuel Penn

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