Session 1 7

The trip to Prime - Lagos Prime, that is, not Mu Cephei Prime like may from outside the system assume - is, thankfully, uneventful.
Zinda Tegram: As the autopilot carries Zinda to Prime, she keys in some scanning parameters for the salvage of the oldzien ships she shot down.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Quick sidetrack.
Unlike most inhabitated planets with a major populace, there are no orbital spaceports. Abraham and Hrrin only realize that this has been nagging at them once they get to orbit.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Just gonna nick some salvage.
The Oldzien ships' debris was still floating outside the station. Salvage is conducted quickly before the trip begins in earnest.
Hrrin: "So how many different 'Bad Feelings' do we have about this? Let us recap."
[OOC] Hrrin: Orbital spaceports being…wait, no established place to go from 'space to surface'? Or am I being dense.
[OOC] WC GM: You are correct.
[OOC] WC GM: At least, no established place in orbit.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: So we're SSTO? No transfer craft?
[OOC] WC GM: No transfer craft, but no SSTO. Well, *your* fighters are SSTO.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Alright.
Even orbit is completely free of the usual minimal debris around a space-accessing planetary population.
But from orbit, the red glow of the massive Lago shield - tuned to deflect and shed radiation - is visible on the ground.
Hrrin: "The surface rabbits…really don't have much, do they?"
…and the usual traffic control bands are completely dead.
Zinda Tegram sighs and nervously fiddles with her pill box. Re-entry isn't gonna be fun.
Next to the shield is a smaller red dot - another shield for that Shaft, presumably. It's barely possible to make it out as a distinct thing, and only because you know it's there.
Hrrin: "And in we go."
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: Pilot checks?
There were cities, once. There still are - towers of steel and concrete and glass - but you know them to be husks, long since salvaged of anything worth removing, and the rest left to be continually blasted by an unforgiving sun.
Zinda Tegram grits her teeth and angles her nose downwards. Ooooh boy…
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: Or is this trivial?
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 0 0 + (Base: 4 Total: 5)
This is the easiest atmospheric entry you have ever had. No rush, no incoming fire - autopilot could handle it.
Abraham Bounty: "Very smooth. Nice job Zinda."
…which, frankly, is a bit more unsettling.
Zinda Tegram: "Thanks."
[OOC] WC GM: Roll if you want, but it's vs. 0.
[OOC] WC GM: You only fail if you get a negative.
Abraham Bounty rolled up 4dF: + - + 0 (Base: 3 Total: 4)
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: Well, this is a roll playing game after all.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Heehee!
Hrrin rolled up 4dF: - 0 0 0 (Base: 2 Total: 1)
Abraham Bounty: "No really. I've seen dedicated auto-pilots not do as well as that."
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: - + + 0 (Base: 3 Total: 4)
Zinda Tegram: Shaky on comms: "Y-yeah. Thanks…"
There were farmlands, too. You can still see the massive flat areas - and perhaps a different shade of ash, a slight border where one kind of crop versus another was left to burn, and the resulting ash was ever so slightly differently colored. Or perhaps one field was left fallow just before the end.
Hrrin: "It feels like landing on a dead planet. Unsettling."
Spyboy Pearson: "It's close. It's close."
And wilderness! Or presumably. Darker, thicker ash.
Zinda Tegram: "Reminds me of Asago, really. Just no surface fire."
At least the deserts still look like deserts. And the rocky wastelands that never had much to burn remain much the same.
Hrrin: "Miles and miles and miles of empty."
[OOC] Hrrin: Hrrin. Just a little spooked. Planets shouldn't be dead.
There are no ice caps or oceans, having long since melted and boiled away. Nor are there clouds. Though you know there yet remains much water under the surface - especially the main underground reservoirs that much of the sea was dumped into, when the Lagos realized what was happening.
Spyboy Pearson: "Every year the sun gets a little bigger. It won't be too long before it goes nova."
Spyboy Pearson: "Fortunately that's on a galactic timeframe. We have another few billion years."
If it wasn't for the promise that glowing, and growing as you approach, patch of red held, the backs of your minds would be screaming that there was nothing, could be nothing, here and that you should really pull out and leave.
As it is, it is merely a whisper. Even to BBBB and Spyboy, who *KNOW* better.
Zinda Tegram taps in a scan for the shaft now that we're closer.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Those of us without guns were able to arm ourselves from Zinda's stockpile, yes?
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: I ain't an astrophysicist, but I though once the sun started to expand, it was million of year for a nova, not billions. Or is this sun an exception?
[OOC] WC GM: Correct him ICly? ;)
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: ooooh, okay
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: Well, I want to make sure I'm right before I do.
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: Still, I can ask.
Yep. That other red glow is the Shaft, alright. If it's armed, its defenses are better hidden. Of course, that shield's blocking most scans.
But you can see that it covers a deep chasm.
Abraham Bounty: "I thought it was more millions of years once the sun starts to expand before a nova, not billions. Or is this an anomaly somehow?"
Abraham Bounty: "Regardless, still a galactic time scale."
[OOC] WC GM: Some quick research suggests it is billions - but single digit.
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: Ah, k.
[OOC] WC GM: And there's room for confusion on individual stars.
[OOC] WC GM: Especially one that would turn as quickly as this one has been stated to.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Some more quick research says that Wikipedia specifically says that Mu Cephei has millions of years and that it's nearing the end of its cycle - but it also says 'citation needed.'
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: And this is why neither Abraham, nor myself, have Doctorates in Astrophysics.
Spyboy Pearson: "Honestly it means the same thing from our puny perspective - chances are that both humanity and the Lagos will be extinct by the time it happens. That's a long friggin time."
Hrrin: "Hmn. Regardless. This is inarguably a planet nobody should be living on."
Abraham Bounty: "That we agree on Hrrin."
Zinda Tegram: "C-can we focus on the mission?"
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: "Well, I suppose. If we really must."
Spyboy Pearson: "It's kinda funny, actually. Lagos Prime was actually outside the habitable zone of the star. If the star hadn't started going giant, it would never have warmed up enough to be more than an iceball."
The Shaft is not quite within walking distance, or even ground vehicle motoring distance. Of course, you could fly there in minutes…but your immediate destination is the spaceport.
Spyboy Pearson: "…..then it ran out of helium to fuse, too…."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Could we land manually in its vicinity?
Karlt: "By the way, I hear proximity alarms will sound just before you punch through the shield. Ignore 'em."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Karlt is still with me?
[OOC] WC GM: It would be physically possible - and suicidal, once daytime hit. It's currently night, as in the planet is shielding you from the star.
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: How is the terrain around the Spaceport? As in, how rocky/hilly is it?
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah, Karlt's here.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: K.
Zinda Tegram: "Any way to avoid triggering it? I don't like being announced."
Karlt: "You could turn off your proximity sensors, I suppose."
Karlt: "But that only announces to you, not to them."
Spyboy Pearson: "Eh? It'll come from the fact that the shield is higher-powered than most hangar shields."
Abraham Bounty: "Fair enough. This close to a natural fusion generator run amock, I can see why that would be the case."
Zinda Tegram pulls up beside the shield and starts gliding along beside it. "So, one way to go?"
The spaceport is built into the remains of one of the largest cities. According to the history books, it started out as a subway nexus that people could already easily get to, then the Lagos just dug straight down. Once the local area had been evacuated, the buildings were demolished to make flat land. Doesn't look like anyone ever bothered to clean up the rubble…
…other than to push it away from the launch silos, which double as landing pads.
One such silo sits open, beneath the shield, more than large enough to accomodate all of the party's fighters.
Zinda Tegram circles the port a few times, trying to get a look at the layout.
A few large telescopes can be seen underneath. The slagged remnants of attempts to build sensors outside the shield, ring the shield, like an uneven metal moat, in splotches shiny and rusted.
Abraham Bounty: "Zinda, bear in mind that the longer we are out here, the more likely it is that we will be picked up on radar. And I was under the impression that you 'didn't want to be announced'."
There was even a control tower, once. It still stands. No one can be seen within.
Zinda Tegram: "I'm aware."
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: "Permission to buzz the tower."
[OOC] WC GM: Communications or similar check to pick up the radar.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: + - - + (Base: 3 Total: 3) (Communications)
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: Abraham isn't going to bother to roll. He's going to take it as an artical of faith that the radar is there.
[OOC] WC GM: Anyone else?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Alertness?
[OOC] WC GM: Sure.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 + 0 + (Base: 3 Total: 5)
[OOC] WC GM: Hrrin?
Hrrin rolled up 4dF: 0 0 + 0 (Base: 3 Total: 4)
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: The Radar takes one look at Zinda's roll and runn with it's waveform between it's legs.
[OOC] WC GM: Higher diff for Alertness, but lower since Zinda'd been specifically looking.
[OOC] Hrrin: Oh, sorry, 'twas a communications roll? Meh, she doesn't have that. Thusly so.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Alright.
[OOC] WC GM: Eh, I'll take it as Alertness.
[OOC] WC GM: Hrrin still beat it.
The EM bands are silent, save for interference from the shield. Still, it is possible - with a bit of mental arithmetic - to deduce where the radar was: that metal moat.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: So it's probably not functioning?
If it was capable of processing signals, you would be painted so brightly…but it is barely conductive now.
[OOC] WC GM: More like "more thoroughly destroyed than anything you have personally blown up."
Zinda Tegram positions her craft above the landing-silo and slowly lowers herself down on her vertical thrusters.
There is a bit of turbulence as Zinda's craft passes through the shield…then her comms crackle to life.
Spyboy Pearson gives Zinda some time to clear the shield, then follows.
???: "…inbound craft. Please identify yourself. Repeat, this is Lagos Prime Traffic Control Automated. Attention inbound craft. Please identify yourself. Repeat, this is…"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Where's it coming from?
An electric blue arc flashes from the control tower, and then Zinda's comms are quiet again.
[OOC] WC GM: Are you going into the launch silo, or landing next to the tower? And is anyone else coming through the shield?
Zinda Tegram arms a signal flare and fires it over at the control tower to try and knock out any other equipment that might still be running before continuing her landing operation.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: The silo.
Fish. Barrel. What few electromagnetic signatures she read from the tower, stop.
Abraham Bounty waits for Spyboy before Abraham 'Lead from the Rear' Bounty follows.
Spyboy Pearson: "Please don't break anything that's still working, Zinda. The locals might need it in order to leave."
The accuracy of guns, designed to peg targets kilometers away, at ranges of about 20 meters is not to be underestimated.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Sorry, laptop died. Just moved to desktop.
[OOC] WC GM: Everyone else is inside the shield now?
Zinda Tegram: "I didn't break anything permanently. Don't worry."
[OOC] Hrrin: Indeed we are.
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: Yes.
The silo is dark, and quiet…but you hear things. Thrums in the distance, almost silent but slowly growing louder.
Lights shine from below, too.
Abraham Bounty has out his pistol.
Hrrin: "The welcoming committee."
And then…chanting. You strain to hear but it is not a language you are familiar with. …well, most of you.
[OOC] WC GM: Hrrin, Abraham, and Zinda don't speak Lago, right?
Zinda Tegram pulls her combat pressure suit out of her boarding kit and starts pulling it on inside her craft.
[OOC] Hrrin: Nnope!
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: I does not.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Why would I?
Hrrin: "Spyboy. Is that as ominous as I fear?"
Spyboy Pearson: "They think we brought food."
Zinda Tegram: "I have some in the back."
Hrrin: "I do not wish to be edible."
Spyboy Pearson: "I don't think you have enough."
Spyboy Pearson: "Unless things have gotten way worse here fast, they don't eat people."
Spyboy Pearson: "I'm almost more worried they'll dissassemble our ships for scrap."
Abraham Bounty: "This might be a personal question, but they are herbavores, are they not?"
Hrrin: "Should someone stay behind to guard against that? What can we expect, of the tunnel-dwellers?"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Heh. I was about to say, 'hell if I know, I'm no tactician,' then I remembered my Apex skill.
[OOC] Hrrin: -snorts-
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Accordingly, I'd like to make a Declaration.
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: Very well. Spyboy may makehimself king of the universe, if he wishes. Abraham will not dissent.
Zinda Tegram: "Karlt? Can you keep an eye on the ships?"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Oooh, clever.
[OOC] Hrrin: It's what I was getting at, yep. Keeps things simpler if NPCs are Guarding The Horses.
Spyboy Pearson: "Do you speak Lago, Karlt?"
Hrrin: "Why wouldn't he?" Hrrin looks puzzled.
Spyboy Pearson: "BBBB doesn't. Many of the station-born don't."
Abraham Bounty: "Really? I sort of assumed they both did. Good to know."
Hrrin recalls. Karrlt had said as much earlier, hadn't he? "Ah, right. Correct."
[OOC] WC GM: What specific Declaration?
Karlt: "Sure, I can. In fact, I think I'd prefer it."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: I'm not sure anymore. But I was thinking a plateau area - hard to get to without climbing gear.
Hrrin: "We'll com you if we need to ask anything."
[OOC] WC GM: That would be the surface.
Zinda Tegram digs out the personal armory from behind the mini-fridge.
Abraham Bounty: "You keep your blaster next to your coffee? Interesting."
Karlt: "And yes, I speak my people's language. I may have been station-born, but I know our ways." He shifts uncomfortably. "Which is WHY I really wouldn't mind guard duty."
Hrrin: "Where else would it be?"
Zinda Tegram: "Take this one Karlt. Just in case."
Karlt: "Thanks."
Abraham Bounty: "I keep mine next to the vodka."
Zinda Tegram hands Karlt a taser and a radio.
Abraham Bounty: "Different strokes, I guess."
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda: Awareness.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - - - 0 (Base: 3 Total: 0)
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Whoa my gosh.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Fatepoint for re-roll
[OOC] WC GM: Go for it.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + + 0 + (Base: 3 Total: 6)
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: We love you to, Chessa.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Lawl
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I took myself to be interacting with Karlt inside my ship, btw
[OOC] WC GM: I do believe that is where we'd established him to be riding, yes.
Zinda Tegram: "You look comfortable, Karlt."
Karlt: "Thanks." He holsters taser, then radio.
At length, the circle of lights below resolves: Lagos holding up glowsticks. The chanting breaks up.
Spyboy Pearson: "Ah, they just realized we aren't a supply ship."
Hrrin: "Anything we should know before we go, Karlt?"
Abraham Bounty puts away his pistol.
Zinda Tegram keys in the sequence to open the Lanze's frame and lowers herself out before retrieving her boarding kit.
Karlt: "You're on your own down there. If you run into big trouble, get back here so we can evac."
Spyboy Pearson slides the cockpit open and heads down the side-ladder.
Karlt hops out and looks around.
Zinda Tegram: "Copy."
About 100 Lagos are scattered around a flat surface meant for bigger and far more vertical ships than yours.
Launch gantries and construction scaffolds lie along the sides, going up several stories…about the height of an evacuation ship.
Zinda Tegram checks the time.
Looks like you've found where they are built…and why the supplies get delivered here.
Spyboy Pearson says as an aside: "So, what exactly is it we're here for?"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Would we be blocking the supply ships from landing?
As Zinda checks a chronometer, far above, the shield glows brighter. Dawn just hit - there will be no safe escape until nightfall.
[OOC] WC GM: You would if any were coming. Until night, that is definitely not the case. Further…
Then the red glow winks off, as the silo closes up - presumably to signal that it is occupied.
Karlt: "Hey! We might want to leave again!"
Zinda Tegram: "Not gonna happen Karlt. Look at the time."
Lago: "Single pulse. Frequency 100. It'll open."
Karlt: "…okay. But at night?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Got it."
Spyboy Pearson says that casually in Lago.
The Lagos LOOK at Spyboy.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Sorry ladies, he's taken!
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: The Lago language consists entirely of twitching your nose and ears in meaningful ways, isn't it?
They look at each other…then swarm Spyboy, chittering in Lago.
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: I had no idea spyboy could twitch his ears on command.
Spyboy Pearson: "One at a time, please! One at a time."
Abraham Bounty: "Ah, the burden of celebrity."
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: We feel your pain, and are ammused by it.
Spyboy Pearson: "Anyone see another bunch of humans come here lately?"
The Lagos burst out laughing.
Though it must be said, it is a bit forced for some of them.
Zinda Tegram continues unloading equipment for the party as Spyboy chats up the locals.
Spyboy Pearson: "Ah, I guess they just stick to that other spaceport we saw coming in."
The laughter ceases.
Lagos: "…humans come in there?" "Why?" "Are you sure? Have you seen it?"
Abraham Bounty: "Okay, they stoped laughing, or whatever it is they were doing, that's not good."
Spyboy Pearson: "No, we haven't seen it, but we were following some human ships here and if they're not here then they must be there."
Spyboy Pearson: "We saw something to the west, but common sense says you go to the spaceport."
Spyboy Pearson: "And what else would be worth shielding but a spaceport?"
Zinda Tegram notices the laughter stop and stops unloading to walk up behind spyboy in pressure suit.
Zinda Tegram: "Is there a problem?"
Lagos: "It's shielded?" "I told you I'd seen red when the door was open!" "Yes, but why…?" "Supplies, duh!" "Oh, right!"
Spyboy Pearson turns to Zinda.
Spyboy Pearson: "I just had a horrifying thought."
Zinda Tegram: "Oh?"
Hrrin: "Share with the class?"
Abraham Bounty: "Horrify us."
Zinda Tegram: Zinda's expression is indiscernible through the mask, though there is a note of concern in her voice.
Spyboy Pearson: "We know they're digging something, we know they've said that they want to speed up the evacuation of the planet, and we know we don't trust that to be the case."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: That statement was for the benefit of any locals who speak Confed.
Hrrin: "Yes, yes, and yes."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Actually - does Spyboy know that Crest made the Tremblor?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I'd be surprised if he did.
[OOC] Hrrin: I think…Hrrin knows?
[OOC] WC GM: Good question. Difficult roll…maybe Culture/Tech? Abraham would have an easier time, followed by Hrrin.
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: Even so, I'd be surprised if he didnt' assume it.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Umm, that'd be REALLY secret wouldn't it? I mean, didn't they murder most of their research staff?
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: + 0 - + (Base: 1 Total: 2)
Abraham Bounty rolled up 4dF: - + + + (Base: 2 Total: 4) (I lack Culture/Tech, subsituting bureaucracy.)
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Sure, but they murdered them in an open test in the local cluster.
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: I just redesigned the government.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Thinking about it, everyone knows there used to be a planet there - the secret was that the planet wasn't quite uninhabited at the time.
Hrrin rolled up 4dF: 0 - 0 0 (Base: 1 Total: 0)
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: And even if Spyboy doesn't know they MADE it…
Spyboy Pearson: "Could they have got their hands on another Tremblor?"
Zinda Tegram: "Tremblor?"
[OOC] Hrrin: Baah. I coulda sworn I said something in-character about it last session. Hrrin's nosy.
Spyboy Pearson: "Cuz that's a disturbing interpretation of 'speeding up evacuation.'"
Abraham Bounty: "Oh fuck me."
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: I definitely say that in confed. That's not an open invitation to any amorous Lagos listening in.
Zinda Tegram looks out to the crowd. "Call me nervous, but I'm not sure this is good for public discussion."
Hrrin: Dread shakes Hrrin's voice. "I pray you're wrong."
[OOC] WC GM: Some of the Lagos have spoken Terran.
[OOC] WC GM: Fortunately, none seem to take it that way…yet. This time.
Zinda Tegram stands up straight and faces the crowd. "Show's over."
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: Yes, but Terran will still cut down the number.
Spyboy Pearson: "Anyway."
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: You sure? One of them offered me a good price on booze and whores.
The crowd mostly ignores Zinda and continues crowding Spyboy - and BBBB, who has managed to at least remain close to him.
Spyboy Pearson turns back to the crowd.
Zinda Tegram: "Spyboy, we need them gone."
Hrrin: "It sounds like we have somewhere else to be, as quickly as we can get there."
Spyboy Pearson: "So, do any of you know how we can get to that other place from here?"
Lagos: "It's locked." "And guarded!" "But we can show you the door." "This way, this way."
The Lago crowd moves off, through a door.
Abraham Bounty: "I got that last one."
Spyboy Pearson: "Let's go."
Zinda Tegram picks up the case she was loading gear into and and follows spyboy.
Spyboy Pearson: "They're taking us to where the Shaft is."
Hrrin: "Lead on,"
Abraham Bounty follows once the procession begins.
Karlt takes up guard position outside the fighters.
It is quite a bit of a walk, even with the moving walkways - apparently the main form of mass transit. The architecture screams "lots of people" , "quickly built" , and "no maintenance" .
Abraham Bounty: "I've seen tree houses built by seven years olds better put together than this."
Antenna parts line the walls, once you are a short distance from the shaft, as if ready to be carried to the surface and deployed.
Spyboy Pearson: "Interesting thing about tree houses."
Spyboy Pearson: "If you don't get them built before sundown, you don't DIE."
Abraham Bounty: "You do if you plan on sleeping in them."
Zinda Tegram: "Tree house?"
Zinda Tegram pictures the Keebler elf house.
Past that, prefabricated and partially assembled spacecraft parts lie around - seats and life support and other things that do not take much metal.
Hrrin: "It's a children's play structure, Zinda. I think."
Zinda Tegram: "Ah, alright."
Abraham Bounty: "A sort of home-away-from-parents."
Hrrin: "Oh! Like when I'd run away with my favorite creche-mates, and we'd go and build our own little pretend-workshop in the unused maitenance tubes."
Abraham Bounty: "Exactly like that."
Hrrin: "But with trees."
Abraham Bounty nods.
Eventually, the procession halts. Ahead is a Door. Obviously thick concrete, flanked by two armed and armored Lagos doing the "security grunt" thing that crosses all species boundaries.
An obvious security camera - placed more to intimidate intruders than for tactical value - looms overhead.
Spyboy Pearson: "This one may be yours, Zinda."
Zinda Tegram nods.
Zinda Tegram: "Warn them or go?"
There are no door handles, keypads, or other means of manipulating the door from this side.
Abraham Bounty: "We may need the guards to open the door. Most likely they'll radio someone inside to open it."
Zinda Tegram: "We don't need to open the door."
Zinda Tegram taps her boarding kit.
Spyboy Pearson: "Heh. When in doubt….demo."
Abraham Bounty: "We are guests here. That is an option of last resort."
Zinda Tegram: "So, talk to them first."
WC GM: The Lago crowd backs away, to see what you will do.
Abraham Bounty: "All right."
Zinda Tegram: "Spyboy, can you get the civilians to leave please?"
Hrrin: "Bah. I could probably make a better door than this out of the scrap they've neglected to maintain."
Abraham Bounty approaches the guards, with his pistol sheathed.
Zinda Tegram stands behind him and to the right, at ease.
Abraham Bounty: "You need to evacuate, but before you do we need you to get that door open. How do we resolve this?"
Abraham Bounty just remembered that Terran is somewhat scarece around here.
The guards react in exactly the same way that generations of guards before them have reacted: they don't.
Spyboy Pearson turns to face the civilians.
Spyboy Pearson: "So, if we change our minds about the hookers and blow, where can we find them?"
Lago: "Down! Down in the Warrens! Level 3 Academy - they'd love to have Terrans around! And…Kilrathi, is that? No charge for non-Lagos!"
…even Spyboy knows immediately that the Lago plans to pimp them to his fellows, and be paid that way.
Spyboy Pearson: "We may see you there - for a drink at any rate. In the meantime, I think my friend is itching to test that door against good Terran high-explosives."
Lago: "I see. Boom time, everyone! Away, away, back to the Warrens!"
The Lagos begin to file off, toward elevators leading down.
Abraham Bounty turns to the guards. "Now would be a very convenient time for a smoke break."
The one Lago looks over his shoulder as he leaves. "Remember, Level 3 Academy. If you survive."
Hrrin: "What was that one so enthusiastic about, Pearson?"
Abraham Bounty: "A rare alien delicacy, I'd wadger."
The guards continue to honor their ancestors, literal and spiritual, in their stoic imitation of statues.
Abraham Bounty: "Spyboy, just to be sure could you translate what I've said so far for our stoic friends?"
Spyboy Pearson: "Ah, right."
Spyboy Pearson does so.
The guards are as Zen, screening out all distractions, not so much as eyetwitching - although their mirrored shades would make that hard to discern.
Abraham Bounty: "Professional. Or possibly actually statues. Hard to tell the difference sometimes."
Abraham Bounty: "Regardless, we do need to get through that door."
Zinda Tegram: "Hard way then."
[OOC] WC GM: Awareness, all.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - + 0 + (Base: 3 Total: 4)
Abraham Bounty draws his pistol and levels it at the guards. "Zinda, since you are the master of unlocking, if you would be so kind…"
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Substitute Tactics?
[OOC] WC GM: Not in this case.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: It's gonna be bloody and close, they had what, rifles?
Abraham Bounty rolled up 4dF: 0 0 0 0 (Base: 2 Total: 2)
[OOC] WC GM: They appear to have rifles, yes.
[OOC] Hrrin: So we're…very sure they won't be talked to? and that they likewise won't be letting us get close?
[OOC] WC GM: Hrrin: Awareness check. But they haven't made any motion to stop you yet.
[OOC] WC GM: Also need one from Spyboy.
Hrrin rolled up 4dF: + + 0 0 (Base: 3 Total: 5)
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Wait. Did you drop the Unskilled penalty?
[OOC] WC GM: For this roll, Unskilled does not apply.
[OOC] WC GM: You have eyes.
Spyboy Pearson rolled up 4dF: 0 0 0 - (Base: 0 Total: -1)
[OOC] WC GM: …not that it mattered.
[OOC] Spyboy Pearson: Wait…you mean they really ARE statues?
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: It's possible.
The guards refuse to so much as break a sweat or twitch when Abraham pulls his weapon.
Which is your first clue…
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: That means the camera is so whoever's watching it can get a good laugh.
Hrrin notices the crack in one ear first. Yep, they're statues, with fake (but good imitation) armor and weapons.
Hrrin walks up and prods the 'Guard' in the chest.
It does not move.
Nor does it breathe?
[OOC] Abraham Bounty: The weapons are not real, right? No need to 'salvage' them?
Indeed, nor does it breathe.
[OOC] WC GM: Correct, they're replicas.
Zinda Tegram drops the boarding kit on the floor, as well as the gear she packed for the party.
Zinda Tegram: Fishing a carbine designed for boarding action out, she shoots the camera.
Hrrin: "If anyone asks, there was a firefight."
Zinda Tegram: "Take your pick, folks. You're gonna want it once this door opens up.
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda: roll it.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 + - - (Base: 3 Total: 2)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 - + - (Base: 2 Total: 1)
Spyboy Pearson grabs a sidearm.
The camera tries to dodge! But Zinda corrects her aim faster.
Abraham Bounty: "I'll stick with this. It might not be fanciest thing in space, but I've never needed more."
The camera retracts into the wall, which seals up behind it.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Did I hit it?
[OOC] WC GM: Yes.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: OK.
Hrrin grabs her old favorite.
[OOC] WC GM: You're not sure how damaged it is - but it's not seeing you now.
Abraham Bounty: "So /someone/ is watching apparently."
Abraham Bounty: "Or was."
Zinda Tegram: "Don't forget the pressure suits, by the way. Never know when someone will try and vent atmosphere."
Abraham Bounty: "Good point."
Abraham Bounty gets into the suit.
Abraham Bounty: "Glad we have an experienced boarder here."
Zinda Tegram: Before going to work on the door with her torch, Zinda takes her anti-ship cannon out. Just in case.
Hrrin carefully suits up. And grabs an additional gun.
The door opens just as Zinda lights it up. A voice - warbly and obviously synthetic - sounds from hidden speakers. "Well well. Con Fed intruders. I suppose it was inevitable."
Abraham Bounty: "You tried using statues as guards. Yes it was."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Not again!
???: "HeEey. It worked. Don't knock it."
Zinda Tegram drops the torch and takes cover on the rim of the door before rolling a sensor pod inside.
Abraham Bounty jestures to Hrrin. "Actually, she knocked it."
???: "That she did."
The sensor pod reveals an airlock-like room. Doors on both sides, with metal walls and a tiled floor.
[OOC] WC GM: Awarness from Zinda.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 - + - (Base: 3 Total: 2)
Hrrin: "I'm not sure I'd call a decoy that doesn't stand up to a minute of scrutiny 'functional.'"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Argh.
Zinda Tegram routes the sensor pod feed to the HUDs in the other suits she provided.
The tiles shift a little as the pod rolls over them - not enough that most people would notice, but the pod is designed for this kind of thing. The tiles are either all pressure plates, or movable.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: What are the walls in the outer hall?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I have an idea.
Abraham Bounty: "Let's be fair, it occupied us for at least three minutes."
[OOC] WC GM: Solid concrete.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: And the floor?
Zinda Tegram snatches her boarding torch from the floor in the doorway.
[OOC] WC GM: Metal. Moving walkways behind you. Sheets of metal randomly cobbled together at the end. Presumably rock underneath.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I see.
Zinda Tegram tries to pry one of the tiles off the floor.
Abraham Bounty: "Souvineer, Zinda?"
[OOC] WC GM: Tiles, inside the room, or sheets from the corridor you're still in?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Inside the room. Just see if I can pop it off, or cut it off.
Zinda Tegram: "Not exactly. I want to go around that room, see if I can get under it."
Zinda Tegram: "Big rule of boarding: Never follow the designed path. Cut your own."
It takes a flat blade to pry it, wedging in betweeen the tiles, but the tile closest to the doorway soon comes up. It's attached to an articulated arm, with darkness below. The other tiles seem to be the same, from what she can see.
Zinda Tegram: "Figures."
Abraham Bounty sighs. "I would never make it as a pirate. Too much work."
Zinda Tegram: "We're not pirates. This is station fighting."
???: "Are you sure you don't want to go in? There will be cake."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Pick up the sensor pod, drop it in the hole.
Abraham Bounty: "I would never make it as a station fighter then."
Zinda Tegram picks up the sensor pod and drops it in the hole.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yes.
Down it goes…
[OOC] WC GM: That was the voice asking ICly.
Zinda Tegram ignores the voice.
Zinda Tegram: "If you can tune your audio filters to block it out, it helps. Intercoms are good for psychological warfare."
Abraham Bounty: "Cake is overrated."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: It hits the bottom eventually, yes?
The pod soon lights up a vast complex. A factory in the distance; below, and rapidly approaching, a maze-like series of chambers that reminds Zinda of an old film about behavioral experiments conducted on mice.
[OOC] Hrrin: And we get this on HUD?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yep.
[OOC] WC GM: Yes.
Hrrin: "That. That is not. That is probably not the sort of structure you'd associate with superweapon construction."
Soon enough, the pod hits the bottom - the first of the chambers - with enough force that it goes offline.
But you did manage a glimpse of active spacecraft manufacture of some sort.
Zinda Tegram sighs.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: What about the tile supports?
The tile supports were not that long. Looks like the room was designed to retract the flooring, dumping you into the "test" .
Hrrin: "'Cutting your own path' seems as if it would require a fair bit of cable and grapple."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Where we go splat. Naturally.
Zinda Tegram: "Help me move some of this sheet metal. We're going make a new floor."
Spyboy Pearson and Heggy heave-to.
Zinda Tegram: "I want to see what's on the other side of these walls."
Hrrin: Sheet metal is dutifully fetched!
Zinda Tegram cuts slats in the wall to try and jury rig something safe to stand on.
[OOC] WC GM: So, building a bridge across the room?
Abraham Bounty pitches in.
The tiles move up to try to stop you, closing off the doorway.
Zinda Tegram: "Cute."
Zinda Tegram starts cutting off the tiles.
The tiles can withstand a punch, or someone standing on them. Power tools, not so much.
Hrrin: "Sort of suprised we haven't had any mouthing-off from our mysterious operator."
Hrrin: "Has anyone considered how -odd- this is, for something behind a door?"
???: "What is the point. Okay, fine, you win." The tiles retract.
Zinda Tegram: "Thank you very much."
???: "But there won't be cake here."
Zinda Tegram continues building the bridge.
Spyboy Pearson: "I smell trap."
Zinda Tegram: "It's always a trap. Key is how to spring it."
Hrrin: "I am often suspicious of cake from strangers."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: So we get the bridge?
The bridge takes a bit longer to build, but soon enough, it is finished.
???: "Let me give you a guided tour, if you are so insistent."
Zinda Tegram starts cutting into the opposite wall.
The far door opens.
???: "Whyyy are you insistent on property damage?"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Start cutting sideways.
Hrrin: "You have not known Zinda for as long as I."
Spyboy Pearson: "To be fair we don't trust you as far as we can throw you."
Hrrin: "She sleeps with that boarding torch."
???: "I could marry her and it if you want."
???: "I hereby pronounce you boarder and boarding torch."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram:
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: So what's behind the side wall?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: We're looking for like a maintenance shaft or something.
Behind the side wall is solid dirt - right at the layer where it lays over bedrock, as it turns out.
Zinda Tegram pokes her head out into the opened door.
Zinda Tegram: "So, mysterious voice, you mentioned a guided tour?"
Beyond the door, she sees an armada under construction.
Abraham Bounty: "That's never a good sign."
Zinda Tegram: "Nope."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Is there a walkway there?
[OOC] Hrrin: We made one?
There is a walkway - more solid than the tiled floor - leading from the door. Guard rails, even.
Far above, the shield of the Shaft glows fierce red.
Zinda Tegram scans for more cameras.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: With her eyes
Hrrin: "I do believe we're in the right place. So…whose fleet?"
This is the main light by which you can see a legion of Lago laborers building spaceships. Some small, some large, but the operation goes on and on going down.
A camera on an articulated arm pops out of the wall behind you.
Zinda Tegram looks at it.
???: "Crest thinks this is their fleet. So do those pirates."
Hrrin flashes her canine teeth and waves to the camera.
Zinda Tegram: "We're not Pirates."
???: "But the joke is on them."
???: "Ha."
???: "Ha."
???: "Ha."
Hrrin: "So who's laughing now?"
Spyboy Pearson: "The joke being that the fleet is yours?"
???: "Consider. By number, who is the largest population in this cluster?"
???: "Therefore, who should rule this cluster?"
???: "Ha."
???: "Ha."
???: "Ha."
Abraham Bounty: "Plants?"
Hrrin: "I would think that the best and fairest administrators ought do that."
Abraham Bounty: "Insects?"
Hrrin: "But I suppose I'm not a Lago supremacist with a bitter streak and an off sense of humor."
Zinda Tegram: "The Lagos."
Abraham Bounty: "Invisible bodyless energy forms?"
???: "The best and fairest administrators have left most of us alone here."
???: "WIIIth nothing. But a planet."
Spyboy Pearson: "Ah…that's actually quite a lot."
???: "We considered adding engines, but it turns out it takes too much energy."
???: "So we settled for the next best thing."
Abraham Bounty: "It's been tried."
Spyboy Pearson: "Yeah, that's what I thought, too."
???: "Would you care to join us?"

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