Chapter 35 (Original Archive)
IAS turn 7 - Derelict Duty II
THX-1492 shone one of his spotlights down the north passage. It ended
in another intersection, one passageway turned to the left; the other
was a flight of stairs going up. THX's other spotlight swiveled around
to illuminate the south passage. It was much longer and turned to the
right at the end. There were three doors along the southern passageway.
Toward the end of the corridor there was a closed door on the left. In
the middle of the hallway, two larger, open doorways faced each other.
Back on the bridge of the lifeboat:
Caleb searched the ship's rosters but found no record of anyone by the
name of Drake.
OOC: Sorry Caleb :)
Here's a new map of the dropship. Oh, I do love a good dungeon crawl! ;)
The x's on the map indicate where THX and Irsa are standing.
"Let's check out the two open doors to the south. Coming THX?"
Irsa says, sounding more confident than she feels, and heads for the 2 open doors,
with THX bringing up the rear.
THX responds to Irsa, "This unit will comply with instructions"
and follows Irsa towards the doors.
"Check out the left door and then the right door with your light THX.
And let's see what's there." Irsa asks.
THX complies and investigates both doors. It examines the interior of both rooms with lights,
but enters neither room.
Anything in either room of interest? You know like skeletons, books, tech items
or creatures looking hungry.
[[Nike, earlier]] "None of my original crew went with
them, because they are expendable and you are not."
Nike replied, without hint of apology.
Percy gulped audibly. "Well, there's something to be
said for being hatched in the same clone class as
the ranking officer on deck!"
Percy rubbed his eyes and yawned, and continued to
watch the video feed. He soon got distracted with the
idea of trying to back trace the signal to see if he
could plot the satellites in orbit, and to find out
what he could about them.
As Percy digested what information he had extracted
using the packet sniffer, he tried to make sense of it
but was having some trouble. He looked around for
Bud, whom he was now completely suspicious of on account
of the message they discovered he'd sent. Copying all
the files from the satellites he could find to local
storage, and locking them with a password he quickly
thought of ("WhoWatchesWatcher"), he caught Nike's
attention and whispered to her that they needed to talk
later about his findings. Perhaps his original band of
refugee clones could be trusted and they should all meet
to discuss what the messages might mean for them.
As the video feed of the excavation continued, Percy
tried to map their traversal of the ship to Pandora's
layout. Failing any recognizable match, he pulled up
the computer database on drop ships in the hopes he
could get the remote team a map of sorts so they would
not be exploring blind. Then the bomb dropped--with news
of Earth's destruction and their needing to keep the
human race alive.
Percy sat in his chair sullenly, having crashed from
the high of his hacker's feat to the low of the news of
the Earth, Mars, and human life as he knew it. "Whoa."
The obvious questions about defying command crew protocol
and initiating species-survival-affecting romance, he
kept to himself. He did smile despite himself. He was
too old for that kind of youthful pursuit anyway, and he
sure wasn't going to find it easy to objectify survival
of the species into something emotionless or loveless.
He'd had enough failed relationships, he suddenly
remembered, then snapped himself out of his memory jaunt
in favor of the immediate needs, scribbling notes and
cross referencing video feeds with ship schematics.
OOC: I forgot to mention a detail of the dropship that
Irsa would have noticed when she entered and THX
turned on its spotlights:
The floors were dusty and littered with dead leaves.
Irsa noticed a few burn marks on the wall at the end
of the corridor.
OOC: that's all sorry :( The rest of this post takes
place after THX and Irsa walked south to the two open
Through the wide open door on the left, THX, Irsa and
the crew aboard the lifeboat watching THX's video feed
saw a large room filled with empty storage bins. THX's
spotlight flashed across the room. Shadows danced
along the walls. Through empty shelves and racks, they
saw an elevator in a wire cage on the north side of
the room and a closed door on the east side, opposite
the open doorway.
THX turned its spotlights around to view the contents
of the other room. It was much larger but emptier.
Only a few work benches and shelves lined the walls.
The center of the room was bare. The floor along the
western wall angled down into an open ramp. Dead
tendrils of vegetation snaked up through it. Irsa
smelled the strong, musty odor of damp earth.
Irsa looks around for some dead wood to make into a torch.
If she finds any she makes a torch. In any event, she then enters
the eastern room and checks out the door in the wall across from
where she enters the room. She keeps THX nearby and looks
for something THX can use as a weapon.
As Nike watches the group move about the room via the feed, images of
a sweaty man swinging on vines and running in front of large, rolling
boulders flashes in her mind. "Indiana Jones!" She said aloud,
shocked that she could remember something as silly as an old classic
OOC: "Watch out Indy!" I also enjoyed Percy viewing
'The Dark Tower 15' and 'Captain Hickman's Adventures
in Dimension Eight', although I've never heard of that
last one... ;) BTW It took me a while to incorporate
Caleb's response to Nike's call for security. Now that
it's in the narrative (which some day will be added to
the website, I swear it! :) here's what happened...
Nike looked around and saw Drake wasn't on the bridge.
Chelydra and Caleb gathered around her. "Drake is a
security risk," she whispered... [snip]
Caleb and Chelydra nodded. "I'll keep an eye on him
and the security of the ship," Caleb added.
Chelydra left the bridge to find Drake and secure the
gangplank. Caleb noticed Arkady was absent and sat
down at his station. The computer interface seemed
familiar to him. He called up the ship's security
files and familiarized himself with the layout of the
ship. Camera were installed in every room and corridor
except the captain and crew's quarters and the
restrooms. He watched Chelydra as he headed down the
corridor toward the crew quarters. While he watched,
Caleb started a search for anything that might relate
to Drake's identity or background. He searched the
ship's rosters but found no record of anyone by that name.
IAS turn 7.4 - The Derelict
Irsa stepped into the larger room. THX followed her. She wanted
something to make a torch with. She walked down the ramp. It didn't
go far. The ramp was choked with mud and there was no way through.
Irsa found a couple of dead branches, but they were either rotten or
wet. She stepped off the ramp and walked around the rest of the
Satisfied there was nothing of any interest there, Irsa and THX
entered the room across the hall. It looked like an old storage room.
She searched the shelves for anything that could burn or be used as a
weapon. She found several very large, black rocks, but nothing useful.
Irsa approached the closed door on the other side of the storeroom.
THX was right behind her. A large yellow sign attached to the door
said, "DANGER Radiation risk". Next to the door there was a steel
gray passcard reader.
OOC: This is post #2000! Woot!
"Let's leave that door for later. THX could you do an analysis of those black rocks
on the shelves, please." Irsa asks THX.
THX attempts to analyze the rocks on the shelves as requested.
It also attempts to monitor for any radiation escaping from the room.
OOC: Kudos to George for checking the door. Double exp
for THX! Do you believe every sign you read? In this case...
THX examined the door with its radiation detector. The
door was hot! Standing in front of the door for more
than twenty minutes could be harmful to a human. THX
examined the rest of the room. It was significantly
less radioactive, but spending the night in the room was out of the question.
THX analyzed the rocks on the shelves as requested.
There were four of them. They were very large, perhaps
150 kilograms each, and made of dark basalt. They were
mildly radioactive. THX examined one of the rocks for
a moment before realizing it had once been part of the
arm of an enormous statue. It was badly damaged or THX
would've realized this sooner. The other three rocks
were similarly radioactive fragments of statues,
possibly legs or torsos. They seemed generally
humanoid, but didn't reveal much of anything about the species they depicted.
Another chapter is finished!
Chapter 32: Whispers From the Past
THX-1492, Irsa, Becka and Caleb get the tour of the
lifeboat, the crew discusses the situation and THX's
origins are revealed.
Thanks to George for the title of this chapter!
Zhaxier Cole 5/26/2006
A Mechanism for Chameleon Skin
Just like IAS's Zhaxier, you too can make electromagnetic radiation
warp around you! At least that's the theory. But the exotic
materials are only 18 months away and DARPA's throwing money at it....
I hope everyone's enjoying their Summer! I'm going to post a new turn this weekend.
MA4e news: The hardcover edition of Metamorphosis
Alpha is set to hit bookshelves on August 7th! Several of our players appear in the credits!
Regarding Experience Points: some people have asked me
about that. It's been a bit of a joke until now. MA1e
didn't use EXP, so double is still zero :) 3rd and 4th
editions don't use it either. MA2e, on the other hand,
does. I was reading those rules and would like to
implement them in IAS. I haven't worked out the
conversion yet, but players will be able to "spend"
them to increase skills or to increase the chance of success on critical rolls.
IAS turn 8: The Corpse
THX shared with Irsa its analysis of the remains of the statues and warned her that
lingering much longer in the lower storage room could be hazardous to her.
She thanked the robot for its concern and suggested they continue their investigation.
They left the room and continued down the hallway to the left.
As THX's video feed played on the bridge of the Pandora, Percy tried to map their
traversal of the ship. He compared its layout to the Pandora's. They were greatly
dissimilar. He searched the computer database for dropships and found diagrams of
a Hercules class dropship. He noticed the Hercules had been commissioned for the
Alexandria when she left Earth for the Eridani system. He put the diagrams up on
the holo-projector in the bridge for all to see.
Back on the dropship, THX and Irsa stopped at the door at the end of the corridor
before it turned to the right. The door had a steel gray passcard reader and bore
another yellow sign that said 'DANGER Radiation risk'. THX detected the door was
radioactively warm like the last one. The robot announced its findings and they
continued down the hall. They passed a closed door with a brown card reader
on the right.
"Does that lead to the room with the dirt hole in it," Irsa asked.
"Yes," THX replied. "That door leads to garage."
They passed by the door and around the corridor to the right. Around the corner,
the hallway was a mess. Pipes along the walls had been severed and detached.
THX swung its lamps around to get a fuller view of the damage. There was laser
scoring along the walls and ceiling. The floor was covered in dust. Up ahead there
was a large pile of debris. Irsa followed THX around it. As she passed the pile,
looking for anything worth salvaging, the sight of a human head on top startled her.
Irsa raced after THX to a three-way intersection. THX shone its lights on the
gory shape behind them. Irsa saw it was a human skeleton, its flesh long since
decayed. It was wearing some sort of machinery on its chest, arms and legs.
Picture of the corpse:
New map of the dropship :
OOC: I will email the Hercules dropship map to everyone who's in the cockpit.
"Let's see what we can scavenge from the skeleton."
Irsa says getting out a sack and starting to put machine parts into it.
"That must be the welcoming committee," Nike muttered, annoyed that
she was having trouble deciding where the party was in this dropship,
if it was indeed a Hercules class bird.
What do Irsa and THX find on the long dead body? Anything interesting
around it like other tools and equipment?
OOC: yes, sorry for my silence. BTW, thanks Elizabeth for your prompt post
and Stacy for making me laugh out loud... welcoming committee :)
The skeleton wore some sort of machinery on its chest, arms and legs.
It had once been a very complicated device. Now it was garbage, perforated
in dozens of places by holes the size of Irsa's thumb or larger.
She searched the hallway around the body. There was nothing but dust, pipes
and debris but she noticed the dead man's left hand, its arm had
fallen away from the rest of the body, still clutched an ancient weapon.
Irsa carefully removes the weapon from the skeletal hand. She then places it in her belt.
"The ancient one was in a fight with others a long time ago.
I wonder if we'll find other bodies like his or of whoever he fought with?"
Chapter 33: A Vision of Death
The intrepid trio sets forth, Becka has a vision, we meet Drake, the
strong silent type ;) and couch time with videos!
"This ship has been abandoned for a long time. I wonder how long ago." Irsa says.
Irsa searches around the bridge for any potential treasure. If she finds something she picks it up.
Then she and THX will go back the corridor to the T intersection and go left and explore the
corridor down that way.
Irsa searched around the bridge for any potential treasures. To avoid the broken glass on the floor,
she flew into the air and landed on the command chair overlooking the entire bridge.
The room was very large. She flew from station to station but found only garbage.
Undaunted, she tenaciously continued searching. Beneath a curtain of roots that cascaded over a
control console, she found a bookshelf. She used one of her knives to cut away the roots.
She expected them to attack her, as plants sometimes did on the Warden, but the tree�s roots
didn't reply to her blade.
From the exposed bookshelf, she removed several large binders. The titles on the covers said
they were operational and repair manuals. They smelled horribly of mildew and decay.
The pages inside had the consistency of wet bread and flaked apart into useless clods under her fingers.
She dumped the binders onto the deck. They were much safer to stand on than the glass-strewn floor.
She probed the bookshelf some more and was rewarded with a handful of ancient ink pens.
She tested them on a piece of paper from her backpack. She removed the crust from their
tips and discovered two still had ink in them. She put them safely in her backback and left
the bridge with THX behind her.
They reached the end of the corridor and turned left. It was identical to the hall they'd
come down on the other side of the ship. Besides THX's floodlight, it was completely dark
and very dusty. Around the corner to the right, they passed another sealed door.
Irsa looked at the door and the passcard reader beside it for a moment before saying
"Correct," THX replied.
They moved past the door to the foot of a flight of stairs. The stairs led up into the darkness.
The corridor on their right led to an intersection that would take them back to the gangplank
they'd used to enter the ship.
"Well, we've searched the first level. Now to see what's upstairs."
Irsa said as she lead the way upstairs with THX.