Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ghosts and Zombies

Once again, our intrepid heroes are waltzing across the galaxy, laying waste to everything I, their tireless GM, throw at them. Seriously, that power armor... don't worry, though, they may well meet their end in the next adventure.

But enough of that; on to this week's adventures!


At first everything seemed to be going so smoothly... then Nae, in the medical bay, noticed a terminal that seemed to be running itself; accepting input, but no one was there! She quickly contacted Julian, and the two of them witnessed equipment driving itself and terminals logging in and out. Thoroughly convinced that the ship was either haunted or being hacked, the two ran into Kiri, who was chasing another ethereal being. Julian quickly headed to the bridge, while Kiri considered blowing the hallway up. She was voted down, thankfully; however, she did see the hall terminal log in - under Julian's name! Julian, now inside his smaller power armor, had NOA disable all access with his username... only to have his suit inform him that someone was attempting to unlock it!

Things got weirder when Julian asked who was trying to get into his suit, and NOA replied, "You are!"
Worse, NOA then began speaking to the pilot at the helm - someone who wasn't there! Confused and concerned, Julian asked the computer to scan the ship and count how many Julians were on board. Three, as it turns out; two on the bridge, and one in cryo. And the pilot? On the bridge, and in cryo. Aha! The adventurers quickly rushed to the cryo chambers, to verify everyone was present. Which they were. Gus and Julian (correctly) deduced that it must be cryospace, interacting with the ship. It may have been possible to simply unplug them, but the engineers suggested that may well kill the cryo-dreamers, rather than send them back to sleep.

Instead, Gus, Kiri, and Nae entered cryspace, to usher the dreamers back to their pods. It worked; as the dreamer returned to their cryo-pod in their sleep, the engineers disabled cryospace for that pod, locking them (mentally as well as physically) into cryo where they belonged. Finally, as the last of the crew and civilians were rounded back up and put into meta-cryo, someone not on the passenger manifest arrived - the spy! Well, not really. He was just an AI - not even that, really, just a quick subroutine. He handed Kiri some encrypted documents: bank account numbers, names, and other information on AlSec, before vanishing again.


As the Shifting Horizon entered yet another solar system, it came across a ship, hurtling towards a habitable planet. It did not answer any calls, though it appeared undamaged. The crew found the name: "Susie Maze," a basic freighter, not terribly large, and fairly clunky.

Drawing the Shifting Horizon along-side, Julian, Gus, Nae, and Kiri space-walked over, climbing into the ship through an unpressurized airlock. There was a thick layer of dust inside. They quickly ran into a space-suited figure who seemed to be trying to work on the engine. Julian moved into the second freight section and found two others, moving boxes. They lead him into the pressurized part of the ship. As he opened doors on his way through, he ran into two creatures, both fairly emaciated. The backs of their heads had been removed, and a sludgy-looking plant was growing out the back. Oh, and they started moving towards him. Delightful!

About this time, Kiri's player suggested that he would really rather not interact with shadowy creatures from Doctor Who, while Julian hoped these creatures were not like the Protomolecule in The Expanse. I'm sure both were pleased when they learned that indeed, along with with the real-life Cordyceps, those were the inspiration for these monsters.

Of course, with sealed suits, no one was at much risk; Gus, with his new sensor array, managed to scan the dust and find that it was actually spores. But first, he managed to get the engines running. Julian was surprised to find that the people in suits were accelerating the ship, rather than decelerating, but by then, he was under attack from the two plant-zombies. Blasting through one, he accidentally shot the pilot... who didn't seem to mind. Or bleed. Oops. The zombies couldn't get through his heavy armor, but while he had no trouble blasting most of them away, there was one that grabbed on and wouldn't let go!

Kiri blasted one, and Gus another, while Nae tried to get information from the ship. Julian, irritated with the zombie on his back, blasted his way down the corridor, knocking it off, just as Nae slammed the ship into full-stop mode. A few well-placed shots later, and there were no more zombies... oh, except the ones Kiri found. In the escape pods. Surrounded by huge piles of fungus. One, she managed to destroy with an arrow to the brain... er, plant-sludge; a lucky shot that did more damage than the average mini-gun, I'd like to add. Sigh. However, she was having trouble with the second monster-zombie. She wounded it, but didn't kill it - it was much, much tougher than the others, tough enough to punch through power armor and knock Julian for a loop. Mini-guns blazing, Julian finally managed to stop it.

One quick autopilot update later, the ship was bound for the sun; whatever zombies were left on board were goners. The crew did manage to get quite a bit of information about the ship, though; the members had contracted the zombie-fungus-disease from a rogue planet (that is, a planet without a sun) they had been mining.

As it turns out, the intended target for the nasty zombie-ship was a small planet, being orbited by... the Littlefinger! Through more marvels of J0 travel, the ship was about 5 years in the future, mostly settled down, and seemed to be doing quite well.

This Book has gone quite fast; the next session is the final two-part episode of Book III!

No comments:

Post a Comment