Monday, June 28, 2021

Hercules Beta-37 Strange Dark Black Hole James Kirsch Reeves Memorial Research Station

After his violent murders, Rodney decided it was time to speak to his deity, and got super drunk. Like, super drunk. His drunk was drunk. He managed to hallucinate a vision of Whoopi, who told him to ease off on the splattering of people - his duty to her was to clean, not make bigger messes, even though her oxygen-infused cleaning supplies would power through blood and gore. He may or may not have been assisted to his godmeet by Lins, who may or may not have projected some images and ideas at him while he was drunk as the proverbial skunk.

Once Rodney sobered up, the next location, it was decided, was the unknown coordinates they picked up from the weird guy in the alley. They made the jump, though had to correct a couple times because of interference from a huge black hole. They finally made it to the Hercules Beta-37 Strange Dark Black Hole James Kirsch Reeves Memorial Research Station - generally called the Hercules Research station.

As they entered the station, it looked like all the lights were on, but nobody was home - though, they did see a lone figure somewhere near the other side of the station.

They broke through the door towards the science labs, and started poking around. The color-coded rooms hold few personal belongings, at least at first, but they did find some odd equations - something wasn't quite right about the gravitic anomalies surrounding the black hole.

Rodney, meanwhile, somehow hacked through a security door... but, lightning didn't strike twice, so he smashed the next one to bits. As they explored, they started to piece together some of the lives that were on the station. And then, see some of the lives! As they opened one door, a scientist was sitting there! After some conversation, where Rodney intimidated him (of course), he pushed past them to the hallway, and... vanished.

The next "ghost" they saw didn't seem to see them - he died to a gunshot wound to the chest, and vanished as well... and when his body vanished, it revealed an old, old bloodstain beneath it. 

They found a few names; Mark, a lab tech; Jose Vaega, the security lead; Richard Doyal, one of the lead scientists; Al Burque, the scientist who first found the gravitic anomalies; George Durst, head scientist, and possibly a little paranoid - he destroyed his own computer, and set a charge to blow up his desk; and finally Fred Reives, the scientist who spoke with them.

They learned that the science station was once in orbit around a black hole in the Tallus Nebula. There were some strange readings, which seem to be related to the black hole; somehow, the station - as well as the black hole - was transported to this in-between area, possibly the first thing to make the trip. However, time is certainly not working right here. By their internal time clocks, today's date is July 12th, 2801. By the system reckoning, it is roughly 4800 - nearly 2000 years later, judging by the timeline the ship Middle Son laid out. The actual events of people getting teleported far, far away happened about 20 years ago, starting around 2780 or thereabouts. However, judging by the state of the station (and the clocks on the computers), only about 200 years have passed here. So which is it? 29 years since being teleported, or 200, or 2000?

About that time, as Rodney and the others headed towards the security area, Elise pushed into the storage area, and looked across the station... at herself. She and the others had just gotten off their ship, and were looking around the little waiting room. She lifted a hand to wave, and with a little wobble, she was looking across at an empty room.

That was about the time Rodney caught sight of a strange, ugly creature, just lounging in the hallway - it looked like the insides of a somewhat larger creature, but only these bits were in their reality. It looked up as they approached...

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