Saturday, September 25, 2021

Pulsar X4139 and Angmar Research Station

 Pulsar X4139 is a high-energy pulsar with a period of just about five seconds. Every five seconds, the "pulse" of ultra-high-energy electromagnetic radiation washes across the system; the planet nearest the sun is constantly bathed in the high-power stream, while the other three are largely untouched.

A station keeps watch over the star, but it's been long since abandoned by humanity - instead, Deaders prowl the hallways, as well as the various derelict ships scattered around. Only two ships are more than collections of scrap - Ranger's Mark, a medium scout ship, and Scrapper's Paradise, a small ship, just smaller than the Hephaestus.

The station seemed the best place to gather the feral deaders, so they headed there first - needing to airwalk to the station, as all the docking ports were heavily damaged. However, it looked like the ship had air, at least.

The first deader they faced was dealt with quickly and easily, and Rodney removed its arms and legs to keep it from running away. Shortly thereafter, they ran into a slightly beefier collection - a tough gunner, touting a huge minigun, a fat, highly explosive bloater, and a lithe melee deader. The battle was a little rougher, but Rodney's swinging hammers and Elise's disco lightshow lasers mostly kept the creatures at bay. Cleaning up, they chained down the gunner - through an eye-hole - and continued on, sweeping "spinward" on the outer ring of the station.

As they traveled, they kept hearing a terrible metallic groan - possibly the station was damaged? Aout a quarter of the way around the station, they found a huge pile of junk - it looks like the spin of the station, coupled with a slight tilt, caused all the junk to slide down here. After some hammer-bashing, they ended up setting it on fire, which causes a small explosion, and cleared out enough they could head deeper inside.

A young woman suddenly jumped out at them; there was a tense conversation, until she suggested perhaps moving away from the horde of monsters headed their way. Rodney, of course, took great offense to the idea of running away, and charged. Two bursters and two melee filed in from one direction, while three gunners, another burster, and more melee deaders came from another, intending to meet in the middle. Rodney bashed heads, Elise dealt plenty of laser damage, Nix dropped a few with his sonic shotgun, and even Reggie poked a few with his sword. The young woman, however, pulled out a rather expensive weapon - a jetround pistol - and leveled the playing field by blowing up several of the deaders at once.

Collecting as many still-living deaders as possible, the group back-tracked to the ship. Reggie was worried that the young woman - Blue - would need extra help getting through the void of space, but it turns out she has a few modifications, and seemed to be able to handle it just fine.

Rodney, on the other hand, was not so thrilled to have the new crew member. The two of them bickered endlessly, with Blue believing Rodney was an empty-headed lunk, and Rodney thinking she was a high-and-mighty, prissy, useless blight.

The rest of the crew enjoyed her company, however, especially since she said she would pay them for transport to someplace else - Urba, or Nova Gangarin.

Before heading out, they decided to make as much cash as they could, and headed over to the scrapper ship. Six deaders floated in space - and came to life as soon as the crew exited the ship! Long, stabby tentacles  shot out to grapple the crew,  and when they landed hits, it hurt! However, Reggie really shined - he taunted the enemies, taking their attention from the others, first mooning them to give Nix a chance to act, and later taunting them and managing to land an EMP grenade! All in all, Reggie, Rodney, and Nix each took down two of the creatures.

Loading them up, they stashed them in the cryopods, and headed to Angmar Research Station. Blue was quite upset about that, and begged to be allowed to hide somewhere safe - Reggie allowed her to stash herself in his closet.

Captain Hawke, a very military-style man, took command of the creatures, and handed off the credentials for the crew to be paid. A fair amount, too! Once they had their cash in hand, they headed out again, this time to Nova Gangarin, to drop off Blue. The trip took a good 12 days, and space was somewhat limited, but in that time, Rodney managed to make up with Blue, and the two eventually parted, perhaps not as friends, but certainly not as enemies.

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