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"What do you think it is?"
"I've never seen anything like it."
"So let me get this straight. The tiny moon circling this gas giant has a fuel refinery and landing port in orbit. There's an artificial atmosphere - ideal for humans, by the way - down on the surface that is held there by a force field of some kind. We can't penetrate the force field to read what's down there, but there is an elevator on the landing dock that can take us to the surface. And on visual, the surface looks like that?"
"Well....it's....got pretty colors."
"Gives me a headache just looking at it."
"We'll dock. While we're refueling I want a team to go down, see what you can find out about this place. Are there any inhabitants? Who made this? Try to come back with some tech while you're at it."
It's a vast junkyard in space. In a small portion of it, there are specks floating about. The specks are people in vacc suits. They are armed with laser guns. Some of them are working at opening the hatch on a derelict ship. They get the door to open. Inside is Kaydas Vago in full combat armor.
"Get the hell off our ship!" He roars as he opens fire.....
5 weeks earlier....
Event Horizon jumps into system. Sensors pick up entropic oscillations and anomalous phase signatures creating a temporal dislocation. Moments later, the Event Horizon lurches forward and begins accelerating. Danthus attempts to reverse engines, but the ship can't pull away. Sensors pick up a quantum singularity and the Event Horizon is being pulled into it. Then the quantum singularity disappears as suddenly and inexplicably as it appeared and instead a vast battle cruiser pops out of nowhere in its stead. Danthus tries to make evasive manuevers but the ship's going too fast and there's no time to avoid the collision. The Event Horizon slams into the battle cruiser and explodes killing everyone.
Event Horizon jumps into system. Sensors pick up entropic oscillations and anomalous phase signatures creating a temporal dislocation....
"We'll be coming out of jump in a few moments." Danthus says.
"I never thought I'd be so happy to be in Langelos system." replies Lt. Danson.
"Me neither," Danthus smiles, " We'll be home soon."
The Event Horizon comes out of jump. Instantly, the sensor suite lights up. Slinger looks in shock. "What the? Admiral, we've got five C-4 Interceptors closing on us. They're hailing us."
"Put it on the screen." the Admiral orders.
The screen shifts from the dark of space to the face of a man.
The Chief of Allied Naval Intelligence.
"Welcome back Mr. Danthus. We've been expecting you."
"We have to rescue Slinger from the prison planet. Perhaps intercept him on his way."
"You would risk your career and the Reaver fleet for this man?" Professor Ang asks. Then suddenly, he starts to tremble and shake; doctors nearby rush up
to make sure he doesn’t swallow his own tongue. They congregate around, fussing over him before he throws them aside with sudden strength and begins speaking in a voice very different from her own.
“Three Basalt Towers rise from the ever desert
Where no volcano has ever spilled its deadly venom.
The towers reach with coal-black tendrils to the sky,
Coal-black tendrils whispering blaspheme to the sky!
Their whispers are the secrets of the survivors. The first, the last..”
When the fit ends, he shakes off its effects: seemingly coming out of a dream.
"The ever desert. I believe this means Gustav, the prison planet. It is no coincidence the Halo came to you and exposed Lt. Sari. Nor is this vision a coincidence. Something guides us. You must follow Slinger to Gustav and find the three towers.
"By order of the Warden, you are hereby placed under arrest for attempting to smuggle illegal drugs into a secure facility, the penalty of which is lifetime imprisonment with the chance of parole after ten years."
"Android, prepare to get the ship out of here." Danthus whispers on comms.
A guard strikes Danthus to the ground.
"Take their comms off them."
The Event Horizon suddenly fires up its engines and shoots into space. The planetary defense opens fire, but the ship quickly gets out of range.
"Oh you done it now," the guard says, striking Danthus a second time, "you done pissed off the Warden but good."
The Event Horizon leaps into Shaalgar system.
Suddenly, a voice can be heard broadcasting over all frequencies "Attention! This is an emergency announcement. The colony at Shaalgar has declared an immediate evacuation. We don't know how or why it happened so suddenly, but the star in Shaalgar system is going supernova. Carter clan has declared immediate martial law in both systems and all starships as of this moment are conscripted into service. All cargo must be offloaded immediately to make room for evacuees. You will be refueled at no expense and reimbursed the standard freighter fees for your services. This is not a request. That is all."
Slinger sits up in his bed. "Did they say Shaalgar is going nova?"
"Yes" the Android answers, sitting up in bed with him. "you know somebody there?"
"My son is on that planet."
The Event Horizon lands at Beal star port. After a week in hyperspace with 500 people crammed into the ship, the crew cannot wait to get outside. Their passengers are grateful, though their sense of entitlement irks most of the crew. They are the rich, the powerful, of course they survived. But Slinger and Kaydas can only remember all those who had been left behind. The 90 plant workers who had escaped on the Pinnace are the most grateful and it was these that the crew wished well and were thankful to have saved. As the last evacuee disappears, Kaydas turns to the others.
"Alright, let's hose the ship off and get that stench out of her." 500 hundred passengers had overwhelmed the toilet facilities. The Pinnace is nearly unapproachable.
For a few moments everything becomes unnaturally still and silent, then a deep rumbling and shuddering begins. The din builds to a crescendo and continues for long terrifying seconds. The ground sways and shakes, cracks appear in walls, masonry falls from above, and all around is a bewildering din of heavy crashes and crunches and stifled cries. A cloud of blinding, choking dust engulfs everything.
And then the quake fades away.
The dust settles to reveal a disaster zone. Ruined buildings jut skyward, smoke hangs in the air, collapsed walls block streets, and rubble and debris covers destroyed vehicles. The injured and dead lie where they fell. Ragged and dust-caked individuals shamble around while others crouch and stare and cry.
Clarence Redd wrote:I think many campaigns would benefit from such a concept. But in my experience that usually takes longer to play, not shorter. Your players skipped some scenarios and combined others, right?
A human is running through a jungle. Creatures that look like a cross between an ostrich and a velociraptor move swiftly to converge upon him. The man clearly is panicked when one of the creatures levels a primitive rifle at him and the shot narrowly misses his head, blowing a large, melon like plant to bits. The man stumbles and falls headlong down a hill he hadn't seen through the thick growth. One of the creatures fires a crossbow and the man screams, a bolt through his calf, as he tumbles down the hill.
The human crawls desperately through the thick overgrowth as he hears the hisses of the alien creatures behind him. Then, to his surprise, he sees a crashed starship. Vines and moss have claimed it in the many years it has sat here, but the name Grand Illusion can still be seen on its hull. The human drags himself inside.
Outside, the creatures track their prey to the ship. They hiss in obvious frustration and then leave, fearful of the area. Inside, the human sighs in relief. He gasps in pain, looking at the bolt sticking out of his calf then glances about, trying to decide where the medical bay might be. He drags himself along the floor of the ship when a floorboard shifts. He hears an odd noise and too late realizes he's set off a trap.
There's an explosion and flames and the screaming lasts a long, long time.
Jumping into the system, the Event Horizon is swallowed into a dark nebula.
"Admiral, I don't know what this nebula is made of, but we're flying almost blind. Sensors are worthless. Visual is limited to 500km. We're going to have to slow down or we'll fly right into something before we see it coming." Lt. Danson tried another scan. "I can't find the gas giant sir. It's supposed to be out there somewhere, but you're guess is as good as mine."
Danthus looks out of his view screen. "Where's the sun?"
The ship abruptly shakes and rumbling can be heard from the engine room.
"Issari," Danthus uplinks to the Chief Engineers comms. "What's going on back there?"
"We have a problem sir" comez Issari's reply. "We need to get out of this nebula. Our thrusters just ignited a gas pocket. The longer we stay here, the more explosions you can expect. Our thrusters won't be able to take many more like that."
"Wow! I've never seen a star ship this big!" Slinger's son looks at the massive ship they're approaching in awe. "We're going in that thing?"
"I am." Slinger tells his son,"You're staying right here."
"But dad -"
"No buts, until we find out that thing is safe, you're staying here."
The boy gripped his fathers hand tightly. Slinger knelt down to look his son in the eyes. "It's going to be okay. I'll be back." The boy flung his arms around his father. Slinger looked to the rest of the crew helplessly. This fathering thing was awkward for him.
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