The Long Night

Dust to Dust
Epilogue

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[Incoming Message Received. Source: Unknown]

[Quantum Analysis: No Interception Detected]

[Decryption Complete]

Ref: FWO/21151222155043/LN
Compiled December 22
Author: Proxy Ozymandias A3
Subject: Operation Long Night Debriefing
Location: Valles-New Shanghai, Mars

We are currently in the process of restoring agents to active duty from backups obtained by Mohinder Maruyama. Agent Glowurm will be put in offline back up and isolated for further study. Her simulspace signature is showing several anomalous readings and accounts from her fellow agents demand extreme caution be taken. All other agents will undergo further psych evaluation but are expected to make a full recovery.

It is unfortunate no backups can be recovered from any of the agents after they left Mars, including my own. It appears that they have left Hyoden for Pasiphae on or about the 26th of November and within 12 hours the moon’s orbital path stopped changing and it destabilized catastrophically. What remains shrouded by the moon’s fragments is very intriguing.

If our listening post observations are correct then we have discovered a sixth Pandora Gate. This Jovian Gate, if confirmed, will require careful study. We are spinning up agents to investigate.

After the resistance fighters took the spaceport the Jovian’s lost their ability to resupply. They quickly folded to international pressure thereafter before the conflict escalated further. The situation on Callisto is still tenuous, but stabilizing, and government control has reverted to the people of Hyoden. We will reestablish our base of operations there within the next month.

[End Message]

[This Message Has Self-Erased]

View
Ashes to Ashes
Session 10

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PCs (Players)

Aura(Nathan)
Pyrelight (Craig)
Glowurm (Jon)
Frog (Charlie)

NPCs

Ozymandias

Location

Hyoden
-Sanzu Waste Treatment Plant
-Hyoden Spaceport
-Olympia Mining Company Hangar 2
Pasiphae
-Karkarov 1 Mine
-Asterion’s Chamber

Date(s)

November 26th, 10 AF

Encounters

  • Space Port Front Lines (Jovian firing line)
  • The Hangar (2 HOPLITE Battlesuits)
  • Karkarov 1 (Exsurgent Zombies, Deceiver, Yourselves)

Summary

Ozymandias discusses the battle to come with the colonel while Pyrelight explains what has taken place on Hyoden since August.

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The plan was simple enough. Your contact at the Olympia Mining Corporation set you up with jobs at the spaceport. You established a safe house there (hidden in a cargo container) and fabbed a pair of farcasters. Aura installed one into a droid charging station that was about to be sent up to Karkarov 1. You would then clandestinely resleeve into the mining droids and infiltrate the facility. The recharger was installed on schedule and Deceiver went up. His preliminary report showed a major Jovian presence deep within the moon. They were studying something in the moon’s core, something of TITAN origin.

That was when everything went to hell. Artemis blew the op wide open. You fled the spaceport to draw the Jovians away. Above all, you had to keep the farcaster from being discovered. It wasn’t long before the kill team hunted you down. Only Ozymandias and Pyrelight survived. They have been trying to reestablish contact with Deceiver (and you) ever since, but the Jovians were too vigilant. It was only after the destruction of the J.S.S. Liberty and the blockade and coup that followed that you had your chance.

The resistance has been fighting a losing battle for weeks. If they do not stem the tide of Jovian forces all will be lost. They must retake the spaceport. You are to join them in the assault, infiltrate the hangar, and farcast to Hyoden.

You overlook the barren surface of Callisto, the planet Jupiter filling the dark sky. There is a blinding flash as an anti-ship missile slams into the Jovian cruiser keeping station overhead. The Hyoden regulars have retaken the battery. You load into the command APC with Ozymandias and roll towards the front line.

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A barrage of missiles slams into the Jovian fortifications as aerospace fighters flash overhead. Fenrir morphs bring their heavy railguns to bear on the Jovian front line as your APC rumbles forward. Jovian HOPLITE infantry and battlemechs counterattack. There is a thunderous explosion as an orbital weapon lays waste to the battlefield below it. Still you press on.

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As you near the barricades, your APC is struck by a missile. The whole front of the craft is torn open and everyone forward of the troop compartment is killed. Ozymandias and the resistance officers are critically injured and unconscious. You fared better. Aura and Glowurm spring into action, forcing opening the compartment door and trying to regain control of the vehicle which is still hurtling towards the barricade. Frog and Pyrelight open the drop gate and bail out. They lay down suppression fire and move through cover. Aura and Glowurm manage to get the smoldering hulk under control and start dragging out the wounded while taking heavy fire.

You retreat into the shell of a building. Frog stabilizes the wounded while Pyrelight fires into the Jovian lines. Ozymandias awakens, sees the extent of his injuries and checks out, saying he will meet you again on Pasiphae. Aura reboots the backup computer on the APC and sends it into the barricade at full speed. With a terrible blast it punches a hole through the line. Glowurm, using her exsurgent powers convinces the resistance commander to escort them across the airfield to the Olympia Hangar.

After fierce fighting you enter the massive building and Pyrelight leads you to the cargo containers. Unfortunately, guards still remain. Two HOPLITEs open fire with heavy rail. Pyrelight is almost cut in half and slumps next to a container entrance, bleeding out. Glowurm suffers a similar fate.

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Aura, using her freeze gun, manages to stop up their weapons and slow them while taking cover inside a container. It’s the distraction Frog needed. He sneaks past them and gets to the farcaster. It will still take time to transmit. Using every resource she has, Aura makes it as hard as possible for the HOPLITEs to reach her; employing nanoswarms, temporary barricades and piled cargo.

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As the HOPLITEs approach, using their claws to tear open the container, Gunny, Pyrelight’s muse, detonates every grenade on his body, turning one of them into a smoldering heap. The remaining battlesuit enters the container and Aura charges, setting off the last of the explosives. The mission was accomplished. Frog completed the transmission to Pasiphae before destroying the farcaster and checking out.

You all meet up again in the bright white Limbo of the load space. You resleeve into the mining droids and begin the arduous journey through the massive mining complex. Terrible tremors rock the moon and huge fissures have opened up. The acceleration is tearing the moon apart.

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You make your way deep into the interior of Pasiphae, climbing through mine shafts leading you ever inward until you reach the core. Before you are a group of small buildings perched above a precipice, overlooking a vast glowing sea. The sea is filled with nanites. The TITANs have created a vast matrioshka engine that is converting all of Pasiphae to its purpose.

As you approach you see a figure standing at the edge where the nanites have formed a great column. “Welcome, friends.” it says turning around to greet you. It is Deceiver, but twisted and exsurgent. “Come forward, Glowurm. Asterion has been waiting for you.” Lurking in the shadows of the buildings you see bodies of Jovians stirring, exsurgent features betraying their once human forms.

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Glowurm steps forward and reaches for the console. As if sensing some betrayal, Deceiver reaches out to grab her hand. “No. I will not allow that course of action.” he shouts. A struggle ensues and the team springs into action. Pyrelight lunges at the exsurgents crushing them as he wields his digging arms like great clubs. Frog tears open the doors of one of the buildings and looks inside. He finds still active sensors and control equipment which he races to understand. Aura charges at Deceiver and knocks him off the cliff, they both tumble down into the sea of nanites below. Their bodies, badly damaged, begin to be disassembled by the vast swarm. Glowurm, now unopposed, takes control of Asterion. She commands it to create for her a new body, a futura, so that she may be more comfortable. She wishes the same comfort for her friends. “Harvest their cortical stacks and build a farcaster. Destroy these exsurgent threats.” From out of the sea, like a plague of insects, comes a cloud of nanites to do her bidding. Asterion has been unleashed. Frog sees the sensors spike. Pyrelight looks in dismay as the swarm attacks his body. He charges toward Glowurm to stop her.

Frog sees the body of a Jovian scientist slumped over the console, his keycard still inserted into the machine. The Jovians had built a failsafe, antimatter charges embedded below. Frog sets them off. With a terrible rumble, the sea of nanites begins to glow like lava as it works to absorb the energy and repair itself. Glowurm turns around seeing what has happened. "You fools! I would have made it all as it was! I would have saved you all! " Pyrelight, reaching the console, slams into Glowurm and they tumble over the side. “I will bring you with me into flame and darkness.” he says. “Initiate self destruct!” His morph explodes as they plunge into the molten sea. Frog lays back as the nanites finish him and smiles.

Asterion, no longer able to sustain itself, is rocked by an explosion that shatters Pasiphae into thousands of pieces. The TITAN threat has been neutralized.

View
Carnage by the Concierge
Session 9

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PCs (Players)

Aura(Nathan)
Pyrelight (Craig)
Deceiver (Jacob)

NPCs

Lucy
Baron Samedi
Ozymandias
Colonel Eric Baird

Location

Hyoden
-Hotel Solacium
-King of Spades Pawn Shop
-Sanzu Waste Treatment Plant

Date(s)

November 25th, 10 AF

Encounters

  • Four Jovian Guards

Summary

You awaken in a resleeving clinic that looks like something out of a bad horror movie. The smell of expended cleaning nanites and cooking odors permeate the air. A woman in a hotel maid’s uniform is working the ego bridge console and checking your vitals. “Welcome to the Hotel Solacium” she says, without glancing up from her screen. “How are you feeling? I must apologize for the limited selection of morphs available, looks like this is quite a downgrade for some of you. That will make acclimation more difficult but I’ll give you something to help with the alienation. Since the Jovians took over the hotel we haven’t been able to get anything in.”

As you begin to move around, your muses come online. You are indeed on Hyoden, at least Mohinder didn’t send you out to the Kuiper belt or someplace worse. The woman introduces herself as Lucy and hands you each a uniform. They are drab, but clean and well pressed, functional outfits suitable for hotel work and, for Deceiver, janitorial garb. “When you were last here you left this message.” She posts a note to your AR.

King of Spades Pawn Shop, West End
Ask Baron Samedi to see the Dollar
Offer to buy it for 596¥

“Your IDs are rudimentary.” says Lucy as she finishes up imprinting your nanotats. “The tattoos and brain imprint changes should hold up to a check point, but won’t work against a deep dive.” With that she sends you on your way.

You step out of the well hidden room into the laundry and make your way through the hotel basement to the janitor’s office and the kitchen beyond. Chefs are dressing up food as it comes out of the fabbers to make it look, and taste, less artificial. They act is if you are not even there. They know better than to notice anything suspicious about the laundry.

You are unarmed and need to get out of the building. You grab knives from the kitchen and improvised clubs from the janitor’s office. You need to get out and the floors above are swarming with Jovian officers and guardsmen. Aura is quickly able to find the schematics for the hotel. You come up with a plan. You will use the ducts to travel to the upper floors. Aura will sneak to the rear of the building and pull the fire alarm. There she will wait while Deceiver and Pyrelight drop down into the security office behind the front desk, take out the guards, grab their weapons and sneak out during the noise and confusion of the fire drill. To incapacitate the guards you will mix a chemical cocktail out of what they can find in the utility room.

Deceiver and Pyrelight, still dealing with the effects of morph alienation, observe the security office from the vent above. There are two guards with assault rifles outside of the entrance doors and two officers with sidearms holstered monitoring the consoles. When the fire alarm goes off you push open the vent and throw jugs of chemicals at them. They are stunned and reeling as Pyrelight stabs one with a butcher knife. Deceiver rushes the door and locks it as the officer staggers back, draws his sidearm and fires. The gunshot alerts the guards but the fire alarm prevents the entire lobby from hearing. Deceiver quickly locks the other door just before they can open it. They begin breaking it down as the officers defend themselves. You are both shot up before you can take them down and grab their sidearms.

Deceiver climbs into the vent, but Pyrelight, staggering from damage is cut down by an automatic rifle before he can try again. Deceiver puts a round through his cortical stack before he slithers down the duct as fast as possible.

Deceiver makes sneaks out of the hotel through a garbage chute and he and Aura make their way into the city of Hyoden. They come to a Jovian check point which they bypass by going through the sewers before coming to the King of Spades Pawn Shop.

The pawn shop contains an eclectic mix of junk and artifacts claimed to be from Earth. Baron Samedi’s morph is covered in face paint made to look like a skull. “How can I help you?” he says. You offer to buy the dollar bill, which is proudly presented in the center of the room above and behind the counter top, for 596 Martian Yuan. “That is far too little.” He says. “But perhaps I have something that might interest you in the back. Follow me.” You step into his back office. Suddenly, Baron Samedi begins to convulse slightly and his eyes roll into the back of his head. His voice changes. “By God, it’s good to see you.” Somehow you know this to be Ozymandias, or at least a fork of him. “We must go. You may have been followed.” He opens a trap door in the back of the office and you follow him down. There you find a Boondock Saints style arms and equipment room. You take some rope (you always end up using it) and make your way into the waste treatment tunnels beyond.

Before too long you are ambushed by heavily armed soldiers. They are Hyoden resistance fighters. After a tense exchange, they bring you to the Sanzu Waste Treatment Plant where, at long last, you find Ozymandias. He is standing over a holographic map of the city next to a man who introduces himself as Colonel Eric Baird. “We have much to discuss.” Says Ozymandias. “And precious little time.” From out of the shadows steps a familiar figure. “I’ll bring you up to speed.” says Pyrelight.

View
Dark Deeds, Dark Casts
Session 8

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PCs (Players)

Frog (Charlie)
Glowurm (Jon)
Pyrelight (Craig)
Deceiver (Jacob)

NPCs

Mohinder Murayama
Nine Lives Smuggler Leader

Location

The White Zone
Smuggler Hideout
Martian Outback
Olympus

Time

Current Date: November 23rd-25th, 10 AF

Encounters

  • Nine Lives smugglers at the Jovian base (1 Reaper Morph, 2 Armored Mars Rovers – Howdahs, 2 Machine Hunters – elite smugglers, 10 Carbon Reaver Pirates – mook smugglers)
  • Nine Lives smugglers at their hideout (5 Carbon Reaver Pirates – mook smugglers)

Summary

  • You prepare for battle against the rapidly approaching Nine Lives smugglers. Aura and Glowurm close the gate while Pyrelight, Frog and Deceiver man the battlements. Deceiver fires up the remaining twin linked gauss machine gun emplacement. That’s when you see it. A reaper drone flying high and diving fast. Pyrelight fires seeker round after seeker round at it while Frog and Deceiver shoot bursts of charge particles and hypervelocity slugs to bring it down. The barrage destroys the drone and it crashes into the med bay with a thunderous explosion, but not before it destroyed the railgun turret.
  • The smugglers close quickly and rounds are exchanged before their leader calls for parlay. After a heated discussion with threats from both sides, Glowurm goes out to treat with her. She uses her mind tricks to overwhelm the smuggler’s senses and convince her to let them go. You waste no time and drive off while they argue among themselves.
  • You drive to the smuggler’s hideout, which you believe is now only manned by a skeleton crew. You are hailed over the comm system. “Icarus this is Daedelus, what’s your status?” Convincing them that you need medical assistance you approach as a Dr. Bot and two med techs rush out to meet you. You run them over and shoot the guards at the cave entrance.
  • You enter the cave and come to a blast door which you bypass. You sweep the facility and overcome a booby trap and light resistance before you find their comm system and smuggled booty. You send a message to Ozymandias and leave with a TITAN artifact, destroying everything else.
  • Sneaking out of the TQZ using Deceiver’s smuggling tricks to avoid the rangers you abandon your vehicle and hoof it towards Olympus. You travel for a few days on foot until you encounter a truck heading south. You hack the AI which was bringing a load of cornucopia machines to the Noctis Rangers and drive to Olympus.. You steal the blue prints for ranger equipment before sending it on its way again.
  • You set up a meeting with Mohinder at his favorite club, Satan’s Alley. You revel in having a reliable mesh connection for the first time in weeks and catch up on current events. Leading the news is Pasiphae. It is changing orbit rapidly, spiraling in toward Jupiter. The city of Hyoden is under Jovian naval blockade and there has been a coup putting a Jovian sympathetic group in charge. The city is divided. The jovian faction controls half the city while the former government has gone underground, fighting against them.
  • Ozymandias sends a message asking you to get to Pasiphae as quickly as possible to complete your newly modified mission objectives.
  • The meeting with Mohinder goes well and and you trade the cortical stacks of the Nine Lives smugglers and the TITAN artifact, a halcyon known as Perfect Blossom, to wipe your debt clean and buy a darkcast to Hyoden.
  • You darkcast out. Resleeving options are limited. Pyrelight resleeves into a synth, Deceiver into a slitheroid, Glowurm into a splicer, and Frog into a splicer, Hammer into a synth and Aura into a bouncer. You awaken in a dark basement under a building in Jovian occupied territory.
View
Asterion Calls
Session 7

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PCs (Players)

Frog (Charlie)
Glowurm (Jon)
Pyrelight (Craig)

NPCs

Agent Venator
Agent Shikari

Location

The White Zone
The TITAN Structure

Time

Current Date: November 22nd-23rd, 10 AF

Encounters

  • The Plasm
  • Exsurgent Jovian Zombies and the TITAN Remnant Weapon

Summary

  • You fight a plasm exsurgent in the first chamber. Frog engineers a toxin to kill it.

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  • You follow the tracks of the other two agents (Artemis and Agent Jaeger until you come to a door deep underground that guards the facility’s power system. You find the burned out corpse of Artemis. The power system is currently disabled.

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  • You come to a huge blast door with four dead Jovian commandos against it.

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  • A creature, half cybernetic and half organic emerges from one of them and attacks. At the same time, the Jovians rise up and lurch forward. You fight them off. Shikari and Venator die in the fighting and become infected.

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  • You open the blast doors after turning on the power system. The chamber houses a vast communication array.

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  • In the center of the room is a small metal sphere. Glowurm, goes forward and touches it. She is filled with visions of the moon Pasiphae shattering into thousands of pieces as a black fractal structure emerges from beneath its surface. She also realizes how to stop it.

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  • As you emerge from the blackness of the TITAN facility you see two howdahs approaching from across the desert. The smugglers have followed you.
View
Jump!
Session 6

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PCs (Players)

Aura (Nathan)
Frog (Charlie)
Glowurm (Jon)
Pyrelight (Craig)
Hammer (Aaron)
Deceiver (Jacob)

NPCs

None

Location

The White Zone
Jovian Expedition Encampment

Time

Current Date: November 20th-22nd, 10 AF

Encounters

  • Three Wastewalkers
  • Exsurgent Jelly
  • Jovian Black Ops Aerospace Plane

Summary

  • You drive through the canyon putting as much ground between you and the smugglers as quickly as possible. After an hour driving south you come to an area where it might be possible to climb out but it will be risky. Deceiver does not hesitate, he disengages the autopilot and climbs both vehicles up the steep cliffside. You are through.
  • Travelling the martian desert for hours you come to an area that is filled with bizarre artifacts of the TITANs. Great black fractal structures like fan coral climb hundreds of meters into the air. What purpose they served you can only guess. You sense you are getting close. Over a small ridge you see the ruined remains of a hastily built walled encampment. Someone has been out here until recently and they had some serious resources at their disposal. All around are the decapitated corpses of soldiers and the TITAN weapons that killed them. Almost everything is destroyed save an aerospace VTOL nearby that only looks slightly damaged. The encampment is butted up againsted a damaged TITAN structure. One of the giant fronds has broken free at the base, like a tree split by lightning. Where this break made an entrance to the interior the expedition connected an airlocked tube.
  • That’s when you notice movement. Frog sees a horrifying humanoid creature, it’s skin black and mottled like a salamanders, putting a white, porcelain doll-like mask onto the face of the corpse it is looming over. it is a wastewalker, the exsurgent infantry of the TITANs, and it has just found a fresh recruit. Aura hears strange clicking sounds from her radio as the creature disappears before your very eyes. It has a chameleon coating! And so do the two opening fire behind you!
  • A firefight ensues. The wastewalkers lay down a withering barrage of gauss rounds. Pyrelight is cut down. Aura puts up a barrier while Frog tries to revive him. Hammer and Deceiver fire back while Glowurm goes into a psionic trance boosting her speed to tremendoud levels. Hammer and Deciever cut one down. Pyrelight is brought back to consciousness and starts firing. So do the others. Glowurm sees the wastewalker by the encampment readying a crew sized weapon. She has to put a stop to that or they will all perish. Taking the wheel of one of the buggies she peels out down the steep dune. She rams the creature just as it starts to unload plasma into the front of the vehicle. She crushes it against the fortress wall but was unable to get out in time. Glowurm is badly wounded, as are many others but the wastewalkers are vanquished.
  • After some investigation you determine that this was a group of Jovians who had taken considerable measures to conceal who they were. There are no obvious insignia, only by looking through a technician’s personal journal were you able to determine this. They appeared to be on a mission for the Jovian Space Defense Force. Dr. Lee Min-jun, Head of Space Force Command’s Weapons Research Group, was mentioned. This camp was built approximately two months ago.
  • Deceiver goes through the tunnel into the TITAN structure. He finds a gloomy room with walls black and glossy like obsidian; they seem to move and shimmer when his T-ray emitter passes over them. The floor is covered in an ankle deep, thick, translucent liquid. The room doesn’t like him there and defends itself. The liquid on the floor begins to take a roughly humanoid shape and attacks. Deceiver fires round after round into it but with little effect. He manages to escape, but it is a close thing.
  • After some time, you determine that the VTOL most likely arrived sometime later, after the attack. Aura tries to hack the onboard computer and finds it incredibly challenging. This is a black ops aircraft and the security is like nothing she has every seen. Somehow she manages to convince the AI that she is one of the pilots named Dave. The AI isn’t fooled for long. It tries to attack them when it detects that its weapons systems are being tampered with. You attack and destroy the aircraft but unfortunately Glowurm was still in the cockpit. Fortunately, there is an ejector seat.
  • You tend to your wounds and prepare to enter the TITAN structure.
View
Through the Desert! Through the Desert!
Session 5

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PCs (Players)

Aura (Nathan)
Frog (Charlie)
Glowurm (Jon)
Pyrelight (Craig)

NPCs

Solomon Wyatt

Location

Arsia Mons Ranger Station
Smuggler’s Camp

Time

Current Date: November 18th-20th, 10 AF

Encounters

  • Smuggler Sniper

Summary

  • You return to the burned out ruin of the ranger station to scavenger for supplies and look for survivors.
  • Frog collects many cortical stacks from the dead rangers and resuscitates a smuggler that was still clinging to life in one of the holding cells. You each grab a particle beam bolter and light body armor. Aura finds a case of six thermobaric grenades. Aura manages to get one of the station’s computers running and connects to the mesh and finds that the rangers have all fled with their fleet of vehicles to the north. Pyrelight finds the cornucopia machine but it is too badly damaged to repair without considerable time and effort. Glowurm subliminally suggests to the smuggler that Frog is a good friend and should be trusted implicitly.
  • Frog interrogates the smuggler and learns a possible location of the smuggler’s base in the TQZ. This corroborates what Aura finds in the ranger’s systems.
  • You set off on foot for the smuggler’s base in hopes of finding vehicles to take you to your destination in the TQZ. You stop near a low ridge deep in the desert, collapsing from exhaustion. Solomon pressures you to press on, saying that you are about to camp in Wastewalker territory. Pyrelight nearly breaks his ankle but manages to hoof it out of there with the rest of you.
  • You manage to reach the smuggler’s canyon late into the night and climb down into a small cave. The next morning you set out down the canyon floor. It gives Pyrelight pause as you are surrounded by caves in the high walled canyon and are more or less out in the open. He was right to be concerned.
  • A round from a gauss sniper rifle rips through Glowurm’s chest and she falls to the ground. Pyrelight lays down suppressive fire and dives for cover while Frog swings his beamer around and connects. The sniper gets down and is calling for help but Aura manages to jam his comms after building a temporary barrier for Glowurm. Pyrelight lobs a thermobaric grenade at the sniper who dives out from cover to avoid it and is cut down by the waiting beam of Frog. you take the sniper’s radio and press on.
  • Shortly thereafter you find the smuggler’s camp. There are too many to take on in a direct assault but you don’t need to fight them to take their vehicles. They left ten martian buggies and two larger howdahs parked under some camouflage netting outside of the cave systems. Pyrelight and Glowurm sneak in and hijack two vehicles and blow up all the rest, save the howdahs, with grenades. You peel out down the canyon further into the TQZ toward the dreaded White Zone.
View
Riddles in the Dark
Session 4

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PCs (Players)

Aura (Nathan)
Frog (Charlie)
Deceiver (Jacob)
Glowurm (Jon)
Pyrelight (Craig)

NPCs

Agent Jaeger

Location

Arsia Mons(Mars)
Agent Jaeger’s Cortical Stack

Time

Current Date: November 17th-18th, 10 AF

Encounters

  • 5 Mk.I Headhunters, 2 Mk.II Headhunters, 1 Snapper
  • Riddles and the Minotaur

Summary

  • After fleeing the ranger station with Agent Jaeger’s cortical stack you look into the TQZ at an advancing army of TITAN weapons converging on your position. Five Headhunters and two of their larger, missile bearing variants have locked on to your position. Deceiver starts the Mars buggy and everyone piles in as Pyrelight fires at the TITAN forces.
  • The buggy flies over the barren landscape, dodging missiles as Glowurm and Pyrelight manage to bring down a headhunter. Aura sees a glint of light and shimmery air in their path. There is a nanoswarm cloud coming in from the TQZ. Deceiver manages to avoid the worst of it but not before he (and Aura) is coated in the little buggers. Frog prepares an antinano solution while Aura deploys his counterswarms.
  • The headhunters manage to catch up with the vehicle and latch on and start cutting there way into the vehicle. Frog lays one out with SMG fire and Aura freezes one solid but a much bigger threat has just appeared. A vehicular TITAN weapon, called a Snapper, emerges from behind a berm and slams into the side of the buggy delivering horrific damage with its many pincer bearing arms. Glowurm fires his particle beam weapon and Pyrelight lobs grenade after grenade at the creature, eventually bringing it down but not before the buggy is all but totaled. Deceiver launches the vehicle over a gully and it is destroyed.
  • Pyrelight grabs the survival gear and you hoof it out of there. The battle is going badly for the rangers and that means that larger ordnance will soon be deployed. You run as a massive explosion caused by an orbital weapon lays waste to the TITAN forces. You are knocked around by the shockwave but survive.
  • You make camp, heal your wounds and Frog analyzes Jaeger’s cortical stack. As he begins to do so Glowurm feels a strange, painful sensation. Somehow the cortical stack has been psychically altered by the TITANs. There is a flash and everything goes black.
  • You awaken in a dark musty room with stone walls. A man bearing a torch approaches. It is Agent Jaeger. He welcomes you and says that you are to set out on a dangerous quest. You must travel through the labyrinth and answer a series of riddles or you will be punished by “them”.
  • You approach a narrow bridge in the darkness. Jaeger explains the rules of the challenge. Four people come to a river in the night. There is a narrow bridge, but it can only hold two people at a time. They have one torch and, because it’s night, the torch has to be used when crossing the bridge. Person A can cross the bridge in one minute, B in two minutes, C in five minutes, and D in eight minutes. When two people cross the bridge together, they must move at the slower person’s pace. The question is, can they all get across the bridge in 15 minutes or less?
  • You solve the riddle.
  • You come to the next challenge. You stand before two doors. In front of each of the two doors, there stands a guard. You know the following things: 1. One door leads further into the labyrinth, the other to Death. From where you stand, you cannot distinguish between the two doors. Worse, once you choose, you cannot turn back. 2. One of the two guards always tells the truth. The other guard always lies. Unfortunately, it is impossible for you to distinguish between the two guards. You have permission to ask one guard one question to ascertain which path leads further into the labyrinth. Remember that you do not know which guard you’re asking — the truth-teller or the liar — and that this single question determines whether you live or die. The question is: What one question asked of one guard guarantees that you are led onto the right path, regardless of which guard you happen to ask?
  • You choose the correct door.
  • You come to a woman weeping on the floor in a shroud. She calls herself Pasiphae and asks you the third riddle. “I have millions of eyes, yet I live in darkness. I have millions of ears, yet only four lobes. I have no muscles, yet I rule two hemispheres. What am I?”
  • You answer correctly.
  • Pasiphae begins to crumble into dust, screaming as she does and from her huddled form a massive minotaur, her child, Asterion emerges. Jaeger appears and says you must fight and defeat him. You are unarmed.
  • Pyrelight figures out that to defeat the beast he must kill Jaeger as it Jaeger’s mind they are fighting.
  • They kill Jaeger and the minotaur collapses, dead. From its shattered form a metallic sphere appears. The sphere begins to glow and with a flash you awaken in the Martian barrens. Somehow you know that the sphere is a TITAN artifact designed to control something of immense power on Pasiphae and that it is located within a few days hike into the TQZ.
  • You check your gear and you guts and set off to retrieve it.
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Red Storm Rising
Session 3

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PCs (Players)

Aura (Nathan)
Frog (Charlie)
Deceiver (Jacob)
Glowurm (Jon)
Pyrelight (Craig)

NPCs

Mohinder Murayama
Benjamin Franklin
Ranger Welker
Agent Jaeger

Location

Solidarity Station (Earth Interdiction Zone)
Olympus Mons(Mars)
Arsia Mons(Mars)

Time

Current Date: November 15th-17th, 10 AF

Encounters

3 Exsurgent Headhunters

Summary

  • Arrive at Mars and meet with Mohinder. You negotiate with him and as payment for his damaged ship and lost cargo he wants you to kill a Nine Lives boss.
  • You make your way from Olympus to Arsia Mons and arrive at the ranger station. You manage to talk your way into the facility using falsified identities.
  • You are allowed to meet with their prisoner, Agent Jaeger, who is catatonic.
  • Glowurm attempts to scan his mind but accidentally causes him to have a seizure.
  • Frog uses this to convince the guards that Jaeger needs medical attention which he is able to provide. He gains entry and with uncanny skill is able to extract Jaeger’s cortical stack without attracting undue attention.
  • You all prepare to make a break for it when an alarm bell sounds. There are exsurgents inbound from the TQZ.
  • In the confusion you speed off into the Martian desert but are pursued by headhunter drones, TITAN weapons of horrific purpose. You fight off the first few scouts but many more are on the way.
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Escape Velocity
Session 2

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PCs (Players)

Aura (Nathan)
Deceiver (Jacob)
Flash (Mike)
Glowurm (Jon)
Hammer (Aaron)
Pyrelight (Craig)

NPCs

Zero
Dr. Bot
Tomas Alhambra
Sikandar Jackson
Benjamin Franklin

Location

Solidarity Station (Earth Interdiction Zone)

Time

Current Date: November 7th, 10 AF

Encounters

  1. 6 Converted Automech Droids
  2. 2 Hunter/Killer Drones

Summary

  • You meet up with Deceiver and Hammer in Red Sector, they were sent by Ozymandius a month ago for rescue and recovery.
  • You are attacked by exsurgent droids and defeat them.
  • You hack into the cornucopia machine in the machine shop and are confronted by Zero. He shows you a video of Artemis sending a message to Ozymandius, compromising the Op on Pasiphae before uploading an exsurgent virus into the station’s computer and setting off an explosion in Yellow Sector and getting sucked out into space because of it.
  • You proceed to the control room where you are ambushed by Tomas and Sikandar who have become exusrgents.
  • You find a message from Ozymandius saying that the Op on Pasiphae failed, he is going to ground in Hyoden and that you are to find out what happened to Artemis and her team on Mars.
  • You leave the station shortly before it breaks up and your ship is pursued by hunter killer drones.
  • An exsurgent droid snuck onto your ship while you were exploring the station. It is heavily armed and armored so rather than fight it, Glowurm attempts to open the cargo bay doors by setting off the fire suppression system. His particle beam weapon malfunctions accidentally setting off mining explosives that were in the hold. The ship is damaged and you lose the cargo, but the creature is sucked out into space.
  • You leave earth orbit and are now limping towards Mars.

Exposition

Prior to session 2, Deceiver and Hammer arrived at Solidarity Station. They were activated by Ozymandias one month ago. He briefed them that there was an incident at Solidarity Station and they were to get the fastest ship they could from Mohinder Murayama and attempt rescue and recovery before the station deorbited.

Mohinder allowed them passage on one of his vessels, the Marcus Garvey. It was going on a smuggling mission to Luna crewed by Benjamin Franklin, Sikandar Jackson and Tomas Alhambra.

Aura, Flash, Glowurm, and Pyrelight with an unconscious Tomas being carried by Dr. Bot peer into the blackness of Red Sector through the small, frost covered view port on the air lock door. Pyrelight engages his T-Ray Emitter while Glowurm discreetly uses his Ego Sense. They spot Hammer concealed behind an airduct, his SMG drawn.. They fail to notice Deceiver, mainly because he looks like an airduct.

For once you ask questions first, saving the shooting for later. You all talk through the intercom and determine that you all want the same thing, to get off the station alive.

You proceed into Red Sector and are immediately attacked by six alien looking droids, same as those in the med bay. Pyrelight puts a round through one of the creatures orb like eyes while Flash charges forward and finishes it off. Tearing it apart with her clawed hands. Hammer spins around but reacts too slowly and is impaled by tungsten carbide tendrils. She unloads her SMG into its case and it collapses. Aura ducks into the crew quarters and grabs more weapons, firing from around the bulkhead door. Deceiver, his armored, slytheroid body far less fragile than the biomorphs lets loose a hail of armor piercing lead, shredding the droids. Glowurm her face black, her eyes red moves like shimmering steel and cuts down the last of them.

You gather your equipment from your quarters and find a fully operational cornucopia machine which is almost completely depleted of raw materials. Aura tries hacking into the station’s systems and is confronted by a demented Zero. He shows you his last moments of sanity. A video feed of Artemis returning to the station and being resleeved two months ago. She slowly and purposefully walks to the command sector and sends a message to Ozymandias on an open channel.

Abort the operation, Ozymandius. You will fail.

she then proceeds to the cornucopia machine and starts entering commands. Almost immediately alarm bells start to go off and Zero reacts by attacking her. She runs down the causeway back to yellow sector and is gunned down by a sentry gun, but not before she sets off an explosive causing a hull breach that sucks her into space.

Confused, you continue on to the control room, mainly to find enough vac suits to make your way to the shuttle craft and get the hell out of there. As you…open the airlock you see Sikandar Jackson with a blank look on his face messing with the command console and then you hear a shrill mechanical squeal behind you as Dr. Bot‘s head comes off. The good news is Tomas is awake. The bad news, he is no longer Tomas. His arms have changed into chitinous talons and has face, like Sikandar’s is void of emotion, of sympathy, of pain or fear. They are something other. They are exsurgent.

You battle them back and destroy them but they burned up precious time. With only minutes remaining Aura scours the command center for any recoverable data,only finding a single hard disk that he is willing to connect one of her automechs. It is the comm logs for Solidarity Station. The last message received was dated six weeks ago. It is a message from Ozymandias saying that the mission on Pasiphae was a total failure. He is going to ground in Hyoden and will make contact as soon as he can safely do so. Your mission, if you are still alive is to find out what happened to Artemis and her team on Mars.

You leave, getting off the station just minutes before the station breaks apart. Deceiver fires up the high-g anti matter engines of the Marcus Garvey and pushes to escape velocity. The antimatter burn, while necessary, was too long. You have attracted attention.

Two hunter-killer drones have spotted you through the cloud of debris and jamming fields and are closing fast. Launches detected. Aura launches ECM and tries to clean up the sensors while Deceiver deftly maneuvers and fires up the afterburner. Pyrelight mans the point defense turret and begins shooting back. He truly is THE ULTIMATE MERC. As this is going on, Benjamin Franklin says he thinks something is slinking around the cargo hold. Flash and Glowurm go to investigate.

They find an exsurgent combat drone, like the creatures on the station but larger and more heavily armed and armored. It must have snuck on board the ship while they were exploring the station. Seeing they are outmatched, Flash and Glowurm try to open the cargo bay doors and suck it out into space but Deceiver refuses. He doesn’t want to lose the Triad‘s cargo. Glowurm finds a solution. She will set off the fire suppression system which will automatically open the cargo bay. She tethers to a bulkhead and fires her particle beam weapon at the fire alarm. Unfortunately, the weapon backfires, igniting a crate of mining explosives which causes hull breaching damage to the Marcus Garvey, destroying or flushing the cargo into space. It got rid of the combat droid though, so there’s that. Flash recovers the unconscious and badly wounded body of Glowurm.

The hunter killers are still on your tail. The hold explosion knocked out the targeting systems and ECM. Deceiver manages to maneuver past a derelict station, barely missing while Pyrelight is somehow able to get a shot off and destroy the last remaining drone. You have made it out of the Earth Interdiction Zone alive.

You are now limping towards Mars.

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