Saturday, May 31, 2014

Traveller Session - Ouch that hurts!

Having discovered that the gravitational anomaly they had traveled through, was linked in some way to the power source buried under the surface of the planet the PCs decided to take a break from torturing the yellow goo they discovered last week, and revisit the surface.

This time they took an adventurers kit! I had the players detail exactly what they were taking with them, and believe it or not, this included both a cuddly toy and a collapsible ten foot pole! Of course they also had their 6 Marine (meatshield) buddies too.

They split their team and started re-investigating the place, but the PCs returned specifcally to the "control room".

They braved flicking a few switches and things started happening...rather a lot of things actually.

  • The air within the tunnel network started moving.
  • A camera system was activated. Actually a rock wall became a kind of monitor, with moving pictures displayed as embossed relief within the rock. They found they could monitor all of the major rooms they had already visited as well as one they hadn't.
  • Six massive glowing "suns" were launched from within the planet up into orbit, bathing the otherwise completely dark planet in light.
  • A super fast rocket/missile/UFO was launched and sped off into space 
  • "Stone Space Spiders" were brought into being that started moving around the complex and frightening some of the Marines into a one sided firefight. They were calmed down with some comforting chat on the radio, and they reported that the spiders rose up out of the rock and that the Marine's bullets were bouncing off the things. The spiders did not attack they seemed much more interested in doing their own inexplicable thing.
They also recovered a few more of the boxes that contain yellow goo. One was opened on the surface to see if the yellow goo did anything...which it didn't.

During this fun they were getting reports from their spaceship from a panicky member of the crew. He'd spotted a beam emanating from the cathedral ship-ghost-thingy pointed at the anomaly, this beam seemed to be destabilizing the anomaly and reducing it's size. He was concerned that the anomaly might disappear and as it was the way they had got here, he also assumed it was their only way back.

One of the last switches in the "control room" was discovered to boost the power source on the planet and the anomaly was strengthened at the same time. The final switch setting revealed a map that included a path to the planetary power source.

Engineers on the ship calculated that unless the power could be boosted the anomaly would disappear in two hours time. The race was on.

Two Marines were dispatched down the vertical shaft to investigate the tunnel that led to the power source. They soon ground to a halt. The tunnel angled sharply upwards and was so greasy they couldn't climb it.

The PCs and the rest of the Marines headed down there to bring some real muscle and brains into play. In next to no time at all they were standing on each others shoulders creating a human ladder to reach the top of the slope.

At the top they found themselves in a level tunnel where they met the equivalent of a swinging-blade-trap. Rock discs were crossing the tunnel, literally forming out of the living rock and slicing across. This presented no trouble to anyone and they all made it through to the "lava" room.

The tunnel opened up funnel like. The slope down was being rained on by liquid stone pellets that hit the floor and rolled down to the "liquid stone" floor of the room. The exit was on the far side, a tunnel mouth that you would have to jump to. The liquid-stone floor of the room was deathly hot but fortunately there were protuberances of solid stone scattered stepping-stone like across the floor. Holding their packs over their heads to protect against the stone rain,they tumbled down the slope, two of the Marine's getting injured in the process.

They crossed the stepping stones and then had to puzzle their way up to the tunnel mouth. A Marine was detailed to try. He jumped, failed and fell into the liquid floor. There was a valiant attempt to pull him free, but it was too late one of his legs was burnt off fatally puncturing his suit!

A PC used a grapnel and a rope was put in place to crawl up to the tunnel mouth. The two injured marines were left here to man the rope for the return journey (they needed to pull on the rope of hold it taught for the climb). Time was rapidly passing and the PCs needed to get a move on.

The tunnel they had reached contained stone tubes that appeared to flail around  occasional connecting to each other briefly. All but one Marine managed to dodge through here without trouble. The Marine received a minor injury from being slapped by the tubes.

Beyond this point the tunnel angled sharply down disapearing into another liquid stone pool. This was tentatively tested as they feared it would be more of the burning liquid stone. It turned out to be cool and one Marine was dispatched down the tunnel and was followed by the rest of the party. There was a danger of getting lost in the complete darkness but everyone made it and emerged on the far side.

The next room to cross looked empty and set the PC's on edge. "It was quiet...too quiet." A spanner was chucked into the room, it hit the floor and sunk slowly, leaving no trace. The PCs asked for a Marine volunteer to try sprinting across. No one stepped forwards. One PC had to start threatening them with an axe! The volunteer got to within a few meters of the far side before becoming stuck. A second Marine was threatened into trying, but he too became stuck. The last Marine got into a bit of state and headed back to get the rope from the room with the two injured Marines. He got turned around when trying to pass through the cool liquid tunnel. Tick, tock,tick,tock. One PC made an attempt to sprint across and managed it, another got stuck. The Marine returned with the rope and managed to pull the sinking fellows back to the entrance before they were lost for good.

The one PC that made it across was on his own. The next room was as weird as the others. Stone blocks were forming out of the ceiling and dropping to the floor and sinking into it in seemingly random patterns. He bolted across and made it in one piece.

He now emerged to find a wide crevasse blocking his way, but he could see the power room beyond. This was too wide to jump safely. Some serious discussion and planning was made and the collapsible pole was deployed across the gap. The near end was secured with duck tape and plaster from the med kit. The rope was tied around the pole and to the PC. That meant he only had to walk along the pole to the far side. He made it!

Adjusting the power setting of the system was simplicity itself after all of the other trials. Then all they had to do was get back passed all of these hindrances!  Which they managed. One Marine was knocked down but not killed. He was carried along in the rush back to the ship. In only 70 minutes of the 120, they were able to get back to the surface.

Back on the space ship they found it was being dragged back towards the anomaly, a desperate attempt was made to line the ship up with the direction of movement but failed, meaning they entered the anomaly and jump, unaligned...

What will happen next week? Will they emerge from jump where they expect? Will they emerge from jump?!?

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