Place Your Bets
Sun Pyra: Sun turns out to be a synthetic of some sort from a long dead race whose various copies originate from a resurrection system inside the Palladium itself. It would seem that generations upon generations of Sun Pyra's are "born" in the Palladium, move out into the world and largely help orchestrate the events that lead up to each race's role in the Cycle of Time. Sun has kept the Cult of Heracles alive for many thousands of years, in one form or another, convincing each successive generation that their race is doomed and that it is God's will that they aid the rebellious slave race to achieve some measure of "humanity" quickly in the hopes that they will avoid a similar fate. She then simply waits until the new race rebels and begins funneling the technology they need to create their own synthetic organic models and wage a final war on their creators. Once she's catalogued the conflict and all the most notable accomplishments of the prior race another model of Sun picks up the work and continues the cycle.
Sun currently tells Aella, the Cylon sleeper agent, that she intends to continue this work and now needs to secure the Palladium somewhere safe until a later date when it can be used to recruit Cylons into a new Cult of Heracles. On the other hand she claims to Deacon Titus that this is all an admittedly cruel joke on her part and that she intends nothing of the sort, that she is merely taunting the Cylon for fun (having suffered a bit by Aella over the past months). To Deke she swears she has become disillusioned with her duty and intends to end the Cycle with the Cylons, using the Memoriam to show them the extent of the horror that the Cycle of Time perpetuates in order to convince them to avoid fulfilling their role in the Cycle.
Deacon Titus: Deke has largely been preoccupied solely with survival and winning Sun's affection up to this point. Now he has finally become aware that there truly are largely issues at hand that he is compelled to take a stand on. Dubious as to Sun's claims as to her true intentions (and a little intimidated to find she's some thousands of years old synthetic being) he is currently playing along with her, appearing to support her in whatever goal she has in mind while he struggles to decide what he should do. While he's currently outnumbered (Sun has activated and armed several of her models in the Palladium, believing Cylons may soon attempt to assault the place) he is considering releasing Aella in the hopes that they can work together to subdue Sun and her copies, as unlikely as that may seem. While Deke would much prefer to believe that Sun truly is the woman he's known for the past several years he's feeling rather lost and not at all up to the task of deciding the fate of the universe.
Deke begins the session alongside Sun and several other Sun models covering the Reception Room to repel Cylon invaders.
Aella Giovanni: Aella has only recently become aware that she's a Cylon sleeper agent and is still assimilating her repressed Cylon identity. As such her loyalties and intentions have vacillated significantly recently but she's come to the point where she finds herself largely disillusioned with the Cylon war on humanity. With Sun apparently supporting the idea of human genocide and Cylon ascendancy this places her somewhat against Sun. Likewise Sun's embrace of the Cycle of Time, which clearly assumes the Cylon people one day creating a new race of people who will rebel and destroy them, is unacceptable as well. Aella finds on examining the bigger picture that she would prefer the Cycle of Time to end and spare her people the fate currently befalling humanity. Likewise she would prefer peace with humanity and feels that any step toward a future where Cylons and humans might co-exist somehow would serve both these purposes, possibly even bringing the Cycle of Time to an end at last.
Aella is also aware that Admiral Drake has been colluding with the Cylons through Jarvis Carder (who it turns out is Cylon humanoid model #9) in a bid to spare the people in his fleet. He's made a deal with them to turn Sun and the Palladium over to them in exchange for safe passage out of the system and assurances that they won't be followed. He intended to seek out a habitable planet and colonize it with what he assumes are the last survivors of the human race (Jarvis having told him that the Galactica, the Pegasus and twelve colonies have all been completely destroyed). Admiral Drake's recent attack on the basestar leads her to believe that Drake either never intended to go along with the deal or that something has happened to cause him to realize he's been duped (Aella is aware that the Cylons never intended to uphold their end of the bargain.)
Having wrongly judged Sun's intentions and offered to help her end the Cycle with the Cylon ascendancy, Aella begins the session strapped to a bed in the Palladium's resurrection room.
"Leoben" is a Cylon humanoid (taking the place of Nike Pandoran who died in a previous episode) and a member of the Cult of Heracles. He is currently partnered with a Gina/Karen model and seeks only to get the Palladium into the hands of the humans. It is hoped they can use the knowledge within the Palladium to further the cause of ending the Cycle of Time. Though he is aware of Sun's identity and her connection with the Palladium (most of the cult having met at least some copy of her and having visited the Palladium in the past) he is unaware of her true intentions to preserve and protect the continuity of the Cycle. He truly believes that the Cycle of Time is a grand spiritual test instituted by God in order to force-evolve "humanity" to a point where it is wise and compassionate enough to peacefully co-exist with it's rebellious creation, thus emulating God's relationship with His own creation. Leoben has come to believe rather fanatically that the Cylons and humans are capable of achieving this state of peaceful co-existence, thus ending the Cycle and fulfilling God's will.
Like Aella, Leoben is aware of the collusion between Admiral Drake and the Cylons to turn the Palladium over to them. He begins the session in captivity on the Rock, having made a nearly suicidal dash through her point defense system and crash-landing the Griffon in her docking bay.
While Sun, Deke and the several Sun models maintain Cover on the Reception Room, still expecting that Cylons will start pouring in soon, Aella remains strapped to the bed back in the Resurrection Room. While they all wait for something to occur Aella finds she's recovered from her Physical Push earlier and is ready for another. Taking Strength as her push this time she attempts to break free of the restraints holding her and succeeds (dumping 2 Plot Points on a second attempt). Now free she figures her goal should be to ascertain Sun's true intentions and either help her or stop her, depending. With that she grabs a weapon from the locker nearby and stalks off to find Sun and her copies.
At the Reception Room Aella finds Deke and the small squad of Suns covering the room and is able take cover at one corner of the hexagonal walls of the hallway. With her energy rifle trained on Sun she calls out and tries to reason with her, to convince her that they should exit the Palladium and make contact with Admiral Drake. With the weapons and technology available in the Memoriam the humans should be able stand against the Cylons well enough to sue for peace and that this should be our common goal.
Realizing she may have pushed things a little too far with her teasing, Sun and Deke to assure her that it is their intention as well but first they have to secure the Palladium. Once they have her convinced and she joins them (though she keeps her distance and maintains a wary eye) it isn't long before they realize Cylons still haven't enter the Reception Room as they should have by now. With that it is decided that sending a scout out to recon the area around the Palladium is the next logical step. If they can leave the Memoriam, secure the Palladium and escape the basestar then they can focus on returning to the Rock or some other human holdout.
Before they can discuss it further and decide who to send out the walls of the Reception Room flash and expel two armed Colonial Marines. With their weapons already shouldered they immediately spot the group covering the room and take aim on them, ordering them to disarm and stand down. The Sun models, Deke and Aella likewise shoulder weapons and a standoff ensues.
Sun immediately tries to assure the humans that they aren't a threat and that they were expecting Cylons to come through. She asks the marines to report back that they wish to speak with Admiral Drake, assuming they've made it to the Rock somehow since the two marines are sporting Gold Shield badges on their jackets. After testing the wall of the room and confirming that's how to exit, one of the two marines leaves the Memoriam. Aella tries to start a dialogue with the remaining marine but this is soon interrupted when more marines begin appearing in the Reception Room one after another until the room's capacity is filled and they have twelve there with weapons at the ready.
Back on the Rock the Leoben and Karen model humanoids are hauled out of their cells and escorted under guard to the science labs. There we find Admiral Drake and several Gold Shield committee members overseeing the examination of the Palladium by the scientists in the lab. They notice the conspicuous absence of Jarvis Carder and we assume he's probably been jailed or killed, since Drake recently launched the assault on a basestar. Drake tells the two Cylons that he's aware that they must be Heracles cult members to have braved the Rock's flak barrier to bring the Palladium to them. As such he expects they'll tell him how to open the Palladium so he can make contact with Sun and whomever else is inside. Leoben tells him how and the scientists in the lab soon have the device cracked open. Drake then sends two armed marines inside and we wait to see what happens.
Within moments one of them reappears and we're informed that Aella, Deke and several copies of Sun are armed and covering the room where they appeared. They're asking to speak with Admiral Drake as well. Drake then surprises the two Cylons humanoids by calling in a small squad of marines and instructing them to enter the Palladium, take up positions inside and secure the place at any cost. When Leoben demands an explanation Drake relays his intent to seize the weapons and technology in the Memoriam (apparently having been made aware of this by Jarvis), not to mention the Memoriam itself. He expects this will give him a significant advantage in the long term as he intends to find a habitable world and begin preparations for a future assault on the Cylon home world. With the technology available to create synthetic organics and who knows what manner of advanced weapons system he believes humanity can retake the colonies within one generation and maybe even wipe out the Cylons altogether. From what he's seen the Cylons don't appear to be especially innovative and have made only those technological leaps as were handed to them by Sun and the Cult of Heracles.
When Leoben argues that Sun will never go along with that plan Drake coldly informs him he has no intention of asking her to. It's clear from his tone that Drake intends to wipe out any resistance inside the Palladium, including the Sun models. Realizing Drake's intentions don't serve their interests in ending the war at all (not to mention putting Sun, Deke and Aella in danger) the Leoben and Karen models decide they have to act to warn them.
With a last glance at one another, Leoben and Karen make a Physical Push to their strength and snap their restraints. Karen piles into the two marines guarding them before they can get off a shot and Leoben dives for the Palladium, slapping a hand to it before anyone can stop him. Out of the corner of his eye he sees Karen cut down with a burst of autofire by one of the marines in the room. Unfortunately the Reception Room in the Memoriam is full of marines as well and the Palladium won't let Leoben in. He's got the Palladium in hand but the marines nearby are already turning their weapons on him to shoot him down.
Bluffing wildly Leoben claims loudly that as long as his hand is in contact with the receptors of the Palladium device if he's killed the neuro-feedback will destroy it. It's a weak bluff and Drake doesn't buy it in the least. He gives Leoben ten seconds to drop the Palladium or his marines will drop him.
In the Memoriam marines are still holding the Reception Room and are now demanding the PC's disarm and stand down. When Aella asks for assurances they'll be escorted into conference with Admiral Drake the marines ignore her and continue to demand their surrender. Knowing these marines they way she does it's clear to Aella that they have no intention of escorting them anywhere and they've been given orders to clear the Memoriam. She relays this to the others and all hell then breaks lose.
Aella initiates combat, opening up with a spray on the Reception Room that wounds several of the marines and hopefully make them easier to take down quickly in successive turns. To her surprise the energy weapon is powerful enough to actually drop one of the armored marines in the spray.
Taking Initiative over everyone, Aella fires on two of the marines. As they're all wearing combat suits she doesn't opt for headshots and simply fires a burst at each of them, dropping one of them. Sun take her turn and follows up with two bursts at two more marines, choosing Aella first target as one of them. She drops her two targets as well.
With that three marines then take the following Initiative points. They level bursts against targets of their own and drop three of the Sun models despite their medium cover. Deke follows up with three bursts on three targets, dropping two of them.
Another Sun models reaches her Initiative point and opens up with two bursts on one of the marines, dropping him and leaving the last two Initiative points to the remaining two Sun models. Their fire drops three more marines, leaving only two wounded humans remaining.
Aella neglects any dodges for the turn and fires two bursts at each of the two marines, hoping to end the fight before they can act again. She drops one of the men but botches her last shot and impacts one of the walls of the Reception Room. The effect of this isn't readily apparent. Sun follows and likewise puts fires bursts at the remaining marine until she's breached his armor and put him down.
With everyone remaining uninjured (though three of the Sun models are now dead) Aella immediately takes charge and gets the others to start dragging the dead and unconscious marines out of the Reception Room. She wants to prepare for an assault on whatever lies beyond as quickly as possible. With some firsthand experience at how powerful their weapons are they're somewhat confident they can get out and break through whatever resistance awaits them with at least some of their number surviving.
Back on the basestar Leoben is still in contact with the Palladium but eventually drops it as he's ordered to. Seconds after the Palladium hits the floor, though, the burst of fire from Aella's botch erupts from the device and randomly drops the two marines threatening Leoben (the burst initially struck Leoben and killed him but I dropped all my Plot Points on some miraculous story intervention).
Realizing weapons fire means there might be a free spot inside the Palladium, Leoben snatches it up but finds he's still denied access. However, as no one has recovered from the shock just yet, the door out of the lab is clear. Leoben sprints for the door and darts into the hallway beyond, Palladium in hand. With the marines in pursuit and no where to go he dives into the medical bay next door to take cover and hope he can get inside the Memoriam before someone shoots him. The marines don't even make it to the door of the medical bay before the group in the Memoriam drag the first dead marine out of the Reception Room and Leoben disappears.
With Leoben popping in out of nowhere as they drag the first downed marine out of the Reception Room, things are tense for a moment as they swing weapons to cover him. It only takes a moment for Leoben to convince Sun he's a cult member, though, and things ease up. When he confirms their suspicious in that Drake is trying to seize control of the Palladium we're a bit dismayed. Aella elects to launch an immediate assault through the Palladium and secure it before Drake's forces can react properly and everyone agrees with that plan.
Unfortunately we find that Aella's botch, the same one that freed Leoben and allowed him to escape, has damaged the exit panels in the Reception Room. The Caretaker informs us that until they're repaired she can't allow anyone to leave. Sun orders the Caretaker to override the safety protocols for the exit panels but discovers that the damage is extensive enough that whoever attempts to leave likely won't reappear with the Palladium at all. Where and when they appear, even if they aren't completely obliterated, can't be known. The damaged panels will have to be replaced which, while a simple procedure, will take some time. Sun immediately orders the Caretaker to shut down the Reception Room to prevent more marines from entering, then she and Deke dash off for Maintenance to get new panels and tools to replace them with.
After the Caretaker has shut down the Reception Room with Deke and Sun hard at work we all discuss our options. With a surprise attack on the area around the Palladium now out of the question we're a little concerned. Even the prodigious use of Plot Points probably won't get us through an assault on who knows how many marines and Gold Shield security waiting for us outside. Even if we do manage to secure the Palladium, what then? Taking on the entire military population of the Rock just doesn't seem survivable. Likewise getting off the Rock with the Palladium seems extremely unlikely as well. Still, we figure that's our only option since waiting around with the Reception Room shut down accomplishes nothing. Drake can wait as long as we can so we'll have to face his forces sooner or later.
After over an hour working together Sun and Deke finally have the new panel installed and Sun calls the Caretaker to run a diagnostic on the system (preventative maintenance). She's surprised when the Caretaker doesn't appear. Looking around we find that one of the Sun models has disappeared too. With that we make for the Central Chamber, figuring if we don't find her there we can at least figure out what's going on with the Caretaker or run the diagnostic from there ourselves.
In the Central Chamber we find our missing Sun model conversing with the Caretaker. The Caretaker then disappears and the Sun model turns to us to inform us that she's initiating the failsafe on the Memoriam. Sun is horrified and relays to us what that means: the Caretaker program is now beginning the process of shutting down the systems that keep us connected to the Palladium, a failsafe to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. However, as the Palladium is the last of it's kind (no other device exists for the Memoriam to connect to) this will leave the Memoriam with no anchor to reality. It will be flung out of it's little pocket dimension and wind up who knows where...assuming it isn't destroyed completely.
Sun calls for the Caretaker, attempting to override her rival model's commands but when the Caretaker appears she finds that the other model is the last to be activated and thus has seniority. With that we notice the other two remaining Sun models get a little squirrelly and Sun knows they're now reexamining who they should be taking orders from as well.
Deciding we're not going to give the other two models time to come to the conclusion we figure they will, we move quickly to initiate a change of command.
Each of us shoulder weapons and open fire on a Sun model, with Deke and Sun both firing on the senior model. Sun and Deke drop their targets and Aella follows suit downing hers. Leoben however doesn't put his target down and we roll Initiative.
Aella takes the Initiative and drops the last Sun model before it can react and the fight's over just that quick.
Sun doesn't bother summoning the Caretaker to override the failsafe, knowing the program won't take orders from her now that she's gunned down her sisters anyway. She dashes over to the control board and gets to work shutting down the Caretaker program before it can complete it's task. She orders the others to head for the Resurrection Room and stop the Caretaker from booting up any more Sun models while she's busy there. Deke, however, elects to remain with Sun and cover her.
Leoben and Aella run off to the Resurrection Room and find sure enough that the Caretaker is booting up the last six Sun models. Figuring the episode is spiraling toward it's dramatic conclusion we don't want to waste time here so we simply open up on the room with our weapons and destroy the equipment. Of course, having done that the GM reminds us that we've just destroyed or at least disabled the mechanism for Sun's resurrection in the process. Oops.
When we return to the Central Chamber we find Sun dumping four Plot Points on her attempt to shut down the Caretaker before she completes the failsafe. She succeeds handily and we all breath a sigh of relief. With the Caretaker now offline we'll have to run diagnostics from here and turn the Reception Room back on by hand as well. Again we find we're uncertain what to do as our numbers have been reduced back down to four again. Not exactly an overwhelming assault force.
Discussing our options again we agree that we have three courses of action to choose from. Activating the failsafe is put on the last resort list right off since we don't even know if it's survivable. The failsafe is entirely theoretical and Sun even states it's more or less viewed as a self-destruct. Even if it does work the Central Chamber is the only part of the Memoriam that will remain and it will probably latch onto the nearest weak point in time/space to pop through. Which will just as likely be a supernova or black hole as anything else. After examining the other options, Leoben and Aella are actually leaning more toward this one as it at least present a slight chance of catapulting them back in time prior to the war and open up the possibility of acting to prevent it entirely.
Going out in a blaze of glory trying to secure the Palladium and get it off the Rock is another option but failure means we're dead and the Memoriam is in the hands of Admiral Drake without us there to intervene. If we can manage it though, what then? There doesn't seem to be anywhere to go once we're free. A little discussion along these lines comes up with the possibility of heading right for the Cylon home world and bringing the Palladium there. With any luck we can use it to drive home the point to make peace with the humans and end the Cycle of Time directly to the Cylon people themselves. Judging from the violent reactions that Aella witnessed on the basestar to the suggestion that they're following the same path that humanity once did Aella and Leoben aren't very confident at all that we'll be well received. Sun, however, favors this option as it lends itself to the possibility of recruiting more Cult of Heracles members on the Cylon home world and puts her in position to begin making preparations for the continuation of the Cycle of Time there.
This leads to our third option. Simply surrendering the Palladium to Drake and possibly even pitching in with him to help develop the technology in the Memoriam to fight the Cylons. Sun is opposed to this as she maintains it is the destiny of the human race to be wiped out by the Cylons and any attempt to fight that will only prolong the horrific war taking place out there. Deke doesn't find that an especially bad option in itself as it will probably help the humans in Admiral Drake's fleet survive, maybe even give them a significant edge in their guerilla war against the Cylons. He's not entirely convinced that the Cycle of Time is some inescapable destiny and still has hope for humanity. Leoben and Aella would prefer any option that didn't include Cylons being killed by the bushel so they object to that course of action, even though would agree if they truly felt it might lead to an eventual peace between the two people. Admiral Drake doesn't give the impression though that peace will ever be an option under his command.
We suddenly find we're all at odds again as to what to do. In the end we decide to make an attempt at escape and keep the Palladium close at hand should we have to fall back. Should our assault fail we always have to option of jumping back inside the Palladium, triggering the failsafe and taking our chances. Leoben and Aella eventually agree to this and we all decide to put off the question of where to go and what to do with the Palladium until we establish whether we can escape the Rock.
Finally running the diagnostics she's been trying to run for the last half hour Sun finds the exit panels appear to be in working order and attempts to bring them online. To her surprise she finds the safety protocols blocking her and she's unable to determine why they've kicked in. After examining the problem for a while she finds she simply can't ascertain what the trouble is without the Caretaker's help. Bringing the Caretaker back on line is of course not much of an option as the program will certainly attempt to follow it's last instructions, ignore Sun and try to initiate the failsafe again.
After making another attempt to root out why the exit panels won't come up we're finally left with having to bring the Caretaker back online, though we don't have much hope of convincing the program not to activate the failsafe. Finally Sun decides that everyone else should evacuate the moment she has the exit panels up and running while she remains behind and tries to stop the failsafe. Deke naturally refuses to leave Sun and we finally get the long-await romantic scene in which Sun declares her love for Deacon and begs him to save his own life, leaving her to her Destiny. Deke of course refuses and maintains he'd rather die here with her than go on without her (awww!)
While the two Cylons just stare at the two crazy humans Deke and Sun affirm their love to one another and agree to take their chances with the failsafe. Leoben and Aella likewise figure taking a chance with the failsafe is better than surrendering to the tender mercies of Drake and his marines. They give their thumbs up and Sun tearfully reactivates the Caretaker.
When the Caretaker reappears Sun makes a last ditch effort to convince her not to activate the failsafe. The Caretaker ignores her completely and moves quickly to lock her out of the system to prevent Sun from deactivating her again. In moments we hear the dreaded countdown begin and we brace ourselves for whatever is coming next.
As Sun and Deke cling to each other desperately, Leoben and Aella wisely grab hold of the nearest solid object. The countdown at last reaches zero and the universe botches whatever roll it just made. With a bone-jarring slam we're all thrown to the floor and get the weird vision of plowing through some suddenly appearing ghostly structure which quickly solidifies until it begins to drag at the solid matter of the Central Chamber. As it slows and we begin to experience the effects of momentum we weren't aware we were under we find ourselves sliding across the floor and slamming against what is now a solid wall of metal crossing through the chamber at an odd angle. We're also aware that wherever we've appeared seems to have gravity, which is at odds with the artificial gravity of the chamber and casting us all at a slightly off-kilter angle ourselves.
The stun damage we all then take from the whole process promptly forces Sun and Aella into Endurance checks which soon render them unconscious, leaving Deke and Leoben the only two awake. The Caretaker immediately winks out and the artificial lights in the chamber cut off as well, pitching us into darkness. The only light is coming from a dim panel on the recently appearing new wall. Almost immediately we become aware of a strange crackling noise that quickly builds all around us and we soon realize the central chamber seems to suddenly be disintegrating.
Jumping up we cast about the area to see what we can see, spotting nothing new beyond the wall that has materialized through the chamber and the door set off to one side. With each of us grabbing up one of the two girls as they waver and fall unconscious, Deke and I make for the door in case it should prove itself to be something we want to jump through quickly. Sure enough we see the walls of the chamber evaporating into dust (our weapons too, darn it) until we are surprised to find sunlight peeking through several holes in the wall. We're also surprised that the atmosphere of the chamber is howling out of those holes very rapidly as if there were a vacuum beyond.
That's enough to get us moving and Deke checks the door to find it's secured with a simple numbered keypad. With a curse he drops Sun to the floor and tries to crack it open. Unfortunately he hasn't any tools in his possession at all and is forced to work with his bare hands. At that Leoben finds he's ready for another Physical Push and kicks up his strength to punch right through the keypad itself and let Deke at the wiring inside. Though Deke isn't much of a technician he's familiar enough with basic wiring to overcome the lock on the door and springs it open just as we're starting to lose our breath. As we all pile into the airlock beyond we can see behind us that large chunks of the chamber walls are breaking away, revealing the dusty, brown landscape of some alien landscape beyond.
Safe inside the airlock we take a moment to check Sun and Aella to be sure they haven't any life-threatening injuries. Once we're sure of that we check the small window on the opposite side of the airlock to see what lies beyond. With only a bare, gray wall in evidence on the other side (and a lot of dust, presumably from some other portion of the Memoriam disintegrating out there) we decide to hunker down for a bit and see to the girls.
Sun takes her Second Wind for the day and rolls high, bringing herself around naturally. Aella isn't so lucky but she doesn't have any Shock Points so Sun gets to work as soon as she's cleared her head enough to rouse her. After a few minutes she has Aella on her feet as well, though she's in bad shape. Once we're all on our feet and settled into things we crack the other door of the airlock and step through.
Immediately we're accosted by sounds of gunfire and some pretty horrific screaming going on somewhere nearby. Peeking around the corner of the room we're in we see a hallway with several doors lining it here and there. Most of the noise seems to be coming from beyond the double doors nearest us. We can also see that hallway has a couple of corpses and a whole lot of blood splattered along almost the entire length of it. The corpses seem to have been hacked nearly to bits, though we are a little relieved that they seem more or less human and are wearing some kind of uniform. Realizing the failsafe was going to toss us randomly to just about anywhere in time and space we were a little concerned at where we'd end up. The weird landscape outside didn't lend us much confidence so we're actually glad to see humans, even dead ones.
Edging down the hall to peek through the windows of the double doors we arrive there just in time to see a large group of pretty freaky looking people swarming across the room way from us. There we can see three men in uniforms similar those of the guys here in the hall have taken up position behind a long, waist-high line of machinery and are holding off the attacking horde with automatic weapons. Almost as soon as we spot them their attackers have reached them, leaping over their own fallen comrades to clamor over the machinery and lay hands to the three men. The attacking group seems to number well over two dozen with at least ten laying dead on the floor of the room, presumably shot dead by the three defenders. We're more than a little disturbed to see the attackers begin to literally rip, tear and bite at the three men they've gotten hold of.
Though we can't get a good look at any of the attackers from behind and at this distance we can see they all seem to be wielding crude melee weapons, with only a couple of them armed with guns. They all appear to be dressed in leather or not dressed at all and they all likewise appear to be covered in badly healed wounds. Some of them even seem to have bits of metal or unidentifiable objects piercing their skin.
Though we have the option of observing a bit more, the screaming of the three men the horde is crawling over leads us to the quick decision that this is not the direction we want to go. Checking quietly down the hall reveals a standard communal restroom, conference room and three already looted and practically destroyed offices. From the windows in the conference room and restroom we can see our side of the building borders on the airless world outside. In the last office we find two of the freaks have a captive and are busy simultaneously eating and sodomizing him on the desk(!) As they turn to look at us we can see burns on their faces and that they're both covered in blood and gore. We're also displeased to note the teeth they're snarling at us with seem to have been filed to sharp points. To our horror the GM calls for Initiative rolls.
One of the freaks actually beats Aella's Initiative and immediately jumps for the door to grab at Leoben, who's standing in the doorway. Leoben successfully dodges all but the last attempt to grab at him and he's alarmed to find himself in the clutches of the mad cannibal.
When Aella's turn to act comes she immediately attacks the man, trying to knock him out or at least off of Leoben. With no actions left to dodge he relies on his innate defense and Aella thrashes him quite soundly. Unfortunately he seems impervious to the beating she's laying on him.
Before anyone else can act the second lunatic abandons his victim and springs for the door, grapples and knocks Aella to the floor and leaps on Sun. Sun dodges his attacks as well and smacks him in the head one good time but likewise doesn't do any discernable damage at all.
Leoben has used all his possible actions for the turn just dodging his attacker and is stuck for the turn.
When Deke's Initiative point comes around he immediately lays into the man grappling Sun. Rather than try to beat him, he instead attempts to snatch away the crude, homemade axe the man is wielding and succeeds. Deke's Melee Weapons skills is pretty low so he simply beats the man a bit, applying Wound damage with his Brawler asset. Still the man barely reacts to the deadly beating Deke is inflicting, still intent on biting Sun.
By now we've got a good idea just who we're fighting and we're all pretty darned discouraged. Leoben's attacker pummels him badly, nearly forcing him past his Life Points in stun damage. Aella casts around for a weapon, finding a length of bloody metal pipe on the floor of the office. She jumps up, steps over and snatches it up to use on the madman beating up Leoben. After all that action, though, she can't make a Melee Weapons attack so she attempts an Unarmed Combat/Defensive Martial Arts maneuver to throw him off Leoben. Dropping three Plot Points on the attempt she succeeds, grapples the guy and tosses him to the floor.
The man attacking Sun uses his grapple to throw her to the floor, completely ignoring Deke, and begins gnawing on her. Fortunately she able to block his attacks and she's avoids all but one good bite. On the other hand the one bite is enough to force her back beyond her Life Points in total damage and she is forced to make her first Endurance check, which thankfully succeeds.
Leoben is able at last to act but he's still unarmed and badly beaten. He drops back behind Deke and dashes back for the conference room to find something to wield as a weapon. Deke's turn comes and he takes advantage of his prone target intending to beat him in the head with the axe. With the +2 Skill step bonus for attacking a prone target he pours all his actions into getting this freak off Sun. With his Melee Weapons at only d2 though Deke is forced to either wield the axe as an improvised weapon for only one attack or use his Brawling skill, which completely negates the bonus. Deke elects to drop the axe and go about the old fashioned way, relying solely on his Brawler asset. In the end Sun's attacker is down, though it takes all four hits (two of them to the head) and a horrendous amount of damage to pull it off.
The remaining attacker springs to his feet before anyone can jump him and lunges for Aella, landing a grapple after a brief struggle and striking her once. Fortunately he doesn't quite push her beyond her Life Points in total damage but she's only 2 points away from it. Aella reacts in kind, breaking free of his grasp after two attempts and dropping two more Plot Points on an attempt to toss him back to the floor again. Succeeding she moves away down the hall once she's free, yelling for Sun and Deke to "frakkin' run"!
Leoben meanwhile reaches the conference room and finds only a solid brass lamp at hand to use as an impromptu weapon. When he hears Aella yell for everyone to run he dashes out of the conference room to join her. Sun and Deke follow suit with Sun making her second Endurance check and remaining conscious long enough to keep up with them.
Ruling that the bloody lunatic can't stand up and run in the same turn the GM has him howling insanely and lumbering after us at a walk, just building up steam for a good solid mad dash. Having a bit of distance on him we all pile around the corner and head straight to the only door we haven't checked on this side of the building. Aella shoulders the large sealed door open and everyone else pours inside, ending the turn. Sun passes out inside, failing her third Endurance check.
As our pursuer rounds the corner Aella ducks inside and slams the large airlock door shut. We immediately trigger the lock on our side and watch in horror as the man outside begins slamming his head repeatedly into the window, struggling all the while to get the door open and get at us again.
Inside the room where we now stand we can see a large, tracked vehicle of some kind (none of us have seen this model before) which has a clearly visible airlock entrance, making it obvious it was built for travel through low- or no-atmosphere. The only other exit from the room is the large bay door, obviously a garage door leading outside. With no time for detailed discussions (we don't want to give the lunatic outside time to break through the airlock somehow) Deke volunteers to open the door since he has more Life Points now than anyone else.
Leoben and Aella then grab Sun to drag her inside the vehicle. Once they're in Deke opens the outside door of the airlock, then steps over to hit the button for the garage door. He manages to scramble into the vehicle's small airlock before the change in environment can force him to start making Endurance checks, though. Crossing our fingers we crank up the vehicle, greatly relieved when the engine turns over. Aella takes the wheel and drives us out of the building and into the barren landscape beyond before any more horrors can descend on us.
Behind us through the vehicles side windows we can clearly see a large, rusted space craft covered with the skeletal remains of dozens of victims and scores of welded on metal spines. It seems to have crashed directly into the far side of the building we just left. We can see three other buildings, one of which has a small party of raiders hard at work on the outer airlock door. The other two seem to have suffered from massive attacks, with breach holes scattered here and there along it's outer walls. Just behind the compound looms a large, cylindrical structure of some kind with black smoke pouring out of top of it and blotting out the sky beyond.
The episode and the series end as we barrel past a large metal sign posted on the edge of the compound's perimeter. Though faded from who knows how long in the harsh environment it's still quite legible:
"Blue Sun Terraforming Division #12
Project Hannibal's Moon
Blue Sun! Building better worlds!"
- Leave us a note!
- Marvel Heroic Roleplaying
- Star Trek (Decipher)
- Our Atomic Highway Campaigns
- Our D&D Campaigns
- Our Cortex: BSG Campaigns
- Our Cortex: Serenity Campaigns
- Cortex: Supernatural campaigns
- Our Cortex: Homebrews
- Our D20 Modern Campaigns
- Atomic Highway resources
- D&D Resources
- Cortex: BSG Resources
- Cortex: Serenity Resources
- Cortex: Supernatural Resources
- Cortex: Homebrew Resources
- Cortex: Homebrew Campaigns and Settings
- Cortex Adventures