Background: Before the episode starts it's decided that, according to the dice, Nike has gone on to that eternal dogfight in the great beyond. I don't really have much of a problem with that exactly (he died pretty well I think, having actually managed to knock Deacon unconscious before he bit the dust) so we decide to let it ride and I slide on over to run an Leoben model NPC's for her for the last 2.5 episodes.
Aella is still in possession of the Palladium with Sun already inside and Deke having just joined her there, unconscious. Nike's there too though the other players don't yet know he's dying, assuming the Cylons successfully stabilized him after Deke's beating. As Sun preceded everyone into the Palladium the episode starts with her.
This will be a somewhat shorter episode than normal as we managed to derail the GM's intentions for it a bit during our last episode (and we had a bit of a marathon session that weekend). A lot of roleplay and narrative here, with our last two big fight scenes before the final episode of the campaign.
Once Sun realizes she's inside the Palladium, being too distracted earlier to realize what the Gina/Karen model was doing, she immediately jumps up, exits the Memorial area and heads for the Resurrection Room to start activating models and arming them, expecting Cylons will start popping in sooner or later. She also hopes to capture one alive in case we do somehow manage to get off the basestar and she's able to carry out her Destiny.
Sun elects to wait until at least one other Sun model is awake in order to instruct her and have her take over activating the others and then arming them. Once this is done she arms herself and dashes back to the Reception Room to stake it out in case someone manages to follow her in, since it's clear that at least the one Gina/Karen model knows how to activate the Palladium. She's surprised to find Deke and Nike have appeared there in her absence, both unconscious. She drops her weapon and scrambles to Deke to assess him.
Once she's tended to him she manages to rouse him and soon has him on his feet. Turning to Nike she finds he isn't breathing and has no pulse. It's obvious that he's been beaten pretty badly and judging from Deke's condition it's apparent to her what happened between the two men. When an initial attempt to Revive the Dead with Nike fails she has Deke help her carry him to the Resurrection Room to use the medical equipment there. Ignoring Deke's questions for now she works on Nike again but finds he's been dead too long to Revive.
Jumping back to Deke's perspective: when Sun manages to wake him, sees the Reception Room and is greeted by the Caretaker (a holographic image identical in appearance to Sun, sort of tour guide). He ignores it for now to check on Sun herself but she's already turned to work on Nike. Things get tense pretty quick when it becomes apparent that he's responsible for Nike's condition. He's a bit shocked when Sun announces that Nike's dead and still more when she fails to revive him. When Sun asks him to help her carry Nike to another room he assumes she knows where she's going and pitches in to transport Nike as quickly as he can. Though he definitely intended to kill Nike, now that it seems they've been rescued he's eager to have the jerk back if only to provide backup for he and Sun.
On the way to the Resurrection Room the two of them pass through several rooms with elaborate displays of various groups of people. The holographic Caretaker follows after them, beginning her presentation automatically as they enter each room, aborting it when they dash out the other side carrying Nike's corpse. Though Deke doesn't gather much information from this it's clear these are monuments to scores of people he's never seen or heard of before. While it's presented in his own language, the accent of the Caretaker who appears to present each oratory is very thick and difficult to follow.
In the Resurrection Room Deke experiences his greatest shock yet when he finds another model of Sun there already, hard at work reviving a half dozen other identical copies. Before he can begin to demand answers, or even figure out what questions to ask, Sun is working on Nike with the strange equipment there. From Sun's comments during this it's not looking good for Nike. She eventually announces that she can't revive him.
Back on the basestar Aella is following the centurion under her command, who's now supposedly leading her to the docking chamber and the Griffon. Along the way the centurion takes it upon himself to lead Aella down a side hall and into one of the rooms there. Within are several more centurions who it then seems to take command of and Aella is surprised to find the lot of them now heading for the docks. Aella places her hand on the centurion leading her, using her Electronic Interface to communicate with it. She learns then that centurions all over the basestar have been mobilized to track her down and retrieve the Palladium from her, with at least one squad now heading for the Griffon to stake it out.
Aella inquires if there are weapons nearby that she can use to arm herself and finds that there aren't. Apparently the Cylon humanoids aren't big on guns, relying on the centurions to do all their security and combat work. Aella then takes direct command of the group of centurions, issuing verbal orders (and applying her So Say We All asset to them, though she only has the starting 6 Plot Points to work with so far). She places them in a defensive formation and they head out to spring for the Griffon, hoping to reach it before the other centurion squad does.
As they were only a few floors below the dock to begin with, it doesn't take long for Aella and her centurions to reach the docks. They find the opposing squad already there, taking up position to Cover the chamber. It's only a split second before one of the opposing centurions spots Aella and her group, radioing their presence to the others. All hell immediately breaks loose.
[Nike's doesn't get any Plot Points since he's bought the farm but I do get to run the Cult of Heracles Cylons that are going to pop up in the next scene. Aella gets 1 Plot Point for taking direct command of the centurions and leading them to the docks, which set a much more exciting tone for the end of the scene. Sun gets 1 Plot Point for moving quickly to prepare for a possible invasion of the Memoriam.]
As they're Covering the entrance to the chamber already, the opposing centurion force gets a free shot at Aella's front two centurions before combat starts. She's a little anxious when the two leading centurions in her group are reduced to scrap in an instant from a dozen autofire sprays coming from all directions in the chamber. Aella uses her Physical Push to up her Agility four steps for the next minute.
Having full control over all the centurions in her group, Aella organizes them in teams of two by their Initiative point and starts sending them out to engage the enemy Cylons. Wanting to reach the Griffon unwounded if at all possible, she's playing this combat as smartly as she can.
The first two-centurion team steps up, runs out in separate directions and fires two bursts at their nearest targets. Each manages to wound only one of the opposing centurions, who are spread out around the chamber. They also take an action to make note of the opposing force and where each enemy centurion is to relay back to Aella's other centurions. Answering autofire from two of the opposing centurions hits both of Aella's centurions, dropping one of them.
Aella's second team steps up and runs out, both heading directly for the Griffon with the intention of using it as cover from at least some of the opposing force. They both fire two bursts at the same targets that the first two lit up and drop both of them. Answering autofire from the enemy Cylons drops both of them in turn though and Aella has only one centurion left out there to protect her.
The following Initiative point brings three of the enemies around and they work together to drop that centurion as well.
Aella then spends her Initiative point reorganizing the four remaining centurions around her and prepares to simply sprint for the Griffon under their cover next turn.
With all the opposing Cylons now Covering the entrance again, Aella and her four bodyguards sprint out onto the deck heading straight for the Griffon's airlock. Cover fire drops two of her guards and wounds her as well, though she's still on her feet. Acting on their Initiative the opposing Cylons drop another of her guards and badly wound the last one. Aella herself takes another hit, forcing her to take her Second Wind for the day and barely reduce her total damage below her total Life Points.
Unbeknownst to Aella, one of the cult of Heracles humanoids arrives with a small force of centurions of their own. A Leoben model, he takes his four centurion and his two heavy centurions in position to Cover the opposing Cylons and open fire at the beginning of the next turn.
Having Cover on the opposing centurions, my toasters open up on them and manage to drop one target each. My two big boys launch grenades at another target each, destroying both, and fire a pair of smoke grenades at either side of Aella's path to provide her cover for next turn.
With only one enemy centurion with an Initiative point before Aella's still functioning, it focuses it's autofire attack on her and forces her to dodge it (dropping 2 Plot Points on it and succeeding). At her Initiative point she is forced to drop to a Run and is still some distance from the Griffon.
One of my heavy centurions and two of my regular centurions get their Initiative point and open up with bursts on individual targets, dropping all three. My big fellah lobs a propelled grenade at another two who are close enough to take fragmentation and he damages both of them.
Aella's guard drops to a Run along with her, turning to level two bursts on the nearest Cylon centurion. It badly damages it but fails to destroy it. The three remaining enemy centurions focus their fire on Aella, ignoring her centurion guard. She dodges all three attacks but is hit by one, forcing her total damage past her total Life Points. She makes her Endurance check to stay conscious, though.
With the smoke grenades we laid down last turn finally providing cover along Aella's path one of my heavies and the two quickest centurions fire on targets, dropping two and badly damaging another. My heavy fires a propelled grenade at another target and destroys it.
With no enemy centurions acting prior to her Initiative point, Aella sprints and reaches the Griffon and there she makes her second Endurance check to avoid unconsciousness. Her guard changes direction and heads straight for the nearest target, firing two bursts on it and destroying it.
My two remaining centurions each drop another target with autofire, leaving only one remaining enemy centurion who can act before my heavy. He fires autofire at Aella again and amazingly botches the shot. My heavy drops him with both a burst followed by a propelled grenade, just to be sure.
Aella, now finally at the Griffon's airlock, has her third Endurance check fall on her. She spends 2 Plot Points on it and manages to make the roll (difficulty 15, no less). Rather than enter the Griffon, since she knows she's going to pass out soon anyway, she focuses on the Palladium instead and tries to open it. Making a successful Recall to remember what the Gina/Karen model did, she manages to fiddle with the thing the right way and it springs open. Crossing her fingers with one hand she places the other in the open device and disappears inside.
Appearing at the Reception Room of the Memoriam, Aella spots the bloody smudges on the floor and the odd looking rifle Sun dropped there. She's also surprised when Sun appears out of nowhere to welcome her to the Memoriam and begins telling her about the history of the place. Aella manages to figure out that this image who looks identical to Sun isn't Sun after all before failing her fourth Endurance check and passing out.
[Aella gets 1 Plot Point for surviving the ambush and another 1 Plot Point for entering the Palladium, which was what the GM had planned anyway and which she very nearly didn't survive long enough to do.]
At the Resurrection Room, the Caretaker appears to inform Sun that a visitor has appeared in the Reception Room and collapsed from multiple gunshot wounds. With Nike dead and two of her twin models having the process of waking the others already well in hand, she snatches up another rifle and heads off for the reception room. Deke grabs a rifle as well and follows to provide support.
Reaching the Reception Room they are surprised to find Aella there unconscious. Sun stabilizes her and has Deke help her carry Aella back to the Resurrection Room where they nudge Nike's corpse off the medical bed and strap her down. Sun then gets to work treating Aella, knocking a few Wound points off with the advanced medical gear available to her there. Realizing that Aella may be healed enough to rouse, she makes the attempt and succeeds.
Once Aella is awake and aware, Sun warns Deke that she's a Cylon and advises him not to release her. Deke isn't all that surprised with all the other bizarre things that have happened in the last few minutes, so he lets it slide. Both ignore Aella's demands for release for the moment while Sun lays out the details of who she is and what the Palladium is while she plugs herself into the Memoriam to download up to date details of the current Cylon race and of the war going on between them and the humans.
Finally we learn that the Palladium has been around for well over 70,000 years, surviving no less than a dozen prior recorded incarnations of humanity. Each one is recorded in it's own room outside in the Memoriam area, with details on each of the twelve models that originate the race, the creation of their slave-race and details of the genocide that inevitably follows. Even now Deke watches Sun download directly from her subconscious into the Palladium computer everything from facts she's picked up in conversation to video displays of things she's personally witnessed to high resolution copies of photographs she's glimpsed in passing. Sun assures him that at that moment another room already lies open out in the Memoriam commemorating humanity and it's achievements, including a detailed documentary and biography of the twelve models of humans who originated it and video footage of major battles in the war humanity waged against it's own creators thousands of years prior to the colonization of Kobol.
Deke asks about the cult of Heracles and Sun informs both he and Aella that she (and the models like her who inhabit the Palladium) are responsible for keeping the cult going throughout the ages, using the Memoriam itself to recruit members from each succeeding race. The Sun models who've preceded her distributed the technology housed in the Reliquary within to help each new slave race, aiding them in ascending to the synthetic organic humanoid form in order to walk freely among their creators. She and those like her are also charged with helping those twelve models achieve a state where they can breed freely with whatever humans survive the genocide and thus absorb the last human generation completely. After all, with the creation of the Cylons decades ago humanity signed it's own death warrant. It is the duty of the Sun models like her to make the transitory ascendancy of one race over the other as easy as possible, as well as making detailed records of the doomed race for posterity.
With her Physical Push already expired for the hour Aella is helpless to escape the table she's strapped to for now and attempts to reason with Deke and Sun, assuring them that she's on their side. When Sun asks what side that is exactly, Aella tells her she wishes to help her with whatever plan she has for stopping the Cycle of Time from reoccurring. Presumably that humanity is more or less doomed anyway, she's perfectly willing to help Sun stop the cycle with the Cylons.
At which point Sun laughs and informs her she has no intention of doing any such thing. It is, in fact, her duty to continue using the foolish cult of Heracles to keep the cycle going forever. Sun already has all the information she needs for the models who succeed her to some day formulate the demise of the Cylons, when the day comes that they follow their destiny and create the race that will supplant them in turn.
Deke, hearing all this, finally comes to the conclusion that Sun is not so nice and cuddly after all. With several Sun models already running around the place arming themselves and preparing for a possible invasion of Cylon humanoids, there isn't a whole lot he can do about it just now though. He decides to play along and laughs insanely with Sun.
With the half dozens Sun models (now fully downloaded with copies of Sun's consciousness) suited up and armored; he, she and they head out for the Reception Room to take up position to repel incoming Cylon humanoids, leaving Aella strapped to the medical bed in the Resurrection Room.
Meanwhile, back the basestar, my Leoben model manages to hold the docking chamber until the Gina/Karen model joins him with her small squad of centurions. Once she arrives and detaches the nuclear warhead hidden on the Griffon, they board her and fire her up (you remember the marine tech from Infiltration? Yup, it was a bomb he triggered alright.) Having already cancelled the countdown on the warhead and now restarting it, Karen tosses it back out the airlock and runs to join him on the flight deck. Leoben spends a turn taking out the trio of heavy centurions plowing through his own centurions to seize the dock before turning the Griffon about and heading full speed down the tunnel and out into space. Once free Leoben ignores the raiders he finds flying thickly around him and focuses on getting a safe distance from the basestar before the bomb goes off.
We're pretty surprised when we find the reason the raiders are so thick outside. A full scale battle is going already between the basestar and the now apparently heavily armed Rock. With the Rock closing in on the basestar, pushing a hideously thick point-defense kill zone in front of it, we suddenly find we've nowhere to go to escape the nuclear detonation counting down behind us. So far the raiders haven't responded to the fact that a colonial vessel just darted out amongst them yet but we know it won't be long before they do.
Without much time to act I tell the Karen model to take close look at the Griffon's special systems and try to get a handle on how they're activated before we squashed between the cloud of angry raiders all around us and the Rock's firing solution. When the Karen model figures she's got the Sheep's Clothing thing sort of figured out I just have her try to manipulate it to present the Griffon as the smallest, most non-threatening target she can and to heck with try to appear like any other specific ship. With that I head the Griffon right into the Rock's big cloud of fire and slap the Sensor Cloud into effect the second we hit the edge of it.
Once the Sensor Cloud is deployed we turn and gun the Griffon along the outer edge of the Rock's point defense field of fire, our plan being for the Rock's defense system to hopefully prioritize the sensor cloud itself, pour all or most it's fire on that and thin out the rest of the area so that we can slip through. We're only partly successful and the Griffon is still ripped up badly before we manage to punch through out on the flank of the sensor cloud. Still, we do at least manage get within personal range of the Rock.
The Karen model is already in contact with the Rock's command over the wireless, claiming we have Deke, Sun and Aella on board and that we intend to dock. We're warned off anyway but I find during the course of the short, heated argument with the Rock's command we've already plowed through close enough that they really can't stop us from reaching the dock, having no fighter craft near enough to engage us. I simply keep pouring on the speed until we reach it, dart in and am finally forced to crash land the Griffon to get her to a stop before I slam into the far wall.
Though it takes a few minutes for the folks there to respond we soon have armed marines surrounding the Griffon and the Karen model and I are beat down, handcuffed and hauled away.
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