The First Day of July in the Two Thousand Nine Hundred Fifty Second Year of our Lord.
When the session opened the party was still dealing with the various consequences of their latest mission’s “Success.” Captain McIntyre had already handed ₱50,000 to Gabby, so he could start work on the overhaul of The Sue, which Gabby set off to do, with the glee of a schoolboy. Seif went to the bank to wire another ₱10,000 back to New Mecca. Mendoza disappeared into the bowels of Tortuga. Boma set out to find two new Auto-Pistols, to replace the ones that had been left on the pirate ship after he went down. Even Maria went into town to give some money to her sister.
With his crew taken care of, McIntyre went down to The Snake Pit to find a game of cards. The Captain had left instructions with Maria to have her come join him when she finished with her errands, and to have her wear something “Distracting.” The captain found his game, but at first things did not go to well for him. After a few hours of losing money, McIntyre’s Ace-in-the-Hole showed up: Maria wearing an evening gown that barely covered her, and left almost nothing to the imagination of McIntyre’s fellow gamblers. The next few hours went very well, as his opponents seemed to have something else on their minds.
Even Maria’s distracting appearance eventually wore off, but by the time it did, many of the other gamblers had left the game due to lack of funds. With only a couple of people left, one of the gamblers suggested raising the stakes, to make things more interesting. While at least one of the men at the table was a real pro, the other two were chumps, and thanks to a string of luck, McIntyre was well ahead, when the pro started talking about leaving. As he started to leave, he suggested that he could stay if the stakes were to raise again.
McIntyre accepted, and from that point forward the Captain started watching his winnings move back across the table. After another rough hand, where McIntyre was being taken for another big pot, he caught a glimpse of a man behind him at the bar through a reflection on some of Maria’s jewelry. As the next hand started to play out, he watched the man at the bar making subtle gestures that he read as signals to the pro he was gambling against.
The Captain confronted the Pro, by drawing his pistol, and demanding that the pro leave, and that he leave the winnings behind. The confrontation was heated, and both sides made veiled threats against each other, but at this point of the night, Seif had already come back from his trip to the bank, and was hanging out near the action. The Pro backed down, but he let McIntyre know that the score between them was not settled.
The man giving signals didn’t leave with the Pro, and when McIntyre suggested that he leave to, the guy tried to play it off, like he wasn’t involved. McIntyre told Seif to escort the man out, but when he did, the man made the last mistake of his life, by suggesting that he was not scared of a “Sand Nigger.” Seif ran his blade through the man’s chest, killing him on the spot.
The Captain made amends with the barkeep, by paying some money to “Clean up the mess,” and buying a round for the house. Right as McIntyre and crew were getting ready to leave, one of the men let him know that the pro was a dangerous mercenary named Texas Slim.
Boma, meanwhile, went out for a little shopping, and picked up some grenades, and four new customized Auto-Pistols to replace his last pair. The bill was rather large, but the extra cash he spent seemed to impress the dealer, and as a result, Boma found a new contact in Tortuga for getting quality firearms.
With some excitement under their collective belt, the team retired to the ship, and relaxed while Gabby continued the repairs of the Sue. The next morning, Jack Murphy came by to see them, and offer McIntyre and crew some more work. It turned out that Jack was desperately low on product, and needed some fast. Hanzo Sakurai was tapped out as well, so Murphy wanted the team to make a run to the Wake System to pickup a fresh batch. Noticing the extensive work that was being put into the ship, Jack offered to pay for the repairs, plus a little extra on top just to make it worth the team’s while. Smelling the Papes already, McIntyre accepted and the crew left by the end of the day.
When the team finally made it to the Wake System, they found a desolate Star System that was little more than surveyors, and early Mining Camps. The place they were going was a rogue moon, that hovered near the systems asteroid belt. Murphy had warned the team to not get to close without calling into the contact, since there were significant defenses in place, and possibly a mine field.
McIntyre hailed the moon, and was greeted by an Asian man that appeared nervous, but directed the ship to dock in a landing bay on the moon’s surface, once they had transmitted a coded signal, that Murphy provided earlier.
Mendoza navigated a path that the moon’s control center gave them. The path slipped them through a hole in the mine field, and once through, they landed in a Star Dock that was set in a cliff face on the moon. After they landed, the dock doors closed behind them, and the dock re-pressurized. McIntyre tried to get the moon’s crew to bring the cargo to them, but the contact refused, claiming that they needed to come to him.
Begrudgingly, the Captain took Boma, Seif, and Smith with him. They went through the first set of doors to a partially natural cavern, and down the tunnel. As the tunnel curved ahead, the characters noticed that the lighting for the tunnels was not on.
Boma pulled out a pair of Nightvision Goggles, that he had just bought while buying his new pistols, and moved ahead. Around the corner was a massive chamber with a large hole in the center of it. The hole appeared to go down for hundreds of feet. The chamber was also completely dark, so Boma switched on his active IR lighting on his goggles, and moved to wear a switch sat next to a door across the room.
As Boma moved, he heard movement off to one side of the chamber and called his friends ahead. McIntyre and Seif did their best to catch up, but with out light they were going to be useless in a fight. Boma started taking his last few steps towards the light switch, when two men wielding makeshift metal clubs ran at him from around some rocks on the far side of the room. Boma ran, dove and clicked the lights on.
With the chamber finally lit, the team moved in, and confronted their attackers. The fight was brief, with clean calm shots from the Captain killing both of the enemies. While they looked mostly human, Smith quickly identified that the men were twisted, featuring a double set of jaws with one set inside of the mouth, recessed behind the first. The creatures also had black blood, and Smith surmised that they might have been human once, but were now under some kind of effect brought on by the Ink.
Not spending to long next to the gaping hole, the party moved through the doors, and found signs of battle throughout the halls. It was obvious that there were more of those creatures in this facility, and that they had fought with the people here, or as Smith suggested, that they may have been the people here.
In the corridors, the party got jumped one more time, by a group of the things. This group was led by a creature, that appeared even further along in its Ink-guided development, possessing twin tentacles where each of its forearms should have been. This fight was also short and brutal, with the party employing a hand grenade, to take advantage of the tight corridors. After the last ambush, McIntyre was unwilling to mess around anymore, and he pushed the party as quickly as possible, to get them to the Control Center.
The party sprinted up to where the Control Center was, and when they arrived, Seif made short work of the locks letting the party into the room. Unfortunately, the men in the room, had created some small barricades beyond the door, and were well armed, with one even carrying a flamethrower. McIntyre tried to get the men to stand down, since he could see that they were still human. Boma had the chance to act, but didn’t out of respect for his Captain’s wishes. The man with the flamethrower was a little to trigger happy though, and he opened up on the party. Most of the party members were able to avoid the blast, but Smith took a good chunk of it, falling to the ground, and writhing while on fire.
The Captain was able to summon up the full weight of his command, and ordered everyone to stand down; surprisingly, the men inside did as they were told. Boma put out the flames on Smith, and was able to nurse him back to his feet again.
McIntyre spoke with the men inside the Control Center, and determined that they had led them into a bit of trap, hoping to steal the team’s ship, so they could escape from the moon. The Captain had no sympathy for the Control Center crew, especially after the flamer incident, and the brooding look from Seif showed exactly how the Arab wanted to settle things. McIntyre offered the men a deal, disarm and get a ride out of here, or hang on to their weapons, and the Captain will send the ship away right now. The crew opted to surrender, and take their chances with the nice men who had just fought their way through the monster inhabited corridors, rather than try to fight them. The team learned from the men in the Center that they would be able to open the doors from the Star Dock.
McIntyre, and crew, took the men with them, in a pack back the way they came. At gun point, (or Flamethrower Point since McIntyre had taken that) the Control Center men lead the way. The retrace of steps was fine until they got back into the room with the large hole in it, once there, a large beast climbed out of the hole, looking like mass of black tentacles on the end of a large stalk.
The beast lashed out with four of its tentacles, and crushed or severely damaged all but one of the Control Center men. The party did its best against this beast, but the brutality of its attacks spoke to the immense strength of this creature, and the party quickly opted to try and run past it. The Captain flamed the thing at every opportunity, and even burned a couple of humanoid spawn that came off of the thing. Boma and Seif threw grenades, and then resorted to their preferred weapons, guns and sword respectively. The beast appeared to be too much for them, but the consistent blows from the team started to weaken the thing. In the end a few blasts from the captain finally dropped the creature, but not before it killed the last of the Control Center Techs, and knocked Smith unconscious too.
At this point it was a mad run for the ship. The party ran to where the ship was, and once they got on-board, they tried to figure out who would suit up, and open the Hangar Doors. Eventually they decided that Seif would have to go, since he was the least injured, but Gabby changed every ones mind when he clouted Seif in the back of the head, rendering him unconscious, so he could take the death defying duty.
With Gabby suited up, and tied off to the ship, the party readied the ship to leave. Creatures started pouring from the doors to the Star Dock, as Gabby started the de-pressurization process, and opened the doors. As soon as the doors opened, the creatures went flying out into the dark of space, some of them bouncing off of Gabby as they went. As soon as things settled, Mendoza started to lift off from the Star Dock. With the ship slowly pulling away, Gabby climbed up the rope to the ship, and got back on board.
Everyone celebrated their survival and victory. The team flew to the Cathedral Station, and made plans to return to Tortuga, expect that Murphy would understand. After the Gatekeeper administered communion, the party settled into their pods for the trip.
McIntyre awoke in his Stasis Pod, but the door to it was still closed. The small status screen inside the pod lit, and Smith’s face appeared on the screen.
Smith told the Captain that he was sorry things had to end this way, but that he had performed the mission The Church asked of him: he had located the source of the Ink. Given all that they had been through though, Smith could not just kill the Captain, so he arranged to have McIntyre’s Pod activate before his ship slammed into the planet the gatekeeper had kicked it towards.
McIntyre opened the pod, and ran to the bridge of the ship, but by the time he got there it was to late to stop the crash. McIntyre did have enough time to trigger the braking thrusters, and slow the ship enough, that the crew would have a chance of surviving the crash.
When the ship slammed into the ground, it was only by sheer luck, that the Captain survived the impact. He was wounded, but would live. He went back to where the other pods were. Boma, Seif, and Gabby were fine, but Mendoza was slammed around inside his pod to the point, that his wounds would be fatal, if he was awoken without a doctor ready. As for Maria, her pod was empty, and the crew was left to figure out why.
The team scrambled about to assess the situation. Gabby confirmed that the Sue was done for. He was sure that he did not have the parts to get her space-worthy here, and in fact was unsure if she would ever fly again. Gabby got some power into Mendoza’s pod, that should keep him in stasis for longer, than went to the Bridge to try and breathe life into the comm systems. Which is when Gabby realized some more bad news. He would only have enough power to keep Mendoza’s pod up for four more days, and the Comm Systems for perhaps five.
McIntyre went outside, and tried to figure out what system they were in from looking at the stars, but they were in no system that he was familiar with. The world itself appeared to be all desert from where they stood, but Seif confirmed that they were not in New Mecca. No one answered Gabby’s hails, and things began to look very grim, when Gabby found a signal of unknown origin. It was in a language, that the team doubted was even human, and seemed to be talking endlessly. After awhile, Boma and Seif noticed that the signal was repeating itself. This indicated that there would at least be power, and possibly parts. Gabby ran some tests, and was able to discover at least a direction for the alien signal.
The Captain decided to gamble, and ordered Gabby to route all power to Mendoza’s pod, which would last maybe nine to ten days with the additional juice. The crew then grabbed all of the water and food they could carry, and took off for the source of the signal.
As the session closed the party was headed out under the night sky, wondering if they would ever leave this world.
The Seventh Day of July in the Two Thousand Nine Hundred Fifty Second Year of our Lord.