02 – Airlock Entry12-Jun-08
Your group has reached an Ancient vault in the Barrier Peaks, the apparent source of the weird and terrible mutants that have been plaguing Affiliation lands. You stand before a hillside where erosion has exposed two doors – a small upper door and a larger lower door.
The party conducts an initial survey of the area…
The Door Opens
The android was uncharacteristically quiet on the journey, perhaps going through the known facts and potential variables of the mission ahead. The Scholarium had placed their trust in him and ‘Bobby’ Olive was not going to let their trust go unreciprocated.
Not one to waste time, Olive walks up to the door gingerly, scanning the area with his sensorium, looking for potential dangers and a way inside. “Observational comment: This quaint bungalow is tucked away in a quiet part of the Barrier Peaks. It is the perfect place for two young lovers to move in to… then subsequently get mauled to death by the local flora and/or fauna.”
The android was obviously trying to make a joke, but his sense of humor was a bit off, but at least he was trying to be sociable. His voice was overly excited at all times. One of the older savants referred to it as a ‘Game show announcer voice’, but Bobby Olive had no clue what that meant.
Olive carefully observes the doorways. The larger lower doorway is made of resilient metal and stands closed. Turning his gaze upwards, he sees that the smaller upper door (atop the pile of rocks) is slowly opening!
The android alerts the party, and you all catch a glimpse of the door as it silently slides fully open.
Gene carefully inspects the area around the door for tracks or anything that might give a clue as to the nature of the vault’s inhabitants. He warily eyes the small door that is located higher up. “Yobo,” Gene asks calmly, “feel like climbing?”.
The ground in front of the large lower doorway is criss-crossed with unusual tracks that lead from the vault into the wilderness. They appear to be from creatures that you are not familiar with…
Gene inspects the tracks more carefully, hoping to determine the number of individuals and their direction of travel. Was it men or machines? How long since the tracks were made. He cautioned the rest of the party, “I don’t want us caught in a badguy sandwich if whatever uses this door is going to return soon. Maybe we should try the little door?”
The tracks on the ground appear made by living creatures – mutant animals, not men or machines. All the tracks look to be at least a couple of days old. They could certainly fit the descriptions that you have heard of bizarre monsters in the area…
Somebody has placed spikes and pitons at key points along the rock face leading to the upper door; it would be a reasonably easy climb for the party members. Gene notes that the hand- and foot-holds are spaced for humanoid climbers, not some bizarre mutant physiology.
Gene continues to observe their surroundings while waiting for the party to reach a consensus…
Standing quietly behind some rocks, Aka-Vahsa readies her longbow, and watches out for danger. Her two heads scan the environment – no one has ever sneaked up on Aka-Vasha.
Olive speaks up again. “Enthusiastic comment: I would be more than happy to climb up as well.” Olive looks up towards the smaller door and calculates a high-probability of some sort of ambush. “Observation: Caution should be taken if we are to proceed upwards.” The android’s voice was locked into the excited tone of voice even when providing a warning.
Irons has been standing at the back of the group with his arms folded. He observes the smaller door opening and says “Well, who wants to go in first?”
Vasha look back and whispers to her sister “So what do we think, I know we can climb it, but what if their is something beyond that door?”
“Well then,” Aka hissed. “I guess we just have to find out!”
Aka-Vasha then proceed to climb the rocks up to the door, with a cutlass clinched between Aka’s teeth.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” Gene mumbles. He draws his pistol and checks that everything was in working order before placing it back in its holder apprehensively. “Watch your heads, it’s a long way down.”
Like his companions, Irons took to the hillside after making sure the large blade strapped behind his back would not hinder the ascent.
Gene checks their surroundings once more before heading to the crude ladder. “C’mon Yobo, I’ll give you a lift.”
Not needing assistance in an ascent such as this, Yobo declines and sniffs the air for any unusual scents, and then drops to all fours and deftly scurries up the rocks to get a closer look at the upper door, using his tail to aid with the climb if needed.
Rasputin, who has remained silent thus far, speaks up: “Companions, let us not be too hasty. Why do we not retreat to a vantage point where we can observe both entrances with our spyglasses.”
“We can take shifts to sleep while a watch is kept and then we can enter if it seems prudent during the night. This way we have a chance at finding out more about the inhabitants of the vault before we enter and we enter at a time when their activity cycle may be lower – assuming they match their activity cycle with the flow of night and day outside.”
Rasputin will wait for his companions reactions and follow their lead. If the consensus is to enter the smaller door now, then he will follow also.
As he collects his gear together the Slinker starts a high speed monologue under his breath, picking up his notepad and scrawling in it with a biro, then putting it down, then picking it up for more scrawling.
“Dateline – ur – what is the date? Ah, who gives a damn,” says The Slinker to himself. “Well we’re in the mighty Barrier Peaks, the hog is in the tunnel, the gecko is on the trail and the two headed chick has her eyes on the skies, we are going to certain death at the hands, tentacles, claws and pseudopodia of mutant thingummies, and we are stone cold sober -” he takes a swig from a leather flask – “well stonish cold soberish…”
He hefts his axe over his shoulder and puts his note pad in his belt pouch and marches after the others, pausing to look at Rasputin over his shoulder.
“Rasputin? You chicken? Or just half chicken like many a mutie I know?”
“Ah, Slinker my comrade, not a coward, merely cautious.” replies Rasputin “Once you have experienced the ‘wonders’ the world has to offer, you will learn caution too. Or not.” The bearded Pure Human then follows the rest of his party members up the cliff.
(Your retainers, perhaps not quite as brave as the PCs, stay at ground level as a ‘rear guard’ in case the monstrosities emerge from the lower door or some other calamity occurs.)
Your group ascends the rocky hillside without incident, aided by the thoughtfully placed spikes and pitons. As you reach the level of the open doorway, you are able to catch a glimpse inside.
Entry to the Ancient vault is through the curved doorway (now open) on the southern side of the structure. Inside is a room, about twenty feet wide by ten feet deep, with a pair of closed doors on the far side. The room itself is constructed of the same metal as the rest of the structure, and is apparently unadorned.
The room is unlit and to examine further you will have to enter.
Outside, your surroundings remain quiet and still – a peaceful mountain vale. Your retainers note nothing unusual from their position.
What are your actions?