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02 – Airlock Entry

12-Jun-08

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Entrance

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…

Group 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.)


Airlock Entry

Entering the Vault

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?

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18 comments

  1. (That was an exceptionally fast turnaround, normally it’s at least three days between posts. I may have jumped the gun a little; I thought everyone had commented, but I counted wrong and see I didn’t leave enough time for Ibben to reply.)


  2. “Ah, Slinker my comrade, not a coward, merely cautious. Once you have experienced the ‘wonders’ the world has to offer, you will learn caution too. Or not.”

    Rasputin motions the retainers to come at least part way up the cliff. He explains to them that with high ground they will be vastly safer against anyone approaching from the ground, such as the creatures whose tracks we found below!

    Rasputin will wait for the lead elements of our group to enter, then make his way up behind.


  3. ((Not a problem, K :) ))

    Ibben hikes his monks robes up to his knees, tying the slack into his belt, to more readily climb to the top. Once he reaches the top, he untucks his robe again and wipes some sweat from his brow. Clearly his corpulent body was not designed for climbing.

    However, Ibben is glad to be out from within range of the doors below; it looks to him that it’s seen alot of traffic and is likely the source of the mutant infestation of the area. They likely emerge at night, or at some designated time, and the sooner the party is clear of them, the better.

    But then again, these spikes raise more questions; this route to the upper door is plainly used regularly, at least by one other person who chooses to avoid the lower door…

    “Fascinating!”, is Ibben’s only comment so far, as he observes the metallic room within the upper door. With a wink, he disappears from sight and moves forward to stick his head inside the door for a better look. ((Using Control Light Waves mutation))


  4. Aka-Vasha being the first one up, looks inside the room. Seeing no one within, she quietly slips inside with cutlass in hand, ready for anything.


  5. Not wanting to leave a woman (even a two-headed one) alone to explore the recesses of the potentially dangerous metal room, Irons follows suit after Aka-Vasha, flexing the fingers of both hands to stimulate blood circulation and make sure any gun-draws will be swift and sure.


  6. “The spikes must be from a third party,” Gene observed, “I dont think whoever made those tracks installed them.” Gene peered into the vault. For a moment, it seems warm and familiar. His mind wanders briefly before returning to the task at hand. “Well, let’s take a look-see…” Gene steps into the room and waits for his eyes to adjust, mace ready.


  7. Watching the conversations between all the other party members, Olive says nothing, but his single eye flickers with interest. The android slips off his backpack, pulls out a few items and quickly lights a candle with flint and steel. He holds it in his right hand and allows wax to drip on his composite plastic form.

    Without any fear, he walks forward as he pulls his mace from his waist, spinning it around by it leather hanger. “Initiating musical protocol: Wwwzzzz wwwwwwwwzzzzzzz wwwwwwzz wzzzzz…” The odd sound of the android whistling sounded like a mix of vibrating air and static. “Taunting greeting: Hello friends! Would you like to play a game of Squishbrains?” Olive was making himself a target purposefully in order to protect the others from a potential threat.


  8. Following Rasputin’s suggestion, the retainers follow you partway up the hill.


  9. The Slinker loads his crossbow and points it at Olive.

    ‘No I do not want to play squishbrains! This bloody android has got a diode loose! Where do you take the batteries out?’

    ‘And do you play any better tunes? I like the Beach Boys myself…’

    Losing interest in his odd comrade, The Slinker goes to look at the double doors, looking for any obvious method of opening them.


  10. Rasputin examines the spikes in passing also. He checks them for signs of age such as rust. If they appear new, it is likely that we are following one of the search parties within. If so, we are likely to find members of the search party in our explorations, or at least their remains.

    They are also likely to have disturbed whatever inhabitant lay in wait inside. If the spikes look freshly placed we should be very wary of ambush.


  11. They seem relatively new. No rust or other corrosion products on the spikes.


  12. Gene looks around the floor of the small chamber searching for tracks, shell casings, bloody drag marks… anything that might provide a clue as to the fate of the people who made the spike ladder.

    “If that ladder wasn’t always here, then why have a door up here in the first place?” He observes with strange tone of childish curiosity in his voice.


  13. The entry chamber is bare metal; no tracks or signs of previous explorers. The spikes and pitons are of relatively primitive post-Fall construction; the lack of obvious tracks suggests that they were not used extensively.

    The area around the vault appears to have gone through significant seismic and erosional changes since the Fall. It is quite possible that some sort of proper entry existed here once and has since disappeared in the intervening centuries.


  14. Rasputin considers the finding for a time and ponders out loud.
    “It may be that the spike and pitons were set here by some explorers, not the search party. The very fact that they have not been removed suggests that there is not an organised intelligence within. Perhaps the raids on the nearby settlements are from some type of automated defense set off by these explorers.”
    “I hope it is so,” states Rasputin grimly, “as then we may yet live through this day.”


  15. “Let’s wait for the rest of the climbers and then we’ll see if we can get it open.” Gene suggests.


  16. (If searching the unlit room with my pretty little candle and song yields no result…)

    Bobby Olive looks around, scanning the area with his senses. “Curious comment: One would think with an opening door, something would be behind it. Perhaps it is has some sort of sensing capability…” Olive directed future processing of the data to a secondary system and focused his primary to more immediate issues.

    Making his way back to the ledge of the upper area, the android uncoils his rope and drops it down after tying it to a suitable anchor. “Observational comment: It appears safe to be up here!”


  17. Yobo slinks along the floor looking for anything of interest that may escape the notice of the larger party members.


  18. As everyone is searching, Aka-Vasha watches both doors, waiting for intrusion.



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