05 – Lurker Above!18-Jun-08
The party has ventured further into the vault, entering a large dark room with passageways leading off to the east, north, and west. There are also two closed doorways on the southern wall, as well as the inner airlock doors (which you’ve spiked open).
In the middle of the room is an elevator shaft of some sort, leading down to unknown depths.
Rasputin speaks up: “I suggest a scout at each exit while Slinker and Apollo examines the door mechanisms to see if we can activate them.”
“This shaft may provide a way out indirectly. It is likely that it leads to the area that gives access to the larger doors below and it may be possible to attach a rope to the damaged area beside the shaft.”
Examining the shaft more carefully, Rasputin sees two vertical belts inside the shaft, along the north and south sides. Extending from the belts are handles, spaced about eight feet apart. (You can see them in the close-up image of the shaft.) Ignoring them for a moment, he decides it would be easy just to loop a rope through one of the open doorways and around the structure of the elevator itself (instead to any damaged area outside the shaft).
“I do not like the plan of blindly exploring without a method of retreat. We need to be able to open the airlock as required.” Rasputin then waits to see developments, ready for action if required.
Apollo says nothing at Rasputin’s suggestion but silently walks towards one of the doors with the slotted panels. He examines one of these in an attempt to determine its method of operation.
(The referee makes a quick Technology Roll; base difficulty is 25% +40% = 65%, Apollo gets a 62. Success!) Apollo surmises that the panel acts like a simple button or switch; he has seen similar devices in Ancient ruins. Passing his hand over the panel produces no response, however. Apollo also notes that the slot is edged with a violet rim.
Meanwhile, Gene takes a position in the southeast corner where he can see all the interior corridors and the tube. He tells the rest of the party “Cover those hallways and the shaft! Those of you who can go invisible should do it, quickly.”
He then asks Yobo, “Do you recognize that smell?” Gene’s mace is at the ready.
Yobo takes a deep breath and tries to determine what the vegetable like smell is. He is also scanning the area to see if his keen night vision can see anything the others missed.
The vegetable smell is completely alien to Yobo; it is from some type of plant or fungus that he has never encountered before. Nor can he determine the source of the smell, other than it must be relatively distant.
Yobo’s nightvision discerns something on the floor of the eastern hallway, about 40 feet distant. It’s not moving, whatever it is. The object is approximately human-sized (if that human were to have collapsed onto the floor).
At Gene’s suggestion, Ibben concentrates on bending the lightwaves around his body and he winks out of sight again. He moves around the circular shaft to examine the northern corridor, but doesn’t see anything noteworthy other than doorways on either side every twenty feet or so.
(Note that there are similar sets of closed doorways in all the corridors, all spaced approximately every twenty feet.)
Spinning his mace by its leather strap, Olive quickly looks through the area, looking for any more control panels. “Observational Comment: It appears that this tube has exits on the top and bottom.” Olive points to the spiral hatch at the top of the shaft. “Query: Perhaps we can discern a method of opening the top portal?”
Olive cannot discern any tricks to open the upper spiral hatch.
Seeing Apollo looking at one of the panels, the android walks over quickly. “Query: Would you like some assistance in operating this device?” His eye flickers momentarily as some android ‘emotion’ passes through his internal network.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Slinker suddenly makes an odd announcement: “Now ladies and gents, don’t get excited, but I am about to get naked,’ he says.
He removes his armour, activates a curious device on his belt and changes colour to a mottled dark grey. Holding his crossbow behind his back he sneaks forward toward the object on the floor in bare feet, looking round to adjust his colouration to his background.
Slinker, now well-camouflaged (Chameleon Epidermis mutation), approaches the object in the hallway. As he gets nearer, he sees that it is some type of robot, badly battered and broken. Small hand tools are scattered about the apparently deactivated machine.
Meanwhile, Aka-Vasha with torch and cutlass in hand, quietly moves over to the southern half of the western wall and moves along the wall to peer into the corridor…
Vasha notices bits of rags nearby in the western corridor. Looking closer, she sees that there are small also small bones scattered amongst the rags. Filled with caution, she examines the corridor; the ceiling panel above the rags and bones appears to be damaged…
(Referee rolls for surprise; with her two heads, Aka-Vasha
gets two checkshas a reduced chance of being surprised. Both rolls fail!The roll fails!)
Arching both heads upwards, Aka-Vasha peers carefully at the panel and is caught completely by surprise when it detaches from the ceiling and expands its wings to envelop her! (Lurker’s attack roll is 18! Hit for 6 damage!)
A creature resembling some kind of flying manta ray was hanging camouflaged on the ceiling. It’s about ten feet wide and covered with a tough chameleon hide. With a swift and terribly graceful movement, it has dropped to atop Aka-Vasha and wrapped its body around her.
The creature constricts her tightly! She may suffocate if she is not freed quickly!
(Slinker is exploring down the eastern hallway (about 120′ away from Aka-Vasha), Ibben is at the northern hall (about 30′), Apollo is at the southern doorways (about 20′), Rasputin and Olive are at the shaft (also 20′ away), and Gene and Yobo are in the southeast corner (60′ away). The retainers are scattered around the room; Andre is closest to Aka-Vasha (10′ away). Everybody is caught by surprise; initiative will be rolled next round.)
What are your actions?