36 – Lower Deck09-Oct-08
You are near the eastern drop chute on the botanical garden level. Using flasks of oil and fire, you have burned a clear path through the strangle vines and the party is back together. The flight of cowardly Xanax and loss of Pris has thinned your ranks, but your expedition is still eleven souls strong (seven PCs and four retainers).
Apollo and Ibben are scouting the side passage and stairwell down, and your party contemplates its next course of action…
The southern stairwell descends into darkness. There are several landings below; the stairs extend quite far down – past the range of Ibben’s echolocation – and do not appear blocked or occupied.
The side passage heading east extends only a short distance before turning south. There are doorways on the north and south walls, each with a brown keycard slot. The passageway appears clear, and Ibben detects nothing unusual within range of his mutant power.
Gene queries the invisible Judge: “Apollo, will we be able to continue down this other passage? What do you see?”
Becoming visible again, Apollo addresses Gene: “I cannot see far down the side passage, but the stairway leading downward seems clear – we should be able to use it to descend further towards the main doors. I don’t know about you, but I see no good reason to stay up here waiting to meet more of the local flora.”
Gene nods. “Me neither. Let’s keep moving.”
“Yes, downwards is our destination.” Ibben agrees.
Rasputin grunts noncommittally. He turns aside his disappointment over the death of Pris, squares his shoulders and motions the band downwards.
Hearing about the doors with the brown keycard slots, Olive logs the data to internal memory for future reference. From memory, he also begins constructing a map for storage as well. He slows a bit as his systems are loaded with additional tasks, but the android thinks using the processor cycles are worth it.
(Olive doesn’t have to worry about running out of memory – I’ve assumed that he’s been keeping a mental map of the installation since your explorations began. He’ll also be scribing a hardcopy map for the party during your rest periods.)
Yobo turns his head warily towards the smoldering vines, makes a hissing sound and slithers quickly down the stairs, not waiting for a consensus.
Aka-Vasha feels Yobo slither pass her legs, and watch as he scampers away. “Hay guys, I think Yobo has picked up on something, or he is just really bored with this deck?” Aka-Vasha then follows him closely from a safe distance.
Leaving the acrid smoke and scorched strangle vines behind, the party lights torches and begins to carefully descend the dark stairwell (in marching order). The metal stairs are in good shape, and there is little debris; just some stray leaves (brown and dessicated) and the occasional stain.
After several flights down with no doorways or obvious exits, Apollo turns to Rasputin. “Ras, Do you have a feeling for how much further down we need go?”
You’re about sixty feet below the garden level, and Rasputin figures that the stairs have now descended further down than the garbage-filled drop chute shaft reached. “This is it.” he states. “Once down these stairs we should be on the right level.”
Olive pipes up: “Calculation. Another thirty feet and we’re at the same elevation as the large doors which we observed from outside.”
Sure enough, you peer down the stairwell and the light of your torches reveals the bottom about thirty feet down! You continue your wary descent to the lower deck, an emerge into a ten-foot wide corridor heading southwest. Like the stairwell, the corridor is dark and relatively clear of debris. Unlike some of the other areas in the vault, there are no doorways lining the hall here.
Continuing forward, you reach a crossroads where the path branches in several directions. Corridors stretch straight north and west, and there is a stairwell up further to the southwest.
You see several sets of doorways in the northern corridor; at the edge of your torchlight, it appears that there are open doorways on either side (east and west). Yobo’s nightvision confirms these open doors, and he also sees that the closest doorway has a brown keycard slot.
In the western corridor, there is only a single doorway evident (about twenty feet away). To the west, there is only a single doorway evident (about twenty feet down the west hall). Yobo’s keen eyesight can pick out that it is open.
The stairwell up is very similar to the one that you just climbed down.
The halls are eerily silent and have a deserted, haunted feel to them. The whole deck is rather spooky…
What are your actions?