38 – Police Robot18-Oct-08
The party is still on the lower deck, trying to find the large door which you saw from outside the installation. Walking down a long corridor, you have reached a large cargo door – much larger than the other doors you have found before – set into the southern wall. Olive figures you’re still about seventy feet north of the outer doors, however. Set beside the door is a violet keycard panel.
Suddenly, Yobo’s keen hearing detects an eerie humming sound from the east. You can’t see anything; whatever is making the noise is still out of sight. Within moments, the rest of you can also hear the noise – it seems to be getting louder…
Gene tilts his ear towards the sound and wonders aloud: “What in the world is that?” Even as is his curiosity is piqued, his instincts tell him to tighten his grip on his weapon and prepare for danger.
Apollo tries to make a quick assessment of how quickly the source of the humming is approaching the party – his gut reaction is to urge the group to hide until they know what is generating the strange noise, but it may be that there is insufficient time to find appropriate shelter.
The Judge figures that whatever is making the noise is less than a minute away. The hallway stretches as far as Apollo can see in both directions – offering no opportunity for cover! (The empty room that you passed is almost a hundred feet back, near the crossroads.)
Olive listens intently to the eerie humming. “Absent thought: It’s a technological sound…” While everyone is talking, the android taps his fingers in an intricate pattern on his head, trying to determine the type of sound it is.
Ibben makes a few clicks and ticks (Echolocation mutation) in an attempt to identify what is making the noise. He doesn’t pick it up with his echolocation; it must be more than ninety feet away. Ibben looks worriedly over his shoulder to the west. “Maybe we had best move on… and quickly!”
Apollo agrees. “A wise sentiment, brother Ibben, a wise sentiment indeed” he says, and strides hurriedly westward down the corridor, away from the approaching sound.
Yobo, however, is not yet ready to assume hostile intent. The mutant snake slowly slithers close to the ground – towards the stairs and the sound. His tongue lashes at the air as he continues his attempt to discern the strange scent. He peers into the darkness (Night Vision mutation) to see what is approaching as he stays still.
With his keen vision, he confirms that it is not yet reached the corridor, but by the sound it is approaching – quickly – from the northern branch of the crossroads… The only unusual scent is the faint chemical odour which he had already detected earlier.
Rasputin considers the situation. “I concur that we retreat west. Slinker, perhaps you can stay back, out of sight with your powers, and view whatever it is coming towards us.”
Olive gives one last effort to determine the source. Perhaps some kind of travel device was present here as well. The android places his hand on the ground, then on the wall, to determine if there is any subtle vibration coming from them. However, Olive picks up absolutely no vibrations.
“Face it guys.” Aka-Vasha says as she readies her weapon. “There is no place to run, no place to hide! Whatever is coming at us is going to meet us! All we can hope for is that it friendly, but I’m willing to settle on benign.”
Gene stands his ground, readying his black powder pistol in grim silence.
Ahead of the rest of the party, Yobo tries his best to stay low and still against the corner of the floor and wall.
Once Ibben sees that the others (except the wise Apollo) are apparently not taking his advice, he halts his movement and turns invisible, keeping on the far western side of the party.
Slinker strips down with unnatural quickness, his skin taking on the colour and appearance of the metal corridor (Camouflage mutation). “Don’t worry, my friends. I’ll figure this one out.” Blending into the background, he moves to the side of the hall.
Noticing that the party is staying put, Apollo shakes his head in irritation, turns round and heads back to rejoin the group. “There is no shame in avoiding conflict – we need not pick every fight which presents itself.” He grumbles to no-one in particular, and draws both pistols in readiness.
In a hushed and concerned tone, Yobo says “My first thought was that this may not be something hostile approaching… but…” He slowly takes a step backwards. “If the rest of you think we should move on,” he whispers, “perhaps we should.”
You have no chance for further consideration, however, as a robotic monstrosity floats into view!
(Yobo’s the only one with a clear view of the creature at first, though Ibben can pick it up with his echolocation. The rest of you can only see a dim form in the shadows in the distance…)
(I’m going to assume that you won’t shoot until you’re certain of hostile intent.)
Uttering a small shriek at what he sees, Yobo scurries back towards the party in a panic. Seconds later, a threatening robot floats into view. It is rapidly approaching your group!
It is unlike any creature of living metal that you have seen before. Floating several feet above the ground on humming repulsorlifts, it is cylindrical in shape and constructed from Ancient alloys. It possesses two human-sized arms, with two longer metal ‘tentacles’ beneath. Several protrusions on the robot suggest weapons, though it makes no attacks yet.
It pauses about thirty feet from the group, metallic tentacles writhing. In a booming voice, the creatures utters words in the Ancient tongue. Rasputin offers a quick translation: “Police! Drop your weapons and put your hands in the air!”
What are your actions?