40 – Mysterious Lair07-Nov-08
Most of the party is back on the botanical level. ‘Sunlight’ filters in from the garden through a large archway to the north. There is a dark drop chute is in the middle of the chamber, and corridors extend east and west to stairwells down – you have just ascended the east stairs.
The police robot who escorted you up has now turned back to descend the eastern stairwell. Ibben (invisible) and Slinker (camouflaged) have been following the rest of the party at a distance, and they can hear the humming of the machine as it approaches him from above…
The Robot Leaves
Before leaving, the robot turns to the party and says: “Due to staffing shortfalls, I must return to my post immediately and cannot transfer you further. Please proceed to the Retention Bays with the wildlife.” It does not wait for a response, but turns and hovers back down the stairs.
Curled around Aka-Vash’s neck, Yobo raises his head and asks “What did it say? should we go into the garden? That place scares me.”
Gene translates for the party. He shakes his head and comments: “Confounded machinery! I’m not going near those creepy vines again!”
“Well, here we are again. What do you fancy this time, chute or stairs?” asks Apollo dryly, still interested in pursuing the exit in the lower level.
“Query: Did anyone else notice the door downstairs with the violet key card entry? Suggestion: We may want to risk running into the guard again to see what is inside.” Olive figures that a short distance behind the large cargo door would lie the exit from the vault.
Rasputin tries to calm the situation, “We are away from the area with vines, although I have no doubt there are other dangers present here. With the police robot patrolling below, it seems we must try and secure a appropriate form of identification before we continue.”
Rasputin thinks back to the door marked ‘Police Headquarters’ and suggests, “We need to find an orange keycard I believe.”
Rasputin files away the robots comments about the apprehension of armed suspects for later – this is almost certainly members of one of the previous expeditions. With sufficient retainers at this point Rasputin doesn’t believe it is worth following up on at this stage.
“Let us wait for Slinker and Ibben, see if they come up with anything, then explore the open rooms we can see away from the botanical gardens” suggests Rasputin.
(The referee tosses some dice and snickers. I’m going to assume that Slinker burns a Karma Point to avoid a difficult encounter…)
Meanwhile, back in the stairwell, the police robot descends towards Ibben and Slinker…
Ibben, who had remained invisible and followed the party at a distance, presses himself up against the wall on the side of the stairs when he hears the sound of the Police Robot returning. The machine does not seem to detect him, as it merely hovers past without pausing. Ibben remains hidden, waiting to see what befalls Slinker.
Slightly further down the stairs, the Slinker drops his gear and stays blended as the robot reappears. Presumably, his friends have been locked up, or worse. Slinker thinks to himself, “Looks like it’s up to me to bail these guys out. Geesh…” But at the moment, blending into the surroundings and staying still seems like the logical choice for an almost-naked Slinker.
The robot stops in midair as it approaches Slinker. “Halt!” it says in Ancient. Slinker obeys, holding perfectly still while trying to blend in with the wall. For a moment, it appears that it detects Slinker’s presence (this is when the Karma Point gets spent), but instead it focuses on his dropped gear. Reaching mere inches from Slinker, the machine gathers up the weapons, armour, and backpack that were hastily dropped, then proceeds down to the lower level!
Slinker is left with only his force belt (which was small enough to wear while camouflaged)! Even his cigarettes and notebook are taken! Still, it’s better than being apprehended by a robot cop, so Slinker counts his blessings and hurries up the stairs once the machine is gone.
(For modesty’s sake, I’m going to assume that Slinker’s force belt will artfully conceal his nether regions. I have no desire to imagine a completely naked Hunter S. Thompson clone wandering halls of this Ancient vault!)
Ibben and Slinker find the rest of the party at the top of the stairs, cautiously waiting for their return. The party is reunited!
With the robot threat gone, Slinker takes to opportunity to provision himself with some of the extra supplies carried by the retainers.
(I’ve picked out a couple plausible pieces of equipment. Slinker can also request other gear, if he wishes.)
Meanwhile, Aka-Vasha – with Yobo still across her shoulders volunteer to continue scouting. They slip down the corridor near the stairs. Aka-Vasha draws her bow, and peeks around the corner to see whats lurks down the corridor.
It runs about twenty feet south, passing two closed doorways – one brown-coded one uncoloured – before turning east. Here, the corridor continues about thirty feet east then turns north again. Aka-Vasha and Yobo note light from up ahead!
They cautiously continue forward. Ahead, there is a violet-coded door. To the east is a large archway, leading into a well-lit chamber.
(The referee tosses some dice.)
The large chamber is brightly lit and filled with a musk-like stench. One side of the room is split into three smaller, divided sections. These areas each have a low barrier separating them from the corridor, but these could be stepped over easily. Each section is like a terrarium, containing vegetation of a different type (mostly dead now), some of which has spilled out onto the floor. Beside the entry leading to the chamber are words written in Ancient. The hallway continues at the far end of the room, about 150 feet away.
Aka-Vasha and Yobo are careful not to enter the chamber itself, but simply observe for a few moments before returning to the rest of the party to report their findings:
“It’s like a greenhouse or something.” explains Aka. “With different plots for crops?” she opines.
“Except that the plants are all dead now…” continues Vasha. “I think.”
“There is the stink of some animal in that room! Something lairs there!” adds Yobo. “Didn’t you smell it?” (Keen Scent mutation.)
What are your actions?