Game log of a ToEE adventure that somehow turned into an Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. You can find the original google doc here.
Rogues Gallery – The Hommlet Raiders
- The Rogue – Giselle der Gauner the Soulknife due to a mutation granting her telekinetic powers (character #2, previous character was Mirka the Rogue – Deceased)
- The Monk – Augusta “Tof” Bamberger and her henchmen Elmo the Ranger and pet pug General Puggins.
- The Druid – Lilie the Elf and her henchmen Wolfram and animal companion Fuyuko the white wolf.
- The Knight – Lintelfaden Toshcobble, squire of Rufus the Bold.
- The Fighter – Fencil the G-Noll (Reincarnation) (Character #2, previous character was a cleric – Deceased) and his (henchmen Zof the Jarhead Wizard – Deceased).
- The Ranger – Bustov Daman and his animal companion The Mou-Mou Bird (bloodthirsty sparrow).
- The Wizard – Boris the Jaws-Dodger.
- The Cleric – Lorenz Brandt (character #2), the scribe.
Session 24 Recap
“So does anyone know where we are going?” Lilie asked.
“I’m trying to figure it out with Gisella,” Lintelfaden replied, sitting on the shoulder of his suit.
Gisella spun her pencil around her fingers, trying to properly map out the level. “This place is massive compared to the other ones and this is down one out of four paths. All the halls look identical to each other so it’s hard to follow the directions the Orangoilion gave us.”
While they tried to figure out where to go next without aimlessly wandering, Bustov and Lorenz examined the Lenz, seeing what secrets it held. From careful inspection, it was clear that it was damaged and incomplete, not nearly at its full potential, and that’s where the Autoforge came into the picture.
“I’m sure we can make the blast stronger,” Lorenz theorised. “Maybe make the charge time shorter and mod it a bit.”
“This is what I’ve been waiting for this whole time,” Bustov laughed. “You guys got your weak guns early, I got my laser ice explosion bow now and it’s way stronger than anyone else’s weapon.”
Lorenz started fiddling with his laser rifle, sliding his hand across the barrel. “I got one of the griffin rifles from the reaper that could burst fire; none of the other reapers we fought could do that. It’s going to be sweet… if it works.”
“Aren’t you hogging all the robot parts we’ve been salvaging in that bag of holding?”
“Hogging is a strong term, I’m just keeping them all in a safe place that only I can access. Don’t worry, I’ll share them with you if you need them.”
No way am I giving up my parts, Lorenz thought.
Aki interrupted Bustov and excitedly revealed tiny berries like the ones he conjured randomly to snack on. Her hand glowed with magic albeit weak compared to his own; ‘on the job’ training was paying off and she had begun to manifest spells.
“It works, just like you said!” she exclaimed. “I put my mind to it, imagine what it looks like, and it really appeared!”
“Well, let me taste them.” Bustov popped one into his mouth and had to stop himself from spitting it right back out. The healing was definitely there… kind of, but the taste was beyond awful. Even so, he swallowed, smiled, and patted her head. “It, uh, heals for sure, but the taste is lacking.”
“Taste… Taste…?” she ate one and realised exactly what he meant. “Eugh, yes, I’ll work on that.”
Lorenz interrupted them, regretting that he took one of the berries. “Let me teach you a very useful cleric spell,” he told Aki. “First things first, how to heal poison.”
“They’re poisonous?!” She panicked and threw the berries away.
Augusta watched Aki apologise profusely for poisoning everyone as Lorenz tried to explain the joke to her. Chuckling, she went back to sketching on her notepad, trying to add Aki and Fensal’s new body to her drawing of chibis. Lilie watched intently over her shoulder, feeding her wolf and rubbing its neck, enjoying the feel of his fur against her skin.
While the rest of the party either amused themselves or mapped the area, Fensal’s heightened senses were alerted as something was headed their way. At least two robots were heading their way, heavy footsteps echoing through the hall. But he could feel something else, like a soft humming being drowned out by the machines. Dropping all distractions, they readied themselves for this threat, treating everything in this space station as hostile.
Turning the corner, a floating being covered in jet black tentacles approached them, a single purple eye glowing vibrantly like a light. Behind followed two Mk II robots, one wielding an electric baton while the other loaded a large gun with a battery, not bullets. They twitched at times, eyes glowing the same as the floating Telepath, constantly repeating the same phrase…
“New supervisory override… received- thank-thank-thank you-”
Without warning, the Telepath began to spin like a sphere, staring down the party as its eye glowed brighter and brighter. It released a powerful mind blast, rocking their heads, rendering armour and shields useless; dodging it within the confines of the corridor was impossible. A few were able to resist the full brunt of the blast but the others staggered away, trying to fight through the throbbing inside. Gisella was affected the most and her daggers dropped to the ground as she lost concentration.
Lorenz raised his holy symbol of UNITY and a golden light filled the hall. It beamed harmlessly through the corridor until it washed over the Mk II, shutting one of them down instantly. The other froze for a moment, its eyes flashed as if it was rebooting, then recovered from the holy magic, readying its shotgun.
“Repair. Replace. Recycle,” the Mk II chanted. “Repair. Replace. R-r-r-r-r-”
The barrel of the gun sucks in energy and condensed it into an orb, firing it into the party. The orb detonated into dozens of bullets like a shotgun, piercing through the frontline of the party and reaching those at the back. It burned their skin and the fumes left behind were toxic akin to radiation. The tip of the gun glowed with heat and the battery popped out, replaced and loaded with a new one.
Clearing her thoughts, Gisella wielded her daggers again with her telekinesis only to be blinded as the Telepath muttered incoherent words of magic. Plunged into a world of darkness, her telekinesis was useless as she fumbled around, using only her hearing to guess where the enemy could be.
Lilie did what Lilie does best: Run. And then send a lightning bolt down the corridor.
It had to be her favorite spell and she would cast it regardless of who or where she fought. And it was very effective against the machines if it weren’t for the fact it hit her party as well.
“That was close,” she sighed in relief. “I almost got hit!”
As Augusta leapt for the Telepath, it floated up to the roof and dodged the attack, laughing at her without a voice. She switched forms and punched the air, releasing a blast of wind to strike from range. Even if it wasn’t much, it was enough to force it back and slam its head against the roof.
Before she landed, one of the tentacles covering its spherical body whipped out and grabbed her leg, pulling her up towards his hidden beak.
“Oh, that’s not good-” she began but a psychic shock shot throughout her body and shook her mind.
“Why does everything we meet want to eat us?” Lorenz complained and charged the rifle with his magic. He fired the beam into the air and it burst into a blue mist, healing the wounds of the party.
Fensal listened to the team and had swapped to a bow, using it to attack rather than his usual longsword and almost getting killed on multiple occasions. He nocked an arrow and his aim was true but it bounced off the Telepath, hardly worth its attention, not when a meal was right in front of it. He fired again and it caught the arrow mid-flight and snapped the shaft.
“You call that a bow?!” Bustov laughed. The limbs of the Lenz flipped out; it began to hum as the energy coursed within, a cold flame burning at the tips. “This is a bow!”
A string of energy and an arrow of frost; the beam was charged and the power was released. The Telepath recoiled from the hit, spinning in the air from the impact and ice bound its tentacles together. It gave Augusta the chance to cut herself loose and escape the viscous beak. Furious and frustrated, it glared at Bustov flicking back his hair and a light inside its eye flashed, reciprocated in Bustov’s own.
His eyes glowed a matching purple, staring dazedly through the Telepath. Without warning, he began to charge another shot aiming right for Fensal.
“He’s being controlled!” Augusta cried. “Pencil, get back!”
“How do you know that?!” Fensal snapped.
“He’s shooting you?!”
“He would do that anyway!”
Lintelfaden took the full blast of the shot, protecting Fensal and forcing him back. His suit as well as the silver coating easily resisted the cold arrow and he knocked him over the head with the back of the katana. No one could dispel the powerful magic and brute force solved most of their problems.
“Purple eyes,” Lintelfaden pointed out. “Obvious signs of someone being controlled.”
“Oh, that makes sense,” Fensal agreed.
Every time its plan failed, the Telepath grew more and more enraged. It broke the layer of ice and multiple tentacles whipped out, pushing aside the monk and her bodyguard, throwing away the cleric, going straight for Fensal at the back. It wasn’t dumb, it knew it wasn’t going to break through Lintelfaden’s armour but it knew he couldn’t reach it in the air. Easily overpowering the gnoll, he sent multiple psychic shocks through each tentacle, trying to knock him out while flipping him in midair with ease.
Multiple sounds of portals being opened began to come closer and closer, heading right for them. Flying over their heads, eight yellow-green skinned xenos entered the fray, teleporting from one end of the battle to the other, attacking through portals from all angles. Agile and swift, their style was like that of a psychic monk, warping beside the telepath then back down to the Mk II and kicking off its core.
Lilie began to charge another lightning bolt, trying to aim it to hit as many targets as possible. “I don’t want to fight more of these! The Telepath is strong enough!”
“Wait,” Wolfram warned her. “They aren’t attacking our team. I suggest leaving them alone for now and focus on the Telepath.”
While the battle ensued, Gisella was busy blindly fumbling through her bag, trying to find something to lift the darkness. She could’ve sworn she had something but all that she found were torches, waterskins, treasure, or a grenade.
“Come on, where is it?” she mumbled.
Finally reaching something, she began to slide her fingers around it, trying to get a rough idea of what she was holding. Circular, thin, and felt like a cookie as it crumbled a little. This was it, her handmade cookies infused with magic that could cure minor curses. Not only did the chocolate cookie taste brilliant if she did say so herself, its healing properties were just strong enough to restore her sight.
Spotting her daggers, she regained control of her telekinesis and could fight once more. Range was never a hindrance to her and the blades danced around the Telepath, piercing in all directions between the tentacles to the vulnerable flesh. But normal attacks wouldn’t be enough so she thought ahead to bring it down.
It was paralysed as the wyvern poison was siphoned into the wounds, coursing through its spherical body and breaking its flight. Dropping like a rock, it released Fensal and crashed to the ground, rolling a little before coming to a complete stop, helpless as the party closed in. A red string connected Lintelfaden’s katana to its eye, guiding the strike and enhancing it.
Although its body was paralysed, it only needed its mind to cast its spells. A pink sheet of magic covered it and it levitated back to the roof, manually controlling its paralysed tentacles. But it saw the party as a serious threat and, as its Mk II guards were destroyed by the xenos, it knew there was no chance of winning the battle.
It tried to run but it was too late. Augusta kicked off of Elmo’s shield and leapt into the air, brandishing the pinion blades. Graceful like a dancer she split the Telepath in half and landed gracefully on the ground, sliding as she did so. Its two halves fell to the ground behind her, a mess of black blood and severed limbs still twitching.
“I did it?” she muttered, half surprised it worked. “Haha! It worked! I told you, Elmo, teamwork was key! And you were denying me!”
“You were right,” Elmo replied.
“The three words I love to hear.”
As the Telepath finally froze, a voice echoed through their minds. A powerful woman, voice synthetic, an image of a golden angel with mechanical wings of silver, a twin halo above her head.
A new form of life, UNITY said. Fearless; Powerful; With no sense of individual will or moral constraints; I almost admire them. Worthy foes who have haunted my halls since the fall of the Golden Age. But they challenge my will and co-opt my servants; it is time for our dance to end. They must be destroyed.
As suddenly as she appeared, the voice faded out, but their ears still rang with her words. The last thing they wanted was to fight more Telepaths and multiple at the same time would be extremely dangerous. But it seemed the aliens didn’t hear the voice or were not stunned, approaching the party casually once the battle had ended.
They introduced themselves as githzerai, overthrowers of their mind flayer masters. It seemed years ago that another group of space adventurers had saved them along with an elite squad at their backs. The githzerai now wandered the ship in search of the remaining spawn and subordinates of the mind flayers, eager to deal swift revenge; the Telepath was one such creature.
“That’s cool and all but can I get a strand of hair?” Augusta interrupted.
“You want… what?” the gith replied, confused and cautious.
“Just a strand of your hair, nothing much.”
“And why would you want a strand of my hair?”
“To gene-splice it, of course.”
Honesty never hurt anyone but it certainly killed any chance of convincing them to part with their… hair. The gith knew she envied their telekinetic abilities and after hearing gene-splicing, refused all further talk about the discussion. Though they were willing to share their knowledge of the level, or what they had seen at least. Taking the time to rest, most of what they shared was about the mind flayers or their quest and the Telepath. When it came down to the Autoforge and the Android Creche, their knowledge was much more limited.
But any information was gladly accepted, especially since the deeper they went, the enemy and machines got that much deadlier. As the gith continued their hunt, they went their separate ways and the party continued to search for the Android Creche. The door to the next room slid open, accepting the platinum pass, and revealed a strange machine.
The place was empty aside from a single, bronze, stand, a floating orb at the top. Multiple rings surrounded the orb and the circuitrical lines sparked at times, but never stayed on. It seemed like the orb and rings could spin in unison but there wasn’t enough power going through to start up the machine.
“Nothing to see here,” Lorenz sighed, walking straight past it. He tapped his holy symbol against a door leading out of the room. “Let’s keep moving or we’ll never find the Android Creche-”
The door opened and the room was identical, empty with the exact same bronze mechanism. The only difference was this one could spin, fully charged, and the rings orbited it, defying gravity.
Aki looked from one room to the next. “Wait… what’s the difference? Why is this one broken?”
Before they could examine the identical pair, three robots flew towards them, cautiously eyeing the party for suspicious or sudden movements. Gisella remembered them from the tap room, the octopus-like aliens encased in armour, only knowing they were organic beneath because of the corpses. They didn’t attack immediately, and so the party returned the favour and gave them a chance.
They identified themselves as Zhevs, a race living within the ship but no more would be disclosed than that.
“State your purpose,” one commanded.
Augusta was the first to reply, warming up to these new beings. “We’re searching for the Android Creche,” she replied, with no reason to lie. “We were told that it’s down this way.”
“You are incorrect. The Android Creche is not in this direction.”
“Do you know where it is then?” Fensal asked. “And what is this way?”
The Zhevs muttered among themselves, unsure if they should trust the party even if they seemed innocent enough. But of course, if they could trade a favour for a favour then it might be worth it.
Gisella performed dangerous tricks with her knives in the meantime. “I wonder if they know where the Autoforge is.”
“Autoforge?” the Zhev repeated. “Yes, we know where the Autoforge is…”
“Can you take us?” Lorenz inquired. “Maybe we can do something in return for you.”
The deal would be finalised by their leader, though they were willing to show the way. The actual path they followed blurred in their minds, seeing and admiring but not really remembering. Talk about the Autoforge was all on their minds while theories and plans began to form throughout the discussion. Whistle daggers, laser bows, robots, and lightsabers; there was no limit to what could be imagined and now they were so close to the forge that could make it.
A few side rooms, another knowledge altar, a stray cassette tape, then through a hallway with a lightning trap that was deactivated at the Zhev’s command; nothing in particular stood out to them until they neared the Zhev’s base. In the centre of the room right before was what looked like an encased sun in the ship. A massive transparent dome trapped a whirling orb of fire, spitting flames and prominence bursts but couldn’t melt through the dome. Tubes were the only way to put anything into it and towards the sun, and they were sure what went in wouldn’t ever come out.
Without being able to stop and examine it, they were brought to the base, not nearly as grand as the sight just before. A multilayered room, easily navigable because of the Zhev’s flight but worked as a powerful defence against those who were grounded. To their right seemed to be where most of the Zhev’s resided, working hard and diligently, not close enough to really understand what they did, but on the left was a much darker sight. Rows and rows of cells filled with humans always in a constant daze, mumbling and begging to be set free; it wasn’t a long shot to assume that could be their fate if the Zhevs didn’t see them as an ally.
They were led right up the centre of the large room to a Zhev coated in pure gold armour, more advanced than that of the others, a clear sign of power and leadership. Aside from a few guards, none of the Zhevs bothered to treat the party with caution anymore, knowing they wouldn’t do anything as foolish as start a battle. Or if they were even a threat in the first place.
A lucky surprise, the leader was actually rather understanding of their situation and what they were looking for. Compared to all the other hostile and murderous creatures that wanted to eat them, these xenos were a nice change of pace. Behind him were double iron doors, glowing with heat; the entrance to the Autoforge. Of course he was willing to trade for access, deeming the group trustworthy and can easily be suppressed if they ever decided to attack them.
“So what can we do to gain access?” Gisella inquired.
“Have you seen the Surk?” the leader explained. “Disdainful robots, out of control and disobeying UNITY’s perfect order. There is one part within the Manufactorum where they are many; I would like them destroyed.”
“Hunt quest!” Lorenz cheered. “So much easier than fetch or gathering quests!”
Quickly shut up, Gisella noted down all the details and where to find them. A little backtracking was necessary back to the very first knowledge altar but then down a different path, one of the last two doors they hadn’t checked. The Android Creche could be down either one of them so heading back wasn’t the worst plan either.
“Then we can salvage the Surk’s or other machines,” Lintelfaden realised. “I need enough parts to create a robot unicorn.”
Even the thought of salvaging triggered the Golden Zhev and he snapped, claws and tentacles ready to rip them apart. “Salvage?! Have you been salvaging?!”
“No, of course not,” Lorenz lied with perfect confidence. “I don’t salvage anything, never have, what is this ‘salvaging’?”
The answer calmed down the leader and his tentacles went limp again. “Good, these are holy grounds, we cannot be salvaging UNITY’s servants.”
They confirmed the plan and details and were led back to the first knowledge altar, safety assured under the guidance of the Zhevs. Thanking them, Gisella slipped the pencil out from behind her ear and began to map out the level with Bustov’s help and makeshift sketch. The quick downtime allowed them to confirm any misunderstood details or perform quick maintenance on their equipment.
“Didn’t the Orangoilion say the Android Creche was down that way?” Augusta asked, pointing towards the Zhev’s base.
Lorenz fixed his rifle and nodded. “Yeah, pretty sure. I guess there were a few more doors we missed but not much or a path to the next level.”
Fensal pulled out a notepad and flipped through. “Hold on… I have their directions… right… here!” He showed them about five scribbles at the bottom of the page. “This is what they said.”
Aki stared at the writing, Fensal, then back again. “Your handwriting matches your face…”
Augusta snatched the book out of his hand. “This is incomprehensible! These aren’t even words!”
“It’s not that bad, I wrote those when I was a halfling,” Fensal sighed, taking back the notebook. “See, write here is… uh… Wait, what is that?” He tried to make out the scribbles and could somewhat make one word. “So one of the scribbles is west…?”
“You wrote it,” Lilie reminded.
Bustov interrupted the others and opened up one of the doors with his pass. “Let’s get going! The faster we find these Surk’s, the faster we can get access to the Autoforge!”
They traveled through another dusty and dark corridor, the automatic lights broken and flickering as they passed by. It didn’t bother them, no one felt threatened in the slightest; anything short of a reaper could be easily dealt with. Lintelfaden led the way through the dark, ready to unsheathe his katana at any moment, but was suddenly stopped by Gisella right before the next room.
“There’s something on the roof,” she pointed out.
A silver, jelly like substance, rippling rhythmically though there was nothing to push it. It extended across the entirety of the roof and even across some of the walls but it never dripped despite the constant pull of gravity. Perhaps an ooze waiting for its prey, it would fall on its victims as soon as they entered the room.
Without warning, Lorenz fired a laser into the room and controlled the light, curving it towards the roof and ooze. They were right; the entire substance fell down and filled the rest of the room, emitting a silver mist, creating a screen to hide within. As it cleared, they stood face to face with silvery versions of themselves, wielding the same weapons, clad in the same armour, but fully emotionless.
“Mimics,” Fensal realised. “I hope they didn’t copy everything about us.”
Lintelfaden unsheathed the Katana of the Lich Shogun’s Eternal Shogunate and rushed for the eleven mimics. “Let’s see then!
To their surprise, her copy was cut down with ease, split in half and oozing away into nothing but the pale mist.
The others twitched and tried to find their copy in the tight hallway, each trying to become the real one. Leaping over the fighter, they stuck to the walls and roof to reach their target, slipping past or bending in uncanny ways to avoid attacks. A few of them breathed poison mist on the party while others went in for unarmed combat.
Elmo didn’t hold his breath in time and exhaled some of the toxic fumes, but it didn’t hurt him. It was like breathing in smoke and, as it circulated within, he felt his strength fading and he froze on the spot, unable to move.
“Paralysis,” Lorenz realised, blocking a quick strike with the side of the gun. He shoved it into the mimic’s face and pulled the trigger, blasting its head off and reducing it to mist. “I can’t pull of a spell in this cluster!”
As the party was reliably dealing with their copy, Aki struggled getting off a proper shot and a quick blow to her stomach paralysed her just the same as Elmo. Their mimics swiftly wrapped themselves around, encasing them in a silvery layer and the paralysis vanished.
“It’s not hurting me…?” Aki realised. “I can still think and move normally and its skin is protective.”
Gisella wasn’t taking any chances with the mimics, dodging with ease and cutting down two more with her lethal knives, weaving above and between the battle. She surrounded Aki with her telekinesis and forcefully pulled off the mimic before it could fully bind itself with her, and she guessed, took over and became the real thing.
The force and pain felt like her skin was being torn off but Bustov was quick to catch her, healing her wounds while Fensal took down his mimic. There were hook wounds in her skin where the mimic attached itself; it was definitely not safe to have these things attach to you for long.
“Can I lightning bolt the corridor?” LIlie asked.
“What?!” Augusta snapped. “Of course not!”
“But it will be really effective!”
“Against us! Heal Elmo, I’m going to pull the mimic off!”
Kind of upset, she did as was needed and closed his wounds as the mimic was torn off and killed. Slowly but surely, they reduced the enemies’ numbers and the few that remained tried to flee, though there was nowhere for them to go. Trying to take forms of mundane items like a broken chair or a bin, they still retained their silvery and jelly like body and were quickly found and killed. All eleven were taken down and the room was quiet once again.
Luckily, they didn’t do too much damage, their only threat being paralysis then taking over. With no need to use too many healing spells except on Aki and Elmo, they were able to quickly examine the next room. Not much to see, very empty and hardly touched, but there was what looked like a crystal embedded into one of the walls. The only point of interest, they crowded around it as Lintelfaden and Lorenz tried to figure out what it was. As they tapped the crystal, six ethereal buttons appeared forming a hexagon.
Fensal tried to understand what the symbols on the buttons were. “So these five symbols do something?”
“Six, Pencil,” Bustov corrected.
“No, five-” he counted each one very slowly. “Oh… yeah, six buttons.”
Within seconds, Lorenz had clicked every single button and a door behind them opened in response. How he did it, he didn’t know, just trial and error over two attempts. Up, up, down, down, left, right-
Lintelfaden led the way down the dusty staircase, a place where no one had been in years. Even as they stepped, the dust was so thick and caked on it acted like a carpet and wasn’t blown away by their movements.
Leave. Now. Three voices echoed in their minds.
They neared a room with three whirling spheres stuck in craters on the walls. The path continued past the spheres but the voice grew louder and louder, now reverberating in their hands as it commanded over and over:
Leave. Do not disturb the Alpha Enginseer.
A deep seated fear was placed in everyone aside from Lorenz and Bustov, forcing them back, obeying the command. The three voices continued to echo in their minds and talking about the Alpha Enginseer and his holy ground but their voices could no longer sway the cleric and ranger who walked straight into the room.
“I don’t want to go on if it’s just us two,” Lorenz told Bustov.
“We’ll be fine!” he assured. “You have me, no further explanation required, and you are the healer. Done, great team.”
“Break the spheres,” Fensal ordered, clutching his head and trying to ignore the echoing commands. “I’m sure the voices are from there.”
Lorenz examined the stone spheres, still spinning harmlessly in the wall. “Three voices, three orbs, I guess I could break one.”
Fensal hit the nail on the head. As soon as one broke, only two voices echoed in their minds. As the others were smashed, the baseless fear and their warning subsided, allowing everyone else to enter the room. It was completely empty, nothing else of value whatsoever, only a path leading onwards. Breaching the defense mechanisim, they pushed on, cautious of any other traps that awaited them near the Alpha Enginseer.
No one had come this way in what seemed like years, held back by the warning spheres. They entered another dark hallway and the automatic lights were still broken. But at the end was a steel door, faint blue light leaking out from underneath and a keyhole. Alert for anymore traps, they easily spotted a certain part of the floor unaligned with the rest of the hall; a pressure plate.
As they were trying to figure out how to deactivate it, Gisella purposely triggered it with her telekinesis, causing a hatch to open up in the roof. A black orb dropped down and detonated as it collided with the floor, filling the entire corridor with electricity in an instant.
“Oh, that’s cool,” she murmured, triggering it over and over. She even caught one of the bombs before it hit the ground but it detonated anyway, set to blow on a timer.
“Can you deactivate it?” Lintelfaden asked.
“Rather easily, actually.”
She literally removed the pressure plate and threw it to the side, revealing the entire contraption and trigger beneath. As long as they didn’t step into the clear trap, it wouldn’t go off. Quick and effective, she ran over to the other side and examined the lock on the door. For the first time, it required a key rather than a pass, and for the first time, she could put her rogue skills to use. No one even had to ask, she had the lock picked in seconds before quickly backing off, letting someone else make the first move.
Bustov pushed it open to reveal a stasis pod, the source of the glowing blue light. Multiple tubes were attached to the pod and snaked around the room, reaching the room then into the walls. Inside the liquid-like substance, a small light glittered rather than a body, floating around rather than being fully frozen. A control panel lay in clear view beside the pod and the instructions were clear, anyone could open the pod with ease, but they weren’t sure if they even wanted to let the light free. They wished they knew what it was or what they were dealing with, it would be better than letting loose a shining star that could move inside a stasis pod.
“So should we let it-” Lorenz began but was cut off by the sounds of steam being released.
“Aaaand done,” Bustov declared and the stasis pod began to open.
No one could even berate him, they all watched and held their breath as the tubes detached and the pod slowly opened, the liquid inside drying up as soon as it came into contact with air. The azure light began to zip wildly around the room, finally free, leaving behind a glittering trail. It gradually slowed and began to whirl around in smaller loops, glitching and fading as it created a hologram of a woman. The image became real and physical but her heart still glowed where the light took its place at her core. A steel H symbol was implanted on her forehead and her deep blue clothing were simple; she didn’t seem like a fighter or threatening at all.
She stared at them blankly, a slight buzzing and ticking sound could be heard as she spoke in a synthetic voice. “Mutagenic infection of extraterrestrial nature. Biosafety protocols breached. Subjects quarantined in Class Five-stasis facility. Quarantined… Quarantined.” The synthetic clicked loudly and she became fully solid. “Stasis breached. Subjects released.”
“Are we going to be quarantined?” Bustov asked.
Without warning, she held out her hand and began to rapid fire lasers at the party. They immediately fled and slammed the door shut but it was melted through in seconds by the light.
“Don’t let these things free!” Lorenz snapped.
“It was just a light!” Bustov explained. “I didn’t know it was going to turn into a girl and then start shooting lasers at us!”
Lorenz tried to throw off her aim as they escaped, redirecting the lasers into the walls or into Fensal when he had to. Just as they left the hallway, Gisella purposely triggered the trap and the lightning bomb covered their escape. Luckily, the hologram didn’t chase and they were able to make it back to the first knowledge altar with minimal wounds. Except Fensal who took most of the shots.
“I bet the Surks are going to have three machine guns, an arm cannon, and teleportation because why not.” Lorenz sighed. “Why does everything want to kill us on sight?”
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