Free from dock
With a team effort the party released the docking clamps and freed the ship. They then used a laser weapon on the ship to cut the station in 2 over several seconds.
This was after they’d detached the 2 starfuries and used their docking assistance to dock with the VL.
Orbit was raised to 600miles circular.
- Victeur went offline for about 5 minutes.
- The display dome rippled up a refresh to show fewer stars
- The display dome rippled up a refresh showing the ship 1000 miles above the surface of Mars (still fewer stars)
- The VL (ship, Victeur Lumier) started to fall
Cujo managed to pilot the ship into a stable orbit via a skim through the atmosphere.
In Mars Orbit
Once in orbit the party spent some time scanning the planet and local space for signs of the colony and any orbital structures. Orbit revealed nothing of interest (just a couple of old survey / comms relay satelites).
The surface scan revealed a colony SE of Olympus Mons, and 4 giant swirling vortices engulfing the mountains and extending into space. The vortices appear to be in 2 halves. The lower half made of some sort of high energy plasma, the top half impervious to analysis.
More detailed scans of the surface revealed the presence of a wrecked ship buried in the West side of a mountain about 1/4 of a circumference from the colony. Also the presence of widely scattered debris from that crash.
Down to the planet via a stargate-esque gateway in Victeur’s gate room. 1.5 hour interval to recreate.
Spentas dug through the wreckage of the crashed ship and managed to bring a big enough chunk away from the remains of the power core for Nathan to analyse and determine that it was the remains of a substantial ship with shuttle, sans shuttle. It is of Communist Collective origin.
Back up to ship. Wait. Down to colony (a mile S of main body)
From this vantage point the vortices do not appear to have a top half. Odd. Also some peculiar gravometric readings.
Walking to the colony gave no surprises or issues.
The colony looks in decent condition from the outside. No tracks to be seen. Gaining access is easy, and inside is eerily quiet, though pressurised.
The crew explore the corridors a little.
Nathan (under guard from Spentas) connects to the computer which is very helpful (though a bit russian and basic ).. From there he received a colony commander’s final log entry:
“Things hove gone from bad to worse. For our best chance of survival I’ve gathered the remaining colonists in the hibernation pods. We’re going to barricade the door and hope we can wait this out. God help us if help doesn’t arrive soon.”
He directed the computer to use the remaining orbit-strength antenna to upload all publicly accessible logs to VL.
Hemp and Cujo explored a little way up the corridor and found that in places the walls are scattered with energy weapon scorch marks, dents, and old blood stains. There appear to be no life forms around.
Reunited the party start heading towards the central power core where the hibernation pods are located. As Spentas turns a corner he is confronted by a Pale Man ! Struck by terror he begins retching uncontrollably (15s). The PM comes around the corner and the rest of the party see him. Cujo (I think) is stunned for 5 seconds.