Saturday, September 7, 2019

Edge of Night Session # 12 - Death Station

Army Lieutenant Bill Fisker - 1 term - UPP D753C9
Rifle-1, SMG-2, Admin-0, Vacc Suit-0

Scout  Dante Flynn - 4 terms - B7AA56
Pilot-1, Vacc Suit-1, Air/Raft-1, Navigation-1, Mechanical-1, Jack-o-Trades-1

Marine Captain Noac Sumter - 5 Terms - 82C9A7
Cultass-1, Revolver-2, ATV-1, Gambling-1, Admin-1. Vacc Suit-1, Tactics-1, Computer-1

Merchant Second Officer  Yasmin Cheung - 2 terms- UPP 864A93
Medic-2, Engineering-2, Mechanical-1

Sylvanous Queen - 7 terms - UPP 5437B7
Computer-4, Forgery-3

Yasmin arrives from the Superfly, leaving Sylvanous in charge of the ship! The party takes their  unconscious captive (who turns out to be Tibereous Dupont, one of the engineers), gag and securely tie him to one of the acceleration couches on the bridge before moving on. Nothing of note in the hard point or drive bays. Air raft still in place in bay #1. Cargo bay is filled mostly with empty crates and animal cages. Most for various types of delicate scientific instrumentation (labels say Icbani Scientific and Research Instruments Corporation). There are also a large number of cages broken open, and blood spray and smears on the wall. Ms. Sumter  lay down on the floor to see beyond the curve of the ship and notices a large number of critters scurrying around at the end of the cargo bay. A tranq grenade is tossed in the animals direction and everyone clears out of the compartment, returning in  few minutes. They find a half dozen small, unconscious creatures they do not recognize. Lab animals obviously.  Lock them back in the cages and move on.

Next stop is the main lab. It shows signs of disturbance with lab table out of place, equipment abandoned plus spills and stains all over. The party moves slowly along the curve of the ship, turning on lights as they go. At they halfway point is the research computer, which Ms. Sumter starts to examine. Recovers basic information about a range of experiments being performed on the ship:

  • 1067. Combat Drug. Location: main lab. Effects of standard combat drug as a control for other tests. This drug is used as a standard against which the other drugs will be judged.
  • 1077. Improved Combat Drug A. Location: auxiliary lab. Effects of improved combat drug A on small animals. This drug appears to increase personal strength and endurance after ten minutes, but at the cost of a reduction of dexterity . There are no undesirable side effects other than a period of fatigue after thirty minutes.
  • 1079. Improved Combat Drug B. Location: auxiliary lab. Effects of improved combat drug B on small animals. This drug appears to mimic combat drug, but produces no effects or hits on users when it wears off.
  • 1101. Improved Combat Drug C. Location: main lab. Effects of improved combat drug C on small animals. This drug increases personal strength and dexterity for thirty minutes. There are no side effects.
  • 1103. Improved Combat Drug D. Location: main lab. Effects of improved combat drug D on small animals. This drug has no observed effect, but 20% of animals used as subjects die after three days.
Further digging in the computer uncovers some encrypted files which Ms. Sumter is able to crack. They seems to refer to some 'special' testing which the party surmises is human testing.

Moving further down the lab the party finds a shelter built out of lab benches, mattresses and sheets.  They chuck a tranq grenade in the door, then tear the structure apart. Inside they find a man in a lab coat, crouched over in  a fetal position on top of a couple of mattresses. He is no immediate threat, but Mr. Flynn jabs him with a traq dart just in case. The dart knocks him out, and tie him up (turns out to be Dr. Johann Courville, one of the senior scientific staff). The party decide to take him back and secure him alongside Tibereous on the bridge. But when they get there, they find someone or something has ripped Tibereous' head off, leaving a gruesome blood spray all over the place. A blood trail also leads back towards the reception area iris valve before petering out to nothing.

The party sets up a trap. Places one of Mr. Fiskers lights on the floor and attaches a tranq grenade to the bottom, hoping to tranq anyone who comes to deal with the blazing light. Ms. Cheung and Mr. Fisker then hide in the hard point, and Mr. Flynn and Ms. Sumter in the nearest stateroom (drilling  hole in the wall  to better observe the bridge.) After some time a feral figure appears, and slinks towards the strobe. And smashes it with a large iron bar. Mr. Flynn opens fire with the tranq gun but misses, and a messy melee of tranq grenades, SMGs and gun butts ensues. Their attacker, however, is of superhuman strength and endurance, shrugging off the tranq grenades and darts as well as gunshots and blows. In time the party knocks him out, only after Ms. Cheung goes down first. But she recovers and their attacker (Oscar Hoyle, the navigator) is triple bound and gagged. Ms. Cheung runs some basic tests on both Oscar and Johann, and finds neither of are enhanced as per the research data. Actually much over enhanced in Oscar's case. Maybe the drugs work different in humans? Or something else is affecting them?

The two are securely locked in separate rooms this time before the party  moves on to check the rest of the ship; there are still two unaccounted people to worry about. In the auxiliary lab they find chaos; an explosion has wrecked the place. Ms. Sumter and Mr. Fisker examine the scene but can't quite figure out exactly what happened. But can tell the explosion occurred in the lab and whatever caused it was either destroyed in the process or removed from the space. They do find another table and mattress fort, which is dealt with in the same manner as the last. But it is unoccupied. As they party moves through the rest of the ship, they find two other similar forts (maneuver drive pod and a stateroom) that are likewise unoccupied. Also unoccupied is the second air/raft bay, which makes them worried someone else may recently have been on board with them and escaped. They radio Sylvanous on the Superfly, who reports no one has left the lab ship.  Close investigation shows the raft has been missing for a week or two.

The missing crew/staff are located in separate staterooms, both dead and badly decayed. And each missing a limb. Ms. Cheung notes neither died of their trauma, but of some other cause which left no obvious wounds or damage. In one room a reference library is found. The educated members of the team (Mr. Fisker and Ms. Sumter) sit down at the microfiche readers to review; it's mostly academic journals covering the field of  pharmaceutical research. They find one interesting reel tucked away in the back of a drawer, with old papers detailing human experimentation of performance enhancing drugs. This does not seem to be part of the 'standard' library. Curiosity piqued, they go back to ransack the senior scientific staff staterooms. The only thing of interest is a short note in the desk of the senior researcher (Dr. Helvetis Franck; now dead): "Discuss special project advances with 'O' ". Might 'O' be the Vordenhaven naval officer they noted in the visitors log, Lt. Oscar Atteberry? Very curious; what exactly is going on here ....

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