If I have to be honest, and I always am with these write-ups, one of the titles I considered for the previous post was “The Filler Episode”. It is just that session felt like we went on a big tangent from our original goal. But since this is a tabletop RPG I knew that the stuff we found out would end up being important somehow, in some way, at some point. So I decided to not use that title.
And guess what? Everything from that session turned out to be more helpful or important than we thought! This session not only we dealt with the consequences of the previous one but surprisingly enough we got back on track!
P.S.: This post is extremely late due to the blog moving hosts and me being addicted to Monster Hunter again. My deep apologies to my group for that!
The first thing we did was to interrogate our new prisoner. Kronk decided to play “bad cop” by entering the cell where the pirate Zissou was in and putting on his best intimidation act.
It worked pretty well! We found out that the pirate attacked us because he intended to auction the loot from the dying Reaper to other parties. Turns out said parties were Alpha Protocol, the Shadow Broker and the Hades Initiative. The last one being represented by none other than Jessica Lunsford!
In other words, he was Tiberus’ contact that we were trying to find. Talk about a small galaxy!
We also got Zissou to agree to help us out in return for his freedom. We were here for Jessica after all, not to deal with pirates.
All throughout this there were some silly antics reinforcing the idea that this pirate was not as much of a big deal as he spoke of himself. But then Lorik decided to ask some questions and the scene became serious again.
Lorik recalled seeing Zissou’s face from an incident 8 years ago. It was about a ship that was raided by the pirate back then. If it was probably any other ship Zissou probably wouldn’t remember it but this one had a special cargo, one that he said changed everything for him and his crew.
The pirate started telling about some technology they stole from it, how the info from it made them start to question if the Mass Relays were even built by the Protheans. Zissou then pulled his sleeves and showed one of his arms where we could see faint blue lines glowing on it.
By this point Kronk had left the cell, but was still in the room. Zissou started doing something on his arm then suddenly disappeared from sight, taking everybody by surprise. Then he appeared again, behind Kronk, peeled something off his back, and disappeared again.
Well, for our first “guest” to the brig this was not a good start. Anyway, we tried to do the best we could to stop him but to no avail. Luckily Labor didn’t come to the interrogation and was working on his post. We raised the Red Alert for the ship then briefly explained the situation to Labor.
The geth immediately shut down all the doors throughout the ship then went on to track for life signs that weren’t registered as part of our crew. After a few minutes he found not one, but three on the hangar bay. Labor then informed the rest of the party about it.
They immediately went there to find Captain Zissou wasn’t alone anymore. There were two more batarian pirates. They were really frustrated because there was no shuttle there. This might be the only time where our forgetfulness worked in our advantage! XD
Unnecessary to say, a fight started. It was pretty short, without too much of a challenge. One strange thing though is that they looked to be teleporting around the room. At the time our characters couldn’t figure out how they were doing it, only that there was some kind of pattern to it.
At the end we killed the other batarians and convinced Zissou to surrender. Since we couldn’t trust him anymore we just knocked him out then kept him sedated.
We also discovered how they were teleporting: there were some kind of discs attached to the walls of our hangar that looked liked mini-mass relays. I have no idea how it got there in the first place since we pretty much took everything from him during his capture.
Kronk tried to take one of the discs off the wall damaging it in the process. While Labor was able to take the others out without any problem.
While they were doing that we looted the bodies for valuables and Kronk decided to take Zissou’s red beanie for himself.
Finally we decided to discuss what we were going to do with Jessica Lunsford. After some discussion we decided that killing her was the best solution. Given her history there was no way we could trust her.
We also formulated a plan on how to possibly do this. We knew the location for the auction. We also had a pirate ship that was just going to be left there, drifting in space. So, Labor suggested we do like the “documentary” Mass Effect 1, take the pirate’s ship drive, turn it into an improvised bomb then place it on the building where the auction would take place.
To make it even better we decided we would put Zissou there too, tied to a chair with its back turned to the door. The room would have some low light too, for added effect. Then once someone turned the chair to check on him they would see a note attached to his chest saying “Haha. Boom boom motherfucker!” then the bomb would explode. 1
We decided to use the built-in cameras in the building just to make sure our target was actually in the building when the detonation happened.
And with a simple plan like that we completely derailed the encounter our GM was planning for us. To be fair, he is a cool guy and let us get away with it. XD
Anyway, with the plan details set, everybody went on to work on something. Labor went to work on turning the ship’s drive engine into a bomb with the help of Seraph.
Kronk decided to try to reverse engineer the mini mass relays with the help of Bygone. What they found out is that it is exactly what it looked like, some kind of miniature mass relays. However it required some kind of catalyst to work.
He also found it could be used to travel for a long distance. Not as long as an actual mass relay, but it was a pretty wide distance for sure. How far though is not something he was able to find out.
Bygone also theorized it might be something much older than Prothean too.
One weird thing that happened is that Bygone just stared long and hard at one of them. At the time Kronk didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. But when Bygone was about to leave the room, Kronk noticed that one of the discs was missing and asked if his geth colleague was carrying it. Bygone apologized then gave the disc back.
Kronk decided to hold an emergency meeting, declaring that these discs were probably indoctrinating people. We’ll get back to that in a bit.
While Kronk was doing all that reverse engineering, Sidona, with the help of Lorik, were doing some examination on Captain Zissou and on his two dead batarian buddies.
All she was able to find out on Zissou, without opening him up, was that there were some unknown implants inside his body. They were not as extensive as the ones on his buddies though.
It also gave him some kind of tech abilities that didn’t require an omni-tool to use. I’d call that cheating but it also probably came at the cost of his free will or something equally sinister, so…
For the other batarians, Sidona did a full autopsy. What it revealed is that they were far more gone. Some of their organs had already been converted to some kind of synth-organic equivalent.
She couldn’t figure out why they didn’t act more like they were indoctrinated though.
Inside their arm there was a device that Sidona couldn’t figure out how that even appeared there. There was no sign of incisions and from everything she knew about indoctrination, it couldn’t create actual devices on living creatures.
Sidona decided to take out the device then after some examination realized this wasn’t Reaper tech. It looked like something completely different. What created it or for what purpose is however still a mystery.
At this point Kronk called up the meeting. Just as Sidona was leaving the room, Novis asked to talk for a moment.
Novis then pulled out an injector and offered it to Sidona. She explained it was something that could possibly help with the side effects of Sidona’s biotic powers. It was meant to be used before combat.
As for the meeting, we all pretty much shared notes about our findings. We also came to the agreement that using the mini-relays was a really, really, bad idea.
After the meeting, everybody except Labor, still had about another 3 hours of downtime.
Lorik decided to check on the pirate’s logs to see if he could find more information about an incident 8 years ago.2
Fortunately the pirates kept a very detailed log. What they found in that incident was some kind of Prothean technology that they used to study and break down mass relays. They also found indication that the mass relays predated the Protheans.
The pirates kept researching this device then started to break down other things, eventually getting to Reaper and Prothean technology. Then they used it to reverse engineer those kind of technologies, even being able to reverse engineer mass relays with the help of some Prothean research on it.
The result of all that research was that they started to build their own mass relays. They have a bunch of those in their base but they are kept off, only meant to be used to send people out in rescue missions.
Captain Zissou also noted that they were aware they were being indoctrinated. They had something in their base to suppress the effects of the indoctrination but it couldn’t stop it completely, only slow it down. Unfortunately the details were too technical for Lorik so he will need the help of someone else to decipher that part.
As for anyone that got too far into indoctrination, they were just killed then shut off into space. Zissou tried to keep himself away from the teams doing this kind of research but even he eventually started to get corrupted.
They also already took everything they thought valuable from the dying Reaper before we arrived. Which they were about to sell to the next highest bidder.
Even before this auction, they had already been selling Reaper tech to Alpha Protocol and even some to the Hades Initiative. The latter though had been very specific on what they wanted to buy. They didn’t sell any of the mini-mass relays to anybody else though.
It even had the location of their base, which was on a system called The Sea of Storms, located in the Phoenix Massing cluster. Oh, the pirates were also working with some geth heretics living there. They somehow convinced the geth that they were working for the Reapers.
Meanwhile, Kronk and Bygone were working on examining that inert missile from last session. They found a way to open it, noticing that the circuitry inside was sort of fried. This indicated to them that the missile wasn’t inert, it was used.
From this preliminary analysis, Kronk determined that it was some kind of EMP device, with a very low amount of radiation still present.
Bygone for some reason was getting very agitated by it, to the point where he requested to be dismissed from this endeavor. This made Kronk think that Bygone was indoctrinated but he just let Bygone go without saying anything about that.
There were also some chemical material residues in the missile too, which Kronk spent the next three hours analyzing. One of them was element zero (eezo), the other was some kind of unknown substance that didn’t exist in the current galaxy knowledge base. All that Kronk could figure out of that unknown substance is that it was some kind of metallic compound made to interact with the eezo to possibly shut down a Reaper’s defense.
Kronk tried to get as much of it as he could but it was mostly molecules at that point.
As for Sidona, she decided to do an autopsy on the unknown husks we also got last session. As she pulled one of the drawers with the corpse, she noticed it had already been dissected by someone.
At this point Novis approached and explained she was working on it. Sidona asked if she had made a report already which Novis seemed reluctant to share.
A lot of the notes indicated that Novis was pulling a lot of nanites from the dead husk. She was also trying to reprogram the nanites in order to revive them. It also noted that the nanites were used in the shot that Novis gave to Sidona earlier.
Sidona was very confused about what Novis was trying to do with those nanites and asked for clarification.
Novis looked a bit embarrassed but tried to explain it. According to her, the nanites were safe and were reprogrammed based on her old research. She felt it was the easiest way to regenerate what was damaged from Sidona’s biotics.
Sidona was a bit skeptical about it. Which is understandable, I mean, it is Reaper technology after all. Novis however argued that despite all the problems with it, that was the only thing she could come up with in such short notice. To which Sidona reluctantly agreed with. She also promised to give it a try the next time there was combat.
Besides the nanites, Novis also discovered that most of the organic parts of the husk had been extremely degraded. Most of it was “literally mummified” as she put it. She also theorized they were going insane in a way as their nervous system broke down. It was really a miracle they lived that long.
Sidona asked what may have caused that. From what Novis gathered it was old age, as those husks were as old as the Protheans. Probably husks of another species that were around during that time period. Besides that, it was impossible to say anything more about their culture.
Another interesting tidbit is that the technology from that husk was the same as modern husks. Novis theorized that Reaper’s technology already peaked, at least as far as husks are concerned.
That was all Novis found out about the husks. However she also showed Sidona some pieces of organs, pieces of skin and some blood samples she took from the dead Collector we found a while ago, asking if Sidona wanted to analyze them. But Sidona didn’t think they were relevant right now.
Lastly in the working part, was Labor who was building the bomb with the help of Seraph. There wasn’t anything plot-relevant on their side. It was mostly them talking then trying to figure out how Kronk ended up as part of the engine crew since his expertise was in biology.
With all the preparations done we took the bomb to the location where the auction was going to happen. We even used the pirate’s shuttle to do it.
Labor told the rest of the party to go back in the shuttle as he needed to stay back to setup the cameras. We left the car with him so he could have a way to escape.
The work finished almost at the same time as the first enemy shuttle arrived. Labor floored the pedal then a few minutes later the bomb explodes with its effects following right behind the car. There was even a canyon on the escape route but Labor managed to jump through it, car and all, like a pro.
Back at the ship everybody was watching the camera feed. We could see that the shuttles that arrived were from Alpha Protocol and the Hades Initiative. We couldn’t be sure if the one from the Shadow Broker was able to get away or not though.
Inside, the grunts were already bickering when one of them, an asari with some obvious turian characteristics, turned the chair and everything exploded.
Jessica Lunsford unfortunately wasn’t in there. But it seems we got one Benia’s cabal sisters instead so there was that at least.
Back in space we found the three faction ships at an equal distance of each other, almost like in some kind of mexican stand-off. We figured out that Jessica was probably in the Hades Initiative ship so that is where we decided to go next. We stealthily brought the Plankton to anchors right under theirs and that is where our session ended.
Next time our party turns to piracy! Well, not really but close enough!
Have you seen the great albino space thrasher maw? I have been hunting it for years!Captain Zissou
I mean, if the rest of you guys want to feel good morally, I am perfectly fine spacing him myself and I will still feel good morally.Labor
I mean you put that beanie on him and that shirt and everything that Zissou is wearing, no one is going to recognize him [as Tiberus]. Because they will be like “there is no fucking way he would wear that shit!”Kronk, Out-of-Character
Isn’t it bad that turning a ship into a nuke isn’t one of the craziest plans we’ve ever had?Sidona, Out-of-Character?
When life gives you random shit you make a random shitnade, which in this case is a nuke.Labor, Out-of-Character