[D&D] Mass Effect: Chapter 19 – The simplest of plans

Last session we pursued the bounty on turian biotics as far as we could. Since we didn’t have any more leads to pursue we decided to go back the main mission, which meant hunting our second elimination target, General Dawn Hammer.

Because we didn’t have the time to do that back then we returned to it on this session. Or the closest to it as we can given how we tend to over discuss everything. XD

The Session

According to the intel we gathered a a couple of sessions ago, General Dawn Hammer was somewhere in the Phoenix Massing nebula. With only that kind of information finding our target would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Lorik however had an idea on how to solve that problem so he gathered the entire party in the conference room, made sure it was locked and sound-proof. Then he told his story.

It went something like this: about 8 years ago, Lorik was doing transportation work for the Resistance’s military. They were relatively simple jobs like bringing stuff to and from colonies that they were establishing.

One day he got a mission to bring machinery and a mix of military and civilian personnel to create a new colony. What was weird about that job is that there was a last minute change: the military wanted to bring some cargo to a different place and someone else was to pilot it until they reached their destination.

After that they would bring the ship to a different place, where they could continue on their original mission and Lorik would be the pilot again. And all of this was confidential so Lorik was on the dark about it as much as the other original members of the mission.

Despite the changes it was supposed to be relatively simple. or so he thought. Unfortunately at some point during the trip they were attacked by pirates.

Since the ship didn’t have any weapons and not enough soldiers, the commander of the mission, a salarian, ordered everybody to evacuate as he was about to activate the self-destruction sequence. Lorik tried to stay back for as long as he could to make sure all the civilians had evacuated. The last thing he saw before entering an escape pod himself was the pirate, captain Zissou.

Everybody who escaped was rescued a couple days later by a Resistance ship. When Lorik got back to HQ, he asked about the mission but all he was told about is that it was under investigation and it was confidential. So Lorik dropped the questions as he feared that could cost his career.

He put it back at the back of his mind for all these eight years until the party met captain Zissou. It was then that all the memories came back and Lorik realized there was a lot more going on during that job than he realized.

Lorik admitted that he listened to Zissou’s log files on his own, which detailed everything that the pirates did with the prothean artifact, how they fooled the heretic geths into an alliance and the location of their base. He didn’t put any of that in his report because Lorik wasn’t sure if he could trust the military with that information. His plan was to investigate it on his own after the elimination missions were over and then decide what to do.

He also understood if the other party members decided to put all of this in their reports and he would deal with the consequences of it. Lorik, however, asked that they did it after this mission was over.

Which brought us to the current problem. Lorik was pretty certain that the prothean artifact that General Dawn Hammer was looking for was the same that the pirates had. Otherwise it would be too much of a coincidence for two prothean artifacts to surface in the same region of the galaxy at the same time.

Given that, his plan was pretty simple: break into the pirate’s base, retrieve the artifact and then later on use it to set up a trap for General Dawn Hammer.

The only problem is that they didn’t have any info on the pirate’s base besides it’s location. This means they would have to deal with an unknown number of defenses and fight a bunch of heretic geths and pirates while trying to find the prothean artifact. There was also the risk of General Dawn Hammer finding out the location of the base and attacking it just as their party was raiding it.

Labor and Kronk were surprisingly onboard with the plan, no questions asked. Sidona however was a bit more skeptical, asking if there was some way to gather more information or perhaps find out General Dawn Hammer’s location.

Lorik wasn’t against the idea given that his plan was pretty much suicidal.

Our next best clue was to look for the asari consort that General Dawn Hammer liked to visit. There was a chance that in some drunken stupor he told her about his plans. At worst we might be able to at least gleam some useful information about our target.

We decided to look through the extranet for asari consorts located in the omega nebula. Since obviously there wasn’t just one nor we had any idea of which ones were still alive we decided to ask for help. More specifically, we asked Tiberus to see if he knew anything about asari consorts.

Turns out he did. But Tiberus also made a point to explain that this knowledge was purely because of work. We didn’t really care for his reasons but his knowledge helped us to trim down the list to about three consorts.

At this point the GM and us players realized we knew the name of the consort already… I even wrote it in a previous post of mine! Oops…

Still, Tiberus pointed out to a Belanna T’luv, a consort that deals with clients of a high societal standing, like politicians and other rich people.

We then decided to hack into her scheduling calendar to see if she was supposed to meet General Dawn Hammer soon. We were able to do that without any issues but unfortunately the deranged salarian hasn’t paid a visit to Belanna in about four months.

Even looking for some kind of gaps that could indicate a secret visit didn’t show up anything.

This led us to conclude that any information she might have about our target would be outdated by now and dropped this plan.

Lorik then suggested that if we were really desperate to find General Dawn Hammer’s location we could try contacting the Shadow Broker. They are a business person after all, so whatever grudge they may have against us due to past incidents wouldn’t get in the way of it. The only problem is that this would be like selling our soul to the devil, so to speak.

Nobody liked that idea though so it was immediately dropped.

It was back to raiding the pirate’s base and hoping for the best.

Sidona did add an idea to the plan though, since the Plankton is a geth ship we could pretend to be one of them and fly under their radar. This way we could get close enough to their base to try to assess their forces. And if they contacted us we could just put Labor on the screen to answer it.

The party also decided to use the dead Spectre’s access keys to check what information was available on the pirates.

They didn’t find any useful information about the pirates themselves but they found some other interesting pieces of information. The change in the mission that Lorik was part of eight years ago wasn’t ordered by the Spectres or the Council. But there was a Spectre there undercover. Unfortunately they were killed during the ship’s invasion.

Their mission was to protect the device until it was delivered to the asari home planet. No details about why.

The orders were given by the asari high command who somehow bought the full rights to the item. Now the weird thing is, by galactic law, no species can lay claim to a prothean artifact. They all belong to the entire galactic community. Or at least to those species willing to work with the Council.

Now if that wasn’t irregular enough, to not say illegal, there was another mystery. As far as we knew, that area of space was still crawling with Reapers. For any ship to go there would be essentially suicide.

This is another big mystery we’ll have to solve eventually.

As for the pirates themselves, the Council apparently was keeping an eye on them but they were unaware of their current operations. They did send an agent there but they were killed and since the Council didn’t think the pirates were a threat they just thought that the agent died due to their own mistake.

Not exactly the amount of detailed information we were hoping for but at least we learned to not underestimate those pirates!

If any herectic geth asks, we are all geth here. We are all just wearing disguises to make it easier to infiltrate the organics.

While traveling to the Phoenix Massing nebula, Sidona noticed that Novis was looking through all the drawers and cabinets of the infirmary. When inquired about that, Novis explained that the strange device that Labor found under one of our consoles had disappeared.

To make it even more mysterious, it was supposedly in a locked drawer. When Novis went to check it on again the drawer was still locked but the device was gone.

Sidona tried to help but she couldn’t find the device either or any sign of foul play.

Novis then decided to call Labor over to check if he picked up the alien device. Labor denied it then the turian doctor explained the situation, leading the geth to join in the search. They still couldn’t find it anywhere.

Labor then went back to his post, ran a ship diagnostics but didn’t find anything out of the ordinary. After that he looked under the panel where the device was and it still looked like the way he and Seraph left it. Without any other options left Labor just notified the other Lieutenant Commanders to keep an eye for it and that is another mystery that we’ll need to deal with another time.

After this little incident, Sidona decided to spend her time trying to figure out a way to heal wounds that our geth friends might get during combat. Since medi-gel didn’t work on them like it does on organics, she was trying to figure out a way to use omni-gel fast during combat.1

Labor also happened to be her victim willing subject for this experiment. It didn’t go all that well… But at least it was a start.

As they were experimenting, Sidona decided to tell Labor that a while ago Bygone asked her about how she smuggled in the plans to build him.2 At the time she thought it was just Bygone being curious but given his strange behavior lately Sidona thought Labor should know about it.

Labor then commented that he was planning to do a full diagnostics on Bygone when he got the chance.

Sidona also told him that Bygone apparently hunted turian biotics back when he worked for the Reapers. This was news to Labor. So, if Bygone becomes indoctrinated we know what he might try to do…

Later on while walking through the ship, Labor saw a visibly frustrated Tiberus coming out of the conference room. Apparently Tiberus tried to contact the Council to find out what mission they gave for Lukeria, our “sniper friend” from Sidona’s side quest. But they told him that they would only talk in-person. And given that we are kind of busy now and HQ is probably still moving to a new location, we have no idea when we can drop-off Tiberus there for that.

In more immediate problems, as soon as we reached the Phoenix Massing cluster, Lorik received a strange signal through the comms. It had a lot of feedback but he could listen to a pattern inside it that sounded like an old Resistance S.O.S message.

Lorik shared this information with the rest of the crew, adding that it could be a trap setup by the pirates. The others decided that they should investigate it anyway. It wasn’t impossible that the message could be real after all and if it was a trap then it was their duty to put a stop to it too.

After a couple hours our crew found out that the signal was coming from Lattesh, an extremely cold planet in the Chomos system. They did a preliminary scan and discovered the exact location of the source, a small personal frigate, whose owner was someone called Suzan vos Squidward.

Suzan was a personal friend of Lorik and Lylid, so that news got him completely by surprise. Labor also found it strange and they decided to contact HQ to do a check on her.

Lorik decided to call her directly first but got no answer. Then they decided to try with HQ. The information they got was that Suzan had requested some time off and should be at the Omega Station right now for some shore leave.

We then decided to check on Omega, only problem was, we didn’t have any contacts there. But maybe Tiberus did so we decided to ask him. His immediate response was that he was never with any asari consort. When we tried to explain that it was about a quarian then Tiberus said he wasn’t into quarians either…. which honestly was getting into too much information territory.

My terrible attempts at joking aside, Tiberus did help us out. According to his contacts at Omega there was a quarian by that name over there. But she only stayed for a couple days then left.

That pretty much settled it and they decided to land the ship as close to their goal as possible. Which wasn’t that close because there was a blizzard going on.

Hello. I am your old friend, the Galaxy Map. I am here to break the text and to tell you to take a drink.

Since we didn’t a Mako, nor we could use the shuttle, our only option left for transportation was the car. It somehow worked despite the environmental hazard! Not perfectly, mind you, but it worked!

Oh, we also decided to take Tiberus with us, despite his complaining about it being a cold planet and not a beach planet.

By the time we found Suzan’s ship, it was already covered with about 2 feet of snow. It also wasn’t completely intact, it looked like someone had fired at the engine side plus some damage from a forced landing.

The control pad to get inside was still powered up and since Lorik knew the password they managed to get inside it without any issues. However all the power inside the ship looked to be off. The only exception was the emergency power, the distress signal and something on the comm system.

Labor checked the comm system to find a message with an old Resistance encryption. Because of their friendship, Lorik, Lylid and Suzan had setup a mutual password just for an emergency like this and it just happened to work to decrypt that message.

A hologram of Suzan popped-up with a message on repeat. It was intended for someone from the Resistance given a location not far from there where she had to take shelter.

Lorik turned off the hologram and then told the others that Suzan was also part of that transport job eight years ago, one of the civilian crew. It was because of those events that the two of them met each other and became friends.

His theory is that she somehow found out about the pirates and the device then decided to come look for it herself.

With nothing more to do at the ship, they set out to find Suzan’s new location. By the time they found it, the sun was already setting, with the temperature dropping even further. It turns out the coordinates led to a cave that was fortunately big enough to take the car inside. Also, despite the size of the cave, it was strangely insulated enough inside.

At the end of the cave they found a small tent, with a small portable lantern shining from the inside. Coming out of it was Suzan with a shotgun pointed at their car.

After some quick identification, she was very happy to see it Lorik among the rescuers. However the happy greetings were soon changed for a demand for explanations.

Suzan sheepishly told him that she couldn’t let go after what happened 8 years ago. She kept following the trail all this time then found herself in this part of the galaxy. Next thing she knew she was attacked by pirates and some crazy salarian.

Lorik could very well imagine how she followed the track but requested for Suzan to not share details otherwise the party would be required to report it. In fact, Lorik was even suggesting some excuses so it wouldn’t sound like she did anything illegal.

Then it was Lorik’s turn to explain how they got there. He gave the short, non-classified, version with a promise to explain everything in detail later, when it was safe.

Suzan also asked if the party had some spare parts in their ship so she could fix hers. Unfortunately they did not but Lorik offered to give her a ride back to HQ as soon as possible. Even if they had the parts, he felt it would be safer for her to go in the Plankton since this area of the galaxy was very dangerous.

She accepted the idea but as they kept talking it soon turned into an argument back and forth between the two about the recklessness of her investigations. It was only broken by Sidona who pointed out they should try to survive their own mission first before lecturing others.

After a bit more of discussion they decided to stay overnight in the cave due to the weather conditions. Lorik, Suzan and Kronk decided to sleep in the tent. And since we didn’t have to worry about the car releasing any kind of toxic gases, we kept it running and the rest of the party decided to sleep inside it.

They also made sure to send a message to the Plankton telling that they were safe and their current location. Destin acknowledged it then replied they would come pick the party in the morning.

While trying to sleep, Suzan and Lorik kept talking about what they were up to plus some other chit-chat that isn’t that relevant to this story. The turian also apologized for being hard on his friend earlier as he was just worried about her safety. After about an hour of that they all fell asleep.

In the middle of the night, there were the sounds of varren near the cave’s entrance. But only Labor and Sidona were woken by it. As they went to investigate it they were attacked by the beasts.

Sidona got some light damage from the fight but instead of committing some animal extermination they decided to try to calm down the “winter varrens”. Somehow it worked and after the beasts left, Labor and Sidona covered the cave’s entrance with a spare tent.

When morning came, Labor used a bit of an… artistic license to describe the events of the night. Suzan wasn’t really convinced by it but she let it go.

The party packed all their things and then once the Plankton arrived, they went back to their original mission.

Inside the ship, Lorik asked Lieutenant Ramirez to get some quarters for Suzan. The quarian seemed to adapt pretty well to the new environment as after 10 or 20 minutes they noticed her in the ship’s mess hall chatting with Seraph.

After all that side tracking they finally made their way to the Sea of Storms, where the pirate’s base was located. There was a large pirate presence there with cruisers, frigates, carriers.

But the stranges part was the geth base: it looked like there was another base attached to it through a ring like structure. Our party assumed that was the improvised mass effect relay that was mentioned in Zissou’s logs and Lorik made a mental note to try to blow it up on the way out. Fortunately it was deactivated at this point.

The party had a brief discussion then decided to ask Bygone for help in pretending that our ship was just a regular geth ship trying to dock. Bygone pointed out that back in the days his duties were about dealing with the turians, not other geth but he was willling to give it a try for them.

Bygone connected to the comms system and everything was quiet for a few tense minutes. Finally he spoke up, saying they had clearance to dock as well as the coordinates.

While docking, Bygone informed that the heretic geths got some sort of boost from outside, though didn’t know exactly from where or from whom. Also, since there were no Reapers here, he theorized that this group split off from the rest.

Lastly, Bygone advised for the party to try and stay away from groups of 4 or more geth since at that size they would be smart enough to realize they didn’t belong in there. His recommendation was to use stealth as much as possible.

Lorik then asked if they gave him a map of the base. Bygone replied that they didn’t but he could connect to their network to access one. However he wanted to be confined somewhere because there was a risk a hostile geth could try to take over his body while he was connected to the network.

We agreed to this request then decided to lock him up in one of the shuttles, with all the controls disabled. As for our contact with Bygone that would be done through Labor.

And that is where our session ended.

Next time! Tiberus disappears! (And nobody notices). The party goes on a dungeon crawl. Sidona betrays the party and starts working for Garry, the Real Shadow Broker ™.

One of these might be true!

Notable Quotes

I call them invited guests against their will.

Kronk

If any of you have knowledge of asari prostitutes now would be the time to volunteer it to help me.

Labor

Yeah, the best I can do is glare at them until they tell me stuff.

Sidona

I’d like to play with Gary. Because I always forget about it and I’d like to do it at least once because we might never come back from this mission!

An overly dramatic Lorik, Out-of-Character

Gary didn’t disappoint, everyone else does.

Kronk, out-of-character

Also, don’t worry about it. I know we male turians look all the same to you.

Lorik

I think Garry should be our charisma person. I mean, he seems to have enough of it that everybody loves him.

Sidona

You guys get an achievement unlocked “Persuaded a varren”.

The GM

Alright, well… I believe we have pirates to kill. A salarian general to kill… A prothean artifact to retrieve. Probably have other things to kill. We didn’t come here expecting to kill varren and yet… I mean, we didn’t but we were supposed to.

Labor

  1. This was partly a roleplaying thing and I believe the other part was a way to justify an ability she may get to later.
  2. Don’t ask me. All I remember is that it was something to do with their backgrounds but that was months ago and I can barely remember that.

1 thought on “[D&D] Mass Effect: Chapter 19 – The simplest of plans”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: