[D&D] Mass Effect: Chapter 22 – Secret Husk

Last session, our intrepid heroes interrogated one of the pirates they captured, which led to a lot of information for them to digest. Unfortunately at the same time Labor found out that Bygone had been corrupted too much by the Reapers. That forced Labor to temporarily shut down his friend until we could get back to HQ and try to bring Bygone back.

They also setup a trap for their second target, General Dawn Hammer. To lure him into it they posed as Alpha Protocol members who were stranded on a planet with a prothean artifact. Surprisingly enough that worked and they started combat with Dawn Hammer while Donk dealt with the rest of his small army outside.

This session brought even more plot twists and information for the party to deal with!

The session

Combat started easy enough. Perhaps too easy. The soldiers fell pretty quickly after a few shots. Even General Dawn Hammer wasn’t being as hard as I thought he would be given his “boss” status. Although in the latter case it was probably because our GM was off his game that evening and kept forgetting stuff that Dawn Hammer could do.

The fight however soon became a bit more challenging when the corpses of the soldiers we killed started convulsing and became salarian husks. Unlike their soldier counterparts the husks were a lot beefier, a lot more threatening.

Despite that little surprise we eventually managed to kill all of them. Lorik took a picture of General Dawn Hammer’s body and his dog tags to serve as proof for their contact.

Sidona however decided to take his corpse with us and as we were packing it we got another surprise: General Dawn Hammer eyes opened, with a red color and he started to speak in a robotic voice.

It was stuff like “Variants detected.”, “Various identifications obtained”, etc. Lorik panicked at that and shot the corpse in the head. But the now possibly undead General Dawn Hammer kept talking. Sidona decided it was more effective to decapitate him which thankfully killed the salarian for good.

While this was going on, Labor was taking care of any stragglers that somehow escaped Donk’s attacks. As he walked around the battlefield, he noticed that some of the guards didn’t turn into husks. They all died either due to fire, acid or a crit (which I would assume that in-game would mean being shot in a vital organ like the brain).

To continue his experimentation from the previous session, Labor used the Reaper codes on the husks. He used it on only four of them, shutting them down. The rest of them were destroyed by Labor, Donk and Kronk.

Also, we got a live soldier as a prisoner and Sidona decided to take one of the deactivated husks and a dead one with her to examine later.

Curious about it, Sidona asked Labor how he was able to shut down the husks. At first Labor tried to be evasive about it but then he explained what happened with Bygone and how he found about the Reaper codes.

Labor even admitted he was willing to share all this information… after he fixed Bygone. Which he was planning to do after we got back to HQ, where we could get a new body for his friend.

The party's ship, the plankton!
The good ol’Plankton. Not as cool as a giant robot but close enough. Maybe one day we can find a way to turn the Gunplankton into a reality!

Back at the ship, we discussed what we wanted to do with Rashad. Labor proposed to use the Reaper codes to deactivate the corrupted body parts and replace whatever we could with cybernetic organs.

His plan was to deactivate individual parts and then replacing them. Even then Novis pretty much told him that it be a very long surgery, extremely risky and she never saw someone survive with so many cybernetic implants before. Not to mention that many surgeries would take at least a year to do.

Labor still kept insisting, wondering if it would be possible to just replace a few, vital organs, with synthetic versions. Novis explained even then there would be problems as the nanites would just try to change the new ones.

Still undeterred, Labor questioned if it could work if the Reaper nanites could be reprogrammed to stop replicating. With that, Novis agreed it would be theoretically possible… However it was something nobody accomplished before so it was going to be uncharted territory which was good enough for Labor.

With that settled, they decided to wake up Rashad to get his consent to proceed with the surgery. The pirate was a bit confused when he woke up but Sidona quickly explained what happened to him since the last time he was conscious.

After that Labor and Novis explained the experimental surgery they had in mind and asked if he would be willing to go with it. Rashad accepted it.

Now Labor only needed the Reaper codes to do that. He contacted Ceni and told her to try to hurry up with the testing. If necessary she could use up all the systems computers to do it and even the geth network.

Ceni perhaps took the order too literally, because all the power in the ship went down. Even Labor shut down as Ceni was using him as part of the geth network to get more processing power.

As soon as that happened, Lorik grabbed his weapon, called everybody available and went to the brig to make sure the prisoners wouldn’t attempt to hijack our ship.

Fortunately, when the party got there the prisoners were still confused and just checking stuff out of their cells. But they quietly went back in when they saw us coming in, weapons at ready.

Sidona and Kronk inspected them to make sure they didn’t have anything dangerous but didn’t find anything.

Lorik then contacted Seraph to see what was going on but she had as much a clue as him. Then Sidona explained that Labor did something again and hopefully it would come back eventually. Lorik of course wasn’t amused and told the others they should have a talk with Labor about “surprises” like this.

After about an hour the ship’s systems and Labor came back up. The first thing the geth did then was to do some self-diagnostics. With that complete he proceeded to contact Ceni. The drone had finally completed her calculations, offering the results to her creator.

Labor thanked Ceni but noted that they should have a talk later about how she interpreted his orders.

Now that they had everything they needed, Novis, Sidona and Labor started on the surgery.

Kronk decided to stay on the brig just to make sure nothing happened.

As for Lorik, he decided to use those dead Specter IDs to find more about the pilot of the incident 8 years ago. The only information he was able to get was a name. It wasn’t much but it was a start at least.

Then he wrote a report about everything related to the artifact, put in an encrypted data pad and invited Suzan to his quarters for a chat.

During that conversation, Lorik gave her the datapad, explaining that it contained all the information he could gather about the incident 8 years ago. He also told Suzan that if anything happened to him that she should look for Sidona for help. That is, assuming the she couldn’t contact with Lylid either which was quite probable since nobody had any idea what Lylid was doing at this point.

Lastly, Lorik asked if Suzan would be interested in becoming a member of the crew. That would allow her to help investigate the incident. Also they were in dire need of another crew member since they still didn’t get a replacement for Gunner, Linus and Lylid.

Of course, Lorik would need to get special permission from Commander Yulaya but that shouldn’t be too hard. Suzan agreed to it but she noted that she also would require permission from her superior officer.

At the end Suzan gave him a tiny turian folded from a paper clip which Lorik put next to the portrait of his family.

Back at the med bay, Rashad’s operation took about 6 hours. It was an apparent success with the nanites’ replication process being halted. I say apparent because we don’t know much about Reaper technology and it might be just a question of time until they resume replicating.

Because of that Labor gave his e-mail to Rashad giving instructions to contact him once a month to see if the treatment works long-term. Rashad was really grateful, surprised anyone would be that kind to a batarian.

Ye Olde Galaxy Map
Hello, it is me, your friendly Galaxy Map! You don’t have to worry about me ever turning into a husk!

Eventually we got to the Rosetta Nebula. The planet chosen by Rashad was a small earth-like one in the middle of nowhere. In there we found a small hidden batarian outpost, where we dropped Rashad off.

The people in the outpost were all civilians, living a really low-technology life. If they were helping batarian pirates or just trying to lay low, we didn’t find out and honestly wasn’t our problem so we left it at that.

Our next stop was at the Hourglass Nebula. But while traveling there, Sidona and Novis decided to do an examination of the husks captured during the last battle.

Sidona was also a bit smug about not only having captured one husk but two, as she promised before!

Anyway, the first thing Sidona tried to find out was to compare the corruption from Rashad and the salarian husks. What was odd is that the one from the pirates looked like there were parts of it that were locked down. While in the salarian husk it looked like regular indoctrination.

The strangest part however is that in the arm of the salarian husk there were a lot of puncture marks, like those caused by needles. Another mystery is they didn’t know how they got indoctrinated in the first place as there was no Reaper ship near the salarian frigate. Otherwise we would probably have been attacked back then.

Next Sidona decided to compare one of the deactivated live husks with a dead one.

Through the examination and comparing with Novis previous research, this is what they found out: there is a difference between being killed and being shut-off. If an individual dies, the nanites in them stop replicating, stop communicating and just dissolve into nothing. In a way, it dissolves the organic parts of the body and leaves the rest of it to decay over time.

In the live husk it looked like the nanites were active but not doing anything.

It seemed the difference was the nanites inside. After the body took enough damage the nanites couldn’t do anything to repair it nor were able to control the body anymore. That was the case of the dead husk.

But with the live husk the nanites were still functional. But since they were shut down there was nothing to control the husk’s body.

There was one small problem with that however. Since the nanites weren’t producing any energy the organic parts of the husk weren’t receiving anything and were slowly dying.

This also raised another mystery. Novis pointed out that it was strange how those ancient husks we found a while ago were still able to move. She didn’t believe the nanites could generate that much energy on their own for that long. Nor there was any obvious source of energy that we were able to find.

Labor who was still around the Med Bay, writing his report, then piped up and pointed out an information from,”the well known documentary”, Mass Effect 1. According to it after the Reapers were done using husks for their purposes they would be left pretty much to starve to death.

This led to Novis theorizing that the Reapers might be able to provide energy to the husks as long as they are useful to them.

The last of the examinations that Sidona did was on General Dawn Hammer’s head. What she wanted to find out is how different was what happened to him compared to his soldiers.

Conveniently enough, Novis was able to pull up the autopsy report of Saren, the renegade Specter that also appeared in “the well known documentary” Mass Effect 1. Apparently what happened to Dawn Hammer was the same thing that happened to Saren.

His indoctrination and abilities seemed to be linked directly to a specific Reaper. Then Sidona and Novis speculated if at those final moments if it was Dawn Hammer contacting someone or the other way around.

They also tried to figure out where the signal was being sent to. With the help of Labor, they analyzed whatever data was left and found out the signal came from outside the Milky Way, somewhere past the Vallhallan Threshold. We couldn’t find exactly what he contacted though. Our best guess is that it was a Reaper. Possibly even the one we yeeted a while ago.

By the time their finished all this we reached the Hourglass Nebula. Our only stop there this time was to visit our krogan contact, the one that gave us the intel on General Dawn Hammer.

At first the krogan thought we got to a dead end and came back for more help. Lorik then just produced the picture of Dawn Hammer’s corpse and gave him the dog tag. The krogan took a few seconds to register it, sighed then said “It is been so long I don’t even remember how to cry anymore. But I thank you all the same.”

The krogan rolled over his wheelchair to another part of the room, took a big box and gave it to Lorik. Inside the box was a custom flamethrower called “Cynthia”.

Lorik thanked him for it then gave his contact to the krogan in case he ever needed help again.

With that last of business tied up they finally started the trip back to HQ. And that is where our session ended! Oh, also we leveled up and are now a mighty level 6!

Next time!

Another Tiberus shows up claiming to be the real one. But nobody cares about it!

The crew returns to HQ and starts preparing for their next mission!

Lorik decides to take a class on Home Decoration because everybody keeps pointing out how his quarters are empty and sad.

One of these might be true!

Notable Quotes

This poor dude has been so forgotten. It is because he has been taking full cover beneath all the name tags on top.

Labor, Out-of-Character

That is a good point. Let’s delay HQ a little. Let’s go do some more side missions. Let’s see how many people we can jam in our brig. Come on, do we have a lead on that turian sniper yet? Maybe she would like a tour of our brig.

Labor, Out-of-Character

It was for Labor. But he is AFK right now, looking into the distance, retreated into his own mind.

Sidona, Out-of-Character

Why not just let Bygone be Bygone?

Kronk, Out-of-Character

Is it the tech in his brain? Can’t replace that.

Sidona, Out-of-Character?

It is 30 years later. Your son is an adult now.

Lorik, Out-of-Character

Oh, that is interesting. Did you ask him any questions? Did you take any notes before killing him?

Novis

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