[D&D] Mass Effect: Chapter 23 – The filler episode

Last session our intrepid heroes finally finished their mission to eliminate General Dawn Hammer. Said mission also came up with a lot of surprises and revelations. Certainly not the last of them but enough to leave us with a lot of information to digest for a while.

But after all that they were overdue for a bit of peace and relaxation which they got in this session.

Just a note before we continue: for some reason OBS gave me an error that evening and I couldn’t record our game. So I had to actually write notes while we were playing.

That means that in my mad haste to write everything down I probably missed or misheard something important. Hopefully my GM and other party members will correct anything I got wrong (assuming they even remember as I am behind on the session write-ups…)

If that turns out to be the case I will edit this post later with the corrections and add them to the start of the next post too.

With that said, let’s get down to the story…

The session

The trip back to HQ was thankfully very uneventful. Sidona and Lorik spent their time training Gary to track while Labor spent some time with Kronk learning about history.

When they reached HQ, they let the rest of the crew handle the offloading of the prisoners and resupplying the ship. Miraculous enough there were no prisoners breaking out this time!

Kronk, Lorik and Sidona went straight to do some shopping for mods and other gear. Cue shopping montage!

Labor however decided to spend his free time to get Bygone’s shell to the geth section of HQ. He explained to the engineers there what happened to Bygone and gave them his latest backup and consciousness.

The consciousness part I am honestly not sure exactly how it works. From what our GM explained just the backup wouldn’t be enough to get Bygone back otherwise they could just have several copies of Bygone running around. But where would his consciousness be? In his CPU? In the geth network? Somewhere else?

… You know, these questions feel like they parallel too much some discussion about the soul so perhaps it is better to leave them unanswered and just roll with it.

Once they were done with their free time they went to report to Yulaya. The first thing the Commander noticed was the vagueness of their reports making him wonder how we even managed to bait General Dawn Hammer to our trap.

Lorik lied and said they pretended to have an experimental weapon that Alpha Protocol had invented. Yulaya commented that it was disturbing thought that Alpha Protocol had such a weapon that others were willing to fight to steal for themselves.

Yulaya also noted that HQ’s doctors already did a preliminary autopsy on General Dawn Hammer’s corpse. What they found out is that his corruption was pretty advanced. Something we already knew and could have told him ourselves.

Based on that information Yulaya thought we had a very hard fight against him. Lorik commented that it took the group by surprise but what he found most disturbing is that either the Hades Initiative knew about this and let it happen or they didn’t know and all this time they had an indoctrinated individual in their leadership. Yulaya agreed this was a very disturbing thought.

What Lorik didn’t say, but thought to himself, was that the same thing might be going on with the leadership of the Resistance. If true it would explain a lot of the trouble the party has witnessed among other strange decisions.

Also, I am pretty sure I just gave some ideas to our GM just with that paragraph and will be blamed by the other players if it turns out to be true. XD

And if it looks like Lorik is becoming more renegade and paranoid as the sessions go on is because he is! My intention when I created the character was the complete opposite but this is how the character decided to evolve and I am just rolling with it! XD

Anyway, Yulaya warned the party to be careful about their next target, Arya Kabal. By now she probably already figured out that someone was targeting the leaders of the Hades Initiative and she was the next one. Yulaya’s recommendation was to continue working with our contacts to find the best way to complete our mission.

The last topic of the meeting was the recruitment of Suzan as a temporary crew member. Yulaya didn’t see any issue with it and approved the request. Due to her skills she would be assigned as the secondary Communications Officer, working under Lt. Ramirez.

After the meeting everybody went back to their respective quarters in the ship to rest. The exception was Kronk who actually not only had a house in HQ but a garden that he spent some time tending to.

The next day Kronk went to do some more shopping for mods. In the store he met Seraph who invited him to watch the battle of bots tournament that evening. Apparently it was a very important match for her because if she lost it she would be dropped off the tournament.

In fact, the reason she was in the store was to buy some last minute equipment for her robot. Kronk, who had finished his own purchases, helped to carry Seraph’s equipment out of the store.

Over at the ship, Sidona was doing some training with heavy armor when she got a call from Tiberus. The former Spectre explained that he had a meeting the next day with the council where he intended to get them to give some explanations about Lukerian, which was possibly the sniper we fought a while ago.

Tiberus thought it would help to have a witness from the fight. Sidona however thought it would be best to bring the rest of the party too. The former Spectre tried to argue that he didn’t want to bring a lot of people to the meeting but Sidona counter-argued saying that more people backing his argument could have better chances of the Council listening to him.

Tiberus reluctantly agreed and started contacting the others.

Later that evening, Seraph and Kronk went to a warehouse in the civilian area of HQ. Inside there were some bleachers, full of people and an arena in the middle, where some humanoid bots were fighting already.

At the backstage, Seraph was setting up her bot when a human guy called Dexter showed up claiming he wanted to check what his competition was up to. He was a lanky man, a bit taller than Seraph, wearing overalls with a white t-shirt and some tools on his tool belt.

Dexter was very rude, trash talking Seraph while gloating about how his bot was so much better than hers. Seraph however was a much classier person and just asked Kronk to show Dexter the exit.

Kronk then sneaked behind Dexter, politely asked him to leave then lifted the man up and put him outside their area. The guy looked intimidated by that, rushing away while looking behind to see if Kronk wasn’t following.

Seraph thanked Kronk for his help and commented how she was never able to beat Dexter before. This was another reason why she wanted to win tonight.

Some minutes later it was Seraph’s bot turn to fight. The match would be her “Chrome Dome” against Dexter’s “White Knight”. The winner of the match would go to the regionals.

This makes me wonder what is after the regionals. I mean, how large is HQ? What counts as regionals in this case? Is there an interplanetary championship? Is this sport that big? Am I asking too many questions about something that will probably never be touched on again?

I think the answer to the last question is yes. But I can’t stop thinking about these questions! XD

Anyway, since they programmed Chrome Dome to fight like Kronk that is pretty much how the bot fought, like a boxing krogan. In fact, our GM made Kronk do the rolls for Chrome Dome’s attacks.

White Knight on the other hand favored a more agile style of fighting. The other players were responsible for doing the rolls for White Knight but with disadvantage and the GM took the highest roll.

A picture of the arena where Chrome Dome and White Knight were fighting
What is this? A image that isn’t a galaxy map or the Plankton? What kind of dark sorcery is this?!?

The fight went by pretty quick, with Chrome Dome just beating the hell out of White Knight. Noticing that he was about to lose, Dexter typed something on his controls and spikes came out of White Knight’s fists. But by then that didn’t help him much and a few more blows later Chrome Dome had defeated White Knight.

After the fight, Kronk went to the backstage to meet Seraph. He gave his engineer colleague a high five and they both started celebrating her victory.

Dexter also showed up but instead of congratulating his adversary, he accused Seraph of cheating. He even had the gall to demand a full inspection of her bot!

Seraph, still being classy, denied the accusations then told him to take it up with the judges if he was so upset about his loss. Dexter started to complain a bit more when there was an explosion coming from the area where White Knight was located.

Turns out that after the fight, Kronk used his cloak ability to sneak into Dexter’s area at the backstage, planted a bomb on White Knight which just happened to explode at that time.

A few minutes later the event’s security approached Dexter to inform him that his robot would be taken away. They were worried that the bot wasn’t up to specifications, making it too dangerous to remain in the location. A shocked Dexter just followed after them, trying to explain it.

The day after, the whole party met Tiberus outside the council room. Despite arriving at the right time they still had to wait about an hour before their audience!

The only councilors that were physically present were the asari and the turian one. The salarian and human councilors were present in holographic form as they had already been moved to a new location.

Tiberus went straight to the point, accusing Lukerian of being the sniper that attacked them in a previous mission. The councilors commented that was a grave accusation, one that would require the presence of the accused. However, given the circumstances, they would allow Tiberus to continue with his arguments then follow-up through communications.

With those formalities out of the way, Tiberus told everything that happened in the fight against the sniper. Some council members agreed that it was damning evidence while others just pointed out that anybody could use those kind of armor or markings.

Tiberus counter-argued that it was too much of a coincidence for all of those to be together. The councilors still didn’t seem convinced and asked for Sidona’s testimony.

Sidona corroborated Tiberus’ account of the events then explained how they got the information about Lukerian’s markings from Choda. The council simply dismissed her accounting because the information came from a criminal.

At that Sidona tried to argue a bit more, even telling them to ask if Lukerian could provide an alibi to clear things up. The salarian councilor however counter-argued that Lukerian might have been in there by their orders, in which case we would have been the ones in the wrong place, at the wrong time. He then demanded that we explain what we were doing there in the first place.

Sidona told them about the bounty on turian biotics, that the Shadow Broker was involved in it and how we found a lead that took us to that planet.

The salarian council member admitted that in these crazy times that could be possible. The human council member however thought the whole story ridiculous. While the turian council member added that there were some urban legends among turians about defective biotic implants that could lead to fatal diseases. Finally he asked if we destroyed this criminal ring.

Sidona explained that we were unable to as there were other pick-up locations and we couldn’t exactly take the bounty off the net.

At that the council ordered the military to drop the investigations on this matter as they would manage it themselves. Sidona of course disagreed because she would still continue to be a target. The council told her that they would order the military to give her extra protection. But Sidona continued pressuring them, claiming the rest of the turian biotic populations would remain unprotected.

The human council member argued that it was impossible to protect everyone, even more so with the evacuation that was going on. To that Sidona, now pissed off, agreed and told them to give the protection that was meant for her to somebody else.

The human jerk councilor agreed that Sidona certainly could take care of herself and they would continue the investigations with the Spectres. Tiberus thanked the council for their time then asked us to leave.

Just as we were about to go, a female turian with dark armor and a facial skull marking showed up, asking what she was being accused of. Tiberus recognized her as Lukerian and the two of them start trash talking each other.

We would probably grab some popcorn to watch the two of them fighting if we could. Unfortunately we didn’t have any popcorn plus the council decided to start a trial right there with the council acting as a tribunal and only Lukerian and Tiberus were allowed to stay. They told our party that our testimony were recorded and if necessary they would call us later.

After we left everybody just went back to training something. Lorik was training in Armor Smithing, Sidona was training in Heavy Armor, Labor in History and I don’t remember what Kronk was up to. Sorry Kronk!

By the time evening arrived, Tiberus contacted the party and asked to meet them at the ship’s conference room.

When we got there Tiberus was reviewing some information on a tablet that he immediately put away. He did have some good news though, as a result of the trial Lukerian would be suspended for the time being.

Sidona asked if that meant she didn’t have an alibi. Tiberus explained that she kept giving excuses that her work was confidential and since Tiberus wasn’t a Spectre anymore they couldn’t discuss it with him there.

Of course, that wouldn’t stop Tiberus who has been talking with some of his contacts, making some small progress. The council also asked him to continue with the investigations as long as it was kept under wraps. Although he admitted it wasn’t with those exact words…

Sidona was understandably annoyed, saying that it was exactly what we were doing in the first place!

Kronk pointed out that the council wouldn’t even know about it if it Tiberus didn’t tell them. However Sidona defended Tiberus, saying that he was just trying to help.

Tiberus then admitted that he had a biotic implant similar to Sidona’s. Lukerian didn’t know about it though and he believed that the sniper didn’t have any biotics.

Given the risks, Sidona told the others that she would understand if they decided to drop out this investigation. Of course, that thought didn’t even cross anybody’s mind and they told her they were in until the end.

The party decided to keep the rest of the crew out of it though. The exception would be Novis since Sidona already told her about everything plus she considered her like family. Tiberus also agreed to continue helping.

After that blood pledge heartwarming moment, everybody went back to their own duties.

At the med bay, Sidona noticed there was a brand new equipment there, something that looked like a molecular sieve. Some seconds later, Novis got into the room and the two started chit-chatting which led to Sidona asking about the new equipment.

Novis answered she got it from some friends of her, like it was no big deal. Curious, Sidona asked if it was too expensive and if so, she would pay for it. Novis ground her teeth then admitted that she got some omni-gel off our storage to pay for it.

Since the quantity was pretty much insignificant Sidona told Novis that it wasn’t a problem. Next time she could just take as much as she wanted then write it off as medical expenses.

Here I am once more to do my duty to break this massive wall of text. Also, drink!

Sidona then asked if Novis had time to check on the prisoner we got on the fight against General Dawn Hammer. Apparently from an initial interrogation all she managed to get was some nutty occult stuff about Dawn Hammer and the Reapers.

However Novis had a theory that the soldiers had been injecting themselves with Reaper nanites causing their corruption. In the case of the captured soldier it already had progressed too far to save him.

Sidona wondered if we could pretend that we wanted to join General Dawn Hammer’s army. Maybe this way we could find more about how they got indoctrinated. Since all of us have 0 in deception or worse we decided to ask Suzan to do that.

Of course, the entire party went together with Suzan to meet the prisoner, just in case something bad could happen.

When we got to the salarian soldier, he was wearing a straight-jacket, rocking back-and-forth and muttering stuff about “a rebrirth”, “the galaxy would be brought to flame”, “General Dawn Hammer would deliver them from the Reapers” plus other crazy stuff.

The following interrogation wasn’t easy since the man was obviously insane but we managed to get some good information from him. To summarize it, this is what we found out:

  • Somehow General Dawn Hammer convinced his soldiers that they could protect themselves from indoctrination. All they had to do was inject themselves with with some substance that whose details were unknown to the soldier. They believed that due to salarians metabolism being faster than other species it would allow them to create an immunity.
  • The inoculation came from those who had failed. I assume it meant the ones who somehow died without becoming husks since at another point the soldier rambled something about their “ascension” coming when they died, taking their enemies by surprise.
  • Labor tried to access the data he got from General Dawn Hammer’s brain but all he could find out was what felt like many voices that built up over time. Among the cacophony the only thing that caught his attention was the word “prophecy”.
  • According to the soldier that prophecy was something that would show them the way to salvation. However they had to destroy all prothean artifacts as it was preventing them from ascending.
  • The prophecy also told about variants. They were some kind of unknown that the Reapers feared. It was something that General Dawn Hammer was looking for that would supposedly be used as part of the prophecy too.
  • The soldier didn’t know how to identify the variants, General Dawn Hammer was the only one that knew how to do it. However he was pretty certain no variant was ever found before.
  • They did capture lots of people in the past but they were all killed. We tried to figure out if those people had any common trait that could point to them being variants but we couldn’t get any conclusive answer about that.
  • As for where the prophecy came from, the soldier claimed it was a voice that came to General Dawn Hammer. In retrospect, we should have also asked where the voice came from or when it first appeared.
  • Apparently nobody else in the Hades Initiative knew about any of this. In fact, General Dawn Hammer was planning to eventually betray them as his faction had all the military power, making it easy to destroy the rest of the organization.
  • Their reason to want to destroy the rest of the Hades Initiative? Their technology. I guess it wasn’t just prothean technology that these guys hated. That or the Hades Initiative have some secret stash of prothean tech somewhere that we still don’t know about.
  • We couldn’t get an exact number of General Dawn Hammer’s followers only that “there were many”.
  • The soldier didn’t know if there was a contingency plan in the case of General Dawn Hammer’s death. So Labor proposed an hypothetical scenario of what they would do if their leader got somehow captured. The soldier answered that in that case they would continue to search for prothean technology to destroy then wait for General Dawn Hammer to show up.
  • In that hypothetical scenario their meet up location was supposed to be Ilos.

Once we were done with the interrogation, Labor decided to send the shut-down code to the salarian soldier. This made the soldier to start convulsing violently with a look of extreme pain in his face but he wasn’t going unconscious.

Somehow the soldier was able to break free from his straight-jacket and attacked Suzan, biting her. Lorik and Sidona immediately rushed to take the soldier off her, with Sidona shouting for Labor to stop with the shut down command. Labor did so then sent a restart code.

But instead of returning to normal the soldier started to become a husk, with his head almost completely changed. Labor then sent the shut down code again which made the soldier go into a catatonic state.

One strange detail is that his husk appearance looked different than the ones we saw before. In his case it looked more like a salarian covered in grey and blue technology.

Sidona gave some first-aid treatment to Suzan and that was where our session ended.

Next time!

Instead of battling to the death to determine who is the real one, the two Tiberus decided to work together!

Chanka Vox finds an amnesiac Reaper on the beach and decides to adopt him as his grandson, giving him the name “Gil”!

Bygone returns, free from any indoctrination!

One of these might be true!

Notable quotes

Yeah, it is a montage of each of you going to an aisle and adding stuff to the cart.

The GM, Out-of-Character?

We should leave out the parts about letting Rashad go and about Tiberus and the asari prostitutes.

Labor

And then karma hit us because of our lie and Alpha Protocol does have an experimental weapon!

Lorik, Out-of-Character

Leave me in a ditch somewhere, honestly.

Labor, Out-of-Character

I am not good with pleasantries or good-byes. And he hangs up.

Kronk

It feels weird to roleplay a guy that got decapitated. That sound uncomfortable.

Labor, Out-of-Character

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: