[D&D] Mass Effect: Chapter 4 – Commander Jerkface

Last session our squad got assigned a temporary field commander by the name of Tiberius. Or rather Tiberius intruded himself into our squad because of the nature of this mission.

Our first impression of him wasn’t good and as the title of this post spoils, the second impression hasn’t been any better.

Before I continue though, let me just put the usual disclaimer:

Disclaimer: English is not my native language. Although I can write and read it without issues, hearing and speaking is a different matter. I’d say I am at best 90% skilled at those. Also I have a terrible memory.

What this means is that there may be mistakes here. In case my group corrects anything I will make a note about it here later and in the next post.

The Session

We started this session with everybody on the ship, heading to the mining colony.

Both Linus and Sidona still feelt very suspicious of Tiberius and decided to do some espionage on him, in different ways. Linus, as the communications officer of the ship, programed the computer to log any communication that Tiberius did through the ship’s communication systems. But at least during that whole trip, the temporary commander didn’t send any message.

As for Sidona she just tried to discreetly keep an eye out for Tiberius whenever he was walking around. She didn’t notice much out of ordinary, except that one time Tiberius was at the mess hall, looking at some documents in a data pad. Then if someone approached he quickly flipped it down. When someone else try to start a conversation with Tiberius, he just quickly cut the chat short and went back to his quarters. Following him there Sidona could hear some turian opera coming from the temporary commander’s room.

When we were getting close to the planet, Lt. Ramirez summoned all of us to the conference room. Apparently Commander Yulaya wanted to talk with us.

The talk was about his investigation on Tiberius. All Yulaya was able to find out was that everybody seemed tight-lipped about Tiberius or that he was a very private person. He didn’t have any friends and anyone who worked with him complained that Tiberius was hard to work with.

Also, Tiberius still maintained connections to the Council despite have given up his status as a Specter. At this point we suddenly lost connection with Yulaya.

Then Bygone contacted Labor informing him that there was some signal coming off the planet that was blocking transmissions. From what we knew of the place this wasn’t a natural occurrence. This kind of signal jamming was also not standard procedure for the Resistance’s colonies as it could alert the Reapers of something going on there.

Labor then tried to figure out what was causing the signal jamming. From what he could discovered it was someone with technology better than the Resistance had. Possibly something from before the invasion or even Reaper-level kind of technology.

We discussed briefly what that could mean coming to the conclusion that it was most likely Reapers but also not discarding the possibility of someone else not wanting others to call for backup.

Then Linus suggested that we backtracked to a point where our communications wasn’t being blocked then contact Yulaya again.

With the communications re-established, Yulaya asked what happened and we briefly explained the situation to him. He asked if we could detect any Reapers nearby to which the response was no.

The commander then finished his report, saying that he didn’t like how Tiberius kept ties with Council as it was highly irregular for someone of his position. Yulaya also couldn’t find any link between Tiberius and S-hole.

We took the opportunity to ask about more details of the complaints against Tiberius. From what Yulaya heard, the turian wasn’t too much of a team player despite being the commander of the missions. He also often tried to change the nature of the mission in the middle of it. Tiberius also generally didn’t take into consideration team dynamics, breaking specific groups.

The commander then finished his report saying that he would continue with his investigation and we should report back to him as soon as possible about anything we found in the planet.

After the conference we decided that we should try to boost our communicators in a way that we could get in contact with the ship while inside the planet. We ended up leaving Labor and Lylid to work on it as they were more qualified for that kind of work.

They came up with a solution that would allow us to communicate planet-wide then spent about two hours upgrading our equipment.

At this point Tiberius showed up asking for a report. Labor explained the situation with the planet then offered to upgrade his communicator too. Much to our surprise, Tiberius accepted.

Labor took this opportunity to implant a small virus to inform us of any communications that Tiberius did with it. To make it even better the only way anyone could find the virus is if they were looking for it. It was also programmed to auto-delete itself as soon it got back to HQ.

The geth also took the opportunity to copy about a month of logs from the communicator. However he didn’t have time to look through the data.

When the party got to the planet they could see a rocky area with some buildings and a large shaft in the middle. There was also some landing pads for ships, one for small ships and two for big transport ships.

We decided to land a bit far away, in an open field in the middle of a forest, then run over there, just to be on the safe side.

Immediately Tiberius showed why there were so many bad rumors about him: he decided that Lorik and Linus should guard the rear while he and Sidona would take the front and everybody else would be in the middle.

Linus asked if Tiberius was trying to sabotage us to which the turian asked if he was questioning his orders. Linus replied that yes, he was. Tiberius didn’t like that and just told him to obey his orders and fall in line.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Tiberius then started to march at a faster pace than normal, while Linus deliberately followed at a slower pace.

On the way to our goal Sidona noticed some big alien structures that looked like they were dropped then jabbed in the ground. They looked like upside down spears. She pointed out to them, saying that we should slow down.

Before Tiberius could reply, two varrens came running to attack Linus. Fortunately we were able to deal with them easily while Linus only temporarily lost his shields in the attack.

Tiberius however was not amused, he scolded Linus for falling behind then ordered for Sidona and Lorik to switch positions. Linus still kept going slower than everyone else though.

Eventually they reached three large buildings. Tiberius ordered everyone to stop then to look around for anything suspicious.

Linus was the only one that saw some movement, something small getting into one of the buildings. He decided to not share that info though.

Tiberius then ordered for everyone to split into pairs to check one of the buildings while he stood in the middle supervising everything.

Lorik and Labor went to a building that looked like a warehouse. The place had lots of empty shelves, like if someone came by then picked it clean. They did find a manifest though that indicated the location was used as a repair bay for mining equipment.

Kronk and Lylid investigated a housing unit that was meant for two people. The place looked relatively undisturbed, no signs of struggle. It was almost like someone just suddenly decided to leave and never came back.

As they looked around, Kronk found what looked like some dead robotic bees on the kitchen floor. He picked them up then recalled Shepard mentioning the robotic bees during her report on the Collectors.

Lylid also found something in the house. Under one of the rugs, there was a hidden compartment with a box containing guns.

Lastly but not least, Sidona and Linus went to investigate the building where Linus saw some suspicious movement. Upon entering, Sidona immediately noticed some movement behind one of the crates then some scratch noises.

She tried to sneak to it but accidentally bumped into one of the barrels. What came out behind the boxes looked like a small varren pup. Its colors didn’t look like that of a regular varren though, it was like it had been genetically modified to look more vibrant. The pup also looked a bit underweight, had a collar around is neck with whatever tag it had already gone.

The varren pup waged its tail at Sidona and she decided to feed it some rations.

Take a guess what the party will do with this pup in the next 5 minutes.

Linus then decided to check the boxes. Inside one of them there was the corpse of a bug-like creature with a feminine form. It had a brown chitin covering its body with red muscles under it. The head looked like a biker’s helmet with the eyes having a yellow color to it.

Sidona tried to determine the cause of death. From what she found out it was shot to death, about three weeks ago, the same time the Resistance lost contact with the colony.

Linus also noticed that it looked like the crate was dragged here then put together with the others. They also checked the content of the other crates but it was just regular items.

Without anything else to investigate, they decided to call everybody there. When the group got back together they discussed the alien body as well as what everybody else found out.

It was clear to them that the body in the box was that of a collector, albeit different from Shepard’s reports. Another strange thing was the cleared warehouse. From the reports, Collectors only kidnapped the residents of colonies then left. Stealing items was not part of their modus operand.

Labor suggested that if we were dealing with Collectors then maybe he could scout ahead. Being an inorganic the bees would completely ignore him. However the party thought it was too dangerous for him to go alone so Kronk suggested to accompany him.

Tiberius who has been quiet all this time finally spoke up and ordered them to do just that while everybody else secured the area. We were also to prepare the box with the Collector’s corpse to be taken to the ship later on.

There was also a small discussion where Linus tried to find out how much Tiberius knew about the Collectors and if we shouldn’t investigate the alien structures. To summarize it, Tiberius didn’t know anything about the Collectors, only that it was important for the Resistance. He also felt that recovering the missile blueprints were a higher priority right now.

Oh, we also unanimously decided to adopt the varren pup as the ship’s mascot. Well, Tiberius didn’t say anything about it which might have been a good thing. From everything we know of him it is quite possible he would order us to abandon the pup then we would have to kill Tiberius since only a traitor to the Resistance would do that!

Anyway, back to the story. While scouting a path to the mines, Kronk and Labor noticed a couple of people near the elevators that they couldn’t quite distinguish. Unfortunately Labors stepped on something that made a lot of noise alerting the figures. They soon disappeared into elevator.

The two squad members reported it to the rest of the group then decided to check the alien structures while waiting for the others to catch up. Examining them Labor figured out they are the source of the jamming signal and that it was probably Reaper technology. Looking around they counted about 10 of these things all jammed into the ground. They also tried to disable it but without any success.

Once everybody got together again they headed straight to the mine shaft. The first thing the group noticed is that it went way down. They hit the button to bring the elevator up and it took 20 minutes for it to come.

When the elevator finally arrived Tiberius ordered everybody inside, reminding us that whoever Kronk and Labor saw was ahead of us and we needed to hurry up.

Whoever those people were though, they were smart and planted a mine on the elevator floor. By the time the party noticed it they only heard the beeps and it exploded. Fortunately their personal shields protected them from the damage but it left a hole in the elevator.

Down in the mines only the emergency lights were on. Fortunately HQ did provided a map of the place. From the elevator there were some bunkers to the left and the right. In front of it there were two passageways that led to the control center.

It is nice to actually have an idea of the area before we investigate it, for a change.

Tiberius then commited a tabletop mortal sin: he ordered the party to split up. Some people would stay by the elevator to guarantee we had a escape route, other people would investigate the bunkers to the right and Tiberius would investigate the bunker to the left, alone as he worked better that way.

Sidona protested saying it would be too dangerous for him to go alone but Tiberius just told her to follow her orders. Sidona obviously wasn’t very happy with it so she decided to whisper to Kronk to discreetly follow Tiberius, which the krogan agreed to.

This is how they decided to split up: Lorik, Linus and one of Labor’s drones would stay by the elevator. Sidona, Lylid and Labor then were going to investigate the bunker to the right. Tiberius would go check the bunker to the left while being secretly followed by Kronk.

While Lorik and Linus were waiting around, Lorik noticed, through the windows of the command room, a figure inside it that apparently couldn’t move.

Lorik whispered through the communicator what he saw and asked permission to go investigate it but didn’t get any response.

Meanwhile on the right side, they found the door to the bunker locked out. After checking it for traps they carefully opened it then proceeded to investigate the room. Besides some bunkers, exercise equipment and a sofa they didn’t find anything out of the ordinary.

On the left side, Kronk used his powers of invisibility to follow Tiberius. He saw the turian also checking the door for traps, then pulling a gun as he entered it to investigate.

When Tiberius got to about the center of the room he got attacked by a Vorcha which was quickly dispatched with a omni-hammer to the head. When Tiberius knelt to check the corpse, Kronk noticed another Vorcha coming out of the corner to attack. However Kronk decided to not do anything since Tiberius was very insistent that he could handle himself.

At least this time this wasn’t boasting since not only Tiberius was able to notice the new threat but also to react fast enough to kill the second Vorcha. It caused a lot of noise prompting Sidona and Labor to ask what was going on. Tiberius explained that he was just attacked by two Vorcha but was unharmed.

He then proceeded to take the armor out of one of the Vorchas, took a patch from the corpse, then muttered “Damnit! Alpha Protocol. I didn’t expect them to be here.”

With all the investigations done everybody gathered together at the center. Neither Tiberius nor Kronk mentioned anything about Alpha Protocol.

Tiberius then asked Lylid if she could fix the elevator. Not fully understanding the question, Lylid replied she couldn’t fix the hole caused by the mine. Then Tiberius shot the elevator controls saying that it should slow down anyone that tried to escape.

Apparently remembering we were playing a D&D game, Tiberius ordered everyone to get together to go to the Command Center as it would be too dangerous for us to split up. There were two ways there and we decided going through the left passage. Labor however decided to send one of his drones to check the other passage.

Before we entered though, Sidona decided to check the Command Center through its windows. It wasn’t just completely empty of anything living, it looked like it was picked clean of everything too.

The entrance we chose led to the processing room where we could see some inactive machines. Then just as they were about to turn the corner, Sidona noticed a laser sight, tried to grab Lorik back into the hallway but wasn’t fast enough. Lorik got a shot that took down his shield and caused a small amount of damage.

Peeking inside we saw the shooter, a turian with a sniper rifle and an armor that clearly identified him as not being one of the miners. And before anyone wonders, no, it is not Garrus. I asked. XD

Also, it was at this point that I realized that the varren pup was in Lorik’s backpack since Sidona reminded him to be careful because of the pup.

This was where our session ended. Unless the sniper somehow turns to be a friendly it seems like we’ll be starting our next session with a battle. Hopefully we will get some more answers about what is going on this colony too!

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