Elric, the ship’s AI contacts Joshua while the crew is en route to the freed prisoners. His sensors have detected the fanatics doing something on the landing platform. Also, a large storm is approaching. Drey tells him to take the ship to orbit and wait for the storm the clear; the crew will investigate the landing platform later.
As they near the new refuge of the prisoners, they hear shouts and weapons fire from that location and receive a frantic message from Esmeralda. Leaving the unconscious Evie nearby with Five to watch her, the group closes in. A group of Nihilis controlled insectoids, more of the Slavers, are trying to breach the room with the prisoners. One of the red-armored fanatics is with them. The group suspects they want bodies as hosts for more Nihilis.
The group attacks the Nihils, catching them in the crossfire with those prisoners who secured arms and the Serrans protecting them. A few of the Nihilis breach the room, but the bulk are drawn into the fight with the group. The largest one engages Zen with a flack gun, almost dropping the Kalian as his cohorts split their attention between the fortified former prisoners and the party. A few slavers make it in and one of the Serran warriors loses his life while the rest feebly engage the party.
The large leader realize their tactics aren’t working and signals his fellows to switch to their electric stun sticks. This proves especially effective against , who takes a hit and feels it as the electrical charge plays havoc with some of her subsystems.
One slaver creates an unusual sound with its vocal synth which Charlie suspected was a shrike summons. The battle seems to be running well for the crew when Charle is proven right as a shrike bounds down the wall toward them. Charlie is knocked down by his opponent while the party is taking down slavers, the numbers are against them and victory isn’t assured due the shrikes arrival.
Suddenly, Lord Dray squares his shoulders, raises his hands towards the shrike, and in a voice that is low yet heard by all, says “This. Ends. Now.” Lightning arcs between him and the horror and in a flash of light only wires and ash are left of the shrike.
The Fanatic retreats calmly as the remaining slavers try to withdraw. A yeti from the survivors bounds into the hall and literally rips an opponent in half with its bare hands. Zen finishes off his tormentor and the crew mops up the remaining slavers.
Inside the sanctuary for the freed prisoners, they find a few had lost their lives defending the others. Joshua assists in the treatment the injured. Zen sees to the bolstering of the defenses. While they were gone, Esmerelda had sent small groups to retrieve weapons and supplies from the fanatic barracks the group took earlier and selected the most able from the colonists to aid in the defenses.
Oa-la enlisted Charlies and Five to help her plumb the sophisticated gauntlet worn by Dr. Zeiss for anything useful and it proves to be a treasure trove of information about their enemies.
Dr. Zeiss Notes:
The Station / The City
- The station is fascinating. Within the mists of the city, they have witnessed several creatures that appear to be frozen humanoids. Whenever they try to take a sample, the station reacts by killing/destroying the offending zealots/probes.
- The station appears to be capable of broadcasting energy at the Serran’s moon. The signal to the moon is part of an experiment (on the moon). It creates a psionically active crystal within the moon. The signal coincides with the timing of the rift. They had to consume the other planets in the system to power the signal. * The experiment has been running 8,800 years.
- The people in the city are not the ones who built the station. They apparently contracted a disease, so the station froze them.
- The driver successfully attached, but she’s unconscious.
- Her psychic powers will be greatly augmented for the driver.
- Continue hiding her identity until the Avatar…
- The Avatar appears to not only have supreme power among the zealots, but is a potent power.
- His teaching, the Anti-Rubric, is fascinating and bears further study.
- He referenced the control code for the AIs, which he got from the Cipher Oracle. The code appears to work on all “blue-type” AIs, except Oa-La.
Shrike Enhancement Program
He noted that there were 16 Shrikes (now 12?)
He wanted to make the Shrikes resistant to laser swords.
After sharing this with everyone, the group decides it prudent to let Oa-la recover before investigating the landing platform activity. The decision is made to make their way through to the control tower rather the main entrance to the hanger. This proves a wise decision as they survey the hanger from the control deck. The fanatics have set up a large mini-gun aimed at the main entry to the rest of the station. Furthermore, the fanatics have brought a large yacht from an enclosed bay out to the main deck and are prepping it to leave. Joshua recognizes it as the one which brought Zeiss to the system.
After devising a hasty strategy, crew attacks. Smoke grenades provide cover as Charlie snipes the fanatics manning the gun while Oa-la charges in. She dodges a hail of lasers and takes out those still standing after Charlie’s attack. Continuing her fluid motion, she turned the laser cannon to the yacht, raking it with energy blasts and gratified to see a large explosion of sparks near the front of the vessel. Between bursts, she hear the old engineer mention something about “…sensors…”
Meanwhile, Joshua and Zen focus on the group defending the gangway to the yacht. Three insectoids carrying a half-meter long metal cylinder were boarding the ship. The Dray slashed his energy sword at the guards as he pursued them up the ramp. A grey clad sniper fired a couple of shots at him and then seemed to vanish.
Zen ended up facing off against a different sort of fanatic, it’s armor seemed unique, as were the dual pistols it fired at him. Shots exchanged, but Zen ended up finishing off his opponent, with a volley of shots to the chest. As his opponent lay dying, Zen heard him gasp “My family… failed you”.
On the ship, Joshua had cut down two of the three possessed insectoids. When he swung at the third, it instinctively raised the cylinder to protect itself. The energy blade easily bisected it, releasing a torrent of Nihiis deader slugs.
Zen finished off the remainder of resistance on the ramp and the crew secured the ship. The crew then had to decide how to proceed.