The Terminal merchant that purchased the Noqual from the crew asks if they would be interested in a delivery contract headed to the Z4 Outpost. Restricted travel requires that the crew have an alternate purpose for traveling to the outpost. The crew bids on a cargo circuit so they can deliver the package for the merchant.
The Oranos docks at the Z4 Outpost to offload their cargo. They send a com to the designated address. A woman responds and informs the crew she will arrive momentarily to receive the delivery.
On arrival the woman appears to be part of the command staff. She moves to accept the package but the crew decides to validate her as the intended recipient using the biometric lock on the package. The package denies her access. The crew is now more suspicious. Then Gideon notices the woman has some indicators that she is more likely a laborer disguised as an officer. Her plan spoiled; she begins to explain that the contents of this package will only hurt more people on the station. She intercepted the com in an attempt to save lives.
Gideon decides to let the woman go. She quickly disappears into the crowded docking ring. The crew retries the com address and receives an invitation to the command deck to deliver the package. The crew loads up and heads to the command deck. On arrival they are ushered into a briefing room. Shortly after, a human male enters with command bars on his uniform. He introduces himself as Colonel Broggs. He successfully unlocks the package with his biometrics and reveals the contents.
The package contains is a magi-tech device allowing a non-psychic sentient to scan the thoughts of another. The Z4 Outpost apparently has a problem with a growing population of telepathic workers organizing and disrupting the scheduled processing of materials to the Terminal. In addition, psychic crime has been on the rise. This device will allow the Colonel to level the playing field and discover the network of dissidents on the Outpost and Zone 4.
With the package delivered, the crew undocks and moves toward the Z3 Outpost.
Carnage in the Darkness
After offloading cargo at the Z3 Outpost the crew is offered a contract to investigate one of the mining facilities on the planet. Apparently, shortly after sundown, the facility sent an automated riot distress call and then comms went dark. A squad of four Banshee pod jockeys were dispatched to investigate and deal with any riot. Shortly after landing, the mercenaries also dropped off coms.
The crew, being the only untasked craft in the system are authorized for hazard pay to investigate and report.
On approach, it’s apparent that not all is right at the facility. All normal lighting has been knocked out and what emergency lighting still exists is flickering at best. The crew disembarks from the landing pad and begins to move toward the command center. Blood and gore, punctuated by the occasional body part greets them at every turn with no complete bodies apparent. Drag marks seem to indicate they have been gathered somewhere. As they move through the too quiet facility, they sense movement at various locations but nothing within range of their illumination. Finally, three creatures descend on them and attack. Opening with a psychic assault of some sort. The crew manages to fight them off, killing two of the three strange assailants.
Continuing toward the command center the crew discovers a group of miners attempting to cut through the center’s blast door with a laser cutter. They’re savage and intent on killing. The crew opens fire and clears access to the command center. After a quick rewire of the com panel they assure the remaining staff that they’re here to rescue them and return the facility to operation. After reviewing security cam footage and logs it’s apparent that the miners broke into a strange structure deep in the excavation tunnels. Soon after that, all hell broke loose with carnage and murder.
Outpost Command directs the crew to find and recover the pod jockeys if possible. This leads to the excavation and a ride down the dark elevator. At the bottom it’s apparent that bodies were dropped down the shaft and dragged deeper into one of the tunnels. The crew follows the trail of blood and parts. they discover the tunnel breach deep under the surface. The air smells of fresh blood and stale air.
The crew moves down the dark stairs and enter what appears to be ancient ruins. What little markings and indicators they can find are all alien to them. the structure seems to echo signals so narrowing down where the suits of power armor are located is difficult. Continuing to follow the trail the crew enter what appears to be some sort of ritualistic chamber where piles of viscera are strewn around along with bodies in various states of dissection. Among the appalling scene are three creatures feasting on the carnage. They leap into the air like twisted carrion birds and move ot attack.
After a difficult battle the crew manages to kill two of the three and discover one of the soldiers under a pile of bodies. His armor and body cleaved from collar to hip. the crew turns to follow the only other trail to a large, strangely marked door. On the other side is a hall of smooth, black stone. No signs of movement other than the trail of blood. At an intersection of the hall a statue made of the same stone stands in an alcove. It emanates a subtle but disturbing, almost static electric energy. Glack identifies the statue as a representation of the Outer God, Azathoth. Gideon attempts to smash the statue with no success.
The crew moved into a large semi-circular room with a central column embedded in the wall depicting horrific scenes of monsters and destruction. Flanked on either side the remains of two dark tapestries with undiscernible patterns hang. Steps lead down to a lower level still and the trail of blood continues.
Temple of The Darkness
At the bottom of the spiraling stairs the crew discovers another of the mercenaries a jagged hole punched through his armored chest. The continue around the circular track and come to a passage leading to the center but something catches the android’s sensors. A large section of wall covered in a mirror like material. As he approached what appeared to be reflections began to shift and swirl. Then eyes, barely noticeable seemed to press against the other side of the material as though to peer through a window.
Moving deeper into the structure the crew entered the lower portion of the semicircular room above with the full central column carved with the same twisting and chaotic motif. Five panels covered in strange symbols pulse with a strange energy and subtle light much like the pulse of a starship engine.
A hall bisected by a string of smaller pillars leads to a pentagon shaped room with a dark alter. Along the hall are four tapestries crafted from some unknown cloth. Each tapestry presents imagery of dark, gargantuan creatures moving through space and devouring planets.
At the back of the room is a large wall covered in the same silvery, mirror-like material in the other room only it is swirling more actively. As the crew moves to investigate further a creature leaps from one of the corners and attacks. They manage to wound the alien quadruped, but it leaps through the strange wall. Shortly after that two figures stumble backwards through the shimmering wall with lights flaring and armor mounted weapons firing back through the portal. Soon after the wall solidifies and stops glowing.
With the last two mercenaries recovered the crew retreats from the ruins back to the mining facility above, debrief on their exploration of the ruins and begin the long haul back to the Terminal.