Session started at 6:36 pm on 05/22/2007
Attending players: Sarah, Michael, Ben, and Eva
Presiding GM: Aaron
So we have some hope of evacuating a few engineers from dome E before the creatures overrun them. Hopefully we can get one or more of the pressure locks in the hub open.
The pressure locks are at what used to be the bottom of the hub. The emergency chemical lights that kicked on when power went out are beginning to fade, so Ajax leaves his flashlight with the frightened bunch of civvies closeted in the lab. Ajax and I head up to the locks and Yorick collects the doctor from the bottom of the dome.
Three suited engineers arrive a minute or two later. They've used a small powered craft to pull them up to the hub, since the standard diving suits are weighted. They strip out of their suits and warn us that there are at least a few angry looking merrow out there. Fun.
Ajax and I spend about thirty seconds arguing about how we are going to handle all of this. Ajax, Yorick and I get dressed in the suits. Yorick has enough microwire for us to run a line across to the other dome. We'll try that and then hopefully we can use some of the still-weighted suits to ferry people across.
We manage to have a relatively uneventful journey tagging after Ajax, who uses the powered craft, and run a line down to dome E. The dome is in utter chaos. Martha is still alive and the creatures have not yet broken though. The maintenance dome is open so we can see almost all of Dome E. Most of the folks who are still alive are welding anything they can lay their hands on over the doors. We let Martha know about the line and start getting as many people into suits as we can. The engineers seem relieved that they don't need to find a way to unweight the suits after all.
While Ajax is helping with the welding he reports that the critters have already burned through one of the original doors, so it's only the added metal shells that are keeping them out now.
(Ajax notices that only the critters to the north are trying to cut through. The other entrance, the critters are trying to lift the door just like the ones we saw, so they are easily thwarted by just a little welding.)
It doesn't take them very long to get dressed and I drag 10 people in suits across the gap. I get them undressed and their suits strapped to the line as fast as possible. I slide down with minimal damage to the suits.
As I'm turning around to position the suits in the airlock, I find myself face to face with a very angry merrow holding a spear. Shit. It gestures at the area where the hub detached from the floor of the ocean with its spear. It seems to want me to go with it. Ajax confirms that they are sentient, so I should be able to communicate with it somehow. I can't seem to convey that I have to get the suits inside. After some quick comm chatter, the doctor offers to summon a water elemental to move the suits and I go with the merrow.
(Meanwhile the doctor is talking to the engineers near the hub airlock about how they can cut the cable. As they are talking she turns and finds a very angry merrow looking in at her from outside the dome.)
As the merrow is directing me through the kelp with a pokey spear. I begin to catch glimpses of a huge group of merrow clustered around the area where the dome used to be attached. They are mostly armed and look really angry. Shit. Following this merrow is no longer a good idea on any level.
I quickly report the crowd to the others and then dodge sideways and backwards away from the merrow's spear. He tries to stab me but I roll out of the way in time.
(Up in the hub, the merrow that's looking at the doctor gestures and a huge water spirit appears next to it. The merrow gestures at the doctor and the spirit discorporates. The doctor frantically summons a water spirit to protect her.)
I'm about 70 meters from the dome. I book it as fast as I can while still keeping my eyes on the merrow. My only consolation is that there's a lot of kelp around here to hide me from the full crowd of merrow.
(12.5 + extra 5 = 17.5 meters closer this round)
(In dome E, Ajax is yelling at people to get away from the barrier because the creatures are about to break through.)
(The evil water spirit materializes in the hub next to the doctor.)
(I run 2 more meters = 19.5 total.)
("I think the spirit is going to punch the mage."
~ Aaron, about the evil water spirit
"That's a terrible idea. How about a round of canasta?"
(The evil water spirit is attacking the doctor. It hits, knocks her out and down to zero physical damage. She falls and passes out.)
The doctor's biomonitor is screaming. She's barely got a heart beat. What the hell as gone wrong in the hub?
(In dome E, a large chunk of the barricade comes crashing open. Yorick is waiting and fires on the critter with the torch which cut open the hole. He misses, but Ajax manages to turn the torch the critter was holding into a whole bunch of shrapnel. It screams, is still up and angry. Ajax then shoots it in the head. It's still alive but looking much worse for the wear.)
Some where in the back of my mind I can hear Yorick and Ajax yelling about the things breaking through the barricade. All I can focus on right now is running and not getting skewered by the merrow.
(The evil spirit in the hub dematerializes, having accomplished it's goal.)
(The critters in dome E are still trying to break or climb through the existing hole in the barrier. Yorick manages to blow a hose out of one of the plasma torch fuel lines. Acetilene is spraying everywhere on the far side of the barrier.)
I duck another spear strike and continue sprinting towards the dome.
(12.5 more meters + 5 extra for running = 37 meters)
I manage to narrowly dodge another spear strike it skids off the suit's armor with a horrible grinding noise.
(Ajax cracks a flare and tosses it through the hole in the barrier and into the spray of acetylene. There's a loud whump as the acetylene ignites, shrapnel goes flying everywhere, but the barrier stops most of what would have gone into the dome proper. There is lots of monster screaming. When Yorick peers through the hole he sees that most of the nearby critters are dead and or very on fire. There are more creatures rushing in from further up the corridor, but none of them have welding equipment.)
(7 more meters for running = 44 meters)
("What rating is your medkit?"
"There is only one answer to that question."
(One of the engineers manages to revive the doctor using her medkit.)
The spear grinds off of one of the armor plates in the suit. I think I heard a tearing noise. Shit. Shit. Shit.
(The doctor who's now awake heals away most of her damage magically.)
(Yorick is helping Ajax try to patch up the barrier again.)
(running 9 more meters = 53 meters)
I dodge another blow. I'm about two thirds of the way there. I might make it.
(Michael manages to roll 6 hits on two dice, including edge rerolls.)
(12.5 for the round + 4 more = 69)
(The doctor manages to summon another water elemental.)
I put on a final burst of speed and leap into the dome E airlock. I smack the emergency pressurize button and the lock door slams shut, just catching the the merrow's spear and snapping it in half.
There's screaming and clanging coming from dome E as the lock begins to cycle. The merrow pounds briefly on the outer door and then swims off towards the congregation of merrow.
The others seem to have stabilized the situation in dome E somewhat. The critters that were burning through the dome have been silenced for long enough that we can get everyone into suits and push the group back outside.
Somewhere in there the doctor got enough treatment to be conscious and in a state to cast again. She summons a spirit to help us get up to the hub past the merrow. It has concealment to hide most of the party. Yorick and I manage to fight off the merrow who do see us and we drag the rest of the engineers up the line into the dome.
It's a near thing, with the rip my suit took before just starting to go as the lock in the hub cycles up.
The doctor summons another elemental to help with the effort to detach the cable.
The engineers are still trying to find a way to sever the cable. It's unfortunately likely that breaking it will crack the hub and kill us all...
There is one of the inter-dome tubes that was not full of monsters, the one to dome C where our quarters were. If we could get it detached, load one of the hub's bio-filters into it we could in theory ride it up to the surface. The engineers confirm that the tube should rise at about the same safe rate as the domes would have. We discuss the process with the engineers. There are a number of steps that we can use elementals for, the doctor sends her current spirit to draw the merrow off as we plan our attack.
"There's vampire blood waiting for me. We have to get out of here!" ~ the doctor (only to the team)
Through a series of spirits we manage to get the tube detached, moved, and re-attached to the hub connection. We pile all the people and a detached biofilter into the tube and slowly float up towards the surface.
Fortunately the merrow have been stirred up and confused enough by the doctor's spirits that they miss our departure. When we have reached several hundred feet from the ocean floor there is a collective sigh of relief. After the doctor's quiet relaying of how she was attacked in the hub I half though that we were all going to die here after all.
It is a long and unpleasant trip. There is no privacy and although the doctor can summon spirits to stabilize the tube in a less-bad horizontal alignment, there is still no privacy and many emotional people. No food either. We have water but Ajax and I both insisted that no food be brought onboard. One of the administrators had a small portable potty, but there is not much in the way of privacy. We move it down to one end and put someone trustworthy on "blanket holding up" duty.
The other problem is light. I have a handful of chemical light sticks that were crammed in the pockets of my jacket. The rest are in my duffel bag with my spare ammo and change of clothes at the bottom of the sea. Ajax, Yorick, and I pool our lights, but the pile is still pretty meager and some of them got cracked in the scuffle to get the last group of engineers away from the merrow. We ration them as best we can, but they still give out about 28 hours into our trip. We spend a very tense 5 hours sitting silently in darkness waiting for the first glints of light from the surface. A few people try to tell stories, but eventually fall silent, crushed by the sheer weight of the dark.
After what seems like an eternity we begin to see a warm blue-green glow above us. An hour later the tube breaks through the surface and there is a rousing cheer from the survivors. We've survived. Hopefully we are more than halfway home.
The floating platform hasn't drifted too far away. The doctor calls a spirit to tow us over to it and we escape the tube.
There are two planes and a lot of dead people on the platform. All of the people have been shot and the planes have been sabotaged. The engineers manage to fix up the planes and the administration declares that one of the planes is going to Cancun and the other is going to Boston.
We decide that we would rather take Boston over Cancun, since we will have the airport to escape from rather than the whole national government. Yorick also mentions that, as we are the only people with guns, that plane doesn't need to go to Boston if we don't want it to. I'm not sure whether that thought is reassuring or depressing. I didn't really want to add hijacker to my list of crimes that I actually feel bad about...
End of Session