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Clockwork of the Void thread #3
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Previous threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Clockwork%20of%20the%20Void%20Quest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FreQuenphase

CALLISTO AND EUROPA HAVE GONE DARK. Gravitational sensors picked up a powerful, but brief blip before the blackout. There was scarcely a thing to go on, save for snippets of garbled stream of data that slipped through.

In the beginning of a new space race, the loss of the frontier stations as Earth knew it, would crush their ambitions to reach out and expand. People back on Earth decided however, that they can't fold so easily, not when they're begun to come this far.

They sent you to solve their problems for them. Welcome, Mission Commander Blake Hitches, to your ride to Callisto, setting off from the dug-in Ceres outpost.

You got your crew over Callisto with the use of a suspicious, but experimental booster that sends you into an acid trip version of outer space. Ever since that time, your hallucinations of odd things have gotten a bit worse.
>>
>>Rules:

>>Roll a 3d10 to beat a specified DC, best 2 of 3.

>LIGHTBULBS:
>>During write-ins, if your idea or course of action is unusual and clever, you can earn a Lightbulb --- similar to a Fate point for a reroll, or you can spend a Lightbulb for a hint/insight.
>>I can even award lightbulbs for ideas that come up during discussion between updates. Lightbulbs will carry over to future campaigns from this one, I guess?
>>But for now, there isn't really going to be farming lightbulbs by catching name references/puns, so take it easy with the names.
>>...I'll reveal something at the end of the entire quest.
>>
FROM HERE ON, the crew operating your Ceres traveller would be a four man job, headed by Manny Roebuck, and the co-pilot doubling as counselor, Pike Sackett. You rally the surface team, with you and Shae included. The fireteam squad leader, basically heavily armed space tourists with rookie astronaut experience (or so you've been briefed) was led by a certain Mackey Pickster. From what you know, the operations director back on Earth dealt with a company called Strygid Trade Solutions, that sourced this manpower somehow, instead of recruiting directly from military branches.

Aboard your landers are medical and diagnostic equipment to treat and deal with anyone alive at the Callisto base, and a whole lot of demolition charges, most certainly not the kind for your typical mining job.

NOW, the landers have scorched their landing points with a reverse burn. From this spacious clearing, a good look around shows the moon surface to be steady, with a fog tiny flakes of ice gently fluttering in the wind. But from here, the glimmering lights of the Europa base pulse in and out of tune with that gigantic, coral-like metal structure jammed into one of the buildings. From the ground, this strange structure is utterly dwarfing you.

A radio test does not give any response from the base, but it takes five minutes to barely get a line through to the Ceres traveller.

"With the way things are, any line getting through is good enough," Shae says.

With that, you board the explorer trucks from the lander. The lights come on, and shine a cone of light that breaks through the blowing ice. Your vision reaches fades off at fifteen feet, and occassional lulls bring it up to eighteen to twenty feet.

[ ] Let's kick the door in when we drive up to the base.
[ ] Look for a window and peek through with a light. (3d20 roll)
[ ] Hail the base when closer and park cleanly into the cargo bay if possible. (3d20 roll)
[ ] Do/Suggest some other idea/thing (This is a write-in option)
>>
>>44691579
>[ ] Let's kick the door in when we drive up to the base.
>>
>>44691579
>[ ] Let's kick the door in when we drive up to the base.
>>
File: moonbase.jpg (180 KB, 1200x800) Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]
moonbase.jpg
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>Let's kick the door in when we drive up to the base.

There's nothing else to go on, except your hunches at this point. You drive up to one of the auxiliary exits on the base, and at the foot of the exit lies a removable panel, just as your training went. Identical to one of the panels on Ceres, opening it reveals an emergency latch, and the airlock comes to life.

>You and the entire ground team are wearing a new kind of plated, combat-ready EVA suit with internal pressure layers.

[ ] Let's get out of the suits, use the airlock. We need to be more flexible and able indoors. We need to rescue people and do this non-lethally the best we can.
[ ] Keep the suits, we're moving through the airlock. We have guns and expect a hull rupture from gunfire.
[ ] Forcibly open the vehicle bay doors on the other side of the base and park the trucks there.
[ ] The base has long been done for, let's rush down to that odd structure we've seen from orbit.
[ ] Do/Suggest some other idea/thing (This is a write-in option)
>>
>>44692060
>[ ] Let's get out of the suits, use the airlock. We need to be more flexible and able indoors. We need to rescue people and do this non-lethally the best we can.
>>
>>44692060
>[ ] Let's get out of the suits, use the airlock. We need to be more flexible and able indoors. We need to rescue people and do this non-lethally the best we can.
>>
>>44692060
>>Let's get out of the suits, use the airlock. We need to be more flexible and able indoors. We need to rescue people and do this non-lethally the best we can.

You start to feel a faint tug of gravity in the airlock as the decontamination zapping finishes with a UV ray sweep.

"These suits will be dead weight inside," you say. "If any of us get stuck on something, that's gonna be trouble, or something worse."

Everyone looks at you, surprised. Shae and Pickster look fairly annoyed.

"We can't respond to an on-the-ground emergency all puffed up and mittened like this," you insist, leading them by removing your EVA suit, but bringing in the rifle.

You poke further into the base, seeing the distended lights, with only one running, but faint. You draw a flashlight, but the fire team flips on lights mounted to their rifles.

Man, you wish you had one of those, but looks like they're the only ones who got them.[1/?]
>>
>>44692572
[2/2]

You pass a door, and you shut it behind, just in case. The rattle of the door closing finally knocks a couple lights out. Soon, a strange smell wafts through the air. There's a sour smell with hints of rust and pennies. A faint blue light fills the dimness of the station; it's the light outside, reflected off the ice, and some of it being bounced in by various white surfaces strewn about the station, whether some of it is the walls, ceiling or some fixtures.

"Looks like we're gonna be seeing a lot of lights out," Mackey says.

"Alright, we gotta save on our batteries. Only two flashlights on, for now."

[ ] Let's speed up the search. Give a holler, and split the team by the two flashlights.
[ ] Do a slow crawl as a big group.
[ ] Find a good stopping point and fan out from there, occasionally.
[ ] Do/Suggest some other idea/thing (This is a write-in option)
>>
>>44693394
>[ ] Do a slow crawl as a big group.
>>
Quest goes in the Subject field, my feebleminded friend.
>>
>>44693462
Of course. I thought I did when I pasted things in, but it looks like a momentary lapse.
>>
>>44693394
>[ ] Find a good stopping point and fan out from there, occasionally.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>44693431
>>44693716
Tiebreaker.
>>
>>44693716
>Find a good stopping point and fan out from there, occasionally.

You give a shout down the halls, to see if anyone is alive. Strangely, does your call get answered with a flicker of green sparks that come out of nowhere, and drift slowly like dust, before they disappear into the air.

That's not natural. And electricity doesn't spark like that.

Up ahead from your last exit was the second residential block laid down at this base, and further ahead were the gyms. In this corridor here there were extra cellars for storage.

"Alright, let's fan out at this corridor here," you bark. "Break up into pairs, search each room."

Every other person breaks out a flashlight. The door knobs and seams of the doors tell a tale: Most were forced open. One of the rooms shows a violent struggle. There used to be blood on the floor, but there were signs it was wiped up. Wherever the blood came from, it's not here anymore, nor was it dragged out to the corridor at some point.

[ ] Check the bunks and the undersides. (3d20)
[ ] Look for signs of theft or weapons in the storage cubbies (3d20)
[ ] Look UP in this bunk room. (3d20)
[ ] Do/Suggest some other idea/thing (This is a write-in option)
>>
Rolled 20, 3, 19 = 42 (3d20)

>>44694381
>[ ] Look for signs of theft or weapons in the storage cubbies (3d20)
>>
>>44694458
>Rolled 20, 3, 19 = 42 (3d20)
>20,19
>>Look for signs of theft or weapons in the storage cubbies (3d20)

You poke around in the bunk storages. So far, everything seems to be thrown together, like a busy person would do, but just generally make them look orderly. However, looking towards the sides of the box shows that things have been pulled out and not been returned. Someone was fishing for something in the boxes and yanked out, leaving some cables of some devices tangled when that object was pulled.

Among the clothes, all the plastic bags have been zipped open, the clothes inside all crumpled and unfolded. One bag has been opened. You turn your flashlight to the floor and find a onesie all turned inside-out and stepped on.

Whoever the killer is, he must've wanted something this person had, and managed to take whatever the victim was keeping hidden.

[ ] Check the other rooms for other similar signs of searching/violence
[ ] Smell the air in the corridor again and see where the funny smell is coming from.
[ ] Rally everyone back and press on.
[ ] Do/Suggest some other idea/thing (This is a write-in option)
>>
>>44694884
>[ ] Smell the air in the corridor again and see where the funny smell is coming from.
>>
>>44694884
Votes are still open. I'll return after dinner is done.
>>
>>44695458
We're back.
>>
>>44695173
>Smell the air in the corridor again and see where the funny smell is coming from.

"Hey, where are you going?" Shae asks.

"You smell that? It was coming from the room I searched. It seems to be leading into somewhere that way" you say.

"We're coming with you, I'll just call everyone back," she says.

After everyone steps back out from the various bunk rooms, you give them the explanation.

"So we found signs of a struggle and murder in the room I looked into. That strange smell you guys picked up is going further into the base. Before we go, anyone find anything in the other rooms?"

"We found a similar struggle and some bloody in one room," one pair says.

"The ones we searched looked fine," Mackey says. "Just unmade beds, like they just rolled off in the morning and got to work".

You would think someone would've noticed and things would've gone down to resolve this much earlier, but something is off.

"Alright. Form up, check our backs, we're following this murder trail," you say. [1/?]

>Electrical outage incoming. If there is no update after the latest one, I'll announce a new thread on twitter @ FreQuenphase
>>
>>44697039
[2/2]

As you follow the trail you see some more signs of struggle. There's been damage to the surroundings, where some fixtures and objects have been pried away.

"Hey, check other one," Mackey says. "With all the missing stuff here, looks like a fight broke out. Probably improvised weapons, or just stuff to generally bash heads with."

"If that's true," you say, "Then what would cause the whole base to go into a kidnapping and murdering spree? It's not like a bad batch of water coming through the tap would do that. Well, I'm gonna smack the next person to say, 'ghooooosts!' or 'drugs are bad, really bad' . "

"It's like they stopped screening for crazy people before they clear them for space trips," Shae says.

"Come to think of it, they never really did. All the qualifications would've washed them all out," you suggest. "And even before that, they always used to scout people from military. Maybe it's one of those civilian specialists they've brought on in the past five or so years?"

Everyone is silent when the possibility dawns on them. You gaze suspiciously at Mackey and his ilk that's tagging along with you.

After a fair while, the smell seems to linger somewhat. From this part of the base, you can peek out the window at the makeshift anti-radiation lattice sprawled over some of the modules, including the residential area. You recall that underground mining work to expand the base and put some areas under more permanent radiation protection was still underway.

That area, full of tunnels and preliminary structures was further out in a newer, more temporary area connected by pressurized tubes, closest to the center of the lattice. The view from the window shows that the metal structure is jammed into the ground at an angle, pointing somewhere below the lattice. Directly below the structure is a dish array, with some of those dishes crumbled into pieces from impact.

Shae takes a look at the same thing. [2/?]
>>
>>44697860
[3/3]

...and Shae gets an idea, from the looks of it. "Maybe we should try to fix that," she points.

You turn around again and see how the base splits up from here. There are numerous connecting branches further out that lead into the workshops, robotics control, the experiment labs, maintenance/electrical. One of the arrows roughly indicates where communications is, further out from the lattice. Nearest from you is the greenhouse, the mess hall, recycling, and lastly the water pump.

The water pump is nearest towards the beginning of the new mining area. In spite of seeing new problems to deal with, the odd smell lingers.

[ ] Let's check the mess hall. (3d20)
[ ] Head out to communications and the other further areas.
[ ] Light up the area again for any blood stains. (3d20)
[ ] Do/Suggest some other idea/thing (This is a write-in option)
>>
>>44698098
>[X] Light up the area again for any blood stains. (3d20)
>>
>>44698141
I have terrible luck when I roll dice, could you be the one to do dice+3d20?
>>
Rolled 16, 12, 5 = 33 (3d20)

>>44698098
>[ ] Head out to communications and the other further areas.
>[ ] Light up the area again for any blood stains. (3d20)
>>
>>44698278
I'm only allowing "pick one choice", sorry. Aside from unnecessarily "optimizing outcomes" ala SB.com, there is _____________________
>>
>>44698278
That's good for dice rolling, right?
>>
>>44698643
That's enough for the blood stains.
>Writing.
>>
There's a small blood stain ahead of you that goes up to the greenhouse. The rest of the blood stains are scattered about leading to the mess hall.

Bigger trouble seems to be in the mess hall.

"Maybe it's prudent we secure the greenhouse? There could be some hope of survivors hiding there, or not," Shae suggests.

"That's possible," you say. "A murder spree happening in the base, and the killer is sloppy? We better check this one out."

At the foot of the greenhouse, you give a shout. Nothing. You try again, and nothing.

You signal everyone to slowly secure the entrance. With flashlights all on and guns pointed, you round the whole entrance and surroundings. It's calm.

"Don't worry, we're the rescue party from Ceres," you say out loud into thin air.

A man's voice from somewhere answers.

"It's okay, we saw trouble and we came running," you say.

"Some of the workers lost their minds, and they started taking everyone!" he says.

You creep over to where the trunks are, all overturned and dishelved, shored up with debris and junk to discourage anyone from finding out.

After combing away the junk, you come across a ragged middle aged man, visibly an astronaut.

"What's your name?"

"Mikhail Lebedev!"

Realizing this, you get the first aid kit and start tending to some of his wounds and help him up.

"Take it slowly, and explain this all to us. Can you identify who's responsible for what's happened here?"

"There was a noise inside everyone's heads, and some of the workers went crazy. Then the object came and started digging into the base. The crazy workers killed anyone near, and then when it was one person left, he started taking everyone alive and dead inside the mess hall. I was working outside when it all happened, and I've hidden here after struggling with sending a distress call," he says.

"How badly were communications damaged?" you ask. [1/?]
>>
>>44699429
[2/?]

Still weakened and his nerves wrecked from the ordeal, he continues, "I had to rewire and make do with whatever left, but the butchers were too busy and too crazy to notice. Much of the way to communications now is exposed to space."

"What about the water pump? The new excavation nearby?" you ask.

He shakes his head, "Don't know, I just wanted to hide."

You look at Shae and Mackey. "We better break down the Mess Hall, if that's the center of the murders."

"Listen, Mikhail, you can trust the astronauts you've trained, but now we to trust you to stay calm and be brave here. Lock the doors to the greenhouse and block the way in, don't let anyone in unless you know it's us."

Shortly after, the whole lot of you come to the doors of the mess hall. There are visible bloody marks staining the only window through.

Well, this is certainly going to be uneventful, you think sarcastically.

[ ] Run back and get suited up in EVA gear, and bring one for Mikhail.
[ ] Kick down the door of the Mess Hall, all guns readied.
[ ] Do/Suggest some other idea/thing (This is a write-in option)
>>
>>44699600
>[ ] Run back and get suited up in EVA gear, and bring one for Mikhail.
>>
>>44699741

Alright, with no new votes, I'll start Tuesday evening's thread with this decision and go from there.

At the rate things are going, we're seeing two to three more threads in the quest before it all finishes.

Thanks for showing up!
>>
>>44700424

And now archived.

Twitter @ FreQuenphase for announcements.
Thread replies: 35
Thread images: 2
Thread DB ID: 397110



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