Session 15/16: Minimizing Casualties Is for Losers
The PCs attempt to assess the situation as flame and soot fill the room. Everyone begins to cough loudly, including Pip (who is trying to fit in), but Sarah is not phased by the change in air. She tries to speak, but in doing so rock smooths over her face, removing her eyes and mouth in the process. The soot condenses into the shape of a person, and when the soot falls it reveals Joel, unharmed and flaming. Pip joyfully reunites with Joel, while Liza curses in Russian and the other PCs rush towards him. Sarah tries to speak, but the rocks making her body only resonate, filling the hall with a faint thrumming sound. Adriana realizes that she can psychically hear Sarah talking, but she doesn’t translate well and instead opts to piss her off. Gradually, Ashlee starts to understand Sarah as well, but the other PCs cannot. Joel realizes that he is missing his daggers, so Liza walks over to a fallen construct corpse and removes its arm, giving it to Joel to use as a weapon. The PCs continue on to the transporter room without any incidents. Adriana and Ashlee continue to discuss their plans, while Liza tries to make Sarah feel better about her situation, even though they can’t properly communicate. When they get inside, Sarah tries to communicate to Adriana that they should send Space Jingwei to Loki’s command center to protect him from harm. Adriana has him “investigate” one of the transporter pads, and she fakes a sneeze to send him off. Liza immediately panics, as they all realize that he was sent off without a target location, placing him into a buffer zone. Liza shoves Adriana away from the console, beckoning Joel over to help her save Space Jingwei, while Sarah and Ashlee berate Adriana, filling the room with shouting and thrumming. Joel and Liza do their best, but it’s quickly clear that it wasn’t enough, as Liza slams her fist into the console and slumps in her chair. Space Jingwei made it to Borris, but his legs were lodged in a bulkhead, and it wasn’t clear if he was still alive.
The PCs realize that they need to make it back to Borris. Liza opts to stay behind, insisting tht Adriana must return to take responsibility for Space Jingwei’s injury or death. The PCs decide to have Pip stay behind. He could then go to a second transporter room and use that to go to Borris, since the other room had a timing command. The PCs return to the command center, finding themselves in a bloody hallway with two leg stumps. They rush inside, where they see Space Jingwei on a table with Jeanette leaning over him to heal him. As they step forward, Borris takes note of their condition, but he allows Sarah and Ashlee to help: Sarah holds Space Jingwei down with Ashlee using her healing spell to stabilize him. Once Space Jingwei is taken to the makeshift infirmary, Borris orders the PCs and Liza to follow him into a side room for a debriefing. The conversation gets heated, as Borris tries to have the PCs tell him everything, and the PCs try to keep essential knowledge away from him. They are successful at keeping the conversation away from their involvement with Loki, but Borris clearly doesn’t fully trust them, and his influence over Joel and Sarah increases. He tells the PCs to leave and rest, while having Liza stay behind along with the other Russians for a private conversation. Pip returns and informs the PCs that the transporter rooms have been powerered down.
The next morning, the Joel and Sarah notice a Synodan helping Advotya. Panicked, they confront Borris, who assures them that the Synodans will help the humans, and as such he has a related mission for them all: two teams will be deployed to save a group of Synodans from Loki’s forces. The first team consists of Joel, Adriana, Liza, and the team leader Advotya; they are tasked with assisting the combat team go through the corridors, which have various obstacles, closed doors, and environmental issues. The combat team consists of Sarah, Ashlee, Nilima, O’Hare, Pip, and team leader Natalia. Borris instructs them to minimize casualties, and they set off. The teams work their way through a series of obstacles, successfully separating Natalia from the group so that the conflict would weaken her first. Adriana and Joel are forced to fight Geb with Liza, while Advotya attempts to control the situation and continue helping the combat team. The second team makes it to the Synodans, finding a neatly divided battle with about 20 Geb and 40 Synodans. Ashlee and Sarah immediately recognize Hemaka in the mix, as well as Natalia, who is almost entirely undamaged. Natalia continually steals the life forces from Geb around her, replenishing herself and reducing their forces. O’Hare charges into battle, closely followed by Sarah. Adriana uses the control panel to make the room even more chaotic, while Ashlee uses a Geb comm to have Hemaka attack Natalia. It’s clear that Hemaka intends to toy with Natalia, so Ashlee contacts Loki and vaguely implies that the battle needs to end, in case Borris is listening in. Simultaneously, Hemaka more seriously attacks Natalia, while O’Hare charges at Hemaka as Nilima uses magic to trap the Geb. Sarah realizes that Hemaka could lose the fight, with O’Hare and Nilima helping, so she charges at Natalia and slams her into the wall before punching her squarely. Behind her, O’Hare seems to be possessed, yelling “traitor” with Borris’s voice. Sarah, over the unsecure comm line, has Loki convince Hemaka that they’re working together, but O’Hare manages to take Natalia and leave the room, with the rest of the combat team close behind as the doors close. Natalia escapes, but Ashlee manages to free both Nilima and O’Hare from mind control. Adriana steals Advotya’s access card and frees him from mind control, but he doesn’t change, making it clear that he is very muched aligned with Borris. With Joel distracting Liza, she gets the other access card but doesn’t break her mind control. Joel locks both the Russians out, leaving himself and Adriana in the control room, while the others race towards engineering.
The PCs, along with O’Hare and Nilima, group in the engineering room. Before they can discuss anything, they realize that two Vanir are in the room, attempting to restart the engines for Loki. One of the Vanir immediately rushes to a panic button on the wall, but Sarah blocks his path, while the other tries to run for the door. The PCs prevent O’Hare from attacking them both, reminding the two Scots that Borris wanted to minimize casualties. Nilima ties the Vanirs’ hands, while O’Hare aggressively questions the PCs about their motives, particularly Sarah and Ashlee. The PCs admit that they were working with Loki, but that they don’t necessarily agree with Loki, and therefore want to be taken back to Borris. O’Hare grows continually more angry at their vague answers, and when Sarah slips up and mentions contacting Loki directly, he attacks her. The PCs refuse to fight, and again ask to be taken to Borris, so O’Hare has Ashlee tie up their hands with rope. When that fails miserably, Nilima takes care of the problem, and puts the PCs in a line with the Vanir at the back. O’Hare tries to kill Pip, but the PCs convince him to simply lock Pip in a containment field. They are forced to walk through the halls, with Nilima at the front and O’Hare at the back, as the Vanir are too large for the vents.
As they round a corner, Nilima is knocked unconscious with a burst of purple energy, and the PCs find themselves fighting the three Russians. Liza clearly feels betrayed and doesn’t want to hurt them, while Natalia and Advotya are out for blood. O’Hare joins with the Russians, despite seeing Nilima knocked out by Natalia. During the fight, Adriana and Ashlee manage to break Liza’s mind control, causing her to approach Natalia and try to stop her. Natalia viciously stuns her and leaves her to die as the hull is breached, opening the hall to space. Pip, having escaped through the engines, finds the PCs and informs them that both Thor and the Synodans have arrived, explaining the battle outside the ship. With the hull breached and little time to escape, Sarah rushes forward and holds open the doors for the PCs to pass through. Ashlee brutally kills Natalia, but Advotya makes it out before her, nearly breaking off Sarah’s arm in the process. Adriana and Joel both run out the door, with Adriana carrying O’Hare unconscious body, and Pip follows with Liza and Nilima. Ashlee kills Advotya, and the PCs make it through the door and let it close, protecting them from the breach.