Our Cast of Players:
- Alexei Makarov (Ian): Human Expert – Technician/Adventurer, level 1.
- Christian (Craig): Human Psychic – Adventurer/Psychic Researcher, level 1.
- Hilton “Hiltie” Jones (Max): Human Expert – Biotech Crew/Pilot, level 1.
- Jonah Priest (Alan): Human Warrior – Security Crew/Ground Forces, level 1.
- Lazarus Morgenstern (Dave): Human Expert – Noble/Adventurer, level 1.
- Munroe (Ricky): Human Warrior – Soldier/Merc, level 1.
With no opportunity to reload his rashly fired shotgun, Priest drops it and pulls out his staff, whirling it around his head in a display of some considerable skill. Unimpressed by this, the Chittik now carrying Lazarus’ revolver levels it and fires a single shot at Priest, dropping him in one, and then turns to Hiltie with scarcely a look backwards. With three of the six of you now down, including your two combat hardened veterans, the situation is looking dire indeed.
Hiltie backs off, taking up position between the Chittik and the fallen Munroe, and readies his own revolver. He fires but misses, cursing.
Hitherto, Christian has been reluctant to reveal his talents in public but desperation is the master of necessity and he concentrates, beads of sweat popping from his forehead. There is a sudden “fwap” sound and an imploding puff of air is sucked towards where he was standing as he flickers from view and reappears on the other side of Priest, displacing another wave of air down the passageway. He kneels and presses a palm to each of Priest’s temples sending flickers of psychic energy through the tendrils of the man’s neural pathways, seeking to find and fan the flame of his life essence. Priest is too badly wounded for Christian’s novice level command of biopsionics to help and he reluctantly breaks contact, looking desperately at Hiltie for help.
Hiltie is in no position to lend his undoubtedly needed medical skills to anyone at the moment. The other Chittik is bearing down on him out of the barracks, and this one has Lazarus’ ornate monoblade dagger in one of its claws. The mandibles click closer and closer, metallic smelling drool dribbling down over the Chittik’s chest as it raises the blade high with a triumphal rattle. There is a whining hum rising in pitch that is cut off with a bang that rattles his ear drums and the Chittik’s chest explodes in a shower of green gore, spraying all over Hiltie. He looks behind himself in shock and sees Alexei standing in the passageway with Munroe’s beloved Beth in his outstretched hands, looking at it with an “I didn’t know it could do that” look on his face.
Hiltie nods his heartfelt thanks and immediately sets to work on Priest, slapping a Lazarus patch on his wound. Unseen by him, another Chittik rushes out of the barracks and lunges at Hiltie’s back, but Alexei, now exultant in his role as ruthless gun slinger sees the Chittik cross his line of fire and coolly squeezes Beth’s trigger once more, totally blowing the Chittik away. He mimes a blowing of the smoke away from the barrel (totally unnecessary of course on an accelerator pistol) and tries to twirl the pistol into an imaginary holster before dropping it clumsily on the floor.
Hiltie, the consummate professional, ignores the commotion behind him and continues to work on Priest, pulling him back from the brink. Satisfied he has done the best that he can, he turns his attention to the fallen Munroe, while Alexei and Christian rush into the barracks and find Lazarus’ body strewn across one of the beds. He is still alive – barely – and they do they best they can, compressing the wound, until Hiltie arrives in turn to take control.
You take stock, realising how lucky you were in the fight against the Chittik not to have lost at least one of your comrades right here and now. Two days flight away from any kind of medical facilities at all, very far from out of the woods, and it is touch and go as to whether your three casualties are all going to make it. Hiltie takes command and decides there and then that your only option is to abandon the exploration of this tomb and head back to Brightside Station.
Ever the scientist though, he insists that you load one of the Chittik bodies onto The Leadbelly as well as your own casualties. As you board, Ranse comes over the PA system once again, and despite the bravado you can hear the concern in his cracked voice: “well, errr, I guess that went even less well than last time…?”
To be continued…