GUN FIRE

Arrival

This is not a linear adventure. Do not read straight through. Follow the directions at the bottom of each page.

The proximity detector alarms. As you blearily open your eyes you feel around to the back of your head and gently pull out the sleeper wire. As the bioelectric impulses stop bombarding your brains limbic stem you fully awake to assess the situation.

14 days. That’s how long it’s been since you started this little jaunt. You sit up and motion the proximity detector to silence with a wave of your hand. You feel great. You should considering the amount of Imperial Credits you sunk into the Rest-Eaese bed that has fed you and kept you exercised while you passed the days away in a machine induced catatonic funk.

Your 100 ton Scout ship is looking about the same. Red lights immediately draw your attention to the fact that the disposable fuel tanks are depleted and a quick check shows that you juuuust have enough in reserve to get back to Rigalious High Port. Hopefully with some salvaged goods and sellable items from the lab ship Khyber .

You eat, shower, dress then seat yourself in the only chair in the command station. Your fingers fly over the well-known buttons and dials of your ship. In time the Khyber is brought into view.

A 400 ton Class “L” laboratory ship capable of sustaining 20 or so crew for a few months this one was probably built by the General Products megacorporation and maintains the typical ‘lab ship’ design. An inner spindle that is compromised of the shuttle bay, fuel cells engineering decks and associated crew, with one long strut that pops out of the spindle in right angles to attach to the ring. The strut houses an elevator that connects the laboratories, command station and main crew quarters which are located in the doughnut like ring surrounding the spindle.

The Khyber is not streamlined but should carry a Pinnace for space to ground transfer. 100 tons of ring space is often dedicated to laboratory equipment. Expensive equipment that needs to get back to the greedy hands of planet bound scientists that have cash and don’t ask questions. Cash that would go along way to paying off the debt you owe on this cramped, smelly yet tenderly loved Scout.

After going through the gauntlet of hailing frequencies you reach the same conclusion that the Vargr trader reached when she first happened on the out of place lab ship. The Khyber was dead.

You type in the last analysis for docking and as your ship preforms the delicate astrogative maneuvers to dock with the ships bay you don your armour, slip your cutlass to its sheath and check the charge on your laser pistol.

With a dull structural clang your ship attaches itself to the Kybers outer door. Just as the doors are about to open and you explore this supposed derelict vessel you wonder what were they doing 14 days away from anything worth doing lab tests on. And in a region of space so un-traveled that only by dumb luck that Vargr trader happened upon it.

Yeah, dumb luck.

Goto Page 1

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Page 1

Just before you press the release button that will open the Khybers hatch and gain you access to the entire ship, you hook your environmental reader to the outer display input jack. You wait a moment as the atmosphere and temperature inside the ship is checked for any dangerous situations or airborne pathogens. Everything shows green and you are about to press the entry button when a slight anomaly in the readings catches your eye.

You can ignore the silly numbers. Everything is green on the display so it’s OK to enter. Goto Page 5.

Or you can Roll Sensors skill with any INT or EDU mods. You can try this if you have no skill at it, but you get a – 3 mod.

If you succed then Goto Page 3.
If you fail then Goto Page 4.

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Page 2

The hatch slides open and you quickly draw your almost spent laser pistol and try to hold it still in your shaking blood stained hands. What you expected was more Ine Givar terrorists to erupt out of this room but instead you see an old man who has used some spare Reflec material to wrap around him like a robe. He turns and looks at you, gauging you, his face unreadable. He slowly takes his hand from behind his back and cautiously drops his Thor Class laser pistol to a nearby desk.

“You are not an Ine Givar.” He says as a fact.

“Damn skippy! Now who the hell are you!” You try to be bold in your statement, but massive blood loss has almost drained you of your boldness reserve. You feel cold. However, something clicks in your head ‘You know this person’ yet you’ve never met before. Something very familiar…

“I am Emperor Strephon Aella Alkhalikol, Lord and Ruler of all the Imperium. And former hostage of these blighted terrorists.” He does a curt bow with a grace and style that could only come from generations of breeding. As he continues talking he flits around the room gathering supplies and downloading copies of laboratory processes.

“Two months ago they brided and blackmailed some very close associates of mine and I was soon captured. Betrayed by my own friends. In my place was put a synthetic android that was grown in one of these vats on this ship. You may have met some its predecessors, my captors threatened to unleash their ‘Monsters’ upon me if I did not co-operate. Closely guarded and guided the clone would eventually bring about the end of the Imperium and the eventual rise of an Ine Givar controlled stellar Dark Empire.” He then ceases his efforts in preparing to leave, notices your slumped posture and sees the amount of blood gushing from you. He quickly busts open a Medi-kit and applies the nanobandages with deft, strong fingers.

-
You gain 2d6 points of Physical Stats back.
Add a +1 to your SOC Stat, permanently.
-


When the bandages are secure and you’re feeling a bit healthier the Emperor continues.

“Through your efforts of winnowing down their numbers, I was able to physically overcome my guards. I now have enough evidence to reveal the plot and all the traitors in the Imperial court. And you…you, my hero will be rewarded with a Knighthood and a garden planet to have as your Dominion. You shall never be for want again and a fleet of Trading starships will be at your disposal.”

“Just one planet?” You ask.

Emperor Strephon looks at you and blinks incredulously.

“You are going to get along just fine in the royal courts of the Iridium Throne” Then he laughs.

THE END.

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Page 3

Running over half memorized algorithms in your mind you take some time and eventually calculate that there is not enough carbon dioxide. The proper amount of respiratory waste should be higher for a crew of 20 yet the environmental reader says that even with automated compensators no one on the other side is breathing. A slight chill creeps down your back.

You press the entry button.

Goto Page 5.

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Page 4

The readings are too cryptic. You’re sure that all the extra numbers that popped up are just fancy details that mean nothing except to atmospheric scientists. Besides, this device probably needed some sales gimmick, like calculating extra un-needed numbers to warrant its price.
You stand in the hatch way contemplating why these extra readings are unimportant for some time. Eventually you realize that you are subconsciously trying to not enter the Khyber. That would be foolish being as very dedicated creditors await your return to Rigalious High Port.

With a sigh you press the entry button.

Goto Page 5.

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Page 5

The Flight Deck is empty of the ships Pinnace and any crew. It is a 3 level tall space that spans 16.5 meters long by 10.5 meters wide. The floor is cluttered with a wide assortment of debris. Clothing, food packages, portable laboratory equipment and other various personal stuff. You quickly sift through the mess with your foot as you pan your electric torch from side to side looking for clues as to what happened here or at least some real nice chunks of salvage.

Flight deck 2

It would seem that although the crew seemed to leave in a hurry they took the time to turn off the lights. The Khyber is on standby power so only a few lights, often at exit points, are still lit. No air circulating devices are in operation and a quick check reveals that the main elevator to the ring portion of this ship in electric hibernation. Most of these basic ships operations can be re-started at the command center by someone with Piloting skills. The command center is of course in the ring section.

You look up at the distant ceiling. Massive hoists and pulleys are strewn about along with various cables and wire bundles. Every so often large cargo nets can be seen holding back empty supply containers. From the looks of it this ship was set out here by a crew who knew they were going to be here along time without re-supply. Strange.

There are two Probe launch bays to either side. Often the probes are sent missile-like to a planetary surface or some asteroid to conduct an exploratory survey. The doors don’t seem locked.

There are a set of hatches that can lead downward towards the Engineering sections and ancillary crew quarters. They can be jimmied open.

Explore the Probe bays Goto Page 6

Open the Hatch and go down to Engineering section Goto Page 8

Roll your Recon skill using either INT or EDU. Get 8 or higher to succeed.
If You succeed Goto Page 7.
If you fail the other options are still open.

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Page 6

No probes.
Not just all used up, but the ship’s captain didn’t even order any. The chamber however is nearly crammed full of extra fuel containers. A quick check shows that they are empty. Apparently they had the same idea you did about using up all the extra space aboard ship for fuel so as to maximize the time on a mission. These type vessels normally hold 88 tons of fuel (you did your research before starting this venture) and these modified probe bays would add another 10 tons. This vessel could remain hidden in deep space for a very long time.
But why?

-
Goto Page 5.

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Page 7

You are about to turn away from the immobile main elevator when something catches your eye. Off to one side, in the shadow of a cable bundle is a maintenance hatch for the nonworking elevator. With the proper tools that you could easily gather you could open this hatch and manually climb the interior to gain access to the ring section which holds the command center (and all the shiny, portable lab equipment just waiting to be pawned off).

This is not without danger of course. With the decreased levels of life-support it would be incredibly cold, also with no air circulation the chances of asphyxiation are greater.

-
Risk it and open the elevator maintenance hatch and crawl to the command center- Goto Page 9.
-
Stay in the center spindle and use the ladder to go down to the engineering decks- Goto Page 8.

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Page 8

You work the bulky yet simple latch to the ladder that descends into the lower sections of the center of this empty ship. The air here smells stagnant and has a slight ting of liquid hydrogen. You work your way down past the 2 fuel tank levels immediately under the flight deck. You take the time to analyze the readouts on the main fuel usage display. At first there was a huge decrease in levels as this ship steered its way to this point. Then a slow and steady trickle of fuel was used, you suspect this was an efficient use of fuel to maintain the life supports. But every once in a while a large amount of fuel would be sent to the power plant to generate an incredible amount of energy, more than an average lab ship would ever need.

-
Head up to the Flight deck- Goto Page 5.
-
Travel down to the next level, the Engineering deck- Goto Page 10.
-
Travel down, but skip the Engineering deck, and head to the Auxiliary Crew Quarters- Goto Page 11.

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Page 9

You pop open the elevator maintenance hatch and feel cold stagnate air wash over your hands. You shimmy into the breach and grapple with some grease stained cords as you begin to crawl through the very dark and cramped area. Further and further you travel through the dark. Your breath is coming out in clouds and you begin to breathe faster as what little air here is depleted. Your hands are growing numb with cold as the almost frozen grease covers them and makes them almost unusable in a slimy coating of black.

Then you reach the rings exit hatch. Your fingers fumble weakly for the tools needed to open it. In a time span that seems to be forever you loosen the bolts and push open the hatch. You unthinkingly erupt through the opening and land in a puddle of semi dried blood.

You flash your electric torch around the Staterooms common area and think about going back down into the elevator hatch.

Main state 02

The large room is a mess. Tables that were bolted down are now across the room and on their sides, ripped from their moorings. The entertainment center has been smashed to multiple sharp, electronic pieces and claw marks mar the walls. The back-up lighting has been torn out so the only illumination is in your wildly shaking hand. The putrid stench of rotting meat pervades this area, it soaks into your uniform and your hair becomes crusted with its smell.

And the blood. Splattered and dumped at random intervals about the place are vast quantities of drying blood. How long ago this massacre happened you have no idea.

You force yourself to breath in a more regular pattern. You assess the situation. With your back to the elevator you turn your light beam to your right, or anti-spin. You see a security door half open and the dim view of another crew stateroom area. You know from your research of the floor plans of this lab ship that the door to the command center can be accessed from either of the two common areas next to this one you are in. There you should be able to access the computers and find out what happened here.

You then shine the light in front of you and see a hall way in which 6 staterooms connect, 3 to a side. Some doors are open, some are shut and at least one has been torn off its hinges and shredded. From one of the open stateroom doors shines a very dim green light and the faint strands of music. The music is repetitive and simplistic in nature.

Just then a crashing sound comes from the spinward security doorway. You quickly shine your light to the left and can see its security door is locked and that something actually clawed into the metal of the door from this side, trying to gain access to the crew staterooms beyond. No matter how long you wait without breathing no other sound comes from there.

-
Do you go anti-spin to the open security door to the next area of crew staterooms- Goto Page 12.
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Do you go spinward to find a way to open the clawed at locked security door- Goto Page 17.
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Do you check out these staterooms here- Goto Page 19.
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Do you decide to call it quits, head back down the elevator shaft, past the Flight deck, to your Scout and then hightail it the hell away from this hell-hole. All the while praying that you don’t get nabbed by some Imperial Agents as an accomplice to some horrendous crime scene. Goto Page 20.

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